A Halloween Writing Challenge

Oct 29, 2019

Dear Writerly Woman,

As Halloween approaches and the days grow ever darker, I've been drawn more and more to the magical side of myself.

This is the part of me that loves picking oracle cards, engaging in magical meditation, and doing cacao ceremonies.

A couple years ago I wrote a piece on Samhein, which is the Celtic pagan festival that happens on October 31.

I just re-read the piece and had to share it here (below). It's a sweet invitation to experience the magic of the thinning veil between the worlds.

I also offer you a fun Halloween writing challenge in today's postscript. Hit reply to this email and let me know how it goes. I love celebrating your creativity!! Or, if you're feeling extra brave, share your Halloween piece in The Hearth & Pen, our kind and safe community for writerly women.



Of Samhein and Other Worlds 

Originally written in October 2017

The nights are getting longer. My cozy pajamas have come out, and I am craving drawing inward to other worlds.

October 31 is the Celtic pagan holiday of Samhein (Pronounced Sow-in). There are eight main Celtic holidays. Four follow the sun. These are the solstices and equinoxes. The other four follow the moon. These are Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas, and Samhein.

Samhein comes after the Autumnal Equinox and before the Winter Solstice. It is an in-between time, a liminal space. During Samhein, it is believed the veil between our world and the otherworld thins. You can almost reach right through to touch the other side.

This is the time to imbibe in other worlds. This is the time of story.

I’m re-reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. As the sun sets early and the temperatures begin to fall, I read the scene when Lucy first walks through the wardrobe to Narnia. I can almost feel the soft snow falling on her face and hear the crunch of her steps as she enters this icy new world.

I got The Chronicles of Narnia for Christmas when I was eleven. I stayed awake reading late into the night, as Narnia wrapped me in a warm embrace.

It showed me magic, and, best of all, it showed me healing. I still remember the excitement of Lucy running around the battlefield healing everyone with her little diamond bottle filled with “a cordial made of the juice of one of the fire-flowers that grow in the mountains of the sun.”

Reading stories with portals to other worlds is a wonderful way to dive into the energies of Samhein. They allow you to touch the veil and watch it shimmer.

I’m looking at my bookshelf. I have a feeling my next story will be the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, with the Hogwarts Express bringing Harry into the world of magic. Or maybe it will be The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, where a book transports Bastian to the land of Fantastica.

This is the time of year to intentionally enter other worlds. Dive into them to receive magic, healing, and wonder.

Rest back into the veil, let it carry you away, and then bring you back with a new depth and sparkle in your eyes.


P.S. A Halloween writing challenge. If you'd like to create your own otherworld through writing, try this:  set a timer for 15 minutes and write as fast as you can using this prompt as your first sentence: "She opened the iron gate, stepped through, and found herself..." Allow your writing to flow freely, setting all criticisms aside, and see what wants to be revealed. It doesn't have to be perfect or even good ~ it just needs to be a pleasurable romp through your own imagination.

P.P.S. Let's celebrate your creativity! If you do the Halloween writing challenge, hit reply and let me know, so I can celebrate with you. If you're feeling extra brave, share your piece in The Hearth & Pen, our kind and safe community for Writerly Women.

Emma Veritas is a writer and writing coach. She's a committed blogger and is currently working on edits to her first novel. She graduated with her Bachelor's degree in English from the Honor's Program at the University of Massachusetts, where she wrote her thesis on the power of story during hard times. She has completed Martha Beck's Life Coach Training and is an endorsed Soul's Calling Coach. She is a life long learner in the craft of writing, most recently completing courses on fiction writing and plot development through WritersHQ.

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