By Josiah Mosqueda
We were fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of Mickie Mueller’s new book Llewellyn’s Little Book of Halloween. I immediately jumped on the opportunity to delve into Mueller’s tips and (dare I say) tricks for spicing up the Halloween season. Mueller’s 219-page book is sensibly divided into five chapters: A brief history of the holiday, creating a Halloween atmosphere in your home, recipes, a section on spellwork, and a chapter dedicated to spirit communication.
One of my concerns starting this book was a fear that it would cover the information gleaned in the Llewellyn sabbat series on Samhain and not go further into Halloween’s traditions. Mueller excelled at smashing my concerns by describing Halloween’s origins in Samhain and taking it further into how the holiday has been shaped by American culture. For example, the first jack-o-lantern was actually made from turnips and had origins in Ireland and Scotland. When the Scots and Irish immigrated into the United States, they brought this tradition with them, and began carving pumpkins, which was a much more common autumnal crop than the turnip. This Halloween I will definitely be trying my hand at carving a turnip!
Mueller also shares some of her favorite ways to decorate and cook for Halloween. One simple idea that she discusses is putting your cooking herbs into “witchy” bottles and labeling them with their folk names. What a great, cost-effective idea! Another favorite that Mueller shares is the soul cake, a small medieval cake that was traditionally handed out on Halloween night. The flavors are classics of the season, such as cloves, allspice, cinnamon and cranberries.
The last two sections of the book outline some of Mueller’s favorite spells and divination techniques for the Halloween season. My favorite among these was definitely the Halloween prosperity spell, which put a whole new spin on the magick of the season for me. Perhaps one of the most impressive elements of the entire book is Mueller giving instructions on holding a seance. She gives practical advice on who to invite, how to open the Seance, and how to do damage control if something goes awry.
Overall, this book is fantastic. After finishing my readthrough, I feel Mueller was successful in highlighting how unique the traditions of Halloween can be compared to Samhain. Mueller’s love for and attention to the uniqueness of this holiday is well communicated on every page. I would highly recommend to any Halloween lovers out there! 10/10
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