Everyone imagines that working in a witch shop at Samhain is the ultimate in witchdom. It is, and it can be, and yet, it remains so much more. The excitement builds before October 1st, and as that day arrives, there is that unmistakable aura of deepening shadows, the veil thinning, and the feeling of going deep within as the season proceeds.
The day begins before the shop opens, honoring the deities, lighting incense, checking stock, and preparing myself for the many interactions that occur throughout the day. Time is spent at the employee altar, honoring those deities I follow, and doing some healing work with those added to our Healing Request box. Our complimentary tea is made, messages received from the different deities and entities within the shop (some of them are quite chatty), and the opening hour arrives.
Customers flow through, local and visiting. Some who plan their entire trip around visiting the shop, some people with lists, some people who want to visit a real witch shop. Watching people come through the door is always a joy. Many come through the door, stand still, breathe in the air, and sigh happily. The joy on their face is unmistakable. There are those who march determinedly through the door, mental or physical list ready, where they grab a shopping basket and start gathering items. “Do you have this? Do you have that?’ they ask, as they know what they want, and which items are needed. Then there are those who wander through the store delightedly, gazing at the many items, dazzled and not sure where to look next.
People come in for teas, daily readers (tarot, runes, and more) and for candles. So many candles are needed at Samhain, for a variety of reasons. Not just the usual black and orange, but also purple for protection, white for healing, or whatever colors resonate with them. Consider how much of our ritual workings and daily life requires candles. There is something satisfying about that determined glow of light that candles provide.
The extra ambience that Samhain provides permeates throughout the month. Customers want to honor their ancestors, do spellwork, go deep within. It is gratifying to watch people step into their path, and explore happily and freely. There are those who are not “out of the broom closet” are a little more circumspect, but happy to be in a place they can satisfy their curiosity. I’ve noticed more determination in people as we head towards Samhain, as the cooling weather invites introspection and review. More interest in moon cycles, spellwork, and rituals are discussed many times during the course of a day, with excited discoveries echoing throughout the space.
There are somber moments as well, as people struggle with malevolent spirits, dark energy, menacing entities, spellwork gone awry, ouija board dabbling turning into something unruly, and more. We discuss protection spells, clearing energies, cleansing work, spiritual baths, and simple but effective means to help with these situations.
Divination interest picks up considerably, with tarot and oracle decks literally flying out the door, as well as crystal balls and pendulums. Scrying interest has an uptick, as well as questions about astrology, moon cycles, and more.
There is a hunger for community, with people asking about local groups and rituals, Samhain celebrations, and gatherings. To see someone’s face light up as they discover an event or celebration is heart-warming. Workshops and classes are filled with happy, excited chatter.
One item that is popular during this season is anything with the word “witch” upon it (not a surprise, right?) Mugs, tea towels, tote bags, stickers, cards, and pins are all happily purchased. There is a certain pride in that word, as people embrace all that a witch encompasses.
Nothing makes me happier than to help a person find items for their first altar, which usually leads me to requesting photos when they are set, as I share in their excitement. The possibilities are endless, and to see a person darting around, trying to get just the right objects and elements is inspiring.
Samhain is our busiest season, needless to say. We brace ourselves, stay hydrated and present. The energy is palpable from the time we open until the time we close. While we may long for the quietness of winter at some point, it is a beautiful sensation to feel the Wheel of the Year move towards the end of our spiritual year. Samhain is many things to many people, and nothing is more enjoyable than sharing the feelings, sensations and excitement of this time of year. If you can, make it a point to visit your local witch shop, and if one is not local, then search one nearby for a day trip, It is well worth the effort, and the glow of your visit will last into the darkening winter months ahead. Blessed Samhain to all!