The November Eve sabbat is a night of illusion and fantasy. Strange notions of fear, beggary, mischief; guises of ghosts, goblins and monsters have been imposed on a sacred and beautiful holiday. Clear your mind and return to the time when witchcraft had a life of its own; before the Church ruled, before the Renaissance, before the Age of Reason. November simply marks the prelude to winter’s dark chill. The ancients sensed a need for courage, a ray of hope. Imagination can spark both.

“Dressing-up” is fun, still a child’s favorite pastime, and appropriate to this sabbat. Have you dreamed of finding an old trunk full of wonderful costumes in a dusty attic? The extraordinary Lady Ottoline Morrell, hostess to the literary lights of England’s Bloomsbury set, recognized this common fantasy. She would invite her guests to choose costumes from a chest filled with exotic garments: a mandarin’s robe of heavy silk, a Turkish vest encrusted with jewels and gold ornament, the elaborate headdress of a Balinese dancer, masks, fans, and all manner of fripperies. Shyness was soon forgotten as artists, writers, statesmen and philosophers dressed up and enjoyed themselves enormously.

Witches are keenly aware of the psychological lift to the spirits a visual transformation can bring. A new persona enlivens what may appear to be a hopeless situation. Whimsy and a light heart are keys to joy. Witchcraft in America is the fruit of a tree transplanted from Europe centuries ago. Its truth is ancient and profound. November Eve celebrates the death of the year and welcomes the delights of a new cycle. Within the magic circle of death and renewal is the hidden challenge to change. Take a night off from rigid reality. Free your imagination. Whether you attend a fancy-dress ball, spend a quiet evening at home with family and friends, or perhaps alone in front of a mirror, perform a transformation just for the fun of it.

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