Llewellyn’s Little Book of Halloween, by Mickie Mueller
Llewellyn Worldwide Publications, 9780738758213, 240 pp., 2018
Llewellyn’s Little Book of Halloween by Mickie Mueller was definitely worth the wait. It has been my favourite holiday since I was a kid, so I couldn’t pass the chance of reading this book, and it surprised me a lot.
Although the title made me think I would just get an examination of Hallowe’en (its origins, traditions, superstitions and perhaps the myths and legends related to it), it also includes the same content about Samhain, the Witches’ New Year, in a balanced way, so that both holidays have the same importance and space.
Blending fun with serious matters, and having a direct tone when there is something important to be said, Mueller made it easy to read Llewellyn’s Little Book of Halloween. Although little in size as the title claims — I admit it was a bit weird at first for me to read something of an unconventional size — content is not affected in any way.
Mueller does a brief examination of all the common topics that typically come to mind when thinking about these festivities. She explains where they came from, how they have evolved over time — changing when it was required for them to survive — and the symbols commonly associated with them. It is not an in-depth voyage, but rather a small sample of the bigger picture.
Figures such as the spider, the bat, and the witch (of course this one is included — it was a must!) get a direct, yet useful explanation on their meanings and how to work with them. Mueller also explains the origin of traditions such as costumes, the jack-o’-lanterns, and phrases like “trick or treat.” You’ll be surprised to learn more about these!
Additionally, she also includes many exercises, tips, and recipes in Llewellyn’s Little Book of Halloween in order to enjoy both festivities and get the most of them. To give one example, besides getting some advice and inspiration on how to decorate our homes and create the right atmosphere, Mickie includes how to also use the same environment for witchy purposes, such as how to decor your house with a gothic theme. She suggests we could use this gothic theme to connect with our ancestors, have an altar dedicated to them, or create a hauted building inside our home, covering it all with white sheets. She writes, “a theme that truly reminds us of the thin veil between the worlds… to raise the vibrations of your space and welcome in only benevolent spirits.”1
Although I skipped most pages of the recipes portion because the kitchen is not my best place to be, the ones I read were easy to follow and understand. I may not have the talent required to be a kitchen witch, for I certainly feel better just doing teas and blessing my meals in silence, but I’m sure those who are into it will find it enjoyable.
What I liked a lot were the exercises Mueller incorporated. Grounding, centring, creating a shield of light, witch’s herb bottles, a doorway guardian wreath, how to have tea readings, and even using the Ouija board are just a few of the 33 exercises included in Llewellyn’s Little Book of Halloween.
This book is easy to follow. If you take days to read it, as I did, it’s either because you’re working a lot, or absorbing the information slowly. For me, it was both of these reasons. However, with an open schedule and more free time available, you can easily finish it in one sitting, maybe one morning or afternoon.
I would have liked more illustrations or art in the pages, not only generic images and shapes. However, the volume is well designed, so I cannot complain that much.
If you enjoy putting on costumes, creating a spooky atmosphere, but also want to take advantage of the ancient energies of this day, when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest form, grab a copy of Llewellyn’s Little Book of Halloween. It’s a good place to start with before you decide to go really deep into the topic of Hallowe’en and Samhain. Make sure your lantern has batteries and your wand is ready, not that you need it, but better be prepared!
Image Credit: Dmmalva
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