Samhain: Night Lights 1,2

Over time, the rituals for protection from faeries changed to protection from “witchcraft.” In Victorian times, villagers would throw an effigy of an old woman into the flames and call that “burning the witch.”

Welsh communities also enacted a Halloween ritual called a Tinley. After the fires in town centres or on farms burned down, every member of that community placed a stone in the ashes, forming a circle. If a person found his or her stone moved the next morning, the community considered this person claimed by the fey, and expected him or her to die within the coming year. For all the seeming superstition, these rituals also had a practical benefit—the fire and ash protected fields from invasive plants the following year.

The Irish, on the other hand, put out their hearth fires on Samhain and used candles in the evening instead. Women of the house would make candles for each of her neighbours. She would give them to her neighbours to pray over, and pray for her neighbours over the candles given to her.

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