Halloween is actually a Pagan holiday called Samhain in Gaelic, which means Summer’s End. Dating over 2000 years ago, Halloween marked the Celtic New Year. When Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve, was adapted so were many of the superstitions and traditions. Some of these superstitions and traditions date back to the beginning while others were adopted over the years.
Witches: We have all seen the classic witch portrayed on Halloween. The witch stems from the pagan goddess, the Crone, and she was honored on Samhain. She was the old one and was also known as the Earth mother. She was the symbol of wisdom and change. She represents the changing of the seasons. The Earth Mother became the old menacing witch.
Cauldrons: For the pagans, cauldrons represented the Earth’s mother womb. Pagans believed in life after death. They believed when people died, the souls went to the crone’s cauldron, or the Earth Mother’s womb. There they would wait to be reborn while the goddess stirred the souls, combining the new souls with the old souls. Since the crone became the witch, it is only natural that the cauldron went with her.
Black Cats: For some reason, black cats were thought of as bad luck. Because of their scary past, they have earned their way into many Halloween decorations, often with witches. Black cats got their reputation for bad luck back in the dark ages. It was back then that witch hunts were common place. Old women who lived alone were accused of being witches and their pet cats were said to be their demonic animals, called familiars, that were given to them by the devil. The devil and cats became synonymous because it was said that Satan himself would visit witches in the form of a black cat.