Halloween Q&A with a Shaman: Calling on the “Switch Witch”

How does a Shaman prepare her family for Halloween? We asked Andye Murphy, the Rock ‘n Roll Shaman, to tell us what we she does to keep her family safe while honoring this ancient tradition.

Viva Institute: First, in 5 words, how do you feel about Halloween?

Andye Murphy:  I get WAY excited about Halloween!

photo credit: Julia Kuzmenko

photo credit: Julia Kuzmenko

VIVA:  Halloween’s pagan origins are ancient, going back to Celtic England and Ireland (and probably earlier). At that time, the focus was very different. What do you think we’ve lost since that time?

AM:  Back then it was an honoring of the dead; it was about communing and respect and reverence, but now it’s just commercial. In my family, the Day of the Dead is much more important than Halloween. That’s where the power is—that’s where the honoring is.

VIVA:  As a parent, how do you prepare your little person for this day? What do you talk to her about?

AM:  Oh, WOW! So first there’s a side story:
This year my daughter said she wanted to be an “evil witch,” and after I freaked out, a girlfriend talked me down and said:

“Honey, she’s just exploring
her shadow self.”

This made sense to me—thank you! So I used it as an opportunity to have a conscientious discussion with my daughter about why she wants to be an evil witch instead of a regular witch and what that meant to her. Right now everything is about vampires and zombies and the dark side of things, so let’s just accept this desire this as an invitation to explore our shadow-selves.

VIVA:  How does a Shaman energetically prepare for the “trickster energies” that will be out and about tomorrow?

AM:  Oh man, I’ve had about 7 calls from parents this week saying that their kids can’t sleep, they’re so freaked out and afraid. The energy is really intense right now!

This is the time for extra prayers and blessings. I’ve given my daughter a spray bottle of holy water, so if she feels scared she can feel empowered by having her own tool. I tell her, “You’re in a physical body, so you get to be in charge. They’re only spirits, so the most they can do is scare you. If you don’t want them to do that, you can tell them to go away.”

It’s my belief that ghosts or spirits show up for a reason. When I feel those energies, I always ask: “Is it a ghost, and does it need help?” If they need help we’ll help them, but if they’re just there to taunt you, then we need to tell them to go away.

VIVA:  What are some ways that we can pay respect to the spirits?



AM:  Altars, altars, altars! I love altars. Marigolds, flowers, candles, pictures of our ancestors. The beauty of altars – in addition to just looking beautiful—is that they hold the space for our loved ones. It gives them life again! It also creates an opportunity for family to ask questions and for us to tell stories about the ancestors.

VIVA:  Give me 3 things that people could do, right now, to keep everyone safe on Halloween.

  1. Intention.
  2. When you play in the dark, call in the light, and always bring yourself back to the light.
  3. Give away most of the candy the day after! (You don’t want that stuff in your house, trust me!) In our house, we call on the Switch Witch. She comes the day after Halloween to take back the candy. When you give the Switch Witch the candy, you get a really nice present in return!
Andye Murphy, e-course instructor

Andye Murphy, Shamanism e-course instructor

Do you love Andye Murphy?  Us too. Her e-course Shamanism: Your Key to Truth and Transformation, begins on November 3. REGISTER TODAY. She’s the newest addition to Viva Institute’s teaching team, and we couldn’t be happier!

CHATTER. Want to get in on the discussion? We’re talking about it on Facebook.

#BeCurious – Day 27: Keep showing up.

How often do we treat Monday morning as though it were something to be endured? The present moment IS life itself, so ask yourself: do I see my life as something to be “gotten through,” or can I find moments of happiness in each day? Can you expand that feeling?

Try saying this today, throughout the day: “I choose to see my life as joyful.” Keep showing up, and your life will show you how much there is to love!


“Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is life itself, it is an insane way to live.”- Eckhart Tolle

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” – Thich Naht Hahn

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