Beloved Samhain night is just around the corner. This time of the year is definitely the most magical and witchy of all other seasons. Below you can find information on Samhain Rituals, Traditions, and History. Are you going to try any of them?
What is Samhain?
As millions of children and adults participate in the fun of Halloween on the night of October 31st, few will be aware of its ancient Celtic roots in the Samhain (Samain) festival. In Celtic Ireland about 2,000 years ago, Samhain was the division of the year between the lighter half (summer) and the darker half (winter). At Samhain the division between this world and the otherworld was at its thinnest, allowing spirits to pass through.
The family’s ancestors were honoured and invited home whilst harmful spirits were warded off. People wore costumes and masks to disguise themselves as harmful spirits and thus avoid harm. Bonfires and food played a large part in the festivities. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into a communal fire, household fires were extinguished and started again from the bonfire. Food was prepared for the living and the dead, food for the ancestors who were in no position it eat it, was ritually shared with the less well off.
Christianity incorporated the honouring of the dead into the Christian calendar with All Saints (All Hallows) on November 1st, followed by All Souls on November 2nd. The wearing of costumes and masks to ward off harmful spirits survived as Halloween customs. The Irish emigrated to America in great numbers during the 19th century especially around the time of famine in Ireland during the 1840’s. The Irish carried their Halloween traditions to America, where today it is one of the major holidays of the year. Through time other traditions have blended into Halloween, for example the American harvest time tradition of carving pumpkins.
Two hills in the Boyne Valley were associated with Samhain in Celtic Ireland, Tlachtga and Tara. Tlachtga was the location of the Great Fire Festival which begun on the eve of Samhain (Halloween). Tara was also associated with Samhain, however it was secondary to Tlachtga in this respect.
The entrance passage to the Mound of the Hostages on the Hill of Tara is aligned with the rising sun around Samhain. The Mound of the Hostages is…
As Samhain approaches, you can decorate your home with a number of easy craft projects. Start celebrating a bit early with these fun and simple ideas that honor the final harvest, and the cycle of life and death
Pagan Treat Bags for Samhain
Do you have Pagan kids coming over for a Samhain event? You can have a kid-friendly celebration by putting together a goodie bag that’s representative of your Pagan spirituality. The key here is to do some creative, outside the box thinking. Sure, there are a ton of Halloween decorations in the store at this time of year, but not all of those are really connected with Pagan religious belief systems. They’re really more about the secular celebration of Halloween, which is fine, unless you’re looking for kid-friendly stuff that honors Pagan spirituality.
Here are a few things to try:
- Decorate the bags themselves with symbols that are meaningful to you – depending on the pantheon your group honors, you might include designs that are associated with Greek, Roman, Celtic, or Norse mythology.
- Small herbal sachets: sew herbs into a fabric pouch. Use lavender to help with dreams, or other appropriate plants.
- Crystals and gemstones: As long as the kids attending your event are beyond the put-everything-in-your-mouth stage, you could include rose quartz for love, hematite for protection, and more.
- A Portable Altar Kit: Depending on how old the kids are, think about making an altar box that fits in a backpack or pocket. This might not be useful or safe for really young children, but older tweens and teens could use it responsibly.
- Divination tools: make a simple pendulum with a stone wrapped in wire and attached to the end of a chain. Add a simple divination set by painting symbols on stones or wooden discs.
- Wands: Make a simple wand with a stick and a crystal wrapped in wire.
- Deity symbols: Does your tradition honor a particular god or goddess? Consider adding representative symbols – owls for Athena, cats for Bastet, or an antler for Cernunnos. Try printing out a wallet-size image of the deity on heavy cardstock, add a prayer to your god/dess on the reverse side, and laminate it.
Finally, remember, Samhain is the same day as Halloween, so never underestimate the power of a few strategically placed pieces of delicious candy!
Expect the unexpected if you celebrate Samhain – the Celtic New Year – on All Hallows Eve: the planets bring a lot of energetic talk and chaos, and the resultant noise will add exuberance to the ritual. Look for psychic dreams on astrological Samhain, November 6; your intuition will be in top form if you do readings at ritual. The power is the strongest it has been in several years.
This is the sabbat for wearing your witchy black. Clean the house, including the hearth, from top to bottom; the garden also needs to be prepared for the winter by this date. Lay new fires. Fest with your family and set places for your ancestors. Cleanse divination tools (cards, crystals, runes) and rededicate them to the Goddess. For the last harvest festival, put apples, nuts, acorns, and squashes on the altar, and add pictures of the family members you are missing.
Using fresh harvested hazel nuts, make a wreath with nine nuts (three times three) to protect your house from fire and lightening. Offer thanks to the river gods or the gods of the sea, and remember to honor the goddess Hecate.
By K. D. Spitzer in Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2004 Page 63
- Ancient Samhain
- Samhain Monsters
- Myths of Samhain
- Samhain in the Middle Ages
- Dumb Supper
- Christian Samhain
- Samhain Merges With Halloween
- Wicca and Samhain
- Celtic Reconstructionists
Samhain is a pagan religious festival originating from an ancient Celtic spiritual tradition. In modern times, Samhain (a Gaelic word pronounced “SAH-win”) is usually celebrated from October 31 to November 1 to welcome in the harvest and usher in “the dark half of the year.” Celebrants believe that the barriers between the physical world and the spirit world break down during Samhain, allowing more interaction between humans and denizens of the Otherworld.
READ MORE: Halloween: Traditions, Rituals, Origins
Ancient Celts marked Samhain as the most significant of the four quarterly fire festivals, taking place at the midpoint between the fall equinox and the winter solstice. During this time of year, hearth fires in family homes were left to burn out while the harvest was gathered.
After the harvest work was complete, celebrants joined with Druid priests…
To read more about celebrating Samhain please click on this link
By: Forest🐾Devi✨ (Novice in the Heart’s Spirit Coven)
Voices from the spirit world whisper in the wind.
Tonight two worlds come ever closer the curtain waivers thin.
Hear the crackle of the flames burning in the hearth, while loved ones in the Summerlands
Return to walk the earth.
We welcome in the new year, a time to shed our skin.
With gratitude for lessons learned the future ushers in.
As entities from other worlds come feast with us again.
All commenced in celebration of MAGICKAL Samhain
I am blessed to work with to Archangel Suriel (a.k.a. Sariel), who helps people and other
living things that are stuck on this plain, for whatever reason, to accept their death and get
ready to cross to the Spirit Plane. I also work with Archangel Zlar, who crosses the Spirits from this plain to the
next The Spirit Plain is known by the name The Summerlands to many Witches and Wiccans.
In simpler terms, I am a medium an ability I was honored enough to be born with.I have to keep permanent protection shields up all the time so I can eat, sleep and live life without constantly hearing the voices of Spirits wanting to pass a message on to someone. While I am very grateful for the honor of the Archangels using me for this task; if I leave myself open all the time it can become unbearable to live with.
Many people are born with or are given this “gift” but do not know they have it or choose to ignore it. If someone ignores it just like any other talent not used it will wither and become dormant. If you may think you have this gift it can come to you in many ways. Some of which are: hearing voices, seeing someone/something out of the corner of your eye and when you turn your head no one is there, having consistent dreams of people who have crossed over (died) are the most common signs of this ability. One thing to always remember is if you have this ability that it is the Archangels mentioned above using you to help with their work and it is an honor to have this gift and yes, it can feel like a curse at times also..
This is spell can be used anytime you would like an Ancestor to visit or just on Samhain. I have written it two
different ways, one to invite them anytime you would like them near, and the other for on
Samhain (Pronounced Sow-en. Falls on October 31st when the veil between ours and the
Spirit plain is at its thinnest.).
Many covens set aside a portion of time during their Samhain celebration for members to call their ancestors into the circle to feast and celebrate with them. How this part of the Samhain celebration and ritual is done varies from coven to coven based on how the leader chooses to do it.
I found that I preferred even when I was with a coven that I liked talking and visiting with my ancestors alone. No special reason just personal preference.
What you need:
1 Birthday or short Candle for each Ancestor
A container with sand in it (I use an old metal pie plate)
Hot pad (to set container on to protect surface of what you set pie plate on)
Spell for any time use:
I invite _____ (fill in name of person you wish to contact) to come visit when I light this
To visit and return to whence you came when your candle is done.
So mote it be.
Spell for Samhain:
I invite the Spirits I call upon to come to me one by one. (Light 1 candle each time you say
a name and place it in the sand)
Visit and return from whence you came when your candle is done.
So mote it be
After doing the spell spend some time just sitting quietly and thinking of the people you have summoned. They may just want to spend some time with you also and/or have a message for you or someone in your life. Ancestors are not just blood relatives that have crossed over they include anyone in your life that has had some type of impact on it. One of my favorite people to spend time with is an oil painting teacher I had when I was twelve years old. She was a very patient and sweet woman who help me through painting deal with my father’s crossing.
Copyright 2013 Lady Beltane
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