THE SAMHAIN SABBAT
October 31st – November 1st
Samhain is a very special sabbat for many Witches, and it’s even been called “The Witch’s New Year”. It’s a time that marks the division between the light (the warmer, brighter days), and the dark (the long and colder nights). Samhain has deep roots as an ancient Celtic celebration.
We celebrate Samahain as the third and final harvest, and it represents a time in the cycle of life when death prevails and the energies of life lay dormant. The Sun God dies and is returned to the underworld until his return at Yule as the Goddess mourns his death. Samhahin is a time when the veil between worlds is thinnest, and at the Samhain feast, it is not uncommon to set an extra place for your ancestors so that they might join in on the festivities with you.
WAYS TO CELEBRATE SAMHAIN
THE THEMES OF SAMHAIN
During Samhain we often follow the ancient Celtic custom of inviting our ancestors to dine with us and join in on the festivities. Ancestors are benevolent spirits who help us. It is a time to honor and reflect on them.
Samhain marks the transition from a world full of life, into a world of death and dormant life. This is not a bad thing or something to be feared, as with death also comes new life. It is in the darkness that we celebrate the coming of the new life.
The darker, colder time of year offers us an opportunity to reflect on the lessons we’ve learned along the way. Take time in meditation to remember the events that took place and think of how these lessons can be used to improve your self and your life.
LIFTING THE VEIL
It is a time when the veil between worlds is thinnest. Inviting the benevolent spirits and banishing the harmful ones is a great practice during Samhain.
SYMBOLS OF SAMHAIN
The nocturnal nature of bats makes them a physcial symbol of the transition from the bright days of summer, to the darker days of winter.
In ancient Celtic lore, it was believed that a Celtic fairy Cat Sìth (a Celtic spirit that took the form of a large black cat), would roam the night on Samhain and bless the homes that placed a bowl of milk out at night for it to drink, while cursing the homes that did not.
Cauldrons are seen as a container for all life and death. They represent the Goddess and her womb, and this idea is especially prevalent during this time of death around Smahain.
A tradition that has no real roots in Samhain… It’s just fun and spooky. Use this symbol of the season to assign your own meaning!
COLORS OF SAMHAIN
Used to represent the descent into the darker time of year as well as to honor the death of the God. It has many purposes during Samhain as well, such as for protection from malevolent spIrits and to work spells and rituals to interact with the good ones.
The last leaves of autumn are falling all around. During Samhain, we are full into the cycle of death and orange is a color that is prominent all around.
Purple is a color that is often associated with psychic connection and the ability to communicate with spirits.
FOOD & HERBS OF SAMHAIN
THINGS TO DO ON SAMHAIN
MAKE A BONFIRE
Create a small fire in a cauldron or if you have the room, create a bonfire to work your magic around.
TAKE A NATURE WALK
There is a special energy to the woods on Samhain eve. Take a walk wherever you feel safe to draw in and observe the energies of the forest. Feel what the earth is telling you.
FEAST OF THE DEAD
Honor your ancestors with a feast that brings together friends and family and reserves a place at the table for them as well. Regale those who have gone with jovial stories and fond memories.
CREATE AN ANCESTOR ALTAR
Take time to honor your ancestors by creating a dedicated altar to them. Place old photos, culturally meaningful items, or simply a few candles and items that you find meaningful there to honor them.
SPELL WORKINGS FOR SAMHAIN
Samhain is a great time to banish old habits, people and energies that you don’t wish to carry into the darker time of year.
Since this is a time when the veil between worlds is thin, consider working fairy magick to invoke their power in your workings.
At a time when the veil is thin between worlds, it can be a great time to connect with spirits who wish to help you.