Samhain: The Witches’ New Year

It's one of the best times of year yet again! As October 31st approaches, pumpkins and witches begin to appear everywhere as Halloween (All Hallows' Eve) symbolism. This marks the beginning of the dark half of the Wheel of the Year, so let's cast a Samhain spell and plan a house ceremony to honor both the dead and the living.



Samhain is a momentous season of transition that commemorates the Witches' New Year. Because Celtic days, like Hebrew days, began and concluded at dusk. Similarly, the year was thought to begin with the dark half. It was a time of magic and ethereal moments (also known as "thinning of the veil") that made the period magical.


Samhain is derived from the Old Irish samain or samuin, where sam means "summer" and fuin means "end, sunset," and can be translated as the "end of summer." Nowadays, the most prevalent pronunciation is "Sau-ihn" or "SAH-win."



When exactly is Samhain?

Samhain is traditionally observed between October 31st and November 1st. It has been celebrated for hundreds of years and is still a significant occasion for Neopagans and Wiccans.


The festival takes place midway between the Autumn Equinox (or Mabon) and the Winter Solstice (or Yule). It was historically observed in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. It is becoming more popular today as more people become aware of old practices that commemorate the deceased. Six months after Beltane, Wiccans celebrate Samhain, one of eight sabbats, and maybe the most important.



Ways to honor Traditions: Some or all of these may or may not work for you. As always your practice is your own and you need only do what feels right to you! How ever after quite a bit of research i foud these traditions to be the most accurate "traditions" so we urge you to try them out!


Samhain Correspondences

  • Incenses: Lilac, copal, clove, camphor, mint, myrrh, sandalwood.

  • Colors: Black, orange, white, red, gold and silver.

  • Drinks: Wines, ciders, tea, water.

  • Herbs: Mugwort, mandrake, sage, chrysanthemum, thistle, thyme.

  • Food: Beets, turnips, apples, corn, nuts, pumpkins, gingerbread, pumpkin pie, bread, meats.

  • Crystals: Obsidian, black tourmaline, white onyx, labradorite, ghost quartz, amber, yellow jasper, hematite.


1) Celebrate and honor the dead

Because the objective of Samhain is to give thanks and commemorate the dead, it is proper and customary to build an ancestor's altar in their honor. A unique section has images of the departed, as well as their favorite foods, personal objects, and candles. At this period, one can sing songs, pray, and reflect on their memories.



2) Ye old camp fire

Fire rituals are common during the Samhain celebration. This event marks the start of winter and the conclusion of the harvest season. In the midst of the cold, a bonfire provides warmth. It is a community event that will bring people together and bring families and friends together. *Lighting candles has a similar impact and can be used as part of a ceremony to usher in the new season. Brown, orange, red, or black colored candles are appropriate. For protection, light a black candle.*



PLEASE PRACTICE FIRE SAFETY!


3) Silent Dinner

This ritual, sometimes known as a "dumb supper," includes remaining silent throughout mealtimes. This is a special occasion that necessitates a lavish feast, candles, and solitude.


Dumb Supper for Samhain

Dinner should include additional dishes and chairs for the departed, as well as old family memories.

Following the meal, the dishes designated for the deceased (complete with food) are placed at the door.

To keep the environment calm, children are frequently left out of this process.

Dining in solitude allows worshipers to concentrate on the dead and the spirits of their loved ones.


4) Cast a Samhain Ritual

Samhain Wiccan rites

During Samhain, incantations and prayers were also traditionally recited. They would be used to ward off negative energy and to summon the ghosts of deceased loved ones. Here is a Celtic benediction used to mark the beginning of Samhain:





5) Create a Samhain altar.

Decorate your altar with Samhain symbols. Seasonal fruits such as pomegranates, almonds, grapes, or pears are traditional offerings. Those same items can be used as offerings to the Gods or for deceased relatives. Some Wiccans even construct a separate altar for their ancestors, complete with images, letters, and their favorite foods and beverages.


Many traditional techniques of expressing Samhain are still in use today. There are powerful artifacts infused with folklore and magic. Here are a few that you should be aware of:


-Carved Pumpkins/Turnips: The Gaelic tradition of sculpting turnips gave rise to the modern tradition of carving pumpkins for jack-o'-lanterns. These lanterns had the faces of bad spirits on them and were filled with candles that gave off an eerie glow. This is an enjoyable hobby for both adults and children.

*Consider adding a disc of herbs like rosemary or sprinkle some nutmeg inside the pumpkin instead of just burning a candle for further protection. Negative energies have no chance with your home!


-Besom Brooms: These magical brooms sweep away old energy to make place for new. Rather than clinging to sluggish energies, a besom broom will sweep them away, allowing people who utilize it to begin again. They are also employed in the removal of the crisp, brown autumn leaves. Besom Brooms are traditionally crafted from birch twigs, a symbol of purification and rejuvenation, and hazel or ash wood for the broom handle.


-Bowen Knots: This is a Samhain emblem that protects whoever wears it. It is a heraldic knot used to ward off evil spirits and bad luck and is placed on gateways, dwellings, and other entries. Its powerful powers will keep Samhain revelers safe while ghosts and demons prowl the land during this time.





Samhain Kid Edition!

During Samhain, many people would wear masks and costumes to protect themselves from evil spirits. They chose to disguise themselves as monsters in order to avoid the clutches of evil energy and avoid being taken to the land of the dead. This was a delightful game for children, and it evolved into the well-known 'trick or treat' that we know and enjoy today. For further protection, it was also usual to mark doorways with the blood of murdered animals.

Invite your children to learn about their forebears, even if it's as easy as asking granny about her childhood. You can either make a family tree or, if you're feeling really astute, use the information to design an ancestral altar tablecloth!


Do you have any family photos or heirlooms? Create an ancestor altar with mementos and honor them throughout the month.

If the parents build a bonfire, they can tell their children to burn anything they are afraid of or want to forget. For example, if they are scared of the dark, write it on a piece of paper or symbolize it with a piece of black cardboard, then burn it to get rid of it.

Decorate the house with orange and black balloons, pumpkins, black cats, skulls, brooms, and apples for the day. Alternatively, clean the house thoroughly and prepare the garden for the winter.



Samhain is a fun-packed celebration loaded with mysticism. Though it may appear to be something to be afraid of, it is a wonderful custom that can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages, ethnicities, and creeds. As October 31st approaches, consider how you may commemorate the occasion while adding your own touch to the festivities.


Lighting candles, playing music, dressing up, and dancing until the final flames of the bonfire vanish. It will awaken your soul, teach you the power of life and death, and connect you to the spirit realm in ways you have never known before.

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