Samhain – October 31st
Pronounced – Irish: “Sow-in” Gaelic: “Sow-een”
Colors – Black, Brown, Yellow, Gold and Red
Stones – Smoky quartz, Amber, Obsidian, Onyx, Carnelian and Turquoise
Flowers & Herbs – Calendula, Sunflowers, Sage, Ginseng, Wormwood, Allspice and Rosemary
Trees – Apples, Hazel and Oak
Foods – Apples, Pumpkins, Roasted game, Cider, Dark wine and Root veggies
Altar Decorations – Acorns, Apples, Black items, Brooms, Carved pumpkins, Cauldron, Nuts, Berries and Photos of deceased loved ones
Samhain is considered to be the Celtic New Year as the sun is at its lowest point at this time. The third and final harvest of the year, it was seen as unlucky to collect any crops after the 30th of October, at least by the Celts. It is a night where the veil is considered to be one of the thinnest and is an excellent time to speak to deceased loved ones, spirits or even the fae. It is tradition to leave a meal out for deceased loved one, outside or set a place setting at your table.
Balefires were once lit on October 30th as soon as the sunset, a tradition that is slowly dying out, and were seen to be protective and cleansing. Can’t light a giant bonfire in your yard without your neighbors and the local fire department being called? Well you can light a fire in the hearth for the visiting spirits. When building the fire for the hearth, it is burn broom, heather or flax as well. Don’t have a hearth? Well you can place candles in your window, if you do place a candle in your window, please do so safely.
It is also an excellent night for divinations of all types from runes, scrying and maybe on this night, the tarot cards will not throw some major shade your way. Don’t have cards, runes or know how to scry properly? You can use apples and hazelnuts to divinate. There are several interesting apple and hazelnut divinations that are out there for you to try (Apple bobbing for example. Don’t believe me? Research!).
Apples played an important role in the Samhain celebrations; from divination, to being buried in the garden to nourish the souls of those who had passed on, to Wassailing (drinking to good health) the apple trees. So don’t forget it about the apples. They are just as important as the pumpkin that you will probably end up carving.
When it comes to your ritual on Samhain, you can include as many of the Samhain traditions as you wish. You can wear a mask ( to invoke totems, raise power, invoke sympathetic magick or imitate deities) carve a pumpkin so it scares off any malevote spirit that may be following your loved ones spirit, scry with your cards or set candles in your windows and then throw one big ritual. It is up to you and how much time that you are willing to dedicate to one of our biggest Sabbats. Just remember though that Samhain is about celebrating those that have passed before you.
May you Samhain Night be full of wonder. Until next time witches.
May the brew in your cauldron never burn and your broom never splinter.