Samhain Ritual for the Beginner Witch
Posted on October 30 2017
Samhain, the final harvest festival of the year, marks the Witches New Year. The veil between worlds is at its thinnest, making this a good time to contact passed loved ones and do some divination. Samhain is often celebrated by honoring ancestors and loved ones who have passed. It is common to light a candle and place it in a West facing window to guide the souls of loved ones back home and to set places at the table for passed loved ones for the Samhain feast, also known as a Dumb Supper.
The tradition of pumpkin carving began with carving sigils and protective symbols into pumpkins, or turnips if pumpkins were unavailable in the region, to ward off any evil spirits that may have been lurking in the shadows. It was also thought that by dressing up in costume and building a bonfire, one could scare away evil spirits. During Samhain, it was customary to hand out treats in exchange for prayers and blessings for loved ones who had passed.
Listed below are some correspondences for Samhain that you can use to decorate your altar.
Colors: Black, Orange, Red, Purple
Incense/Plants: Sandalwood, Sweetgrass, Wormwood, Patchouli, Mugwort, Sage, Myrrh
Elements: Water, Earth
Symbols/Decorations: Apples, autumn flowers, acorns, bat, black cat, bones, corn stalks, colored leaves (particularly oak), crows, crystal ball, ghosts, gourds, jack-o-lantern/pumpkins, nuts, pomegranates, scarecrows, scythes.
You can also place pictures of loved ones who have passed on your altar as this is a time to honor and remember them.
There are a plethora of different ways to celebrate Samhain. Below is just one example of a ritual that you could perform to celebrate. Feel free to edit this ritual to better suit your needs. For a more detailed explanation of the steps in this ritual, please read Ritual for the Beginner Witch.
- Cleanse area of negative energies
- Cast your Circle
- Call the Quarters
- Invite the God and Goddess (or Deity(ies) of your choosing)
- Take as long as you want to remember the loved ones you have lost. Think of the good times you had together and how much you love them. If you are in a group, take turns sharing your stories and memories.
- You can write a blessing for your loved ones. Here is one that I wrote for my loved ones who had recently passed.
- (Loved One’s Name), my dear friend,
Your time on this Earthly plane has come to an end.
Although I miss you and being with you is my greatest wish,
I know I must let you go; I mustn't be selfish.
May you find peace in the Summerlands.
May all troubles be out of your hands.
May you always be safe, healthy and happy,
And know that you will always be with me.
Forever will you be in my heart,
Never will our souls truly part.
I love you, my dearest friend.
I cannot wait til we meet again.
- (Loved One’s Name), my dear friend,
- Cakes and Ale
- Thank the God and Goddess (Or Deity(ies) of your choosing)
- Thank the Quarters
- Release the Circle
You can finish off the night with a Dumb Supper. Set places at the table for all loved ones, here and gone. Many people will make their loved ones’ favorite dishes for their feast, so they can enjoy them once again on this special night.
I hope you enjoy this ritual. Have a blessed Samhain!
I am a Pagan Witch who was born in 1996. For most of my life, I never truly felt connected to any of the common religious or spiritual paths. I had my own set of beliefs, but I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. I believed in a God, but also a Goddess, Mother Nature. I researched many Native American religions to try to find one that fit my beliefs. It was not until my God and Goddess brought a very special person into my life that I discovered Paganism and the Craft. She introduced me to this amazing path by confiding in me that she was a Witch and answered every question I had. I dedicated myself at the age of 15 and it was the most amazing thing I ever did for myself.
You can connect with me on facebook, on my page Witchy Writings.