Move over Halloween; Hello Samhain!
What is Samhain?
Samhain was an old Celtic festival that celebrated the change from the sunlight of the first half of the year, to the darkness in the second half. Samhain thanks the final harvest of the season and welcomes the winter months ahead. Samhain is said to be a highly mystical and spiritual day, where the veil between worlds is thinnest and you can communicate with the spirit world (or multiverse). This is the best time of year to communicate with your ancestors and angels. Keep a journal by your bed as you might start to see your loved ones in your dreams on the nights leading up to Samhain. You'll want to jot down those dreams as they may contain messages.
How do I celebrate Samhain?
I'm glad you asked! First, let me clear the air.
You do not have to strip naked, run through a cornfield and chant with 12 other witches around a bonfire. But if you do, have fun! ;) Below are some simple ways to celebrate Samhain:
1. Vinyasa flow mixed with a crown opening meditation
Get your body physically ready to receive messages with yoga. Dim the lights and roll out your yoga mat. Place a selenite palm stone at the top of your mat. Light some sage and do your normal vinyasa flow. When you're done, grab the selenite and meditate on opening up your crown chakra to connect with the divine.
2. Setup up a dedication to your ancestors
Altar work is very personal and builds up your spiritual connection with the divine but also the magickal process of the seasons. Don't know what to put on your altar? Here are some ideas:
- Seasonal fruits and vegetables from the last fall harvest (pumpkins included)
- Fallen leaves from outside that represent the wilting of the trees
- Three candles (represent maiden/mother/crone) The crone rules over Samhain and the winter.
- Photo of your ancestor(s) or spirit you'd like to connect with/honor. If you don't have a photo, you can use a family heirloom or totem
- Photo/totem of deity of death/underworld: Osiris, Anubis, Yama or Santa Muerte
- A spiritual crystal like apophyllite, amethyst, selenite, Herkimer and clear quartz
- Myrhh and frankincense incense.
- Whatever you feel represents the cycle of life and death
2. Make an appointment with an empath
Book a reading with an empath and connect with your loved one in the spirit world. I implore you to do your research first. Psychics are all unique and very human: bringing their own biases and experiences into readings, so ask around and feel out their energy before agreeing to a reading. (Please tag any empaths/intuitive folks that you'd recommend in the comments as a resource!)
3. Make it a Samhain and Chill kinda night
If you're living the solitary life, I've got you covered. Skip the "rituals" and bake a loaf of (pumpkin) bread, pick up your favorite wine and watch a witchy movie on Netflix. Light three white candles and acknowledge your ancestors anyway you, please.
4. Have a Samhain party with your Bruja squad
Invite all your "woke" friends over for some spellwork, bread breaking, and libations
Spellwork for Samhain
In preparation for the circle work, do not engage in any recreational drugs or alcohol prior to circle. Remove your shoes and wash your hands. Turn off cell phones and leave inside while you gather outside.
- Create a circle outside with a stone slab/altar in the middle
- You can either enclose the circle with salt or have the last person in line walk around the circle with sage, then close and join the circle on the east side
- On your stone slab/altar - make a pentagram shape with powdered incense
- Close your eyes for 5 mins and meditate on connecting to the other side and soaking in the wisdom from your ancestors.
- Light the 3 candles and repeat three times:
With a piece of this bread and a sip of this wine,
we celebrate Samhain and connect to the divine.
- Eat the bread. Drink the wine. Discuss any messages you might've received during the meditation, and ultimately have a great time. Samhain is as much about the celebration of life as that of death!
You can follow the spellwork with tarot readings on individual questions or scrying with crystal balls or pendulums. It's up to you! Just take it seriously and be receptive to messages from the other side.
Don't want to do any of these things? That's okay, just be mindful of what Samhain represents: the cycle of life and death and how everything has a beginning and an end.