Preparing for Samhain: The Wheel of the Year

Samhain is a solemn time where we acknowledge those who have passed on to the spirit world. In today’s society it is celebrated as Halloween with the light making way for good spirits and scary decorations and fancy dress scare away the undesirable. It is both the beginning and the end of the year. At this time an atmosphere is created where the spirit world is tangible and where we honour the forces of death as it is death which gives life its true purpose. The Goddess is in her Crone role, my personal favourite, Hecate as she is seen as the Wise One.

Significance of Samhain

  • It is a time to seek understanding of the cycles of life and death.
  • The dark half of the year is for introspection. Winter gives us the time to look within ourselves, undistracted. We examine our lives and say goodbye to projects and people that are no longer with us.
  • It is a time to let go of failure and sadness as we prepare for renewal and good fortune. All frustrations and past failures are buried so that we can be reborn at Yule. In Samhain we rebuild what needs to be, and we release what is no longer needed.
  • In our own personal year we have seen our tasks and projects begin with the light. Now we put this past year behind us and begin anew. No new tasks or projects are set at this time- we use this time before Yule to absorb new inspiration and thoughts.
  • At Samhain we think of how we may like to change or drop the masks we wear- those which we show to the outside world.
  • Focus: transformation, regeneration, honour the dead, divination, honour the third and final harvest of the year, prepare for winter.
  • 3 major themes: Divination to acquire wisdom as the Goddess is in her Crone aspect. Face up to challenges and personal sacrifices as the God is in his Hunter aspect. Honour your loved ones who have passed on by lighting a candle.

Samhain Imagery

  • Cut apples to expose the pentacle arrangement of the seeds.
  • Black candles, dark red flowers, dark divination crystals.
  • Pomegranates.
  • Black altar cloth and cauldron.
  • Autumn leaves.
  • Crone: dark red, purple, and black
  • Hunter: dark green, orange and black

Samhain Activities

  • Storytelling by candlelight.
  • Dumb supper with a place set at the table for those who have passed on.
  • Carve a pumpkin to repel negativity.
  • Research your family history, make a family photo album, dedicate a shrine to your ancestors through pictures and photos on your altar.
  • Trick or Treat, fancy dress
  • Go for a walk in nature when the first frosts appear. Reflect on the changes you can see.
  • Focus on absent or distant friends and make practical steps to reconnect and keep in touch.
  • Recharge your batteries by getting enough sleep and rest.

Samhain Food

  • Potatoes
  • Sausages
  • Meat
  • Pumpkin soup and Pumpkin pie
  • Baked apples
  • Gingerbread

Reference Material

Horne, F. (1998). Witch a personal journey. Sydney: Random House

Moorey, T. (1996). Paganism a beginner’s guide. London: Headway.

Murphy-Hiscock, A. (2005). Solitary wicca for life. Avon, MA Provenance Press.

Ravenwolf, S. (2010). Solitary witch. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications.

West, K. (2002). The real witches’ kitchen. London: Element.





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3 Responses to Preparing for Samhain: The Wheel of the Year

  1. seleneflora says:

    Really informative. Thanks.

  2. fairyshay19 says:

    I am off to Dublin for the weekend, so I will post my Samhain ritual when I get back on the Monday. Many Samhain blessings and fun for all tonight 😀

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