It is the end of the harvest, the last days of summer. We give thanks to the earth for everything it has given us this season. Summer is gone and winter is coming. It is a time to remember our ancestors. It’s a time of introspection: to let go of failure and sadness, to bury fear and prepare for renewal and good fortune. It’s a time of three things: Coming to terms with death, honouring our loved ones who have passed on, and wrapping up any projects for the year.
Candles: Black and Orange. Incense: Myrrh, Sandalwood, Lavander, Frankincense, Cinnamon, Patchouli
Read Poem of Death to start dinner. Lay extra plates for your loved ones and give small portions of your meal to them. Light a white candle with Patchouli Oil:
“With this candle and by its light, I welcome you spirits this Samhaim night.”
2. Ritual Bath
Purify self in bath. Meditate on preparing yourself for this winter cycle. It is a time to rest and evaluate our lives. Name 3 values you wish to incorporate into your life (I chose patience, diligence and kindness this year):
- chastity vs. lust
- charity vs. greed
- patience vs. wrath
- humility vs. pride
- temperance vs. gluttony
- diligence vs. sloth
- kindness vs. envy
Promise the God and Goddess that you will find ways to bring these into your life. Dress for ritual and humbly ask the God and Goddess to guide you along your path.
3. Cast Circle
Purify space and light orange Samhain candle. Cast circle as usual. Invoke the Goddess Hecate by lighting three candles on the lefthand side of the altar:
“I light 3 candles for the Triple Goddess… Glorious Maiden, Goddess of Youth and New Beginnings.” (Light White Candle) “Great Mother, Goddess of Love and Knowledge.” (Light Red Candle) “Dark Crone, Wise Goddess of the night, death and rebirth.” (Light Black Candle) “I welcome the Goddess Hecate in all her forms.”
Invoke the God Hades by lighting candles on the righthand side of the altar:
“I light 3 candles for theTriple God… Bright Sun King, God of Success and Plenty.” (Light Yellow Candle) “Horned God of the woodlands, God of Fertility and Growth.” (Light Green Candle) “Dark Lord of the Underworld, God of Protection and Rest.” (Light Black Candle) “I welcome the God Hades in all his forms.
4. Honour the Dead
“I dedicate this night to the souls of my dearly departed as well as my own. All of you who have gone before me, I honour you and give you my respect.”
Eat half of the apple that has been prepared for Samhain (cut acrossways to show the pentacle seed arrangement). Face West and meditate, commune with the dead or share memories. Eat the other half of the apple to signify there is life after death.
5. The New Year Begins
With the affirmation from the Burning Down the Year Ritual, meditate on the 3 virtues you have chosen for this year. Imagine yourself in everyday situations where they might be of use. Take note of any insight gained.
Wear masks and say aloud everything you wish to get rid of.
“Samhain is a time of death and endings. A time to banish that which we don’t need. But death is not the end. After death, comes rebirth, so it’s time to start again.”
Take off the mask and write the 3 virtues on it. These virtues are no longer hidden behind a mask, they are part of the persona we project to the world. They are a reflection of our true selves.
Meditate on 12 areas of your life: Home, Family, Work, Fun, Leisure, Friendships, Money, Spirituality, Possesions, Pursue Passions, Attitudes, Health. Order them from most important to least. These will map out the 12 months of the upcoming year, starting at Yule. From now until Yule take notes of specific goals you wish to achieve or things you would like to work on- write these ideas down in a notebook.
7. Cakes & Ale
Eat ritual food and leave offerings for the God and Goddess. Make a toast in the same glasses used for the Burning Down the Year Ritual “Enjoy and celebrate everything.” Thank the God and Goddess for their assistance, and ask them for their blessing as you pass your notebook through the Samhain candle for purification.
“Thank you Hecate and Hades for a good year and for assisting me this Samhain evening. Please bless the year to come.”
8. End Ritual
Close circle and end ritual. Spend the next few days doing any and all activities of the season. End Samhain with a good scary movie (I can’t watch scary movies so I watched The Nightmare Before Christmas) or read a good scary book ( I recommend The Graveyeard Book, Frankenstein or Dracula)
I have adapted reading material to make this ritual, and have lost the references to some parts of this ritual beause I printed them a long time ago. If a reader knows who to attribute parts of this ritual to, please let me know so I can give due credit.
Duff, G. (2002). The wheel of the wiccan year. London: Random House.
Horne, F. (1999). Witch- A magickal year. Sydney: Random House.
- Samhain 2013: Facts, Dates, Traditions, And Rituals To Know (completehealthcircle.com)
- Samhain Rituals (heddyjohannesen.wordpress.com)
- Post Samhain Post (reikiserpent.wordpress.com)
- Samhain Ritual (heddyjohannesen.wordpress.com)
- Samhain plans (rainstormskyfire.wordpress.com)