The Witch's Halloween: 7 Rituals To Celebrate Samhain
There’s no better time to get in touch with our own magical practice than Halloween, or for some of us, Samhain. The veil between the worlds is thin. Fires are lit to help wandering spirits on their way, altars and offerings are set up to honor the gods, goddesses, and ancestors that have passed on. It is time to tidy up loose ends on goals we're striving towards and celebrate all that we've accomplished. We get ready for the months of introspection ahead and the cycle continues.
With that, I share with you my favorite rituals to practice on this holiday.
Set Up A Samhain Altar
If you’re new to these witchy/pagan traditions and don’t have a permanent altar in place, you can easily set up a table to leave in place on the 31st and the 3 days after Samhain. Decorate the altar with symbols of late fall, such as:
- Skulls, skeletons, grave rubbings, ghosts
- Harvest food such as pumpkins, squash, root vegetables
- Nuts and berries, breads
- Dried leaves and acorns
- A cornucopia filled with an abundance of fruit and veggies
- Mulled cider, wine, or mead
Make an Ancestors Altar
Honor your deceased family members with this ceremony. Gather photographs, heirlooms and other mementos of deceased family, friends, or even pets. Arrange them on a table, dresser, or other surface, along with several votive candles. Light the candles in their memory; while you do so, speak their names out loud and express well wishes and thank them for being part of your life. Sit quietly and pay attention to what you experience. Note any messages you receive in your journal. This Ancestors Altar can be created just for Samhain or kept year round.
Bonfire Magic for Release
Start a bonfire outdoors or in a fireplace or a small cauldron. Write down an old habit that you wish to end and cast it into the Samhain flames as you imagine release. Imagine yourself adopting a new, healthier way of being as you move around the fire clockwise.
Using tarot, runes, scrying, or any other preferred method of divination, seek and reflect on guidance for the year to come. Write a summary of your process and messages. Select something appropriate to act upon and do it.
Samhain Nature Walk
Go outside, get as close to nature as you can. Take a solitary meditative walk in an area near your home. Observe and contemplate the colors, aromas, sounds, and other sensations of the season. Experience yourself as part of the Circle of Life and reflect on death and rebirth as being an important part of Nature. If the location you visit allows, gather some natural objects (leaves, sticks that have already fallen) and use them to adorn your home or altar.
Have a Dead Dinner / Dumb Supper
An evening to honor your beloved ones who’ve passed on. Enjoy a meal in silence to honor a passed loved one. Make a family recipe or favorite meal. Photographs, jewelry, or memorabilia can be set out during the dinner to help connect with the deceased. Write a Handwritten letter to your loved ones followed by a ritual to ground and connect you to the spirit world.
Witchy Movie Marathon
Although I celebrate Samhain I love the vibe traditional Halloween brings...as well as the movies. Here are some of my favorites to indulge in:
The Love Witch
A campy parable of feminism and witchery, The Love Witch, is about a modern-day witch named Elaine who uses spells and magic to get men to fall in love with her with disastrous results. Some may find it a little uneasy in places, but the brilliant ‘60s retro fashion and glamour is undeniable.
OBVIOUSLY Hocus Pocus is on the list, it’s a cult-classic. It’s the perfect Halloween movie, and a must-watch for aspiring young witches. The Sanderson Sisters are resurrected 300 years after their deaths to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting trick-or-treaters of Salem, Massachusetts.
A witchy twist on romantic comedy, two sisters—one more sensible than the other but both of them practicing witches—kill an abusive boyfriend together, bury his body, and then have to reckon with the consequences of the crime after he comes back to life.
“We are the weirdos, mister.” After transferring to a Los Angeles high school, Sarah finds that her telekinetic gift appeals to a group of three wannabe witches, who happen to be seeking a fourth member for their rituals.
Samhain Quick Reference Guide:
Black: darker half of the year, grief, impending winter, mourning, night, protection from evil, sleep
Brown: ancestors, decay, earth, faery folk, healing, hibernation, nature, roots
Grey: neutrality, rest, silence, storms, uncrossing, the Veil
Orange: Allies, change, delights, the hearth, inner warmth, sustenance, transformation, transition
Yellow: change, harmony, health, hope, light, optimism, transition
Silver: The Goddess, the inner self, mirrors, the moon, shadow work
Crystals and Stones
Carnelian: healing, peace, protection, sexuality
Jet: absorption, divination, protection from nightmares, reflection, shadows
Moonstone: balance, divination, feminine influence, the Goddess, healing, hidden knowledge, insight
Obsidian: depth, divination, grounding
Onyx: protection, self-defense, self- discipline
The High Priestess
Wheel of Fortune
My wish for you this Samhain/Halloween/Witch’s New Year is to set yourself free. Free from your habits that don’t serve your greater good. Free from toxic attachment, addictions, people, whatever it is for you....hand it all over to the universe. But keep in mind, the universe cannot take away from you what you won’t release to it. We stay in negative thought patterns, energies, or environments because they’re comfortable. While staying inside your comfort zone is “safe” nothing great ever happens there. Use this time of introspection and release to help you let go and I promise you...
Meet The Writer
Kendra, Creator of Luna Lifted
Hello my Queens. Once in a blue moon I like to share parts of my journey, knowledge I've acquired, or pieces of my practice. Halloween/Samhain is my FAVORITE time of the year, as I'm sure most of you can relate. I wanted to share some of the rituals I've learned over the years of my practice as a witch. They are described broadly on purpose. Take from them what you will, make them your own, add to them what you need, share with your friends, family. There is no "right" or "wrong" way to do anything. Add your own brand of magic to the world and see all the joy and fulfillment that comes from it. You hold all the keys.
all my love,
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