Samhain Traditions

"Sam" and "hain" meant "end of" and "summer" to the Celts. They observed only two seasons of the year: summer and winter. So, Samhain was celebrated at the transition of these seasons.

Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne)is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat. It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two "spirit-nights" each year, the other being Beltane. Originally the "Feast of the Dead" was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the "wandering dead".

To Witches, Samhain is one of the four High Holidays, or Greater Sabbats. Because it is the most important holiday of the year, it is sometimes called 'THE' Great Sabbat. Pagans consider Samhain the most magical night of the year. It occurs exactly opposite of Beltane on the Wheel of the Year. It is a night of glowing jack-o-lanterns, tricks or treats, and dressing in costume. A night for telling chilling ghost stories by the fire. And a time for seances, tarot card readings and scrying with mirrors. It is upon this night, that the veil which seperates our world from the Otherworld is at its thinnest, making it a Night of Power.

As Witches,we observe this day as a religious festival. We consider it a memorial day for dead friends and family. It is still a night to practice various forms of divinitory arts such as scrying and rune casting. One could never hope for a better Tarot reading than on this night! Samhain is considered a time to wrap up old projects, take a good look at one's stock in life, and consider new projects and endeavors for the coming year.

Bonfire, hearth fire, candle - gaze into the flame and revisit our ancient heritage. Draw friends close and leave an offering for the whispering ghosts. Samhain is here.

Let the Samhain BONFIRE burn high & bright ! Happy New Year 2007!

'Listen! The wind is rising,
And the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings,
Now for October eves!'

~ Humbert Wolfe (1885-1940)

'Witches are alive & magic is upon us,
blessed be the season of the witch'... ~ MooN

= Altar Decorations =

Altar should be decorated with Pumpkins, Wheat, colorful Native American Corn, Gourds. Fall leaves you have gatherd while walking in the woods or parks. Pine cones & Acorns. Pictures of dead ancestors (relatives or pets), Rosemary herb plants or dried bundles, Black and Orange candles. Scrying mirrors and or divination tools such as Tarot cards & Rune Stones.

= Herbs of Samhain =

Allspice Berries, Broom, Catnip, Mountain Ash Berries, Mugwort, Mullein, Oak leaves, Acorns, Rosemary, Sage, Pine cones, Straw.

"Bonfires dot the rolling hillsides
Figures dance around and around
To drums that pulse out echoes of darkness
Moving to the Pagan sound."

~~ Loreena McKennitt, "All Souls Night", "The Visit"

Three lifetimes spread for Runestones,
perfect Samhain divination


Great Aunt Gladys Pumpkin Bread

* Dry *

3 1/3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
Pinch powdered Cloves
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
2 Teaspoons Baking powder

+ NOTE: Dry roasting the herbs in a pan for a few mins,
just until you can smell them, with give you a MUCH more flavorful end result

* Wet *

4 Eggs
1 cup Vegetable oil
2/3 cup Water
1 15 oz Can of Pumpkin
Or you can roast or boil fresh pumpkin 15 oz
1 cup walnuts or Pecans (optional)

* Mix *

Beat wet ingredients, eggs, add oil and water.
In another bowl mix dry ingredients, flour, sugar, salt and spices.
Make a well of the dry and gradually add wet ingredients.
Mix and pour into greased loaf pans (pound cake size)
Preheated oven at 350 for 1 hour.
Yields 2 -3 breads

I make this wonderful bread every Autumn and it is ALWAYS a part of my Samhain table It is moist and not too sweet, EVERYONES gives rave reviews, I hope you try it and enjoy it this Samhain season.

~ Great Aunt Gladys Tetrault, Wilton, ME

Remembrance Cookies

These cookies can be made on Samhain Eve. They can be shaped like people (use a gingerbread man cookie cutter to achieve this easily) and the herb rosemary is added to the dough as a symbol of remembrance. Some of the cookies are eaten while telling stories or attributes of special ancestors, reminding us that we still have access to their strengths--or perhaps a predisposition to their weaknesses. The rest of the cookies are left outside by a bonfire or by window next to a black candle as an offering. This can be a solemn ritual, but it need not be.

Ingredients for the cookies:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine (softened)
1 egg
2 t. vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cream of tartar
1 1/2 T. chopped fresh rosemary (substitute dry)

Please note: Small - t - = TEASPOON, big -T- = TABLESPOON

Heat oven 375 degrees. In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, almond extract, and rosemary until creamy. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Fold flour mixture into sugar mixture. Beat until dough forms and refrigerate for three hours. Divide dough into halves. Roll out one portion to 3/16 of an inch on a floured surface. Cut out with gingerbread women or men cutters and place on an un-greased cookie sheet. Repeat rolling and cutting with second portion of dough. Bake for 5-7 minutes. You can also punch a hole in top of each cookie with a wooden skewer (BEFORE baking) and thread black ribbon through, these can be hung for decorations, or top gifts.

~ Barbara Morris

Autumn Incense

3 parts Frankincense
2 parts Myrrh
1 part Rosemary
1 part Cedar
1 part Juniper

Burn on charcoal blocks during fall and winter Sabbat rituals.

'Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain, I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush; I am in the graceful rush.
Of beautiful birds in circling flight, I am in the star shine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom, I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing, I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there, I do not die. '

~ by Mary E. Frye 1932

Remembrance Ritual for the Dead

Every Samhain (Halloween) the names of our "passed over" loved one's are read at a candle vigil. An Old Celtic Magic tradition to remember and honor our dead on this Sabbat (Oct 31 thru Nov 2).

Ritual for the Dead

In a sacred space, ground & center.
"White Sage" is burned to appease the spirits of Summerland
Carve the initials of your lost loved one(s) in your black candle,
"dress" the candle in an Autumn or special Samhain or Dark Knight oil.
Add favorite elements of that loved one to your altar,
such as flowers, wine, favorite foods etc.
Read each name (from Remembrance list).
Gather a cauldron or other fire proof vessel and burn a dried "Candlewick leaf" (mullein)
or "Bay Leaf" for each name of honor.
A dried "Rosemary" bundle is burned at end to "Remember" them all.
You may then save all the ashes, hardened candle drippings, left over herbs and add them to a black cloth or bag.
This is an amulet and can be worn or saved in honor.
Do NOT let your Samhain candle burn out, as it is considered bad luck on Samhain, let it burn at least till morning light,
if need be, use additional black candles. BUT please keep candles in a safe place !

~ Barbara Morris

Those little slices of death.
How I loathe them."

~ Edgar Allen Poe

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Samhain Mirror Incantation

Recite this incantation before scrying into your black mirror on Samhain eve...

"Mirror of shadow, reveal what I seek.
Powers of old, secrets so deep.

East then South, West and North.
Watch tower guards, I call you forth.

Traveling sphere, no harm to fear.
Circle protects, here and there.

Stars beyond, from Pluto's realm,
Scorpio rules God's golden sun.

By the power of three times three,
Lord and Lady, so mote it be."

~ Barbara Morris

Fire Scrying

As the power of the Sun fades, we embrace the harvest season and the decline of the fire element. This is a perfect time, as we approach the introspective tide of winter, to scry with flame. On a night close to the New Moon, cast a circle of protection, and light a purple candle. Sit silently and breathe deeply, allowing your conscious mind to grow quiet. Gaze at the candle flame and permit your thoughts to drift by without judgment. Soften your focus and relax your vision. Concentrate only on the flame. Ask a question. Observe the flame expectantly, and open your observations to your intuition. Invite the flame to impart images. Write down your insights, and carefully date your interpretation for future reference. Perfect to do on Samhain eve...

~ by: Karri Allrich

"...Sit quietly and think of friends and loved ones
who have passed away. Do not despair,
know that they have gone on to great things.
Keep firmly in mind that the physical isn't
the absolute reality, and that souls can never die."

--Scott Cunningham, "Wicca, A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner"

Sun in Scorpio

The Sun is ALWAYS in Scorpio durning Samhain Season
-- Oct. 23 - Nov. 21 --

Scorpio spells involve:
Secrets, Personal Power,
Psychic growth, Divination, Death.

It is also the most powerful time of the Sun calendar year for divination of all sorts

Shuffle your Tarot cards; toss your Rune stones, read your tea leaves,
this is the time of year " for - telling" the future

~ Barbara Morris 2006

The Sign Scorpio: Death and the Scorpion

On October 23, the Sun began its month-long journey
through Scorpio (the sign of the scorpion), which is assigned
to the death card of the tarot. Scorpio's classical ruler, the
planet Mars, is linked to the tarot's lightning-struck tower card,
and its modern ruler, Pluto, is associated with the tarot's
judgment card. The sign Scorpio belongs to the element water,
one of the four elements described by the Greek philosopher
Empedocles. The tarot's watery suit of cups depicts typical
scenes from human emotional life.

* Star IQ *

Mugwort Magic

This magical herb has a long connection to Samhain,
use for Clairvoyance, Scrying, Protection.
Rub this herb on "Magic Mirrors" and "Crystal balls"
to strengthen their powers.
Add to Scrying, clairvoyance and divination incenses.
Sprinkle about table top during Tarot readings.
Rub fresh Mugwort leaves on the blade of your ritual sword
or athame, and then let it soak up the light of the Full moon.
Use 3 tablespoons to 1\2 gallon spring (or rain) water to
cleanse your "Magical mirrors" crystals and stones.

~ Barbara Morris

Spiritualist Seance Invocation

'There is a land where we all go,
Where never the frost or cold winds blow.
And friends remembered reunite,
where those who hate, forget their spite.
In glow, surround these gentle beings,
we call you now to bless our meetings,
Heaven's promise, our spirits thrive,
So now for the living, let the dead come alive.
Greetings spirits, Speak now to us?'

From "The Spirit Speaks! Weekly Newspaper" 1901
~ Revised by Barbara Morris

Samhain Graphics & Theme by Barbara Morris


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Samhain or samhain (Halloween)Day of the dead, is for witches who celebrate halloween or samhain in october. Samhain rituals are preformed by using black candles to remember our dead or passed over ancectors, relatives and pets. Sahmain traditions are very important in magic and witches find power in herbs, incense, oils and other magical tools. Ouiji boards, tarot readings and Rune castings are done at this time as well as occult practices like magic, magical, magick and seance as well. Witchcraft, witches and witch all find magical workings very powerful this season, the season of the witch.