Make Your Halloween Season Extra Magical with One of These Simple Samhain Rituals
As you may know, October 31st is not just Halloween, but also the ancient pagan holiday of Samhain.
In Samhain: Rituals, Recipes, & Lore for Halloween, Diana Rajchel writes:
“To the Celtic people, Samhain marked the start of the winter season. It was the time when the livestock were slaughtered and the final harvest was gathered before the inevitable plunge into the depths of winter’s darkness. Fires were lit to help wandering spirits on their way, and offerings were given in the names of the gods and the ancestors. Seen as a beginning, Samhain is now often called the Witches’ New Year. We honor our ancestors, wind down our activities, and get ready for the months of introspection ahead.”
As a portal to the dark half of the year, Samhain is a time when the veil is thin between the worlds of the living and the dead. It calls us to gaze bravely into the darkness and to make friends with all the mystery, wisdom, and power it contains.
These Samhain spells work with the unique energy that is present during the Halloween and Samhain season. Choose a spell that speaks to you, and perform it between now and October 31st.
Overcome a Fear
Halloween costumes and horror films are two mainstream ways our culture works with the dark and frightening energy of this time of year to transform our unspeakable fears into something lighter, more playful, and more fun. This Samhain ritual works with the same dynamic.
A scary mask to represent your fear (find one that gives you a similar feeling to your fear or emotionally/symbolically resonates with your fear in some way – you don’t have to logically understand your choice as long as it intuitively feels right)
A bouquet of chrysanthemums, any color (mums assist us in gazing bravely into the darkness)
4 white candles (and a lighter or matches)
Place the white candles around yourself at the four compass points to create a small circle, approximately 5-7 feet in diameter. Light the eastern candle first, and then light the other three in clockwise order (so south, west, and north respectively). Scatter the mums outside the circle while moving in a clockwise direction (you can leave the stems on or just scatter the blossoms). Call on the Goddess and God, or otherwise call on the Divine Presence in a way that feels powerful for you. Speak words from your heart about what your fear is, how it has negatively affected your life, and why you are ready to overcome that fear now. Ask for the boldness to look bravely into the shadows of your psyche, and ask for assistance in transforming your fear into courage and strength.
When you feel ready, don the mask. Feel powerful and invincible. Instead of being afraid, feel fearsome and frightening. Be the embodiment of strength. Face east and say:
I am no longer fearful, but fearsome. I throw off the burden of fear and I am now purged and purified by the element of air.
Face north and say:
I am no longer fearful, but fearsome. I throw off the burden of fear and I am now purged and purified by the element of earth.
Face west and say:
I am no longer fearful, but fearsome. I throw off the burden of fear and I am now purged and purified by the element of water.
Face south and say:
I am no longer fearful, but fearsome. I throw off the burden of fear and I am now purged and purified by the element of fire.
Face east again and say:
I am free, I am powerful, I am courageous, I am strong. Thank you Goddess. Thank you God. Thank you elements. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Blessed be. And so it is.
Extinguish the candles. Put on fun music and dance in front of the mirror in your mask to make yourself laugh and break up any lingering traces of fear.
Connect with a Deceased Loved One
A framed picture of your loved one (human or animal)
A black candle (plus a lighter or matches)
A sweetgrass braid with a plate to catch burning embers
In addition to protecting from negative energy and entities, sweetgrass smoke creates a doorway of light through which positive and beneficent spirits may enter. Light the sweetgrass braid so it’s smoking like incense (not burning like a log on a fire). Carry the plate beneath it and smudge the entire room and area while moving in a clockwise direction. Then safety extinguish it by running it under water or sealing it in a large jar.
Sit in front of the photo and place the black candle near it. Light the candle. Gaze at the photo of your loved one while relaxing deeply. When you feel ready, close your eyes and connect with your loved on in the inter-dimensional realm. Feel and sense his or her essence, and spend time with them just as you would if they were sitting before you in the physical realm. When this feels complete, thank them for being present with you. Let the inner vision go and open your eyes.
Increase Your Magical Power
Draw a warm bath. Place the candle near the bathtub and light. Also light the incense. Dissolve the salt in the water by stirring with your right hand in a clockwise direction. Then stand above the tub and direct your palms downward toward the water. Visualize very bright light coming up from the core of the earth and through your feet, and also coming down from the sky and through the crown of your head. See the light meet in your heart area and move down your arms and out through your palms into the water. Say:
At this sacred time of Samhain and as the veil thins,
I call upon the ancient magic of God and Goddess, Cosmos and Earth.
Please purify me of all illusion so that I may see the truth of my magical power and embody it bravely and fully, with mastery and with love. Thank you.
Safely waft the incense smoke around yourself before getting in the water. Then soak for at least 20 minutes. (You can extinguish the incense at any point if it gets to be too much.)
Protect Your Home from Unfriendly Spirits
It’s no secret that unseen spirits like to gallivant around during Samhain season. This makes it an appropriate time to work magic to protect your home from spirits you’d rather not have as houseguests.
9 cloves of garlic
A half-pint mason jar
Empower the garlic by holding it in bright sunlight for a minute or two. Peel and roughly chop the garlic and place it in the mason jar. Fill the jar with olive oil and stir with a chopstick or butterknife 9 times in a clockwise direction. Leave overnight.
The next morning as the sun is rising, lightly anoint the outside of your front door with the oil. Then move in a clockwise direction around your space, lightly anointing every window and door with the oil.
You can save the remainder of the oil for future protective use. For example, you can anoint your third eye with the oil to keep unsavory entities at bay while traversing potentially haunted places or spiritually treacherous situations. (Although be aware that you will smell like garlic.) As another example, you can anoint photographs of people whom you’d like to protect.
Gain Insight and Wisdom
Samhain is famous for allowing us to clearly see things that are often mysterious or invisible. Naturally, this makes it a particularly powerful time for divination.
Empower the opal in the light of the moon. Then place it next to the candle on a table. Light the candle. Call on the Divine in a way that feels powerful for you and bring to mind the situation you’d like to gain wisdom about. From your heart, ask for guidance and insight.
Shuffle your deck. When you feel ready, stop shuffling and cut the deck once or twice. Deal the top four cards around the candle and opal, facing outwards like petals of a flower: one on top, one to the right, one at the bottom, and one to the left.
The top card symbolizes your current situation. The one on the right represents your hopes, fears, and expectations. The one on the bottom indicates the roots of the karmic pattern: why you’re experiencing this situation and how it can help you to evolve. The one on the left is your divine advice for how to proceed or how to approach the situation. Take some time just to look at the images and get a feeling for the entire reading. Then, when this feels complete, you can feel free to consult the guidebook for the oracle or tarot deck to gain further insight.
(By the way, if you haven’t learned tarot yet but you’d like to, here’s a quick video on how to get started.)
Did you try one or more of these Samhain spells? What was your experience like? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Oh, and you might also like these 5 Ways to Clear and Purify Your Energy This Samhain.