[Ivy's Pentacles]


See a Samhain ritual

Samhain Factsheet

Date:Usually celebrated October 31, can be celebrated on the exact cross-quarter between Mabon and Yule

Lore: The God "dies" on Samhain. He leaves this realm of existence and returns to the Summerland to be recycled and cleansed in the cauldron of the Goddess. The veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is thinner than usual at this time of year, being that the God is within the Goddess, who is still part of the world of the living. This is a reminder that the two realms are not as separate as they seem to be.

Special Time: This is a time for three things: Coming to terms with death, honoring/remembering of those who have passed to the Summerland, and wrapping up/finalizing projects from the year. This is a "dark" time where the darker and more wise parts of the self are brought out into the open and examined. It is a time for looking forward and backward, of seeing time as cyclical, of releasing the energy that has built up over the year. Samhain is the time to remember, to study, to meditate, and to release.

Activities: Many people use Samhain as a time of honoring dead relatives and friends, but it is also a good time for symbolic endings and coming to terms with those. On Samhain, we look back over the year and think about our own inevitable death and what it means to us. Much of the time the dead are allowed to take part in the celebrations. Some hold memorials for their dead friends and relatives and think about times past (giving thanks for those who died, particularly in the Burning Times). Others prefer to treat the dead as though they are there: Rather than holding ceremonies FOR them they hold ceremonies WITH them. Sometimes people take part in scrying and other forms of divination of the future events. Sewing and handicrafts are popular around Samhain, as people are preparing their Yule gifts as well. Some people use this as a time to collect the final information for large projects that are culminating. This is a time to shed weaknesses, so some people like to write their weaknesses on a piece of paper and then burn it in the cauldron to symbolically release themselves from them. One custom is to light a new orange candle at midnight and let it burn until sunrise for good luck. Black candles are used to ward off negative energies. Another custom is to stand in front of a mirror, look into your own eyes, and make a secret wish. Yet another custom, of course, is to carve a pumpkin or turnip and light a candle inside. Other spiritually-related activities to do on Samhain include past-life recall, spirit contact, meditation, astral projection (or "flying"), and banishing magick.

The Samhain season:

See a Samhain ritual
Learn about the next Sabbat: Yule
Back to the Sabbats main page
Create your own Sabbat Ritual
Go back to Ivy's Pentacles