Every Witch Way


Samhain (sowen, soween, saw-win, saw-vane, sahven, sow'inn, SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne). It means Summers end. 

Also known as Halloween, Third Harvest, Winters Night, All Hallows Eve, Hallowtide, Harvest Home, Feast of the Dead, Candle Night, November Eve, Spirit Night, Nutcrack Night, Ancestor Night, Apple Fest, Day of the Dead, and Old Hallowmas. 

Samhain is a Greater Sabbat and is celebrated on the 31st October in the Northern Hemisphere. Many believe it is the most important of the Greater Sabbats, and is the Witch's New Year. 

It is a festival of darkness, where the Winter half begins, and is the 3rd and last harvest. 

The Crone aspect of the Goddess is celebrated. 

Traditionally it was the time that all crops had to be gathered and stored, and animals slaughtered. Any crops not gathered by Samhain, were left as offerings to the Nature Spirits. 

Samhain is a time to honour and remember your ancestors and loved ones who have died. It is thought that the veil between the spirit world and this world is at its thinnest, and is the best time for divination and scrying. 

Samhain Traditions and Activities 

Light a candle and leave in the window to guide the spirits of loved ones and ancestors home. 

Set an extra place for unseen guests to join the festivities. 

Bury an apple in the garden for spirits passing by. 

Put picture of your loved ones and ancestors on your altar. 

Apple bob! 

Do divinations for the year ahead, with any method you prefer. 

Make your own candles, dressing them with herbs and oils that suit their magical purpose. 

Make a besom, or Witch's broom. 

Write 'wishes' on a slip of paper and burn in a candle flame. If possible use a black candle in your cauldron. 

Use Samhain as a time to take stock of your life, let go of any regrets, bad relationships, bad habits or addictions. Again, these can be written on a piece of paper and burnt. Come to terms with any mistakes and regrets, and move on.

Begin new projects, allowing them to grow over the Winter. 

Look forward to the future! 

Stones Associated With Samhain 

Hematite, Jet, Obsidian, Carnelian, Smoky Quartz, Clear Quartz, Amber, Ruby, Diamond, Granite, Garnet, Pyrite, Marble, Sandstone, Gold. 

Incense For Samhain 

Heliotrope, Clove, Frankincense, Camphor, Benzoin, Mint, Nutmeg, Basil, Myrrh, Cinnamon. 

Herbs Associated With Samhain 

Mugwort, Dandelion, Sage, Rue, Patchouli, Yarrow, Bay, Dittany of Crete, Catnip, Myrrh, Broom, Wormwood, Allspice, Deadly Nightshade, Mandrake, Oak leaves, Straw, Rosemary, Mullein seeds, calendula, sunflower petals and seeds, pumpkin seeds, turnip seeds, garlic, apple leaf, sage, mushrooms, wild ginseng, tarragon, almond, hazelnut, passionflower, pine needles, nettle, hemlock cones. 

Colours Associated With Samhain 

Black, Orange, White, Silver, Gold. 

Spells For Samhain 

Protection, Security, Wealth, Prosperity, Health, Self Confidence, Strength, Neutralising Harm, dealing with the dead, bringing balance. 

Symbols Associated With Samhain 

Pumpkins, Gourds, Apples, Besoms, Cauldrons, Black Cats, Goddess in Her Crone aspect.