Updated: Oct 28
Samhain is one of the most important rituals in the Wheel of the Year, its the time of last harvest, a time when fruits, grains, foods were gathered for winter, the time for honouring our ancestors and preparation for the Winter months that follow. It is a fire ritual and marks the end of the Summer and is opposite Beltane on 31st April that is celebrated at the beginning of Summer.
We celebrate Samhain and Halloween on 31st October or 1st November, this is one of the oldest rituals in the Druid, Wiccan and Pagan ceremonies, there are many different spellings and different places in the world celebrate their own versions. Samhuinn is pronounced Sow in (Cow) and in (as in Inn) In the past Samhuinn lasted for three days from October 31st to 2nd November during these days the Veil of Time was lifted, as we connect and join with the Otherworld, the Spirit World, Underworld, Heaven and other similar realms of light.
The Christians all these three days All- Hallows Days on 31st October, All Saints Day on 1st November and All Souls Day on 2nd November, so as we come together to celebrate our celebrations and rituals can last a few days to fully connect to the Saints/Goddess/Gods, Soul/Ancestors and Hallows This is a time for gathering of crops, herds, and a time of the Wild Hunt too, time of Herne the Hunter, the Stag symbolism and time of the gathering together in preparation for the Winter. The Celtics believed this was the end of the year and that the new year was beginning with winter, instead of our new year in January.
I celebrate Samhain with the Goddess Isis, the Goddess of Fertility and Abundance and with her consort Osiris the God of the Underworld as we connect to these two realms as the realms of light meet the darkness, we connect to our ancestors once more in this very important turning of the wheel.
Apples are symbolic of this time as with Mabon, they are still part of the harvest rituals they bring the Venus energy and the bounty of the orchards, they are gathered and stored, dried in readiness for the winter.
Yew Tree is the tree of the dead, you will often find them in cemeteries and church yards, (every part is toxic) they are very spiritual and the gate keepers to the Other Realms, the Guardian is Goddess Theia, Shining One, Crone Elder she is a gate keeper of the two realms.
Hawthorn Berries - these are now ever present on the Goddess Tree, red, the fruits from the blossom that can now be gathered and dried, can be used in teas and are nourishment for the wild life.
Rosemary is the herb for remembering your family, loved ones, friends etc in the Otherworld and this is herb that helps you to bring them closer to you at this time of honoring our ancestors.
Pomegranates are the fruits of Demeter and Persephone, associated with the Otherworld, Underworld, they are hold the energy of beauty, fertility and magic. You will often find pomegranates in the High Priestess Tarot card images, its the fruit filled with seeds of potential and abundance.
Squashes and Pumpkins these are about the harvest, colours of autumn, abundance in nature, the tradition has come from the US, they can be stored and will last for months and can feed the family in the past over a long time.
Rowan tree berries are often used for protection to keep evil spirit out of the house, they bring good health too.
Hyssop Herb is one I choose to use at Samhain it is a plant from the mint family and has small blue flowers, you can make tea with leaves for coughs and colds, you can use the oil for a massage. You can use the dried leaves with honey and apple cider for a homemade cough medicine. Hyssop is mentioned in the Bible it's name comes from Greek origins, azob holy herb, it was used for cleaning sacred places, it was used for ritual cleansing.
Apple and Hawthorn Berry Tea This warming, simple tea recipe honors the role that apples and hawthorn trees have both played in Samhain traditions for centuries. Apples were seen as a sacred sign of fertility and were featured heavily in Samhain meals and décor. Hawthorn trees have historically been known as the gateway between the worlds of the living and the dead, and on Samhain, those worlds are closer than ever.
Ingredients1 apple, sliced2 Tablespoon dried hawthorn berries 1 cinnamon stick A pinch of cloves4 cups waterHoney, to taste (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a small stockpot.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
Strain the plant material from the tea, then transfer the tea into two mugs.
Enjoy one for yourself, and leave the other on your table or front porch to nourish any wandering spirits who may pass while the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest.
Free Yew Tree Meditation on offer until 11.11.2023
We are holding a Samhain Gathering Event to celebrate this turning of the Wheel at Forest Harvest, Staffordshire on Sunday 29th October.
See my other events on my website
We how have ceremonies for each of the sabbats, or gatherings for each of the rituals, festivals in the Wheel of the Year that align with the way of the wheel