Pronounced “sah-win“, this sabbat is considered by many the Witches’ New Year, a time when we celebrate Death as a natural part of life.
Samhain is celebrated on October 31st 🍂 which falls between the fall equinox and winter solstice. On this date, the veil between our world and the realm of spirits becomes the thinnest.
In ancient times, the hearth fires in family homes were left to burn out while the harvest was gathered. After the harvest, a community fire 🔥 was lit in which each person took a piece of it back to relight their hearth.
In modern times, Samhain is a time to reconnect with our ancestors and honor those who came before us. It is a time to think about the endless cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
Solitary Samhain Ritual
Samhain is a time of reflection and spiritual growth, so we will use this opportunity to focus on where we came from, our ancestors, as well as on where we have been over the last year ourselves.
🏠 This ritual should be performed inside to ensure none of your items are harmed by the elements.
Samhain Ritual for Solitary Witches
Celebrate Samhain in solitary with a Wiccan ritual. This sabbat represents the end of a yearly cycle and the Witches’ New Year.
What you’ll need
1 black candle
Photographs and memorabilia of your ancestors
Your current journals, writings, and/or Book of Shadows
Lighter or matches
How to perform the ritual
- Find a table where you can place photographs and memorabilia of your ancestors – it could be your regular altar – and make some space for your own journal or writings. Arrange everything on the altar.
- Take a slow deep breath. As you breathe in, visualize yourself filling with light and peace. As you exhale, visualize any stress or tension flowing out of your body.
- Light the black candle and say:
- Take a minute to meditate. Use the photographs and memorabilia to spark memories of your ancestors. Focus your energy on remembering and thanking them for their time on earth so that you may honor their sacrifice to your familial line.
- Take a piece of paper and write the name of your ancestor and then one quality or memory for which you feel grateful.
- Take a moment to review this year that ends. Look back through your own journaling and writing to honor your own accomplishments and to know that you have learned from your challenges.
- Take another piece of paper and write a list of the things you are grateful for in the past year.
- Roll the two pages of lists together. Bind these lists using the ribbon to tie them together. Know that you and your ancestors are bound together, just as you will be bound to the future generations.
- Let the candle burn on your ancestors’ altar and meditate. When you’re ready, extinguish the candle and give thanks.
- 🖨️ Scroll down to find a printable version of this ritual.
- Always practice Candle Safety when doing witchcraft rituals!
Clear your altar tomorrow, or leave it up during this month to honor your ancestors with prayers and offerings.
Book of Shadows Printable Page
This PDF version comes with a transparent background so you can print it on any kind of printer-friendly parchment paper.
Ways to Celebrate Samhain! 🎃
- Decorate your altar with seasonal fruits such as pomegranates, nuts, grapes or pears. Those same can serve as offerings for the Gods or deceased relatives.
- Some Wiccans also build a separate altar for their ancestors, with pictures, letters, their favorite food and drinks.
- Place black candles on the windows, or decorate them with black ribbons to protect your home from evil spirits.
- Add extra plates and chairs at dinner time for the deceased and share old family stories. After the meal, the dishes set to the deceased (with food) are left by the door.
- Light a bonfire or a fireplace, as it is believed that fire calms the disturbed souls of the dead. If you don’t have a fireplace, burn some incense in your cauldron or simply light a candle.
- Light an orange candle on your altar to represent the Goddess as the Crone, and a black candle for mourning the Horned God.