What better way to see in our favourite autumnal event than with a sisterhood ritual or two?
Keep calm and make magic on this most witchy of spiritual holidays – Samhain! Celebrated as summer’s end and a new year by some witches, Samhain, pronounced sow-en, marks the end of the harvest months and the beginning of winter. Traditionally celebrated with feasting and costumes to welcome spirit in, here are seven rituals from our lovely experts to try this October. Get crafty for your altar with all the symbols of the season, stay comfy with a warm pumpkin latte and get casting!
Samhain 2021 begins on the evening of Sunday, 31st October and ends the evening of Monday, 1st November
Manifest your wishes
Sarah Louise from Duchy Designs (duchydesignshomespa.com), says:
“We have all been using magic since the very first time we blew out our birthday cake candles. Magic is inside all of us and we can use it by manifesting our dreams and intentions. Having a wish or a goal in mind – thinking about it, visualising it and writing it down – is when we can really start to manifest our dreams and desires.
“You can manifest your intentions alongside the lunar phases such as the new moon, full moon and times such as Samhain, when the veil between our world and the spirit world is at its thinnest. It is a time to show respect and honour the dead and is traditionally celebrated with feasts and fires. It is a time to think about and communicate with our loved ones in the spirit world through the magic of mediumship, meditation with crystals, runes, pendulums, scrying, tarot and candle magic.
“All of our Aromatherapy Soy Candles, which are infused with charged precious stones to match, were made specially to help guide and support you through the monthly lunar phases and help you in setting your intentions. Our Grounding Frankincense and Myrrh candle is a wonderful choice for Samhain, with charged tourmaline to protect and clear negative energies. Simply hold the unlit candle in your dominant hand and say out loud your intentions – spoken magic is more powerful! Finish with: ‘So mote it be’. Remember to thank Spirit, then light your candle and place it in a sacred space. Sit quietly, watching for it to flicker for sign of Spirit.
“Grab your grounding candle for £19.99 and much more from our online shop at duchydesignshomespa.com.”
Feast on Samhain
Author of The Witch’s Feast: A Kitchen Grimoire (£25, Watkins), out 26th October and available for pre-order now at watkinspublishing.com
“The feast is a meeting place between family and friends, between humans and gods. The Witch’s Feast: A Kitchen Grimoire is a decadent collection of enchanting dishes – it is an indispensable companion to kitchen witchcraft, revealing the storied history and seductive art of magical cooking. With me, Melissa Jayne Madara, a witch, herbalist and chef, as your guide, explore five facets of the occult through food: traditional recipes, the wheel of the zodiac, devotional meals to the planets, seasonal feasts to celebrate solstices and equinoxes, and practical spellwork.
“Recreate a pagan feast of lamb roasted with milk and honey, with cheesecake baked in fig leaves for dessert. Celebrate a Gemini birthday with herbed fondue, followed by lemongrass pavlova. Align with the poetic pleasures of Venus with edible flower dumplings, or commune with Saturn over blackberry pulled pork sandwiches. Enjoy the vibrancy of the spring equinox with herb and allium quiche with a potato crust, radish salad with cherry blossom vinaigrette and jasmine tea shortbread. Share an evening of storytelling over mugwort and catnip divination tea or embody an otherworldly spirit with ritual bread masks.
“Packed with ancient knowledge, practical advice and witchcraft expertise, this book will help you develop your craft through culinary creativity. Gather, share, and rediscover the most fundamental of human rituals: the divine indulgence of the senses and the soul.”
Connect to Spirit
“Known as the Celtic New Year and translating Samhain to ‘Summer’s End’, this ancient Celtic festival is a time for reflection upon everything that has come to pass over the last 12 months, a time for celebrating achievements and filling our hearts with gratitude for what has been, is, and is yet to come.
“The Ancient Celts would turn their thoughts towards ancestors and loved ones that had passed, believing that the veil between the world of the living and the dead was at its thinnest at this time of year, with the ability to communicate with Spirit being at its strongest.
“This year on Samhain, set an extra place at your dinner table for a loved one who has passed over, sending a prayer to them to join you in spirit for your Samhain feast.
“Working with the crystal labradorite is also a beautiful tool for connecting to your intuition and strengthening your connection to Spirit. Known as the stone of magic and mysticism, as well as a stone for transformation, place a piece of labradorite on the centre of your forehead while meditating, activating your third eye chakra and ask Spirit to step forward with a message.”
“This year on Samhain, set an extra place at your table for a loved one who has passed over”
Taste real magic
Author of Potions, Elixirs & Brews: A modern witches’ grimoire of drinkable spells (£14.99, Watkins), watkinspublishing.com
“Drawing on my eclectic craft, harnessing influences from Wiccan and rootwork practices, I, Anaïs Alexandre, share a collection of delicious potions for the modern witch. From potent cocktails, to restorative elixirs and captivating brews, my book of drinkable spells offers the powers of time-honoured wisdom in truly delectable form. Each potion is accompanied by a simple ritual to supercharge its effectiveness, whether as a solitary witch or with your coven.
“Sip on a subtle love potion, draw monetary fortune your way with a lucky prosperi-tea or spread friendship vibes with a warming party punch; as the wheel of the year turns, discover your own craft through the magic of mixology. Available now online at waktinspublishing.com and at all good book retailers.”
“As the wheel of the year turns, discover your own craft through the magic of mixology”
Honour your ancestors
Freya Fulbrook Cook
Witch and owner of Freya’s Cauldron (freyascauldron.co.uk), says:
“Samhain is all about honouring the ancestors and a great way to do this is to do a spirit candle ritual. Take a white candle and anoint it with patchouli oil, then place it in a suitable candle holder and scatter around it in a large circle some star anise and cloves. Inside the circle place items which remind you of loved ones who have passed, such as photos and jewellery. This can form the centre piece of your dinner table for your evening meal or Samhain feast! Light the candle and recite: ‘As the veil thins on All Hallow’s Eve, we call to those who came before, the spirits of my ancestors, here once more, follow this sacred flame, join us this night, in honour of times past and times to come, we raise a glass, hail and welcome!’ If you wish you can add in the names of those you wish to honour after ‘hail and welcome’ and add ‘Thank you for joining me on this night’ after the names. Leave the candle to burn out while you continue with your celebratory feast. Remember to never leave a burning candle unattended. This ritual has been taken from the Freya’s Cauldron Samhain Box, available on the website.”
Halloween has its roots in Samhain, but they are not the same thing, although the pagan festival All Hallow’s Eve is also celebrated with costumes and feasting
Connect to spirit
Psychic medium, twin flame expert, animal communicator, holistic therapist and Reiki healer (jessicamaypsychicmedium.co.uk), says:
“Samhain is traditionally about remembering passed loved ones and celebrating the presence they once had on Earth. I tend to create an altar and surround it with photos of my loved ones in spirit; crystals, candles and roses. Roses represent the eternal cycle of the soul. Of course, Halloween is seen as a time where the veil is thin and spirit can blend with our 3D Earth. This means the connection to spirit at this time is stronger, making it the perfect time to cast spells or set intentions.
“At Halloween I enjoy carving pumpkins, baking cinnamon-scented foods and creating tea blends to match the season. My new botanical magick brand ‘Hubble Bubble Brews’ means that the blends I shared with family and friends can be shared with everyone! I’ve created many brews with nature, including teas, incense and bath salts. Nature holds the key to our wellness. A limited-edition Samhain tea will be released this month to celebrate the magick. Expect warm tones of autumn; close your eyes so you feel snug and close to the spirits of your loved ones.”
Power up with pumpkin magic
“As we approach Samhain, it’s time to create magic! We celebrate the endings and new beginnings that many pagans and non-pagans will celebrate with feasts, music and magic.
“We all celebrate in many different ways. This is something we do each year in my academy, and which is extremely magical and powerful. Write down, on different pieces of paper, your dreams, your desires and your goals. Really take time to connect to what you want. You can also write your wishes on bay leaves. Fill your pumpkin with all your dreams, goals and desires. You can add herbs too and really imagine what it is you’re wanting to attract into your life as you place them one by one inside.
“When you’re finished, seal the lid with different colour wax – you can get really creative and add flowers, paint and symbols. Remember you create your own magic! Once you’ve finished decorating it, light a candle, place it on top and spend some time connecting and sending love to your pumpkin. The next day, bury it in the garden and allow your dreams to grow.”
“You can also take part in a live magic event on Facebook in the ‘VIP Manifesting Academy’”