Get into the seasonal spirit of Samhain with Soul & Spirit’s resident white witch, Patricia Weston
Samhain is the witches’ favourite time of year. It’s the season of the witch – when we can really come out of the broom closet and let the world know we exist! As spooky spider webs and brightly lit pumpkins adorn people’s houses and terraced gardens are magically transformed into gruesome graveyards, we witches finally feel at home in the material world for once on Samhain night.
For me, Samhain is not only a celebration of how magically unique and interesting it is to be a witch, but an important time of year to honour my ancestors. All through the year my spirit guides and ancestors have worked tirelessly to help me with personal healing and transformation and my psychic and healing work with clients. So, during Samhain I feel privileged to set up a special altar to my ancestral helpers to send them my love, healing, gratitude and blessings.
Samhain is the most important sabbat in the witch’s calendar. A sabbat is a wiccan festival. The wheel of the year turns eight times and is marked by eight sabbats. These are solar rituals and seasonal times of the year that mark the cycle of life, birth, death and rebirth. They can be celebrated as magical times to give thanks to the earth for her beautiful bounty and blessings that she bestows upon us throughout the year. The eight sabbats are Samhain (October 31st), Yule (December 21st), Imbolc (February 2nd), Ostara (March 21st), Beltaine (May 1st), Litha (June 21st), Lughnasa (August 1st) and Mabon (September 1st).
Samhain is the night where the veil between the spirit world and the material world is at its thinnest. This offers a wonderful opportunity for divination and to celebrate and honour the lives of those who have passed over to the other side. This includes our loved ones, ancestors, family members, friends and pets. It’s a common ritual to set a place at the dinner table on Samhain night for a loved one who passed during the year to let them know you are thinking about them and that they are always loved and welcome at your home and hearth.
Another magical ritual to perform on Samhain night is to write down the names of loved ones on pieces of paper, burn the pieces in a cauldron or fireproof container, dig a small hole in your garden and sprinkle the ashes and plant a rose plant in its place in their honour. A beautiful water Samhain ritual to honour your ancestors is to borrow a large water worn stone from a river, stream or the ocean and write their names on it in non-toxic ink. Cast it back into the water and chant: “Loved ones in spirit all around, I honour you now with love and blessings abound.” Thank the water spirits for their blessing and assistance in this ritual.
As the veil is very thin, this offers a magical opportunity for divination – just remember to protect yourself before embarking on any form of spirit communication or connection. Call in your guides and angels and cast a circle of salt protection.
Set up your very own Samhain altar!
• One of my favourite rituals on Samhain is setting up an ancestral altar. My altar is the prime focal point of the evening and I like to keep it set up for three days and nights. I like to set it up in the direction of the North, as this is the seat of most power.
• Use a small clean table, and adorn it with a black tablecloth. Energetically cleanse the table by sprinkling with salt and leaving overnight.
• Decorate your altar with photographs, or trinkets from your deceased loved ones.
• Arrange the representative elements around your altar – salt for earth in the north, incense for air in the east, water for water in the west and a candle for fire in the south. Leave plenty of space in the middle for a large pillar candle. You may like to carve it with Reiki healing or rune symbols and the names of loved ones.
• Once you have your altar set up, give yourself quiet time to sit with it and meditate on Samhain night. You may receive visions or messages from your loved ones.
Patricia Weston is a witch based in Dublin, Ireland and calls herself a White Witch because she works in the light. Patricia gives mediumship readings, psychic readings, healings and hypnotherapy. For more info, visit patriciawestonpsychicwitch.com