Samhain - Pagan Holidays - Magic for the weekend Wiccan

Practical Magic: A Beginner's Guide to Crystals, Horoscopes, Psychics, and Spells - Nikki Van De Car 2017

Pagan Holidays
Magic for the weekend Wiccan

Pronounced SOW-in. Also known as All Hallows’ Eve or Halloween. Takes place on October 31, the start of the pagan new year.

So many cultures around the world have a day honoring and celebrating the dead. There is the Bon Festival in Japan, Chuseok in Korea, the Festival of Cows in Nepal, the Ghost Festival in China, the Day of the Dead in Mexico, the Turning of the Bones in Madagascar—the list goes on and on. Death is an inescapable part of life, and all of these cultures have come to understand how helpful it is to find a sense of celebration and play in something we may fear and dread, both for ourselves and for others.

On Samhain, the laws of space and time are a little weaker, and the veil that stands between this world and the next is thinner. Not only is it easier to communicate with the dead on Samhain; it is easier to do anything that is normally considered impossible.

Of course, that can be a little dangerous. In our celebrations of the dead, there is always an element of spookiness, of potential threat. It’s a good idea to take extra precautions on Samhain. If you go out at night (as most of us will), carry a gris-gris for protection (see here), and leave some mandrake or hawthorn around your doors and windows.

COLORS: black, orange, white, and silver

STONES: obsidian, jet, and hematite

HERBS: mugwort, catnip, belladonna, mandrake, and sage


Image Leave food offerings on altars and doorsteps, for the dead who may be walking.

Image Light a candle in the window to invite the spirits of your loved ones into your home. You can set an extra place at the dinner table for them too, if you like.

Image Bury apples alongside the road for wandering spirits that no longer have a home to go to.

Image Dress in white or as another gender to confuse spirits that may wish you harm.

Image Light a bonfire! Write your name on a stone and throw it in. Check the condition of the stone come morning—depending on how it fared, you will know something of what the coming year will be like for you.