Samhain for a newbie

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Forums -> Wicca -> Samhain for a newbie

Samhain for a newbie
Post # 1
I'm really excited October is rolling around (as I'm sure most of us are) and it's going to be my first time celebrating Samhain.

The problem is I dont know how to celebrate it.
Or really anything about it for that matter.

My knowledge is very minimal and I'd like for somebody to either explain to me how to celebrate Samhain as a Wiccan, or to guide me to good sources on how to celebrate it, when to celebrate it (Because I'm pretty sure it's not just a 1 day event) and etc, etc.
Blessed Be.
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Re: Samhain for a newbie
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 2

Samhain includes several different elements all of which can be included in one's celebration.

It is first and foremost the last of the harvest festivals and marks the Celtic New Year. It is also the time when one holds a celebration to honor ones Ancestors and the Blessed Dead. As with Beltane it is a time when the veil between the worlds is thinnest, making it an ideal time for divination.

There is an excellent article on Samhain at

I would also recommend the following books. They talk about the meanings of the various Sabbats and also offer suggestions for ways to celebrate each one:

Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Samhain to Ostara - by Ashleen O'Gaea Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Beltane to Mabon - by Ashleen O'Gaea

One thing that I always include in my own Samhain celebrations is an Ancestor Altar. I set up an altar with pictures of family and valued Elders that I wish to remember at Samhain. I surround those with candles and an appropriate incense for the year, such as Kyphi. Then I make offerings of some of my Samhain feast while telling them about what is going on in my life and asking them to continue to bless and keep me in the coming year.

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Re: Samhain for a newbie
By: / Novice
Post # 3
Oct 31st, the witches new year. The day when the veil between the worlds is thin and it is a great day for divination, set an extra place at your Dinner table for any ancestors that might show up. Dress up in your most witchy finery, decorate your altar with seasonal fruits, veges and flowers. Lite a Black and White candle to represent the Lord and Lady. Incense, Sandalwood, benzoin and copal. Burn Wormwood to get the Sight, to see the spirits of the returning dead.
Symbols are, Black Cat, Jack O'Lantern, bats, ghosts.
Goddesses, Cerridwen, Hecate, Hel, the Morrigan, Kali,
Gods, Cernunnos, anubis, Odin, Bran, Osiris
Tool, Besom to sweep out the old year and any negativity. The Cauldron for transformation.
Divination, Tarot, scrying, runes, pendulum or mirror
Stones, Obsidian, Carnelian, Onyx, smoky Quartz, jet and Bloodstone.
Altar Decor, Seasonal fruits, leaves, images of ancestors, skulls.
Celebrate with masks, feasting and partying, Witches ball, Rituals to honor the dead.
Foods, Gingerbread, nuts, Pork, Mead, Ale and Cider.
Beltane and Samhain is when the Goddess descends into women. A good night for sex magick and the Great rite.
Spirit Work, by invitation only, do not summon.
New years workings, Release the old, bad habits, and toxic relationships, illness, failure, poverty. End quarrels and settle debts. Do Spells for prosperity.
I hope this helps a little, but most of all, have fun.
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Re: Samhain for a newbie
Post # 4
Thank you both for all that information. Wow, I have a lot of reading to do! And prep! At least I started a month and a half early!!

Blessed Be )0(
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Re: Samhain for a newbie
By: / Novice
Post # 5
well, for starters, i hope you're aware you're skipping over Mabon which is next week [the Autumn Equinox] this one is my favourite holiday and celebrates the harvest and the balance between light and dark.

the wheel of the year turns once more and it is then Samhain [pronounced SOW-win not sam-hain as it is spelled because the celts hated making things simple... that and they didn't have written language until the christians arrived so i think it was their way of revenge] Samhain is called 'witches new year' as it is the point where the God is ruler of the underworld, the Goddess is pregnant with the new God to be born again at Yule and begin the cycle of life, death, and rebirth a new. Samhain is the point where the veil is at its thinnest, and we take this time to reflect on the loved ones we lost through the year. we may welcome them back into our homes for a visit, or wish them safe journeys into the next life.

Samhain is also a time for divination [a lot of love divination, but also for your future year] many games for Halloween date back to Samhain traditions. bobbing for apples for example was a way to divine who would be lucky in love [apples being a symbol of Samhain and there are many love divinations/spells with apples around this time too]

if you're able to purchase any books, i suggest looking for Llewellyn's Sabbat Essentials, it's an eight book series diving into the 'rituals, recopies and lore' of each Sabbat. each is written by a different big name Llewellyn author, so each has a little of that authors flare, but they're essentially ghost writers, so in order to find it check out Llewellyn publishings website. [or i'm sure you could go to a bookstore, type 'Samhain' into a search engine and find a ton of information as i've seen many books specifically about the most popular witches holiday] you can also check out YouTube as, again, there are many people who love Samhain and have videos all about it.
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