7 Samhain rituals for a soulful Halloween

Halloween is so much more than ghouls and pumpkins. Discover how to harness its transformative energy with these special Samhain rituals.

By: The College of Psychic Studies.   Posted

Call it Halloween, All Hallow's Eve or Day of the Dead; Samhain (pronounced So-wen) on 31 October is so much more than spooky costumes, Jack-o'-lanterns and buckets of sweets. Samhain is an important Sabbat that marks the end of the Pagan Wheel of the Year. It is the Pagan New Year, heralding the death of the old year, and the start of the new. As such, this is a potent time to celebrate all that has been and all that is yet to come. Here are our favourite seven Samhain rituals to mark the occasion.

Take a Samhain stroll

There's no better Samhain ritual than a nature walk. The Pagan Wheel of the Year teaches us to synchronise with the cycles of the seasons. The best way to do this? Get back to nature. On the day of Samhain, head out a nature walk in your local woodland or park. Observe the landscapes; notice how the energy of late autumn manifests around you; contemplate the falling leaves, the muted colours, the moody mists. We are on the cusp of winter, the 'death' of this year. Look out for any gifts from Mother Earth, whether it be an autumnal leaf, fallen feather, or pretty pebble. Remember to always give thanks for your gift.

Set up your Samhain altar

There's a perfect place for that gift from your nature walk – on your Samhain altar! Select a peaceful corner of the house or garden, and prepare your Samhain altar with autumnal offerings such as nuts and dried fruit, pretty squashes, fallen leaves, acorns, and colours such as deep reds, rust oranges and earthy browns – anything that celebrates the energy of late autumn. Sugar skulls, toffees and candies are also perfect offerings to honour our ancestors.

Practice your mediumship skills

Mediumship students, if ever there was a time to put to good use all that you have learnt at The College of Psychic Studies, it's now! The veil between the physical world and the world of Spirit is at its thinnest at Samhain, making this an opportune time to communicate with Spirit. If you are curious about spirit communication, Samhain is a good time to try it out. If you earnestly wish to learn how to do mediumship, join a beginners' mediumship course.

A Samhain ritual to honour your ancestors

At Samhain, we do not call the dead to us. However, we must remain open for them to join us freely on the night if they are able - and if they wish to. At your Samhain altar, light a candle and pray for friends and loved ones who have passed on from this world. Remember them with love, accepting their physical absence. A popular Samhain ritual is to light a candle in the window - or in your carved pumpkin - to guide the dead. Another old Samhain custom is to bury apples in the earth to feed the dead. 

Celebrate Samhain at The College of Psychic Studies

Banner with link to Samhain events at The College of Psychic Studies

Release what no longer serves you

The Sabbat of Samhain is about the death of the old year. The fields lie fallow, nature rests, and we use the coming dark days to contemplate and go within. Samhain is a good night to let go of any outdated goals or beliefs. It is a customary Samhain ritual to light a fire - or a candle - and burn in it a list of those things we no longer need in our lives, banishing them up into the ethers to spirit. Jumping over the fire or candle signifies moving into our new year and future. Carefully does it, now! 

A Samhain feast

Samhain marks the end of the harvest. This means there is a bounty of delicious produce for us to tuck into and enjoy. Prepare a fabulous Samhain feast with seasonal vegetables such as pumpkins, squash, root vegetables, nuts and berries. Your tipple of choice? Apple cider, red wine or, for the traditionalists, honey mead. Invite friends and family around to celebrate nature's bounty, and to honour and toast the year past. Before you tuck in, take a few moments together to offer your gratitude for nature's immense bounty. Thank the earth for all she has given you, and ask for her continued blessings in the year ahead. On the night of Samhain, ritual encourages us to eat pomegranate seeds . These seeds represent our new ideas for the future.

Trick or treat?

Halloween's tradition of spooky stories, mischief and sprites playing tricks on humans teaches us that we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously. Have a laugh! 

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