The Wheel of the Year: Samhain

The Wheel of the Year: Samhain

Ann Meyer

Samhain takes place in what we consider the heart of autumn. This is the time of year when trees are putting on a show, their leaves dazzling in golden hues. Our pumpkins have been carved and seeds roasted. Sweaters have become more consistent and we are taking comfort in soups and blankets. 

Samhain marks the halfway point between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice. It is celebrated from October 31st to November 1st, more specifically from sunset to sunset. The word Samhain translates into “end of summer” and is the last of the three harvest festivals, indicating the end of the harvest season. Any crops left after this time are considered offerings for the nature spirits, and no harvesting should be done. Samhain is sometimes referred to as the Feast of the Dead, Hallows Eve, or All Hallows Eve. During this time we celebrate two main things — honoring the dead and welcoming the cold. Death is a natural part of life, and Samhain is a time for us to remember and honor our loved ones who have passed on. We can do this by setting up altars, leaving offerings, or cooking a meal in remembrance of those we miss. We also take this time to embrace the coldness ahead and welcome the winter months. The frigid, dark days are close, and this holiday marks our last chance to prepare for them. 

Although Samhain is considered one holiday, some people celebrate it as if it were two. For example, October 31st is sometimes expressed similarly to Halloween. Where people dress up in costumes of fairies and monsters and toast to the things unknown. Whereas November 1st is celebrated solely in remembrance of the dead. Offerings are left out, feasts of favorite dishes are made, and people congregate telling stories of departed loved ones.

This time of year is considered especially magical, due to the thinning barrier between the realms. It is believed that twice a year, on Samhain and Beltane, the veil between the living and the spirit world is thin. This makes it an excellent time for communicating with past loved ones or ancestors. This is also a great time to practice magic, enhance your intuition, and engage in shadow work. 

Herbs for Samhain

Plants for Samhain

  • Apple
  • Pumpkins, Gourds
  • Pomegranate
  • Cranberry
  • Acorns

Ways to Celebrate Samhain

  • Preparing a meal to be shared with deceased loved ones or ancestors. You might set an extra plate and seat for them.
  • Setting up an altar with fall flowers and plants, leaving an offering for the spirits.
  • A single lit candle left in a windowsill for spirits wandering at night.
  • Leaving apples out for the spirits who are lost or with no one to take care of them.
  • Any last preparation that needs to happen before winter. 

Spiritual Bathing for Samhain with Herbalist Amanda Furbee:

This time of year is known for the thinning of the veil and connecting with the spirit world. A special way you can set your intentions around this Spiritual Bathing blend is to make the blend on Halloween or a few days before. Let the blend sit in the jar with a candle lit beside it, or beneath the moon’s energy. Let it charge with the natural energies that surround it and set your intentions. 

Engaging with the shadow side of yourself is deep internal work. It often points out things in our lives that need to shift in a new direction. It is important work as it helps us grow as an individual into our true selves. This blend is created to help support, nourish and protect you on your journey.

Make yourself a warm bath and add this blend to the water. Let it soak for a few minutes to be absorbed into the vessel you dip your body in. Surround yourself with your altar items — candles, crystals — whatever items make you feel supported.

Here’s what you will need:

To Make Your Own: Spiritual Bathing Blend

  • Take your base oil and essential oils and blend together in a small bowl.
  • Place salt and dried herbs together and mix.
  • Open up the vanilla bean and add to the top of the salt and herb blend. 
  • Pour the oil blend on top of the dried blend and mix together so that its evenly coated over the salt and herbs
  • Keep in a sealed glass container until you're ready to bathe.
  • Place in muslin bag before you add to the hot bath water.
  • Add the 4-6 drops of Lucid Dream Flower Essence to the bath tub or directly in your mouth.
  • Sit with your intentions for Samhain and find connection and inspiration here.
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