It’s that time in the Wheel of the Year again, Samhain, an easy favorite amongst witches. Last year I posted my list of Eight Samhain Sabbat Celebration Ideas and this year I’m back with eight more. There are ideas for solitaries, pairs, families, and covens, as well as many that would work with multiple configurations. Some require a little preparation or shopping, so I wanted to post them early enough that you can incorporate them into your Samhain preparation. Remember, though, Samhain is a six week long season and not just one day! I must confess that the season gets cut off Thanksgiving week for me, so I start my Samhain celebration a bit early.
1. Pagan Pumpkins: I saw the pumpkin craft idea pictured above (by Terri Foss) about a year ago, and instantly I wanted to make one of my own. You can easily reproduce this craft with a natural or artificial white pumpkin, and a fine-tipped permanent marker. Decoration ideas include sigils, astrological symbols, moons and stars (like above), pentacles, or other Samhain-themed art. Black pumpkins are available at craft stores and can be decorated with a silver marker, which would also look great. If you use an artificial pumpkin this could end up part of your permanent Samhain decoration stash. This would be a really cool way to decorate a LED candle, too.
2. Tarot Reading: I recommended doing divination last year, but I found the tarot spread to the left (click to view larger) that utilizes the theme of ‘as above, so below’. This is especially important on Samhain when the veil between worlds thins. The website, Fox and Feather Tarot, is defunct, but they have an Etsy store. If you’re looking for a more involved tarot reading to do on Samhain this one works well.
A variation of this tarot spread that I would use is: 1. Release, 2. Embrace, 3. Weaknesses, 4. Strengths, 5. Path Forward. You could do this as a general advice reading, or for something more specific.
3. Homemade Treats: There’s nothing quite as special as handmade treats, with candied apples being particularly fun for the sabbat. I’ve seen people make very creepy candied apples with grape Jolly Ranchers or food coloring, but caramel also works. A simple candied apple recipe can be found here. Just be sure to use a candy thermometer since molten sugar will seriously burn you. Making candy is for badasses only! I would not let even the most responsible child near this activity, so involve little goblins at your own rick. For an extra Samhain bump, set one non-candied apple outside as an offering.
4. Cauldron Crafts: Something really cool I’ve been seeing this year are these cheap little cauldrons that are being turned into really cute bath bombs. I somehow have tiny plastic cauldrons, which probably means that I got them from the Target Dollar Spot. You can pair this rainbow bath bomb recipe from A Beautiful Mess with those cheap cauldrons to make truly cool coven gifts. Bath bombs can be a little tricky – and take time to prepare – so little cauldrons could also be filled with treats and wrapped in green cellophane for a spooky coven gift. If you have a large coven each person could take an empty cauldron and turn it into a Samhain “white elephant” event. Let me just go and make a list of things to do with tiny, cheap plastic cauldrons, be right back …
5. Ancestor-Inspired Feast: For your Samhain feast this year, consider making a dish that was the favorite meal of an ancestor who has passed to the other side. Alternatively, you could make a dish that an ancestor taught you. If you have any little witchlings walking around, this would be the perfect time to teach them how to make the dish and pass a little piece of your ancestry along down the line.
6. Dark Goddess Grimoire: The Samhain season is a great time to add some dark goddesses to your Grimoire. Some suggested goddess include: Kali (Hindu), Lilith (Jewish), Hecate (Greek), the Morrigan (Irish), Cailleach (Gaelic), Persephone (Greek), or Izanami-no-makoto (Japanese) to name a few.
7. Nature Work: We are used to working with ancestors during Samhain, but there are countless animals, plants, and parts of nature (lakes and rivers, the soil itself) that are harmed by people every year. During this season consider taking a walk and leaving something for the forest, be it an emotional offering, or seeds to help animals get through the coming winter.
8. Samhain Literature: This season is also a great time to cuddle up with a cup of tea and a good book. You can read about Samhain itself, or any book or magazine that evokes the feeling of the season. My current favorite horror novel is The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, which I highly recommend. A dramatic reading of Poe’s “The Raven” can be fun for families, or a reading of the myth of Demeter and Persephone.
I hope these ideas were helpful and thank you have a wonderful Samhain season. Blessed be!