Creating your sacred space for the witches' new year
"As the darkness now draws near, see the cycle of the year; As the light now goes within, let the hallows dance begin!"
-Celtic Samhain Blessing
What most of the world calls Halloween, we call Samhain - or the Celtic New Year. Samhain (pronounced “SAH-win”) is the origin of Halloween tradition, celebrated by ancient Celts from October 31st to November 2nd as summer’s end and the beginning of the dark half of the year.
Symbolically, Samhain represents both death and rebirth, as autumn transitions us from summer's warm vibrancy to winter's cold darkness. Crops have been harvested, leaves crisp up and fall, and it starts to feel a lil spooky with the long, chilly nights. As we close our summer chapter, pack up warm weather wardrobes, and put away patio furniture, we might be feeling apprehensive for the dark and chilly months ahead. But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost - we’re simply making space for new seeds to be planted when spring arrives again.
Samhain also brings the opportunity to connect with loved ones who have passed over - this time period is thought to be the point in the year where the veil between the living and deceased is thinnest, opening a door for connection - and even a little mischief! Tricks and pranks aren’t quite so far-fetched when the supernatural comes to visit. The reason why we dress up in costumes is thanks to our pagan ancestors, who dressed up to fool spirits and fairies who’d come to visit during the festival.
Spiritually, Samhain offers the perfect moment for a powerful intention-setting period. We’re sharing a few of our favorite ways to celebrate through ritual. As always, we encourage you to follow your intuition - there are no rules when it comes to healing and spiritual growth! To quote a wise saying, “take what you want and leave the rest”.
SAMHAIN SACRED SPACE
We love creating altars as a focal point for ritual work! Convert a corner or tabletop into a spiritual reprieve by decorating it with items that represent Samhain’s meaning and history. You could include any crystals, herbs, candles, or other objects that hold meaning for you; the following are our suggestions:
- Garnet for stamina, strength, and love
- Labradorite for manifestation, magick, and new perspectives
- Obsidian for protection and grounding
- Black Moonstone to help transform darkness to light and represent new beginnings
- Selenite for cleansing, light, and connection to spirits and angelic realms
- Autumn decor or items that are black, gold, burgundy
- Photos or special belongings of loved ones who have passed
- An offering cup of your loved one’s favorite libation or food
- A candle that feels magickal, like the Harvest Moon Cauldron Candle or purple and white candles to invoke peace, healing, and connection to the spiritual realm
- Divination tools such as a pendulum, tarot deck, or scrying mirror
- **Pro tip! If you don’t have a particular item, we love using cards from the Hollow Valley Deck of Symbols to represent meaningful elements.
Prep your space - and your headspace! Find a comfy, quiet space next to your altar and take a few deep breaths. Clear and calm your mind by burning your favorite herb and visualizing pure white light surrounding you, filling your space, and all distractions and negativity falling away.
Our pick is the Samhain Herbal Bundle, containing Rosemary, Golden Wormwood, Sage, Mullein, Marigold, Apple, Black Scabiosa, and Baby's Breath - all carefully chosen to fortify and protect while setting resolutions for the new year.
Take note of how you’re feeling and let any emotions rise. Divination tools such as a tarot deck or scrying mirror can help clarify underlying insights.
Consider it spring cleaning for your soul - let go of anything that isn’t serving you! Take a deep breath and meditate on any resentment or negativity you might be carrying. If it feels right to do so, write it down and light the paper outdoors (using proper fire safety!). Let it burn, watching the smoke carry the energy with it. Bury or discard the ashes, visualizing letting go of the energy you were holding.