All Souls Night: The Rites of Samhain.

“I can see the lights in the distance
Trembling in the dark cloak of night
Candles and lanterns are dancing, dancing
A waltz on all souls night”

Samhain marks the end of the old year, a journey into the dark half, the time when the souls of the ancestors move freely amongst us. It’s the Witches new year and today, we celebrate with ritual, costumes and merriment but for my Galician ancestors living in the countryside and small villages, Samhain or La Queimada, was the last chance to slaughter weak animals who would not survive the Winter and serve as sustenance through the darkness; A time of bitter storms and ghost stories around the fire.

It was on a Samhain night (in the 90’s) that I initiated 3 friends into the Craft and created a coven. We practiced divination and healing spells; did astrology charts for friends, a very fun and mystical time.

As Samhain approaches and the home is decorated with pumpkins and black cats – including my real black cat named Salem – I wanted to share a little lore, maybe a spell and customs I practice at home with friends and family.

Every year I make sure to make a trip to the Mountainview Cemetary for the All Souls celebration. Stopping by the altar to leave a message for my dead loved ones is a must as is dressing up in a spooky costume.

The Dumb Supper

Hosting a Dumb Supper is a way to invite the dead to mingle among us and enjoy this sacred time. There’s no right or wrong way to host a Dumb Supper, the most important is to set a place for the living and leave a setting at the head of the table for the dead that will be joining. It is custom to only light the room with candles and to serve seasonal foods like Autumn vegetables and if you like to bake, Samhain Soul Cakes can be part of the meal. The only thing that is essential to host a Dumb Supper is that it be done in complete silence. Each guest can approach the head of the table on their way to their seat with a prayer or note for their deceased loved one . A circle can be cast once your guests are seated and it’s important to be in the moment so phones should be shut off to avoid distractions. The host/ess can sit next to the head of the table and food should be served starting with the oldest guest to the youngest. Hold hands to silently bless the food and enjoy. Once the meal is over, each guest can stop by the head of the table again to bit farewell then leave the space.

A Samhain Spell For Prosperity

Make sure to collect some leaves during your next walk in Nature. Pick up the most beautiful and colourful ones you can find.

Back at home and after taking a few moments to ground and center yourself. Place the leaves on your altar or a table set in front of you. Envision a golden light like the rays of the sun, beaming from your hands and say : “My life is filled with abundance. All my needs are always met-and more”

Keep repeating this until your hands feel warm, then say: “Autumn harvest, bring to me abundance, joy and laughter. So mote it be!”.

Now take a few moments in quiet meditation to envision what it is you want to attract to you and see it as completed, see yourself living in that reality. How do you feel? what do you look like? Who’s with you?

Write each of the things you’ve asked for on a leaf then allow the leaves to dry out completely on your altar. On the next full moon, burn the leaves in your cauldron and sprinkle them in the earth or in your garden or a pot where you might plant something in spring. This way your dream can continue to grow throughout the year until next Samhain.

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Samhain Blessings.



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