Sabbat Series: Samhain

Samhain pronounced SAH-win, which means “summer’s end” to the Ancient Celts. This Sabbat is one of the “cross-quarter” celebrations celebrated by most pagans. The term cross-quarter is a reference to the four holidays on the Wheel of The Year that are neither an equinox or a solstice. And unlike the equinox or solstices, Samhain occurs on a set day, October 31st, each year. 

This Sabbat takes place at the time of year when the earth is going dark, so remember this when setting up your altars for this occasion! For many Wiccans and Pagans, Samhain represents the New Year. This celebration is a time for remembering ancestors and to celebrate the accomplishments and/or harvest of the year. 

The focus of this Sabbat is typically the cycle of life and death. The veil between worlds is at its thinnest, so offerings should be left out for ancestors and spirits if this is a part of your spiritual practice.

How is Samhain Celebrated?

There are many ways to participate in this Sabbat, and they depend on your own spiritual path and practice. One way to honor this Sabbat is by decorating your altar for the occasion. See below for ideas on how to decorate your altar! 

Another way is to plan ceremonies that celebrate the harvest. Focus on preparing meals with harvested vegetables and fruits such as squash and pumpkins. Many consider the dinner table a sacred space, so decorate your table in the corresponding décor and prepare your harvest feast!

This is a time when many witches do magic that focuses on the spirit world. Because this Sabbat is focused on life and death, it’s a good time to work on communicating with ancestors and spirits if this is a part of your practice. One way to achieve this is by holding a séance. This is also a time to bust out your divination tools! You could try using a scrying mirror, a Ouija board, or many other divinations during this time and seek guidance for the upcoming year.

What do I put on my altar for Samhain?

Dark Altar Cloths

Skulls and skeletons

Ancestor Offerings

Deep Colored Candles, Purples, Oranges, Reds


Cider, Wine, or Mead

Autum Foliage

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