Preparing for Samhain (Part One)

The month of October for some, brings a welcome relief from the heat of the summer. It also heralds the end of the Pagan year. For those of us who follow the natural cycle of the growing seasons, Samhain represents the final harvest before the cold and snow of winter blankets the ground. An Old Wives Tale states that no crops should be harvested after the 31st of October. If the farmer did not get to them in time, they are to be left as an offering to the Gods, or suffer the wrath of a poor harvest next season.

As Samhain is seen as a preparation for the long winter months, I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at some of the things used for rituals.

Symbols and Decorations

Jack o’ lanterns, oak leaves, acorns, straw, balefire, besom, black cat, black crescent moon, , grain, magic mirror, mask, bare branches, animal bones, hazelwood, pictures of ancestors.

 All these things are great for invoking images of ancient times, when we depended on our knowledge of the change in seasons and Nature to stay alive. Samhain is the time of the last harvest. Nothing grows after this date, unless you live in warmer climates. Use these things to decorate your altar or your home.    

Tools (specifically candles)

Black (ward off negativity), orange (good luck), indigo, homemade apple or mint scented herbal candles to light jack-o-lanterns or for altar candles. Black altar cloth, divination tools, cauldron.

I use several from the list above for my Samhain rite, which I will describe in better detail in a future post. Divination is widely done at this time of year, as the veil between this world and the spirit world is at its thinnest. Things like Tarot cards and Runes are popular methods to learn what the new year may hold.  

~Blessed Be~

About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms of Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal is to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing, she spends her time collecting crystals, knitting, gardening, cooking and listening to very loud music.

5 Responses to Preparing for Samhain (Part One)

  1. Michelle says:

    Great post! This is my favorite time of year. While we get ready for the really dark days, I find myself nesting hard core, making the house more cozy, cooking lots of good food . . . it’s nice after the surge of busyness all summer and fall!

  2. I found a great site with lots of info. I’m going to go over a little each week, as it can get overwhelming, then link to the page on the last day.

    Oh the nesting thing, we’re in the middle of doing that now. Cleaning out the woodstove and such, getting ready for the cold weather. Husband bough some hot chocolate. First package of the year!

  3. The symbols of this season always make me happy. I already have pumpkins out, and decorations in warm autumn colors. I still need to get out the black altar cloth and a few other things. Today for dinner, I’m making a savory pumpkin tart with leeks and Gruyere cheese. And! It rained yesterday. It’s still cool and cloudy this morning.

    *Happy sigh*

    • I have a wonderful Autumn coloured tablecloth that I put out, and a bunch of little orniments for the table to decorate. I have a two part ritual that I do for Samhain. I think I posted a blog about it last year.

  4. Pingback: Poems and other things for Samhain « Darke Conteur

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