With its roots in Ancient Celtic Tradition, Samhain is the festival celebrated which has birthed many of the rituals of Halloween. In fact, Halloween itself has roots in Samhain.
Celebrated on the eve of 31st October and 1st November, it's time to let go of the old, honour the dead, connect with ancestors and of course, fortune-telling. The Celtics used to celebrate their New Year on November 1 so Samhain is also a time full of hope and excitement about what the coming year will bring for you.
For someone who is new to the pagan or even spiritual world, it may be exciting and even overwhelming with a plethora of rituals and spells that are out there. When you're doing something for the first time, it's best to start from the bare minimum so you don't have unrealistic expectations from yourself and can fully focus on what you want at the moment.
Here are a few suggestions that you can use while celebrating Samhain 2021:
#1 Educate Yourself
When you're entering a new world( be that if witchcraft or a corporate job), it's always good to show your commitment at the beginning. A special occasion may just be the motivational push you need to dive in. Samhain is also a time when winters are approaching. Winter, anyway, is the time of falling back on the resources you gathered during summers and utilising them for good. Now may be a good time to learn a new healing modality or learn about the Witches' wheel of the year. You don't have to observe every Sabbat yet. Just be open to learning new things. Since witchcraft is completely based on Natural cycles, spending some time in Nature may also be a good idea. Consider receiving basic knowledge and learning about natural healing via Aromatherapy, Herbalism or Naturopathy.
#2 Buy a new broom
Everything can be magical when you work with focussed intention. Brooms are also traditional symbols of witchcraft. Sweep and clean your house with a new broom as a symbolic act of releasing old energies and welcoming a new life. You can also go ahead and redecorate your house if you're up for it.
#3 Organize a bonfire
Ancient Celts used to organize communal bonfires and take a burning piece of wood to light their hearths. You can definitely have bonfire parties. Or if you want to do a solitary celebration, consider lighting candles, using new lamps or light bulbs. Your intention is the element of any ritual. Simply cleaning your old bulbs can do the work too. Don't worry about spending a lot of money. You don't really really need to.
#4 Make an altar
Setting up an altar is a simple, easy yet powerful way of celebrating Samhain. Remember to honour your ancestors during the process. You can choose crystals, flowers or orgonites that honour your passed on loved ones. Or, you can simply write a letter thanking your ancestors for choosing you as a part of their lineage.
If you are more focused on the Shamanic ways of being, it may also be a good time to connect with Daykeepers, Wisdomkeepers or Earthkeepers. It may be time to receive Shamanic initiations that connect your spiritual lineage. The Healer's rite of Munay Ki is specially focussed on connecting you to the Earthkeepers of the past who will heal you during your awake life or dream time so you can feel empowered, healed, whole and aligned.
#5 Dumb Supper
Having a completely silent meal is a traditional way to connect with your ancestors. Don't forget to put plates for people you're trying to connect to. Cook what your ancestors loved or what reminds you of them. Make sure to make your meal magical by decorating your table beautifully. The more energy you give to a ritual or anything, the more powerful it becomes.
#6 Consider Doing Shadow Work
Since Samhain celebrates the commencement of the darker part of the year, you might as well dive into, heal and make peace with the darker parts of you. Do some journaling, use some prompts, or work with Kali to accept your shadow.
As humans, we weren't born perfect, we were not brought up in perfect households and we are still not perfect. Then, why chase perfection? Why be ashamed of yourself? Why not just accept and heal your shadow self. Let go of guilt, sadness, anger or resentment that you may be holding on to.
We celebrate Halloween by wearing fancy dresses, doing tricks or treating or talking about spooky, sometimes evil stories. This year, while doing it all, it may be a good time to reflect on the fact that we, as human beings, are capable of doing and feeling both the best and the worst, the most blessed and the spookiest. We have all been wronged and have wronged someone at some point in our life. And that is all the more a humbling experience. Even in the worst time of your life, you are perfectly capable of focussing on good and getting the best out of the worst!
This Samhain, educate yourself about how you can heal your shadow self and bring it to light.
Make peace with the darker parts of you or humanity at large. Working on generational curses is also recommended.
#7 Get a new plant
Focus on one thing that you want the most in your life and buy a plant that reminds you of it. If you want love, get a pot with rose flowers. If it's money, get a jade. Name a thing that you want the most and google a plant that represents it. The climate and environment of where you live should be an important consideration while you purchase a plant pot. As you water your new plant every day, it's not only a reminder for you but a symbolic act of watering your desires to fruition. You can also decorate or paint your pot with orange-red colours to remind you of Samhain.
#8 Set new goals
This may be fairly obvious. Since Samhain is essentially a new year for witches, it may be time to let go of the old and set some new intentions for yourself. Go into a meditative state where you release all your past hurts and cloudiness, get clear on what you want, and set new intentions for yourself.
#9 Ask for help
Samhain is the time when your ancestors are around. Your healed ancestors are always willing to assist you. If you ask them for something, they will definitely consider your desires and needs and throw some extra luck your way.
You can ask for what you need by writing a letter to them or doing a little Candle Magick.
#10 Do a tarot reading
You can do or receive a tarot/oracle card reading to receive loving messages from your ancestors. Druids(Celtic priests) used to connect with Ancestral Spirits to receive guidance and predictions for the dark time to come. Winters, being the darker part of the year, was full of instances of stealing and mischief in general. For a time when people solely rely on Natural rhythms and Supernatural deities for survival(they literally had nothing else), this was an important practice that gave them hope. For honouring them and their wisdom, it may be a good time to do a tarot reading for yourself or receive one. The guidance you will receive will be invaluable provided you actually implement it.
It is also a good time for us to go on a little bit of internet-detox and focus on the natural world around us. Technology has made our lives easier than ever before. We have all forgotten our roots and how nature can feed us with unconditional love. It may be time to look within to explore your connection with the natural world. If nothing, living without your phone on Halloween or Samhain can be a perfect way to honour and thank your ancestors.
I hope you received some clarity on how you can celebrate Samhain as a beginner. Remember. Your intention is what matters the most. Do not overthink and do what makes sense to you. In the current challenging times, whether you're a witch or not, use every excuse, every festival, every reason to have the time of your life. Your ancestors want you to be happy more than anything. Samhain can just be a day full of joy for you, how so ever, you choose to celebrate it.