Releasing Magick – Samhain

Here in Colorado, we just got a second snowstorm in October. We only got a few inches but every tree and bush was covered in whiteness. As I drove my oldest to school this morning, surrounded by the whiteness and the cleanness of the snow, I felt a peace settle in my spirit.

I have felt so chaotic for the past few months. I had a little bit of a breather in June, but then it all went to shit again as we shifted in to July and it’s been nonstop since August. As we approach Samhain in just a week, I can feel the spirits stirring around me. October holds a lot of pain for me, but it also holds a lot of hope and goodness. It’s a strange push and pull, happiness and sadness, joy and pain.

I’m leaning in to the peace that Samhain is starting to shift for me. And I’m grateful for that shift. I still feel unresolved on some things, but I know it is merely this moment is not a moving forward moment, it is a time of holding and waiting. As I spoke with a friend about this, it’s that feeling of taking a breath before a dive, but it isn’t time yet to dive into the water. That intake of breath, but not time to release yet.

Samhain is called the Witches’ New Year. It is the beginning of a new cycle around the Wheel of the Year. It is another fire celebration and it is the end of the harvest festivals. For those who are still new to the Wheel of the Year, Samhain (pronounced Sow-in) is also known as Halloween. It is also considered one of the Sabbats of the year when the veil is thinnest, Beltane being the second.

That being said, Samhain is the preferred time to specifically honor ancestors, it is time to save and hold space for those who have passed on before and who are ready and willing to give guidance when asked. Samhain is the time to officially put away the last strands of summer and open your arms to the coming darkness of the winter.

With winter already starting to encroach on Colorado, it’s easy to shift into the “winter is coming, the darkness is here” mode. But for everyone else, enjoy the fall leaves, recognize the cycle of life as the trees shed their leaves so they can hibernate for the cold and dark winter. It is time to release and shed anything (and anyone) who is no longer serving you. Whether that be energies that are insisting on dragging you down, or old habits or harmful mindsets you need to break, now is the time to prepare to do that. The most powerful time will be on the 31st as the darkness of night falls.

How to do this? How do you shed and release?

Well, here are a few ideas.

Tarot –

If you are not sure what you need to release or shed, laying out a tarot spread can help you gain clarity and name what needs to be let go of.

This is a helpful tarot spread to get you started with!

Candle/Fire magick –

As we shift towards the darkness of winter and the physical darkness of the shorter days, longer nights, lighting candles is a good way to still hold space for light and breath in your space.

Performing a candle releasing spell would be an easy way to release those heavy things that need to go. As Samhain will be on a wa

Items you need for candle releasing spell:

  • Candle – white
  • piece of paper that will burn easily
  • black ink pen
  • pot or plate to catch the ash of the burning paper or the paper can be burned in

Instructions:

Write down all of the things you’d like to release. These can be anything you feel is not serving you.

Light the candle and recite these words as you light the paper with the candle flame.

“With the burning of this paper I now release what does not serve me. Through releasing this, I am asking in the things that do help me. I now forgive and release everything and everyone from past and present who needs forgiveness and release. I ask for the universe to witness this release. So Mote It Be.”

Sit with the ashes of the paper and allow the candle to burn all the way down. Witness and hold space for this releasing.

Burning Bowl Ritual –

This is an alternative to the candle spell above. Take a few pieces of paper (or however many you need) and write down something you are releasing on each piece of paper. Roll or crumple up the pieces of paper and put them in a fire safe container. You can use the same releasing recitation above for this spell as you light the papers and allow them to burn to ash.

With both of the spells/rituals above, take the ashes from the paper that was burned and either bury them in your backyard far from your house, or flush the ashes down the toilet. Either way, make sure you complete and finish the spellwork.

Moving on to honoring ancestors, there are several ways you can do this.

  1. Tarot reading
  2. Dumb supper
  3. Ancestor altar

I feel like there are so many ancestor tarot spreads out there, I’m not even going to link to one. Use Pinterest or Instagram, or create your own spread! Let your cards and ancestors guide your hands.

With the Dumb Supper, as I have never done this, here are a few links for how to go about creating one. I will say that this can simply be done by setting a place for an ancestor at your table.

Links for Dumb Supper ideas –

https://witchoflupinehollow.com/2018/10/21/honoring-your-ancestry-with-a-samhain-dumb-supper/

https://moodymoons.com/2018/10/21/dumb-supper-what-it-is-how-to-host-one/

Ancestor Altar –

This is fairly straight forward. Creating altar space in your home simply means having a specific spot on a shelf or table that holds respect and honor for whatever the altar. For an ancestor altar, this could look like pictures of your ancestors, items or food they liked or were common from wherever they are from (if you want to go back that far). Whatever you feel is honoring and respecting your ancestors, do that.

I have not done a whole lot of work with deities that are connected to Samhain. I know Persephone is connected, as is Cernunnos. But I still need to do some more research about the deities and their connection before I feel confident writing about it.

I am personally very excited about Samhain this year. I am actually really dressing up for the first time and I cannot wait to show off my costume! I think it is probably going to be way overboard, but I am not sure I care at this point. My spouse and I are attending a witchy halloween party tomorrow and despite the cold right now, I am very much looking forward to it!

Bringing it on HOME – random updates and interaction with the Divine Masculine

Samhain is 13 days away. We are officially shifted into the darkness. I am feeling a little more present in my own mind and body this week than I did for all of August, September, and the first half of October.

Just after the last new moon at the beginning of the month, I joined in blood magick with a moon sister and we held protection over the Red Tent circle. That night as I fell asleep, I was suddenly aware of something trying to break through my defenses. There was a malicious intent and with how exhausted I was, I knew I didn’t have the defenses in place to protect myself.

In stepped in two beings I never would have expected to come to my aid – a roaring fierce Griffin (yes, the eagle headed lion) and Horus, the Egyptian God of War and the Sky. I have purposefully NOT worked with any Gods due to how badly I have been hurt and ripped to shreds by the masculine.

But as I wrestled in my mind to stay ahead of whatever was trying to destroy me, I watched as Horus and the Griffin posted themselves in protection for me. In fact Horus was so respectful and honoring to me and told me that however I needed help, he was there to give me aid. I was blown away and given much relief watching these two beings come to my aid and fight for me. I have felt nothing but great respect from Horus and his desire is to be an aid in whatever way I need. I am cautious because I am still not actively seeking Gods to interact with, but this moment with Horus is shifting my mind.

I have started three different posts in the past two months. Trying to find words for what is the chaos inside of me. The chaos has had a drive, it’s been breaking me from the inside out; breaking down misconceptions, breaking down the lies I still carry burned into my bones.

I have fought, and won, through another round of memories returning. I have sat with the youngest of myself and listened and felt what she had to give me. I have sat with siblings whom I never thought I’d ever seen in person again. I have spent time with my powerful moon sisters and performed protective blood magick together with one. I faced an intense wave of suicidal ideation – the darkest things have gotten for me in 5 years. I sat with another star-sister and we strengthened our companionship through using our words and backing up those words with our actions.

I have fought the darkness that is disassociation and am still struggling to gain ground with that one. It is a sly beast that cannot be pinned down. I have sat with having my fears confirmed and feeling the gut wrenching heartbreak knowing that the pain and horror I had felt years ago was true.

I am feeling very inward turned right now. Contemplating all that has happened this year. Remembering those who have been cut out of my life, remembering those I have stood up to. Thinking about what it means to be counting down to the end of the year and then the beginning of a new decade. 2020 feels like it will be an intensely powerful and significant year. There is a lot of work I, and many others, are doing right now to prepare for what this next year is going to bring.

I am excited to be starting two classes in January where I will be sitting at the feet of a Druidess elder and learning from her. I am excited about choosing a new place to lay our heads and moving there in February. There is a lot of change coming, and it is change that I am choosing to bring in.

My heart rate jumps a bit thinking about January because I’d really really like to have a January where I’m not fighting for my health. But I am choosing to believe that I am stronger and more prepared and can handle whatever comes my/our way.

I don’t have much else to say, I’m going into mental hibernation for the next few months. But I am still here. I am still fighting. And I will not stop until all of the battles have been won.

Revisiting The Wheel of The Year – Mabon, Samhain, Yule, Imbolc

In this post, I’ll cover the second 4 Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year – Mabon, Samhain, Yule, and Imbolc. Feel free to go back to my previous post! Quick note first though; Beltane came up really quickly for me, and I wasn’t able to pull anything together for the actual day. The following weekend however I did a Beltane ritual with an incredible group of women. We did a ritual fire jump, and included a shedding and reclamation ritual as well. It was so beautiful and amazing to be celebrating such a fiery and powerful Sabbat with such fiery and powerful sisters. I have come to the conclusion that Beltane is best celebrated when you’re in a group instead of by yourself. Because of the incredible shifting that happens on Beltane – the move from sleeping and slowly waking up to Spring to turning it up to full blast and wildly celebrating fertility and new life and igniting the fires of passion that will carrying us into Summer – you need that joined community passion and excitement to bring life to the rituals.

Mabon – Fall Equinox, September 20-23

Mabon is my substitute for Thanksgiving. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving anymore, and damn it feels good to say that. Mabon, however, is a wonderful celebration of that last shift from Summer to Autumn heading towards Winter. It’s that time of year when the last harvests are starting to come in, the planning for the winter months has started, and it’s really a time to celebrate all that you have been given. As the days and nights are equal in length and hold a balance, look to restore that kind of balance in your life.

Some of the ways we have celebrated Mabon is creating a huge feast and inviting friends over to celebrate with us! This past September, I made a butternut squash soup, round roast, and a homemade pumpkin pie. It turned into a great evening celebrating and enjoying the company of friends. I can’t wait to plan this year’s Mabon celebration.

Here are some ideas for what you can do to celebrate Mabon!

  • Go apple picking
  • make a Mabon altar
  • cleanse your home for the fall
  • have a thanksgiving-ish feast with friends/family
  • take a few moments to yourself, or with your children, and write down the things you are grateful for

Samhain – sunset on October 31st to sunset of November 1st

Samhain – pronounced sow-en – the official beginning of winter season, the “darker half” of the year. Samhain is often associated as being a festival of the dead, and is considered one of the times of the year when veil or doorway to the Otherworld is opened and supernatural beings and the souls of the dead may come through and visit our world.

Samhain is actually the opposite Sabbat to Beltane. Beltane is the other “veil is open” Sabbat, but for some reason isn’t as associated with a festival of the dead as Samhain is.

In honor of the doorway being opened, Samhain is a really good time to honor your ancestors and spend some time looking over the past year and setting goals for the winter. Samhain is also the time to be aware of what you need to shed and what need’s be let go of that is no longer serving you. Allow the changing of the seasons to guide you.

Something that’s helpful to consider as we move into the darkness of Winter, especially when SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a factor, is how are you going to fill your home/space with light and warmth as darkness and death happens outside? Winter is a season for hibernating and allowing for rest and rebuilding strength for the return of the light at Imbolc.

Yule – Winter Solstice – December 20-25

The longest day of the year has arrived and with it means we are that much closer to the light and warmth returning! Yule, being in the middle of winter, is a time for gathering with friends in the warmth of your home, and celebrating being together. Ironically, the majority of Christmas traditions have their roots in Yule. Including, but not limited to, decorating trees, exchanging gifts, singing songs, drinking mulled wine, and reaffirming hope of Spring returning.

With having children, I am hoping to be able to plan ahead this year a bit more, and include them in some Yule celebrations. Here’s a good article about some things you can do with children.

This past Yule felt really transformative for me. Instead of feeling pressure from extended family to be there and attend their Christian church Christmas celebrations, we were able to do our own things and be at home and be together. My oldest and I picked out the decorations for our real pine tree and he helped me decorate it. It was so special to be able to do that simple ritual together and have him feel like he was included. He also picked out the other decorations I had around the house and for the first year, it actually felt really celebratory and like we had something to celebrate. My oldest even told me that we didn’t have enough decorations. It really helps having a child who is so eager to celebrate something!

Imbolc – Candlemas – February 2nd

Imbolc – pronounced im-bulk – is the Celtic Goddess Brigid’s Sabbat. Imbolc is the rekindling the Spring fires, the return of the light, and the beginning of life returning. It’s the time for seeds to be started, for the acknowledgment that we are reawakening after a long winter! Brigid is a Goddess of Fire and Light, a Sun Goddess, and is one who holds powerful healing and birthing of life in her hands.

It’s a traditional practice to create a Brigid cross on Imbolc!

I spent Imbolc this year planning out my container garden and trying to figure out which herbs and plants I wanted to plant.


Practicing and celebration the 8 Wheel of the Year Sabbats is a habit to work up to. It’s definitely not going to be an overnight switch. It’s taken me 4 years to celebrate the different Sabbats, and I’m still not where I want to be in terms of what I do for each one. So be patient with yourself if you’re just starting out. It takes time to build up this practice, and what is also helpful, is to find a coven or group of friends to celebrate with.

I spend a lot of time researching and collecting rituals and ways to celebrate each Sabbat on my pinterest board.

Feel free to look around, and maybe even start collecting ideas for your own celebrations!