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Simple Samhain Rituals

In this article, we’ll explore some simple Samhain rituals you can practice alone, or with your family or friends.

Samhain, pronounced SOW-win, marks the beginning of the winter season and the end of the Celtic year. Historically observed by Gaelic people throughout Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man, Samhain is believed to have Celtic pagan origins. For many pagans, Samhain marks one of the most important sabbats of the year. 

Many pagans believe that Samhain is a liminal time. A liminal time describes a period where the ‘veil between the worlds’ becomes thinner and the boundaries between this world and the underworld can be more easily crossed.

According to Celtic tradition, Samhain marks a period where the dead can visit with the living. Therefore Samhain celebrations often focus on divination and finding a connection to the spirit realm. If you’re afraid of ghosts, don’t be. The realm of the underworld is simply energy expressed in another form. Just as with the physical world, the underworld is neither inherently good nor bad. Rest assured, you will not anger the spirits by attempting to communicate with them. In fact, by acknowledging their presence, sending them your blessings, and asking for their guidance you will be drawing powerful positive energy into your rituals.

Samhain Rituals
Traditionally offerings of food would be left for the ancestors and spirits during Samhain. These would be placed on windowsills or special altars.

Samhain also marks a time for reflection, looking inward and tying up loose ends. Modern Samhain rituals are often a mixture of self-care and sacred tasks. The rituals themselves can be as simple or as complicated as you like. It’s really up to you.

Below I’ve listed some samhain ritual ideas. I hope they provide you with the inspiration you need to plan your own samhain celebrations.

Samhain Rituals

Samhain Ritual Ideas

  • Create a sacred space for your family or friends. This could be as simple as placing blankets and pillows onto your living room floor.  You might like to cleanse the energy of the space with smoke or visualization before beginning the ritual. Allow everyone to find a comfortable spot and make sure you have some delicious snacks and warm drinks on hand. Move around the circle and invite those present to share a memory or story of those who have passed. This might be an ancestor, a pet, or a loved one. Honor each story by lighting a candle.
  • Take some time alone to tidy and organize your space. Reflect on what you no longer need and mentally let go of that which is no longer serving you. You might like to take a ritual bath or find a quiet place to meditate and reflect. Allow yourself to rest and enjoy the solitude of inner reflection.
  • Honor the souls of friends and family who have departed this world. You might like to create an altar for this featuring old photographs and mementos. Reflect on what each person meant to you and send them your blessings. 
  • Give offerings of your dinner to your ancestors for a set period of time. This time period might be 2 days or even a week. Begin the ritual on Samhain and continue for the period you have set. At each evening meal, simply set an extra plate for your ancestors and honor them by placing a few morsels of your most delicious dish onto it. Thank your ancestors and ask for their blessings and guidance.
  • Create a Samhain divination potion. For this, you’ll need 1 teaspoon of mugwort, 1 teaspoon of meadowsweet, a few pieces of dried orange peel, and hot water. Place the ingredients in a strainer and cover with hot water. Allow to steep for 7 -10 minutes. Strain and allow the tea to cool.  Drink the potion before you sit down to the tarot cards or engage in any other form of divination. The potion will help your subconscious mind to relax and connect with guidance from higher realms. Note: please don’t drink more than 2 cups of this tea in one sitting. 

Samhain Ritual Correspondences

You might like to incorporate some of these corresponding crystals, herbs, and magickal focus points into your Samhain rituals for an extra boost of magickal power.

Magickal FocusCleansing, purification, renewal, protection, release, healing, confrontation
Suggested WorkingsDivination, purification
DeitiesCerridwen, Demeter, Hecate, Persephone, Psyche, Rhiannon, Hades, The Horned God
ColorsBlack, yellow, silver, grey, white
HerbsGarlic, mugwort, myrrh, rosemary, sage, wormwood, yarrow
CrystalsCarnelian, jet, moonstone, obsidian, onyx
AnimalsCats, owls, ravens spiders
Tarot KeysDeath, The High Priestess, Wheel of Fortune
FoodsApples, fermented foods, nuts, pumpkins
ActivitiesDivination, scrying, apple bobbing, seances, bonfires, extra place at the table for the ancestors
Samhain Rituals
Connect with your ancestors and offer them your gratitude by setting a place at your table for them during Samhain.

Lovelies, I hope that I’ve been able to provide you with some Samhain inspiration. Remember, the most important part of any ritual is aligning with your own energy and trying to be as fully present in the moment as you can. Samhain is a beautiful period for introspection, giving thanks, and connecting with the spirit realm. Allow your intuition to guide the way and enjoy it!