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What is Samhain

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Samhain is the Witches’ New Year of course!

Many people will ask “what is Samhain?”, “is it Halloween?”, “Is Samhain celebrated down in the Southern Hemisphere?”. Let’s dive in to what it’s all about and how it works down in the south.

Samhain, is directly opposite to Beltaine on the Celtic and Neo Pagan/Wicca Wheel of the Year. Think of it as Beltaine’s dark twin. Pronounced “sah-win” (Depending on dialect), Samhain marks the beginning and the first of the Fire Festivals of the Traditional Celtic New Year, the most magical and most important time of the year.

So what is Samhain?

A three day celebration of death and rebirth, Samhain is a time of endings, reflection of mortality, and releasing that which no longer serves in the mundane world. It’s a time of new beginnings and setting our intentions to focus in a refreshed and renewed destiny.

During the season of Samhain, the veil between the world of the dead and the living is at its thinnest. Meaning, communication between worlds comes a lot easier. However, remember to always use protection magic before, and banishing magic after as you don’t want any entities hanging around.

Now, you maybe still wondering is Samhain is Halloween and the answer is… yes, and no (I’ll talk about Halloween later on). Unfortunately those of us here in the Southern Hemisphere tend to get a little confused, even more so when we have children. Australians use the traditional date for Halloween and those dates do not coincide with the seasons. Going Trick or Treating isn’t as spooky during October for the kids due to the sun not setting till 9.30pm. Yet, getting them to dress up and go door knocking for candy in April is just unheard of and confusing for the kids.

Because of the traditional dates and the difference in seasons, some witches will celebrate both. Samhain being for what it is, spiritual and apart of their craft and Halloween as a commercial holiday for kids and trick or treating. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, never let another tell you otherwise.

So when is it?

Traditionally, Samhain lands on the 31st of October, in the Northern Hemisphere. In the South, however, veil is at its thinnest between April 30th and May 1st. During this time, divination, scrying and communicating with our ancestors is at its highest point.

With the veil now at it’s thinnest, we divine answers, making contact with our ancestral spirits, embracing our heritage in celebration with those who have crossed over into the spirit world. Here, in Australia, Samhain lands very close to Australia’s and New Zealand’s Day of Remembrance for our fallen in war, ANZAC Day on April 25.

What to do on Samhain

An old ancient rite tells of writing a message to our departed loved ones on a piece of paper and casting it into the cauldron’s fire. As the paper burns, your message is released and will be acknowledged by the recipient. You can also write your intentions for change, renewal and release in this same fashion.

One of the most simplest ways to communicate with those who have crossed over to the otherworld, our family and friends, is by using a pendulum or a Ouija Board. To learn more about pendulums and how to use them, head over to the Pendulum Magic page.

Other magical and enchanting things to do during this time include, craving faces into pumpkins to create lanterns or decorating your altar with apples, pomegranates and other things to call in spirits of those that have passed.

Samhain Associations

Crystals and Gemstones


  • Black
  • Orange
  • Scarlet
  • Brown
  • Gold

Herbs, Fruits and Spices:

  • Mugwort
  • Calendula or Marigold
  • Apple
  • Bay
  • Pomegranate
  • Cypress
  • Allspice
  • Mullein
  • Clove
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Cedar
  • Wormwood
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Nettle

Best time of the year!

So when it comes to Samhain, whether it be from the North or the South Hemisphere, open your minds eye to the otherworld and journey beyond the veils edge. Burn some candles, write what you want released from your life, honour your ancestors!
During this powerful time, so many questions and truths are made clear! Always remember to cleanse yourself and the home to ensure no unwanted guests remain.

Disclaimer: I am not Wiccan. I try my very best to stick to the tradition that was taught to me by family, and that is the Celtic path before the neopagans. I have adapted somethings over the years but correct seasonal representation is important to me. You do not have to follow anything written within these blogs.

Many Blessings,
Sorcerous Sundries

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