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Simple Samhain Rituals and Traditions for Solitary Practitioners

Updated on May 15, 2013
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Kitty has extensively studies the history, traditions and celebration of modern holidays. She also studies and celebrates pagan sabbats.

Samhain Rituals & Traditions

Samhain Meal
Samhain Meal | Source
Samhain Jack O' Lanterns
Samhain Jack O' Lanterns

Simple Samhain Rituals & Traditions - Do They Exist?

Samhain, All Hallows Eve, Hallowe'en. October 31st has had many names throughout the centuries, but the underying roots of the holiday still remain in tact. Whether you know about the origins of Halloween or not, the beginnings of Halloween can be contributed to a Celtic Pagan holiday/festival known as Samhain (pronounced SOW-en or Sah-wen).

Since Paganism has made its glorious comeback in the twentieth century, more and more Pagans are coming out of the woodworks (or broom closets, whichever phrase you prefer) and Halloween marks the Celtic New Year and the third major harvest festival for many of them.

If you are Pagan and plan on partaking in the Samhain festivities with a group or circle of like-minded folks, blessed be to you. Many of us, however, do not have the privilege of celebrating Samhain with a group or circle, so we have to find Samhain rituals for ourselves. If you are a beginner Pagan or if you don't have enough time or privacy this Samhain, you might be searching for a simple Samhain ritual or rituals and some simple Samhain traditions. Here are some easy and relatively inexpensive ideas...

Simple Samhain Traditions - Ideas

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Simple Samhain Traditions - Samhain Activities for the Family

Samhain can be an event for the whole family, whether your family still calls it "Halloween" or not. Some very simple Samhain traditions include traditions that many families and communities already perform for Halloween! What do I mean exactly?

In addition to the normal Samhain traditions such as carving pumpkins, bobbing for apples is a great example of a simple Samhain tradition that is appropriate for the whole family, and cheap to boot. Get yourself a washbasin or your cauldron, fill it with water, throw in some apples and BAM! A simple Samhain tradition for the entire family that's handy if you have family members that aren't Pagan as it doesn't scream out "I'M A WITCH" but is good, clean Halloween fun.

Another fun and simple Samhain tradition to have is to light a bonfire and gather 'round. Fire, specifically a bonfire, is symbolic of the sun and is a great way to pay homage to the god for providing his light and warmth to us this year. Roast some marshmallows, tell some ghost stories or stories of the God and Goddess (depending on how you're raising your family and who you're with), and since Samhain is the new year, throw some of your old troubles from this year (written on a piece of paper or wood) into the fire and watch them diminish. Make your new years resolutions now and will them to be!

Another simple Samhain tradition, though a little unorthodox, is to visit a graveyard or cemetery. While this may seem spooky, do it during the day and visit one of your passed loved ones out of respect. The veil between the worlds may be at its thinnest, but Samhain is a time to remember those who have passed and honor them in your own way. It doesn't need to be a creepy Samhain tradition, simply an honorable one. Leave some sort of treat for your loved one, or if you don't have a loved one, leave a treat at a random gravestone...I'm sure they'd be grateful!

How about throwing a small celebratory Samhain party for your family? Or simply making a large Samhain meal? A Samhain meal could consist of anything reminding you of Autumn...breads, squashes, leafy green vegetables, corn, herbed chickens or meat, apple cider, candied apples, pumpkin pie, apple pie, acorn squash, green beans, etc. Make it delicious and make it a Samhain meal worth remembering and doing every year!

An ancestor shrine for Samhain
An ancestor shrine for Samhain | Source

Simple Samhain Rituals

So you're a solitary Wiccan or Pagan and have no one to truly celebrate Samhain with? Do it yourself...you're already doing it now so why not celebrate Samhain by yourself to? A simple Samhain ritual could consist of nothing fancier than lighting your pumpkins, lighting some candles, burning some incense and being grateful for the harvest from this year. Look ahead at next year and make resolutions to be more spiritual or healthier, etc. Set out a plate and some food for your passed ancestors during your dinner and be thankful for the cycle of life, death, and rebirth...revere it. Build an altar specifically to honor the ancestors.

If you can go outside, after everyone's inside, sit beside the fire or light a candle and do your normal routine - ground, center, and draw your circle. Call the quarters and welcome the God and Goddess. Write your own rite ahead of time, have it on a piece of paper or memorize it. Or borrow a rite from your favorite author, such as Silver Ravenwolf, Scott Cunningham, or others. It doesn't have to be complicated and elaborate, just gets the point across. A simple Samhain ritual is all you need to do to honor the god and goddess and those who have gone before you. Blessed Be and Happy Samhain!


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  • kittythedreamer profile image
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    Nicole Canfield 17 months ago from the Ether

    esatchel - Thank you so much! Happy Samhain

  • esatchel profile image

    PDGreenwell 17 months ago from Kentucky

    The rituals and traditions you offer are so familiar and comforting that anyone could be included and enjoy!

  • kittythedreamer profile image
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    Nicole Canfield 3 years ago from the Ether

    Thanks, Lessa Bella Streghia! :) Happy Samhain.

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    Lessa Bella Streghia 3 years ago

    This information was very helpful as I am a solitary practitioner and the ritual in Laurie Cabot's book is rather elaborate. So, solo I will go with your suggestions. Thank you and Blessed Samhain. Gentle Blessins to all.

  • kittythedreamer profile image
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    Nicole Canfield 3 years ago from the Ether

    Sweet!

  • WiccanSage profile image

    Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

    I'm getting geared up for my decorating and sabbat plans. Great hub~ as usual.

  • kittythedreamer profile image
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    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    gryphin423 - That's awesome! I wish I could have a Samhain dinner and openly invite people. Most of my family is Christian and so if I told them I was having a Pagan Sabbat dinner, they wouldn't be too thrilled...or they would just think me very strange. Either way, it doesn't matter to me, but I don't want to put strains on my relationships because of my unique spiritual path, you know what I mean? Thanks so much for sharing, though. That is inspiring. Blessed Be.

  • gryphin423 profile image

    gryphin423 5 years ago from Florida

    Thank you for this great hub. My brother and his family have always had a Samhain dinner each year and it has gotten so big that they have had to start limiting the invites. Great suggestions. Blessed be!

  • kittythedreamer profile image
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    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    Seafarer Mama - That's wonderful. So awesome to hear that you're family is drawn together by the pagan holidays. :) Another great way to honor your ancestors - simply remember them by adding them to a meditation or simply saying a prayer to the god and goddess for your ancestors and their endeavors beyond death. :) Blessed Be.

    Nell - Yes, great point about Oestre's bunny familiar...forgot to add that part! I did however have that in my Ostara hub. :) Funny too that "Easter" is actually named after Oestre! Thanks for adding. Hope your Halloween is wonderful, too.

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

    Just came back to add to the comment above? the Goddess Oestre had a 'familiar' that was a rabbit, and as you say the eggs are a sign of fertility, hope you have a great halloween!

  • Seafarer Mama profile image

    Karen Szklany Gault 5 years ago from New England

    Hi Kitty,

    Thanks for this hub! I will also read your hub on Mabon, which is tomorrow. :0)

    Luckily, we are having a Samhain service at our Unitarian Church on October 30th...and I hope to bring my family to a Full Moon drumming circle on October 11th. :0)

    In the meantime, I guess the best way I can honor ancestors where I am is to set out a plate for them on October 31st. They are all buried in another state...so I cannot physically "visit" them where they are laid to rest. Is there anything else I can do to let them know I honor them?

    Blessed be!

  • kittythedreamer profile image
    Author

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    Lesleysherwood - Awesome. You're right, they don't realize...I've actually already written a hub on the Spring Equinox and the origins of Easter, as well as the origins of Valentine's Day...both being of Pagan origin. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    By the way, the eggs are an obvious sign of fertility...a major symbol of Ostara (the Spring Equinox). :)

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    Lesleysherwood 5 years ago

    This is such a good info. I dont think a lot of people realise where things originate. You should do hubs on all the celebrations. They all stem from pagan - Christmas etc. Even the Easter bunny's. Christ did die in that manner, but where do eggs come into it?

  • kittythedreamer profile image
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    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    Miss Nell Rose, Blessed Be to you, love! Awwww, don't say that. You can do something for yourself and make it fun. Throw a party or something, geez! I thought the British loved their parties, no? :) Happy Samhain and Halloween anyway!

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

    Hi, Blessed Be! yeah! this is great, I love halloween and all things pagan, the trouble is over here we are a miserable lot! lol nobody does anything anymore, we always held a great night in the local pub, but not any more, so I will probably be on my own as usual, but hey never mind!

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