Sage has been a witch for 25 years. She enjoys writing informative articles to teach others the craft of the wise.
Samhain Magic and Spells
As the dark days set in and autumn turns to winter, many Pagans celebrate death as a part of the life cycle. We celebrate the final harvest, and we bid farewell to the Sun God as he grows weaker and prepares for his annual journey to the underworld. We bid farewell to nature as the earth is blanketed with leaves and the fields are stripped bare. We honor our ancestors who have gone before us.
At the start of winter, the veil between the worlds lifts, giving us glimpses into the past and future, allowing us to draw power from those who have gone before. Many believe there is no time more powerful for magic. If you plan to celebrate Samhain this year, here are some ideas for you to try.
When Is Samhain?
The Sabbat falls traditionally on or around October 31, depending on which path you follow, but keep in mind that the magic waxes into the season and wanes out. This means you can draw from Samhain energies for your spells and workings from mid-October through mid-November.
Samhain, the season of death and the promise of regeneration, is a good time for any spells to help you protect yourself or to break free of negative influences on your life. It doesn't matter if those influences are people, habits or circumstances; you can take the opportunity to banish them here or rid yourself of them altogether.
When Are Spells Most Powerful?
Protection spells are best done when the moon is full while banishing spells are great for a waning moon—particularly on a Saturday.
If the moon is waxing on Samhain and you want to take advantage of that energy, use it for spells to speed up the ending of things that have been dragging on and holding you back.
Samhain is also a great time to get in touch with your ancestors or perform divination. While the dark moon is a great time to indulge in these activities, since the veil is so thin, you can really do it at about anytime.
Samhain Herbs, Flowers, Trees, and Roots
Dittany of Crete
Grains in General
Squash (Especially Pumpkins)
1. Spirit-Drawing Incense
This is a great incense if you are seeking to commune with spirits this season. Caution: Make sure you are really ready to draw spirits before burning them.
You Will Need
- 1 part sandalwood powder
- 1 part ground wormwood
- 1 part lavender
Ground and blend in your mortar and pestle and then sprinkle on lighted incense coals. You can also throw a handful onto a burning fire, such as in your fireplace or an outdoor balefire. You can burn it to draw your ancestors, while using a divination tool, during meditation/trance work, or before sleep to promote contact during dreams.
2. Spirit-Banishing Incense
Burn this if you are worried that baneful spirits are bothering you during this season when the veil is thin, or follow up after burning Spirit Drawing Incense to ensure spirits return from whence they came.
You Will Need
- 3 parts Frankincense
- 2 parts sage
- 1 part ground angelica root
- 1 part St. John's Wort
- 1 part bay
If you feel a particularly malevolent spirit is about, you may add one part fumitory, or a pinch of garlic powder (just a pinch—it's strong!)
If your frankincense is not already thoroughly ground, let it air-dry overnight, then grind it in your mortar and pestle going counter-clockwise while focusing on banishing. After the frankincense is ground, add the other ingredients, one at a time, to incorporate and blend them. Burn to rid the area of unwanted spirits. If burning indoors, open all the windows.
3. Candy Corn Love-Drawing Shaker Jar Spell
In Witchcraft and magical herbalism, corn is generally used to draw things to you. Candy corn, made of corn syrup, because of its sweetness, is the perfect ingredient for a spell to draw a little love and romance into your life.
You Will Need
- 1 small jar with a tight-fitting lid
- 9 candy corns
- apple juice
- A few drops of pure vanilla extract
- Choose two out of the following love-drawing herbs: basil, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, catnip, jasmine, lavender, marjoram, rose petals, rosemary, thyme, wormwood
- Small piece of paper and pen
- If you're trying to attract a woman, a bay leaf
- If you're trying to attract a man, some ginger (ground or a small piece of fresh)
- A pinch of your own hair or nail clippings
- On or before Samhain, when the moon is waxing and almost full, sit in a quiet place, such as at your altar or on the ground in a park. Have all your supplies/ingredients on hand, but first meditate on what you desire: what do you envision you and your lover doing together? Try to work yourself up with the feelings you would feel if you already had your goal.
- When you have that feeling, start writing some qualities you desire in your lover on the paper: a sense of humor, honesty, faithful, hot in bed—it's up to you.
- When you're done, dab some vanilla on the paper in the shape of a heart or some other love-drawing symbol. Fold it toward you, turn the paper clockwise and fold it toward you again. Turn the paper clockwise and fold it toward you a third time. Put it in the jar.
- Hold the candy corn, bless it and call on it to draw sweet love to you. Place them in the jar.
- Hold your bottle of apple juice and bless it. Call on its connection to the Goddess Venus and the Element of Water to bring love into your life. Pour it in the jar a little more than halfway up (not full).
- Bless the herbs you have chosen (the two from the list, and the one to attract a male or female) and call on them to draw appropriate potential partners to you like a magnet.
- Add your own hair or nail clippings to connect your call for love to your personal energy.
- Close the jar tightly (don't open it again until you want to neutralize it). Bless it and announce, "This love-drawing jar is now complete and will clear obstacles between me and suitable partners."
- To activate the jar, shake it. You can leave it on your altar, or somewhere in your bedroom. Whenever you think of the love you want to attract, shake it. Shake it often—as you're walking by, before bed, when you wake up. The shaking gets the jar's energy moving and working for you.
Eventually, you may wish to neutralize the jar's energy—such as when you find a partner, you don't want to keep attracting new people. Simply open the jar and pour the contents into the ground, or in running water. Wash the jar. If properly cleansed, it can be used for another spell in the future.
Note: For those concerned about ethics, this spell does not target anyone in particular. It simply helps clear the path so that you and a potential partner can find each other. It does not manipulate feelings.
4. Jack-O-Lantern Warding Spell
If you feel you are being plagued by some malevolent spirit or energy, try this during the Samhain season to protect your home and send it away.
You Will Need
- Pumpkin carving tools
- Black votive candles
- Clove oil
- Black pepper
- Garlic cloves
- Hollow and carve your pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern the normal way. This is no time for cutesie pictures or artsy expressions. Just carve your basic scary face into it.
- In meditation, talk to your jack-o-lantern. Give him a name. Tell him his purpose—to ward off evil, fend off baneful magic, or banish unwanted spirits.
- Anoint your votive candle with clove oil, building energy as you rub it in. Empower it with your desire by simply visualizing your desire going down your arms, through your hands, into the candle. You might chant as you do this. This is the energy-raising part of the spell, so really focus on your goal and let it build.
- Place the candle inside your jack-o-lantern. Drop some garlic cloves and a few pinches of black pepper around it for good measure.
- Put your jack-o-lantern outside your door. Light the candle to release the energy. Let it burn out.
- For maximum effect, do this three nights in a row (putting in a newly anointed candle each night).
5. Traditional Fare: Soul Cakes
Soul cakes have been associated with this time of year forever, and some believe they might be the original treats that inspired trick-or-treating. They are wonderful for the Sabbat feast, or to place upon the altar as offerings to the dead.
- 2½ Cups All-Purpose Flour (sifted)
- 1½ sticks of butter (¾ cups)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. pumpkin or apple pie spice blend
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- Optional: dried cranberries, raisins or other small bits of dried fruit
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the flour, sugar, spice blend, cinnamon and salt to one bowl. Mix with a whisk to incorporate thoroughly.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until you form a coarse, crumbly blend.
- Mix in the egg and vinegar until the mixture is moistened and comes together into a firm dough ball.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill it for 30 minutes. Dust a clean counter surface with flour and roll out the dough so it is 1/40-inch thick. Using cookie rounds or a biscuit cutter, cut the dough into circle shapes.
- Use the handle of a spoon, the back of a knife, a spatula or some other thin, flat object to press a cross shape into each soul cake. If you like, you can add bits of dried fruit in a cross-shape.
- Place the cakes on a cookie sheet, leaving about 1½ inches spacing between them. Bake 12–15 minutes, until they're golden brown (you'll have to do them in batches).
- After they come out of the oven, transfer the soul cakes to a rack to cool. These can be stored in an air-tight container for about a week.
Blessed Samhain and Have a Happy Halloween!
If you are planning your Sabbat celebration and want more info and ideas, don't forget to check out my other Samhain articles, and look for more to come!
© 2018 Mackenzie Sage Wright
DAVID BRIMSON on April 18, 2020:
Interesting....... like so many of these x