Samhain (pronounced sa-wen) is the Wiccan New Year. It is when the harvest comes to an end and the Earth begins her long winter sleep. Leaves turn color and fall from the trees, the remains of the crops are burned or plowed back into the fields to nourish the soil for spring planting.

It is a time to reflect on the past year, finish any old business, pay off any debts, let any grievances and ill feelings die. The idea being not to take any of the negativity from the previous year into the coming one so you can start a new.

At this time of year the veils between worlds become thinner, the spirits of those who have left this world may come through more easily. The Feast of the Dead is often held at this time of year to commune with those who passed on to the Otherworld and honor their memories. At this time of year many witches seek to commune with the ancestors be it our actual biological ancestors or the ancestors of the all the magical folk who have passed on before us.

It is also a time to contemplate our own mortality but to also remember that the end of one thing, though it may be sad, leads to a beginning of something new. For "death" does not always have to mean the end of life. We suffer little deaths all the time in our lives; be it the end of a love relationship or marriage, a job or even moving from one stage of our lives to another like leaving adolescence to become an adult. We recognize these "deaths" and reflect on what we have learned from them. Through death and ending comes change and knowledge.

It is also a time when many people seek to do divination to see what opportunities the coming year might hold. Because the veil between worlds is so thin at this time we can be more open to the influences from the beyond and can get a clearer view of what might lie ahead of us.

A Candle Spell for Samhain

Take one black or dark brown candle and one orange or white candle.

The black/brown candle is to draw out and ground all the unwanted influences in your life and send it back to the earth to be neutralized and rendered harmless. This spell is especially good if your luck for the last year seemed to be continually unfavorable or you have been ill or if you have had to end an unhealthy relationship (romantic or otherwise) with someone. All these things can leave behind unwanted energy residue and will help to bring final closure to the matter so you can start fresh.

Hold the candle with the point end away from you and anoint the candle from the bottom toward the tip moving away from you. Be sure to hold the candle firmly and envision it drawing all the unwanted influences out of you and out of your life locking them in the candle. If you like you can even inscribe into the wax of the candle something like "To draw away harmful energy and influences".

You can also write on a piece of paper all the harmful things you want to banish and ground out of your life and place it beneath the candle holder then burn the paper in the candle flame just before it goes out. After you have done this place the candle in the holder and say out loud the intent of your spell then light the candle and let it to burn itself out.

Now, getting back to orange/white candle. The forces of the Universe dislike having a vacuum so if you banish or ground something it's best to have something positive to fill in the space left behind. If you don't take control of this the Universe will decide what to put in it's place instead. While it maybe something good it could also be something not so good so it's best to decide for yourself what sort of influences you want to bring into your life. So the light colored candle will represent all the good things you want to bring into your life whether it's a new healthier love relationship, a new and better job or a healthier body.

Hold this candle as you did the first one with point away from you but this time anoint the candle from the top towards the bottom drawing good energy toward you. Infuse the candle with your thoughts and desires to attract all the helpful energies you want to come into your life. As before you may want to inscribe the candle with a phrase such as "To attract helpful beneficial energies into my life".

Write on piece or paper each influence you want and remember to be very specific about you want. If you simply ask for money then you might end up loosing a relative or family member just to gain the inheritance. If you ask for new lover you may just get another person who is readily available but still not the right kind of person you want and once again you'll end up unhappy. After you've written down what you want, place the paper beneath the candle holder of the light colored candle and leave it there until the candle burns out. After that you may leave it on the altar or seal it in an envelope until your wishes come true. When they do make an offering of thanks and then burn the paper. If you've put all your wishes on one piece of paper then cross off the one that has come true and place it back in the envelope. Ideally you might want to use one piece of paper for each wish and limit your wish making to only 3. No need to be greedy here, right?

If you wish, spend some time meditating on the changes you want to manifest into your life. Keep your thoughts focused and upbeat and remember to keep your intentions in the form of "power with" not "power over". That means not using your power to dominate or force your will over another as well making sure that your will brings about what you want in a way that does not cause harm or ill will to another. Remember, your intentions return to you threefold.

Another Spell for Samhain

It is the beginning of the new year and the end of the harvest season. The time when we, along with our Mother Earth, prepare for the coming winter. We see the trees begin to surrender their leaves, cast off because they are no longer needed. The dry leaves fall to the ground to be consumed by Mother Earth and transformed into nourishment for the trees and plants in the coming spring.

So taking a cue from Mother Earth think about the things in your life that you no longer need, those things that no longer serve you and shed them like the trees shed their leaves.

Write them down on a piece of paper. Bless them and cast them into a fire to be consumed. Cast them from you so that something new and more suited to your needs now, can take their place.