I'm on the road!

I'll be away from the computer for a couple weeks, so comment approval and replies will be delayed a spell (ba dum tss). But don't worry! There's fresh cookies on the counter and milk in the fridge. Make yourself comfortable, and I'll see you when I return! =D Happy Casting! ♥

The Witch's Guide to Samhain

As the cool air swaddles nature, welcoming the fall with a crisp autumnal embrace, the scent of magick permeates the atmosphere. We sense it in the trees, the way their orange leaves sway upon the branches one last time before taking flight, fluttering to the ground in a ritualistic dance of fall-painted beauty. We can feel it on our skin as the weather turns dry and nature softly exhales, hinting at the impending winter with sacred, frost-laced breath. Above all, we feel it in our souls, the way The Wheel churns around us, humming with life as the veil thins and the world brims with magick just before its winter slumber.

Autumn is undoubtedly a special time of year. It's a cozy cluster of days celebrated with the comfy aspects of life—luscious slices of gooey apple pie, soft woolen blankets clutched across our shoulders on dreary October nights, pumpkin bread and cinnamon coffee and hay rides and corn mazes and haunted houses!

Whew, getting a bit winded over here. Just so darn pumped!

If you're new to Paganism or simply need a brush-up, let's sit down together over a mug of London fog tea and a slice of banana bread while we discuss The Witch's Guide to Samhain!

Samhain (pronounced sow-in) is a cross-quarter sabbat that is celebrated on October 31st. On this sabbat we honor the death of the God, acknowledge death as a necessary stage in the cycle of life, and celebrate our ancestors and those loved ones who have transcended before us. Just as The Wheel turns, demonstrating that nothing in this realm is constant, our lives too will eventually cease, though our souls remain eternal. We acknowledge this unconditional truth on Samhain and address our own discomfort that often accompanies our mortality.  

As Samhain nears, the veil between our plane and then next thins to near transparency, granting us easier communication with those beyond. Now is the time to honor your loved ones, letting them know their life on this earth may have ended but your love for them has not. This post has five meaningful (and cost-free!) ways you can honor your ancestors on this sacred night. In an altar kind of mood? Check out my Natural Samhain Altar and let nature guide you! Or make a super simple Souls' Feast Pumpkin Sacrifice.

Although we are honoring the proverbial death of the God (who will be reborn on Yule, the Winter Solstice), we are also aware every ending is a new beginning. Thus, Samhain is often referred to as the Witches' New Year. And because the veil is thin, gifting us with heightened energies from the other side, Samhain is commonly seen as a time for divination and foretelling. Cast runes, try your hand at scrying, or break out your tarot deck to see what the coming year holds. Looking for some inspiration? Take a peek at the Autumn Moon Pumpkin Tarot Spread!

Just as we observe in nature, life is about balance, which is why this somber sabbat doesn't have to be all melancholia and sorrow. Decorate your home in red, orange, and yellow hues (representing the sun, which represents the God) as well as black and brown, which signifies death and our return to the earth. Seasonal vegetables such as pumpkins, winter squashes, apples, pears, and cranberries are all appropriate treats for your Samhain feast. Feeling sentimental? Treat yourself to the tart red flesh of a pomegranate, which is a Greek mythological symbol for the underworld. Legend says leaving a pomegranate outside your door on Samhain night protects your home and family from evil in the coming year.

If the fresh scents of autumn put you in the mood to conjure, whip up a batch of Samhain Protection Salt, a spell that keeps giving all year long!  And it's pretty. See:

Lastly, I just wouldn't be the Penniless Pagan if I didn't give you a few good tips on how to celebrate without spending a dime. And since I like you, I'll do you one better! Here's ten ways to celebrate without spending a dime!

If you simply can't get your fill of Samhain, make merry with meaning and simplicity by picking up a copy of Samhain Traditions: 13 Simple & Affordable Halloween Spells & Rituals for the Witches' New Year. Available in e-book and paperback! Every sale helps keep the blog stocked-up on free material, so thank you for your support! ♥

Whether you choose to spend your Samhain with candied apples and rowdy children, or you settle in for a quiet evening of deeply spiritual ritual, I hope you have a wonderfully magickal Samhain eve!

Happy Samhain, everyone! 

How do you celebrate Samhain: fun and gleeful, sweet and somber, or a little of both?

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.
NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase a product I make a small percentage that helps keep this blog running (but does NOT affect your cost). Thank you for your support!

Souls' Feast Pumpkin Sacrifice

Oh, Samhain! How I love thee!

What isn't there to love about this magical time of year? Pumpkin bread and spiced apple cider. Crimson and gold foliage. Apple picking. Farmers' markets. Craft fairs. Blankets and bonfires and s'mores! You can honor your departed loved ones with sacred ritual and a few minutes later find yourself giggling on the couch with a bowl of buttered popcorn and a Halloween flick. It's just flipping fantastic!

With so many wonderful festivities, it's easy to feel overwhelmed when planning a Samhain ritual. But there's no need to over complicate it! If you're looking for a sentimental yet simple way to honor the sabbat, Souls' Feast Pumpkin Sacrifice is for you!

Legend says the souls of the departed walk the earth on Samhain night, taking advantage of the thinned veil to find their loved ones. Leaving a snack for departed souls to nosh on during their journey on this plane is a simple tradition I embrace every year. It’s also believed by many to be the origins of trick-or-treating. 

Of course, if you’re looking for supreme simplicity, you can leave a plate with a few veggies outside and return to your Halloween festivities. But since this is arguably the most important sabbat of the year, why not take a few extra minutes to add some beauty to this honored ritual?

What You’ll Need:
Miniature pumpkin
Food for sacrifice*
Knife/spoon for carving

*If you choose to leave your sacrifice outside or have pets in your home, PLEASE avoid foods considered poisonous to many animals, in particular dogs and cats. You can find a complete list on the ASPCA website, but the most common offenders are raisins, chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, coffee, alcohol, and anything containing artificial sweeteners (especially aspartame and xylitol).
Note: Dried cranberries are depicted in the photo above, not raisins.

How to Conjure: 
Carefully cut a circle around the stem of your pumpkin and remove the seeds and innards. Set seeds aside for a delectable batch of Samhain Seed Spell (which can be found in Samhain Traditions).

Select your desired foods for the sacrifice and arrange inside the hollowed-out pumpkin. I like to use season fruits and vegetables because it’s festive and is generally incorporated into my Samhain meal, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Just please ensure it is safe for pets and wildlife if you intend to leave your pumpkin outside! 

Here is a list of generally safe, recommended items:

Seeded apples**
Seeded pears**
Cranberries (pictured above)

**Apple and pear seeds are considered poisonous to dogs and should therefore be removed.

Place your Souls' Feast Pumpkin on an interior windowsill or altar as a symbol of your sacrifice. If you choose to leave this sacrifice outside, I recommend placing it away from your home since it may attract critters. 

Once your pumpkin is situated, stand before your sacrifice and say the following simple incantation:

In honor of your life, I offer you a sacrifice on this Samhain night.

Leave your Souls' Feast Pumpkin for a few hours (or overnight) before respectfully disposing of it.

Disposing of your pumpkin in a field or wooded area is a great way to honor the night while nourishing Mother Nature. Burying or composting is another suitable option, as this will breakdown in the ground and feed insects. Lastly, you can simply eat the food yourself! While it is true sacrifices generally remove any benefit to ourselves, this isn’t always the case. In this situation, the sacrifice is symbolic. It’s not offensive to eat the food, thus putting the sacrifice to use; it’s offensive to throw the food in the trash and be wasteful. =/ So grab some dip and enjoy those carrot sticks, my snacky friend!

Wishing you all a blessed, magickal Samhain!

Looking for more ways to celebrate Samhain? Check out Samhain Traditions: 13 Simple & Affordable Halloween Spells & Rituals for the Witches' New Year! Every purchase helps keep PennilessPagan.com alive and supplied with tons of free material, so thank you! ♥

Do you offer a sacrifice on Samhain? What's your favorite way to honor your ancestors?

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.
NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.

The Witch's Guide to Mabon

Do you have a mug of apple cider? If you don't, I need you to immediately get up and find yourself a cup of apple-y goodness or a pumpkin-spiced treat before you begin this post. Go ahead...I'll wait.

*Sips cider*

Mabon is here, which means it's time for nutmeg, autumn leaves, and some serious sweater weather! And isn't that the best part of autumn—coziness, fall beauty, and scrumptious baked goods?!

Mabon is the first official day of fall, even if Samhain decorations have been in stores for a solid 6 weeks by now.

Seriously, retail industry, we're not going to forget the major holidays. Can you chill out a little bit? Live in the moment, man. Find your zen, dude. 

Anyone else smell patchouli?

Anyway, the autumn equinox (or what we Pagans call Mabon) is when sunlight and nighttime are equal. After today, the darkness will overcome the light by roughly a minute per day as The Wheel churns towards winter. As nature (Goddess) begins to slow down and harvests become less plentiful, the God begins his transition towards physical death, which we acknowledge on Samhain. Mabon is also referred to as the Witches' Thanksgiving, a time when we embrace gratitude for all the bounties in our lives (edible and otherwise!). 

Mabon occurs between September 20-23. Like the vernal equinox, Mabon is about finding balance in your life, which often manifests as a need to balance work and home life in our modern go, go, go era. But take a few moments on this cool autumn morning to reflect on your own personal circumstances. Is there an area that's been overlooked? Now is the time to give that aspect of your life a little love. Not sure where to begin? Why not ask your Guides for some direction by using this Autumn Moon Tarot Spread?

If you're looking to incorporate the colors of Mabon into your home or altar, the supplies are just outside your door! Rich crimson, golden yellow, vibrant orange, and grounding brown are the hues of the season! Fallen leaves, acorns, apples, gourds, maize/corn, and even pine cones are all appropriate equinox decorations. Need some inspiration? Check out this natural Mabon altar!

Interested in celebrating this Mabon with a festive nosh? Whip up the flavors of autumn with earthy pumpkin, roasted nuts, corn, late summer berries, squash, cinnamon, and nutmeg to commemorate this quarter sabbat. Better yet, why not weave some magick into your autumnal meal? Check out these edible spells for some tasty castings!

If dirtying a pile of dishes isn't your thing, don't fret! I've got TEN ways for you to celebrate this hoodie-weather sabbat without spending a dime! 

Whether you cast and conjure your Mabon away or simply stroll through your neighborhood and enjoy the crisp autumn air, I hope you have a magickally-filled, apple-scented, fallen-leaves kind of Mabon!

Blessed Mabon, everyone! 🍂🍎

What's your favorite way to celebrate Mabon? What are you most thankful for?

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.
NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.

Some of the above links are affiliate links, which means I make a small percentage AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. Affiliate links help keep PennilessPagan.com alive and supplied, so thank you!!♥

Elemental Magick (Use What the Good Goddess Gave you!)

So we bought the cat an RV...

That's how I like to start this story, mostly because it's true. Our furry feline child was our biggest concern when on the prowl for a used RV. I mean, I have books stuffed in the microwave (fact) and my husband sleeps in the shower (not fact), but by god the cat has floor space!

...I promise this will be short, and I swear I have a point! 

After far too many reluctant years in the desert (due to my husband's career, wherein we had no say in where we lived), we are finally free to return to green grass and wise trees and ocean tides and rain and butterflies and f-ing unicorns, because we are leaving the Southwest!

Gone, witches! G.O.N.E.

Sometimes the stars beautifully align and there's a small window of precious opportunity just screaming to be noticed. This is one of those times. I always envision perfectly-timed circumstances to look something like that mechanism from 13 Ghosts. You have a short fraction of a second to jump through the hoops while they lay flat, otherwise you'll be torn to shreds by the gears.

Kind of an odd way to look at life, hm?

Warped mind aside, we had this perfect alignment of opportunities that allow us to travel the country for a year. It was fortuitous and we are deeply grateful. But we also worked REALLY hard to get ourselves in the financial position to do so. As I was once told, "The important things in life rarely come easily." That's okay; hard work builds character and gratitude.

So we are off to chase the rain, my friends! And I'll be sharing our nature-steeped adventures on Facebook (and here, of course) as we hike throughout this beautiful country, reconnecting with nature, discovering incredible places (like Hoh Forest!), and drinking an irresponsible amount of coffee. So make sure to follow me! And, of course, check back on this blog because it will continue to be updated with loads of spell-tastic material while we're on the road!

Did this broad really just say "spell-tastic"? 

*Mumbles to self* I knew it was wrong as I was typing it.

...I hang my head in shame.

Side note, did you know Teddy Roosevelt lost his mother and wife on the SAME day? To heal this terrible heartache he immersed himself in nature, which (along with the strong influence from naturalist John Muir) is how we came to have our wonderful National Parks Service today! Nature is unquestionably a place of healing, and my husband and I are very grateful to be able to do a little spiritual sprucing amongst Mother Nature's fertile splendor.  

To celebrate our return to the trees, I created a quick reference guide entitled Elemental Magick. While this printable PDF is by no means exhaustive (because that would be an entire book!), it is an easy reference to help you cast and conjure entirely from natural (thus free!) spell supplies. Use it like an encyclopedia and craft your spells based on the desired qualities found within each natural entity.  

This free PDF download was inspired by conversations with a lovely reader named Gea, a single mother doing her very best to raise a mini witch with all the love and respect she holds for nature. As the Penniless Pagan motto goes, worshipping nature shouldn't cost you a dime! Embracing your spirituality and casting a totally kick-ass spell is entirely possible without the use of expensive crystals and cauldrons (though those are a fun indulgence!). This guide will help you get started on your path to completely free witchcraft! And please don't forget the two most important tools you will ever use for magick are your hands (to direct and concentrate energy) and your mind (to visualize your manifestation). See, you are your own little spell kit. ♥

Print a copy of Elemental Magick to paste into your Book of Shadows. Or keep a copy on your phone for when inspiration strikes. Just make sure to notate your own personal associations with each ingredient as they reveal themselves to you!

Transcribed from my own personal Book of Shadows, I sincerely hope you enjoy Elemental Magick. It's my gift to you, a token of appreciation for your readership. Have I mentioned lately that you guys are awesome?! =D

...And so are trees. Which is where I'll be if you need me. But don't worry! I have plenty of blog posts yet to come, so make sure to check back for new spells and rituals every month! 

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some rain to catch up on. ;)

Looking for more low-cost ways to cast and conjure? Check out By the Light of the Moon and Samhain Traditions. Each purchase helps keep the blog alive and supplied, so thank you! ♥

What's your favorite cost-free spell supply? Do you prefer completely natural spells or spells that include fun items like crystals and candles?

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.
NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.
Some of the above links are affiliate links, which means I make a small percentage AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. Affiliate links help keep PennilessPagan.com alive and supplied, so thank you!!♥