Monday, October 23, 2017

5 (More) Ways to Celebrate Samhain (Without Spending a Dime)


Isn't Samhain the most wonderful time of The Wheel? Nutmeg-dusted pumpkin pie. Sweet apple cider. Sweatshirts. Cute boots. A warm mug of pumpkin-spiced latte. That crisp aroma of promise dancing through the trees, rattling the colorful leaves from their perch high upon a swaying branch.

Are you one of those people that kicks their way through a leaf pile like a leggy Rockette dancing her way down 5th Avenue? Best part of autumn, if you ask me—all those magical, wonderfully crunchy leaves skittering across pavement, each step releasing that blissful plume of sweet woodsy fragrance.

*sigh* I'm there...

As Samhain draws near and the veil between our world and the next thins to near transparency, celebration is probably on your mind. 

Well, celebration and miniature chocolate bars. Who doesn't love stuffing a whole minature Milky Way into their mouth?

If you're looking for the basics of Samhain, such as meaning, appropriate colors, and symbolic foods, head on over here. But if you're looking for 5 (more) ways to celebrate Samhain without spending a dime, you've come to the right place! Grab a mug of cinnamon tea, kick up those fuzzy-socked feet, snack on a slice of Pumpkin Pie Money Spell, and let's look at all the ways we can honor our departed loved ones as well as the cycle of life!

Carve a pumpkin
She's kidding, right? As if I don't already know carving a pumpkin on Samhain is like, well, carving a flipping pumpkin on Samhain!

Nope, I'm not kidding. Instead of your typical toothy jack-o-lantern, take a few extra moments to carve a loved one's initial into a pumpkin and honor them on this sacred Sabbat. 

Here's mine from last year. Now, please understand I had no intentions of sharing this photo, so it's not my best camera work. But I enjoyed this tribute so much that I decided I had to share it with you fine individuals. I will most definitely be including another memorial pumpkin in my Samhain rituals this year.



I didn't use a template; I simply drew out what I wanted and started hacking away, making sure enough of the "B" remained attached so it wouldn't break off during carving. Barley's beautiful soul walked this planet on four legs, hence the (albeit awkwardly carved) paw print. Feel free to get creative! If your grandfather loved fishing, center the letter in a fish cutout. Maybe use a maple leaf for a nature-loving friend. If you decide to carve a sentimental jack-o-lantern, please send me a photo! I'd love to see it!

Paper Pumpkin Cutouts
Whether you make pumpkin shapes from construction paper or buy some pre-designed pumpkin cutouts at the store, take a few moments to write your departed loved one's names on the decorations and tape them in a window. On this night of the thinned veil, legend says the departed spirits walk the earth, looking for their loved ones. Let them know they are remembered and missed. Feeling extra attuned with the season? Use fallen leaves instead!

Eat your feelings
Listen, we've all done it—eaten junk food to squelch our emotions. Plus it's Halloween and, you know, sugar.

If you're baking cookies for Samhain or any time during October, use a toothpick or butter knife to write your transcended loved ones' names into the cookies before baking. When you're ready to snack, take a moment to remember their life and what contributions they made to yours. Before digging in, simply say, "You are remembered."

Raise your vibrations by raising the roof
You know how shitty you feel after a loved one dies? That swampy-pile-of-regurgitated-doo-doo-sitting-in-the-summer-heat feeling of despair that only great loss can bring about? That makes it really difficult for spirits to communicate with us because our vibrational signature is churning at an extraordinarily low frequency. Like, Brad Garrett levels of low. 

If you're feeling the raw burn of a recent loss, nothing is going to shake you from that grief, and it's important to let yourself experience those painful emotions so you can heal. But if you're feeling just a touch blue because of the meaning of the Sabbat, now is the time to take a deep breath, think of a funny memory, and celebrate life. Their life. Your life. All life. 

Watch a funny Halloween movie (Hocus Pocus is a favorite!). Sing loudly to a goofy Halloween song ("Monster Mash" is routinely sung in my home during the month of October.). Dance. Take a walk. Call a friend. Whatever you need to do to embrace the beauty of life, take the time to do so. Because while sadness is a normal response, swimming in those dark waters too long can be very damaging—to your health, to your mind, to your spirit. Throw a bonfire. Host a movie marathon. Plan a costume party. Find something that makes you happy and chase it. Because the best way to honor the dead is by embracing life! 


Use a sigil
Carved into a candle, hidden in the soft inner flesh of a jack-o-lantern, or written on the bottom of a stone to be left on your doorstep, a sigil is a simple symbol used to cast...well, anything!

While you can find designated sigils on the internet, such as runes, I highly recommend creating your own, which is much easier than you may think! Simply combine the letters of your wish to form one cohesive symbol, as seen in the (messy) example below.
If you're feeling particularly jaded by the news inspired to spread the love, write a blessing sigil, such as "peace" or "health" in chalk on your front step or the sidewalk in front of your house to bless all those who walk over it! 

Personalized sigils are extraordinarily useful! I plan on writing an entire post dedicated to these hardworking little emblems, so keep an eye out! 


There you have it! Five simple ways to honor the Sabbat and you haven't even finished your mug of tea. Didn't I promise you simple?! Hope you have an apple-bobbing, wood-fire-scented, cozy-sweater-wearing, pumpkin-spiced-flavored kind of Samhain! 

Happy Samhain, everyone! 


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! ♥


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10 comments:

  1. Great suggestions, Michaela. I love the sigil idea. Now why haven't I thought of that? :/ Today, I start my countdown to Samhain, which means doing something—be it a spell, a meaningful craft, or a fun activity—every day to prepare for the wonderful sabbat. This blog's timing is perfect :)
    And now I have a burning desire to run outside and dive into a pile of fallen leaves, and then kick them around cancan style.

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    1. Okay, a Samhain countdown sounds flipping amazing! And if you bring the leaves, I'll jump with you. ;) Otherwise we'll be flailing around in cactus, which isn't nearly as fun as you'd imagine. =S Happy Samhain!

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    2. Flailing around in cactus just doesn't have the same appeal... don't know why. I'll bring the leaves :D
      Happy Samhain!

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  2. Happy Samhain! I love your blog, so thank you for writing it! Great tips another one I read in a book that I plan on doing is recycling aluminum soup/veggie/fruit etc cans and cleaning the label off then freezing water in them. The next day you just pop holes in them with loved ones initials or name and things they love just like your pumpkin idea. After the holes are punched you let it thaw then paint if you want. Hang it in a tree or on your porch with sand or kitty litter in the bottom and a tea light in it. Make sure to be careful with fire though as always.

    Blessed be and may the ancestors greet you with smiles!

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    1. Merry Meet, Kennen!

      The soup can idea sounds really pretty. Thanks for the suggestion! I'm all about battery-operated candles when it comes to unattended use, because I agree with you on the fire! =S

      Hope you have a wonderful, spirit-filled Samhain!

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  3. Good ideas and I love the idea of carving a loved ones intial into a pumpkin. :) I'm going to make a drink called "Demon's Blood" (I got the recipe from Kate West's The Real Witches' Kitchen) and bake some gingerbread.

    Happy Samhain!

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    1. Oh, I enjoy that book! Admittedly, I've never tried that recipe. But now I need to look it up! Enjoy your gingerbread(and Hocus Pocus! =P). Happy Samhain!

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  4. P.S. Hocus Pocus is one of my favourite Hallowe'en films too! :)

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