What Is Samhain 2022? The Spiritual Meaning of Halloween, Explained

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Blessed be! As the eve of October 31 approaches, the pagan holiday of Samhain (pronounced as “sah-win”). As Samhain approaches, you may notice the veil thinning between our world and the spirit realm. Spooky signs or omens could appear in the coming days as the spirits make their presence felt, so you may be delving into the spiritual meaning of Halloween and Samhain 2022. Use this time to pay attention to anything deemed hauntingly spectacular that can be part of your Samhain celebrations.

Originally known as an ancient festival and pagan festival, Samhain is making a modern comeback as today’s witches acknowledge the traditional anniversary. Think of Samhain as the original Halloween, but one of the key differences between them is that Samhain has a much deeper meaning than costumes and trick or treating. Samhain recognizes the spiritual influences in our everyday lives and encourages us to reap the rewards of the past year.

Similar to Halloween, Samhain focuses on celebrating our ancestors and spiritual connections through dancing, drinking and eating. However, Samhain is more occult in focus, as this pagan holiday celebrates how spiritual influence has influenced our achievements by honoring ancestors and deities. By October 31st, you might be more than ready to say goodbye to the past year and welcome winter and the new year.

Spiritual meaning of Halloween Samhain

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What is Samhain? The story behind Halloween

Celebrated from October 31st to November 1st, Samhain was considered one of the most important ancient holidays in Celtic and pagan traditions. Corresponding history.com, “The ancient Celts described Samhain as the most important of the four quarterly fire festivals, which take place midway between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. During this season, hearth fires in family homes were allowed to burn out while the harvest was brought in.”

hereditary witch, Sunshine of EstardaviShe claims Samhain was the holiday that “marked the turning of the wheel of the year”. During these celebrations, the last harvest was gathered while dead brushwood was removed from gardens and orchards. “Since this was one of the last tasks before winter, the fruits of their labor over the past year would be shared collectively. What better way to celebrate the end of a happy harvest than with a feast of drinks and dancing!” exclaims Estardavis.

Wheel of the Year Pagan Calendar

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History.com also reports that the celebrations would last a few days, as Samhain is often considered a “gluttonous” holiday. Everyone was expected to participate in one way or another to say thank you, otherwise they might be vulnerable to the wrath of the spirit realm. Like Beltane, Samhain is believed to be a time when the veil between our world and the spirit world is thinnest, allowing the spirits to partake of the Jubilee. Offerings were given to other creatures such as fairies to avoid possible troubles during the celebrations.

Whether ancient or modern, Samhain is a happy holiday! As the celebrations begin, you may begin to feel lighter and freer. Spend Samhain thanking your Guides for their support while also keeping an eye on what you want to accomplish or work on in the year ahead.

Samhain Altar Ritual for Halloween

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ritual to celebrate samhain

If you want to observe and celebrate Samhain on October 31st, you have a few options depending on location and practice. “A Samhain ritual can be performed [if] They live in a rural area or a city apartment,” Estardavis says of beginner-friendly rituals for Samhain. Regardless of where your ritual takes place, Estardavis recommends gathering these tools or ingredients:


parchment paper

Black ink pen

bread or cake

A nice bottle of wine or non-alcoholic grape juice

A candle (or other type of enclosed fire)

Build a campfire or fire pit outside in your yard. It would be especially powerful if you use the fire to burn all the sticks in your yard [since] The ancient pagans used this holiday to clear away their dead, dry vines and brush after the last harvest of the year,” Estardavis explains. If you can’t keep a bonfire outside, Estardavis recommends finding a candle that represents your Samhain light to represent the bonfire. Depending on what you intend to do with your Samhain candle, you can use color magic to add depth to your Samhain ritual! Consider using black for protection, white for purity, or brown for grounding when choosing a candle for your ritual. If you’re using a candle, you may also need a fireproof bowl to burn small tokens during your ritual.

Once the fire has started, Estardavis encourages taking a moment to reflect on the past year. “As you sit and stare into the fire, invite the deities and ancestors to join you during this magical time. Start reflecting on the past year by going through each month and giving thanks for all the blessings you are reaping during that time.” While honoring the reflection of the fire, Estardavis encourages everything that you could have handled better, or anything that no longer serves you to write on the parchment with your black ink pen. Noticing who and what no longer serves you is a way to honor separation during your Samhain ritual.

Burning Paper Samhain Ritual

Photo: Getty Images.

“Take the papers and burn them in the fire. Get up and raise your hands to the sky [to release] all the stress and negativity from yourself. As you lower your hands again, invite the blessings of your deities [and ancestors] into your life for the coming New Year,” Estardavis continues. If you don’t feel safe burning the parchment inside in a fireproof bowl, you can also tear up the parchment and throw it out an open window to let the wind carry those pieces of parchment away from you. Now that the thinking and letting go has begun, let the celebration begin! The second part of the ritual begins with opening the drink of your choice and asking your deities or ancestors to bless your drink and food.

If you’re partying outside, Estardavis suggests sharing your food and drink with the earth. “Share your wine and cake with the earth, drinking a glass for yourself and pouring a glass on the earth, giving the goddess a drink. Take the cakes and eat one for yourself [while] to offer the nearest to the earth. Crumble [the cake] on the floor next to the wine.” If you’re celebrating Samhain indoors, Estardavis recommends pouring a glass and setting some food aside to share with the goddess. You can keep the food and drink outside overnight and scatter the leftovers outside the next day. After that, turn on some music and dance! Dancing is an excellent way to acknowledge your accomplishments during the harvest while letting go of anything that hasn’t served you over the past year.

“The best news is that if you thank and bless your ancestors and deities, you will have a lot of help in making that happen [new] Goals that you have set yourself,” Estardavis said. Enjoy the euphoria of Samhain as you beckon the renewed energy of wintertime!

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Sarah Ridley

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