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by Dr Leo Ruickbie

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Hallowe'en / Halloween

What is Hallowe'en (Halloween)? Witchology.com explains the history, traditions and superstitions, from the origins of Hallowe'en in the Celtic Samhain to the traditional spells of Hallowe'en:

Hallowe'en / Halloween

Known as Hallowe'en (UK spelling), Halloween (US spelling), or Samhain, the 31st of October is a traditional Pagan holy day and Witches' Sabbath. Explore the following links to find out more about this magical time of year.
Hallowe'en Contents

Hallowe'en Interview

Kate Whiting talks to a witchcraft expert to find out more about the original pagan festival and how you can recreate a more traditional Halloween.
Hallowe'en Interview

Origins of Hallowe'en

Hallowe'en, All Hallows, or All Hallows' Eve, this is an ancient Pagan holy day, corrupted by Christians. Find out how they did it and why.
Origins of Hallowe'en

What is Samhain?

Samhain is the Celtic New Year. It means "Summer's End". Traditions differ, but it is usually pronounced...
What is Samhain

Hallowe'en Spells

Hallowe'en is undoubtedly the most magical time of the year in many people's minds, but do you know what special, seasonal spells are traditionally cast? This time of year requires a certain sort of magic.
Hallowe'en Spells and Magic

A Wiccan Hallowe'en

"Eko, eko, Azarak... Dread Lord of the Shadows..." How do Wiccans celebrate Hallowe'en? Do they even call it Hallowe'en?
A Wiccan Hallowe'en

Hallowe'en Misinformation

Samhain is not the Celtic God of Death. Hallowe'en is not a festival of evil. These and other common misunderstandings explained, and misinformation refuted.
Hallowe'en Misinformation

Hallowe'en Traditions

What are the origins of "Trick or Treat"? Dressing up, love oracles, pumpkins, Jack-O-Lanterns and footsteps of the dead... Find out more about the old folk traditions of Hallowe'en.
Hallowe'en Traditions

Hallowe'en Near You

Want to go to a Hallowe'en party or a Samhain ritual? The Witchology event guide brings together the spookiest destinations across the world. Find out where the nearest magical Hallowe'en event to you is with one click here.
Hallowe'en Events Guide

Hallowe'en on the Internet

What are the hot search trends this Hallowe'en (Halloween)? Read our report to find out who's typing what into Google for 31 October.
Hallowe'en on the Internet

Hallowe'en Gift Ideas

It's Hallowe'en and I don't have a thing to wear? Need some seasonal gift ideas? You won't find these unique designs in the shops.
Hallowe'en Gifts

Hallowe'en in Your Inbox

Don't have time to read all of this now? Want a copy to read later? Add your email to our mailing list and we'll send you this page and all the Hallowe'en (Halloween) information on the Witchology.com website.

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Free Hallowe'en Downloads

History of Hallowe'en
Find out about the history and meaning of Hallowe'en (Halloween) and Samhain. Based on a Press Association interview with Dr Leo Ruickbie in 2008.
Download pdf (540kb)

Hallowe'en / Halloween Spells
Hallowe'en is traditionally a time of spells and magic. Learn more about these old seasonal charms and modern Wiccan spellcraft for Samhain.
Download gif (352kb)
Download pdf (461kb)
More free downloads

Books for Hallowe'en:

History of Witchcraft BookOpen Source WiccaHistories of the Barbarians
Beowulf

Witchcraft to Go:


Climbing Claus

Click here for more designs

Halloween and Samhain at Witchology Hallowe'en / Halloween / Samhain

Known as Hallowe'en (UK spelling), Halloween (US spelling), or Samhain, the 31st of October is a traditional Pagan holy day and Witches' Sabbath. Explore the following links to find out more about this magical time of year.

A Wiccan Hallowe'en?

How do Wiccans Interpret Hallowe'en (Halloween)?

Most people celebrate Halloween as a children's holiday of candy and costumes. However, I will be celebrating tonight as Samhain ("Sow-wen"), the Celtic New Year, the night for remembering loved ones past and looking toward the future. For I am a Neo-pagan, a follower of the Old Religion, a Wiccan. I am a Witch.

Cecylyna Brightsword, 'A Witch's Thoughts on Halloween'.

November Eve, All Hallows' Eve, the Gaelic fire festival of Samhain, now generally called Halloween, represents the summer's end, when the Earth Goddess turns over her reign to the Horned God of the Hunt, the transition from life to death, from an agrarian time to one of hunting, from summer to winter, from warmth to coldness, from light to darkness.

L. L. Martello, Witchcraft: The Old Religion.

How is Hallowe'en (Halloween) celebrated by Wiccans?

Wicca was invented by Gerald Gardner during the late 1940s and early 1950s. This is not a criticism, it is a fact. The following ritual was first committed to paper circa 1949 in Gardner's prototype of the Book of Shadows. It was originally called November Eve, although many later Wiccans have preferred to resurrect the old Celtic name of Samhain for this festival.

The Ritual

[All:]

Eko, eko, Azarak
Eko, eko
Bazabi lacha bachabe
Lamac cahi achababe
Karrellyos

Lamac lamac Bachalyas
Cabahagy sabalyos
Baryolos

Lagoz atha cabyolas
Samahac atha famolas
Hurrahya!

[Form the Circle]
[High Priestess assumes the Goddess Position]
[High Priest gives the Five-fold Kiss to the High Priestess]
[All are Purified]
[High Priest assumes the God Position]
[With the Athame the High Priestess invokes]
[High Priestess:]

Dread Lord of the shadows, god of life and the giver of life. Yet is the knowledge of thee the knowledge of death. Open wide, I pray thee, thy gates through which all must pass. Let our dear ones who have gone before, return this night to make merry with us. And when our time comes, as it must, O thou the comforter, the consoler, the giver of peace and rest, we will enter thy realms gladly and unafraid, for we know that when rested and refreshed among our dear ones we shall be born again by thy grace and the grace of the Great Mother. Let it be in the same place and the same time as our beloved ones, and may we meet and know, and love them again. Descend, we pray thee, upon thy servant and Priest [give name].

[High Priestess gives the Five-fold Kiss to the High Priest]
[Initiations, if any, may be conducted]
[All are Purified]
[Ceremony of the Cakes and Wine is enacted]
[The Great Rite is performed, actually or symbolically according to circumstance]
[Dismiss the Guardians, Close the Circle, conclude with feasting and dancing]

Commentary

The italicised section in the above is a direct quotation from the Gnostic Mass (Liber XV O.T.O. Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae Canon Missae) of Aleister Crowley.

Sources

Crowley, Aleister, Magick. Guild Publishing, 1986.
Gardner, Gerald, 'Ye Bok of Ye Art Magical,' unpublished, 1949.
Gardner, Gerald, 'The Book of Shadows,' unpublished, 1953.

Further Reading

More Hallowe'en from Witchology.com

Hallowe'en (Halloween) in Your Inbox

Don't have time to read all of this now? Want a copy to read later? Add your email to our mailing list and we'll send you this page and all the Hallowe'en (Halloween) information on the Witchology.com website.

Find out more about our mailing list

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