The ancient festival of Samhain paved the way for what we know today as Halloween
Halloween is nearly here! And with October 31 comes Samhain, the Celtic feast day from which Halloween as we know it was born. Celtic blessings are the perfect way to describe the dark element of this Irish festival and we hope that this poem and blessing will bring you a very spooky but happy Halloween.
What is Samhain?
The ancient Celts believed the year was divided into two parts, the lighter half in the summer and the darker half in the winter. Samhain was the division between these halves – the end of the Harvest, and the time when the veil between our world of the living and the world of the dead was at its thinnest.
Oíche Shamhna (October 31) is Halloween and Lá na Marbh (November 1) is the Day of the Dead, or All Saints Day, when those who have passed away are remembered.
The following are Celtic blessings ahead of Samhain for you, your loved ones, and your ancestors, whom it is especially important to remember this time of year.
Have a happy Samhain!
An Irish Halloween blessing:
At all Hallow's Tide, may God keep you safe
From goblin and pooka and black-hearted stranger,
From harm of the water and hurt of the fire,
From thorns of the bramble, from all other danger,
From Will O' The Wisp haunting the mire;
From stumbles and tumbles and tricksters to vex you,
May God in His mercy, this week protect you.
From Rev. Brightrose Aradia:
Blessed Be! oh Guardians
Blessed Be! loved ones and friends
Another year's upon us
As the wheel has turned again
We invite the ancestors one by one
To join us at our meal
We raise our cups in honor
And share memories with zeal
We share a harvest's bounty
And know deep in our hearts
The past must be cleansed away
For the future to start
The veil is at it's thinnest
We walk between the worlds
Diviners bring their instruments
And mysteries become unfurled
And now the witching hour is upon us once again
We share a blessed circle with our loved ones and our friends
Blessed Be to Guardians, To deities and more still
Blessed Be To You,
Let The Harvest Your Heart Fill
So Mote It Be!
Samhain prayer to ancestors:
This is the night when the gateway between
our world and the spirit world is thinnest.
Tonight is a night to call out those who came before.
Tonight I honor my ancestors.
Spirits of my fathers and mothers, I call to you,
and welcome you to join me for this night.
You watch over me always,
protecting and guiding me,
and tonight I thank you.
Your blood runs in my veins,
your spirit is in my heart,
your memories are in my soul.
With the gift of remembrance.
I remember all of you.
You are dead but never forgotten,
and you live on within me,
and within those who are yet to come.
Samhain prayer for children:
Samhain is here, cold is the earth,
as we celebrate the cycle of death and rebirth.
Tonight we speak to those through the veil,
the lines between worlds are thin and frail.
Ghosts and spirits in the night,
magical beings rising in flight,
owls hooting up in a moonlit tree,
I don't fear you and you don't fear me.
As the sun goes down, far to the west,
my ancestors watch over me as I rest.
They keep me safe and without fear,
on the night of Samhain, the Witches' New Year.
*Originally published in 2017.
Do you know any other Celtic blessings for the Samhain season? Share in the comments!