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Home > Holidays > Samhain > Traditional Wiccan Samhain Ritual Search

A Traditional Wiccan Samhain Ritual


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[This is the online of a very traditional Wiccan Samhain ritual from the late 1960s or early 1970s.]


  • Balefire in centre.
  • Two black candles upon the altar.
  • A red candle in each of the Quarters.
  • A wreath of autumn flowers and the crown of the Horned One are upon the altar.

All Coveners are properly prepared.

All are purified by the scourge.

High Priestess erects the Circle. The High Priest says:

High Priest:

O Gods, beloved of us all,
bless this our Sabbat that we,
thy humble worshippers,
may meet in love, joy and bliss.
Bless our rites this night
with the presence of our departed kin.

Facing north with arms upraised, coveners hand-linked in a semicircle behind him, the High Priest invokes the Horned One.

High Priestess bearing a priapus wand then leads the Coven in a meeting dance, slowly, to the Witches' Rune. High Priest gives each an unlit candle and brings up the rear of the dance. The candles are each lit from the balefire before the outward spiral.

When it is done the High Priestess assumes the Goddess position saying:

High Priestess:

Dread Lord of the Shadows, God of Life and
Bringer of Death! Yet as the knowledge ofthee is
Death, open wide, I pray thee, the 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 will be reborn
again by thy grace, and the grace of the Lady
Cerridwen. Let it be in the same place and the
same time as our beloved ones, and may we meet,
and know, and remember, and love them again!
Descend, we pray thee, on thy High Priest and
Servant, [Name].

High Priestess goes to the High Priest and, with wand, draws the five-point star upon his breast and upon the crown of the Horned God. High Priest kneels and High Priestess places the crown upon his head. Fresh incense is cast into the thurible. High Priestess strikes the bell and High Priest says:

High Priest:

Hear ye my witches,
Welcome to our Great Sabbat.
Welcome we the spirits
Of our departed kin.

High Priestess strikes bell. Witches walk slowly around the Circle.

High Priestess fills chalice with wine and hands it to High Priest who drinks and then says:

High Priest:

In humility, as the Horned One asks,
I bid my witches drink.

High Priest takes chalice to first witch, giving it with his right hand whilst taking the taper with his left (kiss), then extinguishing the taper before accepting back the chalice. Repeat with each witch present. High Priest then says:

High Priest:

Listen, my witches, to the words of the Horned
One, Drink, dance and be merry in the presence
of the Old Gods and the spirits of our departed kin.

Coveners partake of cakes and wine.

Dances and games follow closing of Circle.

Great Rite if at all possible by High Priestess and High Priest if no other.

Merry meet, merry part.


There are plenty of published Samhain rituals, containing at least some of these elements. This is from What Witches Do by Stewart Farrar, fleshed out from Lady Sheba's Book of Shadows, as usual.

For more information on Samhain (Halloween),
visit The Cauldron's Samhain Page

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