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Monday, November 1, 2021

Samhain/Fall Equitherm Altar 2021

altar, sabbat, Samhain, Halloween, witchcraft, witchy, hedgewitch, pagan, neopagan, wiccan, wicca

Samhain, or the Fall Equitherm, is often referred to as the Witch's New Year. This is the time of death and the great slumber before eventual rebirth, symbolizing the end of the old and the beginning of the new. The veil is incredibly thin during this time, allowing for travel to and from the Otherworld and communication with spirits and our ancestors incredibly easy. In some traditions, the time surrounding Samhain is the only time the dead may walk once again upon this Earth. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that our ancestors used this time to honor their ancestors and guard against malevolent ones. While most witches celebrate Samhain on October 31st or All Hallow's Eve, astrologically Samhain falls on November 6th this year, meaning if you didn't get to do all you wanted on October 31st, you have yet another opportunity to celebrate! This year's Samhain altar sticks to the general theme of the sabbat, focusing on spirit communication, hedge riding, and ancestral magic, along with celebrating the final harvest of the season. 

altar, sabbat, Samhain, Halloween, witchcraft, witchy, hedgewitch, pagan, neopagan, wiccan, wicca

1. Black & Yellow Candle and White Candles with Orange/Gold Candle Holders- In the center of the altar is a large black and yellow candle flanked on either side by white candles in orange/gold holders. Traditionally, candles were lit to help guide spirits to the right home on Samhain night, which is the reasoning behind these candles. The black and yellow candle represents the dead inside the Underworld and its flame is used to communicate with the dead during a ritual. The white candles, on the other hand, represents the Sun who has officially died and is used to guide my ancestors to my altar while providing protection against unwanted spirits and guests. (Where did I get it: Black & Orange Candle- Blagowood; Cost: Won/Free (originally- $13.50); White Candles and Holders- Dollar Tree 2020; Cost: $3)

altar, sabbat, Samhain, Halloween, witchcraft, witchy, hedgewitch, pagan, neopagan, wiccan, wicca

2. Blackberries- While the myths surrounding the blackberry vary, one thing remains the same, the blackberry bramble is highly protective. The thorns are said to protect against ghosts and other earthbound spirits and even vampires. As spirits walk freely during Samhain, blackberry and its brambles are the perfect addition to this altar to protect me and mine during the darkest hours of the night. I also felt the blackberry was the perfect addition to this altar because some folklore claims Lucifer stomps on blackberry bushes on Samhain night out of hatred (he is said to have fallen from heaven to earth and landed in a blackberry bramble bush), making eating blackberries after Samhain very dangerous as they are cursed by the Devil himself. (Where did I get it: Hobby Lobby 2020; Cost: $6)

altar, sabbat, Samhain, Halloween, witchcraft, witchy, hedgewitch, pagan, neopagan, wiccan, wicca

3. Algiz Rune- The Algiz rune, which is normally viewed as the life rune, represents death when turned upside down as it is on my altar. As Samhain is a time of death and endings, I felt this upside-down rune was a perfect representation of the season. Furthermore, the Algiz rune resembles a hoe, rake, or pitchfork used in the harvesting of crops, connecting the rune further to Samhain as it is the final harvest festival of the season. (Where did I get it: Blagowood; Cost: Won/Free (originally- $30 for set)

altar, sabbat, Samhain, Halloween, witchcraft, witchy, hedgewitch, pagan, neopagan, wiccan, wicca

4. Fox Skull- The fox skull represents my spirit guide, Meka, who often aids in my astral travels and spirit communication. As Samhain is a time to communicate with spirits, Meka is there to help facilitate this communication. Furthermore, foxes are commonly featured in Celtic myths as navigators of the spirit world and representatives of the afterlife. Skulls are also a representation of death and are a common Samhain theme as we are celebrating the dead, hence the inclusion of a skull. (Where did I get it: Gifted; Cost: Free (~$25)

altar, sabbat, Samhain, Halloween, witchcraft, witchy, hedgewitch, pagan, neopagan, wiccan, wicca

5. Obsidian- Obsidian is formed quickly from magma when it reaches the Earth's surface. Because of this, it has been traditionally associated with the Underworld and death gods and goddesses such as Hades and Hekate. Furthermore, its shiny black color has associated it with the Underworld as well, with some people believing the shadows reflected in its glass are spirits. It's deeply associated with death, protection, and transformation, and can be used to communicate with spirits easily. (Where did I get it: Gifted; Cost: Free)

altar, sabbat, Samhain, Halloween, witchcraft, witchy, hedgewitch, pagan, neopagan, wiccan, wicca

6. Antler- Deer are said to walk between realms, being messengers from other Otherworld. Their antlers aid in communication between us and spirits, hence its placement on my Samhain altar. It is also this time of year that deer begin to lose their antlers, a clear mark of the season and a presentation of death and new beginnings as soon the deer will sport new antlers in velvety hides. (Where did I get it: Found; Cost: Free)

altar, sabbat, Samhain, Halloween, witchcraft, witchy, hedgewitch, pagan, neopagan, wiccan, wicca



TOTAL COST: ~$9-25


Like my other altars, most of the items I use are found, made, or purchased for around $1, although if the items must be purchased by you, then the cost will be higher. I hope you find this sort of breakdown helpful, especially for those of you looking to create Instagram-perfect altars on a budget! This particular altar is mostly constructed with items I won, found, or that were gifted to me. The most expensive items are those I won from Blagowood, which can easily be substituted with a handwritten rune or a simple black candle.

altar, sabbat, Samhain, Halloween, witchcraft, witchy, hedgewitch, pagan, neopagan, wiccan, wicca

Did you do anything special for Samhain this year? Any plans for the astrological date? I hope you all have a wonderful "new year!" May your winter be cozy and plentiful.


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