Renewal for the Coming New Year

Photo by Crystal Blanton

Samhain is coming.  It is one of my favorite times of year and holds a lot of memories for me, all the way throughout my childhood.  I was raised in a home that celebrated Halloween, decorated for the holiday, purchased candy and celebrated it like all the other popular holidays of the year.  My mother’s birthday is on Halloween, so it was a special day for many reasons.

There was no idea in my childhood that I might grow up to be Wiccan but when I realized my path there was no surprise that I already had a strong affinity for October 31st.

As this year comes to an end next month, I find that I am feeling the yearning to thrust myself into the season and prepare for the coming New Year.  While I am not a fan of the dark half of the year, I am a huge fan of autumn and love preparing for a chance to renew myself.

Here is what came to me this week; I am looking forward to cleaning, redecorating, recharging and resetting the intention to my altars, tools and life goals.  I am excited about a chance to commune with my ancestors and get whispers of wisdom for the coming year.  I am excited at the chance to hear the voice of my mother resonate in my mind, body and soul.

In light of the coming season, I plan to do a couple of things to support magical preparation.

Post Samhain 2011

  • Prepare my ancestor altar for the month of October.
  • Decorate my house and buy a couple of new Witchy signs for the front yard.
  • Dedicate a candle to the honor of my ancestors and light it every day for the month of October to give thanks and acknowledgments of who they were and are to me.
  • Spend some time reflecting on my goals and those things I need to leave behind from the old year, leaving it behind as I move to the new.
  • Take those goals and write a new reflection mantra to carry me through the New Year.

What do others do for the month of October to prepare or celebrate the Samhain season?  I would love to hear a bit about the practices of others; People of Color and those who are not.





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  • Editor B

    One of the best things we did last year was have an “Ancestors Dinner.” I wrote about it briefly here. Can’t take credit for the idea. Your post reminded me to ask my mother if she remembered a favorite dish of her father’s. With any luck we’ll be honoring him a month or so from now.

  • Dianefox

    Samhain is coming.

  • LiseKathleen

    Hi Crystal, great article. I usually just do an ancestor table on the 31st; put out some shots of whiskey, cup of tea, glass of milk and a glass of water. But, I like your idea of an ancestor candle and reflecting on what to leave behind as I start my new year. Thanks for sharing.

  • Tyler Coles

    Like yourself, I have this feeling of being thrown into the “season of the witch” with great anticipation like never before. The leaves have begun to change, wood fires have been lit in the surrounding community, and the temperature has dropped drastically. I was also struct by the idea to start a simple 30 day meditation prep for Samhain this year which will star the night of October 1. May we all be blessed by the love of the Gods and the wisdom of our Mighty Ancestors! Blessed Be 

  • April L Edwards

    I create a sacred space for those who have passed and leave a lot of moonshine out for them. My father’s family are Kentucky/Ohio Valley people so moonshine and cigars are called for. My mother’s family are Puerto Rican and they ask for coffee, cigarettes, and beer(my grandmother loved her Bud). 
    -April Edwards

  • victoria slind-flor

    I live in Northern California, which is becoming increasingly Hispanic.  I think when the AIDS epidemic was raging at its worst in the Bay Area, many in our community became aware of and interested in the Hispanic celebration of Dia de los Muertos.  For my coven, our Samhain ritual takes place in front of the communal Dia de los Muertos altar we build every year. It seems to make perfect sense to create a visual (and artistic) expression of our love for our Beloved Dead, and to celebrate that what is remembered lives. 

    • Crystal Blanton

      I am also in Northern California. It is a fabulous place to celebrate Samhain!

  • krisbradley

    I keep a “friends and family” shelf in my bedroom year round, but near Samhain I rearrange to honor those who’ve past specifically.  We also bury an apple near the front door and one near the back door to feed the dead, but also to keep them moving through so they don’t wander in and set up shop in the house.  And every Samhain I create a giant mix of protection powder and sprinkle it around the entire boundary of our property. 

    • Crystal Blanton

      I love this idea of the apple….. Thanks for sharing that.

  • Mrs. Ebonee

    My bday is Sat, the 6th so Oct its a great month for me. With the new yr and my bday being inn the same month, I reflect allot on the things I accomplished and the things I strive better the following yr to reach.
    I reenergize my mantle that has pics of both living and dead family members. Iv all then to guide my family to berret decisions and for protection for the coming yr. Since Oct is also the precursor to lots of family visits, I do a through cleaning and some over lapping protection spells. I didn’t grow up celebrating Halloween so now that I have children its a new adventure. My daughter and I have have a tradition of carving pumpkins and decorating the house with gourds. Its our small way of doing things together since hubs isn’t into celebratingHalloween.

    • Crystal Blanton

      Happy upcoming birthday!! I am also thinking of doing a lot of cleaning and cleansing this year… start the new year clean and clear.

  • MortalCrow

    I like to clean my house top to bottom and light a candle and some incense for family that have passed. There is always a can of warm Dr. Pepper there for my grandpa. This year I think I’ll whip up a real cajun gumbo for my great aunt. I’d like to do an actual space for an ancestor altar this year.
    With the kids, we are part of a pagan kids group and we do a tea party for the dead each year.  Then on Nov. 2nd my Sisterhood has our own ritual to honor our ancestors. I love to decorate for Halloween too and go to the Annual Witches Ball.