Connecting With Our Witch Ancestors At Samhain

Connecting With Our Witch Ancestors At Samhain October 28, 2019

As the veil thins, we can connect to our witch ancestors to receive their guidance and express our gratitude. Connect with yours this Samhain using a simple ritual, doing the Shadow Revelations Tarot Spread and more.

Honoring Ancestors At Samhain

Honoring ancestors at Samhain is a tradition that many modern witches observe. These can be ancestors of blood, place or spirit. My biological ones continue to disapprove of my witchy ways from the Other Side, so I keep them out of my spiritual practices. They have their place of reverence, where I express my gratitude for their many gifts. I’ve written about how I celebrate the ancestors of the land where I live here.

From Circe to Isobel Gowdie to Scott Cunningham, there is a legion of our ancestors watching over us.

Ancestors of Spirit

Ancestors of spirit can be anyone who has passed from this life who holds a special place in our hearts. A caring teacher who has crossed the veil that helped through a difficult time. A kindly neighbor or a former boss are other examples. There are ancestors of spirit who are symbolic of who we are today. We stand on their shoulders and remember their sacrifice. We can reach over to the Other Side, offering them the healing they need, and perhaps even forgiveness. I was privileged to be in a Samhain circle where the amazing Brianne Ravenwolf shared how she honors the dead in the trans community, many of whom were victims of violence or died by suicide. You can read her article about her amazing commitment to her ancestors here. 

Like Brianne’s ancestors of spirit, many of the ancestors suffered greatly for being who they were. They reach across time to guide us as their kindred. We can reciprocate through showing them our appreciation.

Many of us have ancestors of spirit who were public figures that inspire us, and perhaps guide us along our journey. Our witch ancestors who persisted in their pursuit of their truth deserve our veneration, sometimes in public, but more often in obscurity. We can also express our gratitude for our former incarnations. I’ve always been some form of healer-witch across lifetimes. These ancestors of my soul are part of who I am today. I honor them.

Witch Ancestors As Our Guides

These witch ancestors are keen to be our spirit guides. They see how their suffering and efforts are finally leading to a cultural shift in the perception of the witch. We honor them well by listening to their whispers and heeding their signs. Over the years, in my work as a medium, I’ve found that many seekers are so preoccupied with getting the attention of certain ancestors that they ignore the ones who are standing right beside them.

In my article about Living In A House Of Spirits, I wrote about some of the different types of etheric beings that we can develop relationships with. They can be powerful allies, providing guidance with their expanded knowledge of the universe, help us heal, and even be fun to hang out with. Some of members of Hekate’s Horde who consist of the marginalized of society. Hekate’s ancient witches including Circe and Medea rule the horde, that includes countless witches. The ancient Sibyls, Hekate’s prophetess-priestesses, are also part of the horde.

Between the time of the ancients and today, there are innumerable witches who can come forward as a guide for the witch who is willing to listen to them. They are the practitioners of Old Time Witchcraft, who long for us to establish a relationship with them.

Ritual For Connecting With Your Witch Guides

To connect with your witch guides, set up a place for them at your table after your home is cleansed and protected. You don’t want any troublesome specters showing up. Generally, set the intention for one guide to come forward. You don’t want to be overwhelmed, especially if you are new to this practice.

Offer a meal suitable for the type of guide you seek. Cakes and tea are universally welcome by all the witch ancestors I call upon. Sit at your table, light a black candle (white will do in a pinch), and call out to the witches who are already silently watching over you. I know you can feel them even while reading this. Curious bunch, those ancestors of ours, always looking over our shoulder to see what we’re up to.

Witch Ancestor Tea

To connect with your witch allies, and to give them a most welcome offering, brew a pot of Witch Ancestor Tea made from mugwort, mint, yarrow and juniper berries. Mugwort for opening your third eye to them, mint for connecting with the departed, yarrow for healing of all involved, and juniper berries for banishing any unwelcome visitors. Juniper also helps us overcome self doubt. As with all botanical medicine, the specific amounts used will vary based on your unique constitution. However, 1 tsp each of mugwort and yarrow, with about 1/2 tsp mint and 13 juniper berries steeped in two cups of boiled water is a good formulary for most of us. As always with pharmakeia (holistic botanical witchcraft) do your research to see if there are any reasons for you not to consume them.

Tarot Reading To Receive Your Ancestors Messages

After sipping your tea, connect with your visitors. Express your gratitude for their silence, suffering and persistence. Listen to what they have to say. Ask them to give you guidance through your cards. The Hekate Shadow Revelations Tarot Spread is well suited to this type of working. Hekate is the Witch Mother and her witches are of her horde. They will be pleased to be involved in this practice. The Hekate Shadow Revelations Tarot Spread has become a Samhain tradition for me and many others. In fact, it was during such a Samhain session that the vision of this reading was given to me, many years ago when I was sitting at my kitchen table doing my late night ritual after an evening of Halloweening.

The Witch Ancestors I Honor

For the past several years, I have spent time on Samhain with four spirits who were public witches during their time and who have been incredibly influential on my personal path and modern witchcraft.

Doreen Valiente, with her steadfast determination and curious mind, is truly the Mother of Modern Witchcraft. To me, she is a friend and protector. We discuss the merits of spells, venture into the depths of arcane texts, and she keeps me in check.

Aleister Crowley may seem an unlikely candidate as a personal guide of mine, but yet he is. He’s a tricky one. As long as I’m in the mood for him, I’ll let him attend the Samhain late night tea. I’m a sucker for complicated, clever and dangerous men. Watch out for him if he comes calling. Set the boundaries of what you’ll let him do very firmly. Read that twice. Do it three times if he shows up.

Scott Cunningham has never been a close ally for me, unlike Queen Doreen and Freaky Aleister, but I always include him in my Samhain Witch Ancestors altar and invite him to the tea. His contribution to modern witchcraft is immense. Take a moment now to acknowledge him.

Sybil Leek was a witch-astrologer ahead of her time. I’m not one for astrology, but I welcome her to my table to honor her contributions, her outspoken support for what we would know call the queer community, and her engaging presence. Spend the evening with Sybil and you’ll be charmed, even if she doesn’t wish to establish a permanent relationship.

All four of these inspirational graphics were created by me.

They all wish you Samhain Blessings and hope that this article will inspire you to honor, and connect with, your own witch ancestors.

Samhain Ritual Bath

I begin my celebration of the most sacred night of the year with a ritual bath infused with the Ancestor Tea, my own rose water, and salt to cleanse and restore before beginning my late night tea party.

Samhain Is A Season

The Season of the Witch starts on the autumnal equinox, but truly gets going on Samhain, which I typically celebrate from the calendar date to the astrological one. This marks the commencement of Hekate’s Holy Month of November.

More Keeping Her Keys Samhain Witchcraft

Witchcraft Is My Medicine

Welcoming The Witches’ New Year With The Moon

Samhain: Healing Ancestors of Place

Getting Real About Samhain: Dealing With Zombies

Samhain Death Walking Oil And Ritual

Hekate and Samhain: Suggestions for Witchery, Rituals and More

Living In A House of Spirits

Honoring Hekate of the Underworld and Ourselves: A Death Walking Ritual of Transformation

Great Goddesses of Magick and Mystery: Ritual for Unleashing Your Inner Witch

For more witchcraft, including courses and to join our coven visit

Samhain Blessings and Best Wishes for the New Witches’ Year.

BONUS: Talking About The Dead With Lonnie Scott


About Cyndi Brannen
Cyndi Brannen, PhD, is a healer, teacher and author focusing on personal development, spirituality and true magic. Founder of the Keeping Her Keys Mystery School, she teaches and writes about the true magic of healing and personal power. The bestselling Keeping Her Keys: An Introduction to Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft explores Hekate from her ancient origins to our modern understanding through magic and personal development. True Magic: Unleashing Your Inner Witch, based on the sacred seven principles, is now available. Join her coven at You can read more about the author here.

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