How a Wood Witch Prepares for Samhain

How a Wood Witch Prepares for Samhain October 9, 2018


Samhain, or All Hallows Eve, will soon be upon us. Bringing with it all it’s rituals, spell work, and celebrations. This be the time then, to prepare for the dark season, and an end to the Pagan year. For me, there is much to do…

Amanita muscaria, or Fly agaric foraged from my Pine grove.
Towards the end of September to the beginning of October is when the Fly agaric, or Amanita muscaria begin to appear in my woods. They favor the pines, or the birch, but usually seem to always be found hidden away within the shadows of the pines. Although my fly agarics have more of a orangey hue, they do indeed still possess all of the same magickal properties this little mushroom is known for. The Witch and the Mushroom themselves having a history that’s rather tragic, but an interesting Fungal Folklore.
For myself fly agaric is a magickal addition to my pine grove, a welcomed familiar, and trusted fetch. I dry it and add it to my Samhain incense, ointments, and beeswax candles, and I grind it into a powder, making it into a tea for hedge flight. As with any plant or fungus, knowing what you have, and it’s proper usage is key, don’t be stupid.

It is also a time for the rosehips to be foraged, as they are now a beautiful shade of ruby red, and ripe for the picking. I use rosehips medicinally for their high vitamin C levels, to fight off colds and flu, helping with fever, infections, and boosting the immune system. That being rosehips mundane qualities, it has some enchanting magickal qualities as well.
This year I’ve sourced some lava stone beads that are porous, and will absorb the infused oils intentions that I rub into them. Lava stone being known magickally to give strength, courage, and healing energy. To that I included some white turquoise carved skull beads, stringing them onto a hemp cord with the rosehips and lava. I’ll turn them into magickal strands for spell work, or they can be used in divinational meditations.. Rosehips are perfect for divinations in general, but especially when focusing on love matters. Rosehips offer protection, and attract spirits, while White turquoise gives flight to astral travel.

Now is also the time to prepare the stones and crystals I will use in my Samhain workings, bathing them in moon water, and smudging them with rosemary. A plant with connections to the ancestors. On the October full moon I’ll set them out upon a tree stump, letting them bask within the Crone’s glow.

Some stones to try for Samhain ~

Smoky quartz ~ a stone of Hekate, Saturn, and Samhain.
Smoky quartz increases intuition and creativity, is grounding, and is a stone of protection.

Carnelian ~ a stone once used to protect the dead on their path to the otherworld, is good for adapting to the change of the season, warding off rage and envy, or for removing fear of death, or the dead.

Selenite ~ a stone known for aiding psychic development, astral travel, and warding off negative entities. Selenite is useful for past life recollections, and helps with encouraging spiritual connections.

Spiced hawthorn with rosehips, and a goldenrod with ginger mead, magickally bubbling away.
Mead is steeped deeply into Pagan traditions, being an ancient drink of libations, used in rituals and celebrations for centuries. I make seasonal meads all year long, focusing this time of year on meads of spice and warmth, and those that aid journey.
Dried mullein, and familiar bones….
Finally Mullein is an amazing plant, a plant of Hekate, Saturn, and the crossroads. Used traditionally in charms for expelling demons, a Crone herb, and a definite plant of Samhain.
Traditionally dipped in melted fat and used as a torch in funeral processions, it has a long standing relationship with the dead. I make them from the larger mullein stalks that grow by the woods edge, using them to light the way of my wooded Samhain rituals.

There are always new spells to try, or old customs to embrace, so enjoy and celebrate this dark season… The Season of the Witch!

About Raven Wood
Raven is a traditional Witch of Celtic and Germanic roots, who lives and practices her craft within the wood. She is the owner of the online shop Deep Within the Hollow, a shop of seasonal woodlands, divinational readings and herbal enchantments. Raven has currently collaborated with dark occult and horror author Sarah England, in her shadowy thrillers ~ "The Soprano," "The Owlmen," and "Hidden Company." Giving a bit of traditional witchcraft darkness and spellcrafting. Raven is also an author at Patheos Pagan, where she writes the blog "Witch of the Wood with Raven Wood." A blog about magickal folklore, wise-woman herbalism, and traditional witchcraft within the wildwood. Her first book is in the works. You can read more about the author here.
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