Samhain Evocations to the Land of Shadow

Samhain Evocations to the Land of Shadow October 28, 2019

Samhain (sow-wen) tides wax to the peak of Autumn, and witches prepare for the third harvest of death and closure. Rites at this auspicious time of decline into darkness welcome the spirits of our dearly departed ancestors beyond the veil to rejoin us within the land of the living for the night. In our Wheel of the Year mythos, we honor the thinning of the veil between the worlds of matter and spirit, and the God/dess of Nature in their dark aspects, as they descend to their rest for the winter.

The astrological date of this Witches’ Grand Sabbat occurs when the sun reaches 15º Scorpio. For this year’s date, check out archaeoastronomy.com. In preparation of our rites, I offer these Samhain evocations for your consideration. For a complete Samhain ritual, check out Wake of the Fallen King. Here is an excerpt of our ritual intent at this time.

“The veil between the world is most thin this Samhain Night – Height of Autumn – Our ancestors cross the veil to dance among the living once more. On this night we bid the Dark God, and Eternal Goddess farewell as they descend into the underworld to the rest and rejuvenation of the coming winter. The vitality of the Goddess – who is both the womb and the tomb – now withdraws from the middle world, into her time of seclusion. As winter’s dark blanket of death descends, she nurtures the spark of life within her that will be reborn as the newborn God into the next cycle at Yule.”

Opening the Gateways to the Land of Shadow

When I cast a witch’s temple, I create an energetic sphere which draws down the heavens, draws up the underworld, and opens gateways to the four elemental realms which create the material world. This forms the crossroads between the worlds wherein magick is wrought. So, I’m technically opening 6 portals with my evocations. Four sideways, one above – to the heavens or the Land of Light; One below, to the Land of Shadow. Whomever you call to join you from the above and below, is up to you, and will change according to the season.

At Samhain, there is a heavy focus on the underworld, as this is where we envision our ancestors dwelling in that land of shadow, peace and rest before they are reincarnated. But God/dess is eternal and anywhere/everywhere they please. For balance, I still always visualize my temple like this drawing below. (more tips for powerful ritual plans may be read here.)

The following elemental gateway calls and releases, were written specifically for Samhain rites. I’ve also included evocations of our ancestors of land, blood and spirit, the Dark Goddess, and the Lord of Shadow. For this language, inspiration comes from the writings of Doreen Valiente, such as her Witches’ Creed and Charge of the Goddess. I offer these as seeds of thought, for inclusion in your own Samhain rites with a group, or in crafting a personal, solitary rite.

For the rite itself, you could hold a dumb supper – a meal savored in silence with a place set for your ancestors, while you recall them through memories. Then do some divination to commune with them. I’ll leave the releases of the God/dess and ancestors for you to speak from the heart. Just remember that whenever you evoke (1) a power to be present with you in a temple, be sure to release them with your gratitude before you deconstruct that temple.

Eastern Gateway to Elemental Realms of Air:

To begin, purify your space, then cast your energetic temple in your traditional way, closing the sphere above and below.

Holding aloft a censer of burning incense, and your altar tool of air, in my case this would be a wand.

CALL: “Hail to the guardians of the East, breeze and gale; Sylph and Sovereign Peralda! Stir the breath of memory with our ancestors who’ve passed through the thinning veil before us. Whisper to us your wisdom through clarity of intuition, and restore our wonderment through your chill Samhain winds. Blow free any baneful energies from our circle this third harvest rite. Hail and welcome.”

Draws Invoking pentacle in the East. Bows to welcome the guardians to circle.

RELEASE: “Guardians of the East and of air, breeze and gale; Sylph and Sovereign Peralda!We are grateful for your inspiring presence for these Samhain rites. Depart and join again with each breath that we draw. Hail and farewell!”

Draws Banishing pentacle in the East, locking elemental gateway closed.

Southern Gateway to Elemental Realms of Fire:

Holding aloft a burning candle in a lantern, and your altar tool of fire, in my case this would be my athame.

CALL: “Hail to the guardians of the South, flame and ember; Salamander and Sovereign Djin! Ignite the spark of life fed by our ancestors and all those who’ve passed through the thinning veil before us. Feed the flames of our Will through your Samhain fires! Burn free all baneful energies from our circle this third harvest rite. Hail and welcome.”

Draws Invoking pentacle in the South. Bows to welcome the guardians to circle.

RELEASE: “Guardians of the South and of fire, flame and ember; Salamander and Sovereign Djin! We are grateful for your transformative presence for these Samhain rites. Depart and join again with the fires that warm the long winter ahead. Hail and farewell!”

Draws Banishing pentacle in the South, locking elemental gateway closed.

Samhain Altar for the Wake of the Fallen King
Samhain Altar

Western Gateway to Elemental Realms of Water:

Holding aloft a bowl of salted water, and your altar tool of water, in my case this would be my Chalice.

CALL: “Hail to the guardians of the West, river and rain; Undine and Sovereign Nicksa! Flow life-blood and ancestral memory, recall all those who have passed through the thinning veil before us. Dare over-spill our hearts with compassion, heal our emotional selves through our Samhain tears. Wash free any baneful energies from our circle this third harvest rite. Hail and welcome.”

Draws Invoking pentacle in the West. Bows to welcome the guardians to circle.

RELEASE: “Guardians of the West and of water, river and rain; Undine and Sovereign Nicksa! We are grateful for your loving presence for these Samhain rites. Depart and join again with the waters that sustain us. Hail and farewell!”

Draws Banishing pentacle in the West, locking elemental gateway closed.

Northern Gateway to Elemental Realms of Earth:

Holding aloft a bowl of sea salt or a crystal, and your altar tool of earth, in my case this would be my pentacle paten.

CALL: “Hail to the guardians of the North, stone and tree; Gnome and Sovereign Ghob! The eternal bodies of our ancestors, and all of those that have passed through the thinning veil before us. Nourish our physical forms, and feed our spirits through the earth beneath us this Samhain night. Ground free any baneful energies from our circle this third harvest rite. Hail and welcome.”

Draws Invoking pentacle in the North. Bows to welcome the guardians to circle.

RELEASE: “Guardians of the North and of Earth, stone and tree; Gnome and Sovereign Ghob! We are grateful for your stabilizing presence for these Samhain rites. Depart and join again with the earth beneath us. Hail and farewell!”

Draws Banishing pentacle in the North, locking elemental gateway closed.

CC0- Creative Commons, Pixabay

Evoking the Dark Goddess:

Eternal Goddess, we call upon you this Samhain Night! Mistress of Magic! We welcome you among your witches at this Grand Sabbat! We see your dark faces in the decay of this autumn season; as in-drawing sap through the stark bones of the trees seeking their rest. Great creatrix and destroyer, wise spell-weaver of darkness, open now your secret door to the land of youth! We seek to drink from your Cup of Life, your  Cauldron of wisdom, the holy grail of Immortality. Free us now from all fear of the grave and beyond. Join us now in one last dance, before your rest. Hail and Welcome!

Light a silver or black candle. Make an offering. I tend to offer seasonal flowers or fruits of some kind.

Evoking the Lord of Shadow:

Great God! Horned Lord of Shadow! Join us this Samhain Night! Rider of the Wild Winds, we welcome you among your witches at this Grand Sabbat! As the sun wanes to winter, we see your dark faces in the necessary slaughter, the shorn grain of sacrifice, and the deep sleep of hibernation. We seek your knowledge of the spirit that transcends death. Grant us your peace, and freedom, and tonight’s reunion with our loved ones who now dwell within your land of shades. Free us now from all fear of the grave and beyond. Join us now in one last dance, before your rest. Hail and Welcome!

Light a gold or white candle. Make an offering – I tend to pour out alcoholic spirits of some kind.

Evoking the Ancestors:

Ancestors of Land (stomp ground 3X), Blood (pound chest 3x) and Spirit (clap hands 3x)! We call all beneficial beings who love, guard, and guide us all year long, be with us now! With respect, we call to you through this veil between worlds, and awaken you from the Land of Shades for this hour! Feast, dance and commune with the living once more, at this Witches’ Sabbat of Samhain. We honor your memories and your living presence within our hearts this night. Hail and Welcome!

Light a black candle. Make an offering. Traditional foods enjoyed by your ancestors would be appropriate.

May your Samhain season be meaningful and powerful,

~Heron

  1. I often see the word “invocation” misused in describing the act of calling a spiritual power to be present in circle. An Evocation calls them to be present and share your temple with you. An INvocation calls them to possess your body. For example, we invoke the goddess when we draw down the moon, and she speaks through our lips. But we definitely don’t invite the elemental guardians of fire to walk around wearing our skin-suits. Big difference!
About Heron Michelle
Heron Michelle is a witch, high priestess, mom, artist and shopkeeper living in Greenville, North Carolina. Connect with her on Facebook: Witch on Fire, and follow her on Twitter @HeronMichelle13. You can read more about the author here.

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