Grown by Mother Nature ... crafted by Spirit of Old
Traditional bark boxes Corresponding ogham staves from traditional woods God and Goddess sculptures and statues Pagan tools and gifts ... all handcrafted and highest quality Athames and ritual items Corresponding rune sets crafted from trees native to northern Europe Ogham bead necklaces crafted from twenty different woods Pagan, Wicca and Pagan wands and staffs Pagan, Druid and Wicca pendants and jewellery
Rune sets of the highest quality Blackthorns for spells and magickal workings Wicca, Druid and Pagan items handcrafted from Wessex woods Dream amulets, sleep charms and herb-filled pendants Best and original corresponding ogham sets Smudge sticks made from organically grown, hand gathered herbs Rune sets handmade from native British woods Owl, Hare, Deer and Crow necklaces and pendants Individually handcrafted items designed with magick in mind ...
  Home Shop Magick Order Contact us
  Special offers
  Book of Shadows
  Tree properties
  Wheel of the Year:
  - Samhain
  - Yule
  - Imbolc
  - Eostre
  - Beltaine
  - Litha
  - Lammas
  - Mabon
  Moon and Sun
  Contact us
All wooden items created by
Spirit of Old are crafted using

Wildwood Knives

Like this page? Share it!
Bookmark and Share



Samhain (pronounced "Sow-wen") falls on 31st October. The Celts and the Anglo-Saxons (who named this sabbat Hallowe'en) considered it to be an important festival marking the beginning of the year. The year was strongly divided into two halves - Summer and Winter. The beginning of Winter was marked by Samhain. This led to a time of hardship and cold, hunger and indoor activity. It is the time in which the Earth sleeps and growth slows. It can also be seen as Nature's period of gestation before its rebirth in the Springtime.

We can recognize our own response to the Earth's energies at this time - we too become more introverted, we want to hide away from the cold and rain. This is a period of reflection, of drawing in and looking deep within ourselves at who we are.

Samhain was, and still is, also a festival of the dead. Great bonfires were lit and flaming torches were carried into the fields to impregnate the Earth with the seed of the dying Sun, so that after a long gestation, the new growth would burst forth again in the Spring. Animals, such as cattle, would be driven through the flames and people leapt over the fires, giving themselves the life-force and fertility from the flames.

The people of old England had a belief system very different from the predominantly Christian teachings of today. Their belief in a Lowerworld, Hel, was demonized by Christian missionaries as a bad realm, Hell, but in reality there was little comparison between the two concepts.

The Celts believed that this spirit world was very close to the everyday world of the living and that particular places or times provided connections to the spirit realm - both enticing and threatening. Rivers, crossroads, ridges of high hills and even land boundaries were all considered to be doorways to the Lowerworld. The Otherworld was also thought to be very near during any shift of consciousness - light shift at dawn and dusk, the change between the waxing and waning Moon, the Summer and Winter festivals and the beginning and ending points of thunderstorms. At all of these places and points in time, the Otherworld must be guarded against - unless one was seeking an intentional journey into those realms.

Samhain (Hallowe'en) was considered to be a night when the doorway between the worlds was open to all who sought it and it was a time of celebration of the unity between the spirit world and our own physical plane.

Storm at Woolbury Ring, Hampshire
Twisted Beech tree at the woods

The Wild Hunt

On Samhain night our Ancestors are said to leave their graves, accompanied by horses and hounds. They travel across the sky in a wild hunting pack led by the head of their barrow or ancestral tribe.

Traditionally, offerings are left at longbarrows for our Ancestors on Samhain night - usually red apples as these are ancient symbols of the Underworld. People carved out turnips and placed candles within them on beacon hills as guiding lanterns for the hunt to follow.

Samhain apples for the Wild Hunt



Page last updated: 22 September, 2011

All images and text (unless stated otherwise) Spirit of Old. Click here for further info.
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape