From Thora's Hearth: Samhain Recipes, Correspondences & More

A Contribution of Correspondences
By Thora Dorn

At Samhain, the Wicca say farewell to the God as he readies to be reborn at Yule. This Grand Sabbat, which for Wiccans marks the New Year, once marked the time of sacrifice. This was the time when animals were slaughtered to ensure food throughout the winter. The God fell to ensure our continuing existence. 

This is the time of year when the veil between the world of the dead and the world of the living is said to be its thinnest. This is a time of reflection and coming to terms with the one thing in life over which we have no control - death. Spirits and souls of loved ones are said to have more power and ability to visit us. This is the time of year for remembering and honouring our dead, and many people will leave a plate of food and a glass of wine out for wandering sprits. This is often called the Feast of Hecate. Samhain is also a time for personal reflection, and for recognizing our faults and flaws and creating a method for rectifying them. It is said to be the time when those of necromantic talents can speak with the dead. It marks the ending of relationships and bad situations, and a glimmer of hope in the future. 


Colors: Black, Orange, White, Silver, Gold, Red, Brown

Time of Day: Midnight
Season: Fall/Winter

Planet: Moon

Element: Water

Nature: Water

Gender: Male

Moon Phase: New Moon

Quarter: West

Animals/Magickal Creatures: Bat, Boar, Cat, Cow, Dog, Stag, owl, jackal, elephant, ram, scorpion, heron, crow, robin, Fairies, Pooka, goblin,medusa, beansidhe, harpies

Properties: Farewell to the God, sacrifice, reflection, remembrance, Magick, plenty; knowledge, the night, death & rebirth, success, protection; rest, new beginnings; reincarnation, ancestors; lifting of the veil, mundane laws in abeyance, return, change, transformation, Wiccan new year, wisdom of the Crone, end of summer, time outside of time, night of the Wild Hunt, beginning new projects, ending old projects.

Incense: Copal, sandalwood, mastic resin, benzoin, sweetgrass, wormwood, mugwort, sage, myrrh or patchouli, Frankincense, galangal, apple wood, heliotrope, mint, nutmeg, sage, bay, sweetgrass

Oils: Cypress and myrrh, patchouli

Tools: Besom, cauldron, tarot, obsidian ball, pendulum, runes, oghams, Ouija boards, black cauldron or bowl filled with black ink or water, magick mirror, crystal ball or other methods of divination.

Trees: Apple, Beech, Blackthorn, Locust, Pomegranate, Willow, Witch Hazel, Yew

Herb/Plants: Almond, apple leaf , autumn joy sedum, bay leaf, calendula, Cinnamon, Cloves cosmos, ginger, hazelnut, hemlock cones, marigold, mums, nettle, passionflower, pine needles, pumpkin seeds, rosemary (for remembrance of our ancestors), all grains, flax, ferns, heather, sage, sunflower petals and seeds, tarragon, wild ginseng, Acorn, Arborvitae, Dittany of Crete, Bittersweet, Fumitory, Mullein, Angelica, Sage, Wormwood, Mugwort, Broom, Dandelion, Rue, Myrrh, Patchouli, Catnip, Reed, Heather, Yarrow, Allspice, Deadly Nightshade, Mandrake, Garlic and Straw.

Altar Decorations: Harvest foods, photographs of your loved ones who have passed on, a statue or figurine of the Goddess in her Crone phase, Gourds, Apples, Black Cats, Jack-O-Lanterns, Besoms, Cauldron, Mask, Balefire, Waning Moon, autumn flowers, acorns, bat, black cat, bones, corn stalks, colored leaves, crows, death/dying, divination tools, ghosts, Indian corn, nuts, oak leaves, pomegranates, scarecrows, scythes

Goddesses: Durga, Kali, Kore, Lakshmi (Hindu), Hecate, Nephthys (Greek), Cerridwen, Rhiannon, (Welsh-Scottish), Arianrhod (Welsh), Badb, Banba, Cailleach Bheur, Macha, Morrigan, Scathach/Scota (Irish-Scottish), Baba Yaga (Russian), Al-Ilat (persian), Bast, Hathor, Isis (Egyptian), Persephone (Greek), Hel (Norse), Astarte, Ishtar, Inanna (Sumerian), Pomona (Roman), Tlazoteotl (Aztec), all Death & Otherworld Goddesses, Crone Goddesses

Gods: the Dagda, Belenus, Bran, Herne the Horned Hunter/God, Cernunnos (Celtic), Coyote (Native American), Hades (Greek), Loki, Odin (Norse), Dis, Pluto (Roman), Osiris (Egyptian), Arawn, Gwynn ap Nudd (Welsh), Anubis (Egyptian), all Sacrificial/Dying/Aging Gods, Death and Otherworld Gods

Stones: Jet, Obsidian, Smoky Quartz, Hematite, Onyx, all Black Stones, Amber, Pyrite, Garnet, Clear Quartz, Marble, Sandstone, Carnelian, Diamond, Ruby, jasper, carnelian, bloodstone

Metals: Gold, Iron, Steel, Brass
Activities/Rituals/Spellworkings: Spells for release, neutralizing harm, death, crossroads, protection spells, darkness, spells that deal with the dead, visions, honouring the dead, strength spells, introspection, wisdom, End of summer, last harvest, meat harvest, Sex magick, release of bad habits, banishing, fairy magick, divination of any kind, candle magick, astral projection, past life work, dark moon mysteries, mirror spells (reflection), casting protection , inner work, propitiation, clearing obstacles, uncrossing, inspiration, workings of transition or culmination, manifesting transformation, creative visualization

Customs: Ancestral altar, costumes, divination, carving jack-o-lanterns, spirit plate, the Feast of the Dead or Dumb Supper, feasting, paying debts, fairs, drying winter herbs, masks, bonfires, apple games, tricks, washing clothes

Foods: Turnips, Apples, Gourds, Nuts, Mead, Mulled Wines, Cider, Pumpkin, Corn, Herbal Teas, Hazelnuts, Corn, Gingerbread, Cranberries, Beef, Pork, Poultry, all meats (traditionally this is the meat harvest) especially pork, nuts-representing resurrection and rebirth, pomegranates, potatoes, pumpkins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds, roasted pumpkin seeds, squash, popcorn, cakes with lucky tokens in them, and red foods because the ancients held them sacred to the dead.


Other Names: The Great Sabbat, Samhiunn, Samana, Samhuin, Sam-fuin, Samonios, Halloween, Hallomas, All Hallows Eve, All Saints/All Souls Day(Catholic), Day of the Dead (Mexican), Witches New Year, Trinoux Samonia, Celtic/ Druid New Year, Shadowfest (Strega), Martinmas or Old Hallowmas (Scotttish/Celtic) Lá Samhna (Modern Irish), Festival of the Dead, Feile Moingfinne (Snow Goddess), Hallowtide (Scottish Gaelis Dictionary), Feast of All Souls, Nos Galen-gae-of Night of the Winter Calends (Welsh), La Houney or Hollantide Day, Sauin or Souney ( Manx), oidhche na h-aimiléise-the night of mischief or confusion, Day of the Dead (Feile na Marbh) (Ireland), Oidhche Shamna (Scotland), Feast of the Dead, Feast of Apples, Allantide, Third Harvest, Harvest Home, Geimredh, Spirit Night, Candle Night, November Eve, Nutcrack Night, Ancestor Night and Apple Fest.

A Samhain Recipe from Thora Dorn

The Traditional Bread of Halloween and Samhain

Barmbrack is a traditional Celtic bread served during Samhain with tea, and is the center of a divinatory ritual for the coming year. To make a traditional Barmbrack, trinkets and charms are always added into the mixture. Naturally, your own charms and meanings can and should be utilized as a part of your Samhain traditions. Each charm should be wrapped carefully in parchment or wax paper and placed equally through the bread before its final rise. Remember, when choosing to add charms to your Barmbrack, be certain to warn your guests before consuming!

•1cup of Orange Spice tea, prepared
•4 cups white flour
•3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
•1/4 tsp Allspice
•Pinch of salt
•1/2 stick butter
•1 package of yeast
•1/2 cup brown sugar
•1 tsp white sugar
•1 1/4 cups luke-warm milk
•1 egg, beaten
•1 cup raisins
•1 cup dried fruit

The evening before, soak the raisins and dried fruit in the brown sugar and tea. Drain before using.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Sift flour, spices and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter.
2. Add the yeast to the teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of the warm milk.
3. Pour the rest of the warm milk and the egg into the yeast mixture and combine with the dry ingredients and the sugar. Beat well and knead until the batter is stiff but elastic.
4. Fold in the prepared fruit. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled. Knead again for another 2 or 3 minutes and divide between two greased 1 1b loaf pans.
5. Wrap the charms in greaseproof paper and then hide them in the dough. Be sure they are well distributed. Cover again and let rise until the dough comes up to the top of the pan (30 minutes to an hour).
6. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, until the top is nicely browned and the bread sounds hollow when thumped.
Keeps about one week in a sealed container, but do note: Stale Barmbrack is still delicious when toasted and buttered!