Merry Meet All,
Here is the part I know you have been waiting for. This entry will talk about how to setup a Samhain altar, make Samhain incense, and decorate candles.
The first step in creating a Samhain altar is to physically clean and then cleanse your sacred space. Light a black candle, a small candle works best, to burn to absorb the negative energies. If your altar is on the floor, move it out from the wall and either vacuum or wash the floor. Clean your altar with a fresh mugwort infusion and salt and all of your tools as well. Samhain is the Celtic Witches New Year. You should want your altar to be clean.
Lay down a fresh clean black or orange or printed altar cloth on your altar. A black velvet cloth with trimmed edges would look stunning if you include the autumn colors and add silver and white candles for contrast. Use your finest candleholders and scrub the candleholders clean. This may seem like work but the end result is worth it.
Symbols of Samhain:
Dried leaves, acorns and nuts
Statues of deities
Photos of your relatives or ancestors
Set the symbolic items on your altar according to what they correspond to. Have fun dressing your altar and enjoy its clearer energy. Let the black candle burn down and remove the candle from the altar. Toss the candle outside to banish the energies from your home or in a waste basket, ensuring the candle is cold to avoid starting a fire. Light a white candle on your altar, for positive energy. Let the white candle burn down. The white candle symbolizes the new positive energy that should be vibrating around your altar now after all that work.
Polish your silver and dust your altar items. Sit at your altar and visualize a brilliant white energy coming down from your crown chakra to the altar. See the energy spreading around the altar, blessing the altar with magickal pure energy. Even though Samhain is a dark season, starting your altar off on the right broomstick counts for a lot.
Dig out your cool candleholders. If you have black and orange taper candles or mini-candles from last year, now is the time to use them. You can coat the candles in oil and glitter and carve words on them. Research cool candle lore.
Mugwort, rosemary, sage, sandalwood,dragon’s blood resin, patchouli, frankincense, myrrh, juniper berries, oak leaves, bay leaf and mandrake. Use mandrake only if you have researched the herb first and can protect yourself from its effects. Put the incense in a bowl. Think of whether you want the incense to be in a powder or a cone or stick form. Store your incense in a bowl on your altar.
You can buy or make your own candles. I posted on how to make pumpkin candles earlier. I hope that inspired you. You can also paint the pumpkin candles. When you make your own candles, empower the candles with seasonally appropriate herbs, essential oils and candles. When you are done making the candles, you can add glitter or oils and decorate the candles with ribbons and charms. Paraffin wax burns black soot and soy or beeswax- bees would add a powerful boost of energy to the candle, are more organic and environmentally-friendly. You can make the candles in almost any shape you want. Use cooking spray to remove the candles from the molds.
You now have your clean energized altar, symbols of Samhain, incense and candles. You are all set for a powerful and hopefully memorable Samhain ritual.
Avoid cluttering your altar. Also, be sure to have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a fire. Keep burning candles away from pets or children.