Samhain 2011

Samhain Festival: The Spirit World

October 28 - 30, 2011
at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve
west of Mount Horeb & north of Barneveld, Wisconsin
25 miles west of Madison, Wisconsin

Samhain, popularly known as Halloween, occurs in late October and early November. For most Wiccan practitioners, this is the New Year, and a time for letting go of the old and looking ahead to the new. It marks the end of the harvest season. Since ancient times, Pagans have paid their respects to departed loved ones, ancestors, and guides in the Spirit World at Samhain. The Goddess manifests as the Crone and the God as the Horned Hunter and Lord of Death. Sacred colors are Black and Orange. It is the festival of endings and transformation.

Activities at this year's Samhain include:

  • Friday night's Witches' Ball
  • Workshops
  • Samhain Ritual
  • Childrens' Programming
  • Circle Sanctuary Annual Meeting
  • And much more!



FRIDAY, October 28th

12:30 pm Gate Opens for Arrivals
1:00 pm Cat Funeral & Natural Burial

Funeral & natural burial of Circle Sanctuary Temple Cat Artemis (1992-2011) facilitated by Selena Fox. Meet in Stone Circle for funeral. Natural burial will be nearby. Bring a sistrum and/or catnip, if you wish. Rite & burial includes a remembrance of Artemis' life and invocations & offerings to Bast, ancient Egyptian Cat Goddess.

2:00 pm Festival Blessing with Ana Blechschmidt
3:00 pm Crone Spirit Wheat Weaving with Linda Daly

We will be making Scottish Clyacks out of wheat, oats, and ribbon. A Clyack is an ancient weaving representing The Crone and the end of the Harvest. In a Scottish village, the Crone was the oldest woman, and typically the source of herb lore and healing.

Spirit Gourds with Brooke & Ken Laukant (Youth)

Learn the history of where our modern day Jack-O-Lanterns got their start, and make your own lantern fashioned out of turnips/gourds and electric tea-light 'candles'.

4:30 pm Newcomer Meeting with Sharon
5:00 pm Dinner behind the farmhouse
7:00 pm Balefirewith Reed

Come and enjoy a large balefire and fire spinning to kick off the Samahin celebration!

7:30 pm Witches Ball with Stone Ring (Adults)

Dress in your Samhain best, or come in costume to celebrate Harvest's end and to enjoy the final performance given by Stone Ring. It has been our honor to have Stone Ring perform at Circle Samhain for the past 13 years. Best Wishes to them as they retire and go into the next part of their lives!

Witch-lets Ball with Brooke & Ken (Youth)

The kiddos will enjoy a party of their own with snacks music, story-telling and more! Parents please pick up your child at 9pm for bedtime.

SATURDAY, October 29th

8:00 am Breakfast
9:30 am Youth Program Orientation with Jen Snow, Brooke & Ken Laukant

Come and find out more about today's activities for the Youth Program, as well as verse the younglings and their parents as to the do's & don'ts around Circle.

10:00 am Community Spirit:Circle Sanctuary Annual Meeting

Join with others in the Community in reflecting on Circle Sanctuary endeavors over the past year and to give input into future directions.

Quilt Square Creation with Brooke & Ken Laukant(Youth)

The kids will learn more of the Lore of Samhain, and then have the chance to decorate their own quilt square for the season. These squares will be put together by Brooke, over the year, and auctioned off at next year's Samhain Silent Auction.

Noon Potluck Lunch behind the Farmhouse
1:30 pm Warrior Spirit: Ordination of Jeanet & David Ewing

All are welcome to attend this ordination of Jeanet & David Ewing of Virginia as Circle Sanctuary Ministers. David & Jeanet are part of the Circle Sanctuary military ministries team and their ordination will include a celebration of their help with these endeavors.

Pumpkin Carving & Painting with Brooke & Ken Laukant(Youth)

Join us for some Traditional Samhain fun! Older kids can carve pumpkins, while the younger ones will paint pumpkins.

3:00 pm Ministers' Panel: Guiding the Spirits of the Dead to the Underworld

Circle Sanctuary Ministers PathWalker, Chiron, & Selena Fox share knowledge and experiences with working with souls of the dying and the dead in Afterlife transitions.

Nature Walk with Ken Laukant(Youth)

Ken takes the young ones out of the main hunting grounds in preparation for the Pumpkin Hunt.

4:15 pm Ancestor Spirits with Selena Fox

Explore ways to connect with the Spirits of your Ancestors at Samhain and throughout the year. Learn how to identify ancestral omens and guidance, do ancestor rituals at cemeteries, pilgrimage to ancestral lands, and work with ancestral portals on altars and shrines.

Pumpkin Hunt with Brooke & Ken Laukant(Youth)

Hunt for Pumpkins and win fun prizes!

5:30 pm Raffle / Silent Auction in the Barn
6:00 pm Dinner behind the farmhouse.
8:30 pm Samhain Community Ritual: Honoring the Dead

This year's main Samhain Ritual, facilitated by the Ghetto Shamans, begins in the Temple Room with an honoring of ancestors and other beloved dead with altars, grief release, and communion meditation. It will be followed with a New Orleans Style Jazz Funeral Procession outdoors to the Festival Circle where there will be Spirit figures and a bonfire. This ritual is open to adults and mature teens; children ages 12 & under will have Movie night in the farmhouse.

Youth Movie Night (Youth)

The kids relax with a movie in the Farmhouse during the main ritual. Please pick up your children for bedtime promptly after the ritual.

10:30 pm Self-Guided Labyrinth

Walk the Spiral Labyrinth in a silent, meditative journey.

SUNDAY, October 30th

Midnight - Dawn Samhain Midnight Cemetery Vigil with Kelly Dwyer

We will be honoring those who have passed through the veil. Bring your songs, poetry and memories of departed loved ones to the Cemetery between midnight and early morning of Samhain Eve where we will spend time communing with the spirits and each other. For warmth and comfort, please bring a cloak or blanket.

* * * PLEASE NOTE * * * To take part in the cemetery vigil, (early hours of Sunday) you need to be registered for either the two-day rate (attending Saturday & Sunday) or the full weekend. One-day only registrations do not include the overnight vigil. Those with multi-day registration commuting to the site will need to park outside the gate on Saturday, since the gate will be locked just prior to midnight. Vehicle traffic on Sanctuary land will not be permitted until dawn, so as to not disturb those doing the cemetery vigil & those sleeping.

8:00 am Breakfast
10:00 am Native American Spirit Work with Shine

Shine, a Circle Sanctuary Minister, will engage us with lore of the season as it relates to the Native American Traditions. Shine is a multicultural teacher and pipe carrier who lives on the Lac du Flambeau reservation (Ojibwa) in Wisconsin.

Service-Oriented Scavenger Hunt (Youth)

Kids will be given a sheet with a list of tasks on it for the kids to complete. The winners will pick a prize and all others will be given prizes for completion of the sheet.

Noon Lunch behind the Farmhouse
1:30 pm Closing Ritual with Joey
3:00 pm Departures



Taldish Castle

Offering incense, jewelry, divination cards, statuary, crystal balls, spoons for the kitchen witch, cooking DVD, Meditation CDs, books, tapestries, mortar and pestles, candles, cauldrons and other delights.

Raven's Nest Jewelry

Offering unique, one of a kind jewelry. Most of it is made with natural materials (natural un-dyed stone, bone, wood, pearls and shell), all of it is made from the heart with intent.


Frequently Asked Questions about our 3-day festivals

More about Samhain:
Celebrating the Seasons: Samhain