Samhain 2012

DSC 0880Samhain Festival

October 26 - 28, 2012
at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve
west of Mount Horeb & north of Barneveld, Wisconsin
25 miles west of Madison, Wisconsin

The year draws to a close and the time of renewal is upon us. Come linger with loved ones and friends in A Place Between Worlds, as we bid farewell to that which has passed and open ourselves to the possibilities of the future. Samhain reminds us that all endings are beginnings; as we descend into the dark time of the year and prepare to say goodbye to 2012, we celebrate the promise of rebirth.

Activities at this year's Samhain include:

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

More about Samhain:

Celebrating the Seasons: Samhain

Previous Samhain Events:

2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006


jerrie hildebrand

Jerrie Hildebrand: Forgiveness as a Lifelong Ritual
Samhain is the perfect time to honor those things that have also died in our personal lives that we need to forgive or let go. Forgiveness and letting go takes practice. It is not an automatic way of living or a "do it once move" and be done with it. Creating practices provides a way there as do ritual and meditation. Magickally, forgiveness and letting go allow obstacles to be removed so we can grow and move forward. It allows our personal power to expand. In this workshop we will look at these practices along with a simple ritual to begin this process for ourselves. Bring to this workshop a small burnable symbol of what you wish to let go of or forgive or simply write it on a leave or piece of paper.


FRIDAY, October 26th

12:30 pm Pagan Ministry in Hospitals workshop with Selena Fox & others

This workshop focuses on doing spiritual healing, counseling, and support for Pagans and their loved ones in hospitals and other health-care institutions. This leadership training workshop is open to Circle Sanctuary ministers, to other Pagan clergy and healers, and to those training to become Pagan ministers.

2:00 pm Welcome & Opening Ritual

Kick off the celebration of endings and beginnings with a blessing of the festival grounds and establishing of sacred space. Come meet the festival staff, the ministers, and find out all the information you need to know for a wonderful weekend.

3:00 pm Forgiveness Workshop with Jerrie Hildebrand
Butter Making and Honoring the Fae with Brooke & Meghan (Youth)

The community youth get the festival started by shaking things up! By making butter! Some of this will also be given as an offering to the spirits of the land, and the rest will be shared at dinner.

4:30 pm Newcomer Meeting with Truly

New to Circle Sanctuary? Come learn about the history of the land and community and the ways of those who love it.

5:00 pm Dinner behind the farmhouse
8:00 pm Witches Ball with Murphey's Midnight Rounders (Adults)

A costume ball that celebrates the season! Come listen to the live band, dance, and make merry until the witching hour! Some refreshments will be provided.

Kids' Ball with Brooke & Meghan (Youth)

The community youth will rock the valley with their own party tonight! Kid appropriate music and dancing will be provided. Please bring a snack to share. Children must be picked up by 9pm by their parents.

SATURDAY, October 27th

8:00 am Breakfast
9:30 am Youth Program Orientation with Brooke & Meghan
Pumpkin Carving Station with Brooke & Meghan(Youth)

Join the community youth in carving pumpkins to frighten and amuse! The activity will be held in the youth tent and be available all day for the young and the young at heart. Children carving must be supervised by their parents.

10:00 am Circle Sanctuary Annual Meeting

Join us for a review of Circle's activities in the past year, the annual report, updates from the Strategic Planning process, and what you can look forward to from Circle Sanctuary in the year ahead.

Pumpkin Hunt with Brooke & Meghan(Youth)

A mystery is a-foot this Samhain tide as the pumpkins have gone missing! Join the youth of the community as they search high and low for the missing pumpkins.

11:00 am Quilt Square Decoration & Feast of the Ancestors intro with Brooke & Meghan(Youth)

Come learn about the tradition of the silent supper and the Feast for the Ancestors with Brooke and Meghan. The community youth will also get a chance to decorate quilt squares to make a special community Samhain quilt.

Noon Potluck Lunch behind the Farmhouse
3:00 pm End Times Mythology Panel

Join a host of tale-tellers as they spin stories of the end of the world from various paths and mythologies.

4:30 pm Ancestral Portal Magic with Selena Fox

Learn ways of locating & journeying through portals in cemeteries, shrines, dwellings, and other sites to connect with ancestor figures, traditions, and wisdom for personal healing and growth.

Poi Spinning Basics with Brooke(Youth)

Come learn how to spin kid-friendly Poi with Brooke!

5:30 pm Raffle / Silent Auction with Florence

Join us for the closing of the raffle and silent auction, recover your must-haves and drool items, and socialize before dinner.

6:00 pm Dinner behind the farmhouse
8:30 pm Samhain Community Ritual with Truly, Vanessa, Selena and others

It is the time of year when the veil between the worlds is thin. The veil will be drawn back with song to celebrate the end of the old year and the beginning of new, with the ancestors and those beyond.

Youth Movie Night (Youth)

For those too young to participate in the main ritual, a movie will be shown in the farmhouse with supervision by the staff. Bring something comfy to sit on. Youth pick up must happen immediately after the end of the main ritual.

10:30 pm Late-night Samhain Candlelight Labyrinth

Walk the Spiral Labyrinth in a silent, meditative journey.

SUNDAY, October 28th

8:00 am Breakfast
10:00 am Native American Traditions & Sacred Pipe Ceremony 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 Scavenger Hunt (Youth)

There is still time for fun and games, even though Samhaintide is coming to a close. There will be a service oriented scavenger hunt held on Sunday morning.

Noon Lunch behind the Farmhouse
1:30 pm Closing Ritual

As the wheel turns and this moment between the worlds draws to a close, help us thank the spirits, the ancestors, and the powers of the land for their participation. Offer your own blessings and wishes for the new year.

3:00 pm Final Departures


Adults (each): 9/24 - 10/12 10/13 - 10/23
All 3 Days $95 $110
Any 2 Days $60 $75
Any 1 Day $45 $50
Witches' Ball Only $20 $25


Youth 5+ (each) Until 10/23
All 3 Days $20
Any 2 Days $15
Any 1 Day $10
Witches' Ball Only $5


Admittance to the Witches' Ball is included with regular festival registration, provided your registration includes Friday.

At-gate registration for the Samhain festival is NOT available, though you may register at the gate for the Witches' Ball only.

Children under 5 are free.

If interested in vending, please read the Vending FAQ, register as usual and contact the Circle Office:

Cancellations received before October 24th will be refunded minus 50% processing fee. Cancellations received on October 24th or later will not be refunded. Please refer to Circle's cancellation policy if you should need to cancel your event registration.

For more information contact or call the Circle office at (608) 924-2216.