Samhain Festival 2013

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October 25 - 27, 2013
at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve
near Barneveld, Wisconsin
Coordinated by Bob & Georgette Paxton

At the thinning of the veil, ancestors call across the ages with memories and wisdom.  Gather with Tribe to honor what has been, mark what will be, and share in joyful revelry of today's gifts.  It is Samhain: Remember, rejoice, and renew.

Activities at this year's Samhain include:

  • Friday night's Witches' Ball, featuring Water Street Bridge!
  • Celebration of 30th Anniversary of Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve
  • Samhain Market
  • Workshops
  • Samhain Ritual
  • Childrens' Programming
  • Circle Sanctuary Annual Meeting
  • And much more! 


More about Samhain:

Celebrating the Seasons: Samhain

Frequently Asked Questions about our 3-day festivals

Lodging Near Circle Sanctuary


Previous Samhain Events:

20122011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006




Friday, October 25th

10 am Merchant Arrivals begin
Noon Open for General Arrivals
Noon Samhain Market on the Green - visit booths with a variety of wares.
1 pm Opening Ritual & Festival Blessing with Bob & Georgette
2 pm Workshop: Approaches to Tarot Counseling with Mari Powers
Using divination as a focus or adjunct to spiritual couseling is an ages old and multi-cultural method of helping people to grow, make positive changes, confirm their own intuition and heal. I will be sharing some of my methods and stories of working with people, then taking questions from participants. This workshop is appropriate for ministers, ministers in training and Pagan Leaders who serve as spiritual counselors in community or work.
3:30 pm Steve & Michelle Boshears 25th Anniversary Handfasting with Selena Fox and others.
Join the community in celebrating 25 years of marriage for Circle Minister Michelle Boshears and her husband Steve.
5:30 pm Dinner behind the Farmhouse
7:30 pm Arrivals Begin for Witches' Ball
8 pm Witches Ball featuring Water Street Bridge
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.

Childrens' Ball
Featuring games, trick-or-treating, music and more!

Saturday, October 26th

8 am Breakfast in the Summer Kitchen
9 am - 7 pm Samhain Market on the Green
9:30 am Youth & Parents Orientation with Brooke
Come and get in the know! A short workshop introduces parents & youth to Circle Sanctuary and the weekend's Youth Programming.

Youth Workshop: Ancestor Sticks with Brooke and others
Find and decorate tools to honor your ancestors!
9:30 am Circle Sanctuary Annual Meeting: Celebrating 30 Years of Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve 
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.
Noon Potluck Lunch served behind the Farmhouse.
1:30 pm Homes for the Dead: Cemeteries, Tombs, & Burial Mounds with Selena Fox
A look across time and cultures at some types of resting places for human remains, including graveyards, crypts, columbaria, barrows, mausolea, catacombs, and natural burying grounds. Selena shares some experiences and photos from her visits to ancient Native American mounds, old New Orleans cemeteries, ancestral churchyards, and other sites. This workshop also includes a community discussion about ways to remember and honor the deceased at places for the Dead.
3:30 pm

Workshop: Panpsychicm and Animism in Contemporary Philosophy with Chiron

We know our pets have minds and personalities, but can we honestly say that snakes have minds or trees?  If we address the sun and moon as persons are there good reasons why we might think them to be alive?  Until recently we could have been viewed as laughingly naive, primitive or even nuts if we answered yes to those questions.  But recent developments in philosophy have now given a positive answer to those questions more credibility and respect.  I will tell you why and give you a good reading list for further reflection.

Youth Workshop: Quilt Square Decorating with Brooke
Decorate quilt squares with Samhain themes! These will be combined with squares made by youth at other Circle festivals, into a quilt to be donated to Circle.

5:30 pm Raffle Drawing & Silent Auction Results in the Temple Room.
6 pm Dinner behind the Farmhouse
8:30 pm Samhain Ritual with Georgette Paxton and others.

Youth Movie Night in the Farmhouse
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 - Dawn Self-guided Labyrinth
Meditatively walk the candlelit Spiral Labyrinth for personal insights, inner peace & transformation. At Spiral Labyrinth.

Sunday, October 27th

8 am Breakfast in the Summer Kitchen
9 am - noon Samhain Market on the Green
9:30 am Death Café with Sharon Stewart
It will only strengthen our community if we talk openly about death. So why is it so hard and/or uncomfortable to talk about? In this relaxed and safe setting, we will be stimulating small group conversations to talk about our thoughts and feelings on death. Join us at the Café for beverages, delicious treats and even better conversation!

Youth Poi Spinning Workshop with Brooke
Come learn to spin poi in a safe environment!
11:30 am Cremains Scattering Ritual
Ashes of Lois Lange will be ceremonially scattered in the Prairie Cemetery in this Samhain rite of remembrance and farewell facilitated by Selena Fox. Lois Lange, who died August 1, 2013, is the mother of Christine Riggins and grandmother of Kyle Busse, Circle Sanctuary Community members. All participating in the Samhain Festival are invited to attend to give support. Bring a rattle or drum to play, if you have one.
12:30 pm Lunch behind the Farmhouse
1:30 pm Festival Closing Ritual with Bob & Georgette
2 pm Cleanup & Final Departures


Items to Bring

  • Costume for Friday Night's Witches Ball (optional)
  • Contribution for potluck feast to feed at least two dozen, for Saturday lunch. For details, please see our Potluck Guidelines.
  • Please help us conserve paper: bring your own cup to use for drinks at meals and other times.
  • Rattle (if you have one) for Cremains Scattering Ritual on Sunday
  • Flowers and/or herbs (fresh or dried) to place at gravesites at the cemetery (optional)
  • Bring items for the ancestors and recently departed altars - photos or small personal items and candles.
  • Items to donate for the Raffle and Silent Auction
  • Bring dried herbs for offerings during rituals.
  • Bring a pumpkin or gourd to carve for decorating the temple room and ritual spaces.
  • Bring a mug or cup to drink from
  • Camping Gear: tent, sleeping bag, pillow, air mattress, flashlight, water jug, towel, biodegradable soap and shampoo, personal toiletries, sungear, raingear. NOTE: Night-time temperatures at Samhain can dip into the 30s - - please pack accordingly!



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




Registration is CLOSED for this event, and registration at the gate is not an option.

Cancellations received before October 18th will be refunded minus 50% processing fee. Cancellations received on October 18th 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.