Samhain 2018

IMG 1291Beyond the Gates of Time

October 26 - 28, 2018
at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve
near Barneveld, Wisconsin
Coordinated by Revs. Georgette and Bob Paxton

The Wheel of the Year has reached its pinnacle and a time of reflection and renewal draws upon us. As we reach across the Veil and walk between the Gates of Time, we honor those who have passed before us and open our hearts to the lessons of memory and the wisdom of the Ancestors. Join with beloved community as we celebrate endings that are beginnings, revel in the gifts of today, and step with open eyes into the season of transformation.

Space is limited for this popular festival, so reserve your spot today!

Activities at this year's Samhain include:

  • Friday night's Witches' Ball, featuring Water Street Bridge!
    Water Street BridgeThese veterans of stage and studio blend Celtic, blues, old timey, Americana, sea shanty, pseudo-Slavic, jazz, Creole, art rock, reggae, comedy and original songs into something that can only be described as “eclectic acoustic.” Brandishing an impressive arsenal of musical instruments they bring new life to tales of old, old sounds to tales of today, and twisted takes on tales never meant to be told. Holding true to its original vision, Water Street Bridge remains a creative collective, thriving off the input and participation of a variety of musicians, artists, dancers and poets. Steam powered, funked out... this AIN'T your momma's folk music.
  • Ancestor discussion and Cemetery Rite with Reverend Selena Fox
  • Fascinating workshops & discussions led by ministers & leaders including bruja and tarot expert Laura González, Rev. Tiffany Andes, author Rev. River Higginbotham, death midwife Rev. Sharon Stewart and others
  • Samhain guided painting workshop with artist Colleen Koziara
  • Circle Sanctuary Annual Meeting with a Samhain New Year toast
  • A transformative Samhain Ritual with Rev. Georgette Paxton and the community on Saturday night
  • Samhain raffle and silent auction
  • Moments for children to play and learn Samhain lore with family activities led by Florence
  • Heated dining & gathering space in our spacious festival tent on the Green  
  • Bonfires, nature walk, and so much more!


More about Samhain:

Celebrating the Seasons: Samhain




Friday, October 26th

12 pm

Gate opens for Arrivals

Donations for Raffle and Silent Auction accepted at Raffle Tent next to the barn

1:00 - 2:30 pm

Spiritual Care: Understanding the Wounds of the Self with Rev. Tiffany Andes
As healers, leaders, and teachers in our communities, it is essential we understand the foundational wounds and trauma we all bear and struggle with as humans. Having a greater understanding of these dynamics allows us to communicate more effectively and to be better at interfacing in our communities. The cornerstones or wounds that we will cover in this workshop will be grief and loss, shame and guilt, forgiveness, and anger.

Kids & Family: New Year, New Broom with Florence in the Summer Kitchen
Samhain is the start of our new year, and we’ll create new brooms to help us sweep away the detritus of the old year and bring in good things for the year to come. Grown-ups are encouraged to come and assist younger participants.

3:00 - 4:15 pm

Psychic Ability and Divination Workshop with Laura González
Laura will share her 29 years of knowledge, family traditions and experiences to guide you into tapping your own psychic abilities and divination skills. Her practice in the world of psychic abilities and divination combines a unique blend of Mexican folk magic, Pagan and Wiccan practices, and her personal experiences as a "witch for hire". This workshop is for both experienced and non-experienced Witches and Pagans of all walks of the earth!

Kids & Family: Samhain Storytime & Face Painting with Florence in the Summer Kitchen
We’ll gather for storybooks and songs celebrating all things fall, Samhain, and Halloween. Those who wish to can also get their faces painted and get into their costumes for Samhain trick-or-treating!

4:30 - 5:30 pm

Opening Ritual with Rev. Tiffany
Gather to bless the festival and honor sacred land, harvest’s end, and the community with an introduction to the festival coordinators & staff.

5:30 - 7 pm

Dinner behind the Farmhouse

7:30 pm

Arrivals begin for Witches' Ball
Gates open from 7:30 pm - 1 am for those coming just for the Witches Ball

Kids & Family: Kids' Trick-or-Treat Parade with Florence
We’ll go through camp, collecting treats for our party and showing off our costumes. Grown-ups are encouraged to reserve some of their witches-ball contribution to gift to the children, or bring treats to distribute.

8 pm - Midnight

The Annual Witches' Ball!
A grand Samhain celebration featuring live music, refreshments, dancing and merriment with friends of many Pagan paths. Costumes are encouraged: Join us for a rollicking evening of good fun!

8 - 9 pm

Kids & Family: Witches-In-Training Dance Party and Drive-in Movie with Florence
Kids take over the tent! While the grownups have their party, the kids will groove out to music of our own, followed by a big-screen halloween movie night. Movie TBD. Parents MUST pick your children up by 9 p.m.

Saturday, October 27th

8 - 9 am

Breakfast in the Summer Kitchen

9 - 9:45 am

Baby Blessing with the Brammerson Family
Emily & Zephyr celebrate their first child with a loving welcome to the Pagan community!

10 am - Noon

Circle Sanctuary Annual Meeting with Rev. Selena, Rev. Bob and others
Join us for a review of Circle Sanctuary’s activities over the past year, recognition of the contributions of volunteers and staff, and presentation of the Annual Report by Selena, Bob, and others. Share ideas for the future and celebrate Circle Sanctuary’s 44th birthday.


Lunch behind the Farmhouse

1:30 - 3 pm

Samhain Transformation Workshop with Rev. River Higginbotham
Join Reverend River in the Temple Room for an invigorating experience. The season of endings is now, but what ends?  What wisdom opens to us through the underworld journey of Inanna as she faces her sister Ereshkigal?  What must you let go of to transform and potentially redeem yourself?  We will explore these questions together and discover our own answers.

Guided Painting Workshop with Colleen Koziara
Tap into your inner vision and put paint to canvas with Colleen’s expert guidance to create your own Samhain artwork. $5/person requested for cost of materials, collected at start of workshop.

Kids & Family: No End to the Circle - Encountering Death and Funeral Rites with Florence in the Summer Kitchen
As Pagans, we recognize that death is a necessary part of the cycle of life. We do our children no favors when we hide this part of life from them, even when we, as adults, have difficulty talking about it. In this workshop we’ll talk about death in age-appropriate ways through a Pagan perspective, including the concepts of the eternal spirit and reincarnation. We’ll then hold a child directed funeral for a wild animal, including a burial ritual. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend with their children and participate in the discussion.

3:30 - 5 pm

Ancestor Workshop with Rev. Selena Fox
Develop and deepen relationships with Ancestors as part of spiritual practice at Samhain time, as part of life passage rites, and throughout the year. Explore some ways to create and work with Ancestors altars, stories, and rituals.

Kids & Family: Elemental Pumpkin Decorating with Florence in the Summer Kitchen
Jack-o-lanterns are fun to make, but they can also be helpful friends and guardians in our rituals. We’ll carve and decorate pumpkins to be incorporated into the ritual circle this evening.

5:30 - 6 pm

Raffle & Silent Auction results with Jenn Butterfield
Try your hand at winning unique & inspiring Pagan goods generously donated by the community. Bid on silent auction items or get your raffle tickets earlier in the day, then come to the raffle to see who takes home fantastic prizes.

6 - 7:30 pm

Dinner behind the Farmhouse

7:45 pm

Kids & Family: Family Samhain Ritual with Florence at Bonfire Circle
Before the grownups have their ritual, we’ll have a Samhain ritual appropriate for all ages. We’ll sweep away the old year, and laugh in the new year, making wishes for the time to come. Everyone is invited to participate in this ritual.

8 - 10 pm

Samhain Main Ritual: Beyond the Gates of Time with Rev. Georgette Paxton, Rev. Selena Fox, and others
The Veil is thin and the shining Gates have opened. We gather in reverence together in the heated tent on the Green for reflection and communion with those who have gone before in a transformative ritual moving between silent contemplation, divination, and a procession into the night. (Dress in layers: The ritual takes place beginning in the tent and ending outdoors.)

Kids & Family: Kids' Samhain Sleepover with Florence in the Farmhouse
While the grown-ups have their ritual, we’ll take over the farmhouse. Wear your favorite jammies, bring your favorite stuffy, and sleeping bag or blanket. We’ll have a DIY popcorn bar and then settle in for storybooks and a movie.

10 pm - Dawn

Samhain Night Labyrinth
A self-guided journey through Circle's candle-lit Spiral Labyrinth for silent reflection and ancestor visioning beneath the open sky.

Sunday, October 28th

8 - 9 am

Breakfast in the Summer Kitchen

9 - 10:30 am

Seasonal Land Experience with Reed
Expert naturalist Reed provides an up-close view to the Autumn magic of Circle land. More details coming soon!

Death Midwife Panel with Rev. Sharon Stewart, Raven, Minerva, and others
Meet some of the Death Midwives who work with the Circle Community and join in a fascinating discussion of end-of-life care, experiences working with the dying, supporting the grieving, and providing compassion in times of loss.

11 am - 12:30 pm

Circle Cemetery Rite
This annual outdoor Samhain rite at Circle Sanctuary facilitated by Selena Fox and other Circle Sanctuary Ministers includes honoring the Dead with offerings and ritual sweeping of gravestones, featuring cremains interment and remembering the life of beloved community member, author and priestess Kathryn Hinds. It will conclude in the Stone Circle with Circle Sanctuary delegates blessing the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions. Bring fresh or dried herbs, flowers, and/or other offerings to decorate gravesites, plus a stone or crystal to leave at the Stone Circle. All welcome.

12:30  - 1:30 pm

Lunch behind the Farmhouse

2 - 2:30 pm

Closing Circle with Revs. Georgette and Bob Paxton, and Rev. Selena Fox
Gather to seal the magic of the weekend with remembrances and a final release of the forces we’ve invoked in our work together, before returning to our daily lives.

3 pm

Final Departures

PLEASE NOTE: Updates to this schedule will be announced on Circle Sanctuary Community main Facebook page as well as posted here. 



Owing to limited space on the Green, there will be no vending at this event.



Adults (each): Through 10/24
3 Days $130
Any 2 Days $110
Sat. Only $70
Witches' Ball Only $25
Children 5+ (each) Through 10/24
3 Days $50
Any 2 Days $45
Sat. Only $35
Witches' Ball Only $15

Children under 5 are free.



Registration for this event is limited.  Please register online to guarantee you will be able to attend.  Some same-day registration may be available depending on numbers.

Cancellations received before October 25th will be refunded minus 50% processing fee. Cancellations received on October 25th or later will not be refunded. Please refer to Circle's cancellation policy if you should need to cancel your event registration.



If you have questions, please contact the Circle Office.