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.
  • Circle Sanctuary Annual Meeting on Saturday Morning, with Samhain New Year toast
  • A transformative Samhain Ritual with the Circle Community on Saturday Night
  • Ancestor discussion and seasonal workshops with Rev. Selena Fox
  • Diverse workshops & Rituals throughout the weekend
  • Bonfires & nature walk
  • Samhain raffle & silent auction
  • And much more! 


More about Samhain:

Celebrating the Seasons: Samhain



Children's programming will be announced soon!

Friday, October 26th

12 pm

Gate opens for Arrivals

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

1:30 - 3:00 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.

4 - 5 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

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!

Saturday, October 27th

8 - 9 am

Breakfast in the Summer Kitchen

9 - 9:45 am

Newcomers' Meeting
Come learn the ins & outs of the festival, and about Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve

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 Workshop with Rev. River Higginbotham
Join Reverend River in the Temple Room for an invigorating discussion. More details coming soon!

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. More details coming soon!

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.

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

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.)

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, Anna 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 some other Circle Sanctuary Ministers includes honoring of the Dead with offerings and ritual sweeping of gravestones. It will conclude in the Stone Circle with a Circle Sanctuary delegates blessing of the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions being held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, November 1-7. 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 9/30 Through 10/14 Through 10/24
3 Days $105 $120 $130
Any 2 Days $90 $100 $110
Sat. Only $60 $65 $70
Witches' Ball Only $20 $20 $25
Children 5+ (each) Through 9/30 Through 10/14 Through 10/24
3 Days $45 $45 $50
Any 2 Days $40 $40 $45
Sat. Only $30 $30 $35
Witches' Ball Only $10 $10 $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.