Friday 23 October 2009

Samhain / Halloween open rituals and events

I'll be posting my usual list of weekly pagan events in and around London in a couple of days, but here are some Samhain open rituals and Halloween celebrations with a pagan feel that are taking place in London and the rest of England over the next week. I'll post details of more Samhain events as I find them.

Sunday 25 October; October Plenty with The Lions Part. Many pagans consider Samhain to be a celebration of the end of summer as much as it is an honouring of the dead. October Plenty is an autumn harvest celebration held annually in Southwark. Beginning on the Bankside, by Shakespeare's Globe, in London, October Plenty mixes ancient seasonal customs and theatre with contemporary festivity, joining with historic Borough Market, Southwark. The event starts at 12 noon on the Bankside outside Shakespeare's Globe. For more details visit

Monday 26 October; Guided Ghost Walk with John Constable (aka John Crow), author of Secret Bankside: Walks Around the Outlaw Borough. Cost is £7 (£5 concessions), just turn up as there are no advance bookings. Meet at 6.45pm for a 7pm start at John Harvard Library, near St George the Martyr church / Borough tube, London. For more details, visit

Tuesday 27 October; Leodis Pagan Circle Samhain Ritual. Time: 7pm. Location: Thwaite Mill, Thwaite Lane, Stourton, Leeds LS10 1RP. All welcome. For more information see

Tuesday 27 & Thursday 29 October; Witches, Wizards and Warlocks: A Guided Walk in Magical London with Delianne Forget, organised by Treadwells, 34 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7PB. 7.15pm for 7.30pm start. Ticket price £7 in advance. Tel: 020 7240 8906 or email:

On Thursday 29 October, the Pagan Federation London and MAA Coven are holding an indoor Samhain ritual at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL. Arrive at 7.30pm for an 8pm start. Entrance costs £5 (£4 for members). Bring food and drink to share. No photographs allowed. Visit

Friday 30 October; Samhain / Hallowe'en Celebration at Unity Unitarian Church, Upper Street, Islington, London. Time 7.20pm. £5 donation. Although this is in a church, the description sounds decidedly pagan: "Samhain is considered by most Wiccans as a celebration of death and of the dead, and involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died. As we celebrate Samhain, we will mark the change in seasons and to remember those who are no longer physically with us but continue to shape our lives. Amid the symbolic flames of the festival, we will share words, chanting, music, silence, candle lighting, and a candle-lit labyrinth walking meditation." For more details see

Saturday 31 October; Samhain rite - free and open Gorsedd of Caer Ibri at Avebury stone circle, Wiltshire. This is a seasonal rite with members of the Glastonbury and other Orders of Druids and the Loyal Arthurian Warband. Meet at noon for a 1pm start, meeting at and in the garden of the Red Lion.

Saturday 31 October 2009; Samhuinn Ritual at Stanton Drew Stone Circles, Somerset. The Dobunni Grove of Obod is holding a celebration of the fire festival suitable for pagans and friends/children of Pagans. Meet at 11am. Call Ninahare on 07962 781146 or visit for more details.

Saturday 31 October; Pagan Samhain celebration at Ankerwycke, near Staines, England. Start time 8pm. Call 07733 554321 for location and more details or visit the website

Saturday 31 October; The Witches Halloween Flying Ointment Workshop. The Wild Wicked Witches' workshop on the plants associated with witches and flying and herbal medicine as well as the history of Samhain, witches and broomstick. Venue Lee Valley Village YHA, Hertfordshire. Time: 10.30am -5pm, Cost: £60 / £45 concessions, deposit of £20 and booking essential. For details, call Karen on 07865081927 or Fiona on 07830195745.

Saturday 31 October; Halloween with Personal Ancestors: Divination, Study and Ritual in the Lukumi Tradition. A ritual day led by Ode Bi Tola and friends. This unusual Halloween celebration is a self-contained course in ancestor worship in an Afro-Caribbean tradition that will help you reach our own ancestors. Venue: Treadwells, 34 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7PB. Time: 10.30am to 5.30pm. Entry £45 in advance, booking essential. Tel: 020 7240 8906 or email:

Sunday 1 November; Anderida Gorsedd Druid group holds large open rituals at the Long Man of Wilmington, in Sussex, on the Sunday closest to each of the eight pagan festival of the year. To take part in the Halloween event, meet from 1.30pm near the Long Man of Wilmington car park, for a walk up the hill. For more details, visit or visit the website

Sunday 1 November; Samhain on Primrose Hill - Celebrate your Ancestors with the Loose Association of Druids. This is hosted by The Druid of Wormwood Scrubbs. 12.45pm - 2pm. Meet at Primrose Hill, London NW1 8YH, by the entrance opposite Rothwell St. For more details, email

Sunday 1 November: Kerridwen's Cauldron - Introduction to the Wheel and exploring the Dark Goddess of Samhain. Explore the Wheel of Brigit Ana with the Goddess Study Group. Facilitated by Elle Hull, Priestess of Avalon, this is an open Goddess study group, which will be held around the eight major festivals of the year beginning Samhain and ending Autumn Equinox 2010. Each circle will be held from 1:30pm to 5.30pm (arrival from 1pm) at Treadwells, 34 Tavistock St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7PB. Cost £10 (£7 unwaged). For further details contact Elle by email at or call 07981 875356.

The picture above shows last year's Halloween at Cross Bones Graveyard, on London's Southbank. This year's event is fully booked, but there are monthly vigils at the site. For details, visit the website:

Secret Bankside: Walks Around the Outlaw Borough

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