Samhain is the celebration of death and the dead. It is "the night between years" as the Celtic New Year starts the next day.
The fields are emptied, the gods deities of the harvest have been sacrificed and the old year has died. The earth passes into it's dying cycle. It is time to visit with ancestors and divine guidance for the coming year. It is time to retreat to the darkness, so the sun may grow again.
With the belief that evil spirits were roaming the streets alongside our beloved ancestors, burning fires (whether indoors at the hearth or outdoors at the bonfire) was a means to ward off unwanted energy. Creating a Mullein torch is an herbal accompaniment to your Samhain observance. Mullein has long been used for sacred fires as it aids in thinning the veil and protects against negative influences. Fire chases away unwanted spirits. Burning herbs is one way to send your intentions into the universe. Mullein has a storied history of being lit for fire. In the early days, it was soaked in tallow or oil. It was used for ceremonies and especially for funeral processions, which is likely how it has been connected to the spirit realm.
H E R B S Rosemary for remembrance Sage for protection and banishing evil Elderflower as a bridge between the living and the dead Mugwort for protection and divination Yarrow is a flying herb for protection Apple peel for love and Samhain vibes
*A friend - @wineberryadventurescouts - used calendula on her torch. It is an herb used to welcome your ancestors. I will be sure to add it to mine next year!
M A K E
Dried Mullein stalk
Strip Mullein stalk leaves and trim stem to desired length. You can use the little knobs that grow in the sides as mini candles too!
Dip a dried mullein stalk in melted beeswax and allow to dry on parchment paper. Repeat several times so it is well coated.
Sprinkle with herbs and use your fingers to pat in.
Using a spoon, drizzle a bit of wax on herbs to secure them to the stalk.
Don't have a mullein stalk? Leaves work well too! Dip in wax and fold to create a narrower profile. Sprinkle herbs as mentioned above. Use a candlestick holder as a vessel for burning them.
U S E
There are many ways to use your torch.
As a candle on your altar
Before communing with your ancestors
Light it from your bonfire to take indoors to light your "hearth"
Before embarking on your trick or treating
Stick stems in the ground around your home as a protective circle
Use all safety precautions when lighting a fire and never leave unattended.