Samhain Tarot Spread: All Your Divination Needs Met
Last Updated: August 25, 2023
When it comes to Samhain, the witchiest witch holiday of the year, you’ll find plenty to do here on backyardbanshee.com and tons of activity ideas, rituals and spells. For starters, you could make your own jack-o’-lanterns and decorate them with symbols of the holiday (think moons, bats, cats, and owls).
You can also use pumpkins for divination by counting their seeds and casting them on a cloth using numerology as a system or in place of dice. If you’re a more ritualistic witch, you’ll want to consider a tarot session to explore divination on a night when the veil is thin. For that purpose, you’re absolutely covered below.
Spirits, Ancestors, Witchcraft and Nature
When we walk about the veil walls between realms being thin, we are describing the spiritual energy of Beltane and Samhain. It is a time to open up divination and communication with our ancestors, spirits and the nature around us.
Primarily most folks associate this time of year with death and dying, and it’s not always the case – it’s a time for personal and spiritual growth and a reminder to honor the cycles of life. When doing a tarot spread for this season, consider what messages these spirits could be giving you.
Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve, Calan Gaeaf and more marks the time of year when the veil is thin, and spirits come to visit from beyond. It’s said that we can see the future with more clarity at this time, which makes it an ideal opportunity for divination practices.
Cleidomancy is generally the divination method of choice usually for Virgo season, as it was said to be used when the Sun was in Virgo or the Moon was in Virgo. Tied in with the Bible (and therefore big on Virgin energy) for older practices, modern use of keys in divination is more to do with cleromancy and charm casting, as well as in pendulum use. So this could be an excellent New Moon divination method to try as well as for Samhain!
For fun witchery ideas if you’re having a party, have a key hang by the door and for any person who touched it first would have their fortune read. This can be done by anyone and is as simple as allowing a key to dangle from a string or even your fingers. The result will be based on the direction it swings. Quite cute for social gatherings!
Hekate, our favourite psychopomp goddess of witchcraft, is heavily associated with keys, so this could be a nice way to bring her energy into your Samhain ceremony or ritual.
Using keys as a tool for answering questions, the person performing the reading can interpret different key shapes, sizes, and colors to give a broader answer. The keys can be placed in a bag and shaken, or they can be thrown onto a surface like a tablecloth sectioned with meaning. Different coloured keys can be corresponding to different scenarios or areas of your life. You could even write on the key (or use different coloured washi tape on keys) to give them specific intentions. Once cast and they’ve landed, the diviner will analyze how they’re positioned and what each key means about the question asked. This is a very cute way to get some clarity or inspiration!
Dowsing is one of the “proper” terms we call using a pendulum. You can use it for rods with seeking water or you can use it for divination purposes with answers to questions. It is important to get yourself into an intuitive state of mind when using a pendulum as this will help you connect your subconsciousness with the question at hand and give a more accurate answer. It’s a lot trickier to concentrate that it appears.
When asking your question, be sure that it has both yes and no answer potentials – dowsing only works if the answer is yes or no. You could ask your pendulum to show you a YES by moving clockwise, and NO by counter-clockwise. It’s also possible to use a pendulum to search for missing items – so if something has gone walkabout in your home this Samhain, give dowsing a go!
Ahhh harvests and horror movies. They go hand in hand now, don’t they? Originally, and stick with me here, dririmancy involved divining the patterns in blood (or how bloods appearance changes) to gain insight into the future. A more modern take on this is using red melted wax or even red corn syrup to help access prophetic dreams.
There are a few methods of divining with candle wax, and here’s one I particularly like for you for Samhain:
Light a bright red candle before bed and gaze into it while you focus on the question or inquiry that’s on your mind, and then let the wax puddle down in front of the candle. The symbolism it forms for you offers you clues and answers regarding the question or inquiry you focused on. This can be a rather intense process, so it’s best to do it with intention and mindfulness.
If you use your menstrual blood in your practice, you can use it in a similar way – dripping it on paper and letting it dry. After drying, look for symbols or images that appear naturally. Menstruating at the time of Samhain is particularly interesting, as it’s the cycle of nature where life is fallowing, and nothing is more on the nose with that analogy than getting your period. Please ensure to dispose of any sanitary products responsibly.
Geomancy is divination by earth. This is an ideal practice to do outside or at least near a window, as you need to be close to the earth and in touch with it’s energies. You’ll also need some kind of material that can take a shape – such as stones, leaves, twigs, etc.
With each item collected, ask your question or inquiry before placing it on the ground. Then arrange them in a pattern, either randomly or in an order that you feel called to. The shapes and patterns that appear can help answer your question – some are self-explanatory, while others require a bit of interpretation.
Collecting items from nature is great for connecting with Mother Earth’s energies. It’s natural and non-invasive, not damaging to the environment and a great way to bring the outdoors inside as it starts to get cooler. Even the mindful moments of examining your items, and seeing how nature completely changes and transforms each piece, can offer a form of a private art show itself.
The modern method of having your playlist on shuffle, to see what insight it can offer, is a great way to get some clarity for questions. Just as with other forms of divination, you need to be mindful and intentional about which songs are playing at that time – but this time it’s more fun than serious!
Start the shuffle and take notice of what comes up. The lyrics and energy of the song could be addressing situations in your life, or it can just offer general guidance or acknowledgement to the emotional state you find yourself in. It’s generally a great idea to have a particular theme in mind when asking for guidance – this could be relationships, money, work or even general life advice.
It’s important to remember that it may not always make sense at first, and you might be surprised at some of the tunes you hear! It doesn’t even need to have lyrics, for it to pack a punch in meaning for you.
This is a form of divination you can utilise regardless of the weather (which we can’t always rely on in October) or regardless of who is nearby, as you can practice this even if you’re in the broom-closet, and it won’t “out” you as a witch. Do make a note of any meaning for you, even in the broom-closet, so like on your phone in the notes section or tag a post with that track.
Sometimes known as sciomancy, umbramancy is using shadows as a form of divination. Whether that is casted shadows, or utilising shadow work, that’s up to you as a modern practitioner – I like to combine the two but it’s not to say that one is better performed without the other.
Things that I recommend when using umbramancy is a good lamp, and a pumpkin lantern is a fantastic use of seasonal goods. Then focus on the shadows it creates, and allow your mind to wander – what images do you see? Do they have a deeper meaning for you? What kind of symbols can you make out of the shapes that are casted?
If doing shadow work, I recommend getting comfortable in a darkened room and focusing the light onto yourself. Allow your subconscious to take over, and use mirrors if it helps – with shadow work, it’s all about allowing the subconscious to take over and to allow yourself to explore the parts of your mind that you don’t usually access.
Whichever form of umbramancy you use, make sure to keep a journal or a safe place to store any insights or learnings from your practice. It could be in the form of words, images or even a small video – whatever works best for you. With practice, grace and patience umbramancy can offer deep insights that will help you on your journey.
Recommended Tools for Samhain
Tools for divination are vast and so mystical, it helps to narrow it down, so let’s look into what is good for the Samhain period. When it comes to Samhain and divination, we can always go to a good tarot deck or even spooky oracle. If you’re looking for deck reviews, I’ve got them here on my website for sure, so hopefully you’ll find one you love!
When shopping for a tarot deck, it’s important to pick one that speaks to you. If you’re in the market, here are some favorite decks for Samhain:
- The Halloween Tarot by Karin Lee offers an absolutely gorgeous look at the mysticism of Halloween with haunting illustrations and imagery from the holiday season.
- The Dark Magick Oracle by none other than fierce Fiona Horne was really potent in my readings so far, and I can’t wait for more people to use this in their practice tbh!
- The Somnia Tarot is a deck with artwork inspired by nightmares and the subconscious. It’s perfect for exploring your deeper, darker fears during Samhain. So far, this is my favourite dark deck.
- The Tarot of the Sorceress is perfect for all witch’s holidays! I loved to review it which you can read more here.
- The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco is a brilliant oracle deck featuring 30 cards of gothic tarot imagery and spooky creatures like vampires, gargoyles, ghosts, witches, magicians, and more
Not just decks for divination, however. I’ve gone into a few different methods above, but you could also use some of these tools below to work with seasonal divination:
- Witchy teas and coffees! Support your local cafes by taking their own blends home with you, and try the seasonal flavours that work for you like this Sweet Harvest Pumpkin & Black Tea or this caffeine-free Caramel Apple Dream tea (with over 20000+ reviews). Use the tea and coffee in spellwork as well as scrying and tea-leaf readings.
- Having specific witchy candles for intention are perfect in spellwork right now as well as divination, such as flame scrying or capnomancy, so make the most of the darker season as it rolls out in front of you, and maybe craft your own candles to specific intentions such as encouraging positivity in your life or building on intuition strength.
- Incense can work for divination too, especially if you have a free afternoon and some quiet time. Pick your favorite incense blend for Samhain and use it in the meditation as part of the reading or use it to send messages into the universe with intention.
So whether you’re looking to deepen your understanding of yourself through tarot readings or peep into the future with close attention to shadows and symbols, or use seasonal products for your practice – the choices are plentiful! Whatever you choose, make sure it’s with intention and grace.
Underworld and Upperworld Aspects
Samhain is also a time to explore the underworld and upperworld aspects of our lives. We can use this holiday to honor our ancestors, celebrate the end of harvest season, and recognize the cycle of life and death. Make sure you set out food offerings for your ancestors and visit their graves if possible. Take some time to meditate on what it means to be mortal and be part of a greater cycle.
You can also honor the upperworld aspects of Samhain by taking time to connect with the spirit world in your own physical practice. Use your tarot deck or other divination tools to tangibly explore what messages any spirits, ancestors or even nature has for you. Perform rituals that bring luck, protection, and abundance into your life during this sacred holiday season. Conjure up your own unique spells and charms that call on the powerful energy of Samhain.
Samhain is a magickal time of year, so be sure to take full advantage of it! Whether you’re a beginner witch or an experienced practitioner, there are plenty of ways to celebrate this holiday. The upperworld and underworld veil make it the best time to get your tarot deck out, more so than any other time of year.
Below we now have several tarot spreads for you to explore, whatever your practice and beliefs, and preferences. Use them for exploring yourself, for exploring the season and ensure that you have fun 🙂
Card layouts and questions to ask
To begin, shuffle your deck and draw a card for each position as shown in the layout below
Finally, take some time to reflect on the questions that each card position represents and what message the tarot cards in that position might be trying to tell you.
Samhain Spirit Tarot Spread
- Spirits you are welcome here. Please show me who you are
- What message do you have for me
- What’s hidden in the dark from me right now that I need to know?
- How is it productive for me to know this now?
- How to lift the veil on myself?
- How to thin my veil on my journey?
- How can I honour and thank you spirit as you move on now?
Samhain Ancestors Tarot Spread
- Who is here for me from my ancestral line with love?
- Signs they reached out to me before if they have?
- What do they want to share with me?
- How to honour you as my ancestor?
- Signs my ancestor is with me moving forward
- What has been forgotten that needs to be remembered?
Shadow Samhain Tarot Spread
- Upcoming themes for darker part of the year
- What can’t I see coming? What fears need to be faced?
- Shadow aspects I need to explore
- Support for letting go when the time is right?
- How to honour shadow aspects and integrate?
- How to honour light aspects, to celebrate what accomplishments?
Samhain Nature Tarot Spread
- What is decaying in my life?
- How to cleanse what has already rotted?
- What are the death aspects I should honour?
- What are my changing colours?
- In what ways am I moving along with nature?
- How can I let nature move me?
- What to celebrate as the cycle renews?
- Fallow fields; what needs to rest in my life?
Samhain Witch Tarot Spread
- Protection tips energetically and magickally?
- How to honour my magick?
- What will I learn for self-development in my magick over the next cycle?
- What’s the importance for these themes?
- What should I bring into my spellwork?
- What should I bring into my witchy studies?
Try this Samhain Witch tarot reading now for free
What to do after this tarot reading
Always remember to take the time to listen and be still so that you can get their answers with clarity.
After you’ve finished a tarot reading, there are a few things you can do in order to reflect on the experience and integrate the insights you gained. Here are some suggestions:
Use a tarot journal to record your findings
Jotting down your thoughts in a tarot journal after reading can be helpful in a few ways. First, it can help you remember the details of your reading later on, such as how you felt at the moment and perhaps your first impressions of what a card meant.
Second, it can provide a space for you to process the information you’ve received and explore what it means for you. Third, it can be a way to keep track of your progress over time as you revisit your journal entries and reflect on your journey.
Take a picture of the cards
If you want to remember the position of the cards and what they meant in relation to your questions, take a picture of the spread. This will help you look back on the reading later and review the insights you received. Sometimes, clarity is better acquired after you’ve stepped back from the situation for a little while and had some time to process it.
Some people create Instagram accounts or Pinterest accounts specifically for this, and if you use any of our spreads please tag us @backyardbanshee if you feel comfortable!
Take some time to meditate and reflect
Immediately after a tarot reading, it’s important to take some time to sit with the insights you’ve received. This can be done through proper meditation, visualisation, or simply taking some time to reflect on the reading.
It can be helpful to think about what the messages from the cards mean for your life and how you can apply the advice that was given to you. That time can also be used to replenish your energy level and cleanse your tarot deck.
Get a second opinion from a close friend
If you have close friends who also happen to be tarot practitioners, it can be helpful to get their take on your reading. They may be able to offer additional insights or perspectives that you hadn’t considered before. This is also a good way to get feedback on your own interpretation of the cards.
Ensure to ask permission before just blindly sending your cards across in a message and saying “what does this mean to you?” as your friends may not have the energy or have a boundary with this sort of thing – manners cost nothing, and this is especially to note if they are a professional tarot reader who normally gets paid to interpret readings.
Do the same reading a few weeks later
This is a great way to check in on your progress and see how far you’ve come. It can also be helpful in understanding the cyclical nature of our lives and how our current situation is likely to change over time.
At the end of the day, tarot readings are meant to be a helpful tool, not a replacement for your own intuition. The best way to use tarot is to combine the insights you receive with your own understanding of the situation. Trust your gut and follow your heart—the answers you’re looking for will come.
It is my hope that these tarot spreads on my website help you with clarity and articulate whatever is going on. Let me know what you think of this tarot spread in the comments below and if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.