An Easy Ancestor Summoning Spell for Samhain

Samhain is associated with death and darkness in all its forms, but the real heart of the sabbat is its connection to the ancestors. Although our ancestors have died and passed on, yes, they are a big part of our cultural understanding of ourselves and of the world at large. This is the time of year when we honor that understanding and our connection to them.

We witches like to say that “the veil between worlds is thinnest” at Samhain, but what does that really mean? Basically, it means that we believe that at Samhain, (and at Beltane too, to a somewhat lesser extent), spirits and our ancestors can more easily pass into our world and move among us. This is one of those concepts that is somewhat universal – we find similar ideas in as far-flung corners of the world as Scotland and Mexico. 

Because of this, Samhain is a great time to summon your ancestors to honor them, work with them and learn from them. This spell is an easy way to connect with your ancestors with minimal supplies!

Tools and Supplies Needed:

Salt or yew branches (optional)

Black taper candles or votive candles


Photos of your ancestors (optional)

Tarot cards (optional)

Any time you are working with a summoning spell of any kind, it’s a good idea to cast a protective circle. I usually practice a very informal kind of witchcraft and don’t generally cast circles, but in this case, I would strongly recommend it. You can cast an energetic circle by calling the four quarters or you can even draw a literal circle in a protective material such as salt or yew branches. If at any point during the ritual, you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, (which should be rare but you never know), just blow out the candles in reverse order as you lit them and close the circle completely.

Place the candles in a row (or a couple of rows, depending on how many you are using) on your altar. I would suggest using one candle for each ancestor you want to specifically connect with, or if you just want to call in your ancestors in general, you could use a single candle. 

If calling in specific ancestors, lay out a few photos of those you want to work with. Light each candle in turn and state the name of the person. Speak to each one in turn in a conversational but respectful way. I suggest sitting in your circle and meditating or drawing cards to receive messages from your ancestors. 

When you are ready, blow out each candle in the reverse order that you lit them and be sure to close the circle completely and safely.

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