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Updated: Feb 5, 2022

What is graveyard snow?

As its name implies, graveyard snow – or cemetery snow – is snow that has been collected from a burial ground.

In order to do so, you will need to have access to a public graveyard or cemetery, gloves or mittens to keep your hands safe and warm, a waterproof and leakproof receptacle to carry your snow home in (unless you plan to work with it in situ), and possibly a small shovel, spade or other type of scoop to gather the snow with.

If you’re only collecting a small amount of snow or your gloves are waterproof, you may be able to easily put the snow into your bucket, container, etc with your hands.

Depending on the layout of the cemetery you’re visiting, you may be able to gather snow from the ground, the tops of headstones and other types of grave markers, low hanging tree branches, shrubs, statues or monuments, and gates or fences surrounding the cemetery itself.

When is the best time to collect graveyard snow?

This is largely a personal choice and there is no objectively “best” time to collect graveyard snow.

You may wish to do so on a day whose correspondences tie into those of your magickal workings. On a sabbat (such as Yule or Imbolc – or even, depending on when snow starts falling in your area, on Samhain), a particular stage in the moon’s cycle (I’m especially fond of working with cemeteries and materials collected from them during the full and dark moons), or at a time of the day that is conducive to the spell or ritual that you’ll be using the snow for.

When taking anything from nature, be it graveyard snow or otherwise, it is always a lovely and appreciated gesture and sign of respect to leave a small offering. This can be anything from a stone to springs of herbs, leaves you’ve gathered to fresh or naturally dried, preservative-free fruit.

Magickal properties of snow

Snow is a wonderfully magickal natural material and one that, in a lot of cases, you may have access to for multiple months in a row if you live in an area that gets quite cold.

A literal form of the Element of Water, snow is ideally suited to workings pertaining to that element and to the elemental beings associated with water called undines.

It is also great for cleansing, purifying, consecrating, freezing or halting (something unwanted or unneeded), rejuvenating, preservation, and banishing work, to name but a few excellent used for it.

Snow itself is already charged to a degree by the fact that it sits outside under the sun and moonlight.

You can charge it further, either in its solid or liquid (melted) form by imbuing snow with your intentions and intentionally placing it in the path of the sun or moonlight.

Specifically, you may wish to charge it under a new, full, or dark moon – such as those that occur either on or closest to a sabbat. I adore gathering and charging snow during the Yule and Imbolc seasons, respectively.

If you’ve gathered snow (and/or ice or icicles) that fell during a snowstorm or blizzard, keep in mind that the snow will be charged with the energy, intensity, and strength of storms and storm clouds.

You can keep snow that you’ve gathered in suitable containers (such as glass jars with lids) for quite some time. It can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for later use throughout the year.

I adore using snow gathered at Yule in some of my Litha workings.

Bringing the extreme of one season into that of another in a magickal context is a powerful and meaningful way to honour both, remind ourselves that the Wheel of the Year is ever turning, and to unite the energies of two sabbats that are on opposite ends of the calendar from each other.

The magick of snow is a wonderous thing!

Snow helps to create light in the dark heart of winter.

It is strong and powerful, yet ethereal and temporary at the same time (save for in extremely cold climate such as at poles and atop certain lofty mountains).

The versatility of graveyard snow

Much like snow in general, graveyard snow is a multi-purpose, wonderful magickal ingredient. If you have access to both snow and graveyard, it is well worth seeking out and utilizing.

You might even want to gather some from atop graves themselves and other portions of snow from different parts of the graveyard, separating the two and using the former in workings that pertain more to death, banishing, protection, spirit work, psychic abilities, hedge riding, astral projection, dreams, and ancestor work.

Whereas burial in a graveyard is generally quite long-lasting for most bodies, snow is a temporary visitor in our lives each year. The potent combination of these two factors and the energy that each brings to the table makes graveyard snow a stellar choice for witches and magickal workers of all sorts who are fortunate to have access to it.

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