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Samhain: The Ritual

Author: Faeylinn
Posted: October 11th. 2009
Times Viewed: 6,303

Because the Wiccan Wheel is ever moving, beginnings and endings are all within its turning. Today the old and new rest on the same ledge allowing the boundary between this world and the next to grow thin. So while an earthly calendar cycle begins, during this ritual Wiccans and Pagans honor the spiritual legacy of those that have passed on. We know this time as Samhain.

Blessing: Athame, Salt, and Water in the usual fashion.

Conjuring the Circle

High Priestess:

I conjure thee, oh circle of power,

That thou be-hest a boundary between the word of men and the mighty ones a meeting place of love joy and truth a rampart a protection against all wickedness and evil.

Therefore I do bless thee and consecrate thee in the name of the Lord and Lady.

Calling the Watchtowers:

East: Ye Lord of the Watchtowers of the East, ye Lords of Air, I do summon, stir and call you up, to witness our rites and to guard this Magickal Circle tonight.

[As speaking draw the Invoking Pentagram of Earth with Athame in the air.]

South: Ye Lord of the Watchtowers of the South, ye Lords of Fire, I do summon, stir and call you up, to witness our rites and to guard this Magickal Circle tonight.

[As speaking draw the Invoking Pentagram of Earth with Athame in the air.]

West: Ye Lord of the Watchtowers of the West, ye Lords of Water, I do summon, stir and call you up, to witness our rites and guard this Magickal Circle tonight.

[As speaking draw the Invoking Pentagram of Earth with Athame in the air.]

North: Ye Lord of the Watchtowers of the North, ye Lord of Earth, I do summon, stir and call you up, to witness our rites and guard this Magickal Circle tonight.

[As speaking draw the Invoking Pentagram of Earth with Athame in the air.]

Witches Rune

After the Witches Rune is read, the High Priest and H. Priestess take up their Athames. H. P. stands with his back to the Altar and H. Priestess stands facing him across the cauldron. They simultaneously draw the invoking Pentagram of Earth in the air with their Athames towards each other. When this has been done, they lay down their Athames. H.P. lays his on the Altar and the H. Priestess lays hers by the cauldron.

The Ritual for Samhain

H. Priestess says:

Dread Lord of the Shadows, God of Life, and the Giver of Life,
Yet is the knowledge of thee, the knowledge of Death.
Open wide; I pray thee, the Gates through which all must pass.
Let our dear ones who have gone before return this night to make merry with us.

O thou the comforter, the Consoler, the Giver of Peace and Rest, we will enter thy realms gladly and unafraid for we know that when rested and refreshed among our dear ones we will be reborn again by thy grace, and the grace of the Great Mother.

Let it be in the same place and the same time as our beloved ones and may we meet, and know, and remember and love them again.

Descend, we pray thee, in thy servant and priest.

[H. Priestess walks deosil round the cauldron and gives the fivefold kiss to H.P. She returns to her place facing the H.P. and now draws her veil over her face.]

H. Priestess continues:

Behold, the West is the land of the Dead, to which many of our loved ones have gone for rest.

On this night we hold communion with them and as our Maiden stands in welcome by the Western gate, I call upon all of you, my brothers and sisters of the Craft, to hold the image of these loved ones in your hearts and minds, that our welcome may reach out to them.

There is mystery within mystery; for the resting place between life and life is also the Castle of the Silver Wheel, at the hub of the turning stars beyond the North Wind.

Here reigns the White Lady. To this, in spirit, we call our loved ones. And let the Maiden lead them moving widdershins to the center. For the spiral path inwards leads to night, and rest, and is again the way of the Sun.

[Maiden slowly with dignity walks widdershins (anti-clockwise) spiraling slowly inwards, taking three or four circuits to reach the center. The group remains in absolute silence and concentrates on welcoming their dead friends and family.]

[When the Maiden reaches the center, she faces the H. Priestess across the cauldron and halts.]

[The H. Priestess holds out her right hand at shoulder level, over the cauldron, with the palm open facing to the left. The Maiden places her own right palm flat against that of the H. Priestess.]

H. Priestess says:

Those you bring with you are truly welcome to our festival. May they remain with us in peace. And you, O Maiden, return by the spiral path to stand with our brothers and sisters: but deosil – for the way of rebirth, outwards from Caer Arianrhod is the way of the Sun.

[Maiden and H. Priestess break their hand connection and Maiden walks slowly and with dignity in deosil (clockwise) back to her place by the west candle.]

H. Priestess waits until the Maiden is in place, and says>/I>:

Let all approach the wall of the Castle.

[The H.P. and the group move inwards, and everyone sits in a close ring around the cauldron. H. Priestess renews the incense.]

Now is the time for communion with the dead friends and family. There is no set ritual.

Some like to sit around the cauldron gazing into the incense smoke talking of what they see and feel. Some may have a very talented medium and may call upon them to channel for them.

When the H. Priestess feels that this part of the sabbat has fulfilled its purpose, [the H. Priestess unveils her face and orders the cauldron to be carried and placed beside the east candle the quarter of rebirth. (Not in front of it.) ]

[H.P. now takes over the explanation. He tells the group, informally but seriously, that, since Samhain is the festival of the dead, it must include a strong reaffirmation of life --- both on behalf of the group itself and on behalf of the dead friends and family who are moving towards reincarnation.]

The Great Rite

[H.P. and the H. Priestess will now therefore enact the Great Rite as is the custom at every Sabbat, but since this is a special occasion, there will be slight differences, according to the form the Great Rite is going to take.]

The Great Rite is symbolic: the Chalice and Athame will be placed on the floor, not carried.

[The Maiden will lead the rest of the group who will walk slowly deosil around the perimeter of the circle during the whole of the Rite.]

[When finished, H.P. and H. Priestess will first give each other the wine in the usual way but the H.P. will personally give the wine to each woman.]

[Then the H. Priestess will give wine to each man. Then they will consecrate cakes and give them out personally in the same way.]

[The purpose of this (the H.P. explains) is to pass on the life power raised by the Great Rite directly to each member of the group.]

[The Watchtowers are released and thanked.]

Releasing the Watchtowers

North: Ye Lord of the Watchtowers of the North, Ye Lord of Earth, thou guardian of the Northern portals, thou powerful God, thou gentle Goddess, we do thank you for your protection on this night. We bid you Hail and Farewell.

[As Speaking draw the Banishing Pentagram in the Air with your Athame.]

West: Ye Lord of the Watchtowers of the West, ye Lord of Water, thou guardian of the Western portals, Lord of the Death and of Initiation, we do thank you for your protection on this night. We bid you Hail and Farewell.

[As Speaking draw the Banishing Pentagram in the Air with your Athame.]

South: Ye Lord of the Watchtower of the South, ye Lord of Fire, Thou guardian of the Southern portals, Thou Powerful God, thou gentle Goddess, we do thank you for your protection on this night. We bid you Hail and Farwell.

[As Speaking draw the Banishing Pentagram in the Air with your Athame.]

East: Ye Lord of the Watchtower of the East, ye Lord of water, Thou guardian of the Eastern portals, Thou Powerful God, thou gentle Goddess, We do thank you for your protection on this night. We do bid you Hail and Farewell.

[As Speaking draw the Banishing Pentagram in the Air with your Athame.]

The only thing left to do is for the [High Priestess fetches the Lord of Misrule’s wand of office and presents it to a chosen man Witch (Someone with a good sense of humor) . She tells him that he is now the Lord of Misrule for the rest of the Sabbat and has the privilege to disrupt the proceedings as he sees fit!]

H. Priestess [Opens the Circle] saying:

The Circle is Open, Yet Unbroken.
May the Love of The Goddess Be Forever In Your Heart.
Merry Meet, Merry Part, Merry Meet Again!





Footnotes:
Eight Sabbats for Witches. --Farrar



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