Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...

Popular Pagan Holidays

[Show all]

Views: 7,091,177

Holiday: ...

Autumn: The Croning Time

Well, You Don’t Celebrate Christmas...

Daily Goddess Awareness

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri... Yuletide!

Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism

Anti-Witch Bigotry: Still As Popular and Deadly As Ever

The Dark Half of the Year

The Tale of the Holly King and the Oak King

The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire

Ah...To Be A Witch...

Winter Solstice By Any Other Name

Autumn Equinox: A Point of Balance on the Wheel of the Year

Winter Holiday Intentions and Food Magik

Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time

The Beltaine Storm

Spiritual Aspects of Yule

La Befana

Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead

Lughnasadh: The Deeper Meaning

A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.

Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story

The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story

A Celtic View of Samhain

Lughnasadh, The Ritual

Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)

Samhain: The Ritual

Ostara: Enter the Light!

A Summer Solstice Primer

Witches Lost in Halloween


Supermoms’ and Superdads’ Defense Against “Holiday Kryptonite”

A Story For Autumn

The Best Thing About Death

Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season

The Celtic Origins of Samhain

Imbolc...or As The Wheel Turns

The Babylonian Ghost Festival

Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch

The Ostara Transformation

Dealing with the Darkness, Post-Samhain

Yule and the New Year

The Samhain Experience

The Theme of Mabon

First Thanksgiving... in China

Solstice of the Soul

Love Lives On: A Samhain Reflection on Death, Rebirth, and the Afterlife

A White Christmas in Fuyang

Mabon Equinox. Circa September 21st

A Samhain Dance

Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change

The Story of Ostara

Ancestor Stew

Solstice Swim at Beach 69, Puako, Hawaii

A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~

The First Yule

Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In

The Summer Solstice: A Time for Awakening

Unity During Samhain

Planning A Good Death: A Samhain Process

Mabon..Balance and Reflection

Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death

Ghosts, Omens, and Fact-Finding: Wandering In Today's Eco-Interface

The Blood is in the Land

Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc

When The Crone Pays A Visit, You'd Better Pay Attention

Sandy Was The Name Of the Dark Goddess This Samhain

The Promise of the Harvest

At Samhain, Meet Bilé, God of the Dead of Ireland and the Danu, the All -Mother

Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom

Mabon - The Flash of the Setting Sun

Yules Lessons from Days of Yore: Perfect Love, Perfect Trust

Samhain is Ablaze with Reflections of My Father

"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas

Lammas: The Sacrificial Harvest

The Call of the Crone

Lascivious Lupercalia: Why Valentine's is a Vital Pagan Holy Day for the Modern World

Opening to the Anima Mundi – The Gift of the Equinox

The Light Within the Shadow of the Winter Solstice

Symbology of Altar Decorations


NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Article Specs

Article ID: 13579

VoxAcct: 370137

Section: holidays

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 2,242

Times Read: 6,914

RSS Views: 22,326
Samhain: The Ritual

Author: Faeylinn
Posted: October 11th. 2009
Times Viewed: 6,914

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!

Eight Sabbats for Witches. --Farrar



Location: Altamonte Springs, Florida


Author's Profile: To learn more about Faeylinn - Click HERE

Other Articles: Faeylinn has posted 2 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Faeylinn... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)

To send a private message to Faeylinn ...

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2015 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World

Search Articles

 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide

NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).