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Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at

This ritual was written at a time when I did not have a
qualified Priest in my group.  However, it may easily be adapted
for those groups in which the Priestess and Priest work
together.  It may be just as easily adapted to solitary work.

                         SAMHAIN RITUAL

Place an apple and pomegranate upon the altar.  There should
also be a "planted" pot of earth for each participant - these
may be arranged on the altar as well, if there is ample space. 
Instruments of divination may be placed within the Circle
perimeter for use during the ritual if you wish.  Arrange the
altar as usual and decorate with Autumn leaves, pumpkins, etc.

The Circle is cast and purified the Circle in the usual manner. 
Dancing around the Circle in a shuffle step (deosil), all chant
three times:

          The Moon is bright, the Crone is old
          The body lifeless - the bones so cold
          We all live and pay our dues
          To die in ones and threes and twos.

          Death, dance and play the harp
          Piercing silence in the dark
          The Woman's old with withered limbs
          Death beckons Her to dance with Him

          As She accepts the Dance of Death
          The Earth is cooled by ghostly breath
          To lie in dormancy once more
          To have Her strength and life restored

Go to the Western Quarter and draw an invoking pentagram with
the athame to open the gate.  Then evoke the dead by saying:

          All ye spirits who walk this night -
          Hearken! Hearken to my call!
          I bid you in our Circle join!
          Enter! Enter - one and all!

          Come ye, spirits of the dead:
          Be ye spirit of plant or pet
          Or human being who still roams!
          Into this Circle you are let!

          Speak to us of things unknown!
          Lend your energies to this rite!
          To speed your journey, we have joined
          On this sacred Samhain night!

          All ye spirits who walk this night -
          Hearken! Hearken to my call!
          I bid you in our Circle join!
          Enter! Enter - one and all!


Bestow blessings upon the dead, saying:

          Oh Mighty Pan of the Summerlands:
          Guardian of the beloved dead
          We pour forth love on those you keep
          Safely, in your peaceful stead
          We bless those who have walked the path
          That someday, we as well, shall rove
          We offer peace unto their souls
          While resting in your arms, below

Now is the time for divination (Ouija Board, pendulum, cards,
etc.) and communication with those who have gone on before us. 
Allow plenty of time for this.  [Note:  I have found that it is
helpful to have a tape recorder handy within the Circle for
recording any communications that may be "channeled" during this
time.  Some people disagree with this suggestion, saying that
the metal of this electronic device causes scattered energies in
the Circle; however, if the recorder has been cleansed and
purified as the rest of the ritual tools, the problem seems to
be resolved.]

When the divinatory processes are completed, the Priestess goes
to the Western Quarter and draw the banishing pentagram, saying:

      Blessings be upon thee, oh wondrous Spirits of the
      Summerlands. We humbly thank thee for your presence in our
      Circle and honor you in celebration this sacred night.  We
      beseech thee, oh Pan, keeper of the sacred dead, embrace
      once again those souls within your keep and hold tightly
      to your breast those which have been lost and wandering. 
      Grant them safe passage to the Summerland, where they may
      rest peacefully in your strength until they are refreshed
      and reborn again in perfect love.  We bid thee all a fond
      farewell.  So mote it be!

The gate is now closed.

The Priestess goes to the altar and hold up the pomegranate,

          Behold the pomegranate, fruit of Life ...

The athame is plunged into the pomegranate, splitting it open to
display the seeds.  She says:

          Whose seeds lie in the dormancy of Death!

The Priestess eats one of the seeds, saying:

          I Taste the seeds of Death.

The pomegranate is then passed hand to hand through the
participants of the ritual, each eating a seed and saying to the
next person, "Taste the seeds of Death."

The Priestess then holds up the apple, saying:


          Behold the apple: fruit of wisdom, fruit of Death...

She then cuts the apple crosswise, saying:

          Whose symbolism rewards us with life eternal!

She holds up the apple, displaying the inner pentagram, and

          Behold the five-fold star - the promise of rebirth!

Consecrate the fruit and wine.  Each person then tastes of the
apple and sips the wine, saying to the next person:

          Taste the fruit of rebirth and sip from the cup
          of wine of Life.

After libation, the Priestess presents each member of the group
with a small pot of earth, planted with three seeds [preferably
rue or lavendar].  She briefly explains to the group that this
is the season of the seed - it is a time of dormancy, but also a
time of re-generation for growth.  Further, as the seed rests in
the earth, they should also take time to rest and re-evaluate
their lives, metaphorically planting only those values which
will enrich and enhance the growth within the Divine Self.  She
then instructs them to name the seeds within their pots with
three values they wish to incorporate into their lives, knowing
that as the seeds sprout with new life, their lives will be new,
as well.

After the presentation, all join hands and hold them skyward.

PRIESTESS    Thus is the Circle of Rebirth.
             All pass from this life through the great god, Pan        
     But through My love you are all reborn
             In the cycles of nature - through the Cosmic Plan.

             In living we die - in dying we live
             The fruit is first seed, yet seed comes from the
             In the mystery of life and death and rebirth
             The Circle turns ever, and I am its root.

ALL RESPOND     The Sun conceived in Darkness, cold
                In the Shadow of Death, a Life unfolds
                A shred of Light begins to burn
                From Death comes Life - the Circle turns.

Dismiss Quarters and Dissolve Circle.

PRIESTESS      The rite is ended.

ALL       Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again!

Outdoor libation to the Lord and Lady, and the spirits of the


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