Sacred Texts  Index  Previous  Next 

sacred-texts |  Web | Powered by Google

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

Next: Neo-Pagan Theology (Cyprian)