1 silver taper candle for the Goddess
1 gold taper candle for the God
Black votive candle
Enough fresh dirt, black salt or black cord to outline the circle
Any divination supplies you may want to use after invoking the dead
Plate of fruit, vegetables & bread
1 pot of earth for each participant [each pot should be planted with three seeds – either rue or lavender]
Pictures of loved ones and/or mementos from loved ones
Prior to the ceremony, do a ritual bath or shower for purification. If you have magical jewelry or jewelry passed on to you by departed loved ones, this is the time to wear it.
Place the apple and pomegranate on the altar. If there’s ample altar space, arrange the pots on the altar as well. 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.
Sweep the area moving in a widdershins manner. (counterclockwise). The circle area should be cleansed before the participants arrive. Outline your circle with fresh dirt, black salt or black cord. Place the goddess candle to top left of the altar. Place the God candle on the top right of the altar. Place the plate of fruit, vegetables and bread in between the God and Goddess candles. Place the black votive candle in the cauldron, positioned on the floor in front of the altar. The boline should be placed in the center of the altar with the apple on a pentacle if possible. Pictures of loved ones and mementos of loved are placed on the altar as well.
Arrange the rest of your tools and props according to personal preference.
Casting the Circle
Samhain is done widdershins to represent the turning of the wheel and the dropping of the veil between the worlds, so this entire ritual will be done widdershins.
Each participant is cleansed with salt water and frankincense before entering the cleansed area. Question for each participant:
“How do you enter the Circle?”
“In perfect love and perfect trust.”
Anoint each person with protection oil.
When everyone has been cleansed and all participants are in the room begin casting the Circle.
Call Quarters Widdershins
Beginning in the West
“Hail Guardians of the West, element of Water, keeper of the Veil between the worlds. We ask that you lift the silvery realm of the Veil and we invite you into our sacred space to reveal your secrets of the coming year. We ask that you cleanse our hearts and open our Souls to your Watery energy. Welcome and Blessed Be.
Hail Guardians of the South, element of Fire, keeper of the flames that burn this night to honor our loved ones, to keep the hearth warms and to honor Vesta, Goddess of the hearth. We invite to you into our sacred space to warm our hearts and ignite our Souls. Welcome and Blessed Be.
Hail Guardians of the East, element of Air, keeper of new ideas, home of the Faeries and sprites, keeper of the Wheel. We invite to our sacred space this night to guide us in the coming year, to enlighten us with your insight. Welcome and Blessed be!
Hail Guardians of the North, element of Earth, keeper of all earthly elements, we invite to our sacred space to guide us with your wisdom for the new year. To embrace us with your strength and open the gates of the underworld. Welcome and Blessed Be!”
The Priestess invokes the Crone, saying:
“Dark Mother, ruler of the night, Goddess of death and rebirth, Wise Hecate, Hear and behold Your children this night as we honor Thee and Thy realm. We stand humbly before thee asking for Thy blessing and favor. Lift, now the Veil between the worlds, as this time out of time begins. Guide us in communing with my ancestors as they journey to the Summerland’s. So mote it be!”
Light the Goddess Candle. Proceed only after the flame has risen and flickered indicating the Goddess is with you. Concentrate on your wish to commune with your loved ones, calling on their energy.
The Priest invokes the Dark Lord, saying:
“Dark Father, aged Consort of the Crone, Lord of the Underworld, Hear and behold your children this night as we honor Thee and Thy realm. We stand between Thee and Thy Lady, asking for blessing and favor. As this time out of time approaches, stand ever guard as the Veil lifts, Keep safe my ancestors, and all of my loved ones, as they journey to the Summerland’s. So Mote it Be!”
Light the God Candle. Proceed only after the flame has risen and flickered indicating the Goddess is with you. Concentrate on your wishes that your loved ones be kept safe on their journey.
Dancing deosil around the Circle in a shuffle step, 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.
Closing The Gate
After divination, the Priestess goes to the Western Quarter and draws 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 holds up the pomegranate, saying:
“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 says:
“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 pot. 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.
“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 fruit
In the mystery of life and death and rebirth
The Circle turns ever, and I am its root.”
“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.
“The rite is ended.”
“Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again!”
Outdoor libation to the Lord and Lady, and the spirits of the dead.