Halloween as popularly known, is an annual celebration that pagans celebrate with great enthusiasm and passion! In the “Wheel of the Year” this is considered the most important time for honoring and acknowledging the Gods and Spirits.
“It is the one night when Spirits my cross the boundaries between the realms to freely roam the Earth”.
There are many traditions, long standing honored associations and a variety of beliefs that will come to fruition this time of the year. Regardless of your favorite Goddess or God, all are honored now and you can freely celebrate in your own style.
Below is a full ritual celebration that can be all or in part taken by anyone who wishes to use it for their own
RITUAL PREPARATIONS FOR SAMHAIN 10/31/2013
Personal Purification: Your body is sacred, a purification bath before any ritual is important. Draw a warm bath, and add a few drops of oil from the recipes in the above link. Or, in a square of cheesecloth, add the powders & crushed herbs, and tie into a bag to add to your bath. Light a candles that correspond to your astrological colors. Burn a cleansing incense and meditate on the planned ritual. Also, if you have jewelry this is the time to adorn yourself, as well as adding a cloak or appropriate dress for this very special occasion.
To begin the Ritual
You may choose any Goddess and/or God for your ritual celebration. The example I give is in tune with the spiritual veil of this Sabbat, and for divination. I recommend that you either write your ritual in a book or on paper for the readings in your ceremony. If you don’t have a Book of Shadows, this is an excellent time to start one. If there are other participants, you can share the readings. Traditional covens appoint a priestess, priest, and other members, and may have a more structured ceremony. The following is adaptable to one, two, three or more and is a fairly simple celebration. Please add or change anything to fit your needs. Note: if you are able to celebrate outside, this is the time to do so.
Assemble any special items you have for your altar:
5 white candles, enough black candles to represent each departed spirit you want to honor, and a black altar cloth. A cauldron if you will have an outside fire; Thurible (deep fireproof container), or censer for your indoor incense burning. There are recipes found in my links for powdered or oil incense, but a stick or cone incense is acceptable. I recommend an Athame, wand and/or sword, water and salt, fruit, wine and chalice, and anything else you decide is appropriate for your celebration ritual.
Four white candles for the quarters. If you have a tied bundle of herbs for smudging, also gather a feather and a self igniting charcoal. In your censer place charcoal on top of a layer of sand (1″). Smudging is done by wafting the burning incense with a feather, over your altar and tools, and around the sacred space of your ritual. If you use charcoal, light it 10 minutes before the ceremony begins. Smudging requires a good quantity of powdered incenses, which you will spoon in small amounts over a self-igniting burning coal several times during the ritual. (you can find the self-igniting disks at spiritual shops or smokeshops – where you find Hookahs).
Altar Purification: The Ritual Space is purified before the ritual in order to dispel negative energy and invoke the positive energy. With your besom or broom, sweep clockwise (deosil) to clean your ritual space. In a container of water, add some hyssop herb and a bit of salt, black salt if you have it or sea salt. Dampen a cotton or natural fiber towel to wipe down your alter and your ritual space. Place all of your ritual items in the cleansed area. Be sure your altar will be fully within your circle when you cast it.
Sundown: When you (and any participants), are ready to begin.
Welcome: Unless you are a solitary, it is appropriate to say a few words of welcome to all ritual participants. Also give an explanation of the ritual which will be observed. Speak a few words of thanks for the gathering at this anticipated event. Center yourself and others within the area you will define as the circle.
Centering: This is a time to quietly meditate, opening your thoughts, ask participants to do the same. Eyes closed, feel yourself growing warmer from your center to your extremities, relax and open your heart and mind. If you have a favorite blessing, now is appropriate to recite it.
“In this place and time, we celebrate the opening of the veil. Blessed be and welcome, we honor the spirits of the dead as the year ends, and as the new year begins, the power of life renewed”.
Casting the Circle: Place a candle at each quarter: Use your sword, athame, or wand to draw a circle which you and any others will remain within during the ritual. Visualize white light, the power coming from you as you define the area. A circle is defined by pointing, begin at the eastern quarter and turn deosil (clockwise if in the Norther Hemisphere), or Widdershins (counter-if in the southern hemisphere). Then, sprinkle salt around the perimeter of your circle to increase protection. “May the circle be protected and remain purified and safe within as we begin”.
Calling the Directions: Invite the essences of the four elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth into the Ritual Circle.
I summon the guardians of the east, keepers of Air, sylphs to watch over this Samhain rite. May the magic here be blessed. Light the candle for this quarter.
I summon the guardians of the south, keepers of Fire, salamanders to watch over this Samhain rite. May the magic here be blessed. Light the candle for this quarter.
I summon the guardians of the west, keepers of water, undines to watch over this Samhain rite. May the magic here be blessed. Light the candle for this quarter.
I summon the guardians of the north, keepers of Earth, gnomes to watch over this Samhain rite. May the magic here be blessed. Light the candle for this quarter.
Use your Athame to draw the sacred pentagram in the air, with your power hand.
Light your ritual incense, or sprinkle some of your incense powder over the burning charcoal.
Light the Black Altar Candle and place on the Altar:
Invocation: The calling of the Center and Fifth Element or the Heart/Spirit of the Ritual. The main element which will represent the spiritual focus of the Ritual is invited.
Hecate, Goddess of Magick and Keeper of the Secrets of Life and Death, accept my failings and my fears. May they be transformed into wisdom and inspiration in the Cauldron of your Eternal fire. Join this circle
I dedicate this night to Goddess Hecate, wise Crone, Grand Mother of All, Supreme Goddess of the Underworld. Witch Queen of the Night, bless the souls of my loved ones who wander in the flux. Join this circle, open the veil so that we may experience your divine presence.
All you who have gone before me, I honor you and give respect. Tonight is a time for us again to share in friendship and love. Join this sacred circle.
Now light a white candle from the black one~ place it on your altar.
Chant: “As one year ends, so the other begins. So turns the wheel of life”.
Meditation: A time of reflection and contemplation in order to inwardly examine the focus of the Ritual and is usually a guided meditation. Use the meditation reading below in your ritual.
“Dark Mother, ruler of the night, Goddess of death and rebirth,
Hear and behold “Your” child this night as I honor Thee and Thy realm.
I stand humbly before Thee, asking for Thy blessing and favor.
Lift, now, the Veil between the worlds, as this time-out-of-time begins,
That I may commune with my ancestors
As they journey to the Summerlands.”
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 Summerlands”
Stay we on the paths we know, but venture out tonight,
Through the veil, guide us as we go, be our sacred light.”
Dark Mother Your cauldron is a well of death and rebirth,
Hear me now as the past year slowly dies, only to be reborn again.
Today, the last of the Harvests is complete.
May the good come to pass and the bad be cast aside.
With Your divine guidance and protection,
I step gladly into the New Year.
Grant to me good health, prosperity, and happiness.
As the New Year is born, we are all reborn,
with new hopes, well-being, and dreams.
Guide me in the future as in the past.
Every beginning has an ending,
And every ending is a new beginning.
In Life is Death, and in Death is Life.
Watch over me, my loved ones, and all of my
Brothers and Sisters, here and departed,
Who, tonight are joined together again for
Fellowship and celebration at Samhain.
Bless us all as we light our witchfires, our hearth fires,
and the eternal fires within our hearts.
Guide us and protect us,
tonight and throughout the coming year.
Raising of Energy: Usually done in the form or singing or dancing or drumming (or any combination). The group raises the energy needed to fully experience the Ritual and creates the energy needed in order to enact your Ritual observance. You may raise your arms and turn as you speak the chant, or hold hands in the group and circle round. The chant can be repeated as needed.
Earth and Air, Fire Fair, begin the witching hour.
Twirl and Sing, luck to bring, feel the Witch’s power.
Chant and Rhyme at Hallows time, earthbound spirits yearning.
While night is dark, fires spark, spellbound in the burning.
Goddess of earth and sky reveals, great power does abound.
Life begin, with each Samhain, the Circle comes around.
Enchanted Rhyme at Hallows time, before Parting of the Veil.
Blessed be, we all shall see, before the New Dawn’s Pale.
Magical Workings: As the energies you have raised are flowing, now is the time to request specific blessings; mix and enchant oils; crush together and infuse magical powders; perform divination – any scrying, crystal gazing; create amulets; bless and consecrate new tools; or perform any magic you have planned.
Grounding: A time to slow down and release excess power back to the earth after performing any magical workings.
Crouch down and place the palm of your hands to the ground or floor, close your eyes and let the extra energy flow back into the Earth. Keep whatever energy you feel necessary to sustain you through the reminder of the evening’s events. This is necessary so that energies are not wasted, or left loose in your ritual space.
Communion and Blessing: A time of thanksgiving and Ritual Community sharing.
Fill a chalice or goblet with wine and pass among participants, give thanks to the Goddess as you drink. Share cakes and fruit from one to another. A blessing poem or prayer is chanted at this time.
“Tonight as the barrier between the two realms is thin,
Spirits walk welcome amongst us, once again.
They be family, friends and foes,
Pets and wildlife, fishes and crows.
By the powers that be please come near,
it is your presence we celebrate here.”
Extinguish candles on your altar. (don’t blow them out)
Releasing the Center ~ your 5th element is released from the circle:
Lady Hecate, and Spirits of the past and future, may your presence remain to bless my path. Gracious Lady Hecate, thank you for blessing and assisting my rite. Farewell.
Releasing the Directions: The essences of the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water which were called at the beginning:
Beginning at the east quarter, thank and release each elemental for their presents, and bid farewell. Extinguish each candle as you move to the next. You need to release the elemental spirits to close the opening that granted them entrance. This action prevents any unwonted spirits from being loose once your circle is reopened.
Opening the Circle: The Circle which was cast earlier is now opened and the Ritual Space is no longer sacred space. Trace your circle back counter-clockwise (widdershins), with the same tool you created it.
“The circle is now open, but unbroken”.
You may safely move out of the circle.
Thus is the Circle of Rebirth.
All pass from this life through the great Goddess
and through our 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 we are the roots.
The sun conceived in darkness, cold,
in the shadow of death, a life unfolds.
A shred of light begins to burn, the circle of rebirth.
Bless this sharing for our celebration of the Goddess, and circle of rebirth.
Blessed be to all~ May the “Universal Omnipresent Spiritual Existence” feel honored and exalted at your Samhain celebration.