Witch's New Year, 31st October
Tools for the Ritual:
· Dark brown and russet altar cloths
· Apple in a censer, sharp knife, apple juice (simple feast)
· Samhain incense - myrrh
· Golden God candle
· Silver Goddess candle
· White altar candle
· Quarter candles and corresponding stones
· Matches, taper and snuffer
· Cauldron or fire-proof bowl and small votive candle
· Dark green leaves in a small vase
· Fire-proof lantern with a red candle in it.
Tools for the Peace Spell:
· Blue candle
· Lavender oil
Before the ritual; dress, consecrate and light the lantern candle and place it in an upper window.
At the beginning of the ritual mentally cleanse and sweep the area, moving in deosil fashion. Set up the quarter candles and stones symbolising the elements of the quarters. Decorate the altar with its cloths, and then the candles. Place the golden God candle to the right back of the altar and the silver Goddess candle to the left back. The cauldron goes before the Goddess candle. Place the votive candle in front of the cauldron. The white altar candle goes at the centre back of the altar between the Goddess and God candles. Place the items for the simple feast to one side and the vase of leaves in front of the God candle. The apple, knife and apple juice should be placed to one side.
Take a shower or splash your face with water for purification. Sit quietly and meditate for a while, then ground and centre.
The ritual is begun. Cast the circle, calling the quarters and spirit centre. Invoke the Goddess and God. Bid them all Hail and Welcome.
I perform this ritual as the wheel of the year turns to complete and re-begin its cycles. The time of cold and dark, of frost and fog is upon us and the veil between the worlds of the living, the dead and unborn, and the spirits has become as thin as the gossamer of a spiders web. On this day I will travel through the worlds veil and invite the beloved dead and unborn to come in peace and love to share part of this time outside of time with me.
Hecate, I call to you now in this time
Of the thin veiling, when the quiet
Spirits quest and search, reaching
With long, looking fingers for the still
Remembered ones as they awake.
You, whose dark as moonlight cloak
Envelops the old souls lately resting,
Cradling them in scrawny armed care;
I light my lamp to you on this night,
And for those in need of my signpost.
Fortressed in our concrete castles,
And trapped in our high-rise towers
We let down the silver, supple tresses
Of our spirits to welcome them back,
And the light says - "We await you".
For silently they come on this night,
Drawn to the friendly flickering flames
And places that have been set for them
To once more be with their own ones
And exchange love giving again tonight.
It calls in its shining for them all, but
Also for you, as I watch them enter
And you let them go with a mothers
Care. I honour them and you as they
Return from the safety of your wings.
Observe the Goddess candle's flame. Wait for it to rise and flicker, then proceed. If nothing happens, silently project your wish to commune with your loved ones that have passed on and proceed when the time feels right.
Pan, I call you. I call to you now
With my gay laughter and song.
You, the horned one who makes
The honey dripped music of love
And dances with us the tender,
Wild, passionate dance of life.
I call to you now, as you greenly
Answer, softly breathing down
The sweet calling pipes of freedom,
Waiting to dance the merry circle
Round with the Green Lady as she
Whispers the music of the spheres.
Come now. I hear you coming
In the wind as it caresses my brow
And weaves flowers in my hair.
And I feel you fleeting as shining
Raindrops singing in the air and
Creating the oldest wonder anew.
Where do you come from and
Where do you go? I ask, as you
Stare still with the eyes of the owl
And the mouse. "I am the male
Goddess, the feeling, creative
One who lives and dies." you say.
Live within me then, I say as you
Take my hand and whirl me softly
Round like fallen leaves through
The crisp, golden days of pleasure.
Give me your joy and your sadness
In full measure and I will live,
And I will die, over and over the
Same but ever new. Creating and
Living and loving and laughing
And crying once, for all and for
Ever. For I am green with you and
The dance of life is ours this time.
Observe the God candle's flame. Wait for it to rise and flicker, then proceed. If nothing happens, silently project your wish that your loved ones be kept safe on their journey and proceed when the time feels right.
In an upper window my candle lantern burns as a guide to the beloved dead. May they find their way back to their earthly homes on this night to share in joyful reunion with those who still live.
I invite you now to come and be with me in peace in this ritual.
Stretch out your arms to embrace all of your beloved dead and unborn.
Wrap your arms around yourself with an embrace of love and acceptance.
Take the votive candle, saying:
Beloved Hecate, your cauldron is a well-pool of the cycle of life, death and rebirth,
Horned Pan, your wisdom and strength protect your children.
I stand before you now as the old year ends and the new year begins.
I offer this ritual as the harvest of my life as it is now,
And the learning I have received up to this time.
As I walk forward into the new year with confidence, I ask boldly for your abundant blessings.
Light the candle and place it in the cauldron.
Sit and observe the candle flames.
Each beginning is an ending, each ending is a new beginning.
Life and death are but different parts of the same cycle.
Watch with me, my beloved ones, you who are here now
Who have in the past departed, who are joined together
With me again through the gossamer boundary of the thin veil
For love giving and taking. You are in the fire of my heart.
I hold a place open for those ones who do not find the time right
For their return this year - I hold you too in my heart.
My life is consecrated to the Green Lady my Goddess and her consort the horned God. I offer myself once more to your service, Green Lady.
Crouch on the ground in a foetal position. Place one hand on the crown of your head and the other under you feet.
Everything that is between my hands is yours. I give it freely and with full knowledge and forethought. May everything that I am always be used honestly, truthfully, wisely and courageously in your service, Green Lady.
Uncurl yourself and continue
May I listen for and hear you,
May I look for and see you,
May I reach for and touch you,
May I wait for and find you.
Teach me what I need to know, and what I am now ready to know.
Place the blue candle in its holder and anoint it with lavender oil moving from the top of the candle to the middle, then from the bottom to the middle, so that the whole candle has been anointed, but no part of it has been anointed in both upward and downward directions. Excess oil may be used to anoint your breastbone with the triple moon.
Raise energy by visualising that you are a tree. Extend your roots into the earth and feel the rich abundance of energy the earth gives to her children. Draw energy up through your roots, through your trunk and into your branches. Allow it to cascade in silver fountains back down to the earth.
Visualise the world as a place of freedom, peace, equality and plenty. Opinion and belief may be expressed by all people in an atmosphere of safety, tolerance and understanding. Nationality, wealth, ethnic and social background are all irrelevant in this place. Respect for all is the code by which we live. Everyones voice is equally heard and relevant. There is no need for desperate action here because the deep belief in the heart of each individual is that everyone is equal. There are infinite numbers of different types of people who naturally band with others who are similar to themselves, but each one is of equal worth to the larger group called humanity. Difference is valued for its role in the survival of the species - a sure antidote for stagnation and stubborn sameness.
Explore this world, explore the feelings of it and create it in your mind.
When enough energy has been raised, direct it into the blue candle through your hands. Light the candle. Bind the spell, visualising a cord tying around the candle. Address the earth - I bind this spell by power of the three, may it harm none and bring good to thee.
Proceed with the simple feast to ground yourself.
Take the knife and cut the apple horizontally to reveal the pentagram within the fruit. Place one half of the apple in a censer on the altar. This will be offered to the earth after the ritual. The other half of the apple and the apple juice are to be consumed now.
I consecrate this apple to the love of the earth.
As I observe the pentagram within, may I remember the elements of life.
As I offer it, may I offer careful nurturing.
As I plant it, may I plant love.
The end of the Ritual
Thank the spirits of the quarters and centre, and also the Goddess and God. Ask them to go if they must but stay if they will. Bid them all Hail and Farewell. Open the circle. The circle is open but never broken. Allow the spell candle to burn down without extinguishing.
The ritual is ended.
Copyright MoonSongstress 2002