Samhain Ritual – Honoring our Sisters of the Burning Times
Last Updated on December 18, 2017 by Coven of the Goddess
We gather again in celebration of Samhain and embrace it as a Sabbat of survival. One more year we have faced our trials and are still standing in Sacred Space. We remember our dead; our loved ones gone to the Summerlands before us We honor our sisters of the Burning Times, may we celebrate their courage as we remain mindful that even today we suffer persecution for our beliefs. As daughters of Goddess let us celebrate our blessings and welcome once more the turning of the Wheel.
Coven Members needed for:
- East Watchtower
- South Watchtower
- West Watchtower
- North Watchtower
- High Priestess
- Hand Maiden
Holy Goddess, breath of our being and heart beat of our soul. We call to you who are at once Maiden, Mother and Crone. Our blood reflection of your Trinity we lay at your sacred altar as we come together as women of many aspects gathered as one. Guide our will and intent as we travel through the veil. Let our work be in your reflection as we seek to be empowered on our journey. Dark Goddess receive us as we leave behind the light. In your reflection this Circle is cast. Blessed be.
Your Tempest blows through us, the power builds. Your Zephyr crosses the mountains, the breath of the soul.
Your Mistral invades the summer, the winter draws near. Your hurricanes stir the sea, the cycle begins again.
On their velvet and feathered wings, we call forth your messengers to join us and watch over us and our sisters on this sacred night. Hail and welcome.
Hail to the sacred guardians of the North. Hallowed ground of earth and bone. Home of Spirits past, present and future.As the veil is thin on this Samhain night I call the guardians to be at our side as we weave our web of magick.
May the strength of the Pine and Maple surround us in a grove of strong protecting energy. May we be grounded by your mighty roots that hold fast in the dirt below while our Spirits soar out to a place outside this realm of earthly measure.
I do summon forth unto me the power, the strength and protection of the ancient. Join us in our rite tonight. I bid thee hail and welcome.
Although our modern Witch’s calendar counts four cross-quarter Sabbats along with two solstices and two equinoxes, our earlier Pagan ancestors recognized only two: Beltane (Winter’s End), on May 1st, and Samhain (Summer’s End), on November 1st. As Beltane is marked by the rising of the Pleiades, so Samhain is marked by its setting. As with many of the old Festivals, the movement of the stars was a calendar available to all, peasant or tribal star-gazer.
While Beltane held importance and celebration in connection to fertility of the crops it is Samhain that mirrors the Celtic Pagan day that begins at dusk. Long has it been called the Witch’s new year honoring our ancient ancestors celebrating it as a new beginning, a day in a new cycle of days. For it was understood that in dark silence comes whisperings of new beginnings as does life come from the comfort and darkness of the womb. In Scotland and Ireland, Halloween is known as Oíche Shamhna, while in Wales it is Nos Calan Gaeaf, the eve of the winter’s calend, or first. With the rise of Christianity, Samhain was changed to Hallowmas, or All Saints’ Day, to commemorate the souls of the blessed dead who had been canonized that year, so the night before became popularly known as Halloween, All Hallows Eve, or Hollantide. November 2nd became All Souls Day, when prayers were to be offered to the souls of all who the departed and those who were waiting in Purgatory for entry into Heaven. Throughout the centuries, pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in celebrations from Oct 31st through November 5th, all of which appear both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel in its mystery.
For our earlier agricultural societies, Samhain was also the end of the Harvest, the time to put aside the seed corn for the coming Spring. The celebrations of Samhain marked the completion of months of toll in preparation of winter. Livestock were brought down from the hillsides, the weaker animals killed and the livestock most likely to make it through the hard Winters spared. The summers harvest was dried or preserved and wood stacked and protected for the fires that would give warmth in the cold to come. It was a time to used the skills taught by ancestors long departed as they were remembered in song skill and stories.
In Mexico, November 2nd is a National holiday. This is The Day of the Dead. For the week preceding the Festival, the face of Death can be seen everywhere, in the form of fantastic skulls and skeletons decorating store windows and homes. The offerings of food are first given to the dead, then eaten by the living. The Day of the Dead customs are recognized by the Catholic Church, but their Pagan origins are hard to ignore. As Witches today we can admire the toll of our ancestors and their hard work of survival.
In wisdom we too honor our ancestors as we carry twist and turns upon our paths from imprints left in their passing. We can celebrate Samhain in diversity many times over in reflection of the many cultures and names. BUT what we can embrace is – Samhain is a celebration of survival.
Whether we reflect on the women of old and the conveniences they existed without or the mundane daily problems that we allow to threaten our abundant existence. It is a celebration of existence – we have weathered one more year. We have loved and lost and we have failed and succeeded. But none the less, we gather once more to welcome the darkness and with the darkness – renewal.
As Witches this is our final harvest of self. What does not benefit us we can give to the magick of the night. We have the choice to let it go. In our faith we also know it is we who choose our path. It is our work in preparation of survival that we hold our selves accountable for at Samhain. It is the lessons taught to us by the ancestors before us that we call upon this night. We know from bearing witness what works and what does not. It is up to us to choose and prepare yet again to try to survive in abundance. No it is not easy and stories of Samain remind us it never was but with work of self there is survival and there is prosperity.
As witches tonight my sister, do the work of Samhain, do the work of self. It is the season of the Witch, a time to embrace the desires of the Maiden, the nurturing of the Mother and the Wisdom of the Crone. As in the life of the women of old, there is no promise of entitlement in life only abundant harvest of self if one tends the work of self.
Thou are Goddess and I tell you this is true.
In our world as Witches, the Goddess is all that is. She is the aspect of many, Her myths endless as generation after generation worshiped her in the diversity of their cultures. She is the white moon whose rhythm calls forth our blood mysteries as She waxes and wanes. She is the light of dawn that reflects Her promise of renewal in each new day. The motion of Her oceans mimics our birth from Her womb and She is Mistress of the mysteries of the craft we celebrate. She is the Goddess of fertility, Demeter, Gaia and Gollveig. She is the maiden Kore, the mother Eve and the Crone Hecate. She is the light of Ostara and the darkness of Persephone that grants sanctuary when Samhain calls us to turn within. She is Goddess in all aspects of life and death and renewal.
Now in the growing darkness of the turning of the wheel we gather as Witches once again in sacred Space. In truth of Goddess we gather in your Samhain Circle to turn to the darkness within and face our shadows. Let us travel to the gates beyond the living and kneel before Death its self. For how can one know the beauty of life without the wisdom of death?
Let us speak aloud our question – why all things that we once knew as love withers away and dies and how do we endure heartbreak or dreams that lose their way?
To truly understand the shadows we must embrace the fate of all that lives to must die. Everything passes; and fades away. It is death that gives comfort and consolation to those that pass through the gates that they may transform again. It is death we must love and death that empowers us.
Let us dwell for a while in the shadows of death this Samhain night. As daughters of Goddess life passes through us but through death we pass into Goddess and rebirth. For it is creation that is Goddess and even Death cannot be eternal. In Goddess we will be cleansed of fear and filled again with the mystery of the womb. For as life is but a journey into death, so death is but a passage back to life, and in Goddess we are renewed. Can you join me in death as the veil allows? Can you join me between the realms?
When all have answered me with yes we will continue. If you cannot join me you must wait in the realm of the living. (pass out seeds) Eat the seeds of the pomegranate, the sacred seeds of Persephone. They will allow us to journey safely.
I am NORTH I am the beginning and I am the end Show me death show me my shadows.
Meditation – All shall see their life here in death. Feel the agony of all that is missing, suppressing and unsatisfying as you give end to what was in the past be it life or year.
I am East I am what can be and all that is possible Show me heaven show me my capabilities.
Meditation – All shall see their life, as they would choose it granted life once again. All that they desire, all that they would strive for.
Here in the darkness of death, I will show you what you are and what you could be. I will take you beyond heaven and hell, my love, For a price… All things for a price.
Today , right now, what are you willing to give up to be the Witch? What are you willing to sacrifice for the Goddess of self. Can you speak your truth and claim your word? A witch’s word to herself is her most powerful tool. Can you claim your truth in word of self? Can you let the part of you that does not serve you fade into death? Make the choice to survive and let what must die drip into the floor like blood from the slaughtered lamb. When you are cleanse of the unwanted stand in Circle with the strong women of Goddess.
When all have stood up all will repeat
I am a Witch and Ancient Healer
I am a Witch who is older than Time
I am a Witch Younger than Tomorrow
A Witch who is wise in the ways of Nature
I am a Witch
I am a daughter of Life and Earth
I am a Witch who Dances the Moon
I am of Broom, Cauldron and Herbs
I am Magick of spirit eternal and good
I am a Witch
I am a Witch I put no one before me
I am a Witch who knows what I want
I am a Witch in charge of my path my choices
I am a Witch I call forth the power of self
I am a Witch
I am a Witch allowed to remember
life is but a journey into death,
and death but a passage back to life,
I leave in death what does not serve me
I am a Witch
In Magic as in life’s Spiral, nothing is ever completely destroyed; it is only transformed. It is in our journey tonight we seek to transform our weaknesses in to strength, our doubt into knowledge and our desires into reality.
Please repeat after me
As Witches we seek the sanctuary of death and the rebirth of Goddess in the magick of Samhain
To reclaim our power we seek the shadows where self-doubt dwells. Although we treat our own self-doubt as if it were an entity apart or something we have no control of, it is not. It exists of our energy.
Please repeat after me
As Witches we must embrace death to cleanse our shadows and fears.
As the veil is thin and we are allowed to remember, let us embrace the magick of the night. Let us journey into the realms of our lives that feed the doubt that confines our magick of today.
Please repeat after me
As Witches let us journey through death in quest of answers.
My Many Lives (author unknown)
I sit in the black leather chair meditating on the plume of smoke that rises in the air, riffling the pages of my life as if it were a book of poems, flipping through past & future.
If I go back, back, back, riding the plume of smoke, I find I died in childbirth in another life, died by fire in the life before that, died by water twice, or more. I pick out days & relive them as if I were trying on dresses. When the future beckons, I follow, riding another plume of smoke, feeling the barrier between skin & air evaporate, & my body disappear like the myth it is.
My cheeks burn against the air, flaming where two elements collide & intermingle becoming one. Oh explosion at the body’s edge!Ilive on a ledge of time, gazing at the infinite.
Past Life Meditation (not included)
It is past that you remember my sister. It can not bring harm only lessons. As Dresha reads The Feast of Flesh and Spirit let your breath slow and your heart still. You are in sacred space, safe among your sisters and we have one more lesson from Goddess to hear.
The Feast of Flesh and Spirit (author unknown)
It is me, you see.
Who holds this sister, her friend,
With love that’s free
For love of you and love of life,
For love that simply dwells in me
I’ll see it through with laughter
And with mystery and majesty:
For I am sister to the Witch
And I am sister to the Moon
But to witches I am Queen, you see
And holder of the Sword and Key!
And I have a sacred oath as well
To set the sorceress in you free
And have you understand
That all you had to do was live this long!
Was to fight to be soft and strong:
Was to pass the harshest,
Most unyielding test
Of trusting that you could be blest
To walk differently to all the rest!
I see you in the forest deep
Wild roses and mosses at your feet
And mist, like ghost, between huge trees
I see you gently bend your knees
And kiss the earth with lips and tears
You are home my friend…
Celebration of Circle
Wine & Cake
Blessed Be this Cake and Wine,
the Body and the Blood of the Mother
May You never hunger (passes bread) Blessed Be.
May You never thirst (passes wine) Blessed Be.
Gracious Goddess as we close our circle we ask that our path always be in your light.
All give personal thanks to the Goddess
The circle is open but unbroken. Merry Meet, Merry Part and Merry Meet again.