Samhain Ritual for Covens

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9 years ago

Samhain Sabbat is a time of the year to get rid of weaknesses. The members of the coven should bring small sheets of parchment to the Circle, in which they listed all the weaknesses or bad habits that they want to get rid of.

The outer edge of the Circle can be decorated with autumn flowers, twigs, pine cones, small pumpkins and the like. The Wiccan altar should have flowers. Altar cloth and candles should be orange colored. A cauldron with a candle must be placed on the northern quarter. This ritual can be performed on a full or new moon, if the time is appropriate. A ritual bell should ring three times in the hands of the coven member, who is chosen as a herald.

Herald: “Hurry! Hurry! No time to wait!
We came to the Sabbat, so do not be late!”

Priest or Priestess: “To the Sabbat!”
Everybody: “To the Sabbat!”

The whole coven goes around the circle clockwise (by walking or dancing), following the priest of priestess. It is allowed to carry small drums or tambourines to create a rhythm. The coven goes around the circle as many times as it likes. When the members go around the circle, the priest or priestess start to sing a hymn to the Gods (which can be anything, from simple repetitive chanting of Gods names, to the spontaneous songs of praise). Anyone can join the singing. The whole coven can stop walking and sing while standing on one place.

Priest: “Now the time has changed. Now we leave the light and enter the darkness. We do so willingly, because we know that this is just a turn of the mighty Wheel of the Year.”

Priestess: “In this time of the year the gates between the worlds are open. We call upon our ancestors, our loved ones, to pass through the gate and join us now. We invite them to rejoice in the celebration with those whom they love.”

Afterwards, follow the directions of the seasonal motif. It can vary significantly and may be based on a variety of topics, including local beliefs and customs. Here are some examples:

  • Life-death-new life
  • Death of the old king and the coronation of a new one
  • Turning of the Wheel of the Year
  • Elimination of the weak animals who will not survive winter
  • Return of the dead to the joy of living
  • Preserve the harvest for the winter
  • Creation of the world out of chaos, which turns into order

Such a motif can be played out in the form of a game, a pantomime or a dance. At the end, the ritual bell rings seven times. One of the coven members should say:

Coven Member: “We are in the fault of time, this day does not belong to the old nor the new year. As there is no difference between years, so there is no difference between worlds. Those whom we knew and loved in the past are free to return to this place of gathering. See to your ways and feel the presence of someone whom you knew and thought lost. Gather strength from this reunion. Know, all of you, that there is no end and no beginning. All is a continuous rotation, a spiral dance the goes and comes back and is moving forever. In this dance is Samhain – a sacred feast, marking the end of summer and the beginning of winter: time to celebrate, time to welcome the God, when he begins his journey down the tunnel of darkness, which brings light to our Goddess in the end.”

Priest or Priestess: “The old year has ended”
Everyone: “The new year has begun”
Priest or Priestess: “The wheel has turned”
Everyone: “And will turn again”
Priest or Priestess: “Farewell, my Goddess”
Everyone: “Welcome, our God”
Priest or Priestess: “Gods of summer meet their end”
Everyone: “God of winter is on its way”
Priest or Priestess: “Hello and goodbye!”
Everyone: “Hello and farewell!”

The priest and priestess of the coven lead a dance inside of the circle. It may be accompanied by a song or a hymn. The priestess takes a horned crown and stands up against the altar.

Priestess: “Gracious Goddess, we thank you for the joy of summer.
We thank you for all your generosity: fruit, crops, harvest.
Come back again when the wheel rotates,
and be with us anew.
Even when our God takes cover,
We go with him through the darkness,
to return again to the light”

The priest stands up and turns around to face the priestess. She holds the crown high above her head. The coven members stand next to the cauldron, ready to ignite the fire or the candle.

Priestess: “I’m showing the symbol of our God:
He is the one who rules Death and the one who will come after;
In the darkness;
Husband/brother of light.
Let him keep us and lead us in everything we do, both inside and outside this circle.
With our Goddess next to him, let him lead us through the difficulties and take us, hopefully, to the light.”

The priestess crown the priest with the horned crown. As she does so, a coven member lights the fire in the cauldron.

Coven Members: “Now our God is among us. Speak with us, your children.”

Priest: “Behold, I am the one who is in the beginning and end of times.
I am in the warmth of the sun and in the cold of the wind.
The spark of life is in me, as the darkness of death.
I am the doorkeeper in the end of times.
Lord, who dwells in the sea,
You hear the thunder hooves on my shore,
And you see me, sending foam patterns.
My strength is that I can lift the world to the stars.
When I am affectionate, I am a lover.
I am the one you all must face when time comes,
Do not be afraid of me,
for those I am a brother, lover, a son.
Death is but the beginning of life,
And I am the one who turns the key.”

The priest salutes the priestess. One after the other, the coven members move in the circle. The members hug and kiss the priest and scatter to their places. When they pass the cauldron to each other, they throw their sheets of parchment inside.

The priest meditates about his condition for the next six months. Then he removes the crown and places it next to the altar. The bell rings nine times. Now it is time for the cakes and beer.

The evening ends with the celebration of Samhain.

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