Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shadow Fest Ritual/ Samhain Ritual

Items Required:
a) 1 vial of essence oil (God scent)
b) 2 red candles for altar
c) 4 black candles for quarter points
d) 1 human skull symbol placed in the West quarter
e) Winter incense
f) root of Rue plant
g) a small white candle
h) dried leaves (Oak leaves or Pine needles)
I) Personal offering to the God
j) cauldron

1) Cast the circle in the usual manner. Go before the altar and say:

“I come on this sacred night when the veil between the worlds turns to mist, I join now in spirit with those who have gone before. As it was in the time of the beginning, so is it now. So mote it be.”

2) Place the skull at the West quarter. Stand before it and say:

“O ancient gods of my ancestors, bless this sacred setting, that I who worship in your ways may be protected from the coming powers.”

3) Stand at the west quarter and read the Myth of the Descent of the Goddess aloud:

“Diana, my Lady and Goddess, would solve all mysteries even the mystery of Death. And so she journeyed to the Underworld in her boat, upon the Sacred River of Descent. Then it came to pass that she entered before the first of the seven gates to the Underworld. And the Guardian challenged her, demanding one of her garments for passage, for nothing may be received except that something be given in return.

And at each of the gates the goddess was required to pay the price of passage, for the guardians spoke to her: “Strip off your garments, and set aside your jewels, for nothing may you bring with you into this our realm.

So Diana surrendered her jewels and her clothing to the Guardians, and was bound as all living must be who seek to enter the realm of Death and the Mighty Ones. At the first gate she gave over her sceptre, at the second her crown, at the third her necklace, at the fourth her ring, at the fifth her girdle, at the sixth her sandals, and at the seventh her gown.

Diana stood naked and was presented before Dis, and such was her beauty that he himself knelt as she entered. He laid his crown and his sword at her feet saying: “Blessed are your feet which have brought you upon this path”. Then he arose and said to Diana: “Stay with me, I pray, and receive my touch upon your heart.”

And Diana replied to Dis: “But I love you not, for why do you cause all the things that I love, and take delight in, to wither and die?”

“My Lady,” replied Dis, “it is age and fate against which you speak. Thus I am helpless, for age causes all things to whither, but when all die at the end of their time, I give them rest, peace, and strength. For a time they dwell within the moon’s light, and with the spirits of the moon; then may they return to the realm of the living. But you are so lovely, and I ask you to return not, but abide with me here.”

But she answered: “No, for I do not love you.” Then Dis said: “If you refuse to embrace me, then you must kneel to death’s scourge.” The goddess answered him: “If it is to be, then it is fate, and better served!” So Diana knelt in submission before the hand of Death, and he scourged her with so tender a hand that she cried out “I know your pain, and the pain of love”.

Dis raised her to her feet and said: “Blessed are you, my Queen and my Lady.” Then he gave to her the five kisses of initiation, saying: “Only thus may you attain to knowledge and to joy.” And he taught her all of his mysteries, and he gave her the necklace which is the circle of rebirth. And she taught him her mysteries of the sacred cup which is the cauldron of rebirth.

They loved and joined in union with each other, and for a time, Diana dwelled in the realm of Dis. For there are three mysteries in the life of man which are: Birth, Life and Death (and love controls them all). To fulfill love, you must return again at the same time and place as those whom you loved before. And you must meet, recognize, remember, and love them anew. But to be reborn you must die and be made ready for a new body. And to die you must be reborn, but without love you may not be born among your own.

But the Goddess is inclined to favour love, and joy and happiness. She guards and cherishes her hidden children in this life and the next. In death she reveals the way to her communion, and in life she teaches them the magick of the mystery of the Circle (which is set between the worlds of men and of the gods).

4) At the West quarter set a burning white candle. Pause for a moment and then extinguish it, saying:

“Diana swells now in the Realm of the Dread Lord of the Shadows. The world grows cold and lifeless. But I do not sorrow in this harsh season, for all is as it must be. Therefore, I draw close to the Dark Lord and embrace Him. I find comfort in the knowledge of His Essence. May my path be blessed in the name of the God.”

5) At the North quarter lay down the spirit blade and wand. Then stand facing the tools (south). Recite:

“The reign of the goddess surrenders in love to the reign of the god.”

Then pick up the ritual tools, kiss them, and place them down at the North quarter again. Sit facing the skull and recite the Charge of the God:

“These are the words of the God: “By the fallen temple stone or in a forgotten glen, there shall you gather, all who seek to know my secret mysteries. I am He who guards and He who reveals all of these things.

I am the Lord of earth and sky, of rocky cliffs and forests deep and darkened. I was there when the world was new, and I taught you to hunt and to gather plants for food. Look within yourselves, for I am there. I am that strength upon which you draw in times of need. I am that which conquers fear. I am the hero and the fool. I am your longing to be free, and your need to be bound.

In my love for you, I give up my life. I die but rise up again. I prepare the path upon which you journey, going always on before you. For it is in becoming as you, that you may become as me.
Hear the thunder, there am I. See the hawk and the raven soar, there am I. See the great wolf and the stag appear in the forest clearing, there am I. Close your eyes at the end of your days, and there am I, waiting by the temple stone.”

6) Carry the goddess icon from the altar to the west quarter and place it there. Recite:
“ These are the words of the goddess: “The wheel of the year has turned, Cycle unto Cycle, Time unto Time. I have journeyed to the Hidden Realm of the Shadows; there to prepare a place for you. The harshness of the season I leave behind me; kindle for yourselves a fire of love within, and I shall remember you, and return to you. For you are the Keepers of the Flame, and all who kindle the flame I shall never abandon.

By the changing of the harsh season shall you know that I draw near you again. And I shall return then the greenness of plants and trees; then will you know that I have come.”
7) Go to the altar and retrieve the chalice. Place the candle at the west quarter. Then set the chalice of wine in front of the goddess icon. Lift up the chalice, and dip the wand in it (tip down).
8) Move the candle in front of the chalice and light it. Go to the North quarter, pick up the skull, return to the West quarter and set the skull down in front of the candle.
9) Pick up the candle in one hand and the skull in the other. Recite:

This is the light that was borne from the season before. I accept now the essence of the god.”
10) Snuff out the candle with the skull.

11) Taste a small piece of rue root dipped in the wine.

12) Set the cauldron at the North quarter. Fill it with the dried leaves and ignite them. Place an offering in front of the cauldron. Look at the cauldron flames and recite:

“Behold the womb of the Goddess of Night, that kindles the Child of the coming year. O symbol of the Mystery by which we return, I honour your Essence, and the magick that emanates from Union with you.

O bring forth the Child of Promise.”

13) Retrieve the skull from the West quarter, and holding it, recite:

“I shall be secure in the protective power of the god. Not shall I be in want, nor shall I suffer for I am in his care. Therefore I feast and celebrate all in his praise.”

14) Celebrate with wine and cakes.

15) Close the ritual circle and snuff out all the candles.

(“Hereditary Witchcraft” - Raven Grimassi)

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