Samhain Druid's Rite
Samhain 2007
Led by Valan the Druid

Cast:                            Props:
Valan                            Well
Shaper                           Sacred Tree
Fire Tender                      Apple juice & cups
Keeper of the Well               Blessing cups
Tender of the Tree               Bell
Ribbon Keeper                    Containers of water
Minions: As many as possible     Runes
 to help with beverage, cups     Torches for Quarters, Sacred Fire, Ancestors
 and aspersing.                  Beltain Ribbons

We start the procession at the porch, process thru the Grotto of the
Dead

The Fire Tender leads with a lit torch; followed by Shaper and V. and
Minions. He goes first. Shaper and I go straight to the Main Altar,
minions go to their quarters. 

Gathering:
V. 
As we approach the sacred grove,
With minds and hearts, flesh and bone
Join us now in ways of Old 
We have come Home.

Fire Tender, I charge you with lighting the torches that keep at bay the
minions and creatures of the Dark.

He goes around and torches the rim of the circle to MUCH DRUMMING!


Statement of Purpose:

Shaper:  
We stand at the portal at the end of the year in a place that is not a
place and a time that is not in time. In this portal, we are neither in
the past or the future, nor are we in our accustomed world, but are in
the eternal present in the Summer Lands, the Lands of the Dead, the
Realm of Ancestors.

We look behind us at the past year and begin to assess what we have
done with our year. We look back on friends and loved ones who have
gone beyond the veil and remember them. We look at what we must
leave behind in order to move ahead.

V:
We welcome the Lord of the Wild Hunt, the Gatherer of Souls, the
son of Night, who leads the souls of the Underworld on a merry
chase; gathering the lost and wandering spirits and leading them home.

We welcome the Lady who gives rest and healing to those souls, 
who welcomes the dead, and who guides us all to rebirth. 

Let us now prepare to journey to their realm.


V:  Join us in the Druid's Pledge

ALL:  Druids Pledge: 
We swear by peace and love to stand;
Heart to Heart and Hand to Hand
Mark, Oh Spirits, hear us Now
Confirming this, our sacred vow.

V:  And now we will have The Fire, The Well, The Sacred Tree 

Shaper:
In ancient times, Fire, man's greatest tool and nature's fiercest
weapon, defined the meeting place of the sacred and the profane, the
heart of the home and of religious ceremony. Therefore, when we
come together to celebrate the rites of our ancestors, we light a fire.
We light this fire as the center of our circle, the symbol of the ancient
ways, and as a means by which our sacrifices may be conveyed to the
realms of the gods.

(Much drumming at this time!) The Fire Tender comes forward and
lights all the torches near the main altar and surrounding the fire pit.
Then he goes to the microphone and says:

FT: I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. 
     Sacred fire burn within us. 

All: Sacred fire burn within us. 


The Keeper of the Well (KW): (The Well is on Main altar. 
Get it and walk to microphone, Raise well bowl on high 
Please hold it dramatically aloft.  (reading taped to lower bowl)

KW: In the depths flow the waters of wisdom. 
     Sacred waters flow within us. 

All Sacred waters flow within us. 

KWs will then trounce dramatically around the fire pit. End at main
altar and put down the well. (much drumming at this time)


The Tender of the Tree (TT) the Tree is on the Main altar.
 Get it and Walk to microphone.  Lift the tree on high and read:

  (reading taped to plant pot)


TT: From the depths to the heights spans the world tree. 
     Sacred Tree, grow within us. 

All: Sacred tree, grow within us. 

TT will then lower the tree.

TT: The fire, the well, the sacred tree, 
     Flame and flow and grow in me!

TT proceeds around the fire pit with the little Tree and 
then places it on the main altar. (much drumming at this time)

V:  
By the might of the Water and the light of the
Fire, this Shrine is made whole and holy.
Let the sea not rise, and all ill turn away. 
Let the sky not fall and all ill turn away. 
Let the land hold firm and all ill turn away. 
The Fire, the Well, the Sacred Tree, flame and
flow and grow in me! In Land, Sea, and Sky,
below and on high! Thus is the Sacred Grove
claimed and hallowed.

     Now we will call in those who wait just beyond the veil to
     witness and bless our rite. 


Invoking the Quarters:

(3 per team. 1 speaks, one has Bic Lighter, they are charged with
passing out and juice and cups to their quarter: sunwise.)

The East quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the Main altar
in the Southwest.  The speaker remains, the other proceed to East.

Eastern caller: Come! All you wise owls,
with your ravens of spirit-speech,
Flying on the wind that whirls between the worlds,
We hear your whispering with each breath,
in the murmuring magic in our minds,
Blow clear our patterns of thought.
Hail and Welcome!  Caller goes back to the East.

(The Southern quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches 
the Main altar.  The speaker remains, the other proceed to South.)

Southern caller: 
Come! with your pride of passionate lions,
your blazing wild cats of intensity and desire,
Burning in a whirlpool of liquid fire.
We hear your roaring along our nerves,
dancing in flames that leap in our will.
Hail and Welcome!   Caller goes back to the South.

(The West quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the Main altar
in the Southwest.  The speaker remains, the other proceed to West.)

Western caller: Come! on your great slithering serpent,
your dragon rising from the watery abyss,
Pouring out visions and prophetic dreams
We feel your damp spray in our blood,
in the waves that roar within our hearts.
Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the West.

(The North quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the Main altar
in the Southwest.  The speaker remains, the other  proceed to North.)

Northern caller! Come! with your ravening wolves,
your hounds from the depths, eyes glowing red,
charging out of the cavern of earth.
Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the North.


Sacrifice to the Outsiders: 

V.
Ancient and dark ones; unseen, 
unsightly, and unloved
We make this offering to you
You twisted and misshapen
You cold of heart .and dim of mind
Take this offering and trouble not our rites.

(V. takes the Blessing Cup and 
pours ale onto the earth, outside the circle. )


Opening the Gates:

Shaper:
I make this offering to the Keeper of the Gates.
Gatekeeper, Lord of the Between, Keeper of Roads
and Opener of Ways, join your magic with mine to
guard and ward the gate of this working. 

Now let this sacred center be the boundary of all worlds, Let the Fire
open the Gate. Let the Well open the Gate. Let the Tree hold fast the
Way Between. By the Keeper of Gates, and by my Will and Word, let
the Gate be open! (Much  drumming at this time!)

V:  Centering Chant
In this place of the Dark Queen of the Earth
Now bright with the Spirits of Hallow's Eve night,
Confirm we now the sacred center
The omphalos, the Navel of the world.

Shaper:
It is said that the dead have a journey to make.
It is said the that dead cross a river on their journey.
It is said the the river becomes filled with their memories.
It is said that the river is filled with their wisdom.
It is said that the river comes to the surface as sacred springs.
It is said that those who drink from those springs
receive the wisdom and the memories of the dead.

V:
Acolytes, please gather your bowls of fresh spring water that you
might asperse those present with the wisdom and memories of the
dead.

V reads:
We are the stricken,
Dying of Death,
Shrouded in weeds,
Wrapped in our loss.

Silent we wait,
Clouded by tears
Torn by the wind
Ragged with mist.

Shaper:
Where we are wounded
there is no healing.
Where we decay
Nothing is sound
Ravaged by night
Abandoned by day,
Silent we wait,
Shadows of Gray.

V:
Old in our broken
Houses of flesh.
Old among the ruined pillars of the sun.
Old as the halls
To which we descend,
Old as this dark
That does not end.

Blessing Cup:

V. lights a candle:
We light the way for our ancestors' return. May they come and feast
with us. We ask that everyone partake of juice from the Apples of
Immortality. Minions, please pass out cups?  Please wait till everyone
has a cup to drink. When all have a beverage, we will have a Toast to
Death: We will say:
To Death, To Life, To Rebirth!! (3 times)
Please wait for all to have been served.

Minions pass out cups and Apple juice.  
When all are served, we toast: 

All:  To Death, To Life, To Rebirth!! (3 times)

V: 
Please dispose of your cups in the Main Fire pit. They will burn at the
Midnight Ritual.

Burning the Beltaine Ribbons:

Shaper:  
     In the softly blossoming lust of Beltaine, we wound ribbons
     around our Maypole, and with the ribbons, we wrapped dreams
     and hopes for fulfillment and fertility. That bright, pastel time
     has passed, and this is the time of the Final Harvest, and the
     repose of the year. The wheel of the year has turned, the time of
     retreat draws nigh, and we must discard and transform those
     spring-born dreams. We do so now,  by the burning of  the
     Beltaine Ribbons. Ribbon Keeper, do the honors!

Ribbon Keeper:  
O sacred fire that consumes and transforms
Ancient enemy and first-born friend of humankind.
Accept this offering of Spring Ribbons, 
Become for us the living door to the heavens
The manifestation of the Shining Ones,
And the path of our return home. 

Gets ribbons off altar, lights them from a torch and burns them in a
clear part of the main firepit   
(DO NOT let the mainfire start burning.)
(Much cheering at this time!)

V. reads:
Elixirs fade,
And potions fail.
The gold is rusted
From the Grail.

The wine is changed
To water thin,
The blood is wasted
From the skin.

Shaper:
And all that from
This glass is drunk
May leave us only
Smaller shrunk.

The Dead shall sleep
Their sleep of gray
Where gold and pearl
Shall fall away.

V:
And let us lie
Beside them here
Past pain or joy
Desire or fear.

Let us observe Silence to dwell on these concepts.
Then, a bell is rung 3 times. Somberly. (V, or the gong!!)

Omen Taking:

Valan:
The gifts of the people rise to the gods on the smoke of sacrifice. May
our prayers go clearly and without hindrance to those we have praised. 
A favor requires a favor; a song another song, and a gift given
requires a gift in return. This is the law of ancient times, alike
between man and man and mankind and the gods.  We have offered
our gifts to the gods and we ask them in return for knowledge of what
tomorrow will bring. Does the future bode bright, or is there a somber
warning?

I ask then, that the youngest among us draw a Rune that we may
know our Fate.

The youngest draws and Valan interprets a rune.

Shaper:

The dance is done, the feast is ended
Now from the hallowed hall we must be gone.
But,  before we go, let us share a blessing.

By this sign I'm circled round
(draw circle round self.)
Against sore stitch, against sore bite,
Against all horrors that haunt the night,
'Gainst dread that folk fear everywhere,
And loathy things that here would fare.

V:
A sign, a chant: our comfort and stay,
May we be warded well this day.
No nightmare mire us, no foe harm,
In our lives no fear alarm.

Help us spirits of the land
The Goddess hold us in Her Hand.
Ye Elf and Aesir, Vanir aid,
From You, our protection's made.

Shaper:
Now the formal sacrifice is ended. We bid the gods and elements
farewell; to go or to stay as they will. We bid our Ancestors to watch
over us and guide us on our path. 

Closing the Gate:

V: 
Please lend your energies and help me Close the gate.
Let the fire be flame,   GONG!
Let the well be water,  GONG!
Let all be as it was before, 
 save for the magic we have made!  GONG!
This rite is ended! Go in peace.
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