This ritual was written at a time when I did not have a qualified Priest in my group. However, it may easily be adapted for those groups in which the Priestess and Priest work together. It may be just as easily adapted to solitary work.
Place an apple and pomegranate upon the altar. There should also be a "planted" pot of earth for each participant - these may be arranged on the altar as well, if there is ample space. Instruments of divination may be placed within the Circle perimeter for use during the ritual if you wish. Arrange the altar as usual and decorate with Autumn leaves, pumpkins, etc.
The Circle is cast and purified the Circle in the usual manner. Dancing around the Circle in a shuffle step (deosil), all chant three times:
Go to the Western Quarter and draw an invoking pentagram with the athame to open the gate. Then evoke the dead by saying:
Bestow blessings upon the dead, saying:
Now is the time for divination (Ouija Board, pendulum, cards, etc.) and communication with those who have gone on before us. Allow plenty of time for this. [Note: I have found that it is helpful to have a tape recorder handy within the Circle for recording any communications that may be "channeled" during this time. Some people disagree with this suggestion, saying that the metal of this electronic device causes scattered energies in the Circle; however, if the recorder has been cleansed and purified as the rest of the ritual tools, the problem seems to be resolved.]
When the divinatory processes are completed, the Priestess goes to the Western Quarter and draw the banishing pentagram, saying:
The gate is now closed.
The Priestess goes to the altar and hold up the pomegranate, saying:
Behold the pomegranate, fruit of Life ...
The athame is plunged into the pomegranate, splitting it open to display the seeds. She says:
Whose seeds lie in the dormancy of Death!
The Priestess eats one of the seeds, saying:
I Taste the seeds of Death.
The pomegranate is then passed hand to hand through the participants of the ritual, each eating a seed and saying to the next person:
Taste the seeds of Death.
The Priestess then holds up the apple, saying:
Behold the apple: fruit of wisdom, fruit of Death...
She then cuts the apple crosswise, saying:
Whose symbolism rewards us with life eternal!
She holds up the apple, displaying the inner pentagram, and says:
Behold the five-fold star - the promise of rebirth!
Consecrate the fruit and wine. Each person then tastes of the apple and sips the wine, saying to the next person:
Taste the fruit of rebirth and sip from the cup of wine of Life.
After libation, the Priestess presents each member of the group with a small pot of earth, planted with three seeds [preferably rue or lavendar]. She briefly explains to the group that this is the season of the seed - it is a time of dormancy, but also a time of re-generation for growth. Further, as the seed rests in the earth, they should also take time to rest and re-evaluate their lives, metaphorically planting only those values which will enrich and enhance the growth within the Divine Self. She then instructs them to name the seeds within their pots with three values they wish to incorporate into their lives, knowing that as the seeds sprout with new life, their lives will be new, as well.
After the presentation, all join hands and hold them skyward.
Dismiss Quarters and Dissolve Circle.
The rite is ended.
Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again!
Outdoor libation to the Lord and Lady, and the spirits of the dead.
For more information on Samhain (Halloween),
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