[This ritual was written for the New Reformed Order of the Golden Dawn's 1987 Samhain. Note that this is a Wiccan ceremony with Norse elements. It is not an Asatru ceremony.]
Procession, consisting of Soulers (any small number) and White Mare.
Welcome, Winter, waning season,
Skadi takes the sword around the circle with these words:
Sharp bright steel the circle scribes;
Freyja banishes the circle with the hammer and these words:
Mankind's friend, by Mjollnir's might
She stands in the centre and to each quarter and above and below she makes the Hammer-Sign, saying,
Holy hammer, hallow and hold us.
Vala seals the circle, carrying pentacle and bowl of salt, saying,
Stout stone shield us, shut the circle.
Skadi asperses the circle (Vala follows with censer) with these words:
Be all bless'd who bide herein,
Now Heimdallr takes the sword and calls the quarters as follows:
The Priestesses and Priests stand opposite each other, and each one of the pair invokes the other, as follows:
Skadi (to Freyr):
Lord of life, hail Land-master!
Freyr (to Skadi):
Show-shoes striding, hail swift huntress!
Freyja (to Heimdallr):
Standing steadfast, hail far-seer!
Heimdallr (to Freyja):
Vanir bride, hail vision-giver!
Vala (to Odin):
One-eye, wanderer, god of wisdom,
Odin (to Vala):
Every age your eye has witnessed,
Odin reminds everyone what the festival is about, as follows:
So comes the souls'-day. summon for feasting
Allow a few minutes for everybody to name the ancestor they want to welcome. Then Vala gives this admonition:
As ancient elders you learn from and honour,
Grandmothers, grandfathers, great be their blessings
All the Celebrants but Heimdallr form a circle facing outward; Heimdallr goes to the West, and all say:
Wide are the worldgates; now the wights wander.
Heimdallr cuts the Soulers' Procession into the Circle on "Come in", and moves to stand with the other Celebrants while the Soulers dance slowly around singing:
Welcome winter, waning season,
The Celebrants begin also to circle, dancing in character, starting widdershins then spiralling in and out to end deasil, as in the meeting dance, while the Soulers encourage the outer circle to dance also. The intent should be for luck in the new year, and better connection with our Ancestors (as well as better treatment of our Elders!). "We are the Old People," and "Blood of the Ancients" are appropriate and may be sung in polyphony...
As the providers of food, Freyr and Skadi bring forward the feast. Some food should be laid out for the ancestors, and people should be encouraged to let the ancestors use their senses for a while to enjoy the food with them. The Soulers in particular should receive Soul Cakes. A strong magical gesture would be for people to bring forward canned and other non-perishable food (which can be later given to a food bank or similar organisation).
Freyr speaks as follows:
Cakes to us carry, corn from the storehouse;
Skadi speaks as follows:
Good nuts and game-food are hunters' guerdon;
Both say (if there is to be food donation):
All who have aught to offer, now bring it;
[If there is to be scrying and divination, it should be done now in a quiet space marked off as seperate from the feasting-place. Freyja and Heimdallr lead the scrying and Vala and Odin lead rune-work, with the following optional speeches:
Let the lots tumble, loosing their learning;
Wide are the worldgates, windows are open;
Note: it is entirely appropriate for partying to go on inside the sacred circle (people can get up and move around), so that the Dead have the opportunity to enjoy their day before we bid them farewell; the circle should be cast large, with this in mind. The only constraint is to open in sufficient time to clean up the hall before the rental time runs out. The circle is opened as follows:
To watching winds, we wish fair wandering;
Celebrants ground with this formula:
As from the earth our energy comes,
See: The circle is severed thus [she cuts]
For more information on Samhain (Halloween),
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