Witches Soul Work: RITUAL FOR THE JOURNEY
“Death exists in the Universe with the same levels of joy and reality as does birth. For the soul which dies free from fear, death is a spreading of one’s spiritual wings, the ability to merge into the Dreaming and find rest and recreation before entering the womb.”( Beyrl 1990, p.119)
“It is our belief that Death is a time of spiritual wonder, an opportunity to seek union with the Divine.” (Beyrl 1990, p. 124)
Although there is no ‘bible’ for Witches because it is a non-dogmatic spiritual path, there are common beliefs that are held by most practitioners of the Craft. Most Witches believe in life after death, either a transition in Summerland and rebirth, or a continuation of the spiritual quest in some manner. This includes meeting those we love again. As Samhain is coming and the time to honour our beloved dead I would like to offer a ritual that we use in the Greenwood Celtic Shamanic Tradition. http://www.sacredcauldron.ca/the-greenwood-celtic-shamanic-wiccan-tradition.html Death is one of the mysteries because we don’t really know what is going to happen to us when we embark upon this journey. Let us enter into this mystery with love, with reverence and with hope for reunion with those who have gone before.
Cast Circle starting from the West (not East as we usually do), the home of souls.
Calling the Winds in each quarter
Zephyrus, wind of the west
Blue wind of power
Scented with the ocean breezes
Lend us your wings tonight
Boreas, wind of the north
Black wind of power
Bearing mysteries of deep northern lands
Lend us your strength tonight
Eurus, wind of the East
White wind of power
From the land of the rising sun
Lend us your clarity to see the unseen
Notus, wind of the South
Red wind of power
Heat and fire
Lend us your energy tonight
To fulfill our heart’s desire.
Lady of the Greenwood, Anu
Mother of Earth and water
From who all beings come
And to whom they must return
Aid us in our work tonight
As we release the soul of __________with love.
Cernunnos, Lord of trees
Deep in the Greenwood
Where the souls rest among the ancient trees
Help us to reach beyond the veil tonight
And protect us as we connect what is, what was and what will be.
Calling the Ancestors, Guides and Loved Ones of the Beloved
On the wings of the wind
We send messages
Floating westward to the land of souls
Calling the Ancestors
And Guides and loved ones of ___________
Come to us from the land of the setting sun
Where the light touches the darkness
And the darkness is filled with light
We need your help to guide _________home!
Calling the Soul of the Beloved
(Draw a pentagram on the West side of the circle.
Place a rose in the pentagram.)
On this Holy Night
As we meet in love and hope
We call ________ to enter the Circle
If you are still present in the Middle Realm.
Follow the sound of the drum
Beating like hearts full of the dreams of forever.
(Drum until the priest/ess rings the bell.)
(Priest/ess lights the candle.)
Welcome beloved _______(you can say your relationship here: i.e. friend, sister, husband etc.)
The time has come for your journey
Into the arms of the Mother
Surrounded by your Ancestors,
Your guides and your loved ones
We will listen if you have parting words
We will speak our heart’s pain of letting go.
Until the day when we will meet again in love.
(Conversation with the Beloved can be had here if so desired. Also other eulogies may be spoken at this time. If there is a medium in the circle there may be some direct messages. Otherwise people can say eulogies or simply speak from the heart to their beloved dead followed by a moment of silence to feel his/her presences.)
If the Beloved was a Witch or Pagan the Elegy for a Dead Witch can be read. Also the excerpt from the writing of Kahil Gibrand can be read at this time by a family member or friend.
Life And Death Are One – Kahlil Gibran
Life and death are one, even as the river and sea are one
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity…
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and melt it into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb,
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
Elegy for a Dead Witch
To think that you are gone, over the crest of the hills,
As the Moon passed from her fullness, riding the sky,
And the white Mare took you with her.
To think that we will wait another life
To drink wine from the horns and leap the fire.
Farewell from this world, but not from the Circle.
That place that is between the worlds
Shall hold return in due time. Nothing is lost.
The half of a fruit from the tree of Avalon
Shall be our reminder, among the fallen leaves
This life treads underfoot. Let the rain weep.
Waken in sunlight from the Realms of Sleep.
Calling the Winds to Carry the Light
Zephyrus, Boreus, Eurus, Notus,
Winds of darkness and light,
Carry the flame of ________surrounded by his (her) loved ones to the land of eternal summer. Until we meet again.
(Priest/ess blows out the candle.)
As the rose fades, so does his spirit gently pass, with love and peace. Blessed Be.
(She/he hands the rose to a friend or relative.)
Deep Peace Prayer (modified from Fiona Macleod)
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the rolling wave to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the gentle night
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you
Deep peace of the Lady and Lord to you
Deep peace. Deep peace. Deep peace.
Closing the Circle
We thank the Lord and Lady for their Holy presence here. May your blessings stay with us at each breath and every step.
We thank the winds as you fly to your far away realms. Remember us when we are awake, remember us as we sleep.
By the Earth that is Her body,
By the air that is her breath,
By the fire of her bright spirit
And holy waters of her living womb,
The circle is open yet unbroken
Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again. (Reclaiming chant)
Beyrl, Reverend Paul. 1990. A Wiccan Bardo. Phoenix Publishing Company. Blaine, WA