A Contemplation the Great Cycle.

A Samhain Meditation


This was a mini-ritual we did at the Witches Ball, crafted by Valan, the Druid, to prepare us for the Midnight Ritual to follow. The cast is three priests or priestesses, but the roles may be doubled up, plus some helpers who cast a web.


The altar is set with Samhain theme stuff.

Cauldron with dry ice, pitchers of water "bitterized" with lemon juice, candles, bics, several vials of bitter oil scent,

spools of silver string, lots of little cups for drink


Usual opening stuff


Statement of Purpose: To contemplate the great cycle of Death, Rebirth and Living. (Some narrative about the subject...)


Acolytes circle, anointing the hands of all with oil of Rue or other bitter scent. Readers recite till all are anointed:


Priest #1:


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.


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.


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.


(Then, in a large iron cauldron, someone mixes in the bitter water. The helpers pass it to everyone. All have sip and libation to Death. While this is going on, readers read:)


Priest #2:


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.


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.


And let us lie

Beside them here

Past pain or joy,

Desire or fear.


(Silence is observed to dwell on these concepts.

Then, a bell is rung 3 times. Somberly.)


Priest #3:


Oh, Death!

Spirit of the dying,

Doom of the living.

Web of the spider

Servant of dreams!

We abhor thee

We adore thee

Bound eternally

In the Web of Rebirth.


(The helpers start to weave in and out of the circle as the bells toll (maybe a little drum, too??) till are entangles in the web of silver thread. They weave irregularly, crossing and recrossing till all are hopelessly bound.)


(When all are caught, the reader reads:)


Priest #1:


Bound in the silver web, be free;

Dying in formless flames, now live.

To Die, To Live and to Die again,

So shall it be.


(The bells ring and the helpers unwind the thread, the candles are snuffed, and all say:)


So shall it be!


(We depart our separate ways in contemplation until we come together for the Midnight Ritual.)


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