Ancestor Ritual

Here is the Ancestor Ritual we did at Sunday’s Welcoming Circle. I promised to post it!

ANCESTOR RITUAL

CASTING THE CIRCLE (from A Year of Ritual)

Tonight we cast our circle with the apple,
An ancient symbol of the Goddess
With her great knowledge and power of healing.

The apple tree itself is known
As the custodian of her wisdom.
And it is the apple tree that provides
A gateway into other realms.

As I place an apple on our altar,
May we feel the wisdom and love of the Goddess.
As above, so below. We form our circle with her bounty.

Cut two apples in half and raise one half, saying:

This sacred fruit contains the five pointed star,
The symbol of our ancient faith
And connectedness to all life.
Earth, air, fire, water, and spirit
Be with us in the circle tonight.
So mote it be!

CALLING THE QUARTERS (Llewellyn Sabbat Essentials) 1/2 of an apple is placed in each of the four directions as it is called. Have volunteers in the group do this.)

Hail to the element of Air,
To the elementals that make the wind blow
And the weather flow.

Hail to the Guardian of the watchtower of the East, Raphael.
Watch over this circle that we may have cause for joy in learning,
And protection from injury.
Hail and welcome!

 

Hail to the element of Fire,
To the elementals that make fire dance
And the heat warm.

Hail to the Guardian of the watchtower of the South, Michael.
Watch over this circle and protect us from all harm!
Hail and welcome!

Hail to the element of Water,
To the elementals that stir from within.

Hail to the Guardian of the watchtower of the west, Gabriel.
Watch over this circle, and guide our awareness
To what will benefit our consciousness!
Hail and welcome!

Hail to the element of Earth,
To the elementals that give us our quiet.

Hail to the Guardian of the watchtower of the North, Uriel.
Watch over this circle, and guide us safely through this journey!
Hail and welcome!

Everyone face toward the center of the circle. (David Taliesin)

As the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer,
We learn to see in the dark.
We search for the deep, hidden mysteries of the Divine,
And dine at Wisdom’s table of intuition and creativity.
Great Spirit, who is known to us by many names,
Be with us tonight. We are blessed by your presence.
Hail and welcome!

A PRAYER TO THE BLESSED DEAD (Llewellyn Sabbat Essentials)

Hail matriarchs! Hail patriarchs!
Come here, remember with us,
remember yourselves,
as grandmothers, grandfathers,
as mothers, fathers,
as uncles, aunts,
as sisters, brothers,
as daughters, sons.

We remember you with stories
of warriors, of peacemakers,
of healers, of teachers,
of farmers, of city builders,
of poets, of philosophers,
of people we loved.

In memories of you dwell living feeling.
This is your spark, eternal—an ember cherished,
a light passed from one generation to the next.

A PRAYER OF REMEMBRANCE (from the Jewish Yom Kippur Liturgy)

In the rising of the sun and in its going down, we remember them.

In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, we remember them.

In the opening buds and in the rebirth of spring, we remember them.

In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer, we remember them.

In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn, we remember them.

In the beginning of the year and when it ends, we remember them.

When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember them.

When we are lost and sick at heart, we remember them.

When we have joys we yearn to share, we remember them.

So long as we live, they are now a part of us, as we remember them.

SHAMANIC DRUMMING AS WE MEDITATE AND LISTEN FOR WISDOM

CLOSING (Llewellyn Sabbat Essentials)

Hail Uriel, Guardian of the watchtower of the North,
To its midnight elementals and the forces of calm and quiet!
We thank you for your protection, and release you on your way!
We bid you farewell.

Hail Gabriel, Guardian of the watchtower of the West,
To its twilight elementals and to the forces of depth and feeling!
We thank you for your stirrings, and release you on your way!
We bid you farewell.

Hail Michael, Guardian of the watchtower of the South,
To its zenith elementals and to the forces of heat and change!
We thank you for your protection, and release you on your way!
We bid you farewell.

Hail Raphael, Guardian of the watchtower of the East,
To dawntide elementals and to that which stirs and whispers!
We thank you for your protection, and release you on your way!
We bid you farewell.

CLOSING CONTINUED (David Taliesin)

Great Spirit whose hidden wisdom
Has been revealed to us tonight,
We give you thanks.
Give us strength to act upon what we have learned,
And illumine the dark days of autumn
With your insight and creativity.
Stay if you will. Go if you must,
We bid you farewell!

Blessed Ancestors who watch over us
In ways both hidden and revealed;
Whose love surrounds us,
And whose encouragement warms our hearts;
Thank you for your presence in our circle tonight!
Stay if you will, Go if you must!
We bid you farewell!

BENEDICTION FOR THE ANCESTOR VIGIL (Byron Ballard)

In this season of honor and love,
Of forgiveness and hauntings,
Give a thought to those who are still traveling
The shadowed road of grief.
Tend them as you can
And tend your own grief as you travel with them.

May the road be traveled with some little light.
Hail, the Traveler!
What is remembered, and honored, lives.

And now the circle is open but never unbroken
Because it is a circle woven in love.
Whatever energy is left in this space
We return to the earth with a spirit of gratitude.
Merry meet and merry part, and merry meet again.

About David Taliesin

My name is David Taliesin. I'm an writer, teacher and retreat leader who explores the connections between Christian and Pagan Spirituality. E-mail me with any personal comments you'd like to share and I will do my best to answer them. You can also contact me through my Facebook page www.facebook.com/davidtaliesinauthor
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