A Samhain Ritual for Global Warming

Notes for Planning:

This ritual is written for two officiants, but it is very flexible, and can be easily adapted to other leadership teams. 

The form of this ritual is based on the work of the Temple of Witchcraft, but feel free to change the details to align with your own tradition, if you feel so moved.  For this rite in particular, if your group works with specific deities, call these deities.

You will notice that we are calling fire in the east and air in the south.  Many groups call air in the east and fire in the south.  The directions in this ritual are in the alchemical/underworld pattern, which places opposing elements opposite each other.  This arrangement makes for more confrontational, and therefore potentially more powerfully transformational energy.  Since this ritual is designed to confront a long history of imbalance and a huge threat to our environment, this energy seemed appropriate.  If you are using this ritual, I invite you to try this arrangement, even if it is not your usual practice.

 

Introductory Remarks

Officiant(s) give any directions they feel are necessary to help attendees participate fully in the ritual, and answer any questions.  If there is alcohol in the Chalice, be sure to mention that.

 

Entering a Meditative State

It is helpful for everyone in the room to enter a light trance together before the ritual begins.  There are lots of ways to do this.  Here is the version we use in the Temple of Witchcraft.

Officiant: Please rise as you are able.  Close your eyes.  Take a few deep breaths and relax your body.  Relax your head and neck, your shoulders and arms, your back, abdomen, legs and feet.

Take a deep breath and relax your mind.  Release all thoughts and worries from the day.  Take a deep breath and relax your heart.  Feel the love of the Goddess and the God.  Feel perfect love and perfect trust.  Take a deep breath and relax into your soul.  Find your inner light, which you can follow for guidance and protection.

Now picture a giant screen before you, like a blackboard or movie screen.  This is the screen of your mind.  On this screen, visualize a series of numbers counting down from 12 to 1.  As you count down, you will enter a meditative state.

12.  See the number 12.  12.  11. See the number 11. 11.  10. See the number 10.  10.  9. See the number 9. 9.  8. See the number 8. 8.  7. See the number 7. 7.  6. See the number 6. 6. 5. See the number 5. 5.  4. See the number 4. 4. 3. See the number 3. 3. 2. See the number 2. 2.  1. See the number 1. 1.

 

Cast the Circle

Officiant walks the circle clockwise three times, using the Wand to cast the circle with these words:

(First round) I cast the circle to protect us from all forces that would come to do us harm.

(Second round) I charge this circle to include the most perfect forces for this night's work, and to keep out all other forces.

(Third round) I charge and consecrate this circle to be a space out of space, a time out of time, a temple of perfect love and perfect trust, where the highest will is sovereign.

As I will it, so mote it be!

All: So mote it be!

 

Call the Quarters

One officiant can do all the quarter calls, a pair can alternate, or four people can each call a quarter.  Substitute the spirits or deities you have a relationship with in each quarter, if you wish.

All turn to face North, raising non-dominant hands to draw in the energy of the quarter.  To the north, we call to the element of earth and to the Stag to guide and to guard this circle.  Please add your energy to this night's work.  Hail and welcome!

All: Hail and welcome!

All turn clockwise to face East, raising non-dominant hands to draw in the energy of the quarter.  To the east, we call to the element of fire and to the Horse to guide and to guard this circle.  Please add your energy to this night's work. Hail and welcome!

All: Hail and welcome!

All turn clockwise to face South, raising non-dominant hands to draw in the energy of the quarter.  To the south, we call to the element of air and to the Crow to guide and to guard this circle.  Please add your energy to this night's work.  Hail and welcome!

All: Hail and welcome!

All turn clockwise to face West, raising non-dominant hands to draw in the energy of the quarter.  To the west, we call to the element of water and to the Snake to guide and to guard this circle.  Please add your energy to this night's work. Hail and welcome!

All: Hail and welcome!

Evoke the Goddess and God

Officiant 1: We call to the Goddess who is Maiden, Mother, and Crone, the Weaver and the Web.  Goddess, bring your wisdom and love to our circle we pray, and bless us with your guidance and protection.  Hail and Welcome!

All: Hail and Welcome!

Officiant 2: We call to the God, who is the Lord of Light and the Lord of Darkness, the Singer and the Song.  God, bring your wisdom and love to our circle we pray, and bless us with your guidance and protection.  Hail and Welcome!

All: Hail and Welcome!

Great Rite in Token

Officiant 1 holds the Chalice, Officiant 2 holds the blade.  The blade is plunged into the Chalice as Officiant 2 speaks: As the Sword is to the Grail, The Blade is to the Chalice, Truth is to Love.  We bring together the energies of the Goddess and the God.  So mote it be.

All: So mote it be.

The Chalice is passed to all participants with the words "May you never thirst."  The response is "Blessed be."

 

Remembering our Beloved Dead

Officiant 1: On the feast night of Samhain, the veil between the worlds thins.  Our ancestors and beloved dead are closer than ever.  And so we take the time this night to acknowledge all those whom we have loved and lost.  We honor them by speaking their names and remembering all they brought to our lives.  I invite you to call into the space the names of your beloved dead, one at a time.  We will all respond with, “You are not forgotten.”

Participants call names and respond until all names have been spoken.

Officiant 2: To all our ancestors, ancestors of blood and ancestors of spirit, we thank you for our lives and for your love.  Please say again with me,

All: You are not forgotten.

 

Remembering Those Lost to Climate Change

Officiant 1: In addition to our own beloved dead, we take the time this night to acknowledge all those already lost as the world feels the effects of global warming and climate change.  Thousands of people, as well as animals and plants, die every year from the effects of global climate change.  As we acknowledge these lost, we shall respond, “We remember you.”

Officiant 2: To all those people lost to extreme heat waves

All: We remember you.

Officiant 1: To all those people lost to floods, hurricanes, mudslides, and other disasters caused by changing weather patterns

All: We remember you.

Officiant 2: To all those people lost to hunger as crop patterns change

All: We remember you.

Officiant 1: To all those people lost to drought as weather patterns change

All: We remember you.

Officiant 2: To all those people lost to disease as the environment shifts

All: We remember you.

Officiant 1: To all those animals, siblings of flesh and blood, breath and bone, whose lives have been lost as global climates change

All: We remember you.

Officiant 2: To all those plant spirits, siblings of the green world, whose lives have been lost as global climates change

All: We remember you.

Officiant 1: To all those species lost forever as global climate changes

All: We remember you.

Officiant 2: We remember you, and we commit ourselves to restoring balance.  So mote it be.

All: So mote it be.

 

Meditation

Officiant 1: In restoring balance, we find ourselves in need of guidance, wise counsel, and loving support.  Join me now in a time of meditation as we seek the guidance we need. 

Get into a comfortable position and relax your body.  Follow the sound of my voice as I count down from 13.  There is no need to visualize numbers this time.  13. 12. 11. 10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1.

On the screen of your mind, picture a giant tree, bigger than any tree you have ever seen.  This is the World Tree, a gateway between the worlds.  Imagine the screen of your mind is like a doorway, a portal you can easily pass through.  Step through and stand before the great tree.  Hear the wind in its branches; smell the earth where the roots dig in; reach out and feel the bark.  As you keep your hands on the bark, hold the intention of finding an ancestor spirit to help you in your part to restore balance to the world. 

Search in the roots of the tree for an opening.  When you find it, step into the opening, which will lead to a tunnel.  The tunnel slopes gently downward.  Follow the tunnel downward.  Continue to follow the tunnel as it continues to spiral down.  At the end of the tunnel, you see a light, flickering like a fire.  Walk toward the light. 

The tunnel ends in a forest clearing.  There is a great fire in the middle of the clearing, and around the fire are the spirits of the ancestors.  The ancestors are dancing or simply watching the fire.  Wait on the edge of the clearing until one of the ancestors breaks away and comes to join you.  This may be a recent ancestor, someone you knew in life, or it may be someone from a more distant past.  It may be an ancestor of blood or an ancestor of spirit.  If you do not recognize the ancestor, introduce yourself.

Ask your ancestor guide for any wisdom and guidance about your role in restoring balance to the world.  What is your task in these times?  What wisdom from older times can help you in your work?  What else do you need to do your work in the world?  Ask any other questions you may have.

The ancestor may give you a gift to help you in your work, or to help you remember your conversation.  Search within yourself to see if you have a gift to offer in return.  Thank your ancestor guide for their help and wisdom. 

Find the tunnel again, and enter it.  Follow the tunnel as it slopes back up.  Follow the tunnel up and up.  Follow the tunnel until you are once again at the base of the World Tree.  Hold your hands to the bark of the tree and offer thanks for facilitating this journey.  Then step back through the screen of your mind and bring yourself back to this circle.  Come back, come back, come back.  Come back to this time and this place.  And open your eyes.

If you wish, and if your group is small enough, you may invite participants to share anything they would like to about their journeys. 

 

Working: Welcoming the Coming Dark and Cold

Officiant 1: As we seek to restore balance to the world, we welcome the coming dark and cold.  Darkness and cold are too much absent now.  It is time to call them back, to welcome them and celebrate them.  We raise our energy to welcome and to call darkness and cold back to our world. 

Lead the participants in a chant that honors darkness and/or cold.  One option is “Hecate, Cerridwen” by Reclaiming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ffh_jFnUKlM.  Another is “Mother of Darkness” by Alice Di Micele: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN0D2kkkLhg.  Invite participants to dance around the central altar, if they wish.  When you feel that the energy has peaked, stop the chant and dance. 

Officiant 1: We are going to send the energy of this circle now to restoring balance and cooling the earth.  We raise our hands slowly, saying "EE-AH-OH", releasing on the "OH'.

All: EE-AH-OH!

Officiant 1: So mote it be!

All: So mote it be!

Officiant 2: In this time of darkness, we dedicate our dreams to the restoration of balance.  In this time of cold, we dedicate our work to the restoration of balance.  In this time of crisis, we dedicate ourselves to the restoration of balance.  We ask the aid of those who have come before, our ancestors of blood and spirit, the Mighty Dead, the Hidden Company, all those spirits who come in love and trust.  We ask your aid in restoring the balance.  May we find the way so that we may live again, renewed, so that our world might live again, renewed.  So mote it be. 

All: So mote it be.

 

Thanks to the Goddess and God

Officiant 1: We thank and release the Goddess, Maiden, Mother, and Crone, the Weaver and the Web.  We thank you for your presence and blessings this night.  Stay if you will, go if you must.  Hail and farewell!

All: Hail and Farewell!

Officiant 2: We thank and release the God, Lord of Light and Lord of Darkness, the Singer and the Song.  We thank you for your presence and blessings this night.  Stay if you will, go if you must.  Hail and farewell!

All: Hail and Farewell!

 

Release the Quarters

Each quarter should be released by the same person who called it. 

All turn to the North, raising dominant hands to send the energy of the quarter back out of the circle.  To the north, we thank and release the element of earth and the Stag.  We give you thanks for your presence and blessings.  Hail and farewell!

All: Hail and farewell!

All turn counter-clockwise to the West, raising dominant hands to send the energy of the quarter back out of the circle.  To the west, we thank and release the element of water and the Snake.  We give you thanks for your presence and blessings.  Hail and farewell!

All: Hail and farewell!

All turn counter-clockwise to the South, raising dominant hands to send the energy of the quarter back out of the circle.  To the south, we thank and release the element of air and the Crow.  We give you thanks for your presence and blessings.  Hail and farewell!

All: Hail and farewell!

All turn counter-clockwise to the East, raising dominant hands to send the energy of the quarter back out of the circle.  To the east, we thank and release the element of fire and the Horse.  We give you thanks for your presence and blessings.  Hail and farewell!

All: Hail and farewell!

Open the Circle

The same officiant who cast the circle now walks the circle counterclockwise once, opening the circle with the wand.

I cast this circle out into the universe.  May it join with the circles of our siblings, through space and time to the highest good.  The circle is open but never broken.

All: Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again.