The Theme of Samhain on November 1
This is the Festival of Sinking to Soil and Prophecy. The Divine Lovers make all Life snug for the long Winter sleep. As seeds and litter settle to Earth, dreams and All Souls rise from the dense, rooted Underground to soften and fuse them. In the Faerie Twilight of the year, the dread Doors between Worlds swing open. The Shining Lovers descend to their Bedchamber of living loam...
Note well; the following ritual is is an initiation of its own; it is deep, profound, and not for children.
For you adventuresome souls, Enjoy!
For the date when the Sun is on 15° Scorpio, (middle of the season)
Or the nearest convenient date (e.g. weekend eve)
written by Lady Svetlana of Feraferia
with passages by Frederick McLaren Adams
* * * * * *
Suggested musical prelude: “Swan of Tuonela” by Jean Sibelius.
Priestess: Recitation to music which continues.
Blow out all lights, my Adelphai, for a three minute meditation until the music of Sibelius quietly stops.
After 3 minutes, end Sibelius.
Another musical excerpt from Stravinsky’s ‘Persephone’ – only the chant – starts.
Light candle and announce the festival to come – of Hekate, Plouton, Demeter and Persephone.
The Goddess and God return to their dream chamber, under the Earth.
She crosses her arms over her breast, right arm over left, her hands open and palms down. She intones the following recitation:
Sun Door, Sun Door!
Thorn and Oak crossed with Holly! Open!
Revealing azure golden Day and archetypal Light.
She may draw an upward pentagram.
Her right arm and open palm swing out to the right to open the great Sun Door. With powerful radiance of kinesthetic energy she intones:
Moon Door, Moon Door!
Ash and Alder crossed with Willow! Open!
Revealing silver celestial seas in the Mystery Night!
She may draw an upward pentagram.
Her left arm and palm swing out to the left to open the great astral Moon Door with the same windy blast of etheric force. During the proceedings, the instructed should entertain inner ‘telesmatic’ imagery of humming spheres, trilling stars and the resounding road of the Galaxy: the so called ‘Music of the Spheres’.
The inner precincts of this great Temple of Love,
Koreion (* name of your own Temple),
have been opened and hermetically unsealed.
May all great and harmonious Spirit Beings
who attend these Sacred Rites
assist us in our devotions of Love!
(*) fill in the name of your own Temple.
She enters the Ring.
Invocation of the Cross-Quarters One of the celebrants, preferably an Initiate, evokes the seasonal Fays of the Cross-Quarters upon the four Cross-Quarter Points (points due Southeast, Southwest, Northwest, Northeast). The evocateur always begins her or his circumambulation of the Quarters at the stone, post or station immediately following the stone of the present season, so as to terminate the round at the Quarter of the season being celebrated. Thus the ‘atmospheric body’ of the current season is granted the strongest tincture. (Four Celebrants may perform this invocation. One Celebrant assigned to each stone.) Celebrant: Facing Southeast on the Cross-Quarter Point he/she intones:
Sylphs of Air bless this whole planet and its ley lines
with your purifying air announcing new birth.
Bring joy to the Aethers and Hathor.
Go around with incense. Facing Southwest on the Cross-Quarter Point he/she intones:
Salamanders of Fire bless this land and its surround plus its vertical upward lines
with the essence of cleansing heat.
Breathe upon the desert and Sekhmet.
Go around with candle. Facing Northwest on the Cross-Quarter Point he/she intones:
Nyads of Water bless Gaia and Her Biosphere
with your clarifying moisture and Her curvilinear lines.
Moisten the Earth and bring happiness to Isis.
Go around with spiced water. Facing Northeast on the Cross-Quarter Point he/she intones:
Gnomes of Earth bless this world, her environ and its curving ‘woivre’
With the flora and fauna of soil.
Let the land grow abundant for Selket.
Go around with sand.
Evocation of Center Priestess, Priest or instructed celebrant evokes – and all assembled invoke – the spiritual Fount at the Center of the Ring. She or he intones:
Zenithides Kai Nadirides
Join hands and lips, bellies and hips
Here upon the white wedding-stone of Earth;
Beneath the starry shade of the Cosmic Mill Tree,,
Where all souls press into the echoing root of Touch,
There to enclasp living alter,
And to kiss pulsing Omphalos of the Bride,
From Whose shimmering, quivering Flesh, now and forever,
The Four Rivers of Faerie into all Worlds flow! When the Four Cross-Quarters, Zenith, Nadir and Omphalos (navel) are magically established (felt to be present in the hopefully fused and expanded senses of those assembled), the minimum number of positions necessary to describe a Magic Sphere are in place. They are Seven in number, as living tones in a diatonic scale and the seven stars of Ursa Major. One hemisphere is in the air and the other in the earth. In the consciousness of the theurgist, this Sphere of the Art is expandable, contractible, even transportable. End of opening.
This is the Festival when the Goddess and God return to their cavernous Dream chambers;
It is the time of Demeter, Persephone, Hekate and Adis.
Please join us at the Gates to the Underworld!
Priestess: puts on mask.
All proceed to Underworld. Follow me!
Use another room for Hades’ realm. If a basement is available in beautiful condition, use it. The celebrants process in pairs to the underworld chamber of Persephone and Hades with drum accompaniment. The chamber has incense of dried mugwort smouldering on the altar.
Priestess sings while whirling down low:
Of pools in caves.
We offer Thee a dance macabre
Who chills our hearts
With a dark unknown.
DIRGE TO HADES
Hades, Adis, Aidoneus – Lord of Ultimate Mystery –
The God Who severs our umbilicus from the Maternal Womb of living tissue.
We pray for You to bring a painless and merciful death
To each innocent creature who reveres Earth and Cosmos,
Consciously or even unconsciously.
Aidoneus, the Invisible One.
Who releases our Astral Selves and hides us from this mortal dimension
So we may shed outworn flesh…
Let Your Presence be felt.
Envelope us momentarily, in this Season of Samhain, with Your awesome Shroud
So we may no longer fear our inevitable transition.
Chtonius, Bringer of Death,
Let us see the Underworld as a place of rest followed by journeys to other Holy Realms.
Oh Great Master of obsidian chill and muted jet –
Help us remember our past lives in all layers of being
And allow us to evolve awareness of our passage from one world to another
Mighty Pluto, the wealth You give,
Is the gift of never-ending possibilities through labyrinthine spaces
And inextricable mazes of time…
Hail Hades! Hail Ais! Hail Plouton!
EVOE DARK DIONYSOS EKKA
EVOE KORE KAI KOUROS
Priest or Priestess: prepares bowl.
A Tibetan singing bowl, large, to be played later. Or substitute Echeion, a large gong ( Wu Han gong) is also good.
PRAISE TO PERSEPHONE
Awesome Death Goddess- Persephone – Queen of the Underworld – Ruler of the Dead – Lady of the Dark Sky – Black Diamond glowing at the starry Gates between worlds. We beseech You to appear as the guiding light to each soul leaving the earthly abodes for the nether planes. Lift the translucent veil between spheres that rifts us from our awareness of immortality which You guarantee to each one of us.
Oh, Persephonia, Pherephatta, Basilissa Kekmekotia – Goddess of Regeneration – our hope lies with You. The quivering strings of our hearts, breaking at the moment of dying, are restrung by Your infinite Kore care. Come to us, Black Translucent One of multiple-emanations and endless opalescent permutations. Comfort us…. Oh, comfort us – beauteous, ethereal Transformer of souls – As Brimo, who gives birth to Brimos says: “Divine Benefactress – Phanis – float forth… Fly! Appear – transcendent Maiden…. Come!!!
Priest: Plays big bowl or Echeion.
Priestess: Speaks in high pitch.
Persephone, Persephone, Persephone – Great Goddess of the dead, Guardian of the spiral bridge, Transformer of souls -–before Your platinum Gates receive the spirits of the newly deceased and as the Gates open let the dead stand at Eleusis before Your shimmering translucent black veils and judge themselves. When they become worthy let Hermes lead them through the twirling dark Tunnel of Aidoneus to the glittering bright light at its end. Then the beauteous Charites will take the transformed ones and lead them further to the Emerald Isles of Elysium beyond, where the glorious Aphrodite Morpho, Aphrodite Kallipygos, Aphra-Urania, Aphrodite Epitymbidia and Tymborychos connects Her great Majesty to Queen Persephone. The fertile blood red of the pomegranate connects these two realms of Death and Paradise. Shows cut in half pomegranate, red and juicy.
Priest or Priestess:
I will sing the Dirge to Hades as the labyrinthine cloth is removed from the skull of Aidoneus.
(Use an imitation, not a real skull, to reveal.
A wooden drum is played simultaneously.)
Plouton – Plouton – Adis; Adis;
Ruler of the dead –
Who snatches up our souls into the nether world –
Adis – Adis!
A cup with salt is passed around.
In this Season of Earth
Receive the salty blessings of the root – woven underground
Life can be difficult and bitter. Each person puts a finger in the cup and tastes the salt.
Priest or Priestess:
Sings transformative song in front of icon of Persephone.
Persephone – Kore Divine
She who transforms souls of the dead
Let us taste your kindness and bliss.
A cup with sugar is passed around.
In this Season of Earth
Receive the sweet blessings
of the branch-shaded surface of land.
Each tastes a touch of sugar.
Music: Choose either “Isle of the Dead” by Rachmaninoff; “Night on the Bald Mountain” by Moussorsky; or “Dance Macabre” by Saint Saëns. Play it softly.
PERSE SPEAKS - “Rêve du Morte”
Find a comfortable spot to rest. Sit or lie down, cover your eyes with a bit of cloth or clothing, and begin to notice the heaviness of your body on the floor (or earth). In your imagination, join me as we journey to the realm of Death and beyond. Take 3 deep breaths, each one slower than the last, and hear my words:
You dream of Death – You dream of Death – who has many masks. She is the dark Courtesan, Mistress of my soul. She sits alone with white rose face in elegant rigidity at her Salon at Marienbad. She awaits us. She is the parched-face Mediterranean, an old peasant woman, who sobs as she covers me with her shroud – a caul of black.
Death stands as Sorceress amidst the spider-webbed spiral. She turns Her head and Her contour reveals eyeless sockets that peal off noiselessly at Her pale delicate feet. She chants…. with gentle tears on Her pale, translucent face, the Mater Dolorous cradles us in Her long slender arms. Her blue mantle of Night, of star-studded sky falls on our flesh and dissolves our hearts. She smiles so sweetly. Thus long ago in the Queendom of the Nile, the Sphinx smiled in silence of stone. What do you see prancing gaily upon a wounded moth? It is She – a satiated plump little black cat gingerly pawing at the flailing winged creature. The flutter ceases. Little black one calmly licks her paw.
Hooting of the white owl is interrupted only by a small mouse shriek. The vampire bat takes off on her ominous mission while the black crow cackles gluttonously; she consumes a stray robin.
With Her preying-Mantis laugh Kale dances Her macabre jig upon the bones of the dead. Then the witching hour strikes. The great Devourer is weary. Death takes off Her mask. You look. Nothing is there. You do not falter, you continue to stare. In the immeasurable distance you see invisible hands releasing Her bound yowling paramour – the Great Annihilator – Warrior King of the Dead. He has till dawn to satisfy His murderous lust. He lifts His sword of Power and strikes a giant dolmen. Before your shuddering eyes multitudes of armies explode from the cracked orifice and scatter to the four corners of the world. In the endless white expanses of Saharan sands, a thin man staggers weakly towards an imagined oasis. A score of white-robed, bark-skinned Arabs on white steeds gallop towards him from the horizon with raised scimitars above their heads. It is a mirage - soon the vision fades. Heat waves undulate voluptuously above the ground.
A group of hungry nomads, slant-eyed, broad Kalmyks descend upon a circle of huts. The vast memory vault of the Milky Way consumes them all. Images of mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers thin - and vanish. The silence returns… You stand alone – dread seizes you as you sink into the white of snow.
In the steaming tropics of equatorial Africa cicatrised black tribesmen slaughter their circumcised brown neighbours. You smell the putrid odor of disintegration. You drown in rotting flesh. The green grasses cry for mercy as soldiers trample the great plains. Flies settle gracefully on bits of flesh in crawling disarray... A cicada sings inside your head; a grasshopper buzzes within your breast.
Cacophonous music invokes him again – Shiva, the Destroyer, prances madly in the Abyss. He dances towards you – moving ever forward - forward – you run but your feet move as on a treadmill. The ground recedes beneath you. The earth gives way. Hekate chuckles in Her sleep while you are sucked into the maelstrom.
Please cheer with me:
(Celebrants chant repeatedly)
Let it build to a cresendo before settling down to hear the story of Cerebus.
…FROM THE MOUTH OF CERBERUS Priest alternates with Priestess in speaking these lines:
We are the Guardians of Tartarus, the Sacred Realm of Hades, the Death Healer – We are of one body but our heads are fifty in number and our hundred eyes are ever wakeful, ever watchful – for no one leaves or enters this gloomy domain, across the River Styx, except at Her appointed moment. Close by are the cheerless Fields of Asphodel where shades wander till they bestir themselves to drink from the Pool of Mnemosyne, or Remembrance, by the great white cypress; beyond this is Erebus and then the Palace of Persephone and Aidoenus. The Mistress of Souls is not for us to see for we are surrounded by dark tributaries – opaque and dismal – the Acheron, the Phlegeton, the Cocytus, the Aernos and the Lethe or Forgetfulness – the woes, miseries, and sorrows of unregenerate death. We bark as one – (ouf – ouf – ouf) we are Cerberus – for lost souls seeking the white poplar of Pherephatta, Goddess of Regeneration as they wander through black poplar groves of seemingly endless blindpaths. We are devoted to the Lord of the Underworld but our adoration is for Her, who appears to each individual at some point on the way in the transition from earthly life to emerald Elysium. Here Aphrodite Morpho reins in apple splendour. The darkly multi-veined luminous Lady of Transcendence and her opaque Sacred Companion of hidden values and secrets, Hekate, sometimes enter this paradisal abode, but now Their duties call Them to other magical services throughout dimensions. We wish that you remember the tale of Her, who is nameless, unseen – but present to those who love Her. She, who was ravished but always returns, doubly – as a phantasm first and then in fleshly splendour. In the late vernal season of your earthly time this Nameless One, Great Daughter of Mighty Demeter; - the Kore – we were told by the Black steeds – was gathering flowers with Her companions, when suddenly, the earth gaped open and Pluto Himself – Ais-Aidoneus, the Invisible One – appeared driving the horse-driven bronze chariot. He abducted the Holy Maiden and stole Her to His subterranean abode. We barked for joy for She would be our Queen, but Her Divine Mother, Demeter, was overcome with grief. When She learned from Helios through the help of Hekate that Her daughter was ravished by the Brother of Heavenly Zeus, Her sorrow turned to anger. As Demeter, all-giving, wandered throughout the lands of man, all growth stopped in obeisance to Her sorrow and anger or in empathy to Her mourning.
She walked upon the barren earth till She came to the Well of Beautiful Dancers (the Kallichoron) near the hallowed-out place in the mountain slope which is the Door to the Underworld, and sat upon a rock. Thus the usurping male will was chastised, for the life-force retreated and nothing would thrive anywhere until Persephone was returned to her Magnificent Mother. She sat upon this laughless rock, Agelastos Petra. She smiled not upon Her creatures 'til Hera sent Hermes to retrieve the Magic Maiden from the Land of the Dead. Our scent told us that She returned to earth to give succour to the human race and all creatures by reuniting with Her Mother. Meanwhile Demeter – the Great One – who had taken away the measure of all things, decreed that a Temple be raised in Her Honour at Eleusis. She showed Her people how to grow special food, for their bodies, through agriculture; perhaps, in future times horticulture will again be our main source of food; but, more importantly, She taught them how to gain sustenance for the soul through the Mysteries established here at Eleusis. Hail Demeter – the Great Provider.
Hye – Kye, Flow and conceive.
All those who spoke Greek, who could understand the sacred words, and who had not spilt blood or who had been cleansed of it, would walk the Sacred Path and after days of ritual participation would come to know the Mysterious Daughter, Bestower of Immortality, the Transfigurative Essence of Divinity. They would come away with better hopes in regard to the end of life in the nether land and the whole Eon of Kore on earth. Like those of us who live in the land beyond, as Guardians of the Threshold, these Initiates, these Mystai, would look upon Death without fear and with assurance that each individual survives in all her uniqueness with all her peculiarities remaining intact.
We now fall silent; we listen – our ears perk up.
(From the distance we hear a very loud Gong)
From the earthly domain we hear the shattering all-engulfing resonance. The Echeion has been struck. She has revealed Herself. The Self-sounding One – the Ineffable Maiden appears in the Anakteron. She bears a Magical Child Ploutos – maybe Iakhos – maybe the dark Dionysos – the One of Wealth from the Place where all souls issue forth. The Hierophant exclaims: “Brimo has given birth to Brimos! The Strong One has born the Strong One!” The celebrants rejoice at the mystic vision which spreads its splendour throughout the entire psychosome. The ears of Sacred Corn are significantly revealed as beneficence of Demeter. The plemochoi is re-filled and more Kykeon is consumed. Hail Persephone! A-UF!
We bark in acknowledgement as the Goddess returns to Hades until Her next return in early Spring.
Priest or Priestess:
Let us now ascend to the epiphany of the New Moon.
Carrying candles, all chant repeatedly:
Perseia, You are the dark invisible New Moon.
The celebrants depart in pairs for the upper chamber (an upstairs room or balcony). They gently climb the stairs. Above they stand before Callisto (represented by a nymph statue or an open window/door to the northern stars, where Callisto shines) and sing or chant :
You, oh Goddess
Callisto represent Aethe-ra
The brand new crescent of arising life!
Evi Luna, sweet Callisto!
Evi Luna Artemissa!
Eva Luna youthful crescent!
Priest: Plays little bowl.
The new moon has risen in our hearts.
(Or in reality if we have a new moon that night).
CHARM OF SAMHAIN
This is the Charge and Charm of Samhain
The Festival of Sinking to Soil and Prophecy
The Divine Lovers make all Life snug for the long Winter Sleep.
As seeds and litter settle to Earth,
Dreams and all Souls rise from the dense, rooted Underground,
To soften en fuse them.
In the Faerie Twilight of the year,
The Dread Doors between Worlds swing open.
The Shining Lovers descend to their Bedchamber of living loam.
They descend into the bedchamber.
From dark wells of soil
Wraiths arise to hallow the seeds of dream
Wraiths arise to hallow the seeds of dream .
Join hands and follow me, as we once more join the Henge of Life, the Topocosmic Mandala, our Sacred Circle where the Celebration will unfold!
Assembly processes to the main circle/altar area, whether indoors or out, where the communion items have been laid ahead of time.
THE AVAL COMMUNION
Anoints foreheads of the Celebrants with drops of essential oil first. Rose oil is a good choice.
This scent represents the breath of the Maiden –
Essence of Intelligence and Empathy.
This flame represents the blood of the Maiden –
Essence of Passion and Compassion.
This fruit represents the gift of the Maiden’s Flesh -
Essence of Proportion and Beauty.
Lifts cup of spring water.
This spring water represents the milk of the Maiden –
Essence of Mercy and Tenderness.
Lifts small leafy branch of tree.
This Korythalia presents the Will of the Maiden,
Everlasting Life and Joy for the unique as well as the Universal.
Holds up flower.
And what is the Quintessence of the Maiden Soul?
“The Holy Fascination of the Supremely Alive and Beautiful”.
And what is the Penultimate of the maiden Spirit?
Innocent, childlike Love. Priest and Priestess kiss. Celebrants share a kiss all around their circle. Soft music: “The Bells” by Sergei Rachmaninoff, with solo voices, chorus and orchestra. Words by Edgar Allen Poe.
On a tray she has a small bowl with cut-up fruits of the season and a big, beautiful glass full of virgin spring water slightly touched with herb or spice. The spring water should be obtained when the New Moon is visible. The flask in which spring water is kept must be blessed in the name of Kore. Commercially bottled spring water may be substituted. Lifts up the sacred Tray.
Ambrosia of trees – Quintessence of Fire and Earth –
Eonic Body of the Maiden.
By Her Love freely given and with harm to none
thine own body become. She presents the Tray to each celebrant in the circle and delicately places a piece of fruit of season in each mouth.
Lifts up the crystal Bowl of spring water. Nectar of springs, Quintessence of Air and water –
Eonic fountainhead of the Maiden.
By Her Love freely given and with harm to none,
Thine own fountainhead become. She presents the grail-bowl to each Celebrant, who takes it and
swallows a sip.
Recited by all celebrants together, while holding hands in the circle.
Oh Holy Maiden!
Of the Kindling Quick,
Of merging mist and mazing echo,
The innocent bounty of the trees
Bears Thy Faerie Flesh of Wildness,
Wonder, Magic, Mirth and Love.
They Beauty seals our Bridal with all Life.
The dance of Thy Green Pulse unfolds all Souls,
all Bodies and all Blessings
From Earth’s fragrant Form.
Priestess: twirls alone and sings.
Evoe Kore kai Kouros!
Evoe Potnia kai Potnios!
CLOSING OF TEMPLE, FOUR CROSS-QUARTERS
AND CENTER In the open air stone ring, with only Initiates remaining, the Priestess or Priest extends her or his arms outward to the right and left. She/ he intones the following enchantment:
Priest or Priestess:
Moon Door, Moon Door!
Ash and Alder crossed with Willow! Close!
Covering demiurgic dark of the Mystery Night! Slowly, weightily, the Priestess or Priest swings her or his left hand inward and across her/his breast, tips of fingers touching right shoulder, thus closing the Moon Door.
Sun Door, Sun Door!
Thorn and Oak crossed with Holly! Close!
Covering azure golden Day and archetypal Light. Slowly, deliberately, Priestess or Priest swings her or his right hand inward and across her/his breast, tips of fingers touching left shoulder, thus closing the Sun Door.
The Panetheral Precincts of this great temple of Love,
Koreion (* name of your own Temple),
Are closed and hermetically resealed.
The four Fairies of Taste disappear to the realms beyond.
May the distillate of our blessings
ripen within the close of these old stones,
And may the altar irradiate the whole region, Earth and Sky,
With Love, beauty, Kindness, Vitality, truth and Wisdom.
Ho! So be it!
We offer thanks to all great Spirit Beings
who have attended our Sacred Rite.
May They bear the Blessings and Love of our devotions
into all worlds, realms, zones and planes!
KONX OM PAX!
She is Complete and perfect!
Priestess or Priest returns to the Hearthroom and rouses the celebrants, the Convivium, to a festive pitch.
All return to the Hearthroom.
Music: “Isle of the Dead” by Sergei Rachmaninoff.
The Aval Communion is completed, the Temple is sealed –
the Bacchanalia begins. Listen with joy to this music
while the Libation is concocted.
Priestess and Priest:
They prepare the Libation; ‘La Nouvelle Kyklon’ or ‘La Pomme Transformé’. This is for Samhain only: whiskey, cider and ale with barley, mint leaf beer and a touch of mugwort leaf. A toast to Hellas– a toast to the main Divinities of the Eleusinian Pantheon – Kore, Demeter, Hekate, Adis and Iachos. Everyone offers toasts. When the toast is given each celebrant raises glass and cries in unison.
First Toast: Evoe Hellas!
Second Toast: Evoe Pesephone!
Third Toast: Evoe Kore!
Fourth Toast: Evoe Demeter!
Fifth Toast: Evoe Hekate!
Sixth Toast: Evoe Adis!
Seventh Toast: Evoe Iachos!
A feast follows with colour-coded table setting, this means dark orange and black for Samhain. Serve gnomic foods; e.g. roots of the earth or those close to the earth – carrots in sauce, potato salad, pickled beets, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, mushrooms or carrots sautéed with onions, hot turnips with butter, rutabagas, melted cheese crackers decorated with parsley; white cheese with French bread.
Play Greek or Russian folk music. Festive social encounters follow. A few celebrants who are instructed, preferably Initiates, remain in the Ring to complete an esoteric sealing. This sealing is not intended to block off the flow of Sacred Energies, but to insulate, condense and channel them, so their flow is grounded and pooling. The Ethers and the numinous afterglow must be conserved for slow continual circulation at a gentle level of intensity, assimilable by everyday consciousness. Some current and radiance must be guided into the home and the whole surrounding landscape to benefit all beings.