WHEN TO PERFORM: This is entirely up to you and should be done when you feel ready. Some covens prefer the full moon, where others find the new moon more appropriate. If you are really into magickal timing, you might want to think about the following:
1. When the moon is in Pisces (ruled by Jupiter and Neptune; both are considered spiritual energies).
2. In the hour of Jupiter, Venus or the moon.
3. On Monday (the moon) or Thursday (Jupiter) or Friday (Venus).
SUPPLIES: A bell (or drum) ; a candle (of the person’s favorite color) for the altar; eight votive candles for the positions of the eight holidays on the Wheel of the Year.; a needfire candle (which will be the first lit); the deceased’s favorite flowers; a picture; a cauldron; a bottle of holy water; the person’s favorite drink and favorite food. Have a box of tissues handy (it is perfectly healthy to cry). Music, if you think this is appropriate. If possible, dress in white. Make a list of your deceased relatives and friends. Optional: Illuminator candles.
PREPARATION: Cleanse the room with the four elements. Set up the altar with your choice of tools. Set the cauldron (for transformation) in the center of the circle or the altar. Place the flowers, candle to the deceased, fire candle, picture, and food on your altar or on a table. Place the votive candles in their appropriate places around the room (you can put place cards by them if you forget which holiday goes where), or you can place everything on a large table (like a dining room table), turning the table itself into the altar. Devote the altar through prayer, light the fire candle, then mix the energies on the altar with your hands. Seal with an equal-armed cross.
THE RITUAL: Light illuminator candles. Cast your magick circle and call the quarters. If there are others in the room, stand in a circle holding hands. Invoke the Lord and Lady using any of the invocation that you prefer or have written yourself.
Stand in front of the picture and say:
“As the sacred Wheel of the Year spins slowly, blessing us with the gifts of transformation, so does the cycle of life, death, and rebirth also turn, allowing us to fulfill our destiny.”
Say the person’s name three times loudly. Then say:
“Even though you have gone beyond the veil, we know that we can send these blessings to you.”
Light each of the sabbat candles, repeating the name of the sabbat aloud, and the saying a gift that you are sending to the loved one–such as love, peace, harmony, rest, happiness, safe journey, and so on–with the flame of that candle, with the following procedure: Light the Yule candle from the fire candle. Carry the fire candles clockwise around the circle and place on the altar. Stand in front of the Yule candle and give the Yule blessing (below), then light the Candlemas candle from the Yule candle. Carry the Yule candle around the circle in a clockwise direction and replace in the Yule position. Stand in front of the Candlemas candle, give the blessing, the move to the Ostara candle and so on. In this way each sabbat candle is lit from the last beginning with Yule and moving around the circle in a clockwise direction, which builds the energy to send to the deceased. Blessings might include:
YULE: May the love of the divine be with you.
CANDLEMAS: May your guide light your journey.
OSTARA: May you find joy in your rebirth.
BELTANE: May you receive our love and blessings.
MIDSUMMER: May you find wisdom and empowerment.
LAMMAS: May you find forgiveness for all things.
MABON: May you be purged of all unhappiness.
SAMHAIN: May you rest in peace.
Pick up the Samhain candle and stand before the altar. In your own way, ask Spirit to carry your blessings to the individual. In the case of a pet, you might also ask that the spiritual caretaker of animals also be present to ensure the safety of the animals’ spirit. Say the deceased’s name three times, then light the pillar candle in front of their picture with the Samhain candle, and envision all the energy and blessings built into the ritual being released into their arm.
If you wish to move the deceased individual into the realm of your personal ancestral dead, you will now make the first offering by verbally listing your lineage and adding the person’s name to the list. Each time you say a person’s name, you will sprinkle holy water into the cauldron. If you do not wish to add them to your ancestral pantheon, you will still state the names of your ancestors but you will not add the deceased person’s name–you will say their name later. If you are facilitating this ceremony for someone else (say the family of a friend), they need to give you a list of beloved friends and family who have passed away. It is this list you would intone during this portion of the ritual. The litany might go as follows:
“I honor my great grandfather, Harold Crossing.
I honor my great grandmother, Mabel Crossing.
I honor my great grandfather, Charles Taylor.
I honor my great grandmother, Lucy Taylor.
I honor my grandmother, Christine Crossing.
I honor my grandmother, Louise Taylor.
I honor my uncle, Patrick Taylor.
I honor my pet, Joey.
I honor the Lord and Lady
May they continue to bless the living as well as the dead.”
Add the deceased’s favorite drink to the cauldron, honoring the newly deceased (this would be a second time you said their name if you added them to the ancestral pantheon). For example, “I honor my friend, Randy Boyer. May Spirit carry this actor of honor to him. So mote it be.”
When you are finished, thank Spirit(and the caretaker of pets, should the deceased be an animal), release the quarters, and then release the circle. Lay the food and flowers outside. Pour the contents of the cauldron on the ground. If you can, allow the candle(s) to burn completely out.