Food and drink for sharing and offering and something to drink from. Optional: candles, altar equipment, working tools.
Cast the circle and call the quarters.
HP: Here we stand as the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, allowing us to connect with our ancestors – and perhaps our past selves – more easily than at any other time during the wheel of the year. Welcome to the Festival of the Dead!
HPS: This is the time when traditionally, pagans take the time to think about their loved ones who have passed away, both human and animal, and to thank and release their spirits, and the grief and pain of losing them that may have built up over the past twelve months.
HP: And tonight we would like to welcome into our circle all those kindly spirits who have been watching over us during the past year, and thank them for their help, their love, and their guidance – whether we have been aware of it or not.
HPS: As this is also the Pagan New Year, some people like to consciously connect with their spirit guides and helpers around this time, and think about what they would like to achieve or manifest over the next year.
HP: In fact, we would like to give thanks to all those who have gone before us, for without them, we would not be here today. Whatever their influence has been, whether for good or ill, and whatever their intent has been, for without them, we would not know all the things we know, and without them, many of us may not have achieved the wisdom that has brought us here tonight. Connections may not have been made, lessons may not have been learned, and our souls may not have achieved the growth they have.
HPS: Everything happens for a reason. We would like us all to have a couple of minutes to contemplate all the people whose energies have departed the material realm, and to give thanks and to give credit, where credit is due. Later on, we will give you the chance to share your thoughts if you wish to do so.
HP: So, before we engage in a couple of minutes of quiet contemplation, let’s take a deep breath with the Earth beneath us, and another with the skies above us, and a third with the seas that surround this sacred isle.
Pause to allow all to consider and thank those who have gone before.
HPS: Before we share our thoughts on that, we would like to you think about something else. Even those we feel have wronged us in some way – or ways – have in fact given us something valuable. They may have given us the chance to stand up for ourselves, or to discover a strength, a courage, or a belief that we would not otherwise have become aware of.
HP: At the time, we may have felt anger, bitterness, even hatred, for these people. And even though their actions may have faded from our memory, the emotion is still held in our energetic fields if we haven’t consciously released it.
HPS: So we now invite you to consciously forgive those we have stored up these feelings against. Bring them to mind, and tell them, in your head, that you forgive them. You may even want to thank them for the gifts their actions have given you. But feel as well the lifting of a burden from your shoulders, or your back, or your heart or belly, as the emotions you’ve stored against them for so long finally release.
Pause to allow people to do this.
HP: If anybody wants to share any of their thoughts, please feel free to do so now. But don’t feel pressured to say anything if you don’t want to.
Allow time for all to share their thoughts.
HPS: Thank you for attending. And, as always after a ceremony, there is food and drink for all.
Pass round the food and drink.
Give thanks to the spirits.
Dismiss the quarters,
Close the circle.