Sacred Grove’s open circle for Samhain this year will be our first major attempt to hold the rite using ZOOM. This introduced some complications into the planning — How do you stand in a circle? Which way is East? And sealing the circle, in which we hold hands — needs some rework.
The ritual, as reworked, is included in this post.
Please note: No new participants will be admitted after 10 pm Eastern.
RedBird is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Topic: Sacred Grove Samhain Time: Oct 31, 2023 09:45 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Join Zoom Meeting https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81603503408?pwd=LTe8nILHNpdgWa6a4lEkYChthbxY7n.1 Meeting ID: 816 0350 3408 Passcode: 2RbSq4 --- One tap mobile +16469313860,,81603503408#,,,,*119043# US +19292056099,,81603503408#,,,,*119043# US (New York) --- Dial by your location • +1 646 931 3860 US • +1 929 205 6099 US (New York) • +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC) • +1 305 224 1968 US • +1 309 205 3325 US • +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) • +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) • +1 360 209 5623 US • +1 386 347 5053 US • +1 507 473 4847 US • +1 564 217 2000 US • +1 669 444 9171 US • +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose) • +1 689 278 1000 US • +1 719 359 4580 US • +1 253 205 0468 US • +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) Meeting ID: 816 0350 3408 Passcode: 119043 Find your local number: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/kdbm1ARQZF
The open public circle concept implies that participants may have long familiarity with Sacred Grove and the Bhakti Wiccan Tradition or may be joining us for the first time without preparation or anywhere in between.
Samhain — Visiting our Beloved Dead
Welcome to the Samhain ritual of Sacred Grove Community Circle, in the Bhakti Wiccan Tradition of the Fellowship of the Sacred Grove.
I am RedBird, and I will fill the ritual office of Bard in this rite.
This room is sealed; no one else will be admitted. If you lose your connection during the ritual, we will do our best to readmit you. This is a working we are undertaking together, supporting each other, and we can hang around and chat once we have returned from our journey.
With our voices and our mutual intentions for this rite, we will join in building the Grove that is our sacred space in this new realm of cyberspace – and in our inner worlds.
As an anchor in this world, feel the Earth directly beneath you, firmly holding you and pulling toward its center. Take a breath, blow it out, and relax.
As an anchor in this moment, reach in your mind for the sky above you, mindful of the season and time. Take a deep breath, exhale with a sigh, and relax.
Take note, from where you sit, which way is east, south, west, north. If the space is unfamiliar, look for clues in what you can see out a window or on a map or determine from the street outside. Take a deeper breath, exhale with a sigh, and relax.
And we now turn our thoughts to this space we share together.
Imagine, if you will, that we are standing together in a circle in the twilight. To our East is a table bearing a sword. To our West is a table bearing a cup. To our South is a living tree. To our North are standing stones.
Once we have formally claimed this as sacred space, I will start the sealing of the Circle by greeting one of you by name and saying “We are one.” Please then greet someone else by name and say “We are one.” and likewise until we all have joined the Circle. Last person, please greet me, and we will all respond together “We are one.”
Once we have sealed the circle, we will move as one between the worlds seeking the Mystery.
Then, we will invite unseen others to join us in spirit, if they will.
On this night when the Veil between the worlds is thin, when those who have gone before and we who still journey in Life may be permitted to visit in the care of the Lady and Lord, we approach the Mystery with awe and reverence.
Hear my warning. This is not safe. The Mysteries of Life, Death, and Rebirth have power we feel and cannot measure; they are part of our every moment, and we know them only vaguely. Those who have gone before have experience but cannot speak of all we might ask. They may hear the questions of our souls that we cannot speak for want of words – or volition. We may hear what we are not ready to hear.
We are children of Earth and Starry Heaven, beloved of the Lord and Lady, who seek to experience the Mysteries and open ourselves to Their guidance.
Let none remain who is unwilling to be changed by Their touch.
Please respond to each of the claimings with “So mote it be!”
Sealing the Circle
Bard greets one person by name and says “We are one.” That person greets another in like manner.
When all have been greeted, the last greets the Bard. Then all repeat together, “We are one.”
Inviting the Guardians
Welcoming the Lord and Lady
[Bard leads all following the path downward, scent of pine needles crunching underfoot.
Listen …hear the night noises of the woods … crickets … distant tree frogs … whippoorwill — loon —
follow closely – evergreen trees, still richly endowed with needles, shadows the sparse twilight —
dampness in the air —
We come to a stream flowing from our right.
The trail bears to the left and follows it down,
the rushing water becomes louder
the stream curves sharply to the right and our path narrows between stream on right and a steep bank on left.
Pines give way to oaks and maples as our path veers away from the stream
more gentle descent than the stream, yet still meandering .
Acorns on the path underfoot among fallen leaves in great variety of color and shape.
The forest is less dense here and we can see the first stars peeking through.
The last of the twilight shows us our way.
Until we come out of the woods to a clearing on level ground.]
Before us are the ruins of an ancient temple, and we see light glowing through the open gates.
Looking down, we find we are standing in the forecourt to the temple
where we are offered a welcome place to sit,
a basin of water and towels to refresh ourselves after our journey.
cold water to drink.
Soft slippers to replace our travelers’ footgear.
Here we lay aside any burdens we have carried this far, rest them beside our shoes, and turn eagerly toward the light.
At the gates of the temple, we are welcomed by our Host and Hostess into the great Hall of Celebration.
Though it seems the gathered company is large, the Hall is quiet, and guests are scattered. A scented mist swirls and softens the light.
When you have made yourself comfortable, you notice the Lady moving among the guests. She brings you a chalice, filled with a refreshing beverage that you have not tasted for many years, that brings happy memories to mind.
The Lord comes to you bearing a basket of fresh bread that is unlike any you remember tasting before – rich, moist, satisfying – and the piece in your hand seems enough for a meal in itself.
There is a table near at hand with a plate for the bread and place for the cup, so you can nibble and sip as you will.
The mists throughout the hall have grown thick, and the company has multiplied.
Someone is coming toward you – the mists lighten, swirl, and reveal a familiar, beloved face.
This is your time with your beloved. You may want to share the bread or share the cup in hospitality.
To notice. To remember. To speak, if you will.
As the mists swirl and grow thick once more, your Beloved may seem distracted by a call beyond your hearing. You may notice sounds of restlessness around you as others make their farewells.
As our host and hostess see our beloved on their way, we find each other and visit in friendship.
The Lord and Lady return to join us – to share – to ask – to remember.
Share, if you will, or not, as you choose.
Bard brings the group together when it is time to leave.
Bard recalls everyone to the shoes we left outside, then uphill to the Sacred Grove and then to normal wakefulness, amid the Tree, the Sword, the Cup, and the Standing Stones.
Thanking the Lord and Lady
Priest thanks Lady
Priestess thanks Lord.
Thanking the Guardians