A Pagan's Blog

A Pagan's Blog

A Samhain Script

I was asked to show our script for Samhain.  I think it is appropriate as it gives a sense of what many Wiccans do tonight or tomorrow night.  So below the fold I have reproduced our script.


Individual and Group preparation

A. Individual: private ablutions and
meditation.  Dress in black.


B. Bring pictures of those who have passed

After grounding:

Stating of Purpose: 

On this night all
roads cross, all gates open.  All
nights, all dreams, all worlds are come together at the death of the old
year.  On this night the ancients
said that the gates of the other world opened wide, and the veil grew
thin.  And so we seek guidance from
those who have walked before us.

Invoking of Elements-

Consecration of elements-

V. Cense and
Asperge altar, athame-

VI. Casting
the Circle (3X)

VII. Cense and asperge


VIII. Calling
the Quarters-


IX.  Honored Dead Invocation:

Ye dead who lived in wisdom strong and plain,

Who worked of old the work we now begin,

Come work and feast, and walk with us again,

are in spirit as in flesh your kin.


X. Invoking
the Goddess- HP

I invoke you beloved

You of
roads and crossways,

cloaked Goddess of the Heavens, the Underworld, and the sea.

You who
come among the tombs, dancing with dead souls

the Bacchic

You daughter of Perses,
lover of the Wilderness,

with the deer and dogs, in the night.  


You,  unconquerable Queen.
One of compelling countenance!

bull-huntress, universal sovereign empress: You mountain-roaming

Nurturer of youth, I entreat O maiden, your presence at

these our
sacred rites, with grace to your children,

and a
joyful heart eternal.


(crown with
lavender and mugwort)


XI. The Words
of the Dark Lady-

You who seek the mysteries of the Earth, the
secrets of air and darkness, of blood and fire, the silence of the outer-most
stars, come unto me, and I shall whisper to you in the depths of midnight.

You shall approach Me in silence, and as a sign
that you are free from fear, your throat shall bare to My blade, for fear has
no place in My mysteries, and the knowledge you seek will destroy you if there
is fear in your heart; so of you I demand the truth of all you are, and in
return I give all that you may be. 


For I am the dolmen arch beyond which stretches
the mystery of the infinite. I am the fire that harrows the forest and quickens
the sleeping seed.  I am the
silence before birth and beyond death. I am the mirror before which your soul
stands naked. 

I am mist in the twilight, the sky of midnight,
and the shadows on the Moon. All come unto Me at the end, and yet I am the dark
womb from which all life emerges. 
Behold, I await you at the crossroads, and I will lead you through the
darkness within.



XII. Invocation
of the God-

Dread Lord of Shadows

God of Life and the
Giver of Life

Yet is the knowledge of
Thee the knowledge of death.

Open safely, I pray

The gates through which
all must pass

That our dear ones, who
have gone before,

return this night to
join us, if they will. 


And when our time comes,
as it must,

O Thou, the Comforter
and Consoler,

The Giver of Peace and

we will enter Thy realms
gladly, and unafraid,

for we know that when
rested and refreshed among our dear ones,

We shall be reborn again
by the grace of the Great Mother.

Let it be at the same
time and in the same place as our beloved ones,


And let us meet and know
and remember and love them again.

Descend we pray Thee,
upon Thy servant and priest, ­­­­­____.

– – – – – –
Listen to the words of the Dark God, he who of old was known among men

Thatanos, Iakchos, Donn, Anubis, Hades, Setesh, Herne, Hoder,  and
by many

other names…

Words of the Dark Lord-

I am the God who waits
in the dead of the year, in the dark of life, at the end of the lane where no
birds sing.  There you will come
again to My hand.  Be not afraid to
look upon My death’s head, for I have other faces and another hand to give
again that which I take.  And
more.  Come gladly when I
call!  The Great Mother holds my
promise; and no evil shall harm you as you rest in My hand.

I am the
shadow in the bright day; I am the reminder of mortality at the

height of
life.  I am the never ending veil of Night where the star

dances.  I am the death that must be so that life may continue;

for behold,
life is eternal because the living must die.


Remember that you
trusted Me in the Spring-green child-places, finding enchantment; found Me
merry in summer attendance when you wed; feared not to meet Me in the autumn
glow, the final harvest of life abundant. . . . So shrink not from Me now in
Winter’s dark.  This is My
time.  But have you not seen the
return of life to the earth, safe from My keeping?  Is not My lesson repeated with every year?  Will I do less for you who love the
Earth, the Gods, and one another?

I am the great Lord of
Death who awaits you.  Have faith
in Life; and trust in Me.  The love
which sustains all things, sustains the time of death as well.


Blow me a kiss when the
sky is dark, and I will smile, but no kiss returns; for my kiss is the final
one on mortal flesh. As the great cycle of the year brings forth the time of My
domain, take Me into your hearts, as I have always taken you into Mine.

Come now, light your

XIV: Everyone comes
to the altar to light a votive or other candle  around which pictures of their beloved dead have been
set.  They invite their departed
loved ones to visit, if they will.


Dark Lord goes to the West, and cuts an opening enabling the spirits invited to
enter.  Members continue to send
out their invitations. 


Behold! In the West is
the Summerland, the land of the Dead, where so many of our loved ones have gone
for rest and renewal.  On this
night we hold communion with them. 
As our circle is opened I call upon all of you to hold the image of your
loved ones in your hearts and minds, 
that we may reach out to them.

The circle is then


 There will be a period of silence for
personal meditation.


We thank you for your
presence and your blessing, Lord of Death and Rebirth.  Return now, we ask, to your realm to
which all must each ultimately go.

He leaves

XV.  Cakes and Wine

HP: As the athame is the

HPs: So the cup is the


Both: And conjoined they
bring blessedness.

Both: O Queen most
secret, bless this food unto our bodies; bestowing health, wealth, joy,
strength, peace, and that fulfillment of love that is
perfect happiness.


XVI. The Feast
with the Dead

makes his or her own prayer to those they invited and places some food and
drink before their picture or other symbol.



Farewell to the
Dead.  Everyone makes his or her
own prayer to those they invited.

Farewell to Goddess
and to Quarter Guardians


XVI: Closing
and Benediction- HP

In the name of Dryghton,
the ancient providence, which was from the beginning and is for all eternity,
male and female, the original source of all things, all knowing, all pervading,
all powerful, changeless, eternal. 
In the name of our Lady of the Moon and the Horned Lord of Death and
Resurrection; in the names of the Mighty Ones of the Four Quarters, the Kings
of the Elements; Blessed Be this place and this time and they who are here with

Grounding of Circle 

Comments read comments(11)
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Deborah Bender

posted October 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm

A comment on sources. Your ancestor invocation is based on one written by the late Leigh Ann Hussey, which is widely used within the NROOGD tradition of witchcraft. The verse as Leigh Ann wrote it is worded a little differently in the first and third lines:
[Original first line] Ye dead who walked in wisdom strong and plain
[Original third line] Come work, and feast, and live in us again
IMO, the original first line is stronger poetry than the version commonly in use.

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Gus diZerega

posted October 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Thank you for the information Deborah.
I knew Leigh Ann but she was not the direct source of this for me. Her work has entered into the oral traditions of our community. The script is partly me, partly my tweaking others’ work, and a lot other work by other people. I think that is as it should be. We make something our own, but work within a tradition.
NROOGD’s Midsummer was where the Goddess first came to me and I will be eternally grateful to them for that.
May Leigh Ann’s spirit be particularly blessed on this night.

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Cheryl Hill

posted October 30, 2010 at 7:35 pm

What a beautiful Ritual this will be! I wish I could join in with you.
I joined in an open Samhain Ritual with a Coven last Saturday; tomorrow night my Samhain Ritual will be solitary.

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posted October 31, 2010 at 12:06 am

Thank you Gus. This was beautifully thought out and given. Thank you for sharing this gift. I’m planning on using this.

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posted October 31, 2010 at 8:24 am

Thank you so much for posting this. I feel that one of the best ways to communicate what we’re about is by having our rituals in public, able to be seen.

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Sorn Skald

posted October 31, 2010 at 10:58 am

Thank you for sharing your script, Gus. I’m always interested in understanding a little better how people celebrate this time of year.

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posted October 31, 2010 at 12:47 pm

A tip of the Witch’s Hat to all the Craft Trads for all the gateminding they do this season!
One thing I have long admired about NGOOGD (and that invigorates my own practice) is DIY spirit. Magic inheres in, among other places and moments, saying from the heart words to suit the occasion or intention. I honor Leigh Anne as a founder. But I think that we must speak as inspiration moves us.
Happy Halloween Trails!

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Deborah Bender

posted October 31, 2010 at 4:39 pm

I did not know Leigh Ann well enough to speak for her views on borrowing. I can speak for myself. Like many others, I often borrow and adapt from other sources. Sometimes I know the original source; sometimes not.
As a writer, I’m gratified when my work passes into wider community use. I expect that the folk process is likely to alter my work and use it in different contexts.
I am even more gratified when people know and credit me as the source, and when they are familiar with the work in its original form, whether or not they choose to alter it.
Since I was in a position to do for Leigh Ann what I would want done for myself, I did it.
We don’t usually hand out programs before a ritual, and we don’t disrupt the flow of the ritual by explaining where things came from. When we pass along rituals as texts, we have an opportunity to include notes and credits, if we have the time and choose to do so. In the early days of the development of the modern Craft, people’s contributions were usually anonymous or attributed to “tradition”. The Charge of the Goddess has been rewritten numerous times by people who never heard of Doreen Valiente. One of the slogans of the Second Wave of Feminism was “Anonymous was a woman.”
By giving credit to authors when we can identify them and when they wish to be known, we honor those who came before us and preserve our history for those who will come after.
Happy Hallowe’en.

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Deborah Bender

posted October 31, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I seem to have misspelled Leigh Anne Hussey’s middle name. There doesn’t seem to be a post-publication edit function on this blog.

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Cheryl Hill

posted October 31, 2010 at 10:08 pm

A Prayer to Hecate
O Dark Goddess,
Open wide the Gates through which all must pass.
Let our dear ones who have gone before
Return to us this night to make merry.
And when our time comes as it must,
We will enter Thy realms gladly and unafraid.
For we know we will again be reborn by the grace of the Great Mother.
Let it be in the same place and time as our beloved.
That we may meet, and know, and remember,
And love them anew.
(Adapted from verses in The Witches Bible, and others)

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posted February 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm

This is spacious information. Thanks for sharing.

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