Samhain – Ritual Review – Ecclasia

Posted in rituals, Sabbats on November 4, 2009 – 11:06 am
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samhain wheel

Sunday I went a little crazy with a couple of friends of mine.  We drove from Las Vegas to Big Bear to San Bernardino AND RETURNED the same day all to go to a Samhain Ritual by Ecclasia.  We started out from Vegas at about  10:30 am, got to big bear at almost 3pm and then had dinner at 5pm, got to the ritual at 6pm.  Left there and started back up to Big Bear around 9pm.  Finally arrived at home at 2:30 am.  I was exhausted!  But I was also glad we did it.  It’d be a long time since I had gone to a ritual with Ecclasia, so I go to see my High Priestess and Priest and several other friends that I’ve missed.  So that was wonderful!

Why We Review

One of the things that I was taught in Ecclasia is that every Sabbat Ritual should be discussed and critiqued by the students.  I’ve always loved this because it solidifies my memory and confirms the things I liked and disliked about the ritual itself.  Those are always good things to remember for your own refrences when you are creating your own rituals.

The Ritual

Samhain (pronounced Sow-en) is the time of the year when the veil between the worlds are thinnest.  This is the time of the year when we remember those who have crossed over and our ancestors.  In this ritual those who died for our beliefs as witches were also remembered.  The names of those who died, accused of witches even though they were not, were read aloud.  There were also names read aloud of the loved ones of those who were in attendance last night who had crossed over.  We were given pomegranete seads to eat as we communed with and remembered our loved ones.

altar

The Altar

There were actually two altars set up.  The one was the main altar, with the symbols of the god and goddess and all the altar tools needed.  This is where the High Priest and Priestess stood and conducted the ritual from.  The other altar was the Altar of the Dead.  The Altar for the Dead as very simple, it had a beautiful statue of three cloaked goddesses and many candles.  There was a book for people to write the names of their loved ones that had crossed over that they would like read during the ritual and tea lights to be lit for each person as well.

samhain1

My Thoughts

Samhain is one of my favorite Sabbats.  Mostly because I miss my grandmother so much, especially as a mother, that this is the time of  year I feel like I can get closer to her.  So it is at these rituals that I get to hear her name called and feel her presence near me.  I loved the symbolism of the ritual and appreciated the difference this year of having a pomegranet instead of hard boiled eggs and milk like we usually have.  Mostly because pomegranites taste better, but also because they are easier to eat.  The only criticism that I have against the ritual at all was the ringing of the chime after each name.  I understand the symbolism and it is beautiful, but the sound of the chime after 30 or so names gets to be a little harsh on the head.  It even made a couple of the smaller children at the circle start crying.  LOL!

Other than that it was a beautiful ritual and I was so pleased to have been able to be a part of it.  This was the first time I did some wardening for the ritual, which was a little nerve wracking for me cuz I was afraid I’d do it wrong, but I never actually had to “do” anything, so it was fine.   I  was a little sad to see that the attendance was so low for this ritual.  I have been to many other Ecclasia rituals and they are usually rather large, especially for Samhain and Yule.  Usually there are close to 100 people if not a lot more, but this time there was maybe half that.  I know that the economy is still pretty bad right now and that does tend to lessen the attendance, so hopefully things will get back to normal soon.  I’ve always loved Ecclasia’s rituals because they are so powerful in symbology and spirit.  I’ve been to many other groups rituals and never felt the same chemistry or divinity that I do when I go to Ecclasia’s rituals.  So I hope that more people will attend the next one, which is Yule on Dec. 12th.

Chalice

I will be going to another Samhain ritual this coming Saturday.  This one, luckily, is closer to home.  It’s actually in Las Vegas, so I won’t be so tired afterwards.  It will be held right after the Las Vegas Pagan Pride Day, which will be fun to go to as well.  I will be doing a critique/review of the ritual on Saturday, which will be posted here sometime next week.  After Monday to give my class a chance to go over the ritual together.  🙂  Until then, Blessed Be!


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