Witch's Broom

 

This one comes from the book WiccaCraft for Families by Margie McArthur. I really like it, and I've made a few changes to it to personalize it more.

 

Dry, colored leaves, nuts, sprigs of dried herbs, small pumpkins, pomegranates and acorns should outline the perimeter of the circle. It’s also good to have a few mementos of loved ones who have passed on (photos or special items are nice) should be present as well. 4 large orange pillar candles should be placed at the quarters.

A short period of meditation should be done before the start of the ritual.  Afterwards, the children should circle slowly around the cauldron, and the person assigned to each quarter should light the candle and begin the invocation:

East

    Guardians of the East, Powers of Air.
    Circle round with us here,
    whispering the names of our loved ones.
    Giving us passage to their spirits between the worlds.

South

     Guardians of the South, Powers of Fire.
    Circle round with us here,
    warming us with your presence.
    Give us passage to their spirits between the worlds.
 

West

    Guardians of the West, Powers of Water.
    Circle round with us here,
    riding smoothly across the Western Sea to the Summerland.
    Giving us passage to their spirits between the worlds.

North

     Guardians of the North, Powers of Earth.
    Circle round with us here,
    strengthening the bonds of loved ones between us.
    Giving us passage to their spirits between the worlds.

All be seated if not already so.

Priest

"The Reaper comes among us at this time of year, swinging his black scythe - the harvest is upon us.  The bounty of the summer season is stored in the granaries of the tribe to sustain us throughout the dark days ahead.  And as the Reaper passes, harvesting both the essence of the grain and the souls of the Lady's people, he also rends the veil that separates the living farom the dead, the Land of Home from Summerland.  At this time we are reunited with those who have passed into Summerland to learn again the lesson that life and death come equally to all and are separated by the merest of illusions.  That as they are, so we have been, and will be again, and that they shall be again as we are now; over and over as we spiral upward, dancing our way back to the presence of the Great Mother, even as the smoke and ash of the fires of autumn dance their way upward into the starlit sky."

Pause for a few minutes in silent meditation.

The cauldron fire is lit by the man of the house.

Priestess

"We do summon, stir and call thee forth, ye ancient mighty dead.  Give us of your wisdome, you who have dwelt on Mid-Earth, who are sages of the Old Ways.  We welcome you to be here with us; to warm yourselves at our fire and to know the love that glows within this sacred circle. Share your wisdom, illuminate our hearts, and show us the greater cycle of our lives; that through you we may know that life never ends, but only changes form."

Short pause.

"Let us each light a candle in the name of those who have gone before us, remembering that in the midst of death there is life, light in the midst of darkness, sunrise after sunset, and that spring must inevitably follow winter."

Everyone lights a candle, puts it on the hearth (or in the cauldron), and if they choose, dedicate it to a departed friend or relative.

Priestess and Priest

"Family and Friends and guests unseen, as we partake of this food, fruits of the harvest, we ask you to join us as we celebrate the closing of this harvest season and the beginning of a New Year.  Happy New Year and Blessed Be!"

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