Prepare the sacred space by decorating an altar with a large cauldron filled with dark moon water, a collection of leaves in an offering bowl (one for each person present) and, if possible, one candle lit for every year the person lived on the Earth and one additional unlit candle to represent the person who is being remembered being ready to fly to the Summerlands to rest and be ready to be reborn. Guests form a circle.
High Priestess casts the circle, moving slowly clockwise around the circle with sandalwood incense to cleanse and bless the space:
We cast this circle to protect,
To create sacred space for spirit
As we open the gate to the divine.
Element of Earth, we all return to you. Keep us safe in your protective embrace. Hail and welcome.
Element of Air, clear this space of negative energy with your cleansing breath. Hail and welcome.
Element of Fire, help us to remember the cycle of life and lend your transforming flames of rebirth. Hail and welcome.
Element of Water, support us as we honour ________ and acknowledge our many emotions, so we are not overwhelmed. Hail and welcome.
Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, bless this circle with your guidance, help us to remember that Spring and rebirth will come again. Hail and welcome.
Hecate, Goddess of the Crossroads, light the way for spirit to journey safely to the Summerlands. Hail and welcome.
HP lights the single candle to represent the person being remembered and says:
'What was will be again.'
Lead those in the circle to visualise grounding and centring.
We are joined here by our memories, by our lives with ________, by our love and our sorrow. We are here to say farewell and help their spirit on the way to the Summerlands. We are thankful for knowing _______ in this life, they will never be gone from our hearts as long as we remember them.
Each person comes to the altar, takes a leaf and shares a memory or a word to represent their connection to the person, which is then added to the cauldron. When everyone has placed a leaf in the cauldron, guests begin drumming the spirit to rest for as long as they feel is necessary.
Reading by relative/guest or HP:
'Do not stand at my grave and weep' by Mary Elizabeth Frye
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die!
'We offer our thanks to the Mother of All'.
They present the family with a container of water and leaves from the cauldron and say:
Deep Peace of the running wave to you.
Deep Peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep Peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep Peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep Peace of infinite peace to you.
(Poem adapted from Ancient Gaelic runes.)
Closing the circle:
Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, thank you for guiding ________'s spirit. Hail and farewell.
Hecate, Goddess of the Crossroads, thank you for lighting the way to the Summerlands. Hail and farewell.
Element of Water, thank you for allowing the emotional sea within the circle to flow over us and be released to give us peace. Hail and farewell.
Element of Fire, thank you for giving us the strength to say farewell, allowing spirit to go to rest and be reborn. Hail and farewell.
Element of Air, thank you for cleansing this circle and allowing us to communicate with _________'s spirit as they journey onwards. Hail and farewell.
Element of Earth, thank you for supporting those in the circle with your protective embrace. Hail and farewell.
We uncast this circle, releasing spirit to journey on to the Summerlands,
to join the spirits of their ancestors, until they are ready to be born again.
What was, will be again.
This circle is open but never broken.
So mote it be.