ceremony is designed to honor the spirits of the animals - both
wild and domestic. Man's relationship with animals goes back thousands
and thousands of years. They have been a source of food and clothing.
They have protected us from the things that lurk in the darkness.
They have provided comfort and warmth. In some cases, they have
even raised and nurtured our discarded children, as in the case
of Romulus and Remus.
If you have animals
in your home -- pets or livestock -- this is their night. Feed
them before you feed the humans in your family. Put some food
out for any wild animals that may happen by as well.
1. If you have a pet
that has passed away during this last year, you may want to include
a photo or keepsake of them on your table during this rite.
a stew for your family that includes small amounts of as many
different meats as you may have available - beef, pork, game,
chicken, etc. If your family is vegetarian or vegan, designate
a non-meat ingredient to represent each animal and adapt the ritual
as needed, eliminating lines that reference the eating of animals.
When your stew is ready, gather the family around the altar table
you prepared during the previous night's Harvest End Ritual.
2. Place the stew pot
in the center of the table, with a large serving spoon or ladle.
Make sure you have some good dark bread to eat as well. Each member
of the family should have a bowl and spoon handy. Say:
Samhain has come, and
it is the end of the Harvest.
The crops are in from the fields,
And the animals are preparing for the coming winter.
Tonight, we honor the animals in our lives.
Some have died that we may eat.
Some have provided us with love.
Some have protected us from that which would do us harm.
Tonight, we thank them all.
3. Go around the family
in a circle. Each person should take a scoop of stew from the
pot and place it in their bowl. Younger children may need an adult's
help with this. As each person gets their helping, say:
Blessed are the animals,
Those who die that we may eat.
Blessed are the animals,
Those we love and who love us in return.
When every family member
has their stew, each takes a piece of bread. As they do, say:
As the Wheel of the
Year continues to turn,
The harvest has ended, and the grain has been threshed.
The animals sleep for the winter.
We thank them for their gifts.
4. Take your time finishing
your meal. If you have pets, don't be surprised if they come visit
while you're eating your stew tonight -- animals tend to be very
aware of the spiritual plane! If there is any stew left over,
leave some out for the spirits. Any extra bread can be thrown
outside for the wild animals and birds.
for this and other good info about the holidays: