The limbs that move, the eyes that see,

These are not entirely me;

Dead men and women helped to shape,

The mold that I do not escape;

The words I speak, the written line, these

Are not uniquely mine.

For in my heart and in my will, old

Ancestors are warring still,

Celt, Roman, Saxon and all the dead, from

Whose rich blood my veins are fed,

In aspect, gesture, voices, tone, flesh of

My flesh, bone of my bone;

In fields they tilled, I plow the sod, I walk

The mountain paths they trod;

Around my daily steps arise – the good,

The bad – those I comprise.

Richard Rolle 1300- 1349

 

It was five years ago now, when sixteen witches from a then amazing community came together to create what would be the most memorable Samhain of my life. We were hosting for the Orlando Pagan Collective, a public Samhain and Witches Ball. I speak of it now, because it’s message resonates with the energies of today, the racism, sexism, religious intolerance, lack of empathy, hatred but most of all of fear. “Shadows” most simply is “The Burning Times”, it was inspired and guided by two Goddesses ( My Lady Arianrhod and My Lady The Morrighan), and included beautiful invocations by Lady Lionrhod, two songs from some renowned artists and the input, love and hard work of some truly inspiring people. We worked on this in practice for more than six months, with the entirety of the 30 pages of it memorized. Not work you see too often any longer.

 

The Intent of “Shadows” was to give us a moment of what it was like for our ancestors during this time of chaos and terror.   We found that even in those darkest of moments when all hope should have been lost, that they found peace and were able to move past what was done to them. It also gave us a glimpse into the thoughts, prejudices and fears of their accusers, torturers and even those who sat silent. We realized that we all have those same feelings. From Murderer to victim we can both be controlled and paralyzed by them. “Shadows” was an amazing working in self transformation. It was about recognizing all those things within us and letting them go. It was about freeing ourselves by giving us permission to move past the pain and by forgiving not only those we felt had done these terrible things to us, but also forgiving ourselves. Forgiveness for our own terrible thoughts, feelings and fears, forgiveness who the things we had done as well as for those we have not. In truth it is powerful magick.

 

I do not share my ritual work publicly, however, given the current energies in the world today, I felt it was time to share excepts of “Shadows”. I will apologize ahead of time, the actual meditation which contained the largest part of the working is not in print. In my practice, all meditations are channeled, so the perspective of those who were accusers, torturers, who were silent; will not be included. I leave it to you to take the time, to seek the Gods for those. I urge you to do so. It can be life changing. I will be sharing the Invocations and some the stories and songs used in the ritual. I hope that it inspires your own inner discourses and helps fuel your inner transformation.

May the Blessings of Samhain Be Yours

Nyt

 

Shadow of Our Ancestors 

The Invocations

(A Word on these invocations, they are written from the perspective of a witch on the eve of their death, as they call out to an aspect of the God/dess. There are eight of them; Maiden & Lover, Father & Mother, Matron & Warrior, Hunter & Crone.)

 

Lover God Invocation:

Jailor: Go to your cell. Fall to your knees and pray. For tomorrow the river and the drowning awaits you.

Invoker: (on his knees)

From the depths of this, my prison cell, my last home on this Earth,

God, Lover I call upon you,

You who are the flute in the meadow

And the sap rising in the trees

I invoke you.

Be with me in my hour of need.

Lover: (standing before the prisoner and stretching out a hand)

My children do not call me on bended knee. Stand tall, my son, and have faith,

For I ask naught of sacrifice. And that done onto you in this earth does not reach the Spirit Eternal except in the loving expression of your adoration.

Invoker: (rises to his feet and to god pose)

You who are the wind whispering joy and the song of lovers moaning

You who are the grain rising to the face of the Sun and the brook babbling passion, forsake me not.

Lover: I am with you, now and forever.

Maiden Goddess Invocation:

Jailor: Go to your cell. Fall to your knees and pray. For tomorrow the stones await you.

Invoker: (on her knees)

From the depths of this, my prison cell, my last home on this Earth,

Lady, Maiden I call upon you,

You who are the beauty of the green earth

And the crescent moon among the stars

I invoke you.

Be with me in my hour of need.

Maiden: (standing before the prisoner and stretching out a hand)

My children do not call me on bended knee. Stand tall, my daughter, and have faith,

For I ask naught of sacrifice. And that done onto you in this earth does not reach the Spirit Eternal except in the loving expression of your joy.

Invoker: (rises to her feet and to goddess pose)

You who are the seeds springing from the land and the song of children’s voices

You who are the sound of the lark and thrill of my own maidenhood, forsake me not.

Maiden: I am with you, now and forever.

Father God Invocation:

Jailor: Go to your cell. Fall to your knees and pray. For tomorrow the rope awaits you.

Invoker: (on his knees)

From the depths of this, my prison cell, my last home on this Earth,

Lord, Father I call upon you,

You who are the windswept sky

And the mountains we seek to attain

I invoke you.

Be with me in my hour of need.

Father: (standing before the prisoner and stretching out a hand)

My children do not call me on bended knee. Stand tall, my son, and have faith,

For I ask naught of sacrifice. And that done onto you in this earth does not reach the Spirit Eternal except in the loving expression of your encompassing heart.

Invoker: (rises to his feet and to god pose)

You who are the tide of noon, bringing fullness to my power

You who are the wise one, teacher of lessons and mysteries, forsake me not.

Father: I am with you, now and forever.

Mother Goddess Invocation:

Jailor: Go to your cell. Fall to your knees and pray. For tomorrow the fires await you.

Invoker: (on her knees)

From the depths of this, my prison cell, my last home on this Earth,

Lady, Mother I call upon you,

You who are the cauldron of passion

And the blazing heart eternal of the Earth

I invoke you.

Be with me in my hour of need.

Mother: (standing before the prisoner and stretching out a hand)

My children do not call me on bended knee. Stand tall, my daughter, and have faith,

For I ask naught of sacrifice. And that done onto you in this earth does not reach the Spirit Eternal except in the loving expression of your enfolding heart.

Invoker: (rises to her feet and to goddess pose)

You who are the full moon whispering magick and the power of creation

You who are the flow of lava that gives birth to land, forsake me not.

Mother: I am with you, now and forever.

 

Warrior God Invocation:

Jailor: Go to your cell. Fall to your knees and pray. For tomorrow the fire awaits you.

Invoker: (on his knees)

From the depths of this, my prison cell, my last home on this Earth,

Lord, Warrior I call upon you,

You who are the raging fire-swept prairie

The fields of conquest razed by sword

I invoke you.

Be with me in my hour of need.

Warrior: (standing before the prisoner and stretching out a hand)

My children do not call me on bended knee. Stand tall, my son, and have faith,

For I ask naught of sacrifice. And that done onto you in this earth does not reach the Spirit Eternal except in the conquest of passing your limitation.

Invoker: (rises to his feet and to god pose)

You who are the Sunset-warrior, champion of the just

You who are the leader who guides me to victory, forsake me not.

Warrior: I am with you, now and forever.

Matron Goddess Invocation:

Jailor: Go to your cell. Fall to your knees and pray. For tomorrow the rope awaits you.

Invoker: (on her knees)

From the depths of this, my prison cell, my last home on this Earth,

Lady, Matron I call upon you,

You who are the She-Wolf guarding your sister’s pups

And the wise pruner of the orchards

I invoke you.

Be with me in my hour of need.

Matron: (standing before the prisoner and stretching out a hand)

My children do not call me on bended knee. Stand tall, my daughter, and have faith,

For I ask naught of sacrifice. And that done onto you in this earth does not reach the Spirit Eternal except in the ways that you guide and prune.

Invoker: (rises to her feet and to goddess pose)

You who are the whispering wind that knocks the dead leaves to earth

You who separate wheat from chaff, forsake me not.

Matron: I am with you, now and forever.

Hunter God Invocation:

Jailor: Go to your cell. Fall to your knees and pray. For tomorrow the stones await you and will press you flat.

Invoker: (on his knees)

From the depths of this, my prison cell, my last home on this Earth,

Lord, Hunter I call upon you,

You who are the dolmen door we all fear to pass

The heart of mystery we yearn for and deplore

I invoke you.

Be with me in my hour of need.

Hunter: (standing before the prisoner and stretching out a hand)

My children do not call me on bended knee. Stand tall, my son, and have faith,

For I ask naught of sacrifice. And that done onto you in this earth does not reach the Spirit Eternal except in your trust as you reach beyond the veil.

Invoker: (rises to his feet and to god pose)

You who are the Rider between death and birth

You who are the shaman who opens the door to mystery.

Hunter: I am with you, now and forever.

Crone Goddess Invocation:

Jailor: Go to your cell. Fall to your knees and pray. For tomorrow the drowning awaits you.

Invoker: Nay! My old bones will not take me there! Nor does the Lady of All expect her worshippers to meet her as a supplicant!

Jailor: Silence witch!

Invoker: I will not be silent! I will harangue you till I am a ghost! For as I call upon my gods they WILL answer!

Invoker: (Laughs) False gods, they are not. Indeed, they are Living Gods! Gods of the green earth, the magick and mystery of Life itself! Beginnings and endings! I curse you with it! In a day when your name is forgotten, the gods of the Old Ones and the Old names will rise and be remembered! And they shall live again, in the spirits of their children who remember them and their old ways.

Invoker: (seated on a sack)

From the depths of this, my prison cell, my last home on this Earth,

Lady, Crone I call upon you,

You who are the tomb and womb of our bones

The cauldron of eternity to whom we return in every life

I invoke you.

Be with me in my hour of need.

Crone: (standing before the prisoner and stretching out a hand)

My children do not call me on bended knee. Stand tall, my daughter, and have faith,

For I ask naught of sacrifice. And that done onto you in this earth does not reach the Spirit Eternal except in the ways that you transform those about you. I am the beginning and the end.

Invoker: (rises to her feet and to goddess pose)

You who are the ice that freezes us to the shape we create for ourselves

You who are beginning and end, a new possibility, a new chance, forsake me not.

Crone: I am with you, now and forever.

All Aspects: We are with you, now and forever.

 

The Stories of the Elements

(These stories were told by our elemental invokers from the perspective of each element)

Air

I am Air and you are my beloved child Ursula Kemp. In 1582 you were a cunning woman and midwife. You were renowned in your home of Chelmsford, England, for helping cure various ailments and sicknesses. However, it was a former friend, whose son refused to pay for you meger services, yet took them instead, and became no better. That proved your undoing. For then the family stood staunchly against you and complained to the magistrate. First for his lameness, and then for other accidents which befell them. A lifetime of work, undone by a miser. Under torture you confessed. Your last breath was drawn into me, from the hangman’s noose. So my child in 1582. I took you from the pain and anguish that men visit upon one another in their ignorance and hatred. You find rest within the soft whispering breezes of my cradle. I am Air and you are my beloved child Ursula Kemp.

 

Fire

I am Fire and you are my beloved child Johannes Junius. In 1628 you were the Mayor of Bamburg, Germany, when the witch craze enveloped your area. You had been Mayor since 1608, a fine upstanding citizen of your community, with love of your neighbors and family foremost in your heart. You were implicated by other victims, shortly after the execution of your wife. You held out against your accusers after almost a week under torture. I forget not your letter to your daughter.

“Many hundred- thousand good night’s, dearly beloved daughter Veronica. Innocent I have come into prison, innocent I have been tortured and innocent I must die. For whoever comes into this witch prison must become a witch or be tortured until he invents something out of his head. Dear child, keep this letter secret so that people do not find it, else I shall be tortured most piteously and the jailers will be beheaded. So strictly is it forbidden. Good night, for your father Johannes Junius will never see you more. So my child on August 6, 1628, I swelled with indignation and flared brightly, drawing you from the pain and anguish that men visit upon one another in their ignorance and hatred and you find rest within the warmth of my embrace. I am Fire and you are my beloved child Johannes Junius.

 

Water

I am Water and you are my beloved child Kristy Bamu. It was Christmas in 2010, when you are your four siblings went to visit your sister in London. It must have been a welcome and exciting trip, coming from your home in France. Your family had moved around somewhat, originally coming from the Congo. Life is full of promise for a young healthy teen boy. I am sure you felt that way. Shortly after arriving at your sister’s home, her mate Eric Bikubi, accused you and your sisters of witchcraft. It is not uncommon, in the Congo, where you all come from. He became more and more obsessed with witchcraft, and the torture began. There were more than 101 injuries covered with deep cuts and bruises. An armory of weapons were found, after you had been dragged in to the bathroom and placed clothed into the bath. You had pleaded forgiveness repeatedly, to no avail. And finally, you were asked if you wanted to die. “Yes, I want to die.” So, my child December 25, 2010. My water surrounded you and I took you from the pain and anguish that men visit upon one another in their ignorance and hatred and you find rest within my arms. I am water and you are my beloved child Kristy Bamu.

 

Earth

I am Earth and you are my beloved child Giles Corey. In life, you were a farmer and a member of the community of Salem Massachusetts. You devoted your life to your home and family. Age and work weather a man, and as an elder in your community you were hard and stubborn. You were not afraid to speak your mind. On April 18, 1692, you were arrested for witchcraft. You had seen those who came before you, including Martha your wife. As was your way, even under examination you refused to enter a plea. To do so would mean the loss of your property to the state on your death. As had been your life’s devotion family was most important. To force a plea from you, you were sentenced to pressing. On September 19, 1692, The Sherriff placed you naked between two boards, over the next two days places more boulders on top of you. They asked you three times to enter a plea, your last words to them were “more weight”. So my child I took you from the pain and anguish that men visit upon one another in their ignorance and hatred and you find rest within my womb. I am Earth and you are my beloved child Giles Corey.

 

Meditation

(Included in the meditation as spoken word, each a witch at the stake. This is a beautiful chant from Reclaiming, I believe)

Witch: Spirit of the Water, soothe away my anger, For, I am soon to leave here in great fear and pain. Surround me with thy beauty, if it please thee, That I may lose my fear of the flame.

Witch: Spirit of the Fire hear me when I cry, For I am soon to die, and leave a daughter to mourn. Let me burn brightly, if it please thee, That she might see my flame and be warned.

Witch: Spirit of the Air, lift my ashes, quietly, So high above that gathering, then let them fall again. And this shall be a sign, if it please thee, That I shall be returning, on the north wind.

Witch: Spirit of the Earth, I give my body to thee, Oh, let my bones, scattered, be among the growing things. And let the forest grow, if it please thee, O’er this place of death and suffering.

 

Chant

Where There is Fear there is Power

(This chant was used for our energy raising post meditation to actualize and what had done in our meditation, author unknown)

Where there’s fear there is power

Passion is the healer

Desire cracks open the gate

If you’re ready it’ll take you through

But nothing lasts forever

Time is the destroyer

The wheel turns again and again

Watch out, it’ll take you through

But nothing dies forever

Nature is the renewer

The wheel turns again and again

If you’re ready it’ll take you through.

 

As I had said these are just excerpts, my hopes again that they inspire you!

I do ask if you use them in any part, please credit them.

Blessings!

 

Credits:

The Photo is a Modern Burning in the 2000’s in the Middle East.

Invocations:  Lady Lionrhod

Elemental Stories:  Nyt ( based on true stories from current and historical research)

“Spirits”  The Reclaiming

Where There is Fear There is Power – unknown

3 thoughts on “Shadows of Our Ancestors

  1. Thanks for posting this, Nyt! I got chills all over again reading through it. It was such an incredible and powerful night and I’m so honored that I was apart of it and that I got to share it with all of you. I miss the Blackthorns and ritual with you all so much ❤ Tori

    Like

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