Winternight may also be referred to as the Greater Sabbat of Samhain (Sow-an). The Need–Fire, literally a magickal fire created whenever the need arose, is of great import during this time and is also known as Wild–Fire or Living–Fire.
Usually performed to stem an outbreak of cattle dis-ease caused by evil spirits of the frozen darkness and dating from the time when mankind survived on the products of their herds, rather than on the products of the fields as farmers.
Before a Need–Fire could be lit however, it was often necessary to put out all other fires and lights in the neighboring area or township, and the flame could not be struck with flint and steel, but rather by the friction of the sacred Oak-Wood.
During this fire festival of repelling and destroying any malevolent powers, feasts are made in remembrance of the Dead and as an affirmation of continuing life.
Because the veil between the Worlds–All–Wide is thinnest during this time, divination is often practiced in full swing.
One sweet-sounding bell; one drinking horn; plentiful amounts of dark breads, pork meats, apples and drink; any mementos and photos of those to be remembered this night; candles, incense, and music appropriate for this rite; also include any decorations deemed fitting; two runes instantly come to mind, Raidho (referring to the soul after death), and Hagalaz (shamanistically brings into being on all levels). Of couse there are other runes which may be included such as Mannaz and Uruz (co-operative effort of unlimited creativity) ~ Ehwaz, Nauthiz, Kenaz (facilitating the necessary journey between worlds to relieve stress and attract the proper influences) ~ there are no limits here, only those which you create for yourself and your clan. So be not afraid.. just be, and you shall truly enjoy creation.
((Ring the bell thrice to banish
any and all negative influences as
well as to notify positive energies))
Here we stand at Winter's Door
Upon this Night of Remembrance.
Let us feast upon Sif's Bread,
Let us feast upon Frey's Boar,
Let us feast upon Idunn's Apples,
As we celebrate the connection
Ever existing betwixt Death and Life.
With Bifrost between the Worlds-All-Wide strong,
Upon this, a night of solemn communication.
We welcome the spirits of our Ancestors,
As we give unto thee salutations and greetings.
((The Hallowing of the foods and drink is done
at this time by risting both the sign of the
Sword and of the Hammer over the items for the
express purpose of cleansing & blessing them))
As we offer this Horn of Fellowship
May we be strong in body, mind, and spirit.
For those we remember are still with us,
Gone but not forgot, for we do so
Speak of their names and truly remember
Good times and riches and son-of-a-bitches,
For all do love warmth and happiness
When the year begins Winter-Turning
((At this time you pour a libation, and an
offering is made, then all present shall
partake of the foodstuffs, all the while
whispering their thanks and stating their
wishes and then ending it with proclaiming
"Hail to the Gods! Hail to the Goddesses!"))
As All-Father Odhinn leads the Wild Hunt,
Let those who dare now come forth
To recount the Life–Histories of Kin
In honor of this ancient season
((Now it becomes time to bring out any and
all articles which belonged to those who
are being remembered also include photos
as this will help the memory stay alive.
At this point go as far back as you can,
saying their names and telling what you know
about each, naming the recently deceased first.
When all present are finished remembering, only
then does it become time to recite the following:))
Holy are our hidden Kin,
One no less than another,
All un-recorded by history.
You who are un-known,
Gently wend your ways clean
Gaining strength and prosperity
Through-out the Worlds-All-Wide.
((It now becomes time to place the offerings
and any foodstuffs which have been hallowed
during this rite out for the entire night
upon the Harrow, to be gifted the following
day at the grave-site of those who have been
lovingly remembered the night before with any
appropriate pomp and ceremony of your choosing))
Death with a promise of Life,
We have not forgotten you
For now are the gifts gathered.
We have not friviously wasted
what you have generously left us.
It is Life, the shadow of Death
Ever mysterious, ever ceaseless,
The bond which lies ever betwixt us
As you go upon your way and we go ours.
copyright © 2000 Reverend Godhi Yens Jensen all rights reserved