Yesterday I participated in my first Wicca passing ceremony. It was for Ellen, my beloved eldest sister—the first born of eight children and the first to die. She was also High Priestess of our coven.
Born into a Scottish Catholic family, Ellen had been a Wiccan and witch for the past fourteen years.
When the funeral ceremony was being planned one of Ellen’s daughters (also a coven member) said it was only proper that her mom have a Wiccan funeral.
It’s not the norm for Wiccans/pagans/witches to openly celebrate such events as weddings, new child, or deaths in our way with the blessings or acceptance of family, society or other religions, We usually keep them private. But I agreed because recently Ellen had told me that she no longer would hide her Wiccan witch path.
I undertook the task of preparing a ceremony while keeping in mind that there’d also be a Rosary in respect for our Catholic mother and relatives.
Our event would take place before the memorial celebration. The entire Scottish clan was invited. Ellen’s sisters, children, grandchildren and very few friends attended. Our mother, brothers and their families did not for their religious beliefs could not be crossed over.
Each person was smudged before entering the chapel. Her coven, donned in capes, gowns, witch hats or flowed wreaths and the few grandchildren participating gathered around the casket while in the pews, guests sat. Ellen laid quietly (she was a quiet person in a crowd) in a forest-green cape and gown with a beautiful mother-of-peal shelled necklace. An altar was set in front of her. Upon it were such things as lilies, chalice, salt, athame and various colored candles - including three image candles: black for transition, white, spirit transcending, red for rebirth. Frankincense and myrrh incense wafted lightly throughout the chapel. The four corners were called in and the circle was cast, the spell made fast and only good could enter therein. Three grandchildren drummed and another rang a bell before a blessing of Ellen commenced. Hallowed words were spoken over her as she was cleansed with a special incense, ocean water and oils. A granddaughter dropped rose petals around the coffin. A sacred guided meditation was delivered followed by several Oms that vibrated throughout the room. The group sang the song,We All Come From the Goddess... three times. The circle was closed. All held hands singing The circle is opened not unbroken, may the peace of the goddess be ever in your heart. Merry meet, merry part and merry meet.
It was truly magical, fitting for a most respected High Priestess. So Mote it be.
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