A Summerland Ritual– Honoring the Dead

The Pagan has a very different view of the afterlife than the Christian; and even within the Pagan community, you will find diverse beliefs about what happens to us when our bodies die. However you choose to look at death and what comes afterwards, the event itself will be marked, as all major events in a life generally are– with a ritual.

Items Needed:
1. A white pillar candle representing the deceased
2. A photo of the individual

Besides the regular ritual tools, you will choose a white pillar candle to represent the deceased. You may want to carve the individual’s name into it. This candle could also be adorned and decorated with herbs, sparkles, seashells, stones, ribbons, etc., or whatever else that resonates with the energy of the deceased– buttons from their clothing, beads from one of their necklaces.

The altar could also be decorated with flowers that were special to this individual, as well as personal items such as mementos from milestone occasions, old toys, things the individual may have collected, or items connected to an interest they pursued in life.

This ritual does not have to be conducted in a cast circle. However, the perimeter of the area could be set with white candles, white stones, bouquets of flowers, or bunches of herbs, and a purifying incense such as sandalwood.

1. When family and friends are gathered, the Priestess will stand before the altar, saying:

“As we all come from the Goddess to experience life; in death so shall we return to Her to experience peace.”

2. The Priestess will then light the altar candles, including the white pillar candle. Holding aloft the special white pillar candle, she will say:

“(name of deceased),
By the element of Earth, you were grounded in the physical world.
By the element of Air, you were open to knowledge and communication.
By the element of Fire, you were inspired with passion.
By the element of Water, you could dream your dreams.
So now, by Earth, by Air, by Fire, by Water…shall you pass to the next stage of your existence.”

3. The Priestess will then return the white candle to the altar. At this point, she may give a short eulogy on the deceased and his/her life; or family members and friends can be invited to come forward and relate memories and stories.

4. A ‘cakes & wine’ ritual can be incorporated into the ceremony at this point, if the family members wish.
*Note: You’ll find a “Cakes & Wine” ritual  Here

5. When these aspects of the ritual are complete, the Priestess will take her place at the altar, raise the white pillar candle before the assembled group and say:

“(name of deceased),
Merry we meet,
And merry we part,
Until we merry meet again.”

6. The Priestess will then extinguish the flame of the white pillar candle. She may step forward and present this candle to the deceased’s closest relative, spouse, or partner.


The source for these rituals:  The Gray Witch’s Grimoire

Book 2 SMALL

4 thoughts on “A Summerland Ritual– Honoring the Dead

  1. Dolly Eldredge dmps1956@hotmail.com
    Not sure if this is the place to make a request. My niece, 7 and nephew 4 were brutally murdered by their mother, my sister and I handled everything. They died October 27 1989. My son died in September 12, 1978. Are they happy, in heaven and together and can they hear me when I talk to them? Thank you. Dolly Eldredge k

    • Hello, Dolly…from my own personal feelings and experiences, yes, relatives and loved ones who have passed can hear you, and very often you will be able to feel their energy. When my husband passed away, his energy instantly became so over-whelming in our house that I had to request him to back off and tone it down. He had a “larger than life” personality when he was alive, and apparently this did not change after he passed. I have noticed that the length of time they’ve been gone changes how often or how intense the spiritual connections are, and also the deceased often come to us in dreams, very vivid dreams usually. I’ve had a couple of these dream experiences with family members who passed when I was a child, and the dreams were very touching “good-byes”, it was time for them to move on, to experience the next level of their existence. This was not sad or depressing, it was actually comforting, and the way that it should be. There was a peace about it. I hope this answers your questions!…blessings

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.