I've been feeling dead-ish lately, and this little task has been weighing on my intent since Samhain. I have felt a desire to make a proper offering to the... unhappy dead?... the shades... the sluagh... I'll call them the Lost Dead, for the sake of this charm. I might have done it at Samhain, but really Yuletide is as much about the Dead in Norse lore as Samhain is in Gaelic, and the theme of new light seems proper for a charm meant to bring hope and peace.
Last night as I had my monthly conversation with my allies among the Wise Dead, I asked them for some inspiration for the piece, and they gave it. So, here is a charm that I'll probably do as my praise offering at our Yuletide this coming Sunday.
Let an offering of bread, honey and ale or wine be prepared, along with a small fire, or candle.
Begin with whatever prayers and offerings to the gods and spirits are proper to your work, and then prepare the fire so that the food offerings can be placed before it.
• Let the blood of the Dead water the root of the Tree.
Let the Hazels of Wisdom grow from deep roots.
Let wisdom, strength and love nourish every being, by the rising of the light.
• Often do we honor the Ancestors, blessed and beloved.
With them we share warmth at the Shrine of the Hearth.
Many are those who die who we know not,
Yet human kinship does not stop at the garth’s wall.
• All our allies among the Dead, help us to speak to the Lost.
Elder Wise, Grandparents of our lines,
Join your voices with ours in love and mercy
For all the Host of the Dead.
• Hear me now, all you lost spirits
All who died suddenly, without warning;
All who died unjustly, or by the hand of another;
All who died alone, in unknown places, or in deep waters;
All who died without the embrace of kin.
• We make these offerings to you, for your rest and peace