This "Vehmic Death Rite" may be attended by either one or numerous individuals, and should take place after the official service to ensure closure. It may take place at any point in the day, but I think the night would seem more appropriate; I suppose it would depend on the person, and factoring in the weather. Each period of the day has it's own energetic quality: morning, early afternoon, late afternoon, twilight, night, and the early morning hours. I tend to believe that energetically it might feel better for a female to be received by "the Alfather" (Sun), and a male to be received by "the Almother" (Moon). A smaller group would seem to be more appropriate as well. In no way am I suggesting that the specifics of this particular ritual are based on any ancient tradition. Also, this is not something I believe should be cemented in stone. In other words, we should look at it, add to it, personalize it, tailoring it to that person, etc. I attended/administered to what I call a "Vehmic Death Rite" just last night. "Vehmic" refers to the the five elements of nature, and applied to the concept of the recycling of life... reincarnation. Our spiritual essence belongs to a "soul group," which I believe are layered into a family group and outer circles. A family soul group is a group which we connect with almost every lifetime, while the outer circles less so. At Source, we all connect together just like a family reunion, because some of our essence always remains at Source.
I compare reincarnation and family soul groups like a family at a high plateau, getting ready to ride down large separate water slides. They agree to meet after they're all completed. The water slide itself is a metaphor for a life cycle. During the ride they will forget all about Source and their soul group, and part of the plan is to experience everything from love to suffering... leading to spiritual growth. They may embrace in some form or fashion before they go, knowing that parts of it will be painful and they will not remember that it is all planned to be this way to achieve spiritual assention. Even a long life cycle may only be lets just say an hour to those at source, just to use a random short time period. Basically time and space doesn't exist at Source. After it's all over, the family soul group reconnects, and finally realizes that it was just "an experience"; it's not a permanent thing. That "death" was actually never something to greatly fear or feel great sorrow over in the bigger picture. If we are not close to, or even dislike someone in our family soul group, then at was most likely pre-planned... which they finally realize after it's over. Not everything is pre-planned. We must have some degree of free will. In this world, the future is not inevitable. It mostly exists for us to have an experience, not for any global elite to harvest us, which is why I think they will not win in the end... because it wasn't intended for them to "win." It wasn't meant to be. This is our world to experience, but not to destroy.
I think the film 'Heaven Can Wait'--both the original and the remake--depict this perfectly! They're is great anguish experienced, but all is well at the end, and every soul realizes that it was all part of a plan. I think the remake actually expressed this a little better than the original, as it left the "Max Corkle" character hanging at the end. However, had this story actually occurred, Corkle would have been part of the protagonists outer layer soul group, and all would be finally fully understood "at the end of the water slide ride." Family soul groups may reincarnate in different family roles, even different genders. We do, however, have a definite soul-gender which we experience most often in life cycles. Homosexuality is not related to soul-genders; it's something different.
Last night I was able to get away for the ritual at about 9:50 PM. We parked and gathered at a nearby point on the trail. The night was beautiful, one day after a New Moon, and I was hopeful of perhaps one of the Leonid meteors to show itself. Then we walked to the intended secluded spot. Just prior to arriving there, we heard the sound of a far off ambulance. Upon hearing this, the coyotes in the canyon started to howl, enhancing the feeling of raw nature. The Moon was not visible, but sometimes you can't have every detail right. I would take a clear dark night over any other condition. That night was the right night. Sometimes I don't quite feel it for a Sunday night, but this was the exception. It felt right. When we finally got to the secluded clearing, a printed black and white photograph of him and a triskelion next to the image (on one piece of paper) was placed against a low hanging piece of vegetation, along with a flower we had picked on the trek there. The base of a tree is always a good spot for the altar, but we had walked out of the groves of trees. This clearing was perfect because of the view of the canyon, mountains, and sky. We then placed our hoods over our heads.
A candle was placed in front of the image and flower, then it was lit, illuminating it in the darkness. There was no wind, no noise of crickets, only the lovely stillness. Everyone made a simple statement about him; something they remembered. The mountains looked so beautiful in the distance, in the direction facing the little altar, black against the dark blue sky. Sometimes I feel slightly depressed on a New Moon, but I felt good energy this one day after the New Moon. So there was some Moon present, even if we couldn't see it; the Almother to symbolically receive her son. At this point, I no longer felt deep sadness for him. The triskelion is thought of by many as a symbol of reincarnation. I recall at one point thinking that he must be able to see us. I then read what I call the 'Incantation for the Foreboding', used as a spell-prayer for different meanings. The text of which comes from the 'Book of the Holy Strega' by Raven Grimassi. Aradia's words:
'Incantation for the Forboding'
Now when Aradia had been taught,
taught to work all witchcraft,
how to destroy the evil race of oppressors,
she imparted it to her pupils and said to them:
"When I have departed from this world,
Whenever you have need of anything,
Once in the month when the moon is full,
You shall assemble in some deserted place,
Or in a forest all together join
and adore the potent spirit of my mother, Diana,
and whoever desires to learn all witchcraft
but has not won its deepest secrets,
my mother will teach all things as yet unknown.
And you shall all be free from bondage,
And so you shall be free in everything."
I take "evil race of oppressors" as meaning dark, evil, and destructive energies which manifest in human beings (every "ism" destroys someone). I then took the piece of paper which contained these words, and lightly crumpled it up into a ball, then placed it directly into the flame. As it ignited, I placed it in front of the candle. I then took the altar image which was on a smaller cut of paper and folded it in two, and placed it above the burning circle. As it all burned, such as like a Viking funeral rite, I stated: "Birth... Life... Death and to a New Arising. He is now the Morning and the Spring." I then ad libbed while the flame was starting to diminish: "Goodbye Tom. Til me meet again; this side or the other." As we stood there and soaked in the moment, in the direction of the mountains, a small Leonid meteor raced by. It was relatively close, at least appearing to be below the elevation of the mountain peaks. Had that occurred on another night other than a Leonid meteor shower, I would certainly have thought it was a message. It still could have been, and it at least served as a perfect ending to the ritual.
Another way to say it is the following:
Deo Ceruninco... and to the Almother.
Embrace our kindred into the next plane.
Birth... Life... Death and to a New Arising.
He is now the morning and the spring.
The Latin "Deo Cerunico" meant "To the God Cernunnos" in Romanized Gaul. It places the Alfather over the Almother, which doesn't quite feel right. The Father can represent the head of the family, while the Mother can represent the head of the household. Also, the Father may represent Law, while the Mother may represent Justice. Both of those concepts generally originate from the ancient traditions, and were melded into Christian Europe, allowing for at least some semblance of authority to both. Perhaps for a male, it could begin with "To Our Almother," while for a female it could begin with "To Our Alfather."
Then I poured water over the ashes, washing them into the soil; recycling them into the Earth like that of the body, while the soul is recycled into the Sky, into the great Ur, at Source, returning when it's ready. All of the Vehmic elements are now accounted for: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit. Closure and completion, until we meet again, this side or the other.