Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Red Meal: The Housle

It is a common part of many religious traditions to partake in a small, sacrificial meal at the end of the rite or ceremony. We, too, participate in a Eucharistic tradition of imbibing en-spirited wine and consuming en-spirited grain as representations of sacrifice needed for the magic we have performed.

In many witchcraft traditions, this meal is called "Cakes and Ale" or "Cakes and Wine." We call it the Housle, or Red Meal, and base it in part on a ritual created by fellow walker of the crooked path, Robin Artisson.

Here follows our own rite of the Housle.


When the compass is first laid, place the following items in the Castle Perilous (southwest corner): Dark bread in a bowl (or lipped dish) and Red Wine in Silver Quaich or Chalice.  In the Spiral Castle (center, near the stang) will be placed the Red Knife.


1. The sacrificial meal is brought from Castle Perilous to the Spiral Castle by the Witch.
2. Tread the Mill widdershins three times while singing the Housle Song. (see below)
3. Say, “For our Ancestors, our Gods, and Ourselves, we do this.”
4. Bless the bread by saying: “Here is bread, flesh of the Earth, blessed to give us life and strength. I consecrate it in the name of the Old Ones.”
5. Kill the bread by saying: “I take its life and give it to Them.” Cut it with the red knife.
6. Bless the wine by saying: “Here is wine, blood of the Earth, blessed to give us joy and abundance. I consecrate it in the name of the Old Ones.”
7. Kill the wine by saying: “I take its life and give it to Them.” Slide the knife over the top of the quaich/chalice to cut its throat.
8. Each person eats and drinks of the Meal, making whatever personal offerings they like into the bowl.
9. The remainder of the wine is poured into the bread bowl, and each person dips their finger in and anoints themselves. This can also be used for blessing tools, etc.
10. The Meal is either given to the ground now (if outside) or later (if inside) with the following Declaration:
“As some is taken, so is this given
By the sons and daughters of the family of the Old Faith.
I give it to the Ground.
I give it to the Old Ones
That above and below will become one.
For what is taken is truly given,
And what is given is truly taken.
The day and night are wed
As the living and the dead.
Here is shown a Mystery.”

The Housle Song
To the tune of Greensleeves

To Housle now we walk the wheel
We kill tonight the blood red meal
A leftward tread of magic's mill
To feed the Gods and work our Will.

Red! Red is the wine we drink!
Red! Red are the cords we wear!
Red! Red is the blood of God!
And red is the shade of the Housle.

In October of 2013, three of us recorded ourselves singing the chant and posted it to YouTube.

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