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Descent Of The Goddess Copyright 1993 Durwydd Mac Tara (With special thanks to G. B. Gardner, Freydis Vasa, Julia Phillips, and Pyrocanthus Basileus) In ancient times, our Lord,the Horned One, was (as hestill is) the Controller, the Comforter. But men know him as the dread Lord of Shadows, lonely, stern, and just. But our Lady the Goddess oft grieved deeply for the fate of her creations as they aged and died. She would solve all mysteries, even the mystery of death, and so journeyed to the underworld. The Guardian of the Portals challenged her: 'Strip off thy garments, lay aside thy jewels; for naught may you bring with you into this our land, for it is written that your True Self is the only fitting adornment for those in the realms of Death.' So she laid down her garments and her jewels, andwas bound, as all living must be who seek to enter the realms of Death, the Mighty One. Such was herbeauty that Death himself knelt,and laid his sword and crown at her feet, and kissed her feet, saying: 'Blessed be thy feet that have brought thee in these ways. Abide with me; but let me place my cold hand on thy heart.' And she replied: 'Why do you cause all things that I love, and take delight in, to fade and die?' 'Lady,' replied Death, 'it is age and fate, against which I am helpless. Age causes all things to wither; but when men die at the end of time, I give them rest and peace and strength, so that they may return. But you, you are lovely. Return not, abide with me.' And she replied, 'Nay, I love theenot and I am needed in the world of the living.' Again Death knelt, and kissed her knees, saying: 'Blessed be thy knees that kneel before the Altar. Abide with me; let me place my cold hand on thy heart.' And she replied, 'Nay, I love thee not and I am needed inthe world of the living.' Death (still kneeling), kissed her on the womb, saying: 'Blessed be thy organs of generation, without which none of us would be. Abide with me; let me place my cold hand on thy heart.' And she replied, 'Nay though I feel the beginnings of love for 1923 thee, I must return to those I fully love in the world of creation.' Deaththen stood, and kissedher on thebreast, saying: Blessed be thy breast, formed in strength and beauty. Abide with me; let me place my cold hand on thy heart.' And she replied, 'Nay though I feel love for thee, I must not abandon those I am responsible for, in the world of creation. I cannot do this thing, better you would return with me.' 'Lady,' replied Death, It cannot be so. If I were to leave my realm, and abandon those who seek their comfort and rest with me, then the Wheel would no longer turn. Age and weakness would overtake those whom you love, and they would have nowhere to find rest, and peace, and reunion with those who have gone before. As age and debility overtook your creations, there would quickly be no room for the new, only the withered, the tired, and the stagnant.' He then kissed her lips, saying: 'Blessed be thy lips, which shall utter the Holy Names. Abide with me; let me place my cold hand on thy heart.' And shereplied, Let us BOTHlay our hands, eachunto the heart of the other, thereby claiming and uniting each unto the other. In this way may I rule my kingdom of birth, creation, and life; yet share with you your kingdom of death, rejuvenation, and rest. United in Perfect Love and Perfect Trust, that the Universe may be whole and the Wheel turn smoothly. Death replied, 'This is indeed WISDOM, So Mote it Be!' They embraced, thus pledging their eternal love. And he taught her all his mysteries, and gave her the necklace which is the circle of rebirth. And she taught him her mystery of the sacred cup which is the cauldron of rebirth. They loved, and were one; for there be three greatmysteries in the life of mankind, and magic controls them all. To fulfil love, you must return again at the same time and at the same place as the loved ones; and you must meet, and know, and remember, and love them again. But to be reborn, you must die, and be made ready for a new body. And to die, you must be born; and without love, you may not be born. And our Goddess is ever inclined to love,and mirth, and happi- ness; and guards and cherishes her hidden children in life, and in death she teaches the way to her communion; and even in this world she teaches them the mystery of the Magic Circle, which is placed between the worlds of men and of the Gods. And thus we are taught of the beginnings of the wheel of the year 1924 wherein the Lord and the Lady share their rulership of the year, each offering and sharing a balance to the other, and the basis of that sharing. 1925 The Charge of The God (c) 1986, Kyri Comyn "I am the strength of the rock at thy back, the roots of the tree that anchor the Earth and deepest of tides in the black depths of the ocean. I am the Hunter and the Sacred Prey, the warmth of the sun in the swelling grapes and the call of the road that leads over the hill. I give you, my creatures, the fire of love, the power of the wind on your face, shelter from the darkest storm. You are dear to me, and I instill in you my power...the power of peace hard earned, the power of vision and magical sight, and the spark of elemental fire, which is the primal light in the darkness. By the powers of running stag and glorious sun, I charge thee; by the darkest depth of night and the lingering tendrils of dreams, I charge thee; and by the beauty of your own creation, I charge thee; Follow your heart and your instinct, wherever they lead you. The wealth of the heart will guide you where the cold edge of logic cannot take you. Take joy in the powers of your bodies. The form your body takes is unique in the universe and is chief among your tools. Lastly, always remember the path you have left behind you. Learn to take your power from the foolish things you have wrought as well as the good you have done for others and for your world. You can never usurp another's power, and yours is the well upon which you must rely. I am with you always, just over your shoulder, running with you through the tall grasses and forests that surround you. I possess you and I am your Sacred Prey. I am the Lord of Death, and when you have come to the end of your life on this world, I will be there; to take you between the worlds, to offer you peace and rest. Look upon my face; know me. I am the spirit of the wild things, but you too, are wild in your souls and we are forever intertwined." 1926 The Charge of the Goddess (c) 1986, Kyri Comyn "I am the quickening of the seed in Springtime, the glory of ripe fields in Summer, and the peace of the quiet woods as the snow calms the Earth in Winter. I am the lilt of the maidens' melody in the morning, the patient hand of the Mother and the deep river of the mysteries taught by moonlight. I give the creatures of the earth the gifts of song rising from the heart, the joy of autumn sunset, the cool touch of the renewing waters, and the compelling call of the drum in the dance. To you I give the joy of creation and the companion of beauty to light your days. By the powers of the steadfast Earth and the wheeling stars I charge thee; by the darkness of death and the white light of birth I charge thee; and by the terrible strength of your human spirits, I charge thee: Strive always for the growth of your eternal soul, never intentionally diminish your strength, your compassion, your ties to the earth or your knowledge. Challenge your mind, never accept complacently that which has been the standard merely for the reason that it is the standard by which the majority judges itself. Thirdly, I charge thee, act always for the betterment of your brothers and sisters. To strengthen them is to forge the true chain of humanity, and a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. You are my children, my brothers and sisters and my companions. You are known in great part by the company you keep, and you are strong and wise and full of the powers of life. It is yours to use them in my service, and I also, am known by the company I keep. Go forth in joy and the light of my love, turning to me without fear when the darkness threatens to overcome you, and turning also to me to share your triumphs and your achievements, and know in your heart of hearts that we are together in blood and spirit 'til the last star darkens in the sky and winter comes to the universe." 1927 Charge of The Horned God V. West Hark unto me: for I am He who has existed throughout all time. I was there from the beginning; it was my potency that charged the fertility of the Great Mother and created life from her empty womb. Myself itis inthewinds thatsweep theworlds;myself itis in the flames that give warmth and light to all beings. I am he who provides: the Green Man of field and forest fruitfulness; the lust of the bull that engenders life upon the cow; the strength of the boar that engenders life upon the sacred sow of Ceriddwen; the speed of the stag running free in the forest that no hunter can bring down save he who speaks the sacred words to call unto the spirit of the fleeing stag. I am Lord of theDance; he who swirls throughthe starry universe with the world at his heels. I am he who dances on mountain and plain and hearth, and he who captures all things in his dance. AndI amalso KernnuntheDark Hunter;he withvisage asdark as void and armour bright with flame. My name is Lord of the Hunt; my prey those souls who needs must die and descend into the dark, chthon- ic depths of my bowel. For I bring life but death also; I am he at the gateway of the worlds, and to me shalt thou come in the end, thou who art my child and my prey. . (written November 1989) 1928 ======RHYMING CHARGE OF THE GODDESS====== I am the harmonious tune of the songbird And the laughter of a gleeful child. I am the bubbling sound of the running brook And the scent of the flowers wild. I am the floating leaf upon the breeze And the dancing fire in the forest glade. I am the sweet smell of rains upon the soil. And the rapture of passion when love is made. I am the germination of seed in the Spring And the ripening of wheat in the Sun. I am the peaceful depth of the twilight That soothes the soul when day is done. I am found in the twinkling of an aged eye... And found in the birth of a newborn pup... Yes...Birth and Growth and Death, am I I am the gracious Earth, on whom you sup. I am your sister, your mother, the wise one. I wrap you gently in the warmth of my love. That which your seek you shall find within: Not without...not below...not above! Remember always, my children, be reverent. Be gentle, loving and kind to each other And hold sacred the Earth and its creatures: For I am the Lady: Creatrix and Mother! -Kalioppe- 1929 Aint! By: Ellen Reed (First part is spoken) I meet many kinds of pagans everywhere I go. The other day I met a grup who worshipped GI Joe. There are many pagan pathways, some ancient and some quaint. I thought I'd take this chance to speak of several things that ain't! Being in the SCA does not make you a pagan Whatever faith your personna doth profess. A pentagram on your device Don't make you pagan, though it's nice. A ritual robe is more than fancy dress! CHORUS: Don't make a mockery of all I hold dear. My path is not a hobby or a game. It isn't something that you play, It's something you live every day And if you don't, you don't deserve the name. Going to a sci-fi con does not make you a pagan However great a filker you may be. The spiritual path that I am on Is more than "Mists of Avalon" Or any other book by MZB! CHORUS: Don't make a mockery of all I hold dear. My path is not a hobby or a game. It isn't something that you play, It's something you live every day And if you don't, you don't deserve the name. Playing advanced D&D does not make you a pagan However high a level you may be. I hate to sound like such a bitch, But spell points don't make you a witch! Initiations don't come with EP! CHORUS: Don't make a mockery of all I hold dear. My path is not a hobby or a game. It isn't something that you play, It's something you live every day And if you don't, you don't deserve the name. 1930 "Gimme" By Ellen Cannon Reed I'm a solitary pagan And I want to learn the Art. So I've gone to many teachers And I've asked them from my heart. But everyone I've gone to Has balked at teaching me, And I just don't understand it, 'Cause I begged on bended knee: GIMME GIMME GIMME Everything that you've got. GIMME GIMME GIMME Right here on the spot. GIMME GIMME GIMME! I'm entitled, you know, I'm a witch 'cause Starhawk told me so. I don't want to join a tradition. Wanna do things my own way, And the way I'll do them tomorrow Won't match what I'll do today. I don't want just one tradition, 'Cause it won't give me enough, And I think that all of the teachers Should just hand over their stuff. GIMME GIMME GIMME Everything that you've got. GIMME GIMME GIMME Right here on the spot. GIMME GIMME GIMME! I'm entitled, you know, I'm a witch 'cause Starhawk told me so. I don't want to make a commitment 'Cause I might not have the time. And they tell me I'll have to work hard! Well, I think that that's a crime. Some said if I don't do reading That I do not stand a chance. Well, I've done all the reading I need to do, 'Cause I just read 'Spiral Dance." GIMME GIMME GIMME Everything that you've got. GIMME GIMME GIMME Right here on the spot. GIMME GIMME GIMME! I'm entitled, you know, I'm a witch 'cause Starhawk told me so. 1931 Eyes of a DYKE by Vivienne West "She's one, you know," Anne said, not entirely pleasantly. "Yeah, it shows. You know, in two years she's never once worn a skirt?" "And she walks so heavy. Not like a woman at all." "You got to admit she takes care of her face, though." "Yeah, but in that job you have to." "You never know, she might be straight," I said, joining the conversation for the first time. They both turned looks of disbelief at me. "Maybe, for all you know, I might be gay," I added, to reinforce the point. They relaxed and laughed. I was wearing a peasant skirt and embroidered blouse. The conversation turned to other things. Just before the teabreak I went to the ladies. There was no one there. Washing my hands under the tepid water ruminatively, I looked at my reflection in the dirty mirror. Did that look like the face of a lesbian? Round, soft features framed by wavey, long hair that was always untidy and looked rather good untidy. A neck with a string of jade beads around it, a neck white and soft. I returned to my desk. One of the managers was leaving the room just as I got back. "He asked if we knew what you were doing over the weekend," Sandy informed me. "If you ask me, I think he fancies you." "He's all right," said Anne. "Wish he'd ask after me, that's all. Will you talk to him?" "I don't see why," I replied evenly. "Oh! Got a new boyfriend?" "No," I smiled. "But that doesn't mean I'm looking, either." "Sure." They both smiled in disbelief. * * * When I let myself in, the house smelt faintly of incense. Bounder, the overenthusiastic labrador cross we had inherited from the last tenants, was not around, nor was Yvonne. They must have been at the park. I put the shopping down on the floor, put on the kettle, lit another joss-stick and made tea, watching the thin stream of smoke curl up towards the ceiling in the faint arabesques of a strange language. Later, the shopping still waiting to be put away, I listened to the sounds of the bouncy dog and the front door opening. He greeted me wetly, jumping all over me and the chair I was occupying. Yvonne greeted me casually, brushing cool lips lightly across my forehead. "Hungry?" "Not really." 1932 "Okay." (How do you say I love you without using words? How do you convey the ache in the belly without moaning?) I went to bed early, listening to the silent sounds of Yvonne working at her books in the next room. Every so often a muttered curse, or the clatter of a dropped pencil. Bounder, I knew, lay over her feet under the table. I drifted over and around the edge of sleep. I didn't notice her come into the room and undress, but I roused slightly and moved towards her as she slipped into the bed. "Sssh," she soothed, stroking my arm gently. "Go back to sleep." "You know what they were talking about," I muttered through the incoherence of sleep, my lips feeling thick. "Dykes." I relished the word: I knew she hated it. "They were talking about dykes. They think I'm straight." I could feel a hysterical giggle rising in me, but I didn't have the energy to let it out. Instead I drifted back to sleep, not knowing or caring if Yvonne had understood me. In the morning I stood naked in front of the bathroom mirror brushing my teeth as she showered. She was singing under her breath, splashing the mouldy walls with soapy water as she washed. I gargled and spat, and searched my eyes closely, deep blue eyes with startling white lines running from the pupils to the very edges of the irises. The eyes of a dyke. 1933 Second Ritual For Bast Chris Olmstead Gwen called me up to tell me that her nineteen-year old Siamese cat Coco, who raised her from a small child and taught her innumerable wisdoms, had just come out of surgery and was not doing well. She talked about how her sister Lisa went to the vet every day to sit with him, talk to him, and give him her love. Gwen said she was burning a blue candle next to his picture in order to promote his healing, and was that O.K.? To answer her I mentioned as a gentle aside that I had heard that green was also good for healing. We talked cats for a while. She cried. I remembered Buttons, fought tears, and then I understood what pain she faced here. She kept talking until I offered that I too might do a healing spell on his behalf. She jumped on my words with an eager "Oh! Would you?!" and I suddenly understood the real question behind this phone-call. I explained that a cat who has seen nineteen summers has really had the best of it already, and that a spell which holds him to a body which is obviously failing him might be no kindness. She agreed. I explained that he might just be ready to go, now...since she has been raised, and even her little sister Lisa--with whom Coco lived--had just graduated college. I agreed to do a spell which sent him energy to do with as he chose, either to heal or to move on. She made a hopeful sound that with healing, he might choose to stay, then she hung up. I went quiet, thinking how best to do this. I mentally reviewed past spells that have worked, and why. Spells of "recovery" (whether they have been for illness, or finding Buttons when he was lost in a strange and distant city, or simply gaining the return of stolen things) have worked best when I look at the web as it was before the undesired event, compare it to the web as it is after, and (if the difference is not too great) then shape the web with my mind until it resembles what has been and consequently have the item in question pop back into my reality like a watermelon seed squeezed between thumb and forefinger. Here I sought to couch this knowledge within the Wiccan framework I am studying. I understand how the use of a ritual (or a language, an image, a habit, anything) taps into all those who have ever used the same thing, and knits their gifts together on the time-line. More mundanely, I understand how my own establishment of the habit of ritual will build powerful cues in my mind which make spell-work more efficient. Out of respect for what my teachers have been showing me, I determined to do it perfectly...while no one was around for me to feel awkward before. How might my Priestess teacher compose her Altar? What things, and what Deity shall be the focus? Well, obviously Bast...and such things as Bast might like. I thought back to the ritual I wanted to do with Bast for healing Le-oh. I plundered the memory of it for useful items. I remembered: Bast likes golden necklaces and other shiny things, images of cats, soft lights that don't damage night vision, and suddenly, I laughed aloud as I was inspired to offer Her cat-nip. It just felt right. So I laid these all out (along with the "usual" things): My first piece of jewelry--a golden cat pin, inscribed "Save a Cat" from the Save a Cat League of New York, my finest gold chain, two teak cats from the orient, my golden ankh, scarab necklace, and the spread-winged Horus-falcon I got when I visited the exhibition of Ramses II. I placed a bud-vase next to the water cup and went out 1934 into the night to gather a perfect sprig of fresh cat-nip. A deep breath, and I began by lighting the tiny oil lamps on Her Altar... Standing before Her altar I closed my eyes and reached for the images of the web when Coco was well and compared how it is now. Images slipped and swam. The differences were great. I pictured Gwen, her candles and photographs, and knitted us all into the circle with a breath. Then the images left. I opened my eyes and spoke softly but aloud. (I'm trying to cultivate that ability.) Before me, my cat images glimmered. I remembered the scene where Thomasina visits Bast. I went there too. I breathed energy into myself, and held it in my belly, as my Sensei taught me. Then I said: "Oh Bast--I'm here on behalf of your charge Coco, and his human, my friend Gwen. Coco is old, and it may be that his time has come. It's true he has lived long, but some cats do live longer. If this is still something about which there is uncertainty and choice, let him use this energy to heal. If it is really time for him to go, then I don't wish to stop him. Let him use this energy to go on into what ever comes next for him, and have an optimum and right... 'coming forth into the day'." (I wanted to say 'death and re-birth,' but suddenly that wasn't accurate here...) I then continued, asking: "Oh Bast, how hard is it to just let things be as they have been, for just a little longer? He is old, but old-age isn't a crime..." and suddenly a voice broke in just behind my right ear, and in perfectly lucid English She answered softly: "...and Death is no punishment." It shook me a moment. As soon as She said it I recognized She was right-- (hence--right side? Or R/L Brain?) It humbled me to realize I had thought that death WAS punishment. I knew that She was gone as soon as She had spoken, and there would be no point to turning to look. I felt the energy go out of me toward Coco, and I knew the spell had worked but that I hadn't gotten the answer Gwen wanted. That saddened me, even knowing what She said. I thanked Bast, thanked and dismissed the watch-towers, and went to bed to think about it all. Early the next morning Gwen called to thank me for talking to her, and to tell me there was no need to make the spell for Coco. He had died in his sleep during the at least he wouldn't have to face another surgery. I told her I had already done the spell, and it was my feeling that Coco was o.k. I mentioned that I thought he had taken the energy for use in his next reality. I said everything I could think of to help her feel better. I don't recall whether I told her what Bast said to me or not. When I went to the altar to take it all down, I noticed the water level on the cat-nip had dropped below the stem and it had withered. Somehow that was fitting. It meant many sad and happy things all at 1935 once. It meant that She had accepted the gift by taking the essential freshness of the offering; It meant that things die, and that's natural; It meant that when the vitality is gone, the flesh can not stay. So it is with what I know of death. WCC BELTANE RITUAL By Lynna Landstreet Personnel required: Several drummers and other musicians if possible. A priest and priestess who will represent the God & Goddess (and should be garbed appropriately), referred to herein as P & PS, plus a priest or priestess who will read the meditation and "stage-manage" the ritual (referred to herein as "N" for Narrator) Tools/Supplies required: Very few. Thereshould be afire in the centreof the circle,and a chalice of wine and a bowl of Nine Holy Herbs spray or other concentrated alcohol (we ended up using Jamaican overproof rum, which worked very well -- flared up about six feet high!). Bring in the people and have them sit. Have the musicians sit together in an inner semi-circle, behind the Narrator. One drummer should be playing a slow, hypnotic heartbeat during the first party of the ritual. The priest and priestess who will represent the God and Goddess should be hiding near the circle, and approach when the part about them drawing near begins. N: "Beltane means many things. It is a celebration of spring coming into full flower, of the return of the Goddess from the underworld, the mating time of the animals, the return of the sun, and many other things. Above all, it is a celebration of life. But for us, here in this community, it is also the time when we leave the confines of our building and return to the temple of the forest. "Wicca is a nature religion, but too often we worship in concrete cages, cut off from that nature, and from our own natures. And as we have now returned to nature in our choice of ritual site, I ask you tonight to return to nature in your hearts and minds as well, for the ways of the world within walls are not necessarily the same as the ways of the world outside. "We meet in a small fragment of forest, within acity park. But now, I ask you to forget the city that surrounds us. In your mind's eye, let the city fade away and the forest extend on and on, covering the land that only moments ago was buried under concrete. For once this land was wild, and covered with trees, not buildings. Once the rivers and streams ran free, and the air was fresh and fragrant with the scent of cedar and sweet fern, not fouled by car exhaust and factory smoke. And it may be that one day, it will be so again, we have no way of knowing. "But for now, picture the forest extending on and on,as far as you can imagine, in all directions. The great wild forest surrounds and embraces us, and we are the people of the forest. "Herein the greatwild forest, we haveno need ofa sword to cast 1936 the circle, for we have each other, our hands, our minds, our bodies. Join hands, and breathe in deeply, and breathe out, as one. Feel the circle being formed now by our touch, the energy leaping from hand to hand, deosil, around the circle. Feel it forming, a place set apart from the trials of daily life, a sacred, wild place... "Here in the great wild forest, we have no need of a besom to cleanse our circle, for we meet in the wilderness, which is already clean and pure, and by its touch are we made clean and pure ourselves. Feel all fears, doubts and negativities ebbing away from you, as the forest absorbs them and transforms them to good... "Here in the great wild forest, we have no need of incense to purify our circle, for we have the arching sky above our grove, and the rushing wind that ruffles our hair and caresses our skin. Breathe deeply, and take the wind and the sky into yourself. The spirits of the air are here always, it is we who have come to their place. Greet them, now, silently, in your own way... "Here in the great wild forest, we have no need of a candle to purify our circle, for we have the balefire in the centre of our circle, and the stars above. See the leaping flames now, hear their crackle, and see them reflected in the tiny fires in the sky above us. Feel their warmth, and take them into yourself. The spirits of the fire are here always, it is we who have come to their place. Greet them, now, silently, in your own way... "Here in the great wild forest, we have no need of a water bowl to purify our circle, for we have the rushing stream in the valley beside us, and the dew that moistens the grass. Hear the water's call, now, feel the rising dampness in the air, and take it into yourself. The spirits of the water are here always, it is we who have come to their place. Greet them, now, silently, in your own way... "Herein the great wildforest, we have no needof salt to purify our circle, for we have the earth itself, beneath us, and the firmness of our own flesh and bones. Feel the solidity, the vastness, of the earth, and take it into yourself. The spirits of the earth are here always, it is we who have come to their place. Greet them, now, silently, in your own way... "Open yourself, now, to the pulseof life all around you. It is there, if you can free your spirit enough to sense it. Feel the life straining to be born in every sprouting seed, the exhilaration of the blossoms bursting from their buds on the trees, the joy of the very grass itself, of every bush and shrub and piece of moss, greening again as the earth is warmed by the sun, as the life-giving rains fall from the sky, and all of nature is borne into the ecstatic dance of life's return. And feel, in the midst of it all, the presence of the Lord and Lady, who are the soul of all nature, the consciousness of the wild, the beauty of the green earth, the sun and moon and stars, and the mystery of the waters. Feel them approaching! Even now, they near our circle, drawn by our love and our joy in their creation. Feel their power, their nearness... they approach... they come... THEY ARE HERE!" Narrator throws the Nine Holy Herbs into the fire. Asit flares up, the drummersbegin todrum, and thepriest and priestessrepresen ting the God and Goddess runinto the circle and beginto dance wildly around the fire. After a couple ofrounds, they each pull someone in from the circle to dancewith them a few rounds, then each of the four pull other people in, and so on, until the whole 1937 circle is up and dancing (in high school they called this a snowball dance, remember?). As the dance reaches its peak, the priest and priestess take the chalice,and hold it up above theheads of the dancers to charge it (this ismade easier if yourcircle site is surroundedby park benches likeours is). If theenergy is really happening,a formal wineblessing shouldn't be necessary, butone may be performed anyway if desired. When the wine has beencharged, the narrator calls "Down!" and people fall to the ground. 1938 N "Feel the energy swirling up and up above us, forming a fiery cone. See it explode in a shower of fireworks, the energy spiraling down to the earth like shooting stars, adding power to the transformation that is already underway, blending with the energy of every leaf and bud and blossom to aid in the greening of the earth. (Pause) Now rise, and join hands once again." Priest and priestess take chalice around circle, and kiss each person before giving it to them, while people sing: "Powers of the Earth Powers taking form Rising to rebirth, Rising to be born." When chalice returns, pour libation into the fire. N "We need not bid farewell to our Gods, nor to the spirits that surround us, the wind, the fire, the stream, or the earth, for they are always here. It is we who shall take our leave of them, later on, and when we do, each of us shall say our own farewell, in our own words. But for now -- LET THE CELEBRATION BEGIN!!!" People feast, dance, make merry, etc. 1939 Yule Carols courtesy of Green Egg (Yule '92 issue) Ye Children All of Mother Earth (It came upon a midnight clear...) Ye children all of Mother Earth join hands and circle around To celebrate the Solstice night When our lost Lord is found. Rejoice, the year has begun again The Sun blesses skies up above So share the season together now In everlasting Love! ======================================= Gloria Snow lies deep upon the Earth Still our voices warmly sing Heralding the glorious birth Of the Child, the Winter King Glo -- ria! In excelsis Deo! Glo -- ria! In excelsis Dea! Our triumphant voices claim Joy and hope and love renewed And our Lady's glad refrain Answer Winter's solitude Glo -- ria!(etc.) In Her arms a holy Child Promises a glowing Light Through the winter wind so wild He proclaims the growing Light. Glo -- ria! (etc..) Now the turning of the year Of the greater Turning sings Passing age of cold and fear Soon our golden summer brings. Glo -- ria! (etc..) 1940 =============================== Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful! Oh, come all ye faithful Gather round the Yule Fire Oh, come ye, oh, come ye, To call the Sun! Fires within us Call the Fire above us O, come, let us invoke Him! O, come, let us invoke Him! O, come, let us invoke Him! Our Lord, the Sun! Yea, Lord, we greet Thee! Born again at Yuletide! Yule fires and candle flames Are lighted for You! Come to thy children Calling for thy blessing! O, come let us invoke Him (x3) Our Lord, the Sun! ========================= Silent Night Silent night, Solstice Night All is calm, all is bright Nature slumbers in forest and glen Till in Springtime She wakens again Sleeping spirits grow strong! Sleeping spirits grow strong! Silent night, Solstice night Silver moon shining bright Snowfall blankets the slumbering Earth Yule fireswelcome the Sun's rebirth Hark, the Light is reborn! Hark, the Light is reborn! Silent night, Solstice night Quiet rest till the Light Turning ever the rolling Wheel Brings the Winter to comfort and heal Rest your spirit in peace! Rest your spirit in peace! 1941 ======================================== Glory to the New Born King Brothers, sisters, come to sing Glory to the new-born King! Gardens peaceful, forests wild Celebrate the Winter Child! Now the time of glowing starts! Joyful hands and joyful hearts! Cheer the Yule log as it burns! For once again the Sun returns! Brothers, sisters, come and sing! Glory to the new-born King! Brothers, sisters, singing come Glory to the newborn Sun Through the wind and dark of night Celebrate the coming light. Suns glad rays through fear's cold burns Life through death the Wheel now turns Gather round the Yule log and tree Celebrate Life's mystery Brothers, sisters, singing come Glory to the new-born Sun. 1942 The Corn Play (Lammas Ritual) Coven of the Morning Star and Stella Maris Coven Requirements: Lammas Lord Crown (Wheat, Rye, Corn, fruit and flowers) Corn Queen Crown (Wheat, Rye, Corn etc) Fresh-baked bread Honey Red Wine Cords to bind the Lammas Lord Green cloth to cover him Lammas Cup and cloth to polish "John Barleycorn" music Ritual Begins: Priestess and Priest cast circle and invoke quarters (Lammas Lord and Corn Queen remain outside circle). A gateway is cut, and everyone calls to the Corn Queen to enter the circle: Queen of the Corn, Queen of the Fertile Earth; come to us now, for we have need of you & etc. The Queen enters, and then leads the call for the Lammas Lord to enter the circle. God of the Meadow, God of the Hill, God of the Corn and of our True Will, come to us now, for we adore you & etc. The Lammas Lord stands in the centre of the Circle, and is washed by the women (each Priestess takes the aspergillus in turn, and asperges the Lammas Lord - Corn Queen first). Then each one polishes the Lammas Cup, which is returned to the altar, and filled with red wine. (Corn Queen takes cup and cloth to each person). Then the Queen stands before the Lammas Lord and says: To kill the King (Coven: For what purpose kill?) To feed the land (Coven: What feeds the land?) The blood of the King The honour of the King The life of the King Two priests step forward, and bind the Lord's hands behind his back, and tie his ankles together. NB: do not knot the cords, as the Lammas Lord must be able to extricate himself from the bindings. 1943 The men all turn and face outwards from the circle. The Corn Queen takes her athame, and the cup of wine, and "cuts the throat" of the Lammas Lord, catching his blood in the chalice. The women help the Lammas Lord to the ground, and cover him with the green cloth. His crown is placed upon the bread, on the altar. A female Elder stands at the head of the Lammas Lord, and a Maiden stands at his feet. They are his mourners. The men turn back into the circle, and the Corn Queen leads the weaving dance to "John Barleycorn". When the music finishes, all stand facing outwards (including Elder and Maiden). The Lammas Lord removes his binds and cover, and silently makes his way to the altar. He takes up the bread and wine, and leaves his crown on the altar. He returns and stands centre. The Corn Queen acknowledges the mystery of the re-born grain: "Behold the Mystery! The grain, the crop, the food." As she speaks, everyone turns and faces in once more. The Queen steps forward, and kneels before the re-born grain saying again, "behold the mystery". She rises, and drinks from the cup. The "Lammas Lord" breaks a piece of bread for her, which he gives to her as she hands back the cup. She walks to the altar, and dips the bread in the honey. Then the next person steps forward, and repeats her actions. Then each in turn until all have knelt to the re-born grain, and had some wine, bread and honey. It is important that the Lammas Lord does not speak throughout the ritual. The circle is closed, and the feast begins. This ritual is freely adapted from a traditional ritual practised in the north of England. 1944 FOOD FOR THOUGHT --