Coming of Age Ritual Notes
Over the past weekend during an emotional upheaval I "Birthed" the
concept for the ritual. I thought I would pass the concept on to you
and see what you think. I have the ability to visualize a ritual from
beginning to end, sometime with brief snatches of dialogue. It's like
watching a play from the catwalks.
This is how I see this ritual unfolding. The boy who is entering
into Manhood will be abducted from the encampment where he is staying.
The women of his Mother Grove will try to fight the men off from
abducting the boy. When this skirmish is over and the boy is being
taken off by the men the women will mourn the loss of the child. The
boy will be stripped of his clothing and dressed in a deerhide loin
cloth. He will then be blindfolded and his journey will begin. Where
this ritual is being held there is approximately 5 miles of paths which
the boy will journey over. He will be led by his Father who will carry
a lamp to light his and his son's way. At the first prescribed stop the
boy will be addressed by Herne. Herne, will speak to the boy of his
wild nature, what it is like to be the hunter and the hunted. He will
charge the boy with the responsibilities of becoming a man through Him.
He will then tell the boy that He will meet him at the appointed place
in the appointed hour. Never revealing when and where that is. Herne
will withdraw into the woods as the Father and son begin to journey
At the second stop the Father and boy will meet the Green Man. He
represents the boy's earthy nature. He is the boy sexual responsibility
as a carrier of sacred seed which is necessary to begin life. That he
must act intelligently when it comes to the act of procreation. The
Green Man as well will tell the boy that they will meet in the appointed
placed at the appointed hour. The Green Man will stand in silence as
the Father and boy leave.
At the third stop the Father and boy will meet LokiRRainbow Dancer.
When I visualized the archetype I saw a myriad number of colours and
flashed of refracted light. Loki will speak to the boy of his dreams,
wishes and hope He will inform the boy that these are necessary even as
a man. That he should not give them up but allow them to mature as he
matures. Loki will also tell the boy that they will meet at the
appointed place in the appointed hour.
The Father and son will continue there journey until they reach the
last stop on their journey. Here they will meet the Magus who is robed
in black and you are unable to see his face. The Magus will speak to
the boy of his inner true self, his highest ideals, his magical self.
He symbolizes Divine Wisdom. When he is finished speaking he will also
tell the boy of meeting in the appointed place in the appointed hour.
All the archetype will be wearing masks that will be indicative of
them. Herne with horns, Green Man with a mask made of leaves, Loki with
the face of the fox, and the Magus with a black mask which entirely
covers his face. All the other masks will not cover the mouth area. My
Spirit Brother in Akron, OH is creating the masks and the staves for the
four archetypes. After the journey has been completed he will be
brought to the gateway of the ritual are Prior to the ritual itself the
boy will be asked to select something that symbolizes his childhood and
that he should bring it with him. When the boy is abducted those who
abduct him must be sure to acquire this childhood symbol to be given to
the father to take on the journey. At the gateway the father will stop
the boy and inform him that he must now give up this childhood symbol in
order to enter into the world of men. The boy must surrender the symbol
before the rite can continue. The symbol will be left at the gateway.
I didn see a traditional circle being cast, rather a ring of men hand in
hand passing energy to form the circle. I keep hearing "a hand to a
hand, to feed a hand" or a "brother to a brother". The circle will open
to admit the father and boy The boy is still blindfold and will be place
before the balefire facing the gateway through which he just entered.
I see four men at various stage of the lives serving as Priests. One is
just past puberty, the next has himself just become a father, the next
being around 40-50 years (the age of the God at the
time of his decline in power) and the last being the Grandfather. The
four will each evoke one of the four achetypes that spoke to the boy
during his journey. The Priest just past puberty will evoke Loki, the
new father will evoke the Green Man, the 40-50 year old will evoke
Herne, and Grandfather will evoke the Magus. Each will be evoked
separately and when each has been evoked will enter the circle from
where they have been waiting out of sight of the circle itself. Each
will speak further to the boy of his mystery and present the boy with a
"gift" which will enable the boy to commune with the archetype
in times of trial in his life as a man. The last to speak will be
Herne. Just as he is is finishing what he has to say he will be
interrupted by the final archetype. This is the Great Mother. She will
speak to the boy of his union with her and to truly become a man he must
understand her magics as well. Herne and the Great Mother will argue
(choice of words, maybe not the best) over who this boy/man belong. The
Great Mother informs Herne that the boy/man belongs to Her. Herne
informs Her that She was there at his conception and birth and that She
will have him in death but now the boy/man belongs to Him. My Spirit
Brother has a staff with a deer hoof end which I see being placed on the
boy's heart while Herne claims him as his. During the claiming the
boy's blindfold will be removed and the boy/man will see Herne for the
first time with his hoof on his chest over his heart. After the
claiming is finished the boy will be approached by the four Priests for
I have an anointing already written for this part of the rite.
While the anointing is being done the four persons who are taking the
roles of the archetypes will leave and return dressed as they wish. The
boy will be taken to his father who will first greet the boy/man now as
a fellow man and a guardian of the male mystery. The father will then
take the newly made man to the North quarter where the Great Mother will
speak to the newly made man bestowing Her gift to him. When the Great
Mother speaks She will be heard only and not seen as if Her voice were
being carried on the wind.
The the newly made man will be taken to each man in turn in the
circle who will give the newly made man a gift. I see the gift being
wisdom something that they have learned of life and that they wish to
pass on to help the newly made man's journey through life. As each man
has an occupation which requires particular tools so does life require
When all have granted their gift the newly made man will be asked
to bestow his blessing upon a horn of ale which symbolized the cup of
brotherhood of all peoples. The cup will be shared with all in the
circle and will symbolized the universality of men.
This is where I see the ritual ending. I see a simple feast being
held where the ritual has been. More cups will be filled, stories share
in the spirit of brotherhood. As the night wears on towards dawn the
newly made made will be left to himself, the balefire and the night. He
will return to the campsite from which he was abducted no longer as a
child but as a man with all the responsibilities of a man.
Next: LUPERCALIA (She Wolf)