Archive for the ‘Witchcraft Coven’ Category

4
Jul

Happy 4th of July

   Posted by: Scrivener

Merry meet and happy Independence Day in the United States.

Here is a Horned God’s Salute (Mano Cornuto) for all you Witches, Wiccans, and other Pagans who serve our country. You serve our country with the added difficulty of serving Gods who are maligned, misunderstood, and misinterpreted by the religious reich. This can make your job of defending our country all the more difficult. Therefore, I’d like to take a moment, and from one marine who served a long time ago to all of you serving today to extend a heartfelt thanks:

May the Horned God of the Wild Hill’s Way watch over you this and every day.

May the Triple Goddess protect you and yours from harm’s way

May Spirit’s wisdom light and guide you on all your pathways.

 

With your strength, defend right from wrong.

You are the heroes of story and song.

Here’s hoping that all return home before too long.

 

With Water and Earth, you perform works of great worth;

Fire and Air imbue with passion and imagination to dare;

Thank you, Pagan Patriots everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

20
Jun

A Midsummer’s Night Ritual (Litha)

   Posted by: Scrivener


 

Litha / Summer Solstice

Litha / Summer Solstice

 

 

Jun. 21, 2011

 

Circle of the Dark Moon Coven

Circle of the Dark Moon Coven

 




You will need these items:

 

General

  • Items that are required for every ritual or working
  • Altar facing east.
  • Bell
  • God/Goddess candles
  • Red (fire) illumination candle
  • Quarter Candles – Green (North), Yellow (East), Red (South) and Blue (West)
  • Matches or lighter
  • Athamé, Sword, or Wand
  • Besom
  • Chalice for Libation for God and Goddess
  • Plate for libation for God and Goddess
  • Cauldron

Specific to the Ritual

  • Faery Dust

Preparation

 

  • Usual ritual preparations

 


Attunement

 

HPS: This is an exercise which shall help us to combine and harmonize our energies. It is simplified version of the middle pillar exercise.

 

Stand relaxed but upright with you spine straight.

 

Inhale, then exhale.

 

Visualize a bright beam of streaming light shining down upon your head

 

Begin to breathe in slowly to a count of three; hold this breath for a count of three, and then slowly exhale to a count of three. Then hold at the bottom for a count of three and then begin again.

 

While you are breathing, pull this light energy into your body. Let the light fill you until you are translucent and fairly glowing. Then let the light go and sink into the ground at your feet.

 

Let’s do this visualization for a total of three breaths.

 

Now let’s do this again but instead of grounding the energy, let it circulate around your aura in a circle. Visualize this energy coming out of the top of your head and going around the outskirts of your energy field, one stream going to the left and the other stream going to the right. The two streams should reconnect at the feet and enter back into the center of your body.

 

Let’s do this for a total of three breaths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consecration of the Water and Salt

 

Charge at the Pentacle

 

(HPS and HP with athames over their hearts and the other hand on the pentacle, bend in silence for a moment. During this time, they silently ask the Lord and Lady for strength and guidance.)

 

Blessing the Salt

 

HPS: (places dish of salt upon the pentacle)


I consecrate thee O creature of salt—fruit of the Earth—magickal seasoning for Cerredwen’s cauldron on the hearth.

 

I cast from thee all hindrance and malignity, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

 

All: So mote it be.

 

(HPS removes the dish of salt from the pentacle and then places the dish of water upon the pentacle. Then she takes the salt and using her athame drops into the water three measures of salt. She stirs the water three times with the tip of her athame. HPS sets the salt aside.)

 

Blessing the Water

 

HPS: I consecrate thee O creature of water—the Lady’s sacred element—life giving, whether swiftly flowing or softly falling from the firmament.

 

I cast from thee all hindrance and malignity, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

 

All: So mote it be.

 

Blessing the Air

 

(HP places the censer containing incense upon the pentacle)

 

HP: I consecrate thee O creature of Air—bringer of summer breezes fair, storm clouds, and faeries on the flight everywhere.

 

I cast from thee all hindrance and malignity, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

 

All: So mote it be.

 

 

Blessing the Fire

 

(HP lights the incense)

 

HP: I consecrate thee O creature of Fire—signifier of the Sun.

Warm and light the way ’till the spell is cast and our work is done


I cast from thee all hindrance and malignity, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

 

All: So mote it be.

 

(HP sets the censer aside.)

 


Entry into Sacred Space

 

Maiden: (Sweeps the area with besom then smudge with violet-sage.)

 

(HPS rings bell three times)

 

HPS: Attention. Harken for the bell and gather in thy assigned places. Prepare for admission into the circle.

 

HP: (After being admitted into sacred space, the covener approaches the HP who then smudges the covener with sage or lavender. When this action is completed, the covener moves to their place about the altar.)

 


Circle Casting

 

(by Earth)

 

(HP and HPS take their athames and trace the sacred circle. If desired, they may leave a doorway in the northeastern quadrant. They walk together with the HP’s hand upon the HPS’ shoulder.)

 

HPS: With this magick circle scribed, may the Fae come into this circle tonight.

May we merry meet and merry part with blessings bright.

 

With magick ring and circle of power, I invite the Fairies

Of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth to be here now

And join with us this Midsummer’s Eve.           �

This Magic Circle is a rampart and Protection against all wickedness that shall both contain and entertain the powers raised within—wherefore do I consecrate thee in the name of The Lord of the Sun and the Lady of the Moon.

 

Strengthening the Circle

 

(by Water)

 

(Witch 1: Sprinkles the salt and water mixture around the circle)

 

Witch 1: Rain of water and salt sprinkled upon the ground,

This blessed water sprinkled round and round.

Protect us from wickedness and make our magick sound.

 

 

(Witch 1: When their circuit is completed, they replace the water upon the altar.)

 

(by Air)

 

(Witch 2: takes the censer and walks about the circle)

 

Witch 2: Into the night sky, incense smoke, roil, rise, and writhe,

This smoke takes our intentions to the skies

Sunder us from the mundane like a scythe.

 

(Witch 2: When their circuit is completed, they replace the censer upon the altar.)

 

(by Fire)

 

(Witch 3: takes a candle and walks about the circle)

 

Witch 3: Fire, shine true and bright,

Aid, grant clarity of sight.

Fireflies or is it faeries that light the night.

Mayest the Gods be with us this night.

(Witch 3: When their circuit is completed, they replace the water upon the altar.)

 


Calling the Quarters

 

East Hail and welcome Fae of the Air, Sylphs and Sprites

Please grant me the breath of life

I invite you to our circle on this Midsummer’s night

To witness and protect our sacred magickal rite.


(Draw the invoking pentagram of Air)

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Hail, Fae of light, Salamanders and newts,

Please grant us your drive and creative fire

I invite you to our circle on this Midsummer’s night

To witness and protect our sacred magickal rite.


 

(Draw the invoking pentagram of Fire)

 


West Hail, Fae of the waters, Nymphs, Undines, and Merpeople,

Please grant us deep emotions and feelings.

I invite you to our circle on this Midsummer’s night

To witness and protect our sacred magickal rite.

 

 


(Draw the invoking pentagram of Water)

 


North Hail, Fae of the Earth, bright Sidhe (pronounced Shee), dwarves, and gnomes.

Please grant us solidarity, stability, and treasures of great worth.

I invite you to our circle on this Midsummer’s night

To witness and protect our sacred magickal rite.

 


 

(Draw the invoking pentagram of Earth)

 


 


Drawing down the Moon

 

Invocation to the Goddess

 

(HPS assumes the blessing position with her back to the coven.)

 

HPS: O Lady of the Ferny Brae
We call to you to come to us
To  hold us close and hear us say
Asleep and awake, oh how we dream of you

Oh Lady of the fleet white steed
We call you to come to us
To honor you, all wildness freed
Asleep and awake, oh how we dream of you

Oh Lady of the rising mist
We call you to come to us
To hold us near and share your kiss
Asleep and awake, oh how we dream of you

 

Mist-clad in the light of the moon
Starspun seekers – I search for thee!
Faery light – I ask thy boon
Of branch and thorn and Elder tree!

Wood woven creatures, shadow weavers
River keepers – come to me!
Just beyond reaching, never in keeping
Spirits of Faery – I call unto thee!

Wind-hewn wildness, and dark and brightness
Spiral enchantments – born of the sky,
Cradle me with elven hands,
Abide with me, thy human child!

 

(HPS lights the Goddess candle.)

 

The Charge of the Goddess

 

(HPS as the Goddess Herself, the HPS turns to face the coven.)

 

HP: Listen to the words of the Great Mother, she who

of old was called among men Artemis, Astarte, Athene, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Dana, Arianhod, Isis, Bride, Flidais, Titania, and by many other names too numerous to name.

 

HPS: 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 see in the Spring
And the ripening of wheat in the sun.
I am the peaceful depth of 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 you 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!


Drawing down the Sun

 

Invocation to the God

 

HP: Oh, playful one, with pipe you prance,

The goat-foot Pan, lord of the dance.

With feral joy in ancient wood

You embue life with mirth and good.

 

Of seed and beast and plant and tune

We seek your form under this moon.

The woodland king, the lord of trees,

Friend to the moon and stars and breeze.

 

Hear us, horned one, your priest’s cry,

And bring your song of life nearby.

Give us your fertile and creative force

And help to return us to wildness, our source.

 

Wild wond’rous Pan, the forest’s sire

Enter this circle and this priest—that is my desire.

Enclose us all, be with us today

Magically join me and our sacred play.

 

IO Pan! The fertile tide, the Nature Spirit, gather thy nymphs and satyrs and come unto me, great Bacchus!
I am Pan!
From in the forests of Arcadia and across the sea I come unto thee!
I am Pan!
My Spirit enfleshed, within thyself and nature they find me best,
Out of writhsome lust, I manifest, I am Pan! God made flesh!

 

(HP lights the God candle.)

Charge of the God

 

HP: Listen to the words of the Horned God,

The Guardian of all things wild and free,

Keeper of the Gates of Death,

Whose Call we all must Heed:

 

I am the fire within your Heart,

The yearning of your Soul.

I, the Hunter of Knowledge, Seeker of the Holy Quest

I, who stand in the darkness, am He whom you call Death.

 

I, the Consort and Mate of Her whom we adore,

Beckoned forth to Thee,

To learn the secrets of Death and Peace,

Come thou unto me.

 

I am corn at harvest and fruit on the trees.

I am He who leads you home.

With Scourge and Flame, Blade and Blood,

These are mine own gifts to thee.

 

Call unto me in the forest wild and hilltop bare,

And seek me in the Darkest Night.

I, who have been called;

Cernunnos/Lugh, Pan, Hades, Hermes, Puck, Loki, and Osiris Bright.

 

Speak to thee in thy search, Come to dance and sing;

Come live and love; behold this is worshiping.

 

I, thy Father. You are my children. On swift night wings,

it is I who lay you at the Mother’s feet;

to be reborn and to return again to seek .

 

Know me, I am the untamed wind,

the fury of storm.

Seek me with pride and humility,

and passion in your Soul.

 


Statement of Purpose

 

HP: Welcome everyone. Tonight we celebrate the summer solstice—the longest day of the year and the beginning of the shortening of days toward the fall equinox.

The summer solstice sabbat is also known as Litha, or midsummer.

Shakespeare’s play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a romantic comedy with thinly veiled pagan references is an excellent corollary to tonight’s celebration. The play is replete with references to subjects the church considered taboo. Some of these references referred to Puck (aka Robin Goodfellow, aka Robin of the Green, aka Robin Hood), to the solstice celebration itself under the guise of St. John’s day, and especially to fairies.


Power Raising

(HPS & HP lead the coven in the Faerie Dance Rune)

Faerie Dance Rune

By Unknown

The forest was asleep at night,
With dew upon each leaf,
Through cloudy mist I saw a sight
Beyond my own belief.

Two fairies danced upon a frond
And shone a lantern’s beam
And as it’s glow fell on a pond
I thought I’d seen a dream.

They wanted me to see the place
Where Lady Moonlight walked,
When she appeared they saw her face,
Excitedly they talked.

They flew into her open hand
With stardust on each wing,
They did a jig upon it and
She smiled as they did sing.

Her beauty I could never glean
Or what their faerie chant meant
But until then I’d never seen
A thing of such enchantment.

 

 

 

 


Main Working

 

HPS: For tonight’s working, we’ll be reading an Act from Shakespeare’s play,


A Midsummer’s Night Dream

 

 

 

A Midsummer’s Night Dream

 

 

By

 

 

William Shakespeare

 

ACT IV—S CENE I.

TITANIA

Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed,
While I thy amiable cheeks do coy,
And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,
And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.

 

BOTTOM

Where’s Peaseblossom?

 

PEASEBLOSSOM

Ready.

 

BOTTOM

Scratch my head Peaseblossom. Where’s Monsieur Cobweb?

 

COBWEB

Ready.

 

BOTTOM

Monsieur Cobweb, good monsieur, get you your
weapons in your hand, and kill me a red-hipped
humble-bee on the top of a thistle; and, good
monsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret
yourself too much in the action, mounsieur; and,
good mounsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not;
I would be loath to have you overflown with a
honey-bag, signior. Where’s Monsieur Mustardseed?

 

 

MUSTARDSEED

Ready.

 

BOTTOM

Give me your neaf, Mounsieur Mustardseed. Pray you,
leave your courtesy, good mounsieur.

 

MUSTARDSEED

What’s your Will?

 

BOTTOM

Nothing, good mounsieur, but to help Cavalery Cobweb
to scratch. I must to the barber’s, monsieur; for
methinks I am marvellous hairy about the face; and I
am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me,
I must scratch.

 

TITANIA

What, wilt thou hear some music,
my sweet love?

 

BOTTOM

I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let’s have
the tongs and the bones.

 

TITANIA

Or say, sweet love, what thou desirest to eat.

 

BOTTOM

Truly, a peck of provender: I could munch your good
dry oats. Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle
of hay: good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.

 

TITANIA

I have a venturous fairy that shall seek
The squirrel’s hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.

 

BOTTOM

I had rather have a handful or two of dried peas.
But, I pray you, let none of your people stir me: I
have an exposition of sleep come upon me.

 

TITANIA

Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
Fairies, begone, and be all ways away.

So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
Gently entwist; the female ivy so
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!

 

OBERON

Welcome, good Robin.
See’st thou this sweet sight?
Her dotage now I do begin to pity:
For, meeting her of late behind the wood,
Seeking sweet favours from this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her and fall out with her;
For she his hairy temples then had rounded
With a coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
And that same dew, which sometime on the buds
Was wont to swell like round and orient pearls,
Stood now within the pretty flowerets’ eyes
Like tears that did their own disgrace bewail.
When I had at my pleasure taunted her
And she in mild terms begg’d my patience,
I then did ask of her her changeling child;
Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
To bear him to my bower in fairy land.
And now I have the boy, I will undo
This hateful imperfection of her eyes:
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp
From off the head of this Athenian swain;
That, he awaking when the other do,
May all to Athens back again repair
And think no more of this night’s accidents
But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
But first I will release the fairy queen.
Be as thou wast wont to be;
See as thou wast wont to see:
Dian’s bud o’er Cupid’s flower
Hath such force and blessed power.
Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen.

 

TITANIA

My Oberon! what visions have I seen!
Methought I was enamour’d of an ass.

 

OBERON

There lies your love.

 

TITANIA

How came these things to pass?
O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!

 

 

OBERON

Silence awhile. Robin, take off this head.
Titania, music call; and strike more dead
Than common sleep of all these five the sense.

 

TITANIA

Music, ho! music, such as charmeth sleep!

 

PUCK

Now, when thou wakest, with thine
own fool’s eyes peep.

 

OBERON

Sound, music! Come, my queen, take hands with me,
And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.
Now thou and I are new in amity,
And will to-morrow midnight solemnly
Dance in Duke Theseus’ house triumphantly,
And bless it to all fair prosperity:
There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.

 

PUCK

Fairy king, attend, and mark:
I do hear the morning lark.

 

OBERON

Then, my queen, in silence sad,
Trip we after the night’s shade:
We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the wandering moon.

 

TITANIA

Come, my lord, and in our flight
Tell me how it came this night
That I sleeping here was found
With these mortals on the ground.

 


Consecration of the Wine and Cakes (Symbolic Great Rite)

 

Great Rite (Symbolic)

 

(HPS takes the chalice and the HP stands before her holding his athame.)

 

HPS: As the athame is to the male.

 

(HP lowers his athame into the wine)

 

HP: The chalice is to the female.

 

HPS/HP: And together we are one.

 

(HP replaces his athame upon the altar.)

 

Consecration of the Wine

HPS: (lays her athame down and places the chalice on the pentacle.)

 

HPS: May this offering to the God and Goddess keep us from ever knowing thirst.

 

Consecration of the Cakes

 

HPS: (removes the chalice and replaces it with the plate of cakes before the. She touches each cake in turn with her athame.)

 

HPS: May this offering to the God and Goddess keep us                         from ever knowing hunger.

 

Simple Feast (Cakes and Ale)

 

Note: the ceremony of Cakes and Ales now proceeds according to the HPS’ wishes: either the plate and chalice is passed from covener to covener and they serve themselves or each other according to coven custom or the HPS and HP proceed from covener to covener serving them and finally each other.

 

HPS: (When all of the coveners have partaken of the simple feast, the HPS places some food and drink in the libation bowl. HPS raises the libation plate in salute.)

 

HPS: To the Gods.

 

Coveners: To the Gods.

 


Closing the Circle

 

Release of Deities

 

Release of the Goddess

 

HPS: (faces the altar, assumes the Goddess position—or alternatively salutes with athame—and recites)

 

 

Queen of the Universe who wears a mantle of stars and moonlight, on this Midsummer's night,

 

 

We thank you for your attending and witnessing these rites.

 

 

With your help, we shall start down the path to wisdom's light.

 

 

 

For this boon, and glimpse

 

 

Of your magick, and mystery,

 

 

We salute and thank Thee.

 

 

 

Alas, our time together now is past.

 

 

We bid thee farewell.

 

 

Stay if you will and join our repast.

 

 

Leave us if you must.

 

 

Ere you leave us, know that all who met here

 

 

Did so in perfect love and perfect trust.
					

 

 

 

HPS:  (Extinguishes the Goddess candle)

 

 

Release of the God

 

HP: (Assumes the Osiris position)

 

Thou art the playful one, with pipe you prance,

The goat-foot Pan, lord of the dance.

With feral joy in ancient wood

You embue life with mirth and good.

 

 

For this boon, and glimpse

 

 

Of your magick, and mystery,

 

 

We salute and thank Thee.

 

 

 

Alas, our time together now is past.

 

 

We bid thee farewell.

 

 

Stay if you will and join our repast.

 

 

Leave us if you must.

 

 

Ere you leave us, know that all who met here

 

Did so in perfect love and perfect trust.

 

 

HP:  (Extinguishes the God candle)

 

 

Quarter Dismissals

 

(The HP follows the HPS around the quarters—except where noted—while the rest of the coven remain in place around the circle but mimic the HPS’ gestures. At each quarter, the HPS and HP salute the quarter with their athames. After the dismissal, the HPS, HP, and coveners, draw the banishing pentagram. The banishing pentagram of Earth shall be used for all dismissals.)

 

North Hail, Faeries, Dwarfs and Gnomes of the Earth.

On this Midsummer’s night, that marks the height the Sun’s might, We thank you for witnessing and protecting our sacred magickal rite.

Go if you must; stay if you will; but know that we                         met in perfect love and perfect trust.


 

(Draw the banishing pentagram of Earth)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Hail, Faeries, Nymphs, Undines of the Waters,

On this Midsummer’s night, that marks the height the Sun’s might, We thank you for witnessing and protecting our sacred magickal rite.

Go if you must; stay if you will; but know that we                         met in perfect love and perfect trust.

 


 

(Draw the banishing pentagram of Water)


 

South Hail, Faeries and Salamanders of Fire,

On this Midsummer’s night, that marks the height the Sun’s might, We thank you for witnessing and protecting our sacred magickal rite.

Go if you must; stay if you will; but know that we                         met in perfect love and perfect trust.


 

(Draw the banishing pentagram of Fire)

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East Hail, Faeries, Sylphs, and Sprites of the Air,

On this Midsummer’s night, that marks the height the Sun’s might, We thank you for witnessing and protecting our sacred magickal rite.

Go if you must; stay if you will; but know that we                         met in perfect love and perfect trust.


(Draw the banishing pentagram of Air)

 


Opening the Circle

 

(HPS and HP face the altar together. The Deities have been thanked and the Quarters dismissed, therefore, the next action is to ‘take down’ the circle. Since the circle was thrice cast, it should be thrice unwound. Also, because the circle was cast deosil it should be undone in a widdershins direction.)

 

HPS: O Circle of Power, as I have conjured thee I now release your energies into this blade.

 

(In your mind’s eye, see the circle dissolve into a wispy energy smoke, which the glowing blade readily absorbs)

 

Where there once existed a rampart between this world and the Otherworld, the rampart is no more. Once again, our realms are separate. However, the love and joy with which we met here tonight remains undiminished.

 

HPS: (Rejoins the HP at the altar and then together they face the rest of the coven)

 

 

Just as night passes into day and this Midsummer's Night must end, it is time for us to leave this realm of magick, mystery, and the circle of our ancestors and friends.

 

 

 

The circle is open but remains unbroken. Now, the High Priest will leave you with Puck's words of parting as a means of wishing you a merry meeting and a merry parting:

 

 

 

HP:        "If we shadows have offended,Think but this, and all is mended,That you have but slumber'd hereWhile these visions did appear.And this weak and idle theme,No more yielding but a dream,Gentles, do not reprehend:if you pardon, we will mend:And, as I am an honest Puck,If we have unearned luckNow to 'scape the serpent's tongue,We will make amends ere long;Else the Puck a liar call;So, good night unto you all.Give me your hands, if we be friends,And Robin shall restore amends."
						

 

 

 

HP/HPS:        Blessed be.

 

 

 

Coveners:   Blessed be.

 

2011 Litha Summer Solstice .pdf version. This version will retain all the fonts and layout. Use this version if you just want to make copies for distribution or to use as a script for your own ritual.

 

2011 Litha Summer Solstice MS Word 2007 version. This version will retain all the fonts and layout. Use this version if you want to customize this ritual.

 

19
Jun

Leaving Offerings for Fairies on Litha

   Posted by: Scrivener

Litha is the Wiccan term for summer solstice–which varies between June 20 and June 24, depending on the year. It entails a number of different celebrations and observances, many centering on children and notions of play. Faeries, too, become a part of the Litha celebration–the day supposedly brings us closer to the supernatural world, which William Shakespeare celebrated in his famous play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. You can leave offerings for the faeries in many ways, either as means of securing their blessings (and not being bewitched like Bottom or Rip Van Winkle), or just as a fun activity for you and your kids.

  • Find a suitable place to leave offerings for the faeries. Faerie folk tend to congregate in wooded areas, in the hollows of trees and near water. If you have a garden, you can prepare an altar for your offerings by planting flowers they might like, such as roses, bluebells, or lilacs. A fountain or small pool in your garden works well as an altar too.
  • Locate a place inside where you can leave offerings. If you live in an apartment or urban area, you can still find a place to honor the faeries on Litha. Household faeries such as brownies inhabit people’s homes, no matter where they are. Clear a section of countertop, dresser, or fire hearth for your altar and leave the offering in a saucer or a wicker basket.
  • Prepare food as an offering yourself. Faeries don’t usually like processed or pre-packaged foods, though they do enjoy milk and/or honey when served in a saucer. Baked goods such as bread and small cakes make much better offerings, especially if you prepare them in your own oven.
  • You can use flowers and summer herbs as offerings as well. Faeries appreciate them. If possible, plant the flowers so that they will grow and bloom, rather than presenting cut flowers.
  • Leave the offerings at least one night. Check the calendar and make sure you have the correct date for Litha or Midsummer’s Night (June was midsummer in the old calendars). It varies from year to year and astronomical sites will tell you exactly when Litha falls on the year in question.
  • Sing and dance when you leave your offerings. Faeries love chanting music and dancing and will be more inclined to approach your offerings.
  • Thank the faeries before you leave. If you want to ask them for help, Litha is a good time to do it, but try to ask for unselfish things, such as good health for your friends and families. Faeries turn their noses up at selfish requests for help.
  • Don’t be worried if the faeries don’t eat the food (or your kids ask why the faeries haven’t taken their offerings). They can absorb the essence of the food without actually eating it or appear as an animal and consume it that way.
  • Remove the food after is has been sitting a day or two. The faeries have likely removed all sustenance from it and even if they haven’t, it will begin to turn.
19
Jun

Happy Litha

   Posted by: Scrivener

Directly opposite of Yule, on the Wheel of the Year, is our Pagan Holy Day called Midsummer, the Summer Solstice or Litha, and in Christian times was known as St. John’s Day. Midsummer is celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere between June 20th and 26th. (The festivities can actually go on for a week in some places!) This is the longest day of the year, and the day when we honor our God (as represented by the Sun) as He makes His ascent into the highest point of the Heavens before beginning His great decline towards His death (Winter). He was called by many names in every religion and land on Earth. To the Greeks He was Helios and then Apollo, to the Celts he was Lugh, to the Egyptians He was Ra and to the Christians He was Jesus Christ. He is also known to many of us modern Neo-Pagans and Wiccans as the Oak King, who rules over the light half of the year. In some cultures He, (the Sun) was even a She; such as the case of the Japanese Sun Goddess Amaterasu.

At this time in the cycle the Mother Goddess (the Earth) is now heavily pregnant with the Divine Child, who will be born at the Winter Solstice, 6 months from now. This Divine Child will be the rebirth of Her Dead Consort, who will be slain by His brother the Holly King (who represents the the dark half of the year) on this night to symbolize the death of the Sun’s reign of power on the Earth. The child growing in Her belly represents the bounty ripening on the trees and in the fields at Midsummer. This is the peak of the year. This is the height of not only the the growing season, but also of the waxing energy cycle of the year.

Couples living in the Old Ways often would wait until after they had a baby on the way before they wed. Because fertility was such an important factor in the marriages of country folks, because they needed children to work the farm, business or carry on the family line- that often the young couple needed to prove their ability to bear children before entering into a marriage. Otherwise, the marriage would not be considered to be blessed by the Gods. (Thank Goddess that such things are not a criteria for ‘wholeness in marriage’ in these days of infertility and overpopulation!) This Pagan tradition is the reason why the Goddess is pregnant at Beltane and the couple is not married until Midsummer. If a couple who was Hand fasted at Beltane the previous year, had prospered during their “Year and a Day” trial period of marriage- they would usually be Hand fasted again the next Midsummer’s in a more formal and binding ceremony to proclaim their commitment to each other and the family.

 

Because Midsummer is a cross quarter point of the year, it is a time of great power, magick and a time when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. This is why it is considered an auspicious time for divinations, harvesting magickal and medicinal herbs and for Otherworldly Faerie and Spirit contact. The Faeries are said to rise from the hills and mounds on this night, because of this time in between times. These Faeries are not always light and fluff- the stuff of story books and New Age Bookstores. They can be mischievous and at times quite frightening. When working with them one must remember that they are not of this realm, and they do not operate by the same morality or laws as us who live on this plane.

If you would like to make contact or even friends with these Nature Spirits, you might like to make a Faerie Altar or Shrine in a secluded outdoor area. Preferably in your backyard, or somewhere on your own property; that way you can begin to attune with the Faeries and Land Devas that share your space with you. A Faerie Shrine can be something as simple as a flat rock to leave offerings on, or even a small birdhouse, decorated with growing flowers, and complete with a tiny nest. Faeries are known to enjoy small trinkets and nature objects like shells, rocks and crystals. They also like offerings of bread and honey. After leaving the food out overnight, toss it into the yard for the birds or animals to eat.

Midsummer’s Eve and Morning is also the time to harvest many Spring and early Summer herbs, and also to gather branches for making wands, staffs and stangs. It is best to precede this gathering with a moment of asking permission to partake of the plant’s bounty. Many Magickal Folks like to draw a circle in the Earth around the plant, to symbolically concentrate the energy before cutting into the plant. Then you harvest the greenery with your boline, or another sacred knife used only for this purpose. Afterwards, it is nice to leave a small offering as a token of appreciation and an energy exchange. The best thanks would be a nice long watering, and maybe some fertilizer; however, any small coins, trinkets or even bits of food or a libation are good too. Many times when I have been unprepared, I will leave a strand of my hair on a branch for the birds, and spit at the roots. (The spit is in lieu of water and also is a physical energy exchange from me to the plant.) When gathering branches to use for Wands, it is traditional to use branches from a ‘virgin’ tree, that is one who has not yet born fruit.

The traditional colors of this holiday are the reds, oranges yellows and golds of fire and the sun. The ancient Celts used to make giant Solar Wheels and set them ablaze while sending them down a hill. A more modern variation on this, to make with the children, would be to make Solar Wheels out of Ivy or other malleable branches and vines. First make the wreath and then the cross in the center. These can be hung outside with yellow, orange and red ribbons. For the littlest participants, a paper plate makes a great surface for these Solar Disks, and you could use paint and glitter along with ribbons instead of the more cumbersome wreath weaving. You can also take two sticks and tie them into a cross. Then, punch two tiny holes on either side of the sticks in a few key spots, and use yarn to attach them to the paper plate. That way, you can still have the ‘Nature’ effect along with the easy creation. Or, just keep it super simple and use paint or popsicle sticks! Either way, the turn out pretty and the kids love them.

This is a traditional time for creating and empowering Amulets, Talismans, and other Charms for use during the year. I also like to use the high waxing energies of this day to bless and empower my crystals in a Sun Bath. You do this in exactly the same way you cleanse and empower them in a Moon Bath, except this is done throughout the day, instead of the night. Three days in the Sun is even better than 1; but remember to bring them in at night, as they are supposed to be absorbing pure Solar energy. Traditional crystals to use for rituals or workings on this Sabbat are Amber, Carnelian, Citrine, Red Jasper, Pyrite, and any other gemstones with Solar correspondences.

This night is a great night for a bonfire (or a BBQ). As you sing or chant some jaunty Midsummer tune in thanks of the God and Goddess, throw a mixture of purifying herbs (such as lavender or sage) onto the fire for a purification smudge. Then catch fireflies in glass jars and spend some time divining with Tarot, Runes or scrying in inky water. Spend time with family and friends eating good food and enjoying some good drinks and music.

Attached are two files (one a .pdf file, and the other a PowerPoint presentation) that show an example of what a remote tarot reading by the Circle of the Dark Moon School of Wicca, Wytchcrafte, and Magick (CotDM) would entail. We have several experts in the Tarot as well as several students who have chosen the Tarot as their divination specialty.

 

Currently, the remote Tarot readings (some call them intuitive spiritual readings) are free of charge. The querent (the person requesting the Tarot reading) may either think of a question or just request a general Tarot reading.

Once a request for a Tarot reading is received, within 72 hours you will have the results of your personal Tarot reading emailed to you. All Tarot readings are performed by live coven members of the Circle of the Dark Moon and not a computer.

 

If you’d like a Tarot reading performed in real-time, Tarot readings via Skype (skype id: circleofthedarkmoon) are available. Simply contact us at[url]http://circleofthedarkmoon.org/contactus.asp[/url] to set up a time. Similarly, if you happen to be in the Warner Robins area and would like a Tarot reading performed by one of the witches from the Circle of the Dark Moon, contact us at http://circleofthedarkmoon.org/contactus.asp[ to set up an appointment time. The Tarot reading may be done at our covenstead or some other place should you prefer.

Tarot readings by the Circle of the Dark Moon Coven members are accurate, professional, and most of all fun for the client. The Circle of the Dark Moon has more than 27 years of combined experience in the Tarot and other forms of divination (Channeling, Scrying, Runes, I-Ching, etc.). As mentioned above, the Circle of the Dark Moon is professional, discreet, understanding, and most of all anxious to help our clients whether they are Wiccan or not.

Tarot Reading 20110522

Tarot Reading 20110522 (Power Point Presentation)

 

14
May

House/Apartment Banishing the Darkness Ritual

   Posted by: Scrivener

A reader posted this request on our Facebook page:

Greeting my sister & brothers, I hoping that some of you may be able to assist me on a time sensitive matter…A friend of mine is having darklings manifesting themselves around & even trying to harm her. She doesn’t have any one faith, however, knows I’ve delt [sic] with things along this nature before. This time however I am not close & she needs somewhat easy assistance to banish or block these things. Any ideas, spells, etc. are welcome. Thank you. Blessed Be. )0(

Since the reader didn’t specify whether they meant fae darklings or dark/malevolent spirits, what I am proposing is a general banishing. The Circle of the Dark Moon coven used this ritual last August to remove a “dark and heavy presence” as described by the apartment tenants. This presence was so forcefully expelled that upon reciting the final banishing, two members were pushed backward.

Usually, I would recommend before performing a banishing to first attempt contact with the entity/entities to determine what they want. While there are presences that are just nasty pieces of work, many perceived attacks (poltergeists, banging noises, etc.) are actually attempts by spirits to get your attention in order to elicit help. Oftentimes, these seemingly malevolent beings are merely entities that have strayed onto the mundane plane and don’t know how to get back to wherever it is that they belong. Just some food for thought, the monsters under our beds aren’t always monsters.

However, should you decide to perform a banishing, the following ritual has yielded us great success.

 


GENERAL APARTMENT/HOUSE BANISHING/CLEANSING

We begin this ritual by performing a variation of the Cabalistic Cross. This is done to secure a cleansed area for the working to follow. The Cabalistic Cross is traditionally executed by touching the forehead, solar plexus/genitals, right and left shoulder and finally the heart and intoning in order the holy names listed below this sentence.

 

ATOH ( thou art)

MALKUTH (the kingdom)

VEH-GEBURAH (the power)

VEH-GEDULAH (the glory)

LE-OLAHM (unto the ages)

AUGHMN (so mote it be)

 

However, for a more Wiccan flavor, use the below variation.

 

WICCAN CROSS

  • Face East. Touch forehead. Say IO EVOE HEKATE
  • Touch solar plexus or genitals. Say IO EVOE CERNUNNOS
  • Touch right shoulder. Say EKO EKO AZARAK (‘Hail, hail force of fire’)
  • Touch left shoulder. Say EKO EKO ZAMELAK (‘Hail, hail to the glory’)
  • Extend arms in form of a cross. Say
  • IO EVOE (‘Blessed be.’) Clasp hands upon breast and say ‘So mote it be.’

 

CIRCLE OF PROTECTION

Next, we raise a magickal circle. If the circle caster doesn’t have an athame, sword, wand, or staff, or simple prefers not to use such an instrument, then the caster may use some lit sage, a white candle or even just their projective hand.

 

Using the magickal projective tool of choice (or even just your right or left hand depending upon your right or left handedness)

 

  • From the center of where you are casting the circle, go to the Eastern Quarter. Then, trace the invoking pentagram of Air and say, “I call upon Herne the Great Hunter
  • Continue counterclockwise around the circle to its Northern Quarter and trace the invoking pentagram of Earth and say, “I call upon Hecate, Queen of the Crossroads and Protectoress of Witches.”
  • Continue around the circle to its western Quarter and trace the invoking pentagram of Water and say, “I call upon the Morrigan the Warrior Goddess of the Celts.”
  • Continue around the circle to its Southern Quarter and trace the invoking pentagram of Fire and say, “I call upon Cernunnos the Horned Lord of the Wild.”
  • Finish tracing circle, closing it in the East.

 

INVOCATION OF THE GREAT GODS

  • Return to center of circle and face East.
  • Extend arms in form of a cross. Chant:
  • Say, “Before me HERNE The Huntsman.”
  • Say, “Behind me the Morrigan The Warrior.”
  • Say, “On my right hand CERNUNNOS, the Horned God.”
  • Say, “On my left hand HECATE, the Crone and Queen of all Sorceries.”
  • In your mind’s eye see the invoking pentagrams you traced blazing with an all consuming and cleansing fire
  • Say in a strong voice, “About me flame the pentagrams.”
  • Say in an even stronger voice, “And above me shines the light of the God and Goddess.”
  • Say in your strongest voice, “By the Power of the Divine Light,”
  • Say, “I banish this darkness from my sight.”
  • Say, “Depart, do not follow me or mine and never return.”
  • Say, “Lest by the Divine Flames of the Pentagrams you be consumed and burned.”

 

 

 

Circle of the Dark Moon Coven


 

    First Degree

Minimums for Initiation

 

  1. Be able to meditate and or maintain a trance state for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Be able to visualize the results of their magick.
  3. Be cognizant of their heritage
    1. Be able to converse intelligently about the major traditions in Wicca
    2. Know the major historical figures in Wicca
    3. Understand that while Wicca may have sprung into existence in the 1950’s, that it’s roots lie with Goddess worship and witchcraft techniques which extend back to at least Paleolithic times.
    4. Be passably well read on the heritage of their life-path and be able to discuss Wicca intelligently.
  4. Have an awareness of Deity
    1. Know what Deity means to themselves and others.
    2. Have a passing familiarity with differing religious pantheons in order to better define their personal relationship to Deity and to further understanding of others on a different path.
    3. Be aware of their God and Goddess.
    4. Know the steps to take to further their spirituality.
  5. Be able to function as a competent solitaire.
    1. Understand how Wicca is a lifestyle and not just a religion.
      1. Be familiar with the laws of Karma.
      2. Understand at least in a limited fashion the concept of living lightly and deep ecology.
    2. As a Wiccan, know your responsibilities to society.
    3. Understand the Wheel of the Year.
    4. Know the lore connected with the Sabbats and be able to observe the Sabbats and Esbats.
    5. Be confident in their ability to conduct rituals.
  6. Have a passing familiarity with numerous magickal systems so that if they should decide to pursue further experience in magick the student will know how to proceed.
  7. Have a thorough understanding of the basic symbolism of the Circle including,
    1. Casting the circle, calling the quarters, and invocation of deities.
    2. Altar arrangement
    3. Must have obtained proper ritual wear as put forth in the laws and know why you are required to wear a robe in ritual.
    4. Be well versed in Circle protocol and etiquette.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to write a full Sabbat or Esbat ritual. (teachers choice)
  9. Know the Sabbats, dates, mythos and symbolism behind them.
  10. Know the Esbats, what they stand for and how they are used magickally.
  11. Choose a healing art and demonstrate a beginning knowledge of it.
  12. General knowledge of the power of symbols. (May include some runes).
  13. Demonstrate a general knowledge of one magickal alphabet.
  14. Demonstrate the ability to cast a circle, create sacred space, and perform basic ritual of teachers choice.
  15. Display a passing competency of one form of form of divination.
  16. Receive a recommendation of secession from the HPS, the HP or at least one member of the coven council.
  17. Demonstrate the ability to write and cast a spell of your choosing.
  18. Complete a paper on what you believe a First Degree is and why you want to advance to that level.
  19. Know the differences between Witches and Pagans.

 

Foreword

It is not the intent of this notice to chastise, scold, or take a harsh tone. Nay, it is to the contrary. I first want to thank and congratulate each of you who have given of your time and resources these past years. It’s through your kind contributions that you have made the Circle of the Dark Moon as successful as it has been.

I know that at the last coven meeting we discussed the below points, this missive is merely the ‘official’ notification and justification.

Background

An early, informal incorporation of the Circle of the Dark Moon Coven & School of Wicca, Wytchecraft, and Magick (CotDM) known as the Circle of Cerredwen’s (CoC) was formed in 1996. In 2002, the founding members approved an official coven charter for the CotDM declaring the coven now to be a teaching coven. Shortly thereafter, the CotDM began in person classes as well as online classes. In 2008, the CotDM received 501(c) status. Since then, the CotDM has been in continuous operation making it one of the most active covens in middle Georgia. Also since its inception, the founding members of the CotDM have financed coven operations from their own resources.

Charging coven members dues and charging students for classes is an issue coven officers have struggled with at the CotDM for quite some time. It’s not that we didn’t need the financial assistance. Quite the contrary, as the founders continued to finance coven operations even while unemployed. However, the fear was that by charging for services, more attention would be paid to the bottom line and that members and students would suffer as a result. Alas, economic realities now dictate otherwise.

Let’s Do the Math

Each year, without fail, the CotDM holds open rituals for the eight Sabbats (Samhain, Yule, Imbolg, Ostara, Bealtaine, Litha, Lughnasadh, and Mabon.) in addition to the eight Sabbats, the CotDM celebrates 12 full moon Esbats and 12 dark moon Esbats in addition to Blue and Black Moon Esbats. For each ritual (Sabbat or Esbat), we produce a professionally designed program. Our programs usually run around 26 to 30 pages so let’s take an average length of 28 pages.

28 pages X $.18 per page (the average cost per page for operating an ink jet computer) = $5.04 = the cost to produce one program. The cost per page was derived based on the published estimated yield per cartridge of 170 pages at on average $30 per cartridge comes out to $.1764 per page rounded to $.18. This figure does not take into account amortization of the original purchase cost of the printer.

$5.04 x (8 Sabbats + 12 Full Moon rituals + 12 Dark Moon rituals + 2 special rituals = $5.04 x 34 = $171.36 / year which is the cost to produce programs for just one person. If we discount Blue and Black Moon rituals (because we don’t always have a Blue or a Black Moon every year), the cost drops to a paltry $161.28 per person per year.

After ritual there are always refreshments served. At Sabbats, we serve full meals and at Esbats, simpler snacky type foods are served. While people have been very good about pitching in with the food costs, I add those estimated costs here for the sake of accurate accounting. We estimate the average cost per person per after ritual meal is $3.64 (based on USDA figures for Oct. 2010.)

$3.64 x 32 Sabbats and Esbats = $116.48 per person per year.

$161.28 (printing costs) + $116.48 (food) = $277.76 per person per year expenses thus far.

Another cost that’s difficult to calculate, therefore we won’t provide a figure, is the temple room (a room at our covenstead which is devoted exclusively to ritual.)

Other miscellaneous expenses include ritual supplies (candles, herbs, incenses, altar cloths, etc.) We estimated those expenses to be around $42 per year.

$277.76 + $42 = $319.42 per year per covener so far. However, to be fair, since technically, the food will be a shared expense (see below), let’s drop the cost of the food so that the cost per covener is now $161.28 again.

Web hosting costs for the Circle of the Dark Moon website divided by the number of active members comes to about $12.87 per year.

$319.42 + $12.87 = $332.23 is estimated cost per covener per year now.

Finally, for those attending classes there are additional costs associated with class handouts. Not to mention the time spent by the founders to prepare and give classes, write rituals, and prepare food. In the past, the CotDM never charged anything for classes. However, it has been our experience some people decide on a whim to become ‘wiccan’ but then after a while attend classes only sporadically or not at all. A teacher/student relationship is a sacred trust and both teacher and student must do their part to make the relationship successful. Therefore, the charging a nominal class fee is one way to ensure that the aspiring seeker has at least some modicum of dedication to the craft.

How Much Will All This Cost Me.

That depends.

Coven Dues

  • Beginning in January 2011, coven dues for dedicants and initiated members will be assessed.
  • $75.00 per person (not family) per year is the amount.
  • Dues may be paid in a lump sum due on the full moon in January.
  • Or you may pay $7 monthly for a total of $84/person/year
    • If paying monthly, one must have paid at the minimum, the quarterly amount of $21 by Ostara, Litha, and Mabon. For instance, if paying monthly one must have paid at least $21 by Ostara, at least $42 by Litha, and at least $63 by Mabon with the remaining $21 due by December 31 for a grand total of $84.
    • If you provide services or materiel to the CotDM the reasonable and proper cost of those services and or materiel will be deducted from your coven dues.
    • For those choosing to pay their dues monthly, payment is due on the full moon of each month.

Classes

  • Classes are always free for coven members.
  • Students, currently enrolled in a degree program (in-person or online) or who have already contacted the CotDM about January enrollment may complete their present degree for no cost. Any following classes will be subject to enrollment fees. If you have questions whether or not you are subject to the new class fee structure please email your inquiries to the CotDM.
  • Otherwise, in-person classes will cost $55.00 / student per degree.
    • For instance, the cost for someone taking classes through the Third Degree would be $165 = $55 (First-Degree) + $55 (Second-Degree) + $55 (Third Degree.)
    • Of course, if you become an initiated member as opposed to just taking classes then these classes would be free.
  • Online classes will cost $30.00 / student per degree.
  • Beginning in January, once classes have begun, students who miss more than three consecutive classes will be dropped from the student roles. What that means is if you are dropped and wish to resume classes, you will have to pay another enrollment fee (or a first enrollment fee if you are a student being grandfathered in under the old rules.)
  • Again, if you are currently enrolled in classes or a coven member these class fees do not apply but you must check with your instructor before classes begin in order to have the class fee waived. Otherwise you will be considered a new student and subject to enrollment fees.
  • Check with your instructor to make sure that you are not dropped from the rolls and charged a fee for classes.

Non-member Costs

  • Dedicants and coven members are welcome to sponsor guests who would like to attend rituals and coven events. However, if these guests become regular attendees at coven events, it would behoove their sponsor to suggest that they might contribute in some way to defray costs—especially if said guests have been attending rituals thus requiring extra printing.
  • Spouses or significant others of dedicants or coven members will never be expected to contribute any additional monies.

Food

  • It has and will continue to be customary for refreshments to aid in grounding to be served after rituals.
  • In the past, an informal approach was taken towards scheduling who was to bring what and what happened was that certain people always ending up bringing something and the founders also ending up organizing everything.
  • Please see our calendar page for a schedule of when rituals are being held and who will be responsible for organizing and bringing the evening’s treats.
  • For Esbats we usually have just snacks and for Sabbats a full meal.
  • For Esbats the person in charge will be responsible for bringing the snacks and for arranging the bringing of other items such as drinks, silverware, or other snacks, etc.
  • For Sabbats, the person in charge will be responsible for bringing the main course and for coordinating with other members as to who is bringing what side dish, utensils, or drinks.
  • If you are the person in charge of food for a particular event and you cannot make that event, it is YOUR responsibility to either trade dates with another member or make other arrangements.
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