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Below is the text of our Litha ritual we held last Wednesday. Since we are somewhat of a bardic tradition, what better way to celebrate the Summer Solstice than by reenacting something from the Bard himself. We chose a small part of Shakespeare’s play, “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” as the central theme for our Litha ritual. We hope you enjoy the ritual. Additionally, since WP does such a poor job of formatting Word documents, a link to download this ritual in PDF format is included at the end of this post. Now, on to the ritual.

 

Summer Solstice 2012

 

June 20, 2012

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 here While 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 luck Now 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.

 

click this link, 2012 Litha Summer Solstice, to download the ritual in PDF format with all included graphics.
 

 

 

 

23
Jun

Alternative Wiccan Rite for Midsummer’s Day*

   Posted by: Scrivener

 Summer Solstice 2012(The place of meeting should be decorated with boughs and leaves of oak with acorns. If

there will be music, singing, and rhyme before the rite, it should concern the idea of sacrifice

that others may live, traditions that never die, magick, “life continuing in spite of all,” and the

high spirits of one close to the Elements.

 

If there is dancing, the Priestess and Priest should lead it so that the dancers whirl and

wheel about the dance floor. The dances of this ritual may be performed out of the Circle in

preparation for the rite; they should, in fact, be learned by all.

 

Games should be played utilizing a wheel, preferably one of wood and iron, with candles

or incense mounted upon it. Men and ladies, for example, might play a mildly erotic game of

“spin the wheel.” During the rite, this wheel should be leaned against the south side of the

altar. A container of the magickal catalyst should be placed upon the altar. If a labrys (doubleheaded

axe) can be fashioned or obtained, it should be hung upright in a dominant location

both before and during the rite.

 

Because of the large amount of lively dancing in this rite, short and light ceremonial garb

in the ancient Greek or Cretan style, or some other very minimal but appropriate clothing,

may be fashioned and worn.

 

According to legends and traditions of the Craft, actual shape-changing of dancers sometimes

occurred during this rite, especially among Witches who were well-practiced in magick and

experiencing the ecstasy of the Goddess in their magickal dancing. Only fragments of the rite

survived the terrible time of the burnings, but this reconstruction of it is mostly complete and

may again in the future be made whole through the study and practice of the modern Wicca.

 

The Great Circle shall be cast in the usual manner, except that a 15-foot circle shall be

used. To begin the rite, the priestess stands to the north of the mirror with the altar behind

her, and says:)

 

Witches all, in ages far past it was the custom on this day for the King who had ruled to

be sacrificed in a magical ceremony, that famine, storm, and war should not afflict the

people, and that the crops would grow tall and free from blight or drought. Darkness

would be removed from men’s souls by the courage, pride, and magick of the one who,

very willingly, walked steadily to his doom. The material rite was deeply emotional and

rendingly impressive; yet the magickal portion, unseen and unseeable by human eyes,

was awesomely stronger and more far-reaching. Such magick as this was cruelly powerful—

but it worked magnificently!

 

The Priestess sits, while the Priest stands in her place and with his arms out in invocation and

proclaims:

On this night we gather here to perform again in symbol and magickal dance the rite

of the Oak King’s sacrifice, as it was done in ages past. In this day, our Lady no longer

 

requires sacrifice of any among us, for the life she bestows is sweet, and in this season

the moon must wax.

The Priest turns to the mirror, holding forth his athame in salute, calling:

Oh laughing, naked Queen, beautiful and yet terrible, thou who, like all women, canst

make and then destroy thy man, and yet are beyond all blame—for thou art the Goddess—

be with us here. As the holy labrys doth have two edges, so also, Lady, do we

know that two faces dost thou have—one as serene, lovely, and clear as thy silver

moon; the other dark and awesome, for thou art as all women.

The Priest salutes with his athame. If one is present who can play a reed-pipe or recorder, he

shall at this point play a very brief minor-key tone. As the Priestess sits on the south edge of the

altar; her arms out like the limbs of the moon, the Priest comes to kneel before her, saying:

Thou who art above all adored, know that thy worshippers do give thee obeisance; the

wise, the strong, the powerful, and the very princes of the world do give honor to thee.

 

(Sign of the pentacle)

 

The Priest gives her the sword, which she holds before her like a scepter. He kneels once

more and continues:

The Goddess is kind when it pleases her. Thou who art the day art also the night, and at

times thou dost require blood, and darkness, and strife among men for thy purpose.

 

(Sign of the pentacle)

 

The Priest stands back with the men at the edge of the Circle. The Priestess stands, puts

down the sword, and motions for the music to begin. The men stand quickly while the women

follow the Priestess five or more times sunwise about the Circle in a slow, graceful, and

stately dance. Those led by her suddenly turn widdershins and dance and whirl and shout

wildly back five times or more. Each woman returns to her man and stands arms akimbo, while

the Priestess throws a handful of the magical catalyst into the incense brazier. When the

sparks have ceased, she seats herself upon the altar once again, saying:

 

The life of a year is 13 moons, with every season round. The life of the King shall pass

 

likewise from birth unto the ground.

 

The Priestess signals for the music to begin again. The women laughingly watch the men dance

sunwise around the Circle, following the Priest. In the dance, the Priest chants each line (he may

be prompted by the Priestess) and the men repeat, shuffling and stepping in time with the music,

imitating in every manner—physical, mental, and astral—all creatures mentioned in the King’s

chant. They make one circle for each “change,” the mood being light and cheerful.

 

I am a stag—of seven tines—for strength.

I am a flood—across a plain—for extent.

I am a wind—on a deep lake—for depth.

I am a ray—of the sun—for purity.

I am a hawk—above the cliff—for cunning.

I am a bloom—among the flowers—for excellence.

I am a wizard—who but I brings forth the hilltop’s magic fire?

I am a spear—that roars for blood—in vengeance.

I am a salmon—in a pool—for swiftness.

I am a hill—where poets walk—for wisdom.

I am a boar—strong and red—for power and valor.

I am a breaker—threatening doom—for terror.

I am a sea-tide—that drags to death—for might.

All do sit as the Priest invokes:

Who but I knows the secret of the unhewn dolmen?

 

He throws a small handful of the magickal catalyst* into the

incense brazier and sits. If it is desired, all may drink wine and rest at this time.

The Priestess stands with arms outstretched and calls:

When the Queen calls, there is none who would not willingly come. For Her libation

must be made with love and with pain. And in the magickal chase there is no transformation

which can stay her brassarids.

 

The Priestess signals for the music to begin again. Women join in a circle at the center around

the altar, facing outwards. The men join in a circle near the outer edge, facing inwards. The

men and women, led by the Priest and Priestess, will chant and imitate in very manner—

physical, mental, and astral—the creatures of the chant as they dance sunwards. As the

women dance, the men will stop and watch them, and vice-versa.

 

All: Cunning and art he did not lack, but aye her whistle would fetch him back.

 

Men: Oh, I shall go into a hare, with sorrow and sighing and mickle care,

And I shall go in the Horned God’s name, aye, til I be fetchéd hame.

 

Women: Hare, take heed or a bitch greyhound will harry thee all these fells around,

For here come I in our Lady’s name, all but for to fetch thee hame.

 

All: Cunning and art he did not lack, but aye her whistle would fetch him back.

Men: Oh, I shall go into a trout, with sorrow and sighing and mickle doubt,

And show thee many a crooked game, ere that I be fetchéd hame.

 

Women: Trout, take heed or an otter lank will harry thee close from bank to bank,

For here come I in our Lady’s name, all but for to fetch thee hame.

 

All: Cunning and art he did not lack, but aye her whistle would fetch him back.

 

Men: Oh, I shall go into a bee, with mickle horror and dread of thee,

And flit to the hive in the Horned God’s name, ere that I be fetchéd hame.

 

Women: Bee, take heed or a swallow hen will harry thee close both butt and ben,

For here come I in our Lady’s name, all but for to fetch thee hame.

 

All: Cunning and art he did not lack, but aye her whistle would fetch him back.

 

Men: Oh, I shall go into a mouse, and haste me unto the miller’s house,

There in his corn to have good game, ere that I be fetchéd hame.

 

Women: Mouse, take heed of a white tib-cat that never was baulked of mouse or rat,

For I’ll crack thy bones in our Lady’s name, thus shalt thou be fetchéd hame.

 

All: Cunning and art he did not lack, but aye her whistle would fetch him back.

At the conclusion all drop to a position of rest while the Priest says:

As one generation doth pass and the next appear thereafter, so have thy people always

continued. Thou hast returned to us, oh Lady. Return, we do ask, to the world outside to

bring back again the ancient ecstasy of joy and terror and beauty most sublime.

 

He salutes with his athame as the Priestess calls:

 

Achaifa, Ossa, Ourania, Hesachia, Tachema.

She throws a small handful of the magical catalyst* into the incense brazier and salutes with

her athame. The rite is ended.

Finally, the Great Circle shall be opened.

 

(*Magical Catalyst: Mix less than an ounce of saltpeter with an equal amount of chamomile

and powdered incense. Mix well, and place in a bowl at the base of the altar.)

 

Female: The Moon is full and rising

Making the meadow bright

And we maidens leap the circle ‘round

Clad in the moon’s soft light

A whisper in the meadow as

We wend through oak and corn

In fire the Oak King dies tonight

The Holly King is born

 

Male: The priests have entered the Giant’s

Dance

Of standing stone and spire

And in the dancing night we’ve seen

Fair Arianrhod’s tower

While in the fields the maidens feel

Their skin against the corn

In fire the Oak King dies tonight

The Holly King is born

 

 

* from “Creating Circles and Ceremonies” by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart & Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart

 

5
Jun

Beltaine Ritual for 2012–Posted a bit a late

   Posted by: Scrivener

I’m still running behind on my postings. What can I say? Sometimes, despite our intentions and magickal workings, life and the universe just get in the way of doing what we set out to do earlier. You know what they say, if you want to hear the Gods laugh tell them your plans. I know that’s an old one borrowed from our Christian compatriots. Anyway below is the link to view and download the ritual.

 

2012 – Beltaine

2
Aug

Happy Lughnasadh

   Posted by: Scrivener

In honor of Lughnasadh and the recent Black Moon, I’ve posted the custom ritual we, performed last night.

 

 


 

Circle of the Dark Moon Coven

Circle of the Dark Moon Coven

 

Black Moon / Lughnasadh Ritual

Black Moon / Lughnasadh Ritual

 

July 31, 2011

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

You will need these items:

 

General items

  • Altar facing East.
  • Bell
  • Incense (dragon’s blood, galangal, or any incense good for expanding psychic abilities)
  • Ritual cake (dark bread)
  • Honey
  • Wine or Ale (dark ale or red wine)
  • God/Goddess candles
  • Black Crone Goddess Candle
  • 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

    Ritual specific items

  • A black candle for the Dark Aspect of the Goddess
  • Incense Mix
  • 1 pt. Mugwort
  • 1 pt. Yarrow
  • 1 pt. Copal Negro
  • 1 pt. Galangal
  • A Cauldron
  • A black “Nocturnal Candle”
  • A Scrying Mirror (you may substitute a black, glassy plate


     

    Cleansing Sacred Space

     

    (Maiden sweeps—with circular widdershins motions—widdershins about the ritual area. When she is satisfied that enough negativity has been removed she sets the besom aside.

    Next, she lights the black crone/resolutions candle.

    Finally, the maiden checks the layout of the altar making sure that the black candle is at least near the cauldron.

     

    Except for the above mentioned exceptions, the maiden ensures that the altar should be divided between male objects on the right—God candle, censer, salt dish, HP’s athame/sword/wand, and besom— and female objects on the left—Goddess candle, cauldron, bowl of water, chalice, libation plate (if used), bell, and the HPS’ athame/wand/sword. The pentacle should be placed forward and between the Goddess and God candles.

     

    The maiden also ensures that the chalice is filled and the ‘cakes’ are on the plate. When these tasks are completed she assists the HPS in any other way deemed necessary. )

     

    Call to the Circle

     

    HPS:(Rings bell to call everyone to the circle.)

     

    HPS: This time is not a time; this place is not a place; today is not a day; and this night is not a night. I stand at the threshold between the worlds. I stand ready to part the veil of mysteries may the Ancient Ones help and protect us on this mighty journey.

     

    Blessed be.

     

    Coveners: So mote it be.


     

     

     

    The Challenge and Entry into Sacred Space

     

    HPS: (Challenges each covener by pointing her athame against their breast)

     

    Better you should run thyself through on mine blade than to enter here with malignity or fear in your heart. What say you? How dost thou come here?

     

    Covener: In perfect love and perfect trust.

     

    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.)

     


     

    Consecration of the Elements

     

    Charge at the Pentacle

     

    (HP and HP kneel before the altar. The HP is on the right. Both of them place their projective hands upon the pentacle. After a moment, they rise.)

     

    Blessing the Salt

     

    HPS:
    (places dish of salt upon the pentacle)


    HPS: I consecrate thee O creature of salt from the Earth,

    magickal aid, and seasoning for the black cauldron upon 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—dark bubbles in the cauldron of rebirth—life giving, whether swiftly flowing or 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—blow forth the imagination to dare.

     

    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—force of Magick’s pyre.

    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.)


     

    Circle Casting

     

    By Earth

     

    (HP holds the scabbard while the HPS draws the sword. HPS and HP proceed around the circle. While walking about the circle, HPS holds sword pointed at the perimeter. )

     

    HPS: I conjure thee, O Circle of Power,

    To be a meeting place of love, joy and truth.

    A boundary between the worlds of men and the Realms of the Mighty Ones.

     

    A rampart and Protection against all wickedness, That shall both contain and entertain the powers that shall be raised within.

     

    Wherefore do I consecrate thee in the name of Lugh and Hecate.

     


     

    Strengthening the Circle

     

    By Water

     

    (Sprinkles the salt and water mixture around the circle)

     

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

    Protect us from wickedness and make our magick sound.

     

     

    By Air

     

    (Takes incense around circle)

     

    Witch 2: Into the night sky, incense smoke, roil,

    rise, and writhe,

    Sunder us from the mundane like a scythe.

     

    By Fire

     

    (Takes candle around circle)

     

    Witch 3: Fire, shine true and bright,

    Aid, grant clarity of sight,

    Mayest the Gods be with us this night.

     


     

    Calling the Quarters

     

    East: Hail, guardians of the East: Sylphs of the Airs.

    High above in your cloud mansions of the atmosphere,

    your winds whisper of the imagination to dare.

    Come to this circle tonight, to witness and protect our Lughnasadh rite.


     

    (Draw the invoking pentagram of Air)

     


     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South: Hail, guardians of the South: salamanders of Fire,

    From your lava pools and realms of fire,

    you ignite within us our desire.

    Come to this circle on tonight, to witness and protect our Lughnasadh rite.

     


     

    (Draw the invoking pentagram of Fire)

     


    West: Hail, guardians of the West: Undines of the Waters.

    Shallow and deep, your tides ebb and flow;

    From stream to ocean, you hold depths of emotion, and mysteries to know.

    Come to this circle tonight, to witness and protect our Lughnasadh rite.

     


    (Draw the invoking pentagram of Water)

     


    North Hail, guardians of the North: Gnomes of the Earth.

    Keeping silent beneath mountains you materialize stone into fantastic works.

    Come to this circle tonight, to witness and protect our Lughnasadh rite.

     

    (Draw the invoking pentagram of Earth)

     


     

     

     

     

     

     

    (HPS & HP move to the altar)

     


     

    Drawing Down the Black Moon

     

    HPS: Oh Lady of the dark moon, crone, wise-woman, lady of knowledge
    Impart to me your wisdom, teach me your secrets
    deep in the womb of the Goddess
    lies the spark of life, and the seed of knowledge.

    Your face is veiled, but not turned from me
    hidden , but not withheld, I am your priestess, be one with me
    Answer my desire, teach me
    Lend me your sight empower me.

    Oh lady of the dark moon
    wise-woman, destroyer, creatrix, tear away the veil before my eyes
    wash away my jaded ideas and prejudices
    purify my intentions, show me the true path.
    My mind is open, my soul is pure, blow away the clouds of fear and inhibition

    I am your priestess, reside in me,
    show me your desire, teach me
    lend me your sight, empower me.

    Protector of witches, within the darkness you are the light.
    At the crossroads, I await thee; please heed my call.
    O Hecate, be with me on this dark moon night.

    Where the veil is thinnest, new beginnings begun, and banishments done,
    you teach us the mysteries on the dark moon night.
    Mistress of all sorceries, to those brave enough, you grant the sight.
    O Hecate, please come unto me; grant me your wisdom’s might.

    (HP stands before the HPS while she makes the invoking pentagram of Earth)

     

    HPS: Of the Mother Darksome and divine

    Mine the scourge, and mine the kiss;

    The five-point star of love and bliss—

    Here I charge you in this sign.

     

    (HPS lights the Goddess Candle Candle)



     

    The Charge of the Dark Goddess

     

    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, Brighid and by many other names too numerous to name.

     

    HPS: Hear me child, and know Me for who I am. I have been with you since you were born, and I will stay with you until you return to Me at the final dusk.

    I am the passionate and seductive lover who inspires the poet to dream. I am the One who calls to you at the end of your journey. After the day is done, My children find their blessed rest in my embrace.

    I am the womb from which all things are born.

    I am the shadowy, still tomb; all things must come to Me and bare their breasts to die and be reborn to the Whole.

    I am the Sorceress that will not be ruled, the Weaver of Time, the Teacher of Mysteries. I snip the threads that bring my children home to me. I slit the throats of the cruel and drink the blood of the heartless. Swallow your fear and come to me, and you will discover true beauty, strength, and courage.

    I am the fury which rips the flesh from injustice.

    I am the glowing forge that transforms your inner demons into tools of power. Open yourself to my embrace and overcome.

    I am the glinting sword that protects you from harm.

    I am the crucible in which all the aspects of yourself merge together in a rainbow of union.

    I am the velvet depths of the night sky, the swirling mists of midnight, shrouded in mystery.

    I am the chrysalis in which you will face that which terrifies you and from which you will blossom forth, vibrant and renewed. Seek me at the crossroads, and you shall be transformed, for once you look upon my face, there is no return.

    I am the fire that kisses the shackles away.
    I am the cauldron in which all opposites grow to know each other in Truth.
    I am the web which connects all things.

    I am the Healer of all wounds, the Warrior who rights all wrongs in their Time. I make the weak strong. I make the arrogant humble. I raise up the oppressed and empower the disenfranchised. I am Justice tempered with Mercy.

    Most importantly, child, I am you. I am part of you, and I am within you. Seek me within and without, and you will be strong. Know me. Venture into the dark so that you may awaken to Balance, Illumination, and Wholeness. Take my Love with you everywhere and find the Power within to be who you wish.

    HP: Listen to the words of the Star Goddess; she in the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven and whose body encircles the universe.

    HPS: I, Who am the beauty of the green earth, and the white moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the desire of the heart of man, calls unto thy soul. Arise, and come unto Me. For I am the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe.

    From Me all things proceed, and unto Me all things must return; and before My face, beloved of gods and feared of men, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite. Let My worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals. Therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And thou who thinkest to seek Me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knowest the mystery; that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, then thou wilt never find it without thee. For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that mystery that is attained at the end of desire.


     

    Drawing Down the Sun

     

    Invocation to the Dark God

     

    HP: I invoke thee and call upon thee, Father of us all, Lugh, the Longhand, master not of one art but of them all.

     

    To men lost in the dark you provide you provide succor and light.

    At the crossroads of Worlds, I await thee; please heed my call.

     

    O Lugh, be with me on this your night.

     

    Where the veil is thinnest, new beginnings begun, and bindings and banishments done,

    you teach us the mysteries and how all are connected as though one.

     

    Master of the wild hunt upon moonlit night, for those brave enough you banish sleep and grant the sight.

     

    O Lugh please come unto me this Lughnasadh ritual night and grant me your wisdom’s might.

     

    (HPS: stands before the HP)

     

    HP: (draws invoking pentagram before the HPS)

     

    HP: I am the stag of seven tines,

    Lord of the Underworld, darksome, and divine,

    Mine is the realm of shadow sublime.

    Mine is the scourge and mine is the kiss;

    The five-point star of love and bliss-

    Here I charge you, in this sign.

     

    (HPS: stands aside)

     

    (HP lights the God candle)

     


     

    Charge of the Dark God

     

    (HP assumes the Osiris position with his back to the coven.)

     

    HPS: Listen to the words of the Dark God, who was of old called Donn,

    Anubis, Hades by many

    other names:

     

    HP : I am the shadow in the bright day, I am the reminder of mortality at the height of living.

     

    I am the never ending veil of Night where the Star Goddess dances.

    I am the Death that must be so that Life may continue, for behold, Life is immortal because the living must die.

     

    I am the strength that protects, that limits; I am the power that says No, and NO further, and That Is Enough. I am the things that cannot be spoken of, and I am the laughter at the edge of Death.

    I am a stag: of seven tines,
    I am a flood: across a plain,
    I am a wind: on a deep lake,
    I am a tear: the Sun lets fall,
    I am a hawk: above the cliff,
    I am a thorn: beneath the nail,
    I am a wonder: among flowers,
    I am a wizard: who but I
    Sets the cool head aflame with smoke?

    I am a spear: that roars for blood,
    I am a salmon: in a pool,
    I am a lure: from paradise,
    I am a hill: where poets walk,
    I am a boar: ruthless and red,
    I am a breaker: threatening doom,
    I am a tide: that drags to death,
    I am an infant: who but I
    Peeps from the unhewn dolmen, arch?

    I am the womb: of every holt,
    I am the blaze: on every hill,
    I am the queen: of every hive,
    I am the shield: for every head,
    I am the tomb: of every hope.

    Come with me into the warm enfolding dark; feel my caresses in the hands, in the mouth, in the body of one you love, and be transformed.

    Gather in the moonless night and speak in unknown tongues; the Dark Mother and I will listen. Sing to us and cry out, and the Power will be yours to wield.

    Blow me a kiss when the sky is dark, and I will smile, but no kiss return, for my kiss is the final one for all mortal flesh.

     

    HPS & HP: Akhera goti—akhera beiti

     


     

    Statement of Purpose

     

    Tonight the Circle of the Dark Moon gathers to honor the Lady and Lord in celebration of Lughnasadh.

     


     

    Power Raising – The Wytches’ Creed

     

    ALL: Hear now the words of the witches,

    The secrets we hid in the night,

    When dark was our destiny’s pathway,

    That now we bring forth into light.

     

    Mysterious water and fire,

    The earth and the wide-ranging air,

    By hidden quintessence we know them,

    And will and keep silent and dare.

     

    The birth and rebirth of all nature,

    The passing of winter and spring,

    We share with the life universal,

    Rejoice in the magickal ring.

     

    Four times in the year the Great Sabbat

    Returns, and the witches are seen

    At Lammas and Candlemas dancing,

    On May Eve and old Hallowe’en.

     

    When day-time and night-time are equal,

    When sun is at greatest and least,

    The four Lesser Sabbats are summoned,

    And Witches gather in feast.

     

    Thirteen silver moons in a year are,

    Thirteen is the coven’s array.

    Thirteen times at Esbat make merry,

    For each golden year and a day.

     

    The power that was passed down the age,

    Each time between woman and man,

    Each century unto the other,

    Ere time and the ages began.

     

    When drawn is the magickal circle,

    By sword or athame of power,

    Its compass between two worlds lies,

    In land of the shades for that hour.

     

    This world has no right then to know it,

    And world of beyond will tell naught.

    The oldest of Gods are invoked there,

    The Great Work of magick is wrought.

     

    For the two are mystical pillars,

    That stand at the gate of the shrine,

    And two are the powers of nature,

    The forms and the forces divine.

     

    The dark and the light in succession,

    The opposites each unto each,

    Shown forth as a God and a Goddess:

    Of this our ancestors teach.

     

    By night he’s the wild winds rider,

    The Horn’d One, the Lord of the Shades.

    By day he’s the King of the Woodland,

    The dweller in green forest glades.

     

    She is youthful or old as she pleases,

    She sails the torn clouds in her barque,

    The bright silver lady of midnight,

    The crone who weaves spells in the dark.

     

    The master and mistress of magick,

    That dwell in the deeps of the mind,

    Immortal and ever-renewing,

    With power to free or to bind.

     

    So drink the good wine to the Old Gods,

    And Dance and make love in their praise,

    Till Elphame’s fair land shall receive us

    In peace at the end of our days.

     

    And Do What You Will be the challenge,

    So be it Love that harms none,

    For this is the only commandment.

    By Magick of old, be it done!

     

     


     

    Main Working

     

    HPS/HP: (Begins by drawing four (4) tarot cards for the Dark of the Moon Spread )


    Card #1: What can’t I see in the darkness?

    Card #2: What must I pierce through?
    Card #3: Give me a glimmer of light
    Card #4: Where should I place my next step?

     

    HPS: (Invites the coveners to pass the cards—deosil—and take a plate. While the coveners take their places she tells them to meditate upon the meaning of the cards)

     

    Maiden: (Makes sure everyone has a dark scrying Mirror—i.e black plate)

     

    HPS: (removes the night candle from the cauldron)

     

    HPS: As the darkness from the light,

    Feel how dark crowds the circle of the light,

    Call it to yourself and touch the ether of the night.

     

    HPS: (Walks deosil three times around the circle and instructs the coveners while she

    walks)


    HPS: Visualize how the darkness presses against the edge of the sacred space, which

    now stands between the worlds. The energy generated within the sphere of power has drawn the attention of some beings that inhabit the dark spaces between realms.

     

    HPS: (lights the nocturnal candle and holds it aloft)


    HPS: Into this candle, I draw the power of night.

    Behold the tangible ether of the night,

    In the dark, aid grant clarity of psychic sight


    Dark within the light holds all possibilities.

    This candle, dark and bright, manifests my needs.

    This is my will; this is my spell; so mote it be.

     

    HPS: (further instructs the coveners to turn and face outward to the circle, and then sit

    or stand as is their pleasure. She instructs the maiden to kill the lights.)


    HPS: You will now make the invoking pentagram (Earth.) The scrying mirror will serve

    as a portal and a shield. You control the amount of dark energy you let manifest in the scrying mirror. Enter now a meditative state and gaze (not stare) just beyond the black of the mirror.


    What do you see? Are you receiving pictures or visions? On the other hand,

    perhaps some astral being is gazing back at you. They are curious about you. In

    your mind, talk to them. Ask from them a boon—if you dare. However, do not try to pull the dark ether, or the energy of these beings into yourself. Only feel the energy, and see the visions within the mirror, using your scrying mirror to

    regulate the energy flow.

     

    If you asked for a boon, see it being fulfilled. See yourself already having whatever it is you’re about to ask for (but do not imagine any steps that may result in having your need fulfilled.) Try to imagine for a moment that the flame of the candle is sending out both the absorbed essence of night and the charge that you put into the candle. But don’t think of your need at this point, or any more this evening, in fact.

     

    HPS: (Allows the meditation to continue as long she feels it needs to. When she’s ready, the HPS gives the coveners their final instructions)

     

    HPS: The meditation is ended; release the dark energies and bid the astral entities

    farewell. Tell them as you came in peace so must they now go in peace back to

    their realms.

     

    (The HPS instructs the maiden to turn up the lights and takes the nocturnal

    candle and walks widdershins three times around around the circle to close the

    working.)

     

     

    Consecration of the Wine and Cakes (Symbolic Great Rite)

     

    The Great Rite (Symbolic)

    HP: For in the Days of Old, the Body of Woman was the altar.
    Come, let us all share the loving cup of the God and the Goddess

    (HP holds the blade aloft)

    Blade of my heart and my intent
    Help us all to remember
    That what is given is received back threefold
    Help us all to remember
    To receive as graciously as we give.

     

    HPS: For in the days of Old, the body of Man was the power
    Come, let us share the loving cup of the Goddess and the God.

    (She holds the chalice aloft)

    Chalice of my heart and my intent
    Help us all to remember
    That what is received must be given back three times
    Help us all to remember
    To give as graciously as we receive

    HPS: You are the spear of Lugh,

     

    HPS: And, thou art the Grail of the Moon.

     

    HPS/HP: And the two conjoined as one in truth.

     

     

    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 goes to the table holding the food and touches each plate in turn)

     

    HPS: This food is the blessings of the Gods to our bodies. Let us partake of it freely. Moreover, as we share, let us remember always to see to it that aught that we have we share with those who have nothing.

     


     

    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 Lughnasadh night,
    
    We gathered, to celebrate the first harvest in summer's on this Black Moon 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.
    							

     

     (Extinguishes the Goddess candle)
    						

     

    Release of the God

     

    HP: (Assumes the Osiris position)

     

    Thou art the Stag of Seven tines.

    He who’s power is wide as the flood on a plain.

    Your wisdom stretches like a hawk across the sky.

    Who but you with smoke sets our heads afire?

    You taught us the secrets of the unhewn dolmen.

    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.

     


     

    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, guardians of the North, Gnomes of the Earth.

    On this later summer, we thank you for witnessing and protecting our Lughnasadh 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, guardians of the West, Undines of the Waters.

    On this late summer, we thank
    you for witnessing and protecting our Lughnasadh 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, guardians of the South, Salamanders of Fire,

    On this late summer, we thank you for witnessing and protecting our Lughnasadh 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, guardians of the East, Sylphs of the Airs,

    On this late summer night, we thank you for witnessing and protecting our Lughnasadh 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)

     

     


     

    Grounding 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 doesil it should be undone in a widdershins direction.

     

    An Athame or sword may be used; but I prefer the sword for reasons you shall see later. Assuming it was the HPS who cast the circle, we’ll let her undo it.)

     

    (HP holds the scabbard while the HPS draws the sword. HPS and HP proceed around the circle. While walking about the circle, HPS holds sword pointed at the perimeter.)

     

    HPS: O Circle of Power, as I have conjured thee I now release thy 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.

     

    (When three widdershins circuits have been completed, the HP remains at the altar while the HPS walks to the center of the circle and grounds the sword—this is why I said that I prefer using a sword.)

     

    HPS: This energy I return unto Mother Earth. May it help heal her hurts in some small fashion.

     

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

     

    HPS:          The circle is open but remains unbroken. Brothers and sisters, we are children of the Lord and Lady. May they always live within our hearts, our magick, and our lives. Merry did we meet, and merry do we part. Merry may we meet again.
    

     

    Blessed be.
    

     

    Coveners:      Blessed be.

 

Download this ritual here

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)

 

15
May

Witch Bottles

   Posted by: Scrivener

Witch-bottles are probably quite familiar to many Pagans, at least as a concept. Witch-bottle isn’t a poor little Witch in a bottle, or hold something Witches drink in their gatherings. They are more akin to a “bottled spell”. The tradition originates from British folklore, traveling with British immigrants to the Americas, if not further. Many modern Pagans have included Witch-bottles in their collection of spells, widening and diversifying this old tradition – and making it more comparable with their personal ethics.

A Bit on the History of Witch-bottles

The history of Witch-bottles goes back hundreds of years. The origins of this tradition has been dated to the 1500’s. They were used most actively for a couple of hundred years. This is the same time when the Witch-hunts were going on. After this period, the tradition slowly waned. The last historical Witch-bottle was found in a cabin built in mid 19th century, in Pershore, Worcestershire (UK).

The actual bottle of a traditional Witch-bottle during the 16th and 17th century was a German stone bottle called “bartmann” or “bellermine” bottle. Similar bottles of stone material were manufactured in Holland and Belgium. The technique wasn’t mastered in England before the 1660’s and bartmann bottle manufacturing was rare in Britain.

The bottle got its name from a cardinal called Bellarmino only after the Witch-bottle tradition had already begun. These bottles had a round belly and they were decorated with a facial image of a grim looking bearded man and a medallion of stylized floral or natural imagery.

Even though these bottles were being manufactured actively in Germany long before the time of Bellarmino – who was against the Reformation – these bottles were given their familiar name as a satirical comment on the Cardinal. His bearded figure resembled the typical bearded man depicted on these bottles.[1] Later on, the bearded image was taken to represent the Devil, which suited well for Witch-bottles, after all — witches were considered as people allied with the Devil.

Glass bottles were also used, but according to my sources they were never as popular as Witch-bottles as were the bartmann ones.

Old Witch-bottles contained things like bent iron nails, human hair (head hair and pubic hair) and urine. Urine as an important ingredient of a Witch-bottle has been long known in folk traditions, but actual findings with the bottle still containing urine have been rare. However, all of the Witch-bottles found in England which were tested for urine, did prove positive. Other traditional items contained in Witch-bottles include small bones, thorns, needles, pieces of wood and in some cases heart-shaped pieces of cloth.

The bottles were most often found buried under the fireplace. Other sites include under the floor, buried in the ground there, and plastered inside walls. The fireplace is, from a magical point of view, a security risk as it has a straight connection with the open skies above. It was believed that the curse of a Witch or even a Witch herself in a shape-shifted form could get into a house through the fireplace. Another security risk was the doorway, as doors are opened and closed several times throughout the day. In addition to the fireplace, the bottles were often hidden near the doorway.

On the Original Uses

The most active period of Witch-bottle usage and the Witch-hunts don’t coincide by accident. The fear of Witches produced ways of protecting oneself against them during times when slightest misfortune was easily interpreted as being caused by a curse put on one or another member of the family. From the point of view of a present day Witch, the original purpose for building a Witch-bottle wasn’t that pleasant: they were intended to keep Witches and Witches’ curses away. The contents of a Witch-bottle was designed to not only divert an attacking Witch, but also to cause her to suffer the agonies brought on by all the nasty things inside the bottle. To put it simply: to turn the curse back to the curser.

The urine in the bottle symbolizes the target of the curse. The curser and the target of the curse were believed to have a strong connection and the curse was believed to target not only its intended victim, but also the bodily fluids of the target. When the bottle was placed in a way that made it easier for the curse to meet with the urine (in the Witch-bottle) before the actual target, the curse hit the bottle and not its intended victim. This is why the bottles were usually hidden where they were. The importance of pubic hair and hair was similar to that of the urine.

Witch-bottles are very much a part of age-old traditions of sympathetic magic with its intentions of causing pain for the Witch with the contents of the Witch-bottle. According to folk beliefs, the use of Witch-bottles sometimes brought the Witch herself, writhing in agony, knocking on the door – begging for somebody to break the Witch-bottle and promising to reverse the curse.

The Witch-bottle was believed to be active as long as the bottle remained hidden and unbroken. People did go though a lot of trouble in hiding their Witch-bottles. Those buried underneath fireplaces have been found only after the rest of the building has been torn down or otherwise disappeared.

Modern-Witch-Bottles

Very generally speaking, the modern day Witch-bottles are very similar to historical Witch-bottles in their basic structure, even though their intended purpose has changed. The most common purpose for constructing a Witch-bottle today is capturing negative energies targeted at the constructor of the bottle, her family or her home. Even though some bottles are “mirroring” in nature, they aren’t normally built to cause agony to the sender of negative energy/caster of curses. Some Witch-bottles are intended to change negative energy into positive one and then release it into the surrounding area. This kind of bottles could be classified as “guard and protect”-bottles.

The basic structure of Witch-bottles can be used for purposes other than protective: for financial gain, for helping with artistic creativity, to call forth positive energy (instead of “just filtering out negative energy”), for improving health, etc.

One could say that the basic principle is the following: practically speaking, a Witch-bottle is a container of some sort, usually a jar or a bottle, which is filled with objects and often also liquids which fill a given magickal purpose. The person making the Witch-bottle, or in other words, the one casting the bottled spell, can charge the objects magickally beforehand and build the bottle to work on this charging until the need of renewing the spell arises. Witch-bottles can also be built to recharge themselves by the energy they ‘capture’ for as long as the bottle stays unbroken, whether it be years or centuries.

Instead of magickally charging the items, one can build a bottle whose the powers are based on its contents, but cumulatively so, resulting with powers stronger than the sum of its parts. Also this version can be designed to be seasonal or “one time lasts a life time”.

What Do Modern Witch-Bottles Contain?

The typical contents of the basic protective Witch-bottle today is quite similar to that of the traditional one: bent iron nails (some say they are better if old and rusty while others say clean and unused are best), thorns, rusty razor blades, broken glass or pieces of broken mirror (some say breaking a mirror for Witch-bottle use causes bad luck, others claim that breaking a mirror for this particular use will not cause bad luck except for people sending negative energies to the bottle builder), or other sharp and dangerous “nasties”, urine of the bottle’s builder, often also menstrual or other blood. One could use semen as the masculine counterpart for menstrual blood. The bottle is often a common tight-lidded glass jar, or a bottle with a rather wide mouth.

Other types of Witch-bottles may contain sand or different colored sands, crystals, stones, knotted threads, herbs, spices, resin, flowers, candles (no, you won’t burn them inside the bottle), incense (you won’t burn it either), votive candles, salt, vinegar, oil, coins, saw dust, ashes etc etc. Actually, everything used in “normal spells” can be used in this bottled version of a spell, the Witch-bottle.

Additional materials include candles and/or wax to seal the bottle/jar with. The rest of the materials depend on the ritual in question (if any) and the religion of the builder of the bottle.

On the Hiding Place

A Pagan living in their own house may be able to hide the Witch-bottle in the traditional way under the fireplace, under the floor, or in the walls. However, it is more common to bury the bottle in the yard in a place where nobody will accidentally break it while digging in the garden. One such place is behind stones under the stairs. For a Pagan living in a terraced house burying the bottle in the garden should work well – as long as you are careful not to attract too much attention to yourself while burying an odd object (the bottle) during the correct phase of the Moon, at night, with just candle light, wearing suspicious looking ritual garments.

Apartments can be a difficult place to live in when you’re trying to find somewhere to hide a Witch-bottle. Or, at least it may seem like that! Digging a hole and burying the bottle in the yard may be not only difficult, but also quite likely not allowed. Nosy kids can dig the bottle up and hurt themselves on the contents. Not to mention that in the right (or wrong, to be more precise) neighborhood could cause lots of trouble for the Pagan attempting to hide a bottle in the yard.

However, the situation is not that impossible! The bottle doesn’t need to be situated near the home in order for it to work. If you are constructing a bottle intended to be a personal safety guard, it can be buried in a forest or sunk in a swamp. With a Witch-bottle designed to guard a given home and those living in it, you can use a large flowerpot by the front door or on the windowsill to bury the bottle in to. In this case, the bottle should be small enough to fit in the flowerpot – with the plant!

Another idea I’ve heard is putting the Witch-bottle into a closet next to the front door, where it could easily do its job as a guardian and protector of the home and its inhabitants. However, this solution might cause some trouble if the same thing that happened to one Pagan happens to you: the Witch-bottle she kept in her closet worked very well – until it one day literally blew up. The bottle was of the very traditional type, so cleaning up after this wasn’t that pleasant, as you can well imagine! While refining the idea further, we ended up putting the bottle in a covered bucket filled with soil and then putting the bottle inside the bucket in the closet.

For a Pagan still “in the closet” or living in something like student housing with a room mate these ideas may not be that usable. There’s still no need to panic, as Witch-bottles can be made in miniature size, too. One witch working with test tubes in her professional life worked out recycling methods for test tubes as miniature Witch-bottles small enough to fit in the flowerpots on her windowsill. If you want to use test tubes, make sure you can close them tightly. There are also miniature bottles and jars available at various gift shops which can be used as well.

It should be noted that not all Witch-bottles are designed to be hidden away. Some are intended to be left out in the open, for example on the windowsill, on your altar or on your (work) desk.

Some Instructions

The next part contains some instructions for making Witch-bottles. I won’t be including any particular instructions for rituals. First, because the exact rituals used depend on the religion of the person crafting the Witch-bottle and rituals aren’t even always necessary. One doesn’t even have Pagan religious inclinations for constructing a Witch-bottle. One of the persons who has made a Witch-bottle with my instructions is completely unaffiliated religiously, doesn’t consider himself a Pagan, and is more or less an Atheist. He is, nevertheless, very happy with the results. Second, planning the ritual (if one decides to have one) can be considered an important part of constructing a Witch-bottle. As important as planning and gathering the objects used. Third, if you are using a pre-made ritual, you can easily end up repeating somebody else’s words and copying somebody else’s motions, without proper emotions. Finally, modifying things to suit you better is in this context not only allowed, it’s recommended!

Basic Bottle for a Modern Witch

This is the tried and tested basic Witch-bottle, suitable also for modern day Pagans. The bottle is intended to be one that protects its maker, often also the maker’s home and family, from negative energies. Depending on how the bottle is made and on the maker’s Will, the bottle can be one that gathers the negative energies in itself (capturing), one that sends the energies back to where they came from (mirroring) or one that changes negative energy into positive (transforming). I would say, however, that this traditional Witch-bottle isn’t the best suited one for the last option.

Materials

  • Glass, earthenware or stone bottle or jar, with a tightly closing cap. Size depending on how big you can easily hide. Size doesn’t matter that much, so be reasonable.
  • Protective gloves for handling items you’ll be putting in the bottle. A Witch-bottle won’t help you much if you manage to get a blood poisoning while constructing one.
  • Wax or candles to seal the bottle. Black is a good choice.
  • Another jar for “potty” if you don’t have one. Aiming isn’t that easy, especially if you’re trying to hit something like a Witch-bottle. So, you’ll need something to pee into – and of course you’ll need your urine.
  • All kinds of “nasties”: Nails, rusty and bent (you can bend them yourself, too). Pieces of barbed wire, thorns, burrs, pieces of glass and/or mirror, needles etc.
  • Some things to choose from: Menstrual blood (if you are female) or semen (of you are male). You can drain menstrual blood from your menstrual pads or tampons, in order to get semen. Well, you do know how to get it. Word of advice, though – if you are using sex magick as a part of your Witch-bottle building ritual, do try to remember that you were supposed to collect some of the semen to use in the bottle. It’s not that easy to collect it out of your partner, you know. Other blood – get a sterile needle from the pharmacist and remember to buy some band-aids as well. You can also add your pubic or other hair to represent yourself. An egg can also be included.
  • Bandages should be readily available, in the case something happens. A lot of the stuff you’re putting into the bottle is sharp.

Preliminary preparations

Gather all the necessary items, your bodily fluids being the very last ones as you don’t want to store them even for a day. You can collect other items intended for a Witch-bottle over a long period of time, storing them until you have all the necessary items and enough of them. Items found on the ground suit the purpose well. Cut metal items into smaller pieces if necessary so that they fit into the bottle you’ve chosen. If you’re using a very small bottle, remember that will need only a very very small number of each item or alternatively small items (broken needles, tiny nails etc).

Choose a date to suit your magickal workings best and plan your ritual, if these things are important for you. Waning moon is often considered a suitable time for building a Witch-bottle. The ritual can consist of just the visualization of the bottle’s intended use.

You can use the following to help with your visualization:

Your bodily fluids are intended to symbolize yourself, they are part of your essence and are traditionally used in magick. Instead of having the negative energies hitting you, they hit your “representative” in the Witch-bottle, the part of your essence.

For a capturing bottle: The “nasties” inside the bottle are intended to capture the negative energies – the metal captures them, the glass confuses and cuts them, the thorns puncture them and iron (and egg) dissolve them. You can visualize the negative energies drowning in the urine. If you are building a mirroring bottle, visualize the glass and mirror mirroring the negative energy back to its sender or to grounding it to earth. For a transforming bottle you can use colored glass and visualize the negative energy transforming into positive one before continuing on its journey forward to benefit you, your home or the universe.

Choose the place to hide your Witch-bottle before you make it. Be sure you have all the necessary equipment like a shovel. By the time the bottle is finished, it’s too late to start pondering “but where will I put this thing?” If you are going to bury the bottle in the ground, choose the place so that people or animals will not dig it up.

The Actual Making of the Bottle

Have all the necessary equipment and items at hand in a place you consider best suitable for the task, at a time most suitable for you. Cast a circle, if you feel one necessary. You can build the bottle and have your ritual at the site of where you will hide it or do everything else in one place and then take the ready bottle elsewhere to be buried.

Fill the bottle with items you’ve chosen until they form a disgusting mixture. Shake the bottle to mix the items, if necessary. If you are including an egg, don’t break it and add it as the last of the solid items. Remember to leave enough room for it as well.

After this, add urine, menstrual blood or semen, or prick your finger with the sterile lancet and add as the very last thing a few drops of your blood. You won’t need large amounts, blood and semen are considered potent, so few drops will do.

Close the cap or lid and seal the bottle. You can carve symbols of your choice (for example runes, a sigil), being careful not to break the seal. If this happens, remove the wax and start the sealing process again.

If you are going to go to another place to hide the bottle, clean up after yourself especially if there is any chance that somebody else will get to the place where you were building your bottle before you come back from hiding it! If you did cast a circle before starting, take it down. Remember to ground yourself (if you are creating the bottle at the place where you’re hiding it, you can do this afterwards).

Travel to the hiding place and hide your Witch-bottle in a suitable manner. Banishing words suit the situation well and if you don’t know how or don’t want to use traditional banishing spells or something similar, you can even swear like a drunken sailor! You can bury the bottle upside down, putting more nasties in the hole you buried around the bottle before covering it all up. If you are hiding the bottle somewhere inside your home, hide it the right way up.

Wiccan Version

The Wiccan versions of the Witch-bottle which follow are more suitable for the Wiccan view of the world, magick and ethics. They are often intended to capture the negative energies or prevent it from ever arriving and – what’s important – prevent it to harm the home and its inhabitants. Many of these Wiccan versions are very much like the basic bottle described above, so it isn’t necessary to repeat everything over. However, you can use wine, (apple) vinegar or blessed (salted) water instead or in addition to urine. The nails used may be new, etc.

Many Wiccan Witch-bottles use herbs, with the herbs being chosen according to their magickal qualities. There are sometimes very specific instructions given for the gathering of each herb and other items, including correct phases of the Moon. The herbs and other objects may be put in the bottle the previous day, letting the bottle stand by the witch’s bed over the night. In the morning, you can add (morning) urine to the bottle, after which the bottle is closed and sealed utilizing Wiccan rituals. Some instructions state that the bottle will be placed in a cupboard or closet, so you don’t necessarily have to carefully hide it.

The following instructions are a basic version of a Wiccan version of the Witch-bottle, using herbs. You can do everything using a longer/more complex or a shorter/simpler route, depending on your own inclinations. You can for example start collecting the necessary items on a given phase of the moon (for example on the day before New Moon) and perform the ritual on the next Dark Moon. Or, you can collect the items when you have time for it and build the bottle at any phase of the moon (with protective spells, you don’t always have to wait for the right phase of the moon – you do it when you have to). You can utter a suitable spell with every item added to the bottle, summoning the spirit of the item/accessory and meditate for a while – or you can speak your chosen words after the bottle is filled. You can make the bottle as part of a ritual, or you can construct a ritual especially for this occasion. One reason why I’m being so vague with the instructions is that I’m not Wiccan myself.

Materials

  • Bottle or jar, with a tightly closing cap or lid
  • Sea salt
  • Crystal or stone, for example turquoise, obsidian or black onyx.
  • Herbs, for example acasia, aloe, lilies, lime, lotus, agrimony, corn, cayenne and black pepper, dried onion, salvia, frankincense, basil, mint, myrrh, garlic, rosemary, mistletoe, pine needles.
  • A few nails or needles
  • Wine, (apple) vinegar or urine
  • Thread
  • Black candle for sealing
  • The usual tools used in the ritual section

Preliminary Preparations

You can choose the herbs and crystals you are going to use according to their special qualities or use some of those I’ve listed. You can also use a drop or two of an essential oil instead of a herb. You can choose the number of herbs and solid items in general (in this case, essential oil is counted as “solid”) to put in the bottle on numerological grounds either so that the number of all solid items is a specific one, or that you will use a certain number of herbs. Suitable numbers are 7, connected to protection, or 9, connected with the Goddess.

Gather the necessary items. Clean the bottle you are going to use. Wash it with warm soapy water carefully (if you can use a specific soap made for protective purposes, so much the better) and dry it well. You can leave the bottle over night in the light of a full moon to charge it. Choose a place to hide the bottle. For a bottle to be filled as part of a ritual or ritually, it is a good thing to have all the necessary tools at hand, on your alter. You can also construct your ritual and spells and chants beforehand.

The purpose of the crystal (which isn’t absolutely necessary, the list is given as an example – including the liquid items) is to use it’s magickal qualities, the same goes with the herbs. The salt is there to purify and bless the target of the Witch-bottle (the person(s), home to be protected). The nails and needles ground the negative energy and you can also visualize it being then sent back to its sender, threefold. The thread tangles the negative energy in a knot similar to what you are tangling the thread into and to bend the energies away from the builder of the bottle. You can also visualize the negativity tripping over to the thread. The urine represents the builder of the bottle. When using wine or vinegar you can visualize the negative energies drowning in the liquid, with vinegar acting as a purifying element as well.

The Actual Making of the Bottle

If you’re constructing the bottle as part of a ritual, you can perform the ritual opening as usual.

Start filling the bottle with the salt. After the salt, add needles or nails, bent or straight. After this, it’s time to add the herbs. The crystals and the thread you’ve tangled into a “ball” can be added next. If you are adding liquids, that is done after the solid items.

When the bottle is otherwise finished, you can raise energies with a suitable chant (I’ve seen the traditional “Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna” recommended for this purpose) and directing it into the bottle, after which you close the bottle and seal it with the wax of the candle.

End your ritual as usual and bury the bottle into a suitable place or otherwise hide it. You can burn incense on the hiding place to seal the spell properly.

Witch-Bottle to Show Off

Witch-bottles that are intended to be left out in plain sight are not usually made to that much protect their makers, but to bring the one who has cast this bottled spell something she or he wants. The usual reasons are the reasons so common with other types of spell as well: the wish the gain more love, material gains, happiness, creativity.

I won’t give any specific instructions, only basic principles:

Select the bottle or jar used according to its color, shape or the simple fact that it is pleasing to the eye. Go through the magical qualities of herbs, colors, essential oils, metals, crystals etc and choose the ones you’ll use in the bottle according to how well they suit your intended purpose. You won’t normally use any liquids (except for a few drops of essential oils) in bottles left in the open, they are “dry bottles”. Aim for a harmonious whole. That means: don’t try to squeeze in your bottle every single herb or crystal associated with, for example, wealth. Too much is too much!

Pick a few suitable herbs or oils, one suitable crystal, one suitable color. To represent the color you can add (silk) ribbon to the bottle or tie a ribbon around it, or paint a symbol representing your goals with the chosen color. You can also make a “hat” to cover the lid of the bottle, making it out of black cloth and painting a symbol on it with fabric paint or magic marker, or use the color of your spell as the color of this “hat”. You can use colors as colored sands or salts. Even metals have their own magickal correspondences, so you might want to use metal dust or chips.

If you are following the phases of the moon or other celestial objects in your magick, take them into consideration while constructing the bottle. It is up to the bottle’s maker whether to use a formal ritual or not.

As a basic principle, it could be suggested that sands (and metal dust/chips) usually go to the bottom, herbs and oils on the sand and the crystal in with the herbs.

Final Words

You can easily develop a large number of versions of the basic Witch-bottle to suit your (and others’) needs and life situations. Even during the time historical Witch-bottles were in use, there were new versions being developed, so why not today?! There is no One True Witch-bottle (even though there probably are people who would like to claim so), only bottles more like the traditional ones and bottles of more modern variety. I have run into all kinds of bottles myself, some being love-raising bottles on the brink of going over the level of good taste and ethics (some actually going overboard) to bottles constructed to bind a given bad person very tightly. The many varieties speaks volumes for how effective this type of spell work can be and how versatile it is.

[1] Oxoniana, vol. i. p. 232, tells how the bottle got its name: “One of the Fellows of Exeter (College), when Dr Prideaux was rector, sent his servitor, after nine o’clock at night, with a large bottle to fetch some ale from the alehouse. When he was coming home with it under his gown the proctor met him, and asked him what he did out so late, and what he had under his gown? The man answered that his master had sent him to the stationers to borrow Bellarmine, which book he had under his arm; and so he went home. Whence a bottle with a big belly is called a Bellarmine to this day, 1667.”

Originally published in Finnish in Vox Paganorum Also available at The Cauldron.

 

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.

 

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