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.
 

 

 

 

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3 comments so far

 1 

Is it fine to insert part of this in my personal webpage if perhaps I post a reference point to this web-site?

June 24th, 2012 at 1:26 AM
 2 

I have no problem with anyone “borrowing” a line or two or three or three hundred from this blog and if you care to attribute those lines to me I’d appreciate that.

June 29th, 2012 at 4:15 PM
 3 

That would be fine

September 2nd, 2012 at 8:07 PM