Ritual of the Dark Quarter
at the Southeast Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute (SUUSI)
Blacksburg, Virginia
July 20, 2006
by  Shining Spirits  

(Gather for conversation, assigning parts, 
learning chants. HPS then asks group to 
breathe and ground. And the ritual begins:)
 
HP:  The Moon is gone from our night sky. 
 Within the cycle of life, 
 there comes a time 
 when the light is dimming 
 and energy is retracting. 
 Here, we draw together 
 to focus shared personal power 
 upon the tasks at hand 
 and to prepare ourselves 
 for the coming return of brighter days.

(HP turns on both candles. He holds his own 
candle up as HPS cleanses with water. After 
cleansing, HPS picks up her candle and says;)

HPS:
 Be ye far from us, O ye profane, 
 for we are about to invoke the power 
 of the goddess and the god. 
 Enter we now into the darkness
 and into their presence
 with clean hands and a pure heart, 
 lest we defile the source of life.
                (Adapted from Dion Fortune.)
												2.
(HPS leads group past bowl and to Circle. As 
each pass the water they cleanse. HP stands 
by bowl with his candle. When all have gone, 
he cleanses, and follows. HPS leads group 
around Circle once, and then around again if 
necessary to reach their places.)

(Proceed to Circle chanting:)

     Goddess of the night
     We join here this hour
     As we now unite
     Bless us with your power.

(After all have formed a Circle and are in 
their places-)

HP: 
 Be it known that the ritual is about to begin. 
 Let none be here 
 but of their own free will. 
 Be it known that the practice of our religion    
 involves secrets, 
 even in this, the Outer Court. 
 Share with no one on the outside 
 the names of those gathered
 in this Circle tonight.

HPS: 
 You have not arrived here by chance.     
 You have put yourself on this Path long ago. 
 We shall walk some of it together and rejoice.
 We first began in past sorrows, in past lives. 
 We were of the Wicca, 
 gazing at the stars, feeling deep unnamed secrets; 
 touching the Earth in joy and sensing life within; 
 seeing birth and knowing that it was a miracle, 
 a Mystery, a joy; 
 being still in the forest, being warm in the water...  
 We are all lights, and we follow the Path 
 through the Goddess and the God, by all Their names, 
 and in growing, we grow in brightness,  
 following the cycles of Sun and Moon,    
 and glowing in Divine Radiance.
                        (from Witches WebPage)

HP/HPS:  And now, let us begin.

(HPS rings bell three times.)

CASTING THE CIRCLE

(Castings go  outside Circle so that all are 
included within it.)

HP:  
 By the air that is her breath 
 and the fire that is her bright spirit; 
 By the water that is her living womb 
 and the earth that is her body,  
 We shall cast a Circle                                           
 and make this place sacred and apart.    
	
(HPS casts Circle with wand.)

Chant:

     We cast our circle here tonight
     Without the moon's redeeming light.      
			
(HP takes up athame and casts Circle.)

Chant:										

     In darkness without moon or sun
     United we become as one.

(HPS takes candle and casts Circle.)

Chant:	

     Gathered in the candle glow
     Our Circle is safe from every foe.
												
HPS: 
     The Circle is cast!
     The Bell is rung,
     The Candles are lit,
     The Chant is sung.                                
     Our Hearts are open,
     The Altar is set, 
     The Cauldron is ready,
     The Group is met.
     We now proclaim to everyone                      
     That our Ritual has begun.

(HP taps altar three times with Athame.)

HP:  Blessed be!

All:  Blessed be!         

QUARTER CALLS:

HP:
	By her sweet breath which is air,
        And by the fire, her spirit fair,
        By water which fills her place of birth,
        And by her body, our sacred Earth.
        By these names, our quarters call,
        May the Spirits join us all.
	Let us call the directions, beginning at the East.
												
East:   Spirit of East we do invite
        to join our circle in dark of night.
        Your Air now brings us winds so chill.
        Our rushing lives become quite still.
        Our thoughts and words in somber quest
        invoke you now with all the rest. 

HP: South

South:	Spirit of South we need your light.
        We need your warmth on this dark night.  
        We beg you, make the shadows go.
        We seek creative passion so.
        Be with us on this night so black                        
        With fire and heat which now we lack. 

HP: West											6

West:	Spirit of West, of water clear
        Please join us as we gather here.
        We need your insight as we strive
        to find our dark side here alive.
        We need your feelings deep and strong
        To move us like a sacred song.

HP: North

North:	Spirit of North, of sacred Earth
        Be with us for our soul's rebirth.
        Nurture us in our awesome task
        There in the dark, is what we ask.
        As darkness deep within is found,
        Please join us on your hallowed ground.  
									
HPS:    											
        We are between the worlds,
        In shadows of the waning moon,
        Beyond the bounds of time,
        Where day and night,
        Birth and death,
        Joy and sorrow,
        Meet as one.
												
MAGICAL WORKING

(Invoke the Dark Goddess)
	  
(HP walks the circle during this speech and 
faces each direction as he names it.)

HP: Oh sacred lady of darkness,				
    We sought your presence 
    on the wild hills of the North,
    But in the loneliness
    We found you not.
    We sought your presence 
    in the light of the East,
    But in the mists of dawn
    We discerned you not.
    We sought your presence 
    beneath the sun of the South,
    But where shadows shrink
    We could not see your face.
    We sought your presence 
    where the water sleeps in the West,
    But in the silence
    We did not hear your voice.
    We came in search of you. 
    We are the last children of the Goddess,
    Daughters of light and darkness          
    Sons of life and death.

(HP now turns to HPS who has assumed the  
bowed head position. She raises her head to 
assume the drawing down the moon position as 
he speaks. HP kneels.)

HP: Join with us, 
    Dread Lady of the Shadows,                               
    Goddess of Life and Transformation,      
    and the Giver of New Life. 
    Open wide, I pray thee, thy arms 
    through which all must pass. 
    Yet it is the knowledge of thee, 
    the knowledge of death, 
    that makes us complete in life.

Charge of the Dark Goddesss  (adapted from Lynne O'Connor)

HPS:
    I am here.
    I am the Dark Goddess. 
    You sought me and found me not,
    For I am in the shadows.
    I am in the dark where you choose not to look.
    I have been known to many people by many names. 
    I am Lilith, Kali, Tiamet, Hekate. 
    I am the Black Maddona, Cerridwin, and Morgaine. 
    I am the Dark Goddess.
    I am the Crone.                                                          
    I am with you tonight.
    I am the darkness                                                
    behind and beneath the shadows. 
    I am the absence of air that awaits 
    at the bottom of every breath.                   
    I am the ending before life begins again, 
    the decay that fertilizes the living. 
    I am the bottomless pit,
    the never ending struggle                                        
    to reclaim that which that which is denied. 
    I am the key that unlocks every door. 
    I am the glory of discovery, 
    for I am that which is hidden, 
    secluded and forbidden. 
    Come to me at the Dark Moon 
    and see that which can not be seen. 
    Face the terror that is yours alone. 
    Swim to Me 
    through the blackest oceans                              
    to the center of your greatest fears. 
    I am the Dark Goddess.   
    The Dark Goddess will keep you safe. 

HP: We have not even to risk 
    this adventure alone,
    For the heroes of all time                               
    have gone before us.
    The maze is thoroughly known.
    We have only to follow 
    the thread of the hero path,
    And where we had thought                                         
    to find an abomination,
    we shall find our dark shadow.
    And where we had thought 
    to slay another,
    We shall slay ours  selves.
    Where we had thought                                             
    to travel outward,                                                       
    We shall come to the center 
    of our own existence.
    And where we had thought to be alone,
    We shall be with all the world.  
             (Adapted from Joseph Campbell)

HPS: 									
    On this night of the Dark Moon, 
    we have come together 
    to share our spirit with others
    in this time of darkness.
    May we know that Transformation into the light 
    cannot occur without the banishing of our darkest shadows. 
    We must face the dark that is a part of life, 
    that we may move into the light.
    We must let go of our burden
    that we may embrace life.                                

HP: 
On this night of the Dark Moon, 
we will focus on the darkness 
with which we must live.						
And as we focus on that darkness
we will begin to see the light.
With the help of the Goddess and the God
we will bring light to one another.

HPS: 												11
Going around the Circle	
working magick together,  
we will touch each of you.
In that touch will be the light
to bring you out of the darkness.

HP:  
As we address one,
we ask the rest to lend your strength
through your hand or finger (demonstrates)
sending your energy
toward the one who stands in need
as we all do stand in need.

HPS:
I am the Dark Goddess.
Let there be no separation between us. 
For in me you shall find yourself,
the source of your being and your light.
And to me you will return.					
The beginning and the end.

(HPS & HP move around Circle, pausing with 
each individual.)

HP: Pray, tell us your name.

Participant: My name is X.

HPS: We do this for you, X.   				

Group: We do this for you, X.

(HPS & HP touch wand and athame to the 
shoulders of the individual. They raise 
their other hands high to receive power.  
Other participants focus strength through 
their right hands toward the individual.)

HP: Through the strength of all
Comes the force of power.

HPS: Our light comes to you 
In your darkest hour.

HP: So mote it be.

Group: So mote it be.

(Same procedure with each around the Circle. 
As the HPS & HP return to the alter-)

HP: 												
We now move forth in joy and love.
The moon will soon return above.				
Insure that the magick will come true
By helping it happen in all that you do.
Chant repeatedly, with joy and fervor:		

     She changes everything she touches               
     And everything she touches changes
     She changes everything she touches               
     And everything she touches changes
     Touches, changes,
     Changes, touches.

HP: 											
And now we all kneel to touch the Earth 
and ground the excess energy we have raised, 
returning it to the Earth for her nourishment.
			
CLEARING OF THE TEMPLE

HPS:
We came together in love and friendship; 
let us part the same way. 
We have shed our burden 
in the presence of the Dark Goddess.
We have gained strength and light
From those who have joined with us.			
May we now go forth 
in wisdom and transformation.
Let us spread the love we have known in this Circle 
outward to all; 
Sharing it with those we meet.

HP:												14
Thank you Dark Goddess
for your presence here.
We ask you to remain
quite near.									
Shining Spirits return, we pray,
Be with us now in night and day.

HPS: 
On this night and in this hour
We have felt your magick power.
We we've joined our strength where we must.
We now go forth in sacred trust.
												
HP:  										
       Let us now dismiss the Quarters, 
       starting with the North.	
				
North:
Farewell, Spirits of the North,
We give you thanks for your presence here.
Stay if you will, go if you must.
The light will return.
May there be peace between us.					

HP: East

East:
Farewell, Spirits of the East,
We give you thanks for your presence here.
Stay if you will, go if you must.
The light will return.
May there be peace between us.  

HP: South											
	
South:
Farewell, Spirits of the South,					
We give you thanks for your presence here.
Stay if you will, go if you must.
The light will return.
May there be peace between us.

HP: West

West:
Farewell, Spirits of the West,
We give you thanks for your presence here.
Stay if you will, go if you must.
The light will return.
May there be peace between us.	

HP:  
Lady and Lord, our thanks to you 
for sharing this time together. 
Our thanks for watching over us; 
guarding and guiding us in all things.		
Love is the Law and Love is the Bond.		

(HP rings bell three times.)
					
(HP & HPS each pick up and hold high 
their candle lanterns and hold them through this speech.)

HPS: 
The light of renewal surrounds you.
The shadow of darkness has gone from you.   
The power of magick flows through you.		
Wherever you are, the Goddess is, 
And all is well. Blessed be.

(HP hands wand to HPS.)

HPS:
I shall open the Circle, My Lord.

(HPS walks widdershins with wand around the 
outside of the participants to open the 
Circle. She returns to the alter and hands 
the wand to the HP who puts it back on the 
alter.)

HP:
The Circle is open, My Lady.

HP and HPS: 								
The Circle is open but unbroken,
May the Peace of the Goddess,
And The Strength of the God,
Go in your hearts.						
												
All:
Merry Meet and Merry Part,
And Merry Meet again.	Blessed be.

HP: It is a part of my tradition that we hug 
one another following a Circle.
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