A Ritual of Dedication

March 19, 1997
UU Church of Ft Lauderdale

We perform a Ritual of Dedication for those wishing to proclaim
the beginning of their year and a day of study and practice on their
chosen path.

The following is the working outline of such a ritual. We may change it
to match the people of the circumstances of the occasion.

I.   Casting the circle and purification:
     Using smudge stick and sea water, the circle is cast by each 
     walking around the outside of the circle, waving the smudge stick and
     sprinkling water as we go.  WE can either chant or drum.
     Circling inside the circle, all participants are cleansed,
     with smudge stick and sea water.

     (Add a personal blessing here.)

II.  Calling the four directions.
     Since North & South are masculine, and East & West are feminine, 
     how about HP take N & S, and HPS take E & W?

     (Invite spirit witnesses and guardians appropriate to the people
     being dedicated.)

III. Calling the Goddess and the God

     HPS -
     Blessed Be Lady moon, mother of all life.  I invite your
     presence in our circle tonight.  Join with us in joyous enchantment
     of this night.  For behold, we stand here in the light of your love
     to worship in the ancient way and to spin moon magick.  Like our
     ancestors before us, I seek to invoke your primal creative power,
     that our rite shall be successful.  Hear me now, my mother, as I
     bless your bounty and your goodness.  Bless me in turn with your
     eternal tenderness.  Wrap us in your warm silvery light.  Hold us
     forever in the protective embrace of your boundless arms.  So mote
     it be!
     
     HP -
     Lord of the Night, join us now in this sacred space.  Your
     Lady rides high in the starry sky and will soon be in and of us. 
     Come now to join us in the ancient holy rites.  So mote it be!

IV.  Chant - "Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Innana"

V.   Statement of Purpose and Introductions

     HP - draw down the moon into ourselves,
     focus, rebirth, dedication, etc.  Introduce dedicants.
     Ask them to say something as to what they hope to get out of this
     ritual.

     HPS and HP -  Present dedicants with scarves and presents.

     HPS - Ask other participants to introduce themselves and present gifts,
     telling why they chose that particular gift.

     (Gossamer scarves can be laid out on sand and gifts left out to be
     charged in the moonlight.)

VI.  Retelling of the Moon Goddess Myths - see following pages

VII. Chant - "We All Come From the Goddess."

VIII.  Drawing down the moon visualization and meditation.
       It will include stuff about new paths, energizing, new names, etc.

IX.  The Ceremony of Cakes & Ale

     HPS - Tonight we consecrate and consume the cake of your earth
     and the ale of your heavens, that we might carry your essence
     within us, that your love and will might be carried by us into the
     mundane world.  By this sharing we also tie tight the bonds which
     hold us together in spirit on the Old Path.
     
     HP - (taking a piece of sweet bread ) -Lady of the Moon, we
     gratefully thank you for the bounty of your light.  Allow us to use
     this symbol to fill ourselves with your boundless presence.  Be in
     and of us always, as a mother is part of her child

     HPS - ( passes out sweet bread )- From one to another we are all
     linked. The bread sustains all life.  It is in the giving and taking
     of sustenance that we continue the sacred, never-ending chain of life. 

     Eat hearty, my sister (brother).

     HP - takes a piece of bread - holding it up to the moon -
     Blessed be this circle, the microcosm of the Triple Goddess.  This bit
     of life-giving grain from your eternal womb we give back to you now in
     humble thanksgiving.  May you and your creatures of the wild
     partake and enjoy. ( Places piece of bread on the ground ).
     Blessed Be.

     HPS - Mother, we thank you for the mysteries of your watery
     realm; they sustain our spirit and our imagination. By the water of
     your oceans, all living beings are blessed and made sacred. 
     Through it all things are born, and by  it we shall all return to
     you.  Allow us to use this symbol to fill ourselves with         
     your boundless presence.  Be in and of us always.

     HP - ( passes cups and pours tea ) - In this sharing of this
     sustenance we affirm that we are all brothers and sister in the
     never-ending chain of life l linking one to the other, moon after
     moon, generation after generation, forever and always.

     HPS - takes a cup with tea - holding it up to the moon -
     Blessed be this circle, the microcosm of the Triple Goddess.  This
     cup of life-giving ale we give back to you now in humble
     thanksgiving.  May you and your creatures of the wild partake and
     enjoy.  ( Places cup on the ground ).  
     Blessed Be

     Participants are asked to share any of the meditation they
     have experienced.

X.   Dedication
  
     Dedicants are asked to step to the middle of the circle, one
     at a time. They are asked to share their name, why they chose it,
     and any other new undertaking, purpose, vision, etc. they have.

     HPS - holding silver bowl of water - drawing a pentagram on
     the forehead - Silver Mother of the night, Bless ________, that she
     may always walk securely on your sacred path.

XI.  Chant - "Everything She Touches Changes"
     If there are enough people, do a spiral dance to this. 

XII. Sending out of energy in a cone of power and then do a grounding.
     HPS to say some appropriate words.

XIII.  Thanks given to the Goddess and the God.
       Open the Circle - thanking each of the direction.

     By the earth that is her body,
     By the water that is her living womb,
     By the fire that is her bright spirit,
     By the air that is her breath,
     The circle is now open, but unbroken.
     The peace of the Goddess go in our hearts,
     Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again.
     Blessed Be.
     
**************************************************************************

Further Thoughts from Eustacia Blackstar:

Perhaps you can us parts of this.  It was inspired by an
initiation by Starhawk.

                    Initial Dedication

(Dedicant is blindfolded and led to the edge of the cast circle by
either HP or HPS.)

HP or HPS from within Circle:  Do you come to the Circle in perfect
love and perfect trust?

( A cleansing/ purification is performed in the sea by HP or HPS
who has not yet entered Circle)

(A white cord is tied around waist and ankle. Blindfold is removed.)

HP or HPS from within Circle:  Before the Gods you are neither
bound nor free. 

(Athame is pointed at Dedicant)  You are about to come into a time
of special growth and learning.  You will come to know more of yourself 
and the world than you can now imagine.  You are about to enter the Circle.  
Do you have the courage?

(Using oil bless as follows:)  
Blessed be your feet that walk upon the earth.
Blessed be your knees that kneel at sacred altars.  
Blessed be your potential, that creates life from life. 
Blessed be your breast, formed in strength. 
Blessed be your lips that will learn to speak the sacred words.

( The Dedicant is measured with a blue cord which is knotted at
each end to mark the height from head to heel.)

Are you ready and willing to pledge your mind to learning, your
heart to love, your body to life, your life to peace as the Gods will it?

Then kneel and take the pledge:  (holding blue cord outstretched
between hands Dedicant repeats:)                                                         
                                                                  
Here is my measure to remind me of the promise I make to learn,
love and live fully, work for peace and respect and care for Mother Earth.  
As the Gods will it, I pledge that all between my two hands, which 
represents my total being, will be henceforth used for the betterment of all.  
So mote it be.

As a sign of your rebirth, you will now take a new name.  What name
have you chosen?

Henceforth, you shall be known as ................... for your life
within the Craft. So mote it be. Arise!

(The Dedicant is blessed again with water, crystal, incense and
flame.  White cord is removed.)   

Mother Earth, Father Sky, behold and bless................ who
tonight joins the Circle of Your Children.
 
HP/HPS kiss Dedicants and gifts may be presented.  The cords are
given to the Dedicants as a reminder of their pledges.  These may be 
worn on a ritual robe or used in cord magick.
(Cords may be purchased by the yard at any fabric or craft store.)


**************************************************************************
Myths: Selene or Inanna

Selene:
The Greek goddess Selene, sometimes called Mene, was the sister of
Helios (the Sun) and Eos (the Dawn).  She was one of the children
of the Titans Hyperion and Theia.  Some sources list different
parents.  Although she began as a separate deity, Selene was later
identified with Artemis and particularly the Roman Diana, who ruled
over the Moon.

As a Moon Goddess, Selene was noted for her liaisons, with humans
or gods, but she did not allow herself to become attached.  When
she became fascinated with the handsome shepherd Endymion, she
began to shirk her nightly duty of guiding the Moon through the
heavens.  This came to the attention of the other gods, who became
suspicious of Selene's unusual behavior.  They noticed that
Selene's chariot was often missing from its heavenly path.  Night
after night, the goddess sat beside the sleeping youth, gently
kissing him and creeping into his dreams.

Finally Zeus decided that something had to be done.  Selene was 
neglecting her duty and becoming excessively pale from her nightly 
rendezvous with the shepherd.  Zeus called Endymion to him and gave
the young man a choice: death in any manner he chose, or eternal
sleep during which he would not age.  Endymion chose to sleep.

It is said that in a Carian cave on Mt. Latmos, Endymion still
sleeps, and Selene still steals away from her nightly rounds to
visit him.  While Selene sits with her sleeping shepherd, the Moon
begins to fade away until it is totally gone.  When she returns to
her duties, the Moon begins to grow again until it reaches Full. 
Even though Endymion sleeps and only sees the Moon Goddess in his
dreams, tradition says she has borne him fifty daughters.  The
generic name of the bluebell, Endymion, shows its association with
Selene's lover.

Endymion symbolizes the "sleeping" part of the human mind, the 
unidentifiable something that is influenced by the phases of the
Moon, particularly in dreams.  As Endymion created fifty daughters
with Selene during his sleep, so we are fertilized with creative
ideas during our receptive resting periods, whether this be in
dreams, meditations or daydreaming.

Selene represents the second aspect of the Moon; the Full Moon as
lover and bride.  She is pictured as a beautiful woman with a gold
crown.  


Inanna:

This goddess was called by the name Inanna in Sumeria, but was
known as Ishtar in Babylon.  She was a deity of light, life, love,
death, and the evening star.  She had great power over the
destinies of cities and lovers.  She Personally overcame great
adversity and helps her worshipers do the same.

If you are faced with difficult decisions or adversities that you
can't seem to solve, call upon Inanna.  You must have done
everything you can do before this goddess will work with you.  She
has no time for those who won't take responsibility, try to shift
the blame, won't make decisions, or want everything dropped in
their lap.

During the night of the Full Moon, joyous celebrations were held in
her many temples. At these rites, which were called the sacred
Qadishtu, women who lived as priestesses in her shrines, took
lovers to express the sacredness of sexuality as a gift from
Ihstar.  The sexual rites enabled the men to commune with the
goddess.

Goddess of the positive and negative sides of all she ruled;
patroness of priestesses; guardian of the law; teacher.  Love,
fertility, revenge, war resurrection, marriage, lions,
double-serpent scepter, lapis lazuli, amorous desire, the dying and
begetting power of the world, purification, initiation, overcoming
obstacles.


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens
can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has."
                                                     --Margaret Mead

Return to Ritual Page