2012 Pagan Pride Day Ritual
                      MoonPath Chapter of CUUPS
               Valan  (the Druid:  Ash the Silent /|\) 
                    References listed at end 
   
Ritual Items: 
(seasonal decorations for altar)
Blessing cup
Circle wristlets for all
Hoopers with hoops
Large basket for donated food blessing
Branch to offer to fire
Quarter palm fronds (12)
Well
Tree
Sage
mic for quarters
Ale and cups 
 (each quarter is responsible for dressing its altar.
 We will provide altar torches. The West and North will have
 the Well and Tree, which we will provide.)

Players:  Spel, Ash, 2 Gate persons, quarter teams, fire,
well, tree persons, drummers


Ash:  when everyone is in big circle
As we approach the sacred grove
With heart and mind, flesh and bone,
Join us now in ways of old. 
We have come home.

Statement of Purpose and Precedent:  
Ash:
The Time of Change is upon us again -
the Equinox comes, the Wheel turns...
What better time for us, the multitude of humankind, 
Floridian-survivors of the torrid Summer
Eagerly awaiting the kiss of cooler days to come,
To re-appraise our relationship with our 
the Earth, upon whose skin we live our small lives.

Spel:
Indeed. The wheel turns. The endless cycle of birth, life,
death and rebirth. The endless cycle of the wheel of the year:
Spring and new beginnings, Summer an the bounty of the fields,
Harvest in the Autumn, the stillness of Winter’s chill, and
rebirth again with the new buds of spring.  Today we are gathered
for a twofold purpose:  to be thankful for the Harvest blessings,
and to revel in the turning of the wheel to the Dark Part of the year.



Circle Cast

Ash:
At this, our Harvest Ritual, we honor the Sacred Circle, and the
Wheel of the Year.  With that in mind, we will cast the ritual
circle a bit differently. Hooper in the start hooping. Everyone
help me say the chant 6 times!

We cast this circle round and round,
By its magic we are bound  
Then Ash: 
We cast this circle round and round,
By its magic we are bound  
Hoops spinning, circles traced
Make this land a sacred space.

Now my minions, I want you to try
To increase the radii

Hold your hoops then step back three
The circle will hold quite comfortably!

This space is sacred, safe and tight,
That it might hold our Sacred Rite.


Spel:  Now we will have the Keeper of the Well:

The Keeper of the Well (KW) the “Well” is on the west altar
 Walk  to microphone, Raise “well” bowl on high 
 Please hold it dramatically aloft.  (reading taped to lower bowl)

KW: In the depths flow the waters of wisdom.
Sacred waters flow within us. 

Folk: Sacred waters flow within us.

KW; will then asperse the firepit and the Druids from the bowl.
Place  “well” on Main altar (much drumming at this time.

Spel:  Now we will have The Tender of the Tree


The Tender of the Tree

(TT)  From the North – the “Tree” is by or on the North altar
 Walk to microphone. Lift the “tree” on high 
Please hold it dramatically aloft.  (reading taped to container)

TT: From the depths to the heights spans the world tree. 
Sacred Tree, grow within us. 

Folk: Sacred tree, grow within us.

TT: will then lower the tree.

TT: The fire, the well, the sacred tree,
Flame and flow and grow in me!

TT: proceeds around the fire with the little Tree and then places
it on  or near  the main altar. (much drumming at this time)


Spel:  Now we will have The Fire Tender

The Fire Tender will go to microphone and say:

FT: I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power.
Sacred fire burn within us. 

Folk: Sacred fire burn within us.

FT: starts the fire.

Spel:    Let the drums begin!   Much DRUMMING and cheering!!!!!



Ash:
In ancient times fire, man's greatest tool and nature's fiercest
weapon, defined the meeting place of the sacred and the profane,
the heart of the home and of religious ceremony. Therefore, when
we come together to celebrate the rites of our ancestors, we light
a fire. We light this fire as the center of our circle, the symbol
of the ancient ways, and as a means by which our sacrifices may be
conveyed to the realms of the gods.

May we pray with a good fire!

Calling the Quarters

Ash:  Instead of Calling the Quarters, as Cardinal Directions,
let us celebrate them with the season of the Wheel of the Year
that they represent.

We will begin in the West:  the Quarter of Completion, and the
Autumnal Equinox, the sacrifice and the Harvest as one.
May we have the West?

(3 per team. 1 speaks, one has Bic, ALL holds branch. Later,
they are charged with passing out and juice and cups to their
quarter:  They go round the circle sunwise. (after quarter is
called, put branch on ground in front of altar.)

The WESTERN quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the
Main Altar. The speaker remains, the other proceed to West.
The Western torch is lit as soon as the two  arrive - before
the speaker is speaking.

Western caller: 

We look to the West and the season of Harvest.  We look for
completion and fulfillment in our lives:  the seeds that we have sown
are now grown and have seeds of their own.  We remember the blessings
we have reaped as we gaze into the setting sun.
And in Autumn, we remember!
And in Autumn, we remember!

Ash: And now, The North – and, the coming stillness and repose of
Winter’s bane.

The North quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the Main Altar.  
The speaker remains, the other  proceed to north. The Northern torches
ares lit as soon as the two  arrive - before the speaker is speaking.

Northern caller: 

To rest in the quiet chill, to slumber and to heal. This is the gift
of the Dark Season. A languid time to dream a dark dream of the new day.
Hope wrapped up in the frigid cave of Winter.
And in Winter we Hope. 
And in Winter we Hope. 

Ash:  Now for the East!
The Eastern quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the Main Altar
in the Southwest.  The speaker remains, the other proceed to the East.
The Eastern torches are lit as soon as the two arrive - before the
speaker is speaking.

Eastern caller:

The smallest stirring of new life. The fragile tint of new green leafs,
the peeps of chicks and the intense need to create new Life. The Wheel
turns and we awaken to the Primal Need:  Life Persists.
And in the Spring, we are reborn.
And in the Spring, we are reborn.



Ash:  And from the South, the seething heat of Summer.
 
The  Southern quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the Main Altar in the Southwest.  
The speaker remains, the other proceed to South. The Southern torches are lit as soon as 
the two arrive - before the speaker is speaking.

Southern caller:

Long golden days; the time of ripening and of growth. Under the summer
sun, the whole world basks in the fruitful heat - a time of ease a time
of plenty.
In the summer, we remember our potential.
In the summer, we remember.

Ash and all quarters as one:
 In the Summer, to the Autumn, to the Winter, and to the Spring,
 The wheel turns and there is a time for every purpose under heaven.

Now we will have The Sacrifice to the Outsiders

Spel:
Ancient and dark ones; unseen, unsightly, and unloved
We make this offering to you
You twisted and misshapen
You cold of heart and dim of mind
Take this offering and trouble not our rites.

(He takes the Blessing cup and 
pours “ale” onto the earth, outside the circle.) 

Ash:  Now we will have the story sage:


Wheel of the Year

When the Harvest Moon hangs golden in September skies,
And the day stands breathless, balanced evenly with the night;
Then the day of Mabon has arrived once again.
We give thanks for the blessings of the harvest
and mark the circle’s boundary with sheaves of wheat,
This is the time of the Return of the Dark Mother,
And the herald of Samhain,  yet to come.

When the Blood Moon grows bloated in October skies,
And the veil between the worlds is shear and thin;
When turnips and pumpkins are at their ripest,
Then the day of Samhain has arrived once again.
Jack-o-lanterns mark the circle’s boundary,
And candles wink the dark shroud of night.
We say our final goodbyes to the dying sun,
Knowing He will return after the long Yule twilight.

When icy winter’s clutch has stunted each bare bough,
And breathless moonlight frosts the snow-heavy sky;
When the Horned Hunter and Holly King reign as one,
Then the sages know Yule has finally come by.
Boughs of holly and ivy dress our circle fair,
And the Yule log is lit to entice the sun’s return.
We sit roasting nuts over the open fire,
And watch the Solstice candles burn.

When the newborn sun climbs weakly, bleakly, 
And sticky sap rises in every maple tree;
When the spring constellation sits in winter’s sky,
Then Imbolc has finally arrived for all to see.
We hang braided Brigid’s Crosses upon the wall,
So She will keep the hearth fires burning ‘til spring.

When the sun’s strength has not yet begun to fade,
And flowers blanket the fields after April’s rains;
When birdsong echoes through the leaves,
Then our Queen of May has brought Beltaine.
Ribbons wrap the maypole tight,
Dancers honor Belenos’ might.
by leaping gaily over fires,
Chanting, “Hail unto Thee from the abodes of the night.”

When the fields are golden with Ceres’ tender touch,
And the cornbread dribbles with the honey of the bee;
When the Wort Moon rises with the August dawning,
Then Lughnasadh has arrived, as all can see.
Demeter’s generous bounty shall feed us all,
When our fields are threshed and bread baked with care.
Then ‘round the blazing bonfires we weave,
Corn yellow flowers tucked in every maiden’s hair.

The Wheel has turned, and turned again,
Time marches onward; season to season,
All things must live and die and are reborn,
The Circle of Life spins its timeless mystery.


Ash:  Now we will have the Harvest Blessing:

Spel:
We praise the Earth who feeds us, and raise the Harvest Home.
The stag with light step leads us, to dance the season come.
Ash links the worlds together, entwining Gods and Elves.
The bonfire blesses shining, 
our food, 
our drink, 
ourselves.
We give thanks for this bounty!

(Spel takes basket of food and blesses it for the needy.)
I bless this food that it may bring health and sustain life.

Ash:   (Holding aloft ear of corn)
Blessed are we by the fruits of the union of sun and earth. Here is
the mystery and the richness of energy encased in seed. Though the
form changes, the energy of Life is eternal.

We gather at this sacred moment when the sun has gone into seed
to give thanks for the abundance of the season.

Spel:  I give thanks for the blessings of this Season.

Ash:  I give thanks for freedom to practice the Old Ways. 

Spel:  So we can raise some energy, let us be joyful and dance
thrice around the circle, counting our blessings all the while.
As you dance, spin your little circlet to charge it with the
abundance of this season.  DRUMMERS!!!

Ash:  And now, the OMEN TAKING:

The gifts of the people rise to the gods on the smoke of sacrifice.
May our prayers go clearly and without hindrance to those we have
praised.  A favor requires a favor; a song another song, and a gift
given requires a gift in return. This is the law of ancient times,
alike between man and man and mankind and the gods.  We have offered
our gifts to the gods and we ask them in return for knowledge of what
tomorrow will bring. Will what we harvested be enough to sustain us
in the Dark Season  of the Year?

 I ask then, that the youngest among us draw a Rune that we may know
our Fate.

(The youngest draws and Ash interprets a rune. If an, unfavorable omen
is drawn, the participants  are asked to meditate on the gods'
message and consider how to respond individually.)


Spel:  And now the Blessing Cup.  Quarter teams will pass out cups.
Please wait for the toast to be made before drinking!

(When all are served:)

Spel: raises the Blessing cup filled with amber juice.

Ancient and mighty ones we honor you. Having established the bond of
hospitality with the gods, what the gods have given to us we distribute
freely. Behold the drink of the gods!

All:   Behold the drink of the gods!

Spel:
Yet now is the Season of Darkening, the Time of Ripening, when the
night and the moon call the earth to fruit. It is the time of the
tender goddess, the Maker of heroes, the Old One's Daughter.

“Farewell, oh Sun, ever returning Light
The hidden God who ever yet remains
He who now departs to the land of Youth
Through the Gates of Death
To dwell  enthroned, the judge of Gods and men, 
The horned leader of the hosts of air.
Yet, as he stands: unseen, without the Circle.


Ash:
So dwelleth He, within the Sacred Seed 
The seed of new-reaped grain. The seed of flesh;
Hidden in earth, the marvellous seed of the stars.
In him is Life, and Life is the Light of man,
That which was never born and never dies.
Therefore The Wise Ones Weep Not –
But Rejoice.


Spel:
May the Life of the Earth be in us. May the Strength of the Earth
be in us. May the Wisdom of the Earth be in us.
Now the formal sacrifice is ended. We bid the gods and elements
farewell; to go or to stay as they will. We bid our Ancestors to
watch over us and guide us on our path.

Ash says:
Let the fire be flame. (gong)
Let the well be water. (gong)
Let all be as it was before. (gong)
This rite is ended. (gong)
 
Fire-keeper extinguishes the fire with water (
Big bucketful of water = big smokey finale..)
Everybody claps and sing and hug

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