Samhain Playlet and Ritual
MoonPathCUUPS.Org
Fort Lauderdale, FL
October 30, 2004

First, the Playlet, performed inside our building:

(The Narrator quiets the audience and begins the story.)

In history, there is always someone else who has come before:
Before there was Rome, there was Greece,
Before there was Greece, there was Egypt,
And while there was Egypt, there was the Land of the Two Rivers.

It was called by the Greeks, Mesopotamia.
We know it as, Iraq,
Some know it for the ancient civilization of Sumer
Others know it as Babylon.
Still others know it, as the birthplace of beer.

And we know it as the Land of the Mother Goddess

For Mesopotamia was a model for civilizations that followed:
Greece, Rome, and the traditions found among the Canaanites, in
Israel, Christianity, and Islam.

The Mages of Mesopotamia gave us stories of the stars and
constellations. They gave us the 60 seconds in a minute, the 60
minutes in an hour, and they gave us beer.

Writing was first invented in Mesopotamia. Writing centered about
the temple. Records were made of commerce and ritual. Rituals of
the day were recited, much like chants:

In the first days, in the very first days,
In the first nights, in the very first nights,
In the first years, in the very first years,
In the very first days, everything needed was brought into being,
In the very first days, when everything was properly nourished,
When bread was baked in the shrines of the land,
And bread was tasted in the homes of the land,
When heaven had moved away from earth,
And earth had separated from heaven,
The name of humankind was fixed.
When the Sky God, An, had carried off the heavens,
When the Queen of the Great Below was Ereshkigal,
A Goddess, Inanna, walked the Earth.

(Enter Inanna.)

Inanna, Sumerian Great Goddess of Love
Inanna, The Morning and Evening Star
Inanna, The First Daughter of the Moon
Inanna, The Rose  (What might this be a symbol of?)
Inanna, Later known as Ishtar and Astarte

(Inanna circles the room gesturing queenly.)

(Grips wheel out Tree.)

And she raised up a tree, a single tree, a Huluppu tree,
and this tree she would plant in the City of Uruk,
She would plant this tree in her sacred garden.
From the trunk of this tree, she carved a thrown,
From the branches of this tree, she formed a bed,
From the roots of this tree, she fashioned a scepter.
From the top of this tree, she fashioned a crown.

(Inanna fusses around with the tree. She removes the scepter from
the tree and looks at it contentedly. She removes the crown from
the tree and proudly places it upon her head.)

The Huluppu Tree became known as the Tree of Life,
This tree can be found within the sacred texts of peoples that
followed.
It can be found within the Jewish Mystical Book of the Kabbalah.
It can be found, as the sacred tree among the Druids.

Before a man could rule within the Kingdom of Mesopotamia, he had
to be welcomed into the bed of Inanna. No welcome: no fertility
from the land, and a man could not rule.

Remember, years later, King Arthur was also acknowledged by the
earth. He was allowed to draw the sword from the stone, and was
thus named King.

Inanna chose as her King, the mortal shepherd Dumuzi.

(Dumuzi enters and circles.)

She chose a shepherd over a farmer in this Land between the Rivers.
Where else have I heard this story?

(Dumuzi goes to throne.)

Dumuzi would be her King, and he would sit upon her throne.

(Dumuzi slouches on the throne and pops a beer.)

Dumuzi had a sister.

(Geshtinanna appears and waves and circles).

Dumuzi had a sister, Geshtinanna, a lady of compassion and
understanding.

(The Narrator dismisses Geshtinanna and she departs.)

We shall hear more of Geshtinanna later.

This is a story of Inanna, and Inanna has a sister, a dark sister.
She is Ereshkigal, Queen of the Underworld.

And though Inanna was always very wise, in her youth she knew
nothing of her sister's land, and wanted to learn of it. For Inanna
walked the world above while her sister lived in the shadows below.
All those who died were ferried to the West to join her. At the end
of each day, the sun would descend in the West into the Underworld,
only to rise again at dawn in the East.

Inanna gathered together the seven measures of her power:

(Inanna points at her seven measurers.)

1. Her sandals, symbolizing will.
2. Her jeweled bracelets, symbolizing ego.
3. Her robe, symbolizing mind.
4. Her breastplate, symbolizing sexuality.
5. Her scepter, symbolizing the rapture of illumination
6. Her necklace, symbolizing magick.
7. Her crown, symbolizing her Goddesshead.

(Inanna circles and enters from the West and moves to center
stage.)

Arriving at the first of the seven gates,
She knocked loudly at the gate.

Inanna: "Open the door! I alone would enter!"

(Galla hear her and react.)

The gatekeepers inquire, "Who are you? Why has your heart led you
on the road of no return."

Inanna: "I am Inanna, Queen of Heaven, on my way to the East."

The gatekeepers of the underworld enter the palace of Ereshkigal,
the Queen of the Underworld, and say: 

"My Queen, your sister, Inanna, Queen of Heaven, waits outside the
palace gates. She has gathered together the seven measures of her
power. She waits out there."

(Ereshkigal hears the message, makes a sign of annoyance, takes the
matter into her heart and finally speaks.) 

"So my younger sister is here! Come my gatekeepers, my galla
demons, heed my words: bolt the seven gates of the underworld.
Then, one by one, open each gate a crack. Let Inanna enter, let my
sister in. But as she enters, remove her royal symbols, one by one.
Let the Holy Priestess of Heaven enter bowed low."

At each gate, Inanna had to leave a garment. 

(Inanna offers a symbol to the galla who clutch it. Then she
circles and offers another.)

At each gate, Inanna had to surrender a sacred measure. Only then,
naked and bowed low, could she enter Eternity. She could face the
Holy, Dark and Eternal Ereshkigal. 

(Inanna kneels in front of Ereshkigal.)

Ereshkigal: "I'll turn you into a corpse, a piece of rotting meat,
stay here, hanging on a hook on my wall."

(Inanna collapses. Ereshkigal steps back. Galla exit.)

After three days and three nights, Inanna returns to life.

(Inanna slowly gets up.)

Just as the Moon returns in her cycle after going dark in the sky
for three nights, Inanna returns to life. (Where else have I heard
this story?) But she had been to the underworld. She was
transformed. She was reborn. So changed, Inanna could not ascend.

Ereshkigal speaks, "Inanna, no one ascents from the underworld
unmarked. If you wish to return from the Underworld, you must leave
someone in your place. I will send my demons with you to bring
someone back."

(Ereshkigal beckons the Galla.)

As Inanna ascended from the underworld, the galla demons cling to
her, one walking in front, others walking behind, ever watchful for
a replacement for the goddess.

(They circle the audience. The Galla picking out people to
inspect.)

They see Dumuzi, slouching on Inanna's throne.

(Dumuzi pops a tab top.) 

Inanna: "Take away the one who did not grieve for me." 

(The Galla lunge, grab Dumuzi and take him to Ereshkigal.)

Narrator: Now Ereshkigal was mourning the death of her husband
Gugulanna. Perhaps Dumuzi could heal her grief as he undertook his
own journey of transformation within the Underworld.

(Ereshkigal inquisitively looks over Dumuzi and strokes his cheek.)

But Ereshkigal would not accept a solitary male as the sole
representative of humankind. And neither would Inanna.

(Ereshkigal looks towards Inanna. Inanna looks back at her.)

(Geshtinanna wanders into sight.)

Geshtinanna was Dumuzi's sister, and she mourned his departure too. 

(Inanna takes her by the hand and presents her to Ereshkigal.
Ereshkigal strokes Geshtinanna's cheek.)

Ereshkigal, "I accept this mortal woman and man as initiates of
Inanna and Ereshkigal." 

Narrator: She would go to the underworld half a year in Dumuzi's
place. Alternately, Dumuzi and Geshtinanna will be the six month
substitutes. Dumuzi is the symbol of grain (Pop's a tap top) and
Geshtinanna the symbol of the grape (holds up grapes). These are
harvested six months apart, and, in between, their fields lie
fallow.

Narrator: Inanna and Ereshkigal face each other. 

(Inanna and Ereshkigal approach each other and hug.) 

Inanna & Ereshkigal: "Sister!"

Pause for Transition and Applause:

Ereshkigal:  My Galla, I see we have more candidates for the
journey to the Underworld. Usher them along while I prepare for
them a proper greeting.

The Galla lead the audience out the side door and through the
Memorial Garden. More Galla join them along the way.

Inanna, Ereshkigal, Dumuzi, Geshtinanna, and Narrator (HP) exit
other door and head to Main Circle.

Spirit Dancers move to Main Circle to dance around and guide
audience into tight circle.


********************************************************
Cast:                         Props:
Narator                       Tree
Inanna                        Rose
Ereshkigal                    Crown
Dumuzi                        Scepter
Geshtinanna                   6-Pack
Galla Gatekeepers             Clump of Grapes

Samhain Midnight Outside Ritual 2004
MoonPathCUUPS.Org
Fort Lauderdale, FL
October 30, 2004

The Galla usher the visitors through the Memorial Garden and out to
the Main Circle.

Visitors receive candles as they exit the Memorial Garden.

Drummers drum.

Spirit Dancers dance about the Main Circle and guide audience into
a tighter ring. The idea is to herd the visitors into a uniform,
tight circle.

Dumuzi and Geshtinanna move around Circle greeting the audience,
passing out an occasional beer and grape. Then they return to the
altar.

Inanna, Ereshkigal, HP position themselves at High Altar.

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.
Shut off your cell phones, beepers, and NO CAMERAS. 
Some of us here are still closeted.

Ereshkigal: I am Ereshkigal, Queen of the Underworld.
My kingdom is the land of the dead, to which, some day you will all
make your final journey. This evening you are only visiting. This
evening you will have opportunity to contemplate transformation.
This evening, you will have opportunity to commune with the dead.

You have met my bright sister, Inanna, Goddess of Love and the
Middle Earth. She sought completeness. She descended into my realm.
She surrendered the seven symbols of her identity. She died. Three
days later, she was reborn a more complete person for having
confronted her dark side.

For those of you of Jewish Tradition, I, Ereshkigal, am later known
as Lillith, the First Wife of Adam, the First Woman, who would not
submit.

Inanna: 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.

Ereshkigal: And now, let us begin.

(HPS rings bell three times.)

Casting of the Circle:

Ereshkigal: My Galla. Close the Gates to the Underworld. Let us now
cast our Circle.

(Galla cast Circle with sword, chain, axe, and other props.
Drummers drum.)

Chant:  "We cast this Circle round and round,
         By its magick we are bound."

(Galla returns to their station.)

(Ereshkigal places point of athame in salt and adds three portions
of salt to the water and hands it to Geshtinanna.)

Ereshkigal: Geshtinanna, my winter's guest, Lady of the Grapes.
Make yourself useful. Cleanse our Circle with Water and Salt.

(Geshtinanna takes up salt water and proceeds around circle.
Drummers drum.) 

Chant:   "First with water, then with salt,
          I cleanse our space within this vault."

(Geshtinanna returns to her station.)

(HP lights cauldron of sage, lets it flame and then smothers it and
hands it to Ereshkigal.

Ereshkigal: Dumuzi, my summer guest, Lord of Grain and Beverage.
Make yourself useful. Cleanse our Circle with Smoke and Fire.

(Ereshkigal takes up smoking cauldron of sage and hands it to
Dumuzi. Dumuzi proceeds around Circle. Drummers drum.)

Chant:   "Air and smoke fill this place
          Make our circle sacred space."

(Dumuzi returns to his station.)

(HP rings bell.)

Inanna:
       The Circle is cast!
       The Bell is rung,
       The Candles are lit,
       The Chant is sung.
       The Book is opened,
       The Altar is set, 
       The Cauldron is stirred,
       The Group is met.

       We now proclaim to everyone
       That this, our Ritual, has begun.

(HP taps altar three times with Athame)

QUARTER CALLS:

Ereshkigal: My earth-bound visitors, we call the quarters a bit
differently down here. Starting in the West, let the drums sound!

(The West Caller and troop walk around the circle and up to the
high altar.)

Let the words be spoken!

West: "Come scaly denizens of the River Styx,
You who lurk in the stream of no return.
You who watch the lonely barques glide by,
We feel your damp spray in our blood,
In the waves that roar within our hearts."

Let the drums sound!

(West Caller and troop return to their station. The North Caller
and troop walk around the circle and up to the high altar.)

Let the words be spoken!

North: "Stony gargoyles that stare upon the earthly plane,
You watch from the depths, eyes glowing red,
Not venturing out of this cavern to the earth.
We feel your gaze deep in our bones,
Within the marrow of our souls."

Let the drums sound!

(North Caller and troop return to their station. The East Caller
and troop walk around the circle and back to the high altar.)

Let the words be spoken!

East: "Wispy elementals that ride the noxious vapors,
Flying on the wind that whirls between the worlds,
We hear your whispering with each breath,
in the murmuring magic in our minds,
Blow clear our patterns of thought."

Let the drums sound!

(East Caller and troop return to their station. The South Caller
and troop walk around the circle and back to the high altar.)

Let the words be spoken!

South: "Unholy minions who stoke the fiery pits,
Your blazing passions of intensity and desire,
Burning in a whirlpool of liquid fire.
We hear your roaring along our nerves,
Dancing in flames that leap within our will."

Let the drums sound!

(South Caller and troop return to their station.

Inanna: We are between the worlds,
        Beneath the Fullness of the Moon,
        Beyond the bounds of time,
        Where day and night,
        Birth and death,
        Joy and sorrow,
        Meet as one.

(HP Greets Ereshkigal.)

HP: We greet you, Great Lady, Goddess of the Underworld. Open wide,
I pray thee, our eyes to the crossroads on the paths we trod. Share
with us your key to the Dark World. It is to grasp these sacred
mysteries that the knowledge of death makes us complete in life.

(Ereshkigal steps forward.)

(Charge of the Dark Goddess)

Ereshkigal: "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 is denied. I am the key that unlocks every door.

Ereshkigal: I am the glory of discovery, for I am that which is
hidden, secluded and forbidden. Come to my fiery Cauldron of
Wisdom 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---the Dark Goddess will keep you safe. 

Inanna: The spirits will now light your candles.

(Quarter teams light candles within their quarters. Spirit dancers
deliver candles to those who do not have one.)

Inanna: Let our dear ones who have gone before, return this night
to make merry with us. Stare into the fire and see the Underworld
and your path to rebirth.

(Drummer drum.)

Ereshkigal: We stand between the worlds. We face the womb of the
Great Goddess from which all things are born and reborn again. 
CALL OUT THE NAMES of your departed loved ones while the veil
between the worlds is especially thin.

Inanna: Let it be in this same place and this same time that we
may meet and know our departed loved ones, and love them once
again. I am the Opener of the Doorway to Awareness.

Ereshgikal: We will meet our departed loved ones here tonight. We
will also met our own darker selves.

Inanna: Look into your dark self. See it for what it is. Your dark
self is a part of you. Deny it no longer. Accept the darkness and
let it join with the light that you may be made whole.

(Drummers drum. Spirit dancers circle about widdershins inside the
circle. The people call out names.)

Ereshkigal: Dancers stand still! People come forward, one by one,
two by two, and toss your candle into the fire, the Cauldron of
Transformation.

(Leaders and quarter teams advance to fire to toss in their
candles. Then they turn around to encourage others.)

(Wait for everyone to finish tossing candles into the fire.)

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 a God.
And where we had thought to slay another,
We shall slay ourselves.
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.

Ereshkigal: And now it is time for cakes and ale.

(Cakes are distributed.)

(HP circles arounds and kneels before Inanna and Ereshgikal.)

HP:    Great Ladies, our thanks to you. 
       We give you back what is your due.

(HP returns to altar, picks up one cake, and crumbles it to the
ground. HP then he picks up a cake in each hand and feeds one to
each Lady.)

(All eat.)

(Quarter teams distribute cups and ale ( root beer with strawberry
soda)

(The bell is rung three times.)

(HP circles and kneels before Ereshkigal and Inanna and raises
chalice of ale.)

(HP pours a small amount of ale onto the earth and then circles
around to get between them. The ladies together hold the chalice.
The HP places his athame in the goblet)

HP:  Athame to chalice makes them one,
Goddess of Moon and God of the Sun.
A symbol we have for the Great Rite.
May its magick continue by day and by night.
The message is there for all the Earth
to unite in a way that will bring us mirth.
Joining together now we celebrate
as Goddess and God, as mate to mate.

HP & HPSs together:
Thus through these symbols we unite,
For we are Goddesses and God this night.

(Both salute the visitors and drink.)

HP: Life is a Circle, 
Our ties last forever,
We pass through the Cauldron,
And go 'round together.
HP: Eat, drink, and be happy, as happy as we.
 Share and give thanks. So mote it be.

(Drumming and Chanting.)

Chant:
           We are the weavers,
           We are the web,
           We are the flow, and
           We are the ebb.

Ereshkigal: Cups into the fire!

(More Drumming.)

Ereshkigal: It is now time for the Dismissal.

HP: Spirits of the departed. Thank you for joining us at this time
when the veil is so thin. Be on your way now. The dawn soon
approaches.

Ereshkigal: Great Lady Inanna. Thank you for your presence here at
the crossroads this evening.

Inanna: I fly for the other side of tomorrow
Where the rainbows touch the ground;
Where I shall live again
And I shall love again.

(Inanna exits to East.)

Ereshkigal: Let the drums sound!

HP: And now it is time to dismiss the elementals, moving
widdershins, starting with the North.

Let the drums sound!

(North Caller and troop circle to high altar.)

Let the words be spoken!


(North)
"Farewell, Stony gargoyles that stare upon the earthly plane,
Remain in your caverns and your caves,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
Trouble us no further, now or forever."

Let the drums sound!

(North Caller and troop return to their station. West Caller and
troop circle to high altar.)

Let the words be spoken!

(West)
"Farewell, scaly denizens of the River Styx,
Return to your watery abyss,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
Trouble us no further, now or forever."

Let the drums sound!

(West Caller and troop return to their station. South Caller and
troop circle to high altar.)

Let the words be spoken!

(South)
"Farewell, Unholy minions who stoke the fiery pits,
Return to your whirlpool of liquid fire,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
Trouble us no further, now or forever."

Let the drums sound!

(South Caller and troop return to their station. East Caller and
troop circle to high altar.)

Let the words be spoken!

(East)
"Farewell, Wispy elementals that ride the noxious vapors,
Fly on the wind that whirls between the worlds,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
Trouble us no further, now or forever."

Let the drums sound!

(East Caller and troop return to their station.)

HP: Now we flee the Underworld. We ascend through the East Portal
as does the rising sun. We have been transformed and we return to
Middle Earth. Behind us, we hear the sweet song of our new
connection.

(HP exits to East. Dumuzi and Geshtinanna move up beside Ereshkigal.)

(Sung By Starwind.) 

"May the Circle be open, but unbroken
 May the peace of the Goddess be ever in your heart,
 Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again."


Ereshkigal: "Merry Meet, and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again."
"The Circle is now open, but never broken."

( It is our tradition that, following each Ritual, we hug one
another. )


******************************************
Cast:                         Props:
Inanna                        Candles
Ereshkigal                    Cauldron w/ sage
Dumuzi                        Clump of Grapes
Geshtinanna                   6-Pack
Galla, Gatekeepers            Sword
HP                            Matza for Cakes
Quarter Teams                 Root Beer & Strawberry Soda for Ale
Spirit Dancers
Drummers
Singer/Chant Leader

         Sheets for Quarter Callers:

West: "Come scaly denizens of the River Styx,
You who lurk in the stream of no return.
You who watch the lonely barques glide by,
We feel your damp spray in our blood,
In the waves that roar within our hearts."

(West)
"Farewell, scaly denizens of the River Styx,
Return to your watery abyss,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
Trouble us no further, now or forever."


North: "Stony gargoyles that stare upon the earthly plane,
You watch from the depths, eyes glowing red,
Not venturing out of this cavern to the earth.
We feel your gaze deep in our bones,
Within the marrow of our souls."

(North)
"Farewell, Stony gargoyles that stare upon the earthly plane,
Remain in your caverns and your caves,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
Trouble us no further, now or forever."


East: "Wispy elementals that ride the noxious vapors,
Flying on the wind that whirls between the worlds,
We hear your whispering with each breath,
In the murmuring magic in our minds,
Blow clear our patterns of thought."

(East)
"Farewell, Wispy elementals that ride the noxious vapors,
Fly on the wind that whirls between the worlds,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
Trouble us no further, now or forever."


South: "Unholy minions who stoke the fiery pits,
Your blazing passions of intensity and desire,
Burning in a whirlpool of liquid fire.
We hear your roaring along our nerves,
Dancing in flames that leap within our will."

(South)
"Farewell, Unholy minions who stoke the fiery pits,
Return to your whirlpool of liquid fire,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
Trouble us no further, now or forever."


Chant:  "We cast this Circle round and round,
         By its magick we are bound."

Chant:   "First with water, then with salt,
          I cleanse our space within this vault."

Chant:   "Air and smoke fill this place
          Make our circle sacred space."

Chant:
         "We are the weavers,
          We are the web,
          We are the flow, and
          We are the ebb."

"May the Circle be open, but unbroken
 May the peace of the Goddess be ever in your heart,
 Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again."


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