The Hour of the Crone
Samhain 2008
MoonapthCUUPS

(The Ritual starts inside. We quiet the room and then our three
Goddesses introduce themselves:)


Maiden:

Welcome to this our most magickal of nights. I am the Maiden. You
have seen me in the spring time. You have seen me at the Well. My
sign it is the crescent moon.

It is I, the Maiden, who is most honored in our culture. We like
the younger look. A woman who ages tries to look as young as she
can.


Matron:

Welcome to this our most magickal of nights. I am the Matron. You
have seen me in the summer when the moon is full. We don't really
like the word "matronly." So It's interesting how we must play upon
that Maiden aspect as far as our looks are concerned.

You only begin to discover the difference between what you really
are, your real self, and your appearance, when you get a bit
older...A whole dimension of life suddenly slides away and you
realize that what in fact you've been using to get attention has
been what you look like...It's a biological thing.


Crone:

Welcome to this our most magickal of nights. I am the Crone. I have
gained control of the sacred fire. I keep the inner fire burning.
I have learnt the power of energy retention and transmutation and
I can choose how to spend or store my energies.

I am free of the restrictions of fertility, I live in the
wilderness of forest or battle, related to no one. I am the shadow
version of the One who gave you all life and nurtured you through
childhood.

My sign is the Waning Moon. You have entered the hour of the Crone
and the time of the Third and Final Harvest.

             (These words were lifted from those of Germaine Greer)



Maiden:

We are closer to the Earth than men. But closer also to the
underworld beneath the soil.

Matron:

Remember the story of the three Fates.

The Maiden is spinning the yarn,

(Maiden pulls out a ball of twine and hands it to the Matron while
still holding the end.)

the Matron is measuring,

(The Matron walks away contemplating the twine as it unrolls.)


and the Crone is cutting the thread of life.

(The Crone steps between the two of them and, with big hedge clippers. 
chops through the twine with a yell.)


Crone:

Come follow us outside. We will pass by our memorials to the dead
and on to our ritual area. Join us for the Hour of the Crone!



               Samhain 2008 - Outside Ritual

Goddesses, HPS and HP usher the visitors through the Memorial
Garden and out to the Main Circle.

Visitors receive candles from Minions as they exit the Memorial
Garden.

Drummers drum.

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

HP and HPS move around Circle greeting the audience. Then they
return to the High Altar.

HP:  Welcome to this, the Otherworld.
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!

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 Moon and Sun,
and glowing in Divine Radiance.

HP: And now, let us begin.

(HPS rings bell three times.)


Casting of the Circle:

HPS: Minions, close the Gates. Let us now cast our Circle.

(Minions from the Quarters cast Circle all moving clockwise with
sword, chain, axe, and other props. Drummers drum.)

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

(Minions return to their stations.)

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

HPS: Maiden, make yourself useful. Cleanse our Circle with Water
and Salt.

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

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

(Maiden returns to High Altar.)

(HP lights cauldron of sage, lets it flame and then smothers it.)

HP: Maiden, make yourself useful. Cleanse our Circle with Smoke and
Fire.

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

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

(Maiden returns to High Altar.)

(HP rings bell.)

HPS:
       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:

The Crone: My fine visitors, we here in the Otherworld
call the quarters a bit differently.
Starting in the West, let the drums sound!

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

The Crone: Let the words be spoken!

West: "Come energies of Morgan La Fey
White face, raven hair, 
with soft gray eyes she gloomed and glowered
with soft red lip[s she sings a song
queen of shadowland
healer and dark magician, enchanted weapons,
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."

The Crone: 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.)

The Crone: Let the words be spoken!

North: "Come Energies of Gypsy Enchantress
Bedazzler, prophet, counselor of kings and courts of power.
Dancing spirals amidst the clap of bells,
You watch through your veils as others are lost to your charm.
Bring forth your energy from the dark earth,
We feel the stirring deep within our bones,
Within the marrow of our souls."

The Crone: 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.)

The Crone: Let the words be spoken!

East: "Come Energies of Medea
Priestess of Hecate, magical herbs and poisons with skill,
stay the course of rivers, Hail and Welcome!
Come, Medea, Princess of Colchis and High Priestess of Hecate.
Your world is veiled in the Shadows of the Past.
Come hither, as we draw back the mist for you,
and partake in the glories that were once Ancient Greece."

The Crone: 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.)

The Crone: Let the words be spoken!

South: "Come Priestesses of Circe
Your unholy spells arise from the fiery pits,
Your blazing potions 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."

The Crone: Let the drums sound!

(South Caller and troop return to their station.)

Maiden: 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.

HPS: We greet you, Great Lady, Queen of the Otherworld.
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.

(Charge of the Dark Goddess)

The Crone: "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. 

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.

HP: The spirit dancers will now light your candles.

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

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

(Drummer drum.)

HP: 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 tonight the veil between the worlds is especially thin.

HPS: 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.

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

HPS: 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.)

HP: Dancers stand still! Bring forth the Wreath of Remembrance.

(Minions carry wreath up beside the fire.)

HPS: This wreath carries with it the ribbons you tied onto it in
remembrance of your departed. Into the fire!

(Minions toss wreath into fire.)

HP: People come forward, one by one, two by two,
and toss your candle into our 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.)

HPS: 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.

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

(Cakes are distributed by the Minions.)

(Maiden is standing beside HP. Crone is standing beside HPS.)

HP to the Maiden: Thank you for your presence.

HPS to the Crone: Great Lady, our thanks to you. 
                     We give you back what is your due.

(HP picks up one cake from the altar and crumbles it to the
ground.)

(HP then picks up a cake and feeds it to the HPS.)

(All eat.)

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

(The bell is rung three times.)

(HPS pours a small amount of ale onto the earth. HPS holds 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 & HPS together:
Thus through these symbols we unite,
For we are one all on this night.

(Both salute the Maiden, Crone and visitors and drink.)

HPS: 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.)

HP: Paper cups into the fire!

The Crone: The Triple Goddess is every woman:
the Mother who bears man;
the Nymph who lies with him;
the Crone who initiates him into the secrets of life
and eventually buries him.
Man forever seeks behind the veiled face for the nymph,
is disconcerted when he finds he has embraced a mother,
then is appalled when he finds the crone.
Only if he can swallow the hysterical scream of the crone,
or hag, will he discover the eternal feminine,
Hagia Sophia, Holy Wisdom.

(More Drumming.)

HPS: 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.

HP: Fair Maiden. Thank you for your presence here in the Otherworld
this evening.

(Maiden steps back into shadows.)

HPS: Great Lady. Thank you for your presence here in the Otherworld
this evening.

(Crone steps back into shadows.)

HPS: Let the drums sound!

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

HPS: Let the drums sound!

(North Caller and troop circle to high altar.)

HP: Let the words be spoken!

(North)
"Farewell, Dancing Enchantress who swirls upon the earthly plane,
Return to your shadows and your tents,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
Trouble us no further, now or forever."

HPS: Let the drums sound!

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

HP: 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."

HPS: Let the drums sound!

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

HP: Let the words be spoken!

(South)
"Farewell, Unholy spells stoked from 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."

HPS: Let the drums sound!

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

HP: 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."

HPS: Let the drums sound!

(East Caller and troop return to their station.)

HP: Now we depart from the Otherworld. We have been transformed and
we return to Middle Earth.

HPS: "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."

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

HP: It is our tradition that, following each Ritual, we hug one
another.


******************************************

Cast:
HP - Spel
HPS & Matron - Melanie
The Crone - Kristine
The Maid - Silver Tiger Lily
Chantress - Karina
Many Minions
East Quarter - Kassandra (Red)
North Quarter - Kyle Ravenwolf, Linda
West Quarter - Elizabeth
South Quarter - Skybear
Spirit Dancers - ?
Drummers - Sophia el al


Props:
Twine
Knife
Candles
Cauldron w/ Sage
Sword
Wreath
Ribbons
Root Beer & Strawberry Soda for Ale
Cakes
Bell

******************************************

Quarter Callers' Sheets

(West)
"Come energies of Morgan La Fey
White face, raven hair, 
with soft gray eyes she gloomed and glowered
with soft red lips she sings a song
queen of shadowland
healer and dark magician, enchanted weapons,
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)
"Come Energies of Gypsy Enchantress
Bedazzler, prophet, counsellor of kings and courts of power.
Dancing spirals amidst the clap of bells,
You watch through your veils as others are lost to your charm.
Bring forth your energy from the dark earth,
We feel the stirring deep within our bones,
Within the marrow of our souls."


(North)
"Farewell, Dancing Enchantress who swirls upon the earthly plane,
Return to your shadows and your tents,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
Trouble us no further, now or forever."





(East)
"Come Energies of Medea
Priestess of Hecate, magical herbs and poisons with skill,
stay the course of rivers, Hail and Welcome!
Come, Medea, Princess of Colchis and High Priestess of Hecate.
Your world is veiled in the Shadows of the Past.
Come hither, as we draw back the mist for you,
and partake in the glories that were once Ancient Greece.


(East)
"Farewell, Wispy elementals that ride the Shadows of the Past,
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)
"Come Priestesses of Circe
Your unholy spells arise from the fiery pits,
Your blazing potions 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 spells stoked from 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."
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