Samhain 2009 - Witches Ball Midnight Ritual
Moonpath CUUPS - Fort Lauderdale, FL
October 31, 2009

(The Ritual starts inside with a Samhain Playlet. We quiet the room
and 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.


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. I tend hearth and
home as my energy grows amidst abundance.


Crone:

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

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


Spel:

The Goddess can appear in any of her aspects: Maid, Matron or
Crone.

In the Norse tradition, those who die gloriously in battle, go to
Valhalla. There, they are cared for by maidens as they make up
drinking songs.

The others who die of natural causes, disease or old age, go to
Helheim. These are the farmers, peasants, and clergy. They are the
inglorious dead. Helheim is a place cold and damp. It is presided
over by the Goddess Hel. Here is a melancholy and depressing place.
Hel is the Goddess of the Blues. She determines the fate of all
those who enter her realm.

This is not a place of punishment. It is dark, mysterious and
lonesome, but not the vast torture chamber that later Christians
would conceive.

Hel is daughter of the Trickster Loki. Loki would cause others much
unpleasantness, but not necessarily harm. Her mother is the
giantess Angrboda, the one who brings grief. Hel had two brothers.
One is a serpent and the other a wolf.

In olden times, the curse, "go to Hel" meant you were going to die.

Hel is known for her wisdom, and she shall share some of it with
you, for magick is not easy.


                                           
Maid (a poem by Oriethyia):

Magick is not easy.
Not Presto Chango
Hocus Pocus
Snap your fingers
All is changed.


Matron:

Magick is not easy.
Abra-cadab-ra
Will not do it,
Spin around twice
And all is changed.


Crone:

Nothing changes nothing.
Magick is not easy.
Nothing moves,
Unless the heart is in it,
Unless the will is in it.


Maid:

Cutesy-pie
Rainbow light magick,
Think good thoughts and all will be well,
Budges nothing,
Flits along
Like a half-turned smirk,
Unable to grow
Into a laugh.
Magick is not easy.


Matron:

If you would do magick,
Listen,
Everything is connected
Everything,
Like it or not,
Never mind that it does not compute,
Everything is connected.


Crone:

If you would do magick,
Listen, start here.
Everything is connected,
Nothing moves
Unless the heart is in it,
Unless the will is in it.
Magick is not easy.


Maid:

Simple words won't do,
Chanting the same song
Day in day out, 
Every full or new moon
Is not enough.
If the mouth is singing
"Hail unto Thee Spirits of the South"
While the mind is humming
Budgets and schedules and where did I leave those keys,
This is not ritual,
Only rote.
And we have more than enough of that,
Thank you.
Magick is not easy.


Matron:

When we will not,
Cannot,
Touch our own demons,
We invent others
Or worse,
Sing the names of demons
Invented for us.
Magick is not easy.


Crone:

If you would live magick,
Listen,
You must move beyond your pain.
Listen.
You must turn and face your fear.
Listen.
You must touch the demons, hold them,
Ignore your scorching flesh.
It is illusion.
Cradle the flailing thing.
Cradle it,
Cradle it.


Maid:

Madonna with child
Madonna, Madonna,
Mother-gift.
Cradle your demon self
Until you can love it into healing.
Magick is not easy.


Matron:

If you would be magick,
Then listen.
Dance your demons with love.
Dance your demons until
They become love.
Fill your heart,
With the mother's love,
And dance your
Shattered pieces into her love.


Crone:

Listen.
There are two rules,
Just two:
"And you harm none, do as you will."
Listen.
"Everything you do comes back to you,
a thousand fold."


Maid:

Magick is not easy.
Nothing changes unless the heart is in it,
Unless the will is in it.
Listen.
True magick demands two things,
Only two.
Integrity and
Clear intent.


Matron:

Intent.
Because you must see truly what
You desire,
Before you can call it out.


Crone:

Integrity.
Because only fools foul the well
Where they daily
Must drink.


Maid, Matron & Crone together:

Magick is not easy!

(Much applause)

Come follow us outside. We will pass by our Memorials to the
Departed and on to our Fire Circle. Join us in the Realm of Hel,
Goddess of the Dead!


                 Hel - Goddess of the Dead
               Samhain 2009 - Outside Ritual


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

Visitors receive candles from Minions as they enter the Circle.

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, Helheim.
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 FLASH 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 sometimes the God,
by all Their names,
and in growing, we experience the darkness,
and we grow in brightness,
following the cycles of Moon and Sun,
for light and dark are one.

HP: And now, let us begin.

(Maiden 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.)

Group 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, bless us with your aid. Please cleanse our Circle with
Water and Salt.

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

Group 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: Matron, bless us with your service. Please cleanse our Circle
with Smoke and Fire.

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

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

(Matron returns to High Altar.)

(Maiden 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.

(Maiden taps altar three times with Athame)


HP: "Be welcome here in Hel's Bright Hall.
     Rest and feast forevermore."
     Your hands gather our weary souls.
     Wrap us in your dark shadow.
     Hel, give to us your burning kiss upon our brow."

QUARTER CALLS:

The Crone (Flicks kiss to HP): My fine visitors, we here in Helheim
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.)

HP: Let the words be spoken!

West: "Come scaly serpents of the rivers beneath the earth,
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.)

HP: Let the words be spoken!

North: "Steely wolves that stare upon the earthly plane,
You watch from your lairs, eyes glowing red,
Not venturing out now from this cavern to the earth.
We feel your gaze deep in 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.)

HP: 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."

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.)

HP: Let the words be spoken!

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

The Crone: Let the drums sound!

(South Caller and troop return to their station.)

HP: "Valkyries, fly on, carry your slain warriors to their drunken
revelry in Valhalla. They do not belong here among our inglorious
dead. We welcome them no more than the ugly changelings dropped
into the cradles of unwatchful mothers."

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.

Matron ( to Crone ):

From the ice and shadow of Your dark abode,
You whisper to us,
knowing that, in time, all must journey to Your realm.
Your power, flowering like an black lotus fed by a crimson tide
calls in dreams and sings in our blood.
Odin Himself bows to Your wisdom,
writhing in agony on the Tree of Sacrifice in exchange for your gifts.
Your name is so often spoken in hushed, fearful tones;
yet it is only knowledge
and comfort that You offer, a place of ending and learning.
There is no greater joy than to be blessed by Your magick.
You sit in darkness, forging stones of power and prophecy,
offering up Your gifts to those willing to call You Mother.
Give us the strength to journey to Your dark places,
that we may learn from the hands that nestled us in our mothers'wombs,
The hands that will gather our weary souls when our mortal time is done.
We offer ourselves that we may receive Thy burning kiss upon our humble brow.
Goddess Hel, wrap us in the grace
of Your shadow. We hail you.


(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.)

Hel: Let our dear ones who have gone before,
join us this night to make merry with us.
Stare into the fire and see the inside of Helheim.

(Drummer drum.)

HP: We stand between Middle Earth and Helheim.
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.

Hel: Let it be in this same place and this same time
that you may meet and know your 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.

Hel: 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 HPS/Crone. 
 Matron is standing beside HP.)

Maiden to Crone: Thank you for your presence.

Matron to 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 } )

(Maiden rings the bell 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, Matron 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.)

Matron: Paper cups into the fire!

Crone: You are not done yet! Minions, bring forth my cauldrons!

I sit, polishing stones of prophesy and defense,
knowing that, in time, all must journey to my realm.
Odin Himself bows to my wisdom.
I sit in darkness, forging these stones of power and prophecy,
offering up gifts to those willing to call me Mother.
Draw from my icy cauldrons a stone.
(Maid and Matron hold plates of stones. Crone drops them into cauldrons.)
A stone fortelling the fate of your remaining years in Middle Earth.
Reach into this dark place that you may learn from what is caught by your hand.
Receive this burning kiss from these icy waters of the Goddess Hel.

 (Minions return to quarter altars with cauldrons.)

Maid:   A white stone means purity on your path.
Matron: Green means prosperity.
Maid:   Yellow means caution.
Matron: Red means passion.
Maid:   Orange means a sunset lies ahead.
Matron: Gray means shadows will follow you.
Crone:  Mixed means a troubled future.

Maid: Come forward to the quarter to your left and draw a stone.

Maid:   A white stone means purity on your path.
Matron: Green means prosperity.
Maid:   Yellow means caution.
Matron: Red means passion.
Maid:   Orange means a sunset lies ahead.
Matron: Gray means shadows will follow you.
Crone:  Mixed means a troubled future.

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, the hag, will he discover 
           the eternal feminine.

(More Drumming.)

Maid: And now, we are done.

HPS: It is now time for the Dismissal.
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 greeting us here in the Helhein this
evening.

(Maiden steps back into shadows.)

Crone: Fine Matron. Thank you for greeting us here in Helhein this
evening.

(Matron 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, Steely wolves that stare upon the earthly plane,
Return to your lairs deep in the earth,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
Trouble us no further, now or tomorrow."

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 serpents of the rivers beneath the Earth,
Return to your watery abyss,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
Trouble us no further, now or tomorrow."

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 trolls, giants 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 tomorrow."

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 tomorrow."

HPS: Let the drums sound!

(East Caller and troop return to their station.)

HP: Now we depart from Helheim. We have communed with the dead 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."

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




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

Cast:
HP - 
HPS & Crone & Hel -
The Matron - 
The Maid -

Many Minions -
Candle Faerie -
Smudgers -
Wreath Schlepers -
East Quarter -
North Quarter -
West Quarter - 
South Quarter -
Spirit Dancers -
Drummers -

Props:
Staff for Hel                     Knife
Candles                           Cakes
Cauldron w/ sage                  Bell
Sword                             Twine
Wreath                            Ribbons
Plates                            Rocks
Creamor                           4 Cauldrons
Shortbread sandwiches             Paper Cups
Root Beer & Strawberry Soda
4 Pitchers
4 Baskets


         Sheets for Quarter Callers:

West: "Come scaly denizens of the rivers beneath the earth,
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 rivers beneath the Earth,
Return to your watery abyss,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
Trouble us no further, now or tomorrow."


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

(North)
"Farewell, Steely wolves that stare upon the earthly plane,
Return to your lairs deep in the earth,
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
Trouble us no further, now or tomorrow."


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 tomorrow."


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

(South)
"Farewell, Unholy trolls 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 tomorrow."

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