Ritual to the Once and Future King
MoonPath CUUPS Samhain 2013
Fort Lauderdale, FL

(Participants receive candles from Minions as they gather in
Circle.)

(Drummers drum.)

(Spirit dancers spin about the Circle and guide audience into
a tighter ring. The idea is to herd the visitors into a uniform,
tight circle. Smudgers move around smudging participants.)

(HP and HPS move around Circle greeting the participants. Then they
return to the High Altar.)

HP: "Welcome to this our honoring of the Once and Future King.
 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.
 This is a religious ceremony.
 Let us have no drunks trying to jump our sacred fire.
 Shut off your cell phones, beepers, and NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY!
 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."

(Ring bell three times.)

HP: Let there be fire!

(The fire is lit.)

HP: Let us return to an earlier time. I am known by many names.
Some would call me Merlin. I am said to be a Wizard. That means I
am quite clever. I have been around a long time. I can see things
that others can not.

HPS: Every culture needs it's national stories. You North Americans
have your George Washington who chopped down a cherry tree, and a
President Abraham Lincoln who never told a lie. Those were your
good old days.

HP: And so it was, in Merry Old England. In 1066 of the Common Era,
the Normans showed up and took over. These were Northsmen. Think
Vikings, Viking decedents who spoke French, because that is where
they had previously settled, after a previous conquest. So here
were these new kings who were kind of French. They wanted to look
more legitimate and connected with the locals.

HPS: This is not a new thing. There are the tales of Ulysses in the
Greek Trojan War and his travels home in the Odyssey. These
thousand year old stories became the basis of Greek culture by the
time Socrates and Plato were running around.

HP: Well, it seems 500 years before at the end of Roman times,
there was this local hero leading defense against the earlier Saxon
invaders. He won, and for a while, there was peace in the land. And
then everything went bad again.

HPS: Thus were polished up these stories into the noble King Arthur
and his Knights of the Round Table. A special moment in a world of
hierarchies when all were equals at the Round Table. This was a
prosperous time and a time of adventure. 


CASTING THE CIRCLE:

Arthur: "I am young Arthur! The land acknowledges me as King for I
can pull this sword from its stone."

(Arthur pulls sword and waves it about and then places the crown on his head.)

Arthur: "My merry followers, close the gates. Let us now cast our
Circle."

(Minions from the Quarters cast Circle all moving clockwise with
systrums, rattles, bells, and other noise makers. Drummers drum.)

Group Chant:  "We cast this Circle round and bold,
               With Faeries, Queens, and Knights of Old."

(Minions return to their Quarters.)

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

HPS: "We cleanse our Circle with Water and Salt."

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

Group Chant:   "Water of well and salt of the sea,
                Will show us what's past, and what is to be."

(Minion returns to High Altar.)

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

HP: "We cleanse our Circle with Smoke and Fire."

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

Group Chant:   "Fire and smoke twist towards the sky,
                We'll work some magick, low and high."

(Minion returns to High Altar.)

(Ring 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!"

(Tap altar three times with Athame.)

HP: Here was a time of transition between the Goddess
     and the new Christian Religion.
    The Goddess held all things in balance: good and evil,
    birth and rebirth, the predator and the prey. 
    Without the Goddess, destruction and chaos would prevail.
    The New Religion required belief and loyalty.



CALLING THE QUARTERS:

HPS: "But you can't have all these goings on without magic. Now,  
 let us invoke the Elementals, starting in the East. Let the drums 
 sound!"

(The East Caller and troop walk around the circle and up to the
High Altar.)

HP: "Let the words be spoken!"

East: "Hail White Swans, Elementals of Air and Danes to the East. 
 We bid you join us and give us your insight. Come to us from your 
 red clover and your beech trees. Protect us as we work though the 
 changes in our lives."

HPS: "Let the drums sound!"

(East Caller and troop return to their Quarter. The South Caller
and troop walk around the circle and up to the High Altar.)

HP: "Let the words be spoken!"

South: "Hail Ermines and Weasels, Elementals of Fire and Brittons 
 to the South. We bid you, join us and give us your magic power.  
 Sound your pipes and release the magick within ourselves."

HPS: "Let the drums sound!"

(South Caller and troop return to their Quarter. The West Caller
and troop walk around the circle and back to the High Altar.)

HP: "Let the words be spoken!"

West: "Hail Red Dragons, Elementals of Water and Welsh to the West. 
 We bid you join us. Soar to us like the red kite and banish our  
 fears of those who would oppress us."

HPS: "Let the drums sound!"

(West Caller and troop return to their Quarter. The North Caller
and troop walk around the circle and back to the High Altar.)

HP: "Let the words be spoken!"

North: "Hail Red Standing Lions, Elementals of Earth and Scots to 
 the North. We bid you join us and give us your strength. Come to 
 us from your purple thistles. Give us courage, power, and sexual 
  energy."

HPS: "Let the drums sound!"

(North Caller and troop return to their Quarter.)

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



THE INVOCATION OF MORGAN LE FAY:

HP: And now we invoke Morgan Le Fay:

HP: One of the definitions of the name Morgan is "Great Queen"
(Mohr Righan), which may have been an ancient royal title. Her name
appears in all Celtic lands - Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England,
Mann, Cornwall, and Brittany. As far away as Italy, She is called
Fata Morgana. 

HP: Morgan is far older than the medieval Arthurian legends. She is
Queen of the timeless Faerie Isle, Avalon, where She is Goddess of
Healing and Prophecy. She is also a Sea Goddess and Her island can
be found at the end of the silver path the Moon casts upon the
Western Sea.

HP:
   Lady of the Apple Trees
   Keeper of the Western Breeze,
   Morgan, come to us now!

   Guardian of the sacred well
   Speaker of the healing spell
   Morgan, come to us now!

   Mistress of the Dark Moon Night
   Black raven, bold in flight
   Morgan, come to us now!

   Ruler of the fairy mound
   Queen of Fay, She is crowned
   Morgan, come to us now!

   Teacher of warriors, and of sex,
   Of spells that cure and spells that hex
   Morgan, come to us now!

Morgan: "I am keeper of Nature's secrets. 
         I know where to gather the herbs 
           that heal, and those that harm.

        "To follow My ways, you must travel 
         the Gray path between Black and White.
        "To work with Me, you must know 
         the Dark side of the Moon, 
         as well as the bright. 
         The world of the Enchantress
           is a twilight world.
         Healing fire, burning true
         Take these ills away with you.
         Spirits rise in swirling smoke,
         Show us now departed folk.
         With flower, herb, and root and tree
         Bring them here and set them free."



REMEMBERING THE DEPARTED:

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,
 join us this night to make merry with us.
 Stare into the fire and see to the inside of the Underworld.
 Life is as fragile, like a candle in the wind."

(Drummers drum.)

HP: "We stand between Middle Earth and The Underworld.
 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 you may meet and know your departed loved ones,
 and love them once again."

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 Book of the Dead!"

(Minions carry the Book of the Dead up to the fire.)

HPS: "This Book of the Dead contains within it the notes you wrote
in remembrance of your departed. Into the fire!"

(Minions toss book into fire.)

HP: "People come forward, one by one, two by two,
 and toss your candle into our fire,
 the Fire 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 Goddess.
 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."


WORKING MAGICK: (Pause and let the drummers drum.)

HP: "We are not done yet! The story of Arthur continues. It seems
that Morgan did much dabbling among King Arthur's knights. 

(Morgan professes shock and denial.) 

HP: Arthur's Queen Gweneviere took offense and wanted to out
Morgan. But meanwhile, Gwen was dabbling with Sir Lancelot. 

(Morgan harumphs.) 

HP: Also, somewhere in there, there was an illegitimate son to
Arthur named Mordred. 

(Morgan shrugs, who me? Oops!)

HP: These ladies stirred up much trouble among the men, and soon
they all came together in the mighty Battle of Camlan on Salisbury
Plain. All the knights were slain and Arthur was fatally wounded.

(Arthur backs into the Circle, fencing with his sword. With much
drama, he finally collapses on a table, conveniently provided,
beside the High Altar.)

(Morgan walks over to Arthur, looks at him, and steps away.)

HP: Morgan summons her ladies to retrieved Arthur's fatally wounded
body. They return with him to the holy Isle of Avalon to heal him.

(The fairies come out, circle his body, and examine him. Think
Muppets here: pick up an arm, umm, nice! With much cackling, they
pick him up, and carry him out of the Circle.)

HP: For Arthur is the Once and Future King, destined to return
from this timeless fairy island when Britain is in need of him once
again to return through the Mists of Avalon.

HPS: It is said by many men that it is written upon King Arthur's
tomb: "Here lies Arthur, king once, and king to be".


CAKES AND ALE

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

(Cakes, cups, and ale { apple cookies and cider } are distributed
by the Minions.)

HP (gesturing upward): "Great Lady, our thanks to you.
    We give you back what is your due."

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

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

(All eat.)

(Ring 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 circle 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!"


DISMISSAL:

HP: "It is now time for the Dismissal.

HP: Great Lady, Morgan Le Fay, thank you for your presence here
this night.

Morgan: "May the work
         we do tonight
         be complete
         fore dawn's first light

         On this night
         of Moon's rebirth
         May we part
         with love and mirth."

(Morgan steps back into shadows and circles back as HPS.)

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."

HPS: "And now it is time to dismiss the energies of 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, Elementals of Earth and you Scots. Return to your      
purple thistles and heather. We thank you for your strength.      
Blessed be."

HPS: "Let the drums sound!"

(North Caller and troop return to their Quarter. West Caller and
troop circle to High Altar.)

HP: "Let the words be spoken!"

(West)
"Farewell, Elementals of Water and you Welsh. Return to your      
 daffodils and leeks. We thank you for your courage. Blessed be."

HPS: "Let the drums sound!"

(West Caller and troop return to their Quarter. South Caller and
troop circle to High Altar.)

HP: "Let the words be spoken!"

(South)
"Farewell, Elementals of Fire and you Brittons. Return to your    
 pipes and fields. We thank you for your magical power. Blessed   
 be."

HPS: "Let the drums sound!"

(South Caller and troop return to their Quarter. East Caller and
troop circle to High Altar.)

HP: "Let the words be spoken!"

(East)
"Farewell, Elementals of Air and you Danes. Return to your beech  
 trees and red clover. We thank you for your protection. Blessed  
 be."

HPS: "Let the drums sound!"

(East Caller and troop return to their Quarter.)


CLOSING:

HP: There is a curious paradox,
 that no one can explain.
 Who understands the secret 
 of the reaping of the grain?
 Who understands why spring is born
 out winter's laboring pain?
 Or why we must all die a bit,
 before we grow again.

HPS: Fire, seal this Circle Round,
 Let it fade beneath the ground,
 Let all things be as they have been,
 When long before, All did begin.

HP: "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."

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


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

Cast:

HPS & Morgan le Fay - 
HP & Merlin - 
Arthur - 

Smudgers - 
Spirit Dancers - 
East Quarter - 
North Quarter - 
West Quarter -
South Quarter - 
Quarter Minions - 
Altar Minions - 



Props:

Candles in baskets                Red Table Cloth
Cauldron w/ sage                  Book of the Dead
Sword                             Raven
Bell                              
Plates & Cups                     
Candles                           
Cakes - apple cookies             
Cider Ale
4 Pitchers
4 Baskets


Resources: Morgan Le Fay by Susa Morgan Black

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

                     Quarter Calls


East: "Hail White Swans, Elementals of Air and Danes to the East.
We bid you join us and give us your insight. Come to us from your
red clover and your beech trees. Protect us as we work though the
changes in our lives."


(East Dismissal)
Farewell, Elementals of Air and you Danes. Return to your beech
trees and red clover. We thank you for your protection. Blessed
be."


South: "Hail Ermines and Weasels, Elementals of Fire and Brittons
to the South. We bid you, join us and give us your magic power.
Sound your pipes and release the magick within ourselves."


(South Dismissal)
"Farewell, Elementals of Fire and you Brittons. Return to your
pipes and fields. We thank you for your magical power. Blessed be."


West: "Hail Red Dragons, Elementals of Water and Welsh to the West.
We bid you join us. Soar to us like the red kite and banish our
fears of those who would oppress us."


(West Dismissal)
"Farewell, Elementals of Water and you Welsh. Return to your
daffodils and leeks. We thank you for your courage. Blessed be."


North: "Hail Red Standing Lions, Elementals of Earth and Scots to
the North. We bid you join us and give us your strength. Come to us
from your purple thistles. Give us courage, power, and sexual
energy."


(North Dismissal)
"Farewell, Elementals of Earth and you Scots. Return to your purple
thistles and heather. We thank you for your strength. Blessed be."



Group Chant:  "We cast this Circle round and bold,
               With Faeries, Queens, and Knights of Old."

Group Chant:   "Water of well and salt of the sea,
                Will show us what's past, and what is to be."

Group Chant:   "Fire and smoke twist towards the sky,
                We'll work some magick, low and high."


Quarter Props:

Cakes
Cider
Cups
Extra Candles
Bic

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