Sekhmet's Mid Summer Ritual
7:00 pm, Saturday, July 31, 2004
by SophiaLinus@hotmail.com
MoonPathCUUPS.Org
Unitarian Universalist Church of Ft Lauderdale

HPS:  	Sophia		HP:   	Spelcastor

Ritual: Mid Summer. First Harvest.  Banishing/New Beginnings (transition) 
ritual.
	Life that dies so that life may live.
It is common ritual to bake special ceremonial breads to honor the Goddesses 
and Gods. 	The grinding of the grain represents the harvest and death (or 
transition), adding sprouted wheat and yeast represents resurrection, and 
the consumption of the food represents the cycles of nature and new life.

	Honors the Grain Harvests and the Goddesses and Gods of Death and 
                Resurrection.
	Full Moon July 31, 2004,  2:05 PM - August 30, 2004, 2:22 AM.
	 Sun is 15 degrees in Leo on August 7, 2004.  Halfway between Summer 
                Solstice (Litha) and Fall Equinox (Mabon ).

	This eclectic ritual will be in honor of the Goddess Sekhmet.
	There will be elements of Egyptian, Wicca, and Strega rituals.

Goddess: Sekhmet
The heliacal rise of Sirius just before dawn was an extremely important 
event for the ancient Egyptians.  This coincided with the flooding of the 
Nile which fertilized the land.  The occasion was seen as the birthday of 
the gods and the Egyptian New Year.  August 1st now is the first day of the 
Egyptian calendar.

Mid Summer and Mid Autumn are the Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet's ritual times.  
There was great feasting, drinking, and merry making in the fields during 
her rituals to celebrate the harvest.  She is a Sun Goddess as well as the 
Goddess of destruction, rebirth, and healing.  She is called the Lady of the 
place of the beginning of time.  One who was before the Gods were.  She 
holds an Ankh in one hand and a Lotus Wand in the other; She wears a red 
dress.  The God Ptah is her consort and Nefertem is their son who is also 
closely associated with healers and healing.

	Her Name is derived from the Egyptian word 'Sekhem', which means "power" or 
               "might".
	The word 'sekhem' is literally inseparable from Sekhmet and Her worship.

	The mantra Sa Sekhem Sahu can be chanted to balance and increase your 
                inner power.
	Sa Sekhem Sahu is pronounced Sa (Sah) Sekhem (Say-Kem) Sahu (Sah-Hoo);
	Sa means the breath of life; Sekhem means power or might; Sahu is the 
                realized human.

	Sekhmet's main cult center was located in Memphis (Men-nefer) and was part 
                of the Divine Triad there, which was made up of Sekhmet, Ptah, and Nefertem.

Sekhmet's action is always the right, or 'appropriate action'.  When She 
destroys it is an appropriate destruction or vengeance.  It is never chaotic 
or random.  It is always what is needed at the time.  She removes threats 
and punishes those who do wrong against Ma'at.  As a destroying element, and 
in texts of all periods she plays the part of a power which protects the 
good and annihilates the wicked.  She is generally depicted in the form of a 
woman with the head of a lioness which is surmounted by the solar disk 
encircled by an uraeus, but sometimes the disk is omitted, and a uraeus only 
is seen upon her head.

God: Ptah:
	Consort of Sekhmet.  The 'Creator' Netjer of the Ancient Egyptians.
	God of the month of Paopi of the season of Akhet (Inundation), which was 
        from approximately mid August to mid September.

Goddess of the
	East:  Bast.
	South: Nekhebet.
	West:  Sekhet.
	North: Uatchet.

In comparatively late dynastic times Sekhet and Bast were identified with 
forms of Hathor, and were regarded as the Goddesses of the West and the East 
respectively, just as Nekhe-bet and Uatchet were the goddesses of the South 
and the North respectively.  Each goddess had the head of a lioness, but the 
body of Sekhet is said to have been draped in a red garment whilst that of  
Bast was arrayed in a green garment.
Alter:
	Facing the north covered with a red cloth.
	Decorated with barley, corn, apples, green/yellow squash
  	Red Goddess Candle placed to the northwest,
	Green God Candle placed to the northeast.  Icons next to each.
	Pentacle placed in center with the Spirit bowl and candle set upon it.
	Placed to the north: Utility knife, and Bowl contains stones to represent earth.
	Placed to the east: Athame, and Bowl contains votive candle (burning) to represent fire.
	Placed to the south: Wand, Bell, and Bowl contains incense (smoking) to represent air.
	Placed to the west: Chalice, and Bowl contains purified water to represent water.
	Other items: Ankh, Censer with chain, bowl of salt, four quarter candles, 
          libation bowl, broom, one utility candle, and cauldron.
	Mundane tools: Utility knife, sacred bic lighter, candle snuffer.

Cakes and Ale:  Barley bread and Red beer (root beer and red soda)

Drummers: (all who bring drums within the circle area)
	Drum beat for the gathering.

Volunteer will pass out paper and tell everyone to write two things on it.
	"One that you want to banish from and one that you want to bring into your life."
	These papers will be burned on the fire.

Fire Tender:
	will build and start the fire.

Procession:
	Volunteer to carry Sekhmet banner and lead everyone into circle.
	Volunteer to carry CUUPS banner into circle.

Volunteer to lead the chant.

	"She changes everything She touches
	 and Everything She touches changes"

Drummers:
Drum beat for the chant.

Blessing coming into the circle while smudging:
Volunteer will smudge everyone and say:

	"Welcome to this Mid Summer rite, may your life always be bright".

HPS lights the utility candle.

Grounding meditation:
Volunteer will lead the meditation.
"Relax, breath deeply.  Take a breath for the count of 3, hold for the count 
of 3,  exhale for the count of 3.  Plant your feet firmly on the ground.  
Think of your feet growing roots into the ground and getting relaxing energy 
from the earth.   Now think of a brilliant white light over your head.   
That white light is shining down upon you.   Imagine that you are being 
bathed in that white light.  That light is pouring down upon you.  That 
brilliant white light is love and healing.  Let that light be within you, 
and you be within that light.  You are getting relaxing energy from the 
earth and love and healing energy from the brilliant white light.  Now take 
a minute and see yourself on a big screen.  You are exactly how you want to 
be.  Picture yourself with everything you want, wherever you want to be, 
surrounded by people who love you.  This is the you that you can become.  
(Pause.)  Now when you are ready come back to this place, keep the relaxing, 
love, and healing energy with you, and open your eyes.".

Consecrate the salt and water (HP places point of athame in salt)
HP:
"As Salt is Life, let it purify us in all ways we may use it.  Let it 
cleanse our bodies and spirits as we dedicate ourselves in these rites to 
the glory of the Goddess and the God."
(HPS places three portions of salt in the water with her athame.)
HPS:
	"Let the Sacred Salt drive out any impurities in this Water, that we may 
use it throughout these rites."

Drummers:
	Drum beat for casting the circle.

Cast the Circle:
     With blade: (HPS casts the Circle with athame moving deosil.)
	"I cast the circle round and round, by it's magic we are bound".
     With water and salt:  (Volunteer takes up salt water.  Follows HPS around the Circle):
	"Salt and water purify, Strength and Dreams, never die".
     With incense: (HP takes up censer and follows Volunteer around the Circle.)
	"Air and fire purify, Imagination and Magick fly".

They return to alter and HPS rings bell three times.

Invite the Spirit, Goddess, and God of the Universe.

HPS: 	"Let the Drums beat".

Drummers:
	Drum beat for a count of 16.
HPS:	Chime or Bell to stop drummers.

HP: 	"Let the words be spoken".

HPS lights the Spirit candle in the spirit bowl from the utility candle.
	"Hail Great Spirit, Spirit of the Universe, I bid you come,  join us in 
this rite and lend us your wisdom".

HPS lights the Goddess candle from the Spirit candle in the spirit bowl.
	"Hail Great Goddess, Goddess of the Universe, I bid you welcome."

HP lights the God candle from the Spirit candle in the spirit bowl.
	"Hail Great God, God of the Universe, I bid you welcome."

Invite the elements:
HP:	"Let's Invite the elements starting with the north".

NORTH:
HPS: 	"Let the Drums beat".
Drummers:
	Drum beat while Volunteer for north will walk around the circle to the 
          alter to use the microphone.
HPS:	Chime or Bell to stop drummers.

HP: 	"Let the words be spoken".

Volunteer for north will walk around the circle to the alter to use the microphone.
North - (earth - Goddess Uatchet - Mountain Lioness)
	"Hail Goddess Uatchet of the North and Earth, great Mountain Lioness, 
        I bid you, join us and give us strength.  So Mote it be".
HPS: lights the north quarter candle from the Spirit candle in the spirit bowl.

EAST:
HPS: 	"Let the Drums beat".
Drummers:
	Drum beat while Volunteer for east will walk around the circle to the alter 
          to use the microphone.
HPS:	Chime or Bell to stop drummers.

HP: 	"Let the words be spoken".
Volunteer for east will walk around the circle to the alter to use the microphone.
East  - (fire - Goddess Bast - Lioness)
	"Hail  Goddess Bast of the East and Fire, great Lioness, I bid you, join us 
        and give us magic power.  So Mote it be".
HPS: lights the east quarter candle from the Spirit candle in the spirit bowl.

SOUTH:
HPS: 	"Let the Drums beat".
Drummers:
	Drum beat while Volunteer for south will walk around the circle to the 
           alter to use the microphone.
HPS:	Chime or Bell to stop drummers.

HP: 	"Let the words be spoken".
Volunteer for south will walk around the circle to the alter to use the microphone.
South - (air - Goddess Nekhebet - Winged Lioness)
	"Hail  Goddess Nekhebet of the South and Air, great Winged Lioness, I bid 
        you, join us and give us insight.  So Mote it be".
HPS: lights the south quarter candle from the Spirit candle in the spirit bowl.

WEST:
HPS: 	"Let the Drums beat".
Drummers:
	Drum beat while Volunteer for west will walk around the circle to the alter 
          to use the microphone.
HPS:	Chime or Bell to stop drummers.

HP: 	"Let the words be spoken".
Volunteer for west will walk around the circle to the alter to use the microphone.
West  - (water - Goddess Sekhet - Sea Lioness)
	"Hail  Goddess Sekhet of the West and Water, great Sea Lioness, I bid you, 
        join us and give us new beginnings.  So Mote it be".
HPS: lights the west quarter candle from the Spirit candle in the spirit bowl.

Invite the Goddess Sekhmet:
HPS:	"Let the Drums beat".
HP: 	"Let the words be spoken".
HPS:
"As it was at Memphis, So be it now!   Hear me, I beseech Thee, O Powerful 
One!  Hail Sekhmet,  Bright Mother, Dark Mother... Goddess of rebirth and 
healing.   We call to you, your children call to you.   Come, be with us, 
and give us guidance".

"Sekhmet, Lady of the Place of the Beginning of Time, Sekhmet, Whose 
Essence is Fire, Tempestuous, Forever, Great one of Magick, Grant me 
success in my endeavor!  Blessed be the Name of Sekhmet, Beloved Her Image! 
Possess me now, O Great One".

HP:   Says SEKHMET'S OWN PRAYER OF PROTECTION
"SEKHMET, Awakener, Lady of Transformations.  Great One of Magic, Opener of 
Ways, One Before Whom Evil Trembles, Protectress of the Divine Order, Over 
comer of All Enemies, Bring the Strength of your Divine Fire To protect your 
Beloved Children, Those whom you have gathered to your Breast. Our Hearts 
are Pure Our Minds Clear. Let all Here be Accomplished For the Glory of 
Sekhmet, So we may better Delight in the Breadth Of Your Divine Presence 
within Our lives.
Amen - So Mote It Be"

Invite the God Ptah:
HP:
"Hail Ptah, God of Memphis and life, he who set all the Gods in their places 
and gave all people, all cattle, and all creeping things that live the 
breath of life, patron of masons, sculptors, painters, builders and 
carpenters, consort of Sekhmet, we call to you.  Come, be with us, and give 
us new life".

Explain the purpose of the Mid Summer ritual:
HP:
"This is the first harvest.   We now reap what we have sown.  A time for 
rejoicing.  We invite you to share our harvest.   The first of three 
harvests before winter is upon us.   The first crops are cut in the fields.  
The plants die as the fields are reaped.  Look at the fields of your life.   
This is the time to look within yourself.  Look at what you have sown and 
are now reaping.  You are harvesting the sowing of your past deeds and 
words.  This is the time to cultivate positive deeds and words for the 
future".
HP:   	"Have you sown well?"
HPS:  	"Have you tended your fields with care?"
HP:   	"What do you fear?"
Chant three times by everyone:
	"Hoof and horn,	 Hoof and horn,	 All that dies shall be reborn.
	 Wheat and grain, Wheat and grain, All that falls shall rise again".

HPS:  Explain the Banishing/NewBeginnings Ritual:
"This is a Banishing/NewBeginnings ritual.   This is the time to rid 
yourself of deeds, words, feelings, and emotions that produced ineffective 
harvest.  Now is the time to replace those deeds, words, feelings, and 
emotions, with ones which will be effective to bring success, happiness and 
joy into your life.

Everyone has written something on paper that you want to banish from your 
life and bring into your life.  Think hard about what you want  to replace 
in your life and what you want to replace it with.  Banish the things that 
are keeping you from becoming what you want to be.

Think about what and who you want to become. Put those thoughts into the 
paper in your hand.   The energy will be in the paper even if nothing is 
written on the paper.  These will be burned in the fire and as they burn the 
energy will go into the universe.  We will start a chant.  During the chant 
when you are ready come forward and light the paper from the candle and drop 
it into the	 cauldron to finish burning.   As you leave the cauldron then 
join us as we will then have a spiral dance".

HPS: 	"Let the Drums beat".

Drummers:
	Drum beat for raising energy during the chanting and the spiral dance.

Volunteer to lead banishing chant as everyone comes forward to burn their paper:
	"Magick, Magick, what we claim.	 Into the Paper into the flame".

Volunteer leads in a spiral dance as the drummers' drum.

After the dance is done all say:
	"And As We Will It, So Mote It Be!"

Dedicate the Barley Bread:
HPS:	Holds athame.
HP:	Holds up plate of bread.
HPS:  	"Behold the Bread of Life".
HPS:	Touches each with athame and puts one in the libation dish.
HPS & HP:
	"Eat of the Bread of Life, that you might live through the long winter's 
Night.
	 Will you share the bounty of the Goddess and God with me?"
HPS & HP: offer each other the bread.

Dedicate the Red Beer:
HPS:	Holds Alter chalice.
HP:	Fills Alter chalice and libation dish with the red beer.
HPS:  	"Behold the Red Beer of Life".
HPS & HP:
	"Drink of the Red Beer of Life, that you might live through the long 
           winter's Night.
	 Will you share the bounty of the Goddess and God with me?"
HPS & HP: offer each other the red beer.


Great Rite:
HPS:	Holds Alter chalice.
HP:	Places athame into chalice.
HPS:	"As the chalice is to Goddess
HP:	"The athame is to the God
HPS & HP:
	"In like fashion may male join with female for the happiness of both".

Bread and Red Beer:
HPS:	"Will the volunteers please come forward for the bread and red beer?
HPS & HP:
	hand: cups to Volunteers; red beer to Volunteers; bread to Volunteers.

HPS: 	"This food is the blessing of the Goddesses and Gods to our bodies.  
        Let us partake of it freely.
	And as we share, let us remember always that we share with those who have 
        nothing."
HPS & HP:
	"The bread and red beer  that is left, offer to Her, Mother Earth, so that 
        Her creatures may live through the long nights ahead".

HPS: 	"Let the Drums beat".

Drummers:
Drum beat while bread and red beer are distributed.

Cups passed out by 4 Volunteers
Red beer poured by 4 Volunteers
Bread passed out by 4 Volunteers
     	"Will you share the bread of life with me?"
     	"Will you share the red beer of life with me?"
     (All drink) (All eat) (announcements)

HPS:	Chime or Bell to stop drummers.

Farewell to Ptah:

HPS: And now it is time to say farewell to Ptah:
HP: 	"Let the Drums beat".
Drummers:
	Drum beat for a count of 16.
HPS:	Chime or Bell to stop drummers.

HPS: 	"Let the words be spoken".
HP:  	"Hail God Ptah. Thank you for being with us tonight,  for the gift 
         of life that you have given us.
	 Hail and farewell.  Blessed Be."

Farewell to Sekhmet:

HPS: Now it is time to say farewell to Sekhmet:
HPS: 	"Hail Goddess Sekhmet. Thank you for being with us tonight, for the 
         Blessings you have given us, and the gift of guidance.
	 Hail and farewell.  Blessed Be."

Farewell to the elements
HPS:	"Let's bid Farewell to the elements starting in the west"

West  - (water - Goddess Sekhet - Sea Lioness)
HPS: 	"Let the Drums beat".
Drummers:
	Drum beat while Volunteer for west will walk around the circle to the alter 
        to use the microphone.
HPS:	Chime or Bell to stop drummers.

HP: 	"Let the words be spoken".
Volunteer: "Hail  Goddess Sekhet of the West and Water, great Sea Lioness,
	 Thank you for attending our rite.  Hail and Farewell.  Blessed Be". 
(the West quarter candle is extinguished)

South - (air - Goddess Nekhebet - Winged Lioness)
HPS: 	"Let the Drums beat".
Drummers:
	Drum beat while Volunteer for south will walk around the circle to the 
        alter to use the microphone.
HPS:	Chime or Bell to stop drummers.

HP: 	"Let the words be spoken".
Volunteer: "Hail  Goddess Nekhebet of the South and Air, great Winged Lioness,
	 Thank you for attending our rite.  Hail and Farewell.  Blessed Be".
(the South quarter candle is extinguished)

East  - (fire - Goddess Bast - Lioness)
HPS: 	"Let the Drums beat".
Drummers:
	Drum beat while Volunteer for east will walk around the circle to the alter 
to use the microphone.
HPS:	Chime or Bell to stop drummers.

HP: 	"Let the words be spoken".
Volunteer: "Hail  Goddess Bast of the East and Fire, great Lioness,
	 Thank you for attending our rite.  Hail and Farewell.  Blessed Be". 
(the East quarter candle is extinguished)

North - (earth - Goddess Uatchet - Mountain Lioness)
HPS: 	"Let the Drums beat".
Drummers:
	Drum beat while Volunteer for north will walk around the circle to the 
alter to use the microphone.
HPS:	Chime or Bell to stop drummers.

HP: 	"Let the words be spoken".
Volunteer: "Hail  Goddess Uatchet of the North and Earth, great Mountain Lioness,
	 Thank you for attending our rite.  Hail and Farewell.  Blessed Be". 
(the North quarter candle is extinguished)

Farewell to the Spirit, Goddess, and God of the universe:
HP: 	"Let the Drums beat".
Drummers:
	Drum beat for a count of 16.
HPS:	Chime or Bell to stop drummers.

HPS: 	"Let the words be spoken".

HP: 	"Hail Great God, God of the universe.  Thank you for being with us tonight.
	 Hail and Farewell.  Blessed Be". (the God candle is extinguished)

HPS: 	"Hail Great Goddess, Goddess of the universe.  Thank you for being 
         with us tonight.
	 Hail and Farewell.  Blessed Be". (the Goddess candle is extinguished)

HPS& HP: "Hail Great Spirit, Spirit of the universe.	 Thank you for being 
with us tonight, for the gift of wisdom that you have given us.
	 Hail and Farewell.  Blessed Be". 
(the Spirit candle is extinguished)

Close the circle:

Drummers:
	Drum beat for closing the circle song.

Volunteer to lead in singing  (Three times)
	"The circle is open but not unbroken. May the love of the Goddess be ever 
        in your heart,
	Merry Meet, and Merry Part And Merry Meet again!"
	 "Blessed Be"
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