THE RITUAL OF DIANA'S BOW AND NEW BEGINNINGS
By Shining Spirits with thanks to Drngfly
Wednesday Worship, July 21, 2004 at SUUSI
HP: The Diana's Bow New Moon happens three days after the New Moon. At this time, the moon looks like an archer's bow, Diana's hunting bow. A New Moon is representative of the Maiden aspect of the Triple-Goddess and symbolizes new beginnings and freshness. We gather tonight to celebrate new beginnings in our lives. (HPS holds up the Diana votive and says:) HPS: Be ye far from us, O ye profane, for we are about to invoke the power of the goddess and the god. Enter their temple with clean hands and a pure heart, lest ye defile the source of life. (Adapted from Dion Fortune) (HPS and HP circle with candle and feather.) Chant: She changes everything she touches, and everything she touches changes. Changes, touches; touches, changes. (The chant builds, then stops. HPS rings chimes.) 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 the names of those gathered in this Circle tonight. 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 God and the Goddess, by all Their names, and in growing, we grow in brightness, following the cycles of Sun and Moon, and glowing in Divine Radiance. (Invocation from Witches' Home Page) HPS/HP: And now, let us begin. (HPS chimes.) HP: By the air that is her breath and the fire that is her bright spirit; By the water that is her living womb and the earth that is her body, We shall cast a Circle and make this place sacred and apart. HPS: Chant with us: (HPS casts circle with wand.) Chant: Diana's moon will guide our ways As we gather in her praise. HPS: Chant with us. (HP casts circle with athame.) Chant: We cast this Circle round and round. By its power we are bound. (As HP returns to alter, HPS says:) HPS: We'd like you to help us with this by reaching out. (HPS take hand of HP and says:) I cast this circle hand to hand. (HP takes the hand of the person on his left, saying,) I cast this circle hand to hand. (At the same time the 4 Direction Callers & perhaps others take the hand of the person on their left with the same words. As this bit is completed...) HPS: We are one! 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 our Ritual has begun. (HP taps altar with Athame) HP: Lemme hear a Blessed Be! Group: Blessed Be! HP: By her sweet breath which is air, By the fire, her spirit fair, By water which fills her place of birth, And by her body, our sacred Earth. By these names, our quarters call, May the Spirits join us all. A blessing now we ask from each For new beginnings within our reach. (Direction teams of three--one with unlit candle, one with ribbon or scarf or rattle, one to speak. Each team wears the color of their direction. As each direction is called by the HP, the team moves-dances around the Circle to the alter. Stop at alter. Candle carrier places candle on corner of alter. Speaker moves to microphone, others form a line toward their direction. Drums as they move about the Circle. As next direction is called, the first team returns to their place.) HP: East East: Spirit of the East, of Air, be with us as a spirit fair. New beginnings now we ask. Guide our minds to know this task. HP: South South: Spirit of the South, of Fire, be with us now is our desire. The blessing which we ask of you Is passion as we start anew. HP: West West: Spirit of Water, of the West, join us now with all the rest. Deep emotions we must know. Beginnings start with letting go. HP: North North: Spirit of Earth, of the North, our arrow we will let go forth. We let go, and begin anew. Please nurture us in what we do. HP: Spirits of our Circle bright, Our thanks that you are here tonight. Chant: Earth I am, water I am. Air and fire and spirit I am. HP: By Earth and Wind, by Flame and Sea, We stand together. So Mote It Be. (HPS moves slowly and deliberately to the center of the circle during the speech of the HP. She shrouds her head. She lifts and opens and then walks around the Circle to the Directions as they are named, returning to the alter. If no traveling mike is available, this will all have to be spoken from the alter. ) HP: In the beginning, there was Chaos. There was Chaos. Chaos. HPS: In the infinite moment before all Time began, the Goddess arose from Chaos and gave birth to Herself... before anything else had been born... not even Herself. And when She had separated the Skies from the Waters and had danced upon them, the Goddess in Her ecstasy created everything that is. Her movements made the wind, and the Element Air was born and did breathe. (East team dances forth from the East to the Center. Brief and soft drumming. Scarf/ribbon waving, holding lantern high.) (HP rings bell.) And the Goddess named Herself: Arianrhod--Cardea--Astarte. And sparks were struck from Her dancing feet so that She shone forth as the Sun, and the stars were caught in Her hair, and comets raced about her, and the Element fire was born and did burn. (South team dances to Center. HP rings bell.) And the Goddess named herself: Sunna--Vesta--Pele. About Her feet swirled the waters in tidal wave and river and streaming tide, and the Element Water was born and did flow. (West team dances forward. HP-bell.) And she named herself: Binah--Danu--Lakshmi. And she sought to rest her feet from their dance, and she brought forth the Earth so that the shores were her footstool, the fertile lands her womb, the mountains her full breasts, and her streaming hair the growing things. (North team. HP-bell.) And the Goddess named herself: Cerridwen--Demeter--the Corn Mother. She saw that which was and is and will be, born of her sacred dance and cosmic delight and infinite joy. She laughed: and the Goddess created Woman in her own image... (Woman comes forward.) to be the Priestess of the Great Mother. The Goddess knew that the world she had created out of Chaos must be fertile and life giving and life affirming. She knew that she herself must be fertile just as her world must be. And she knew that there must be pleasure and joy for herself and her companion. And so she reached out and created the God to be her consort. (HP sounds a bell and presents himself at her left.) And the Goddess named him: the Horned One--Cernunos--Bacchus. She laughed again in delight, and her laughter created Man (Man comes forward.) in the image of the God to be the Priest of the Horned One and the companion of Woman. The Goddess spoke to her daughters and to her sons, saying, I am the Moon to light your path and to speak to your rhythms. I am the Sun who gives you warmth in which to stretch and grow. I am the Wind to blow at your call and the sparkling Air that offers joy. I give to all my priestesses three aspects that are Mine: I am Diana, the Maiden of the Animals, the virgin of the Hunt. I am Isis, the Great Mother, who loves and nurtures. I am Hecate, the Crone, who shares the wisdom of her years. I shall be called a million names. Call unto me, my daughters and my sons and know that I am the Goddess. (Written by Morgan McFarland, reported by Margot Adler, adapted by Mary Ann.) HP: The God spoke to the daughters and sons of the Goddess, saying, I am the tall Trees to protect you on your path. I am the gentle Grass to soften your road. I am the majestic Ocean wave and the strong Wind to propel your travels. I give to all my priests three things: Strength for the work ahead, Courage to face dangers within and without, and Love to be the focus of all. Call unto me, my daughters and my sons and know that I am the God. (Both return to the alter.) HPS: We are between the worlds, Beyond the bounds of time, Where day and night, Birth and death, Joy and sorrow, Old habits and new beginnings, Meet as one. (HPS chimes. Teams come forward, placing lanterns & ribbons/scarves at the appropriate corners of the alter. They return around the Circle to their places. Drumming. ) MAGICAL WORKING HPS: Tonight we meet beneath the crescent moon. We celebrate Diana, and the moon is her bow. The New Moon is a time of renewal and a time of remembering older wisdom and ancient ways. The wisdom of the ages, and your own experiences, will guide you on your journey, if you are open to What Is, to the flow of the Universe, and to the lessons that come into your life. Always remember that you are sacred and a part of the Whole. HP: In this time of New Beginnings, think of the new things that could happen in your life and all around you. Think of what you would like to see manifest in your life. What are your hopes, your dreams? What would you like to give birth to in this moment? Think, now, of your dreams and wishes. You may focus only on the one which is most important at this time, or you may be aware of all the possibilities you have for growth and renewal. (Pause here.) HPS: (Speaking softly & growing louder) This is the time when Diana is with you. She will bring clear focus to the path of reaching your goals. Her bow is raised and the arrow aimed. All you need to do is let go. HP: But first we must look to what thwarts our beginnings. What is it that you must let go? Is something holding you back from your dreams? Are you burdened with old worries, old fears? HPS: Now is the time to be rid of them, so your arrow may fly true. HP: We invite you now to lock away those worries and fears. Let us lock away our burdens in this cage never to again be a part of our lives. HPS: (Picks up cage and says) We bid you to place your burdens in this cage. Allow yourself to come to your new beginnings in complete freedom from the shackles of the past. (HPS & HP together pick up the cage, hold high and say) So mote it be. (HP holds cage high and follows HPS around Circle, waving cage to "catch" the burdens of all.) HPS: Chant with us softly, as these are things best not spoken aloud. Chant: So mote it be. So mote it be. Be free of your burdens. So mote it be. (Return to alter and place cage on tray and puts on lock.) HPS: You are be free of your self limits. Feel the joy! Feel the freedom! (HPS holds up arrow/athame.) Now we shall vest this arrow with your wishes for the new beginnings you seek, that Diana may send them forth with her bow. (HPS & HP each in turn pick up the arrow, hold it up with face to the sky, pause a moment for wishes.) Each say: So mote it be! (They again walk the Circle with HPS carrying the arrow. She waves the arrow over small groups. Soft drumming. ) Chant: New beginnings. Growth and change. My life becomes what I arrange. (When they return to the alter, HPS holds the arrow and waves it joyously .) Chant: She changes everything she touches. And everything she touches changes. Changes, touches; touches, changes. Then: We are the changers. Everything we touch can change. (Let the energy build with the chant, then stop.) HPS: As Diana pulls back her bowstring, Your arrow will fly. Her power will come to you. This is the blessing of life -- May your new beginnings bring joy to you and to those you love. So mote it be! All repeat: So mote it be! HP: Now that you have touched the Mysteries, now that you have locked away your burdens, now that you have let loose your arrow, reach your hands up to our Father, the Sky. (pause and do) Then place your hands upon our Mother, the Earth, grounding yourself and your energies. Keep what you need and return the rest to nurture the Earth, as she nurtures us. Be ever open to the flow of the Universe and its possibilities. HPS: You are blessed in gathering here on this night to celebrate Diana's Bow. May your hopes and dreams produce new beginnings, beginnings that fulfill your highest purpose, and guide you to happiness, peace and love. HP: Let us now dismiss the Quarters, starting with the North. (Again the teams come forward widdershens, but more gently. Speaker uses mike. Others make line toward their direction. Return as next team approaches.) Farewell, Spirit of the North, We thank you as we all go forth. Your nurturing spirit will with us stay As we go on from day to day. HP: East Farewell, Spirit of the East, Your spirit now may be released. Your guiding knowledge now we know With new beginnings as we go. HP: South Farewell, Spirits of the South, Your passion spreads by word of mouth. Your fervor within us rings true As we go forth to start anew. HP: West Farewell, Spirits of the West, You have been a worthy guest. Emotions led us to release Our limits, to begin in peace. HPS: May the Great Goddess watch over all peoples and bring them to the flowering of their fulfillment. HP: May She nourish and protect them, who are all, knowing or unknowingly, Her children. HPS: May She bring to them the knowledge of their fellowship within her hall, in which all races live, of their companionship at Her table, from which all nations eat. HP: May all the men and women of the Earth take up the stewardship of their inheritance. HPS: May joy and fulfillment come to those who care for this bright globe. HP: May understanding come to those who labour unaware. HPS: Let the grace of the Goddess be born within us all, the children of Earth and Heaven. Let the knowledge of Her fellowship guide our actions and our lives. (Goddess Prayer by Prudence Jones, Paganism Today, p. 41-42) (HP hands wand to HPS.) HPS: I shall open the Circle, My Lord. (HPS walks widdershins with wand to open the Circle. She returns to the alter and hands the wand to the HP who puts it back on the alter.) HP: The Circle is open, My Lady. HP and HPS: The Circle is open but unbroken, May the Peace of the Goddess, And The Strength of the God, Go in your hearts. All: Merry Meet and Merry Part, And Merry Meet again. Blessed be. HP: It is a part of my tradition that we hug one another following a Circle.