THE RITUAL OF DIANA'S BOW AND NEW BEGINNINGS
By Shining Spirits with thanks to Drngfli
SUUSI, the Southeast Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute - 2009

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,
the goddess 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 Diane votive and speaks these words.
Then in silence she leads group into Circle,
followed by HP.)

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 cauldron of sage and feather
or with sage smudge.)

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 casts circle with wand.)
                        
Chant:    Diana's moon will guide our ways
        As we gather in her praise.      
              
(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.

(moving around the Circle each one takes the hand
of the person on their left with the same
words. As this bit is completed...)

HPS: We are one! (hooplah!)
       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 callers with ribbon or scarf and rattle move-dance
around the Circle to the alter when HP calls their direction.
Stop at alter. Drums and rattles as they move about the Circle.
As next direction is called, the first callers quietly return
to their place around the Circle.)

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.

All: Blessed be.

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.

All: Blessed be.

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.

All: Blessed be.

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. 

All: So Mote It Be.

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. 
She laughed: and the Goddess created        
Woman in her own image...     
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. 

(HPS reaches out and touches HP.)

She laughed again in delight, 
and her laughter created Man  
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 the Maiden, youthful and joyous. 
I am the Great Mother, 
who loves and nurtures. 
I am the Crone,                             
who shares the wisdom of her years.             
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: 
I give you
Strength for the work ahead, 
I give you
Courage to face dangers within and without, 
I give you
Love to be the focus of all. 
Call unto me, my daughters and my sons
and know that I am the God. 

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.)        

            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,
a time of remembering older wisdom,
ancient ways.  
The wisdom of the ages,
and your own experience, 
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: 
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? 
Does something hold you back 
from your dreams? 
Are you burdened 
with old worries, old fears,
with limiting relationships?

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,
bow heads solemnly and say)

So mote it be.

HPS: Let us chant 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.

(HP holds cage and follows HPS around Circle,
waving cage to "catch" the burdens of all.)

(HP--Return to alter, place cage on alter,
and put on lock.)

HPS: You are free of your self-limitations.
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 participants, or if it is a small
enough group, hands it it to each who
wave it. Soft drumming and rattling.)

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.
Changes, touches; touches, changes.
(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:  Let us now take that energy we have raised,
Use what we need
And send the rest to our beloved Kate
With our blessings,
Sending her blessings of
Courage and strength,
Of wisdom and endurance.
(Shouting)
Our blessings to you, Kate!

All: Our blessings to you, Kate!

(Pause for silent reflection.)

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 callers come forward widdershens, but more gently. 
Return to place as next caller 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:
The light of the maiden surrounds you.
The love of the mother enfolds you.
The wisdom of the crone empowers you.
Wherever you are, the goddess is,
And all is well.
Blessed be.
(Adapted from Laith McTyre)
            
(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.
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