A Yule Ritual

December 31, 1999
Southeast Unitarian Universalist Winter Institute at Miami (S.W.I.M.)

Shining Spirits and Spelcastor
        A Yule Rite, Modified from Raymond Buckland 


(Priestess and Priest invite the others to gather and process. 
Proceed with chant. )

         "We all come from the Goddess,
          And to her we will return,
          Like a drop of rain - flowing to the ocean."

(Priest (and perhaps the corner callers) is at the entrance to
the circle with smudge and feather or with censor, and cleanses
each participant as they enter the Circle, quickly with the
words" "Welcome to our Circle. Merry meet.")

(After all have found a place in the Circle, HPS rings chimes 3
times and reads the invocation.)


Invocation

"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."


(HPS casts the Circle with athame moving deosil.)

Chant: "We cast the Circle Round and Round
        By its power, we are bound."

(HPS returns to altar and HP rings bell three times.)

(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."

(HPS takes up salt water and proceeds around Circle.)

Chant: "By Water and Salt we purify,
        Our Sacred Space twixt Earth and Sky."

(HP takes up censer and proceeds around Circle.)

Chant: "Fire and Smoke in the Air,
        We see Witches Everywhere."

QUARTER CALLS:

HP:  "Earth and Air and Fire and Water,
      By these Words, we Call each Quarter."

(Calling the Directions: With athame raised, covener draws invoking
pentagram, starting from the top, then down to left; gives the
salute and kisses blade.)

"All hail the element of Air,
Spirits of the East.
Come be with us this evening,
And join our Circle."

"All hail the element of Fire,
Spirits of the South,
Come be with us this evening,
And join our Circle."

"All hail the element of Water.
Spirits of the West.
Come be with us this evening,
And join our Circle."

"All hail the element of Earth,
Spirits of the North,
Come be with us this evening,
And join our Circle."

Chant -
Charge of the Star Goddess
Starhawk version

I who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the
stars and the mysteries of the waters.

I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me.

For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe.

From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return.

Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold -- all
acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and
humility, mirth and reverence within you.

And you who seek to know Me, know that your seeking and yearning
will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery:

For if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will
never find it without.

For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that
which is attained at the end of desire.


Call of the God
Scott Cunningham

I am the radiant King of the Heavens, flooding the earth with
warmth and encouraging the hidden seed of creation to burst forth
into manifestation.  I lift my shining spear to light the lives of
all beings and daily pour forth my gold upon the Earth, putting to
flight the powers of darkness.

I am master of the beasts wild and free. I run with the swift stag
and soar as a sacred falcon against the shimmering sky.  The
ancient woods and wild places emanate my powers, and the birds of
the air sing of my sanctity.

I am also the last harvest, offering up grain and fruits beneath
the sickle of time so that all may be nourished. For without
planting, there can be no harvest; without winter, no spring.  

Worship me as the thousand-named Sun of creation, the spirit of the
horned stag in the wild, the endless harvest.  See in the yearly
cycle of festivals, my birth, death and rebirth -- and know that
such is the destiny of all creation.

I am the spark of life, the radiant Sun, the giver of peace and
rest, and I send my rays of blessing to warm the hearts and
strengthen the minds of all.HP:  "May you all be here in peace and love.  We bid you welcome.

HPS: "We are between the worlds,
      Where day and night,
      Life and death,
      Light and dark are one.
      The candles are lit,
      The Circle is cast.
      The Ritual has begin."

(HP takes up the Oil and anoints HPS, outlining Celtic Cross on
forehead.)

HP/HPS: 
 "I consecrate thee in the names of the Goddess and the God,      
  bidding you welcome to this their Circle.
  Merry Meet."

(They salute and HPS anoints HP with the same words and Celtic
Cross.  HP and HPS then move together to anoint the Coveners with
oil: males by HPS, females by HP.)

HP/HPS:
 "I consecrate thee in the names of the Goddess and God, bidding  
  you welcome to this their Circle.
  Merry Meet."

(HP ring bell three times.)


YULE RITE

HPS:  "Once more we meet together,
 one with another,
 to share our joy of life
 and to reaffirm our feelings
 for the Goddess and God."

HP:  We stand on the brink of the new year.
 We look back with joy and sorrow.
 We look ahead with eager anticipation.
 We will now empower ourselves to bring to the new year
 what we want,
 and to cast aside that which is only detrimental.
 As with all magic,
 you must be careful what you wish for,
 because your wish will come true.
HPS:  "An it harm none, do what thou wilt.
 Thus runs the Wiccan Rede.
 Remember it well.
 Whatever you desire;
 whatever you would ask of the God and the Goddess;
 whatever you would do;
 be assured that it will harm no one
 not even yourself.
 And remember that as you give,
 so it shall return threefold.
 Give of yourself
 your love; your life
 and you will be thrice rewarded.
 But send forth harm 
 and that too will return thrice over."

HP:   "The Lady and Lord have been good to us.
  It is meet that we thank them for all that we have.
  They also know that we have needs
  and they listen to us when we call upon them."

HPS:  "Then let us join together
 to thank the Goddess and the God
 for those favors they have bestowed upon us.
 We are each on a spiritual journey.
 We must each ask the Goddess and God for guidance
 and help in our growth.

(Someone walks the circle deosil with a basket of sturdy wood
chips, (I'm thinking of the fist size cedar chips used in
landscaping.  A bag couldn't cost that much!) distributing them as
he or she goes.)

HPS:  This wood is small, but it is strong.
 As you hold this wood in your hands, 
 think of some strength or positive energy of yours
 from this passing year
 which you wish to bring with you into the approaching year.
 Let that strength or energy be represented by the wood you hold. 
 Step forth and add your wood to our fire,
 thus adding your energy and strength to the whole.
 For through your strength are we all stronger; 
 through your joy are we all more joyous;
 through your peace are we all more peaceful. 
 As you come forward to add your wood to our blaze,
 you may call out your strength,
 say it softly, or speak it only in your heart.

(Participants move forward adding their wood chips to the fire.
Someone now walks the circle deosil with a basket of dry leaves, (I
have lots of these in my back yard!) distributing them as he/she
goes.)


HP:  As you have strengths to bring from the passing year,
 you also have sorrows, bitterness, angers.
 You are carrying something which would best be left behind
 with the passing year.
 As you hold this dry leaf in your hands,
 think of that which you would leave behind.
 Let that negativity be represented by the dry leaf you hold.
 While the wood added to our fire,
 this leaf will but flair and turn to ash,
 as will the negativity it represents. 
 Step forth and cast your leaf into our fire,
 thus freeing yourself from the burden
 of the negativity it represents. 
 As you come forth, you may call out what you are leaving behind, 
 say it softly or speak it only in your heart.

(Participants move forward throwing their leaves into the fire.)

(Someone now walks the circle deosil with a basket of small
candles, (maybe a large size birthday candle would be best here, as
it is lit only briefly) distributing them as he/she goes.)

(HP explains about the candles: holding and extinguishing.)

HPS:  What blessing for within yourself
 do you wish to see in the awakening year? 
 What change do you wish to see in yourself?
 What new strength, joy, caring do you wish for yourself?
 As you hold this candle in your hands, think of that blessing.   
 Let that blessing be represented by this candle.
 Step forth and light your candle from our alter candles
 or the candles held by priest and priestess.
 As you light your candle,
 hold it high and shout, whisper
 or in silence acknowledge the blessing to come.
 
(Following the lead of HP and HPS, everyone extinguishes their
candles.)

HPS:  Take the candle with you
 and put it in a special place to remind you
 of the blessing your sought this evening,
 and to remind you to ever endeavor to achieve that blessing.

HP:  "The Lady and Lord have heard your needs
 and will answer in time.
 You must also act in accord
 by doing everything possible to help yourself.
 And as ye will it, so mote it be."

HPS and participants:  So mote it be!

(If we do a spiral dance, it should come here.)

  Spiral dance chant: 
Mother I can feel you...

If no spiral dance, chant:
  We are a circle...

HPS: (shouting) "Beauty and Strength are in the Lady and the Lord
both.  Patience and Love; Wisdom and Knowledge."

HP: "And now we all kneel to touch the Earth and ground the excess
energy we have raised."


CAKES AND ALE

(HP pours a small amount of ale for everyone.  He pours a little
onto the ground.  All salute the Gods.  The bell is rung three
times.)

HPS:  "Now is the time for us to give thanks to the Gods
 for all that sustains us.
 May we ever be aware of all that we owe the Gods."

(HP takes up plate of cakes.  HPS touches each with athame and puts
one in the libation dish.)

HPS:  "This food is the blessing of the Gods to our bodies.
 Let us partake of it freely.
 And as we share, let us remember
 always to see to it that all that we have,
 we share with those who have nothing."

(All eat)

(The HP places his athame in the HPS goblet)

HP:  "In like fashion may male join with female, friend with
friend, for the happiness of both."

HPS:  "Let the fruits of union promote life. Let all be fruitful
and let wealth be spread throughout the lands."
 
(All drink)

HP:  "As we enjoy these gifts of the Goddess and the God, let us
remember that without the Gods we would have nothing." 

HPS:  "Eat and drink and be happy.  Share and give thanks.  So mote
it be."

(Music may be played)



CLEARING OF THE TEMPLE

HPS:  "We came together in love and friendship; let us part the
same way. 
 Let us spread the love we have known in this Circle outward to 

all; "Sharing it with those we meet."

(Dismissing the Directions: With athame raised, covener draws
banishing pentagram, starting from the bottom left and moving up;
gives the salute and kisses blade.)

"Farewell, Spirits of the East,
We give you thanks for your presence here.
Stay if you will, go if you must.
Go in peace."

"Farewell, Spirits of the South,
We give you thanks for your presence here.
Stay if you will, go if you must.
Go in peace."

"Farewell, Spirits of the West,
We give you thanks for your presence here.
Stay if you will, go if you must.
Go in peace."

"Farewell, Spirits of the North,
We give you thanks for your presence here.
Stay if you will, go if you must.
Go in peace."

HPS:  "Lady and Lord, our thanks to you for sharing this time     
 together. 
 Our thanks for watching over us; guarding and guiding us in all  
 things.
 Love is the Law and Love is the Bond.

(HP rings bell three times.)

HPS: The light of the maiden surrounds you.
The love of the lady enfolds you.
The power of gaia flows through you.
Where ever you are, the Goddess is,
And all is well.

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.

Merry Meet and Merry Part,
And Merry Meet again.
Blessed be.

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