A Yule Ritual for the Changing of the Year
SWIM Campfire Worship
Saturday December 29, 2001
Sophia Linus and Spelcastor

HP: Greets the group.

"Be it known that the Esbat 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."

HPS greets the group and calls them to worship with
these words:

"We are all a part of the great Circle of Life.  All
that is around us, above us, below us are included
within the circle.  Let us now join together to
celebrate the Circle of Life with the goddess and the
god."

"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."


Chant:
We are a circle
within a circle
with no beginning
and never ending.
	 
(Priest, and perhaps the corner callers, is at the
entrance to the circle with smudge and feather or with
sensor, and cleanses each participant as they enter
the Circle, quickly with the words,

"Welcome to this our Circle of Life. Merry meet."

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

Invocation (from The Witches Web Home Page)

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."

(HPS rings chime 3 times.)
(HP casts the Circle with athame moving deosil.)

Chant (spoken): 
	"In this place a Circle of Life.
	 We cast it with our sacred knife."

(HP returns to altar and HPS rings chime 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."

(HP places three portions of salt in the water with
his 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 (spoken): 
	 "By Water and Salt we purify,
       Our Sacred Space twixt Earth and Sky."

(HP takes up sensor and proceeds around Circle.)

Chant (spoken): 
	 "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.)

(East)
Hail to thee, shining spirit of the East
author or bright beginnings,
source of knowledge and creativity, 
bringer of the new day,
element of air in which we move
and without which there is not life.
Be with us now as we share our learning.

(South)
Hail to thee, spirit of the South,
of heat, of passion, or energy, of life itself!
Lend us your vigor and strength.
Kindle our hearts.
Be with us now, hot fiery South.

(West)
Hail to thee, spirit of the West,
source of feeling and emotion,
of dreams and intuition.
Let us give ourselves to your inner knowing,
that we may learn who and what we truly are,
that we become wise and sure,
secure in our own uniqueness.
Be with us now.

(North)
Hail, spirit of the North,
our final home, our ground of being,
our earthly substance, rich in mystery and abundance.
Help us ground ourselves in nature and stand tall,
secure, firmly rooted in your soil.
Be with us now and lend us your strength.

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

HPS:  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."

HP:  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."

(HPS rings the chime 3 times.)

HPS:
"We welcome you to this our Circle of Life."

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

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

(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."

(HPS rings chime 3 times.)

RITE OF THE PASSING OF THE YEAR

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 fist size wood chips, distributing them as
he/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."

(HPS calls out her strength as she walks forward and
throws her chip into the fire.  HP does the same. 
Participants move forward adding their wood chips to
the fire.  As this phase concludes, someone now walks
the circle deosil with a basket of dry leaves,
distributing them as he/she goes.)
HP:  
"As you have strengths to bring from the passing year,
so 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 harmful energy it carries.  As you come
forth, you may call out what you are leaving behind, 
say it softly, or speak it only in your heart."

(HP walks toward the fire, calling out his negativity
as he throws his leaf into the fire.  HPS does the
same.  Participants move forward throwing their leaves
into the fire.  As this phase concludes, someone now
walks the circle deosil with a basket of small
candles, distributing them as he/she goes.)

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.  As you light your
candle, hold it high and shout, whisper or in silence
acknowledge the blessing to come.  Take the candle
with you as you leave this sacred Circle of Life, and
put it in a special place, to remind you of the
blessing you sought this evening, and to remind you to
ever endeavor with the help of the goddess and the god
to achieve that blessing."

(HPS lights her candle, calling out her wish for
herself.  HP does the same.  Participants move forward
lighting their candles and calling out their wishes
for themselves.  HP and HPS lead by pinching candle to
extinguish the flame, and participants follow.)

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!"

HPS:
"Now it is meant that we shall chant to bring energy to
our three wishes.  As we joyously chant we shall fill
our Circle of Life with energy, then loose that energy
into the world and onto our paths within that world."

    "She changes everything she touches,
     Everything she touches, changes,
     She changes everything she touches,
     Everything she touches, changes,
     Changes, touches, changes, touches."

(Chant long and hard to raise energy.)
 
HPS: (shouting)
"Beauty and Strength are in the Lady and the Lord. 
Patience and Love; Wisdom and Knowledge."

HP: 
"And now we all kneel to touch the Earth; to ground the
excess energy we have raised thus returning that energy to
the Earth."

(After grounding, HPS rings chime 3 times.)

CAKES AND ALE

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

(As cups are being distributed and filled around the
circle, HP pours into HPS’s goblet at the alter. 
Places his athame in the HPS goblet.)

HP:  
"In like fashion may male join with female 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."

(HP and HPS salute with goblets, drink, and pour a
small amount onto the ground.  Participants do the
same.)

(HP takes up plate of cakes.  HPS passes wand over
them all. They are then distributed around the
circle.)

HPS:  
"This food is the blessing of the God and Goddess 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."

(HP/HPS eat, crumbling a bit onto the ground. 
Participants do the same.)

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

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

HP and participants:  "So mote it be."

(HPS rings chime 3 times.)

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 of Life 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 North,
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 South,
We give you thanks for your presence here.
Stay if you will, go if you must.
Go in peace.

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

HP: 
"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."

(HPS rings chime 3 times, then...)

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."

***********************************************************
Props:
Woodchips, dry leaves, small candles, cakes, cups, ale, altar lights, 
reading lights, altae setup.

Callers pages:

(East)
Hail to thee, shining spirit of the East
author or bright beginnings,
source of knowledge and creativity, 
bringer of the new day,
element of air in which we move
and without which there is not life.
Be with us now as we share our learning.

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



(South)
Hail to thee, spirit of the South,
of heat, of passion, or energy, of life itself!
Lend us your vigor and strength.
Kindle our hearts.
Be with us now, hot fiery South.

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



(West)
Hail to thee, spirit of the West,
source of feeling and emotion,
of dreams and intuition.
Let us give ourselves to your inner knowing,
that we may learn who and what we truly are,
that we become wise and sure,
secure in our own uniqueness.
Be with us now.

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





(North)
Hail, spirit of the North,
our final home, our ground of being,
our earthly substance, rich in mystery and abundance.
Help us ground ourselves in nature and stand tall,
secure, firmly rooted in your soil.
Be with us now and lend us your strength.

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


Return to Ritual Page