Yule Ritual 2005
MoonPath Chapter of CUUPS
By Valan the Druid

PROPS: RITUAL ITEMS:
Altar, cloth
World tree, torches and stands
Offering branch and oil
Well, tree, gold candle for fire
Blessing cups filled, matches, sage for casting circle
Rune bag
Large bell

ADDITIONAL PROPS:

Several lighters (1 for each quarter, and Firestarter material)
4 juices and small cups
A large bucket of water
Quarter torches
Big bucket of water.

Celebrants:
Valan
Spel  (with Horns)
Quarter Teams (3 in each team)
Well and Tree Tender   
Fire Starter

Beginning signal:
A bell is rung three times to signal the beginning of the ritual. 

Valan

By earth, by sky, by sea, 
Tis time. 
Tis time. 
Tis time to follow the ancient ways, 
tis time to follow the old ways.  
Let us begin.

Processional:
We start in the sanctuary and go out the back through the “memorial garden”.  Drums give us a marching cadence. Spel and Ash the Silent, quarter teams

Participants proceed to the fire, circling around deosil.
(Note:  NO fire is lit at this time.)

Processional:

Participants proceed to the fire, circling around deosil. When all
have arrived, we wait in the dark a few moments:

V: (rings bell)

As we approach the sacred grove With heart and mind, flesh. and bone,
join us now in ways of old. We have come home.
Join now for the Druids Pledge:

All:
We swear by Peace and Love to stand
Heart to heart and hand to hand
Mark, Oh Spirits, hear us now
Confirming this, our sacred vow.

Spel:
On this, the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice, we stand as
did our Ancestors, cold, anxious, hopeful in the gloom,  awaiting the
return of the Sun.

We wait a few moments, till folks get squirmy.

Fire Tender approaches with a lit torch. Then he sets the fire to MUCH
DRUMMING! We all hoot and holler.

Spel:  All Hail the Return of the Sun!!!!!  

All:  All Hail the Return of the Sun!!!!!

Invocations to earth and sea and sky

Valan:  I am a child of the earth, 
        the sky and the sea.
        I am your daughter, answer unto me.
        By Fire and by Water
        Between the Earth and Sky
        We stand like the Worldtree
        Rooted deep, crowned high. 

The Keeper of the Well (KW) By the West – the “Well” is on the west altar
Walk  to Fire Pit, Raise “well” bowl on high 
Please hold it dramatically aloft.  (reading taped to lower bowl)

KW: In the depths flow the waters of wisdom. 
Sacred waters flow within us. 

Folk: Sacred waters flow within us. 

KW will then asperge the firepit and the Druids from the bowl. 
Place “well” on main altar (much drumming at this time)

The Tender of the Tree(TT)  From the North – the “Tree” is by or
on the North altar. Walk to Fire Pit, will lift the “tree” on high.

TT: From the depths to the heights spans the world tree. 
Sacred Tree, grow within us. 

Folk: Sacred tree, grow within us. 

TT will then lower the tree.

TT: The fire, the well, the sacred tree, 
Flame and flow and grow in me!

TT proceeds around the fire with the little Tree and then places it on
or near  the main altar. (much drumming at this time)

The Fire Tender approaches fire with gold candle in holder from South,
and will say:

FT: I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. 
Sacred fire burn within us. 

Folk: Sacred fire burn within us. 

He proceeds around circle with gold candle in holder, much drumming.

Statement of purpose and precedent:

V;
The Sun has withered and grown weak His strength is waning and
we who are Dependent on his light and warmth, Wait and watch
in the Wolf's darkness On this, the longest night of the year.

Let our voices sound to the heavens.
Let our wills be joined as one.
Let our gifts strengthen the gods
To drive the Wolf once more to the shadows
To hasten the Sun's rebirth.

He who is known as Maponis, the Divine Child,
He who is known as Belinus, The Great Lord of Divine Fire,
He who is known as Angus Mac Og, Son of the Young.
Known are you by many names by many peoples,
Yet always the same in your countenance.
'O Shining, Radiant, Lovely One,
We behold your rebirth this day
In awe and reverence.
We make offering to you of gold,
The shining tear of the sun.

Spel makes offering of oil and incense to fire, saying:
We make offering to you of oil and incense,
So your flame may grow in strength and brilliance.
'O beloved, newborn son of the Great Mother,
Accept our worship and our praise,
And grant us your blessings.

All: Grow strong, 'O newborn Sun.

Valan:

O sacred fire that consumes and transforms
Ancient enemy and first-born friend of humankind.
Accept this offering of flowers
Become for us the living door to the heavens
The manifestation of the Shining Ones .
And the path of our return to the ancient ways. 

Valan tosses branch on fire.

She says:
O sacred bough of fragrant memory 
May your sweet, rising smoke
Reach the halls of the gods.

May we pray with a good fire!

Invoking the quarters

(3 per team. 1 speaks, one has a Bic, and all are charged with passing out
juice and cups)

The East quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the altar in the
Southwest.  The speaker remains, the others proceed to east. The
Eastern torch is lit.

Eastern caller:  I summon, stir and call ye up
Frosty ones ride the East wind
The biting nip of frosty air
The sound of singing on a clear, cold starry night!
Witness and Bless our Rite:
Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the East.

The Southern quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the altar in the
Southwest. The speaker remains, the other proceed to South. The Southern
torch is lit.

Southern caller: I summon, stir and call ye up
Scalding denizens of the South
The roar of a crackling fire
Powers of Passion and Transformation
Witness and Bless our Rite:
Hail and  Welcome!  Caller goes back to the South.

The West quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the altar in the
Southwest.  The speaker remains, the other proceed to West. The Western
torch is lit.

Western caller: I summon, stir and call ye up,
Dwellers of the Frigid Deep
Strong as the Winter Surf upon the Rocky shore,
Seat of all life!
And I call our Ancestors, who dwell in the West
Witness and Bless our Rite:
Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the West.


The North quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the altar in the
Southwest.  The speaker remains, the other  proceed to north. The Northern
torch is lit.

Northern caller: I summon, stir and call ye up
Stony, craggy ones of the North
Cold frozen ground -
Awaiting the spring thaw that brings new life   
Witness and Bless our Rite:
Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the North.

Casting the Circle

Spel says:

I cast this circle with fire and smoke,
Winter’s blessing we invoke. (till he circles all)
(Spel casts circle with sage)

Sacrifice to the outsiders

V.
Ancient and dark ones; unseen, unsightly, and unloved
We make this offering to you
You twisted and misshapen
You cold of heart and dim of mind.

Take this offering and trouble not our rites.

Praise Offering *

Spel:
Sunna sinks down / into the dark sea,
Wolf and wind howl / outside the walls
Now winter shakes out / her snowy bed
Now are life-fires / hid in yew-night
Odin's gray steed / leads ghosts on the wind
Trolls fare from cliff-halls / the etins are risen
Well are we warded / who watch this night
By Fire and Water / by Thor's great strength. 

V.:
Now Sunna stands / in her lowest stead
Lost is all light / sleeping all life
The frost-cold wights / hold icy rule
We hail the might / That howls now from the north
Odin, from Yew-Dales / at Yuletide haring
Shield-God, ward us / with thy strong bow
Skadi the Giantess / skis from the north
Huntress, give us / your holy rede
Freya's might hold us / here in our hall
Golden Frey's might / hold us in frith
All of ye Gods / and Goddesses high
From darkness we hail you / from dragon-deep root
Lead us through darkness / through all dire dooms. 

OMEN TAKING:

Valan:

The gifts of the people rise to the gods on the smoke of sacrifice.
May our prayers go clearly and without hindrance to those we have praised.
A favor requires a favor; a song another song, and a gift given requires
a gift in return. This is the law of ancient times, alike between man
and man and mankind and the gods. We have offered our gifts to the gods
and we ask them in return for knowledge of what tomorrow will bring.
Will our vigil bear fruit and the darkness pass?

Wisdom rising / from Well's deep roots,
Runes of might / roar in our minds
Up from the bairn-stock's / eldest roots
Odin give answer / reveal the Gods' wills. 

I ask then, that the youngest among us draw a Rune that we may know our Fate.

The youngest draws and  Valan interprets a rune. If an, unfavorable omen
is drawn, the participants are asked to meditate on the gods' message
and consider how to respond individually.

Blessing Cup:
Spel raises the Blessing cup filled with juice.

Ancient and mighty ones we honor you. Having established the bond of
hospitality with the gods, what the gods have given to us we distribute
freely. Behold the drink of the gods!

All:

Behold the drink of the gods!

Quarter teams pass out cups and pour juice.

When all have a drink, 

V. says:

When we give we receive and are blessed
What we share will be shared in return.
Those we praise in joy will respond in our need.
We are kin to the gods when we drink their mead.

Spel:

Now the formal sacrifice is ended. We bid the gods and elements farewell;
to go or to stay as they will. We bid our Ancestors to watch over us and
guide us on our path.

Bless, O great ones 
true and bountiful
Ourselves, our kind (pronounced kind, rhymes with sinned) 
and our friends
May the Waters of Life sustain us
May the Fire of Passion enliven us
From day to day through every turning moon
From season to season
Through all the sacred year.
Let the seeds of spring shoot and bud
And let our lives blossom with the May.
By the magic of the old ways
Let all our blossoms come to fruit!

V says:
Let the fire be flame. .
Let the well be water. 
Let all be as it was before.

The rite is ended.

Fire-keeper extinguishes the fire with water.
(Big bucketful of water = big smoky finale.)

Everybody clap and sing and hug.

*Praise is offering by Ian Corrigan
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