A Ritual for the Winter Solstice
Moonpath CUUPS
UU Church of Fort Lauderdale
December 23, 2006
Content Collected and Augmented my Max (HP) and Marcus (HS)

BARD on Lanai
BARD:  "Hear ye - hear ye. Be it known that the ritual is about to begin."
(When all assembled say:) 
"Let none be here but of their own free will.
Be it known that the practice of our ritual involves secrets.
Even in this, the Outer Court, share with no one the names of those gathered
here tonight. Some of us here prefer their identity remain private."

"Please silence ALL Cell phones, Beepers, and NO Smoking, or you answer to
The God and The Goddess."

THE BARD REMEMBERS (Aleph) - Winter Solstice Read
"Do you all enter this ritual space in perfect love an in perfect trust?"

(Pause for a response)

"Any Nay Sayers?
Then, please follow me down the mystic path this night and enter this
Sacred Winter Solstice Rite!"

(Drummers drum something dark:)

(Main Courtiers will lead the visitors through the Memorial Garden.
They will form an Arch of Pine and all will be anointed and cleansed.
Visitors receive candles as they enter the Circle.  Bard will lead the
visitors around the circle:)

CLEANSING OF CIRCLE

HS: 
"As this Circle is cleanse, may it be cleared of all chaotic energies."

(Cleanse the site widdershins starting at the North.)

(North to West)
"Cast away all physical ailments and any illnesses."

(West to South)
"Cast away all emotional negativity and any bad feelings."

(South to East)
"Cast away all spiritual doubt and any misgivings."

(East to North)
"Cast away all mental blockage and any unclear thoughts."

(at the altar)
"By the power of spirit, let it be known, this space is sacred."

(Ring the gong three times slowly:)

HS: "You have not arrived here by chance.
     You have put yourself on this Path long ago.
     We shall walk some of it together.

     We are a Miracle, a Mystery, a Joy;
     We are quicksilver,     A distant sound          
     A fleeting shadow,      Our life has no bound
     Beyond which you cannot pass 
     We live in music        In a flash of color
     We live in the wind     And in the sparkle of a star
     We grow in brilliance and brightness
     Following the cycles of Sun and Moon, 
     Glowing in Divine Radiance."

HP: "We are here to conjure the essence of Kolyada, Christkindl, Befana,
Nicholas and the Julnissen. Mighty spirits of the season, known within
the legends of the World. Bring to us your Joy and Merriment."

(Firestarter lights fire)

HS:  "Hear me ancient ones, We come before you on this sacred eve to give
observance and remembrance, for this is the night of the return of the sun,
who dwelled for a time in the great darkness, and who brought forth light
out of the darkness on this day."

HP: "I call now upon the highest and pray thee impart thy essence into
this most sacred flame."

(Drummers drum.)

HP: "And now, let us begin."

(HS rings bell three times.)

(Casting of the Circle:)

HS: "The circle is about to be cast and we freely stand within to greet
the Lord and Lady.

HS: "Let us now cast our Circle."
(HS holds sword above head)

(HP cast Circle with sword. Drummers drum.)

Chant:  "We cast this Circle round and round,
         By its magick we are bound."

(HP return to alter.)


CONSECRATION OF THE ELEMENTS

HS: "We conjure ye, spirits of the four elements, by the powers of this
sacred blade and the Divine. Hear me now and attend."

HP: "Cleanse our Circle with Water and Salt."

(HS places point of athame in salt and adds three portions of salt
to the water and hands it to Minion #1.)

HS: "Cleanse our Circle with Smoke and Fire."

(HP lights cauldron of sage, lets it flame and smothers it. Minion #2
takes up cauldron and both proceed around Circle.)

(Drummers drum.)

Chant:   "By Water and Salt, Cleanse this place,
          Join Smoke and Fire, Create Sacred Space."

(Minions return to Alter.)

"We now proclaim to everyone
That this, our Ritual, has begun."

QUARTER CALLS:
(Quarter Minions on completion of the call will cast Cremora/Brimstone
into the main fire.)

HP: "My fine visitors it is time to call the quarters, starting in the North.
Let the drums sound!"

(The North Caller walks around the circle and up to the high altar.
North Minion approaches the main fire.)

HS: "Let the words be spoken!"

NORTH:
  "We call upon the Guardians who dwell in the Earth
   Join us in this festival of Mirth.
   Northern elements witness this rite
   Protecting the circle, this magical night.
   Hear me ancient ones, we welcome you!"

(North Caller and troop return to their station.)

HP: "And now the East.  Let the drums sound!"

(The East Caller walks around the circle and up to the high altar.
East Minion approaches the main fire.)

HS: "Let the words be spoken!"

EAST:
  "We call upon the Guardians who dwell in the Sky
   Join us in our joyous cry.
   Eastern elements witness this rite
   Protecting the circle, this enchanted night.
   Hear me ancient ones, we welcome you!"

(East Caller and troop return to their station.)

HP: "And now the South.  Let the drums sound!"

(The South Caller walks around the circle and up to the high altar.
South Minion approaches the main fire.)

HS: "Let the words be spoken!"

SOUTH:
  "We call upon the Guardians who dwell in the Fire
   Join us by this Yuletide pyre.
   Southern elements witness this rite
   Protecting the circle, this sacred night.
   Hear me ancient ones, we welcome you!"

(South Caller and troop return to their station.)

HP: "And finally the West.  Let the drums sound!"

(The West Caller walks around the circle and up to the high altar.
West Minion approaches the main fire.)

HS: "Let the words be spoken!"

WEST:
  "We call upon the Guardians who dwell in the Sea
   Join us in this season of Glee.
   Western elements witness this rite
   Protecting the circle, this mystical night.
   Hear me ancient ones, we welcome you!"

(West Caller and troop return to their station.)

(Draw the Cosmic Lemniscate with the wand over the Alter.
Set down wand and raise athame in both hands overhead:)

HS: "Hail to the Elementals! Welcome Lady and Lord to this rite.
We stand between the worlds with love and power all around!"


YULETIDE RITUAL

(Ring the gong three times slowly:)

HS: "Blessed are the Lord and the Lady who turn the mighty Wheel.
Welcome the Yule for the turning point of
Winter is here at last.  The end of the Solar Year has come,
and a New Solar Year begins.  The Holly King departs as
the Oak King is born; the Crone delivers Him of the Mother.
Hail the Mystery of Sage and Babe, of Crone and Mother!"

HP: "This day is a new beginning, and we send our power forth into union
with the energies of the Sun God, that the Sun's rekindles our strength
as the rays rekindle the warmth of the earth.

This new fire is lit to bid farewell to the Dark Lord of the Solar Night
and greet the Lord of Light, seen in the rebirth of the Invincible Sun.
May our power be added to the strength of the newborn Lord, and His to us."

HS: "Hail to the God of Light and Joy!  Hail to the movement of Time Eternal!
The Holly King leaves with gifts for all as symbols of His love.
His eight great stags carry His sleigh to the realm of Snow and Ice,
where in His wisdom, He awaits the next turning of the Solstice Wheel.
Hail the passage of the Sage and His rebirth at Yule!  Hail the God Eternal!

(Drummers drum.)

(Ring the gong:)

HP: "As a symbol of His gifts, we will now light the eight candles
representing the great stags, each having a gift to share with the world.
Remember as each gift is given, one is also received.  What we send,
returns to us."

(As each section's candle is lit, pass the flame from candle to candle
until reaching the next color and STOP)

"We light the RED candle for RESPECT:
We Respect the importance and dignity of every being
Respect your Community, Respect your Neighbor, 
Respect Yourself."

"We light the ORANGE candle for OFFERING:
We Offer the skills and assistance to those in need
Offer your Help, Offer your Talent, 
Offer Yourself."

"We light the YELLOW candle for YEARNING:
We Yearn to improve our lives and well-being
Yearn for Peace, Yearn for Happiness, 
Yearn to improve Yourself."

"We light the LEMONGRASS candle for LOVE:
We Love of surrounding and community
Love your Neighborhood, Love your Environment, 
Love Yourself."

"We light the GREEN candle for GROWTH:
We Grow each day as we journey through life
Grow within your Limitations, Grow within your Challenges. 
Grow within Yourself."

"We light the TURQUOISE candle for TRUST:
We Trust in the strength of the immortal soul
Trust your Feelings, Trust your Friends, 
Trust Yourself."

"We light the BLUE candle for BELIEF:
We Believe in the ability to change the future.
Believe in Ideas, Believe in Dreams, 
Believe in Yourself."

"We light the VIOLET candle for VALUE:
We Value the kind and fair treatment to all
Value your Freedom, Value your Life, 
Value Yourself."

HS: "The Holly King has left us; let us hold His wisdom in our hearts."

(Pause and Reflect.)

(Ring the gong:)

HS: "The Oak King comes to us; let us hold His promise in our souls.
Through the stages of life, death and rebirth are we shown the Mystery,
for there is no death, only passage, and the God holds the torch
to light the way for us.  God of Light and Joy, held within the
Mother's arms, the radiance of thy face lifts our spirits in the dark
of Winter, and brings us comfort and peace."

"May the Yule Fire bring light, that all good enter here.  Good Health,
Good Cheer and Good Fortune in the coming year!
That as We will,  So Mote It Be!"

(Drummers drum.)

"Candles into the fire!"

(Ring the gong:)


CAKES & ALE

HS:  "We affirm the joy of union with the Divine and acknowledge
the Divines blessings unto us.  We know our needs
and offer our gratitude to that which sustains us.
May we ever remember the blessings of our Lady and our Lord."

HP: "And now it is time for cakes and ale."

(Cakes are distributed by Quarter Teams. Each team concentrates only upon
their own quarter.)

HS: & HP:
"I am He and I am She;
We are One, who dwell in thee,
Lord and Lady, live or dead;
Shiva/Shakti, bound and wed.

Call us Earth, or Call us Sky;
Male or Female, live and die,
Call us Moon, or Call us Sun;
Symbols of the seasons run.

Grace and Power is our name;
We are two, and yet the same,
Eternal essence, start to end;
Dance apart and then re-blend.

Rites of passage mark the way;
Human souls in earthen clay,
Birth through life, and then beyond;
Swimming round the spiral pond.

Life to life and on it flows;
Energy learns and then it grows,
Souls with need may be reborn;
Time is timeless in our form."

HS: "As this Cup is to the Chalice;"

HP: "So is this Knife to the Blade,"

HS & HP: "Sacred is this union;
          We both have made."

(HS holds the chalice. The HP places his athame in the goblet.)

(The bell is rung three times.)

HS: "Great Lady, our thanks to you. 
     We give you back what is your due."

(HS pours a small amount of ale onto the earth.)

HP: "Great Lord, our thanks to you. 
     We give you back what is your due."

(HP picks up one cake from the altar and crumbles it to the ground.)

(HP then he picks up a cake in each hand and feeds one to HS.)

(HS shares the Chalice.)

(Both salute the visitors and drink.)

HP & HS: "Eat, drink, and be merry, as delighted as we.
 Share and give thanks. So mote it be."

(Drumming. HS & HP steps to fire. All toss cups into the fire.)

HP: "Paper cups into the fire!"

(More Drumming.)

HS: Merry did we meet, merry do we part, and merry will we meet again.
The Circle is cleared and The ritual is ended!
Blessings have been given, and blessings have been received.
So Mote It Be!

(Sung:) 
HP and All: "May the Circle be open, but unbroken
             May the peace of the Goddess be ever in your heart,
             Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again."

HP: "It is our tradition that, following each Ritual, we hug one another."

************************************************************

Cast:                                          Props:
High Priest - Max
High Seer - Marcus
Bard - Aleph
Firestarter - Keith
Minions 1 and 2 - Bandora and Spel
4 Quarter Callers and Torch Lighters
4 Cross Quarter Torch Lighters

Return to Ritual Page