YULE RITUAL
December 13, 1998
Prepared by Eustacia Blackstar
(email Eustacia)

There are two parts to this document: the prelude and the ritual
itself.
  
PRELUDE   
 
( Upon arrival, the participants will be escorted into a darkened
room, where they will meditate on significance of the season.
Recorded chanting will be heard. HP and HPS will not be seen, as
they read the following prelude.)

HPS:   My Wise One, have you noticed that the light of the Sun has
vanished little by little? Now darkness and night hold us in their
grasp.

HP:   Fear not, my Lady.  This is a sign that we must prepare for
one of the great mystical hinges of the year.  This tide of
darkness marks a season of celebration that our ancestors called
Yule.

HPS:   Ah yes.  It was long ago when our guides and mentors in the
ways of spirit would conjure at the sacred moss-clad stones, as the
Sun was reborn from the womb of night.  These people of the art
celebrated a midwinter festival that we, their children recreate in
their memory. After their magics, the elders gathered to tell
stories of their own ancient teachers who were seers that lived
long before any of us can remember. They were known to harvest
green sprigs of mistletoe from their barren sacred oak trees in
honor of the season.  How they must have seen that mistletoe as a
spark of life in the midst of death!                              

HP:   As this tide approaches I see rivers and lakes freeze over. 
The trees are frosted with snow and lie dormant, while animals
sleep and dream for countless nights. Know that the season of Yule
is the same tide of darkness and rebirth as it was for our
ancestors.   Look out at the silent, still world!  It is from this
ice and sleep that the glorious Sun, who quickens the world once
more, is reborn.

HPS:   And it is wise to learn from the Sun, my Lord.  It teaches
that even in the darkest of your life's circumstances there are
always green sprigs of light and hope just like the mistletoe.  The
birth of light happens when you recognize your own "sprigs" of
potential and life at the center of darkness. Still, many ask, "how
do we recognize these?"

HP:   Then we must tell them, that even when a tree is dormant, or
when an animal takes on the winter sleep, it lives still.  Though
it may appear dead, it has simply retreated from the world of
visible activity for rejuvenation and renewal.

HPS:   Yes, we must help them to become as the sacred oak and move
into their inner core.  They must journey within to their spiritual
center, where they too can find a place of life's renewal, hope and
rebirth.

HP:   They must tread the path of Yule and attune to the magic and
power of the season. Speak to them, my Lady.  Show them the way.

HPS:   All who lie in darkness, within the sound of my voice,
breathe deeply and close your eyes.  Imagine that you have
journeyed to an ancient oak grove that stands tall in the stillness
of winter.  Snow covers the ground and the bark of the tree appears
black from the saturation of rainwater and snow.

Stand at the base of the tree and think of the situation in which
you need guidance.  Imagine that you project this situation like a
movie onto the trunk of the tree.

Once the scene has finished and faded from the tree trunk, notice
the sprig of mistletoe that has grown from the spot.  A word is
written on one of the leaves.  This word is the key to the
resolution of your situation.

Once you have read it you may open your eyes.  Use the message of
the mistletoe to help you move into Action.

And now  the time has come to move from the darkness into the
light.  All stand and heed the words of The High Priest.

YULE RITUAL
Prepared by Eustacia Blackstar
December 13, 1998  


( Through a back entrance, HP returns to ritual area during the
meditation.  He opens the door to admit participants. As HP
performs the Blessing, HPS moves to the front door to
enter.) 

HP  (raise athame toward participants) " Be it known, the Temple
will soon be erected.  The Circle is about to be cast.  Let all
those who desire attendance receive the Blessing of the Mistletoe. 
Let none be here but of their own free will."

CRYSTAL BLESSING  ( as participants enter ritual space, HP touches
each head with a leaf)

"Bright Blessings be with you on this longest night.  You may be
seated." 

(Maiden may sweep the ritual area with the besom.)

(As participants sit silently, "The First Song" by Andras Corban
Arthen is played on tape.)

(At the end of the tape, three knocks are heard. Maiden moves to
admit HPS.  HPS processes to altar with lit golden candles)

HP  All rise!  The Lady Approaches!

HPS  "In the Beginning, there was the Mother Goddess. She brought
forth the God who was the Sun and light of the world.  From this,
some say, all life began."

HP (along with participants)
     Higher as the fire climbs
     other places, other times,
     as we celebrate tonight
     will be remembered in this rite  (refrain)

(HPS walks to alter.)

HPS
     We come together on this night
     to perform an ancient rite,
     as our mothers did before
     throughout the world, in days of yore.
     We look back now and look ahead.
     We mourn because the Sun God's dead.

HP        (refrain above)

HPS                                     
     Through Winter's gauntlet we have come.
     This longest night, we seek the Sun.
     The Season's Wheel must turn again,
     if all this darkness is to end.
     And so we build the fires high
     to guide the Light back to the sky.

HP        (refrain above)

HPS
     So now we come with hope, to bring
     rejoicing for the Newborn King.
     The Mother Goddess births Renewal.
     With joyful hearts, we welcome Yule.

CAST CIRCLE:

HPS (with athame) "In sacred space, we all invite. To welcome Yule,
this longest night."  (continue Chanting)

HP/HPS (cast circle with incense and salt water.  All chant as
above.)

HPS (when circle is cast)  "As I will it, so mote it be."


CALLING THE QUARTERS

HP (ring bells four times)

     Earth and Air
     Fire and Water:
     Guard and Guide
     your sons and daughters.
     We evoke you on this night.
     Assist us with this sacred rite.

(Participants will call the Quarters)
     
     All hail to Thee, oh Eastern Powers!
     Guard us.  Guide us in these hours.
     As we wait this longest night,
     with your breath, keep safe the Light.

     All hail to Thee, oh South and Fire!
     Give us now what we desire.
     Help us guide the Sun's return.
     Blessed Fire blaze and burn!

     Oh Western Waters, hail to Thee!
     From Her womb all life shall be.
     As we attend the Sun God's birth,
     from all that harms, wash clean the earth.

     Oh Earth, the Northern Powers, hail!
     We've come this far.  We must not fail.
     The Turning Wheel brings forth renewal.
     We've come with hope to welcome Yule.


INVOCATION AND CHARGE:

HP (rings bell twice)

     The Lord and Lady we invite
     to guard and guide us on this night.

     Oh Mother, this we light for Thee.
     May all your children blessed be!
     (HP lights Triple Goddess candle)

HPS
     Now we invoke the Lord of Light.
     The Yule log will be blazing bright.
     And with it every hope and fear
     will be made right in this New Year.
     ( HPS lights God candle)

(Enter Sun God)

ALL  All hail the Lord of Light!

HPS/HP  (read Charge together)


THE DEATH AND REBIRTH OF THE SUN KING:

HPS  "Children of the Lord and Lady.  Have you noticed that the
light of the sun has vanished little by little.  This is a sign
that we must prepare.  Soon darkness and night will hold us in
their grasp. This tide of darkness marks the season of the Winter
Solstice, the longest night of the year.  The Sun King has reached
the end of his reign, and now bids us farewell."  (HPS places mask
on Sun God and gives him a crystal)

HP   "The Sun God of the old year sinking now into darkness to his
rest. Stay not his path, for it is ordained as the Wheel turns to
Winter.  But before he departs to his sleep, he offers to perform
one last service for thee.  If there is anything with which you
have finished in this cycle, be it emotions, habits or workings,
give these to him now,  and he will take them with him to the
Summerland, there to be returned to the Cauldron of Rebirth.
 
Let any who have such, come forward now."

"Visualize the work or emotion which you are releasing.  Hold your
hand over the crystal and will the energy of the thing into it."
HPS  (when all are finished)  "The Wheel turns, the year has flown.
Rest now my Lord in the dark of the night."  (HPS covers Sun God
with a veil)

COVENER   "The sun is gone!  The earth is cold! How will we survive
this darkness?"

HPS  "Did not the High Priest speak of resting, and of the Cauldron
of Rebirth?

COVENER  "But when will the Sun God awaken?  How long must we wait?

HPS  "The Sun King will be reborn through the Goddess.  Let us aid
his passage through her and back to the light by chanting."

All Chant for the Return of the Sun.

The night is dark, the sun is gone,
Yet we know the wheel turns on.
Through midnight's hour, solid dark,
Within our hearts remains a spark.    (refrain)

Queen of Winter, Mother of All,
Hear us as our voices call.
Send your fire back to earth,
As we will the Sun's rebirth.

(refrain)

Who will light the sacred fire,
Bringing back our heart's desire?
Sacred fire, kindled bright,
Lead us back into the light.

(refrain)

As the flames around us glow,
So may love within us grow,
Waken Sun King, be reborn!
Bring us light this Yuletide morn!

As we will it, so mote it be!

(Veil is removed)

HPS  "Welcome Lord.  You who have died are now reborn.  Lend us
your light and warmth through the winter months as we await the
spring."

Sun God   "My thanks to you all for your care and devotion.  To
bring good fortune to your hearths for the new year, let us now
light the Yule Log and pass the flame to each of you.

Once having burned with the Yule fire, these candles will contain
the luck of the log for you to take home.  (HP lights Yule log. He
lights a white candle for each participant. HPS passes them.)

( Yule Carols are sung.)

HP  "Though we must now extinguish these candles, carry their flame
in your hearts until you light them again in your own homes."


CAKES AND ALE:

(Ginger ale and Yule cookies are past)

HP  "Now is the time to give thanks for the light and all that
sustains us."

HPS "May we ever be aware of all that we owe and be grateful."

HP   "Eat and drink.  Be happy.  Share and give thanks.
So mote it be!"

HPS "And as we share, let us remember to see to it that aught that
we have, we share with those who have nothing.  So mote it be!"


PREPARE PARCHMENT

HP "Write something you wish to accomplish or manifest during the
coming year on this paper you have been given.

HP  "Come each of you with your desires to the Cauldron of Rebirth. 
Visualize your wish as accomplished.  We will chant together OM as
we raise the energy."

( when everyone is finished say, "As we will it, so mote it be!")

GIFT EXCHANGE

OPEN CIRCLE:

HP  "And now as the Sun returns to the sky, we have kept the faith
with our ancestors and it is time to open the Circle."  (ring four
bells)

(Participants will dismiss Quarters)

"Powers of the East and Air,
 we thank you for joining our Circle.
 We ask you blessing as you part.
 May there be peace between us,
 now and forever."

"Powers of the South and Fire,
 we thank you for joining our Circle.
 We ask you blessing as you part.
 May there be peace between us,
 now and forever."

"Powers of the West and Water,
 we thank you for joining our Circle.
 We ask you blessing as you part.
 May there be peace between us,
 now and forever."

 "Powers of the North and Earth,
 we thank you for joining our Circle.
 We ask you blessing as you part.
 May there be peace between us,
 now and forever."

HPS  "Lord of the Sun, Lady of Rebirth, we thank you for joining
our Circle on this longest night.  We ask your Yule Tide Blessings. 
We have come together in love and peace.  Let us depart the same
way.  Remember, all there is, is love and in every moment
there is wisdom."

HP   "We have stood before the sacred Cauldron of Rebirth, knowing
that one day we too must pass through the Cauldron to be reborn. 
All honor to the Lord and the Lady!  Bright blessings of Yule be
with you. Merry meet, merry part, merry meet again. The Circle is
open, but unbroken.

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

Altar setup:  Yule cloth, altar candles, seasonal decorations,
athames, chalices, God and Goddess candles, water/salt dishes,
incense burner/incense, crystal, besom, mask, veil, bell

Quarter candles, lighter/matches
Tape recorder/tape (chants/The First Song) 
Cauldron/sterno, parchment/pens, 
Yule log/candle holders/four candles/ white candles for everyone
Yule attire: capes, crowns, gold candle holders/candles
Guitar/song copies
Copies:  songs, chant, 
Basket/cookies,  Cups/ginger ale,  pitcher
2008 Eustacia Blackstar. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.
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