Items Needed: The regular Altar tools plus a red taper candle, 2 white pillar candles, a gold crown for the sun god, a holly crown for the holly king, an oak crown for the oak king, a flower crown for the goddess, a black shroud. 2 large bowls filled with water, 2 fake or play swords. A switch for blessing. Cauldron should be filled with water. The décor for this Sabbat is fairly elaborate. Decorate the altar with seasonal Summer items and flowers. Incense such as Rose or lilac for a mild bouquet or lavender or jasmine for a stronger alternative.
Notes: This Sabbat is fairly elaborate. The two pillar candles are to be set at the center of the circle approximately four feet apart, between them the red taper candle is placed. The red taper candle is lit to represent the Sun God. Everyone will be doing something in this ritual. Three people are going to play the roles of the Holly King, Oak King, and Sun God. Someone will be elected to be the High Priestess (the HP will not be playing the role of the Goddess, however she is a narrator) The Goddess, The Maiden, Quarter Caller, and Candle lighter and circle sweeper. The person who plays the Holly King must know how to efficiently draw down the Sun and maintain the Gods energy during ritual, The person who plays the Goddess must know how to Draw Down the Moon and maintain the Goddess’s energy during ritual. The person playing the Goddess will also be symbolically reenacting the Great rite with the Holly King. Please assign roles prior to ritual. G. and I have selected some people for their roles already. The men may not wear their crowns during any portion of the opening ritual, though the Goddess may immediately don the crown of flowers after the Charge.
Directions: Set up altar as normally. Using the besom, take it starting in the East and sweep. As you sweep imagine all the negativity leaving the area.
Say: All Negative out, all positive in…
Next, stand before the altar. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Center your thoughts on the upcoming ritual and the reason behind it. Ring the bell once and say:
The Ritual has begun…
Next, take your athame and move to the East of the ritual area. Visualize a blue flame shooting from the tip of the blade to the ground. Walk clockwise around the circle, casting the circle as you draw. Say:
I consecrate this circle to the Goddess and the God. Here may they manifest and bless their children.
Return to the altar and stand facing it. Raise your arms with the athame in your power hand and say:
This is a time that is not a time, in a place that is not a place, on a day that is not a day. I stand at the threshold between the worlds, before the Veil of Mysteries. May the Old Ones protect us that we may walk the true path forever. By the bright circle of the golden sun, by the bright courses of the glorious moon, by the dread potency of every star in the mysterious zodiac’s burning girth, by each and all of these supernal signs, I do call and command you with this sacred blade. Guard me in this time and place from all evil and unbalanced forces.
Lay the dagger on the altar, raise your arms in greeting, and say:
Come, all those who would help us here this night. I give you welcome within this sacred circle. Join your powers with my desires that we may create and accomplish.
Take up the dagger and hold it point down over the chalice of water. Say:
The Blessings of the Goddess be upon this water, symbol of Water, May it ever remind me of the endless cauldron waters of rebirth.
Hold the dagger with the point down over the container of salt. Say:
The Blessings of the Goddess be upon this salt, symbol of Earth. May we ever honor the blessed earth that is Her body in the physical world.
With the tip of your dagger, scoop up a little of the salt and tip it into the chalice of water. Put the dagger aside and take up the chalice in your power hand. Swirl it gently three times in a clockwise movement.
Hold the chalice high over the altar and say:
Water and Earth, Elements of birth. By touch, purify. By power, sanctify. Great Goddess, be you adored!
Using the fingers of your power hand, lightly sprinkle the water around the edge of the circle, beginning and ending in the East.
Replace the chalice on the altar, and take the dagger in your power hand. Hold it point down over the burning candle and say:
May the blessings of the God be upon this candle , symbol of Fire. May I ever honor the sacred fire that dance within me.
Hold the dagger point down over the incense and say:
May the blessings of the God be upon this incense, symbol of Air. May I always listen to the spiritual inspiration that whispers to my soul.
Lay the dagger aside. Take the candle and light it to the incense. Hold the incense high over the altar and say:
Fire and Air, Elements so fair. By touch, purify. By power, sanctify. Great God be you adored!
Carry the burning incense around the circle, beginning and ending in the East. Return the censer to the altar.
Stand facing the altar and say:
Round and round, the power has bound, this circle tonight in Otherworld light. NO evil may enter, no harm befall us. For this is our will and so shall it be.
Purify yourself with the oil. Draw and solar cross and crescent onto your forehead. Say:
I (name) am purified and cleansed in the name of the Goddess and God in this their circle.
Next it is time to let people in and purify them. Ask those who would enter to approach the circle. As they approach, point the dagger at their heart. Ask:
Q: What do you want?
A: To enter the circle.
Q: How do you enter?
A: In perfect love and perfect trust.
Have them kiss the blade and say:
Merry meet and welcome, take your place at the cardinal point.
Then purify them in the order they came in. Purify them as you would yourself. Next, it is time to call the quarters. One person will be doing this…
East: Air, South: Fire, West: Water, North: Earth. Allow for improv. As they call the quarters have them light their appropriate elemental candle. Have the person draw the infinity symbol after they’re done calling down the element…
It is now time to Draw Down the Moon and Draw Down the Sun. The woman selected to play the Goddess will be drawing down the Moon. The man selected to play the Holly King shall draw down the Sun. After the woman has drawn down the Goddess, she may immediately don the Crown of flowers. The men playing the Sun God and Kings cannot. The Goddess will be drawn down first:
Standing in the Goddess position recite the following, as you’re reciting open yourself to her energy and pull it inside you:
Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who of old was called Artemis, Astarte, Athene, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Dana, Arianrhod, Isis, Bride, and by many other names. Whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me, who am Queen of all Witches. There ye shall assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these I will teach things that are yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise. For Mine is the ecstasy of the spirit, and Mine also is joy on earth; for My law is love unto all beings. Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever toward it; let naught stop you or turn you aside. For Mine is the secret door which opens upon the Land of Youth and Mine is the cup of the wine of life, and the Cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the holy grail of immortality. I am the gracious Goddess, Who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man. Upon earth, I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, I give peace and freedom, and reunion with those that have gone before. Nor do I demand sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother of all things and My love is poured out upon the earth.
Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess; she in the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven, and whose body encircles the universe.
I who am the beauty of the green earth, and the white Moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the desire of the heart of man, call unto thy soul. Arise, and come unto Me. For I am the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe. From Me all things proceed, and unto Me all things must return; and before my face, beloved of Gods and of men, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite. Let My worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And thou who thinketh who seek for Me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knoweth the mystery; that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, then thou wilt never find it without thee. For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.
Now it is time to Draw Down the Sun. Standing in the Osiris position recite the following, as you’re reciting open yourself to his energy and pull it inside you:
Listen to the words of the Horned God,
The Guardian of all things wild and free, and Keeper of the Gates of Death, whose Call all must answer: I am the fire within your heart... The yearning of your Soul. I am the Hunter of Knowledge and the Seeker of the Holy Quest; I who stand in the darkness of light; I am He whom you have called Death. I am the Consort and Mate of Her we adore, call forth to me.
Heed my call beloved ones, come unto me and learn the secrets of death and peace. I am the corn at harvest and the fruit on the trees. I am He who leads you home. Scourge and Flame, Blade and Blood these are mine and gifts to thee.
Call unto me in the forest wild and on hilltop bare and seek me in the Darkness Bright. I who have been called; Pan, Herne, Osiris , and Hades, speak to thee in thy search. Come dance and sing; come live and smile, for behold: this is my worship. You are my children and I am thy Father. On swift night wings it is I who lay you at the Mother's feet to be reborn and to return again. Thou who thinks to seek me, know that I am the untamed wind, the fury of storm and passion in your Soul. Seek me with pride and humility, but seek me best with love and strength. For this is my path, and I love not the weak and fearful. Hear my call on long Winter nights and we shall stand together guarding Her Earth as She sleeps.
It is now time to begin the ritual. Following the goddess and god invocation members take place along perimeter of circle if they haven’t already. The High Priestess and Maiden stand the altar. The Man selected to be the Holly King stands at West cardinal point, and the man selected to play the Oak King at the East Cardinal point. The Woman playing the Goddess stands next to the High Priestess. The High Priestess motions the Maiden to give the Oak Crown to witch portraying the Oak King, who immediately puts it on.
High Priestess Says:
At Yule, thou did slay thy brother, the Holly King, and since then thou has ruled as the Oak King, God of the Waxing Year. Yet as the Wheel Turns, your time slowly comes to an end.
The Oak King walks to the center of the circle and faces the group. The red candle should be in front of him. Assuming the God position he then recites:
I am the Oak King, God of the Waxing year. I have reigned as the consort of the Goddess throughout this time of light, and I shall continue until I am deposed by the dark.
As soon as the Oak King stops talking, the High Priestess motions for the Maiden to give the Holly Crown to the Holly King. He immediately puts it on.
High Priestess Says:
Thou art the Holly King, God of the Waning Year. As the Wheel turns, your time approaches.
The Holly King walks to the Center of the circle, stands on the other side of the red candle opposite the Oak King. Holly King assumes the slain god position. As soon as the Holly King is set the High Priestess recites:
We have come together at this sacred time of the year to witness the coming of the darkness. Our Lord, the Sun God, is at the height of his power, signaling the start of the waning year. As it begins, so shall the Light soon begin to fade, and the bounty shall once again lay dormant in the womb of the Great Mother.
It is now time for the MidSummer Dance. This dance involves the Goddess and the Sun God. After receiving the Sun crown from the Maiden, the Sun God retrieves the red candle from the center of the circle. While the Goddess retrieves the athame. Incorporating upward hand movements into the dance as a gesture to the sun, the pair dances around the Oak King and Holly King. As the pair dances, the coven chants:
O’ blessed Lady of pale moonlight,
Dance and sing, this MidSummer night;
The Oak King is dead, gone to his tomb,
His life is done, ‘til reborn from the womb;
O’ blessed Lady of pale moonlight.
Dance and sign, this MidSummer night;
The Holly King comes, his time is here,
And light will fade with the waning year;
O’ blessed Lady of pale moonlight,
Dance and Sing, this MidSummer night;
As the life of the Oak King fades away,
The reign of the Holly King begins today;
O’ blessed Lady of pale moonlight,
Dance and sing, this MidSummer night;
But after the Winter covers the Earth’
The cycle will turn to celebrate birth;
O’ blessed Lady of pale moonlight,
Dance and sing, this MidSummer night.
The Dancers come to a halt at the end of the chant. The high priestess goes to the altar, while the Sun God places the red candle back in the center, lays the Sun crown around it, and returns to his place with the coven. Once everyone is settled, the Oak King extinguishes the Sun God candle, and the High Priestess recites:
The sun is in decline, and with it the reign of the Oak King, God of the Waxing year, comes to a close. Behold, the time of the Holly King, God of the Waning Year is upon us.
It is now time for the battle between the Holly and the Oak King for the Goddess’s hand. The Holly King and Oak King may sword dance back and forth although; the outcome will be the same. The Oak King will fall into slain God Position while the Holly King pretends to slay him. Once he is slain, he will fall to his knees in the circle. The Maiden comes forward and drapes the black shroud over the Oak King’s head.
The Holly King then recites:
The reign of the Oak King is over, and the reign of the Holly King has begun. With the Sun God at his pinnacle, the waxing year gives way to the waning year, and the warmth and bounty of Summer shall slowly give way to the Cold death of Winter. Only when the Oak King is reborn shall the cycle reverse. The spirit of the Oak King is gone from this Sacred Circle. I, the Holly King, rule in his stead, and shall do so until his rebirth. When the Wheel of the Year has turned, and the seasons once again change, I shall die so that the Oak King shall be reborn, thus fulfilling the never ending cycle of life. Farewell O’ Oak King…
Group Repeats: Farewell O’ Oak King; Blessed Be the Holly King.
The Oak King is led to the West Quarter by the Holly King and Goddess before the shroud is removed by the Maiden. Once this is done, the male witch and Maiden join the group. The Oak Crown is removed from the Oak King’s head and placed back upon the altar with the shroud covering it. The Goddess and Holly King now symbolically reenact the Great Rite.
The Goddess and Holly King walk up to altar together and take hands.
You have defeated your brother the Oak King, thou has proven thy love for me.
Goddess takes up chalice and says:
I give to you my Lord, my essence my womb of life, so that we may join in harmony and continue the cycle of life, death and rebirth….
The Holly King takes up athame and presents it to the Goddess.
Holly King says:
My dear Lady, I have defeated my brother the Oak King, for your hand in marriage and your love.
Holly King raises athame and says:
I give to you my Lady, my essence my seed of life, so that we may join in harmony and continue the cycle of life, death and rebirth….
The Holly King now lowers the athame carefully into the chalice, whilst the Goddess holds it, they then say:
Male and female, Female and Male, the one are two, and the two now one,
As this athame is the male, so this cup is the female, and joined they bring blessings.
Raise the chalice high over the altar and say:
To the Old Ones! Merry Meet, Merry Part and Merry Meet again. Blessed Be!
It is now time to consecrate the cakes and ale. Once everyone has shared the cakes and ale, The Holly King assumes the Osiris position facing the altar. The cauldron should be between the Goddess and him. The Goddess raises the athame toward the Holly King, draws the Invoking Pentagram of Earth in the air above the cauldron, and recites:
O’ bright and shining Sun God, we invoke thee to come and spread thy warmth on the land. Heed our call, and fill us with thine light, that it may drive away the dark, and guide us along a path that we may walk in the footsteps of the Old Gods.
The Holly King dips the wand into the cauldron to once again symbolically join the God with the Mother Earth. He then recites:
As the Lance joins the Grail, spirit joins flesh, man joins woman, and Sun joins Earth, so do I by this act, join the God with the Goddess, that there may be light and dark, life and death. So mote it be.
It’s now time for another dance, but the goal of the dance is purification. Therefore, it’s time to set the twin bonfire candles. Place them equidistant along a line between the east and west candles. When they are in place, the Maiden lights the candles using a flame taken from the altar candle. The High Priestess then recites:
The MidSummer Fires are lit, and the Cauldron of Cerridwen is filled with the consecrated Waters of Life. Come forth , that you may be blessed.
Beginning with the Holly King and the Goddess, the entire group passes the altar while the High Priestess uses the branch to sprinkle water on them. After everyone’s been blessed, she sprinkles a few drops of the water towards each cardinal point and says:
Blessed Be the East(South, West, North) that this Water of Life, which has been touched by the God, and filled with his spirit, shall fall upon you.
After putting down the branch, the High Priestess leads the group through the bonfire candles. While going through the candles it is customary to make a wish. Once everyone is blessed and purified, the ceremony is over. However, before banishing the circle have the Holly King remove his Holly crown.
It is now time to close the circle. Have the person dismiss the elemental corners. Have them snuff it out tracing a banishing pentagram after the candles flame is extinguished. Have them improv on how they would like to dismiss them. Starting in the East, ending in the North…
After everyone has dismissed their cardinal point, have them place their hands upon the altar. Have them ground the remaining energy. Raise your arms in greeting and say:
Fairies, Spirits, Elementals, and all in the invisible, we give our thanks and blessings. May we always work in harmony together. Blessed Be.
Extinguish the Deity candles. Saying:
Lord and Lady, we thank you for your presence in attending our rite! Honor to the Old Ones!
Take your athame in the East. Point it down, drawing the energy back into the athame from the circle. As your walking say:
The circle is cut, but the blessings remain. Merry meet, merry part and merry meet again! Blessed Be!
This was the first Lunar Grove ritual the men took part in ritual! I had almost forgotten how much I enjoy having deep masculine voices in ritual to help ground me. I was so happy that afterwards I gave them both hugs. *grins*
This was written by Anise to be very Gardnerian, which is why it's so elaborate. Because of the high degree of difficulty I wish the group as a whole had been able to go over the ritual before hand and maybe even had a run through for it. However, both of the guys have had sword training so that part was freaking amazing! We did the ritual indoors and this one really needed either a bigger space or to be done outdoors.
I'm kind of hoping that she chooses to use this ritual again in 2009. We had several new people in the group and the energy flow wasn't quite what it could be. It would be nice if we got at least one more man, or maybe combined the Sun God and Oak King roles. That way the Oak King could dance with the Goddess to bless the land before being slayed by his brother.