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Greek Rite of Summer

This Summer Rite was performed at a public Pagan camping festival in 1994 by members of the Sibylline Order.

Order of March
Sword Bearer | Libation Bowl Bearer | High Priest and High Priestess | Two Cup Bearers | Thyrsis Bearer | Drummers | Bearers of Paten and Chalice | Incense Bearer | Drummers | Two Torch Bearers | Bearer of Sacred Chest (containing the rest of the altar tools) | Drummers | Two Torch Bearers | Wreath Bearer | Drummer |

Male and female dancers concealed under Altar with Fog Machine - when procession arrives, tools are set on altar and chest bearer stands behind the altar by the chest. Cup bearers stand in the East and West. Thyrsis Bearer in the South. Libation bowl bearer in the center, and sword bearer in the North. There are four cup bearers that stand in the four directions, in front of two torch bearers in each direction. The other members of the procession form an outside circle. We suggest practice. Perform salt-water purification and cast circle.

cast circle

HIGH PRIESTESS: Drawing Down of Dionysus

Ah Beloved! Warm and warm the sun shimmers upon your vineyards
And the grapes are rich and red and sweet as the mountain streams of your lost home

The grass is softer here and the nights are lush
The stars blaze here like rivers of crystal, brighter now than over the palace of Olympus from which you fled,
seeking the promise of golden summer in the green hills.

Oh Dionysus! Cinnamon scented is your skin and your black hair blows free in the winds of the heavens.

Beautiful God, the Bacchae call again in this wild land, with drums and dance we beckon you oh God of ecstasy and joy!

You cup is the Chalice of rebirth filled up with the sacred wine of life, a gift of your Mother the Earth.

Behold Dionysus! Your Priest awaits you as of old, a vessel for you to fill up with yourself!

Come into the Priest and join our holy revelry!

Summer has come Dionysus,the summer long promised and written in the stars before the coming of men,
come into the priest and touch us with the light of change and peace,that all the world will know the Gods have Returned!

Be thy feet the feet of the God who Dances! Dionysus!

Be the knees the knees of the God who kneels before the moon! Dionysus!

Be thy phallus the phallus of the God of Mystic Lovers! Dionysus!

Be thy wine stained lips the lips of the God of Poets! Dionysus!

Thou art He and three times thou art He! Dionysus, Beloved!

Behold the God of Wine and Ecstasy,

Dionysus has come!

The God assists the Priestess to her feet.

DIONYSUS: Drawing Down of Ariadne

I am swept into the well of the womb and flow forth from the sacred caverns of my Mother the Earth.

She is made young and virgin,for hers is the labyrinth and hers the wisdom that leads me from madness to inspiration.

Halyconian muses, my companions of old, have you seen my bride wandering far away in the lands of the Minoans where she did gently step upon the wave washed beaches of moss covered stones?

Help me call to her! Lead her to this foreign land so filled with song and pounding drums and we shall make it ours!

Long and long, my journey has taken me out among the liquid stars, but I am returned!

Ariadne! Goddess of Dreams and Wisdom, come and dance with me!

Beloved, and eternity since, with lips, I kissed you and with warm arms, I held you tenderly as you whispered the secrets of the Earth into my heart.

You taught me joy!

Ariadne! I call to you my Bride to come into your Priestess as of old, fill your Priestess with yourself as the ancient rite demands!

My Beloved, the time has been fulfilled and the dawn comes, the Maenads await you!

Come to me Beloved! For I can not bear to be apart from you on this world!

Be thy feet the feet of the Goddess of the Labyrinth! Ariadne!

Be thy knees the knees of the Goddess who kneels before the sun! Ariadne!

Be thy womb the womb of the Goddess of life! Ariadne!

Be thy breast the breast of the Goddess of Love! Ariadne!

Be thy lips the lips of the Goddess of Truth! Ariadne!

Thou art She and three times thou art She! Ariadne, Beloved!

Behold the Goddess of inspiration and dreams!

Ariadne has come!

Wait a moment, then cup bearers process slowly to center/sacred virgin, pour the wine from the cups into the bowl at the same time then step back three paces. While this occurs, the Gods speak.

ARIADNE

Look well, my children, upon your brothers and sisters gathered here.
For I know you and I have gathered you before, and in the lamp lit chambers of Minos we had sometimes danced in the sprin
g.

DIONYSUS

In the woodlands of wild Arcadia you ran in the hills.
And in returning, you fulfill the task I set for you so long ago.

ARIADNE: gestures to the libation bowl.

Behold the Wine!

DIONYSUS

Poured out from the heart of my Mother the Earth, and ever outward to change the souls of the folk.
Peace I grant to you, and joy, and love and wild ecstasy for my children who shall rise in strength!

ARIADNE

This wine is changed - and all that behold this rite are changed!
Forgetful of sorrow shall ye be, and infused with the might of the children of old!
Ye shall endure the birth of the new child and grow prosperous when our Mother awakens in the dawn of bright promise!

SACRED VIRGIN: So mote it Be!

ALL: So mote it Be!

Cup bearers step together to bowl and dip out a full cup at the same time, then turn together facing crowd and return to the four quarters. Give cup to torch bearer on the right. S/he sips, then take and give to the torch bearer on the left, s/he sips and returns it to the cup bearer. Cup bearer then sprinkles crowd.

DIONYSUS: sprinkling crowd

Blessings upon you my children!

ARIADNE

Strength and joy be with you my children!

DIONYSUS

Drink now and feel the love of the Gods within you!

ARIADNE

Drink now and know the wisdom of the Universe!

All drink. Drummers start power beat, quiet then loud by the end.

ARIADNE

But where are our companions, the ancient ones, the free folk of wood and stone and sea who danced with us before the mortals came?

DIONYSUS

Gone to sleep in the Deep Earth, or lost among the stars.
Driven out and hunted, they had fled this world, as the thousands burned.

ARIADNE

The trees have no guardians, the lakes and seas run fouled and stagnant.
The air is thick with poison.
We must awaken them and call them home!

DIONYSUS

So it shall be!

Open door in the west. Draw the sigils, and rend the veil. Summon the Sidhe. Fog machine on.

ARIADNE

Children of the Earth and Sky
Awake from your long sleep beneath the stones,
Return all children of light who leap among the stars!
The Earth calls you! Mother Gaia has need of you!

Nymphs of streams and rivers, Gods of lakes and mountains,
Guardians of the wild lands! Awake!
Undines and merfolk of the Oceans, the seas cry for your return!

Sylphs of air, gnomes of Earth, Fire Maidens!
Satyrs and centaurs, warriors of the wood! Return!

Too long have the children of the dark ones despoiled our Mother!
Return and Awaken children of Gaia!

The Gate is Open!

Take up your forms of flesh and spirit and fill the world take up your arms and your magic,
befriend those mortals who stand ready to aid you, arise and attend the reeving of the World

As was written in the book of the heavens at the dawn of time!
By the Might of the Gods I call you!
I Ariadne, daughter of Athene, daughter of memory
I summon you!

Let the invisible be made visible!
Come Now!

Wait for drums to crest, then silence. Then one drum heartbeat; male and female dancers emerge from beneath altar, concealed by smoke. Rise slowly in front of altar.

ARIADNE

All ye satyrs and centaurs,
Gods of Lakes and Rivers
Shining Ones of the Wild hunt and fair fires
Gnomes of the Earth and Guardians of Gaia!

Infuse this priest with your essence and power, let him lead the dance of your returning!

Come now! Come Now!

DIONYSUS

All ye nymphs and dryads
Sylphs of air and Undines of the sea
Shining Ones of the Wild Hunt and fair fires
Spirits of the Earth and Guardians of Gaia


Infuse this priestess with your essence and your power, let her lead the dance of your returning!

Come now! Come now!

(pause, drums start building in speed and power. Dancers hold wreaths over the heads of the Priest and Priestess)

DIONYSUS

As God of Woods and Wine and Ecstasy I crown you
Queen of Summer and of Love.
Dance with joy at your returning and bless My mortal children with your beauty.

ARIADNE

As Goddess of Wisdom and Inspiration and Dreams I crown you King of Summer and of Love,
Dance with joy at your returning, and bless My children with your passion.

(begin dance, drums should be rather wild and building to frenzy)

DIONYSUS

Dance with them all ye folk of wood and wind!

ARIADNE

Dance with them all ye folk of sea and fire!

DIONYSUS

The dance and the power are yours my children!

ARIADNE

The world will shake at your returning!

(ecstatic dance and frenzy. Then sudden silence. One muffled drum beat)

ARIADNE

Look well upon your brothers and sisters.

DIONYSUS

Know that magic has brought you back again to earth.

ARIADNE

Gaia knows you and blesses you.

DIONYSUS

The dawn shall bring you joy!

ARIADNE: goes to altar and retrieves athame

Hail Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East, South, West, and North.
We honor you in this land so young and ancient.
As you return to your homes, may there be peace between us now and forever.

Blessed Be!

ALL: Blessed Be!

ARIADNE

The circle is open but unbroken.
May the peace of the Goddess and God go in your hearts.
Merry meet, merry part and merry meet again.

Blessed Be!

ALL: Blessed Be!

(Order of Exit: South, Sacred Virgin, Ariadne and DIONYSUS, Priestess and Priest, Dancers, West, East, North, Chest Bearer, Drummers.

Conclusion of rite and drawing up performed at camp.

 


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