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Woman's Ritual: Honoring the Coming of Age

Written by Felicia; Third Degree Priestess and Elder of the Sibylline Order.

Purpose
To celebrate the comming of age of a young maiden.

Roles

  • High Priestess

  • The Mother

  • Air/East (Color:yellow, Tool/gift:feather)

  • Fire/South (Color:red, Tool/gift:candle)

  • Water/West (Color:blue, Tool/gift:chalice)

  • Earth/North (Color:green, Tool/gift:stone)

  • Spirit/Center (Color:silver/gray, Tool/gift:mirror)

Maiden Preparation

  • Dressed in white.

  • Bathed in ritual waters.

  • A cord she has fashioned from ribbon (see above)

  • Carries a white rose in offering to the Goddess.

 

Main Altar (in the East)

  • altar cloth of yellow

  • fresh flowers

  • Altar candles - one white (Goddess), two smaller ones:one pink (maiden), one red (womanhood).

  • incense, charcoal, bowl, and lighter

  • chalice filled with mulled apple juice

  • bread

  • Goddess figure

  • athame

  • healing stone

Ritual Space

  • Candles on ground at mid points

  • A chair or pillow at each quarter

  • Chairs or pillows around the circle for guest

  • Gifts:cup, feather, stone, candle, mirror w/cloth

  • Single white rose*

  • Ribbon (white, silver, blue, red, yellow and green)

  • Bath salts*

 

Everyone is in a circle at her respective point. Spirit sits at the cross point between North and East when not in the center. The altar is in the east and Air/East will stand just to the right of it. All ritualist have been blessed with their elements and hold the gifts they will bestow.

Maiden and Mother enter circle from the south and sit in front of the altar on pillows.

HIGH PRIESTESS:
Motions for everyone to take a seat.  Cast circle. (Light only the Goddess candle.)

EVERYONE:(at each quarter)

So mote it be.

HIGH PRIESTESS:
Speaks the opening invocation.

Mother and daughter/maiden come to the center and stand hand in hand.

HIGH PRIESTESS:(To the daughter/maiden)

You are about to embark further on your journey in life.  You have physically become a woman on your first moon or monthly cycle.  Now you stand before the women gathered here to accept the rite of passage as a woman. With that acceptance are you prepared for the responsibilities of a being a woman?

MAIDEN: [Answer]

HIGH PRIESTESS:(To the mother)

You have raised your daughter well. Are you prepared to aid her further in her journey of independence and to help her be accepted as a woman in our community?

MOTHER: [Answer]

HIGH PRIESTESS:

Then let the ritual begin. [Name] please go to the altar and light the pink candle representing your childhood.

The Maiden returns to center after completing task.

HIGH PRIESTESS:

I will lead you now on your journey around the circle. As many women who come after me, I am but the first to lend you aid in you as you seek your path. Never forget that your sisters are here for you in any time of need.

Mother goes and sits down. High Priestess walks Maiden around the circle. East/Air rises.

HIGH PRIESTESS:

I present to you, [name], a maiden on her way to becoming a woman. This is her first step.

EAST/AIR:

I am the East. I am the wind, the air, the very breath you breathe. I will bring you intelligence. I will bring you wit. I gift you with a feather so that you might remember this night and use your gifts. Welcome.

(Prompted by the High Priestess if needed, but wait a few beats to see what she will do.)

MAIDEN:

Thank you for the gifts.

High Priestess and Maiden continue around the circle. South/Fire rises.

HIGH PRIESTESS:

I present to you [name], a maiden on her way to being a woman. This is her next step.

SOUTH/FIRE:

I am the South. I am the fire, the flame and the heat that warms your very blood. I will bring you passion. I will bring you love. I gift you with a candle so that you might remember this night and use these gifts to light your way. Welcome.

MAIDEN: [Answer]

High Priestess and Maiden continue around the circle. West/Water rises.

HIGH PRIESTESS:

I present to you [name], a maiden on her way to being a woman. This is her next step.

WEST/WATER:

I am the West. I am the wave, the river and the water that is core of your being. I will bring you dreams. I will bring you depth and from my wells spring infinite creativity. I gift you with a chalice so that you might remember this night and drink deeply of life. Welcome.

MAIDEN: [Answer]

High Priestess and Maiden continue around the circle. North/Earth rises.

HIGH PRIESTESS:

I present to you [name], a maiden on her way to being a woman. This is her next step.

NORTH/EARTH:

I am the North. I am the mountain, the meadow and the strength in your blood. I will bring you courage. I will bring you knowledge. I gift you with a stone from the earth so that you might remember this night and may you find strength within. Welcome.

MAIDEN: [Answer]

Maiden is directed to put her gifts on the altar and come stand in the center of the circle.

HIGH PRIESTESS:

I present to you [name] who has journeyed to the four directions and is ready to meet Spirit and fully commit to being a woman.

SPIRIT/CENTER: (approaching the maiden)

Is this spoken truly?

MAIDEN:

Yes, I am ready.

SPIRIT/CENTER:

I am Spirit -- the center, the inner core, and the kernel of life that is unique within you. I will bring you your psychic self. I will bring you the Goddess and the God. Here is a gift freely given... a picture of the Great Goddess... She of a thousand names... She who is.

Hands the Maiden a mirror wrapped in cloth. After the Maiden has looked into the mirror...

You are the Goddess. The Goddess is you. Treat yourself with love and respect and honor for the Lady deserves no less.

But never let childhood be so far behind that you cannot turn easily to regain a laugh or play a game.

MAIDEN: [Answer]

Maiden takes the mirror to the altar and returns to the center with her cord. Spirit has sat down and the Mother joins the Maiden and High Priestess in the center. The cord is drawn between Mother and her daughter/maiden.

HIGH PRIESTESS:

Present throughout this ceremony has been a cord woven by [name]. It represents her final step into womanhood, for just as her mother's umbilical cord gave her nourishment for life; this cord represents ties to the ebb and flow of life.

Maiden takes the cord from her Mother. She then wraps it around her own waist *without* assistance.

HIGH PRIESTESS:

But just as no woman every stands alone in our community, neither does Maiden. For as she leaves the protection of her mother, she has woven herself a cord binding herself to world around her. Each woman is part of the greater web of life, a completion of the circle. Maiden now steps forward to take her place among us. May you have a strong voice and let yourself be heard, listen and care for others, know yourself and never fear as you walk your path.

Maiden goes and lights the red candle.

HIGH PRIESTESS: (To the circle of participants)

I present to you [name] who stands before you no longer a child but a woman with the rights and responsibilities of a woman.

EVERYONE:

So mote it be.

High Priestess gets the chalice from the altar. Going to Maiden first: "May you never thirst. Have her take a sip and then gives the chalice to the Mother with "May you never thirst." Mother takes the chalice to the East/Air and it continues around the circle.

High Priestess retrieves the bread. To Maiden first "May you never hunger." Then she gives a bite of bread to the Mother with "May you never hunger". Mother takes the bread to the East/Air and it continues around the circle.

HIGH PRIESTESS: (To the circle of participants)

It is done.

Mother and Maiden return to their seats.

High Priestess closes the circle.

EVERYONE:

Hail and Farewell. Merry meet. Merry part and Merry meet again.



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