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Rite of Persephone - Autumn Equinox
by Khoury

Ideas and some lines are from the Rite of Jupiter, by Aleister Crowley

Setting after the circle is cast PRIEST 1: Stands in the West, PRIEST 2: in the East, PRIEST 3: in the South. The Priestesses stand in the Center of the Circle; one dressed as Demeter stands in the North and is silent.

PRIEST 1: The summer has ended in harvest and Dionysus goes down to his grave.

PRIEST 2: The reign of the sun is overthrown the future is slain by the hours unknown

PRIEST 3: Call forth the Queen to banish the terror, Deepest of Mysteries, Holy Life-Bearer

Persephone's reign is now begun
call her forth and let it be done!

(The Three Priests circle round the Priestess, stopping and pointing their Wands at the Priestess at each "Io" or "Evoe.")

Io Kore, Evoe

Persephone Hail!
Queen of Night beyond the veil,
Daughter of Demeter , only child
Bestiring Thyself from bed of stone,
Earth does crack and rock does groan,

Bride of Mystery, free and Wild, shrouded by encircling mists
on the fields of Elusias no sun, no star, no sweet caress,

Io Kore, Bringer of Bliss!

We are the Guardians at the doors,
who pour out the blood upon the floors the blood of all who die and dance

Come and join the strong defense, by fires bound to shrilling pipes
Mad rhythms in the vaporous night.
Behold the seed!
Behold the earth!

Io Kore! Evoe!

Hail The Maiden of the Corn
Dionysus of Thee was born
Daughter of Earth all sorrow banish
Day and night and death shall vanish!

Evoe! Evoe! Evoe! Kore!

Persephone, Come and give us the wine!
The immortal elixir of Thy lovely vine!

Who rebels or who rejoices!
Persephone hear our crimson voices!

Evoe, Evoe! Io Persephone!
Io Kore! Evoe!

The sun has set beyond the mountain!
The fire is quenched within the fountain!

Clotho's task is fairly done. Atropos, thy power is won!

Ho, Lachesis! Weave the strands, of human life and trees and sand
and all the blue delirious weather
bind all spirits in one tether,

Io! Kore, Evoe!

I hear Thy voice, I faint, I fall, drowns my spirit in your thrall.
Love me, love me over all,

Io Io IO Kore Evoe!
Evoe, Persephone! Hail, Kore!

Our brothers of the rocks awake the lion roars, entwined by snake.

Io Kore! Give us drink!
Io Kore! Evoe!

Raise the web of divine delight! Murmuring to the mystic night.
Spirit in the spirit shape! Crush the blood from purple grape!

Io! Evoe! Circle Round!
Raise the dead from hallowed Ground!

(with force, at the same time as indicated)

- in unison -

PRIEST 1: Run wild! Let us leap up like tigers on their prey!

PRIEST 2: Crush, crush the world!

PRIEST 3: Tread earth as 'twere a winepress!

- in unison -

PRIEST 2 AND 3: Io Kore! Evoe!


- in unison -

PRIEST 1: Drink its blood, The sweet red wine!

PRIEST 2: Ay, drink the old earth dry!

PRIEST 3: So the sooner sup among the stars!

- in unison -

PRIEST 1 AND 3: The swift, swift stars!


ALL: Io Persephone! Evoe!

- in unison -

PRIEST 1: O night! Night, fall deep and sure!

PRIEST 2: Fall soft and sweet!

PRIEST 3: The land lies thirsty for our kisses.

- in unison -

PRIEST 1 & 2
All wild things yearn towards the kiss that ends in blood.


Blood! Blood! Bring wine! Ha! Vernal Queen!

- in unison -

Come, sweet Goddess, Come forth and dance with us!

PRIEST 2: Our anger hath the touch of righteousness!

PRIEST 3: Chaste, chaste! No taste of foulness in the morning mouth.

O song of ripe and crimson tide! Goddess! Goddess! Dwell! Abide!


Almighty, Goddess, source of life,
hidden in the breast of strife,
fast by the gates of eternal night!

Come forth, Come forth into the Light!

Beautiful, Fatal, Lovely Queen,
source of the Furies , dread unseen!

Ruling Virgin, alone with the power
to restore to life the empty flower,
and kill the youth within the bower,
come into this radiant tower!

- in unison -

PRIEST 1: I feel the wings Of love, of mystery;

PRIEST 2: They waft soft streams Of night air to my heated breast and brow.

PRIEST 3: She comes! She comes!

- in unison -

PRIEST 1: The Queen's most holy presence asks the hymn of agony,

PRIEST 2: Yea, brothers, raise the chant of riot!

PRIEST 3: Lift your blood-sweet voices, move your wine-stained limbs in joyful invocation!

ALL: Io Kore! Evoe! IAO!

- in unison -

PRIEST 1: Come, blessed Queen from your Avernian throne.

PRIEST 2: In Thy two hands are life and death!

PRIEST 3: Across the river Styx shall we find Thee again!

ALL: Io Kore! Evoe! Evoe!

Hail, child of Demeter;
to Her as unto Thee be reverence, be deity, be immortality!

Ay! and with midnight hair and limbs divinely fair didst Thou, Persephone, come forth into the nectar air!

Ay! thus the dreams of fate we dare commemorate,
the ascent from darkness of Thy silent mate.

O Persephone, hear! Be close, be quick, be near,
whispering enchanted words in every curving ear!
O Kore, spring up like the arrow,
and sing the seeds to sleep with the voice of the sparrow!

- in unison -

PRIEST 2: She is here! She is here!

PRIEST 3: Dragons, appear!

PRIEST 1: To the clap of my hand and the shish of my wand, obey!

Io Kore! Evoe!

I have seen a chariot crowned with lilies and wine, black as the caverns from which it is bound
bringing the seeds of laurel divine and the clustering smell of the sage asphodel,
and the Daedal flower of Minoan bower; Dittany's force, and larksupur's love,
and blossoms of roses around and above. The dragon and serpent are there at my cry.

Io Kore! Here am I.

Strong now and steady; the dragon is harnessed.

Ionian surges roar back to our chant.
Aha! Lost is the taunt of the judean sages!
Our lives are infused with the wine that enrages

We dare them and daunt.
The spirits that haunt the rocks and the river,
the moors and the woods, the fields and the floods,
are with us for ever!

Io Kore! Evoe! Evoe!

Evoe, Ho! Persephone! Evoe! Evoe!

- in unison -

PRIEST 1: The black air hummeth with force of the spirit.

PRIEST 2: We are heirs we inherit our joys are as theirs;

Weave with your prayers The joy of a kiss!

Ho! for the bliss of the wand and the Chalice.
She cometh! O lover! To banish all malice!

Cover us, cover our faces, and hover above us, within us!
Her witcheries spin us, a Web of desire.
Subtle as fire, She cometh among us.

The whole sky is domed with the fire of delight,
delight that hath stung us, the passion of night.
Night be our mistress!
Woven with wind into morning flame crowned!
Passionate bliss!
Rapture on rapture!
Our hymns recapture
The Avernian kiss.

Blessed our souls!
Blessed this even!
We reach to the goals of the starriest heaven.

Hyperion, , Thesisus, Persus, Herakle!

Mingle, O warriors! Evoe! Evoe!

Persephone (Bows first to her Mother)

I am the wine and cup of the blood from the vats of the sun;
for will and for love, and for life ever One.

Though down into darkness I go at my will
I have returned to the moon-crowned hill.

Sing ye therefore in hollow and height,
in the rapturous mystical revel, the young Elusinian rite!

The rocks and trees are yours, and the waters under the hill,
by the might of that which endures, the holy heaven of will!

All(Begin chanting softly and build)

Io Kore!

I kindle a flame like a torrent to rush from star to star;
streaming in silver current, ye shall see things as they are!

I lift the mask of matter; I open the heart of man;
for I am the womb that shelters the wild and eternal Pan!

Your loves shall lap up slaughter,
and dabbled with roses of blood
each desperate daughter shall swim in the fervid flood.

I bring ye laugher and tears, the kisses that foam and bleed,
the joys of millions of years, the flowers that bear the seed.

My life is hot and fertile, its flame is a wandering star.

Ye shall pass in pleasure and peril across the mystical bar
that is set for wrath and weeping.

Against the children of earth; but ye in singing and sleeping
shall pass in measure and mirth!

I lift my Chalice and wave you through hill to hill of delight;
my rosy rivers lave you in innermost lustral light.

I lead you, Queen of the maze, in the darkness free of the sun;
hid from the wrath of the days we are wed, we are wild, we are one!

Speak to us Persephone; only-begotten daughter!
Tell us of dreams in the dawn, and the hope of spring in the fields!

(Persephone speaks to each, as the She wills)

PRIEST 1: The secret of the Mother is the secret of the Daughter.

PRIEST 2: The secret of the Father is the secret of the Daughter.

DEMETER: Silence

We are the Spirit.
Io Kore! Io Kore! Io Kore!

Persephone(retrieves bread and wine)
Behold the Body of God
Behold the Blood of the Goddess
eat and drink;
and in the silent mirror of your souls
behold that thou art divine!

May you never hunger!
May you never thirst!


PRIEST 1: Song.

PRIEST 2: Feasting.

PRIEST 3: Grace.

ALL: Music! Dancing! Love!

PRIEST 1: It is done!

Io Kore! Evoe!
Honor to you and love as you have descended now rise above!

(Five fold kiss)

PRIEST 1: Thy feet the feet of a mortal Priestess

ALL: Blessed Art Thou!

PRIEST 1: Thy knees the knees of a mortal Priestess!

Blessed Art Thou!

Thy womb the womb of a mortal Priestess!

Blessed Art Thou!

Thy breast the breast of a mortal Priestess!

Blessed Art Thou!

PRIEST 1: Thy lips the lips of a mortal Priestess!

Blessed art thou!
Our mortal sister, vessel of light, divine forever!

(Breathe Together)

Breathe the light that shines in darkness!

PRIEST 3: We are one.

All: So Mote it Be!

(Open circle)

This rite is now ended
May the peace of the God and Goddesses go in our hearts
Merry meet; merry part; and merry meet again!

All: Blessed Be!


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