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A Wiccan Yule
On the Altar
Sage is passed for all to purify during the speeches
The Sabbaths are the Eight Points of the Wheel of the Year. Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn, the wheel turns on and on. In December, on the Winter Solstice, we celebrate Yule. It is a transition from Death to Life, as it is the moment of the Sun King's Birth, which reflects in our world as the beginning of the growth of light. The Crone gives her crown to the Maiden, and new replaces old. We have Brigid's Feast of Returning Light in February. We nurture the life born on Yule, as the Sun Child grows strong. A Transitionary time from winter to spring, it is the time for cleaning, both house and soul. In March, on the Spring Equinox, Life has burst forth with the true emergence of Spring. In the time of the Maiden we celebrate the Eostar, and bring all elements into a harmonious balance. Beltane, the celebration in May of the fertility of all things, is the adolescence of the year, when the Maiden begins to give way to the Mother. The Sun King begins his courtship of the Goddess. June's Summer Solstice brings the celebration of Litha. It is Midsummer's Night, the year's bounty is at hand. The Sun King embraces the Queen of Summer, ensuring the circle's continuation. The Wheel begins to wane towards winter. Lughnasad, in August, is the Sabbath of the ending of Summer. It is the Time of the Mother, and of waiting and changing. Here the Sun King dies to give bounty to the earth. In September, on the Fall Equinox, the celebration of Mabon is held. It is the Witch's Thanksgiving, where all Life is balanced as the days and nights are equal. As Winter's touch can be felt, the Sun King sails west into Shadow, and the Mother's Love turns into the Crone's Passion. October brings Samhain, the Witch's New Year. It is the time of the Crone, where the gates of life and death stand open. All things are possible, as we stand on the threshold of reality, and listen to the words of those who came before.
The Winter Solstice is the Night of the longest dark, the point of deepest Night and Winter before the returning of new life. It is the last moment of gestation, the time in the womb that is about to end in Birth, the nothingness that becomes the universe. Now darkness triumphs; and yet, gives way and changes to light. We watch for the coming of the Dawn, when the Great Mother again gives birth to the Divine Child Sun, who is the bringer of hope and the Promise of Summer. This is the Stillness behind motion, when Time itself stops; the center which is also the circumference of all. We awake in the night, we turn the Wheel to bring the Light. We call the Sun from the Womb of Night. Blessed Be!
As the circle is being cast, a container of salt is passed around to be tasted by all coveners.
During the Casting the Priest/ess do not move. They envision their quarter of the Circle going up and connecting with the others. They can make whatever signs are appropriate.
EASTERN PRIEST/ESS: in the East, holding a stick of incense.
Goddesses and Guardians of the EAST, we invite thee to our circle, to witness and protect our Rite. Champions of Justice, Keepers of the Wind, bring us your Breath that is new beginnings, help us to communicate our thoughts with ease and clarity, so that we may know our truths. Maiden whose love has never ceased, bring us healing from the East!
SOUTHERN PRIEST/ESS: in the South, holding a candle.
Southern Goddesses and Guardians, Warriors of the warm lands, Keepers of the Flame, we invite thee to our circle, to witness and protect our Rite. Burn in us, impart the fires of your desire, grant the spark of life. Let our wills and yours be twinned, Warrior of the South Wind.
WESTERN PRIEST/ESSs: in the West, holding a chalice of water.
Goddesses and Guardians of the West, we invite thee to our circle, to witness and protect our rite. Champions of Emotions, Keepers of Water. Your love streams through our hearts, cleansing us of pain. Mother, let your darkness be our blanket, covering us in the nightly wind of the West.
NORTHERN Priest/ess: in the North, holding a container of Salt.
NORTHERN Goddesses and Guardians, cornerstones of all magic power, home of the old and wise ones, find us a place in your thoughts tonight. We invite thee to our circle, to witness and protect our Rite. Crone of the Mountains and Forests, lend us your wisdom, and send us your Northwind's frozen breath.
All 4 Priests/Priestesses together (turn to face the center)
Wind's four quarters, Air and Fire, Earth and Water, Hear our Desires. Grant our pleas who stand as one, Maiden - Warrior, Mother, and Crone!
The Circle is Cast;
We are Between the Worlds; Beyond the Bounds of Time;
Where Night and Day; Birth and Death; Joy and Sorrow; Meet as One.
The fires are lit, the Ritual is begun.
We enter this place in Perfect Love and Perfect Trust, Blessed Be!
You have tasted the breath of death, whose body is salt. The light was born, the light has died. Everything passes, all fades away. Tonight we await to turn the wheel and bring the Light once again, but for now we are in the dark.
Everyone please reach out and touch those near to you so that we may raise a cone. We will be building this cone with that which we wish to loose to the night. As it comes to you, say it out loud, and others will pick up the word, helping to banish it. Say it softly at first, then louder as the power builds. We will be grounding this energy straight into the ground, since we don't want to keep any of the stuff we're getting rid of, right?
By now everyone should be set. Priestess sits and joins in; have a few seconds of silence.
To Die and be Reborn,
The Wheel is Turning,
What must you lose to the night?
Have a few people set to start throwing out words to be banished. Cone builds, then grounds. Give a few minutes for everyone to recoup.
Mother and Crone step into the center of the Circle.
The Maiden, led by the other maidens, comes into the circle from the east.
Mother Aspect turns to Maiden. In one hand she holds a candle, in the other, an apple that is cut in half. She holds them up for all to see, silently, then gives the apple to the Maiden.
Behold, I hold the light of the hope of the World. All come to my arms in death, and through Me all are Reborn - life and death are one in my sight, and are naught to fear. As Mother of All I bless the year. As Mother of all I bless this house, and all within. May you know Peace, Prosperity, Joy, Wisdom, and Love. Let Light Shine upon the Paths that you will take, and Know that your' Mother's Love goes with you.
The Mother moves to stand in front of the altar.
I have spread the mantle of winter over the land, and through the long dark have I watched and dreamed in the twilight. My son has grown within me and I am weary. I feel the first pangs of labor and know my time is come. On this night of death and birth, I shall pass away, yet the maiden's light will come to warm the Earth and bring the fruits and grains. Take Well the Counsel of the Years, be wise and bold in your actions. Speak with Love and Move with Strength. For Youth is the Future of the world, it's inspiration and it's challenge. (Turns to the maiden, places the crown on her head. Turns to the East where the Priest sits) Come now, my son, my love, and take your place once more in the councils of the wise. You shall rise in the east in the triumphant dawn, and I shall go to my rest.
Crone remains standing at the center, while the Maiden moves to the altar to stand with the Mother.
The music stops.
ALL Chant: "Turn, turn, turn the wheel, Return, return, return the light."
Build cone of power. The Crone steps to the center and lights the cauldron. At the climax of the Cone of Power, the Crone throws magnesium powder into the cauldron, creating a flash.
Drumming and/or music stop
The Priest rises from the East at the blue flash , casting back his hood, triumphantly entering the center of the circle.
He Embraces the Crone then turns and goes to the Maiden and Mother in the North, standing before them, facing South.
The Crone covers her head and steps into the circle in the west.
Someone begins to pass around the honey, all should take a taste.
Music starts again.
I fell into deep darkness and death, unmanifest being, I was the substance of the Stars. On the tail of a comet, I rent the Velvet Darkness of Everlasting Night. Ablaze with Glory, I am Reborn. To Begin again the Cycle of Guardianship that drives me through Death and Rebirth. With the Love of our Lady I face into the wind, we Fly together on the Wings of Time, Through Worlds and Between Worlds, Together Eternally.
Priest turns to the Alter, picks up a sheaf of Mistletoe, Takes the Maiden's hand, kisses it, and places the sheaf of Mistletoe in it.
MAIDEN: holding the mistletoe and the apple close to her bosom.
All does Change, the New Replaces the Old, Ever the Same, Ever Changing. Hear us oh Great Goddess, My Sister, My Mother, My Grandmother, and My Friend. Grant us your Blessings of Joy, Peace, and Love; and Give them to the World, that needs your Blessings so Deeply. Aide us in Turning the Wheel, as we have tasted the Sweetness of Life, and Welcome the Coming of Light! Blessed Be!
Let the Yule revels begin!
The Priestesses take down circle the end of the night. Everyone relaxes and drums, generally enjoying themselves. There should be someone stationed near the door, in case people want to leave, or create a special passageway at this point, so people can come and go undisturbed, without disrupting the circle.