Winter Solstice Ritual 2018
Led by Ash the Silent /|\
MoonPath CUUPS
Ritual Supplies:
Candles for ALL (many)
Big sun candle, other sun candles
Bic Lighters
Many candles on altar
Gate in the East
Golden raiment – hidden
Black cloaks
Fire ready – but unlit.
Gold ribbons for all
Bell
Juice, Cups

START ON THE PORCH: 

Process thru the Memorial garden chanting, solemnly slowly:
Deep deep deep in the heart of the winter
Deep, deep, deep in the womb of the mother.

At the Gate: Everyone but Ash enters. HP puts sun candle on altar, rings bell once.

Acolyte:
Who wakes us from the eternity of night? 
A star, a stranger sent to bring us Light.

HP:  No light of thine can raise our fallen Sun
And we are dead, because his light is gone
Your light, as well, must dim for lack of breath,
Yet enter, share our darkness and our Death.

Ash enters bearing candle, wearing black. 
 Acolyte lights all candles on altar.

Ash: I am but a spark of he who burns,
Sent to you to ease your desolate despair.
A fiery messenger of hope and promise
To those with Faith
 to those who Dare 
to believe the Sun returns. 

Let us light a fire that we may remember the warmth of the Sun.  

THE TENDER OF THE FIRE:

The Fire Tender will go to microphone and say:
I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. 
Sacred fire burn within us. 
Folk: Sacred fire burn within us. 
FT: starts the fire.
Ash:  Let the drums begin!   

Much DRUMMING and cheering!!!!!

THE KEEPER OF THE WELL:

Ash:  We will now have the:
 (KW)– the “Well” is on the west altar

(Walk  to microphone, Raise “well” bowl on high 
 Please hold it dramatically aloft.)
 
(reading taped to lower bowl)
KW: In the depths flow the waters of wisdom. 
Sacred waters flow within us. 

Folk: Sacred waters flow within us. 

KW will then asperge the fire pit and the Druids from the bowl. 

(Place “well” on Main altar (much drumming at this time.)

THE TENDER OF THE TREE:

(TT – the “Tree” is by or on the North altar
 Walk to microphone. Lift the “tree” on high 
Please hold it dramatically aloft.)

(Reading taped to container)
TT: From the depths to the heights spans the world tree. 
Sacred Tree, grow within us. 

Folk: Sacred tree, grow within us. 

(TT will then lower the tree.)

TT: The fire, the well, the sacred tree, 
Flame and flow and grow in me!

(TT proceeds around the fire with the little Tree and then places it on or near  
the main altar.) 

(Much drumming at this time)

Ash:  And now the Sacrifice to the outsiders:

SACRIFICE TO THE OUTSIDERS: 

HP:
Ancient and dark ones; unseen, unsightly, and unloved
We make this offering to you
You twisted and misshapen
You cold of heart and dim of mind
Take this offering and trouble not our rite.

(He takes the Blessing cup and 
pours “ale” onto the earth, outside the circle.) 

Acolyte:
Return on your wings of fire
And tell the Sun that we are past despair
Our bones are bare, no warmth from them may grow.

Ash:
This light I bear, tho but a candle gleam
Reveals to you the vision I have seen:
The Sun is living still!  Nor did he die!
His strength is only hidden from this sky.
I bring you this vision and this Word,
That from his ashes, like a wakened bird
The Sun shall burn and live again.

HP:
And I gladly take your Word as a Gift:
– a promise 
– a hope. 
– Rise up then, children of the Sun
– Rise UP to his dawn,
– Reborn
– And take His radiance as our own.

Acolyte:
Cast off your darkness and witness the return of the Light.

(Here everybody flings off their cloaks and dons gold ribbons on their heads.)

HP:
So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.

Acolyte: 
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!
 
Ash: Let us drink a golden toast to the Sun! 
When everyone has filled cups, we will toast 3 times!

Minions pass out cups of golden juice.

When all have cups and juice:

The Toast:  To the return of the Sun! X (3)

OMEN TAKING:

Ash:
The gifts of the people rise to the gods on the smoke of sacrifice. 
May our prayers go clearly and without hindrance to those we have praised.  
A favor requires a favor; a song another song, and a gift given requires a gift in return. 
This is the law of ancient times, alike between man and man and mankind and the gods.  
We have offered our gifts to the gods and we ask them in return for knowledge of what tomorrow will bring. 
Will our lives be renewed and our Summer fruitful?

I ask then, that the youngest among us draw a Rune that we may know our Fate.

HP:
 Now we are assumed 
In the greater fire
Of thy golden sphere,
Oh, perfect Golden King.
Never now to die,
Never to descend,
Nor to be consumed:
Now our wings are fixed
In thy heart of Amber,
Now our faces fixed
In thy eye of Flame.
Now our names recorded
In this single moment
Evermore to burn
As everlasting brands
Upon the endless dark.

Ash:
This is a good time to remember the blessings of the past year, 
and to speak aloud the hopes you have for the new one yet to be reborn. 

(participation!!)  

(When all are done:)

HP:
What is wound about the sun
May in no way wise be undone;
Though the seasons cloud his reign
Still we find him free from stain:
Fallen even into ruin,
He shall stand as now we see him:
Crowned in gold,
Wreathed in joy,
Substance Death shall not destroy.

Acolyte:  Now the formal sacrifice is ended. We bid  the gods and elements farewell; 
to go or to stay as they will. We bid our Ancestors to watch over us and guide us on our path. 
May truth and honor be your friend and lucky be your days


Ash says:
Let the Gate be closed! (gong)
Let the fire be flame. (gong)
Let the well be water. (gong)
Let all be as it was before. (gong)
This rite is ended. (gong)
 
Thank everyone and ask Marty to the mic.

The end.  Hugs.

*********************************************************

Valan Evers
Credit also to: Valerie Worth

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