IMBOLC RITUAL and COMING OF AGE RITE
Performed at the Unitarian Universalist Church
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
February 4, 2001
Created by Eustacia Blackstar, Circle of the Sun Coven
Two altars have been established, one in the front of the sanctuary and one on the stage directly in back of the first. All participants gather outside the Circle that is designated by a multitude of burning votive candles. HPS casts the Circle and lights the altar candles. She goes out. HP (Raise athame) Be it known, the Circle has been cast to encompass this entire sanctuary. As we enter sacred space, let those who desire attendance, follow behind. Let none be here but of his or her own free will. (HP leads participants into ritual area.) Squire (He enters. He is lamenting as he carries a candleholder that he places on the altar.) How cold this night! How dark the world remains. The trees are still without life. When will the leaves appear as promised at Yule. We wait for Spring. We wait for Spring. We wait for Spring! (Music Queue Jessie: "Turning Wheel") HP: Behold the Lady approaches! Hail to thee, my Lady! HPS (carrying dogwood and basket of dried holly.) My Lord, I bring a sign that Spring is not far behind. Behold, the last vestiges of Winter that we might properly dispose of them in this rite. BLESSING (HP and HPS bless each other with crystals, then bless participants) Bright Blessings be with you on this Imbolc night. PRELUDE (Quarters lead the refrain) Higher as the fire climbs other places, other times, as we celebrate tonight will be remembered in this rite. (refrain) HPS Imbolc, Bridgit, Candlemas, the Wheel must turn anew. We come together on this night to keep that promise true. As Mother Earth begins to stir we'll burn our candles long. We know this magick that we do will help the Sun grow strong. Quarters (refrain as above) HP Upon her head, a candle wreath the Lady wears tonight. To all of us this signifies the Sun will soon burn bright. The Maiden Goddess now awaits upon her bridal bed. Her Lord, the Sun, will soon return just when all hope was dead. Quarters (refrain as above) HPS So as the Seeds of Life prepare, new hopes begin tonight. Since ancient times we celebrate this Festival of Light. Let those four lighting the Quarter candles come forward. LIGHTING OF QUARTER ALTAR CANDLES (four Quarters) East: Here do I invoke light and air, to illuminate our circle and bring it the breath of life. South: Here do I invoke light and fire, to illuminate our circle and bring it warmth. West: Here do I invoke light and water, to illuminate our circle and wash it clean. North: Here do I invoke light and earth, to illuminate our circle and build it in strength. GREETINGS HP We bid you welcome. May you all be here in peace and love. HPS We bid the Lord and Lady welcome and invite them to join with us in these rites that we hold in their honor. HP: You may be seated. Insert SEASONAL ENACTMENT: "The Story of Imbolc, the Great Goddess Bridgit and a Young Lady Named Kaylie." (see attachment) Bard sits in rocking chair to read. Old Man Winter leans back in chair with eyes closed. After Enactment, all players return to Circle. HP continues. HP Tonight is the night when heat overcomes cold, when the Earth begins to stir and new life quickens. The Wheel of the Year turns on and on, bringing us from and to each season. We gather on this blessed eve to celebrate this season of Imbolc, Brigit or Candlemas as it has been variously called. Tonight we dispose of the trappings of the old season. We sweep away those habits and beliefs that no longer serve us. HPS In this moment between time, we come to greet the young Maiden Goddess as she awaits her child lover who was and will be the father of our harvest bounty. As it was and ever shall be, we wish to give thanks, and to feel ourselves a part of the relentlessly turning Wheel. HP Yule is past, and the young God, like his symbol, the sun, is returning to his Lady, the Earth. As she turns the Great Wheel, she brings him nearer, and soon she will offer herself as his bride. (HP turns to HPS) My Lady, I beseech you, be gone! Search out the Maiden Goddess that she might encourage the sun of Spring to warm us once again. All rise! HPS As you command, my Lord. (They salute. HPS leaves to get the Maiden, a young girl dressed in white wearing a candle wreath. She has been waiting unseen.) SPELLS TO PREPARE FOR SPRING (Squire hands the ritual besom to HP) HP At Imbolc, we sweep away the trappings of winter as we prepare ourselves for Spring. We rid ourselves of those habits and attitudes that no longer serve us. As you take up the besom, mention briefly that which you wish to banish for the new season. Say, I wish to banish... (Squire passes among participants with basket of dried holly) HP The holly represents the last vestige of winter. It no longer serves us. Dispose of it in the Cauldron of transformation. Know that Spring, new life and new hope are on the way. (after all have put the holly in the cauldron) Chant: "As winter's holly returns to the earth, our hopes for Spring are given birth. As we will it, so mote it be!" HPS (returning to Circle in front of Maiden) My Lord, your bidding is done. The Maiden approaches! HP All hail the Maiden!!! (Music: 'Winter Vision") The Maiden enters the Circle area carrying the "Bride's Bed" which she displays to all. She then hands it to the HP who places it on the altar. (Music: "Queen of Spring") The Maiden then picks up a basket of white candles and hands one to each participant. Squire passes pins to all. (Music: "Celtic Melody") (All may be seated) HP Ad-libs: Candle magick is very powerful at this time of year. We will use it tonight to symbolically bring back the light as well as to manifest individual desires. You will begin by inscribing a magickal symbol into the wax using the pin you have been given. Look deep into your imagination and carve a symbol, or ruhn, of sigil that represents a wish or accomplishment for the season ahead. To intensify the power of your magick you will "dress" your candle with essential oil. We have chosen Frankincense for its high spiritual qualities. (oil bottles are passed in two directions) Dab a tiny bit of oil on your finger. Starting at the midpoint of the candle smear the oil in a dosile, clockwise movement until you reach the top. Repeat this motion from the midpoint to the bottom. Now hold on to your candles until the appropriate time when they will be lighted. (Collect pins.) CAKES AND ALE (ginger ale and cookies are passed by Squire and Kaylie) After all are served, all rise and raise chalices. HP Now is the time to give thanks for the Circle of Life, New Beginnings, and all that sustains us. HPS May we ever be aware of all that we owe and be grateful. HP Eat and drink. Be happy. Share and give thanks. HPS And as we give thanks, let us always be mindful to share with those who have nothing. So mote it be! (Collect cups.) HP And now the time has come for everyone to take his or her place, as the Rite of Passage of the Coming of Age of Kaylie will begin. As the recipient of this initiation is female, only the females here gathered will participate. Ladies kindly take a place on the stage with your candles in hand. Lords, kindly stand below as a protective guard. Please have your candles, as well. Let us begin. (While the company is gathering, participants will line up to enter: Quarters process to their positions with candles and gifts in hand. Maiden will enter next with cake. HPS enters with Kaylie's parents. Kaylie enters last.) Insert IMBOLC RITE OF PASSAGE (COMING OF AGE) FOR KAYLIE here attached. (after Kaylie thanks the Goddess, this rite continues as below) HPS And to the young and laughing Lord, we thank you for joining our Circle this eve of Imbolc. As you bring renewal to the plants and animals, we ask that you bring renewal to our lives as well. We have come together in love and peace, let us depart the same way. Love is the Law and Love is the Bond. HP Oh Maiden Goddess, all honor to thee. We thank you for joining our Circle. Gracious Goddess, we beseech thee, speak to us before you part. MAIDEN (standing in Goddess position with arms raised) Bide the Wiccan Rede ye must In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust. Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill And ye harm none, do what ye will! Lest in thy self-defense it be, Ever mind the Rule of Three. Follow this with mind and heart Merry Meet and Merry Part. Bright Blessings Be With You! HP ( the Maiden leaves) Hail and Farewell! Star sings the blessing HPS You may extinguish your candles and take them with you as you leave. Bright blessings to you all. The Circle is open but unbroken. Merry meet. Merry part. Merry meet again. ***************************************************************** Main Altar setup: White altar candles, white altar cloth, athames, chalices, lighter, crystals, book stand, salt dish. Have ready: Bridgit's candle wreath, besom, bride's bed, holly in basket, white candles for all in basket, white cookies in basket, ginger ale, cups, tray, table for cakes and ale, music, tape player, BOS, story book, black candle holder, cauldron, dogwood. Ritual Attire: All wear white. Maiden wears battery powered candle wreath. Goddess Bridgit wears candle wreath with actual candles. Please remember the following: Pins with heads for inscribing the candles, white table cloth, Frankincense incense, Frankincense oil, ale, cups, candles for all to hold with papers, tea lights Also would you please bring two nice roses for Kaylie to present to her parents. Handout: (refrain) Higher as the fire climbs other places, other times, as we celebrate tonight will be remembered in this rite. Chant: "As winter's holly returns to the earth, our hopes for Spring are given birth." (refrain) Higher as the fire climbs other places, other times, as we celebrate tonight will be remembered in this rite. Chant: "As winter's holly returns to the earth, our hopes for Spring are given birth." (refrain) Higher as the fire climbs other places, other times, as we celebrate tonight will be remembered in this rite. Chant: "As winter's holly returns to the earth, our hopes for Spring are given birth." (refrain) Higher as the fire climbs other places, other times, as we celebrate tonight will be remembered in this rite. Chant: "As winter's holly returns to the earth, our hopes for Spring are given birth. "