Performed at the Unitarian Universalist Church
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
January 26, 1997
Written and/or adapted by
Eustacia Blackstar, Circle of the Sun Coven
Pagan music is playing on tape. Fire has been lighted. Incense is lit. All participants gather. Introductory words delivered by HP. PRELUDE: HP 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 well burn our candles long. We know this magick that we do will help the Sun grow strong. HP Refrain as above HPS 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. HP Refrain as above HPS So as the Seeds of Life prepare, new hopes begin tonight. Since ancient times we celebrate this Festival of Light. BLESSING: HP and HPS together approach participants as they prepare to enter the circle area. (Participants should be asked if they might have an allergic reaction to the oil being used.) HPS Bright Blessings and New Beginnings on this Imbolc night. HP So mote it be! (Trace a pentagram on each forehead using any of the following oils: sandalwood, vanilla, balm or jasmine.) HP (Raise Athame) Be it known, the Temple is about to be erected; the Circle is about to be cast. Let those who desire attendance, follow behind. Let none be here but of their own free will. All enter circle area behind HP and HPS. ERECTING THE TEMPLE: (Four white altar candles will be lit during the following:) HPS Here do I invoke light and air, to illuminate our temple and bring it the breath of life. HP Here do I invoke light and fire, to illuminate our temple and bring it warmth. HPS Here do I invoke light and water, to illuminate our temple and wash it clean. HP Here do I invoke light and earth, to illuminate our temple and to build it in strength. (HPS castes the Circle with her athame. HP leads a chant: ) HP We caste this Circle round and round. By its protection, we are bound. As I will it, so mote it be! (HP places point of athame in the salt.) HP As Salt is Life, let it purify us in all ways we may use it. Let it cleanse our bodies and spirits as we dedicate ourselves to New Beginnings. (HPS uses athame to place three portions of salt in the water.) HPS Let the Sacred Salt drive out any impurities in this Water, that we may use it to wash away all that prevents us from achieving our highest good. (HPS moves around Circle with salted water. HP follows behind with the incense.) (Back at the Altar, HP and HPS drink a toast (with chalices) and salute each other, then they salute participants.) HP We bid you welcome. May you all be here in peace and love. Let now the Quarters be saluted and the Gods invited. (HP moves around the Circle lighting the torches.) HPS (while drawing an invoking pentagram and kissing blade of athame) All hail the element of Air; Watchtower of the East. May it stand in strength, ever guarding our Circle. All hail the element of Fire, Watchtower of the South. May it stand in strength, ever guarding our Circle. All hail the element of Fire, Watchtower of the West. May it stand in strength, ever guarding our Circle. All hail the element of Earth, Watchtower of the North. May it stand in strength, ever guarding our Circle. HP All hail the four Quarters and all hail the Gods! We bid the Lord and Lady welcome and invite them to join with us, witnessing these rites we hold in their honor. (Raise athame) All hail! (The Charge of the God and Goddess can now be read by the HP and HPS.) HPS Now are we all here and is the Temple erected. Let none leave but with good reason, until the Temple is cleared. So mote it be. ( All are invited to sit.) SEASONAL ENACTMENT: HP Tonight is the night when heat overcomes cold, when the Earth begins to stir and new life quickens. The Wheel of Year turns on and on, bringing us to and from each season. All time is here and now inside this sacred space. We gather on this blessed eve to celebrate this season of Imboc, Bridgit 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 Earth. As she turns the great Wheel, she brings him nearer, and soon she will offer herself as his bride.. (turn to HPS) My lady, I beseech you, be gone! Search out the Maiden Goddess that she might bring the sun of Spring to warm us once again. HPS As you command, my Lord. ( They salute. HPS cuts a doorway and leaves the Circle to get the Maiden, a young girl dressed in white wearing a candle wreath, who has been waiting unseen.) Version #1. HP plays music, especially "Jeannette Isabella." Participants can sing along. Version #2. Guest musicians may be employed. Version #3. HP performs "Sweeping Out Ritual" i.e.-( HP passes among the participants with a basket of dried holly. Each takes a piece. HP takes up the ritual broom.) HP With Imbolc we sweep away the last vestiges of winter as we prepare ourselves for Spring. We rid ourselves of those habits and attitudes that no longer serve us. As you take the broom, if you care to, mention briefly that which you wish to banish for the New Year. (HP begins, then passes the broom around the Circle. When this is complete, participants are invited, one by one, to throw the holly into the fire.) (HP leads chant) On Imbolc Eve I will be free. As I will it, so mote it be! HPS (returning to Circle in front of Maiden) My Lord, your bidding is done. The Maiden approaches. All rise and hail the Maiden! HP (salutes the Maiden) All hail the Maiden! (The Maiden enters the Circle carrying the "Bride's Bed" which she displays to all. She then hands it to the HP who places it on the altar. She then picks up a basket of white candles and hands one to each participant.. She then stands at the altar holding an altar candle.) HP Come forward and light your candle. The Maiden Goddess requests your assistance, to bring back the light. (Participants come one by one lighting their candles from the Maiden's. Candles are then placed in the cauldron filled with sand.) HP/HPS Behold the light! The God has returned for his bride! The Wheel of the Year turns on! (The youngest participant (prearranged) is asked to come forward. The Maiden presents him/her with a seedling:) HPS As the youngest in our midst, you are charged with the duty of nurturing the new life that is beginning. We all look to you to grow and prosper. You represent the Circle of Life. We have all been where you are now. Take with you this night our fondest hopes and brightest blessings. HP/HPS So mote it be! (participants may be seated again) CAKES AND ALE HP Now is the time to give thanks for 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. So mote it be! HPS And as we share, let us remember, that aught that we have, we s share with those who have nothing. So mote it be! (chalices are raised) ( White wine and cookies are passed) (Optional) Participants are asked to share their thoughts. They may wish to send energy to those who are ill etc. Pass broom. Chant: Tonight we send our energy. As we will it, so mote it be! CLEARING THE TEMPLE HP And now as Spring draws near, we have kept the faith, and it is time to Clear The Temple. We begin by Dismissing the Quarters: HPS Powers of the East and Air, we thank you for joining our Circle. We ask your blessing as you part. May there be peace between us, now and forever. HP Powers of the South and Fire, we thank you for joining our Circle. We ask your blessing as you part. May there be peace between us, now and forever. HPS Powers of the West and Water, we thank you for joining our Circle. We ask your blessing as you part. May there be peace between us, now and forever. HP Powers of the North and Earth, we thank you for joining our Circle. We ask your blessing as you part. May there be peace between us, now and forever. HPS Lord of the Forest, we thank you for joining our Circle this night 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 you. We thank you for joining our Circle. Gracious Goddess, we beseech thee, speak to us before you part. Maiden Bide the Wiccan Rede ye must (standing in Goddess position with arms raised) 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! ( the Maiden leaves) HP All rise! Hail and Farewell! HPS The Temple is now cleared. HP The Circle is open, but unbroken. So Mote It Be! (kiss athame blades, greet participants.) ************************************************************ Altar setup: white cloth, four white altar candles, salt, water, athames, incense burner, incense, God and Goddess figures, matches, lights for reading, cauldron with sand, seasonal decorations, seedling in pot, chalices. Have ready: blessing oil, broom, bride's bed, holly in basket, white candles for all in basket, white cookies in basket, white wine, cups, chair for Maiden, four torches with white ribbons, oil, music, BOS. Ritual attire: all wear white, or black and white. The Maiden wears a candle wreath on head.