Yule

Preparation:

Let all be properly prepared and purified.

In the centre (or just south of centre) of the Circle stands the Cauldron of Cerridwen wreathed about with pine boughs, holly, ivy and mistletoe and therein is laid a balefire of nine woods: rowan, apple, elder, holly, pine, cedar, juniper, poplar and dogwood.

The altar is decorated as is the Cauldron and bears two red candles as well as an unlit red candle or torch for each covener present. There should be no other light except the altar candles and those about the Circle.

HP casts the Circle, calling forth the Ancient Ones to bear witness.

HP draws down the moon upon the HPS and then lights the balefire.

HP then moves to the north, before the altar, as the HPS stands in the south with the coveners in a circle, alternately man and woman, about the Cauldron between them.

The circle now moves slowly deosil once about the Circle. As each passes the HPS they kiss her upon the cheek; as they pass the HP, he hands each one a candle which is lit from the balefire.

Coveners dance slowly deosil as the HP calls:

Queen of the Moon, Queen of the Sun, Queen of the Heavens, Queen of the Stars, Queen of the Waters, Queen of the Earth, Bring to us the Child of Promise! It is the Great Mother who gives birth to Him; It is the Lord of Life who is born again.

Darkness and tears are set aside when the Sun shall come up early. Golden Sun of hill and mountain,

Illumine the land, illumine the world, Illumine the seas, illumine the rivers, Sorrows be laid, joy to the world! Blessed be the Great Goddess, Without beginning, without ending, Everlasting to eternity. Io Evoe! Heh! Blessed be!

All raise their tapers high and repeat twice the last line. HPS joins the dance, leading it with a quieter rhythm.

The burning cauldron is pushed into the centre and the dancers jump over it in man and woman couples. The last couple over the fire should be well purified, three times each, and may pay an amusing forfeit as the HPS may ordain.

Cakes and wine follows and, after the Circle has been closed, much merriment, feasting, dancing and games.

NOTES

• This is mostly Sheba with slight adaptations from the Farrars. Producing a text for any Sabbat is made difficult by the fact that everyone seems to modify the Sabbat rituals. Even the Farrars don't print the GBG Sabbats.

• The HP's speech was written by Doreen Valiente. It's given here as she wrote it (according to the Farrars in Eight Sabbats For Witches) rather than in one of the more common versions. (As with her "Witches' Rune", many Covens prefer a modified version.)

• Kissing the HPS appears to be a Sheba-ism; however, it's probably only common among North American Garneroids.

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