PRIESTESS stands with her legs apart and her arms raised up and out, stretching to the sky. PRIEST kneels before her. All the COVENERS also kneel. ALL raise their arms high.
Covener: "When the Moon rides on high, As she crosses the sky, And the stars on her gown trail behind, Then we Wiccans below Are with love all aglow, Just to see her so brightly enshrined." Covener: "On the night of Full Moon, As we sing to the tune Of the Lady who watches above, We raise high our song As she glides by so strong, And we bask in the light of her love."
ALL lower their arms. PRIEST rises and kisses Priestess, then kneels again.
Priest: "Lovely lady, you have been known by so _many names to so many people._
*In paganism generally it is thought to be far more efficacious to speak "from the heart" rather than read a set prayer, parrot-fashion, from a book.
Aphrodite, Kerridwen, Diana, Ea, Freya, Gana, Isis, and many more have been your names. Yet do we know you and love you as ...(Name)...*, and in that name do we adore you and worship you. With your Lord by your side, do we give you due honor and invite you to join with us on this, your special night."
PRIEST stands and, with his athame—or wand, if used—draws a pentagram above the Priestess's head. A COVENER rings the bell three times.
Priest: "Descend, my Lady, descend we pray thee, and speak with us your children."
PRIEST kneels again. PRIESTESS spreads her arms out to her coven. If she feels so moved, she may now speak—or allow the gods to speak through her. If she does not "feel the spirit", she may simply recite the following:
Priestess: "I am She who watches over thee; Mother of you all.
Know that I rejoice that you do not forget me. To pay me homage at the full of the Moon is meet and right and brings joy unto yourselves even as it does to me. Know that, with my good Lord, I weave the skein of life for each and every one of you. I am at the beginning of life and at its end; The Maiden, the Mother and the Crone. Wherever you may be, if you seek me know that I am always here, For I abide deep within you.
Look, then, within yourself if you would seek me.
Find me and rejoice; for love is my music and laughter is my song. Be true to me and I will ever be true to you. Love is the Law and Love is the Bond. So Mote It Be."
PRIESTESS folds her arms across her breast and closes her eyes. Then follows a moment or two of silence before going into the Cakes and Ale Ceremony.
NEW, or DARK MOON RITE
PRIESTESS stands with head bowed and her arms across her breast. COVENERS start to move deosil round the Circle, chanting the name of the Goddess. They move around completely three times then stop. PRIEST stands before Priestess.
Priest: "Dark is the night as we reach this turning point. Here is a time of death; yet a time of birth."
Covener: "Endings and beginnings." Covener: "Ebbing and flowing." Covener: "A journey done; a j ourney yet to start." Covener: "Let us honor now the Crone—Mother darksome and divine." Covener: "Let us give of our strength and in return see rebirth." Priest: "Behold, the Lady of Darkness; Mother,
Grandmother. Old yet ever young."
PRIESTESS slowly raises her head and spreads her arms outwards and upwards. ALL kneel.
Priestess: "Hear me! Honor me and love me now and always.
As the wheel turns we see birth, death and rebirth. Know, from this, that every end is a beginning;
Every stop a fresh starting point. Maiden, Mother, Crone ... I am all of these and more. Whenever you have need of anything, call upon me. I, and my Lord, are here—for I abide within you all. Even at the darkest of times, when there seems no single spark to warm you and the night seems blackest of all, I am here, watching and waiting to grow with you, in strength and in love. I am she who is at the beginning and the end of all time. So Mote It Be." All: "So Mote It Be!"
PRIESTESS folds her arms again. There is a moment or two of silence, then follows the Cakes and Ale ceremony.
There is a ceremony known as CAKES AND ALE. This acts as the "connecting link", as it were, between the ritualistic part of the meeting and the working/ social part... the sitting and talking on Craft and non-
*The name your coven uses for the Goddess.
Craft matters; discussion of magick, healing, divination; consideration of personal or coven problems, etc. These things all come after the worship. Honoring the gods is first and foremost in Wicca.
Some traditions call this ceremony "Cakes and Wine", others "Cakes and Ale".* The latter is perhaps more indicative of the "common" origins of the religion (peasants and serfs would seldom, if ever, get to drink wine. Ale was their lot and they were happy with it). At Wiccan coven meetings today, however, even if retaining the "Ale" in the title of the ceremony, Witches drink what they prefer: ale, beer, wine, fruitjuice.
Such a ceremony is found universally, in various forms, as a thanking of the gods for the necessities of life; thanking them for the food and drink we need in order to live.
A plate of cakes (or cookies) rests on the Altar, beside the goblet Wine (or whatever) is in the goblet
CAKES AND ALE
One COVENER is responsible for keeping the goblet filled. At the start of this rite he fills it and says:
Covener: "Now is the time for us to give thanks to the gods for that which sustains us." Priest: "So be it. May we ever be aware of all that we owe to the gods."
PRIESTESS calls two coveners by name, one male and one female. They come and stand before the altar. The FEMALE takes the goblet in both hands and holds it between her breasts. The MALE takes his athame and holds the handle between his two palms, with the blade pointing down. He slowly lowers the point into the wine, with the words:
Male "In like fashion may male join with female, Covener: for the happiness of both." Female "Let the fruits of union promote life. Let Covener: all be fruitful and let wealth be spread throughout all lands."
HE raises athame. SHE holds goblet for him to drink, then HE holds it for her to drink. Goblet is then passed around the Circle for all to drink, Priest and Priestess drinking last.
MALE covener takes up plate of cakes and holds them before him. FEMALE touches each of them with the point of her athame, and says:
Female "This food is the blessing of the gods to Covener: our bodies. Let us partake of it freely. And, as we share, let us remember always to see to it that aught that we have we share with those who have nothing."
SHE takes a cake and eats it, then takes the plate and offers to the male, who takes and eats. The cakes are passed around the Circle, Priest and Priestess taking last. MALE and FEMALE coveners return to their places in the Circle.
Priestess: "As we enjoy these gifts of the gods, let us remember that without the gods we would have nothing." Priest: "Eat and drink. Be happy. Share and give thanks. So Mote It Be." All: "So Mote It Be!"
ALL now sit and, if desired, individual goblets may be filled and a general repast enjoyed. This is a good time for talk and discussion; for advice and questioning. If it is an Esbat and magick is to be done (see coming lessons), then this is a good time to discuss all aspects of what is to be done and how. If, however, there is no further business, then general conversation, with music and song and dance if you wish, may continue till it is decided to do the CLEARING OF THE TEMPLE.
Next lesson I will give you the four major Sabbat rituals: Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh.
NOW ANSWER THE EXAMINATION QUESTIONS FOR THIS LESSON IN APPENDIX B
*Ale is a fermented liquor similar to beer. The principle is extracted from several sorts of grain, most commonly from barley, after it has undergone the process of malting.
1. Describe your Coven. What kind of a degree system do you have?
2. Describe where your Covenstead is located. Where is your Covendom? How far does it extend? Draw a map if you like.
4. It is enjoyable to be able to refer back to special ceremonies in your life. For this reason it is helpful to have a tape recording or written account of these happenings. Relate here the events in your Consecration of Tools Ceremony.
5. Practice drawing a Pentagram.
6. What are the dates of the Esbats and Sabbats this year? What rites will you take part in?
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.