Spring Equinox Sabbat

Let there be a bundle of spring wild flowers lying on or beside the altar. The Coveners may wear flowers in their hair if they wish. On the altar lies the Priapic Wand, a wooden or earthenware bowl filled with soil and a large seed of some kind. Also on, or under, the altar is a sheet of parchment, or paper, and a writing instrument. The altar cloth and candles should be light green.

The Erecting the Temple is performed. The bell is rung three times.

Priest: "Blessed be all within this Circle." Priestess: "Merry meet we at this Springtime Rite." All: "Merry meet."

Priest: "Brothers and Sisters, hear my words. Awake and greet the Spring. Lord! Lady! Hear us, for we are here. We are here to celebrate with you and for you." Priestess: "Welcome, welcome beauteous Spring! Welcome the time for birth. Welcome the time for planting seeds."

COVENERS, with PRIEST and PRIESTESS leading, take up the flowers and dance deosil around the Circle. As they dance, they bend down to drop their flowers on the line of the Circle, till the whole circle is decorated with the flowers. If they wish, they may sing as they dance. When the dancing stops the bell is rung three times.

Priest/ess: "Springtime is seedtime. Now is the time for each of us to plant that which he or she wishes to come to flower." Covener: "Springtime is for hopes and desires; for new ideas; for balance and inspiration." Priest/ess: "Let us now meditate on that which we wish to bring forth. Let us consider our hopes and opportunities and direct our energies to one, or more, things we would start upon the road of life."

All sit and, in as comfortable a position as possible, meditate. Think of what seed of an idea you would like to plant, that it may grow into an opportunity. It might be a quality like Patience, or Perseverence, or it might be the opportunity to do or create something. It might be something not for yourself but for another [Note: You are not here working "magick"—I'll deal with that fully in a later lesson—but simply "planting a seed" in your mind that you can nurture and let grow. Like all seeds, it will need tending, attention and care, to help it develop and finally bloom.] When sufficient time has elapsed the bell is rung. PRIEST/ESS takes the parchment and pen and writes, at the top, his/her "seed" (try to concentrate it into as few words as possible). The parchment is passed around the Circle and all add their "seeds". When it is returned, PRIEST/

The PRIAPIC WAND is named after Priapus, the Roman God of procreation. In Asia Minor he was equated with Pan, the nature deity of Greece, and was considered the off-spring of Aphrodite and Dionysus. He presided over the fecundity of fields and flocks, over the raising of bees, the culture of the vine and over fishing. He protected orchards and gardens, where his phallic image was prominently displayed. The Priapic Wand is, in effect, a representation of a phallus (penis). Although only used in a few rituals (if you so desire), you will need one. It should be about twenty-one inches in length overall with the last eight or nine inches carved in the shape of a male organ. An alternate design, which represents the phallus symbolically, is a wand ending in a pine-cone.

ESS lights the parchment from the altar candle and holds it so that as it burns the ashes fall into the bowl of earth. As s/he does so, s/he says:

Priest/ess: "Lord and Lady, receive these our seeds.

Let them germinate in our minds and our hearts.

Let them prosper and grow to maturity, For we will care for them and encourage them in your name."

Taking her athame, PRIESTESS mixes ashes into the soil. She then makes an indentation in the center and lays down the knife. PRIEST takes up Priapic Wand and dances three times around the Circle with it held aloft over his head. The first time round he dances slowly, the second time faster and the third time very fast. Returning to the Priestess, he holds out the Wand vertically before him.

Priestess: "By the power of the raised Wand doth the Seed find the furrow. Blessings be upon this handsome Wand."

She kisses the tip of it.

Priestess: "All honor to it. May it be ever thus."

PRIEST lays down the Wand and takes up the seed from the altar. He holds it for a moment between the palms of his hands, concentrating his energies into it. He then passes it to the Covener next to him, who does the same. The seed is passed around the Circle in this fashion till it returns to Priest. PRIESTESS then takes up the bowl from the altar and holds it high.

Priestess: "Of old would we celebrate by together planting the seed, one with another. Here do we symbolize that act, in veneration of our Lady and our Lord."

PRIESTESS turns to face Priest, bringing down the bowl and holding it between her breasts.

Priest: "These rites of Spring belong to us all; To us and to the Gods. This is a time of joy and a time for planting."

He places the seed in the hollowed space and closes the soil over on top of it.

Priest: "This seed do I place in the womb of the Earth

That it may become a part of that Earth, A part of life and a part of us."

PRIEST and PRIESTESS kiss, and PRIESTESS replaces bowl on altar. They then move around the Circle, kissing and hugging each of the Coveners. Bell is rung three times.

Then shall follow the ceremony of Cakes and Ale. After that the Clearing the Temple is performed so that there is plenty of room for fun, games and entertainment. The evening concludes with a feast.

SUMMER SOLSTICE SABBAT

The altar cloth and candles should be white. The Circle may be decorated with summer flowers, fruits, green branches or whatever is felt to be appropriate. In the South quarter stands a cauldron filled with water, with an aspergillum beside it. On the altar is an extra, large candle, unlit. Beside or on the altar is the Priest's Horned Helmet. The Erecting the Temple is performed. The Bell is rung three times.

Covener: "Cease all sorrows!"

Covener: "Cease all strife!"

Covener: "This day is for living."

Covener: "For living this life."

PRIEST places Horned Helmet on his head and stands in front of altar. He takes extra candle, lights it from regular altar candle and then raises it high in his right hand. COVENERS raise both hands high and cry:

All: "Hail, Lord! Hail the Sun God! Hail the light!"

While Priest remains in the center, PRIESTESS goes to stand beside the cauldron. COVENERS join hands and dance around the Circle, deosil. As they move around, PRIESTESS sprinkles them with water from the cauldron as they pass. All (including Priest and Priestess) sing*:

All: "Comes the Lord of the Greenwood, Green _wood,_

The Lord Of the Greenwood by Tara Buckland ' 1985 See Appendix D for music.

wood,

Comes the Lord of the Greenwood, wood

To court the Lady fair.

In the heat of their passion, passion,

In the heat of their passion, passion,

In the heat of their passion, passion

The grain shall rise again.

Comes the Lord of the Greenwood, wood,

Comes the Lord of the Greenwood, wood,

Comes the Lord of the Greenwood, wood

To court the Lady fair."

At the end of the song the bell is rung seven times. PRIEST replaces lit candle on the altar then he dances slowly twelve times, deosil, around the Circle. As he goes, he says the following, which coveners repeat after him (line by line):

Green-

All:

Priest:

Green-

sire."

All:

Priest:

All:

Priest:

All:

Green-

Priest:

Green-

Green-

Priest: All: Priest: All:

Priest:

All:

Priest:

All:

Priest:

All:

Priest:

All:

Priest:

All:

Priest:

"I am He who is the Lord and the Light." "You are He who is the Lord and the Light."

"I am He who is the Sun." "You are He who is the Sun." "Let your love shine as does my radiance." "We let our love shine as does your radiance." "Let your love spread throughout the world, as does my light." "We let our love spread throughout the world, as does your light." "Together with the sun we must also know rain." "Together with the sun we must also know rain." "So together with j oy we must also know pain." "So together with joy we must also know pain."

"I am the Life and I am the Hope." "You are the Life and you are the Hope." "I am the Death and the Life anew." "You are the Death and the Life anew." "Without me there can be nothing."

"Without you there can be nothing." "With me, you can have all that you de

"With you, we can have all that we de sire."

"I am He who is the Sun." "You are He who is the Sun." "I am He who is the Lord and the Light." "You are He who is the Lord and the Light."

"As I give light and life to you, so is it meet that you should give to others. Let us all share all that we have with those who have nothing."

Returning to the altar, PRIEST assumes the God position. Led by PRIESTESS, Coveners move around to bow before Priest and to lay an offering* at his feet.

Priest: "Now may you know the true j oy of giving.

Priest/ess: "We Wiccans give thanks to the Mighty Ones

For the richness and goodness of life. As there must be rain with the sun, To make all things good, So must we suffer pain with our joy, To know all things. Our love is ever with the Gods, For though we know not their thoughts, Yet do we know their hearts— That all is for our good. Mighty Ones, bless us now. Keep us faithful in thy service. We thank you for the crops; For life; for love; for joy. We thank you for that spark That brings us together—and to you. Help us to live with Love And with Trust between us. Help us to feel the joy of loving you And of loving one another." All: "So be it!"

The bell is rung three times. Then shall follow the ceremony of Cakes and Ale. After that the Clearing the Temple is performed so that there is plenty of room for

'Offerings can be to suit the giver. One coven I know gives offerings of money which are then donated to charity. Another gives offerings of food and clothing which is given to the needy. The offering should be something of a sacrifice on the part of the giver; it is not just a token giving.

fun, games and entertainment. The evening concludes with a feast.

AUTUMNAL EQUINOX SABBAT

The altar cloth and candles should be red. The Circle should be decorated with autumn flowers, acorns, gourds, pine cones, corn sheaves, etc.. A bowl of fruit (apples, pears, peaches and whatever) is on the altar. Offerings (see footnote to previous ritual) lie around the altar.

Priest/ess: "Now do we enj oy the fruits of our labors." Covener: "Now do we celebrate the harvest." Covener. "As we sowed in the spring, now do we reap." Priest/ess: "Now let us pay our dues and enjoy our just rewards."

The bell is rung three times. ALL join hands and move slowly deosil about the Circle. A simple dance step (see Lesson 12) or a light skipping step may be used, if desired. The coven goes around three times. As they move around the PRIEST/ESS says:

Priest/ess: "Here is the balance of Day and Night. At no point does time stand still. Ever does the wheel turn and turn again: Children are born and grow; age advances. Death will come to visit as surely as the sun doth rise. Since Death is inevitable, greet him as a friend.

Remember, he it is who opens the door That leads forward into life. Life to death and death to life: Balance and harmony; ever moving on."

When the circling stops, the PRIEST takes up the bowl of fruit and moves around the Circle giving a fruit to each covener. At the giving there is an embrace and a kiss and the Covener says:

Covener: "I give thanks to the Gods for this sign of a joyful harvest."

PRIEST ends by giving a fruit to the Priestess then she, in turn, gives the last one to the Priest. The bell is rung seven times. All then sit and enjoy their fruit. At this time there can be happy conversation. When all have eaten, the bell is rung three times and all stand again.

Priest: "Although the season of plenty draws to a close, yet are the Gods ever with us. Our Lord watches over us, as does his Lady." Priestess: "To the good seasons that have already passed."

All: "The Lord and the Lady give blessings."

Priest: "To the beauty of autumn and to those friends we treasure." All: "The Lord and the Lady give blessings,"

Covener: "Peace, j oy and love to the world." All: "To that do we give our blessings."

Priest: "How is the ground?" All: "Well cared for."

Priestess: "How are the crops?" All: "Beautiful and plentiful."

Covener: "What are our lives?" All: "The harvest of the Gods."

Priest/ess: "Whilst we enjoy the fruits of our labors, the harvest of our lives, let us never forget those who are not so fortunate." Covener: "We offer, here, a portion of our fortunes to go where it may be needed." All: "So mote it be."

Priest/ess: "Then may the Lord and the Lady bless these offerings, bless the givers and bless those who will receive."

The bell is rung three times. Then shall follow the ceremony of Cakes and Ale. After that the Clearing the Temple is performed so that there is plenty of room for fun, games and entertainment. The evening concludes with a feast.

WINTER SOLSTICE SABBAT

The altar cloth and the candles should be purple. The Circle may be decorated with holly, mistletoe, ivy, etc.. There is a cauldron in the south, filled with kindling. The Priest's Horned Helmet is beside the altar. Short tapers (one for each Covener) lie on the altar. The bell is rung three times. PRIEST sits or kneels in the center of the Circle.

Covener: "Blessed are the Gods who turn the mighty wheel." Covener: "Welcome, thrice welcome, to Yule; the turning point of winter is upon us." Covener: "Here is an end to the solar year."

Covener: "But here, too, is a new beginning." Priestess: "Brothers, Sisters, Friends. Let us show our love by sending forth our power and our strength to he who is the Sun God. At this turning of the year's tide, let us join our energies with his, that he may be reborn to ascend once more unto his rightful place."

COVENERS and PRIESTESS join hands and circle, deosil, chanting:

All: "Turn, turn, turn the wheel.

Round and round; around it goes. The flame that died, it now doth heal. Round and round; around it goes. Return, return, return to life. Round and round; around it goes. Welcome sunlight; farewell strife. Round and round; around it goes. The Sun Lord dies; the Sun Lord lives. Round and round; around it goes. Death opens hands and new life gives. Round and round; around it goes. Turn, turn, turn the wheel. Round and round; around it goes. The flame that died, it now doth heal. Round and round; around it goes."

This may be kept up for as long as desired. Then, while still circling, PRIESTESS says:

Priestess: "Let us kindle fresh fire to light our Lord upon his way." Covener: "Fire for strength!" Covener: "Fire for life!" Covener: "Fire for love!"

As they pass the altar PRIESTESS first, then each Covener, takes up a taper and lights it from the altar candle. Continuing around the Circle, when the cauldron is reached the taper is thrown in, to light the kindling and then add to it. When all have thrown in their tapers, circling stops with Priestess before the altar. She takes up the Horned Helmet and moves around to stand before the kneeling Priest.

Priestess: "May all our power, Witches all, strengthen the new-born Lord."

PRIESTESS places Horned Helmet on Priest's head. He comes to his feet and raises his hands high.

Priest: "Life! Love! I am the Sun Lord!"

He lowers his hands then moves slowly around the Circle speaking, as though talking to each individual covener as he moves around.

Priest: "I fell into deep darkness and death I knew.

Yet was I of star-seed. On the tail of a comet I rent the velvet darkness of everlasting light.

Ablaze with glory, I was reborn, To start again the perennial cycle of guardianship That evermore drives me through death and birth alike. With the companionship of our Lady I face into the wind, Knowing that we fly upon wings of time, Through timeless worlds, together." Covener: "All hail, the Sun God!" All: "All hail, the Sun God!"*

Covener: "All hail the death and birth of Yule." All: "All hail!"

Bell is rung seven times. PRIEST and PRIESTESS join hands and lead coveners in a dance about the Circle. Bell is rung three times.

Then shall follow the ceremony of Cakes and Ale. After that the Clearing of the Temple is performed so that there is plenty of room for fun, games and entertainment. The evening concludes with a feast._

*Here may also be inserted an "All hail, ...(Name)..."—the particular name of the deity used by the coven.

NOW ANSWER THE EXAMINATION QUESTIONS FOR THIS LESSON IN APPENDIX B

1. Relate any experiences, insights that have come to you while meditating.

2. List below some recurring themes or symbols in your dreams. Try to interpret some of your more powerful dreams. Describe them here. Be sure to keep a special Dream Journal next to your bed.

3. List the four Minor Sabbats and tell what each commemorates. Relate how you celebrated each Minor, or Lesser, Sabbat.

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