as ancient as tomorrow

Bhakti-Wiccan Circle

The Bhakti-Wiccan Circle is appropriate for a public ritual.  This script is from a circle offered by the Fellowship of the Sacred Grove in 1993.  It includes most of the formal elements of Sacred Grove ritual, with setting and blocking, and may be modified as an outline for other rituals.

The CircleParticipants begin standing outside the area where the circle is to be cast. Most Westerners will want chairs for sitting; if chairs are used they should be set in a circle with one or more spaces (gates) through which participants may enter the circle.

For large groups in small rooms a double circle may be used, though this will make dancing impossible for most participants.

The Preparations

The Warning

Bard and Quarters take their places in circle (Bard in center).

Bard speaks:

We gather tonight to open the veil between the worlds, to seek the Lord and Lady, and to experience the Mystery of Their Love.

Hear this warning. To be touched by the Lord and Lady is to be changed. If you open yourself to that touch, you put at risk your comfortable view of the world. You risk experiencing a sense of awe to which worship is the natural response. You risk discovering Deity as your Lover and your Beloved.

Bard lights central Grove candle, then continues:

Let none remain who is unwilling to be changed by Their touch.

Bard returns through first gate to gathering area.

Marking the Circle

Bard leads all in Listen to the Lord and Lady while Priestess, beginning in North, marks a circle outside chairs and quarter candles.

Claiming the Circle

Quarters perform standard Claimings

The Challenges

Two Quarters come together at a Gate and make an arch with their athames through which the Bard steps into the circle.

The other two Quarters bar her way and deliver the Challenge to her.

When the Bard has answered the Challenge, She replaces one of the challenging Quarters, who leaves the circle.

Next the Priest steps through the arch to be challenged by the Bard and the remaining Quarter. When he has answered the Challenge, he takes the place of the remaining Quarter, who leaves the circle.

Then the Priestess steps through the arch to be challenged by Priest and Bard.

When she has answered the Challenge, she takes the place of the Bard and the two Quarters forming the arch leave the circle.

One by one, the Quarters and all other participants now enter the circle by answering the Challenge of the Priest and Priestess. To speed the entry of large groups the four Quarters can deliver the Challenge at one or two additional Gates after being re-admitted themselves.

First Challenger asks:

Who answers the call of the Lord and Lady?

Participant responds.

Second Challenger bars the way

Second Challenger asks:

Will you open your heart to Their touch?

Participant responds.

First Challenger clasps participant’s hands and draws participant into Circle

First Challenger speaks:

Then enter, and be welcome.

Sealing the Circle

Bard speaks from her place in the circle:

We have stepped between the worlds. In the presence of the Lord and Lady, we join together and are one.

Each person (beginning with Bard) takes the hand of the next and repeats

We are one.

When the circle has been joined all around, all repeat together

We are one.

Inviting the Guardians

East speaks, facing outward:

To this circle of praise and honor for the Gods, I call for one to stand in the place of the Sword, to teach us courage and discernment and to uphold the pillar of the East.

Guardian of the Sword, Hail and Welcome!

West speaks, facing outward:

To this circle of joy and celebration, I call for one to stand in the place of the Cup, to teach us compassion and understanding and to uphold the pillar of the West.

Guardian of the Cup, Hail and Welcome!

South speaks, facing outward:

To this circle of sacred song and dance, I call for one to stand in the place of the Tree, to teach us harmony with Nature and to uphold the pillar of the South.

Guardian of the Tree, Hail and Welcome!

North speaks, facing outward:

To this circle of holy awe, I call for one to stand in the place of the Stones, to teach us reverence and ecstasy and to uphold the pillar of the North.

Guardian of the Standing Stones, Hail and Welcome!

The Mystery

Welcoming the Lord and Lady

Priest invokes Lady

Priestess invokes Lord

Hearing the Call

Participants sit and one drummer begins a steady beat.

One or more of the celebrants speaks about the Lord and Lady, sharing those names, attributes or images that the speaker finds moving and powerful. The speakers should speak from their hearts, expressing their own feeling for God and Goddess, while using a voice that relaxes and draws in the listeners.

The Chant

Last speaker begins chant; others join in as chant builds. This is more of an invocation than a spell casting, so it is acceptable for the energy of chant to fade into a quiet sense of Presence rather than needing to be cut off at the peak of power.

All chant:

Isis, Osiris, Wodan and Freya; Lord and Lady, Brigid and Lugh.

Spontaneous Prayer

Participants pray aloud as moved. Prayers may include songs, chants, dances or any other reverent offering. Those not moved to pray aloud may pray silently.

The Presence

Participants sit in silence or speak as moved, sharing visions, inspirations or whatever the Lord and Lady may lead them to say.

in the grove 2

When the time seems right, the Presence is closed with an appropriate song.

The Closing

Thanking the Lord and Lady

Priest thanks Lady

Priestess thanks Lord.

Thanking the Guardians

Quarters thank Guardians.

The Return

Bard recalls everyone to normal wakefulness.

All sing: We all come from the Goddess

Opening the Circle

Bard comes to center, snuffs Grove candle

Bard speaks:

The rite is ended, the circle is open. May the blessing of the Lord and Lady be with us all.

So mote it be.

 

 

1These rituals have been written by the Fellowship of the Sacred Grove. Permission is granted for non-commercial reproduction and use. Wilddragon 1997

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