Mystery of Beginning

This Yule ritual has two unique elements: the Circle casting and the Story. With all the participants seated in ritual space at the beginning, the Priestess formally casts the Circle using her wand and a creation myth adapted from one taught by Patrick McCollum from his initiatory tradition. I changed his tradition’s words lazra meck for Om, retaining, I hope, much of the intention but offering more familiar language. Later, the WebWeaver appears and evokes experiences of birth, culminating in an Om chant before we continue the Journey to the Grove.

The quarter altars are bare except for the quarter candles. The Bard and another quarter drum as appropriate during the WebWeaver’s tale.

The CircleAll present should be familiar with the chant, “We all come from the Goddess”.

The Preparations

All but Bard are seated in circle; Grove candle stands unlit on North altar

The Warning

Bard speaks:

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

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 Grove candle.

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

Casting the Circle

Priestess speaks from center:

Nothingness, piled upon Nothingness, gathered in the center which is also everything and edge of everything, which is Nothingness.

The Mother formed Herself from the Nothingness. She looked around.

Priestess looks around, ending up facing East

She was Alone – All One. In Her loneliness She screamed.

Om, Her scream, the light of darkness, went away from Her

Priestess walks toward the East, wand extended and searching

Until om realized om was separate from Her and moving away from the only Other that there was.

Priestess stops moving.

Here – this place of realization, this enlightenment, this first place, we will call East. Here we celebrate illumination, light, the element of Fire.

East lights red candle from side or back of East altar.

Priestess speaks:

Here om began to seek the path back to the Mother–

Priestess begins walking toward South, tracing the circle with the wand.

 — bringing the illumination, the Fire – in a shining arc –

Priestess stops at South.

until the light takes on form and substance, and becomes solid. Here, this place of solidity, we will call South. Here we celebrate form and substance, matter, the element of Earth.

South lights green candle from side or back of South altar.

Priestess speaks:

Again om continued seeking the path to the Mother —

Priestess begins walking toward West, tracing the circle with the wand.

 — heavy now with substance and illumination, yet incomplete –

Priestess stops at West.

until om found itself flowing into the cauldron of creation, the womb of the Mother, and coming to birth in the waters of life. Here, this place of birth, of life, we will call West. Here we celebrate life and the element of Water.

West lights blue candle from side or back of West altar.

Priestess speaks:

Alive now, om continued seeking the path to the Mother –

Priestess begins walking toward North.

 — living substance, illuminated, yet incomplete –

Priestess stops at North.

– until om found the Mother’s gift of spirit, of soul, the anima, and became a complete and independent being, alive, aware, and determined. Here, this place of inspiration, we will call North. Here we celebrate Spirit and the element of Air.

North lights white candle from side or back of North altar.

Priestess speaks:

Complete and independent, om still longed to rejoin the Mother –

Priestess begins walking toward the East.

 — and chose to continue the search –

Priestess stops at East and turns toward the center.

– until om recognized a place om had been before, and from there —

Priestess walks inward, embracing wand.

 — retraced om’s path and reunited with the Mother.

All rise and remain facing the center.

Claiming the Space

The Claimings are spells and should be spoken with conviction and intent. The Bard and remaining Quarters respond So mote it be! to each Claiming.

East speaks:

In the name of the Lady of Light, and in my own name, I claim this circle as a place of Men.  Let all within be bound to speak and hear the Truth.

So mote it be.

West speaks:

In the name of the Sacred King, and in my own name, I claim this circle as a place of Women.  Let all within be bound to Perfect Love and Trust.

So mote it be.

South speaks:

In the name of the Lord of the Greenwood, and in my own name,I claim this circle as a place of Nature.  Let all within be bound to the Sacred Web of Life.

So mote it be.

North speaks:

In the name of the Queen of Heaven, and in my own name, I claim this circle as Sacred Space.  Let all within be opened to the presence of God and Goddess.

So mote it be.

Sealing the Circle

Bard speaks:

We have stepped beyond time, to a place not of Earth. In the presence of the Lord and Lady, we join together and are one.

Beginning with the Bard, each person takes the hand of the person to the left, repeating We are one.

When the Circle has been joined all around, all repeat together We are one.

All sit except Priestess, Priest, and the four Quarters.

Inviting the Guardians

East speaks, facing outward:

To this circle of praise and honor, 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!

All: 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!

All: Hail and Welcome!

South speaks, facing outward:

To this circle of remembrance and connection, I call for one to stand in the place of the Tree,

To teach us of life and change and to uphold the pillar of the South.

Guardian of the Tree, Hail and Welcome!

All: 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!

All: Hail and Welcome!

The Mystery

Welcoming the Lord and Lady

Priest invokes Lady.

Priestess invokes Lord.

The Working

Bard speaks:

Settle into a comfortable position that you can maintain without conscious attention while we journey together between the worlds.

South leads trance induction using imagery of being within a tree, flowing down into the roots, into the deep silence of the Earth.

South speaks:

Placing your hand on the bark of a great tree, feeling its life, you find yourself within the tree feeling a hand on your bark.

The journey moves down through the roots into the deep silence of the Earth to a deep trance state, then back up through the roots to feeling the hand again on the bark.

Now you are feeling the hand on your bark –

— and now you find yourself standing at the base of a great Tree with your hand on the bark.

When you have heard any message that the tree has for you, you look around to see the rest of us sharing the wonder of this place.

Take time in trance to have each person speak at least his name, re-establish the group experience. Keep it lighthearted.

When the time is right, the Quarter prepared to speak for WebWeaver speaks in role.

WebWeaver speaks:

Welcome, friends, to the realm of the Great Tree. I am WebWeaver, and I offer you a story for this season of joy.

WebWeaver tells of EarthMother, who could be AnyMother, approaching the birth of her first child, her musings and trepidation.

WebWeaver tells of SkyFather, her beloved, who could be any partner and protector committed to supporting her through the birth and infancy – and of SkyFather’s musings and trepidation.

WebWeaver solicits additional contributions and memories to be shared.

Priest and Priestess may speak in role as SkyFather and EarthMother.

Bard begins a very quiet heartbeat rhythm on a deep-toned drum.

WebWeaver tells of Child in comfort of womb, feeling/hearing heartbeat.

Another Quarter begins quiet heartbeat, faster than the other, on a higher-toned drum.

WebWeaver tells of changes in sensation portending birth. Drums become louder (needs research into usual patterns accompanying a normal birth.)

WebWeaver asks all to lend support to this family with Om chant. Crescendo to peak with drums that stop, leaving Om to fade on its own.

Another Quarter speaks in role as the Queen of Heaven welcoming Child of Earth and Starry Heaven.

Silence.

WebWeaver ends the tale and bids all continue on the journey.

East picks up the journey that follows the path through the woods.

East speaks:

Finding yourself before a great sword – you realize that the sword has a message for you.

West picks up the journey after a pause and follows the path to a stream.

West speaks:

Finding yourself before a cup, you realize that the cup has a message for you.

journey to the GroveNorth picks up the journey after a pause and follows the path through the woods, hearing the song grow louder and more inviting..

North speaks:

Finding yourself before the Standing Stones, you realize the beautiful song is coming from beyond them, and the path continues perhaps through a mist…

If you are ready, you step through and follow the path.

The Presence

Priest and Priestess remain responsible for bringing the group together when it is time to leave.

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.

All: So mote it be.

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