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Pagan Ritual for Basic Use

(by Ed Fitch)

A circle should be marked on the floor, surrounding those who will participate in the ceremony. An altar is to be set up at the center of the circle. At the center of the altar shall be placed an image of the Goddess, and an incense burner placed in front of it. Behind the image should be a wand fashioned from a willow branch. Candles should be set upon the altar ... a total of five, since on is to be set at each quarter and one will remain on the altar during the rite.

When all the people are prepared they shall assemble within the circle. The woman acting as priestess shall direct the man who acts as priest to light the candles and incense. She shall then say:

"The presence of the noble Goddess extends everywhere,
Throughout many strange, magical and beautiful worlds
To all places of wilderness, enchantment and freedom."

She then places a candle at the north and pauses to look outwards, saying:

"The Lady is awesome,
The Powers of Death bow before Her."

The person closest to the east takes a candle from the altar and places it at that quarter, saying:

"Our Goddess is a Lady of Joy,
The winds are Her servants."

The person closest to the south takes a candle from the altar and places it at that quarter, saying:

"Our Goddess is a Goddess of Love.
At Her blessings and desire
The sun brings forth life anew."

The person closest to the west takes a candle from the altar and places it at that quarter, saying:

"The seas are the domain of our Serene Lady,
The mysteries of the depths are Hers alone."

The priest then takes the wand and, starting at the north, draws it along the entire circle clockwise back to the north point, saying:

"The circle is sealed, and all herein
Are totally and completely apart
From the outside world,
That we may glorify the Lady whom we adore.
Blessed Be!"

All repeat: "Blessed Be!"

The priest now holds the wand out in salute towards the north for a moment and then hands it to the priestess, who also holds it out in salute. She motions to the group to repeat the following lines after her:

"As above, so below ...
As the universe, so the soul.
As without, so within.
Blessed and gracious one,
On this day do we consecrate to you
Our bodies,
Our minds
And our spirits.
Blessed Be!"

Now is the time for discussion and teaching. Wine and light refreshments may be served. When the meeting has ended, all will stand and silently meditate for a moment. The priestess will then take the wand and tap each candle to put it out, starting at the north and going clockwise around the circle, while saying:

"Our rite draws to its end.
O lovely and gracious Goddess,
Be with each of us as we depart.
The circle is broken!"

Next: A Circle For Catharsis (Judy Harrow)