Yule Ritual 2000

by Lady Bridget and Aradia (c) 2000


Besom area
Cast Circle in your usual manner.
Grounding and Centering (can use any imagery here that you are familiar with.)

Invoke Watchtowers:

East:
Hail to Thee Guardians of the Watchtower of the East, the powers of Water!
Spirit of new beginnings, Radiance of the rising Sun,
We call upon thee this longest night of the year.
Spirit of the great waters,
Of rain, rivers, lakes and springs,
And ancient ocean, deep matrix, womb of all life,
Power to taste and to feel, to cleanse and to heal,
Bring your power to our circle this Solstice night,
So that your power may flow through us
For the good of the Earth, and all the beings living here.
So Mote It Be.

South:
Hail to Thee Guardians of the Watchtower of the South, the powers of Air!
Spirit of the invisible, and of the fresh, cool winds,
We call upon thee this longest night of the year.
O vast and boundless sky,
Your living breath animates all life
Yours is the power of clarity, to hear the inner sounds
To bring change and challenge,
The ecstasy of the movement and of dance.
Brong your power to our circle this Solstice night,
So that your power may flow through us
For the good of the Earth and all the beings living here.
So Mote It Be.

West:
Hail to Thee Guardians of the Watchtower of the West, the powers of Fire!
Spirit of the Sun, the great nuclear fire,
We call upon thee this longest night of the year.
O power of life energy, vital spark,
Power to see far and to imaging with boldness
Power to purify, and to mesmerize,
Transformational and inspirational.
Bring your power to our circle this Solstice night.
So that your power may flow through us
For the good of the Earth and all the beings living here.
So Mote It Be.

North:
Hail to Thee Guardians of the Watchtower of the North, the powers of Earth!
Spirit protector of the fruitful land,
And of all green and growing things.
We call upon thee this longest night of the year.
O soul of Nature, great power of the receptive,
Of nurturance and endurance,
Power to grow and to bring forth
The flowers of the field and the fruits of the garden.
Bring your power to our circle this Solstice night.
So that your power may flow through us
For the good of the Earth and all the beings living here.
So Mote It Be.

Ablutions

Statement of Purpose:

We welcome you to the circle of the Sabbat known as Yule. Here we are all friends in the world between the worlds, in a time that is not a time, poised on the brink of another New Year, marked by the return of the Sun. As I speak the oath, remember the times when this was completely necessary and your life depended on the trust of all who attended. As you repeat the words after me, give thanks that we live in a time when this oath is almost unnecessary.

"I, (name), do swear by all those things which I hold sacred and by the Lord and the Lady In the names by which I know them, To not reveal by word, by deed, or by name Those who are present here tonight To protect my Brothers and Sisters in the Craft Who have put Perfect Love and Perfect Trust in me. So Mote It Be"

As we settle into Winter, we share with all who have come before us an appreciation of the return of the light. What better time of year to honor the Gods, who bring us the promise of delivery from the frightening darkness of the season? This is the turn of the wheel when we are aware of the power of conception, the creation and life within the darkness. Darkness is always followed by light, as all of creation is reborn.

The Winter Solstice is the moment when the shift begins. It is the time when we begin to look forward, rather than back. The lesson is in the waiting. In trusting that the Great Mystery will bring us back into the cycle of rebirth as the wheel turns. The Solstice is about the return of the light from without, and the light of inspiration from within - both sources of illumination are agents of transformation. This is the time of listening to that instinctual voice within which speaks about rebirth and promises eternity.

This is a special time when the focus is on community. On connection and celebration of humanity and the special bonds which bring us together. This is the moment which has been Holy throughout all time, and throughout all religions, the feeling of reflection on the year past and hope for the year forward.

Invite Lord and Lady

Lord:
Great God, we invoke Thy presence this Yule eve.
We call Thee forth from Thy wintry tasks
As Sage, Father, and Newborn Sun we call Thee
As Sage, You have been Father Time, growing older and wiser as the wheel turns.
As Father, You have been the hunter and the stag, sacrifice of the wheat and the grain in the fields
As Newborn Sun now You are tenderly born from a lifetime labor,
To take Your place in the infinite sky,
That we may rejoice as we feel the touch of Your grace, and the breath of Your dancing fire
Be with us tonight, Blessed Be.

Lady:
Great Goddess, we invoke Thy presence this Yule eve.
Enfolded in Thy wintry cloak, we call Thee forth in the form of three
The Maiden whose hair is the willow, whose breath is the river song at play
The Crone whose wisdom holds that of a thousand eyes, frail as the mist, yet strong in years
As Mother who gives life from the touch of one finger,
Who brings forth the newborn Sun this night.
Tenderly born from a lifetime of labor.
O Lady, fling your green scarf on the battered earth once more
Renew our hope as we feel the touch of Your grace, warm our souls with Your embrace
Be with us tonight, Blessed Be.

(Now will decorate the tree, giving the traditions and origins of the decorations.)

Narrator:
As we gather around our Yule tree, before we decorate it we should learn about where these traditions started or what they mean. The tree itself has itís beginnings in the worship of the trees by our Druid ancestors. The evergreen is special because it never loses itís leaves, therefore it represents eternal life. Decorated trees were used in the Saturnalia rites of ancient Greece as well as in some Celtic rites. However, the first indoor decorated trees started in Germany in 1605. Later during the visit of Prince Albert, he was so taken with the custom of bringing a live tree indoors to decorate that when he returned to England, his mother, Queen Victoria continued the tradition in the Palace just for him. Thus the idea traveled from Germany to England in 1750ís and then on to America with the settlers.

Now on the tree, the decorations are reminiscent of old traditions. The lights are our newer (and safer) versions of candles, which were lit to encourage and give energy to, the newborn sun to strengthen His growth and return. Anything reflective on the tree, such as the glass balls, were also to increase this energy as well as to reflect away negative spirits or envy, otherwise known as "the evil eye".

Garland represents many things: snakes which are sacred to the Goddess, and also secrets due to the symbolism that the end of the garland is not seen. Also it symbolizes the never ending cycle of life, and circles; of the birth, death and rebirth of all life. That is why the ends of the garland are traditionally buried so that they are not seen, this gives the impression that the garland is a never ending circle.

Candy canes are a reminder of the renewal of all life, as they are symbolic of the Maypole. Red and white for the blood and the milk of the Mother, the colors of the cane are also the colors of the Pole. The shape was just for convenience to stay on the tree.

Bells purify the air of negative energies, and summon friendly spirits. Tinsel and icicles are fertility magic, which denote the rains to come in the Spring, to fertilize the earth.

Today we also put other ornaments on our trees which we identify with, such as Santa Claus, as the God in his aspect as Father. He symbolizes the spirit of Goodwill and the name Santa Claus refers to the Nordic or Germanic deity who was absorbed into modern traditions.

The star on the top of the tree is our own Pentagram, of the four elements of air, fire, water, and earth, overseen by Spirit. The star was also a symbol of enlightenment, a goal to be attained after long study, or many lifetimes.

Decorate the Tree and Sing Yule Carols

(Next sing "O Christmas Tree" and dance to charge the tree.)

(Next do gift exchange if you are including this as part of the ritual.)

Great Rite and cakes and wine

Thank Lord and Lady

Dismiss Watchtowers

East:
Hail to Thee Guardians of the Watchtower of the East, the powers of water.
We thank you for sharing with us the Spirit of your powers on this longest night of the year.
And as ye depart to your mighty realms, we bid thee Hail and Farewell
And harm ye none on your way, So Mote It Be.

South:
Hail to Thee Guardians of the Watchtower of the South, the powers of air.
We thank you for sharing with us the Spirit of your powers on this longest night of the year.
And as ye depart to your mighty realms, we bid thee Hail and Farewell
And harm ye none on your way, So Mote It Be.

West:
Hail to Thee Guardians of the Watchtower of the West, the powers of fire.
We thank you for sharing with us the Spirit of your powers on this longest night of the year.
And as ye depart to your mighty realms, we bid thee Hail and Farewell
And harm ye none on your way, So Mote It Be.

North:
Hail to Thee Guardians of the Watchtower of the North, the powers of earth.
We thank you for sharing with us the Spirit of your powers on this longest night of the year.
And as ye depart to your mighty realms, we bid thee Hail and Farewell
And harm ye none on your way, So Mote It Be.

(close circle)


Bibliography:

"Earth Prayers" edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon.

Various internet sites and articles were used for ideas and information.


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