Cast the circle in your usual manner.
Ground and center the participants.
Bless each person as you normally would.
EAST - Hail to thee, Guardian of the Watchtower of the East, the powers of water. We see the sun's rays bouncing off the ocean tides, smashing into the rocks. Our emotions are high as we get ready for Spring, in the anticipation of the Sun's return. Waters of Life, give us birth, and the knowledge to grow as the seeds grow in the Earth from your nourishment. Join the children of the light as we celebrate. So Mote It Be.
SOUTH - Hail to thee, Guardian of the Watchtower of the South, the powers of Air, you who blow crisp, clean, and cold, with swirls of blistery winds. Bring the warm, soft breezes that herald the beginning of Spring. Smell the sweet scent of lilacs. Breathe in th air. Become refreshed with new thoughs, new knowledge, new projects. Join the cildren of the light as we celebrate. So Mote It Be.
WEST - Hail to thee, Guardian of the Watchtower of the West, the powers of Fire. Now as we stand in the fullness of winter, yet on the threshold of Spring, we await the seed which is awakening in the Earth. We ask for your Divine spark to ignite our Sacred Fires as we gather this night to rejuvenate the flames of the sun. Join the children of the light as we celebrate. So Mote It Be.
NORTH - Hail to thee, Guardian of the Watchtower of the North, the powers of Earth. Now the time has come to call for the powers of mountains and of trees, celebrate with us the things that are to be. The warming of Spring will soon bring the abundance of summer. The breezes will be warmer and the days longer. Powers of leaf and flower and thorn, join the children of the light as we celebrate. So Mote It Be.
INVITE THE HORNED ONE:
HP: We call upon you O Horned One, at this time of the feast of torches, when every lamp blazes and shines to welcome your rebirth as the Sun. All the land is wrapped in winter. The air is chilled and the Earth lies barren beneath her mantle of sleep. We call upon you to return, Lord of the Sun. The spark of life is within you, as is the darkness of death. For you are the gatekeeper at the end of time. We call upon you whom all must face at the appointed hour. Yet you are not to be feared, for you are brother, lover, and son. You teach us that death is but the beginning of life and we honor you. You who holds the key of life and death. Blessed Be.
(light the candle for the God)
HPS: By the flowers of the field, O Lady of delight, by the crops thy blessings yield, Oh Maiden clear and bright. We evoke thy presence in kernels and sheaves. We see thy face in the moonlit leaves. Come now to us, extend thy grace, come into our circle within this holy place. Daughter of the Earth, drinking sunlight. Queen of plants, sister of night. By leaf and twig, by root and bough, by water and earth. Come to us now! Bring us your grain, the staff of our lives. Bring us your fruit, wherever it thrives. Mistress of herbs unlock your power and lead us into your leafy bower. In love and joy we call your name, with comforting hope, you ease our pain. We see thee in the swelling bud, we feel thy stirring in our blood. O Lady clear, we feel thee near. In Spring a Maiden with flowers crowned, in summer and harvest, the Mother renewed, in fall and winter the Hag holds sway, yet the Maiden remains but months away. Great Triple Goddess, the seasons flow and eff to thy will as you come and go. Blessed Be.
(light the candle for the Goddess)
Narrator - As the scene unfolds, we find Persephone in the underworld having been abducted by Hades to be his Queen. Demeter, in her grief has allowed the earth to be barren. Zeus, taking pity on humankind's suffering, sends Hermes to the underworld to tell Hades to free Persephone. Having overheard the conversation, Persephone confronts Hades.....
Persephone - I, Persephone, have heard the voice of Hermes, messenger of Zeus. I have heard him command you to set me free. And indeed, I am fully ready to go. I, who am the flower of Maidenhood and delight in the newness of life, yet will I ever be burdened with the memory of the restful sadness that is your realm. Forever I will see the shadow of the dying flower even in the fullness of it's bloom.
Hades - (aside) If I can get her to eat some of these seeds, she must return
(to Persephone) My Lovely Queen, my love for you is so strong that I would risk the wrath of my brother, Zeus, and of Demeter, by bringing you here. Please don't leave me for I am only the reaper. I free the old, the tired and torn so that She can make them fresh and whole again. Death is a thing in which to rejoice, for after Death comes renewal. In me they find rest and peace. But if you must leave me, please my Lady, have this for your journey. (holding out closed hand)
Persephone - I will take only a token bit to acknowledge your hospitality, and then I shall be gone. (Eats one bite)
Demeter - Children. light your candles so that my daughter may find her way.
(At this point, Demeter lights her candle from the God and Goddess candles on the altar, then goes to the person in the West and lights theirs. Each person lights the candle of the person next to them, and as the light travels deosil around the circle, Persephone slowly comes along following the light. When she reaches the end, she greets Dememter with a hug and kiss. They murmer greetings and such until suddenly Demeter exclaims in a very loud voice....)
Demeter - YOU ATE WHAT?
Persephone - It was only a few seeds!
Narrator - Persephone was told not to eat anything in the underworld or she would not be able to return above. But Persephone ate a few pommegranate seeds. Zues decreed a compromise for the sharing of Persephone. She must return 3 months of the year to the underworld to reside with her husband, with the remainder of the year to be spent with her mother in the land of the living.
HPS - Behold the three-formed Goddess, she who is ever three, Maid, Mother, Crone. Yet She is ever one. We welcome now the Maiden Persepnone. For without spring there can be no summer, without summer, no winter, and no new spring. Thus we look forward to the end of winter. We lit the candles to light the way for Persephone's return from the darkness, and to lend strength to the Sun as He grows in power. Blessed Be.
(People can extinguish their candles and take them home, or leave them lit on the altar, if there is space, or around the circle if that is possible.)
(At this time, pass around the parchment paper and pens so everyone can write what spiritual goals they wish to reach during the coming year. These are place in Brid's Bed, or can be burned to send the wished to the Goddess. They should first be charged, by raising energy while each person holds their paper, either through dance and chanting, humming, or meditation channeling, or whatever your group does. Then each person will either put the parchment in and tell Brid what she desires, or put into the Cauldron to be transformed and burned.)
(Also this is the time, if you wish, to charge seeds for the spring planting later. Herbs and flowers are appropriate, get ones that grow in your area so your participants can plant them. We also bless our candles now, one of each color, to be used during our magickal year. A few drops of wax from these candles will add the Goddess energy and blessing from this Sabbat to whatever candles we dress. Or people can simply use the white candles they lit for Persephone's return, since white contains all colors within it. Charging is done as above.)
EAST - Hail to thee Guardian of the Watchtower of the East, the powers of Water. We felt your presence this evening as you washed away the winter's chill. Stay with us as we grow in the coming months. Continue to water our plants and our minds so they grow to be strong and healthy. 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 Guardian of the Watchtower of the South, the powers of Air. We thank you for the truning of the seasons, the cold of winter, the growth of spring, and fall harvests. As you leave us, leave us with new inspiration for the new spring. As you 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 the smoldering embers that have lain dormant through the winter and are now on the verge of flaring forth into flowering spring. We thank you for your participation and your protection. As you 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 Guardian of the Watchtower of the North, the powers of Earth. The powers of mountains and trees, you have celebrated with us the things that are to be. Powers of leaf and of thorn, we look forward to longer days and warmer days. We thank you for joining us in our rites. As you depart to your mighty realms, we bid thee, Hail and Farewell, and harm ye none on your way. So Mote It Be.
"A Witches Bible Compleat" by Janet and Stewart Farrar
"The Crafted Cup" by Shadwynn (presently out of print)
"Wicca For the Solitary Practitioner" by Scott Cunningham
"Spokes of the Wheel" by Seleneicthon
"Ancient Ways" and "Wheel of the Year" by Dan and Pauline Campanelli
"Magickal Rites from the Crystal Well" by Ed Fitch