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YULE

 The Spiral of Rebirth

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ABOUT THESE RITUALS

 
 

Rituals are a way of reaffirming the power of life by recognising its rites of passage and reconnecting with the elements of life and the cosmos you honor. 

 

While rituals aren't necessary for life to go on, they can help you feel less disconnected, and to align to what you believe empowers you. 

 

Just as meditation and prayer are rituals that are recommended to be done often, so that their modes are well instilled, honouring the divine regularly, in whatever form you believe life to be divine, helps you to adjust your attitudes and behaviour when you are feeling lost or disconnected in some way. 

 

There are many types of rituals you can use to do this. 

These are just some, but they are recognised by pagans of European origin everywhere - the Rituals and Feasts of the Eight Fold Year

 

We do not promote these rituals above all others. 

We believe that even these should be rewritten to suit your own modes, practices, and beliefs. 

They are offered as guidance, only, and represent modes to reaffirm yourself in life, and to re-acknowledge the divine. 

Nor do we promote paganism above all other forms of spirituality or religion. 

We are neo-druids cum buddhists because our paganism is inclusive, not exclusive, and encompasses all religions, all faiths, and all spiritual paths, even when those other paths do not wish to encompass US. 

 

We believe in ALL that is divine, and in the right of ALL people to find their own methods to recognise divinity and spirit. 

And that includes the rights of atheists and agnostics to reject what we believe in. 

 

We offer these rituals to expand your insight into paganism, apart from propaganda and misconcepts led by popular opinion.

 

 
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"T'was on the winter solstice that we strewed baubles on the tree
And thanked life for all the gifts, that had brought to us such glee.
We gave each other tokens, too, to cheer the days ahead,
When our bones creak far too often and we're loth to leave our bed.


At Yuletide we light the fire log that warms our homes and heart,
And stays alive within our minds so we know we're ne'er apart
From love and life, and thus all strife can be endured with might,
So long as we remember that our spirit lives in Light."

- Poetry by L.O.Hennig (copyright)

Tree Seasibs - Gif Copyright by Lilipily Spirit

 

YULE

The Spiral of Rebirth  (Alban Arthuan, Mean Geimhridh )

Winter Solstice

 

 

A RITUAL FOR WINTER'S BEGINNING

Performed for Winter Solstice - mid-Afternoon

(December 20-21 in the Northern Hemisphere, or June 21-22  in the Southern Hemisphere)

 

 

ITEMS NEEDED: (back to top)   (Index )

 

 

ALTAR/FEAST TABLE/CHAIRS (if indoors

ENTRANCE TABLE (if outdoors

BRAZIER.
Roast meat (optional) and
sundries for feast
.

Alcohol (optional)
Bread, cakes, pudding, and milk or juice for
libations.

Libation cup and bowl
Druid/Celtic or other ambient
music, playing softly in background.
Jug of purified/filtered
water and a cup for each participant.
A
washing bowl for feet and a washing bowl for hands.

Sponge and wash-cloth, and towel.
Watering can with salted water.
Essential oil (
Lavender, for peace, optional) for Anointing.
White ribbon for head bands, one for each participant (optional).
Druid
Staff.
SALT in a container. Representative of  EARTH/NORTH.
INCENSE in a holder. Representative of  AIR/EAST.
OIL LAMP/
CANDLE. Representative of   FIRE/SOUTH.
Cup of
WATER. Representative of  WATER/WEST.
Quartz crystal  (GOD/MALE/ACTIVE ASPECT/the Infinite)
White/Pearly
Seashell  (GODDESS/FEMALE/PASSIVE ASPECT/the Integral)
2 White Candles (God/Goddess)
Semi-precious gemstones (optional).

Leaf and flower decorations for Altar.
Tools for Divination
Burning Bowl, Matches or Gas-lighter stick.

Tongs for the bale-fire.

Bell.

Written negativities for burning (guilts, grudges, mistakes, fears, indulgences, obsessions, restrictions - things we wish to leave behind us, etc).

Red Candle for Yule.
Potted or artificial tree for decoration. Leafy branches to decorate house.
Token
gifts to Life and Divinity to hang on the Tree.
Presents for participants. 

 

 

CREATING A SACRED SPACE  (back to top)   (Index )

 

 

With the Druid Staff, the Priest/Priestess, and Aides (optional), go throughout the area which is to be used and needs to be protected from ill-will and cleansed of negative energies. 

E.g., If a house and yard, go throughout the house and yard, including the street frontage. 

Pointing the staff up, down, and around, the Priest/Priestess recites (with intensity of feeling and power):

"Mother/Father God, Cleanse this place of Negative Energies.
Fill it with your Life Force, Your Love, and Wisdom.
Protect it and All within it from harm or negativity
(except for vermin and unwelcome guests).
As Above, So Below, As Within, So Without."


Repeating this over and over, wherever they walk or stop, until the whole area is covered.

 

(NOTE: We added the exception for protection after vermin, e.g. termites, infested our home to such a degree that it had to literally be rebuilt, and builders and inspectors had never seen the likes of it before. We also had mice, rats, snakes, possums, and cockroaches prior to that. So be aware that protecting all life in your home may also protect hidden and unwelcome guests...Nature and magic, after all, are non-discriminatory - and a blessing is a blessing !)

 

 

LAYING THE ALTAR & FEAST TABLE   (back to top)   (Index )

 

 

THE ALTAR: (While facing North, with the altar in front of you)

Lay flowers/leaves around the Altar's edge.
To the
Left of the centre, put the Seashell, and then a White Candle.
To the
Right of the centre, put the Quartz Crystal, and then a White Candle. 
At the
East side of the Altar, put the Incense.
At the
South side of the Altar, put the Oil Lamp/Candle  

(NOTE: This position can be reversed with the salt if you live south of the equator, as Australians do; follow your personal preference).
At the
West side of the Altar, put the Water.
At the
North side of the Altar, p
ut the Salt.
Lay the libation bowl, milk/juice, and bread/cakes/pudding
, to the South of the centre.
Lay the
Druid Staff on the Altar when not in use.
Lay th
e Torch next to the Druid Staff when not in use. Divination tools also lie here.
Lay gemstones in a circle around the Altar, or around the Burning bowl.
Put the Washing bowls/sponge/cloth/watering can beneath the Altar. 

(NOTE: This ritual can be enacted indoors around a dining table. In this case, forgo the washing part of the ritual, and set up the Altar at one end of the table. 

Circling can be visualised, holding hands, rather than actually moving).

The burning bowl and bell, the written prayers/letters for burning, the tongs and matches/gas stick are placed at the South East corner of the Altar.

Put the red candle at the South East corner of the Altar, as well. 

(This represents the Yule log, for indoor ceremonies, but you can have a real Yule log, if you have a brazier, outdoors).

 

THE RITUAL AREA:

Place a chair for each participant in a circle around the Altar and Feast Table.
Place
the Feast Table South of the Altar, within the circle. Put all cutlery/plates/cups/food and drink on it. 

(NOTE: Make sure there is plenty of room for movement within the circle of chairs around the Altar and Feast table). 
Place the Entrance Table just outside the circle, and place upon it the purified water/cups/anointing oil, and a torch for reading

(NOTE: If this ritual is performed outdoors, the torch can be carried into the circle later, once it gets dark).

The Tree is placed on a table indoors, and can be moved to for that part of the ritual.

(Since all areas of the property are blessed, leaving the circle area is okay).

 

 

CALLING THE ANGELS or POWERS   (back to top)   (Index )

 

 

Taking up the Druid Staff, the Priest/Priestess stands pointing it to the North as the Priest/Priestess recites: 

(NOTE: You can swap the word, angels, for powers, if you so wish)

 

"Angels of the North  

- of Earth, of Taurus/Virgo/Capricorn -

 of Pentacles and Worldly Issues 

- of Protection, Nurturing and Growth,
Bless our Ritual and Attend our Circle:
Heed our Prayers and carry them into the world, that they may be Manifest by the Laws of Right Action."


The Priest/Priestess stands pointing the Druid Staff to the West, (Sun-wise), as the Priest/Priestess recites:

"Angels of the West 

- of Water, of Cancer/Scorpio/Pisces 

- of Cups and Issues of the Heart and Psyche 

- of Feeling and Inspiration and Refreshment,
Bless our Ritual and Attend our Circle:
Heed our Prayers and carry them into the world, that they may be Manifest By the Laws of Right Action."


The Priest/Priestess stands pointing the Druid Staff to the South, (Sun-wise), as the Priest/Priestess recites:

"Angels of the South 

- of Fire, of Aries/Leo/Sagittarius 

- of Wands and Issues of Creativity and Endeavour 

- of Light and Brightness and Love,
Bless our Ritual and Attend our Circle:
Heed our Prayers and carry them into the world, that they may be Manifest By the Laws of Right Action."


The Priest/Priestess stands pointing the Druid Staff to the East, as the Priest/Priestess recites:

"Angels of the East 

- of Air, of Gemini/Libra/Aquarius 

- of Swords and Issues of Knowledge and Balance 

- of Intelligence, Exploration and Union,
Bless our Ritual and Attend our Circle:
Heed our Prayers and carry them into the world, That they may be Manifest By the Laws of Right Action."

 

 

ANOINTING & CLEANSING   (back to top)   (Index )

 

 

The Priest/Priestess stands at the entry point to the circle, where the participants queue for entry. 

All participants have washed and may be bare-foot and bra-less (optional), with light-coloured clothes. (Men may be bare-chested). 

Each participant wears a white ribbon tied across their forehead (optional). 

The officiating Priest/Priestess/Aides may also have a blue crescent marked on their forehead (optional).

The Priest/Priestess recites, with intensity/power, while the Priest/Priestess/Aides pour water into a cup for each participant.

"Drink this water to Cleanse yourself of Negative Energies, 

that you may Recognise the Divinity within you without Obstruction."

The Priest/Priestess/Aides gives the water to the participant, who drinks it all.

The Priest/Priestess recites, (while the Priest/Priestess anoints the Third Eye of the participant with a smear of essential oil on their thumb):

(The Third Eye is unseen and is positioned on the forehead above the nose, and over the area between the eyebrows).

"This Oil Anoints your Psychic Centre so that you may Communicate with the Divine more easily."

The Priest/Priestess recites:

"Leave the troubles of the Mortal World behind you now as you enter the Sacred Space.
Walk Sunwise,
(East to West), around the Circle until you find your seat."


The ceremony continues until all are seated. 

 

(NOTE: The foot and hand washing part of this ritual is not performed for indoor ceremonies. 

For indoor ceremonies, participants may wash and dry their own hands before entering the circle).

 

When all are seated, the Priest/Priestess/Aides collect the washing bowls/sponge/wash-cloth/watering can from beneath the Altar. 

The Priest/Priestess/Aides pours water into the foot bowl in front of the first participant (East of the circle entrance). 

He/She bathes the feet of the participant as the Priest/Priestess recites:

 

"Let this Water cleanse your Feet so that the Energy of the Divine Earth flows into you more easily, 

filling you with Healing and Love."

The Priest/Priestess/Aides carry the used bowl to behind the participant's chair and solemnly empties it onto the ground, as the Priest/Priestess recites:

"Let the Earth accept this soiled water and restore it the Cycle of Life."

The Priest/Priestess/Aides places the foot bowl in front of the next participant (moving sun-wise, to the West), and places the hand bowl on the lap of the first participant, pouring water into it, and washing the participant's hands (wiping them dry with the squeezed sponge/cloth), as the Priest/Priestess recites:

"Let this Water cleanse your Hands so that the Divine Energy that flows through you from the Earth may flow out more easily into the World around you, bringing Healing and love to All you touch."

The Priest/Priestess/Aides again carries the used bowl to behind the participant's chair and solemnly empties it onto the ground, as the Priest/Priestess recites:

"Let the Earth accept this soiled water and restore it the Cycle of Life."

This process continues around the circle, until all participants are bathed with the salted water. 

(The Priest/Priestess/Aides wash each other or, if there is only one leader, a member of the washed participants may wash the leader). 

Once all are bathed, the Priest/Priestess/Aides sit in their chairs.

 

 

ENERGY RAISING   (back to top)   (Index )

 

 

The Priest/Priestess recites:

"Now we are gathered together in this Sacred Space to honour the Divinity within us and without Us.
Let us close our Eyes and meditate upon the Joy of Life's Spirit. 

Let us feel it's Energies coursing around our Circle from East to West, and back again. 

Around and around, building it's Energy within us until it's Colors blend into White and fill us with Healing and Power.
Let this Energy link us together, making us One, as we are naturally One. 

As we have always been One, with each other, and with the Divine."

All meditate. When the Priest/Priestess feels ready and rested, he/she rises and says:

"All stand and move forward to join hands in a Circle."

The Priest/Priestess recites, looking skyward:

"O Mother/Father God, Answers to All Mysteries and yet, Mysteries un-Answered,
In this Place of Power we have opened ourselves to your Essence.
We have breathed your energies into our bodies - co-mingling, blending, and mixing them with ours,
So that we may see the Divine in Nature, and Nature in the Divine, and Divinity within ourselves and All else."


All repeat after the Priest/Priestess:

"Make us One with your Essence.
Make us One with your Essence.
Make us One with your Essence
."


The Priest/Priestess says: 

"All shut your eyes and breathe in the Essence of God. 

Let it flow through you, through your heart centre and into the centre of our Sacred Space."

 

 

CIRCLING    (back to top)   (Index )

 

 

When the Priest/Priestess is ready, he/she says:

"Three times around the Sacred Space, we circle sun-wise, holding hands and chanting:"

All hold hands and move around the circle, sun-wise (East to West), completing a circle three times, and chanting with the Priest/Priestess:

(NOTE: In small spaces, the circling can be done by visualisation, rather than through movement).

"O Gracious Divinity, bathe us with Enlightenment in this Magical Time.
Charge us with wonder and joy. 
Help us to attune to the Energies adrift on the Enchanted Air."

At the end of the circling the participants, except for the Priest/Priestess/Aides, resume their seats.

 

 

RECITALS & WELCOMING   (back to top)   (Index )

 

 

The Priest/Priestess recites:

"We sorrow not, though the world is wrapped in sleep. 

 We sorrow not, though the icy winds blast. 

 We sorrow not, though the hail and sleet fall deep. 

 We sorrow not, for these shall soon be past. " 

The Priest/Priestess lights the red candle (representing the Yule log).

(NOTE: If you are outdoors and have a brazier lit, you can burn a real Yule log on it, instead).

The Priest/Priestess recites:

"I light this fire in your Honor, Mother/Father God. 

 

You create life from death, warmth from cold; the sun lives again, the time of light is waxing. 

 

Welcome, the ever-returning cycle of life !  

 

Hail, to all life ! " 

The Priest/Priestess recites:

"O Mother/Father God, we come to honor our union with you, and with all life. 

 

As Nature's quiet fills the Land, we remember the quiet pauses in our lives, and accept that in the cycles of existence there is always balance and movement between Light and Dark, and between outward and inward activity. 

 

We know that in the quiet times our life trees send down their roots deep into nourishment, 

so that when growth is required of them again they will have the strength to flourish. 

 

We know that in our Lives, when nothing appears to be happening, 

when we appear to bide our time and have no progress, 

that much progress is occurring on an inner level, 

so that our Spirit may flourish in the new life that always follows. 

 

For in the Circles of Life, light and activity always follow darkness and resting. 

 

We think of birth not as the start of life, but as its continuance. 

 

In this time of Yule, we remember who we are. 

 

We meditate upon the Light of Life, and on the hidden energies lying dormant within us, 

just as the energies of the Earth lie dormant in Winter.

 

We remember our soul, our spirit essence, and the divine spark within us.  

 

We understand our individuality within the manifest world, 

our unique destinies, which we chose to fulfil before we became incarnate. 

 

We let the past go as we move forward into new life. 

 

We allow the seeds of destiny within us, the seeds of new action, 

to burgeon and grow in the deepness of ourselves, 

until they are ready to burst forth with power in our lives. 

 

This is the Spiral of Rebirth, 

for all life moves in cycles, 

and even within one life there are periods of action and periods of inaction, 

times of preparation for action, and times of gestation. 

 

For Death and Winter are the same, 

are times of rest and reflection, 

and quiet growth and recuperation, 

in preparation for new cycles of life."


The Priest/Priestess moves to the Burning Bowl and recites:


"On this day of Winter Solstice, 

we burn our negativities away, 

sending their smoke into the ether, 

dispersing them in the Cycle of Life, 

that they may be scattered and reformed, 

by the Laws of Right Action, 

into the positive beginnings of our future 

- their energy transmuted and transformed into good. 

 

We ask the angels to observe us, guide us, and help us as they may."

 

Each participant, (sun-wise, East to West), takes up their Burning Negatives, and holds them with tongs over the Burning Bowl as the Priest/Priestess/Aides ignites it (as often as necessary to completely char it all...

 

The Priest/Priestess/Aides rings the Bell throughout each burning. 

 

As each participant burns their negatives, the Priest/Priestess recites, and the participant repeats after the Priest/Priestess:


"I banish banes by the powers of the Divine!
I banish banes by the powers of the Cosmos!
I banish banes by the powers of the Mortal World!


O Gracious Divinity, in this time of Midwinter Magic, 

I pray that you charge my life with wonder and joy, 

with abundance and prosperity. 

 

Protect my home, my family, and my work. 

 

Fill me and surround me with your love and the love of others. 

 

Let kindness be a gift from me and to me, 

and let wisdom guide my actions. 

 

Help me now to attune with the energies adrift on this Enchanted Air. 

 

I give thanks."


The participant laughs until all the paper is thoroughly burnt, then recites:


"By the Laws of Right Action may success be made manifest on all levels of my life and in the lives of those I care for in this world or the next."

 

Once all the prayers/letters have been burnt, the Priest/Priestess recites:

 

"May God heed our prayers and, like the best of parents, know what is best for us and help us to understand what can be made manifest and what cannot, by the Laws of Right Action."

 

The Priest/Priestess moves to the potted Tree (of Life) and recites:

 

"Mother/Father God, we thank you for the blessings of our lives and honor this symbolic Tree of Life with gift tokens in recognition of the gifts bestowed upon us as we journey, symbolically returning some of what we receive to the Divine, to nourish you with our love as you nourish us. 

 

And we pray as we bestow further token gifts upon this tree, for blessings to flow on to others, to those who have become quiet in our lives for whatever reason, so that they may be nourished and restored, and become a positive force in the cycle of life or in our lives, by the Laws of Right Action."


He/she places a token gift on the Tree, and beckons to the other participants to do the same. 

After the first tokens are placed, the Tree is decorated by participants with all the other Ornaments, and as each is placed, a name is spoken of a person who needs to be nourished and restored to the cycle of life. (These may be people we have fallen out with, people who have died, or are sick, or have simply faded from our lives, etc.)


The Priest/Priestess recites:


"Life quietens now. The air is cold. The land sleeps. 

We long for the warmth of Spring and Summer. 
The nights are long. The days are short. 

We find it hard to go on with the activities of our lives. 
We turn inward, seeking the warmth of the light within us as the light outside withdraws. 

We rediscover ourselves. We think. We sleep. We meditate. 

We plan for the future. We hope and pray."


The Priest/Priestess recites:


"Now is the time of Resting. 

We remember the Spiral of Rebirth. 

We know that life will go on even after all appears to have come to an end. 

We know that in Spirit we will be reborn, even as the land is reborn with the return of Spring, and our lives are reborn after dark nights of the soul. 

 

It is the time to plan for the future, to gather together our energies for the projects ahead of us, 

to nurture ourselves and our Life Spirit, so that we may one day again nurture others with spirited life."


The Priest/Priestess says:


"Let us meditate upon the interweaving forces of life and death, creation and destruction, 

so that we may understand that death is the inevitable outcome of life and that after death, life is renewed. 

 

We meditate upon the Light of Life, and on the hidden energies lying dormant within us, just as the energies of the Earth lie dormant in winter. 

 

All nature is balanced and returns always to balance through sacrifice and transcendence, which allows healing to occur."

 

All meditate. When the Priest/Priestess is ready, a libation is made (by pouring the liquid into a cup for the divine, and also some into a cup to drink, and then breaking the bread /cake into a bowl for the divine, and eating the other part of the bread/cake), and he/she says:


"Mother-Father God, I thank you for the blessing of Life. 

I share with you these libations to acknowledge your graciousness and to remember that I must not take for granted what is given but must always remember to return some to the cycle of Life."


The other participants follow his/her example and repeat the recitation. 


The Priest/Priestess says:


"We ask now for the blessings and protection of our divine guests as we move from the circle of prayer to prepare and cook our feast meal.
We hope they may enjoy our gathering."


(NOTE: At this point, the ritual may be closed, and the feasting held as a separate event, if desired. 

Just change the above words to suit closing the ritual and move on to the De-Circling phase of the ritual before attending the feast. 

This option may be desirable if others attend the event who are not participants in the ritual).

 

All participants then move to be seated at the Feasting table, or to cook and prepare the meal, and set the table to eat and drink. 

There is a relaxed and happy atmosphere of joy and play. 

When the food is brought to the table, each person puts some from their plates onto a plate that has been set aside to honor the the Divine. 

(That food is later buried/emptied in/on the ground. It doesn't really matter if animals/birds eat it...)


The Priest/Priestess says (when the food on the plate for the Divine is emptied onto the ground):


"Accept our offering in your honor, Divine Spirit, we thank you."


After the Feast, the table is cleared and the tools of Divination are brought out, (optional), and those who wish to do so can give or receive readings for the coming year. 

Then gifts are given to each other.

 

(NOTE: Gifts are given to each other at this feast to denote the boons that are ahead, just as there have been boons in the past, which will always return with the changing cycles of life).

 

 

DE-CIRCLING    (back to top)   (Index )

 

 

The participants join hands again in a circle, and complete a circle three times, this time in an anti-Sunwise direction, (West to East), as the Priest/Priestess recites, and the participants repeat after him/her:

"We disperse the energies of this circle, returning them to the cycle of Life, to the Divine Mind, so that our prayers may progress and balance may be restored.
We send the energies of this circle on their way - into us, into our lives, and into the lives of those we care about."


All stop and reflect as the Priest/Priestess recites:

"We thank you, Mother/Father God, again, for attending us 

- for all the guidance and knowledge you have given us, and for all the wisdom, strength and support of your healing love toward us. 

We give thanks for all you have done for us, and with us, and for all you will be to us and in us as our lives unfold."

The Priest/Priestess recites: (again, you can replace the word, angels, with powers, if you desire).

"We thank the Angels of the North, 

the Angels of the West, 

the Angels of the South, 

and the Angels of the East 

- of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air for attending us. 

May you heed our prayers for Right Action manifest in our world. 

We thank you for your Blessings upon us."

The Priest/Priestess recites: 

"We thank again all spirits who have attended our rites. 

Go in Peace to God and rest."

 

 

DISPERSING THE ALTAR    (back to top)   (Index )

 

 

The Tree and inside decorations may stay until they die, or until the feast of IMBOLC.
The offerings for God, etc. are poured on the ground and/or buried.
The plant decorations on the Altar are dispersed on the ground.
All other items are put away, as well as the Altar, chairs and tables.

 

 

REVELRY    (back to top)   (Index )

 

 

A bonfire or brazier may be lit and leaped through or over (brings good luck); and damper or pudding cooked on it. 
House fires are doused and relit 

Wreaths of flowers or leaves may be given to each other to wear. 
Mock battles between people representing the 'dark' and 'light' forces of Nature may be held, the 'light' always winning. 
House fires/candles are doused and relit from the bonfire or brazier. 

(You can also go through the house with the red candle and turn on each stove, electric lights/lamps, to symbolically awaken the house with light)
Small gifts are given to each other.

 

 

 

 

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