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                              C A N D L E M A S   1 9 8 7 
                               Coven of the Serpent's Eye
      Declamation:                  Rufus Harrington 
      Invocation of the Mother:     Paul Greenslade 
      Response of the Mother:       Adapted by Prudence Jones from an original by
      Vivianne Crowley
      Invocation to the Crone:      Rufus Harrington 
      Response of the Crone:        Julia Phillips 
      Welcome to Spring:            Mike Pinder 
      Welcome to the Virgin:        Prudence Jones 
      Dance of the Elements:        Prudence Jones and Julia     Phillips 
      Initiate's Ceremony of        Adapted by Julia Phillips from 
      Illumination:                 traditional Gardnerian source 
      Charge of Brigid's Fire:      Adapted by Rufus Harrington  
          Temple set up as follows:
      Veil across northern quarter 
      Altar set up, and ritual weapons as usual 
      Candles and incense 
      Cauldron in centre of Temple 
      Brighid Doll 
      White silk veil for Virgin  
      Wrist and ankle bells for each Priestess 
      Large white candle, placed in cauldron 
      Symbols of the elements: 
      One athame (or dagger)        } 
      One wand                      }   These should be placed ready One chalice  
                      }   upon a small altar, 
      One pentacle                  }   adjacent to the main altar 
      One black egg                 }  
      HPS-1               Goddess - Crone Aspect 
      HPS-2               Goddess - Mother Aspect        
      PS-1                Goddess - Virgin Aspect        
      HPS-3               Spirit 
      HP-1                Declamation and Invocation to Crone 
      HP-2                Invocation to Mother           
      PS-2                Eastern Quarter (Air) 
      PS-3                Southern Quarter (Fire)              
      PS-4                Western Quarter (Water) 
      PS-5                Northern Quarter (Earth) 
      (Note: it is essential that the first six roles be taken by experienced
      initiates only) 
          Casting the circle:
      All present will be purified and consecrated, and the circle will be cast
      by the HPS. 
      The HPS will ask everyone to assist in the invocation to the quarters.
      Those who have athames should collect them from the altar at this point.
      After the Northern Quarter has been invoked, the group should all face
      centre, while the HPS performs the invocation to Spirit. This completes the
      casting of the circle. 
          THE RITUAL
      PS-1 will go behind the veil, and put on the white silk veil. 
      HPS-1 and HPS-2 will stand side by side in the centre of the Temple. PS-2,
      3, 4, and 5 will take up their positions at the cardinal points of the
      Temple, and the Priests will stand between the Priestesses, ensuring
      polarity. HPS-3 will stand in front of the main altar. 
      HP-1 will read the declamation: 
      Child  of the Spinning Serpent, 
      Daughter of the morning star; 
      Startled from the depths of silence 
      Wakens vision's Silver Star. 
      Starting cold from depths of nightmare, 
      Shadows passing on the land; 
      Tears of silver, iced and shining 
      These she sheds upon the land. 
      For deep within the night of vision 
      There the coiled serpent stirs, 
      Calling from the cauldron's darkness, 
      Singing with the song of stars. 
      For there she sees a frozen river, 
      There beholds a land of ice, 
      And sees an ancient mother mourning, 
      Tears that quickly turn to ice. 
      And sees herself, the youthful virgin, 
      Reach that river; frozen, cold, 
      Shining in the crystal moonlight 
      Seeming like a silver road. 
      Across the waters, there the mother; 
      Ancient Queen of the Shining Night; 
      Standing in the silver darkness 
      Lit by icy crystal light.  
      Reaching out across the darkness, 
      Silver arms across the ice, 
      Two hands touch above the waters, 
      Reach across the frozen night. 
      But now the serpent song of starlight 
      Calls across the cauldron's night; 
      Their hands a bridge across the silence, 
      Darkness shatters into light. 
      As sunlight calls across the waters 
      Rising from the shining east, 
      Cries of joy that echo terror 
      Crack as silent ice release. 
      Now hear the cry of mourning mothers; 
      Hear the joy of pain released: 
      Dull ache deep within the waters 
      Calling to the stirring beast. 
      For now behold the icy rivers 
      Touched by sunlight, turned to blood; 
      See the waters flowing freely 
      Through the gates of land and love. 
      HP-2 will move forward, and perform the invocation to the Mother aspect of
      the Goddess upon HPS-2: 
      I call to you, Mother of all, 
      Queen of our most secret dreams. 
      From dark and starlit heavens, 
      And deep within the fertile earth: 
      Come to us crowned in glory - Come! 
      I invoke you, and call upon you; 
      By the fertile earth and pregnant moon: 
      Come! Descend upon the body of Thy Priestess. 
      HPS-2 responds: 
      I am thy Goddess: 
      Before the beginning of time was I. 
      I made the mountains into peaks, 
      And laid with soft green grass the valleys and the meadows. 
      Mine was the first foot which trod upon the earth, 
      And where I walked there sprang forth flowers. 
      Mine was the voice which gave rise to the first song, 
      And the birds listened, and heard, and made return. 
      In the beginning of time 
      I taught the sea its song, 
      And mine were the tears  
      That gave forth the first rains. 
      Listen and hear Me! 
      For it was I who gave birth to you, 
      And in the depths of my earth 
      You will find rest and rebirth. 
      I will spring you forth anew, 
      A fresh shoot to greenness. 
      Fear Me; Love Me; Adore Me! 
      Lose yourself in Me. 
      For I am the cup of the wine of life: 
      I stir the senses; 
      I am the power. 
      HP-1 will now perform the invocation to the Crone aspect of the 
      Goddess upon HPS-1: 
      Ancient Mother born of silence, 
      Silver Queen of spiral ice; 
      Hear the serpent's song of starlight 
      Call across the cauldron's night. 
      A name, a call, a key of shadows; 
      An ancient song from an ancient dream 
      Echoes deep within the darkness, 
      Calls Thee from the depths unseen. 
      For now I see Thy crystal spiral, 
      Now I see the crystal web, 
      Shining in the cauldron's darkness, 
      Bringing life and bringing death. 
      And now I call upon Thee, Ancient Mother, 
      To descend upon this the body of Thy servant 
      and Priestess. 
      HP-1 bows down before HPS-1 
       HPS-1 responds: 
      Who calls to the Queen of the Night? 
      (HP: "A worshipper") 
      Who calls to the cutter of the thread? 
      (HP: "The Spinning Serpent") 
      Who calls to the Mother of the Serpent? 
      (HP: "A lover") 
      Who calls to the Mistress of the Spiral Castle? 
      (HP: "Life itself") 
      If that man has not fear in his heart, let him stand and face me 
      now. (HP rises) 
      You have called, and I have answered, and now I shall teach thee 
      a mystery: That if that which thou seekest, thou findest not 
      within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee. For behold, I 
      have been with thee from the beginning, and I shall be with thee 
      at the end. Blessed Be. 
      HP-1 returns to his place in the Temple. The Mother and Crone 
      will now "arm" each of the female guardians with the relevant 
      elemental weapon: The Crone will take an athame from the altar, 
      hand it to the Mother, who will present it to the Eastern 
      guardian. The wand will be given to the Southern guardian, the 
      chalice to the Western guardian, the pentacle to the Northern 
      guardian, and the black egg to Spirit.  
      Crone and Mother will now approach the veil: the Crone will part 
      the veil, and say: 
      As the white eagle of the north is flying overhead, 
      And the browns, reds and golds of autumn lie in the gutter, dead. 
      Remember then that summer birds with wings of fire flaying, 
      Came to witness spring's new hope, born of leaves decaying. 
      As new life will come from death, love will come at leisure: 
      Love of love, love of life, and giving without measure 
      Gives in return a wondrous yearn of a promise almost seen. 
      Live hand in hand, and together we'll stand 
      On the threshold of a dream. 
      During this, the Mother leads the Virgin to the centre of the 
      circle, and on the last line, all three stand hand in hand. 
      Then the Mother unveils the Virgin saying: 
      Welcome Virgin to Life! 
      Welcome Virgin to Spring! 
      Let life spring from thine heart, 
      And out thine eyes. 
      Let joy behold the dawn. 
      The Crone now instructs the Priests to turn away, as they may not 
      witness this stage of the female mysteries.  
      The Priestesses start to slowly circle deosil about the circle in 
      The Dance of the Elements. While this is going on, the Mother and 
      Crone will explain to the Virgin the significance and power of 
      each of the elements. 1755Note:1755 This is an integral part of the 
      ritual, but cannot be written as it is performed spontaneously by 
      the Mother and Crone. The format is basically as follows: 
      Mother: I give you the power of your intellect 
      Crone:  I give you the power of beginnings 
      Mother: I give you the power of decision 
      Crone:  I give you the freedom of air 
      and so on, remaining with each element as long as desired. 
      On command from the Crone, the Dance will cease, and each 
      Priestess will return to her respective position. Now, the Mother 
      will take the Virgin to each Priestess in turn, starting with the 
      East, where she will be presented with the elemental weapons. 
      (ie, armed with her potential). After each presentation, the 
      Virgin will replace the weapon on the altar, to signify her 
      understanding and acceptance of this knowledge. Both Virgin and 
      Mother will return to the cauldron, where the Crone will present 
      the Virgin with the Bride Doll, which she will accept, and place 
      upon the altar. She then returns to the centre, and looks into 
      the cauldron, where she now finds a sistrum, which she picks up 
      and shakes joyfully shouting "Bride is Come, Bride is Welcome!" 
      This is the cue for the Priests to face centre once more. HP-1 
      starts playing the Bodrhun, and HPS-3 leads the dance. The Mother 
      and Crone link hands around the Virgin in a symbol of protection. 
      Everyone chants 1756"Bride is Come, Bride is Welcome"1756 as the dance 
      increases in tempo, and then HPS-3 will initiate the Witches' 
      Rune when she feels the time is right. The dance will finish with 
      arms held aloft, and then the Virgin will break out from between 
      the Mother and Crone, and take the cauldron candle to the altar, 
      where she will light it from one of the altar candles. 
      She will turn to face the group while HPS-3 leads the Initiate's Ceremony
      of Illumination.
      The virgin now returns to the East, where she reads The Charge of Brigid's
      I am She of the golden hair, Queen of the white hills, Rider of 
      the white swan, and now stand at the threshold of my glory.  
      I bring with me three gifts of fire: the first is the flame of 
      Inspiration that is kindled within the heart of the seeker. 
      The second is the flame of purification; the cleansing flame of 
      truth. The third is the flame born of the fires of love that 
      brings the seed of hope to all life. 
      Virgin now performs cakes and wine with a Priest of her choice. 
      The feast. 
      All take their athames, and support HPS-1 as she thanks, and bids 
      farewell to the Quarter Guardians.  
      Formal grounding of the power. 
      All present make their farewells to each other, and leave the 

Next: Imbolg '92 (Julia Phillips)