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Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at

                           IMBOLG RITUAL
 Two women are selected to represent the Maiden and the Crone. 
 the Priestess will represent the Mother.
 The members of the group should bring with them the candles which
 they will use for the year for blessing.
 The altar is at the Northeast and is covered with a white cloth.
 Evergreens are used as decoration.  A basket filled with tiny
 bundles of straw or wheat rests on the altar [there should be one
 bundle for every person participating in the ritual], as well as
 two (2) white candles.  A black ribbon at least twelve (12)
 inches in length is placed in the basket.  A single white flower
 tied with a white ribbon (to symbolize Bride) and the wand rest
 together in front of the altar.  Four (4) white candles stand
 between the quarter candles.  The cauldron is placed at the
 South, and a white candle is situated inside.  A dark colored
 scarf or shawl (for the Crone) and a bouquet of flowers (for the
 Maiden) are on the altar, as well as a single white taper (for
 the Mother).
 Full Circle is cast.
 The two women prepare "Bride's Bed."  The MAIDEN and the CRONE
 pick up the flower and the wand respectively, and take them to
 the center of the Circle.  They place the flower and the wand
 side by side in the center of the Circle, with the heads toward
 the altar.  They place the altar candles on either side of the
 "bed" and light the candles.
 The two women and the Priestess stand around the bed and say
 together three times:
                The Maiden comes to bring us light!
                The Winter dies, and all is bright!
                The frozen ground shall disappear -
             And all shall sprout, for Spring is near!
 The Priestess now summons the two women, and the three of them
 stand in front of the altar, assuming their Triple-Goddess roles.
 The MAIDEN kisses the Priestess (MOTHER) on both cheeks and hands
 her a white candle.  The CRONE lights the MOTHER's taper.  The
 CRONE stands to her left.  The MAIDEN drapes the shawl over the
 CRONE'S head and shoulders.  The MAID stands to the MOTHER'S
 right and picks up the bouquet of flowers.  The PRIESTESS says:
                  Behold the three-fold Goddess;
                    Maiden, Mother, and Crone;
                   She is one - yet She is three
                        Together and Alone
                 Summer comes not - without Spring
              Without Summer, comes no Winter chill;
               Without the Winter, Spring isn't born
                The Three, life's cycles, fulfill!
 The Charge of the Goddess is then recited.  After the recitation
 is finished the Priestess says:
                   Now let us celebrate Imbolc!
 The MAIDEN picks up the besom and makes her way SLOWLY deosil
 around the inside edges Circle, ritually sweeping it clear of all
 that which is old, useless and unnecessary.  MOTHER and CRONE
 walk behind her in stately procession.  While sweeping, the MAID
                 With this besom filled with power
                    Sweep away the old and sour
                   Sweep away the chill of death
               As Winter draws its last cold breath
                     Round, round, round about
                  Sweep the old and useless out!
 The Maiden replaces the besom and the women resume their places
 in front of the altar.  The MAIDEN picks up the basket of straw
 bundles and presents each member of the group with one.  The
 CRONE goes to the South, kneels before the cauldron and lights
 the candle inside.  She explains to the group that the bundles of
 straw which they have been given are symbolic of Winter and
 Death, but also that any negativity with which they are charged
 will be burned along with it.  A few moments of silence are
 allowed so that each person may charge their bundle with their
 own negative thoughts, habits and shortcomings.  The CRONE then
 collects the bundles, walking widdershins.  She then ties the
 bundles together with the black ribbon, lights the "community
 straw man" and places him in the cauldron to burn, saying:
                     Thus we melt the Winter!
                  And warm the breath of Spring!
                   We bid adieu to what is dead,
                   And greet each living thing.
                      Thus we banish Winter!
                      Thus we welcome Spring!
 The Rite of Cakes and Wine is appropriate at this time.  All
 members have libation, sit and relax and visit amongst
 When libation is finished, the MAIDEN collects candles from the
 coveners to be blessed for use during the coming year, placing
 them in a basket.  The basket is placed on the altar.  The
              I bless thee creatures of wax and light
                    Casting out all negativity
                Serve your purpose, flaming bright
                 Infused with magic, you shall be
                 Instruments of light and strength
                  Wick and wax though you may be
                 I give you life of needed length
                       To aid in creativity!
         In the Names of the Lord and Lady, so mote it be!
 The candles are then redistributed to the coven members.  The
 Priestess says:
 As we close this celebration of Imbolg, let each of us find joy
 in the power of the returning Sun!  As each new day dawns and the
 light of day becomes brighter and stronger, remember that your
 inner light should burn as brightly.  Feel the changes in the
 earth around you, as the chill of Winter recedes and all sprouts
 in the greeness of fresh, new life.  Remember the wonder you felt
 as you awakened from Maidenhood to Womanhood - from Boyhood to
 Manhood.  Relive the joy of that awakening and heal any emotional
 scars you may have!  Breathe deeply of the harmony of the Earth's
 new life and and rejoice in your own!
 Dearest Bride, Maiden of all that is fresh and new, we warmly
 thank you for attending our Rite of Imbolc.  As this Circle is
 dissolved, we ask that you guide us in our new beginnings and
 inspire us with the fresh creativity that you bring to all life.
 Routine dissolution.
 Outdoor libation to the Lord and Lady.
                           812 Courtney
                        Sikeston, MO  63801

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