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

 This ritual came together in strange ways.  We are indebted to
 Tony Kelly of Celene Community in Wales who wrote the body of it
 in a piece called "Pagan Musings" in 1973, Kenny and Tzipora for
 the Wine Blessing, and Thomas Palmer of Denver for the Cakes
 Blessing.  The Quarters calling and dismissals were written by
 Rowan Moonstone and revised by Bristlecone Glen.  Devin Storm,
 Harper to Bristlecone wrote the God and Goddess Invocations, the
 Circle Closing, and the Crone's speech.  We learned this
 particular version of "We All Come From the Goddess/Hoof and
 Horn" with the God verse from the Old Timers from United Earth
 Assembly and the Witches' Version of " Amazing Grace" was taught
 to us by Margot Adler at the America the Beautiful celebration in
 Colorado Springs in July of 1993.  All these various parts came
 together into one of the most powerful rituals we have ever seen.
 We give it back to the community now with love and thanks.  It is
 our heritage and our future.  We give back to the Earth that
 which we have been given.
  - Bristlecone Glen
 High Priestess
 High Priest
 Grey Man
 Quarters Callers
 Cakes & Wine
 Dry Ice
 Glow Sticks
 Flash Paper
 Quarters candles should be set up and lit before Circle.  Altar
 Candles lit.  A cauldron sits in the north.  In the cauldron
 should be glow sticks to light it from within, a pan of dry ice,
 a candle, and the chalice.  The Crone sits, cloaked and hooded,
 by the Cauldron.  The Harper sits in the east, an empty stool
 sits beside the Harper.
 Cast Circle and purify sacred space as is the custom of your
 Spirits of the East!
 Air, Breath of our ancestors
 Be with us in this Circle
 That we may KNOW we are the children of the Gods.
 Spirits of the South!
 Fire, Will of our ancestors,
 Be with us in this Circle
 That we may have the WILL to claim our heritage.
 Spirits of the West!
 Water, Blood of our ancestors,
 Be with us in this Circle
 That we may DARE to do the work of the Gods.
 Spirits of the North!
 Earth, Bones of our ancestors,
 Be with us in this Circle
 That we may NO LONGER BE SILENT, but may meet as one in love to
 do the work of the Old Ones.
 HP:  Maiden bring Your Flowers
      Mother, Bring Your Child
      Old One bring your Wisdom
      Bright Lady, Cerridwen
      We welcome Thee to this Circle in Herne's name.
      For we are the blush of Thy silken cheek.
      We are the children You hold to Your breast.
      We are the Carriers of Your ancient way.
      Bright Lady, Cerridwen, Welcome!
 HPS: Hunter, bring Your prowess
      Warrior, bring your skill.
      Father, bring your guidance.
      Ancient One, Horned Crown
      We welcome Thee to this Circle in Thy Lady's name.
      For we are the flight of the arrow from Thy bow.
      We are the edge of the sword of Thy honor.
      We are the sparks of the flame of Thy love.
      Ancient One, Horned Crowned, Welcome!
 HPS:      We're of the old religion, sired of Time, and born of
           our beloved Earth Mother.  For too long the people have
           trodden a stony path that goes only onward beneath a
           sky that goes only upwards.
 HP:       The Horned God plays in a lonely glade for the people
           are scattered in this barren age and the winds carry
           his  plaintive notes over deserted heaths and reedy
           moors and into the lonely grasses.
 (Grey Man raps staff on ground comes into center of Circle
 unobserved by the HP/S.  When he speaks, HP/S should be
 Grey Man: Who know now the ancient tongue of the Moon?  And who
           speaks still with the Goddess?  The magic of the land
           of Lirien and the old pagan gods have withered in the
           dragons breath; the old ways of magic have slipped into
           the well of the past, and only the rocks now remember
           what the moon told us long ago, and what we learned
           from the trees, and the voices of grasses and the
           scents of flowers.
 (HP/S begin to spiral into the center of the Circle to meet the
 Grey Man.)
 HP:       We're pagans and we worship the pagan gods, and among
           the  people there are witches yet who speak with the
           moon and  dance with the Horned One.
 HPS:      But a witch is a rare pagan in these days, deep and
           inscrutable, recognizable only by their own kind, by
           the light in their eyes and the love in their breasts,
           by the magic in their hands and the lilt of their
           tongue and by their knowledge of the real.
 HP:       But the wiccan way is one way.  There are many; there
           are pagans the world over who worship the Earth Mother
           and the Sky Father, the Rain God and the Rainbow
           Goddess, the Dark One and the Hag on the mountain, the
           Moon Goddess and the little People in the mists on the
           other side of the veil.
 HPS:      A pagan is one who worships the goddesses and gods of
           nature, whether by observation or by study, whether by
           love or admiration, or whether in their sacred rites
           with the Moon, or the great festivals of the Sun.
 Grey Man: Many suns ago, as the pale dawn of reason crept across
           the pagan sky, man grew out of believing in THE GODS.
 Harper:   He has yet to grow out of disbelieving in them.
 Grey Man: He who splits the Goddess on an existence-nonexistence
           dichotomy will earn himself only paradoxes, for the
           gods are not so divided and nor the magic lands of the
           Brother of Time.
 Harper:   Does a mind exist?
 Grey Man: Ask her and she will tell you yes, but seek her out,
           and she'll elude you.  She is in every place, and in no
           place, and you'll see her works in all places, but
           herself in none.  Existence was the second-born from
           the Mother's womb and contains neither the first-born,
           nor the unborn. Show us your mind, and we'll show you
           the gods!
 Harper:   No matter that you can't, for we can't show you the
           gods.   But come with us and the Goddess herself will
           be our love and the God will call the tune.
 Grey Man: But a brass penny for your reason; for logic is a
           closed ring, and the child doesn't validate the Mother,
           nor the dream the dreamer.  (Grey Man turns to face the
           seated  Crone.  Speaks almost as if talking to himself)
           And what matter the wars of opposites to she who has
           fallen in love with a whirlwind or to the lover of the
           arching rainbow.
 Harper:   (To HP/S) But tell us of your Goddess as you love her,
           and the gods that guide your works, and we'll listen
           with  wonder, for to do less would be arrogant.  but
           we'll do  more, for the heart of man is aching for
           memories only  half forgotten, and the Old Ones only
           half unseen.
 HP:       We'll write the old myths as they were always written
           and  we'll read them on the rocks and in the caves and
           in the deep of the greenwood's shade, and we'll hear
           them in the rippling mountain streams and in the
           rustling of the leaves, and we'll see them in the storm
           clouds, and in the evening mists.  We've no wish to
           create a new religion for our religion is as old as the
           hills and older, and we've no wish to bring differences
 Harper:   Differences are like different flowers in a meadow, and
           we are all one in the Mother.
 HPS:      What need is there for a pagan movement since our
           religion has no teachings and we hear it in the wind
           and feel it in the stones and the Moon will dance with
           us as she will?
 Harper:   There is a need.  For long the Divider has been among
           our people and the tribes of man are no more.  The sons
           of the Sky Father have all but conquered nature, but
           they have poisoned her breast and the Mother is sad for
           the butterflies are dying and the night draws on.
 Grey Man: A curse on the conqueror!
 HP/S:     But not of us!
 Harper:   For they curse themselves for they are nature too.
 Grey Man: They have stolen our magic and sold it to the
           mindbenders and the mindbenders tramp a maze that has
           no outlet for they fear the real for the One who guards
           the path.  Where are the pagan shrines?  And where do
           the people gather?  Where is the magic made?  And where
           are the Goddess and the Old Ones?
 HP:       Our shrines are in the fields and on the mountains, in
           the stars and in the wind, deep in the greenwood and on
           the algal rocks where two streams meet.  But the
           shrines are deserted, and if we gathered in the arms of
           the Moon for our ancient rites to be with our gods as
           we were of old, we would be stopped by the dead who now
           rule the Mother's land and claim rights of ownership on
           the Mother's breast, and make laws of division and
           frustration for us.
 HPS:      We can no longer gather with our gods in a public place
           and the old rites of communion have been driven from
           the towns and cities ever deeper into the heath where
           barely a handful of heathens have remained to guard the
           old secrets and enact the old rites.  There is magic in
           the heath far from the cold grey society, and there are
           islands of magic hidden in the entrails of the
           metropolis behind closed doors, but the people are few,
           and the barriers between us are formidable.
 HP:       The old religion has become a dark way, obscure, and
           hidden in the protective bosom of the night.  Thin
           fingers turn the pages of a book of shadows while the
           sunshine seeks in vain his worshippers in his leafy
 Harper:   Here, then, is the basic reason for a Pagan Movement;
           we must create a pagan society wherein everyone shall
           be free to worship the goddesses and gods of nature,
           and the relationship between a worshipper and their
           gods shall be sacred and inviolable, provided only that
           in their love of their own gods, they doesn't curse the
           names of the gods of others.
 HPS:      It's not yet our business to press the law-makers with
           undivided endeavor to unmake the laws of repression
           and,  with the Mother's love, it may never become our
           business for the stifling tides of dogmatism are at
           last already in ebb.  Our first work, and our greatest
           wish, is to come together, to be with each other in our
           tribes for we haven't yet grown from the Mother's
           breast to the stature of the gods.
 HP:       We're of the earth, and sibs to all the children of
           wild nature, born long ago in the warm mud of the ocean
           floor;  we were together then, and we were together in
           the rain forests long before that dark day when,
           beguiled by the pride of the Sky Father, and forgetful
           of the Mother's love, we killed her earlier-born
           children and impoverished the old genetic pool.
 Grey Man: The Red child lives yet in America; the Black Child has
           not forsaken the gods; the old Australians are still
           with their nature gods; the Old Ones still live deep in
           the heart of Mother India, and the White Child has
           still a foot on the old wiccan way, but Neanderthaler
           is no more and her magic faded as the Lli and the
           Archan burst their banks and the ocean flowed in to
           divide the Isle of Erin from the land of the White
           Goddess.  Man looked with one eye on a two-faced god
           when he reached for the heavens and scorned the Earth
           which alone is our life and our provider and the bosom
           to which we have ever returned since the dawn of Time.
 Harper:   He who looks only to reason to plum the unfathomable is
           a fool, for logic is an echo already implicit in the
           question, and it has no voice of its own;  but he is no
           greater fool than he who scorns logic or derides its
           impotence from afar, but fears to engage in fair combat
           when he stands on his opponent's threshold. Don't turn
           your back on Reason, for his thrust is deadly; but
           confound him and he'll yield for his code of combat is
           honorable. So here is more of the work of the Pagan
 HPS:      Our lore has become encrusted over the ages with occult
           trivia and the empty vapourings of the lost.  The
           occult arts are in a state of extreme decadence,
           astrology is in a state of disrepute and fears to
           confront the statistician's sword; alien creeds oust
           our native arts and, being as little understood as our
           own forgotten arts, are just as futile for their lack
           of understanding, and more so for their unfamiliarity.
 HP:       Misunderstanding is rife. Disbelief is black on every
           horizon, and vampires abound on the blood of the
           credulous.  Our work is to reject the trivial, the
           irrelevant and the erroneous, and to bring the lost
           children of the Earth Mother again into the court of
           the Sky Father where reason alone will avail.
 Harper:   Belief is the deceit of the credulous; it has no place
           in the heart of a pagan.
 Grey Man: But while we are sad for those who are bemused by
           Reason,  we are deadened by those who see no further
           than his syllogisms as he turns the eternal wheel of
           the Great Tautology.
 HP:       We were not fashioned in the mathematician's
           computations, and we were old when the first alchemist
           was a child.
 HPS:      We have walked in the magic forest, bewitched in the
           old Green Things; we have seen the cauldron and the one
           become many and the many in the one; we know the Silver
           Maid of the moonlight and the sounds of the cloven
           feet.   We have heard the pipes on the twilight ferns,
           and we've seen the spells of the enchantress, and Time
           be stilled.   We've been into eternal darkness where
           the Night Mare rides and rode her to the edge of the
           Abyss, and beyond, and we know the dark face of the
           Rising Sun.
 Harper:   Spin a spell or words and make a magic knot; spin it on
           the magic loom and spin it with the gods.  Say it in
           the old chant and say it to the Goddess, and in her
           name.   Say it to a dark well and breathe it on a
 HP:       There are no signposts on the untrod way,
 HPS:      but we'll make our rituals together and bring them as
           our gifts to the Goddess and her God in the great
 (HP/S turn to Circle)
 HP:       Here, then, is our work in the Pagan Movement; to make
           magic in the name of our gods, to share our magic where
           the gods would wish it, and to come together in our
           ancient festivals of birth, and life, of death and of
           change in the old rhythm.
 HPS:      We'll print the rituals that can be shared in the
           written work;
 HP:       We'll do all in our power to bring the people together,
           to teach those who would learn, and to learn from those
           who can teach.
 HPS:      We will initiate groups, bring people to groups, and
           groups to other groups in our common devotion to the
           goddesses and gods of nature.
 HP:       We will not storm the secrets of any coven, nor profane
           the tools, the magic, and still less, the gods of
 HPS:      We'll collect the myths of the ages, of our people and
           of the pagans of other lands, and we'll study the books
           of the wise and we'll talk to the very young.
 HP:       And whatever the pagan needs in their study, or their
           worship, then it is our concern, and the Movement's
           business to do everything possible to help each other
           in  our worship of the gods we love.
 HPS:      We are committed with the lone pagan on the seashore,
           with he who worships in the fastness of a mountain
           range or she who sings the old chant in a lost valley
           far from the metalloid road.
 HP:       We are committed with the wanderer, and equally with
           the prisoner, disinherited from the Mother's milk in
           the darkness of the industrial webs.
 HPS:      We are committed too with the coven, with the circular
           dance in the light of the full moon, with the great
           festivals of the sun, and with the gatherings of the
 HP:       We are committed to build our temples in the towns and
           in the wilderness, to buy the lands and the streams
           from the landowners and give them to the Goddess for
           her children's use, and we'll replant the greenwood as
           it was of old for love of the dryad stillness, and for
           love of our children's children.
 HP/S:     This we will do.  What will you?  (At this point, HP/S
           should walk around the Circle and "gather" the pledges
           from those in Circle who wish to give them.
           Participants should think carefully about what they
           wish to pledge before the Gods in this ritual.  When
           all  pledges are gathered, HP/S takes them to the Grey
 HPS:      When the streams flow clear and the winds blow pure,
           and the sun never more rises unrenowned nor the moon
           ride in the skies unloved;
 HP:       when the stones tell of the Horned God and the
           greenwood grows deep to call back her own ones, then
           our work will be ended
 HP/S:     and the Pagan Movement will return to the beloved womb
           of our old religion, to the nature goddesses and gods
           of paganism.   (Grey Man nods, receives the pledges and
           palms flash powder unobtrusively.  Conducts HP/S to the
           Crone.  Grey Man opens hands and lets paper fall on
           candle.  Crone pours hot water on dry ice, stands up,
           throws back hood of cape)
 Crone:    I have heard your call across the mountains.  I have
           heard your cries within the web of life and I have come
           once more.  Single is the race, single of men and Gods.
           From a single source we both draw breath, but a
           difference of power in everything keeps us apart.  You
           are the children of my heart - the  light of my Soul.
           And I bring with me the seeds of your  ancestors that I
           have kept safe for you.  Like the cycle  of the
           seasons, I give them again that you may plant yet
           again.  Sow the seeds for yourselves , for your
           children, and your children's children.
 (Crone hands basket of seeds to HP/S.  Reaches into the well
 again and draws out chalice from cauldron.)
           The chalice contains the blood of those who have died
           for the crime of being different, the sweat of those
           who toiled that the path of the Old Ones might survive,
           and the tears of those who thought themselves alone.
           The cauldron of the Gods is that of change - of turning
           evil to good, death to life.  Through the power of the
           Cauldron, turn the blood of death to the water of life,
           turn the crime of being different to the strength of
           being whole.  Turn the sweat of toil to the joy of work
           well done.  Turn the tears of those alone to the tears
           of family reunited.  The present is the balance between
           the past and the future.  The power lies within your
           heart, within your hands.  Do you have the courage?
           The choice is his, the choice is hers, the  choice is
           yours.  Can you make a difference?  WILL you make a
 (Crone hands chalice to HP/S and wraps cloak around her,  sitting
 down once more.)
 HP/S spiral back out to the Circle.
 Chalice blessing:
 HP:       Be it known that a man is not greater than a woman
 HPS:      Nor is woman greater than man
 HP:       For what one lacks
 HPS:      The other can provide
 HP:       As the athame is to the male
 HPS:      So is the cup to the female
 HP/S:     And when conjoined, they become one in truth.  For
           there is no greater magick in all the world than that
           of love.
 Cakes Blessing:
 HPS:      Be it known that death is not the end of life ...
 HP:       But the beginning of the cycle of rebirth.
 HPS:      As grain is touched by death's scythe ...
 HP:       And passes through fire to be reborn as bread ...
 HPS:      So are we reborn, passing through death into the next
 (High Priest draws Invoking Pentagram over cakes with Athame,
 while both say:
 HP/S:     As the Earth gives its life to strengthen us, so shall
           we, in death, strengthen the Earth, for life and death
           together are the cycle of rebirth.
 HP/S take of cakes and wine and pass the basket and chalice to
 quarters callers to take to the Circle.
 We all come from the Goddess
 And to Her we shall return
 Like a drop or rain
 Flowing to the ocean
 We all come from the Horned One
 And to Him we shall return
 Like a flash of flame
 Ascending to the heavens.
 Hoof and Horn
 Hoof and Horn
 All that dies shall be reborn
 Vine and Grain
 Vine and Grain
 All that falls shall rise again.
 (The chant may evolve into others such as the Isis Astarte and
 corresponding God chants.  Go with the flow.   When all in the
 Circle have partaken of cakes and wine, the chalice comes back to
 the HP and HPS, who take it to the Harper.  Harper eats and
 drinks, takes cakes and wine to Grey Man.  Grey Man eats and
 drinks, takes cakes and wine to Crone, who eats, drinks, and
 receives seeds and chalice again.  Replaces chalice in Cauldron,
 covers seeds with cloak.  When HPS feels energy has built to a
 peak, she calls a halt to it by raising her arms and dropping
 them to her sides.)
 HP/S:     Remember this night.  Take the energy that has been
           raised here by your sisters and brothers and put it
           into your pledges.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
 HPS:      Hunter, for Your prowess
           Warrior, for Your skill
           Father for Your Guidance
           Ancient One, Horned Crowned,
           We thank you and bid you Hail and Farewell!
 HP:       Maiden, for Your flowers.
           Mother, for Your child.
           Old One, for Your Wisdom.
           Bright Lady, Cerridwen, we thank You
           And bid you Hail and Farewell!
 Spirits of the North!
 Earth, Body of our ancestors.
 Go with us from this place
 United as heirs of our ancestors.
 Spirits of the West!
 Water, Blood of our ancestors.
 We have the courage to dare to do the work.
 Go with us from this place
 United as heirs of our ancestors.
 Spirits of the South,
 Fire, will of our ancestors.
 We have the will to do that which we promised
 Go with us from this place
 United as heirs of our ancestors.
 Spirits of the East
 Air, breath of our ancestors.
 We KNOW that we are the children of the Gods and all one family.
 Go with us from this place
 United as heirs of our ancestors.
 HP draws power back up into the blade of the sword/athame and
 earths the power.  HP, HPS, Harper, Grey Man and Crone move into
 a circle.  The next five lines should be shot from person to
 person, to form a pentagram:
 HPS:      The Circle is Open
 HP:       But not forgotten!
 Harper:   The Circle is unbroken.
 Grey Man: Nothing is forgotten
 Crone:    The Circle is Free
 All:      Nothing is ever forgotten
 HPS, HP, Harper, Grey Man, and Crone join the larger Circle.  HPS
 or Harper calls out lines of Amazing Grace to the Circle as all
 Amazing Grace! How sweet the Earth
 That formed a Witch like me
 I once was burned, now I survive
 Was hanged, but now I sing.
 Twas grace that drew down the moon
 And grace that raised the sea
 The magick of the people's will
 Will set our Mother free!
 Amazing Grace! How sweet the Earth
 That formed a Witch like me
 I once was burned, but now I thrive
 Was hanged but now I sing.
 HPS:      Blessed Be!

Next: Covenant of the Goddess, History (Michael Thorn)