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

                      Modern Female Rite Of Passage 
                            Lady Shyra, 1994
 Note:  East - Air; South - Fire, West - Water, North - Earth
 Candles for the ritual will be made that day.  Celebrant will make two
 white candles.   Candles will be herbal and scented, and enscribed
 appropriately. Celebrant and mother will also bring something that
 symbolically (to them) symbolizes the rite of passage.
 Ritual baths will be taken prior to ceremony, with Celebrant's bath
 being drawn for her.  Salt, herbs and scents appropriate to the occasion
 will be added to the bath, and it will be blessed prior to use.  Mother
 will help Celebrant to the bath, where she will light a candle and
 incense, give words of love and comfort and instruction to the Celeb-
 rant, and then withdraw to assist in Circle Preparation.
 Circle area will be cleansed and Circle constructed and consecrated in
 the usual manner.  Altar will sit just West of Center of Circle to
 symbolize both the emotional aspects of the ritual, as well as the
 death/ rebirth aspects.
 Added to altar arrangement will be the Celebrant's two white candles.
 Also on the altar will be a mirror sitting behind and between the two
 white candles.  Symbolic gifts will be placed beside the altar -- the
 mother's to the North symbolizing steadfastness, grounding, caution,
 and wisdom of the elder.  The Celebrant's will be to the South of the
 altar, symboling the fire, passion and impetuosity of youth.
 Guardian of the East
     Hail to thee, Ancient ones of Air!
     Blow soft around us this night
     That the restrictions and pains of childhood
     Will be but memories in the mind of the adult.
 Guardian of the South
     Hail to thee, Ancient ones of Fire!
     Lend to us this night your passion and strength
     Envelope us in your warmth,
     That the fires of youth may be tempered within thee.
 Guardian of the West
     Hail to thee, Ancient ones of Water!
     Wash over us with thy loving embrace
     That the sorrows of days long past
     Can give way to new understanding.
 Guardians of the North
     Hail to thee, Ancient ones of Earth!
     Stand firm with us in our purpose this night,
     That from the youth shall grow the adult
     Full of purpose and wisdom.
 Invocation to the Lady
     Blessed Lady of a Thousand Names,
     You who art Maiden, Mother and Crone.
     Grant that this night the bindings of childhood will be broken
     And the bond  between mother and daughter be strengthened.
     For  the two, as so reflected throughout all creation,
     Are but images of thee in thy divine Trinity.
     Blessed Be.
     In honor of thee do I pour this toast, and drink this wine.
 Invocation to the Lord
     Great Lord, Ancient one of the fields and Consort to our Lady,
     We ask that thou wouldst give
     a measure of your love and protection
     to she who will soon join the battles of this life.
     Fill her with the knowledge of thee as sancutary
     And grant that peace may follow her always.
     In honor of thee do I pour this toast, and drink this wine.
 Chalice is then passed to each of the coveners to share in the toast.
 Drawing Down the Moon
 Priestess/Mother stands facing the moon with hands upraised and palms
 turned upwards, cupwise.  Drinking in the Lady's essence, she says,
     Come to me and fill me with thy light
     Enter me, shine in me your fullness
     That I may use your power for my good,
     And for the good of All.
 When appropriate, she blesses all within the Circle, and the rite that
 is about to be performed.  Then, nodding to the Father of the Celebrant,
     Bring forth your daughter,
     that she might, this night,
     cross the threshold of adulthood.
 Father brings the Celebrant to the Eastern Gate.
 Mthr: Is this the daughter I bore so many years before?
       Nay, it cannot be, for she was but a child when last I held her.
 Dtr:  Mother, I am your child.  Now grown and ready to throw away
       the things of childhood.  Years it has been since my moonflow
       began and I became a woman.  Now it is time that this is recog   
 Mthr: Very well, lead the child into the center of the Circle.  There to
 have her sit in silence.
 Father leads Celebrant to the center of the Circle, while mother
 re-closes the Circle.  She then joins her daughter in the Circle's
 center, saying:
 Mthr: You sit now in the Center of the Circle; that which is known
       as the Cauldron of Hecate; the point of transformation; the
       mother's womb, where beginnings end and endings re-begin.
       I have heard your words, and weep for them; Tears of both joy
       and sorrow.
       It was my body that cried out in pain and joy as you were born.
       It was my mind that went in circles to provide for us.
       It was my heart that broke when that which you wanted I could
       not give you.
       But always did you have my love... and always shall you carry
       that love with you.
       Behold in me the Three-Fold Goddess
       She who is One in Three - Maid, Mother, and Crone
       One in Three, as she is in you and all women,
       And as you and they are in her.
       Look upon her and know her,
       That you, too, may be whole.
       So I ask thee truly, art thou ready to face the woman within thee?
       To see within thee the light and dark, and fear no more the dark?
       To accept that which you are, and strive for that which you can
       To leave behind the things of childhood,
       But to continue to love and nurture the child which lives in
       all adults?
 {Celebrant has answered accordingly to each of the questions, at which
 time the Mother now exhorts the Celebrant to stand and face the altar.}
 Mthr: Daughter, I ask you now to look deep within the mirror. See
       yourself reflected there.  Look into your eyes and know
       yourself. Repeat after me:"I come to commune with my Soul."
 Dtr:  I come to commune with my Soul.
 Mthr: Look into the reflection of your eyes, and name one thing about
       yourself that you love.
 {Celebrant and Mother will continue this, alternating between what
 the Celebrant thinks is both good and bad within her... }
 After the last question, the Mother then says:
 Mthr: Daughter, within thee is both light and dark. Know always your
       shadow side. If something is there which offends thee horrible,
       give it up.  For others to love you as an adult, you must love
       yourself first.  And loving yourself means giving up any self-
       hatred you've carried over from young years.  Now is the time
       to cut these things from thy life.  They are the bonds of
       childhood which have held you limited. Free yourself from them,
       and know that thy spirit flies free.
       Now look again into the mirror. Look at yourself with love.
       See the Goddess shining within thee. She is strong; no man
       has dominion over her.  She knows herself and loves herself.
       She will give herself to those who are worthy of her affections,
       and turn from those who try to debase her.  Let the Goddess
       within thee shine through thee, that the nobility and strength
       of woman is clear for all to see.
       Now, come with me.
 Mother embraces daughter and leads her to each of the four quarters.
 After each challenge, the Celebrant must answer as she sees fit, and
 asks the Guardian's Blessing.  The Covener at each gate will then bless
 the Celebrant, and offer a gift for adulthood, such as strength,
 courage, etc... or a physical gift pertinent to the rite and Gate.
 Covener at Eastern Gate:
     Hold!  I am the wild wind and fury of the storm!
     That which buffets thee without shelter.
     How will you survive?
 Covener at Southern Gate
     Hold!  I am fire and passion
     That which will consume thee with lust.
     How will you survive?
 Covener at Western Gate
     Hold!  I am floods and weeping and gnashing of teeth.
     I am lonliness and frustration.
     How will thee survive?
 Covener at Northern Gate
     Hold!  I am chaos and turmoil
     Plans gone wrong and dreams that die.
     How will thee survive?
 Mother faces daughter (Priestess mode ON here)...
     I am the Lady, thy Mother...
     I shall be with thee no matter how far thou shalt roam.
     And when lonliness besets thee,
     Thou needs only gaze upon the moon,
     To see my face and my love reflected there to you.
 Father approaches daugher and turns her to face him...
     I am he who is father to thee now.
     I shall stand behind and beside thee always.
     And when lonliness besets thee,
     Thou needs only to step out into sunlight
     To feel my warmth and love within thee.
 Mother takes daughter by hand and returns to the altar. Daughter picks
 up her gift of childhood and presents it to the mother, saying ...
     This I do give you as a symbol of childhood now behind me.
     Hold it and cherish it as you remember me.
 Mother picks up her gift of adulthood and presents it the Celebrant,
     This I do give you as a symbol of your adulthood,
     and my recognition of it.
     Hold it and cherish it as you remember me.
 Draw a pentegram above the celebrant, with an affirmation at each of the
 five points:
 Point one:   In the name of Inanna, Queen of Heaven
 Point two:   In the name of Athena, warrior Goddess, but also of Peace
 Point three: In the name of Astarte, warrior Goddess, and protector of
         young females
 Point four:  In the name of Diana, she of the bow and arrow, Goddess
         of Light
 Point five:  Do I bless thee, and call thee "Woman".
 May their strenth and independence, their love and virtue, be thine all
 the days of thy life.
 I recognize the child no more, but she the child who lives in all of us.
 Mother stands with a space between her and her daughter and presents
 the new adult to the coven.
 Feasting (and in our case, a birthday celebration) follow.
 Quarter Guardians are thanked, and blessings are asked of the
 Lord and Lady upon the group, as well as the Celebrant.
 Blessed Be * Lady Shyra *

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