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

                           Memorial Day Ritual 
 This is a copy of the script written for a Memorial Day and
 Warrior's Honor Ceremony performed at the Heartland Pagan
 Festival in 1992.  It was written during the festival by She-Wolf
 and Gary Stanfield, and is the latest of a few editions.
 This ceremony was intended for participation by any persons who
 can accept the Wiccan ceremonial format and who have been
 or are likely to become touched deeply by war. Realistic acceptance,
 loving reconciliation, and emotional catharsis are the major themes.
 Fears, regrets, sympathies, feelings of caring, and grievings are dealt
 with intensely.  Adventure, patriotism, the joy of battle, etc.
 are ignored.
 The setting is outdoors in mid-morning light in a clearing among trees.
 There is a fire in the center of the temple space and an altar at
 the northernmost point of the circle.
                     MARTIAL HONOR CEREMONY
 1.  Defining of the Temple Space and Time.
 All participants form into a circle as a drum beats slowly and
 steadily (about one beat per second).  When the time comes to
 start, the HPS breaks from the circle and begins to define its
 outer limits with a sword.  After she has just begun, the priest
 raises an old, rust-marked sword into the air -- this cues the first
 speakers.  Alternating male and female voices call out (one from
 each quarter as the HPS passes):
 "Desert Storm!"
 "Uncounted thousands of battles!  Uncounted thousands of wars!
 Over uncounted  thousands of years!"
 Then the HP puts down his sword as the HPS rejoins the circle.
 2.  Calling of the Quarters.
 The priestess, taking one step forward from
 her position next to the altar says:
 "Guardians of the East, Spirits of Air
 Breath of life, lost to those who have died
 attend our rite and protect this circle."
 "Guardians of the South, spirits of fire
 Heat of battle, warmth of living flesh
 attend out rite and protect our circle."
 "Guardians of the West, spirits of water
 Sweat of our bodies, blood that was spilled
 Attend our rite and protect our circle."
 "Guardians of the North, spirits of Earth
 Symbolized by salt, once the soldier's pay
 Earth to which we all return
 Attend our rite and protect our circle."
 HPS then asks attendees to sign themselves, sealing their auras.
 [This can be done with a pentagram, hammer sign, or other sigil].  She
 returns to her place by the altar.
 3.  Interdenominational Invocation of a War Deity.
 HP takes one step forward from his position next to the altar and says:
 "As we must accept the parts of our psyches associated with our
 pasts in war, we must honor deities of war in our pantheons.
 We honor you -- Athena, Indra, Woden, Mars, Morrigu, and
 many others.  Please come to us now."
 Someone costumed and equipped to portray a war deity emerges
 from the circle to near the center of the temple space and says:
 "Now also honor those humans who were honorably involved in warfare:
      Those who were your enemies and those who were your friends;
      Those who volunteered and those who were pushed by circumstances;
      Those who were heroes and those who were just in it;
      Those who fought and those who only stood ready;
      Those who survived war and those who did not;
      Those uncounted millions of your times and of times past --
      They have no need to be ashamed."
 "Do not admire mindless rape, plunder, nor terrorizing.  Do not admire
 raids upon the defenseless -- although in war some predation is
 "And since there is no shame in being a victim of a mighty tide,
 you shall extend compassion to refugees and other civilian and
 military victims."
 "Raise your right fists into the air to salute honorable warriors
 and to civilian heroes and heroines."  (War deity raises his/her
 right fist as this order is given.  After the deity drops the salute,
 the others drop it also).
 "Give the salute of embrace to signify compassion for refugees and other
 victims."  (War deity crosses his/her arms over his/her chest to signal
 the start of the salute of embrace and everyone else does as the war
 deity does.  The war deity signals the end of the salute by dropping
 War deity returns to circle.
 5. Closing.
 HP:  "We thank the war deities for their attendance."
 HPS:  "Let us be mindful that sometimes the warrior is the victim also."
 "Spirits of air, we thank you for your attendance.  Receive in peace
 the spirits of those who were raised on funeral platforms.  We bid
 you hail and farewell."
 "Spirits of fire, we thank you for your attendance.  Receive in
 peace those whose funeral pyres burned brightly.  We bid you hail
 and farewell."
 "Spirits of water, we thank you for your attendance,  Receive in
 peace those lost or buried at sea.  We bid you hail and farewell."
 "Spirits of Earth, we thank you for your attendance.  Receive in peace
 those buried in the earth.  Mother earth, return to us again in new
 forms, if it be their will, the spirits of those who have fallen."
 "For those who have fallen!"  (She pours wine on the fire in the
 center of the temple space).
 "And the bread of compassion for the victims of war."  (She
 crumbles bread and drops it onto the ground).
 HP:  "By this ceremony may each of us be strengthened --
 deity, spirit, and living human alike."
 "Nor this circle is open, but not broken."
 "Please ground, and you may hug."

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