Welsh dragon

GWYL CANOL GAEAF - YULE SABBAT

Welsh dragon

Witchcraft and Wicca and Doreen Valiente


Sundown December 21 or 22 (Depending on the date of the Winter Solstice)

Gwyl Canol Gaeaf or Yule is the festival of the Sun's death and rebirth. This is the time which marks the vanquishing of the Holly King, the God of the waning year, by the Oak king, God of the waxing year. At this season the powers of light battle the powers of darkness (Holly King), as the light (Oak King) begins it's increase. Each clan elects a Shape Shifter whose job it is to balance the festival of GWYL Canol Gaef. At this time the White Goddess gives birth to the Sun God, the child of promise, who will re-fertilize her and bring back the warmth and light to the kingdom. The Oak King rules.

An oak log is prepared as a Yule log to burn during the ritual. It is decorated with pine cones, holly and mistlet- oe. The remains of the log are kept until the following year and are used to start the new Yule log. The needfire is used to start the blaze. The altar and watchtowers are decorated with seasonal colors and material: holly, pine cones, mistletoe, bayberries, and evergreen boughs.

Musil is prepared and drunk by the participants. The Yule incense is prepared and lit. The participants may exchange gifts, and after the ritual is over, may take pieces of the Yule decorations back home to be used on their household altar.

The High Priest and High Priestess or Maiden shall set up the altar in the North of the Circle. They then light the candles and the incense. The Cauldron shall be in the center of the Circle. The four watchtower candles shall be placed at the perimeter of the Circle, E, S, W, N. The entrance to the circle shall be to the Northeast. None shall enter or leave the circle except by the northeast gateway.

The High Priest shall call in the watchtowers. Both are Inside the Circle as they cast it. The High Priest casts the circle with the Rod, beginning in the East and proceeding Deosil thrice around the Circle. The High Priest then places the Rod at the foot of the Altar. The Circle is then consecrated (purified). The High Priest takes the salt from the Altar and proceeds Deosil three times around the Circle saying:

"Creature of Salt where thou art cast,
no spell or adverse purpose last.
Not in complete accord with me,
as I do will, so mote it be."

The High Priest takes the south candle from the Altar and proceeds Deosil three times around the Circle saying:

"Creature of Fire this charge I lay,
no evil in thy presence stay,
not in complete accord with me,
as I do will, so mote it be."

The High Priest takes the water from the Altar and proceeds Deosil three times around the Circle saying:

"Creature of Water where thou art cast,
no spell or adverse purpose last,
not in complete accord with me,
as I do will, so mote it be."

The High Priest takes the incense from the Altar and proceeds Deosil three times around the Circle saying:

"Creature of Air this charge I lay,
no evil in thy presence stay,
not in complete accord with me,
as I do will so mote it be."

The High Priest then lights the God and Goddess candles, Left to Right, saying:

"Oh gracious Ceridwen, goddess of all things, provider of Love and Happiness,
be with us here as we celebrate your season.
Oh great Cernunnos, god of nature and the hunt, powerful god of Light, be with us here as we celebrate your season."

and then the maiden candle is lit..

The High Priest and High Priest walk to the northeastern gateway and welcome the Maiden and Candlebearer into the circle, Challenging them with:

H.P./s: "Halt, who goes there?"

Seeker: "It is I, (Name), a seeker."

H.P./s: "What are the passwords, (Name)?"

Seeker: Gives Passwords (If second Level or higher, the seeker whispers the password)

The High Priest/ess then makes the sign of admittance on the forehead of the seeker and says:

"I have a third password for you, a kiss"

The seeker is then kissed on each cheek or the mouth if appropriate. All others are then admitted in like manner. The members assemble, facing East, with the High Priest and High Priestess standing in the East of the Circle. The Maiden then rings the Bell three times. The High Priest hits the ground three times with the Rod. The High Priest raises his arms toward the Eastern Watchtower, makes the sign of the invoking Pentagram with his Athame and says:

"All hail to thee! O Great guardian who stands at the East of the world. Thou art lord within the realm of LUGH..Golden bright and wise as the Owl. We, the children of light, bid thee come forth to join us at this holy Sabbat in the sacred grove of the wise."

The High Priest lights the East watchtower candle and then hits the ground three times with the Rod.

All say: "So mote it be!"

The High Priest walks to the South watchtower. He makes the sign of the invoking Pentagram with his Athame and says:

"All hail to thee! O great guardian who stands at the South of the World. Thou art lord within the realm of the serpent, fiery bright and quick as the cat. We, the children of light bid thee come forth to join us at this holy Sabbat in the sacred grove of the wise."

The High Priest lights the South watchtower candle and then hits the ground three times with the Rod.

All say: "So mote it be!"

The High Priest walks to the West watchtower. He makes the sign of the invoking Pentagram with his Athame and says:

"All hail to thee! O Great guardian who stands at the West of the world. Thou art lord within the realm of the Lady, silvery bright and triple starred. We, the children of light, bid thee come forth to join us at this holy Sabbat in the sacred grove of the wise."

The High Priest lights the West watchtower candle and then hits the ground three times with the Rod.

All say: "So mote it be!"

The High Priest walks to the North watchtower. He makes the sign of the invoking Pentagram with his Athame and says:

"All hail to thee! O Great Guardian who stands at the North of the world. Thou art lord within the realm of the Horned one, shining bright and swift as the wind. We, the children of light, bid thee come forth to join us at this holy Sabbat in the sacred grove of the wise."

The High Priest lights the North watchtower candle and then hits the ground three times with the Rod.

All say: "So mote it be!"

The Rod is then laid to the front of the Altar with the silver tip pointing west. All face East behind the High Priest and recite the Invocation to Cernunnos giving the Goddess Salute:

"Hail to thee, Sir Cernunnos, great god of Arianrhod's children. Come ye forth from the rays of the newborn sun.

Seek ye the forest of pine. Join us that we may know of thy birth Teach ye us the mysteries of the four winds, the pipes and the bow. Take ye our tribulations upon thy lusty horns. Toss them to the four winds of the world. Hear us, oh Cernunnos. Make merry with us and herald thy presence with the sounds of the horn, The scents of the pine and the bellow of the raging stag."

All say: "I O Evo He! Hail Cernunnos! I O Evo He!"

All now face to the West, raise their Thames in the Goddess salute and say:

"Ceridwen - Ceridwen - Ceridwen!
Hail Diana queen of light!"
"Ceridwen - Ceridwen - Ceridwen!
Hail Diana queen of Night!"

The High Priest and High Priestess shall now proceed to the front of the Altar, High Priestess to the West of the High Priest...Both place their Athame blades together on the Pentacle of the Moon. The maiden stands to the East of the High Priest, holding her candle aloft, the Candlebearer stands to the west of the High Priestess holding his candle aloft. The High Priest and High Priestess intone the Moon Invocation: "Ma-Aum-Ma-Aum-Ma-Aum"

The High Priest then says:

"By the holy Guardians Malcha, Muriel, Barcheil, Hamael, Advechiel, and Zuriel, I do conjure thee O Cain! Thou art imprisoned within the hollow of the moon as was decreed by those mighty ones. Do not detain our lady from us, or seek to imprison her with thy self. Release the spirit of Diana that she may be free to join her daughter and High Priestess, (Name.)"

"Within this sacred grove shall our goddess dance with among us. Only when, at last, the spirit of Diana is with her children shall thou be free."

All Say: "So Mote it Be!"

If the Moon Crown is to be worn, it is now consecrated and placed on the head of the High Priestess. The maiden takes the wand and kneels in front of the High Priestess, holding the Wand upright. The High Priest holds the moon crown over the wand and says:

"Lady with the moon upon thy brow, quicken the moon that I wear now."

The High Priest takes the moon crown and places it upon the head of the High Priestess. The maiden arises and touches the moon symbol with the tip of the wand. She the replaces the wand upon the altar. All assume their former position. The High Priestess faces west (as do all others.) All give the Salute. The High Priestess stands in the pentacle position and gives the charge of the Goddess:

"Ceridwen-Ceridwen-Ceridwen!"

"Listen to the words of the great mother, who was of old also known among mankind as Diana, Artemis, Brigit, and by many other names."

"Whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then gather ye in some secret place and there adore the spirit of me who am Queen of all the Witcheries.

"Assembled together, ye shall learn the lore of the Great Unknown. Rejoice in your rites, all in my praise, for I am a gracious goddess, pouring forth beauty, life, and joy upon the earth. Make no sacrifice unto me, for I am the mother of all living, and my love is forevermore."

All say: "I O Evo He! Blessed Be! I O Evo He!"

The Maiden then hands the elf fire to the High Priest who lights the Yule Log The maiden then replaces the elf fire upon the Altar and resumes her place. As the Yule Log flares up all face toward it. (Candles may be placed in the Yule Log by each grove member and lit at this time. These candles are not anointed, they are consecrated beforehand. In the event candles are to be lit, each member lights one. The log is best set in the East or North, if possible. The High Priest and High Priest then light their candles. The High Priestess says:

"Return to us oh Lugh, God of the Sun,
Return to us oh Lugh God of Light.
Thine enemies have fled
Thou hast no adversary.
O Great Light, return, return!
Return to thy spouse, thy sister, who loves thee!
Oh my brother my consort, return, return!
When I see thee not, my eyes seek for thee,
When I remember thee, my heart grieves for thee.
My feet roam the earth in search of thee!
My arms search the sky for the!
Gods and men weep together for thee!
God of the Sun, God of light, return, return!
Return to thy spouse thy sister, who loveth thee!
Return! Return!"

The maiden, who assist all others, lights her candle last placing it into the center of the log. All stand facing the log, their hands shall be outstretched with palms down over the Yule Log fire or the candles. The coven begins to move deosil around the circle. The maiden chants:

"Blessed be the Lord of Light!
I O Evo He!
Blessed be the new born sun!
Queen of the Moon, Queen of the Sun,
Queen of the Heavens, Queen of the stars,
Queen of the waters, Queen of the earth,
Bring to us the Child of Promise!
It is the Great Mother who gave birth to him;
It is the Lord of Life who is born again;
Darkness and tears are set aside when the Sun shall come up early!"

The High priestess rises to her feet, drawing the High Priest with her. They begin to turn deosil. The coven begins to circle faster and faster. The maiden chants more intently:

"Golden apples of the sun, of hill and mountain,
Illuminate the land, illuminate the world,
Illuminate the seas, illuminate the rivers,
Sorrows are laid aside, and joy is in the world!
Blessed be the Great Goddess,
Without beginning without end,
Ivo Evo! He!"

(H.P.): "I O Evo He!"

(All): "I O Evo He!"

(H.P.): "I O Evo He!"

(All): "I O Evo He!"

(H.P.): "I O Evo He!"

(All): "I O Evo He!"

All now face the cauldron as the High Priest will now kneel before the cauldron facing north on his left knee. His arms are crossed upon his chest, left arm over right arm. The High Priestess will stand behind the High Priest, holding the horn helmet to his head, and he will cast glowing charcoal into the cauldron, the handful of magical catalyst. The High Priestess will say:

"Out of the northwind, oh mighty of days,
Kneel in front of the cauldron blaze,
Join the goddess, thy lady above,
Join the children of laughter and love."

The High Priestess places the helmet upon his head. He crosses his hands in the god position, holding the Athame in one hand and the wand in the other. The grove says:

"I O Evo He!

I O Evo He!

I O Evo He!"

He now stands, faces north and says:

"Answer us, oh ancient horned one,
provender and power are thine.
Hear and answer gracious goddess,
grant us laughter, wit and wine.
Descend on us, oh thou, of blessings,
come among us, make us glad.
Thou are chief of all creation,
why, oh why should we be sad?
Beam on us, on joyous Bacchus,
Banish heavy-hearted hate.
Accept our craft, oh Greatest Mother,
let cheerful brightness be our fate.
So mote it be."

The High Priest/ess steps in front of the altar and raises the water and wine, facing north. All say:

"Here we bring new water, here we bring old wine, For to worship great Ceridwen, as the moon doth shine. Sing reign of a fair maid with gold upon her toe, Open ye the moon gate and let the west wind blow. Sing reign of a fair maid with gold upon her chin, Open ye the north gate and let Ceridwen in. Sing levez dew, levez dew, ye water and ye wine, Hail to fair Ceridwen, whose crescent moon doth shine."

The High Priestess passes the Wine or Waissal around the circle so that each participant drinks of the Wine. The High Priest/ess now raises the Meal and Salt. All say:

"Here the dish of meal we bring,
here the salt of earth,
Blessed meal of laboring,
Blessed salt of worth.
Fairy queen steals through the night,
silver wings aglow with dew,
Dance ye wee folk, in delight
drwy y nos canu,
drwy y nos canu."

Following the consecration of salt and meal offer a few grains of each to the four watchtowers. The High Priest/ess raises the plate of cakes and all say:

"Here the Sabbat cakes of corn
baked upon the hearth
blessed be Ceridwen's feast
Dance in joy and mirth."

The High Priest/ess raises the bowl of honey, and all say:

"Here we bring honey sweet,
gathered from the sacred grove.
Dawnsio, Dawnsio little bees!
Keep to your hive and do not roam."

Following the consecration of the honey, the maiden will pass the cakes and honey around the circle for the participants to eat. Now all will take a candle and light it from the High Priest's candle. The High Priest will face the east and all will circle slowly around him deosil three times while he says over and over:

"Blessed be the newborn lord of light. Cernunnos is the sun and he is reborn. The children of light greet thee with light."

If possible after the circle the vines and trees are blessed with wine by the High Priest, saying:

"Blessed be ye vine and tree, the newborn sun shall quicken thee."


Recipe for Wassail:

One gallon of cider

6 cored apples

4 sticks of cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground mace

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

3 whole cloves

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 cup raw sugar

2 quarts ale

Have everything at room temperature. Put all except the ale into a large kettle and bring it to boil. Boil very slowly until spices are blended and apples are tender. Cover partially, add more cider if necessary When strong strain into mugs about three quarters full. Fill the rest with ale, stir and serve.

-FINIS-

 

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