Mabon Ritual

Setup
Items for this ritual include: Two brown or yellow candles for the altar; Chalice; A basket of apples; enough for the circle boundary (they need not touch each other); Three additional apples; A sharp knife to cut the apples; Several gourds; Blackberry wine or juice; A small bowl of hazelnuts; Vines (real or from a craft store) to decorate your altar (optional); Drum (optional).

Background
This is Mabon, time of the second harvest. We enjoy a wealth of good food and weather that is neither too hot nor too cold. Beauty surrounds us as autumn colors begin to blaze. We reap the beauty and bounty of this earth. We also reap the fruit of the seeds we have symbolically sewn in our lives this year. Tonight we take time to count our blessings and give thanks to the Lord and Lady.

Dance
The vine dance can be done in group or solo rituals because it is the dance step that creates the “vine.” To move deosil, your left leg will advance your step. Your right leg will move first, behind then in front of the left to simulate the winding growth of a vine. Place your right foot behind the left, then step sideways with your left foot. Cross your right foot in front of the left, and then take another step with your left foot. Keep alternating the movement of your right foot behind, then in front of your left.

The Ritual
Take an apple from the basket and hold it in both hands. Feel the wisdom and love of the Goddess; feel her generosity. Walking deosil, place apples on the floor to mark your circle as you say:
This is an ancient symbol of the Goddess; of her great knowledge and power of healing. It holds her wisdom, and provides a gateway into other realms. As above; so below. Sacred is this space decreed with the riches of the Great Mother’s body.

Cut two apples in half across their middles.
This sacred fruit contains the five-pointed star—the symbol of my ancient faith and connectedness to all life.

Place half an apple at the edge of the circle in the respective directions after speaking.
Spirits of North, element Earth, your golden fields provide the promise of a comfortable winter. I celebrate in the abundance of your blessings. Join me in my circle this night.

Spirits of East, element Air, your warm summer breezes yield to the autumn chill that gives birth to a blaze of bright color. I appreciate the blessings of the beauty you bestow on this world. Join me in my circle this night.

Spirits of South, element Fire, your brilliant August sun is becoming a memory that will dance through my heart in the dark months to come. May I find your spark to illuminate my path ahead. Join me in my circle this night.

Spirits of West, element Water, your cool autumn rains wash the emptying fields to make way for a winter’s rest. May I receive the blessing of your cleansing showers. Join me in my circle this night.

Cut another apple in half. Hold one half at a time as you call the Goddess and God. After speaking, place it on the altar and light a candle.
Sun King, Corn King, God of the Harvest, your seed has provided a bounty that has greened the meadows and filled the fields. As the burning embers of summer are overtaken by darkness and you begin your descent to the Underworld, bestow your blessings on my circle.

Great Mother Goddess, Brigid, Demeter, Queen of the Harvest, your body has provided abundance and beauty. As you begin your metamorphosis into Crone, bless me with your wisdom.

Lord and Lady of the Harvest, as this year wanes into darkness, come to me one last time as Queen and Consort. Join me in my circle this night.

Take a moment or two and give thought to what you have been blessed with this year. When you are ready, go to the altar and take a gourd from the basket. With both hands raise the gourd above the altar and say:
Lord and Lady, I thank you for ______________ (state the blessings you have received.)

To give power to your thanks as you release it to the world, raise energy with the vine dance. As you move around the circle, chant:
Harvest dance, go round and round,
With blessings for all to be found.

After the energy has reached its peak and has been released, bring your dancing and chanting to an end. Take a few moments to ground your energy.
My world passes from summer into the dark of the year. On this day of the Equinox, this day of balance, I pause on the threshold where light begins to fade. As the nights grow longer it is time to reflect on my life and cultivate inner wisdom.

Raise the bowl of hazelnuts, saying:
Hazel is a symbol of wisdom. I call on the Wise Ones to guide me through the dark that lies ahead. Teach me to hear the inner voice that whispers of ancient ways.

Raise the wine, saying:
Blackberries, fruit sacred to Brigid. Sweeten my lips and warm my heart with memories of this summer past.

Perform the Great Rite, lowering the athame into the chalice, saying:
The Horned One returns to the belly of the Mother.
The Great Goddess transforms into the powerful Crone.
I follow them into darkness, as two become one.
The seasons change, the Wheel of the Year turns.

Pour the wine into the chalice, saying:
Mother, bless this wine and food.

Before taking a bite of the hazelnuts and a sip of wine say, respectively:
May I never hunger. May I never thirst. I look ahead to the darkness for rest and renewal.
Great Mother, as you enter your most powerful aspect of Crone, I ask that you favor me with your wisdom. Guide me through the coming dark. I bid you farewell.

Extinguish one of the candles.

Horned One, Warrior of Light, go to your rest and dream of rebirth. Endings are beginnings. I shall await your return. I bid you farewell.

Extinguish the other candle. Pick up the half apple placed at the edge of the circle for each direction, and then place it on the altar after speaking.

Spirits of West, element Water, thank you for your presence this night. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid you farewell.

Spirits of South, element Fire, thank you for your presence this night. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid you farewell.

Spirits of East, element Air, thank you for your presence this night. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid you farewell.

Spirits of North, element Earth, thank you for your presence this night. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid you farewell.

The Lord has gone to his rest, and the Lady gathers strength. I witness their parting as the Wheel of the Year continues to turn. In faith and unity, blessed be.

Lughnasadh Ritual

In our modern world it is easy to forget how important a successful harvest was to our ancestors. They had cause for celebration: A good harvest meant survival in the dark, cold months ahead. A poor or bad harvest signaled the beginning of difficult times. Even though we can nip out to the supermarket whenever we need something, this is a good time to give thought to where our food originates and reverence for the cycles that produce it. Better still, tending a garden keeps us in touch with the Goddess and her bounty. Even if your garden consists only of tomatoes or herbs grown in pots on a balcony, these taste all the sweeter for having been nurtured by your own hands.

Tonight’s circle is created to give thanks for what the Lord and Lady provide. The late summer harvest is a time of transformation; a time to take stock of how the year has unfolded thus far, what you have done, and what you are ready to reap. The fruits of the seeds planted in the spring (physical and spiritual) are ready to be gathered in.

Setup
Items needed for this ritual include: Six pieces of fruit, vegetables or a combination placed in a basket near the altar; Chalice; A wand or athame can be used to cast the circle; Honey mead or other honeyed drink such as chamomile tea; Cornbread on a plate; A small cup filled with grapes.

The Ritual
With your athame or wand, walk the perimeter of your circle saying:
A circle is a symbol of completeness and continuity. It is the Wheel of the Year; the cycle of life. Now is high summer. The days are hot and the nights sultry. The first harvest is taken in and I rejoice in the bounty that is provided.

When you arrive back where you started, say:
With this circle sacred space has been created where the realms touch.

Take a piece of fruit or vegetable from the basket. Before speaking, walk to the edge of the circle and raise it in both hands. For the Lord and Lady, make evocations standing in front of the altar. After speaking, place the fruit/vegetable on the altar.

Come ye spirits of North, powers of Earth, bring the beauty of ripe, golden fields. Be with me this night.

Come ye spirits of East, powers of Air, bring the cool morning breeze. Be with me this night.

Come ye spirits of South, powers of Fire, bring the hot, sultry summer afternoons. Be with me this night.

Come ye spirits of West, powers of Water, bring the warm rains that nourish the fields. Be with me this night.

Lord Lugh, Lord of the Harvest, the bounty of your seed ripens in the fields and orchards. Be with me this night.

Lady Gaia, Mother of All, your great swollen belly provides abundance. Nourish me, protect me. Be with me this night.

At the altar, take up the chalice and the athame. Slowly lower the athame into the raised chalice to symbolize the Great Rite, saying:
This is Lughnasadh, the time of Lugh. This is the time of the first harvest. I celebrate the bounty of Gaia and Lugh.

Fill the chalice with honey mead. Before taking a bite of cornbread and a sip of mead say, respectively:
I share the bounty of the Lord. I share the bounty of the Lady.

Think of what began earlier in the year, has grown, and is ready to come to fruition in your life. Take the cup of grapes and hold it between your hands. Think of what you want to reap in this time of harvest. When you have it firmly in your mind, eat one of the grapes, and then place one on the altar as an offering. After you have done that, you may want to move about your circle and voice what you wish for others. If you know someone is having difficulty, wish that it is resolved. You may also want to send loving energy to the earth and out into the world.

To add energy to your wishes, drum, dance and chant:
With my circle I send a gift to you,
May the Goddess grant your wishes true.

When the energy has reached its peak slow the chanting, bring it to a halt, and then say:
May my wishes and intentions be carried above and below.

Use your usual method for grounding and centering or playback a tape of the one in the group ritual.

Face each direction respectively from that point in your circle. Stand in front of the altar for the Lord and Lady.

Lady Gaia, thank you for your blessing and presence in my circle this night. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid thee farewell.

Lord Lugh, Lord of the Harvest, thank you for your blessing and presence in my circle this night. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid thee farewell.

Spirits of West, powers of Water, thank you for your blessing and presence in my circle this night. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid thee farewell.

Spirits of South, powers of Fire, thank you for your blessing and presence in my circle this night. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid thee farewell.

Spirits of East, powers of Air, thank you for your blessing and presence in my circle this night. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid thee farewell.

Spirits of North, powers of Earth, thank you for your blessing and presence in my circle this night. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid thee farewell.

As all good things must sometimes end,
Go forth with the love the Goddess sends.
For if your heart is always true,
This circle will come back to you.

Litha Ritual

Background
This is the time to rededicate yourself to your spiritual path and to ask for Lugh’s blessings. In this ritual marigolds are used to pay homage to the Lord. This flower has been associated with the sun since ancient times and abounds in stories of Apollo, the Greek sun god. Marigolds were believed to have magical properties, and that to look at them or smell their fragrance would remove sorrow and burdens.

The ancient people of Europe left their legacy in stone all over the Continent, the Mediterranean area, and the British Isles in the form of standing stone circles, alignments, and dolmens (chambers formed of standing stones). It has been known for a long time that these places mark the rising and setting of the sun at the Winter and Summer Solstices. They also mark lunar cycles, eclipses, and other astrological events.

It is worth noting that these sites were observatories as well as places of ritual. Science and spirituality were not separate compartments of reasoning and belief. Observing and honoring the natural world were integrated practices.

Stonehenge in England and Newgrange in Ireland are the most well-known sites, but the Brittany coast of France has the greatest number of standing stones. In this ritual, conjure up images in you mind and the energy of Carnac in Brittany where within a five-mile area there are 3,000 standing stones. Some are in circles, some are alone, but most are in rows that run for several kilometers. And for many centuries people danced and celebrated among the stones.

Setup
Items for this ritual include: Six candles for the altar; A basket of cut flowers; enough to lay out your circle (there can be space in between them); A basket of marigolds; Drums, rattles and other percussion instruments. If working solo or if these are not available you may want to use taped music such as Loreena McKennitt’s Huron ‘Beltane’ Fire Dance; If doing ritual out of doors, find six to eight large rocks and set them in two rows with enough room for people to walk between to simulate the rows of standing stones at Carnac. If no large stones are available you may want to arrange a pile of smaller stones. If you are doing ritual indoors, use multiple baskets of flowers or potted plants. Be imaginative.

The Ritual
As you place flowers on the ground to mark your circle (large enough to encompass your “standing stones”) say:
Spring ends and summer comes upon the land. As the days grow in warmth, I ask the Lord and Lady to awaken the sacred flame within my soul. With this fragrant circle, sacred is this space decreed.

Go to the edge of your circle and face each direction, respectively. After speaking, light a candle on the altar. Face the altar when evoking the Goddess and God.

I look to the North and call on the powers of Earth to join me in my circle. Your body sends forth the blooms of early summer with rich sensuous colors. Be with me as a bright red flower.

I look to the East and call on the powers of Air to join me in my circle. Caress me with your warm breezes that sweeten my life with soft scented flowers and plants. Be with me as the fragrant Linden.

I look to the South and call on the powers of Fire to join me in my circle. Your growing heat transforms the world into a lush garden. Kiss me gently with your warmth.

I look to the West and the powers of Water. Your gentle rains banish thirst and wash me clean. Touch me with dew-filled mornings.

Sun King, Lord of Summer, I welcome you at your zenith, your last full shining. Tomorrow you begin your descent, but today I celebrate you.

Lady of All, Queen of Summer, I welcome you in your full mother aspect as the fields begin to ripen and you awaken a spark of divine love deep in my soul.

Stand facing your altar, and say:
This day I use marigolds to honor Lugh and ask for his blessing to further my spiritual journey.

Bow and then place a flower on the altar, saying:
Lugh, Beli Mawr, I thank you for your many blessings and reaffirm my spiritual path. Even though you will soon fade, your bright spirit will remain in my heart throughout the year. So mote it be.

Begin the taped music or do your own drumming and start a free-form dance weaving in and out among your “standing stones”. Chant:
I call to Lugh on Solstice Day,
Shine bright before you go away.
Sun King, Lugh, bring summer heat,
Blessed be and merry meet.

Continue until you feel the energy reach a peak, and then bring the music, drumming, chanting to a close. You may want to take time to meditate on your blessings as well as the reasons that you reaffirm your spiritual path.

Use your usual method for grounding energy or playback a recorded centering exercise.

Extinguish each altar candle before or after each devocation:

Lady of All, Queen of Summer, thank you Great Mother for the richness that unfolds around me and within me. I thank you for your presence with me this day and ask for your blessing as you depart. I bid you farewell.

Sun King, Lord of Summer, thank you for your bright spirit. I thank you for your presence with me this day and ask for your blessing as you depart. I bid you farewell.

Powers of Water, thank you for dewy mornings and gentle rains. I thank you for your presence with me this day and ask for your blessing as you depart. I bid you farewell.

Powers of Fire, thank you for your transforming flame. I thank you for your presence with me this day and ask for your blessing as you depart. I bid you farewell.

Powers of Air, thank you for warm breezes that sweeten long summer days. I thank you for your presence with me this day and ask for your blessing as you depart. I bid you farewell.

Powers of Earth, thank you for the sensuous colors and fragrance that enrich my life. I thank you for your presence with me this day and ask for your blessing as you depart. I bid you farewell.

And so my spiritual journey continues as the Wheel of the Year turns ever onward. My circle is open, but unbroken. May the peace and love of the Goddess remain in my heart. In faith and unity, blessed be.