The Pagan Library
Thu, Dec 18 2014

Spring Equinox Ceremony

Robert Hale


A wheel symbol stands on the altar; it may be anything that feels suitable a cut out disc painted yellow or gold and decorated with spring flowers, a circular mirror, around brass tray. The High Priest's robe, if any, and accessories should be symbolic of the Sun; any metal he wears should be gold, gilt, brass or bronze. The altar, if indoors, should be decorated with spring flowers particularly the yellow ones such as daffodils, primroses, gorse, or forsythia. One banquet should be ready for handing to the Spring Queen, and a chaplet of flowers for her crowning. The Spring Queen is one of the younger women in the Coven.

The cauldron is placed in the center of the circle, with an unlit candle in it. If outside, and conditions permit, a bonfire is made ready to light. A taper is placed ready on the altar for the Maiden to carry fire to the High Priest.

A phallic wand is on the altar.

Half as many cords as there are people present are ready on the altar, tied together at their center point in a single knot. If there is an odd number of people, add one before dividing by two.

As part of the feasting and offering to the Gods, you can use hard boiled eggs with painted shells. These symbolize the World Egg, laid by the Goddess and hatched by the heat of the Sun of the God.

The High Priest moves to stands in the East, and the High Priestess in the West, facing each other over the unlit bonfire. The High Priestess carries the phallic wand in her right hand. The rest of the Coven distribute themselves around the rest of the perimeter of the Circle.

The High Priestess says:

"We kindle this fire today
In presence of the Holy Ones,
Without malice, without jealousy, without envy,
Without fear of aught beneath the Sun
But the High Gods.
Thee we invoke, O Light of Life,
Be Thou a bright flame before us,
Be Thou a guiding star above us,
Be Thou a smooth path beneath us;
Kindle Thou within our hearts
A flame of love for our neighbors,
To our foes, to our friends, to our kindred all,
To all men on the broad earth.
O merciful Son of Cerridwen,
From the lowliest thing that liveth
To the Name which is highest of all."

The High Priestess holds the phallic wand on high and walks slowly deosil around the bonfire or cauldron to stand in front of the High Priest. She says:

"O Sun, be Thou ready to conquer the Dark!"

The High Priestess presents the phallic wand the High Priest and then steps to one side.

The High Priest holds up the wand in salute and replaces it on the altar.

The Maiden lights the taper from one of the altar candles and presents it to the High Priest. The Maiden then steps to one side.

The High Priest carries the taper to the bonfire and lights it. He gives the taper back to the Maiden, who blows it out and replaces it on the altar. She then picks up the cords and gives them to the High Priest.

The High Priestess arranges everyone around the fire, man facing woman as far as possible. The High Priest hands out the ends of the cords in accordance with her instructions, retaining on end of the final cord himself and handing the other end of it to the High Priestess. If there is an odd number of people, with more men then women, he holds on to two cord ends himself, or if more women then men, the High Priestess does the same. Either way, both of them must be linked with two members of the opposite sex.

When everyone is holding a cord, they all pull the cords taut, with the central knot above the fire. They then start circling deosil in the Wheel dance, building up speed, always keeping the cords taut and the knot over the fire. Any chant can be used that sounds good.

Then the Coven all sit in a circle round the fire. The High Priest gathers up the cords, being careful not to let them get burned and replaces them on the altar.

The High Priest names one of the women to be the Spring Queen and stands her in front of the altar. He crowns her with the chaplet of flowers and gives her the Five Fold Kiss.

The High Priest steps back and calls forward each man in turn to give the Spring Queen the Five-Fold Kiss. When the last man has done so, the High Priest presents the Spring Queen with her bouquet.

Then, starting with the Spring Queen, everyone jumps over the fire, singly or in couples, not forgetting to wish.

Farrar, Janet and Stewart; "Eight Sabbats For Witches"; Robert Hale 1983


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