|You will find in this ritual places for adlibbing. This is where you
open and let the Gods speak through you. Don't worry. The words will come
Altar: Dress with Reds, golds, browns, hunter green. Autumn leaves, pumpkins, squash, corn, wheat....let the altar reflect the abundance of the harvest. Place fruits and vegetables in a bowl or basket. Also decorate the quarters with the harvest fruits. Scales will also be on the Altar.
Incense: Put corn, wheat and/or oats into a heavy floral base. The mood
is the last blast of summer and the fullest time of the harvest.
Invoking the Lady and the Lord:
High Priestess (HPS): Now is the time of the harvest Gathering in for the darkness ahead Demeter, mother of the maiden, join us. Follow the sound of your children laughing And come to our (coven name) circle Lady, be welcome in our circle.
High Priest (HP): Now is the time of the hunt When the moon lights your way Lord Herne, come to our circle And sound your ethereal horn. We seek the balance in life and death Lord, be welcome in our circle.
High Priest should be prepared to talk about the balance of what is inner and what is outer. Looking back and Looking ahead....looking within. Honor the balance that is the spiral. High Priest will now take the bowl or basket of fruits and vegetables from the Altar and pass it deosil. As the basket passes from hand to hand, he says ....(ad libbing is always welcome)
"Enjoy the riches of the harvest. Rejoice in the last warmth of summer. Welcome the first hint of winter in the air. This is a night of balance .........(ad libbing) "
I did this ritual again in 1999 with my group ManyPaths. At this point in the ritual I was moved to ask everyone what they had harvested that year. It was a profoundly moving experience for me to be given this gift of inspiration as well as to listen to everyone's positive take on even the most negative things in their lives.
High Priestess now picks up the scales from the Altar and says...
"(ad-libbing) In our lives we constantly measure ourselves against other people's standards. Our flaws appear enormous and our good points seem miniscule. The Lady in her wisdom offers us balance. Take a moment to get comfortable and we will examine and readjust if necessary our own scales."
Balancing the scales---a meditation for Autumn
(Open with a trance inducing meditation....the Tree or the Rainbow from Starhawk's _The Spiral Dance_ are both excellent or use one that you are comfortable with.)
Open your inner senses. You are in a large room. There is a table along
the Eastern wall. Someone is motioning for you come there. As you approach,
take time to look at the person standing there. This is your inner guide
who will always help you balance yourself. You may talk to your guide for
Now see the table....there is a set of scales. On the left side of these scales is a red feather. Beside the table to the right is a pile of different sized stones.(pause for three breaths) Now think of where you feel there are imbalances in your life. As you name them, the guide will place a stone on the right side of the scales. Consider (space the following with four to eight breaths) Family........Friends.......Work....Home.......Physical.......Emotional........Mental........Spiritual............(add others as necessary)
(When the meditation reader feels ready...) Now look at your stones and how the scales are balanced. Remember what the stones are for. Now listen to your guide who can show you ways to balance....(ten to fifteen breaths at least)
Know that you are a whole and useful person. Reflect on that which is balanced in your life. The guide will add a stone to the left side for each........Consider (space the following with four to eight breaths at least. The key here is to let the listeners have time.) Family.......Friends.......Work...Home.......Physical......Emotional......Mental......Spiritual... (add others as necessary)
Look at your scales now. They are balanced more evenly. The red feather is in your guide's hand. The guide hands you the feather. You are the balance---you are the harmony. Take a moment to thank your guide (ten breaths) Know that you may return to this room whenever you need to meditate on the scales.
Now find the door you came through. When you feel ready to return, walk through the door and up the stairs you will see there. Retun to this room feeling energized and awake.
Balance is the harmony of nature....Nature is the harmony of the Goddess....Goddess is the harmony of you....You are the harmony of balance.
Take some time to talk about the meditation if the covenors need to process the experience.
High Priestess: (taking a small bowl of bulbs from underneath the Altar)
Autumn is also our inward deepening time. Just as a bulb needs the winter dark and cold to grow in the springtime, so do we need the quiet and reflective time to look at ourselves. (ad lib) Take a bulb from the basket and plant it. Let it remind you of the growth you can gain during the winter months.
High Priest: (holds up a sheaf of wheat)
And the balance is this........... The grain of autumn shall be the seed of spring. (adibbing as necessary)
Take time to talk about what everyone hopes to do over the winter. When everyone seems ready, move on to Cakes and Wine. And close the circle in the usual way. Encourage covenors to take home some of the vegetables and decorations from the Altar and quarters.
Lady Arwen Nightstar
Note: This ritual was written as part of my training.
(C) All Rights Reserved. Permission only with written express permission by Arwen Nightstar