S A M H A I N 1 9 8 6
Coven of the Serpent's Eye
Declamation written by Rufus Harrington
Invocation to Horned God written by Doreen Valiente
Response of the Horned God written by Paul Greenslade
Consecration of the seeds written by Jim Kitson
Temple set up as follows:
Veil in northern quarter
Cauldron in centre, with charcoal blocks ready lit
Stereo ready with taped music
A dish of corn seeds on the altar
One pot of earth for each person
Pomegranate on altar
Candles, incense and ritual weapons as usual
Floor tom-tom drum
HPS The Goddess
HP The Horned God
Priest To consecrate the seeds
P or PS Ritual drumming
Casting the circle:
The Circle will be cast by the HPS
The HPS will invoke the quarters: while she does so, each person .
should face the quarter being invoked, and direct power to the .
quarter with their athame (or other if they have no athame). The .
group should all face centre, forming a circle after the .
invocation to the northern quarter, and hold both arms aloft .
while the HPS calls upon the Lord and Lady to join with the .
celebrations. This completes the casting of the circle.
HPS wearing black silk robe and veil stands at the altar, .
facing the group, who are seated. 1759The HP reads the declamation:1759
Iced legions of the damned
Call and dance the songs of madness;
Hollow hills re-echo to the silent cries of night,
For dancing flames now turn to shadows,
Winds and madness call the night,
And just a single light in darkness
Stands before the veil to fight.
And so the Goddess stood in darkness,
Tear stained cheeks lashed by rain,
Turned to face the veil of darkness,
Turned to face the world of pain.
Alone, an outcast, branded traitor;
She it was who killed the land.
To save the land from age and darkness,
To save the land from fear and death,
For love of life she sought to conquer,
Sought to stay the hand of death.
But in her love and in her madness
She summoned death into the land;
Summoned death to fight the darkness,
Thus it was destroyed the land.
Cracked silver lightning; shattering darkness,
Revealing eyes, and visions born beyond.
Iced visions of light,
Echoes of dying laughter chill and cool the blood.
Storm clouds tearing sky and screaming,
Battles fought at heaven's gate,
Fly upon the winds of madness,
Seek the silver key of fate.
HPS: SILENCE! An end must be made!
For there are three great events in the life of man:
Love, Death and resurrection in the new body, and magic
controls them all.
For to fulfil love you must return again at the same
time and place as the loved one, and you must remember
and love them again.
But to be reborn, you must die and be ready for a new
body; and to die you must be born, and without love
you may not be born, and so is formed the spiral of
creation, and this is all the magics.
The group now stand, and when everyone is facing the HPS, she assumes pentagram
position. The ritual drummer takes his position, and the Priest who is taking the
role of the Horned God switches on the music tape, blows out the northern quarter
candle and moves behind the veil. Silence while the tape of "The making of Bloduedd"
is played, as this is the invocation the the Goddess in her transformation aspect.
(Note: the tape is allowed to continue playing, as this is the only item on the
tape, the remainder being blank.)
The HPS turns to face the altar, and holds aloft the sword. As she does so, the
drummer plays a steady rhythm. The HPS moves to the centre of the circle, facing the
veil; the group arrange themselves behind her, all facing the veil. The HPS points
the sword at the veil, and the group hold aloft their arms for the invocation to the
By the flame that burneth bright O Horned One,
We call Thy name into the night, O Ancient One!
Thee we invoke by the moon led sea,
By the standing stone, and the twisted tree.
Thee we invoke where gather Thine own,
By nameless shrine, forgotten and lone.
Come where the round of the dance is trod,
Horn and hoof of the goat foot God!
By moonlit meadow and dusky hill,
When haunted wood is hushed and still,
Come to the charm of the chanted prayer,
As the moon bewitches the midnight air.
Evoke Thy powers that potent bide,
In shining stream and secret tide,
In fiery flame and starlight pale,
In shadowy hosts that ride the gale.
And by the fern brakes, fairy haunted,
Of forests wild and woods enchanted;
Come O come to the heart beats drum,
Come to us who gather below,
When the pale white moon is climbing slow,
Through the stars to the heavens height,
We hear Thy hooves on the wings of night!
As black tree branches shake and sigh,
By joy and terror we know Thee nigh.
We speak the spell Thy power unlocks,
At solstice, sabbat and equinox.
Word of virtue, the veil to rend,
From primal dawn to the wide world's end!
(As the invocation proceeds, the drummer speeds his rhythm to suggest the sound of
hoofbeats, and after the final line of the invocation, he suddenly reverts to a
simple, slow four beats for the entrance of the Horned God.)
P#1 responds from behind the veil:
I am the Dread Lord of the Shadows:
God of life and giver of life.
I open wide the veil through which all must pass.
The gate is open between the worlds
And all who would enter on this night are welcome.
Come spirits; departed ones; brethren from our past and present
Join us in the hunt tonight.
During his response, he parts the veil, and then fastens it open in some way, as
the veil between the worlds remains open until closed by the Horned God at the end
of the ritual.
As he finishes speaking, he enters the Temple, and proceeds to move in a widdershins
direction, and the drummer plays a rhythm according to the speed and movement of the
Horned God. The Horned God then takes the hand of one of the group (female), and
she takes the hand of the next male, and so on until all the group except for the
HPS and drummer are dancing with the Horned God. This represents the Wild Hunt, and
the drumming and dancing should reflect the feeling of this. At a prompt from the
Horned God, the group will stop dancing, and seat themselves on the floor facing
inwards around the cauldron. The drummer will join them, and the HPS will bring a
pot of incense, from which she will take a handful and throw it into the cauldron.
she will then pass the incense to the HP, who will also throw some into the
cauldron, and will pass it to his neighbour, and so on around the circle until each
person has thrown some incense into the cauldron. There is now a period of
meditation, where everyone thinks about the past year, and those who may have passed
over during that time. It is also a time for joining with our loved ones who have
gone beyond, and who we invite to return to us for the night. When the HPS feels
that long enough has been spent on this part of the ritual, she will signal that
everyone should end their meditation.
P#2 shall now rise (also PS#1 if designated), and approach the altar where he/they
will perform the consecration of the sacred seed.
Bounded by a shell then?
Secure in the vice of the earth, a unity waiting.
Cold, wet loneliness, the comfort of death.
The agony of birth and growth, total struggle in total night.
Smile upon your children, set free the seed of life and joy.
So Mote It Be!
When this has been completed, P#2 takes some of the seeds, and energises them with
his own hopes and desires for the coming year, and then plants them in one of the
prepared pots. The rest of the group do likewise, commencing with 1762PS#11762 if
designated, and following male/female if possible. The Horned God and Goddess do not
plant seeds at the altar. When the last person has planted their seeds, and all are
seated again, the 1762Horned God1762 approaches the altar, and slices the
pomegranite in half, and holds both halves in one hand. He picks up some seeds and
charges them with his hopes and desires for the coming year, but does not plant them
at the altar. He holds them in his hand, and then he calls to all the spirits who
followed him through from beyond the veil to return with him now, and moving in a
deosil direction, circles around the Temple finally ending up beyond the veil again.
He calls to the Goddess to join with him once more, and she has such love for him
that she willingly leaves her life this side of the veil, and of her own free will
joins once more with her consort. She rises, and goes to the altar to collect and
charge her own seeds, which she then carries with her as she moves around the
Temple, finally joining the Horned God behind the veil. He closes the veil between
the worlds once more, and to symbolise her willing descent to the Otherworld, the
Goddess eats one half of the pomegranate. She and the Horned God then plant their
The northern quarter candle is relit by the person nearest to it.
At this point, 1763PS#1 and P#21763 approach the altar, and perform the consecration
of cakes and wine, in which all participate bar the HPS and P#1 behind the veil, as
they are "no longer of this world". After cakes and wine, 1763HPS and P#11763 rejoin
the circle for the feast, no longer "Horned God and Goddess".
TO END THE RITUAL:
Each quarter is thanked and bidden to depart by HPS
All present make their farewells to each other, and leave the Temple.
The Rite is ended.
Next: Yule Ritual 1984 (Julia Phillips)