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                             THE GREAT RITE (SYMBOLIC) 
      
             Preparation: the chalice should be filled with wine. A veil of at 
     least a yard square is needed preferably of a Goddess color such as blue, 
     green, silver, or white. 

             The Coven, except for the High Priestess and High Priest,arrange 
     themselves around the perimeter of the circle, man and woman alternately as
     far as possible, facing the center. 

             The High Priestess and High Priest stand facing each other in the 
     center of the circle, she with her back  to the altar, he with his back  to
     the South. 

             The High Priest kneels before the High Priestess and gives her the 
     Five Fold Kiss; that is, he kisses her on both feet,both knees, womb, both 
     breasts, and the lips, starting with the right of each pair. he says, as he
     does this: 
      
            "Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways. 
             Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar. 
             Blessed be thy womb, without which we would not be. 
             Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty. 
             Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names." 
      
                     Forthekisson thelips,they embrace,lengthtolength,with their
     feet touching each others. When he reaches the womb, she spreads her arms 
     wide, and the same after the kiss on the lips. 

                     TheHighPriestess thenlays herselfdown,face upwards,with her
     arms and legs outstretched to form the Pentagram. 

             The High Priest fetches the veil and spreads it over the High 
     Priestess's body, covering her from breasts to knees. He then kneels facing
     her, with his knees between her feet. 

                     TheHigh Priestcalls a womanwitch byname, tobring his athame
     from the altar. The woman does so and stands  with the athame in her hands,
     about a yard to the West of the High Priestess's hips and facing her. 

                     TheHigh Priestcalls amalewitch byname,to bringthe chaliceof
     wine from the altar. He does so and stands with the chalice in his hands, 
     about a yard to the East of the High Priestess's hips and facing her. 
                                                                             657

             The High Priest delivers the invocation: 
      
            "Assist me to erect the ancient altar, at which in days past all 
             worshipped; 
             The altar of all things. 
             For in old time, Woman was the altar. 
             Thus was the altar made and placed, 
             And the sacred place was the point within the center of 
             the Circle. 
                     Aswehave ofold beentaught thatthe pointwithin thecenter is 
          the origin of all things, 
             Therefore should we adore it; 
             Therefore whom we adore we also invoke. 
             O Circle of Stars, 
             Whereof our father is but the younger brother, 
             Marvel beyond imagination, soul of infinite space, 
             Before whom time is ashamed, the mind bewildered, and the 
             understanding dark, 
             Not unto thee may we attain unless thine image be love. 
             Therefore by seed and stem, root and bud, 
             And leaf and flower and fruit do we invoke thee, 
             O Queen of Space, O Jewel of Light, 
             Continuous on of the heavens; 
             Let it be ever thus 
             That men speak not of thee as One, but as None; 
             And let them not speak of thee at all, since thou art continuous. 
             For thou art the point within the Circle, which we adore; 
             The point of life, without which we would not be. 
             And in this way truly are erected the holy twin pillars; 
             In beauty and strength were they erected 
             To the wonder and glory of all men." 
      
                     TheHigh Priestremoves theveil fromthe HighPriestess's body,
     and hands it to the woman witch, from whom he takes his athame. 

                     TheHigh Priestess risesand kneels facingthe High Priest,and
     takes  the  chalice   from  the  man  witch.  (Note   that  both  of  these
     handings-over are  done without the  customary ritual kiss.The  High Priest
     continues the invocation: 
      
            "Altar of mysteries manifold, 
             The sacred Circle's secret point 
             Thus do I sign thee as of old, 
             With kisses of my lips anoint." 
      
                     The  High Priest kisses the High Priestess on the lips, and
     continues: 
      
            "Open for me the secret way, 
             The pathway of intelligence, 
             Beyond the gates of night and day, 
             Beyond the bounds of time and sense. 
             Behold the mystery aright 
             The five true points of fellowship...." 
      
                                                                             658

                     TheHigh Priestessholdsupthe chalice,andtheHigh Priestlowers
     the point of his  athame into the  wine. Both use both  of their hands  for
     this. The High Priest continues: 
      
            "Here where Lance and Grail unite, 
             And feet, and knees, and breast, and lip." 
      
                     TheHigh Priesthandshis athametothe womanwitchand thenplaces
     both his hands  round those of the High Priestess as she holds the chalice.
     He kisses her, and she sips the wine; she kisses him, and he sips the wine.
     Both of them keep their hands around the chalice while they do this. 

                     TheHighPriest thentakesthechalice fromtheHighPriestess, and
     they both rise to their feet. 

                     TheHigh Priesthands thechaliceto awoman witchwitha kiss,and
     she sips. She  gives it to a man with a  kiss. The chalice is passed around
     the Coven, man to woman, with a kiss each time, until the entire  Coven has
     sipped the wine.  The chalice can be refilled and any one can drink from it
     without repeating the ritual once the chalice has gone around once. 

                     To consecratethe cakes,the woman picksup her athame,and the
     man, kneeling before  her, holds up the dish. the  woman draws the Invoking
     Pentacle of Earth in the air above the plate while the man says: 
      
             "O Queen most secret, bless this food into our bodies; 
              bestowing health, wealth, strength, joy and peace, 
              and that fulfillment of love that is perfect happiness." 
      
                     The womanlaysdown herathameand passesthe cakestothe manwith
     a  kiss, he passes  them back with  a kiss  and they are  passed around the
     Coven the same way the wine was. Be sure to save some of the wine and  some
     cake  for  an offering  to  the  Earth  and  the  Little  Folk.  After  the
     meeting,leave  the offering  outside of  the house  if working  indoors, or
     behind in the woods or field, when you leave if you are working outdoors. 
      
      
     Farrar, Janet and Stewart; "Eight Sabbats For Witches"; Robert Hale 1983 
     (Transcribed onto computer file by Seastrider) 
      
          THE GREAT RITE ACTUAL 
      
          Preparation:  the chalice  should be  filled with wine.  A veil  of at
     least a yard square is needed  preferably of a Goddess color such  as blue,
     green, silver, or white. 

          The  Coven, except  for  the High  Priestess  and High  Priest,arrange
     themselves around the perimeter of the circle, man and woman alternately as
     far as possible, facing the center. 

          The High  Priestess and  High Priest  stand facing  each other  in the
     center of the circle, she with her back to the altar, he with his  back  to
     the South. 

          The High  Priest kneels  before the High  Priestess and gives  her the
     Five Fold Kiss; that  is, he kisses her on both feet,both knees, womb, both
     breasts, and the lips, starting with the right of each pair. he says, as he
     does this: 
                                                                             659

      
            "Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways. 
          Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar. 
          Blessed be thy womb, without which we would not be. 
          Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty. 
          Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names." 
       
          For the  kiss on the  lips, they embrace,  length-to-length,with their
     feet touching each others. When  he reaches the womb, she spreads  her arms
     wide, and the same after the kiss on the lips. 

          The  High Priestess then lays herself down, face upwards,with her arms
     and legs outstretched to form the Pentagram. 

          The  High  Priest fetches  the  veil  and  spreads it  over  the  High
     Priestess's body, covering her from breasts to knees. He then kneels facing
     her, with his knees between her feet. 

          The High Priest delivers the invocation: 
      
          "Assist me to erect the ancient altar, at which in days     past all  
              worshipped; 
           The altar of all things. 
           For in old time, Woman was the altar. 
           Thus was the altar made and placed, 
           And the sacred place was the point within the center of the Circle. 
            As we have of old been taughtthat the point within the center is the
           origin of all things, 
           Therefore should we adore it; 
           Therefore whom we adore we also invoke. 
           O Circle of Stars, 
           Whereof our father is but the younger brother, 
           Marvel beyond imagination, soul of infinite space, 
            Before whom  time is  ashamed, the  mind bewildered, and  the       
     understanding dark, 
           Not unto thee may we attain unless thine image be love. 
           Therefore by seed and stem, root and bud, 
           And leaf and flower and fruit do we invoke thee, 
              O Queen of Space, O Jewel of Light, 
           Continuous on of the heavens; 
           Let it be ever thus 
           That men speak not of thee as One, but as None; 
           And let them not speak of thee at all, since thou art continuous. 
           For thou art the point within the Circle, which we adore; 
           The point of life, without which we would not be. 
           And in this way truly are erected the holy twin pillars; 
           In beauty and strength were they erected 
           To the wonder and glory of all men." 
      
          The Maiden fetches her athame from the altar and ritually opens a gate
     way in the Circle. The Coven file through and leave the room. The Maiden is
     the last one through and reseals the  Circle.  The High Priest removes  the
     veil from the High Priestess's body. 
                                                                             660

          The High Priestess  rises and kneels facing the High  Priest. The High
     Priest continues the invocation: 
      
          "Altar of mysteries manifold, 
          The sacred Circle's secret point 
          Thus do I sign thee as of old, 
          With kisses of my lips anoint." 
      
     The High Priest kisses the High Priestess on the lips, and continues: 
      
          "Open for me the secret way, 
          The pathway of intelligence, 
          Beyond the gates of night and day, 
          Beyond the bounds of time and sense. 
          Behold the mystery aright 
          The five true points of fellowship...." 
          "Here where Lance and Grail unite, 
          And feet, and knees, and breast, and lip." 
      
          The  High Priest  and High  Priestess now  have intercourse.This  is a
     private matter between them and  none of the Coven can question  them about
     it. When they are done, one of them ritually opens the Circle and calls the
     rest  of the Coven. When  they are back in the  Circle, it is again sealed.
     The wine is now consecrated.  

          A  male witch kneels in front  of the altar before  a female witch. He
     holds up a chalice  of wine and she holds her athame  point down and lowers
     the athame into the wine. The man says: 
      
          "As the athame is to the male, so the cup is to the female; 
              and conjoined, they become one in truth." 
      
          The woman  lays down her  athame on the altar  and kisses the  man who
     remains  kneeling and she accepts the chalice  from him. She sips the wine,
     kisses  him again and he sips, rises, and  gives it to another woman with a
     kiss. The chalice  is passed around  the Coven, man to  woman, with a  kiss
     each time, until  the entire Coven has sipped the wine.  The chalice can be
     refilled and  any one can drink  from it without repeating  the ritual once
     the chalice has gone around once.              

          To  consecrate the cakes,  the woman picks up  her athame,and the man,
     kneeling  before  her, holds  up  the dish.  The  woman draws  the Invoking
     Pentacle of Earth in the air above the plate while the man says: 
      
          "O Queen most secret, bless this food into our bodies; 
          bestowing health,  wealth, strength,  joy  and peace,  and that       
     fulfillment of love that is perfect happiness." 
      
          The woman lays down her athame and passes the cakes to  the man with a
     kiss,  he passes them back with a kiss and they are passed around the Coven
     the same way the  wine was. Be sure to save some of  the wine and some cake
     for  an offering to the Earth and  the Little Folk. After the meeting,leave
     the offering  outside of  the house  if working indoors,  or behind  in the
     woods or field, when you leave if you are working outdoors. 
      
      
     Farrar, Janet and Stewart; "Eight Sabbats For Witches"; Robert   Hale 1983 
     Transcribed to computer file by Seastrider. 
                                                                             661


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