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                  RITUAL FOR WOMEN RECLAIMING THE GOD 

        The session begins with everyone telling how the figure of the 
   God had been "spoiled" for them -- ie, by patriarchal and/or    
sexually repressive religions, by the destructive aspects of male    
energy (war, domination), etc.

        The altar is decorated with symbols of the God -- ours had
antlers, a crystal phallus, grain & grapes, a plastic goat from a
Celebrato Doppelbock beer bottle, an abstract figure of Baron Samedi (a
T shape made of dowels and dressed in a black frock coat with a top hat,
a red scarf, and a cane), a couple of statues of Chinese sages or bod-
hisattvas.

        I. Quarters: E - Myrddin, S - Weyland, W - Taliesin, N - Freyr
    (sorry this is so sketchy; I just improvised them on the spot. 
Check out their respective mythologies for ideas on how to invoke them)

II. Guided Meditation

        GROUND AND CENTER.  SINK INTO THE EARTH.  ALL AROUND YOU, THE
BREATHING OF SISTERS BECOMES THE BREATHING OF THE WORLDS' WINDS.  THE
HEAT OF OTHER BODIES BECOMES THE FIRE OF ALL LIFE.  THE RUSH OF BLOOD
IN YOUR EARS BECOMES THE MURMURING OF THE SEA.  THE FLOOR BECOMES A
RICH, LOAMY FIELD, FRESH PLOUGHED.

        FEEL THE SOIL.  RUB IT BETWEEN YOUR FINGERS.  SEE IT AND SMELL
IT.  IT IS DARK, ALMOST BLACK.  IT SMELLS OF COMPOST,SOMEHOW SMOKY.  IT
IS SMOOTH, CRUMBLY, FREE OF ROCKS, FIRM TO SUPPORT ROOTS BUT LOOSE TO
LET THEM SPREAD.  THIS IS MOTHER.  LIE DOWN UPON HER BODY AND EMBRACE
HER; FEEL HER WARMTH, WARMTH FROM THE SUN, SEEPING INTO YOU, COMFORTING
YOU.

        RISE UP.  AT YOUR SIDE, HANGING FROM YOUR SHOULDER, IS A BAG. 
WHEN YOU REACH INTO IT, YOUR HAND COMES OUT FULL OF SEEDS.  WALK BACK
AND FORTH IN THE FIELD, SCATTERING THE SEEDS.  FEEL THE SOIL GIVE UNDER
YOUR FEET.  FEEL THE SUN OVERHEAD; IT IS HOT, AND YOU ARE GETTING
TIRED.  KEEP ON, RHYTHMICALLY REACHING INTO THE BAG AND CASTING THE
SEEDS ABROAD.  YOUR SWEAT RUNS OFF YOU INTO THE FURROWS, SOAKING INTO
THE SOIL.  NOW THE WHOLE FIELD IS PLANTED.  NOW YOU CAN SIT AT THE
FIELD'S EDGE AND REST.

        YOU ARE TIRED.  YOU FEEL AS THOUGH YOU COULD REST FOR DAYS.  YOU
SIT EASY, BALANCED, ROOTED LIKE A STONE.  YOU ARE A STONE.  YOU ARE THE
GUARDIAN STONE OF THIS FIELD.  YOU WATCH, AS DAYS PASS.  SLOWLY,

SLOWLY, THE SUN ROLLS OVERHEAD, CLOUDS FILL THE SKY AND EMPTY OVER THE
FIELD WITH THUNDER AND LIGHTNING.  SLOWLY, SLOWLY, THE FIELD TURNS FROM
BROWN TO GREEN, AS THE FIRST SPROUTS FORCE THEIR WAY FROM THE SOIL.
DAYS PASS.  WEEKS PASS.  THE SPROUTS LOOK FIRST LIKE GRASS, THEN STALKS
APPEAR AND GROW EVER LONGER.  AT THE TOP OF EACH STALK, SWELLINGS
BECOME NEW SEEDS.  THE CLUSTERS OF SEEDS GROW, BLANKETED IN THEIR
CHAFF, THE HEADS OF GRAIN GROW BRUSHY, BEARDED.  THE GRAIN TURNS GOLD
FROM GREEN; THE HEADS BOW DOWN UNDER THE WEIGHT OF THEIR SEED.

        AND NOW YOU SEE PEOPLE COMING INTO THE FIELD, WOMEN WITH SICKLES
IN THEIR HANDS.  THEY ARE SINGING A DIRGE, A MOURNING SONG.  THEY COME
INTO THE FIELD AND CUT THE STALKS, KILLING THE PLANTS!  YOU ARE A
STONE, BUT YOU FEEL YOUR HEART BREAK WITH GRIEF FOR THIS KILLING.
SOON, ONLY STUBBLE IS LEFT; THE WOMEN HAVE TAKEN THE GRAIN AWAY.
BEFORE LONG, MORE WOMEN COME, AND SET FIRE TO THE STUBBLE.  YOU FEEL
THE HEAT OF IT WARMING YOUR STONE BODY.  YOU FEEL CRACKS OPEN INSIDE
YOU.  SOON, THE FIRE BURNS OUT, AND THE FIELD IS LEFT BLACK AS IT
BEGAN.  THE WOMEN RETURN WITH SEEDS, PLANTING AS BEFORE.  THE WEATHER
TURNS COLD, AND YOUR STONE-SELF CRACKS APART;  PIECES OF YOU FALL ONTO
THE FIELD.

        YOUR AWARENESS IS IN THE FIELD NOW, IN THE SEEDS.  SLEEPING IN
THE EARTH, UNDER THE SNOW.  WITH SPRING, YOU FEEL THE EARTH WARMING, AND
YOU KNOW WITHOUT KNOWING HOW THAT THE SUN IS ABOVE YOU.  YOU PUSH
UPWARD, TOWARD THE UNSEEN SUN.  YOU SEND DOWN A TAP ROOT TO HELP PUSH
YOU UP AND TO FEED YOU, AND IN THE OTHER DIRECTION YOU SEND A SHOOT
WITH TWO LEAF BUDS.  BEFORE LONG, YOU BURST OUT INTO THE SUNLIGHT.  ALL
AROUND YOU ARE OTHER PLANTS.  AS THE DAYS PASS, YOU GROW WITH THEM.
WHEN THE THUNDERSTORMS COME, YOU FEEL THAT THIS RAIN IS RICHER, AND YOU
FEEL BLESSED.  SEEDS DRINK RAIN AND EAT SUNLIGHT AND GROW HEAVY UPON
YOU.  YOU CANNOT HOLD THEM UP; THEY PULL YOU DOWN.  YOU ARE OPPRESSED,
AND AT A STANDSTILL.  YOU SENSE MOVEMENT IN THE FIELD, AND THEN THERE
IS A SHARP PAIN!  YOU ARE CUT OFF FROM YOUR ROOT!  YOUR POWER TO
TRANSFORM SUNLIGHT SLIPS AWAY FROM YOU LIKE BLOOD!  YOU ARE DYING!  YOU
ARE TAKEN AWAY FROM YOUR MOTHER FIELD AND THROWN ON A HARD FLOOR.  YOU
ARE BEATEN, BROKEN APART, SCATTERED.  YOU ARE DEAD.

        BUT SOME AWARENESS REMAINS WITH YOU.  YOU FEEL THE PIECES OF
YOURSELF GATHERED UP IN HUMAN HANDS, AND THEN SCATTERED AGAIN, THIS TIME
ON SOFTNESS.  IT IS MOTHER!  THEY HAVE RETURNED YOU TO MOTHER!  AND NOW
YOU ARE MORE THAN YOU WERE BEFORE; BEFORE YOU WERE A SINGLE PLANT -- NOW
YOU ARE A DOZEN PLANTS.  THE CYCLE IS REPEATED, ALL OF YOUR SELVES ARE
KILLED AND THROWN ABOUT, AND NOW YOU ARE HUNDREDS OF SELVES!  YOU DIE,
YOU ARE TORN APART, YOU ARE REGATHERED, AND REBORN.  YOUR HUNDREDS OF
SELVES SPEAK IN THIS VOICE: EVEN THIS AM I, AND I AM GOD.

        COME BACK TO YOUR ONE SELF NOW, YOUR ONE HUMAN SELF.  YOU ARE 
SITTING BESIDE THE FIELD, WHERE YOU SAT DOWN, WITH THE EMPTY SEED BAG AT
YOUR SIDE.  YOU LEAVE IT THERE, YOU RISE UP, AND TURN AWAY FROM THE
FIELD, TO THE WOODS AT THE BACK OF THE FIELD.  YOU FEEL LEAF MOULD AND
TWIGS UNDERFOOT.  ALL AROUND YOU YOU SEE LIFE SPRINGING UP OUT OF DEATH. 
WHERE TREES HAVE FALLEN, NEW PLANTS ARE GROWING UP THROUGH THE ROTTING
TRUNKS.  WHERE ANIMALS HAVE DIED, THEIR BODIES HAVE DECAYED TO PROVIDE
FOOD FOR THE PLANTS ALL AROUND.  ALL AROUND YOU, LIFE IS LIVING OFF OF
DEATH; THIS IS THE NATURE OF LIFE, ITS HORROR AND ITS WONDER.  YOU HEAR
A NOISE NEARBY AND TURN TO LOOK; THERE IS A MAGNIFICENT STAG JUST ON THE
OTHER SIDE OF A BUSH; YOU BLINK, AND IT IS GONE.  WAS IT ONLY BRANCHES?

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        EVERYWHERE AROUND YOU, GREEN THINGS ARE FULL OF THE FIRE OF
LIFE, AS ARE YOU.  YOU FEEL LIFE THRILLING THROUGH YOU, LIKE ELECTRIC-
ITY. SOMETHING ELSE IS EXCITING YOU -- WHAT IS IT?  YOU CANNOT QUITE
TELL.  IS IT A SCENT, A SOUND, A SENSE?  SOMETHING, THERE ON THE EDGE OF
YOUR HEARING, SOMETHING YOU CAN ALMOST TOUCH, A FAINT SCENT YOU    
HALF-REMEMBER.  WHAT IS IT?  YOU ARE AROUSED AND DETERMINED TO TRACK
DOWN THE SOURCE.

        EVERYWHERE YOU TURN, YOU SEE GLIMPSES, HALF-SEEN, OF SOMETHING.
SOMETHING FLITTING THROUGH THE TREES.  IS IT A DEER?  A WILD BOAR?  A
FERAL GOAT?  A BEAR?  ON THE BUSHES YOU FIND TUFTS OF HAIR.  BEFORE YOU
YOU SEE TRACKS -- CLOVEN HOOVED, TOED, CLAWED.  WHAT ARE YOU FOLLOWING?
DO YOU DARE GO ON?  ALL AROUND YOU IS THE PULSING OF ELEMENTAL FORCES:
    THE FIRE OF LIFE, THE WIND OF BREATH, THE WATER OF BLOOD, THE EARTH,
    THE EARTH, THE EARTH, POWERFUL AND DARK AND UNKNOWABLE.

        ABOVE YOU, THE SKY DARKENS, THE WIND RISES.  YOU HEAR THUNDER
AND THE BAYING OF HOUNDS, CRYING FOR BLOOD AND DEATH.  YOU TREMBLE WITH
FEAR AND EXCITEMENT; WHITE HOUNDS WITH RED EARS BURST OUT OF THE BUSHES,
SURROUNDING YOU.  THEY GROWL -- BUT THEY ARE WAGGING THEIR TAILS.  ARE
YOU THEIR PREY, OR THEIR MASTER?  YOU FEEL ANTLERS ON YOUR OWN BROW; ARE
YOU THE STAG THEY HUNT, OR THE HUNTER WHO CARES FOR THEM?  NOW THERE ARE
PEOPLE WITH THE DOGS, AND YOU FEEL THE LOVE OF THE PEOPLE, THE RESPECT. 
YOUR DEATH WILL FEED THEM, GIVE THEM THEIR NEEDS, AND THEY ARE GIVING
YOU THEIR LOVE.  YOU KNOW THEIR HUNGER, AND YOU FEEL GREAT COMPASSION
FOR THEM.  YOU LIE DOWN AND LEAVE YOUR BODY TO THEM; THEY SING WITH JOY
AS YOUR SELF FLIES UP OVERHEAD, OUTWARD, SPREADING, INTO THE TREES AND
PLANTS AND ANIMALS AND EVERYTHING.

        YOU ARE SUDDENLY OVERWHELMED BY THE FEELING THAT YOU ARE BEING
CAUGHT UP IN THE COSMOS; YOU ARE EVERYTHING AND NOTHING; YOU ARE NOT
YOURSELF; YOU HAVE NO SELF; YOU FEEL A SUDDEN, UNREASONING TERROR; YOU
ARE STILL; YOU ARE ALL.

        SLOWLY, SOMETHING BREAKS INTO YOUR FEAR.  YOU HEAR A SWEET, LOW,
BREATHY PIPING.  THE PIPING CALMS YOU, AND YOU KNOW NOW IN YOUR HEART
THAT YOU ARE ALWAYS A PART OF EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IS WITHIN YOU.
YOU ARE STILL; YOU ARE ALL; YOU ARE LIFE AND DEATH AND REBIRTH; WITHIN
YOUR OWN HUMAN BODY IS THE MICROCOSM OF ALL THAT IS.  THE GREEKS NAME
THIS ALL "PAN".

        YOU STAND BACK IN THE WOOD, HEARING THE MUSIC, SMELLING THE
SMELLS OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS, FEELING THAT PULSE OF POWER FILLING YOU,
INFORMING YOU, EMPOWERING YOU.   YOU ARE ECSTATIC!  YOU TAKE TO YOUR
TOES AND DANCE WITH JOY!  AROUND YOU, ANIMALS COME OUT OF THE FOREST TO
DANCE WITH YOU, REJOICING IN LIFE!

        YOU SEE THE LIGHT OF THE SUN FILTERING DOWN THROUGH LEAVES, AND
THE LIGHT SEEMS TO TAKE A SHAPE.  WHAT IS THAT SHAPE?  WHO DO YOU SEE?
THE GOD STANDS, SMILING, WELCOMING, BEFORE YOU.  WHO IS HE?  HE IS ALL
THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE; WHAT IS HE TO YOU?  HIS EYES ARE SAD AND WARY AS
A DEER'S.  HOW WILL YOU DEAL WITH HIM?  HE REACHES OUT TO YOU; YOU HAVE
BEEN AS HE, YOU HAVE DIED AND RISEN, YOU HAVE BEEN THE LIFE OF WILDNESS,
YOU KNOW THAT HE HAS BEEN WITHIN YOU AS YOU; WILL YOU WELCOME HIM BACK
AS HE, THE GOD?

        YOU DO TOUCH HIM, AND WELCOME HIM.  HE THROWS BACK HIS HEAD TO
LAUGH FOR JOY!  AND NOW YOU DANCE TOGETHER, AS ONE, FOR YOU ARE ONE. 

SIT UP.  FEEL YOUR BODY!  TOUCH YOUR BODY AND FEEL YOUR FLESH, FEEL THE
HEAT OF LIFE UNDER YOUR FLESH.  BREATHE AND FEEL THE WIND WITHIN YOU. 
MOVE, AND FEEL THE JOY OF THE DANCE!  RISE UP, AND DANCE THIS INVOCA-
TION!

        HE IS THE STORM THAT SCOURS THE LAND
        HE IS THE GUIDE OF HIDDEN WAYS
        HE IS THE HOLLY AND THE OAK
        HE IS THE HUNTER AND THE PREY
        HE IS THE LORD OF STAG AND BEAR
        HE IS THE SLAYER AND THE SLAIN
        HE IS THE BLADE OF SACRIFICE
        HE IS THE BLOOD THAT HEALS ALL PAIN
        HE IS THE WORD THAT MADE THE WORLDS
        HE IS THE SONG IN EVERY THROAT
        HE IS THE IVY AND THE GRAPE
        HE IS THE LORD OF RAM AND GOAT
        HE IS THE HEAT IN LIMB AND LOIN
        HE IS THE RAPTURE AND THE FRIGHT
        HE IS THE FIRST LORD OF THE DANCE
        HE IS THE FLAME UPON THE HEIGHT
        HE IS THE SOWER AND THE SEED
        HE IS THE STONE BESIDE THE TRACK
        HE IS THE BEARDED HEADS OF GRAIN
        HE IS THE LEAF AND BRANCH AND BARK
        HE IS THE LORD OF HORSE AND BOAR
        HE IS THE BLACKTHORN ON THE MOUND
        HE IS THE PULSE OF WOODLAND'S HEART
        HE IS THE HOME AND HOLY GROUND
        HE IS THE SALMON IN THE POOL
        HE IS THE WINNER OF THE MEAD
        HE IS THE HAZEL AND THE ASH
        HE IS THE SECRET IN THE REED
        HE IS THE SPEAKER OF THE RUNE
        HE IS THE CORACLE ON SEA
        HE IS THE SWALLOWED AND REBORN
        HE IS THE RIDER OF THE TREE

        When all have danced to satiation, bring the dancing to a close,
    then say:

        LOOK AROUND AND SEE THE ALL IN YOUR SISTERS!  REACH OUT AND
EMBRACE THE GOD YOU SEE THERE!

Feel the presence of the God

 What/how do you feel now?
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