Calendar of the Moon for December 10 & December 11

Calendar of the Moon
10 Ruis/Poseideion

(Note: These next five rituals are meant to be performed one after the other, on five consecutive days. Since this is the month that is often cut short, this rite will not be done every year. The House should check the year’s calendar and see if all five days are included in the year; if not, do not do any of these rites, and save them instead for another year. Do not start this cycle only to stop in the middle, for that would be terribly bad luck. Instead, continue with more of the Elder Tree Month invocation days until the Solstice.)

Day of the Underworld I

Color: Grey
Elements: All
Altar: Upon a ragged grey cloth set a vase of dried thistles, some oil of rue, a chalice of water and vinegar, and a box of remembrances from dead people.
Offering: Whatever the Gods tell you.
Daily Meal: Fasting tonight, until the next morning.

Underworld Ritual I

East Caller: Spirits of the East, Powers of Air!
We invoke you as the chill winds that blow
Ashes into our eyes,
Dust into our throats,
And cold into our bones.
Strip us clean, winds of winter!
Leave us bare of illusions
And empty of thought.
South Caller: Spirits of the South, Powers of Fire!
We invoke you as the funeral pyre,
Burning away all the trappings of life,
Blackening what is bright,
Destroying what is ephemeral,
As we are all ephemeral.
Burn us clean, fire of transformation!
Leave us clean grey ash in the air.
West Caller: Spirits of the West, Powers of Water!
We invoke you as the salt tears that fall
As we mourn the passing of all things.
For all things run down the river of time
And we do not see them again.
Wash us clean, tears of mourning!
Leave us foam on the waters
That slowly ebbs to nothing.
North Caller: Spirits of the North, Powers of Earth!
We invoke you as the cold earth of the grave,
Frozen around us,
Pressing us down into the depths,
Blotting out all air into stillness.
For we must learn the peace of the tomb
If we are to truly understand the joy of Spring.
Leave us to rot under the Earth
Until it there is nothing left of us.

Underworld Invocation I:

Now the Sun is overwhelmed,
And we are left alone to die
With all the faded trees,
The wasted flowers,
And so we also fade and waste –
Our birth, our youth, our prime,
Our proud excess, our cosmic fall:
Now ended all, and we are left with the mean prize
Of poverty and dull decline,
To fill the silence between the ticks of time.
Whither fled our strength
And our ascending leaves?
Whither fled our laughter
And our foolish golden bells?
Where now stand those scaffoldings of fire,
Those limbs of light wherein we played?
All are now pulled down,
Our lean possessions shrunk
To fill a little box,
And all our senses, our delights,
Turned pale and leached of taste,
Paled to a scentless draught that rusts the heart
To a mere foolish ticking clock.

(All should be silent for the space of ten heartbeats, and then the following chant is started in a whisper:)
Chant: The brain must break,
The bone must crack,
The blood must clot,
The heart must stop,
The flesh must rot.
(The chant is repeated until it dies away, and then the chalice is passed in silence. Each takes a single sip, and then it is placed back on the table. Leave in silence, with heads bowed.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon
11 Ruis/Poseideion

Day of the Underworld II

Color: Grey
Element: Earth
Altar: The altar should be the same as the night before, with the vinegar water replenished if necessary. Something made of rotting flesh should be placed on the altar, for scent.
Offerings: Whatever the Gods tell you.
Daily Meal: Fasting tonight, until the next morning.

Underworld Invocation II

We are the stricken, dying with death,
Shrouded with weeds, wrapped in our loss,
Silent we wait, clouded by tears,
Torn by the wind, ragged with mist.
Where we are wounded
There is no healing.
Where we decay
Nothing is sound.
Ravaged by night, abandoned by day,
Silent we wait, shadows of grey.
Old in our broken houses of flesh,
Old among ruined pillars of Sun,
Old as the halls to which we descend,
Old as this dark that does not end.
Call: Tonight we go under the ground.
Response: Tonight we are as corpses in the Earth.
Call: On this night, and the next, and the next, we are dead.
Response: On this night, we feel our bodies as they rot.
Call: On this night, we praise the worms and the beetles.
Response: On this night, we learn about the grave.
Call: On this night, we learn that Earth is silence.
Response: On this night, we learn that Earth welcomes us home.
Call: Receive us, Guardians of the Gate!
Response: Receive us, Lords of Death!

(All kneel before the altar for a long time, meditating on rot and decay. The chalice is passed, and all take a sip. Then all rise and leave in silence. That night, each should place under their pillow some dried weeds, or a handful of earth from a graveyard, for a reminder.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]