Rethinking Community for Solitaries

Rethinking Community for Solitaries

Author:   Incense Dragon   

For two decades or more, I have been involved in some way with Community building among Pagans. During that time I have attended countless group meetings, attended every kind of fundraiser imaginable, seen groups build up and rip themselves apart, and watched a lot of very well-meaning people expend tremendous amounts of energy, time, and money only to see their efforts bring little or no fruit as a result. Sometimes these efforts are very successful (look at Heartland Pagan Festival or PantheaCon as examples) but sometimes they find only short-lived benefit (if any) .

After sitting out of these kinds of activities for nearly 5 years, I was drawn into this same old model once again when a local leader asked me to run for an open position on the board of directors of her organization. I very quickly found myself back with the same old problems, same old types of conflict, and had to ask myself “how did I end up here yet again?” The answer is simple: Community building is very important to me. It was important to my Pagan mentor decades ago and it has always been important to me. That hasn’t changed a bit. I am still very concerned with building bridges between all Pagans and Pagan groups.

The problem is not necessarily with the well-meaning people who start these groups. When they survive their early efforts, they can develop into long-running events or groups. These types of groups and events are critical to networking, communication, creating a broader community, and giving us ways to come together and celebrate. We need to embrace those successes, but recent events have caused me ask what other approaches there might be. Are there alternatives that would make our efforts at community building more successful?

So I began to meditate on this topic. I asked my patron god and goddess for direction, opened myself to all friendly powers, and began a process of self-examination. In the end, I was surprised by what was revealed to me. Like the majority of American Pagans, I am a Solitary. In my heart, I have always been Solitary, despite my time in a coven. I am Solitary by Choice. I love meeting with other Pagans of all walks of life and going to festivals and conventions with throngs of my fellow Pagans, Solitary and Traditional Pagan alike. But I am a Solitary and decided to walk that path long ago. So why am I trying to act like I am not Solitary?

Large organizations are essential to the building and networking of the Pagan Community. However, I believe we have really missed the boat by using this as our primary (and often exclusive) method of organizing. Large groups are a typical, conventional approach to organization. Pagans are not typical people, however, and conventional approaches may not always be the best way for us. I’m a devote Solitary but that does not mean that I cannot work in a group nor that Solitaries are unable to organize events. Those of us who are Solitary by Choice are still able to work with others to achieve common goals, but we have to recognize that we are a different breed than Traditional Pagans.

I am somewhat sympathetic to those used to the, comparatively, orderly nature of Covens who are thrust into dealing with Solitaries. Solitaries are a group in name only – the reality is that each one of us is different and it is only our basic beliefs that tie us together. Traditional Pagans are, of course, also individuals and I don’t mean to paint them as if they are just in lock-step with their HP or HPS. They view the Pagan world through the eyes of a Coven, and that is quite a different perspective than held by many Solitaries. Our inability to recognize this basic difference has led to countless conflicts, misunderstandings, and worse.

So what do we do?

We can’t possibly ask our Coven Brothers and Sisters to do all of the work. This is something that often happens. Solitaries go to festivals and conventions organized by others, but less often do the work that goes on behind the scenes. It’s completely unfair to enjoy the fruits of the work of others without giving back. We cover some of that by volunteering during the event (picking up trash, hauling wood, etc.) but many Solitaries do not know how, or do not feel welcome, to be part of the organizational side of things. For many, however, it is the feeling of being an “outsider” or feeling excluded (because we are not part of the group behind the organizing of an event) that can lead to feelings of disenfranchisement.

This is the line of thinking that took me into my two month-long meditation about my future with the Pagan Community. My personal conclusion is that I have taken the wrong approach to growing the Pagan Community for all of these decades. Some Solitaries may not be “into” large groups by their nature. This type and form of organization is not native to many of us, and for some it is downright offensive. I just went through a conflict with a local Pagan leader for whom I had the deepest respect and trust. When I failed to act within the organization as a “Covener” would be expected to act, conflict exploded. In the end it turned out to be that this leader did not understand how our email list worked and she believed that I was sending internal organizational information to the general public. It was a simple misunderstanding on her part that led to a painful several months for us both and obliterated my trust in and respect for her.

This led to a horrible conflict between us. She relied on how she was used to people communicating within the bounds of a Coven. I am an “independent operator” with very strong ethical rules and put a lot of emphasis on written communication (I live 60 miles away from the city where meetings are held) . When the Traditional approach and the Solitary approach clashed, the results were horrific. I was insulted and demeaned both publically and privately because someone did not understand how something functioned. This doesn’t mean that the leader is a terrible person. She’s simply not equipped to deal with those of a very different history and perspective. I am not like those she is used to working with. Once our perspectives came into conflict, she interpreted that as a conflict between the two of us personally. Things rapidly spiraled out of control to the point that I was ready to resign from her organization in spite of being a member of the board of directors.

The conflict with that leader will be my last of this nature. I am moving out of these types of organizations and instead I am transforming my efforts to connect and build the Pagan Community into an approach that I should have been using for 20 years. Why have I spent all of this time attempting to fit into an organizational model that I have actively avoided in every other context? I am not saying that I am going to resign from the Pagan organizations to which I belong. Even the organization where I was so heavily impacted by someone else’s ignorance is a place where I intend to keep a membership and continue to participate. I have, however, resigned from that group’s board of directors. The organizational expectations that exist there are designed for those who are prefer the Coven approach. I am not such a person. I am an independent operator and trying to be something I’m not has resulted in recurrent failure.

Instead, I want to use my Solitary approach as an advantage rather than a shortfall to overcome. I am self-reliant and dependable. In fact, it’s difficult for me to rely on anyone else outside my immediate family anyway, so why not rely on the one person upon whom I can always depend? Over the years, I have built very close relationships with a few select Pagans I have grown to trust. Between those people and myself, there is little that we cannot do within our own scale. We will never be a large enough group to accomplish some of the things that large organizations do, but we can certainly do a great deal.

Looking at the overall Pagan Community in America, it seems to me that we mostly exist as individuals or small groups scattered around the country. Think of it as the way that America looked in the 19th Century, especially along the various frontiers. Villages and tiny towns were the way that the individuals or small families who lived in the wild lands would trade and communicate. These are like small Covens or other small, local Pagan groups. There were a few large cities near the frontiers where far more goods and services were available. Using that model, the frontier is where the Solitaries dwell and the cities are the home of large Covens or other large, formal organizations. We are all part of the same society, same nation, and same general geographic area. Yet we are clearly distinct. Each has benefits and drawbacks. Nevertheless, for the nation as a whole to operate, each of these parts must work together.

It’s not a perfect analogy, but it gets to the heart of how we can work together. Cities depend on food and other materials that come from the frontiers/wild places. Raw materials are processed into goods and are available to frontiers people. Each provides something that the other needs and together we operate as a complete economy.

So where does that leave me and thousands of others in a similar situation? How can a Solitary even help to build community? What can a Solitary do that is different than the “standard model” that we have used for community for so long?

One nice thing about being a Solitary is that I have neither reason nor desire to tell anyone else what to do. Don’t look for me to tell you what anyone else should do. I can tell you what I’m going to do. First, I have resigned from all leadership positions in these types of Traditional Pagan organizations. I still think those organizations are important and useful and I will remain a “rank-and-file” member of such organizations, but I will no longer take any type of formal or leadership role within those organizations. Instead, I’m going to focus on projects that help to build community interconnectivity whether between groups or individuals. Some are old projects that I’ve had in mind for a long time, but for which I could never get support from the various organizations with which I worked. Only recently, I realized that I can do a lot of this work alone and that would give me the freedom to try whatever approaches I wish. No meetings, conferences, committees, diminution of the original concept, and no need to find “compromise solutions”. If a project fails, there are no political ramifications and nobody will accuse me of wrongdoing or making a bad decision. If I make a bad decision, I will deal with the consequences myself.

There are drawbacks to this approach. If things go wrong there is nobody else to blame. When you work alone, you have to accept all successes and failures as your own. As a Solitary you can only hope to work with others on occasion. I am not “married” to the idea that I always have to work alone, but I do know that if I plan to work alone I will never be disappointed when someone else fails to show up. Working alone, or with just one or two other people, means you have fewer “person hours” per week to work on a project, you have a lesser ability to raise funds, have to carry all of the needed equipment, set it up, and tear it down with little outside help. It is harder to bounce ideas off someone else when they are not involved in the development of the project. I am also limited by my own knowledge and experience. In a large group you often have a variety of knowledge and skills upon which you can draw.

Working alone also means that the scope or scale of your projects have to be appropriate. Although it is theoretically possible that I could plan a large event and pay for it by myself, realistically I am limited as to the size of projects that I can take on alone. A primary project I am doing currently is a Public Access television show for Pagans ( or . I am doing the whole process by myself (aside from the people in the videos) – I record the video and operate the camera, I do the editing, titles, voiceovers, set up the interviews, buy equipment, etc., by myself. It would be nice to have someone else along who can run a camera or just carry equipment (although it has yet to happen) , but this is a Solitary project. And it is a project that can definitely make a difference and help our community statewide. Eventually, perhaps, it will be helpful nationwide.

I am able to (and often do) travel around the state to visit my fellow Pagans and attend their events or meetings. When I do this as an active leader for some organization, like it or not, my visits to those other communities are seen as “official” by many people. As a standing officer, even if I know it’s not true, I have to accept that a lot of people would still see it this way. If the group I want to visit is in some kind of dispute or disagreement with the organization to which I belong, people can easily misinterpret such a visit. Yet if I am not affiliated with the leadership of any particular group, then those problems vanish.

I want to give one more example of what a single person can do to help build a stronger Pagan community. Casting my mind back to the autumn of 2007, I can think of something fun I did (as a Solitary) , that provided an immediate positive impact on my community. I have a friend who holds an annual “non-Event” that is a camping gathering of Pagans in central Oklahoma. This is an open event where Pagans gather at a state park for a weekend of camping, drumming, and fun without any agendas, formal rituals, or planned workshops. Beej’s Non-Event is another great example of a Solitary effort – Beej had the idea, told people, and they came. Naturally, everyone brings their own camping gear and feeds himself or herself. I asked myself what I could do, on my own, to make this event more enjoyable for everyone? There is no staff or schedule, so it truly was a Solitary situation.

My solution was to create the “Greenman Kitchen”. On Saturday morning of the non-event, I set up my canopy, fired up 3 camping stoves, and cooked breakfast for everyone who cared to get up (I fed roughly 35 people that morning) . I did the work and provided everything – it was simply my way to say “thank you” to my community for everything they did for me throughout the year. It required not a single meeting or committee or vote. I didn’t need anyone’s approval nor did I have to compromise on the menu or methods. I did something nice and fun for everyone, and it was a blast. Yes, it was hours of hard work but it was all on my own terms. Best of all, it was a huge Solitary success. I hope to one day bring the Greenman Kitchen back to life in the Oregon Pagan Community. These are not the only such Solitary activities I’ve done for the community, but a nice example of the power of A Circle of One.

Our community benefits from all kinds of people. Our diversity is possibly our greatest strength yet we so often take steps to squash that diversity rather than benefit from it. Those who work well in groups are crucial to the future of the Pagan community in America. One or two individuals simply can’t create the large, organized events that we occasionally get to enjoy. We NEED those who can work with and effectively lead groups of Pagans. They are a huge part of how we can draw closer and bring our energies together. I just hope that if you’ve read all the way to the end of this article that you can now see that YOU as an individual can do a great deal to build and improve our community. Solitaries, Traditional Pagans, and those in-between or beyond those limits can all contribute to making ours a stronger, better-connected community.

Solitary individuals have far more ability to positively impact the Greater Pagan Community than most of us have thought in the past. We Solitaries owe a big debt to those organizations that have worked so hard to create events over the decades. Now we Solitaries need to step up and do our part to help this community connect and grow. The great news is that we can do this while remaining true to our Solitaries paths. We need not try to work within organizations that run counter to how we function in order to be part of the community and to positively contribute to its growth.

The Law (Humor)

                                          THE LAW
by Rosemary Edgehill
The Law was made and ardane about a week from last Wednesday.
The  Law was made for the Wiccca,  in order that they should develop a
nice longhand style from copying it.

TheWicccashouldgive dueworshiptotheGodz, presumingthey
believe the Godz exist and aren’t just metaphors; and obey Their Will,
which the HPS of  the Coven will make up as she goes along, for it was
made   for the purpose of ego-tripping  and wild parties.  The worship
of the  Wiccca is good for the owners of Occult Supply Stores, for the
owners of  Occult Supply Stores love the money of the Wiccca.

Asa manlovetha womanusingthe missionaryposition, sothe
Wiccca should shaft their fellows  and other total strangers frequent-
ly.    And it  is necessary that the Magick  Circle which is the prin-
cipal difference between  a Wicccan rite and a frat  party be cast and
all  Wiccca properly  purified  to enter  it so  they  can drink  five
gallons of Ripple each  and not throw up.

TheHPSshallr/u/i/n/ rulehercovenasthe localrepresenta-
tive  of  the Goddess,  and choose whomever she is  sleeping with this
week to be her HP…or her Maiden.

Andremember that the Wiccca would have it that The God
Himself kissed her feet and gave  up the position of Ringmaster to her
because  of her arbitrariness  and autocracy, her  spite and unreason,
her  mysteriousness and ignorance: so the HP  is expected to go as far
away as possible and not even show up for Sabbats.

It is the greatest virtue of a HPS that she turn as many of her
Covenors into closet  Xtians as  possible, for the  true HPS  realizes
that anyone with the sense Goddess gave  a goose is not going to stick
around without having a death wish.
*       *       *       *       *
In  the Olden  Days when  Wiccca extended  far, we  were free  and had
reservations  in all the best restaurants.   But these days, we eat at

SO BE IT ARDANE, that nonebut the Wiccca shall ever be
invited to   dinner, for  people who ignore us  are many, and  if they
ever found out what we are really up to, they would giggle.

SO BE ITARDANE, that no Coven shall knowwhere the next Coven
bide, nor who its member be, save anybody who looks in Circle Newslet-
ter and the hit team we send out to sanction them.

SOBEITARDANE, thatnoone shalltellanyoneanything, least
of  all  thy fellows  in the  Craft, for  fear one  of you  will learn
something; because as it is truly writ: Gerald wrote it, I believe it,
that settles it.

Andif anybreakthese Laws,theywill havetostart theirown
Tradition and make up their own Grandmother.

Leteach HPSgovernherCoven asshedamn’well please,riding
rough-shod over the Covenors as long as they will stand for.

Butitmust berecognized thatsooner orlater theywill get
mad and  stop bringing the Ripple  to Coven meetings.   When this hap-
pens, it hath ever been the Old Law that the HPS will Elevate  them to
the Third Degree and kick them  out, and promise them the rest  of the

Anyone ofanydegree ornonemay founda Coven,providedthey
think  they can get  away with it  and can create  a convincing Grand-

They mayraidother Covensformembers aslongas nooneknows
where to find them.

But splitting the Covenoft means new opportunities for
evading the consequences of your  actions, so the wise HPS  will think
of it first.

*       *       *       *       *

If you should keep  a Black Book, let it be in your own hand of write,
except for the parts you xerox out of Lady Sheba.  Or better yet, tell
everybody they’re not of a high enough degree to see it.

ProclaimyourWicccahoodloudly, andoften;youmaybe ableto
do a brisk trade in spells, psychic fairs, and talk  shows.  If nobody
believs you,  try holding a public skyclad circle.  If all else fails,
hire a  press agent and advertise  in the National Inquirer.   If they
try to  make you  talk of the  Brotherhood, lay  it on with  a trowel.
Ancient Atlantis is always good  for a five-minute spot on the  six o’
clock news.   Not all interviewers  are bad; some may  even flash your
business address on the screen for a few seconds.

*       *       *       *       *

To  avoid discovery, let your working  tools be ordinary stuff such as
any may have around the house: AR-15’s, Patton Tanks, Howitzers (let’s
see how  far we  can stretch  that First Amendment,  gang!).   Have no
names or signs on  anuything, and  remove the ones they came with,  as
otherwise this can lead to a charge of receiving stolen property.

LetthePentacles bemadeof waxunlesssomethingelse ismore

Haveno sword, unlessyou are inthe SCA ora collector of
WWII memorabilia.

Writethe namesand signson agummed labelsothat itcan be
peeled off immediately afterwards; remember that not guilty by  reason
of insanity is not a valid defense in cases of this kind.

Everrememberthatyou aretheHiddenChildrenof theGoddess;
when you can take time out from Karma Dumping Runs, Psychic Vendettas,
Banishing each  other from the  Coven and discussing  how much fun  it
would be  to persecute  the Xtians, remember  never to do  anything to
disgrace Her.  Or Them, if that’s possible.

*       *       *       *       *

In the Olden Days, when we had Power, we could use the Art against any
who ill-treated us; but these days a whispering campaign works better.
Remember always  that there are a  lot of flaky people  out there, and
for this reason  it is best to give a fake  name and a Post Office Box
address.  Someone is always going to blame you for something.

SO BEIT ARDANE: HARMNONE, or atleast have agood alibi.
Never  break this law,  or people who  get burned along  with you will
come after you with baseball bats, and you will never be able to score
any decent hash again.

AnyHPSwho doessomethingyou don’tlikeyou canwalkout on,
but be sure to clout the Coven Book  on the way to the door and set up
in business for yourself (Learn Witchcraft From The Experts!).

Always accept money for use of the Art, but keep an eye on the
Gypsy Laws.  In some states, Barter works better.  All may use the Art
for their own advantage; remember, quick and dirty works best, and you
can lay  off Karma on the Coven.  If  that doesn’t work, try dead cats
in the mailbox.

*       *       *       *       *

‘Tis the Old Law and most important of all the Laws that no one may do
anything that will endanger any of the Craft.  Unless there’s money in
it, or it’s to someone  you think deserves it, and anyway,  “endanger”
is in the eye of the beholder.

In anydispute betweenthe Wiccca,no onemayinvoke anyLaw
but that  of the Craft.   However, you can break  into your opponent’s
home and mess  up his stuff.. after all, it says right here they can’t
go to the Police.

Neverbargain orhaggle whenyou buybythe Art;most Occult
Store owners  will just  throw you  out and  everyone else will  think
you’re a nut.

*       *       *       *       *

It is ever  the way  with men and  with women that  they are ruled  by
their glands.  At any moment  your HPS may run off and become  a Rosi-
crucian.   And the way of  Resignation is this: if  she doesn’t answer
her phone for two weeks and is  never home when you drive by, you  can
declare her  outcast from the Coven and take it over yourself, with as
many  as will have you.  But if  she comes back she will probably take
of the  Coven again,  or start  another one in  the same  building and
declare you Invalid, and there’s  not much you can do about  it. Learn
to live with anxiety.  Get everything in writing.

*       *       *       *       *

It hath  been found that  two people sitting  around with a  bottle of
Chianti   discussing Atlantean  Grandmothers will become  fond of each
other, if only  because of the Stockholm Syndrome.   Therefore, let it
be resolved that  a human being shall  be taught in the  Craft only by
another  human  being, and  screw  the  middle-class morality  of  the

*       *       *       *       *

And  the Curses  of the  Mighty Ones be  on all  who try  to take this
seriously,  or the Craft seriously,  or the Wiccca  seriously.  Caveat
Lector, and May The Force Be With You!

How To Hold a Rebirthing Ritual for Ostara

How To Hold a Rebirthing Ritual for Ostara

By Patti Wigington, Guide


Spring is the time of year when the cycle of life, death, and rebirth is complete. As plants bloom and new life returns, the theme of resurrection is ever present. As Ostara, the spring equinox, arrives, it’s the season for that which has gone dormant to become revitalized, alive, and reborn. This ritual includes a symbolic rebirthing — you can perform this rite either as a solitary, or as a part of a group ceremony.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Varied
Here’s How:
  1. In addition to setting up your Ostara altar, you’ll need the following supplies: a black sheet for each participant, a bowl of dirt, water, a white candle, and incense. For this rite, the High Priestess (HPs) or High Priest (HP) should be the only person at the altar. Other participants should wait in another room until called. If you’re doing the rite outside, the group can wait some distance away from the altar. If your tradition calls for you to cast a circle, do this now.
  2. The first person in the group waits outside the circle, covered from head to toe in the black sheet. If your group is comfortable with skyclad rituals, you can be nude under the sheet — otherwise, wear your ritual robe. Once the HPs is ready to begin, she calls the first participant into the altar area, cutting an opening in the circle as the person enters and then closing it behind them.
  3. The participant, still covered in the black sheet, kneels on the floor before the altar.

    The HPs greets the participant, and says:

    Today is the time of the Spring equinox.
    Ostara is a time of equal parts light and dark.
    Spring has arrived, and it is a time of rebirth.
    The planting season will soon begin, and
    life will form once more within the earth.
    As the earth welcomes new life and new beginnings,
    so can we be reborn in the light and love of the gods*.
    Do you, (name), wish to experience the rebirth of spring, and
    step out of the darkness into the light?

  4. The participant replies with an affirmative answer. The HPs takes the salt from the altar, and sprinkles it over the sheet-clad participant, saying:

    With the blessings of the earth, and the life within the soil,
    you are reborn in the eyes of the gods.

    Next, the HPs takes the lit incense and passes it over the participant, saying:

    With the blessings of air, may knowledge and wisdom
    be brought to you upon the winds.


    The HPs takes the burning candle and (carefully!) passes it over the participant, saying:

    May the fire of the spring sun bring growth and harmony
    into your life.


  5. Finally, the HPs sprinkles water around the participant, and says:

    With the blessings of water, may the chill and darkness of winter,
    be swept away by the warm spring rains.

    Rise! Step forth out of the darkness, and climb into the light.
    Awaken once more in the arms of the gods.

  6. At this point, the participant slowly emerges from the black sheet. Remember, this is a symbolic rebirth. Take your time if you feel you need to. As you pull the sheet back away from you, remember that you are not only stepping into the light, but putting behind you the darkness of the past six months. Winter is over, and spring has arrived, so take a few moments, as you emerge, to think about the magic of this time of year.

    The High Priestess then welcomes the participant, saying:

    You have stepped once more into the light,
    and the gods welcome you.

  7. Repeat the ceremony until all members of the group have been “reborn”. If you are performing this rite as a solitary, obviously you would speak the lines of the HPs yourself, and bless the area around yourself with the dirt, incense, candle and water. Once everyone in the group has gone through the rebirthing, take some time to meditate on the balancing energy of Ostara. Light and dark are equal, as are positive and negative. Consider, for a while, the polarity of this season. Think about the balance you wish to find in your life, and consider how you may work harder to find harmony within yourself.
  8. When you are ready, end the ritual, or move on to a Cakes and Ale ceremony or other healing magic**.
  1. * Feel free to substitute the name of your tradition’s deity here.
  2. ** If you’ve ever thought about rededicating yourself to the gods of your tradition, Ostara is an excellent time to do this.
What You Need:
  • A bowl of earth
  • Incense
  • A white candle
  • Water
  • A black sheet for each participant

Imbolc Ritual #2

Imbolc Ritual
Adapted from Edain McCoy’s The Sabbats

Cleanse and cast the circle. Then call the elements in the manner with which you are most comfortable. We used the corner callings from Spiral Dance, by Starhawk.

The high priestess takes the chalice from the alter and holds it up to the sky.

HPS: Blessed Lady Goddess, we humbly ask your presence at our circle tonight as we honor you at this season.

Coveners: Blessed be the Lady.

The high priest takes the athame from the altar and holds it up to the sky.

HP: Blessed Lord God, we humbly ask your presence at our circle tonight as we honor you at this season.

Coveners: Blessed be the Lord.

The Virgin Goddess leaves the circle. She comes to the edge of the circle with her candle wheel in her hands. She should stand at the West quarter (the doorway to the Land of the Dead). The high priestess will cut a doorway in the circle and allow the Goddess to enter. Everyone should greet her in their own way (verbal, motion, etc). The Goddess should walk three times clockwise around the inside of the circle, and come to a stop before the alter and kneel before it, facing North.

The coveners should walk in single file to the altar starting with the person to the altar’s right. This will make the procession head clockwise. When everyone is back in their places holding their lighted candles, the ritual can continue.

HP: Behold the light. The God has returned for his bride.


Blessed be the light which warms. Blessed be the God.
Blessed be the Wheel which turns. Blessed be the Goddess.

The child God steps out from among the rest and stands before the bride, who is still kneeling. The God bows to the goddess and she to him. Then they do a few flowing dance steps around the circle without touching each other, but conveying the idea of awakening sexuality. When they are finished, they lift the besom from its resting place on the altar. The Goddess should hold the straw part and the God the stick. They should make sure they do not physically come in contact with each other while they do this. The high priestess stands in front of the besom and takes it from them by grasping it firmly with both hands. The Goddess and God step back to take their places with the rest of the coven.

HPS: With Imbolc we sweep away the last vestiges of winter.

The Coveners turn and face outward from the circle. The Priestess moves counterclockwise around the circle behind the covenors, sweeping from the center outward. As the High Priestess passes each covenor he or she should voice either aloud or silently all the things that he or she wishes to have swept from their lives. When this is finished, the Virgin Goddess and the child God step forward again and take the besom fromt he High Priestess in the same manner in which it was given. Then the High Priestess steps back and the Virgin Goddess and child God place the besom back onto the altar, and again take their positions among the covenors around the circle.

HPS: The God has claimed the Goddess bride and the Wheel of the Year turns on. Who is Goddess?

All women: I am Goddess.

HP: Who is God?

All men: I am God.

HP and HPS: Who is Goddess and God?

Coveners: All living beings are Goddess and God.

HP and HPS: And who are we?

Coveners: We are the children of deity. And we are deity. We are part of the creative life forces which move the universe. we are microcosm and macrocosm. We are part of all that is.
Cakes and Ale

HPS: Though we are apart, we are ever together – for we are one in the spirit of our goddess and God. Merry meet. Merry part.

Coveners: And merry meet again.

All: Blessed be!

Ground, take down the circle.



This is the Harvest Home and falls in a busy season. Agricultural work all
through the harvest season, from Lughnassadh to Samhain, should be done
communally and with simple rites, keeping the presence of the Gods in mind, and
accompanied by games and amusements where they can be fitted in. The Harvest
Queen with her chosen Lord preside at all these occasions, leading the work, the
dances and the feasting. Wagons coming in from the fields at Mabon form a
parade. There are garlands around the necks of the draft animals, and the
Harvest Queen rides in rustic splendor on the last wagon.


Many fruits and nuts full-ripe. Leaves turning. Harvest in full swing. Bird
migrations begin. Chill of winter anticipated. Farewell to Summer. Friendship
and family ties remembered.

Thesmophoria, the Eleusianian Mysteries and the Cerelia, all in honor of Demeter
or the Roman Ceres. Feast of Cernunnos and of Bacchus.

The myth of Dionysos: the young god is sacrificed or abducted as Winter begins.
Hy is restored to his mother in the spring. Dionysos (vegetable life) if the
offspring of Persephone (the seed corn) and Hades (the underworld, beneath the
surface of the earth).


Thanksgiving to the gods for the harvest. Magic for good weather and protection
of the winter food supply. Blessing the harvest fruits.


Gala processions to bring home the harvest. One or two fruits left on each tree,
no doubt originally meant as an offering to the spirit of the trees. Harvest
customs are too numerous to list here. Refer to The Golden Bough. They include
relics of purification rites and sacrifice of the God-King.


Colors: gold and sky-blue
Autumn leaves and berries
Fruits of harvest
Pine cones
Autumn flowers


Husing bees
Harvest parade
Barn dances
Harvest ball
Country fair
Canning and preserving parties


Takes place late afternoon of Mabon Day, in a field or garden, not in wild
woods. The Circle may be marked out with autumn braches. Altar in the west. A
sky-blue altar cloth makes a beautiful background for harvest-gold candles and
decorations of autumn foliage.

Make an image of the Goddess from a sheaf of grain, so that the ripe ears form a
crown. Place this image, decorated with seasonal flowers (chrysanthemums are
sacred to Her, being really marigolds) above the altar. It is a barbaric-looking
figure – no Praxiteles goddess. Have a jug of cider and a supply of cups or
glasses near the altar.

Build the central fire in the cauldron and wreathe the cauldron with autumn

Coveners may wear work clothes or white robes, or dress in ordinary clothing in
autumn colors. HPS and HP should wear crowns of autumn leaves and berries.
Everyone walks in a procession to the Circle, each carrying a sheaf of grain or
a basket or tray of apples, squashes, melons, nuts, etc. as they continue to
walk deosil within the Circle, HP and HPS take their burdens from them and stack
them around the altar.

Banish the Circle with sat water. In the prayer of intention, refer to absent
friends and relatives who are present in spirit and to the harvest offering. Bid
Summer farewell.

HP kindles the fire. HPS invokes the Goddess and charges the fire. Communion
materials are cider and Sabbat cakes.

The Ritual of Harvesting:

Have a fruit-bearing potted plant at the North. Reap the fruit and carry it
slowly, elevated at about eye-level on the Pentacle, on a tour of the Circle.
The fruit represents the benefits and results of our efforts during the year.
The elevation, with all eyes fixed on the fruit, represents our assessment and
evaluation of our results. The coveners’ individual messages, burned in the
fire, briefly detail these. The fruit itself is divided with the knife and eaten
by the coveners as a token that they accept the consequences of their actions.

Have a platter prepared for the Goddess, bearing some of each kind of food
provided for the feast. Using the knife, HPS buries this food before the altar,
inviting the Goddess to share in and bless the feast. HP pours a libation. Then
he pours cider all around and proposes a toast to the harvest.

HPS gives thanks to all the gods for the harvest. HPS asks the blessing. The
usual divinations and similar business follow, then feasting, dancing and games
and the rite ends as usual.

A Mabon rite outline

A Mabon rite outline

(soon to be a major Mabon Ritual, at a terminal near you.)

General Mabon info to start with, set the mood &c…

What is Mabon?

Mabon, sometimes known as the Harvest/Thanksgiving ritual of the Autumn Equinox, is one of the Spokes of the Wheel of the Year. In the many Earth or Pagan Religions, a special kinship with the passing of the seasons is felt… this is usually due to the history of said traditions, most of which stem from agrarian cultures where the seasons marked the way of life. From planting to reaping to winter to summer… the seasons were of great importance to our ancestors, for their very existence depended upon good harvests, mild winters, enough rainfall, and the like.

So… having shown the importance of the seasons, we shall turn to Mabon itself. Autumn… harvest time… the reaping of what was sown and cared thru during the year. A time of thankfulness and rejoicing. So, of course, someone at some point in time must have said… “Now that the work is over… LET’S PARTY!!!”

This is the essence of Mabon. Rejoicing in a bountiful harvest, thanking the Gods for being so kind during the year, and, hopefully, helping in winning over the Gods’ favor for the coming year.

About the Mabon rite itself:

Now, this will be a very Discordian ritual in that each participant will be (more or less) writing his/her own part. This outline is provided to sorta nudge (nudge, wink, wink, say no more, sir, say no more!) people into making their individual pieces able to fit into the whole thing… (I feel like the Green Ball outta “Heavy Metal”, the movie, something which ties things together).
Back to the rite itself.

Basically, 6 personages will be represented: Callers or Watchers of the East, South, West and North, High Priest (HP) and High Priestess (HPS).

Of course, since this is a generic rite, the terms “Lord” and “Lady” will be used when referring to the Male and Female aspects of divinity/godhood/whatever… individuals may use which ever names they wish, for a Rose, by any other name, would still smell as sweet.


  1. Invocation… once everybody has arrived, a Circle shall be cast, more or less, and the 4 Watchers/Callers each get to do their thing invoking that which that direction symbolizes to come and attend the festivities. After which, either the HPS, HP or both would consecrate the circle… in our case… the circle will be around each person at their ‘puter… with a sense of being connected to each other via the others’ ‘puters. So… what we’ll do is… after the circle is cast, and the four Corners have done their things, then the HP will call upon the Lord to attend, and the HPS shall call upon the Lady, (or, if we want to be different, we can have the HP call the Lady, and the HPS call the Lord… it’s not as traditional, but I know of some Ladies who are more likely to pay attention to a young, handsome HP than any HPS, if you get my meaning [wink]). 
  2. Once invoked… it’s time for the thanksgiving part… we all got things we’re thankful for… now’s the chance.
  3. After the thanks are over, a customary requesting of blessing for the coming year is asked.
  4. That done with, it’s time to dismiss the summoned ones… first, around the circle… each corner doing it’s thing… the dismissal consists of a Hail to the being summoned, a flattery (as I call it), and then a structured dismissal (eg. “Air of the East… blah, blah, blah,… Go if thou must, but stay if thou wilt”). The HP and HPS dismiss the Lord and Lady last with similar words.
  5. PARTY TIME!!!! Get out the Beer, munchies, what have you… celebrate… you’ve earned it.