Ritual for the Troops

Needed:

  • Athame
  • Drum

Note: For circles with both a High Priestess and a High Priest, the female in parentheses refers to what should be spoken by the High Priestess, the male in parentheses means that which should be spoken by the High Priest.

Part One: Establishing the Sacred Grounds
Officiate (Female): “To all present, I bid you Ho'n'dah (welcome). Welcome to the sacred ground, the place where the world is made one — the special place, the place where we can remember ourselves.”

Participants: "Ho'n'dah! Welcome!”

Officiate (Male): “We come in a time of crisis, in a time when our brothers and sisters have taken up arms against the enemy. The Pagans of old have seen the war times again and again, and have when needful fought valiantly and victoriously. It is time again to ask the Lady of War, the One Who taught us the arts of battle in the first place, for Her protection and for the blessings of quick and decisive victory!”

Participants: “Enju! Let it be so!”

Officiate (Female): “Let us make the circle and make the ceremony.”

Drummer starts a slow (60-70 beats per minute) beat. The Officiate(s) and the(ir) Acolyte walk to the intended perimeter of the circle, just in front of the eastern shield. The Officiate (Female) is given the Smudge Stick by the Acolyte. She smudges the Eastern Quarter, saying:

Officiate (Female): “Harmful ones of the East, Gan'n of the Eastern Mountains, stay away from this sacred ground — leave and not return. The process is repeated at the Southern quarter.”

Officiate (Female): “Harmful ones of the South, Gan'n of the Fiery Southern Mountains, stay away from this sacred ground — leave and not return. The process is repeated at the Western quarter.”

Officiate (Female): “Harmful ones of the West, Spirits of unquiet dead and those conjured by the sorcerers of the Enemy, Gan'n of the Western Mountains, stay away from this sacred ground — leave and not return.”

The process is completed at the Northern quarter.

Officiate (Female): “Harmful ones of the North, Thunder people of evil intent, Gan'n of the Northern Mountains, stay away from this sacred Ground — leave and not return.”

The Officiate (Female) then passes the smudge stick back to the Acolyte (or Male Officiate) who smudges him/erself then smudges all participants. S/he then takes the smudge stick back to the altar, placing it in its bowl. The Acolyte takes the pouch of sacred meal off the altar, to bring it to the Officiate

The Acolyte and Officiate(s) then walk to the Eastern Quarter. The Officiate (Female) throws a pinch of corn meal in the direction of the East, then says:

Officiate (Female): “Spirit keepers of the East, direction of the Sun's rebirth, kindly ones of Air, come, see, and join in the ceremony!”

Participants: “Blessed Be!”

The process is repeated at the South.

Officiate (Female): “Spirit keepers of the South, direction of the Sun's repose, kindly ones of Fire, come, see, and join in the ceremony!”

The process is repeated at the West.

Officiate (Female): “Spirit keepers of the West, direction of the Sun's setting, brave warriors who have fallen in battle, blessed, mighty, good and brave ancestors, kindly ones of Water, come, see and join in our ceremony!”

The process is completed at the North.

Officiate (Female): “Spirit keepers of the North, direction of the Sun's zenith, kindly ones of the Soil, come, see, and join in our ceremony!”

The Officiate(s) then walk back to the East. The Acolyte joins them. The Officiate(Female) unsheathes her athame, points it to the sky, and says:

Officiate (Female): “Great Sky Father, Sun Father, Killer of Enemies, Lord of Battle, Lord of the Hunt, Rain Lord, Eternal Hero, Father, Grandfather, we welcome you to the Circle of Light, on this night when we ask your blessing on the Warriors of our Nation. Come bless us, come comfort us, come strengthen us, come enlighten us, come, see, and join in the ceremony!”

All: “Hail, Sky Father! Hail, Lord of Battle! Come bless us, come comfort us, come strengthen us, come enlighten us, come, see, and join in the ceremony! Ho'n'dah! Blessed Be!”

The male officiate unsheathes his athame, then the Officiate(Male) then says:

Officiate (Male): “Great Mother, White Painted Woman, She Who taught the Pagans puissance at arms, She who gives victory to Her beloved People, Mother of Limitless Space, Mother of the Silver Moon, Corn Mother, Grandmother Wisdom, we your children welcome you to the Circle of Light, on this night when we ask your blessing on the Warriors of our Nation. Come bless us, come comfort us, come strengthen us, come enlighten us, come, see and join in the ceremony!”

All: “Hail, White Painted Woman! Hail, Bringer of Victory! Hail, Maiden of Battle, She of Unlimited Strength! Come bless us, come comfort us, come strengthen us, come enlighten us, come, see and join in the ceremony! Ho'n'dah! Blessed Be!”

The Male Officiate then sheaths his athame then the Officiate(s) and the Acolyte then walks the circle around four times Deosil, once for each of the four directions. The Officiate (Female) traces the circle in the air with the athame three times, then scatters more corn meal on the next pass. The rounds begin and end in the Eastern Quarter. The Officiate(s) and the Acolyte complete the rounds, then stand at attention at the Eastern Quarter.

Officiate (Female): “Four times the circle is drawn. It is good, and unbroken. It is the boundary between Ordinary and Non-ordinary, between sacred and more sacred still. I have done this! Enju!”

All: “Enju! Blessed be!”

The circle is completed. No one is to leave it abruptly, but at a suitable lull one who has need can cut themselves out. Children and animals are excluded from these requirements.

The Circle is Broken
Officiate (Female): “It is time to break the circle. We have joined here to lend our support to our Warriors, as Pagans have done in war times past. It is time to dismiss the Spirit Keepers, the great ones, who have kept guard over this sacred spot.”

The Officiate(s) face East.

Officiate(s): “Spirit keepers of the East, from the direction of the Sun's rebirth, kindly ones of the Air, we bid you farewell. Blessed Be.”

The Officiate(s) face North.

Officiate(s): “Spirit keepers of the North, from the direction of the sun's Zenith, kindly ones of the Soil, we bid you farewell. Blessed Be.”

The Officiate(s) face West.

Officiate(s): “Spirit keepers of the West, from the direction of the sun's setting, blessed, mighty, good and brave ancestors, kindly ones of water, we bid you farewell. Blessed be.”

The Officiate(s) face South.

Officiate(s): “Spirit keepers of the South, from the direction of the sun's repose, kindly ones of fire, we bid you farewell. Blessed be.”

The Officiate(s) return to face East.

“Great Mother, Noble Father, Beautiful Lady, Mighty Lord, we thank you for your presence and blessings here. Go if you must, but stay if you can. Blessed Be.”

The circle is then "sunken" by all assembled into the soil, to give the energy released within to the Earth for healing if the ritual is done outdoors. If indoors, the circle is broken by the Officiate(s) walking the circle around four times Widdershins to disperse it.