Commentary

NOTES ON CHAPTER SEVEN.

Some changes to the text of the ritual scripts in the paper version of the book are noted here. However at this stage ( since mid-2008) I have begun to simply make the changes in the on-line version, almost without note – except perhaps noting it in the Seasonal reflections in the forum.

LAMMAS Notes

page 233 of paper version:-
Statement of Purpose
I have added Chamunda to the litany of Goddesses named here:
She is Hecate, Lillith, Medusa, Kali, Erishkagel – Divine Compassionate One.
I describe my new attraction to Chamunda in post #3 at this forum topic: Lammas/Early Autumn reflections

page 234 of paper version:-
Invocation
Since the publication in 2005, the original PaGaian group has been doing this process and theDissolution process as below. The processes of rituals may always vary, but this variation is particularly notable I feel. And to publish it here, offers a good example of how the rituals maybe varied … you may have some better ideas, and ones that suit your group and/or place better.

Celebrant picks up small basket full of barley grains: “Let us invoke Her now – recognize Her – within ourselves.”
Beginning with person on her left, putting grains in their hand: “ ……… you are the grain that is harvested – you are Her Harvest.”
Response: “It is so.”

Pass the basket and the blessing around the circle – each saying it to next person.
WAIT UNTIL THE GRAIN GOES FULL CIRCLE

Celebrant picks up small bowl of ash, and turns to person on her left: “Remember Her Dark Sentience within you (touch their forehead with ash) … that you are She, Dark and Ancient Wise One, the Transformation of the Ages.”
Pass the bowl and the blessing around the circle – each saying it to next person.

Response: “It is so, I am … (repeat whatever each wishes to affirm for themselves … and may choose to add own words).

page 235 of paper version:-
Dissolution – the Bread Figures
Since the publication in 2005, the original PaGaian group has varied this process: one version is below, but the latest version is now usually in the on-line Chapter 7. The celebrant’s (“Dark One’s”) words change from year to year … you may have some better ideas, and ones that suit your group and/or place better.

Each participant has their bread figure with them.
Celebrant (with veiled headpiece): pick up empty basket (lined with black fabric and the handle tied with black ribbon) and invite each to place their bread figure in the basket:
“I am the Dark within you, within All, in which all is immersed – what would you surrender to my cloak of transformation? What do you have for-giving? Perhaps what do you want to ‘make sacred’ – dedicate to Deep Wisdom within?”

Each says (however they wish): “Wise Dark One, Compassionate One, take my …”
Each places their bread figure in Her basket.

Each person then repeats whatever they wish, chant style to the DRUM. The group joins in with the chant – whatever they remember. Let energy build for each response. Those choosing not to speak still have the drum for their intention.

A co-celebrant takes the basket and plays the role of Dark One for the celebrant. The celebrant unveils while she answers the question. The circle is complete.
CELEBRANT REPLACE HER VEIL, PACE CIRCLE, HANDLING THE FIGURES

Dark One holds up the basket of bread figures, and says:
“I am the Old Compassionate One -the Creative One who transforms all, She who receives all.”

DRUM
Dark One leads procession to the fire.
Someone go ahead to light fire.
DRUM CONTINUE UNTIL ALL FIGURES ARE ON THE FIRE
Dark One tosses bread figures into fire – slowly, one at a time, repeating: “For transformation”. The group may repeat this.

MABON Notes

p.241 of paper version
Invocation – a change to Demeter’s words
“Demeter” goes to each one:
”(name), I give you the wheat – the Mystery – the knowledge of life and death. I let you go as Child, Daughter/Mabon most loved of Mine: you descend to Wisdom, to Sovereignty. You will return as Mother, co-Creator with me. You are the Seed in the Fruit, becoming the Fruit in the Seed. Inner Wisdom guides your path.”

p.244 of paper version
Story
When all are done planting, a co-celebrant reads:
READER 1: (an excerpt from Charlene Spretnak’s Lost Goddesses of Early Greece)
”Persephone had gathered three poppies and three sheaves of wheat. Then Demeter had led Her to a long, deep chasm and produced a torch for her to carry. She had stood and watched Her Daughter go down further and further into the cleft of the Earth. …
For months Persephone received and renewed the dead without ever resting or growing weary. All the while Her Mother remained disconsolate. … In Her sorrow She withdrew Her power from the crops, the trees, the plants. She forbade any new growth to blanket the Earth. The mortals planted their seed, but the fields remained barren. Demeter was consumed with loneliness and finally settled on a bare hillside to gaze out at nothing from sunken eyes. For days and nights, weeks and months She sat waiting.”

READER 2: … ( as it is already written there)

p.245 of paper version
Communion
“Participants may put red threads on.” has become a new section after Storytelling:
Red Threads
“Let us tie red threads on each other: we participate in the Vision of the Seed, of the Wheat, the Thread of Life that continues beneath the visible. We are initiates into the Mysteries.”

Also see post # 4 Autumn Equinox/Mabon reflections S.H. 2008 for more on the significance of the red threads.

SAMHAIN Notes

p.191-192 printed version
Building the Web – Conceiving the Future has been altered to:

Celebrant takes golden ball of thread

“Having devoured these old shapes, wasting no part
we are free … free
to radiate whatever we conceive,
to exclaim the strongest natural fibre known – our creative selves,
into such art, such architecture
as can house a world made sacred by our building.”

“Take the thread now, and let us build a world of our conceiving.”

ALL STAND.
Celebrant holds the end of the ball of thread, wraps it around herself and passes the ball, with all chanting:
“Free to radiate whatever we conceive.”
until all hold the thread (last person has ball).

Sailing to the New World
“Let us set sail now for a new world – beyond our knowings, across the vast sunless sea between endings and beginnings … across the Womb of Magic and Tran-formation … to the Not-Yet that beckons. As the New Year turns – the New Era turns.”

MUSIC ON (I use “1492” – track 1 and 2 – by Vangelis)

Celebrant take candle and lead group into a spiral first, then around and about into the dark, repeating text once or twice in the process – humming and swaying.

When back in circle, after the journey:
Celebrant takes the ball of thread, and wraps it around herself:
“We are free to radiate whatever we conceive. What would you conceive, imagine, create?”

Celebrant passes the golden ball for each in turn to hold – and wrap around themselves as they say:
Each: ” I conceive/spin/imagine/create … ”
Group response: So be it!
Glenys cuts both threads: “You are free – magical co-Creator.”
Pass scissors-each cut for next.

Celebrant: “May all these conceptions, desires, imaginings – spoken & unspoken – create a world made sacred by our building.”
All: May it be so.

WINTER SOLSTICE Notes

p.198 printed version
Lighting the Fire has been altered to:

After some time of sitting in the dark:
“Out of Her fertile Dark Matter, out of the Stillness of her Creative Centre, the Light is born – all Manifestation is born.”

…. lights the fire in the North edge of the circle (South edge for the Northern Hemisphere).

….. says: “We recall our Beginnings – the Great Flaring Forth, and Grandmother Supernova Tiamat – Goddess Mother of our Solar System – of our Star the Sun. This is our Cosmic lineage. We are Gift of Tiamat – Goddess Mother Supernova. Out of her stardust we are born. Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur, phosphorus and trace elements. We are Gift of Tiamat – out of her stardust we are born.”

Response – group or several may repeat: “We are Gift of Tiamat, out of Her stardust we are born.”

A young person takes the old candle and lights it (perhaps from the fire), then lights the new candle from this light – passing it on.

Song has been added
Silent Night by Connie Barlow – a few verses by a few people who know it (it will still be dark – words won’t be able to be seen).

AND p.199-200 paper version
Re-Lighting the World has been altered to:

Re-Generating the World
“Let us take our new beings – and re-generate the world, as the Sun has always done. What do you wish for the world, what is the flame in your heart? Join it with all the others.”

Each one in turn steps into the centre and speaks if they wish, takes the holder off the candle, and puts their lit candle down firmly in the sand – which is the cue for all to respond with:

“May we be like the Sun and re-generate the world.”

Assistants to switch on lights and re-light candles.

NOTES ON APPENDIX A

Below is the latest version of Thomas Berry’s now named Twelve Principles for Understanding the Universe, from his 2006 book Evening Thoughts (ed. Mary Evelyn Tucker, SF:Sierra Club Books), p. 145-147. This note updates pages 265-266 of paper version of PaGaian Cosmology:-

1. The universe in its full extension in space and in its sequence of transformations in time is best understood as story: a story known in the twentieth century for the first time with scientific precision through empirical observation. The greatest single need for the survival of the Earth or of the human community in the twenty-first century is for the integral telling of the great story of the universe. This story must provide in our times what the mythic stories of earlier times provided as the guiding and energizing sources of the human venture.

2. The universe is a unity, an interacting and genetically related community of beings bound together in an inseparable relationship in space and time. The unity of the planet Earth is especially clear; each being of the planet is profoundly implicated in the existence and functioning of every other being of the planet.

3. The three basic tendencies of the universe at all levels of reality are differentiation, spontaneous self-organization, and bonding. These tendencies identify the reality, the values, and the directions in which the universe is proceeding.

4. The universe has a violent as well as a harmonious aspect, but it is consistently creative in the larger arc of its development.

5. Earth, within the solar system, is a self-emergent, self-propagating, self-nourishing, self-educating, self-governing, self-healing, and self-fulfilling community. All particular life systems must integrate their functioning within this larger complex of mutually dependent Earth systems.

6. The human emerges within the life systems of Earth as that being in whom the universe reflects on and celebrates itself in a special mode of conscious self-awareness. The human is genetically coded toward a further cultural coding invented by the human community with remarkable diversity in the various regions of Earth.

7. The transition from a hunter-gatherer mode of life to the beginning of village life with control over the forces of Earth through agriculture and domestication of animals took place some twelve thousand years ago, This period, generally known as the Neolithic period, was also the beginning of pottery, weaving, and new ways of fashioning stone implements. The major shaping forces of human societies were manifest at this time in the intellectual, artistic, and emotional developments that ever since have characterized the various human communities.

8. The rise of cities with extensive populations: the advent of more elaborate religious expression in ritual and architecture; the extension of intellectual, religious, and moral reflection; the development of specialized social functioning; the increase of centralized government; the invention of writing and greater technological expertise; these achievements, developed some five thousand years ago, were centered in the eastern Mediterranean, in the Indus Valley and the Ganges Valley of India, and in the Yellow River valley in North China. Later they appeared in the Western Mediterranean and European areas and in the Americas.

9. Modern scientific achievements, based on empirical observational processes, originated in early-sixteenth-century Europe. They were further developed in Europe, in North America, and in other countries of the world in succeeding centuries.

10. Modern industrial exploitation of the resources of the Earth, factory manufacturing, scientific technologies, and capitalist economies all had their beginnings in Europe and in North America in the eighteenth century. In this period the violent plundering of the Earth took place. The functioning of the Earth in its chemical balance, in its geological structure, and in its biological systems has been profoundly and permanently altered by human agency. The atmosphere and water are extensively polluted. The soils of the Earth are wasted as a result of erosion, road building, industrial establishments, shopping malls, and waste disposal practices. The earlier mystique of the Earth seems to have vanished from human consciousness.

11. In the last half of the twentieth century, as a new period – of electronics and genetic engineering – was developed, a new intimacy was sought with the integral functioning of the natural world. Now the dominant anthropocentrism is being replaced with ecocentrism. New programs are being instituted for integrating human technologies with the technologies of the natural world. A sense of the larger interspecies social order is being developed.

12. The newly energizing Earth community needs a mystique that will provide the high exaltation appropriate to the existence of such a stupendous universe and such a glorious planet as that on which we live. This can be found in celebrating not simply the seasonal sequence but also the irreversible transformational sequence, as this has taken place in the evolutionary story of the universe.

EOSTAR Notes

Just noting here that I made a few minor changes to the script in this on-line version.

SUMMER SOLSTICE Notes

Changes to the paper version of the ritual script have been made to the Breath Meditation particularly – but really throughout, as noted here: pagaian.org forum

 

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