Symbolic Great Rite



Preparation: the chalice should be filled with wine.
A veil of at least a yard square is needed
preferably of a Goddess color such as blue, green,
silver, or white.

The Coven, except for the High Priestess and High
Priest, arrange themselves around the perimeter
of the circle, man and woman alternately as far as
possible, facing the center.

The High Priestess and High Priest stand facing
each other in the center of the circle, she with her
back to the altar, he with his back to the South.

The High Priest kneels before the High Priestess
and gives her the Five Fold Kiss; that is, he kisses
her on both feet, both knees, womb, both breasts,
and the lips, starting with the right of each pair. he
says, as he does this:

"Blessed be thy feet, that have brought
thee in these ways.
Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at
the sacred altar.
Blessed be thy womb, without which we
would not be.
Blessed be thy breasts, formed in
beauty.
Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the
Sacred Names."

For the kiss on the lips, they embrace, length to
length, with their feet touching each others. When
he reaches the womb, she spreads her arms wide,
and the same after the kiss on the lips.

The High Priestess then lays herself down, face
upwards, with her arms and legs outstretched to
form the Pentagram.

The High Priest fetches the veil and spreads it
over the High Priestess's body, covering her from
breasts to knees. He then kneels facing her, with
his knees between her feet.

The High Priest calls a woman witch by name, to
bring his athame from the altar. The woman does
so and stands with the athame in her hands, about
a yard to the West of the High Priestess's hips
and facing her.

The High Priest calls a male witch by name, to
bring the chalice of wine from the altar. He does
so and stands with the chalice in his hands, about a
yard to the East of the High Priestess's hips and
facing her.

The High Priest delivers the invocation:

"Assist me to erect the ancient altar, at
which in days past all worshipped;
The altar of all things.
For in old time, Woman was the altar.
Thus was the altar made and placed,
And the sacred place was the point
within the center of the Circle.
As we have of old been taught that the
point within the center is the origin of all
things,
Therefore should we adore it;
Therefore whom we adore we also
invoke.
O Circle of Stars,
Whereof our father is but the younger
brother,
Marvel beyond imagination, soul of
infinite space,
Before whom time is ashamed, the mind
bewildered, and the understanding dark,
Not unto thee may we attain unless thine
image be love.
Therefore by seed and stem, root and
bud,
And leaf and flower and fruit do we
invoke thee,
O Queen of Space, O Jewel of Light,
Continuous on of the heavens;
Let it be ever thus
That men speak not of thee as One, but
as None;
And let them not speak of thee at all,
since thou art continuous.
For thou art the point within the Circle,
which we adore;
The point of life, without which we would
not be.
And in this way truly are erected the
holy twin pillars;
In beauty and strength were they
erected
To the wonder and glory of all men."

The High Priest removes the veil from the High
Priestess's body, and hands it to the woman witch,
from whom he takes his athame.

The High Priestess rises and kneels facing the
High Priest, and takes the chalice from the man
witch. (Note that both of these handings-over are
done without the customary ritual kiss. The High
Priest continues the invocation:

"Altar of mysteries manifold,
The sacred Circle's secret point
Thus do I sign thee as of old,
With kisses of my lips anoint."

The High Priest kisses the High Priestess on the
lips, and continues:

"Open for me the secret way,
The pathway of intelligence,
Beyond the gates of night and day,
Beyond the bounds of time and sense.
Behold the mystery aright
The five true points of fellowship"

The High Priestess holds up the chalice, and the
High Priest lowers the point of his athame into the
wine. Both use both of their hands for this. The
High Priest continues:

"Here where Lance and Grail unite,
And feet, and knees, and breast, and
lip."

The High Priest hands his athame to the woman
witch and then places both his hands round those
of the High Priestess as she holds the chalice. He
kisses her, and she sips the wine; she kisses him,
and he sips the wine. Both of them keep their
hands around the chalice while they do this.

The High Priest then takes the chalice from the
High Priestess, and they both rise to their feet.

The High Priest hands the chalice to a woman witch
with a kiss, and she sips. She gives it to a man with
a kiss. The chalice is passed around the Coven, man
to woman, with a kiss each time, until the entire
Coven has sipped the wine. The chalice can be
refilled and any one can drink from it without
repeating the ritual once the chalice has gone
around once.

To consecrate the cakes, the woman picks up her
athame, and the man, kneeling before her, holds up
the dish. the woman draws the Invoking Pentacle
of Earth in the air above the plate while the man
says:

"O Queen most secret, bless this food
into our bodies;
bestowing health, wealth, strength, joy
and peace,
and that fulfillment of love that is
perfect happiness."

The woman lays down her athame and passes the
cakes to the man with a kiss, he passes them back
with a kiss and they are passed around the Coven
the same way the wine was. Be sure to save some
of the wine and some cake for an offering to the
Earth and the Little Folk. After the meeting, leave
the offering outside of the house if working
indoors, or behind in the woods or field, when you
leave if you are working outdoors.

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