Presented in August 2006 as the opening ritual for an event of about 150 people.
Materials and Tools:
Nine bowls of local berries, nine goblets, a job of water, the quarter wards, and three drums.
Everyone will wear sarongs, in whatever configuration they choose, and spirals drawn on them somewhere.
All the tools and materials are in the centre of the field. East3, North3, and South3 will have their drums with them.
All the participants are in the standard giant circle. At one end of the field, East3 will have a sign: “All drummers and non-spiral dancers, please come here.”
East3 will space the people who respond to his sign evenly between himself, North3, West3, and South3. He will explain to them that they will be walking to the centre of the circle early in the ritual, but will not be moving after that. This is to reassure anyone with mobility issues or heavy drums that when East3 starts leading them in, they aren’t going to have to do any dancing.
The rest of us will be spread amongst the participants in a pre-determined format:
East3 will lead the drummers in a slow, steady drumbeat. East1, North1, West1, South1, Assistant1, Assistant2, Assistant3, and Assitant4 all walk to the center of the circle. They meet in the center, turn outwards and begin clapping in unison, getting everyone in the circle to clap as well. South1 will lead the chant:
All the tribes are coming together
Birds of a feather
We are the children of the Lady and the Lord
Our hearts are in accord *
When the chant is going well, the eight of them head back to the circle. Everyone joins hands, and it appears that a spiral dance is beginning, as the drummers and non-dancers, led by East3, begin to walk in, followed by the rest of the circle. However, unlike a spiral dance, the circle splits at two points:
East3 walks the first portion of the participants and forms a circle in the middle of the field, around the food and drink layout, making sure to line up the quarters.
Assistant4 breaks off from the inner circle as they walk in and forms the middle circle, walking it around until the quarters line up.
Assistant2 leads the outer circle until it meets and the quarters are lined up again.
When everyone is standing still again, they find themselves in three concentric circles, with all the drummers in the centre circle. The drumming and chanting stops.
Casting the Circle:
The Circle will be cast around the entire site of the Pagan event.
East1 steps outside of the circle of people and says the following as she casts the Circle from the East quarter to the South quarter:
Powers of the East, gather and empower this space.
When she reaches South1 at the South quarter, South1 steps out of the circle. East1 follows South1 silently as South1 casts the circle to the West quarter:
Powers of the South, gather and empower this space.
When she reaches West1 at the West quarter, West1 steps out of the circle. East1 and South1 follows West1 as she casts the circle to the North quarter:
Powers of the West, gather and empower this space.
When she reaches North1 at the North quarter, he steps out of the circle. The others follow him as he casts the circle back to the start at the East quarter:
Powers of the North, gather and empower this space.
When they reach the East quarter, they each continue around the circle until they are back to their original places.
East1: In the East, we acknowledge Space, that which separates us, that which separates our atoms and allows Matter to be.
South1: In the South, we acknowledge Energy, the tension and the heat.
West1: In the West, we acknowledge Time, across which we all travel.
North1: In the North, we acknowledge Matter, the solid state of being.
East2: Over a year’s time, you will inhale the oxygen molecules exhaled by every person alive, as well as everyone who ever lived. You may have in your lungs right now the molecules that were once in the body of your great-great-grandmother, or Einstein, or Cleopatra.
South2: Every second, the Sun transforms 4 million tons of itself into energy for us to feast on, stored in the food we eat. Each day the Sun dies as Sun and is reborn as the vitality of the Earth. Each of us is the energy of the Sun, and all our acts of beauty and love are possible because of the Sun’s selfless, continuous gift.
West2: Atoms don’t die, but are re-born constantly in new forms. The water that is in your body may once have been part of a mighty white pine tree, or a great hero, or a now extinct animal.
North2: The carbon of which we are made, indeed of which everything is made, was born in the heart of a star. We are made of stardust.
East3: First, there is only light and energy flowing, spiralling, dancing. The lightest of air particles form from the dancing energy, and they dance too. Eventually, the dance slows and the initial heat begins to cool. The particles draw closer together in clusters.
South3: As they draw closer and closer to each other, they begin to generate new heat, new energy. The particles begin to die in the heat and are reborn as bigger particles. Their deaths and births create even more heat, and the warmth streams into space, and the stars are born.
West3: In an aging star among the many stars, the energy has slowed, the particles can no longer dance. It collapses in, rests. Then it explodes out, energy rushing in all directions, the larger particles, the building blocks for life, spreading out through space.
North3: The larger particles come together, form our Earth, beneath our generous, life-giving Sun. All that we are, all that surrounds us, was born in the heart of a star. By that, we are all connected. We are one tribe.
All: Blessed be.
West3 invokes the Goddess:
Lady of earth
Lady of waters
Lady of the stars
Goddesses of our tribes, please bless us!
East3 invokes the God:
Lord of sunlight
Lord of wind
Lord of the dance
Gods of our tribes, please bless us!
East3 will lead the drummers in a slow, steady rhythm and start the chanting (to the tune of “Born of Water”):
Born of stardust
East1 will start the spiral dance for the outer circle. East2 will start the spiral dance for the middle circle.
When West1, on the outer circle, reaches the North quarter, she will let go of East1’s spiral and start her own.
When West2, on the middle circle, reaches the East quarter, she will let go of East2’s spiral and start her own.
East1 will turn her spiral when she reaches the South quarter.
East2 will turn hers when she reaches the West quarter.
When West3 sees that all the spirals are going and feels that the energy is going well, he will drum cue the inner circle and they will change the chant to:
As the rest of us here the new chant starting, we will join it and start straightening our spirals out and heading clockwise around the field. If the opportunity presents for any of the spirals to join together, they will do so, until all four spirals have formed a single circle.
Food and Drink:
East2, South2, West2, North2, Assistant1, Assistant2, Assistant3, and Assistant4 walk to the inner circle. They each pick up a bowl of berries and hold them together. South3 blesses the food:
We share food and join with each other and with the earth. Fruit of the earth, nourish us.
The eight of them walk to the circle of people in pairs, at the quarters. Of each pair, one person will go clockwise and one counterclockwise from their starting point. They will offer each person a berry and say:
Taste of the earth.
When they meet up with the next person (so everyone will have received a berry), they head back to the center. In the meantime, South3 will have passed the food around the inner circle from the ninth bowl.
When everyone is back at the inner circle, they each put down their bowl and pick up a goblet of water. North3 blesses the jug of water:
We are made of water. Water flows over our earth. Water joins us. Water of the rains, nourish us.
North3 will fill the goblets with water. The eight will repeat the food process, as North3 passes the ninth glass around the inner circle. The blessing they will use is:
Taste of the rains.
When they all return to the inner circle, they refill their goblets if necessary, to make sure the jug is empty, then they all raise their goblets, as for a toast, and North3 says:
From the earth we take and to the earth we give. Born in stars…
Everyone says together:
All life, one tribe.
Then they pour the water onto the ground and says together:
They put down their goblets and rejoin the outer circle.
This space has been made sacred, and [event] has begun!
Everyone says together:
The drummers start drumming, we all start dancing, and the ritual is done.
* “All the Tribes”; author unknown
Stardust Ritual by Melissa Hope is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.