Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality 365 Days a Year for Jan. 6 – Twelfth Night, Epiphany of Kore, and Persephone

HALLOWEEN

January 6

Twelfth Night, Epiphany of Kore, and Persephone

Traditionally, on this day the ancient Greeks would carry the statue of Kore around her temple seven times as they prayed for protection and good fortune. Following the temple activities ties a nocturnal rite was held in honor of Kore (daughter of Zeus and Demeter, whose name means “maiden”), an aspect of Persephone before her marriage to Hades.

On this day in Old Europe the ashes from the Yule log were removed, and either stored for magickal purposes or scattered on the fields to insure fertility. Later on in the day the Lord of Misrule, known as the King of the Bean, was selected. Cakes were made, and a bean was baked into one. Whomever found the bean in his cake was then elected king for the day. The king, along with the Queen of the Pea (selected by finding the pea baked into another batch of cakes) ruled over the final Yuletide festivities.

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Coven Yule Ritual (It is rare to read a coven ritual)

A coven ritual is something that you will get to see unless you are a part of that coven. You sure won’t have the opportunity to read or hear about any of their rituals. Before I started writing this, I was thinking about how I use to feel about coven witches. I always thought that were so secretive. Everything was hush, hush. Then it hit me, Solitary witches are the same way. We keep all our spells and rituals secret. We don’t broadcast to the public what we are or what we do. So I guess when you get right down to the nit-gritty, we are all alike, lol! The only difference is a coven witch has kindred spirits and the Solitaries have to wonder through life bumming into their kindreds!

Whatever, we are all Witches and one big family! What’s the important part is that we have found each other. We can fellowship, laugh, cry, share, learn and most of all become friends.

I hope you enjoy reading the ritual.

Coven Yule Ritual
by Julia Phillips

Circle is cast and Quarters erected.

High Priestess:

We now stand at the turning of the year.

Dark Lord:

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, All fades and passes, day to night.

Dark Lord extinguishes candles leaving only altar candles alight.

High Priestess:

Let us dance for the long year’s end, for the sun sets quickly in the west, and we begin the long night of hope.

Coven do Wheel or Cord dance widdershins about the cauldron  chanting:

Time and Death, Life and Seasons, All must pass, All must change.

Star Child now leaves the circle, and stands behind the veil in the North.

High Priestess stands at the cauldron in the centre, wearing a black veil.

High Priestess:

I am the Hag who engendered you all; I am the Three and the One who is here; I am the log that is ripe for burning; In my end is your hope of beginning.

High Priestess now lifts the cauldron aloft and presents it to each quarter.  She returns to the centre, and lights the cauldron candle, from  which she lights a quarter candle for each member of the coven.  The quarter candles are placed in their respective quarters.

Narrator:

This is the night of the Solstice; the Mother Night.  Now darkness triumphs, and yet gives way and changes to light. Time stops, and all wait while the cauldron  of the Dark King is transformed into the infant Light.  We watch for the dawn when the Mother  again gives birth to the sun, who is the bringer of hope and the  promise of summer. Holly gives way to Oak, the Wren to  the Robin, Old to New.

We stand now in the long night, we pray for the sun’s return. In darkness and shadows the Great Mother  groans. The Mother labours to bring forth the sun from her pain. From her cries of labour comes forth our  cries of welcome; from her toil and anguish our hope is reborn. Let us now call forth the Great Mother, and the Lord of Life, her husband and son.

The Star Child emerges from behind the veil, and lays at the feet of the High Priestess. The High Priestess points to the Star Child and proclaims:

Behold the Child! Here lies our king!

The High Priestess crowns the Star Child with a crown of mistletoe. She  removes her veil and announces:

I am the Mother who brought forth the child; I am the inspiration, and I am the rebirth.

Narrator:

You are the ecstasy of the blessed. You are the light of the sun’s beams. You are the lordly door of welcome. You are the guiding star. Yours is the step of the roe on the hill. Yours is the step of the white-faced mare.          Yours is the grace of the swimming swan. You are the jewel in each mystery.

Coven now do Wheel or Cord dance deosil about the cauldron  chanting:

Power of soil and power of air, Power of fire and power of water, Power that spins the wheel of birth, Spins the wheel of joy and mirth, Spins the wheel of sun and moon, Push, push, push, Open the gate.

Power of spell and magic free, Eternal power that binds the sea, Weaves the web of infinity, Light of dark and light of day, Speed the spokes fast on their way, Push push push – ah ah Open the gate, So Mote It Be!

High Priestess now invokes the Lord of Misrule into the circle. He is  challenged upon entry by the Dark Lord, and must explain who he  is, and why he is there. The Lord of Misrule is now in charge of  the circle, and may behave as he sees fit. At some point, he must  take the burdens of the coven for the previous twelve moons and  pack them in his bag.   Cakes and Wine.

The Lord of Misrule must be ritually hunted as a wren to bring  about his downfall. The coven mime hunting the wren chanting,

Burn the bush, Hunt the wren

When he is discovered, the coven point their athames at his neck  to symbolise his death.

Close ritual.