Cakes & Wine

and The Leave to Depart

After your Magickal work is done, it is time to ground out and join with the Lady and Lord in celebration. Take a plate of food and hold it up toward the altar, saying: "Lady and Lord of Life, we thank you for your good gifts. come and share them with us."

Break off a piece of food, and place in the bowl of salt water on the altar as a libation, then take a bite yourself and pass the plate clockwise around the circle.

Take the chalice of wine and bless it likewise, pouring a little into the salt water as a libation and passing it clockwise around the circle. If you are celebrating outdoors with a fire in the center of the circle, throw the libations into the fire instead of the bowl. One nice variation on wine is a mixture of milk and cream sherry (delicious and not very alcoholic), which may be blessed thus:

"Lady of Life, we thank you for the milk from the breasts of the Mother of All. Lord of Life, we thank you for the intoxicating fire of the vine. As these two marry in the cup, we celebrate your mingling, which gives life to all. Come and share with us."

This particular blessing would be appropriate for Beltane or for a handfasting.

I'm sure you need no instructions on how to feast and clebrate. The Lady says that all acts of love and pleasure are her rituals, so keep it in mind that, in enjoying yourselves, you are acting exactly as religiously as you are at any other part of the ritual, and conversely.

THE LEAVE TO DEPART is extremely important, and, even though it may be getting drunk out, must not be omitted. Close all parentheses: when you have set up a Circle as Magickal space, you must take it down before you leave. The presiding priest/ess must first take the chalice and drain it dry in one draught. Then, face the altar, athame in hand, in the invoking position, and say:

"Lady and Lord of Life, we thank you for being with us, and we ask your blessing ere ye depart to your lovely realms. Blessed be." (All repeat.)

Face the center of the circle, saying:

"Ye Lords of the Watchtowers, spirits of the Four Directions, we thank you for being with us, and we ask your blessing ere ye depart to your lovely realms. And may the Peace of the Goddess be between us, now and forever. Blessed be." (All repeat.)

Face the others present, and, sheathing your athame and crossing your hands over your breast, say: "The circle is open but unbroken."

Open your hands, saying "May the Peace of the Goddess go in your hearts. Merry Meet and Merry Part."

All respond: "And Merry Meet Again. Blessed Be."

A group hug is in order at this point. The party may go on as long as desired. We generally sing a rousing chorus of "Happy Trails To You", but this is not obligatory.

When you clean up, be sure to throw the contents of the libation bowl into a running stream (flush it down the toilet or the sink if you don't happen to have a river handy.) The chalice should have been drained dry by the HPs. Do not blow the point candles out, but let them burn down; or if you have to extinguish them, do it by clapping your hands over each flame, so that the air makes them go out. (This takes practice.) Large point candles can be used over again; candles that were used for a specific purpose should be allowed to burn down, or clapped out and re-lit at another time for the continuation of the same rite. Candlesticks should be cleaned before re-use.