Monday, 21 December 2009

A Feri Winter Solstice Ritual

Over the course of the following year, I will endeavour to celebrate the Sabbats following a Feri myth structure. Starting with Yule, I will post the ritual that I will perform. If anybody uses this, please let me know how it goes!


In my personal mythology, the Winter Solstice is the night that the Gods have returned to the womb of the Star Goddess and the Divine Twins are reborn. The Star Goddess has taken all within Herself, all the Gods have returned to Her womb, which is the Cauldron of Cerridwen, where She perfects Them and allows them to be reborn. She gives birth to two bright spirits, the Twins. The lemniscate Gods are reborn this night. Melek Taus is reborn from the Love of his Mother.

Cauldron filled with inked water
Two red candles
One white candle
White paper and pen

Open the rite by saying:

“Today is the shortest day of the year. The Gods of the Lemniscate have made the arduous journey back to the infinite womb of the Holy Mother, God Herself, from whom all things emerge and unto whom all things return. From the cold, unforgiving darkness, a spark of light is born. In the teeming womb of the Goddess, this seed of life begins to grow. The golden spark contains the Holy and most Terrible Twins, lover and brothers both. This Divine couple of bird and serpent shall merge and unite as Melek Taus, dread Peacock Lord, and most favoured and beloved of Angels. I await the rebirth of the Twins from the womb of God Herself, Queen of the Stars, the Mistress and Creatrix of All, which is Her Self.”

Sit in the dark silence and visualise the Twins gestating in the womb of the Star Goddess. Within them are the potential to grow into the Lemniscate Gods, who are simultaneously born this night. Hold the cauldron between your two hands and see it as the darkness of Her womb. See a spark of light in the centre of the dark. Breathe upon the waters and see the ripple as the movement and contraction of Her womb which will bring forth the Twins. At this time, you can scry in cauldron for any visions. When you have felt the presence of the Twins in the world, light the candles and say:

“Behold, the Divine Twins are born to bring light and life to the world! The Sun and Moon and Stars and Earth rejoice and are renewed and reborn!”

Touch the two candle flames together and focus on the mystery that the two candle flames are equally separate but the same. They are the Twins.

The final part is a trance to the Star Goddess. Meet the Star Goddess in whatever way you feel comfortable and seek information for your spell. Ask the Goddess what needs to be renewed and reborn in your life. What is it you need to bring into birth and fruition? When you have got your information, thank the Star Goddess and come out of trance. On the white paper, write your spell’s intention and carve one symbolic word onto the white candle. Place the paper under the candle and raise energy into the candle with the following chant:

As life and light and Gods are born,
By shortest day and longest night,
From Ancient womb to Double form,
I bring forth desire and dance delight.

When you have raised energy into the candle, light it as a beacon of your manifest prayer and bind the spell. Give thanks and feast, closing the ritual in your usual method.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Four Pentacles on the Tree

In Feri, we work with Pentacles as energetic concepts and meditational tools. The two most widely known are the Iron and Pearl Pentacles (which can be found in The Spiral Dance by Starhawk...). However, as Veedub has written, each of the three souls has a Pentacle, with the Iron corresponding to the Fetch/Vivi and the Pearl to the Talker/Emi. However, since I will be discussing Qabalistic concepts I thought it appropriate to use the Hebrew names for the souls. The first soul is the Nefesh, which is what we term the Fetch or Vivi. The second soul is the Ruach, which is what we term Talker. The Godsoul is the Neshamah and above this is the collective Godsoul, the Chaya.

Each soul contains a Pentacle of energies, as does the physical body. Two of these pentacles contain shadows (Qlipoth) of excess and absence, which is to say they are unbalanced. They are the Iron Pentacle and the Pearl Pentacle, which correspond to our Nefesh and Ruach respectively. However, there is a healthy range between the Iron Pentacle and its shadows, as there is with the Pearl Pentacle. We all fall somewhere along this continuum. The trick is to discover when we have strayed into the Shadow Pentacles.

I was originally taught that the Iron Pentacle was the only pentacle that had shadows, because the Pearl’s energies cannot be twisted. Granted, I don’t think that the concepts of Love, Knowledge, Wisdom, Law and Liberty can be twisted as such, but they can be abused or dealt with in an unhealthy manner. Therefore, I have created shadows of excess for the Pearl Pentacle (I found the shadow of absence on Veedub’s site). I have termed the excess of Pearl the Bruised Pentacle and the absence of Pearl the Shell Pentacle.

In Qabala, the Tree of Life has three columns or pillars. The middle pillar is the pillar of balance or equilibrium and it is on this pillar where the Iron, Pearl, Elemental and Personal Pentacles reside. The two pillars either side of this central column are the pillar of severity (excess) and the pillar of mercy (absence). The shadow Pentacles are placed on these pillars.

The physical body corresponds to Malkuth, which is on the middle pillar, and there is no room on either side of this Sephirah for the two shadow pillars. Therefore, the Elemental Pentacle contains no shadows of excess or absence because they are purely physical and would exist and interact without human influence. Although our reactions or thoughts on each of the elements may fluctuate the essentially remain pure.

Equally, our Personal Pentacle that corresponds to Upper Sephiroth of Kether, Binah and Chokmah, and cannot be twisted. Our Neshamah cannot contain shadows– it is the divine part of us that knows better than our conscious and subconscious. Nevertheless, two out of the three Sephiroth are placed on the Pillars of Severity and Mercy because I think we can be two ascetic or ignorant of our divine Nature. But, essentially, this part of us is alway pure.

The Nefesh corresponds to the lower Sephiroth of Yesod, Hod and Chokmah (Foundation, Splendour and Victory) and it is on this level of the Tree where the Iron Pentacle is placed. The Ruach corresponds to the central Sephiroth of Tiphareth, Geburah and Chesed (Beauty, Strength and Mercy) and the Pearl Pentacle is placed on this level of the tree.

How you use the above information is up to you. If you indeed use them (especially the Bruised and Shell Pentacles) please let me know how you get on.