Winter Solstice 2004 – Saturnalia

Brief Outline:
Earth Mother Prayer
Procession & Purification
Ritual re-creation of cosmos:
Evocation of gatekeeper
Establishing the sacred center w/3 gates
Opening the Gates
Beneficial influences:
Apollo as Bardic Deity
Silvanus as Protector against negative
Vesta as hearth fire –lighting the
sacrificial fire
Invocations to the Three Kindred
The Story of Saturn
Main sacrifice
Praise offerings
Piacular offering
Omen of Return
Consecration and receiving of waters of life
Unwinding, thanking all invoked
Closing the Gates
Latin phrases:
Fiat –“sobeit”
Macte virtute est esto –“welldone”
Quirites –folk/people
Roman deities:
Ianus –gatekeeper
Ops Mater–earth mother/goddess of bounty
Silvanus –god associated with the wilds
Saturn –ancient deity of Rome, probably predating the founding of Rome itself
Vesta –goddess of the hearth
Roman cosmology & symbols:
Fire/well/tree = focus/mundus/portus
Primary focus of religion/everything else is COM
Musical Signal
Celebrants gather out in the garage, and Jenni rings a bell to get things started.
Honoring the Earth-Mother (Judi)
Ops Mater. Goddess of the bounty of the earth,
We send out words in praise of you, from whom all worlds flow.
Mystery of mysteries, this continual creation,
She is a cup that is never empty.
Generous One, eternally giving gifts,
We pray to you; we praise you.
All: Ops Mater, we praise you.
[As celebrants pass outside from the garage to the house, they may sprinkle a pinch of dried
flowers or kneel and touch the Earth.]
The Processional/Sigil Marking / Purification(s) of Participants
Celebrants process from the garage to the house, singing a Satunalia-izedversionof“O,Come,
AllYeFaithful.” Astheyenterthehouse,theyareofferedabowlwithscentedwateranda
towel to wash their hands. As they enter the house through the back door, they pass through
Oh Come, All Ye Druids
Oh come, all ye druids,
Gather at the center.
Oh come ye, oh come ye
To worship the Gods.
Sing Praise to Saturn,
Oh come let us unbind him
Oh come let us unbind him
Oh come let us unbind him
Saturn the King.
(repeat until all have gathered)
Final Verse:
Adeste Quirites
Laeti triumphantes,
Venite, venite
ad sanctum centrum.
Satorem cantante
Rex aura aetatis
Venite inligemus
Venite inligemus
Venite inligemus
Rex Saturnus
Evoking the Bardic Deity (Jenni)
[Jenni pours an offering of wine for Apollo.]
Phoebus Apollo, bringer of light, son of
Zeus, the almighty, and Leto, the rich-haired, who
Bore him at Delos, where all manner of men now
Come bearing gifts, fine and fragrant for thee.
Sweet-tongued Apollo, who sings for the Gods, may you
Guide thence our praises to bathe them in honor;
For we are but mortals, and thou art a God;
Only this boon we beg thee, grant to us now:
That our voices be pleasing to Gods, Spirits, and Manes;
That the aim of our rite strike its target precisely;
That our blessings and theirs pass freely between
The realms of the Kindreds and the lips of our Seer.
Take a moment to find the center of your mind, body and soul. Let us begin to open our minds
to Magic, to the presence of the Gods. Begin with your body. Plant your feet firmly on the
ground, balanced and upright. Shake out your arms and shoulders. Let gravity pull you evenly
toward the Earth, as you release the everyday tensions in your flesh.
Now, begin to breathe deeply and regularly. With each inbreath fill your lungs slowly and
completely. With each outbreath empty them entirely. For a moment, simply watch your breath.
In and out . . . Slowly . . . Completely.
Now, as you continue to breathe deeply and regularly, imagine, feel that roots are springing
from the soles of your feet, reaching down into soil and stone, down to the World below you. A
strong taproot slides down, going deeper and growing stronger, down to touch the cool, dark
waters beneath the Earth. The dark, cool, magnetic powers of the land.
Breathe deep, and with each inbreath draw the Earth Power up through your roots. Feel it
flowing into your feet, tingling and energizing. Rising up from the Earth . . . into your legs . . .
rising up through your legs . . . feel it pool in your groin. Breathe deep, and draw the Earth
Power up your spine . . . rising through your belly . . . rising through your heart . . . rising up to
pool in your head . . . Filling and energizing you . . . rising still to fountain out the crown of your
head and flow back to the Earth. Flowing back out through
the city wearing the soft woolen cap (pileus), a recognized as badge of freedmen, exchanging
In the home, a festive air reigned. A recurrent theme of Saturnalia celebrations involves a
reversal of roles and an upset in the normal routine of things: servants, released from their usual
were granted full freedom of speech; gambling was allowed in public — chaos presided over
order for a day.
Gifts were exchanged: beeswax candles to friends, and small pottery dolls for the children. Gifts
might also include food items or small amounts of money. Small silver objects were typical,
although it was considered extremely poor taste to offer valuable gifts to someone poorer who
could not reciprocate in kind.
This brief episode of social egalitarianism was a remembrance of the mythic Golden Age of
Saturn, when all men were equal.
Establishing the Sacred Center
Congregationsings“DecktheHalls”holly branches are added to adorn the focus, the mundus
and the portus.
Deck the Halls
(Fill in the fa-la-la’s)
Deck the halls with boughs of holly
‘Tis the season to be jolly
Don we now our gay apparel
Troll the ancient Yule-tide carol
See the blazing Yule before us.
Strike the harp and join the chorus.
Follow me in merry measure.
While I tell of Yule-tide treasure.
Fast away the old year passes.
Hail the New Year, lads and lasses
Sing we joyous, all together.
Heedless of the wind and weather.
Evoking the Gate Keeper
[Jenni makes an offering of a hinge]
Salve Ianus Pater!
Ianus Inceptio, God of beginnings;
Ianus Brifons, Two-faced Ianus;
Ianus Patulcius, Opener of doors;
Ianus Domesticus, Protector of homes;
Ianus Quirinus; God of the folk
Lend wings to our prayers and conjure a portal between us and the world of the Gods.
Through your door, let the prayers of your supplicants pass to the Kindreds.
Opening the Gates.
[Jenni conjures the Gates, saying:]
Now, Janus
Join your magic with mine
And let the fire open as a gate,
Let the mundus open as a gate,
Let the doorway be the crossroads of all Worlds.
Ianus of Openings, admit us into the presence of the shining Ones
PORTAE DICUDANTUR –Let the gates be open!
Acknowledgement of the Outsiders
[An offering of wine, Tire Bite Ale, White Castles & a golden apple is made.]
Mars Silvanus Pater,
te precor uti sies volens propitious mihi domo familiaque nostrae,
quoius re ergo hoc sacrificium offero.
Father Mars Silvanus,
I pray you be of good will and favorable to me and to our house and household,
for which purpose I make this offering
Let the wine flow freely and the sliders go down easy. Party on, dude!
Likewise we acknowledge within ourselves
All those things that would cause disunity
We contemplate these ills and enemies
And for this sacred time
We set them aside!
All: FIAT. So be it.
Lighting the Sacrificial Fire (Jenni)
[Jenni lights a candle from the focus.]
Shining Lady, unite us all,
for by worshipping at a common hearth
we are made one family, one people.
Queen of the hearth, Vesta Mater, your household is here.
Let us pray with a good fire.
All: FIAT! So be it.
[An offering of Dead Guy Ale, jerky and 3 apples is made.]
The children of the Earth call out to the Mighty Dead.
Salvete, Majores et Di Manes!
Greetings, ancestors and divine dead.
To all those whose bones lie in this land,
Whose hearts are tied to it,
Whose memory holds it;
Ancient tribes of this place,
We offer you welcome.
To all of our grandmothers and grandfathers,
Our own beloved dead,
Blood-kin and heart-kin,
Ancient tribes of our blood,
We offer you welcome.
To all those elder wise ones who guide their people,
Poets and seers,
Judges and magicians;
Wise women and men of ancient days,
We offer you welcome.
So, O Mighty Ones
We call to you as our kin,
In the love of the All-Mother,
To join in our magic.
Come to our fire, Spirits
Meet us at the boundary
Guide us and ward us as we walk the elder ways.
Majories et Di Manes, mactete hoc sacrificio!
All: Ancestors, accept our sacrifice!
Nature Spirits (Judi)
[An offering of bird seed and cat food is made.]
The children of the Earth call out to the Spirits of this Land.
Salvete, Numinae et Indigites!
To all our allies,
Kindred of stone and stream,
Crystal and fertile soil,
Pools and every water;
We offer you welcome
To all our allies,
Kindred of the growing green,
Herb and flower,
Shrub and mighty trees,
Root and stem and fruit.
We offer you welcome.
To all our allies,
Kindred of fur and feather and scale
All who walk or fly or swim or crawl
We offer you welcome.
So, O Noble Ones
We call to you as our allies,
In the joy of life upon earth,
To join in our magic.
Come to our fire, Spirits;
Meet us at the boundary.
Guide and ward us as we walk the elder ways.
Numinae, mactete hoc sacrificio!
All: Nature Spirits, accept our sacrifice!
[An offering of wine and incense is made.]
The children of the Earth call out to the Shining Ones.
Salvete, Dei!
To all the Shining Ones,
First children of the Mother,
Wisest and mightiest,
Loving and comforting;
Gods and Goddesses,
We offer you welcome.
To the Goddesses and Gods of this place,
Ancient and powerful,
Known to us or unknown;
Gods of this place,
We offer you welcome.
To all the deities of those here gathered,
You whom we worship,
You who bless our lives;
O patrons and matrons,
We offer you welcome.
So, O Shining Ones,
We call to you as our elders,
In reverence and love,
To join in our magic.
Come to our fire, Shining Ones;
Meet us at the boundary.
Guide and ward us as we walk the elder ways.
Dei, mactete hoc sacrificio!
All: Deities, accept our sacrifice!
Descriptive Invocation of Deity of the Occasion
The story of Saturn is older than Rome itself. Saturn reigned during the Golden Age of Latium,
when all people were equal –there was no class distinction and there were no slaves.
Everyone prospered and no one –even kings –set themselves above others. It was a time
when the villages of Latium welcomed among them all who wanted to make their homes and
Tradition has it that Saturn, known as Kronos, King of Gods in Greece, was given an oracle that
he would be defeated by his own son: In fear, the god devoured his offspring as fast as they
were born, and he kept them sunk in his bowels.
Many a time didSaturn’swife,Rhea,grumble,tobesooftenbigwithchild,yetnevertobea
mother; she repined at her own fruitfulness. And so when Jove was born she concealed a
stone in a garment, which, Saturn, thinking it was the babe, swallowed. So had fate decreed
that the sire should be beguiled.
was true, and defeated, Saturn fled Greece, driven from the celestial realm by his son, Jupiter,
who, along with hissiblings,reignedintheirfather’splace.AndsotoLatiumduringthereignof
(Fasti) Just as Latium opened its arms wide to refugees of all kinds, Saturn was welcomed in
When Saturn arrived by ship, Ianus received him as a guest. He learned from Saturn the art of
been brutish and rude. Saturn is credited with the invention of the art of grafting, with the
cultivation of fruit trees, and with instructing men in everything that belongs to the fertilizing of
the fields.
Ianus and Saturn reigned together in harmony for many a year and built two neighboring towns,
which some say were on two of the Seven Hills of Rome. Their reign is said to have been a
time of great happiness, both on account of the universal plenty that then prevailed and
because as yet there was no division into bond and free.
It was during their reign that Saturn suddenly disappeared, and Ianus then devised means to
add to his honors. First he gave the name Saturnia to the land ruled by Saturn. He then built
an altar, instituting rites as to a god and calling these rites the Saturnalia –a fact which goes to
show how very much older the festival is than the city of Rome. It was because Saturn had
improved the conditions of life that, by order of Ianus, religious honors have been paid to him
since before the birth of Rome itself. A pious posterity inscribed a ship on coinage to
commemorate the coming of the stranger god to Rome, the other side depicting the two-faced
The statue of Saturn was filled with oil and was bound with woolen bonds, which were untied for
the feast day of Saturnalia. Those who have associated Saturn with sowing have attributed this
unbinding as symbolic of the seed bursting forth in the tenth month (both with respect to the
calendar — December being the tenth month — and to pregnancy).
Let the youngest hereamongusunbindofSaturn’sfeetandsohearkenbacktotheGoldenAge
of Rome!
The main sacrifice
[Jenni washes her hands first]
Jenni sacrifices to Saturn: the first is gold; the second is wine. As she speaks the words in
Latin, Mike echoes them in English.
Saturnus Pater,
Father Saturn,
te hoc aurum ommovendo bonas preces,
With good prayers I offer to you this gold.
precor uti sies volens propitious illis Quiritibus te laudatis,
May it be your will to look with favor upon these folk who have honored you,
quoius re ergo hoc sacrificium offero.
for which purpose I make this offering.
Saturnus Pater,
Father Saturn,
Uti te aurum ommovendo bonas preces bene precatus sum,
As with good prayers I offered you gold, that you might favor those who have honored you.
Eiusdem rei ergo macte vino inferior esto.
So, too may you be blessed by this offering of wine.
All: FIAT. So be it.
Praise Offerings, Dance, Libations, etc.
[any additional praise offerings from the congregation]
Piacular Offering (Jenni)
[Jenni makes a final offering of wine and incense.]
Saturnus Pater,
Gods and Goddesses,
Holy Ancestors,
Spirits of this place:
If anything that we have done here has offended you,
If anything we have done here has been incomplete,
If anything we have done here has not been in the proper manner,
accept this final offering in recompense.
Seeking the Omen of Return
So we have given of our love and our wealth
To the Powers, that they may know our devotion.
Now let our voices arise on the Fire
Let our voices sound in the Mundus
Let our words pass the boundary to the Otherworld.
Having sacrificed to the Powers
May we open to them
Asking what blessings they offer us in return
And the needs they have of us.
Have the sacrifices been accepted?
Jenni flips a Roman coin [Vespasian on one side; Fortuna on the other –guess which one is
favorable. ] If the omen is such that this question is answered in the negative, we go back
and do another piacular offering, then start this part over.
Induction of Receptivity
Ancient and Mighty Ones we have honored you
We pray you honor us in turn
For a gift calls for a gift
Hear your children:
All: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!
Consecration Agreement
We draw blessing from the Amphora of Blessing
We pour the Wine of Inspiration
Behold the holy Cup of Magic
The outpouring of Blessing from the Great Ones
When we share the draught of the Gods
We drink in wisdom, love and strength
To do as we will in the worlds
In service to the Shining Ones.
Hear us Father Saturn:
Hallow these waters!
All: Behold the Waters of Life!
As the cup(s) are passed around, participants sing:
better for music while we share the waters)
Pour the waters, raise the cup.
Drink your share of wisdom deep.
Strength and joy now fill us up.
As the elder ways we keep.
(Repeat until all have shared the waters)
Thanking of Entities Invited in Reverse Order
The Great Ones have blessed us.
With joy in our hearts,
Let us carry the magic from our sacred Grove
Into our lives and our work.
Each time we offer to the Powers
They become stronger
And more aware of our needs and our worship.
So now as we prepare to depart
Let us give thanks
To all those who have aided us.
All: We thank you!
All: We thank you!
All: We thank you!
All: We thank you!
GRATIAS VOBIS AGAMUS! To all those Powers that have aided us, we say again…
All: We thank you!
Mother of all
To you we return all we leave unused
Uphold us now in the world as you have in our rite.
All: We thank you!
Ianus Clusivius, closer of doors,
For your presence and power
Your guiding and guarding we say…
All: We thank you!
Final offering to Vesta:
(Jenni makes a final offering of incense to the sacrificial fire and extinguishes it.)
Vesta Mater, Queen of the hearth,
who by rights receives the last,
bless and guard all those who worship you
whether in their home or without
whether alone or with others
whether thinking of you or engaged in business.
Lady of Fire, receive this offering.
Affirmation of Past/Future Continuity and Success
Now by the Keeper of Gates and by our magic
We end what we began.
Now let the Focus be flame;
Let the Mundus be an urn;
Let the Portal be only a doorway.
Let all be as it was before
All: Let the Gates be closed!
Go now, Quirites
In peace and blessings
The rite is ended!