Winter Solstice 2005 – Saturnalia

I. MUSICAL SIGNAL
Celebrants gather outside the ritual area, and Anne rings a bell to get things started.
II. CERES INVOCATION1
[An offering of lavender is made to Ceres.]
O, flaxen haired Ceres, Mother of Abundance,
You enliven the grain and loosen the soil
Giving room for our produce to stretch forth and grow;
Ceres Benefactress,
You lavish our tables with everything good.
Your bounty we acknowledge and return to Your breast
This fragrant offering, by which Your reward we seal.
May Your gentle touch sustain us.
Ceres, macte hoc sacrificio!
All: Ceres, our sacrifice!
III. PROCESSIONAL & PURIFICATION
Celebrants process from the garage to the house, singing a Satunalia-izedversionof“O,Come,AllYe
Faithful.”Astheyenterthehouse,they are offered a bowl with scented water and a towel to wash
their hands. As they enter the house through the back door, they pass through incense and each is given
acandle,litfrom thehostess’shearthfire.
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,
GodofRomans’GoldenAge.
Oh come let us unbind him
Oh come let us unbind him
Oh come let us unbind him
Saturn the King.
Adeste Quirites
Laeti triumphantes,
Venite, venite
ad sanctum centrum.
Satorem cantante
Rex aura aetatis
Venite inligemus
Venite inligemus
Venite inligemus
Rex Saturnus
1
Inspired by Ovid, Amores, III 10 3-14; 43-8
(repeat until all have gathered)
IV. APOLLO INVOCATION
[An offering of wine is poured for Apollo.]
Phoebus Apollo, bringer of morn, son of
Zeus, the almighty, and Leto, the fair, who
Bore him at Delos, where nowl many a men
Comes 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.
MACTE VIRTUTE ESTO!
All:MACTEVIRTUTEESTO!(or“Welldone”)
V. GROUNDING & GROUPMIND
Take a moment to find the center of your mind, body and soul.
Take a few deep, cleansing breaths. As you breathe, begin to slow your busy thoughts.
Breathe deeply from your belly, feel your feet resting firmly upon the Earth. Feel Her pulse through the
soles of your feet. Curl your toes into the ground, as you feel them stretch into the bosom of the warm,
nurturing Earth in searchoftheprimalwaterswithin.Feelthosewaterspoolinginyour
So are you now filled with the Power of Sky.
Everywherethelighttouches,itmixesandpoolswiththeEarthPower… becomingbrightandshining,like
the sun sparkling on water. Raise your shining hands to the Sky and feel them brighten and energize with
the combined Powers of Earth and Sky.
So are you now the Sacred Pillar, the World Tree, the vertical axis of all worlds.
Now reach out to those near you. Join your shining hands together, letting the Waters and the Light
mergeandflowthroughusall… EarthPowerflowingupwardfrom below… SkyPowerflowingdownfrom
above… througheachandallofus,makingusonelight,onedepth,oneunitedandsacredGrove,
greater than the sum of its parts.
The waters support and surround us
The land extends about us
The sky stretches out above us.
At the center burns a living flame.
May all the Kindred bless us.
May our worship be true.
May our actions be just.
May our love be pure.
Blessings, and honor, and worship to the Holy Ones.
All:Fiat!… or… SOBEIT!(ifyouprefer)
VI.PURPOSE & PRECEDENT
Saturnalia is the Roman festival of the god, Saturn. It was traditionally celebrated on the 17th of
December, the date that Saturn’stempleintheForum Romanum wasdedicated.Althoughtheactual
ritual took place on the 17th, the holiday was traditionally celebrated with feasting and merriment for
another three to seven days.
Perhaps the most well known of the Roman religious holidays, Saturnalia was certainly one of the most
popular.CatullusreferredtoitastheOPTIMUSDIERUM(“thebestofdays”).
Saturn’stemplecontainedastatueofSaturn,filledwithoil,itsfeetboundbywoolenbonds,whichwere
removed only for the time of the festival. A great sacrifice was held at the altar outside His temple,
followed by a public feast that was open to everyone –citizens, freedmen, slaves, women and foreigners
alike. The sacrifice, like most public rituals, was a formal affair, though for Saturnalia, unlike most Roman
rites, heads were not covered, perhaps from an assumption that no ill omen could possibly impose on
such a joyous occasion.
The banquets following the main sacrifice set the tone for the remainder of Saturnalia, with parties,
celebrations in the streets, and all kinds of merry making. All courts, shops and schools were closed; it
was an impious time to start a war or punish a criminal. Folks paraded around the city wearing the
PILEUS, a soft woolen cap recognized as badge of freedmen, as they exchanged presents with friends
andshouted“IoSaturnalia!”
In most homes, 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 toils, were served
beforetheirmasters(sometimestheyevenworetheirmasters’clothing!)andtheywerepermittedfull
freedom of speech; even gambling was allowed in public. In short, Chaos presided over Order for a day.
This brief episode of social egalitarianism was a remembrance of the mythic Golden Age of Saturn, when
all men were equal, the world was at peace, and everyone prospered.
VII. THE SACRED CENTER
Congregationsings“DecktheHalls”holly branches are added to adorn the focus, the mundus and
the porta.
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.
AQUAFOLIA ORNATIS,
TEMPUS HOC HILARITATIS,
VESTES CLARAS INDUAMUS,
CANTILENAS NUNC PROMAMUS,
VIII. OPENING THE GATES
IANUS INVOCATION
[An offering of olive oil and a hinge is made.]
Salve Ianus Pater!
Ianus Inceptio, God of Beginnings;
Ianus Brifons, Two-faced God;
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 Kindred.
Ianus Pater, macte hoc sacrificio!
All: Father Ianus, accept our offering!
OPENING THE GATES.
Now, Janus, join Your magic with mine
And let the focus open as a gate,
Let the mundus open as a gate,
Let the porta be the crossroads of all Worlds.
IANUS PATULCIUS ADMITTE NOS IN PRAESENTIUM NUMINIUM LUCENTIUM
PORTAE APERIANTUR –Let the gates be open!
All: LET THE GATES BE OPEN!
IX. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE OUTSIDERS
[Jenni makes an offering of wine to Mars Silvanus]
Mars Silvanus Pater,
I pray You be of good will and favorable to me and to our house and household, for which
purpose I make this offering
May you keep the forces of disunity at bay during the course of our rite.
Let the wine flow freely and the sliders go down easy. Party on, dude!
Quirites, as we now prepare to treat with the Outdwellers,
Look to the Outdwellers in your own hearts — all that which causes disunity
And for this sacred time, set them aside!
[Jenni makes an offering of Tire Bite Ale, White Castles & a golden apple to the
Outdwellers]
Ancient Spirits, dark or light,
You who care not for our way,
Outdwellers! We know Your might –
Your forbearance we’ll repay!
We now establish here
Sacred ground where You can stay.
Take this bottle of frothy beer –
We ask You to keep away!
All: FIAT. So be it.
X. KINDRED INVOCATIONS
LIGHTING THE SACRIFICIAL FIRE 2
– ANNE
[Anne lights the focus from the hearth.]
Shining Lady, unite us all,
For by worshipping at a common hearth
We are made one family, one people.
Vesta, Queen of the hearth, Your household is here.
Let us pray with a good fire.
All: FIAT! So be it.
ANCESTORS – JUDI
[An offering of Dead Guy Ale and jerky is made.]
Ancestors, you Mighty Ones,
Witness now our humble actions.
Kin of heart and Kin of blood,
Ancient Ones, we call You Sacred!
2
Based on prayer by Ceisiwr Serith
Come unto us now, we pray,
Join us at the Well this day!
Ancestors, accept our sacrifice!
All: Ancestors, accept our sacrifice!
NATURE SPIRITS –ANNE
All You Spirits of the Land
Be You small or be You grand,
Fin and feather, fur and skin,
Right intent is welcomed in!
Leaf and stone and fairy, too,
Let our Sacred Pact renew!
Land-spirits, accept our sacrifice!
[An offering of bird seed and cat food is made.]
All: Nature Spirits, accept our sacrifice!
DEITIES – CARMEN
[An offering of wine and incense is made.]
Shining Ones, O Great and Timeless,
Gods and Goddesses, come to us!
You are welcome by our fire,
Let us know what You desire.
Known and unknown Deities
Meet us at the Boundaries!
Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice!
All: Deities, accept our sacrifice!
XI. MAIN SACRIFICE
STORY OF SATURN
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
amongthemallwhowantedtomaketheirhomesandshareinthecommunities’toilandbounty.
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 Titan devoured each of his offspring as fast as they were
born, swallowing them whole. He thought he would keep them sunk in his bowels forever and so avert the
oracle.
ManyatimedidSaturn’swife,Rhea,grumble,tobe so often big with child, yet never to be a 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 another child, swallowed. So had fate decreed that the sire should be beguiled.
ThefateofSaturn’schildrenisastorybesttoldanotherday.Sufficeittosaythattheoraclewastrue,and
defeated, Saturn fled Greece, driven from the celestial realm by his children, who then reigned in their
father’splace.
And so to Latium,duringthereignofIanus,cameSaturn,“thesickle-bearing god to the Tuscan river after
wanderingovertheworld.”(Fasti) Just as Latium opened its arms wide to refugees of all kinds, Saturn
was welcomed to Rome.
When Saturn arrived by ship in Italy, Ianus received him as a host receives a guest. Saturn repaid the
hospitality by teaching Ianus and the Romans the art of husbandry, the grafting and cultivation of fruit
trees and grapevines, and the fertilizing of the fields. His agricultural innovations significantly improved
the lives of the Romans, whose methods of farming had been crude and ineffective.
Ianus and Saturn reigned together in harmony for many a year, and they 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
prosperity and contentment, on account of the universal plenty that then prevailed and because there was
as yet no division into freedman and citizen.
And then there came a day when Saturn suddenly disappeared, and Ianus devised a means to add to
Saturn’shonors.FirsthegavethenameSaturniatothelandruledbySaturn.Hethenbuiltanaltar,
instituting rites as to a god and calling these rites the Saturnalia –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 Saturn since before the birth of Rome itself. Ianus, in pious homage, had a coin struck,
which on one side was inscribed a ship commemorating the coming of the stranger god to Rome, and on
the other side, the two-faced Ianus.
The statue of Saturn was filled with oil and was bound with woolen bonds, which were untied for the
duration of the festival of Saturnalia.Some,whoassociateSaturn’snameetymologicallywithsowing,
have attributed this unbinding as symbolic of the seed bursting forth in the tenth month. In the Roman
calendar, December was the tenth month, but there are also ten months in a normal pregnancy.
LettheyoungesthereamongusunbindSaturn’sfeetandsohearkenbacktotheGoldenAgeofRome!
[TheyoungestcomesforwardtounwrapthebindingsaroundSaturn’sfeet.]
PRAYER OF SACRIFICE
Saturnus, Great King of the ancient, starry Skies and Earth primieval, under Your peaceful reign never
wasanyone’stranquilitydisturbedbylabor.
3
[Jenni washes her hands first]
Jenni sacrifices to Saturn: the first is gold; the second is wine. As she speaks the words in Latin4
, a helper
echoes them in English.
[Jenni makes an offering of gold]
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.]
[Jenni makes an offering of wine]
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]
3 Martial, Epigram 12.62
4 BasedinpartonCato’sDe Agricultura 134
PIACULAR OFFERING5
[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.
5
Based on prayer by Ceisiwr Serith
XII. THE OMEN OF RETURN
So we have given of our love and our wealth to the Kindred,
That they may know our devotion.
Now let our voices arise on the Focus
Let our voices sound in the Mundus
Let our words traverse the Porta.
May we open to the Kindred
Asking if our sacrifices been accepted.
[coin toss]
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:
NUMINA LUCENTIA, AQUAE VIVAE DATIS!
All: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!
NUMINA LUCENTIA, AQUAE VIVAE DATIS!
All: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!
NUMINA LUCENTIA, AQUAE VIVAE DATIS!
All: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!
ECCE AQUAE VIVAE!
All: Behold the Waters of Life!
As the cup(s) are passed around, participants sing:
Gods rest ye merry Quirites
Let none of you dismay;
Remember that Saturnus is
Unbound not every day.
For these few days a Titan
Hearkens back the Golden Age.
Oh tidings of fortune and cheer, fortune and cheer.
Oh tidings of fortune and cheer!
(Repeat until all have shared the waters)
XIII. CLOSING
We have drunk of the Waters of Life!
The Powers have given us true and wondrous blessings
We affirm the gifts of our Kindreds and acknowledge their power in our lives.
Quirites, do you accept the gifts of the Kindreds?
All: We do!
So now as we prepare to depart
Let us give thanks
To all those who have aided us.
PATERSATURNUS,GRATIASTIBIAGAMUS!FatherSaturn…
All: We thank You!
DEIGRATIASVOBISAGAMUS!OGodsandGoddessesofelderdays…
All: We thank You!
NUMINAEETINDIGITES,GRATIASVOBISAGAMUS!OSpiritsofthisland…
All: We thank You!
MAJORES ETDIMANES,GRATIASVOBISAGAMUS!OAncestors,ourKindred…
All: We thank You!
To all those Powers that have aided us, we say again… GRATIAS VOBIS AGAMUS!
All: We thank You!
Ceres Mater,
To You we return all we leave unused
Uphold us now in the world as You have in our rite.
CERES, GRATIAS TIBI AGAMUS!
All: We thank You!
Ianus Clusivius, Closer of Doors,
For Your presence and power
Your guiding and guarding we say…
GRATIAS TIBI AGAMUS!
All: We thank You!

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