A Hush Falls Over the Land

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Last Wednesday, my High Priest and I went to the Land to retrieve his medicine bag and to do our traditional “Closing” ritual for the Land. It was a somewhat dreary day, mostly cloudy with some drizzle here and there on our 2- hour drive. We parked outside the gate, not wanting to disturb the energies of it being closed for the season, and walked in.

It was so quiet and still. The trees are mostly bare now and the walk up the hill was reminiscent of childhood, walking through ankle-deep fallen leaves. The first thing we noticed, as we rounded the bend at the top, was a tree getting ready to fall next to the first-aid station. A common occurrence on the Land, I wonder how many more will fall during the Land’s Winter rest.

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We walked back to the Ritual Field, past the Feast Area, now deserted, but where a wonderful feast took place at Summer Solstice and Goddess Gathering Reborn. Another wonderful memory of this magickall place.

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Even the pond seemed deserted of all the lively frogs that occupied it this year. So quiet and still…not a ripple to be seen on the surface of the water.

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As we walked through the woods, past the Coordinator’s camp site, there was a loud rustling sound. As I looked up, there was a white-tailed deer running away from us to the back of the property. An awesome sight to behold!

We continued our walk through the campsite, checking for damage, from weather or intruders, and began our descent down the hill once more, heading for the gate.

Normally, the Closing Ritual is held in the Lower Ritual Circle with at least five people in attendance. Things change. So, with only two of us to do this rite we decided to do it at the gate. I would like to share that with you now:

All stand with lighted white tapers.
A single candle is lit in the center of the Circle.

East:   The wheel turns again. The Lady has gone to join the Lord, Her Consort, in     the Underworld. All growing is done.
So Mote It Be.

The East taper is extinguished and East steps to the Altar and waits.

South:   Though the heat of the Sun declines, the passion in our hearts for life on this Earth does not. It is this passion that will warm our souls through the Winter months.
So Mote It Be.

The South taper is extinguished and South steps to the Altar and waits.

West: The lakes and streams will freeze thus ceasing their flow, but the flow of our emotions and spirits will continue on. Nothing can prevent this if we will.
So Mote It Be.

The West taper is extinguished and West steps to the Altar and waits.

North: The flowers fade, the cold winds blow and the snow falls. The wisdom of experience has taught us that all that dies will be reborn. We carry the joy of that wisdom in our hearts and, turning inward, we wait.
So Mote It Be.

The North taper is extinguished and North steps to the Altar and waits.

After a moment of silence, all say:

And the wheel turns,
And the wheel turns,
And we are all bound to the wheel.

Pause 3 beats and intone:

  I          A       O
(EE) (YAY) (YO)

The Center taper is extinguished.
The Circle is closed. The rite is ended.
And so it was that we stood at the gate and turned toward each direction – I did East and West and my High Priest did South and North. It was an emotional rite.

We walked back around the gate, doing a final Pentagram for protection, and left the Land to rest for the Winter.

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Love & Blessed Be

Elder Maya

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