Ritual

This is the ritual we traditionally perform at the PPD.

Concentration
Find the center in you, the spot where you are focused and balanced. Feel that this spot is connected to the center of all the others and with the Earth, the Universe. Know that any mean you use to feel this is just an instrument; its the result that matters, this feeling f relaxed tension, of balanced focus. And know that the place we are about to enter is really Between Worlds...

Creating the Circle
The space is cleansed by the High Priest, walking widdershins and beating with his staff at the four corners. Then the High Priestess casts the Circle deosil. The elements on the altar are blessed and united, salt and water, fire and incense, and with them the Circle is sealed by the celebrants walking deosil.

Calling the Elements
The High Priestess, starting from North, goes to each corner and directs a silent invocation to the element appropriate to each direction. Everybody turns towards the relevant direction each time, invoking the element inside their own...

Invocation of the Gods
The High Priest and the High Priestess take the positions of the God and of the Goddess respectively, and silently invoke the presence of the Gods inside the Circle. Everybody join this silent invocation.

Celebrating the Season
Let's spend a moment to balance and feel our connection with the Earth and the others.
(Suggestion on how to balance: find your own center, about eight centimeters below your navel. Focus on this spot: feel how it is the center of your own balance. Now find the same center in the Earth around you, feel the energy it contains, the strenght of earthquakes, of volcanoes and molten magma. Feel the connection between your own center and this energy like the roots of a tree, gathering this energy and bringing it above, channeling it through your spine and your body, racing it like a river, like sap flowing through a tree. When the energy reaches your forehead feel it flow out like the branches of a willow tree, bending twards the earth. Feel these branches united to the ones of the person by your side: feel the energies fluctuate together. Feel the energy course through you like in a circuit, returning to the earth beneath your feet as in a circle, returning constantly. When this circle seems to work naturally, we proceed)
Feel the different energies of the Circle; if you can't feel them, imagine them. We are all different. Each of us sees the God, the Goddess, ourselves, the elements in slightly different ways. Each of us practices in a slightly different way . some of us celebrate Full Moons, others just the eight Sabbats of the Seasons, others celebrate even different days. We use different symbols, different words; some celebrate regularly with other people, others celebrate on their own. Yet we all call ourselves Pagans and we are proud of it. Why? Because while words, techniques, practices can be different, the essence is still the same: we choose to celebrate in ways that are meaningful to us, with practices touching our heart because they touch ourselves directly, not because someone has told us that we have to practice in a given way. Each of us has been called by faces, aspects, expressions of the Divine that do not match with the traditional Western religion; we see the Divine as Goddess, as Earth, as the ancient Gods that our ancestors used to adore, as a force coursing through Nature, as new inspirations from new myths as well as from old ones. We do not need others to intercede for us - we know how tto connect with the Divine on our own. And, somehow, we all feel the Sacred, the Divine somewhere in the world around us.We look for the God, the Goddess, the Divine in the cathedrals of mountains, in the temples of oak groves, in the sanctuaries on the shores of the sea. We look for the Divine in the spark calling to our hearts, that spark that grows as we look the starry sky, the shine of the Full Moon, the daring flight of the eagle, while we feel the solid stone under our feet. We look for the Divine in the individual inspiration, and inspiration in life's cycles. We are Pagans. And today we are united in spite of our differences, because by being united today we can make sure we will still be able to have a tomorrow. )

In the centre of the Circle there is a cauldron full with grass seeds. The High Priest starts beating a very slow rhythm on the drum. Everyone starts a little humming and, one after the other, they go to the cauldron to gathe r a handful of seeds, then everyone returns to their place.
Once everyone has taken their handful, the rhythm starts growing faster.
We all focus our attention on the seeds we have in our hand: this is what we give for the next harvest. What do we want to put inside it, what is it we want to share with the others? We focus our energies inside these seeds.
The rhythm keeps going faster and faster up to the point when, with a louder last beat, it stops suddenly and, at the top of the energy, we all throw our seeds in the air, knowing that we give this part of the harvest in order to plant the next one.

(Now relax and let the excess energy slowly flow back to the Mother. Slowly let yourself slip back to normality. Find you center again.)

Feasting and Felowship
We direct our attention to the results of our charity drive, and we bless them together with the cakes we share amongst us.
The Cup and the cakes are passed in Circle: feel the fellowship of the cakes, the brotherhood of the Cup.

Closing the Circle
The High Priest and the High Priestess take up the positions of the God and of the Goddess respectively, and silently bid farewlle to the Gods. Everybody joins this silent invocation.
Starting from North, the High Priestess goes to the different corners and silently thanks and salutes each element. Everybody turns towards the directions at the same time, mentally saluting the relevant element.