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~ Erecting The Temple ~


The Circle is marked out on the floor. There is a candle at each of the four quarters; yellow to the east, red to the south, blue to the west, green to the north. The altar is set up in the center of the Circle so that, when facing it, you are facing east. On the altar are one or two white altar candles, thurible, dishes of salt and of water, bell, deity figures (optional), bowl of anointing oil, goblet of wine (or fruit juice), libation dish, sword (if you have one) and/or priests' athames. CENSERER lights the incense and the altar candles (not the Circle candles) and then leaves the area to wait, with the rest of the coven, in the northeastern quarter. PRIEST and PRIESTESS enter the Circle, from the east (just on the northern side of the east candle)-- as will all, when they come in--and move to stand before the altar, facing east. PRIEST rings bell three times. Priest/ess: "Be it known the Temple is about to be erec- ted; the Circle is about to be cast. Let those who desire attendance gather in the east and await the summons. Let none be here but of their own free will."

PRIEST and PRIESTESS each take an altar candle and move around the altar, deosil, and across to the east. PRIESTESS lights the East Candle from the one she carries.

Priestess: "Here do I bring light and air in at the east, to illuminate our temple and bring it the breath of life."

 

They move on round to the south, where the PRIEST lights the South Candle.

Priest: "Here do I bring light and fire in at the south, to illuminate our temple and bring it warmth."

They move to the west, where the PRIESTESS lights the West Candle.

Priestess: "Here do I bring light and water in at the west, to illuminate our temple and wash it clean."

They move to the north, where the PRIEST lights the North Candle.

Priest: "Here do I bring light and earth in at the north, to illuminate our temple and to build it in strength."

They move on around to the east, then back to the altar and replace their candles. PRIEST/ESS, takes up the sword (or athame) and, returning to the east, now walks slowly around the Circle with sword-point following the marked line. As s/he walks, s/he con- centrates power into the Circle line. When completed, s/he returns to the altar. The bell is rung three times. PRIEST places the point of his athame in the salt and says:

Priest: "As Salt is Life, let it purify us in all ways we

may use it. Let it cleanse our bodies and spirits as we dedicate ourselves in these rites, to the glory of the God and the Goddess."

PRIESTESS takes up the Salt dish and uses the point of

her athame to drop three portions of salt into the water. She stirs the now-salted water with the athame

and says:

 

Priestess: "Let the Sacred Salt drive out any impurities in this Water, that we may use it throughout these rites."

PRIEST takes up Thurible; PRIESTESS takes up Salted Water. They again move round the altar to the east. Starting there, they slowly walk clock- wise around the Circle, PRIESTESS sprinkling the salted water along the line of the circle and PRIEST passing censer along its line, till they return to their starting point. They then return to the altar and replace the tools. PRIEST drops a pinch of salt into the oil and stirs it with his finger. He then anoints the Priestess (Note: if robed, the Keltic Cross in Circle alone is used. If skyclad, the Pentagram and Inverted Triangle follow).

Priest: "I consecrate thee in the names of the God and the Goddess, bidding you welcome to this their Temple."

They salute, then PRIESTESS anoints Priest, with the same words and salute. They then both move, together, round to the east, PRIESTESS carrying the oil and PRIEST his athame. There he makes two "cuts" across the line of the Circle, thus opening it (see Figures A-B). One by one the coveners enter. As they do so they are anointed-- the males by the Priestess and the females by the Priest--and greeted with the words:

Priest/ess: "I consecrate thee in the names of the God and of the God- dess, bidding you welcome to this their Temple. Merry Meet."

The COVENERS move around to stand all about the altar, as far as possible alternating male and female. When the last has been admitted, the PRIEST closes the Circle by drawing his athame across the line again, connecting the two "broken" ends. PRIESTESS sprinkles a little of the oil there and PRIEST raises his athame and draws a pentagram to seal it (see illustration). They then return to the altar. The bell is rung three times.

Priest/ess: "May you all be here in peace and in love. We bid you welcome. Let now the Quarters be saluted and the gods invited."

The COVENER closest to the east turns outward and moves to stand facing the East Candle, with her/his athame raised. S/he draws an invoking pentagram (see diagram) and says:

Covener: "All hail to the element of Air; Watchtower of the East. May it stand in strength, ever watching over our Circle."

S/he kisses the blade of her/his athame and returns to the Circle. The Covener closest to the south then turns to face the South Candle. With athame raised, s/he draws an invoking pentagram and says:

Covener: "All hail to the element of Fire; Watchtower of the south. May it stand in strength, ever watching over our Circle."

S/he kisses the blade of her/his athame and returns to the Circle.

The Covener closest to the west then turns to face the West Candle. With athame raised, s/he draws an in- voking pentagram and says:

Covener: "All hail to the element of Water; Watchtower of the West. May it stand in strength, ever watching over our Circle."

S/he kisses the blade of her/his athame and returns to the Circle. The Covener closest to the north then turns to face the North Candle. With athame raised, s/he draws an invoking pentagram and says:

Covener: "All hail to the element of Earth; Watchtower of the North. May it stand in strength, ever watching over our Circle."

S/he kisses the blade of her/his athame and returns to the Circle. PRIEST/ESS raises athame and draws a

pentagram, saying:

All: Priest: Priestess: "All hail the four Quarters and all hail the Gods! We bid the Lord and Lady welcome and invite that they join with us, witnessing these rites we hold in their honor. All hail!" "All hail!" "Let us share the Cup of Friendship."

 

Priestess: PRIEST takes the goblet and pours a little of the wine onto the ground, or into the libation dish, saying the names of the gods. He then takes a drink and passes the goblet to the Priestess. She drinks and passes it to the nearest Covener on her left, who drinks and passes it

on to the next. The goblet goes all around the Circle until all have drunk and it is returned to the altar (Note: it is not necessary for everyone to pour libations; just the first person--in this case, the Priest). Bell is rung three times.

"Now are we all here and is the Temple erected. Let none leave but with good reason, till the Temple is cleared. So Mote It Be." "So Mote It Be!"

Erecting the Temple is done at the start of every meeting. It is, basically, the consecration of both the

meeting place and of the participants. The meeting-- be it Esbat, Sabbat, or whatever--continues from this

Point. Then, at the end of every meeting~g, there is the Clearing the Temple

 

CLEARING THE TEMPLE

 

Priest/ess,: " We came together in love and friendship; let us Part the same way Let us spread the love we have known in this Circle outward to all; sharing it with those we meet."

athame, in salute. ALL PRIEST/ESS raises sword, or COVENERS raise their athamesĀ· Priest/ess: "Lord and Lady, our thanks to you for sharing

this time together Our thanks for watching over us; guarding and guiding us in all things. Love is the Law and Love is the Bond. Merry did we meet; merry do we part; merry may we meet again." All: ~~Merry meet; merry part; merry meet again." Priest/ess: " The Temple is now cleared So Mote It Be." All: "So Mote It Be!"

 

ALL kiss their athame blades They then move about the Temple to kiss one another in farewell.

 

Taken from Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft

 

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