Here is our Special Rite of Passage
Ceremony for the Pentacle Quest victory in special honor
of our Fallen Pagan Hero's.
Held: Wednesday, April 25th, 2007
Location: Fair Oaks, CA
Ceremony Performed by Rev. Gail Dettmar,
Elder Minister of Ancient Cauldron Coven, founder and President of Operation Hero's Salute.
The ceremony was held in a beautiful public park in Fair Oaks, CA in a fabulous grove of majestic & sacred oak trees.
Sage and lavender to smudge and bless the area.
An altar was set up with a black cloth, symbols representing our God and Goddess, a small cauldron, athame, wand, censor, incense, charcoal for the incense, matches, some patriotic candles, a vase of flowers, a picture of Sgt. Stewart and his plaque, a framed poem of "We Give Thanks" and many single flowers laying all about the altar.
Just to the back left of the altar stood our American Flag. and to the front left of the altar and our flag was a wrought iron podium with the top shaped like a butterfly (representing a transformed soul).
Off to the front right of the altar was a tribal drum.
The drum was bran new and this was its maiden voyage.
The drum name was channeled through its maker, Don Schulz,
of The Different Drum. The drums name is Mariposa, and
upon doing some research on the name Mariposa I found
it to be a flower of the lily family also called a butterfly
flower. Its also know to be representative of female
energy and nurtures the soul, healing and peace. Well
of course I had to share this information with everyone
while we waited for others to arrive for the ceremony.
How very appropriate that this special drum should become part of our ceremony and sat proudly next to the altar, letting its heartbeat, sending the sacred sound out to heal the souls and let them rest in peace and so it was.
We placed a small black blanket with a celtic design on the ground in the center of the area and placed upon it were additional drums and other percussion instruments along with a basket full of candles.
We had intended to play the "Symbol Song" by Celia as we began our ceremony so those attending could hear it and know what it stood for. Well, that didn't happen because the batteries in our CD player choose that moment to die. Hmmmm!
Since it was the only thing I needed the CD player for we put it aside and I started to explain the meaning & purpose of the Symbol Song when it hit me, the song was not needed at that time. The Pentacle Quest, this particular one, had ended.
Many of those attending had not heard the song yet and upon inquiring about it, I choose to read the first few verses of the song through the first chorus.
Then the ceremony began:
Welcome and thank you all for coming to participate tonight.
For We - Of many paths, and many traditions, gather here on this gentle night, to celebrate this very special rite!
A Special Rite of Passage, one that we had to fight for. One that took a battle of over 9 years.
Nine is a number of the Hermit in the Tarot. The number
of the "Wise Ones" who lead and guide us.
We have been guided to stand up for ourselves, for each other, for the all!
We have reached the top of this mountain, and it has been a long and rough climb.
BUT WE MADE IT!
Tonight we gather to do two things:
We are here to celebrate a victory. A victory for our Race of People, Pagans, and especially our Pagan Soldiers.
A victory of the Right to have the Pentacle, a symbol of our Race of People, proudly displayed on headstones, plaques and grave markers of our Fallen Soldiers!
We are here to honor our Pagan Soldiers, and our Fallen Hero's
They can now all rest at ease, assured their rites are granted as a person, as a Soldier.
I ask now, at this time for any of our Soldiers and Veterans to please come forward before the altar.
As you can see, Our American Flag is proudly displayed.
I ask you all to please stand and join me in our Pledge of Allegiance, and as Pagans I ask you to follow your heart, use God, Goddess or God and Goddess as you see fit in our pledge or please stand quietly in honor and respect.
(Pledge of Allegiance is said, Soldier then return to their seats and everyone sits, and ceremony continues)
We gather here not within a circle, but openly - for the "all" is our circle.
We gather here in nature, among the strength of the sacred oaks.
We gather here
in a park, a place of beauty and of peace, where people and families gather to relax and enjoy.
Please join me now, let us stand and connect by chanting together the part of a traditional Celtic Goddess Blessing 3 times.
By the air that is Her breath.
By the fire of Her bright spirit
By the waters of Her womb
By the earth that is Her body
Let us all now read aloud together: "We Give Thanks" (by Gail "WinterSky" Dettmar, 2007)
We Give Thanks to our Soldiers, for all that you are,
For those stationed here, and those stationed a-far.
We give thanks to our Soldiers. Who were and who are,
Our Soldiers & Veterans....How PROUD of you, we are!
We give thanks to our Soldiers, who answered the call
Our Warriors who choose to serve and protect all!
We give thanks to our Soldiers, for they proudly serve
In America's armed forces:
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Cost Guard and Reserves
We give thanks to our Soldiers, and their families left behind,
They go as their needed, go where their assigned.
We give thanks to our Soldiers, they fight for our rights!
For liberty & freedom, all day and all night.
We give thanks to our Soldiers, who have answered the call,
Our Fallen Hero's not to one, but to ALL!
The Pentacle Symbol, that of our belief,
Should have been granted without all the grief.
To our Fallen Hero's, we'll not let you down,
We will not forget you, we'll stand tall and proud!
We fought for your rights, the battle was long,
Now the Victory's upon us, this battle now gone!
For all Pagan Soldiers, the emblem of your belief, now will shine,
Proudly Your Symbol - will stand out through
We give thanks, to You, Our Soldiers, know deep in your heart,
That here on the home front, we'll do our part.
We give thanks to our Soldiers, we'll fight for your rights,
We'll keep home fires burning,
All day and all night.
We Give Thanks, To Our Soldiers
We Give Thanks.
Next we chant and drum as we raise energy and each in turn, as your ready, light your candles, (and if you don't have one please take one from the basket on the blanket) then if you wish you may approach the altar to give your own private blessings and/or place your candle or offering on the altar. We will keep chanting until all are done, then energy will increase and be released.
We will all repeat the chant from Circle Sanctuary's Sacred Cave Ritual CD: "People are returning to the Ancient Ways"
(this should take time depending on the number of people participating, when done all pause quietly for a moment of silence, then continue on with the ceremony)
Now I'd like everyone to take a slow deep breath, and exhale, three times. Breath in all the good and positive energies, exhale all the bad and negative energies. Feel the energy we have raised here this night. Know that we are One! Know that We Are! Know that our love and blessings have and will continue to be heard. (Pause for three heart beats)
At this time I would like to ask any of you whom would like to share a few words to please either stand or come up to the front.
(This again takes time depending on how many participate, once all have had an opportunity to speak then continue on with the ceremony by asking everyone to join in song: "We all come from the Goddess" by Z Budapest & "Hoof & Horn" by Ian Corrigan, then the ceremony continues)
In closing I would like to say a very
special thank you to all of those wonderful people who
stood proud, and fought hard to get this rite, the approval
for the Pentacle Symbol passed:
The Pentacle Headstone Campaign
Selena Fox, Circle Sanctuary and Lady Liberty League
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Pagan Soldiers and their families
And many other people
who fought right along and supported this quest including those people of other religions and other religious leaders who stood with us in this fight for equality!
Thank you all!
Let us now end this special rite with
again chanting the Celtic Goddess Blessing, this time
in its entirety:
By the air that is Her Breath
By the fire of Her bright spirit
By the waters of Her womb
By the earth that is Her Body
Our Circle is open, Yet Unbroken
May the peace of the Goddess be ever in our hearts
Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again
Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet Again.
Blessed Be to all.
Then thank everyone for participating in this Special Rite of Passage.