Winter Solstice Vigil and Yule Ritual

The River Temple of Athens will host a Yule/Winter Solstice Ritual and all-night vigil begining at 9 pm on Thursday, Dec. 21, lasting sometime after sunrise on the following morning. The ritual will begin shortly after 9 pm or shortly after and we can hang out etc until time to watch the sunrise. Pot luck breakfast if anyone has the energy. There is likely to be singing and jollity and we might watch the livestream of sunrise from Stonehenge or Newgrange. Anyone is welcome to come and go as they please through the night. For more info, write jim@athensarea or join

Here is a script for the ritual:

Mabon Ritual Sept. 23

River Temple will hold a ritual for Mabon (the Fall Equinox) on Saturday, Sept. 23 at The Hill. We will meet as usual at Rabbit Hole Studios at 5 pm but will adjourn early for the ritual which should begin around 730 pm. Bring food or drink, but be prepared to leave nothing behind. For directions and other info, email or join Athens Area Pagans

Beth’s Summer Solstice ritual 2023


  • Altar and circle are decorated with roses and other summer flowers.
  • At each direction’s altar is a bowl of petals: yellow, red, blue, green.
  • A God figure made of woven sticks is placed upon the altar
  • A fire is set.
  • Conveners and guests also wear flowers.
  • Drum(s)
  • Large pitcher of water or 1 gallon jug
  • Once all have gathered, do a Tree of Life meditation to both ground and cleanse all who have gathered:
  • Fire-keeper: lights the re quietly during the Tree of Life meditation.

Meditation Leader:

Softly close your eyes. Exhale completely. Draw in a deep, long breath, and as you do so imagine you are a tree. Roots from your feet and legs reach down, touching the Earth. As you exhale, feel these roots sinking deeper into the Earth. Your roots will go down past the topsoil, teaming with life. Inhale, bringing some of this biological energy up for yourself. Exhale again, sinking your roots past the subsoil, and deep into the fresh, clear, cool groundwater. Breathe in, pulling up some of that refreshing coolness for yourself. Then, with an exhalation, sink still deeper, past the groundwater and buried stone that holds it, finding a crack, sink still deeper through the layers of Earth. Finally, when your exhalation is complete, touch that molten hot core of the living Earth. Inhale, weaving all your troubles into a ball. Exhale. Inhale, weaving all the city’s troubles into the ball. Exhale. Inhale, weaving in all our state’s troubles into the ball. Exhale. Inhale, weaving our nations troubles into a ball. Exhale. Inhale, weaving the world’s troubles into the ball. Now exhaling, give this ball of worries to the molten core of the Earth. She knows what to do with them. She transforms them into pure, life-giving energy that you can pull up, through the substrata, through the stone, through the groundwater, through the subsoil and top soil, into your body. As you continue to inhale feel that wonderful energy coursing up through your body, until finally, with an exhale, it bursts out the crown of your head, out the tree limbs, out to the tips of your leaves, until the seasons change and the leaves oat down to the earth to feed your roots once again. Inhale again, feeling earth’s molten energy rise and ow through you again. As it bursts out the crown chakra of your skull let your inhale turn to an exhale, and the limbs weighted with summer fruits drop down to the earth to feed your roots once again. Let’s stand in this space and take 3 breaths on our own. Inhaling….Exhaling…..Inhaling…… Exhaling…..Inhaling…..Exhaling. Feel yourself to be standing more firmly and anchored securely on the earth, this is your grounding. Feel your heart lighter, more buoyant, this is the purification. Open your eyes! Now we are ready to work magic!

High Priestess:

This is the time of the rose, blossom, and thorn, fragrance and blood. Now on this longest day, light triumphs, and yet begins the decline into dark. The Sun King grown embraces the Queen of Summer in love that is death because it is so complete that all dissolves into the single song of ecstasy that moves the worlds. So the Lord of Light dies to Himself, and sets sail across the dark seas of time, searching for the isle of light that is rebirth. We turn the Wheel and share his fate, for we have planted the seeds of our own changes. To grow we must accept even the passing of the Sun.

Water-Bearer: As each direction is acknowledged by the High Priestess, pour water into that directions bowl.

Fire-keeper: As the water-bearer casts the circle with owing water in each bowl of petals, the fire—keeper lights each candle in turn

High Priestess: On this the longest day of the year, we create our magic circle, a place of love and joy and truth. With flower petals of yellow, we open the doorway to the realm of the Gods and Goddesses.(Light candle to the East) With flower petals of red, we create a space where mortals may tread. (Light candle to the South) With flower petals of blue, we open the entryway to the realm of the spirit. (Light candle to the West) With flower petals of green, we welcome those unseen who come to us in good faith. (Light candle to the North) In the names of the sun and the sky and the earth and the moon, we bless and consecrate this space. The circle is cast. So mote it be!

Have those gathered count off 1 and 2. Coveners simultaneously chant and decorate the God with flowers until the figure is covered.

High Priestess: Tonight we are not afraid of the dark. We are not afraid to stare deeply into El Mundo Malo, the Bad Reality. For our side of the planet is tilting towards that magni cent
source of light in the sky, The Sun. And while it is as close as it will get to the Sun, it prepares to turn its face away, back to the night. So while we see the troubles of our world and its people, while hate, greed, and war triumph in the headlines, we know that the dark can embrace us like cottony velvet. We know we stayed among many who are doing the work to stay in El Mundo Bueno, the Good Reality. For this Good Reality to become your own, you may silently place a working in each flower you put on the God figure. This may be done by focusing on the working as you hold the flower. Let the working come into your mouth, and release it over the flower with an exhalation. The tie the flower to the God figure.

All Ones, accompanied by drummers, repeat 3 times:
She is luminous
She is white
She is shining
Crowned with light!
He is radiant
He is bright
He is rising
He takes flight!

All Twos, repeat 3 times:
SHE who is at CENter, SHE WHO BLOOMS!
The LEAFy One The GREEN One The LEAFy One the GREEN One…
She who is CROWNED, She who EmBRACes!

As the energy from these chants builds, the High Priestess and High Priest dance around the fire. The High Priest is holding the God figure. When the energy reaches a crescendo the High Priestess shouts over the chanting and drumming: “To me! To me!” In response the High Priest casts the God figure into the fire. Coveners watch the flames devour the God, and the workings held by the flowers wither and turn to ash.

All fall silent.

Fire-keeper shakes the popcorn.

High Priestess: (upon hearing the popcorn popping)
Hark, the God lives on !

All: He has not abandoned us!

High Priestess: Behold, the God has gone into the corn!

All: He will feed us!

High Priestess: The sun is on the water!

All: He will quench our thirst!

High Priestess: The God is in the corn!

All: It will grow high!

High Priestess: The God is on tree and vine!

All: He will ripen in season!

High Priestess: The sun is not lost!

All: It will rise again!

High Priestess: The sun is within us!

All: See how we shine!

Fire-keeper prepares the popcorn for the Simple Feast. The Simple Feast is served.

After the Simple Feast, the drummer passes a speak stick, so that we may share from the heart. Once sharing dies down, the High Priest and High Priestess remove the corn from the re and remove the husk and threads, preparing it to be eaten.

High Priestess release the directions.

The circle is opened.

This ritual is an amalgam of rituals for the Summer Solstice taken from Starhawk’s Spiral Dance, Jason Monkey’s Witches Wheel of the Year, and the teachings of the late Christy Grey.

Beltane Ritual (Beat Style)

6 parts: First officiant, Second officiant, 1 for each quarter

Words and noises in all caps are to be spoken by all

First officiant draws banishing circle widdershins with appropriate words and gestures and comes to the altar

First Officiant: 

Now is all nature engorged and aching,  

Irises erect, roses slowly spreading,

We beasts trembling, our hearts’-blood thund’ring, 

Poised for the thrust and thrash of Summer’s dance,

Joyous reaching for Fall’s soft satiety

And tristesse. Now, May’s strong sun risen high,

Let it begin: Twist and Shout!

East quarter: 

[like a tenor sax, overblown]

YAAAAAH! Astheun Wilrago! [ahz thee un will rah go]

Hey, Golden boy, Blow yr horn, Wind through that golden bell make sounds echo through valleys and hills and trees, describing the world, musical analysis. Ho, Lou, Blow hard and dew sprays from yr keys, jazzing to put pure light to our eyes, to understand what is. While the Dawn sisters, Bridey, Dana & Anna, jig and groove and scat in perfect dissonance to your song, 

To do and to be and to do be do be do, To see and to dare and to dare to know, 

 Beadley op sha doop and Hausos, Eos, Aurora, cooing and grooving 

Skronk and rip and Gothis Unwrail [goth iss oon rah ill], Warblis Drumcon [war bliss drum con] & SKEE BOP A LU BOP A BIM BAM BOOM!

South quarter, 

[like lion, or a damn big car]

GRAAAHR. Harbets V’Likdown [har bets vuh lick down] GAHR HARHOO GAHARR

Roaring up, 1959 big-finned Cadillac convertible, fireapple red and top down, the Fire’s clenched in steel under the hood, makes that big damn car drive, to blow out your red hair and beard like a mane and sun glints red on yr mirror shades. Three wild women in the back seat, Iris & Hellen and Mama/Sister Ray, whistle and catcall when you jump out  and swing yr big clown hammer down on the Test O’ Strength, and make the Mercury pop out the top. Swing it like Hank Hammerin’, Downbets V’Likher [down bets vuh lik ker], vromshend flictwa [vrom shend Flick twah]

Har Har, Hou Hou, Danse Ici, Danse La

Dare to Be, Dare to Move, Dare to Do Your Will IO EVOHE ROOOORAAAHHHRR

West quarter, 

[like water rushing]

SHOOOROAURSHEEERRRS, Clavor Sfendst Lautrismy [klah vor ss’fenced law trizz mee]

WHOOSH AND ROAR, that Wave gotta be 100 feet high but there she goes up top with her silver hair flying. She rides the top and hangs this and that goes under and comes out, does things on her surfboard that you can’t do in a blue wetsuit and sparkly gray board and then she raises her arms and that wave sets her down smooth and gentle as summer sun drops away at dusk. And on the beach, 3 boys bring seashells, quick Hermie brings a conch, and bitter Lucky brings a cone, and solid Herk brings a scallop. And she pulls from somewhere a bottle of blue liquor, you never saw anything so blue and liquid, like sparks of electric fire turned cool and sweet and she pours out a jot into their shells each and they drink and they start to cry when it burns into them and she whispers to Hermie, “Dare to Want,” and she whispers to Lucky “Dare to Love’ and she whispers to Herk “Dare to be brave, even when it hurts.” And they all understand ‘cause her medicine kills the false in them and she and they all hold each other as the waves wash around and over them. shendtofi shendtofi [shin toh fee], here in this place we will enjoy what we are and what we have,


North Quarter

[Like big trees creaking, like preliminary tremor of an earthquake]

BOOMBADOOM BOM, BOOM BADA BOM BOOM. You walked by that old shop on the North side of the street too many times and never turned in, past the winding vines & shrubs that almost cover the windows

Fronthisera Fronthisera [fron this sehr ah]

But today with nothing left you turned and walked past the bundled herbs and barrels of things and meat & cheese hanging from the ceiling and strange rich smells. And you walk to the counter which is like a huge block of black stone. There is a woman bent over a steaming vat and through the back door three men, and they are Waylon banging on the anvil, and Luke pumping the bellows and Mac quenching a shiny new sickle in water, or maybe blood, and she turns toward you, white hair and skin like old leather and the brightest green eyes and you know she’s older than mountains, older than the Moon, but you’ve never seen anything so beautiful and you stutter and halt and she pulls you toward her and whispers a thing you need to know and gives you what you need and asks nothing of you that you would not give her anyway. Then she licks a flick of blood off her lips and says out loud  “Dare to Be Silent.”

And sends you on your way


BARUM BRUM DA DUM. Norecsathi [nor ek sah thee]. BOOM BAROOM BUM.

2nd officiant:

Come on down, come on down, Kid Superguy, Sanctuary Man, snakehips banging and bopping in yr Sailor Ripley snakeskin jacket and shiny boots. Round and round this Circle, flamenco and boogaloo and polka, too, like a tornado, like a wildfire, like a flood, like an earthquake, all the grace in the world but that one foot drags behind. You dance and sing with a grin on your lips, you can tickle the ivories or make a guitar scream, you can make girls & boys & everyone else blush and tingle alike, you can fool the rubes and break their traps, and live by yr wits and teach us to be free.

Father and Brother, Friend and Accomplice, teach us yr tricks and wiles,

And help us build a temple here in this place for her who now comes, she for whom you prepare the way, she whom all must adore. Now she comes among us.


Light the god’s candle

1st Officiant:

Look, you people, is that your own daughter who you would lay down your life for?

Listen, is that the voice of one you have loved all your life?

And is that not also your Mother who held you at her breast?


You who whose feet make HOLY the ground they walk upon, come among us.

You who make PURE all that you touch,

Come among us and make us HOLY

Make our Eyes HOLY

Make our Ears HOLY

Make our Breath HOLY

Make our Loins HOLY

Make our Hearts HOLY

Make our Bowels HOLY

Show us how to be FREE


Light the goddess’s candle

Now She is here among us and this place is consecrated to the LADY and all the Mighty Gods and Goddesses and Heroes and Bright Spirits. BLESSED BE.

2nd officiant:

Now is the time of the Fire, the Fire that spills down from above, The Fire that spirals up from below, the green fire that through the green fuse drives the flower, the blue electric fire that leaps to the clouds and runs down wires and nerves, the liquid red fire that flows through the earth and our veins, the golden fire that suffuses the blue sky.

A woman tends the fire, she is your mother. She has given you many gifts.

But she is the Mother of All Living, of bunny rabbits and lean wolves, and blackbirds and cattle. Also, the mother of scorpions, rattlesnakes, cockroaches and leeches. She is the mother of plague.

She has given great gifts to her humans, maybe greater than those she gave to any other children, but all have a place. And we all must enter the Fire, Dance in the Fire or be consumed by the fire.

The Simple Feast:

First officiant:

Here are the cakes from the fires of the oven, may you never hunger

First officiant passes the cakes deosil and says to each person “May you never hunger” and they reply “Blessed Be.”

Second officiant:

Here is the liquor brewed in the night. May you never thirst

Second officiant passes the cakes deosil and says to each person “May you never thirst” and they reply “Blessed Be.”

A libation is made to all the spirits attending

Other matter as desired

The Closing

Second officiant:

Bless you, our Mother for your attention tonight, Stay with us always wherever we walk

First Officiant:

Bless, Old Daddy, for your attention tonight, Walk with us alway, guide us and guard us

North: Hey, you rocky, booming Green and brown spirits, Thanks for coming, stay with us if you will, go as you must.

West, Hey, you quick rushing blue and silver spirits, Thanks for coming, stay with us if you will, go as you must.

South: Hey, you hot roaring  red and orange spirits, Thanks for coming, stay with us if you will, go as you must.

East, Hey you cool singing gold and pink spirits , Thanks for coming, stay with us if you will, go as you must.

Beltane Ritual will be April 30 at AllWays

River Temple of Athens will hold a Beltane ritual on Sunday, April 30 (technically Walpurgis night), at the land purchased for the AllWays project, 720 Vincent Dr., Athens. We will begin with an open house at 2 pm with tours of the land and informational programs in afternoon, and the ritual to begin about 8 pm. Here is a script for the Beltane Ritual. For more information about this and other rituals, either join Athens Area Pagans or email