Pagan Pride Day



Preparing for ritual

Ground and Center

Find the center point within you, the place where you feel 'together' and balanced. Sense that that point is connected to everyone else's balance point, and that of the Earth, the universe. Know that whatever method you use to sense this is just a tool; the end result is what counts, the feeling of relaxed tension, balanced focus. And know that where we are about to enter is truly Between the Worlds.

Gathering In

Before the ceremony, allow people to stand in a circle and introduce themselves: we always start with the Priest and end with the Priestess, and let everyone else go in order. Appropriate introductions would be Craft name, city you're from, and group affiliation if any.

Blessing of the Elements

The Priest takes the incense and the Priestess the cup of salt water, and they follow around the circle in blessing with the elements:

We bless you with the smoke of autumn leaves on the Air and the Fire of fall bonfires.
We bless you with the Water of September rains and rich Earth yielding her harvest.

Creating Sacred Space

Casting the Circle


From the four directionsDifferent: in the names we speak,
we gather togetherthe ways we seek,
to join in this circle.the paths we travel.
From our many traditionsTogether in our reverence: of nature,
we call togetherof the cycles of life,
those whom we honor.of inspiration within.

To create the sacred Circle and join our energies together, we will sing:

ALL: We are a circle, within a circle,

with no beginning, and never ending (repeat);

Calling the Quarters

EAST: Celebrate here now together the spirit of Air,
In the wind's low clear whistle, the rush of the gales through our hair.
The wind's autumn dances that lighten the mind.

Of what would you be freed?
Think it, and let the cool breeze come to lift it away.
And the winds of change will blow harvest gifts our way.

ALL: Though many, though different, we stand proud together
And call out: Welcome to the East!

SOUTH: Celebrate here now together the spirit of Fire,
In the crackling of logs and the leaf-smoke, so radiant and warm.
The autumn bonfire that inflames the spirit.

In what would you take heart?
Will it, and let the bright flames burn to brand it within.
And the fires of fall will empower our harvest desires.

ALL: Though many, though different, we stand proud together
And call out: Welcome to the South!

WEST: Celebrate here now together the spirit of Water,
In the patter of raindrops, the damp crunch of the frost on the leaves.
The September rains that soothes the heart.

From what would you be healed?
Feel it, and let cool water flow to wash it away.
And the waters of autumn will quench us like harvest's rich juice.

ALL: Though many, though different, we stand proud together
And call out: Welcome to the West!

NORTH: Celebrate here now together the spirit of Earth,
In the scent of ripe wheat, the thudding of feet on firm ground.
The harvest-time fruits that nourish the body.

In what would you plant hope?
Believe it, and let fertile earth nurture dreams to take root.
That the rich fields of plenty might yield enough harvest for all.

ALL: Though many, though different, we stand proud together
And call out: Welcome to the North!

Priest and Priestess:

And so now the Circle is cast.
And with sacred space surrounding us, we turn to the center.

Welcoming the Divine

Priestess: Through all the ages
the Divine has been
called by many names
imagined in many faces
honored in many ways.
Priest: Today, we call old Gods in new ways
and new Gods in old ways
and search for the Divine in ourselves and others.
Both: Let us join together
at Equinox, a balance-point of the year
and call clear and proud
the Names we choose to honor today.

The circle starts a simple rhythm of clapping hands, and people are free to call the names of whatever God, Goddess, or God and Goddess pair they welcome at this ritual. The circle responds 'Welcome' between names.


Earth Mother, Sky Father... (all) welcome!
The Divine Within... (all) welcome!
Isis and Osiris... (all) welcome!
That Which Is... (all) welcome!
Cernunnos and Aradia... (all) welcome!

Continue as seems appropriate.

When the calling dies down:

Priestess: To these many names and many faces;
To the Lady of the Harvest, Demeter, Isis, Arienrhod, Inanna, Freya;
Priest: To the God of the Grain, Dionysus, Osiris, Cernunnos, Dumuzi, Frey;
to the spark within each of us, for Thou Art God and Goddess;
Priestess: and to the Divine immanent in the universe,
we cry:
(all) WELCOME!

Celebrating the Season

Spend a moment to ground and center and feel our connection with the Earth and each other.

(Suggestion on how to ground and center: Find your center point, about three inches below your belly button. Focus on this point; feel yourself balance there. Now find the same center point of the Earth around you, and feel the power held there, the power of earthquakes and volcanoes and rich molten magma. Feel the connection between your center and that power like the roots of a tree, taking the power, pulling it higher, bringing it up your spine and through your body, flowing like a river, like sap rising in a tree. When the power reaches your brow, feel it burst forth like willow branches, out and down. Feel those branches intermingling with the branches of the person next to you; feel our energies flow and ebb together. Feel the power flowing through you like a circuit, returning to the earth beneath your feet, making a circle, making a circuit, returning, always returning, through and through. When the circle seems to flow naturally, continue.)

Feel the different energies in the Circle; if you can't feel them, imagine them. We are all different. We all view the God, the Goddess, ourselves, the elements, in slightly different ways. We all practice in different ways - some of us celebrate the Full Moons, some only part of the eight seasonal holidays, some other days altogether. We all use different symbols, different words; some of us celebrate with others regularly, others alone. Yet we all stand together under the name Pagan and take pride in it. Why? Because while the words, the techniques, the practices may differ, the core behind it is the same: we choose to celebrate in ways that mean something to each of us, practices that touch our hearts because they touch us, not because someone has told us we are supposed to practice this way. We have each been called by faces, aspects, views of the Divine that don't match traditional Western religion; we see the Divine as Goddess, as earth, as the ancient Gods our ancestors worshipped, as a force throughout Nature, as new inspirations from new myths as well as old. We don't need intercession from others - we can connect with the Divine ourselves. And in some way, we all perceive the sacred, the numinous, somewhere in the natural world. We seek God, Goddess, the Divine, in cathedrals of canyons, in temples of stands of oak trees, at sanctuaries that are the shores of the sea. We seek the Divine in the spark that calls to our hearts, the spark that grows while staring at the starry sky, gazing at the Full Moon's glow, watching the soaring flight of the eagle, feeling the solid stone beneath our feet. We seek Divine in individual inspiration, inspiration by the cycles of life. We are Pagans. And we stand together despite our differences because by standing together we can ensure that all of us can stand tomorrow.

On the altar is a cauldron or other container filled with grass seed (if you're in a grassy area; sand if you're on a beach). The Priestess stands before the cauldron:

We are many, as these seeds are many.
We take the support we need from the community around us, as we take these seeds.

Now, each person can come to the altar and take a handful of seed.

After this, the Priestess continues:

This is Autumn Equinox, the time of the harvest.
As we harvest what we need from the community
so do we also give back,
and in giving, plant the seeds of tomorrow...

(spoken chant: )
ALL: Together we stand, strong and proud, and harvest the seeds of rebirth... (repeat)

Now, know that for as much as has been given us, as much as we have created for ourselves, we are capable of that much more, and the adventure lies in the fact that greater things are on their way, whether or not we can see them now. While holding the seeds, the chant increases, and leads into the next one:

ALL: We give thanks for unknown blessings already on the way;
We give thanks for unknown blessings already on the way;
We give thanks for unknown blessings already on the way! (repeat)

(How to raise a cone: Focus on the feeling of power. Sense the power we together are raising. Does it have flavor? intensity? color? do you feel it inside you, like a tension? do you see it coalescing like a fog? do you hear harmony building, like an orchestra warming up? Use however works for you to sense it, but try your best to sense it however you can. Feel your own power, however you sense it within you; feel the power of the person next to you - is it different? similar? how does it blend with yours? how can you make your own harmonize with it? And feel the power of the group, how it is similar or different from your own, how you can adjust yours to make it in tune with the group, be a complimentary color, feel at the same level. Concentrate, and know that the power we are raising is building up, synergizing, becoming more than any one of us could create alone, becoming more than simply the sum of all of our energies, creating a symphony, creating a painting, creating the tension of excitement and power within and without, feeling it build, build, build... and at the peak when you feel that neither you nor the Circle can hold any more, hold the power for just one moment, make sure that everyone else is at the same point you are, then release, send it forth, know that it is arrowing to the mark, that it will move to enflame your vision, empower your visualization. That which you created in your mind will be. Know this, like you know the sun will rise tomorrow, like you know who you are.)

At the peak of the power, we throw the seeds into the air, knowing that we send out this harvest to seed the next!

(Then relax, and let the excess energy drain off into the Mother, who has room in abundance for all that you can't hold. Slowly let your own flows ebb back to normal. Find the center point within you, the place where you feel 'together' and balanced. Sense that that point is connected to everyone else's balance point, and that of the Earth, the universe. And know you just made magick!)

Feasting and Fellowship

We direct our attention to the results of the food drive, and bless it along with the bread we share with each other:

ALL: (to the tune of 'All Good Gifts' from Godspell)

We plow the fields and scatterShe sends the snows in winter,
The good seed on the land,The warmth to swell the grain,
But it is fed and wateredThe seedtime and the harvest
By Her abundant hand.And summer's gentle rain

CHORUS: All good gifts around us
Have come from our Mother Earth,
Then thank Her now, O thank Her now,
With love and joy and mirth...

We thank You then, O Mother,No sacrifice You ask for,
For all things bright and good, For all Your love imparts,
The seedtime and the harvest,For You are our great Mother,
Our life, our health, our food. Your love is in our hearts. (to chorus)

Pass the cup and bread; feel the grounding of the bread, and the fellowship of the cup.
"May you never hunger." "May you never thirst." At this point, announcements can also be made.

Closing the Circle

Priest and Priestess:

Goddesses and Gods, all and one,
we thank you and ask for Your blessings as we depart,
Knowing You are with us always.
Hail and farewell! Blessed be.

EAST: Spirit of the East, essence of air, we thank you for the gift of freedom.
Hail and farewell, Blessed Be.

SOUTH: Spirit of the South, Essence of Fire, we thank you for the gift of heart.
Hail and farewell. Blessed be.

WEST: Spirit of the West, Essence of Water, we thank you for the gift of healing.
Hail and farewell, Blessed Be.

NORTH: Spirit of the North, Essence of Earth, we thank you for the gift of hope.
Hail and farewell, Blessed Be.

ALL: The Circle is open, but unbroken.
May the peace of the Goddess
the love of the God,
and the support of our community
go in our hearts.
Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again. Blessed be!