Imbolc/Candlemas Ritual

Warning! If irreverence and Discordianism offend you, do not read!

Crones and Sages, dressed warmly against the cold, blustery weather and stomping their feet to avoid frostbite wait impatiently in the dark, each holding an unlit white candle in their mittened hands. Four Crones garbed from head to toe in black enter the dark circle, each bearing a black candle. They circle the circle, each stopping at her appointed quarter.

In the light of the flickering black candle in the East quarter a Crone reaches under her black robes and pulls out a cell phone. She extends the antenna, raises her arm, and points the phone to the East saying "Spirits of the East we invite you to be with us. Take away these cold blizzards and bring us the sweet breeze of Spring. Be with us now".

From the South quarter the Crone raises high in the air a butane barbecue lighter and says "Spirits of the South we beg and implore you to join us. Kindly warm our freezing hands and feet and rekindle fires of passion within us."

In the West quarter the black-garbed figure aims a super-soaker fitted with a bubble attachment toward the West and pulls the trigger. Hundreds of bubbles fill the dark night as she chants "Spirits of the West be with us. If you bring Spring showers instead of cold rains we will make a pilgrimage to the beach in your honor."

The Crone of the North raises a snow shovel, saying "Spirits of the North be with us, but gently so. We would rather plant flowers in your honor than shovel snow."

The four Crones walk to the center of the circle and place their black candles around a large mound of dirt to await the appearance of the God. Soon, stirrings and scratchings are heard coming from the mound. A small hole appears; and as dirt scatters hither and yon the hole grows larger. A nose appears, then two blinking eyes and a mouth, yawning sleepily. The God, in the form of Puxatawny Phil, wiggles his way out of the hole. Is Spring here? Will He see His shadow? The Goddess Hilda Hedgewitch comes forth, bearing a large umbrella to shade Phil. He cannot see His shadow! He does not return to His lair! He leaves the circle, heading for the dining room; very hungry after a long winter's rest.

The four black-clad Crones toss off their black robes to reveal white garments underneath. The servant of the South walks around the circle, lighting the waiting white candles held by the participants. The circle is soon glowing with the light of many white candles.  Black candles are extinguished and buried in the earth mound along with the black garments. The Crone has passed away. The time of the Maiden is here.

The Maiden of the North holds aloft a trowel and a packet of seeds and says "Farewell spirits of the North, we thank you for being with us. Come back soon and see the flowers."

In the West, the Maiden holds forth a sand pail and waves a bikini, saying "Bye-bye for now and thanks for coming. We'll make you the best sand castle ever seen."

The Maiden of the South raises the barbecue lighter and a sack of briquettes and says "Mighty nice of y'all to stay a spell. Y'all come back now, hear."

The Eastern Maiden sails a kite high in the sky and says "We thank you for being here. There's a nice piece of tail on this kite for you."

The ritual finished, famished Crones and Sages head for the dining room where the tables groan with a sumptuous dinner catered by Sizzler (this is a Sun festival, after all!)

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