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Ritual To Celebrate Fatherhood

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There are plenty of male Pagans - take some time to honor the sacred masculine.

Image by Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Ritual To Celebrate Fatherhood

The Horned God is one of many sacred male archetypes.

Image © Christopher Furlong/Getty Images 2004
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If you have a son who's Pagan, honor him as well.

Image (c) Siri Stafford/Getty Images; Licensed to About.com

In many traditions of Wicca and Paganism, there is a great deal of focus on the Goddess. Sometimes, there's so much attention to the feminine that the masculine aspects get overlooked. By welcoming the God of your tradition, you can honor the men who have impacted your life -- whether they raised you, loved you, or are being brought up by you. This simple rite also offers your boys a chance to get out there and dance, and to celebrate the masculine within themselves.

Prior to the ritual, make a headdress for each male that will be present. This can include horns, antlers, branches, feathers, and other symbols of fertility and masculinity. Headdresses are fairly simple to make - use a strip of heavy fabric or cardboard cut to size, and just glue items on it. If your boys are younger, this is a fun craft project. Assign one male to act out the part of the Horned God in the ritual.

Also, give each member of the group some sort of noisemaker -- drums, rattles, bells, etc.

This is a ritual best performed in a group, either as a family or coven. If you normally cast a circle or call the Quarters in a ceremony, do so at this time. Light a red or gold candle in the center of your altar to represent the Sun.

The High Priestess (HPs) or whoever is leading the ritual should face the sun, and say:

We are here as a family (or coven)
On this longest of days.
The power of the Sun is above us,
and its heat and strength reminds us
of the power of the God.


At this point, the group members should shake their rattles, bang their drums, ring their bells. Do so slowly, almost at the tempo of a heartbeat.

The HPs continues:

The God is strong and powerful,
he is virile and fertile.
He is the Lord of the Hunt,
the King of the Forest,
and with the Goddess, together they create Life.


At this point, speed up the beat of the drums and rattles just a bit. We honor the God today, and celebrate
the masculine within him.

The HPs goes on and says:

I call upon the Horned God!
Cernunnos, Herne, Apollo!
We ask you to honor us with your presence!


Now the drumming should speed up even more. The man or boy chosen to be the Horned God leads the male members of the group around the altar clockwise in a dance, keeping up with the rhythm of the drums and rattles. As the males circle the altar, they should move faster each time.

Allow the men and boys to dance around the altar as many times as they like. As the dance gets faster, the music will get faster too, until there is a palpable hum of energy. This sensation is often indicative of the presence of the Divine. Let the music run its course -- it will end when it's ready to end, and at that time, the dance should stop too.

Once the dancing and drumming has ceased, the HPs should call out:

Horned one, God of the Hunt,
Lord of the Forest!
We honor you tonight, on this longest day.
We celebrate the men in our lives,
those who raised us,
those who love us,
those that we are raising.
We honor them in Your name.

Each member of the group, both male and female, may make an offering at this time. If you have a fire burning, through your offerings into the flames. If you don't have a fire, place your offerings on the altar instead.

Take a few moments to reflect upon the balance of male and female in your life, and in the world. Think about the men you have known, and those you will know in the future. Recognize the qualities that make them honorable and worthy of your love.

When you are ready, dismiss the quarters or close the circle.

Tips:

  1. Decorate your altar with the colors of midsummer -- golds and reds and yellows. You'll also want a candle in one of those colors.
  2. If you don't have drums, rattles or bells, clap your hands or clack two sticks together!

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