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 Everyone finds their place in the circle, and reflects for a moment to put themselves into ritual
space. All, chant:
“We are a circle within a circle, with no beginning and never ending,”
[Circle casting]
[Speech on the changing weather and seasons]
“We stand in a time of balance. Light and dark are equal, for this one day. We have all walked
through the winter's dark to find ourselves standing here, on the cusp of new light.”
“From tomorrow, the day will outlive the night.”
“Tomorrow, we will live in the sun.”
“But dawn's light has not yet pierced the shadow. Tonight, we remain: one foot in darkness, and
one in the light.”
[focus on the darkness in our lives]
Volunteer evokes Inanna.
“Lady of largest heart
joy of the Annuna
Inanna, we bid you welcome, and ask your presence at this ritual.”
The first rhythm is played, 'flowing'. The following text is spoken while everyone dances in
“From the Great Above, from the heavens and the earth, Inanna opened her ear to the Great
Below, to the underworld, the land of her sister, Erishkigal. She gathered her crown and her
beads of lapis-lazuli. She gathered her pride and her strength. Look inside. Find what you own.
Find each part of yourself. Live it. Hold it. Dance it.
Your possessions... your home... your pride... your strength... family... friends... responsibility...
Dance it. Live it.”

The second rhythm is played, 'staccato'.
“Here is the first gate of the underworld, tall and imposing. Cry out to be let through.
The gatekeeper answers you. 'If you wish the gate to open, you must abandon something.' What
did you dance before? What do you abandon? Let it go, let it fade and disappear.
The gate creaks open, but behind it is another. You must abandon everything, before you may
enter the underworld. Dance, and abandon each piece of your self.”

'Staccato' ends. The third rhythm is played, 'chaos'.
“Naked and bowed low, you enter the chamber of Erishkigal,
Queen of the Underworld, Queen of the Great Below.
She fastens on you the eye of death
Speaks against you the word of wrath
Utters against you the cry of guilt
And strikes you.
You fall dead at her feet.
This is the dance of chaos.”

When 'chaos' ends:
“Here in the darkness of Erishkigal, we have abandoned everything. Think. What have you left
behind you in the recent months? What do you now choose to leave in this darkness? For here
we begin the journey back to the light.”

The fourth rhythm begins, 'lyrical'. “In the lyrical dance, we reclaim what was ours. This is a dance
of creation. The fresh waters of life wet your lips, the path to the Great Above warms your feet.
Take again what you have lost, and lift it to the light. Take your strength. Take your joy. Recieve
it stronger, purer than it was, for the journey home.”

The fifth rhythm is played, 'stillness'.
“We stand where light and dark are equal, but the balance is shifting. From here, the light
outlives the night. Take your time. Come slowly into the light. It is spring, and as you rise from
the world beneath, the life of the earth rises with you. Slowly, come into the light. Come into
the world awakening around you.

'Stillness' is faded out once everyone has returned from the meditation.
[honouring what we've left behind]
Each person lights a candle to remember things past.
[Circle closing]


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Johnny Cue

March 2013

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