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Rituals for Cybelines

It is my personal feeling that the most effective rituals are those that come from the heart of the individual Cybeline while getting in touch with the part of herself that is the Goddess.  It is helpful however to have some guidelines.  This page will contain ideas and blueprints to be added as time permits but the essence of your or your group's rituals are and should be, personal.  Rituals should have a healing element for ourselves, our society, any friends in need, the earth and our sisters at minimum.  There should be joy.  Our traditional rites used cymbals, tambourines, sistrums and drums with ecstatic dance and singing.

Practice at the Catskill Maetreum

We of the Maetreum centre our personal rituals on the aspect of the Goddess known as Cybele, the Mother of the Gods.  Then, as now, this is a mystery (gnostic) religion.  The worship and even references to Cybele were the most ruthlessly suppressed of all the ancient Goddess traditions by the christians.  Pleasure, both physical and spiritual, that harm none are not sinful, but rather expressions of worship.  The key is: harm none.  Our rituals are based on modernized versions of the ancient rites as we have (and continue to) carefully researched them.

Our Maetreum in the Catskills is a natural grove at the junction of three paths with three gateways and a huge pine tree on the north where the altar is located.  The temple is basically a natural womb shape.  Also present is the essential element of a "bridge" of some sort on the main approach to the temple.  The classic, historic "crossroads" was the meeting of three paths, not four as widely misunderstood today.

One of the primary dangers in any religious path is ritual becoming dogma.  When this happens the meaning behind the ritual becomes lost and merely a "rote" set of  "the way things are done".  The underlying meaning of various rituals is what gives them the power to transform, not the performance of them.  With that in mind, we have reclaimed an outline of "standard" ritual practice that is the basis of our practice.  Part one is here:

Processional, Invocation  Ablution and Casting off of the Outside World

The four basic elements of basic Cybeline practice are the Cybeline "chakra", estatic drumming, dance and the Cybeline Communion

The Cybeline "chakras"

The purpose of this is a drawing of Her through the body and out again.  Done correctly, one feels the power of Mother flowing through their body cleansing them.  Again, it is the state of mind that is important here, without that, the motions are meaningless.  Because these "chakras" have a deep personal nature, many Cybelines do slight variations that feel "right" to them.  The essential elements are standing with feet slightly apart, placing both hands on the genital area, then the womb (for females) then the heart and finally the forehead ending with both arms lifted, palms upwards to the sky.  While doing the chakras think........generation, nurturing, love, intellect and dedication at each stage.

The Cybeline chakras should be used as part of the daily dedications of initates as well as part of more formal ritual.

Cybeline Communion

The eating from the drum (tar, a large frame drum) and drinking from the cymbal should be part of all formal Cybeline ritual practice.  When we eat from the drum we are celebrating Magna Mater's gifts of the earth.  The ritual frame drum or tar of the Cybelines is decended from one of the earliest tools of agriculture, the sieve used to separate grain from chaff.  The Cybeline cymbal is similar to the Tibetian singing bowls, a later addition (early bronze age), our cymbal was a representation of the womb as all later "grails" were.  We drink wine from our cymbal which serves a multi-leveled significance in representation of the womb, a source of music and the wine a celebration of Magna Mater's gifts which are to be enjoyed.

Cybelines see Mother as the sum of All, the ultimate goal in our worship is a connection with Mother and thus the entire universe.  This concept is given widespread lipservice in neo-paganism but in our case, all ritual, teaching and myths are towards this end.  This state can be acheived, at least for a time, without the death of the physical body.  One reached, it changes one's entire outlook.

Cybeline Drumming and Dance

The Tar, or frame drum, with it's roots back into the mists of pre-history and the dawn of horticulture is an essential part of celebration of the gifts of the Mother Goddess.  We Cybelines recovered the lost drumming pattern and consider the drumming  to be an essential element of our celebrations as it represents the heartbeat of the Mother Goddess Herself.  Done correctly the dance follows naturally.  We celebrate our Divine nature.  Click here for video of  basic drumming pattern

                                  Rev. Cathryn Platine, Battakes
                                                2 October 2004, C.E.
                           Dies Saturni XIII Kal. Oct. MMDCCLVII A.U.C

A Charge to the Goddess used by our Maetreum:

Promise of the Goddess

Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who of old was called Cybele,
Isis, Bahuchara Mata, Inanna, and many other names:

"Those who are like you, My gallae and ashinnu and hijras, shall be
strangers in their own homes.  Your families will hide you in shadows
and leave you nothing.  The drunken will smite you, and the mighty will
imprison you.  But if you remember Me, and how you were born from the
light of the stars to save Me, and through Me the earth, then I shall
harbour you and your kind.

"You will be My favourite children, and I shall make you My priestesses.
I shall grant you the gift of prophecy, and the wisdom of the earth and
the moon and all that they rule, and you will heal all My children, even
as you have saved Me from darkness.  For you are Those Who Have Come to
Renew the Light."

["And when the earthen jug is brought from Irkalla, you shall again walk
among the stars, and none shall resist you."]

Hear the words of the Star Goddess, the dust of whose feet are the hosts
of heaven, whose body encircles the universe:

"I am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars
and the mysteries of the waters.  I call upon your soul to arise and
come to Me.  I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe.
From Me all things proceed, and to Me all things must return.

"Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for all acts of love and
pleasure are My rituals, and my law is love unto all beings -- love
under Will.

"If you seek to know Me, you must find what you seek within yourself, or
you will never find it without.  For I have been with you from the
beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire."

[credits: Valiente, Starhawk, Lansberry, Davis]

A few notes about standard Pagan practices and the Cybelines

Almost all modern Pagan practices came from the same few sources which were then expounded on and expanded and adapted to the new/old traditions.  One of the most common of these practices came from ceremonial magick of the middle ages, the casting of a circle to perform ritual.  The purpose of the circle is to both create a sacred space and a bridge between the worlds, it's lesser used these days purpose was for protection.  Should Cybelines ritual use a cast circle?  We started out using them but came to an interesting discovery, for Cybeline, particularly a Gallae Cybeline, a circle can actually block connection between the worlds!

To understand why this is so, you must first understand something very basic about the Gallae.  By our very nature and being, we already walk between the worlds so a circle, rather than being needed for that connection, temporarily breaks it.  The energy focusing function of a magick circle is easily and almost effortlessly done simply by having a threshold number of us present without needing a focusing agent.   Rather than casting a circle, seek out a space of natural beauty and power for major rituals, save circle casting for protection use only, as a Cybeline you don't need it for the reasons others do.  When joining non-Cybeline Pagans in their circles, their connection will rebridge yours, so don't worry much if you are part of a non-Cybeline group that uses ritual circles, go with the flow, just be aware that for yourself, a circle breaks rather than connects you to the Divine.

Many modern Pagan groups rely on male-female energy workings and pairing as a major component of ritual and initiation.  Just as there was much confusion in the recent past about the place of gays and lesbians in such groups, most of them are totally confused as to what to do with a transsexual member.  If you are transitioned transsexual, for all rituals other than initiation in these groups do not allow your identity to be compromised.  If you have not had surgery, don't ask to be initiated until you have, it's not fair to you or them unless they are willing to do so on their own respecting your identity.

Suggestions for Personal Rituals for Cybeline Seekers

Celebration and committment to the Great Mother are integral to the lives  of the Cybeline family, either in community or at home if they live away from the Phrygianum. We joyously honour the Mother's love for us and ours for Her.  Certain events are sure to be an occasion for special worship or praise. Here is a very incomplete list of moments in life where a Daughter or Son of the Goddess will make special devotion, seriously or lightheartedly depending upon the moment:

The Community of the People of the Goddess:

Committment to a life in honour of the Goddess
The Lunar Phases-new moon and full moon
The Season of the Tree
The Solstices
The Birth of Children
Evening Praise

The Mellissae Priestesses:

Elevation or Committment to the Priesthood
The Lunar Phases-new moon and full moon
The Season of the Tree
The Solstices
Evening Praise

The Gallae Priestesses:

Committment to the Priesthood.
The rituals before Sanguem
The Lunar Phases-new moon and full moon
The Season of the Tree
The Solstices
Evening Praise

Blessed Be,
Cathy Platine and Caillean McMahon

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