This is a ritual I wrote to lead at White Pines, an area-local open pagan circle. Our priestess called me last night and said she felt too sick to lead this week and could I take over. Here's what resulted. I must confess that Two States, Five Senses: The Michigan and New York Apple Gathering inspired this to some degree. Being outside in the delicious fall air and picking fruits straight from their plants made me feel closer to nature than I have in a while. The fact I still had a basket of apples on my counter, combined with the fact I've always loved the symbology of the star within the apple, led to this.

Feel free to adapt it and use it in your own groups if so desired. All material is original in that it is my words. Many of the concepts can be found elsewhere. The watchtower calls and the tree of life meditation are common. As far as I know, the raising of the cone of power via the meditation is my own invention.


EAST:
Hail to the guardians of the watchtower of the east, element of air. We ask you to guide and guard this circle tonight. Grant us your knowledge and wisdom and add your powers to our own as we gather to celebrate.

SOUTH:
Hail to the guardians of the watchtower of the south, element of fire. We ask you to guide and guard this circle tonight. Grant us your passion and energy and add your powers to our own as we gather to celebrate.

WEST:
Hail to the guardians of the watchtower of the west, element of water. We ask you to guide and guard this circle tonight. Grant us your cleansing and emotion and add your powers to our own as we gather to celebrate.

NORTH:
Hail to the guardians of the watchtower of the north, element of earth. We ask you to guide and guard this circle tonight. Grant us your stability and nurturing and add your powers to our own as we gather to celebrate.

Welcome, O Lady of the Harvest and Lord of the Hunt. As we gather to celebrate, know we gather in love for life and in reverence for you, the givers of life.

The circle has been cast. We are in a place that is not a place, in a time that is not a time. We stand between the worlds.

Welcome to White Pines tonight, at the time of the last waxing moon before the Blood Harvest that soon will come. This is our last set of beginnings before the new year comes. Mostly at this time of year when the earth prepares to sleep, we gather that which has been planted many months ago, but this time let us gather ideas and thoughts to nourish through the cold and to plant again when the earth warms once more.

tree of life meditation. (all sit.)
Visualize you are a small apple seed.
Feel roots growing downwards in the earth.
Feel them broadening and thickening as you pull in energy to nourish yourself.
Feel, as more power flows through you, tiny shoots growing upwards and tiny leaves unfolding.
Stretch towards the warmth of the sun and feel your spine straighten as your trunk grows and swells towards the sky.
As your roots go ever deeper, and your branches ever higher with the energy the earth gives you, feel yourself full-grown and flourishing.
As you reach your full strength, pull light from the sun and send it back to the earth in payment for its gift of earlier life.
Feel energy flow downward through you, and when the earth is nourished once more, feel yourself become a link in both directions.
As you breathe in, pull energy from the earth and send it to the sky through your branches
As you breathe out, pull energy from the sky and give it to the earth through your roots.
Cycle energy back and fourth between the two, acting as a conduit.
Feel and relish the flow of energy gushing through yourself.

Now, feel your neighbors around you. Feel yourself becoming interconnected with them, as all life is connected.
Feel your branches and your roots grow once again and feel them weave in with those next to you. Combine your energies to nourish one another and the earth and sky as well.
As you grow more and more together, stronger and more powerful, feel your branches weaving towards the center of the circle and as they grow closer, weaving with more of the others here with you.
Feel yourself become interwoven within everyone else in this circle tonight, and feel your strengths combining and holding one another up.
As your branches weave into a cone high above the center of the circle, imagine from your combined branches one small flower blooming.
Nourish this flower that is a part of all of you. Feed it with love and warmth
As it is nourished, the flower grows and begins to swell into a small, young apple.
This fruit is still green and small, but perfect otherwise.
Feel it continuing to grow, beautiful, as you feed it your energy through the roots and the branches from which you take your life.
The apple is nearly ripe now, turning a deep red like the fall leaves.
This apple now is full and ripe and mature, heavy on its stem.
It wavers with the breeze and soon it will fall back to the earth to renew cycles.
Imagine that when this apple falls, having taken all it needed for nourishment, all the energy flowing through you to where this apple was, all the power and strength, is released into the universe to fall upon other seeds and nourish them as they begin life.
Send your energy out now, as the apple falls, to nourish the universe and all those who need strength as the earth turns colder.
This done, return to yourself. Feel your branches untwining and shrinking back to your body. Feel your roots shrinking as well, until you have returned to the quiet center within yourself.
When you are ready, open your eyes.

This apple is a sacred symbol of the season. The harvest is in, there is plenty to go around. Seeds will be planted later, but for now we put away the gifts to sustain us in the dark times of the wheel.
The apple is also a sacred symbol of the goddess. When it is cut in half such, it reveals a star inside, a symbol holy to the Lady. IN everything she touches, she leaves her mark. But in few places is it this visible and easy to see if you know how to look.

Share apple.

Each of you has a slice of apple with the Lady's mark in it. This is the fruit of all of us, as we have woven together our energies for this apple. Eat your piece and feel the shared powers and strengths that each have brought tonight, and go away nourished. So mote it be.

Thank you, Lady of the Harvest and Lord of the Hunt for your guidance and love tonight. Leave if you so choose, but you are always welcome in our hearts. For the good of all, with harm towards none, so mote it be.

NORTH:
Farewell to the guardians of the watchtower of the north, element of earth. Thank you for your knowledge and wisdom this October night. Go if you will, stay if you wish, you are always welcome. For the good of all with harm towards none, so mote it be.

WEST:
Farewell to the guardians of the watchtower of the west, element of water. Thank you for your knowledge and wisdom this October night. Go if you will, stay if you wish, you are always welcome. For the good of all with harm towards none, so mote it be.

SOUTH:
Farewell to the guardians of the watchtower of the south, element of fire. Thank you for your knowledge and wisdom this October night. Go if you will, stay if you wish, you are always welcome. For the good of all with harm towards none, so mote it be.

EAST:
Farewell to the guardians of the watchtower of the east, element of air. Thank you for your knowledge and wisdom this October night. Go if you will, stay if you wish, you are always welcome. For the good of all with harm towards none, so mote it be.

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