Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Invocation of the Circle: Doreen Valiente

Doreen Valiente
By stang and cauldron, cup and knife,
By right of office that I hold,
Ye ancient powers of death and life,
Forgather to the circle's fold.

Kinship to kinship, blood to blood,
By wild night wind and starry sky,
By heathland brown and darkling wood,
To this our circle now draw nigh.

In likeness of a henge of stone,
Stand guard around this circle's rim,
While looming through the dark alone,
Stands in the east the Hele-stone dim.

I summon forth the fairy hounds,
Sharp-fanged, white-coated, red of ear,
To prowl beyond the circle's bounds,
And put intruders' hearts in fear.

Ancestral powers of this our blood,
We are your people, guard us well,
By earth and air, by fire and flood,
By magic mime and spoken spell.

Our craft's own Goddess I invoke,
And Ancient Ones of hill and mound.
With fire aflame and drifting smoke,
I dedicate this circle's bound.

By three times three,
Thus shall it be!

~Doreen Valiente, Witchcraft: a Tradition Renewed

This rhyme was specifically created for the Tradition of Craft that Evan John Jones outlines in his book Witchcraft: a Tradition Renewed.  Thus, it calls for officers of the quarters "By right of office that I hold" and calls forth a henge of stone to guard the boundaries of the circle.  Our tradition is similar in that we call forth the Sacred Grove of totemic trees of the Wheel of the Year when performing a full casting.

I personally love the verse about the Gabriel ratchets guarding the circle.  This is easily my favorite chant for setting wards.

EJ Jones had Doreen write a second Circle Invocation for his book (he knew a good thing when he had it!) beginning: "By magic staff and flame of fire-light; Eldest of Gods, we call on ye anew!"  Witchcraft: a Tradition Renewed is worth a read if you would like to see how the Craft of Cochrane continued to develop.  It has influenced modern practitioners of Cochranian Craft, and contains many gems of liturgy, including Doreen's poetry and Bill Gray's lovely and useful Sangreal Prayer.

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