Monty Pagan and the Quest for the Sacred Cauldron*

*Cauldron not included. Some assembly required

(Authorship and Copyright Statement: Written by Dan Campbell, Cynthia Campbell, Amy Brann, Gryphon Rosemead, Name Withheld, and Author Not Appearing On This Script. This document may be changed, altered, adapted, printed, burned*, or otherwise used as the reader sees fit, provided that this Statement accompanies any such changed, altered, adapted, printed, or burnt version of the document. Change, alter, adapt, print, burn, or otherwise use this document at your own risk. The Authors assume no liability for any use of the document by any persons, real or imaginary.
* Please observe proper fire safety guidelines when burning any document.**
** And have the kindness not to burn any books in the presence of a librarian.)


Dramatis Personae

High Priest:- (Lord Buffalo Wearsakilt)
High Priestess:- (Lady High Priestess Moon Goddess)
Ritual Celebrant 1:- (Caller for East), (Spirits ), (This Rabble), (Keepers of the TOAKHID)
Ritual Celebrant 2:- (Caller for South), (That Rabble), (Clueless Jane)
Ritual Celebrant 3:- (Caller for West ), (Other Other Spirits ), (Rabble Rouser), (Third Challenger)
Ritual Celebrant 4:- (Caller for North ), (Other Spirits), (The Other Rabble), (Second Challenger)
Random Volunteer 1:- (Person who draws circle with sword)
Random Volunteer 2:- (Novice) Random Volunteer 3:- ("Tim")
Drawing of the Circle

Lord Buff will pick out a volunteer before the ritual, who will draw the Circle before the invocations begin. Lord Buff will start this off by doing a brief, quiet focusing meditation in front of the circle, using his athame prominently. Then he will ask for the circle drawing volunteer to come forward, ask him/her if s/he is ready to draw the circle, and then, saying 'Here, use this," hand them a big honking broadsword to 'weave' their way around the circle. The smaller and younger the volunteer, who can hold the sword up even so, the better.

Cardinal Invocations

East:

Guardians of the Watchtowers of the Powers of East, Element of Air,
Season of Spring, Hour of Dawn,
We invite thee, we invoke thee, we summon thee.
Bring to us the breath of bright ideas, the sweet zephyrs of inspiration,
The winds of intelligence, the storm fronts of epiphany. Be here now!

South:

Guardians of the Watchtowers of the Powers of South, Element of Fire,
Season of Summer, Hour of Noon,
We invite thee, we invoke thee, we summon thee.
Bring to us the flicker of inspiration, the BBQ lighter of commitment,
The bonfire of passion, the blast furnace of transformation. Be here now!

West:

Guardians of the Watchtowers of the Powers of West, Element of Water,
Season of Autumn, Hour of Evening,
We invite thee, we invoke thee, we summon thee.
Bring to us the dewdrops of understanding, the waves of wondering,
The rip currents of emotion, the torrents of renewal. Be here now!

North:

Guardians of the Watchtowers of the Powers of North, Element of Earth,
Season of Winter, Hour of Midnight,
We invite thee, we invoke thee, we summon thee.
Bring to us the seeds of change, the kudzu of organization, The mighty bonsai of growth, the tectonic plates of stability. Be here now!

Center:

Lord Buff: "Old Ones of the-"

Spirits: "Spirits!"

Lord Buff: <blink> "Old Spirits of-"

Spirits: "We don't get old, you know."

Lord Buff: "I beg your pardon?"

Spirits: "Well, you can't age if you're immortal, now can you?"

Lord Buff: "I was just trying to address you properly, with respe-"

Spirits: "And how would you know the proper terms of address?"

Lord Buff: "Well, I am Lord Buffalo Wearsakilt, 3rd Degree High Prie-"

Spirits: "And who made you a High Priest, O Lord Baboon-on-stilts?"

Lord Buff: "Why none other than Moondream Whalesong, who was initiated by Happy Fairy Corvidcanine, who was initiated by the honorable Raymond Buckland, who was himself initiated by none other than Gerald Gardner, who was initiated by the indisputable Old Dorothy, herself a witch in an unbroken tradition handed down from grandmother to second cousin since the time of the Ice Age cave painters of Lascaux, France!"

Spirits: "You don't really expect me to believe that, do you?! Religious and spiritual authority isn't a simple matter of whom begat whom begat whom begat whom begat whom. You have to be chosen by the Spirits-

Other Spirits: "Not that everyone is chosen by the Spirits."

Other Other Spirits: "True, but if you're chosen, then you've definitely been Chosen - if you know what I mean."

Other Spirits: "Oh, yes, no mistaking it. You're right there."

Other Other Spirits: "And don't forget it takes a lot more than just being Chosen."

Other Spirits: "True, true. <nodding head sagely> But if you're chosen, at least you're know you're Chosen."

Spirits: <Very annoyed by now:> "RIGHT! <turns back to Lord Buff> As my compatriots here agree <eyes the various other spirits>, you have to be chosen by the Spirits, not by some contrived rite of passage cobbled together from Masonry, Malaysian customs, and the never-before-published writings of Aleister Crowley!

Lord Buff: "Now just wait a minu-"

Other Spirits: "Oh! And what about this 'Be Here Now!' nonsense? Properly addressed, indeed! If I told my great, great, great uncle, seven times removed, to 'Be Here Now!', he'd send me off to feed the hounds of Hades with nothing but myself and an empty bowl. For that matter, who are the 'Guardians of the Watchtowers' and where do you fi-"

Lord Buff: "Enough already!!" <launches into invocation:> "Old Ones of the Earth and Sky,"

Spirits: "Oh no, you don't!"

Lord Buff: "Ancestors of all that crawls and runs and flies,"

Other Spirits: "Oh, now we're 'ancient', are we?"

Lord Buff: "Wise keepers of the hidden lore,"

Other Other Spirits: "Well, that's better."

Lord Buff: "We humbly invite you to-"

Other Spirits: "Taken the hint, I see."

Lord Buff: <scowls> ".to join our circle and share your wisdom wi-"

Other Other Spirits: "Share our wisdom? And what do we ge-"

Lord Buff: "In exchange for our heartfelt thanks and this precious token of our appreciation." <takes goblet of mead from altar, gives to spirit>

Spirits: "O! Well, then!" <smacks lips> "I see you do know the proper terms of address, after all. Carry on, then. I'll just, um, take this back to share with the fellas, eh?"

Lord Buff: <turns back to center, mutters:> "Now where was I?" <and makes great show of thumbing through the script>

Deity Invocations

Lady Moon: (Hathor) Het-Hert, known as Hathor, Lady of drunkenness, music, dance, Of frankincense and the crown, we call your name in love! We ask you to thrust back darkness and make merry with us. May you help us find wisdom thru laughter, And take your fill of joy in our sport.

Lord Buff: (Bes)
O Bes, mid-wife's aid and children's protector, Great Dwarf of dance and drums and merriment, We bid you welcome and ask that you Ward our circle and inspire us with your music. May you delight in our hospitality and find pleasure in our revels.

Circle Casting

Lady Moon: <ad-libbed the-circle-is-cast-so-mote-it-be type of thing>

Spiel About Lughnasadh

Lady Moon: <reads from the Witch's Bible about Lughnasadh>

<Meanwhile, whispering starts around the circle, as folks look for a Novice, who is duly found and announced, as below. The 'Circle' in this case are the ritual celebrants who did the first four Cardinal Invocations. While they were wearing funky hats representing their element and a sign saying their direction's name, now they have removed the hats and turned the signs around to display something different - such as 'Visitor', 'CTC Member', 'CTC Member's Friends and Relations', 'Stranger Passing By', 'I heard there was food.'>

Rabble Rouser: <whispering> "Is there a novice here? Does anyone know if someone here is a novice?"

Rabble Mob: <This Rabble, That Rabble, and The Other Rabble all start whispering, looking for a novice>

This Rabble: <still whispering> "Here's one! Here's a novice!"

Rabble Rouser: <no longer whispering> "A Novice!"

That Rabble: <beginning to yell> "Yes, a novice!"

The Other Rabble: "A Novice! A Novice!"

Rabble Rouser: "We have found a Novice! We must initiate her/him!"

That Rabble: "Yes, initiate her/him!"

The Other Rabble: "Initiate her/him!"

Lady Moon: <makes calming motions> "How do you know s/he is a Novice?"

Rabble Rouser: "'Cause s/he acts like one!"

That Rabble: "Yes, s/he acts like one!"

This Rabble: "Initiate her/him!"

Lady Moon: "And just what do Novices act like?"

Rabble Rouser: "They ask lots of questions!"

The Other Rabble: "They don't talk very much!"

That Rabble: "They buy books published by Llewelyn!"

This Rabble: "They dress in black and wear silver jewelry!"

Lady Moon: "Don't experienced pagans also dress in black, wear silver jewelry, and buy books by Llewelyn?"

Rabble Rouser: "Uh. Oh. Right."

Lady Moon: "Do you know how to initiate someone?"

Rabble Rouser: "Tie her/him up!"

That Rabble: "Hold a sword to her/his neck!"

This Rabble: "Make her/him swear an oath!"

The Other Rabble: "Shove her/him into a gingerbread oven!"

Lord Buff: "No! No! And, no! You initiate someone by showing them how to be a true, bona fide, genuine, and verified Pagan. You give them the tools of their craft, challenge them to surpass their limitations, and. and. um. and send them on their merry way! <smiles with beatific stupidity>"

Rabble Rouser: "Wait a minute! How do you if you're a true, bonfired, genuflected, and ratified Pagan?"

The Other Rabble: "I haven't surpassed my limitations."

That Rabble: "And I haven't been given any tools."

This Rabble: "I'm not a real Pagan!"

The Other Rabble: "I need to be initiated, too!"

This Rabble: "Me, too, please!"

That Rabble: "Oh, yes, I want to be initiated!"

This Rabble: "Make me into a real Pagan, pleeeaaaasssseeeeee?!"

That Rabble: "Don't forget me!"

Lord Buff: "Oh, very well. Come this way, everyone!"

Beginning of Initiation

<Before the challenges, participants will be given three wooden tokens (poured out of a Lucky Charms box into three large cereal bowls, to be distributed with large spoons), to use when they must offer something to the Challenger. Each time a token is given, the Challenger will put it into a bag. Then, at the end of their challenge, they hand the bag to the next Challenger. At the end of the ritual, the tokens can be burned.>

<Challengers will issue their questions to the group of participants as a whole. Individual participants may then come forward and make their offering/answer to the Challenger. The Challenger, however, has the right to refuse the offering/answer and send the person back to come up with something better. This affords the ritual celebrants the opportunity to go up and make outlandish/hilarious/off-topic offerings/answers - and thus, by example, offers the participants the opportunity to do the same. Of course, the Challenger could accept a silly offering/answer, thus holding the person to their word. ;-) >

First Challenger

<HP and Lord Buff lead Circle into the woods, to the First Challenger. Note: the Keepers of the TOAKHID are the same ritual celebrants as the 'Circle', above, but led by one in particular.>

Keepers of the TOAKHID: "The Goddess is Alive! And Magick is Afoot! The Goddess is Alive! And Magick is Afoot!"

<Ritual celebrants cringe in fear and horror>

Lord Buff: "Who are you, that you confront us like a Trickster, challenging our assumptions and piercing our comfortable, mundane existence?"

Keepers of the TOAKHID: "We are the Keepers of the Tome of Arcane Knowledge Hidden in Darkness! Wielders of the Sacred Phrases 'Merry Meet', 'Merry Part ', and 'So mote it be'!"

Lord Buff: "O Keepers of the Tome of. <pause> O Keepers of the Book, we seek your wisdom and guidance upon the Pagan path, and would be honored if you grant us but a glance within your Tome."

Keepers of the TOAKHID: "Those who would look upon the one and only Tome and who would speak the sacred phrases must surrender to us a sacrifice!"

Lord Buff: "O Keepers of the Sacred Text, what must we surrender?"

Keepers of the TOAKHID: <eyes Circle dramatically> "What will you give up in exchange for the power of knowledge?! Name to us this sacrifice and with your words, let your first charm be taken from you and given up as a sign of your commitment."

< Ritual celebrants start the answering, and the Keepers accept the offerings. If any silly offerings are made, the Keeper has the discretion to accept or refuse - if refused, a participant must return with a more appropriate sacrifice. Once all sacrifices have been offered and accepted, the HPs will begin leading the Circle past the Keepers and on into processing around towards the next Challenger. As each participant passes, the Challenger hands them a copy of 'Yore Verye Owne One und Onley Olden Tome of Arkane Gnowleje Hidden in Darkenesse'>

Interlude

< During Tim's performance, Clueless Jane, wearing a 'Clueless Jane' sign now, begins interjecting and commenting on the ritual - including answering her cell phone, which will be called by a cell phone concealed by another celebrant.>

Tim: "HALT! Go no further unless you be Pagan peoples of true heart and soul!" <eyes the Circle piercingly>

Lady Moon: "And who art thou to bar our path and question our intent?"

Tim: "It is not I who bars your path or questions your resolve. No, it is not I at all. <eyes Circle again> There are those who know me as. Tim."

Lady Moon: "I ask you again, O Tim, why do you block our pa-"

Tim: "Beware the Enemy Within! Each and every one of you carries the seeds of your own discontent, your own shortsightedness, your own unease, your own failure! Verily! Your worst enemy is yourself! Pass me if you dare, for doubt, discomfort, and drivel await you all with ignorant, pointless interjections!"
<Tim withdraws to the side. Circle proceeds past him.>

Second Challenger

<As the Circle proceeds, Clueless Jane - who is the type of ritual attendee who really shouldn't be at ritual, has no tact, and is oblivious to proper ritual conduct - begins whispering (loudly) questions about what is going on, why is it taking so long, my feet hurt, who is that speaking, etc. She continues in this vein right to the Second Challenger, quiets down at first, and then starts up again, interrupting the challenge.>

<The Second Challenger stands, awaiting the Circle, and is addressed by the Keepers of the TOAKHID, who came with the Circle>

Keepers of the TOAKHID: "O Sister Keeper, I bring to you seekers upon the true path, who have made great sacrifice that they might receive wisdom from us and peek within the Tome of Arcane Knowledge Hidden in Darkness. Yet, knowledge alone is not enou-"

Clueless Jane: <interrupts with another loud whisper>

Keepers of the TOAKHID: <glares at Clueless Jane, turns back to Second Challenger> "Knowledge alone is not enough. What else do these humble folk need?"

Second Challenger: "The mind may be misled by too much knowledge. The heart may be troubled by fear and doubt, by cell phones and dinner plans, by day planners and stock market forecasts, by email and snail mail, by-"

Clueless Jane: <interrupts with yet another complaint>

Second Challenger: <faces Clueless Jane> "What troubles you, child? Are you not at ease among your fellow seekers? Do you seek excuses and distractions to avoid the work of becoming a true Pagan?"

Clueless Jane: <looks wide-eyed and speechless>

Second Chllenger: "Sister Keeper, consult the Tome of Arcane Knowledge Hidden in Darkness."

Keepers of the TOAKHID: "Tome of Arcane Knowledge Hidden in Darkness, Chapter 9, Exercise 55: Smaller Expulsion Ceremony and How to Find the Center of Your Spiritual Tootsie Pop, page 178, paragraph 1, second phrase: 'You are in your safe space - a place in which you are in touch with your inner power. Now turn & face the East. Attend to what you see & hear & feel & sense. Pause. Now turn & face the South. Attend to what you see & hear & feel & sense. Pause...'"

Second Challenger: "Skip ahead, please, Sister."

Keepers of the TOAKHID: "'Take your bell and ring it once, like so (see diagram 81). Now listen to the bell. Feel the sound of the bell as it fades into silence. Pause. Take a deep breath. Pause. Inhale. Pause. Exhale. Pause. You are now ready to begin your working.'"

Second Challenger: "Thank you, Sister. Remember this simple meditation and ponder its power as you meet your second challenge on the pagan path. Surrender your second charm, and answer me this: 'What distracts you from your path?'"

<Ritual celebrants start the answering, and the Second Challenger accepts the offerings. Once all sacrifices have been offered and accepted, the HPs will begin leading the Circle past the Challenger and on into processing around towards the next Challenger. As each participant passes, the Challenger hands them a jingle bell.>

Third Challenger

Third Challenger: "Greetings, O Seekers! Knowledge and power you may have. But you must also learn compassion and determination if you would wield your power. These things we cannot teach you. You must learn them by the example of others and by your own mistakes. Yet, we can point the way. <lights candle> Behold the sacred flame of pure intent, divine inspiration, and creative passion. <holds candle aloft>

<Ritual celebrants light their charcoal lighters, hold them aloft, and begin singing breathily 'We are the world, we are the.' - only to be cut off by Lord Buff, doing the 'Stop that! Stop that!'-type routine, like the Yorkshire king from the Holy Grail.>

Third Challenger: "Seek the sacred fire within you."

<Ritual celebrants now break into the pagan chant "Touching her deep, deep in her center." - only to be cut off again by Lord Buff.>

Third Challenger: "Nurture this fire and let it sustain you through life's lessons. As a symbol of the flame within, surrender your third charm to me and answer this question: 'What ignites your passion?'"

<Ritual celebrants start the answering, and the Third Challenger accepts the offerings. Once all sacrifices have been offered and accepted, the HPs will begin leading the Circle past the Challenger and on into processing around towards the next Challenger. As each participant passes, the Challenger hands them a birthday candle.>

End of Initiation

<This draws inspiration from the bumbling guards in the Holy Grail, trying to get their orders right ("No, you stay here, and make sure 'e doesn't leave." "Right. We're not to leave unless you come to get him." "No.")>

Lord Buff: "We have faced our challenges and been granted the tools of our craft. We have but one last task before us. Each of us must answer one final question. After splitting into three groups, we will each approach, one at a time, one of the former Challengers. Each Challenger will ask the same question of each of us, in private."

Lady Moon: <pompously> "So each asks a question of the Challengers. Three groups per Challenger."

Ritual Celebrant: "You mean, we each ask the Challengers a question and then divide into three groups?"

Lady Moon: "No, no, no. Three groups of questions."
<etc. etc. etc. Celebrants and HPS carry on ad lib.>

<Meanwhile, Lord Buff starts tearing out his hair and pantomiming frustration; then he starts quietly dividing the participants into three groups, and finally cuts off the HPS & Co., like so:>

Lord Buff: "Thank you! Thank you! I think we've got it all sorted out now. Thank you! That's enough." <turns back to three groups> "Is everyone ready?" <pause for affirmation. Turns back to ritual celebrants> "Alright. Now it is time for us to be serious, to end our jester's dance, and prepare ourselves in silence." <brief pause. Celebrants remove costumes and props> "Approach the nearest Challenger, one person at a time. After you have given your answer, return to the circle around the may pole and wait quietly for the others to finish."

<Lord Buff, the HPS, and (Not-So-)Clueless Jane will select and guide each individual from the three groups to the Challengers and ensure that the waiting folks remain quiet and focused. One of the first three people should be someone picked before ritual to begin drumming lightly back at the may pole circle after they have answered the question, 'What makes you pagan?' If someone does not seem forthcoming with an answer, the Challengers may try to draw them out, or, if need be, allow them to pass on, asking them to think on it. LB, HPS, and NSCJ may send folks from other groups to other Challengers if one Challenger finishes 'early'.>

Cakes and Ale

Or, rather, Cupcakes and Ginger Ale! ;-)

Deity Devocations

Lord Buff: (Bes) Merry-maker, guardian, wise child of play, We thank you, Bes, for your gifts, caring and festive, And for your presence in our revels. With words and smiles both, we bid you farewell.

Lady Moon: (Hathor) Golden One, Het-Hert, thank you for bringing us your love, protection, and laughter. May the lessons learned here - of playfulness and solemnity - remain ever in our hearts. In gratitude and reverence, we bid you farewell.

Cardinal Devocations

Center:

Spirits of the Earth and Sky, we thank you for your gifts of wisdom and your lessons in respect. 'Be here' if you wish - come and go as you will; We bid you farewell.

North:

Spirits of the North, we thank you For your gifts of change, growth, and stability. 'Be here'.if you wish - come and go as you will; We bid you farewell.

West:

Spirits of the West, we thank you For your gifts of understanding, renewal, and wonder. 'Be here'.if you wish - come and go as you will; We bid you farewell.

South:

Spirits of the South, we thank you For your gifts of passion, challenge, and transformation. 'Be here'.if you wish - come and go as you will; We bid you farewell.

East:

Spirits of the East, we thank you For your gifts of inspiration, intelligence, and delight. 'Be here'.if you wish - come and go as you will; We bid you farewell.

End of Ritual

<Lord Buff and the HPS pour beer and mead into two goblets and hold them up. As the following is spoken, the beer and mead are poured as libations>

Lord Buff:

If we mortals have offended,
Then with this off'ring, all is mended:
As all our antics have inspired,
And mirth with wisdom here conspired,
So, gods and spirits, we offer you
This drink of grain and honey-dew,
That, with behavior most uncouth,
Reveals in laughter hidden truth.
Thus we end and so reflect,
And laud you with sincere respect.

Note: You may also want to include the use of two cups (or coconut halves) so that you are properly prepared for travel as needed during the ritual.

Source: http://www.bewitchingways.com/humor/python.htm