This ritual, which dates from 1967 or 1968, is in typescript, with some handwritten notes. These notes have been put in square brackets.
It was usual for George Winter to act as M.C. for the ceremonies, while Ronald White was the Regent (abbreviated to R. in the typescript).
PREPARATION: Men’s room cleared. Horns set up with red and green ribbons tied round them.
Women’s room altar with white drape. White draped statue…. 9 candles. Straw dolly and copper bowl. All flowers taken from members by M.C. and untied and put in a basket. Women’s flowers in a separate heap + others to make up. [Vases?]
Assembly called by Summoner before altar. Opening prayer and address by R. [Explanation.]
M.C. calls on Merry Men to retire and prepare their separate ceremony. M.C. ensures that Women’s Flowers are left with them.
Summoner requests shirtsleeve order. Each man issued with a red ribbon for tying on left arm. [issued by Summoner] R. calls meeting to order and proposes Julian for election as Hornman (carried with acclamation) Hornman seated in front of horns. Men take the horns and give them to him to hold.
M. C. serves wine and a toast is [proposed by R.] drunk to the Hornman. Hornman then proposes a toast to the Merry Men.
Led by R. men circle hornman 9 times sunwise. Time permitting another toast is drunk. To the Young God. Robin The Deer Spirit, and the Men resume the dance until called by The Women.
[Summoner relays message to attend]
When The Men have left the room. The Women prepare the altar for a betrothal. They deck it with flowers, and offer prayers and incense.
Each woman does homage to The Goddess.
She is then given a glass of wine to drink.
[Each has cord.]
Mother of All Gods
Queen of The Spring
Lady of the willows.
I, , offer homage,
Being like you a woman,
And gifted with Thy Qualities
I offer my homage on this festival
At this Spring of our Year; that I
May rejoice as you rejoice in love
Of Our God, Robin, the Horned one.
[Omnes circle altar 9 times.]
When they have finished they send an emissary to summon the men.
RITUAL 2. Men return led by the Hornman, who carries horns and leads 19 times round in a circle, [sunwise] the women turning to face the men, as directed by M.C. who is musician.
R. then centres and explains following ritual. [M. C. drags in dolly.]
Men then beat [4 times each] and burn straw dolly in copper bowl.
M. C. brings forward Spring flowers in basket, and Summoner hands them to Merry Men. Each man casts and strews his flowers on the altar, and lights a stick of incense. Prayer by R.
Women then come forward one by one; and kiss the Hornman, then three times they kiss the horns. Hail to Robin. King of The Spring.
All join hands and then dance round. 8S. 3W. 8S. M.C. Time keep.
R. Announces the Betrothal……M.C. serves wine.
R. Calls the first toast.
To Robin The Horn God of The Spring.
M.C. Calls the second toast.
To His Betrothal to our maid.
R. Calls the third toast.
With His and Her consent to Their Loyal and Most Merry subjects.
R closes with:
Now let us join in jollity, for The wedding of Our loves is soon; and on May Eve are you bidden all, to summer’s joyful consummation of Our Queen.
[8 yds Red.
1 yard Green]
SPRING EQUINOX ………….. CHECK LIST AND TIMETABLE.
A. JULIAN WARNED OF PART TO PLAY: MADGE TOLD OF HER PART.
B. MADGE ASKED TO COLLECT HORNS AND ETC. FROM W’S STUDIO AT A TIME CONVENIENT TO G.
1. Horns. [M.C.]
2. Red ribbons. ) [Madge]
3. Green ribbon )
5. Incense. [– MC.]
6. 9 Candles. [MC.]
7. Drapes for altar and for Statuette.
8. Copper Bowl. [R.]
9. STRAW DOLLY. [R.]
10. Flowers and wine……Omnes. [Omnes]
11. [Lighter fuel. R.]
© The Estate of Ronald M. White