A Starry Bull sacrament

A Starry Bull sacrament
by Sannion

Keep all of your ritual tools in a kiste (wicker basket) when not in use.

Fill a bowl with water and plunge a burning laurel leaf into it to create chernips.

Wash your hands, forearms and face.

Apply sacred ash to your forehead and cheeks.

Go around the ritual area using a leafy branch to sprinkle it thoroughly with chernips.

Then go back over everything using a tympanon (hand-drum) to drive off any remaining impurities.

Lay the three cloths down in the order of red, white, then black and put the cauldron in the center.

To either side of the cauldron place beeswax candles and in front of each of them set a plate and two offering bowls. Before the cauldron put the rhyton (drinking horn) and the thymiaterion (incense-burner.)

Take out the agalma (which may be a pillar, a stone, a piece of wood, a phallos or large pinecone) and remove its linen veil. Place it in the cauldron, anointing it with sacred oil.

Sit facing the agalma with your eyes closed for the span of nine breaths, quieting your mind and preparing yourself. Open your eyes and hold your arms up like the horns of a bull, palms turned out towards the agalma. Hold this posture for another nine breaths. Make your left hand into a fist, pounding your chest over your heart three times, then bow your head and hail the god as loudly as you can.  

Light the candles and the incense, using the leafy branch or your hands to feed the smoke to the agalma.

Hang red, black and white tainia (ribbons or braided cords) from the agalma and then crown it with a stephanos (wreath of ivy or flowers.) Sprinkle flower petals around the agalma in the cauldron.

Pour milk into one of the bowls on the right side. Dip your index and middle fingers in and feed some to the agalma.  

Pour water into one of the bowls on the left side. Feed the agalma.

Pour mead into the other bowl on the right. Feed the agalma.

Pour pomegranate juice into the other bowl on the left. Feed the agalma.

You may keep a cloth handy to clean yourself between libations or go right from one to the next.  

Offer cakes or a loaf of bread to the agalma and then place it on the plate to the right.

Offer fruit (especially grapes, apples, pomegranates and figs) to the agalma and then place them on the plate to the left.

Offer three eggs to the agalma and then place them on the plate to the right.  

Offer honeycomb to the agalma and then place it on the plate to the left.

Fill the rhyton with wine and hail the god by his various names. With each round pour some into the cauldron and then take a sip yourself. Do this until all of the wine is gone, and then set the rhyton in front of the cauldron.

Take out krotala (castanets or rattle) and shake rhythmically as you pray to the god or ask for blessings.

Let the remainder of the ritual unfold as it will, though dancing and singing are strongly encouraged.

When you are finished, kiss the agalma and extinguish the candles.

Leave the offerings for as long as you are able, up to three days, and then dispose of them in your customary manner. Return the ritual tools to the kiste when you are done.  

You may add whatever prayers and sacred formulas you wish or perform these actions in silence, except where directed to speak.

Perform this ritual complete at the new or full moon; a simplified version may suffice for weekly or daily observance.

Supply list:
Anointing oil
Bay leaves
Beeswax candles
Cakes or bread
Chernips bowl
Drinking horn
Eggs (3)
Flowers or ivy
Fruits (grapes, apples, pomegranates and figs)
Hand drum
Leafy branch
Incense burner
Linen veil
Offering bowls (4)
Plates (2)
Pomegranate juice
Red cloth, white cloth, black cloth
Red ribbon, white ribbon, black ribbon
Water for chernips
Wicker basket