Have ready a cauldron (or large dish) of water, earth, salt. Two green candles, one black candle.
The Wheel turns. The Crone brings an end to growth as she harden the earth with frost. Hers are the darkest months of the year. Everything dissolves in her cauldron as all things return to the source.
Light the black candle and say:
Crone Goddess, I call
Storyteller and lore keeper,
Mistress of the cauldron,
Crone I call.
Go to the cauldron and say:
All life springs from the sea. All life springs from the Goddess. Salt and water are within me
Add salt and water to the cauldron.
All things young and fair must fade, all that is vital eventually grows weary, all that is strong becomes weak, and all that is full of promise and hope must pass away. All things that live must die, and return to the womb of the Goddess. But as the mound is raised above the seed, the seed prepares itself for rebirth, and all things shall be transformed by death. Earth is within me.
Add earth to the cauldron.
The year itself returns to the Otherworld womb from which it came, but know this – the secret wisdom of the Crone is that the wheel shall turn once more. Rebirth follows on the heels of death, just as spring follows on the heels of winter.
Let the candles be lit in token of our hope.
Light the green candles and reflect for a time on the meaning of the cauldron and the wisdom of the Crone. Then say:
The cauldron of creation is the essence of life in motion. I carry the hope of the Goddess in my heart, safe in the knowledge that the wheel shall turn.
This rite is ended, blessed be.
© Anna Franklin, 2020, from the forthcoming Hearth Witch’s Year, Llewellyn, 2021
Illustration, © Anna Franklin, Pagan Ways Tarot, Schiffer, 2015