The Scarlet Letter
Volume IV, Number 4 | December 1997
Kephra Night
By Sr. Sulis

Chichen ItzaIn keeping with our family's resolve to provide instruction in Thelemic symbolism to our children through observation of holy days, we decided to celebrate the equinoxes and solstices. And what could be more appropriate, than to equate the solar year with the solar day, and apply Resh to the year? This places Ra rising at the Spring Equinox for the Feast of the Crowned and Conquering Child. Hathoor at Summer Solstice brings the Holy Cow Fiesta, complete with barbeque and Hathoor pinata. Atum presides over the Autumn Equinox, and Kephra at the longest night of the year, the Winter Solstice.

The following is a dramatic ritual, written in bare bones style for very young audiences with short attention spans. The older children participate in the preparation and presentation of the ritual, and seem to enjoy the secret knowledge of what lies behind the veil. The concepts are simple, the phrases are ones they will hear we adults use throughout the year, in Mass, in the Rites, and at the Feasts and Rituals they are permitted to attend. The gifts we pass out at the end of the ritual are intended to add further emphasis: we give oranges to represent the Sun, gold paper ankhs for rebirth, scarabs and nuts for Kephra. Sun shaped cookies, and round cookies iced with chocolate to represent the sun at midnight make great after-performance refreshments. The colors for the season are black, dark green and gold.

Without further ado, we present:




(The temple is dimly lit, as though it were twilight. The tomb is erected in the west, and Atum, bearing the bark of the Sun lit with three candles, stands with Ahathor in front. To the north Kephra is seated with a black altar in front of her. The high altar is veiled and dark, with the babe in the egg concealed within.)

ATUM: Ahathor! Thou Eye of the Sun! Tell me, daughter, what is the hour?

AHATHOR: The hour is one moment past the setting of the Sun! My two hands are raised to thee in praise and thanksgiving when thou settest in life.

ATUM: I journey forth to deliver the bark of the Sun to the House of Kephra.

(he processes slowly to the House of Kephra in the North)

Homage to thee, O Heru-khuti, who art the god Kephra, the self-created.

(He blows out a candle)

The light is fading! The nights are getting longer, the days are getting colder!

(he puts out a second candle)

The end is almost here. We approach the House of Kephra.

(When he reached the House of Kephra in the north, he places the bark on the altar)

Hail unto thee who art Kephra in thy hiding Even unto thee who art Kephra in thy silence. Who travelest over the heavens in thy bark at the midnight hour of the Sun. Tahuti standeth in his splendor at the prow and Ra Hoor Khuit abideth at the helm. Hail unto thee from the abodes of Sunset!

KEPHRA: (rising) The King is dead!

ATUM: Long live the King! (Blows out the last candle and exits)

(Kephra picks up the bark of the Sun and processes towards the east, in her silence. Drums are played slowly at first. About 1/3 of the way to the east, she pauses to light a candle. The drums increase tempo. About 2/3 of the way to the east, she pauses and lights a second candle. The drums increase tempo until she arrives at the altar.)

KEPHRA: Homage to thee, O thou who rises on the horizon in the form of Ra, who rests upon Law, [which can neither be changed nor altered]. Thou pass over the sky, and every face watches thy course, For thou thyself art hidden from their gaze. Hail unto thee from the abodes of midnight!

(She lights the third candle. The veil is opened to a brilliantly lit altar, with effigies of the sun abounding. Hoor-par-Kraat, the Crowned & Conquering Child, is seated in the center of the dais, clothed in gold and white, finger pressed to the lips, surrounded by goodies for the children)

KEPHRA: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!

HOOR-PAR-KRAAT: Love is the law, love under will!

ALL: Hail, O Crowned and Conquering Child!


< Back to Vol. IV, No. 4 Cover