Gleichentag Rites and Charms

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Gleichentag means "even day" and is celebrated around the time of the Fall Equinox (Sept. 21st). It was the second harvest time (the third and last was Dieses aka Samhain), so food and drink are often brought and shared with others during this time. In fact, this is one of the most common High Day rites for groves to have a Norse drinking rite called a symbul, during which participants drink (alcohol or not, as their choice), toast to each other and the Kindreds, and boast of their past deeds and accomplishments yet to come. Alfablot Gleichentag Harvest Songs
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Written and performed by Paradox, Raven and Shamrock. This rite diverges from the standard ADF Liturgical Outline, due to its evolution in our grove and, especially in this case, because a journey is made central to it. "Alfablot" means offering to the elves. It was usually celebrated around the beginning of October, but in our grove, we normallycelebrate the solar festivals Norse (Yule, Ostara, Midsummer, Harvest) and the fire festivals Celtic (Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh). The sources are not clear as to wether elves are nature spirits, ancestor, a mixture of the two, or something else entirely. For this rite, we are assuming them to be nature spirits, as the celebration of the dead shall be left to the Celts for Samhain. Preliminaries - Thor, Sif, Frey and Freya have been asked to participate in our rite (trance journey by Paradox a few weeks before the rite) and have agreed to await us in Alfheim. Frey has agreed to lend his ship to bring us there. - The blue cloth (that will serve as Freys ship Skithblanir) has been brought to the River goddess (Loriana)to be blessed at the Lachine Rapids. - Consecrate Hammer by carving its name into the handle, calling on Thor and your own will to make it "live" as his own hammer Mjollnir does. - Make pysanka egg for Fox - Bring: Bell, incense for censing , gurgling fountain for the well, Tiki torches for the fire, blue cloth for the boat, drinking horn, mead, bottle opener, lighter, feast food. Ritual Briefing Explain we will be going to nearby park to center, ground and form the group mind with the help of one of Shamrocks allies, a willow tree, then come back to the yard for the ritual. That we will invite the Fox, the ancestors, and then make a journey to the land of elves on the cloth boat, along with the Fox and ancestors who wish to join us. We will make offerings there to Frey and Freya, Thor and Sif, the Elves and the Fox (one egg offered before the trip, one on arrival as incentive to come). Processional to the Willow Tree Blessed is she who gives the life to the land Blessed is she, Flow up from your sources, Sacred River, Blessed is she Centering, Grounding & Groupmind Shamrock will ask the Willow to draw us into itself, to become a tree. Then we will link hands, one by one, slapping hands noisily, going counter clockwise. Processional to the Site Tree great tree, Gate to the Otherworld Tree great tree, with you we share the land Tree great tree, path that reaches everywhere Tree great tree, source of life, we honor you now! Prepare Space & Ritual Equipment Hammer rite: using the hammer, draw the hammer sign in the 4 directions, above and below saying "Hammer in the North, hallow and hold this holy stead!" Then East, etc. A devotional to Thor is also spoken (see appendix) Calling Inspiration In the name of Saga, let the story unfold! Clearcut Beginning Ring bell 9 times. Opening Prayer - Storytelling Raven will be a storyteller, retelling the Alfablot rite of a folk long ago and their journey to the land of elves. It will be an exact description of our current celebration, right up to just before the omen taking. The rest of the story will be told just before the clearcut ending, and include what has happened. "Many, many years ago, in the homeland. A group of Pagans gathered to celebrate the Alfablot rite. After studious preparation, the folk gathered to hear of what was to come. They were led by a Seer on a short walk through the countryside, where they came upon a great Willow tree, standing atop a faerie hill. Sensing this wonderful opportunity, the Druids linked hands and minds, becoming one with the tree -- one with nature. They then returned from the grove to begin the rite, only to see a large black bird circling the ritual site. Screeching out in human speech the words to the sacred Hammer Rite. Then the great bell was rung and one of their number rose to recite the opening prayer, as was done in the days of our ancestors and as I will do with you here. They then claimed the land on which they were about to work, offering a gift in exchange for the silence of those who would not aid them. The Senior Druid rose to tell the folk the stories of Creation, of the Well of Hvergelmir, Muspellheim and of Yggdrasil. The folk set their minds upon welcoming their guests to share this holiday. In response the ancestors of land, of blood, and of path gathered near. As did a little fox who had come to claim an egg set out for just that purpose. After giving their blessing to the Goddess of the River, the Druids boarded Skithblanir and set sail to Alfheim." Outsider Offering "This place I name, this land I do claim, while me and my own are upon it. You who choose no to assist us, in our stated purpose Whose voice will not harmonize, with the tune we play this day Your function we honor, your purpose we respect For you are among the many, faces of the great mystery As a gift, calls for a gift, we offer and pray, asking only this: Till the bell is rung and the rite is done, let there be peace between us!" [offering of wine is poured] (this is the original version Paradox wrote, which is our standard wording. We were going to use "Till the horn is blown, and weve journeyed home," but decided the horn would attract the attention of neighbors too much.) Establishing the Triple Center Telling the story of creation, with the Well of Hvergelmir, Muspellheim and Yggdrasil. Descriptive Evocation of Fox & Ancestors From your forest den, deep and hidden, Silver Fox friend we call you again Run like the wind, over root and river With twinkling eyes and joyful demeanor Approach the folk, you know you can enter As you hunger for the egg we offer Your friends call you to come hither Revel in the land of elves and laughter Silver Fox, we welcome you! ALL: Silver Fox, we welcome you! Ancestors of the land, who were born here, who have died here ALL: You who have lived and will live again. Ancestors of our blood, who made us who we are, who shaped our bodies ALL: You who have lived and will live again. Ancestors of our path, you whose teaching we inherited, whose ways are our own. ALL: You who have lived and will live again. We honor you as we celebrate the feast of elves. Ancestors, we welcome you! ALL: Ancestors, we welcome you! Honoring the River Goddess Loriana, spirit of the River, we honor your power. Let it carry us to the land of elves! ALL: Blessed is she who brings the life to the land, B lessed is she Flow up from your sources sacred river Blessed is she Journeying to Alfheim on Frey's Ship (steady drumbeat in background) We ask Frey to lend us his magical ship Skithblanir, which can sail on sea or sky, and be folded like cloth into ones pocket. We will spread out a blue cloth bearing the rune Ing to be the ship, on which we sail to Alfheim. Paradox will be the lookout at the front, describing the voyage, and at the back, Shamrock will give the rowing rhythm with the bodhran drum. We will invite the ancestors and the fox to travel with us if they so wish. Devotionals to Freya & Frey (Raven), Sif (Paradox), Elves (Raven) Once we arrive, we will make devotional offerings to our guests (see appendix). Offerings Let those who have gifts come forth, as a gift calls for a gift. Make your offerings to the powers, be it art or food, promise or praise The folk make their offerings. Omen Taking A rune shall be drawn for each one among: Frey, Freya, Thor, Sif, elves, Fox, ancestors. Meditation of Needs As you sit here, reflect upon what it is you need from the land of elves, What blessings our hosts can offer you that is of value to you. Frey and Freya, Sif & Thor, and all the elves are listening. Prayer of Return Flow Fill the horn with mead and raise it, calling into it the blessings that our allies offer us. By land, sea and sky By the bonds above and below As we have given you praise Let us receive the flowing blaze Of your blessing To share by drinking. Sharing the Waters: Sumbel We pass the horn around, each person making a toast to honor someone or something, bragging of some accomplishment, boasting of some future deed, offering a blessing, or taking an oath, and then drinking a sip. We generally go three or four rounds, then offer what is left to our allies by pouring it on the ground, to show we are not greedy. Thanking Our Alfheim Hosts (Frey, Freya, Thor, Sif, elves) & Guests (Deities, Ancestors, Nature Spirits) Journey Home on the Boat Everyone gets back onto the cloth boat, and we row home, across the sea to the mouth of the river, then up the river to our home on the island of Montreal. Thanking the River Goddess Blessed river, our thanks for carrying us to the land of elves! Dismissing the Triple Center Norse story of the end and renewal of the world. Grounding Excess Energy & Unmerging from the Groupmind She asks the Willow tree to let go of the link that was created. Final Blessing: Second part of the storytelling While sailing the lands of the gods, they realized that the way would not be easy, but forced by circumstances they kept their concentration on the task and were welcomed by Frey. Addressing their deities of choice, several people spoke brief words of love, respect and devotion. The runecaster then took the omens. Frey was concerned with future needs, while Freya wished them a healthy harvest. Thor promised a safe journey, while Sif reminded them that everyone holds a little divinity inside themselves. The elves granted continued good relations, the ancestors wished them a good family life and the little fox told them to go to hell, obviously shaken by the ride on Skithblanir. After solemnly and piously sharing the waters, the folk thanked their hosts and made their journey back to the homeland. Thanking the River Goddess, the folk brought the ritual to a close. As the fire was extinguished and as the tree stood still to the sound of the water flowing through a natural well, the tone of the great bell sounded once more. Thanking Our Sources of Inspiration - Saga Our thanks to you Saga, your story is told! Clearcut Ending Ring bell 9 times Recessional Song Walk with Wisdom. Appendix Devotional to Sif (written by Paradox) Red jewels arrayed about Like your lips alive they glow Green gems are your eyes Gold your hair woven with wheat Dancing silks cling to your waist As you whip you hair in the wind In all these treasures are blessings hidden You are the harvest and reward of all things Accomplishments are your bread Excellence your wine And you yourself the reward Giving what we need, what we earned The prize at the end of the quest Sif, betrothed of Thor, with these words I praise you! Raven's Devotionals (Adapted by Raven from the book Norse Magic, by D.J. Conway. Yeah, we know her books have lousy scholarship...) Merry Meet Lords and Ladies of the North. I give you my respect and love. In you I place my trust. Freya Queen of the Valkyries, Great Goddess, harken unto this your child, let me glimpse your wisdom, Freya of the Black Swordhand, Mistress of Magick, whisper your spells in my ear. Frey the Sun God Hear me Vanir God of Sun and Wealth, fill my life with the good things; happiness, peace and love, green groves to worship in, and other believers in the Old Ways, to fill those groves with joy again. Thunar the Thunderer Storm clouds gather across the land, the protector of the common man, When thy mighty hammer is raised, know that my sword shall be with thee. Odin the Allfather Blue cloak swirling in the storm, Rune master, show me words of power. Ravens at your shoulder, wolves by your feet, protect me from my enemies. Tyr the One Handed Guardian of the Scales of Right, hear my pleas for justice. For the good of those being falsely accused, Grant us our freedom from persecution. [The devotionals I use for Weland, the Dwarves & the Light Elves are pretty much directly copied from Norse Magic but the following one for the Dark Elves is purely my own due to intimate knowledge of them.] The Dark Ones Dark Elves, who hide in shadows deep, I summon you for neither good nor ill. Your knowledge is precious to me, I seek the path as you know it to be. I wish to walk the shadows, To experience the darker side. By the moon and by the stars, By the wind, by earth, ice and fire. Come to me, this I desire.
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The musical signal will be given to call the folk for the ritual.D1: Wir sind heir um die Gtter zu Ehren.Folk: We are here to honor the Gods.Led by the clergy, the folk process to the ritual site & form the A.D.F. sigil chanting the Processional Chant:The Fire Maiden(FM) will light the fire and make an offering.FM: I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. Sacred fire burn within us.Folk: Sacred fire burn within us.FM will then sense the site and the folk.The Keeper of the Well(KW) will pour the waters and make an offering.KW: In the depths flow the waters of wisdom. Sacred waters flow within us.Folk: Sacred waters flow within us.KW will then aspirge the site and the folk.The Tender of the Tree(TT) will dress the Bele.TT: From the depths to the heights spans the world tree. Sacred Tree, grow within us.Folk: Sacred tree, grow within us.TT will then aspirge and sense the Bele.D1: The fire, the well, the sacred tree,Folk: Flame and flow and grow in me!D1: In land, sea and skyFolk: Below and on high!D1: Thus is the sacred grove claimed and hallowed.Folk: So be it!D1: By the cleaning of water and fire let all ill turn away from me and mine. So sind Sie!D1: We call upon you Nerthus , mother of all, be with us today and always. Honor Nerthus!The folk kneel and kiss the Earth and the Earth Mother Hymn is sung.The folk will be led through the Grove Meditation and then will chant the Unity Chant.D1 will state the ritual purpose and historical precedent and name the deities of the occasion and reasons for selection.See Yggdrasill, the cosmic tree, the axis of the universe that connects the nine realms. Now we call upon Heimdall, the gatekeeper, so we can connect to the realms and the shinning ones. Watch the fire and Yggdrasill and see Bïfrost, the rainbow bridge, manifest to us. Heimdall, shining one, guardian of beautiful Bïfrost, you who can hear the grass grow and even hear the wool growing on the sheep, we ask you father of all men to open the gates. You who teach us the runes and our Wyrd let us walk in your light so we may journey and learn in safety. Leuchten uns hervor, Heimdall. The folk will chant the Gatekeeper Chant.D1: Listen to the music of the universe, the music of Braggi and Saga and draw inspiration into your hearts.The Bards will invoke Saga and Braggi:Saga... All hear the ancient one come... Saga... Help us see the harvest... Saga... Guide us to the table... Saga... Sing us tales of wonder Remind us that we are able To drain the cup yet drink again Golden seer of eternal light Fire us with your beloved presence Your song is our own... Saga Bragi, Odinson, Best of the wordsmiths And first of the skalds. You with the tongue of gold Whose words are like the finest mead, We ask you best of bards To bless us and make our words mix well. Bragi, let your inspiration flow! A cup is poured for the outdwellers and they are acknowledged.D1: Draw the strength of nature as we call the nature spirits.A cup is lifted while D1 says: Spirits, dwarves and elves, hallow these waters. Share with us lore and blessings. Seih den Lebenswassern da!The cup is placed at the seat of the gods. A serving of nuts is served. A story of the bounty of nature is told.A serving of the nuts are placed at the seat of the gods. The folk chant Fur and Feather.D1: Remember the wisdom of our past kin as we call them.The cup is again raised while D1 says: People of eld, honored dead, our kindred, hallow these waters. Share with us lore and blessings. Seih den Lebenswassern da!The cup is again placed at the seat of the gods. A serving of bread is served. A story of the turning of the grain into bread is told.A serving of bread is placed at the seat of the gods. The folk chant Mothers and Fathers of Old.D1: Feel the protections of the gods as we call them.The cup is once again raised while D1 says: Gods and Goddesses of old times and new, hallow these waters. Share with us you power, lore and blessings. Seih den Lebenswassern da!The cup is once again placed at the seat of the gods. A serving of apple is served. A story of the golden apples of power and youth is told.A serving of apple is placed at the seat of the gods. The folk chant Hail all the Gods.The folk are now led in a meditation of recentering and merging of the new energies.D1: We now call upon the deities of the occasion; Frey, Freya, Idunna and Sif. We call upon you wights of bounty: Frey, prince of the world; Freya , maiden of all that is wild; Idunna, keeper of the golden apples; Sif, mother of the korn. We ask that you bless us by attending this feast that you so graciously provided.The meal is served.Before the eating begins the carver of the roast beast says: I claim the right to carve the beast is there any here who gainsay me?A bragging contest begins for the right to carve the beast. The winner gets first choice of the cuts.WINNER: I have won the right to carve and to the first choice...D1: (interrupting) No, the right to carve I grant you but the hard season rides down upon us and without our children we are nothing. The children get the first cut.WINNER: I bow to your wisdom Göthi. Let the children come forward to receive their due.D1: Let the feasting begin!The meal is eaten with general conversation. When the meal is finished a series of toasts is made to the gods. Then a round of boasts and toasts begin interspersed with any praise offering the folk have brought.D1 holds up the feast plate of the gods, walks to the shrine and says: Our praise goes up to you on the wings of eagles; our voices on the wind. Hear now Frey, Freya, Idunna and Sif, we pray to thee as we offer up this sacrifice of life. Accept it and open our hearts and give to us of your peace and life. So sind Sie!D1 places the plate on the shrine.While the omen is being taken the folk will quietly chant Come Druids All.The diviner reveals the omen.The folk are led in a meditation on grove and personal needs.D1 raises the cup:FM: Of what does the Earth Mother give that we may know of the continual flow and renewal of life?Folk: The Waters of Life.FM: And from whence do these waters flow?Folk: From the bosom of the Earth Mother. The ever-changing All Mother.FM: And how do we honor this gift that causes life?Folk: By partaking of the Waters of Life.FM: Has the Earth Mother given forth of her bounty?Folk: She has!D1 takes the cups saying: Frey, Freya, Idunna, Sif, we have praised you, hallow these waters and give to us of your power and inspiration and vitality. Seih den Lebenswassern da!The cups are passed while the folk chant Share the Waters.D1 says: The gods have blessed us. With joy in our hearts, let us return to the realm of mortals to do both their will and ours. Every time we invoke them, they become stronger and more alert to the needs of the folk . But now comes the time when we must prepare to depart. So let us give thanks to those whom we have invited here. D1: Frey, Freya, Idunna, Sif: Wir danken Sie.Folk: Wir danken Sie.D1: Assir, Vanir, Wir danken Sie.Folk: Wir danken Sie.D1: Vorfahr, Ahne, Wir danken Sie.Folk: Wir danken Sie.D1: Naturgeisten, Wir danken Sie.Folk: Wir danken Sie.D1: Braggi, Saga: Wir danken Sie.Folk: Wir danken Sie.D1: Heimdall, Wir danken Sie.Folk: Wir danken Sie.D1: By the keeper of the gates and by our magic we end what we began. Let the fire be flame and the well be water and the ways between be shut. Lassen die Toren zumachen.Folk: Let the gates be closed.D1: We have done as our ancestors did and as our children will do and the Gods have answered!The folk are led in a meditation of regrounding, recentering, unmerging and draining of excess power.D1: Let us go out into the world secure in the knowledge that our sacrifices have pleased the gods and that we go forth under their protection. The ritual is at a close.Folk: So sind Sie.The drum begin beating, the sigil breaks up chanting Walk with Wisdom.
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Harvest Supper Song Here's a health unto our master, The founder of the feast; I hope his soul, whenever he dies, To heav'n may go to rest; That all his works may prosper, Whatever he takes in hand; For we are all his servants, And all at his command.chorus: Then, drink---boys---drink; And see you do not spill, For if you do, you shall drink two, It is our master's will.Now harvest it is ended, And supper it is past, To our good mistress' health, boys, A full and flowing glass, For she is a good woman, And makes us all good cheer Here's to our mistress' health, boys, So all drink off your beer.chorus: Then, drink---boys---drink; And see you do not spill, For if you do, you shall drink two, It is our master's will.Here's a health unto the woodcutter, that lives at home at ease ; He takes his work so light in hand, Can leave it when he please He takes the withe and winds it, And lays it on the ground, And round the faggot he binds it, So let his health go round. John Barleycorn There was three men came out of the west, Their fortunes for to try, And these three men made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn should die. They ploughed, they sowed, they harrowed him in, Throwed clods upon his head, And these three man made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn was dead.Then they let him lie for a very long time Till the rain from heaven did fall, Then little Sir John sprung up his head, And soon amazed them all. They let him stand till midsummer Till he looked both pale and wan, And little Sir John he growed a long beard And so became a man.They hired men with the scythes so sharp To cut him off at the knee, They rolled him and tied him by the waist, And served him most barbarously. They hired men with the sharp pitchforks Who pricked him to the heart, And the loader he served him worse than that, For he bound him to the cart.They wheeled him round and round the field Till they came unto a barn, And there they made a solemn mow of poor John Barleycorn. They hired men with the crab-tree sticks To cut him skin from bone, And the miller he served him worse than that, For he ground him between two stones.Here's little Sir John in a nut-brown bowl, And brandy in a glass; And little Sir John in the nut-brown browl Proved the stronger man at last. And the huntsman he can't hunt the fox, Nor so loudly blow his horn, And the tinker he can't mend kettles or pots Without a little of Barleycorn. The Mow Now our work's done, thus we feast, After labour comes our rest; Joy shall reign in every breast, And right welcome is each guest: After harvest merrily, Merrily, merrily, will we sing now, After the harvest that heaps up the mow.Now the plowman he shall plow, And shall whistle as he go, Whether it be fair or blow, For another barley mow, O'er the furrow merrily: Merrily, merrily, will we sing now, After the harvest, the fruit of the plow.Toil and plenty, toil and ease, Still the husbandman he sees; Whether when the winter freeze, Or in summer's gentle breeze; Still he labours merrily, Merrily, merrily, after the plow, He looks to the harvest, that gives us the mow. Harvest-Home (slightly adapted for Heathenry)Come, Roger and Nell, Come, Simpkin and Bell, Each lad with his lass hither come; With singing and dancing, And pleasure advancing, To celebrate harvest-home!Chorus. 'Tis Frea* bids play, And keep holiday, To celebrate harvest-home! Harvest-home! Harvest-home! To celebrate harvest-home!Our labour is o'er, Our barns, in full store, Now swell with rich gifts of the land; Let each man then take, For the prong and the rake, His can and his lass in his hand. For Frea, etc.No courtier can be So happy as we, In innocence, pastime, and mirth; While thus we carouse, With our sweetheart or spouse, And rejoice o'er the fruits of the earth*The original says Ceres the Greek goddess of grain Harvest-Home Song Our oats they are howed, and our barley's reaped, Our hay is mowed, and our hovels heaped; Harvest home! harvest home! We'll merrily roar out our harvest home! Harvest home! harvest home! We'll merrily roar out our harvest home! We'll merrily roar out our harvest home!We cheated the parson, we'll cheat him again; For why should the vicar have one in ten? One in ten! one in ten! For why should the vicar have one in ten? For why should the vicar have one in ten? For staying while dinner is cold and hot, And pudding and dumpling's burnt to pot; Burnt to pot! burnt to pot! Till pudding and dumpling's burnt to pot, Burnt to pot! burnt to pot!We'll drink off the liquor while we can stand, And hey for the honour of old England! Old England! old England! And hey for the honour of old England! Old England! old England!
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