Sonoran Sunrise Grove Imbolc - 2004

Pre-Ritual Preparation

In the Henge:

The fire is prepared, the well opened, the World Tree Offering Bowl placed in position and the following items placed on or near the altar:

A standing horn for the Waters of Life, 2 drinking horns, 2 ritual pitchers, bowl for aspersing, a sea shell for the smudge stick, bell, offerings (Whiskey in a bowl with a ladle; corn meal and dry oatmeal in a small bowl; silver for the well; ale in a small drinking horn; herbs, flowers and stones in a small bowl; a small wreath of twigs; Milk for the Waters of Life — also water; small drinking cups; a loaf of ritual bread), a taper by the fire, and divination tools. A couple drops of Holy Water is poured into the Well and into any water used in the ritual. A wand is placed on the Altar.

A basket-bed is placed on the Altar and the Brideog doll is placed on the Altar of Brigit.

At the Outdweller's Altar:

A small bowl is filled with water from the Well and taken to the Outdweller's Altar. A standing horn of ale is placed on the Altar.

At the Gathering Place:

At the place of the procession's beginning, a sage smudge stick is prepared and lit for the Procession.

Before the Procession begins:
Druid 1 welcomes the people and gives the briefing. This will include creating the Sacred Center and Opening and Closing of the Gates, as well as Praise Offerings.
The Bard teaches the People any new songs.
The Seer leads the People in taking a moment to center.

Procession

Druid 1 carries the smudge stick while the Lead Drummer creates a rhythmic drumbeat and the Bard leads the People in song as they process to the Outdweller's Altar outside the Sacred Precinct.

The Bard leads the People in singing:

We Approach The Sacred Grove

We approach the Sacred Grove
With hearts and minds and flesh and bone.
Join us now in ways of old;
We have come home.

(Repeat until Procession is ended)

Purification

After the People arrive at the Outdwellers' Altar,
Warrior stands to the east of the Altar, facing the People.

Druid 1 says:
Warrior! Make offering and appease the Outdwellers who will not support our ways.

Druid 2 takes up the bowl of sacred water and stands at the south of the Altar.
Druid 1 stands at the north of the Altar with the smudge stick.

Warrior says:

Mighty spirits, dark or light,
You who care not for our way,
Outdwellers! We know your might,
Your forbearance we'll repay!

Holy ground where you can play
We do now establish here.
Have some fun and don't dismay,
Stick around and have a beer!

Bíodh sé Amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee) So be it!

Warrior makes an offering of ale to the Outdwellers, pouring it on the altar.
Druid 1 smudges and Druid 2 asperses Warrior .

Druid 1 says:
Children of the Earth! Come forward and be purified as we enter the Sacred Precinct.

Druid 1 and Druid 2 go to the entrance of the sacred precinct.
Druid 1 censes while Druid 2 asperses the People as they Process through the grove towards the Henge.

The Bard leads the People through the grove to the Henge with Druids 1 and 2 following last.

Meanwhile, drums are beating and as the People are purified,
the Bard leads the People in singing:

The Portal Song

Chorus:

By Fire and by Water, between the Earth and Sky,
We stand like the World Tree, rooted deep, crowned high.
By Fire and by Water, between the Earth and Sky,
We stand like the World Tree, rooted deep, crowned high!

Verse:

Come we now to the Well, the eye and the mouth of Earth.
Come we now to the Well, and silver we bring.
Come we now to the Well, the waters of rebirth.
Come we now to the Well, together we sing.

Repeat Chorus

We will kindle a Fire, bless all and with harm to none.
We will kindle a Fire, and offerings pour.
We will kindle a Fire, a light 'neath the Moon and Sun.
We will kindle a Fire, our spirits will soar!

Repeat Chorus

Gather we at the Tree, the root and the crown of all.
Gather we at the Tree, below and above.
Gather we at the Tree, together we make our call.
Gather we at the Tree, in wisdom and love.

Repeat Chorus

The People find their places in the Circle of the Henge, leaving room for Druid 1 and Druid 2, who enter last. Druid 1 holds the bowl of burning charcoal.

Druid 1 circles the Henge deosil, censing the space, and then returns to his place.

Welcome

Druid 1 rings bell thrice-three times while saying:
Nature Spirits! (rings bell three times)
Ancestors! (rings bell three times)
Shining Ones! (rings bell three times)
Welcome! We shall meet here at the Sacred Center when we open the gates to the Otherworlds.

The Earth Mother

Druid 1 says:

I-mah-lah! Earth Mother! Bearer of all life! We show you honor!
The People kneel and kiss the Earth.

Druid 2 says:
I-mah-lah! We build our fire upon Your bosom, claiming this place as our own.
Bíodh sé Amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee) So be it!

Druid 1 offers the corn meal and dry oatmeal to the unlit Fire.
Druid 2 lights the fire.

The People say:

B?odh s� Amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee) So be it!

Rhythmic drumming begins to accompany the Bard.
The Bard leads the People in singing:

Earth Mother

Earth Mother, we honor your body
Earth Mother, we honor your bones
Earth Mother, we sing to your spirit
Earth Mother, we sing to your stones

(repeat as necessary)

Purpose and Precedent

Druid 1 says:
We gather here on the Feast of Imbolc, the Feast of our Goddess Brigit when renewal begins for the Earth Mother.

Druid 2 says: As our ancestors did, so do we now. We are here to offer worship to Triple Goddess Brigit: the Goddess of Inspiration, Fire and Healing.

Druid 3 says:
This is the season of the first milk for the lambs and the start of Spring, when seeds planted begin to take root.

Storytellersays:
So now, Children of the Earth, let me tell you of Brigit, our triple-Goddess.

Druid 1 says:
So let us join together as one folk to make our offerings in joy and reverence!
Bíodh sé Amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee)

The People say:
Bíodh sé Amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee)

Imbas

(Inspiration in English; Awen in Welsh)

 

Rhythmic drumming begins to accompany the Inspiration Invocation.

Druid1 says:
Brigit! Great Triple Goddess! We ask you for inspiration for our Rite!

Sanctifier takes smoking sage bundle to the appropriate Shrine and censes the image. She returns the incense to the altar. While this is happening,

Two Bards invoke the Inspiration, singing in Call & Answer:

Lady Brigit
(Words by Peggy Kaan)

Lady Brigit of the Bards
Blessed fount of Inspiration
Spark the flames within our hearts
Lead our creative exploration

Lady Brigit hear our song
As we bring offerings of praise
Let Your blessings make us strong
That we may serve You all our days!

Druid 2 offers whiskey to the fire.
The Bards together say:

Bíodh sé Amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee)

The People say:
Bíodh sé Amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee)

The Three Realms

Druid 1 says:
Let us establish the Three Realms here! We see the Sky arching over our heads like a great, upturned bowl. We feel the Land here under our feet, and we sense the Sea surrounding us outside our Nematon.

Rhythmic drumming begins to accompany the Bard.

The Bard leads the People in singing:

Unity In The Three Realms

Beside you I stand, hand in hand,
On this Sacred Land.
With one breath we cry, you and I,
To the Sacred Sky.
And together we one day will be
Across the Endless Sea.

The Three Worlds and Attunement

Druid 1 says:
We establish the Three Worlds of the Heavens, Midworld and Underworld when we attune ourselves with their powers, and magnify them within us.

The Seer leads the 2 Powers meditation to attune the company to the Earth and Sky powers and to join the company in spirit.

Opening the Sacred Center

Druid 1 says:
Druids! Let us open the Sacred Center!

The Lead Drummer starts a moderately fast, rhythmic drumbeat. The other drums in the circle join in. They continue until the Gates are opened.

The following actions take place simultaneously until everyone is in position.

Druid 1 takes silver and goes to the Well. He stands to the SW of the Well and faces the center of the circle.
The Seer goes to the SE quadrant of the circle, getting a ladle of oil from the main altar on the way. He stands in the East facing the altar of Manannan mac Lir in the West.
Druid 2 goes to the Fire, getting a ladle of whiskey from the main altar on the way. She stands to the SE of the Fire, facing the center of the circle.
Druid 3 lights a smudge stick at the fire and goes to the Tree.
Warrior draws water from the well, using the bowl there, and goes to the Tree.

The Bard moves widdershins around the circle, leading the People in quietly and slowly chanting:
Well and Fire and Sacred Tree, flow and flame and grow in me...

The Bard continues moving widdershins around the circle during the entire working, until he opens the Gates.

The chanting continues, only interrupted by the People saying the final line of each of the three following invocations.

Druid 1 offers Silver to the well, with these words:

Sacred waters 'neath our feet,
Unformed powers of the deep,
Fountain upwards now to fill us,
Sacred Well, flow within us!

The People say:
Sacred Well, flow within us!

The Bard leads the People in chanting:
Well and Fire and Sacred Tree, flow and flame and grow in me...

Druid 2 offers whiskey to the Fire, with these words:

Sacred fire, light of Heaven,
Holy power of Transformation,
Create Order out of chaos.
Sacred fire, burn within us!

The People say:
Sacred fire, burn within us!

The Bard leads the People in chanting:
Well and Fire and Sacred Tree, flow and flame and grow in me...

Druid 3 censes and Warrior asperses the World Tree.
Druid 3 and Warrior say in unison:

Sacred Tree, which joins together
Powers of chaos and of order,
Grant us wisdom, strong and ageless.
Sacred tree, grow within us!

The People say:
Sacred tree, grow within us!

The Bard leads the People in quietly chanting:
Lord Manannan, Lord Manannan, Lord Manannan...

Sanctifier takes the smoking sage bundle from the Bard to the Manannan Altar and censes the image, then returns sage bundle to the main altar. Meanwhile,

Seer makes an offering of whiskey to the fire, saying:

Gatekeeper! We ask in reverence,
Open now the sacred boundary.
Manannan mac Lir, come to us,
Ward us as we walk in safety!

The People say:
Ward us as we walk in safety!

The Bard leads the People in quietly chanting:
Open the Gates; Open the Gates, Open the Gates...

The chanting, drums and rattles continue. They increase in speed and volume.

Druid 1 holds the bottom of his staff, pointing the top of it at the top of the World Tree. He begins to spin widdershins, faster and faster. When his staff first passes the Fire, Druid 1 says:
Let the Fire open as a Gate!

He continues spinning at least one full revolution.

As his staff passes over the Well, Druid 1 says:
Let the Well open as a Gate!

He continues spinning at least one full revolution.
As his staff passes by the Tree, Druid 1 says:
Let the Tree connect the Worlds!

There is a loud drum roll ending in a strong stroke.
The chant, drumming and rattles stop.

Druid 1 stops spinning, holds both hands (and staff) in the air and shouts:
Osclaítear na geataí! (OS-kluh-TEER na GAH-thay)

Let the Gates be open!

The People shout:
Let the Gates be open!

Kindred Offerings

Druid 1 says:
Druids! Make our Offerings to the Kindreds — the Ancient Ones, the Noble Ones and the Shining Ones.

NATURE SPIRITS

The drums begin again, pounding out a moderate beat.

Druid 2 makes offerings of herbs, flowers and/or trinkets scattered around the Nemeton's edge or hung on the World Tree, while:

The Bard sings these or other words:

All you Spirits of the Land
Come and hear from us firsthand.

Fin and feather, fur and skin,
Come and hear our mighty din!
Leaf and stone and Fairies, too,
Let our Sacred Pact renew!

Land-spirits, accept our offering!

The People say:

Land-spirits, accept our offering!

ANCESTORS

The Seer sings these or other words:

Ancestors, you Mighty Ones,

Witness now our humble actions.
Kin of heart and Kin of blood,
Ancient Ones, we call you Sacred!
Come unto us now, we pray,
Join us at the Well this day!

Ancestors, accept our offerings!

Druid 2 makes an offering of ale on the ground beside the Sacred Well.

The People say:
Ancestors, accept our offerings!

DEITIES

Druid 3 says these or other words:

Shining Ones, O Great and Boundless;
Gods and Goddesses, come to us!

You are welcome by our fire,
Let us know what You desire.

Known and unknown Deities

Meet us at the Boundaries!

Shining Ones, accept our offering!

Druid 2 makes an offering of whiskey to the fire.

The People say:

Shining Ones, accept our offering!

The Bard leads the People in singing:

Hail All The Gods

Hail all the Gods, Hail all the Goddesses,

Hail all the holy ones we've brought together!

Powers of the sky, Powers of the sacred earth,
Powers of the underworld we've brought together.

Hail all the Gods! Hail all the Goddesses!
Hail all the Gods and Goddesses!

(repeat)

Key Offerings

Druid 1 says:
Mighty Brigit, we call upon You!

Druid 1 invokes the Goddess. Druid 2 offers whiskey to the fire and Sanctifier takes the smoking sage bundle to the Altar of Brigit and censes the image, returning the sage to the main altar.

Druid 1 stands in the west, facing the Altar of Brigit and says:

Invocation to Brigit

Chorus

Spark of Inspiration, burning
In our minds and in our hearts,
Healing Lady, Fertile Lady,
Light our way in Winter's dark!

Cold light filters through the branches
Making rainbows in the ice,
Winter's chill is deep and heavy,
Summer's warmth would sure be nice.

Silently, the Earth, now sleeping
'Waits the call of Goddess bright.
Put Your hand into the River,
Warm us as you bring the light!

Chorus

Spark of Inspiration, burning
In our minds and in our hearts,
Healing Lady, Fertile Lady,
Light our way in Winter's dark!

In our hearths the fires are burning,
Candles flame all through the night,
Goddess, heal us in our yearning,
Let Spring come into our sight!

On the hilltops, ewes are bleating
As with milk their teats grow full.
Lambs of spring are soon to join us,
Suckling through their mothers' wool.

Chorus

Spark of Inspiration, burning
In our minds and in our hearts,
Healing Lady, Fertile Lady,
Light our way in Winter's dark!

Through the soil the first green shoots of
Spring appear upon the earth,
You are coming, Goddess, to us
Bringing hope of Life's re-birth!

Join us now, O Goddess Brigit,
Healing flame shall fill us up.
Let us drink from Your great Chalice,
From Your bounty, let us sup!

Chorus

Spark of Inspiration, burning
In our minds and in our hearts,
Healing Lady, Fertile Lady,
Light our way in Winter's dark!

Mighty Brigit, accept our offering!

The People say:

Mighty Brigit, accept our offering!

Praise Offerings

Druid 1 says:

Children of the Earth, as the spirit moves you, come forward and take the wreath and make your Praise Offerings to Lady Brigit, the Kindreds or your Patrons. You may offer silver to the Well, sing songs of praise, recite poetry, dance or do whatever would please the Kindreds most. You may also make a donation to the Grove by placing it on the altar.

Druid 2 stands quietly holding the wreath. As a person comes forward to make a Praise Offering, he hands the wreath to that person. When the Praise Offering is done, he takes back the wreath and silently holds it until the next person comes forward.

The Omen

Druid 2 offers the wreath to the fire, while:
Druid 1 says:

Seer, what blessings do the Powers offer us in return for our offerings?

While the wreath offering burns, The Seer takes the Omen . He interprets it, discovering if our Rite and our offerings are pleasing to the powers. While the Seer is preparing to read the omen, the Druids prepare the Waters of Life.

Blessings

The Return Flow

Druid 1 says:
Please stand and hold hands while we prepare the Waters Of Life.

The People all stand and hold hands in a circle.

Druid 1 pours mead into the large drinking horn.
Druid 2 fills another horn with waters from the Well. They are hung on their hangers.
Druid 1 takes Sacred Water in a horn or chalice and stands in front of the Altar.

Druid 1 says:
O Mighty Brigit! O Noble, Ancient and Shining Ones! We have offered to you, so we ask for your gifts in return.

Druid 1 elevates the Waters .
Hallow these waters! Bless our lives with love, magic and bounty as we drink of your essence.
Kindreds, we ask you, give us the waters of life!

The People say:
Give us the waters of life!

Druid 1 gives the bread to the Sanctifier . Druid 2 takes the horn of water and Druid 1 takes the horn of mead.

Druid 1 pours holy water in each horn and a few drops on the bread.

The People let go of each other's hands and the drinking horns and bread are passed. All drink from one or the other horn while the Bard leads the People in singing:

Pour The Waters

Pour the waters, raise the cup;
Drink your share of wisdom deep;
Strength and love now fill us up
As the elder ways we keep.

(Repeat until all have drunk from the horns)

The Workings

The Brideog

Druid 2 rings the bell three times, and says:
O Mighty Brigit! As in days of old, come and join us here in our Nemeton!

The Bard begins chanting:

Birgita
(Words by Lisa Theil)

Birgita, Birgita, Goddess of the flame
Birgita, Birgita, Goddess of the flame
Awaken the flame within my being
Awaken the sacred fire within my being

As the chant begins, a maiden enters from the east carrying the Brideog. She goes deosil around the circle, showing the Brideog to all in turn, ending up in front of the altar. She places the Brideog in the bed and then returns to the edge of the circle.

Druid 1 places the wand in the bed with the Brideog, saying:

May the blessing of the Lady Brigit be upon us and on this place.

Closing the Gates

Druid 1 says:
The Mighty Ones have blessed us! So as we prepare to depart, let us give thanks to those who have aided us.

A drum beat begins and rattles fill the sound.

Druid 2 says:
O Mighty Brigit, we thank you!

The People say:
We thank you!

Druid 3 says:
Gods and Goddesses of elder days; mighty Ancestors; noble Spirits of the Land; our Kindreds, we thank you!

The People say:
We thank you!

Seer says:
Gatekeeper, warder of the ways,
for your presence and power,
for your guiding and guarding, we say:
We thank you!

The People say:
We thank you!

Druid 1 says:
Earth Mother! We give you all remaining offerings, for what comes from the Earth may return to the Earth.

The Druids make all remaining offerings to the Well, Fire or World Tree Offering bowl.

Druid 1 says:
Earth Mother! For holding up the world and granting us Your blessings, we say: We thank You!

The People say:
We thank You!

Druid 2 says:
Now we end what we began.

The drums begin to play and the Bard leads the People in chanting, starting quietly and building in speed and intensity:

Close the Gates... Close the Gates... Close the Gates...

Druid 2 holds the bottom of his staff, pointing the top of it at the top of the World Tree. He begins to spin deosil, faster and faster.

As the staff passes the fire, Druid 2 says:
Let the fire be flame!

As the staff passes the well, Druid 2 says:
Let the well be water!

As the staff passes the World Tree, Druid 2 says:
Let all be as it was before!

There is a loud drum roll ending in a strong stroke.

The drumming and rattles stop.

Druid 2 stops spinning, holds both hands (and staff) in the air and shouts:
Dúntar na geataí! (DUN-tar na GAH-thay)
Let the Gates be closed!

The People say:

Let the Gates be closed!

The Grounding

Druid 1 says:
Great energy has been raised within us this day! Let us be grounded once more.

The Seer leads the People in grounding.

The Recession

Druid 2 then rings the bell thrice-three times.
Druid 1 says:

Please stand and hold hands in this Circle.

Walk with wisdom, children of the Earth.
The Rite is ended!
Bíodh sé Amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee) So be it!

The People say:
Bíodh sé Amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee) So be it!

The Bard leads the People in singing as they stand holding hands in the Circle. After one time through, the Bard leads the People singing out of the Circle:

Walk With Wisdom

Walk with wisdom,
from this hallowed place;
Walk not in sorrow,
Our roots shall 'ere embrace.

May strength be your brother

And honor be your kin;
And luck be your lover
Until we meet again!

(Repeat until Recession is ended)

At this point, a party/potluck is held for the assembled people.

Autor-Informationen

Rev. Kirk Thomas

Articles by Rev. Kirk Thomas

Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, Inc.

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