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By Trebomâros AuiganiThis ritual can either be done indoors or outside.  If this ritual is more of a family event or group event with children, children related activities can be added to the Key Offerings section, like the person performing the omen could dress like a hobby horse and present gifts to any children who are there as a symbol of the abundance of the land before or after the omen is taken.  This ritual can be performed either on December 18th (traditional date for Eponalia) or for Medigiamos (Winter Solstice).Ritual:Purification:Before starting the ritual, as people gather around the altar, light up incense and from person to person, in a counter-clockwise motion, circle it in front of each person saying:May all that holds you be released,May all the binds you be released,May all that enslaves you be released,Then, with blessed water, have each person dip their fingers in the water to rum on their hands and face.  As they do, say:So that you may be pure and true.Once everyone has been purified, have them gather around the altar in a semi-circle formation (horseshoe). Opening Statement:As the nights become long and the cold wind howls, we come here this night to honor Epona, horse maiden, sovereign queen.  She who rides the fields and the land, bestowing her blessings to the people and guiding the spirits of the Otherworld back to their holdings.  As we gather together, may she find joy in our celebrations and gift us with prosperity in the coming year as well as the protections of her warrior host on these long nights. Opening Prayers:A: Earth Mother: Chief speaks as the Sacrificer makes an offering of grain, bread or flour:Before we begin tonight’s festivities though,May we give honor to the first mother, Danu.Danu, beloved mother of allFrom whose starry waters the green earth springsYou who are the bearer of all lifeWe pray you bless and uphold this rite.All: Danu, accept our offering!B: The Bard invokes the Hearth, saying:Brigantiâ, Lady of the Sacred HearthVoice of the fire of wisdom,Voice of the well of inspirationCome into our hearts and sound in our voices. Brigantiâ!Let us ken of every good or ill,Guide our rite in the way of truth.We call you to place the clear heart in us,in this holy place, at this holy time.All: Brigantiâ, accept our offering! Grove Attunement:The Druids lead a meditation intended to attune the company to the Earth and Sky powers and to join the company in spirit. This might conclude with an intoning or a proper chant or hymn. Blessing the Hallows:The Druid stands before the alter addressing the group:At the dawn of creation, there were two fundamental forces, symbolized by water and fire.  The tension between these forces created life and thus, the world and the world tree was born.  Through these forces, life continues and within this space, we honor these forces for they not only give birth, but they also connect us to all of creation.An Offering of silver is made to the well, saying:O sacred waters that flow and swirl beneath all being accept our offering! Let us know the elder depths within ourselves the source of all, the well of elder wisdomAll respond: Sacred well, flow within us!An offering of oil is made to the Fire, saying:O sacred fire that consumes and transformsTrue and holy light of the Shining Ones, accept our offering!O sacrificed and sacrificer, let your holy flame warm our spirits and our lives.All: Sacred fire, burn within us!The Bile is censed and sprinkled, saying:O sacred pillar, boundary of all the worlds,Stand at the center of the sky,Stand at the center of the sea,Stand at the center of the land on which we dwell.Let us be deepened in your depthsRaised to your heightsStrengthened in your strengthAll: Sacred tree, grow within us! Opening the Gates:The sacrificer makes an offering to Cernunnos, saying:Cernunnos, Lord of the Deep Wood.Open the ways for us.We walk in your holy ways, we walk the Sacred Road.Share your magic with us and ward us as we walk in safety.Cernunnos, accept our sacrifice!An offering of oil is given to the Fire. The Druid then raises his hands and says:Now, Master of Ways, join your magic with ours and let the fire open as a gate, let the well open as a gate, let the tree be the crossroads of all worlds. Open as a road to our voices and to the spirits. Let the gates be open!All: Let the gates be open! Kindred Offerings:The druids make proper offerings to each of the kindreds, standing at the fire.Ancestors:The children of the earth call out to the mighty dead. Hear us, our ancestors, our kindred.To all those whose bones lie in this land, whose hearts are tied to it, whose memory holds it; ancient tribes of this place, we offer you welcome.To all of our grandmothers and grandfathers, our own beloved dead, blood-kin and heart-kin; ancient tribes of our blood, we offer you welcome.To all those elder wise ones who guide their people, poets and seers, judges, and magicians; wise women and men of ancient days, we offer you welcome.So, o mighty ones, we call to you as our kin, in the love of the all-mother, to join in our magic. Come to our fire, spirits; meet us at the boundary. Guide and ward us as we walk the elder ways.Ancestors, accept our sacrifice!An offering of food and/or drink is made onto the ground or into a shaft. Nature Spirits:The children of earth call out to the spirits of this land. Hear us, companions and teachers.To all our allies, kindreds of stone and stream, crystal and fertile soil, pools, and every water; kins of the earth, we offer you welcome.To all our allies, kindreds of the growing green, herb and flower, shrub and mighty trees, root and stem and fruit. Green kins, we offer you welcome.To all our allies, kindreds of fur and feather and scale, all who walk or fly or swim or crawl, we offer you welcome.So, o noble ones, we call to you as our allies, in the joy of life upon earth, to join in our magic. Come to our fire, spirits; meet us at the boundary. Guide and ward us as we walk the elder ways.Land-spirits, accept our sacrifice!An offering of herbs, flowers and/or trinkets is placed in an offering bowl on the edge of the ritual space, or if the rite is performed outside, scattered around the nemeton’s edge or hung on the tree. Deities:The children of earth call out to the shining ones. Hear us, eldest and brightest.To all the shining ones, first children of the mother, wisest and mightiest, loving and comforting; gods and goddesses, we offer you welcome.To the gods and goddesses of this place, ancient and powerful, known to us or unknown; Gods of this place, we offer you welcome.To all the deities of those here gathered, you whom we worship, you who bless our lives; o patrons and matrons, we offer you welcome.So, o shining ones, we call to you as our elders, in reverence and love, to join in our magic. Come to our fire, shining ones; meet us at the boundary. guide and ward us as we walk the elder ways.Deities, accept our sacrifice!An offering of scented oil is poured on the fire.After all the offerings have been made, the druids recenter the company and lead an attunement to all the spirits that have been called, and a proper chant or hymn is sung to the three kindreds. Key Offerings:Druid speaks, saying:The ways have been opened and the host has been called.  Tonight, we gather to honor she who rides the land clearing the fields and bestowing her blessings to the people.Epona, Lady of Horses, we call you!All: Hail!Epona, Queen of Sovereignty, we call you!All: Hail!Epona of the Fields and Stables, we call you!All: Hail!Epona of the Warrior Host, we call you!All: Hail!Epona of the Healing Wells, we call you!All: Hail!Epona, protector of travelers, we call you!All: Hail!Epona, Queen of the Otherworld and the Sacred Ways, we call you!All: Hail!Epona, Great Mother, we call you!All: Hail!Epona Regina, friend, guardian, guide, and teacher, we call you!All: Hail! May our words and praise be heard throughout the Realms and across the land.A horseshoe wreath of roses is laid out on the altar around the statue of Epona:These gifts we give to you oh Might Mare.  May these rose be a symbol of the love we share with you.A set of keys is laid out in front of the statue:May these Keys be a symbol of your sovereignty of not only the abundance of the land but the riches and secrets of the Otherworld.Pour Mead into a cup:And may this mead be a symbol of your Sovereignty as you share your gifts with the people as we gather in celebration of your Holy Day!Epona Regina, we honor you.All: Epona, we honor you!At this time, additional offerings in celebrations are performed (singing, dancing, possibly a ritual meal, etc.) Sacrifice and Omen:Once all the offerings have been given, or the meal is coming to an end, the druid chimes a bell three times.As we have come to honor the mighty Epona Regina, let our voices arise on the fire, let our voices sound in the well let our words pass the boundary to the Otherworld.Epona Regina, we give you our love, our respect, our devotion as we pray you...All: Accept our sacrifice!All are led to send their energy through the gates to the powers, meditating on the deities and the nobles. Then druid speaks:Having prayed to the powers, let us open to them, asking what blessings or wisdom they offer.Omen is taken as usual. The seer then interprets the omen, leading the company to contemplate the things they would ask of the powers, especially as suggested by the omen. The company then recenters in preparation for the blessing. The Blessing :Druid speaks:Ancient and mighty ones, you have honored us with your blessings.  We thirst for the waters of wisdom, the bounty of rebirth from the well of wisdom, from the spring of renewal, from the bosom of the earth mother. Hear us...All: Shining ones, bless us with the waters!We open our hearts to the blessing of the great one. We stand in pride, honor and friendship with all the powers of the worlds. Hear and answer us now...All: Shining ones, bless us with the waters!Ale is poured into the cup and elevated. Druid speaks:We draw blessings from the cauldron of blessing. We pour the ale of inspiration. Behold the holy cup of magic, the outpouring of blessing from the mighty ones. When we share the draught of the gods we drink in wisdom, love and strength to do as we will in the worlds, in service to the shining ones.Hear us Epona Regina and all the Shining Ones that are here tonight; hallow these waters! We, your children, rejoice in your gift. Bless our spirits and our lives with love, magic and bounty as we drink these sacred waters.All: Bless us with the waters of life!The cups are passed clockwise and all drank as a proper hymn is sung. Closing:When all is done, the druids lead a resettling, then begin to close the grove, saying:The mighty ones have blessed us. With joy in our hearts let us carry the magic from our sacred grove into our lives and work.Each time we offer to the powers they become stronger and more aware of our needs and our worship.So now as we prepare to depart let us give thanks to those who have aided us.Epona Regina, Might Mare and Queen,All: We thank you!O gods and goddesses of elder days,All: We thank you!O spirits of this land,All: We thank you!O ancestors, our kindred,All: We thank you!To all those powers that came and celebrated with us, we say again...All: We thank you!Druids renew the company's centering once more, signaling the return to common awareness and ease of access to the centered state. Then any unused offerings, return flow, incense, water, etc. is given to the earth, saying:Blessed Danu, to you we return all we leave unused. Uphold us now in the world as you have in our rite.All: We thank you!The druids go to the center and say:Cernunnos, warder of the ways, for your presence and power, your guiding and guarding we say...All: We thank you!Druid makes the closing sign over the hallows with the wand, saying:Now by the keeper of gates and by our magic, we end what we began.Now let the fire be flameLet the well be water;Let all be as it was before.Let the gates be closed!All: Let the gates be closed!Go now, children of the earth, in peace and blessings. this rite has ended!The bard leads a proper chant as the company processes out of the ritual space/Grove.  -Ritual outline originally from the ADF website: https://www.adf.org/rituals/explanations/liturgy.html
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By Trebomâros AuiganiPurification:Before starting the ritual, make sure to properly wash and clean yourself.  Wear comfortable clothing, preferably with deep earthy tones.  When you come to the altar, light up the incense and in a counter-clockwise motion, circle it in front of you saying:May all that holds me be released,May all the binds me be released,May all that enslaves me be released.So that you may be pure and true.Repeat two more times (total of three) Honoring the Earth Mother:As you approach the altar, sit before it and breathe.  Offer steel-cut oats, or some other prepared grain, saying:Earth Mother, I honor you. I thank you for the continued blessing of life that you give to us all. Without you, life would not be possible.Earth Mother, accept my offering. Attunement: Tree Meditation:Perform the Tree Meditation, connecting to the earth below and the heavens above.  As you connect, listen to the sound of your heartbeat.  Once you feel centered and grounded, bow to the altar. Recreate the Cosmos and Statement of Purpose:Pick up the drum and hit it three times.  Light the candle and then start a stick of incense to bless the Sacred Hallows at the altar, saying: Through this fire, well, and sacred tree, I call to you Cernunnos,Lord of the Deep Wood, Keeper of WaysI have come here tonight to give offerings and celebrations.As the way opens to you,May my words rise on the winds and may they sound deep in the wells. Open the Gates:Give libations to Gatekeeper, saying:Spirit of the Threshold, open the ways.May your protection and guidance lead us true,Let the Gates be open! Invite the Kindreds:Raise your hands, saying:To the Kindred, I call on you tonight in Honor of Cernunnos.Light the Ancestor's candle as you speak:I call forth the Ancestors, those who have gone before, the Spirits of the Mighty Dead to join me here. Ancestors of blood and spirit, I call to you.Ancestors, accept my offering!Light the Nature Spirits' candle as you speakI call to the Nature Spirits, spirits of fur and feather, fin and scale, and skin, come to me now! Spirits who hold the sacred knowledge of the world around us, hear me!Nature Spirits, accept my offering!Light the Shining Ones' candle as you speakI invite the Shining Ones, You who are beyond time and space who have the ability to see all and advise in all things. I praise you for your knowledge and wisdom. Join me now.Shining Ones, accept my offering!Welcome, Kindred to this place in joy and celebration! Key Offerings:Take the drum and hit it three times:Cernunnos, I call to you.You who keeps the Sacred MysteriesYou who knows the Ancestral WisdomYou who are honored by many Cernunnos, I call to youLord of AbundanceMighty HunterGatekeeper to the Inner Treasure Cernunnos, I call to youLord of the CrossroadsGuide in the darknessTraveler and Protector Cernunnos, I call to youNourisher of the soulSage of the Healing HandsYou who remind us that we are both tame and wild These gifts we give oh Antlered One.May this whiskey be a delight to you as it warms the bellyMay this silver be a delight to you in gratitude for your gifts from the EarthMay this sweet bread be a delight to you, as it brings people together Ancient One, you who holds the serpent of Chaos, you who holds the torc of prosperityMay your presence bring wisdom, abundance, protection, and healing.At this point, any additional offerings (drumming, dancing, singing, etc.) are performed or presented. Omens and Receiving of Blessings:Take a moment, close your eyes, and breathe.  Let the incense continue to burn and sit in meditation.  Be open to his presence and gifts that might come from that interaction.  You might not see anything during the ritual, and that is fine.  At this time, take the Omen to see if there is any insights from Cernunnos. Affirmation of Blessings:Once Omens have been taken, Take a cup and hold it up saying:Cernunnos, as I stand here tonight, I reaffirm I vow to youKeeper of the Old Ways, I give my work to youKeeper of the gates above and below, I give my work to youKeeper of the Ancestral Wisdom, I give my work to youYou who heals the land and the people, I give my work to you And to you I reaffirm:I will walk in the wisdom of our ancestors,I will be true to my truthI will be an agent of truth in the lives of othersAnd I will be a vessel to bring your will into the worldAs long as the needs are met to continue your work. Myself and my work, I give to you, Mighty Lord.Drink the beverage in the cup Ending the Rite:As you set the cup down, close your eyes and raise your hands, saying:Lord Cernunnos, as we end tonightMay your light continue to be a light to the peopleMay your wisdom continue to be a guide to the peopleMay your protection continue to be a support to the peopleMay your generosity continue to be a blessing to the people. And to the Kindreds who have joined us tonight,Ancestors, thank you for your knowledge and sharing.Spirits of the Land, Thank you for your continued assistance in this realm.Shining Ones, Thank you for your blessings and Wisdom. Closing the Gates:To the Spirit of the Threshold,Thank you for your protection tonight.I now ask that you undo what you have done,Let the Gates be closed! Thanking the Earth Mother:Earth Mother, Sustainer of Life.All that remains unused will be given to youI thank you. Ending the ritual:As you stand at the altar, close your eyes and breathe.  Connect with the earth below and the heavens above.  As you connect, listen to the sound of your heartbeat.  Once you feel your connection to the cosmos, take three deep breaths while you hit the drum (one breath for one drum hit).  Set the drum down and walk backwards from the altar to where you performed the purification.  Bow to the altar.-End of Rite-  
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Many of our Celtic rites use Gaelic phrases, so we have a pronunciation guide available. General Samhain Yule Imbolc Ostara Beltainne Midsummer Lughnassadh
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All translations and spoken phrases are by Alexei Kondratiev (right). For the Welsh versions of these phrases, please go here. Alexei's background is in anthropology, linguistics and comparative religion. He taught Irish Language and Celtic History at the Irish Arts Center in Manhattan before his passing in May of 2010. The spoken phrases were recorded by Skip Ellison at the Etheracon Festival in January of 2003 and are encoded in low resolution mp3 format. "Behold the waters of life" (Referring to whiskey as the waters of life.) Irish - (ar) an uisce beatha seo Scots Gaelic: (air) an uisge beatha seo Manx: (er) yn ushtey bea shoh Cornish: (war) an dowr a vywnans ma Breton: (war) an dour a vuhez 'mañ Audio clip (1:13, 160Kb) "This Cup" - "This Well" - "This Sacred Place / Nemeton" Irish: (ar) an gcupán seo - (ar) an tobar seo - (ar) an neimheadh seo Scots Gaelic: (air) a' chopain seo - (air) an tobar seo - (ar) an néamhaidh seo Manx: (er) y chabban shoh - (er) yn çhibbyr shoh - (er) yn niauey shoh Cornish: (war) an hanaf ma - (war) an puth ma - (war) an neves ma Breton: (war) an hanaf-mañ - (war) ar puñs-mañ - (war) an neved-mañ Audio clip (2:13, 278Kb) "May the Gods and ancestors bless___" Irish: Go raibh beannacht na ndéithe agus ár sinsir ar___ Scots Gaelic: Gu robh beannachd nan diathan agus ar sinnsearan air ___ Manx: Dy row bannaght ny jeeaghyn as nyn shennayryn er ___ Cornish: Bens bennath an dywow ha' gan hendasow war ___ Breton: Ra vezo bennozh an doueed hag hon hendadoù war ___ Audio clip (0:50, 110Kb) "Gods be with you" - "And also with you" One person says it to a group and then it's said back (like at a Catholic Mass) Irish: Na déithe libh - agus leat féin Scots Gaelic: Na diathan leibh - agus leat fhín Manx: Ny jeeaghyn lhieu - as lhiat hene Cornish: An dywow genowgh - ha gened-si ynwedh Breton: An doueed ganeoc'h - ha ganit-te ivez Audio clip (0:52, 113Kb) The polite forms of "Thank You" - singular (plural) Irish: Go raigh maith agat (agaibh) - or - Tá mé (muid) buíoch díot (díbh) Scots Gaelic: Tapadh leat (leibh) Manx: Dy row mie eu Cornish: Meur ras dhis (dhywgh) Breton: Trugarez dit (deoc'h) Audio clip (1:11, 157Kb) "So Be It" Note: Bíodh Sé by itself is ungrammatical. It would be like saying 'be it' by itself in English, rather that completing it as 'be it so.' Irish: Bíodh sé amhlaidh Scots Gaelic: Bitheadh e mar sin Manx: Bee eh myr shen Cornish: Bedhens yndellma Breton: Evel-se bezet graet Audio clip (0:39, 86Kb) Terms to fill in the blanks: "Pole" Irish: cuaille Scots Gaelic: cabar Manx: lorg Cornish: gwelenn Breton: peul Audio clip (0:17, 38Kb) "Tree" Irish: bile, crann Scots Gaelic: bile, crann, craobh Manx: billey Cornish: gwydhenn Breton: gwezenn Audio clip (1:09, 151Kb) "Stone" Irish: cloch, gallán (standing stone) Scots Gaelic: clach, tursach (standing stone) Manx: clagh Cornish: men Breton: maen Audio clip (0:34, 76Kb) "Pit" Irish: poll, sloc Scots Gaelic: toll, sloc Manx: ooig, poyll Cornish: poll Breton: poull Audio clip (0:52, 114Kb) "Tribe" Note: People with a tribal identity should use the tribe name in place of the word for tribe. Irish: (ar) an treibh seo Scots Gaelic: (air) an treubh seo Manx: (er) y chlein shoh Cornish: (war) an loeth ma Breton: (war) ar meuriad-mañ Audio clip (1:03, 138Kb) "Let the gates be opened" - "Let the gates be closed" Irish: Osclaítear na geataí - Dúntar na geataí Scots Gaelic: Fosgailtear na geataichean - Dùintear na geataichean Manx: Foshiljee ny giataghyn - Dooinjee ny giataghyn Cornish: Bens an porthow igerys - bens an portow deges Breton: Ra vwzo ar oerzhier digoret - Ra vwzo ar perzhier serret Audio clip (1:02, 136Kb) "This man" - "This woman" - "This child" Irish: (ar) an bhfear seo - (ar) an mbean seo - (ar) an bpáiste seo Scots Gaelic: (air) an fhear seo - (air) a' bhoireannach seo - (air) a' phàisde seo Manx: (er) yn er shoh - (er) y ven shoh - (er) y phaitçhey shoh Cornish: (war) an den ma - (war) an wreg ma - (war) an flogh ma Breton: (war) an den-mañ - (war) ar vaouez-mañ - (war) ar bugel-mañ Audio clip (1:12, 159Kb) "Protection of the Gods upon ____" Irish: Cosaint n ndéithe do ___ Scots Gaelic: Dìon nan diathan air ___ Manx: Coadey ny jeeghyn er ___ Cornish: Gwithyans an dywow war ___ Breton: Gwarez an doueed war ___ Audio clip (0:46, 101Kb) "This place" (mundane places) Irish: (ar) an áit seo Scots Gaelic: (air) an àite seo Manx: (er) yn voal shoh Cornish: (war) an le ma Breton: (war) al lec'h-mañ Audio clip (0:20, 45Kb) "This object" Irish: (ar) an rud seo Scots Gaelic: (air) an rud seo Manx: (er) yn red shoh Cornish: (war) an daklenn ma Breton: (war) an dra-mañ (Sorry, no audio clip available) "This water (not whiskey)" Irish: (ar) an uisce seo Scots Gaelic: (air) an uisge seo - or - (air) a' bhùrn seo Manx: (er) yn ushtey shoh Cornish: (war) an dowr ma Breton: (war) an dour-mañ Audio clip (0:25, 56Kb) "May the Gods be honored" Irish: Go dtugtar onóir do na déithe Scots Gaelic: Cuirear urram air na diathan Manx: Curjee onnor da ny jeeghyn Cornish: Bens gordhyans dhe'n dywow Breton: Ra vezo enoret an doueed Audio clip (0:33, 73Kb) "Behold the___" or "This is the___" Irish: Seo an ___ Scots Gaelic: Seo an ___ Manx: Shoh yn ___ Cornish: Otta'n ___ Breton: Setu an ___ Audio clip (0:22, 50Kb) "Sacred fire" Irish: tine choisricthe Scots Gaelic: teine coisrigte Manx: aile casherick Cornish: tan sakrys Breton: tan sakr Audio clip (0:22, 48Kb) "We are here to honor the Gods" Irish: Támuid anseo chun onóir a thabhairt do na déithe Scots Gaelic: Tha sinn annseo chum urram a chur air na diathan Manx: Ta shin ayns shoh erson onnor y chur da ny jeeaghyn Cornish: Ni 'yw omma dhe ri gordhyans dhe'n dywow Breton: Ni 'zo amañ evit enoriñ an doueed Audio clip (0:39, 87Kb) There is also a clip where Alexi explains the word 'tuatha' (98Kb).
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Ritual and Practice