Earth-Day Rites and Charms

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Earth Day is typically celebrated on April 22 of any given year, though some consituencies may celebrate this holiday over the course of a week or two. Our Founder, Rev. Isaac Bonewits, wanted ADF to make Earth Day a ninth High Day, but since it falls so close to a current High Day (the May Cross Quarter Day) this idea was never adopted. However, as an earth-based religion, ADF highly recommends that everyone celebrate the Earth, either alone or in groups, on or around this day along with the rest of the Pagan community and many others as well.  Things that folks can do to celebrate Earth Day include performing rituals, both public and solitary, planting trees and gardens, and volunteering for environmental groups. The Earth is our mother, and without her we cannot live. While we may not have many entries on this page as yet, we hope that it will continue to grow in the future. All Hail Mother Earth! Earth Mother Prayer by Rev. Kathleen Pezza Solitary Norse Rite to Nerthus by Jeremy Baer 2014 EarthAlong by Lisa Lea
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I was asked to do a prayer to honor the Earth Mother at an Earth Day inter-faith service a few years ago.  People are welcome to it if anyone wants it as something more along the lines of a devotional. --- Rev. Kathleen Pezza Giver of life, great Mother Earth,  To each of the Kindred you gave birth: Children of wisdom, cunning and skill; Children of wing, leaf, paw and gill; Children of sword, book, plow and drum; God, Man and Spirit, from you we come. Lady of river, grain, milk and sea, Source of the land's fertility:  Provider of each herb, bush and tree; Provider of each fish, cow and bee; Provider of each gem, stone and ore; With your bounty, we want for no more. Queen of the Tribe, beauty pristine, Adorned in blue, white, brown and green, Chooser of leaders, wife of the king, Chooser of heroes, their victory bring, Chooser of price for those who defy, On your good will we ever rely. In COoR rituals, you may use this for the Thanking/Closing section where needed. Giver of life, great Mother Earth,  To each of the Kindred you gave birth, Lady of river, grain, milk and sea, Source of the land's fertility, We thank you for all the gifts that you give, This beautiful world, on which we live.
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Solitary, but could be adapted to small group use with a little work   ~items needed~ water and herbs for purification offerings for Three Kindreds and Earth Mother representations of Fire, Well and Tree   ~Opening Prayer ~   From the Mother I was born, and to the Mother I will return.   I walk the Elder Ways, a Child of Earth. With each step the Earth Mother blesses me. With sacred soil beneath me, sweet waters around me, and caressing air above me. As my forebears before me, as those who come after me,  so may I stand before the Mother today and give her honor. Hail to Nerthus, goddess of old, matron of the the living land.    Let this rite begin.     (perform Two Powers Meditation if you wish)   ~Purification~   Let me be purified.  Let me be sanctified to the earth.     (wash hands and face with water) With this gift of the Mother, I cleanse all impurities from my body.    (take deep breath and exhale. Think good thoughts) With this gift of the Mother, I expel all doubt and negativity from my mind.     (burn herbs such as sage and juniper) With these gifts of the Mother, I banish all unwanted influences.   (make sign of Thor's Hammer) With this sign, I ward the area from all ill wights.    Behold! I stand here, clean of mind and body and spirit, with no ill wights around me.  Behold, I stand worthy to entreat the blessings of Nerthus.    ~Recreation of Cosmos~   As a Child of Earth, I step into the sacred center.  Let me stand before the center of all things, where All That Was and All That May Be meet in sacred union.     In the great depths there is a Well.  The Well is Urd, where the gods hold court, and the Norns color the fates of men.  Sacred Well, flow inside me!     In the great expanse there is a Tree.  The Tree is Yggdrassil.  Its roots and branches extend into the Nine Worlds.    Sacred Tree, grow inside me!    In the great heights there is Fire.   The Fire is the fire of Bifrost, which spans Midgard to Asgard.  Sacred Fire, burn inside me!   In the beginning, Fire and Ice met in the yawning gap. Ymir the Giant was born!  The three sons of Bor slew Ymir.  From his skin came the earth, from his blood came the sea, and from his skull the sky.  Hail  to land, sea and sky!    Fire, Well and Tree!  Land, Sea and Sky!   I am a Child of Earth and I stand before the center of all things.   Let my words be heard through all the worlds.  Let me deeds resound through all the realms.     ~Inviting the Kindreds~   Hail to the spirits of the departed,  to those who walked the Elder Ways long before me and are now interred in the bosom of Nerthus.   From the halls of death where you dwell, be here now with this Child of Earth.  Spirits of the departed, be present at this rite!   Hail to the wights of nature who share Midgard with me as I walk the Elder Ways with Nerthus.  From land, sea and sky where you dwell, be here now with this Child of Earth. Wights of nature, be present at this rite!   Hail to the Gods and Goddesses, to the Aesir and Vanir who preside over the Elder Ways and are kin with Nerthus. From the realms of Asgard and Vanaheim where you dwell, be here now with this Child of Earth.   Gods and goddesses, be present at this rite!   To the Three Kindreds, I render my respect and devotions.  As I walk the Elder Ways may I never forget the blessings of the Kindreds, and may they never withhold their favor from me.  Three Kindreds, accept this offering!    (make a suitable offering)   ~Honoring the Earth Mother~   To Nerthus, ancient one.   In days of old, the many tribes gathered to give you honor. On your island where sat the scared grove, the priest tended your cart and sacred heiffers.  Around the land was your carriage led. No war was made.  Weapons were cast aside. Iron was covered. The Folk knew peace and happiness.    Nerthus, goddess of sacred rites, I call you now to my devotion.  Nerthus, be present at my rite!   Nerthus, as in days of old, you are needed once more. Let the tribes of men gather to honor you.  Let war cease and let weapons be cast aside.  Let peace and happiness pour forth through the lands. Let the Children of Earth know and honor their Mother once more.    Mother Nerthus, accept this offering!  (make suitable offering).      ~Omen~   To Odin the All-Father who hung on the world tree nine nights to learn the runes, To the Three Kindreds who walk beside me on the Elder Ways, To Nerthus the Mother whose sacred soil I tread upon: A gift calls for a gift.   As I have gifted you, gift me the means of discerning your will.  What is the will of the gods and spirits this day?    (pull runes or another symbol set of your choice).   Hail to the gods and spirits for these omens!   ~Working~   (At this point one could perform any kind of devotional activity they feel is best suited to the spirit of Earth Day.  They could meditate and commune silently with nature.  They could plant a tree or flowers. Or perhaps they could simply lift a cup of the beverage of their choice and make a toast.)     ~Thanking the Beings~   Hail to Mother Nerthus.     Hail to the Gods and Goddess who preside over the Elder Ways.  Hail to the wights of nature who walk the Elder Ways with me.  Hail to the spirits of the departed who walked the Elder Ways long before me.       Hail to you all.  As I walk the Elder Ways may you favor me.  May your blessings fill my head, my heart and my loins.     Fire, Well and Tree! Land, Sea and Sky!  I stood at the center of all things, before All That Was and All That May Be. My deeds are known in all the worlds, my words are known in all the realms.    I leave the sacred center, but I remain a Child of Earth.    ~Closing Prayer~   From the Mother I was born, and to the Mother I will return.   I walk the Elder Ways, a Child of Earth. With each step the Earth Mother blesses me. With sacred soil beneath me, sweet waters around me, and caressing air above me. As my forebears before me, as those who come after me,  so have I stood before the Mother today and gave her honor. Hail to Nerthus, goddess of old, matron of the the living land.     Let this rite end. 
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  4 Days of Devotionals by Lisa Lea (Tiogar Saille) of Three Cranes Grove, ADF   We couldn't get a group of us together (as often happens) to do a Special Rite for the Earth Mother, so we did a Home Game version of Honoring the Earth for Earth Day. This is a condensed version, with the daily themes grouped together. To do the Devotionals as we did, you will need:   Bell... chime, knocking on a hard surface, or some beginning signal Candle... or some other Good Fire (fire in the head, heartshrine, object, etc.) Offering... for the Earth Mother (grains, sweet herbs, pretty words, etc.) Water... drinkable or sprinkable OR Incense... waftable – to receive blessings   Order of Devotional: Beginning Signal Ring Bell (or other sound) 3 times Attune to Purpose Focus on your connection with the Earth Mother Take 3 cleansing breaths to ground and center (Maybe... Roots down; Branches up; Poof! Sacred Center :) ) Prayer of Welcome Kindle your Good Fire Recite the prayer (or one of your own) Prayer of Offering Recite the prayer; This will change daily with the theme Words of offering (optional); Add to the prayer as it fits your needs Make your Offering Prayer of Blessing Call the Earth Mother's Blessings into your Water or Incense Take in the Blessings; Drink, sprinkle, anoint, waft, or whathaveyou Prayer of Gratitude Recite the prayer (or one of your own) Ending Signal Ring Bell (or other sound) 3 times     Themes for the 4 Days of Earth-Along 2014: SAT 04/19 - Day 1: Being of Service to the Earth Get out there and do something to take care of or give back to our Mother Earth - today we are being of good service. Share your plans and experiences.     SUN 04/20 - Day 2: We All Come from the Earth What does it mean to you to be a Child of the Earth? Today we honor that relationship with our Mother Earth. Share your experiences and feelings. MON 04/21 - Day 3: The Earth Sustains Us All All that we use comes from the Earth - for our sustenance, for our work, for our creative endeavors... Today we honor those resources and the ways we make use of them. Share your thoughts and experiences. TUE 04/22 - Day 4: Grateful *Ghos-ti with the Earth There is a give-and-take that does not keep score to all healthy relationships. *Ghos-ti is about creating and maintaining that reciprocity - We give that we may receive. Today we celebrate all for which we are grateful for receiving. Share your experiences and gratitudes.     2014 Earth-Along Home Game Devotional Honoring the Earth Mother for Earth Day   Beginning Signal – Ring Bell (or other sound) 3 times   Attune to Purpose – Focus on your connection with the Earth Mother – Take 3 cleansing breaths to ground and center   Prayer of Welcome – Kindle your Good Fire   It is fitting that we honor the All Mother; She from whom we have all emerged, She who sustains us, She to whom, in the fullness of time, Our bones will return. Come, Blessed Goddess, and hear our prayer; We ask that you support and surround us For this rite, as you do for all rites, For this day, as you do for all days. Eldest of all beings, crowned with every grace, We give you honor, and we give you praise; Yours is the joy of the rain, and of every sacred thing. We honor you best when we walk in balance; We honor you best when we make our footprints light; We honor you best when we become your true champions. Earth Mother, All Mother, Our Mother, Ignite your spark within us That we may know ourselves to be truly human, Truly holy, and truly part of the web of life. Join us in the warmth and light of our Good Fire. Earth Mother, be welcome here this day.   – This is where the theme-of-the-day comes in... Do one each day for four days, do all four in one Devotional, or come up with your own interpretation. :)   Prayer of Offering – Day 1: Being of Good Service Great Mother, bringer of life, it is our quest to serve you well. We gather in your fields and forests to clear and to plant; we tend our gardens with loving care; we clean up your highways and waterways; we honor you in our rites. We give to you freely and with glad hearts, knowing that each act of service and sacrifice, whether great or small, serves to strengthen the strands of the web that connects us all. You pour out your many blessings upon us, too great to measure, and it is our solemn duty and joyous obligation to bring all our gifts to fruition in returning those blessings to you...   – Words of offering (optional); Add to the prayer as it fits your needs*   *Today, we plant trees that will sink their roots deep to hold fast your soil, that will provide shade and comfort under their branches, that will give homes to many and various creatures, that will add beauty and grace to the land. Let the planting of these trees be an honor and a blessing to us all.   Blessed is she whose vital essence brings life to all the land. Blessed is she whose lifeblood wells up and flows out to the sea. Blessed is she whose gentle breath whispers of love across the sky. – Make your Offering Blessings to the All-Mother!     Prayer of Offering – Day 2: We All Come from the Earth Great Mother, bearer of all life, we are your Children. We are created from your deep and sacred places. Your body, the beautiful and bountiful land that supports us and surrounds us, gives us life, and sustains us through all of our days. Your blood, the ever-flowing and sacred waters that cradle us and uphold us, flows through our veins, and slakes our thirst. Your breath, the soft-warm gentle breezes and the ice-cold tempest winds that fill up our lungs and whisper in our ears, enlivens us to the very core. You are all that has been, and all that we are. We looked for you in the high-hard places, and found you in the wisdom with which we fill our minds; We sought you out across the vast teeming oceans, and found you in the tears of our love and laughter, of our sorrow and joy; We searched for you in the star-born depths, and found you in the twinkle of another's eye. You give of yourself freely and completely that we are made whole. You honor us with your many blessings; we honor you with jubilant celebration in returning those blessings to you...   – Words of offering (optional); Add to the prayer as it fits your needs*   *Today, we celebrate you as our Mother, acknowledging that without you, we do not exit. The beauty and the bounty of thy form is found within each of us, your children. Let us use well and wisely the gifts of all that we are, that we may become a blessing unto you.   Blessed is she whose vital essence brings life to all the land. Blessed is she whose lifeblood wells up and flows out to the sea. Blessed is she whose gentle breath whispers of love across the sky. – Make your Offering Blessings to the All-Mother!     Prayer of Offering – Day 3: The Earth Sustains Us All Great Mother, sustainer of all creation, from you flows all that we need – to live, to work, to love, to play. Your blessed waters are a joy to behold, not only do they slake our thirst, but also do they provide us nourishment, entertainment, transportation, and beauty in their very existence. From the smallest creek-let to the largest ocean, your liquid blessings are truly “The Waters of Life!” Your vast expanses of land, from verdant meadow to windswept crag, are home to countless creatures, great and small. You support us and surround us with the means to feed and clothe ourselves, and provide us with all we need to feed those other parts of us as well – pigments to paint with, clay to sculpt with, wood and stone to carve, fibers to craft with, and all that allows us to conduct our business and build community together. The winds of your sacred breath that blow across the plains and the fields, that swirl among the clouds, carry the seeds of new life, lift us up like birds on the wing, sing the songs of a myriad voices, and bring back the blessed waters in the endless cycle of the pouring our of your blessings...   – Words of offering (optional); Add to the prayer as it fits your needs*   *Today, we honor you as the great Provider, she who gives all that we may live. We honor the sacrifice you make to sustain us all. May we use these resources wisely; may be remember to use them for the good of all; may we revel in the beauty and joy that they bring. Let us tend well your land and sea and sky that we return those blessings unto you.   Blessed is she whose vital essence brings life to all the land. Blessed is she whose lifeblood wells up and flows out to the sea. Blessed is she whose gentle breath whispers of love across the sky. – Make your Offering Blessings to the All-Mother!     Prayer of Offering – Day 4: Grateful *Ghos-ti with the Earth Great Mother, creator and destroyer, you are where we begin and end in the eternal circle of life. You bring us forth from your starry womb, and provide for our every need. We wend our way through the days of our lives, tending and toiling, planting and harvesting, praying and playing, sharing in the blessings you pour out upon us to sustain us. As the fruits of our labors come to fruition, they will be our service and sacrifice unto you. And, in the fullness of time, we also return to to you to contribute to the next turn of the wheel, becoming part of that which sustains you, and those who come after us. We come to celebrate this unbreakable and unshakable relationship that is our *Ghos-ti bond – the reciprocity of unconditional love. We endeavor to gratefully provide our service and sacrifice, as you support and sustain us, that we may return an outpouring of blessings to you...   – Words of offering (optional); Add to the prayer as it fits your needs*   *Today, Earth Mother, let us be ever mindful of your protection, guidance, love, and support, and let us, in turn, strive to provide these things to you, and to others. Let us honor our *Ghos-ti bond, giving and receiving of beautiful and bountiful gifts, not with expectation, but instead with boundless joy and wonder, that these blessings flow freely from you, to us, and back to you.   Blessed is she whose vital essence brings life to all the land. Blessed is she whose lifeblood wells up and flows out to the sea. Blessed is she whose gentle breath whispers of love across the sky. – Make your Offering Blessings to the All-Mother!     Prayer of Blessing – Call the Blessings into your Water, Incense, Oil, Breath... O come Blessed Goddess, and listen to our prayer, Make the increase of your bounty thy constant care; We ask that you support us, and let your blessings flow, Praise to you, Sacred Mother, for all that you bestow.   Beloved Ancestral Mother of prosperity and plenty, From whose starry womb the green earth springs, We have offered freely, with our heads and hands and hearts, Bring forth now your blessings that we may take them in.   Pour out the blessings of the Cup of Inspiration! Send down the blessings of the Spring of Renewal! Infuse us with the blessings of the Well of Wisdom! Behold the beauty and the bounty of the gifts the Mother brings!   – Take in the Blessings; Drink, sprinkle, anoint, waft, or whathaveyou   Prayer of Gratitude   As it began in your honor, let it end in our thanksgiving. Earth Mother, we are ever grateful for thy bounty, For your presence in our lives, and in our rites, For your support in our work, and in all our days.   With gratitude for blessings received, we carry forth The gifts bestowed upon us to share with all the world; Blessed Goddess, wellspring of potential, we honor you; Through the fruits of your labors are we made whole, and holy.   Earth Mother, we thank you!   Ending Signal – Ring Bell (or other sound) 3 times
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