Fall Equinox Rites and Charms

Hearth Cultures: 
Ritual Category: 
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 wonderRemind us that we are ableTo drain the cup yet drink againGolden seer of eternal lightFire us with your beloved presenceYour song is our own... Saga Bragi, Odinson,Best of the wordsmithsAnd first of the skalds.You with the tongue of goldWhose words are like the finest mead,We ask you best of bardsTo 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.
Hearth Cultures: 
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Harvest Supper SongHere'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 cheerHere'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 pleaseHe 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 BarleycornThere 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 timeTill the rain from heaven did fall,Then little Sir John sprung up his head,And soon amazed them all.They let him stand till midsummerTill he looked both pale and wan,And little Sir John he growed a long beardAnd so became a man.They hired men with the scythes so sharpTo 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 pitchforksWho 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 fieldTill they came unto a barn,And there they made a solemn mowof poor John Barleycorn.They hired men with the crab-tree sticksTo 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 browlProved 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 potsWithout a little of Barleycorn.The MowNow 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 beSo 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 grainHarvest-Home SongOur 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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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 BriefingExplain 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 TreeBlessed is she who gives the life to the landBlessed is she,Flow up from your sources, Sacred River,Blessed is sheCentering, Grounding & GroupmindShamrock 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 SiteTree great tree, Gate to the OtherworldTree great tree, with you we share the landTree great tree, path that reaches everywhereTree great tree, source of life, we honor you now!Prepare Space & Ritual EquipmentHammer 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 InspirationIn the name of Saga, let the story unfold!Clearcut BeginningRing bell 9 times.Opening Prayer - StorytellingRaven 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 CenterTelling the story of creation, with the Well of Hvergelmir, Muspellheim and Yggdrasil.Descriptive Evocation of Fox & AncestorsFrom your forest den, deep and hidden,Silver Fox friend we call you againRun like the wind, over root and riverWith twinkling eyes and joyful demeanorApproach the folk, you know you can enterAs you hunger for the egg we offerYour friends call you to come hitherRevel in the land of elves and laughterSilver Fox, we welcome you!ALL: Silver Fox, we welcome you!Ancestors of the land, who were born here, who have died hereALL: You who have lived and will live again.Ancestors of our blood, who made us who we are, who shaped our bodiesALL: 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 GoddessLoriana, 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 sheFlow up from your sources sacred riverBlessed is sheJourneying 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).OfferingsLet 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 praiseThe folk make their offerings.Omen TakingA rune shall be drawn for each one among: Frey, Freya, Thor, Sif, elves, Fox, ancestors.Meditation of NeedsAs 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 FlowFill the horn with mead and raise it, calling into it the blessings that our allies offer us.By land, sea and skyBy the bonds above and belowAs we have given you praiseLet us receive the flowing blazeOf your blessingTo share by drinking.Sharing the Waters: SumbelWe 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 BoatEveryone 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 GoddessBlessed river, our thanks for carrying us to the land of elves!Dismissing the Triple CenterNorse story of the end and renewal of the world.Grounding Excess Energy &Unmerging from the GroupmindShe asks the Willow tree to let go of the link that was created.Final Blessing: Second part of the storytellingWhile 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 - SagaOur thanks to you Saga, your story is told!Clearcut EndingRing bell 9 timesRecessional SongWalk with Wisdom.AppendixDevotional to Sif (written by Paradox)Red jewels arrayed aboutLike your lips alive they glowGreen gems are your eyesGold your hair woven with wheatDancing silks cling to your waistAs you whip you hair in the windIn all these treasures are blessings hiddenYou are the harvest and reward of all thingsAccomplishments are your breadExcellence your wineAnd you yourself the rewardGiving what we need, what we earnedThe prize at the end of the questSif, 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 GodHear 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 ThundererStorm 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 AllfatherBlue 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 HandedGuardian 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 arepretty much directly copied from Norse Magic but the following one for theDark Elves is purely my own due to intimate knowledge of them.]The Dark OnesDark 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.
Hearth Cultures: 
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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.AlfablotGleichentagHarvest Songs
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This is the Autumn Equinox Dionysos rite done by Sassafras Grove, ADF in 2004. Please see the end for credits and works cited.While the inspiration and overarching vision for this rite were mine, its creation was truly a collaborative effort. Dionysos gave me the charge to perform a rite in his honor, and I did the bulk of the research, decided on the theme and intent, chose the Bardic Patron and Gatekeeper, and came up with the magickal working of the Induction of Receptivity.But the actual nuts and bolts of how this rite would happen were hammered out by the three primary planners—me, Earrach, and Rowan. The countless hours they spent listening to my ravings and their suggestions as to how to make all of this raw material into a ritual that worked were invaluable.This rite would not have happened without them. Diana, Maria and FreyaDragon also contributed greatly to this rite. All of the ancient texts were selected by me with the exception of the Gateway closing prayer "To the Stars" which was chosen by Diana.I. Beginning the Rite and Establishing the GroupmindA. Ritual BriefingB. The Consecration of TimeThe Nine Knells - with tambourineC. The Consecration of Space and of ParticipantsPurification of the Participants: Sea (wash hands), Land (put hands on labyrinth rock), Sky (incense) - Blessers On SiteWhile purifications are taking place, D1 will talk about the season and the harvest (connecting John Barleycorn lore with Dionysos lore)Procession: (Come We Now as a People, up tempo) Congregation will process into the meeting room carrying giant thyrsus, torches, baskets of figs and grapes, ivy, etc. All will process behind the bilé and around the space once. On the next pass, the giant thyrsus will be put in place in the center of the room and the "harvesty stuff" will be placed on the regular altar.Warding of the Site / Acknowledgment of the OutsidersD. Bardic Patron - ArionD2:Poet and Harper beyond compare,Your praise of kings and prayersTo gods most high resoundAs players, ivy crowned,Whirl words to stir the heart,Illuminating mysteries by your art.D3:Arion,Pride of CorinthExcellent in challengeDarling of SicilyScholar and teacherEntrancing, enthralling,Hear and attend us!D2: Arion, harper, master of melodiesD3: Give music to our danceD2: Arion, golden voiced, honey-tongued bardD3: Give words to our musicD2: Arion, poet, beloved of godsD3: Give grace to our wordsD2: Arion, Light of heaven, divinely inspiredD3: Hear our prayerD2: Arion, Light of heaven, divinely inspiredD3: Heed and attend usD2 and D3:Arion, Light of heaven, divinely inspiredAccept the place we have prepared.Sacrificer makes offering to Arion.E. Earth Mother - GaiaO mother Gaia, of Gods and men the source, endured with fertile, all-destroying force; all-parent, bounding, whose prolific powers produce a store of beauteous fruits and flowers. All-various maid, the immortal world's strong base, eternal, blessed, crowned with every grace; from whose wide womb as from an endless root, fruits many-formed, mature, and grateful shoot. Deep-bosomed, blessed, pleased with grassy plains, sweet to the smell, and with prolific rains. All-flowery Daimon, centre of the world, around thy orb the beauteous stars are hurled with rapid whirl, eternal and divine, whose frames with matchless skill and wisdom shine. Come, blessed Goddess, listen to my prayer, and make increase of fruits thy constant care; with fertile seasons in thy train draw near, and with propitious mind thy suppliants hear. (Orphic Hymn 25 to Mother Earth)All touch or kiss the ground.(Song: Oh Earth Mother...)F. Matron of the Grove - BrighidD1:I light this candle in honor of BrighidThe Matron of Sassafras GroveThrough the years you have been midwifeTo many changes and new beginnings within our grove.You foster our hope through good times and hard,Through challenge and victoriesYou are the source of all our workThe voice in our songThe strength of our armThe hand that heals discordThe inspiration of all we createLady of the Hearth FireLady of the Sacred WellsLady of our groveRemember us as we remember you.G. Unifying the GroveTree Meditation, Merge into Grove. Song: We are one...H. Declaration of Intention and Historical PrecedentD2:As we prepare to enter the dark time of the year, the time when everything's dying around us, life still endures. And Dionysos, like Persephone whom we encountered in last year's Autumn Equinox rite, is a symbol of that. I think a lot of people need to be reminded of that as the days get shorter and they start to despair because it's dark when they get out of work and it seems like the cold will never end.In honoring Dionysos, the very embodiment of "zoë," the life-force itself, and experiencing his blessings in the rite, we are actively preparing to face the dark. We are reminded that life does indeed endure, even in the darkest days. Instead of resenting the dark time of the year, we embrace it.In a literal harvest, we are gathering in the food that will sustain us through the winter. In this rite, we are experiencing the power of Dionysos, taking that into ourselves to sustain us through the dark time of the year. By becoming one with the god, we experience his divine essence, the life force itself. We will call him to the rite, present him with offerings of praise, and ask for his blessings. We will receive those blessings through music and dance. As we dance, we take on the personas of the maenads and the satyrs, Dionysos's mythological companions, as we break down the barriers between human and divine.Dance is a way of connecting with the god, of becoming one with his power, of feeling the pure, undifferentiated life force flowing through us. In the second phase of the celebration, the post-rite sacred drinking party, we will engage in his gift of wine, literally taking the god into ourselves to achieve a similar state. By learning about Dionysos and what he represents, we know on an intellectual level that life endures. And by experiencing the mystery of the rite, we know it in our hearts as well.II. Recreating the Cosmos and Preliminary Power RaisingA. Creating the Vertical Axis1. Evoking the Spirits of Fire and of WaterThe Sacred Firei. Lighting, evoking and venerating the Sacred Fire, as Sacrificer lights the sacred fire:Fire of the Sun and Stars;Fire of our hearts and minds;Fire of the Gods and Goddesses!Fiery radiance of the Upper Worldsand Animating Spark, burning within all that lives...Let this flame ignite as the most holy and SACRED FIRE...and let its light and heat sanctify this place, these people and these proceedings.ii. Salutation of the Fire, gesture to the Sacred Fire exclaiming:Behold! The Sacred Fire!Sacred Fire: Burn Within Us!(All repeat)The Waters of Lifei. Decanting & Descriptive Invocation of the Waters, as Sacrificer makes offering to the well and fills the Grail:Waters of Life's Origin;Waters of our sustenance;Waters of the Cauldron of Rebirth!Around us, below us, and within us,the Waters flow from the Wellat the foot of the Great Tree...Let this Vessel, as the Grail of our ritereceive, contain and convey to usthe Sacred Waters of the Blessed Ones.ii. Salutation of the Waters, gesture to the Sacred Waters exclaiming:Behold! The Waters of Life!Sacred Waters: Flow Within Us!(All repeat)2. The Creation Myth - D1:WHO ARE WE? FROM WHENCE DO WE COME?WHAT IS THE STORY OF OUR PEOPLE? Not hard... A great misty cloud had gathered together in the void Swirling and spiraling; spiraling and swirling Drawing ever-in upon itself. At its center a radiance shone forth And drove outward the surrounding cloud gathering the waters together here below. And so it was that the stuff of creation drew apart To form the Fire Above And the Waters Below. The Solar Fire warmed the Cauldron of Creation And stroked upon its waters with thunderbolts And begat upon it Life. And the Life begat the Creatures And the Creatures begat the Ancestors And the Ancestors begat Us, the Living People. Upright, like you, Great Tree We bear upon us the mark of Creation Then, now, and for all time. Rooted in the ancestral waters of the World Below, Spanning this Middle-World of form And reaching ever-upward to embrace the Fire Above.3. Honoring the Great Tree /Axis Mundi ("Bilé")Sacrificer Asperges and Censes the TreeSalutation of the TreeSacred Tree, Grow Within Us!(All repeat.)The Well, the Fire, the Sacred TreeFlow and flame and grow in me!(All repeat.)B. Opening the Ways1. Calling the Gatekeeper: Ariadne Aphrodite, Holy of Holies,Queen of the Cretan LabyrinthCave-dwelling AriadneShe who rules the darkest passagesAriadne Holy One, Show us the Way!Sacrificer lights the candle.All: Ariadne Holy One, Show us the Way!Light-bearing AriadneShe who guides our souls through the LabyrinthAriadne Holy One, Show us the Way!Sacrificer unspindles the thread.All: Ariadne Holy One, Show us the Way!Thread-giving AriadneShe whose mysteries are as sweet as the priestesses who bear themAriadne Holy One, Show us the Way!Sacrificer offers honey to the Melissa bowl.All: Ariadne Holy One, Show us the Way!Honey-tongued AriadneShe who bestows the dance of life, death and life againAriadne Holy One, Show us the Way!Sacrificer bangs a frame drum 9 times.All: Ariadne Holy One, Show us the Way!Sacred-dancing AriadneShe who rises by Her love of the wine-dark godAriadne Holy One,Show us the Way!Sacrificer strews red roses/rose petals.All: Ariadne Holy One, Show us the Way!2. Opening the Gate: D2 picks up the red thread and takes it around the periphery of the hallows and spins it into a spiral/labyrinth shape. When completed, she announces:Ariadne, Most Holy of Holies!She has shown us the Way!The Gateway is open!C. Filling Out The Cosmic Picture: The Kindred Invocation TriadD1: We remember and invite in the Dwellers of the Three Worlds.(Sacrificer makes offering to each Kindred during the invocation.)1. Nature SpiritsNATURE SPIRITS, WORLDLY SPIRITS! SPIRITS OF PLACE!WE BEG YOUR ATTENTION AND PRESENCE HERE!YOU: who swim in the Waters!YOU: who creep upon the Land!YOU: who fly in the Skies! ... be with us here!YOU: who dwell with one foot in this world!YOU: of the "Shee"; the "Fey-Folk"!YOU: of those who dwell Under-the-Hill! ... be with us here!YOU: of mountain, plain or valley!YOU: of bubbling spring or flowing river!YOU: Genius Locii; Spirits of Place! ... be with us here!Song: Fur and Feather2. AncestorsAncestors, we, your sons and daughters, grandchildren, students and new souls-call to you and ask your witness. To the north, and south, and east, and west we invite you. Hear our voice and feel our welcome. To all who once walked this plane, who have stood along side of us, and watched from your sacred realms, whispering inspiring wisdom, and guidance. We are the branches extending out from your trunk and the solid roots that keep us forever connected. Hear our voice and bless us with your presence this night, and in humble honor we uphold our sacred promise that 'you will not be forgotten.' Ancestors, across the ages we call to you!Song: From Far Beyond this Mortal Plane3. Shining OnesFriend, use it to good fortune.Learn now, Mousaios, a rite mystic and most holy,A prayer which surely excels all others.Kind Zeus and Gaia, heavenly and pure flames of the Sun,sacred light of the Moon, and all the Stars;Poseidon, too, dark-maned holder of the earth,Pure Persephone and Demeter of the splendid fruit,Artemis, the arrow-pouring maiden, and you kindly Phoebus,Who dwell on the sacred ground of Delphi. And Dionysos,The dancer whose honors among the blessed gods are the highest.Strong-spirited Ares, holy and mighty Hephaistos,And the goddess foam-born to whose lot fell sublime gifts,And you, divinity excellent, who are king of the Underworld.I call upon Hebe, and Eileithyia, and the noble ardor of Heracles,The great blessings of justice and piety,The glorious nymphs and Pan the greatest,And upon Hera, buxom wife of Aegis-bearing Zeus.I also call upon lovely Mnemosyne and the holy Muses,All nine, as well as upon the Graces, the Seasons, the Year,Fair-tressed Leto, divine and revered Dione,The armed Kouretes, the Korybantes, the Kabeiroi,Great Saviors, Zeus's ageless scions,The Indaian gods, and upon Hermes, messenger and heraldOf those in heaven; upon Themis, too, diviner of men I calland upon Night, oldest of all, and Light-bringing Day;Then upon Faith, Dike, blameless Thesmodoteira,Rhea, Kronos, dark-veiled Tethys,The great Ocean together with his daughters,The might preeminent of Atlas and Aion,Chronos the ever-flowing, the splendid water of the Styx,All these gentle gods, and also Pronoia,And the holy Daimon as well as the one baneful to mortals;Then upon divinities dwelling in heaven, air, water,On earth, under the earth, and in the fiery element.Ino, Leukothe, Palaimon giver of bliss,Sweet speaking Nike, queenly Adresteia,The great king Asklepios who grants soothing,The battle-stirring maiden Pallas, all the Winds,Thunder and the parts of the four-pillared Cosmos.And I invoke the Mother of the immortals, Attis and Men,And the goddess Ouranie, immortal and holy Adonis,Beginning and End too, which to all is most important,And ask them to come in a spirit of joyous mercyTo this holy rite and libation of reverence.("Orpheus to Mousaios")Song: Hail All the GoldsIII. Top Tier: Invocation to Dionysos, Praise Offerings and OmenA. Dionysos InvocationThree Priestesses (D2, D3 & D4) are placed around the space, D2 in the back, D3 on the right and D4 on the left. They will each bang their tambourine three times in unison, D2 leading. The first line is said in place, and then they begin to prowl as they begin their individual lines, weaving in and out between the bilé, giant thyrsus, and congregation. They end up standing in front of hallows, facing away from the congregation, by their last individual lines.Three Priestesses: Dionysos we call, Divine and Thunderous, God of Ecstasy!D2: Primeval, two-natured, thrice born, Bacchic Lord!D3: Savage, ineffable, primal, obscure; two-horned and two-shapedD4: Bull-faced and martial, Bearer of the vineD2: Ivy-crowned, triennial, howling and pureD3: Whom the leaves of the vine adorn, of the Underworld's Queen divinely bornD4: Reared with the Nymphs, the Mother.s bright bloomD2: Frenzied and howling through the high holy placesD3: Basaarian God, mighty and universalD4: Delighting in swords and bloody sacred rageD2: In heaven rejoicing, mad-resounding godD3: Furious inspiration, armed with the thrysisD4: Beloved of men and all the Deathless GodsPause. D2 and D4 crouch down and pick up the basket (linknon) from the hallows and hand it to D3. All turn and face the congregation. D3 raises the basket over her head and D2 and D4 place their hands on the basket.Three Priestesses: Immortal Dionysos, hear the voice of thy supplicants! Blessed God of Abandon, come to these rites in holy jubilation!The spirit of the god is called into the mask which is hidden inside the basket. D3 holds the basket while D2 and D4 draw the mask out by ribbons attached to either side. They hang the mask on the giant thyrsus, signifying the god's presence in the rite. D3 comes forward and sprinkles the mask with water and blessing oil in an act of sanctification.B. Group Praise OfferingOrphic Hymn 49 to Lysius Lenaeus - Dionysos.All:Hear us, Son of Two Mothers, Blessed Dionysus, God of Wine,Lysian, Evion Bacchus, Many-named, secret and holy, fertile and nourishing,Who brings the spark of life and makes the fruits to flourish and increase,Pause, bring offerings of wine from the hallows to the altar around the giant thyrusAll:Resounding, Magnanimous Power, Many-Formed God of Health, Holy Flower,Mortals find repose from labor in Your magic, and You are desired by all.Fair, Bromian, Joyful God who bears the vined wandPause, bring offerings of ivy from the hallows to decorate the giant thyrusAll:Incline to these rites, Whether You favor Gods or mortals,Be welcome and listen as Your mystics pray,And come rejoicing, bearing abundant fruits.Pause, bring offerings of figs, grapes, etc. from the hallows to the altar around the giant thyrus. Drummers play quietly during each pause to maintain energy.C. Individual Praise OfferingsD. Conclusionary sacrifice(Women rip apart paper bull.)E. Taking of the Omen (scrying)IV. Receiving and Using the Returned Blessings/PowerA. Stirring up the frenzyOnce the omen is good...D1: The god he is pleased by our outpouring of praise.And now, by his will, may we come to know his blessings of ecstasy and joy.Let the life-force sing within us!Evohe!All: Evohe!D2: Dionysos! Dionysos!He is sweet upon the mountains.He drops to the earth from the running packs.He wears the holy-fawn-skin.He hunts the wild goat and kills it.He delights in the raw flesh.He runs to the mountains of Phrygia, to the mountains of Lydia he runs!He is Bromios who leads us!Evohe!All: Evohe!D3: With milk the earth flows!It flows with wine!It runs with the nectar of bees!Like frankincense in its fragrance is the blaze of the torch he bears.Flames float out from his trailing wandas he runs, as he dances,kindling the stragglers,spurring with cries,and his long curls stream to the wind!And he cries as they cry:Evohe!All: Evohe!D1: Blessed, blessed are those who know the mysteries of the god.Blessed is he who hallows his life in the worship of the god.Blessed is he whom the spirit of the god possesses,who is one with those who belong to the holy body of the god.Blessed are the dancers and those who are purified,who dance on the hill in the holy dance of the god.Blessed are they who keep the rite of Kybele the Mother.Blessed are the thrysus-bearers,those who wield in their hands the holy wand of the god.Blessed are those who wear the crown of the ivy of the god.Blessed, blessed are they: Dionysos is their god!All: Dionysos is our god!D4: On Bacchae, on you Bacchae,Crown your hair with ivy!Grow green with bryony!Redden with berries!Come dance the dance of the god!Fringe your skins of dappled fawn with tufts of twisted wool!Handle with holy care the violent wand of the god!And let the dance begin!All: Let the dance begin!B. Begin the Chant and the DanceAll: It's with tambourine and drumWith our god, make way we comeIt's to life and death and life we sing our song.It's with tambourine and drumWith our god, make way we comeDionysos, vine and grape the whole night longAll dance with thyrsus and/or percussion instruments, dancing, singing and playing in order to commune with Dionysos and take his power into themselves.C. RegroundingOnce the dance has run its course, D2 will do a brief regrounding and centering.D. Final BlessingD2 will sprinkle the grapes with the waters from the Grail, infused with the energy of the dance and then go around and feed a grape to everyone present (continuing to ground).E. Call for Unfinished WorkV. Unwinding and Ending the CeremonyA. Thanksgivings to Entities Invited(in reverse order of arrival)1. Dionysos: All three will come forward, D3 with the basket. D2 and D4 will remove the mask from the pole and place it back in basket, asking Dionysos to come with us to next phase of the rite.2. The Triad of the Kindred - Deities, Ancestors, Nature Spirits.3. Bardic PatronB. Thanking the Gatekeeper and Closing the ThresholdAs D3 winds up the thread:With awed reverence, I call upon the pure and sacred Stars,The spirits of Celestial Realms, and daughters of Night.In whirling circles of eternal fires, the source of life,You have poured your light out upon the darkness,To make a path the Fates have shown unto the Wise,In Seven kingdoms run you with wandering flames, unwearied diamondtruth forever piercing the Stygian veil,Hail joyful, dazzling, and ever wakeful fires,And on my desires shine with high regard,These sacred rites attend, and end our works devoted to your praise.(Orphic Hymn VI "To The Stars")C. Affirmation of Past/Future Continuity and SuccessD1:As it has been done in the past...As we have done it now...and as it likewise will be done in the future...we have again forged a link in the sacred chain of Tradition...LONG LIVE THE TRADITION!All: Long Live the Tradition!D. Draining Off the Excess Power - The Restoration of the OrdinaryE. Clear-cut Ending: De-consecration of Time and Space1. Final Benediction - D12. Announcement of End - D13. Musical Signal - Nine knells (D3), Song: Walk With Wisdom.CreditsI. D. Bardic Invocation to Arion: Stoy, Maria. 2004.I.E. Earth Mother Invocation: "Orphic Hymn 25 to the Earth Mother." Taylor, Thomas, trans. and ed. The Hymns of Orpheus. London, 1792. Hare, John B., ed. Internet Sacred Text Archive 16 Dec. 2004. (Also available in paperback)I.F. Brighid Prayer: Stoy, Maria. 2004.I.H. Statement of Intent: Bronowicz, Diane Lynn "Emerald." 2004.II. A. Creating the Vertical Axis: Earrach of Pittsburgh. Sassafras Grove Liturgy.II. B. 1 & 2 Opening the Ways and Gatekeeper Invocation: Paar, Diana. 2004.II.C.1. Nature Spirits Invocation: Earrach of Pittsburgh. Sassafras Grove Liturgy.II.C.2. Ancestor Invocation: FreyaDragon. 2004.II.C.3. Deities Invocation: "Orpheus to Mousaios." Athanassakis, Apostolos N., trans. Meyer, Marvin W., ed. The Ancient Mysteries: A Sourcebook: Sacred Texts of the Mystery Religions of the Ancient World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987.III.A. Dionysos Invocation: " Orphic Hymn 30 to Dionysos," "Orphic Hymn 46 to Liknitus- Dionysus," "Orphic Hymn 45 to Trieterieus - Dionysos." Adapted by Emerald from translations by Athanassakis and Stewart-Avalon, M.Ed., Virginia. Trans. Website of the Sibyline Order of Wicca. Trinity, ed. 16 Dec. 2004. http://www.sibyllineorder.org/sacred_texts/oh_dionysus.htm, http://www.sibyllineorder.org/sacred_texts/oh_dionysus3.htm, http://www.sibyllineorder.org/sacred_texts/oh_trieterieus.htm >.III.B. Group Praise Offering: "Orphic Hymn 49 to Lysius Lenaeus - Dionysos." Stewart-Avalon, Virginia. Trans. http://www.sibyllineorder.org/sacred_texts/oh_lysius.htm >.IV. A. Stirring up the Frenzy: Euripides. The Bacchae. Arrowsmith, William. Trans. Meyer, Marvin W. ed. The Ancient Mysteries: A Sourcebook: Sacred Texts of the Mystery Religions of the Ancient World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987. Adapted by Emerald.IV. B. Chant: "It's with Tambourine and Drum." Cleerdawn, Rowan. 2004.V. B. Thanking the Gatekeeper and Closing the Threshold: "Orphic Hymn 6 To The Stars." Stewart-Avalon, M.Ed., Virginia. Trans. Website of the Sibyline Order of Wicca. Trinity, ed. 16 Dec. 2004. http://www.sibyllineorder.org/sacred_texts/oh_stars.htm >.BibliographyBurkert, Walter. Greek Religion. Trans. J. Raffan. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1985.Kerenyi, Karl. Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life. Trans. Ralph Manheim. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1976.Lonsdale, Steven H. Dance and Ritual Play in Greek Religion. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins UP, 1993.Meyer, Marvin W., ed. The Ancient Mysteries: A Sourcebook: Sacred Texts of the Mystery Religions of the Ancient World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987.Otto, Walter. Dionysos: Myth and Cult. Trans. Robert B. Palmer. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1965.Shinoda Bolem, Jean. Gods in Every Man: A New Psychology of Men's Lives and Loves. New York: Harper & Row, 1989.Theoi Project: A Guide to Greek Gods, Spirits and Monsters. Atsma, Aaron, ed. 27 Jan. 2005. http://www.theoi.com/Thiasos Dionysos. 27 Jan. 2005. http://www.thiasosdionysos.org/ (link broken)Website of the Sibylline Order of Wicca. Trinity, ed. 16 Dec. 2004. http://www.sibyllineorder.org/order/
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To be done before your personal shrine.You will need:OfferingsOffering bowlOne unlit candleMatchesPen or pencilSmall piece of paperFireproof containerNote: Offerings may include any grain that is locally grown or anything that has ripened or bloomed recently. Clean, fresh water or a stick of incense may also be used as your offering. You may wish to take your offering outside to be left at the base of a special tree or stone after your ritual is over. This may be performed at any time of day; however, dusk may be the best time because Fall is like the evening of the year.Feel free to leave out any sections that do not resonate with you. Group rituals are usually longer partly to help others attain the same level of trance (to establish a group mind) as well as to explain to others what is being done and why during the ritual. As a solitary, you are in control of all this.[Opening. Some people like to ring a bell or beat a drum as a clear cut beginning. All parts may be spoke aloud or silently as you see fit.]Shining Ones, I ask for your presence and guidance during my ceremony of the Fall Equinox.(Light your main candle now)As I connect with the Well of Wisdom, the Fire of Change and the World Tree, I honor my Patron/s, the memory of my ancestors and the nature spirits who surround me.With Mother Earth supporting me in all I do, I proclaim my Fall Equinox festival within this sacred space.Here at the edge of space and time and reality The power of my faith opens the door I am a being of energy Fire in the HeadThis dayThis nightIn complete balanceAll beingsnaturally seek a life in balanceAll of nature seeks a balanceTo be out of balancemeans one is withoutWithout timeWithout loveWithout peaceWithout the Shining OnesDrained and lostSometimes not understanding the emptiness feltLife out of balance is a life changedAs water exposed to too much cold or heatbecomes unrecognizableIn this rare momenta quick breath twice each yearI revelin this balanceAs in the checkbook figures that balanceAs in the new life offsetting the passingsAs in the day after the nightAs in the cool of winter after the heat of summerAs in the wisdom of age after the impulsiveness of youthEach life, each dreamare like the seeds carried by the windsFrom dandelion puffballsSome land on asphaltWithout water for balanceThey cannot sproutSome land in riversWithout soil for balanceThey cannot sproutSome land in the forestWithout sun for balanceThey cannot sproutSome land in the meadowAll is in balanceThey grow into maturity[Pause for a moment to meditate on what in your life is out of balance. When the answer/s comes, write it on your piece of paper. Then continue, either speaking the following parts or just visualizing the concepts.]Dandelion seeds are sometimes like my lifeSo much I cannot controlSo much I cannot foreseeI have faithIn myself, in my ancestors and in the Shining OnesI open my heart to my life takenLike rain sweeping the seed off the asphaltLike the current washing the seed onto the shoreLike the wind blowing the seed away from the forestTo the placeTo that perfect meadowWhere all is in balanceSo every hope, dream and desireCan sprout and grow into its potentialIf I can dream itIf I can visualize itIf I can work together with othersIf I have faithI will attain my goals[Make an offering into your offering bowl. Use the main candle flame to set your scrape of paper on fire and place it in a fireproof dish to burn out. Meditate how to create balance in your life as the flames consume your issue.][If you have any additional praises, divination or requests this is the time to do so. These can be any healing requests, offerings of poetry or individual prayers as well as statements of gratitude.](State or just concentrate on the following concepts)My prayers have been given but my path does not end here. From this sacred space, I will continue to seek balance in my life.Balance the individual with the communityBalance the preserving with the replacingBalance the responsibility with playBalance the should-s with the want-s Balance the savings with the splurges Balance the tears with the smilesI will be open to the Shining Ones, my ancestors and the nature spirits whenever they come to show me the way. I am grateful for the gifts they have given me and will give in the future.I now declare this Festival of the Fall Equinox ended in peace and love.So Be It


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