PRE-RITUAL PREPARATIONThe fire is prepared, the well opened, the World Tree Offering Bowl placed in position and the following items placed on or near the altar:Drinking horns, bowl, branch or sage sprig for aspersing, a sage smudge stick, bell, offerings (fragrant oil in a bowl with a ladle; corn meal and dry oatmeal in a small bowl; silver coins; ale in 2 small drinking horns; bread in a small bowl; herbs, flowers and stones in a small bowl; whiskey in a small bowl or container; a small wreath of twigs; mead or apple juice), and divination tools.At the place of the Procession's beginning, a bowl with burning charcoal is prepared.Before the Procession begins, Druid 1 gives the briefing. The Bard teaches the The People any new songs and the Seer leads the The People in taking a moment to center.**** PROCESSION ****Druid 2 carries the bowl of charcoal while the Bard creates a shamanic drumbeat and leads the People in song as they process to the Stone Circle.The Bard leads the People in singing:We Approach The Sacred GroveWe approach the Sacred Grove With hearts and minds and flesh and bone. Join us now in ways of old; We have come home. (Repeat until Procession is ended)**** OPENING PRAYERS ****Druid 1 rings bell 9 times and says:Let us now offer to the Earth, who is our mother, bearer of all life, so that we may honor and revere her. The People kneel and kiss the Earth.Druid 1 takes corn meal and dry oatmeal to fire pit while Druid 2 brings the bowl of burning charcoal.Druid 1 offers the corn and oat meal to the fire pit, saying:We build our fires on the breast of the Earth; On her our hearths are formed. Let us now make our offering here And make this place our sacred space. Mother of All, receive this gift! The People say:Mother of All, receive this gift! Druid 2 places the burning charcoal in the prepared fire pit, lighting the fire, saying:We build our fire here, claiming this place as our own. May the Kindreds bless us and all our endeavors. Biodh se! The People say:Biodh se! The Bard invokes the Awen, singing:Power of inspiration, attend to us; Come into our hearts' shrine. Guide our rite in the way of truth. O power of inspiration in this holy place, O power of inspiration at this holy time. Biodh se! The People say:Biodh se! **** PURIFICATION ****Druid 1 lights a smudge stick at the fire, while Druid 2 draws water at the well. Meanwhile,Seer takes a horn of ale and goes to the Outdwellers' altar, at the south of the Nematon, saying:Outdwellers!Ancient spirits of the Outer Dark, You that would hinder us, take now this offering. Be on your way, and trouble us not. Seer makes an offering of ale to the Outdwellers. As he returns to the circle, Druid 1 and Druid 2 meet him at the entrance and one smudges and the other asperses him.Druid 2 says:We purify you from the Outsiders' influence. We cut you off from them, That you might return to the people. Druid 1 uses smudge stick to cense while Druid 2 asperses the People.Meanwhile, the Bard leads the People in singing:The Portal SongChorus: By Fire and by Water, between the Earth and Sky, We stand like the World Tree, rooted deep, crowned high.Verse: Come we now to the Well, the eye and the mouth of Earth. Come we now to the Well, and silver we bring. Come we now to the Well, the waters of rebirth. Come we now to the Well, together we sing.Repeat ChorusWe will kindle a Fire, bless all and with harm to none. We will kindle a Fire, and offerings pour. We will kindle a Fire, a light 'neath the Moon and Sun. We will kindle a Fire, our spirits will soar!Repeat ChorusGather we at the Tree, the root and the crown of all. Gather we at the Tree, below and above. Gather we at the Tree, together we make our call. Gather we at the Tree, in wisdom and love.Repeat Chorus**** GROVE ATTUNMENT ****The Seer leads the 2 Powers meditation to attune the company to the Earth and Sky powers and to join the company in spirit.**** FIRE, WELL AND TREE ****Offerings are made to the Sacred Center.Druid 1 goes to the well. He offers Silver to the well, with these words: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 wisdom. Sacred Well, flow within us!The People say:Sacred Well, flow within us! The Bard offers oil to the Fire, with these words:Sacred fire that consumes and transforms, True and holy light of the Shining Ones, Accept our offering! O sacrificed and sacrificer Let holy flame warm our spirits and our lives. The People say:Sacred fire, burn within us! Druid 2 draws water from the Well. Druid 1 hands lit smudge stick to the Seer (the Seer lights a smudge stick from the Fire if the original has gone out).The Seer censes and Druid 2 asperses the World Tree. The Seer says:Sacred pillar, boundary of all 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 to your depths Raised to your heights Strengthened in your strength. The People say:Sacred tree, grow within us! Seer gives smudge stick to Druid 1.**** PURPOSE AND PRECEDENT ****Druid 1 says:As our Ancestors did, so do we now. We have come here together to honor the Kindreds and welcome the Monsoon. May the Mighty Ones, the Noble Ones and the Shining Ones join with us today. Druid 2 says:We are here to celebrate the Feast of Midsummer and to call on the Shining Ones to bring us bountiful rains this season. The People:Biodh se! (bee shay) So be it! **** OPENING THE GATES ****Druid 1 says:Sacred is this land to us; sacred is all land to us, for it is the world in which we walk. The Seer says:Waves of the sea, you are touches of the Otherworld dancing endlessly to rise and recede at our shores. The Bard says:Skies above, you are the very world of the Gods of our people, with shining eye, sweeping winds, and blessings raining down. Druid 2 says:We are here in the Sacred Center of the worlds of land, sea and sky. Here the Gates Between The Worlds may be opened. A drum beat begins and rattles are used to fill the sound. The People begin to chant, over and over: Open the Gates. Open the Gates. Open the Gates……When the chants, drums and rattles are well established, Druid 1 says (over the chants):Gatekeeper! Open the ways for us. We walk in your holy ways; we walk the Sacred Road. Share your power with us; ward us as we walk in safety. Gatekeeper, accept our sacrifice! Druid 2 makes an offering of oil to the fire.The chanting, drums and rattles continue. They increase in speed and volume.Druid 1 holds the bottom of his staff, pointing the top of it at the top of the World Tree. He begins to spin widdershins, faster and faster. When his staff first passes the Fire, Druid 1 says:Let the Fire open as a Gate! He continues spinning at least one full revolution.As his staff passes over the Well, Druid 1 says:Let the Well open as a Gate! He continues spinning at least one full revolution.As his staff passes by the Tree, Druid 1 says:Let the Tree connect the Worlds! There is a loud drum roll ending in a strong stroke. The chant, drumming and rattles stop. Druid 1 stops spinning, holds both hands (and staff) in the air and shouts:Let the Gates be open! The People shout:Let the Gates be open! **** KINDRED OFFERINGS ****NATURE SPIRITSDruid 2 makes offerings of herbs, flowers and/or trinkets scattered around the Nemeton's edge or hung on the World Tree, while:The Bard says:All you spirits of the land, come to us now! You Noble Ones of fin, fur and feather; of skin, leaf and stone; We call you to our sides! Come to the fire, spirits; meet us at the boundary. Land-spirits, accept our sacrifice! The People say:Land-spirits, accept our sacrifice! ANCESTORSDruid 2 makes an offering of ale to the ground at the side of the Sacred Well and an offering of bread to the fire, while:The Seer says:Ancestors, come to us now! You Mighty Ones, kin of heart and kin of blood, Those whose bones lie in this land, We call you to our sides! Come to our fire, spirits; meet us at the boundary. Ancestors, accept our sacrifice! The People say:Ancestors, accept our sacrifice! DEITIESDruid 2 makes an offering of oil to the fire, while:Druid 1 says:Shining Ones! Hear us, eldest and brightest. Gods and Goddesses of this place, known and unknown; Deities of those gathered here, we offer you welcome! Come to our fire, Shining Ones; meet us at the boundary. Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice! The People say:Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice! **** KEY OFFERINGS ****The drums and rattles begin again. An appointed Pagan leads the assembly in a winding line dance, going faster and faster.At a time Druid 1 feels is appropriate, he motions to the lead drummer with a pre-arranged signal, halting all drums and the dancers with an abrupt stop. The dancers fall to the ground. Druid 1 is in the center.(Druid 1 senses the energy flowing in chaos all around. He gathers it in through every pour of his body, channels it, like a funnel. He raises both arms, hands to the sky, and sends the energy through himself up to the sky.)Druid 1 shouts:Taranis, bring us your rain and storm, bring life to this parched Earth! Taranis, Lord of Thunderstorms! Hear our thunder and echo it with your own! Druid 2 offers whiskey to the fire.The Bard leads the People in singing:Hail All The GodsHail all the Gods, Hail all the Goddesses, Hail all the holy ones we've brought together! Powers of the sky, Powers of the sacred earth, Powers of the underworld we've brought together. Hail all the Gods! Hail all the Goddesses! Hail all the Gods and Goddesses! (repeat)**** PRAISE OFFERINGS ****Druid 1 passes a wreath around the People, asking that as the wreath passes, each person name their personal Patrons, if any, and make a praise offering of any kind to the Kindreds.**** SACRIFICE AND OMEN ****The Celebrants prepare the final offerings.Druid 1 says:We have given of our love and our wealth to the Kindreds and to our Patron Deities. Noble Ones, Mighty Ones and Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice! The People say:Accept our sacrifice! Druid 2 offers the wreath to the fire, and any other offerings to the fire or World Tree Offering Bowl, while:Druid 1 says:While our offering burns, please meditate on your own needs, those of loved ones, and those of the community. During the meditation, while the wreath offering burns, The Seer takes the Omen. He interprets it, discovering if our Rite and our offerings are pleasing to the powers.**** BLESSINGS ****The Return Flow The People all stand and hold hands in a circle.Druid 1 pours mead or apple juice into the large drinking horn. Druid 2 fills another horn with waters from the Well. Both are elevated.Druid 1 says:O Taranis! O Noble, Mighty and Shining Ones! As we have given you gifts and sacrifices, so we ask you for gifts in return in accordance with the laws of hospitality.Taranis! We ask you for storms of rain, to save our parched Earth! O you mighty Kindreds! Hallow these waters! Bless our lives with love, magic and bounty as we drink these sacred waters. Behold the waters of life! The People say:Behold the waters of life! The People let go of each others' hands. The drinking horns are passed and all drink from one or the other while the Bard leads the People in singing:Pour The WatersPour the waters, raise the cup; Drink your share of wisdom deep; Strength and love now fill us up As the elder ways we keep. (Repeat until all have drunk from the horns)**** CLOSING THE GATES ****Druid 1 says:The Mighty Ones have blessed us! With joy in our hearts let us carry the blessings of the Kindreds from our Grove into our lives and work. Each time we offer to the powers they become stronger and more aware of our needs and worship. So as we prepare to depart, let us give thanks to those who have aided us.A drum beat begins and rattles fill the sound.Druid 1 says:Taranis, we thank you! The People say:We thank you! Druid 2 says:Gods and Goddesses of elder days; mighty Ancestors; noble Spirits of the Land; our Kindreds, we thank you! The People say:We thank you! Druid 1 says:Gatekeeper, warder of the ways, for your presence and power, for your guiding and guarding, we say: We thank you! The People say:We thank you! Druid 2 holds the bottom of his staff, pointing the top of it at the top of the World Tree. He begins to spin deosil, faster and faster.Druid 1 says:Now we end what we began. Let the fire be flame! Let the well be water! Let all be as it was before! There is a loud drum roll ending in a strong stroke. The drumming and rattles stop.Druid 2 stops spinning, holds both hands (and staff) in the air and shouts:Let the Gates be closed! The People say:Let the Gates be closed! Druid 1 says:Walk with wisdom, children of the Earth. The Rite is ended! The People say:Biodh se! So be it! Druid 1 then rings the bell nine times.The Bard leads the singing as the People process out of the Grove:Walk With WisdomWalk with wisdom, from this hallowed place; Walk not in sorrow, Our roots shall 'ere embrace. May strength be your brother And honor be your kin; And luck be your lover Until we meet again! (Repeat until Recession is ended)At this point, a party/potluck is held for the assembled people.*************************************************************************Later in the evening, those wishing to may sleep overnight in the Stone Circle. Just before sleep,Druid 2 says:We sleep tonight in this sacred place. May the Ancestors, Nature Spirits and the Gods and Goddesses grant all of us their communion in sweet dreams. Biodh se! *************************************************************************MORNING RITUALAbout ½ hour before dawn, all rise and have coffee and bathroom breaks. The fire is re-kindled.The following takes place just before dawn breaks over the mountain:INVOCATION TO THE SUNDruid 2 rings the bell 9 times.Druid 1 says:We are here to greet the Midsummer Sun! The People say:Biodh se! So be it. The Seer says:This is the time of year when the Sun begins its long retreat to the south and the days begin to shorten. But this is also the height of summer! So we sing our praises to the Gods and Goddesses of the Sun. The Bard leads the People with rattles in singing:Hail All The GodsHail all the Gods, Hail all the Goddesses, Hail all the holy ones we've brought together! Powers of the sky, Powers of the sacred earth, Powers of the underworld we've brought together. Hail all the Gods! Hail all the Goddesses! Hail all the Gods and Goddesses! (Repeat until the Sun rises)As the Sun appears over the top of the mountain, the singing stops at the end of the verse.The People chant together (from the Carmina Gadelica):Hail to thee, thou sun of the seasons, As thou traversest the skies aloft; The steps are strong on the wing of the heavens, Thou are the glorious mother of the stars.Thou liest down in the destructive ocean Without impairment and without fear; Thou risest up on the peaceful wave-crest Like a queenly maiden in bloom.Druid 1 says:Walk with wisdom, children of the Earth. The Sun is risen and the song is ended. Biodh se! The People say:Biodh se!