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This is a generic solitary ritual template for Norse rituals, adapted from a group ritual template. It's also available as a Word/RTF document with the chants filled in. Please note that while I frequently offer alcohol, you are free to substitute something else if you like.PreparationThe participant gathers the following offerings (vegetable oil may be substituted if necessary):Earth MotherCorn mealOutdwellersBeerSaga/BragiOil, honey, or alcohol (e.g., Goldschläger)Fire/well/treeIncense, silver-colored item (e.g., coin), branchHeimdallAlcoholAncestorsFood/breadNature SpiritsGrainGodsAlcoholDeity(ies) of the OccasionAs appropriateThe participant also fills the Well with fresh water and places the blessing cup and branch next to it. If necessary, s/he places an offering bowl on the altar as well. He/she then clothes in ritual garb and performs a brief pre-ritual meditation to quiet the mind.GatheringParticipant gathers at the ritual area and sounds a musical signal (such as a chime) three times, then says:I am here to honor the gods.Honoring the Earth MotherNerthus, Earth Mother,You stand solid beneath my feet,Cold of rock, hardness of iceCarry me on to night's next nightSupport me well, Njord's twinVanir Mother, strong sea sisterBring faith to fruit, Birch-bright oneHonor to you,your rhythms trueHail Nerthus!(Nerthus is pronounced "nurth'-uhs"; Njord is "neye'-ord"; Vanir is "vahn'-ear")Participant sings Blossom Lifter 1xP makes an offering and says:Earth Mother, accept my sacrifice.Bardic InspirationIn the light half of the year, P calls to Bragi asking for the gift of poetic inspiration:Bragi! Odinson!Best of the wordsmiths and first of the skalds,You with the tongue of gold,Whose words are like the finest mead,I ask you best of bards,To inspire me and make my words mix well.Bragi, let your inspiration flow!In the dark half of the year, P sings to Saga asking for the gift of poetic inspiration:P makes an offering and says:Bragi (or Saga), accept my sacrifice.Grounding and Uniting with the Tree MeditationParticipant performs the Two Powers MeditationStatement of Purpose(Participant recites the purpose of the rite, lore of the season, and lore of the deities of occasion.)OutdwellersP pours a cup for the Outdwellers and takes it out of the ritual space, then says:You who come from the outer dark,You who stood against the gods and man,You who are cold of heart and cruel of mind,Take this and trouble not my work.Establishing the Sacred Grove through Fire, Well, and TreeSacred FireParticipant says:Sacred Fire, holy woodsWarm light to fill the hallNine realms are knownWith my words this nightLet all realms hear the callLight fires within, warmth to the TrueFire's flame burns to form the garthWoods kindle well, with the fire of the hearth.As I call the Kindred forth...P lights the sacred fire and places incense into it to hallow the space, then says:I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. Sacred fire, burn within me.Sacred WellParticipant says:Holy Well, waters deepThree streams strong gathers the flowOne of Wyrd, shining ones knowAnother yet, icy, serpent-safeLast of wisdom, many eyes to seeWhat is, what was, what will beWatching sisters of örlog, threeMany eyes look on, watching well.As I call the Kindred forth...(Wyrd is pronounced "weerd"; örlog is pronounced "oar'-lahg")P silvers the well and pours water from the well to the blessing cup, then says:In the depths flow the waters of wisdom. Sacred waters, flow within me.Sacred TreeParticipant says:Mighty Tree, middle of allNine realms full its branches makeMuch knows Har, High One hung;Ygg's steed hight, ever green stays.Serpent below, eagle aboveSquirrel between, Nith-hewer gnawsAsh-wood tall, wet with white dewsStrong-standing true, I seek shelterAs I call the Kindred forth...(Ygg is pronounced "igg", hight is pronounced "hite")P dresses and censes the bile, then says:From the depths to the heights spans the world tree. Sacred tree, grow within me.Opening the Gates Between the WorldsP prepares an offering for the gatekeeper and says:Heimdallr, Holy One; Hallinskihdi, Whitest AsSon of nine waves, Sire of Jarl's sonsShining guardian, Gjallarhorn holder,Rune-shower Rigr, Hight Jötun baneGreat golden-toothed Turner of hearths,Unsleeping reed-giver, Who hears the wool growWell-known wise watcher, I ask your help now:Bïfrost bridge-warder,Open the ways once again.(Heimdallr is pronounced "hime'-dahl"; Hallinskihdi is "hallin-skihdee"; As is "ace"; Jarl is "yarl"; Gjallarhorn is "gyal'-ur-horn"; Rigr is "rig"; Hight is "hite"; Jötun is "yo'-tun"; Bïfrost is "bee'-frost")P sings the Gatekeeper Chant (substituting Heimdall for <gatekeeper>) 3xP makes an offering and says:Heimdall, accept my sacrifice.P says:Let the fire open as a gate, let the well open as a gate, let the tree open as a gate between the worlds, and let Heimdall walk with me in all ways. Let the gates be open!Honoring and Inviting the Three KindredsAncestorsP says:Ancestors old, Heroes renownedBlood of my veins, Strength in my soul,Grandmothers, Disir, Wise watching women,Weal-bringing warders, I offer you welcome.Grandfathers, Alfar, light-alf, dark-alf, black-alf,Weal-bringing warders, I offer you welcome.Great heroes of eld, might-memory knows,Your valor shines still, I offer you welcome.O Ancestors of blood and heart, I call you forth!P sings Mothers and Fathers of Old 1xP makes an offering and says:Ancestors, accept my sacrifice.Nature SpritsP says:Land spirits, Keepers of place,Wise with weather, Your knowledge runs deep.Luck and prosperity, Your blessings fall,Honor to you, I bring this night.Landvaettir great, Ancient as earth,Boulder-homed, Water-homed,Land wights old, Guardians true,Your strength strong still, I offer you welcome.O Spirits of the natural world, I call you forth!P sings Fur and Feather 1xP makes an offering and says:Nature spirits, accept my sacrifice.Gods and GoddessesP says:Aesir, Vanir, Shining Ones all,On Itha Plain met, Many moons past,Of Ask and Embla, My ancestors first,Many things made, Of the gods we all come.None of you gods, is not mighty indeed,Of soul, sense, and being you have given us well,Taught us of runes, of faith and troth,Of right-mindfulness, and honor true,O Shining Ones of magic and might, I call you forth!P sings Hail All the Gods 1xP makes an offering and says:Gods and goddesses, accept my sacrifice.Meditation of Merging the Energies and Re-Centering(A meditation of merging and re-centering is done.)Honoring the Spirits of the Occasion(Participant makes appropriate offerings to the spirits of the occasion.)General Praise Offerings to the KindredsP says:I have called the Kindreds here today and it is right to give them praise: A round for the ancestors, a round for the nature spirits, and a round for the gods.(Three rounds of praise offerings: Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Gods.)P says:Shining Ones, Noble Ones, and Mighty Ones, I have given you praise and honor! A gift calls for a gift, and I pray to you as I offer up these sacrifices. Accept them, open my heart, and give to me of your blessings.Omen for the BlessingsP quietly chants Come Druids All (1x)P then takes the omen, interprets it, and records it.Receiving the Blessings of the Gods and SpiritsP raises the blessing cup high and says:Wyrd's well waters, I waited to reveal,Three women weaving, Scores cut and laws laid,Women writing örlog for the sons of men.Well have I witness to the glory of gods,Giving gift for gift, great ones all.The waters received, wetness of galdr.Words were spoken and runes were read,Wyrd was revealed And weal I await.With these waters let the blessings flow...(örlog is pronounced "awr'-log"; galdr is pronounced "gawld")Shining Ones, Noble Ones, and Mighty Ones, I have praised you and received your blessings. Hallow these waters and give to me of your power and inspiration and vitality. Seih den Lebenswassern da! Behold the waters of life!("Seih den Lebenswassern da" is pronounced "zay den lay-bens-vahs-ern dah", and means "behold, the waters of life")P sings Pour the Waters 1xP then drinks a draught from the blessing cup.Thanking the Kindreds and SpiritsP says:Kindreds have come, heeded the callingHonor was given, and honor received.Great are my dead, and great are my heroes,Great are my land wights, and great are my gods.With each call I make to the Kindreds true,They heed my calls more, and our troth stronger be.Rite ending, words waning, our troth stronger still,I carry it well, with me all waysHonor to the Kindreds, for ever more.I have called upon the Kindreds and they have answered! With joy in my heart I carry their magic into my life and work. Each time I offer to the powers they be come stronger and more aware of my needs and worship. So as I prepare to depart let me give thanks to those who have aided me.<Deity of the occasion>, Ich danke Sie!Bragi (or Saga), Ich danke Sie!Heimdall, Ich danke Sie!Goetter, Goettinnen, Ich danke Sie!Naturgeisten, Ich danke Sie!Vorfahr, Ahne, Ich danke Sie!Nerthus, Ich danke Sie.("Ich danke Sie" is pronounced "ick dahn'-keh zee", "I thank you"; Goetter is "go'-tur", gods; Goettinnen is "go'-tin-en", goddesses; Naturgeisten is "nah-tur'-geyest-en", nature spirits; Vorfar is "vor'-fahr", grandfathers; Ahne is "ah'-neh", grandmothers)Meditation of Regrounding and Recentering(A meditation of regrounding and centering is done.)Closing the Gates and Ending the RiteP says:Now by the keeper of the gates and by my magic I end what I began.Let the fire be flame,Let the well be water,Let all be as it was before.Let the gates be closed!I have done as my ancestors have done, and as my children will do, and the Kindreds have answered. I go now, a child of the Earth, in peace and blessings. The ritual is at a close. So sei es!("So sei es" is pronounced "zo zay ess"; meaning "so be it")
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PROCESSION TO NEMETONThirty minutes prior to start of Ritual the folk will begin to gather at each of three points in the camp. Look for the Standard Bearer at each of these points — the Fire Circle, the Troll Booth, and the Maple Tree. Fifteen minutes prior to start of the Ritual a gong will sound nine times to signal start of procession to Ritual site.The Standard Bearer, Drummer, Horn Blower, and Chant Leader will start processing toward the Nemeton in the Dining Hall Field, gathering folk as they go.As each of the three processions reach the tree line before the main ritual site, the Horn Blowers will cease. A Chant Leader in the center of the Nemeton will begin the Processional Chant. The Chant Leader in each of the three processions will start to sing along to the Processional chant. The Drummers will change beat to keep time.PROCESSIONAL CHANT:We approach the Sacred Grove with hearts and minds and flesh and bone. Join us now in ways of old, we have come home1Each of the three processions will enter through a separate World Gate in the Nemeton and be guided into concentric rings of folk by the Standard Bearers: Bilé/Nature Spirits section (marked in green), Well/Ancestors section (marked in blue), or Fire/Deities section (marked in blue and white).At the Ritual start, the Horns will signal to cease the chanting of the Processional.DRUID ANNOUNCES START OF RITUALHONORING THE EARTH MOTHERAll folk sing chant:Earth Mother, we sing to your body. Earth Mother, we sing to your stones. Earth Mother, we honor your body. Earth Mother, we honor your bones.2INVITING BARDIC ASSISTANCEThe Dagdha, the Good God, Father of the Druids, and Keeper of the Harp:Blessings and Welcome!CREATION OF GROUP MINDAll the folk assembled allow the tones to build:OM!DRUID PRESENTS RITUALSTATEMENT OF PURPOSEOUTSIDER OFFERINGESTABLISHING THE SACRED CENTERFire:Oh, Sacred Fire, we burn with you!Well:Oh, Sacred Well, we flow with you!Bilé:Oh, Sacred Tree, we stand with you!All folk chant:We come from the fire,living in the fireGo back to the fire,turn the world around. We come from the water,living in the waterGo back to the water,turn the world around. We come from the forest,living in the forestGo back to the World Tree,turn the world around. Water make the riverriver feed the forestForest fuel the fire,turn the world around.3INVITATION TO ACT AS GATEKEEPERThe Morrigan, the Great Queen:Blessings and Welcome!(3 female druids raise hands and sing Morrigan chant by Gwynne Green)DRUID OPENS THE GATE BETWEEN THE WORLDSINVITATION TO THE THREE KINDREDSNature Spirits:Blessings and Welcome!Ancestors:Blessings and Welcome!Tuatha De Dannan:Blessings and Welcome!HONORING THE PATRONS AND DEITIES OF THE FOLK GATHEREDThe folk gathered may go out to their patrons and deities with words, sounds, howls, etc.:Blessings and Welcome!INVITATION TO THE PATRON POWERS OF THE RITEDanu, Mother Goddess of Celts:Blessings and Welcome!Greenman, God of the Greenwood:Blessings and Welcome!Cernunnos, God of the Wildwood:Blessings and Welcome!All folk sing chant:Hail all the Gods, Hail all the Goddesses, Hail all the Holy Ones, We dwell together. Powers of the Sky, Powers of the Sacred Earth, Powers of the underworld, We dwell together. HAIL all the Gods! HAIL all the Goddesses! Hail all the Gods & Goddesses.4DRUID ANNOUNCES PRAISE OFFERINGSAs final Group Praise Offering all folk gathered in the Well/Ancestors section (marked in blue) will chant:We all come from the Goddess And to her we shall return Like a drop of rain Flowing to the oceanThose folk in the Bilé/Nature Spirits section (marked in green) will chant:Corn and grain, Corn and grain, All that falls shall rise again.Those folk in the Fire/Deities section (marked in blue and white) will chantHoof and horn, Hoof and horn, All that dies shall be reborn5REGROUND AND CENTERFINAL PRAYER OF SACRIFICEDruid seeks an interpretive Omen.DRUID CALLS RETURN OF BLESSINGS INTO WATERS OF LIFEAs the participants feel the Waters of Life aspersing them, they should begin to chant:We are a circle within a circle, With no beginning and never endingDrums signal end.THANK THE PATRON POWERSCernunnos:Blessings and Farewell!Greenman:Blessings and Farewell!Danu:Blessings and Farewell!THANK PATRONS/DEITIES OF FOLK GATHEREDFolk thank their deities and Patrons as appropriate:Blessings and Farewell!THANK KINDREDSTuatha De Dannan:Blessings and Farewell!Ancestors:Blessings and Farewell!Nature Spirits:Blessings and Farewell!DRUID CLOSES THE GATE BETWEENTHE WORLDSTHANK GATEKEEPERThe Morrigan:Blessings and Farewell!THANK BARDThe Dagdha:Blessings and Farewell!DRUID DECLARES END OF RITEChant Chorus at center starts chant as gong sounds in time. Druids lead folk out of grove while chanting. All folk sing Recessional chant:Walk with wisdom from this hallowed place. Walk not in sorrow, our roots shall ere embrace. May strength be your brother, and honor be your friend, And luck be your lover until we meet again.6NOTESWords and music by Sean MillerAuthor UnknownBased on ancient African Chant, last verse by Caryn Laney-MacLuanWords: First verse, Trad.; Second verse, Richard MacKelley; Bridge section, Gwynne Green. Music Paul Maurice, Sean Miller, Gail WilliamsWords and music by Ian CorriganWords and music by Sable
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(NM = New Member, D1 is leader of the rite - first Druid) D1: Is there a aspirant for Grove membership here today?NM: There is!D1: Step forward so that the folk can see you.NM steps forward.D1: Are you a member of Ar nDraiocht Fein?NM: I am.D1: Will you take oath before the Gods and the Folk?NM: I will.D1: Is there any of the folk here who can say why this person should not be welcomed to the Grove?D1 pauses.D1: Step forward to the World Tree and state the name we shall know you by.NM stands next to the Bile.NM: My name is ________.D1: Lay your hand on the World Tree and repeat after me.I _______, swear before the Gods and the folk, to work for and with this grove, for as long as I am a member, in return for being counted among the folk. Thus do I swear by all I hold sacred!The NM is dressed in her/his tabard, and censed and asperged.D1: Welcome to World Tree Grove A.D.F., you are now numbered among our folk.Each member of the Grove will now step forward in turn, put their hands on the NM shoulders, look into their eyes and say: You are of my folk, Welcome!D1: Let there be music and drumming so that all know that World Tree Grove is one stronger!
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This rite is suitable for daily or frequent performance at a personal altar or shrine. Deity gender references may, of course, be altered to suit the participant(s).[The Druid comes, freshly bathed, before the altar and lights the Altar Lamp (which may be any sort of candle or small flame), saying:]O blessed spirit of light and magic, flesh of the Deities' flesh, spirit of my spirit, bring to my shrine the divine power of your light. O sacred spirit-fire, be welcome in your house. Beannachta![The visualizations of the Deities are built up, and a short prayer of praise may be offered. The Triple Offering is then made with these words:]I shall offer my offerings in the eye of the mothers who bore me, in the eye of the fathers who quickened me, in the eye of the Gods and the light of the fire.Make me your kinswo/man, accept from me: Salt, that your power preserve and defend me,[Druid elevates salt, places it on the altar]Water, that your power cleanse and sustain me,[Druid offers water]Incense, that your power lend my life joy and delight.[Druid offers incense]Bestow upon me in the hour of my need the love of the Gods, the wisdom of the Gods, the power of the Gods, to do in the Three Worlds as the heroes do in Tir na nog. Each shade and light, each day and night, each hour in blessing, give me your spirit.[The Druid meditates on the visualization for a time, then extinguishes the flame, leaving the incense to burn out, and goes about her/his business.]
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This is a generic solitary ritual template for Celtic rituals, adapted from a group ritual template. It's also available as a Word/RTF document with the chants filled in. Please note that while I frequently offer alcohol, you are free to substitute something else if you like.PreparationThe participant gathers the following offerings (vegetable oil may be substituted if necessary):Earth MotherCorn mealOutdwellersBeerBrighidOil or alcohol (e.g., Goldschläger)Fire/well/treeIncense, silver-colored item (e.g., coin), branchMannanan mac LirAppleAncestorsFood/breadNature SpiritsGrainGodsAlcoholDeity(ies) of the OccasionAs appropriateThe participant also fills the Well with fresh water and places the blessing cup and branch next to it. If necessary, s/he places an offering bowl on the altar as well. He/she then clothes in ritual garb and performs a brief pre-ritual meditation to quiet the mind.GatheringParticipant gathers at the ritual area and sounds a musical signal (such as a chime) three times, then says:I am here to honor the gods.Honoring the Earth MotherÁine Chliar, daughter of Manannan, woman of the hills and land...Great Earth Mother, my life is nursed from your bounty.You are the food that nourishes me, the wealth that enriches me, even the very ground I walk on.O bright goddess, all joy and prosperity comes from you, and it is you who sustains me.Áine, I honor you now to thank you for the bounty you bestow upon me.(Áine Chliar is pronounced "awnyeh cleer")P makes an offering and says:Earth Mother, accept my sacrifice.Participant sings Blossom Lifter 1xBardic InspirationP calls to Brighid asking for the gift of poetic inspiration:Bright Brighid, Daughter of the Dagda, Flame of Inspiration,Maker of metal, Maker of good health, Maker of song,With you as my mother I need fear no sickness,With you as my mother I need fear no dull swords,With you as my mother I need fear no empty words.I am triple-blessed, O shining light of the hearth,and I your child ask you to alight in my heart,Alight in my head, and alight in my voice,That I may give praise to the powers with good skill.(Brighid is pronounced breezh; Dagda is pronounced dahg'-duh)P sings Birgita 3xP makes an offering and says:Brighid, accept my sacrifice.Grounding and Uniting with the Tree MeditationParticipant performs the Two Powers MeditationStatement of Purpose(Participant recites the purpose of the rite, lore of the season, and lore of the deities of occasion.)OutdwellersP pours a cup for the Outdwellers and takes it out of the ritual space, then says:You who come from the outer dark,You who stood against the gods and man,You who are cold of heart and cruel of mind,Take this and trouble not my work.Establishing the Sacred Grove through Fire, Well, and TreeSacred FireParticipant says:I kindle the sacred fire,Claiming this land and time for my own.The shape-fire burns bright,This is the center of the world,My Meath, Tara, and Uisnech.Let none stand against me,Let the world turn around me,Let me have a good fire,As I call the Kindred forth.(Meath is pronounced mathe with a soft th; Tara is tah-rah; Uisnech is ish-nuck)P lights the sacred fire and places incense into it to hallow the space, then says:I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. Sacred fire, burn within me.Sacred WellParticipant says:I silver the sacred well,From which five rivers of wisdom run,Salmon swimming, hazel hanging high.Bubbling brightly Segais, source of the Boyne,This is the center of the world.Let none stand against me,Let the world turn around me,Let the well be deep with wisdom,As I call the Kindred forth.(Segais is pronounced sheh-gaish; Boyne is pronounced boin)P silvers the well and pours water from the well to the blessing cup, then says:In the depths flow the waters of wisdom. Sacred waters, flow within me.Sacred TreeParticipant says:I tend the sacred tree,Towering high, hanging heavy with hazel,Strength of Taranis, the thunder and wheel,From Tara to nemeton, star-reaching bile,This is the center of the world.Let none stand against me,Let the world turn around me,Let the tree be tall and strong,As I call the Kindred forth.(bile is pronounced bill-uh)P dresses and censes the bile, then says:From the depths to the heights spans the world tree. Sacred tree, grow within me.Opening the Gates Between the WorldsP prepares an offering for the gatekeeper and says:Oh Manannan, powerful son of the sea, holder of the magics of the crane bag, I ask that you hear my call. Oh Lord of the Otherworld, bearer of the silvered apple branch, join with me this day, so that you may guide me in my workings. Mist-shrouded rider of the maned waves, accept my offering and open the gates between my realm and yours.(words by Ian Corrigan)P sings Gatekeeper Open the Portals 3xP makes an offering and says:Manannan mac Lir, accept my sacrifice.(Manannan mac Lir is pronounced mah-nah'-nahn mak leer)P says:Let the fire open as a gate, let the well open as a gate, and let the tree connect all the worlds as Manannan walks with me in all ways. Let the gates be open!Honoring and Inviting the Three KindredsAncestorsP says:Great ancestors, you who have come before,A child of the Earth calls out to you.You whose blood flows in my veins,You who I hold close to my heart and thoughts,You who were heroes of the ancient world,I offer you welcome.Mighty Ones, you who reside in the house of Donn,I remember you, and will not forget, for it is you who gave me life.O Ancestors of blood and heart, I call you forth!P sings Mothers and Fathers of Old 1xP makes an offering and says:Ancestors, accept my sacrifice.Nature SpritsP says:Great nature spirits, you who frolick in the wild world,A child of the Earth calls out to you.You who change shapes with the wind,You who pass between the worlds as I walk through air,You who for whom day is night, and night is day,I offer you welcome.Noble Ones, you who reside in the hills and sidhe mounds of the land,I honor you, for you are the spirits in the earth I live by.O Spirits of the natural world, I call you forth!(sidhe is pronounced shee)P sings Fur and Feather 1xP makes an offering and says:Nature spirits, accept my sacrifice.Gods and GoddessesP says:Great gods, you who are mightiest in all things,A child of the Earth calls out to you.You who are the people of the goddess Danann,You who count among you the spear of Lugh,  the sword of Nuadha, and the cauldron of the Dagda,You who brought the Lia Fal and cast out the Fir Bolg and Fomoire,I offer you welcome.Shining Ones, you who rule this world and the other,I praise you, for it is you who provide sustenance and guidance in my life.O Shining ones of magic and might, I call you forth!(Danann is pronounced dah'-nawn; Lugh is loo; Nuadha is noo'-ah; Dagda is dahg'-duh; Lia Fal is lee-uh fahl; Fir Bolg is feer'-bulug; and Fomoire is fo'-moor)P sings Hail All the Gods 1xP makes an offering and says:Gods and goddesses, accept my sacrifice.Meditation of Merging the Energies and Re-Centering(A meditation of merging and re-centering is done.)Honoring the Spirits of the Occasion(Participant makes appropriate offerings to the spirits of the occasion.)General Praise Offerings to the KindredsP says:I have called the Kindreds here today and it is right to give them praise: A round for the ancestors, a round for the nature spirits, and a round for the gods.(Three rounds of praise offerings: Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Gods.)P says:Shining Ones, Noble Ones, and Mighty Ones, I have given you praise and honor! A gift calls for a gift, and I pray to you as I offer up these sacrifices. Accept them, open my heart, and give to me of your blessings.Omen for the BlessingsP quietly chants Come Druids All (1x)P then takes the omen, interprets it, and records it.Receiving the Blessings of the Gods and SpiritsP raises the blessing cup high and says:Shining Ones, Noble Ones, and Mighty Ones, I have praised you and received your blessings. Hallow these waters and give to me of your power and inspiration and vitality. Seo iad uisci na beatha! Behold the waters of life!("Seo iad uisci na beatha" is pronounced "shee ahd ishka nah bah-hah", meaning "behold, the waters of life")P sings Pour the Waters 1xP then drinks a draught from the blessing cup.Thanking the Kindreds and SpiritsP says:I have called upon the Kindreds and they have answered! With joy in my heart I carry their magic into my life and work. Each time I offer to the powers they be come stronger and more aware of my needs and worship. So as I prepare to depart let me give thanks to those who have aided me.<Deity of the occasion>, Go raibh maith agait!Brigid, Go raibh maith agait!Manannan mac Lir, Go raibh maith agait!Gods and Goddesses, Go raibh maith agaibhNature Spirits, Go raibh maith agaibh!Ancestors, Go raibh maith agaibh!Aine, go raibh maith agait.("Go raibh maith agait" is a singular thank you and is pronounced "gora mah ahgit"; "Go raibh maith agaibh" is plural and is pronounced "gora mah ahgeev")Meditation of Regrounding and Recentering(A meditation of regrounding and centering is done.)Closing the Gates and Ending the RiteP says:Now by the keeper of the gates and by my magic I end what I began.Let the fire be flame,Let the well be water,Let all be as it was before.Let the gates be closed!I have done as my ancestors have done, and as my children will do, and the Kindreds have answered. I go now, a child of the Earth, in peace and blessings. The ritual is at a close. Biodh sé amhlaidh!("Biodh sé amhlaidh" is pronounced "bee shay ow-lee", and means "so be it")
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Now let us begin to open our minds to Magic, to the presence of the Gods. Begin with your body. Plant your feet firmly on the ground, balanced and upright... shake out your arms and shoulders... let gravity pull you evenly toward the earth, as you release the everyday tensions in your flesh... now begin to breath deeply and regularly.... With each breath fill your lungs slowly... and completely... with each out-breath empty them entirely... for a moment just watch your breath... in... and out...Now as you continue to breathe deeply and regularly, imagine... feel... that from the bottoms of your feet, roots are springing... reaching down into the world below you...A strong tap-root slides down through soil and stone... going deeper and growing stronger... down to touch the Waters that are under the Earth... the dark, cool, magnetic Power of the Land... Breath deep... and with each breath draw the earth Power up through your roots... feel it flowing into your feet... tingling and energizing... rising from the earth... into your legs... rising through your legs to meet and pool in your loins... Breath deep, and draw the Earth Power up your spine... rising through your belly... cool and powerful... to fill and pool in your heart...The Power rises from the earth flowing up into your legs, through your loins... through your heart... rising up your spine to pool in your head...Filling and energizing you... rising still to fountain out from the crown of your head and flow back in to the earth... flowing out through head and hands, into the Earth.So you are filled with the Power of the Earth...Now imagine... feel... that from overhead... from the (sun/moon/stars) in the turning Sky... a single ray of light shines out... out and down to bathe your body and spirit in the warm, electric Sky Power...Shining down over your head... over your heart... over your loins... touching and warming the Earth Power... everywhere the light touches becomes bright... shining like sun on water...Now raise your hands to the Sky and let the earth Power flow into your hands... feel... see... them brighten and energize with the joined Powers of Earth and Sky...Now reach out to those beside you... join your shining hands together... let the Waters and the Light merge in and through us all... the Power flowing upward from below... Shining downward from above... through each and all of us... making us one light... one depth...So we are attuned and ready... as we open our hearts to the Powers of our rite.
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This ritual was written and performed prior to the development of our current Order of Ritual in 2006. It is archived here for historical reference only, and does not reflect a current ADF ritual.OverviewA. Arrangement1. Prepare the Nyfed: Altars, Tools, offerings, etc.2. Brief the Celebrants: How, when & why3. Individual Meditations & PreparationsB. Beginning1. Musical Signal to establish clear-cut beginning of Rite2. The Processional & Chant3. Call to Worship4. Unity Chant: "The People of the Oak"5. Acknowledgment of the Outsiders6. Ask Brid for Bardic Assistance:7. Ritual Purpose & Precedent & Name Deities of the OccasionC. Consecration1. Purification(s) of Priests and Participants2. Define Sacred Center: "All is One" PrayerD. Devotion1. Honor Don & An Dagda2. Invoke Gatekeeper: Manawydan son of Llyr3. Invoke the Three Kindreds: Nature Spirits, Ancestors and Gods4. Invoke Gods:a. Brid, Llew, Modron & Cernunnos: Open the Gatesb. Optional: Invoke Special Deities of the Occasionc. Optional: Invoke Math, if magic is to be employedE. Exchange1. Praise Offerings, Dance, Libations, etc.2. The Sacrifice & Prayer of Acceptance3. Seeking the Omen of Return4. Meditation upon Personal and Group Needs5. Reception of Blessings from Deities6. Consecration and Sharing the Waters of Life7. Acceptance of Individual Blessings8. Optional: Spell Casting9. Optional: Rite of Passage F. Farewells1. Thank Godsa. Optional: Mathb. Optional: Special Deities of the Occasionc. Brid, Llew, Modron & Cernunnos2. Thank Three Kindreds: Nature Spirits, Ancestors & Gods3. Thank Manawydan & Close the Gates4. Honor Don & An Dagda5. Ending Chant: People of the Oak6. Final Benediction7. Musical SignalDetailsA. Arrangement1. Prepare the Nyfed: Altars, Tools, offerings, etc.LD & ED: Central Altar table (Exact Center of Nyfed)ED: Covered with White ClothLD: Bilé through Center of AltarLD: God & Goddess Lamps on BiléBell - on BiléChalice on East edgeSword on South edgeSickle on West edgeWand on North edgeSacrificial Oil at North-EastSacrificial Liquor at North-EastSeeds at North-westGoblets - East and West of BiléThree cauldrons: Earth, Water & Incense - North, West & East of BiléBottle of Whisky - North of BiléMistletoe & Oak tinctures - North of BiléED: Brid's Well filled with Charged Water (North-west of Central Altar)LadleMyr: Fire Urn (North-east of Central Altar)Supply of kindlingSupply of hard woodFlammable spirits & LighterJade: Brid's Altar (at edge of Circle on East). Covered with Blue Cloth & RibbonsBlue CandlePitcher of water (extra water under table)TowelSea Shells, Flowers and budsLlew's Altar (at edge of Circle on South side). Covered with Yellow Cloth & RibbonsYellow CandleSunflower SeedsLion carvingModron's Altar (at edge of Circle on West side). Covered with Red Cloth & RibbonsRed CandleFood of the Season, Dried GrainsCernunnos' Altar (at edge of Circle on North). Covered with Black Cloth & RibbonsBlack CandleDivination ToolsFeathers, Antlers, Pine ConesSmall bottle of gunpowder - North of Bilé2. Bard: Brief the Celebrants: How, when & whyWhat is Ritual?A ritual is a certain set of actions that have an expected result. Brushing your teeth before bed is a ritual. So is saying "Bless you" when someone sneezes or "Thank you" when someone hands you a hanky.Religious ritual is a more formalized and elaborate set of actions designed to deepen our relationship with the Divine and result in specific blessings, or benefits. Almost all religious ritual is performed in a consecrated area. That means a place that has been set aside as special, purified of unwholesome influences and dedicated to spiritual purposes.Whereas most modern religious rituals are performed in permanent churches, synagogues or temples that have already been set aside and kept pure for religious purposes, Neopagan rituals are usually performed outdoors, often in a different place each time. In order for the space we use to be consecrated, it must be temporarily'cut off' from regular space and purified and made holy for religious use. Before that is done, the Priests and the Celebrants must be purified themselves.When we enter the Grove, or Nyfed, as it's called in Welsh, we will walk in a circle to define the sacred area. Later the Priests will purify themselves and all of us and further cut off the area as sacred space.How is Druid Ritual different from Judeo-Christian Ritual?A Jew or a Christian goes to their God as a supplicant, asking for blessings to be bestowed as an act of faith or mercy. They believe themselves to be special and above the natural world and ask their God to reinforce that privileged status.The Druid goes to the Gods as a partner, doing his or her part and expecting the Gods to fulfill their part, as well. The Druid knows from tradition, knowledge and experience that these ritual acts will produce certain expected positive results. Druids believe that all of Nature is spiritual and that we are just an intimate part of a huge whole. We ask the Gods, our ancestors and the various spirits of Nature to help us be more connected with the Earth and all the animals and plants that live on Her.How is Druid Ritual different from Wiccan Ritual?The Wiccan Ritual is characterized by forming a protective circular enclosure that is between the worlds, but not part of either, generating a charge of energy inside, then releasing it, upon command, to do the requested work.The Druid Ritual is characterized by establishing a central reference point (or 'Gateway') in common between this world and the Otherworld, sending our energy into the Otherworld in the form of physical sacrifices and praise offerings and directing the natural return of energy to where we feel it will do the most good.What will happen?There are three important aspects to our worship: Ritual, Sacrifice and Trance. We've already explained ritual - a set of actions that produce an expected result. All of the actions and words we use are designed to lead our minds closer to communion with the Gods.Central to our Rite will be the Sacrifice, which means to make sacred. We will offer words and songs of praise, food, drink and other precious things to our Gods. Everyone may participate in this and all of you are encouraged to say a few words of thanks to the Gods or to speak from your heart in praise of them.We are not normally in direct contact with the Otherworld because we are usually so busy with the day to day affairs of this one. Our Ritual is designed to lead you to a state of deep relaxation, or Trance, where it will be easier for you to connect with the Otherworld and receive the blessings of the Gods. You can help by trying to visualize the flow of energy as it is described throughout the Ritual. You can visualize the space being set apart and purified. You can visualize the Gates between the Worlds being opened, then opened wider. You can visualize our offerings going up to the Gods and their Blessings coming down into the Waters of Life for all to share. Gadael hi bodThere are a few phrases that you can repeat as they are said during the Ritual. The most common one is Gadael hi bod which is Welsh for "Let it Be!" We say that after any statement of desire or blessing. Try it: Gadael hi bod!Waters of LifeAfter the final sacrifice we will direct the Blessings of the Gods to enter into two goblets –one containing Whisky and the other containing Ritual Water. We call these "The Waters of Life". You can drink from either, both or pour a little onto the ground, or into the Fire. As you do, you can say: "Behold! The Waters of Life!" Practice the ChantsThere will be three songs that we will sing together to help build a sense of unity, community and purpose. Let's practice them now so you'll feel comfortable singing with feeling during the Ritual. The first will be as we proceed from here to the Nyfed. It goes:By the Earth beneath us, By the Sea surrounding us,By the Sky above us, We come unto the Gods.Next is the Unity Chant which is called the People of the Oak and it goes like this:We are the people of the Oak, Gathered at the sacred well.Joined here the Old Ones to invoke, So to weave our magic spell.We are the children of the wood, Standing in the faerie ring.Here where the mighty ones have stood, Praises to the Gods we bring.Finally, the closing chantBetween the Worlds we made a circle,Never ending, universal,We are filled with Spirit power,Send it down, complete the chain.3. Individual Meditations & PreparationsB. Beginning1. Musical Signal to establish clear-cut beginning of RitePriest gives a loud signal from the Grove - (Conch, Drum, Gong, etc.)to let the Celebrants know it is time to begin the Processional2. The Processional & ChantAll the Celebrants, led by the Bard and Fire Tender with lit TorchBy the Earth beneath us,By the Sea surrounding us,By the Sky above usWe come unto the Gods.They walk around circle Deosil one complete time3. Call to WorshipPriest, walks to Central Altar, turning to face all:"People of the Oak, Friends of the Earth, Children of the Mother,We call you all to join us now in Sacred Worship."4. Unity ChantBard leads Celebrants:"We are the people of the OakGathered at the sacred well.Joined here the Old Ones to invokeSo to weave our magic spell.We are the children of the woodStanding in the faerie ring.Here where the mighty ones have stoodPraises to the Gods we bring."5. Acknowledgment of the OutsidersPriest, walks to South Altar and faces out: (People face inwards)"To all of those who do not yet hear the call inside them to honor our Gods,We ask you just to be silent for a while and leave us alone.In the same way, all of the noisy parts of ourselves can remain silent at this time,So we may be left alone with our loving thoughts, words and deeds."6. Ask Brid for Bardic Assistance:Bard: Dearest Bhrid, Matron of Poets, inspirer and healer,Lend me your divine inspirationLet me uplift our hearts with Your words.7. State Ritual Purpose & PrecedentName and describe Deities of the OccasionC. Consecration1. Purification(s) of Priests and ParticipantsPriestess picks up pitcher of water from Brid's Altar and walks to Brid's WellPriest meets her at WellPriest ladles some water from the Well, into the pitcherThey walk to the East Altar, Priest picks up the towelContinue until outside of the Circle of CelebrantsPs pours water over hands of P who washes and touches facePriest then dries hands with towel and takes pitcher.P pours water onto hands of Ps then gives her the towel. She dries her hands.P continues clockwise, pouring water in a circle outside the celebrantsP makes sure a few drops get onto the hands of each celebrant.Ps carries towel to dry their hands.When they make complete circuit, they put towel & pitcher on Brid's AltarThey walk to Central AltarPriestess: "The people are now purified and ready to Consecrate this Nyfed."Fire Tender walks Deosil around outside of Celebrants, carrying TorchFire Tender walks to Center and lights Fire from TorchFire Tender: "This Space is now Sacred and ready to be Consecrated."FT returns to North Altar2. Define Sacred CenterPriest: (to celebrants) Please join hands.(Priest Rings Bell)Both, in unison, facing each other: "All is One,Originally, Essentially, EventuallyAll is OneOne is AllInfinitely, Joyously, Eternally.One is All.All is One, One is All, All is One.Priestess:We stand at the Center of the WorldsAt the Center of SpaceAt the Center of Time.Priest:By the power of the Fire, the Well and the TreeThis Sacred Space is now Purified and Holy.The Nyfed is Consecrated.D. Devotion1. Honor Don and An Dagda(Fire Tender brings torch to Center, lights match from it and hands match to Ps; He returns to North Altar)Celestial Don, our first MotherQueen of Heaven, Earth's delightChild's Nurse and Man's ReceiverGentle Comforter of the Night.You are represented here by Brid's Well,Charged with Water from nine sacred Rites.(Ps plants seeds in ditch and waters them with ladle)I offer you this gift of seeds to further spread your beautyAnd to thank You for being with us always.(Fire Tender brings torch to Center, lights match from it and hands match to P; He returns to North Altar)Great An Dagda, Giving FatherKing of Heaven, Force of Right.Creative Spark and our Protector,Glorious, Mighty, God of Light.You are represented here by Llew's Fire Urn,Kindled with fire from our own hearth and home.I offer you this gift of rare olive oil to feed your fireAnd to thank you for being with us always.(P & Ps face Bilé and raise hands)2. Invoke Gatekeeper: Manawydan son of Llyr"Manawydan, son of Llyr, brother of Bran and Branwen,Faithful friend of Pryderi and Husband of Rhiannon,King of the Sea, Patron of voyagers,Open the Gates between the Worlds, we pray to you.Open our eyes and our ears and our hearts to the Gods,So we may Commune with You and be Blessed.Manawydan, open the Gates."(P & Ps walk to East Altar)3. Invoke the Three KindredsNature Spirits<Triad Invoker 1 walks to Central Altar & picks up the Cauldron of Soil>Spirits of Nature, the Sidhe, and the Fey,I reach across the Veil with my words,And call to You.Spirits of the Animals,Bird and Beast, Fish and Fowl,I call you into this Sacred Soil.Spirits of the Plants,Sacred and ancient Trees,I call you into this Sacred Soil.Spirits of the Land,Earth, Water, Air and Fire,I call you into this Sacred Soil.I call you with the stones of the mountain tops.I call you with the sand of the long, white beaches,I call you with the loam of the ancient forests,I bid you: Enter this Soil now!That we may be Blessed, Guided and InspiredBy our Communion with you. Gadael hi bod!(Participants say: Gadael hi bod!)<Walk over to participant nearest the East Altar, make the Awen mark /|\ on her forehead, saying:>With this Soil,Celebrate your CommunionWith the Spirits of Nature.(She says: "Gadael hi bod!)<Walk around circle clockwise, doing same to each person><After doing Priest, Priest takes cauldron and does you,><then hands cauldron back. You take Cauldron back to Central Altar>Ancestors<Triad Invoker 2 walks to Central Altar & picks up the Cauldron of Water>Mothers and Fathers, Old Ones, and Ancestors,I reach across the Veil with my words, And call to You.Mothers and Fathers of our Families, Parents of our Parent's Parents,I call you into this Sacred Water.Old Ones of this Land, Loving Tribes of Caretakers,I call you into this Sacred Water.Ancestors of our Culture, Ancient worshippers of our Gods,I call you into this Sacred Water.I call you with the water of the deep blue oceans,I call you with the water of the gentle rains,I call you with the water of the darkest wells.I bid you: Enter this Water now! That we may be Blessed, Guided and InspiredBy our Communion with you. Gadael hi bod!(Participants say: Gadael hi bod!)<make the Awen mark on the forehead>With this Water, Celebrate your Communion, With the Ancestors.("Gadael hi bod!")Gods<Triad Invoker 3 walks to Central Altar & picks up the Cauldron of Incense>Bright and Shining Gods and Goddesses,I reach across the Veil with my words, And call to You.Spirit of the Divine that creates and pervades everything, Infinite, Joyous, Eternal,I acknowledge you in this Sacred Air.Spirits of the Mother and Father of the Gods, Glorious Don and Great An Dagda,I worship you in this Sacred Air.Spirits of all the Gods and Goddesses:Most especially Bhrid and Llew, Modron and Cernunnos,I honor you in this Sacred Air.I call you with our memories of the past.I call you with our desires for the present.I call you with our vision of the future.I humbly bid you: "Sanctify this Air for us, if you please!"That we may be Blessed, Guided and InspiredBy our Communion with you. Gadael hi bod!(" Gadael hi bod!")<with a feather, waft incense smoke over each participant, saying:>With this Air, Celebrate your Communion, With the Gods.("Gadael hi bod!")<Ends with P, P wafts Ps,P goes to South Altar, Ps goes to Central Altar>4. Invoke Brid, Llew, Modron & Cernunnos: Open the Gates(In order to use the power of the three Realms, each Gate Warden will call themselves by the name of an honored, deceased relative, while walking in a specific Earthly direction, while carrying the Tool of one of the Gods.)Gate Warden 1 approaches East side of Altar and picks up the Chalice of Brid:"I, descendent of _______, hold the Chalice of Brid.Brid the Healer Brid the Inspirer, Brid the Hearth-keeper.Join us Bhrid and fill us with Love and Health and Inspiration!"(lower Tool to chest height)Gate Warden 2 approaches South side of Altar and picks up the Sword of Llew:"I, descendent of ______, hold the Sword of Llew.Llew Llaw Gyffes -- the Bright One with the Deft Hand,Llew the Many Skilled, Llew the Long Arm,Join us Llew and fill us with Passion, Skill and Joy!"(lower Tool to chest height)Gate Warden 3 approaches West side of Altar and picks up the Sickle of Modron:"I, descendent of _______, hold the Sickle of Modron.Modron, the Great Mother, mother of Mabon,Modron, the Harvester, Modron, Goddess of Fertility.Join us Modron and satiate us with Abundance, Sensuality and Ecstasy!"(lower Tool to chest height)Gate Warden 4 approaches North side of Altar and picks up the Wand of Cernunnos:"I, descendent of ______, hold the Wand of Cernunnos.Herne, the Horned God, Torc-wearer, Torc-BearerSurrounded by woodland animals, Oh, Great Sage.Join us Cernunnos and fill us with Wisdom, Sight and Magic!"(lower Tool to chest height)Gate Wardens lift their Tools high and close together.Priest: "Manawydan! Lord of the Sea! Open the Gates wide!Open our eyes! Open our ears! Open our Hearts!By the Power of the One that is All,By the Power of the Two Parents: the Mother and the Father,By the power of the Three Realms: Land, Sea and Sky,By the Power of the Four Directions: East, South, West and North,We bid You, Manawydan: Open the Gates wide!"(Gate Wardens slowly walk backward to their Altar.Each turns and places their Tool on it's Altar in front of candle.Each bows down and prays for a moment.)5a. Optional: Invoke Special Deities of the Occasion5b. Optional: Invoke Math, if magic is to be employedPriest finishes praying at Llew's Altar, walks around Central Altar (Deosil) to Altarof Cernunnos. Bends down. Asks Cernunnos' help and permission to borrow Wand.Picks up Wand and walks between Well and Fire to Bilé.Holds wand near top of Bilé, not touching it.Lord Math! Math ap Mathonwy! (mat-tun-OO-ee)Brother of Don, who is Mother of the Gods.Master of Magic and teacher of Great Gwydyon.You who stopped Pebleg the powerful at the Battle of Trees.(Pick up the incense)I offer you rare incense(pour incense onto Fire)along with my praises.put down incense)You, whose power is so great,You must keep your feet from touching the Earth.Great Math!(touch Wand to top of Bilé)I, (Priest's name), Call you here to share your MagicI invoke you, Math ap MathonwyIn this Sacred Circle.(take Wand back to Altar of Cernunnos)E. Exchange1. Praise Offerings, Dance, Libations, etc.Priest: (Stays at South Altar)Welcome to the Gods and Goddesses! Welcome to the Ancestors and the Sidhe!To all those who have gathered by our Fire, we invite you to join us now in worshippingour Matrons and Patrons of this holy Rite with gifts of our labor, our love and our praise.Let's lift up our voices in praise and let the Fire and Well carry our gifts to the Gods!Are there any here who would like to make an offering now?(offerings are made)2. The Sacrifice & Prayer of AcceptancePriest: Everyone, Please direct your energy and love to the Fire.(Fire Tender pours a little Whisky into glass of spirits)Great Gods and Goddesses! Please accept our sacrifices with all the love and respectthat we offer them to You. We all send you our love and energy now!Gadael hi bod! (All: Gadael hi bod!)(Fire Tender pours glass of spirits into Fire)3. Seeking the Omen of ReturnSeer goes to Cernunnos' AltarLord Cernunnos!Sage of the Forest!Guide my hand and tell us how to accept the Blessings of the Gods!Seer draws three stones: Preparation, Action, PotentialSeer interprets the Omen4. Meditation upon Personal and Group NeedsLet's take a moment to think about what this could mean in your own life.How can you use the Blessings of the Gods to fulfill your needs?And how can we as a Spiritual community grow from these Blessings?What must we do to make them grow in our Groves?5. Reception of Blessings from Deities(Ps picks up Pitcher, Ps & P walk to Central Altar)P pours Whisky into glass, adds Oak & MistletoePs pours water into GobletHold them up high.P: Please join hands and concentrate all of your energies into these vessels.Ps: Loving Gods and Goddesses!You have accepted our sacrifices of love and praisesWe ask you now to send us your BlessingsSend your Blessings down into these Waters of Life.Gadael hi bod! (All: Gadael hi bod!)6. Consecration and Sharing the Waters of LifeP & Ps: Behold! The Waters of Life! (All: The Waters of Life!)P: This is Whisky, charged with tinctures of Oak and Mistletoe, our sacred plants.Behold! The Waters of Life! (Ps: The Waters of Life!)(P gives to Ps - She drinks - gives back - He drinks)Ps: This is pure water, charged with the water of nine sacred Rites.Behold! The Waters of Life! (P: The Waters of Life!)(Ps gives to P - He drinks - gives back - She drinks)Ps: Drink either or both or pour a little onto the Earth, or into the Fire, as you will.7. Acceptance of Individual BlessingsP & Ps offer the glass and Goblet to each Celebrant saying:"Behold! The Waters of Life!"Celebrant says: "The Waters of Life!" and drinks.(After all celebrants have drunk)P: When we share a drink with the Gods we remind ourselves that we are always sharing their Blessings. Accept their Blessings in Love and Gratitude!8. Optional: Spell Casting9. Optional: Rite of PassageF. Farewells1. Thank Entities Invited, in Reverse Ordera. Optional: Mathb. Optional: Special Deities of the Occasionc. Gate Warden 1 walks to Brid's Altar - Faces East (everyone does)I face the East, Inspiring Bhrid.The kiss of Spring is your sweet daughter.Your healing love pours over me,Like a Cup of cool, refreshing water.(Pick up Chalice)As new day dawns I feel your love,With promises of new beginnings,New ways to serve and new rewards,I'm filled with fresh anticipation.(Pick up candle)Gate Warden 2 walks to Llew's Altar - Faces South (everyone does)I face the South, Oh, Skillful Llew.The Summer's sunshine is your gaze.Your bright, hot fires ignite my passion.Like a well-made Knife, joyfully used.(Pick up Knife)At midday now, I feel your joy,For jobs to do, rewards to earn,To do my best and better still,I'm happy now to play and learn.(Pick up candle)Gate Warden 3 walks to Modron's Altar - Faces West (everyone does)I face the West, Oh Great Modron,And Autumn's rich abundant land.I'm thankful for your precious prizes.You cut down life, new life arises.(Pick up Sickle)As day is done, with jobs complete,Projects finished or cut shortIt's time to stop and gather up,I'm grateful for your gifts to me.(Pick up Candle)Gate Warden 4 walks to Cernunnos' Altar - Faces North (everyone does)I face the North, Wise Cernunnos,Sharp and crisp as Winter's night.Oh, Shaman of the Greenwood hostTeach me how to guide my Sight.(Pick up Wand)At Midnight with no light to see,Beliefs create reality.Guide my Soul and set it free,I'm filled with Spirit's mystery.(Pick up candle)All 4 walk to Central Altar:Thank you for attending our Rite.(Put tools down on Altar)Farewell and Bright Blessings!(Blow out candles)All: "Farewell and Bright Blessings!"2. Thank Three Kindreds<Triad Invoker 1 picks up the Bowl of Earth>Spirits of Nature, the Sidhe, and the Fey,We thank you for attending our Rite,And for Blessing us, Guiding us and Inspiring us, as always.We Love, Honor and Respect You,And we bid You, 'Farewell and Bright Blessings',('Farewell and Bright Blessings'!)<Triad Invoker 2 picks up the Bowl of Water>Mothers and Fathers, Old Ones, and Ancestors,We thank you for attending our Rite,And for Blessing us, Guiding us and Inspiring us, as always.We Love, Honor and Respect You,And we bid You, 'Farewell and Bright Blessings',('Farewell and Bright Blessings'!)<Triad Invoker 3 picks up the Bowl of Incense>Bright and Shining Gods and Goddesses,We thank you for sanctifying our Rite,And for Blessing us, Guiding us and Inspiring us, as always.We Love, Honor and Respect You,And we bid You, 'Farewell and Bright Blessings', ('Farewell and Bright Blessings'!)(Triad Invokers return to their Altars)(P & Ps walk around Central Altar to North side of Bilé)3. Thank Manawydan & Close the GatesPriest: "Manawydan, son of Llyr, brother of Bran and Branwen,Faithful friend of Pryderi and Husband of Rhiannon,We thank you for your Divine assistance,And ask you to now close the Gates.4. Honor Don and An DagdaP & Ps stand before the CandlesAll: Receptive MotherForceful FatherWe are One.Gadael hi bod!All: Gadael hi bod!(Return to Circle - Hold hands)5. Closing ChantPeople of the Oak - 1 time6. Final BenedictionP: Go now, Children of the Earth, in peace and blessings.Ps: The Rite is Ended!P & Ps: Gadael hi bod!(All: Gadael hi bod!)(Priest throws powder onto Fire)7. Musical SignalFire Tender leads celebrants from Nyfed with Torch
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Lugh, you who protect from storms, repair the damage of this one. Lugh, you who maintain the order of society, repair the chaos of this one. Lugh, you who are the true ruler, show the mercy of the righteous king towards those impoverished by this disaster.
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The Grove is prepared with the water cauldron, fire or fire candles, and censer. There may be a small Bile, or this may be dispensed with for small group rites. There is a cup or cups for drinking memory and blessing, and material for the Fire of Sacrifice.Grove AttunementAll work the Two Powers centering. All take nine full breaths then the priest/ess sounds nine knells or knocks.Opening PrayersAll then say:We are here to keep the old ways. O Shining Ones, hear us as we pray you As Children of the Earth. Let our call come unto you With honor and truth, As we work the work of wisdom. Mighty Mother of All, First Goddess, Bless and uphold this rite We pray you with love and reverence.Fire Well and TreeThe well is elevated and the silver offered, saying:Waters of wisdom Waters of love Waters of life O Mother of All, Be present in these waters And in this grove Sacred well flow within me.An offering is made to the Fire, saying:Fire of inspirations Fire of transformation Fire of sacrifices O Light of Inspiration Be present in this fire And in this grove Sacred fire, burn within me.Purpose & PrecedentThe priest/ess gives a welcome and description of the intention, if needed.PurificationTaking up the water, the Druid passes it around the circle, each sprinkling the water around the perimeter and on themselves, as all repeat as many times as necessary:By the might of the Primal Waters, This grove is made sacred. Let the Sea not rise, And let no ill nor bane Pass these encircling waters.Taking up the censer, she passes it around the circle, each wafting the incense around the perimeter and on themselves, as all repeat as many times as necessary:By the light of the Sacred Fire, This grove is enchanted. Let the Sky not fall, And let only blessing Be welcome at this fire.All join hands, or make contact again, saying:The Sacred Grove stands firm and true, In Land, Sea and Sky, Below and on high. Let the Land hold fast beneath us. The Fire, the Well, the Sacred Tree Flow and Flame and Grow in me. Thus is the Sacred Grove Claimed and hallowed!Opening the GatesHe makes offering to the MacLir, saying:Gray One of the Borders, Lord of the Isle of Apples, Teacher of the Wise, Fosterer of Heroes, Keeper of the Roads and Ways: Hold open the way Between the Worlds, we pray. Gatekeeper: accept our sacrifice!All envision the triskel gate in the center of the grove, and the priest/ess makes a deosil triskel over the fire, saying:By the Lord of the Borders, And by our magic, Let this sacred center be As the boundary between all worlds: Let the gate be open!Kindred OfferingsIn this model, the key offerings are replaced with three passings of the horn of memory and honor, one round for each of the three kindreds. Honoring each of the kindreds proceeds in this outline:The priest/ess, or a chosen speaker, takes up the horn and fills it with ale. She gives the general invocation to the kindred being honored.The horn passes sunwise. As each receives it, he may speak in honor of the members of the kindred with whom he has a relationship. For instance, he might honor his own genetic/cultural ancestors, or those heroes that inspire/guide him. She may name her animal/plant allies or her companions among the sidhe. She will name her patron deities and any other God/desses she wishes. After speaking, each drinks.After all have spoken and drunk, the speaker fills the horn again, and/or prepares another offering, and speaks the second part of the kindred.FOR THE DEADO Mighty Ones Our Ancestors, Our Kindred: We, your children honor you. You whose life and death creates our lives; You whose wisdom upholds our wisdom; Hear us as we name you, and invite you to our fire...Pass the horn.O Mighty Ancestors, We honor your presence Offering our love and worship. Be with us in our grove And in our hearts And accept this gift In token of our kinship.The offering is made. All cry:Ancestors: accept our sacrifice!TO THE SIDHEO Noble Ones, our Allies With whom we share the worlds; You who fill the land with wonder; Spirits of Stone and Stream, Red and Green; Tribes of Spirits, the Peoples of the Otherworld: Hear us as we name you, and invite you to our fire...Pass the horn.O Noble Spirits, We honor your presence Offering our love and worship. Be with us in our grove And in our hearts And accept this gift In token of our friendship.The offering is made. All cry:Spirits: accept our sacrifice!TO THE GOD/DESSESO Shining Ones, our Elders, Goddesses and Gods; O Wisest and Mightiest; You who sustain all the worlds; First Children of the Mother, the Tribe of the Goddess: Hear us as we name you and invite you to our fire...Pass the horn.O Shining Deities, We honor your presence Offering our love and worship. Be with us in our grove And in our hearts And accept this gift In token of our friendship.The offering is made. All cry:Shining Ones: accept our sacrifice!Sacrifice and OmenAfter all the kindreds have been offered to, the Grove vision is reestablished and the presence of the host of spirits is acknowledged. A final offering is prepared, along with the bit of sacred Fire. The company chooses a chant or wordless call, and raises energy through rhythm, drumming and song. At the height of the chant, all fall into silence, and the prayer of sacrifice is made and the offering given:Now, let our voices arise on the fire; Let our voices resound in the well; Let our call pass the gate to the land of spirits. Holy kindreds: Gods, Dead and Sidhe: The Children of Earth Send you love and honor with this gift. Holy Ones, accept our sacrifice!The offering is given. An omen is taken, saying:Holy ones, we have honored you. And now, we pray you bless us in turn, As a gift calls for a gift. Reveal to us now what blessing you offer In return for our sacrifice!The omen is interpreted, and the folk are led to devise a boon or request based on the offers of the powers.The BlessingThe folk call for the blessing, saying:As Children of Earth, We call for the blessing of the Ancient Ones. Together we cry: Shining Ones, give us the waters! We join our hearts, that each of us be blessed. Together we cry: Shining Ones, give us the waters! And as we are blessed, let all the Worlds be blessed. Together we cry: Shining Ones, give us the waters!The Druid pours the Blessing into the horn, saying:We draw water from the Well of Wisdom, We pour the Ale of Inspiration.The horn is elevated, saying:O Mighty, Noble and Shining Ones, We have given to you, And now we ask you to bless us in turn, As a gift calls for a gift. Hallow these waters, O holy powers. Grant us the blessing we seek. May the Wisdom, Love and Power Of the Gods, Dead and Sidhe, Flow in this Horn of Blessing. Behold: the Waters of Life!The horn is passed, and all drink. As the horn passes, a meditation is led to attune all to the blessing. One such might be:We take up the chalice of Joy and Power, The cup of Fire and Shadow that stirs the soul. Let us taste the Waters of Wisdom's Well; Let us drink the Ale of Inspiration. We open ourselves to the Blessing of the Powers: Lead us in the Elder Ways; Guide our walk through our life's road, Through our destiny's song. Ancient and Wonderful Powers, Shining Gods, Mighty Dead, Noble Sidhe: Come into us here in our Grove To share and join in our work. May your magic awaken in our blood, For we are all your children. Flow in us, Power of Magic; Shine in our Loins; Shine in our Hearts; Shine in our Heads. Let there be no part of us That is not of the Gods!The SpellThose who wish will have brought candles, talismans, etc. to be blessed for their personal intentions. The candles/talismans are now put by the Hallows, as each makes a simple statement of their need or intention. The company then raises power, usually by a simple, repetitive chant, such as:All: We are one, we are one... (repeat ad infinitum)Descant: In this task we've begun What we will shall be done...This should be accompanied by drums, and build well and strong. If desired, each candle or item may be passed round the ring to receive the blessing of each, returning it to the altar after one round. At the druid's signal, the drums and chant stop suddenly. In the silence, all direct their energy to the altar with imagination and breath. The leader may give some suggestions to accomplish this. Those with needs visualize their goals, as all join in working for the good of all. A final re-centering and declaration of ending finishes the work.ClosingThe Gatekeeper is thanked and the gate closed, saying:Keeper of Gates, Lord of Ways: For watching and warding The ways between, We give you our thanks. Now, let the Fire be but flame; Let the Well be but water; Let all be as it was before, Save only for the magic We have made. Let the gates be closed!Center is renewed one final time, and all balanced. Then all recite the Great Blessing:We offer our thanks: To the Mother of All. We offer our thanks: To the Gods, Dead and Spirits. May the Three Sacred Kins Bring joy to all beings And renew the Ancient Wisdom. To the Fire, Well and Tree: We offer our thanks. May Wisdom, Love and Power Kindle in all beings And renew the Ancient Wisdom. To the Earth, Sea and Sky: We offer our thanks. May the Ancient Wisdom be renewed, And may all beings know: Peace, Joy and Happiness In all the worlds. So be it!
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ADF Unity Rites Earth Day Rituals and Prayers Ancestor Ritual All Night Vigil Rite of Claiming and Hallowing Text for the Grove Attunement The Hidden Land Home Blessing Shining Lakes Grove Ritual Outline Welcoming to the Grove New Member Welcoming Another Grove Welcoming Full Moon Rite Blessing Rite Daily Morning Bathroom Devotional An Anywhere Devotional Outline of a Full ADF Rite for a Solitary A Short Devotional Rite A Morning Devotional Rite of Offering A General Rite of Offering A Ritual Opener Simple Meal Rite Weekly Family Ritual The Armoring Female Rite of Passage Pre Ritual Briefing Silver Fox Grove Founding Rite A Simple Handfasting (Heterosexual) Naming and Saining the Baby Child Blessing A Druid Naming Ceremony Free Spirit Gathering Ritual Retrospective Free Spirit Gathering Ritual A Simple Group Devotional A Simplified Version of ADF Ritual Sacred Water Flow in Me: A System for Using Consecrated Water in Ritual Solitary Fall Equinox  
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The Intention of Our RiteAny Druidic ritual has as a primary intention the re-weaving of the links between humankind, the natural world, and the God/desses and Spirits who support both. For thousands of years, human culture lived in more or less intimate communion with the unseen worlds. Over the centuries of European culture these ties have been weakened, until our modern materialism is endangering the very air and water that sustains our life. We work to reconnect with the powers of Land, Sea and Sky, honoring the spirit that is in them as well as their physical realities.As with any religious path we also seek blessings for our families, communities and ourselves. We open our hearts to the flow of divine blessing that comes from our God/desses. We seek also to awaken that same divine spark in our own souls, so that we can bless the world in return.StoneCreed Grove, ADF is a small part of the neoPagan movement, one of the fastest-growing currents in modern religion. From our beginnings we have been committed to serving the whole Pagan community. Druidic worship is open and inclusive. We welcome Pagans of every tradition and path, as well as those who want to learn more about Druidry or pagan ways in general. We ask only that you respect our ways; you can expect the same from us.Principles of Druidic WorshipThe outer form of our worship, like all ceremony, is made up of spoken prayers, invocations and statements combined with traditional actions. While we have reclaimed some of these from pre-Christian Europe we do not grant them the status of revelation or scripture. All ritual speech is made by humans to help turn our minds more effectively toward the Divine. Druidry teaches that beautiful speech, poetry or music pleases and influences the Powers, and so we fill our rites with these things to the best of our ability.A central action of our rites is the giving of gifts to the Powers. This is commonly called sacrifice (Latin: to make sacred). We teach that the God/desses and Spirits are strengthened by our offerings, and show their gratitude by blessing the givers. In pagan ways humans are not mere dependents of even the greatest Deities. Rather they depend on our love and offerings as we depend on their blessing and aid.While it is true that the ancients offered animal and even occasional human lives to the Powers, our modern Paganism rejects any offering that takes life or causes injury. We offer our God/desses flowers, food, drink, incense and scented oil, precious metals and gems, poetry and song, but never blood.The soul-skills that bind Pagan worship together are the techniques of meditation and trance. By concentrating our minds on the symbols and words of the rite, by relaxing our bodies and letting go of our internal dialogue and by strongly visualizing the rite's energy flows and Deities we induce a state of mind that allows contact with Inner worlds.In every Druidic rite there will be a series of spoken instructions intended to help induce this trance. Following these suggestions with an open mind will deepen your experience. Remember that all such guidance is just that - you are in control of your state of mind at all times. Yet it is through consenting to trance that you can know our Magic best.These three principles - ritual, sacrifice and trance combine to produce the magic of Druidic worship.The Outline of Druidic RitesPart 1: Establishing the GroveIn ancient days Pagans gathered in places hallowed by tradition. Sometimes these were temple buildings. More often they were groves and glens in the deep forest, or high places. In our times we must usually recreate the holy atmosphere of the Sacred Groves by ritual and meditation.Opening Meditation: The priest/ess or a Grove member will lead a basic grounding and centering. This attunement helps us to connect our individual souls with the Two Powers. The Earth Current or Underworld Power carries the dark, mixed elements from which all forms arise. The Sky Current, or Starry Power is the ordering pattern that crystallizes forms out of the Underworld potential. Together these powers manifest the Middle World in which we live.The Procession: In some cases the presiding priest/ess will come out of the Grove and lead a procession of all the worshippers into the holy place. Usually this is accompanied by song. At other times the worshippers are sent to meditate alone then called to the Grove by horn, drum or song. When approaching the Grove one tradition is to circle the Center of the Grove three times in the sunwise direction.Preliminary Offerings:Honoring the Mother: The priest/ess usually gives a simple statement of beginning, followed by a prayer and offering to the Earth Mother who upholds our lives and rites. One common custom is to bend and kiss, or place a hand on, the earth to honor Her.Poetic Inspiration (the Awen): The Bard of the rite invokes the power of poetic inspiration to indwell both the priest/esses and worshippers. This may be either an offering to a specific Deity or a general attunement to sources of inspiration in the Self.Outdwellers: These are the Powers that can be inimical to mortals or oppose our own God/desses. We acknowledge their presence, asking them to leave our rites in peace. We also acknowledge the parts of ourselves that might, likewise, interfere with proper worship.Purification: Now that the preliminary offerings have been made, the Grove and all therein are sprinkled with water from the Well and Incense kindled from the Fire to purify the assembled, and ready the Grove for worshipVertical Axis/Affirming the World Order: Druidic ritual is anchored in the Sacred Center of the Grove. The Center is conceived as a meeting-place of the common world with the Otherworlds of the Spirits. We use one or more of the universal symbols of the Center - the Fire, the Well and the World-Tree. Fire connects us with the Sky; the Well with the Underworld and the Tree is the Boundary between All Worlds, rooted deep and crowned high.In this phase of the ritual the Order of the Worlds is acknowledged - first the vertical axis of Under- Mid- and Starry Worlds. The rite may then honor the three worlds of Land, Sea and Sky, or the Four Directions.By affirming these symbols in our rite we acknowledge them in ourselves, making our own souls a temple in which the God/desses may dwell.Opening the Gates: Meditation on the World Order is a valuable spiritual tool all by itself. The next part of the rite transforms the simple symbols of the Center into true magical gates. First the priest/ess invokes the Deity that has charge of the Ways Between, in the pantheon of the rite. We offer to the Gatekeeper and ask their help in the work.The symbols of the Sacred Center are then conjured to function as the Gates Between. Through these gates we send our love, worship and offerings to the powers and they, in turn, send blessing to us. As long as the Gates are open the God/desses and Spirits can hear our thoughts and impulses clearly.Part 2: Offering to the PowersThree Kindred Offerings: In each of our rites we invoke and offer to the Spirits in three categories. We call these the Kindreds to reflect their family relationship with one another and with us. The Nature Spirits are those who ensoul soil and stone, water and wind, bird and beast. The Dead are our ancestors, both those of actual blood and those of our heart and affection. The God/desses are the eldest Children of the Mother, the Brightest, Wisest and Strongest. For each of these we speak an invocation and make a proper offering.When these Triad Offerings are made the worshippers should meditate on and call to those Spirits that are closest to her. Her own Ancestors, her God/desses, her allies among the Nature Spirits are called to join us in honoring the Patron Powers of the rite.Key Offerings: Each of our rites is commonly dedicated to two or more of the God/desses. These are usually chosen either for their connection with the seasonal holiday being celebrated, for their ability in the area of the work being done or their special relationship with the mortal focus of the rite.The Patrons of the rite are first invoked with expressive prose or poetry, sometimes accompanied by a visualized image of the Deities. A proper offering is made as the priest/ess invokes.After the formal offerings there is usually a time when members of the company can make personal offerings. Usually these are 'Praise Offerings' - offerings of art - songs, poetry etc., though they may be thanks to the Powers for blessings received.Prayer of Sacrifice: After the Praise Offerings the priest/ess gives a final Prayer of Sacrifice and makes a large offering to the Fire. This is the moment when every worshipper sends her love and respect, her energy, through the Gates to the Patrons and Powers.Omen: After the Sacrifice the priest/ess seeks an omen, doing a simple divination to determine what sort of blessing the Powers offer in return for our gifts.Part 3: The BlessingOpening to Blessing: The priest/ess leads a meditation combining the presence of the powers with the content of the Omen. We also meditate on our own needs, those of our loved ones, and our community.At this time there is usually a litany in which the assembled company prays to be given the Blessing, in the form of the Waters of Life. In this moment your personal desires should be strongly imagined, held in the mind and heart, with harm to none and for the good of all.The Waters of Life: The Blessing of the Powers is commonly given as a cup or horn of drink. There is always clear water or fruit juice and sometimes ale, wine or even whiskey (Gaelic: uisge na beatha, water of life). The priest/ess invokes the Blessing as water drawn from the Well of Potentials and held in the light of the Fire of Transformation. We contemplate again our needs and the Omen as we drink the Blessing. We often sing an anthem or listen quietly during this most reverent moment.Works: If there is any social or magical task to be accomplished it is done at this time. Healings, announcements of weddings, child blessings, workings for community good may occasionally be part of the rites.Part 4: Thanks, and ClosingAfter all is done we give proper thanks to all the Powers. The priest/ess leads us in thanking the Patrons and the Kindreds. We thank the Gatekeeper and conjure the Gates to close. We renew our grounding, our connection with Earth and Sky, and center the energies of the rite in our souls. We allow any excess energy to flow away into the ground as we offer any remains of the rite to the Earth Mother.The rite concludes with a blessing and we often sing a closing chant as we leave the Grove.Some Conventions of Druidic RitualOur rites are open and inclusive. We do not close our circles, and you are free to come and go as you please during the rite. We ask only that you be respectfully quiet and attentive when within earshot of the ritual.If you have a Praise Offering that you wish to perform, please see our Grove Bard before the rite. We ask that you not applaud the Praise Offerings, rather give the energy of your appreciation to the Patrons.
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This was a welcoming done for two new members who joined our protogrove at the same time; adapt as needed :)D1: Now with the blessings of the gods flowing in us, let us turn to the Work at hand. Are there two present who seek to join our grove, to be honored as kin and welcome among the Folk?NM1 & NM2 step into the center and say: There are.D1: Are there any Folk who have good cause to object to this oath of joining? (pause)D1: Are you both members of Ár nDraíocht Féin?NM1 & NM2: We are.D1: Are you aware of our ways and willing to swear an oath to the Folk?NM1 & NM2: We are.D1: Do you swear to honor and support the members of the Grove as your true friends and family?NM1 & NM2: We do.D1: Do you swear to uphold the laws and customs of the Grove as your own?NM1 & NM2: We do.D1: Do you swear to protect and aid the members of the Grove in their times of need?NM1 & NM2: We do.D1: Then join your waters with ours and repeat after me: (NM1 & NM2 pour waters into Well)We swear these things (repeat) to the Folk and the Kindreds, (repeat) by all we hold sacred. (repeat) And if we break these oaths (repeat) may the sky fall down and crush us, (repeat) may the earth open up and swallow us, (repeat) and may the sea rise up and drown us. (repeat)D1: Now by Fire, by Well, by Tree, By Land, By Sky, By Sea By Gods, By Dead, By Sidhe, In the presence of the Gods and Spirits, On behalf of our Folk, our Tribe, and our Family, I welcome you to Ocean's Tide Protogrove, ADF!All: John and Jane, we welcome you among the Folk!NotesD1 means "Druid 1", usually the ritual leader. NM1 and NM2 are "New Member 1" and 2, respectively."Now with the blessings of the gods flowing in us, let us turn to the Work at hand" is a reference to the fact that this is a "magical working" and in the ADF liturgy comes after the "receiving the blessings" part of the ritual. Thus, this is not a ritual in itself but the magical working portion of a much larger rite."Are there any Folk who have good cause to object to this oath of joining?" - in the ritual review at the grove meeting(s) prior to the rite, I make it clear that if there are any objections to a new member joining, the ritual is not the time to bring it up :)Unlike many Wiccan covens, most ADF groves do not require "unanimous approval" of all members to admit a new member. However, if there are any potential problems which may arise when a new member joins, it's to everyone's advantage (particularly the grove leader's!) to be aware of them ahead of time. Forewarned is forearmed, etc :)So, the proper response to this question by everyone present is total silence ;)"Are you members of Ár nDraíocht Féin?" is a reference to the fact that in Ocean's Tide, grove membership also requires membership in ADF.This is definitely not a requirement of most ADF groves, but whether or not to include it is a choice individual groves are free to make, and we decided to require it. On the other hand, a portion of our monthly grove dues are used to pay for each grove member's ADF membership so that usually helps :)(One reason we decided to include this requirement was that we decided we would rather grow slowly, with people who are ready to seriously commit to ADF and our protogrove, rather than grow quickly and risk growing out of control. As one of ADF's mottos says, "As fast as a speeding oak!" :)"Do you swear to uphold the laws and customs of the Grove as your own?" is a reference to the fact that potential grove members must familiarize themselves with, and accept, the grove bylaws and customs.Many beginning groves ("protogroves") do not have bylaws, but when previously-unknown folks start to join it's a good time to seriously consider creating them—that's why we did! All groups have decision making processes, whether written or unwritten, and expansion is a good reason to write them down so that everyone is literally "on the same page"."Do you swear to protect and aid the members of the Grove in their times of need?" is a reference to a tradition I've carried through several groves, that grove members in serious need may make a "call" to the grove and formally request help, with an expectation that unless there is a serious reason preventing another grove member from assisting, s/he will do so.While we in Ocean's Tide ultimately decided not to put the Call into our bylaws, so it is not a formal requirement that grove members help, the idea is still present as a general expectation that grove members will help each other in times of need, and this section refers to that expectation/obligation."Join your waters with ours" is a reference to an Ocean's Tide tradition of keeping "grove waters". At our grove founding all the members brought water from the ocean and combined them, mixing them with local water to put into the Well.At subsequent rituals, the grove waters are first poured into the Well before the ritual starts, and then mixed with local water, and at the end of the ritual these combined and newly-blessed waters are poured back into the grove water container.New members are asked to bring their own waters from the Ocean and mix them into the Well during the welcoming ritual, thereby "joining their magic with ours". As these waters have been blessed so many times, they are truly "holy waters" and may be used during time of need or for other important rituals such as saining (naming a newborn child) and rites of passage.Other ADF groves have similar traditions using other items, such as a stone which is blessed at each rite and which may be touched during time of need.Lastly, this welcoming was purposefully designed to make it easy for new members to participate. This is why D1 has many lines to speak (and thus, memorize) and NM1 and NM2 get off comparatively easy! :)
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Silver Fox Grove did a founding rite at Yule 1997. We haven't adapted it yet for bringing in new members, but I thought I'd share it anyway. So, here's what we did, in a nutshell... Each of us brought a stone to be given to the grove as a symbol of ourselves. Anyone who chooses later to leave the grove will get this back. (Our first true grove relic is a ceramic circle of friends that has a bowl in the center of it. We plan to place these stones in it at every rite we do together as a symbol of our community, including those who may not be present).Each of us invited our own patron deity(ies) to witness our joining. This was really interesting. We asked our guests to honor the tradition that all who chose to accept our hospitality must leave their animosity (or at least their weapons :) at the door, so to speak. We managed with Thor and Loki, Brigid and the Morrigan, as well as additional members of about four pantheons, all present with no disasters. It was very crowded, though :DWe came prepared to tell who we are, what name we will be known by in the grove, and how we arrived at this point in our path. After asking a little divine help from Forseti, my own patron and SFG's god of community, I spoke these words:We stand as a community in the sight of our Kindred and interweave our lives as family, as friends, and as Folk. Hear our oaths! We shall call upon each other in times of need, for a family takes care of its own. We shall share our resources that all may flourish and grow. We shall work together to maintain a living, dynamic community. For as long as we call ourselves members of Silver Fox Grove, so be it!All of us repeated: So be it!We asked Forseti to bless the chalice of red wine and the bread one of our members made for the occassion, then we passed the chalice and toasted our patrons and matrons, some of us explaining a bit about how we formed those relationships and how we experience them.Each new member has to have a sponsor from the membership. This is an ongoing relationship of guidance and support that goes far beyond simply vouching for the individual to the community. Even the SD has a sponsor :). At this point, we exchaged small gifts between sponsor and ...um... well we don't have a good word yet for the person being sponsored. We jokingly started to call them "spawn", much to the dismay of some of our members :), and it sort of stuck. Any better ideas are mightily welcome!We made our membership tokens a bit later at an activity meeting, but in the future, membership tokens will be made by the sponsor and given to the new member at the welcoming rite.I like the idea that others here have used of the commitments made to the new member by the community. It wouldn't really have made sense in the founding rite, but it will be great for future welcomings.
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This is an outline for a weekly family ritual using the ADF format. Total time needed for the ritual should be 10 to 25 minutes. The goal is to offer some small amount of worship to the Gods and non-Gods on a regular basis, and thus build up our accounts at Mount Olympus Savings & Loan. Also, by doing this type of ritual, people get comfortable with ADF's liturgical format. I've gone light on the chants out of personal preference. I like chants in large groups, but not in very small groups. I've pretty much stuck to a Celtic format because that's the primary material I've had to work with. Most parts can be done by a single individual (designated D1), or handed out among those present. Unless noted, all sets of lines are for a single person to speak. I did try to balance out the single person lines with lines to done by all present. I haven't put any Irish in because my Irish is non-existant.Preliminary Ritual Activity(A) Briefing - drop, this is a standard weekly routine. People should be familiar with it after doing it a couple of dozen times.(B) Individual Meditations & Prayers - drop, this is a standard weekly or daily family routine.(C) Lighting the Sacred Fire(s) - yes; A candle, or preferably some sort of small fire, can be lit now, or kept going all the time, based on personal & safety considerations. Since this fire or candle is considered to always be lit, even if you extinguish it every week for safety considerations, I see no reason to offer a specific prayer when lighting it. A prayer will be said in step 13.(D) Pouring the Sacred Waters - Yes, but again this is like the sacred fire, the well is never supposed to have gone dry. Just fill a bowl or similar for use later in the ritual. If you can, yo u can use a small amount of water from your Grove's Well to establish a link.(E) Consecrating the Sacred Pole - no, optional anyway; if the Bile' or pole is present, it is assumed to be consecrated already(F) Consecrating the Altar & Tools - no, optional anyway; if an altar or tools are present, they are assumed to be consecrated already1st Phase: Starting the Rite & Establishing the Group MindGather in kitchen or household Grove. Wear special clothing if desired.Clear-cut Beginning: Consecration of Time(1) Musical Signal - something very simple, like a single note on a horn or couple of beats of a drum(2) Opening Prayer/Statement -D1: Sound the horn, beat the drum, call the people again. Children of the Gods, gather round to follow the ancient ways.Consecration of Space & of Participants(3) The Processional / Sigil Marking - drop, small ceremony(4) Purification(s) of Participants - I'd like to drop this, but something might be needed by some people to define the gathering in sacred space.(5) Purification(s) of Site - drop, site is assumed to be OK for ritual use, optional anyway(6) Honoring the Earth-Mother -ALL: Say (or sing) prayer: O Earth-Mother! We praise Thee: that seed springeth, that flower openeth, that grass waveth. We praise Thee: for winds that whisper through the shining birch, through the lively pine, through the mighty oak. We praise Thee, for all things, O Earth-Mother, Who givest Life! After offering verbal praise to the Earth-Mother, it is time to offer physical praise to the Earth-Mother. This praise can be expressed by kissing the ground, offering oil or similar to Her via the fire, or offering food to Her outside.D1 or all: Danu, accept our offering! z (I chose Danu, since I see her as the Irish Earth/Creator Goddess.)Centering, Grounding, Merging(7) The Grove Meditation - drop, this is for a family or similar tight knit group.(8) Unity Chant / Song - drop, this is for a family or similar tight knit group.(9) Stating Ritual Purpose & Historical Precedent -ALL: We are here to honor the Old Gods and non Gods. As our ancestors honored them regularly, so do we. By our regular worship of the Old Gods and non-Gods, they grow stronger and more responsive to our needs. For to long have people not worshipped them, and they have slept. Let us awaken them with music and tales.(10) Naming Deity(ies) of the Occasion & Reasons for Choice - At the moment, I'm not going to do anything for the specific High Days. The choice of dieties is based on taking the God(s) or Goddess (es) for the preceding High Day and the upcoming High Day, and worshipping the pair(s) of them in between the two dates. There is a list of Celtic Gods & Goddesses written by Deborah Lipp in one of the back issues of News.D1: We honor in this time of year.2nd Phase: Recreating the Cosmos & Preliminary Power RaisingDescribing the Vertical Axis(11) Planting the Cosmic Tree / Honoring the Sacred Pole -D1: By bile' and by holy well, we are connected to the worlds above and below. Pour some water from the well onto the bile', and throw an offering of silver or whiskey into the well.D2: O sacred pillar that is the boundary of all Worlds, strengthen us.ALL: Sacred tree, grow within us!D1: O sacred waters that flow and swirl beneath us, accept our offering! Boannan, goddess of the rivers, share your blessings with us!ALL: Sacred waters flow within us. (modified from Ian Corrigan's material)(I chose Boannan because she is one of the major Irish river Goddesses.)(12) Evoking the Gatekeeper / Defining the Ritual Center -D1: We ask Mannanon to open the Gates between our world and the three Realms of the Gods. ALL Chant (3 times): We invoke Mannanon, opener of every Gate. You shall reach us, you shall teach us, and reveal our Fate. (13) Evoking the Fire & Water Deities & Linking to Center - This candle is supposed to be the everburning hearth fire in your house. Since many of us can't safely keep a candle burning constantl y, this relighting it weekly will have to do.D1: Dagda, god of the fire, bless this hearthfire that burns in the center of our world. May it carry our praise with it, as it seen through all the Worlds.D2 or All: By worshipping at our family hearth, we are made one with the people worshipping at all hearths. (modified from Garren Na bPreachain) Pour oil of some sort on fire or into offering bow l. Again, I chose Dagda based on Himself's information that he is the Irish fire God.Gaining Assistance and Preventing Interference(14) Invoking the Bardic Deity(ies) or Spirit(s) -D1: Be our priestess, Brighid, drawing the Gods near, and convey our offerings of story and song to them. Lady of fire and song & story, unite us. (modified from Garren Na bPreachain) Pour oil of some sort on fire or into offering bowl.(15) Acknowledgment of Outsiders - libation and prayer/command to leave ritual alone. Some ritualists tend to view Outsiders as malicious. More likely, they would be defending or claiming the t erritory once recognized as their own. Outsiders would include those gods and non-gods of our ancestors whom we no longer recognize [and perhaps do not want to remember], and the deities and spirits of those who have used this land in the past. If possible, use same or similar method to one/s used in Grove ritualsD2: There are those Gods and non-Gods that we do not honor here tonight, and t hose that we have never honored. This gift is for them, that they might understand that we recognize their right to be, that they might know that our ritual tonight need not concern them. (by Ellen Gold) Provide an offering of ale, beer, milk or food to the Outsiders. Pour this offering either just outside the house, say out the backdoor, or at a natural boundary spot on your property, ie: c reek, large stone, boundary hedge or similar.(16) Filling Out the Cosmic Picture - Use 3 fires or candles (Heart/Mind/Body & 3 Worlds) to be lit by hearth fire/ candle.Ex: Triad Invocation of Nature Spirits, Ancestors, Deities in Three Worlds Ex: Invocation of Helpful Beings of each World/Realm Ex: Invocation of Helpful Beings by Province/FunctionD1: As we light these three fires from our central fire, we signify how our hearth fire, is found in all three Realms, Land, Sea and Sky. We offer maize to the Spirits of the Land, the Nature Spir its. We offer barley (or brandy) to our ancestors and honored dead who dwell beyond the Sea in the land of the Dead. We offer barley (or Whiskey) to the various Gods and Goddesses who dwell in the Land, Sea, and in the Sky. To all these beings, we offer hospitality. (modified from Garren Na bPreachain)Light each of three candles or cauldrons in turn, then pour one offering into each fire. Each fire represents on leg of the triad that is invoked. It would look better if somebody other than the D1 did the physical offerings.ALL (3 or 9 times): Hail all the Gods Hail all the Goddesses Hail all the holy ones We dwell together. Lords of the Sky, Ladies of the sacred Earth, Spirits and the ancestors We dwell together. Hail all the Gods Hail all the Goddesses Hail all the Gods and Goddesses Hail all the Gods Hail all the Goddesses Hail all the holy ones We dwell together. (17) The Settling & Focusing - skip this section, I don't see the need for a small group ritual such as this.3rd Phase: Major Sending of Power to Deity(ies) of the Occasion(18) Descriptive Invocation of Deity(ies) of Occasion - We call the dieties of occasion tonight. It is for them we offer praise and ask for their blessings.Primary Power Raising(19) Praise Offerings, Dance, Libations, etc. -A quick storytelling/mythology reading. During an entire year, it would be nice to cover one full mythology, especially if it could be done in synch with the seasons. This is a good place for child ren to start taking part, by reading shorter parts. It would also teach them their family's myth cycle. This could be another article for somebody.(20) The Sacrifice -Sacrifice to the Deities of Occasion of some sort of piece of tree, or maybe a libation of food and drink. This can be placed in a bowl & put out side.D1: Deities of the occasion, accept our praise, thanks and sacrifice!(21) Seeking the Omen of Return - Possible assumptions are that the sacrifice has been accepted, just a question of how well it was received, or this section could be skipped on idea that the qua lity is unimportant or that there will not be a return. This will have to be hashed out by the membership.. Use any method of divination you want.D1: The Gods have accepted our sacrifice.4th Phase: Receiving and Using the Returned PowerPreparation for the Return(22) Meditation upon Personal and Group Needs -D1: As we get ready to share the blessings of the Gods, think now upon what you'll need in the up coming week.(23) Induction of Receptivity - This is usually a meditation to get people in tune with the group as a whole so that they can better receive the returning energy from the Gods. For such a small ceremony, I don't see the need for a meditation.(24) Consecration Agreement -Return of Energy from the Gods: (Catechism of Waters)D1: Of what does the Earth-Mother give that we may know of the continual flow and renewal of life? All others: The Waters of Life! D1: From whence do these waters flow? All others: From bosom of the Earth-Mother, the ever giving All-Mother. D1: Has she give forth of her bounty? Summer-all others: She has! Winter-all others: She has not, but we have stored up her blessings for these times of want. D1: Give me the Waters of Life!Reception of Power from Deity(ies) of the Occasion(25) Consecration and Sharing - Pass chalice to D1:D1: Deities of the occasion, hallow these waters. Provide us inspiration, blessings and good luck as we continue through the week ahead.(26) Acceptance of Individual Blessings - passing of the Waters . I see only a limited number people doing this ritual at a single time. I therefore don't see the need for a chant during, before or after passing the waters.AFTER everyone has partaken:(27) Reinforcement of Group Bonding -D1: We have partaken of the blessings of the Earth-Mother and the Gods & non-Gods. By sharing these Waters, we share with each other our faith and belief in the Old Gods and non-Gods.(28) Spell Casting/Rite of Passage - optional, most rites of passage should be done at Grove ritual, not family ritual5th Phase: Unwinding and Ending the CeremonyUnwinding the Energy Patterns Created(29) Thanking the Entities Invited in Reverse Order -D1: We thank the dieties of the occasion the Nature Spirits, Ancestors, and the other Gods and non-Gods for sharing hospitality with us. We thank Brighid, the Dagda, the Goddess Boannan and Danu for their assistance and for sharing hospitality with us.(30) Thanking the Gatekeeper & Closing the Gate -D1: We thank Mannanan, keeper of the Gates through which the Gods blessings have passed. Let the Gates between the Worlds be closed, and remain closed until we open them again!(31) Affirmation of Past/Future Continuity & Success -ALL: As our ancestors and we have worshipped them before, so shall we and our children continue to worship the Gods and share their hospitality and blessings with each other.(32) Unmerging, Regrounding & Recentering: Meditation - not needed, the Grove unity meditation was never done, because this was a small group ritual.(33) Draining off Excess Power: The Restoration -Thank Earth-Mother:ALL: To Thee we return this portion of Thy bounty, O our Mother, even as we must return unto Thee.Clear-cut Ending: Deconsecration of Time & Space(34) Final Benediction - ALL: By our regular worship of the Gods and non-Gods, they grow stronger and more responsive to us. Let us go forth knowing that they guide us and hear our praise of them.(35) Announcement of End -D1: This ritual is ended.(36) Dissolving the Sigil - no Sigil formed, so not applicable(37) Musical Signal - see the notes for the opening musical signal something very simple, like a single note on a horn or couple of beats of a drum
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This is an example of a ritual created according to the original ADF liturgical outline. The English prayers were written by Sally Eaton, myself, and others. This particular ritual, with appropiate modifications, has been performed on several High Days by the members of the Mother Grove.During good weather, the ritual is set up outdoors, in as natural an enviroment as is possible. If the weather is foul, try to use a cave, cabin, yurt or other premedieval enclosure. The altar is set up in or near the center of the grove. Whenever safe, there should be some sort of main fire availiable (in the actual center). Two chalices are on the altar, along with a sickle and a small (ceremonially cut) branch (12" - 18") of a seasonal appropiate tree.Each person present should have brought a work of art to offer in praise. The presiding clergy should be dressed in long white robes, all others in white tunics or dresses, all with colorful embroidery and trimming. Regardless of culture represented, the general effect should be premedieval.As currently written, the ceremony assumes that there are two Druids leading, one of whom is more fluent in Irish than the other, who are referred to as "D1" and "D2". All of these lines and actions may be taken by a single Druid, or may be parceled out differently according to local circumstances.The people are called to order and formed into two parallel lines some short distance away from the grove. D1 and D2 stand at the head of the lines and speak:D1: Tá muid anseo leis na Déithe a adhradh.D2: We are here to honor the Gods.D1: A Dhéithe, a dtugann bhur gcumhacht beatha do gach aon rud atá beo, bígí anseo linn.D2: O Gods, whose power gives life to everything which is alive, give to us your presence.All begin to process towards the grove, singing an appropiate song. Those musicians who have instruments that can be played while walking, should do so. Banners and (if safe) torches may be carried as well.When they arrive at the grove, the lines split and go around the opposite halves of a circle, meeting at the far side. Assuming that there's room to do so, D1 and D2 continue to process around the ring of people in opposite directions, completing a circuit and then going straigt towards the altar. They pass on either side of it, then continue until they are slightly beyond the edges of the ring on the opposite side from their entrance. They then turn inwards and return to the altar (thus making a Druid Sigil: {symbol in originial}). They wind up behind the altar, D1 on D2's right.In a large congregation, the ring of people will close up behind them. The torches may then be carefully put into the fire, or otherwise disposed of. After all have settled, the following song may be sung by ALL, accompanied by Harp, drum or pipes.All:O Earth-Mother! We praise Thee: that seed springeth, that flower openeth, that grass waveth. We praise Thee: for winds that whisper, through the shining birch, through the lively pine, throught the mighty oak. We praise Thee, for all things, O Earth-Mother, Who givest Life.D1 leads the Tree Meditation. Musicians present may accompany this.D2 discusses the deities of the occasion and the meaning of this particular festival.D1 and D2 invoke the Gate Keeper:D1: A Oghma, a thiarna na nGeataí, a thiarna an fheasa, oscail na geataí dúinn. Tá muid ag siúl i do lorg, tá muid ag siúl ar do bhealach. Scaoil dúinn do theagasc taispeain dúinn cén chaol a siúl faidh muid slán. Molann muid thu mar gheall ar do chumhacht. Siúil linn a Oghma!D2: O Ogma, Lord of the Gates, Lord of Knowledge, open the ways for us. We walk in your footsteps, we walk your roads. Reveal to us your teaching, reveal to us the way to walk in safety. We praise you for the brightness of your power. Walk with us, Ogma!D1: Siúil linn a Oghma...D2: ...walk with us Ogma!D1: Siúil linn a Oghma...D2: ...walk with us Ogma!D1: Siúil linn a Oghma...D2: ...walk with us Ogma!All join in on the following song:D1: We invoke thee Ogma, Opener of every GateAll: We invoke thee Ogma, Opener of every Gate.D2: You shall reach us, You shall teach us And reveal our fate.All: You shall reach us, You shall teach us And reveal our fate.ALL repeat until D1 signals. Usually this will be when the four lines have been sung a total of three times each.The main chalice should now be filled with the Waters of Life (Irish whiskey, preferably), and a secondary cup filled with ordinary water or some other nonalcoholic liquid. Both cups are now consecrated to the Ancestors.While each is speaking, the other is directing the energy flow, from the center of the grove downwards and out in a radiating cone, and back again.D1 takes the main chalice in his / her right hand, and the secondary one in his / her left (vice versa if he / she is left-handed), raises both chalices, and speaks:D1: A sheana, a shinseara, a mhuintir, beannaígí na h-uiscí seo dúinn. Roinnigí orainn ceangal na beatha ar talamh. Roinnigí orainn suaimhneas, eolas, agus beannacht. Labhraígí linn inár gcroí, le go mbeadh muid in aon bhall libhse.D1 sips from either or both cups, then passes them to D2. When D2 has them firmly in her / his hands, D1 blesses her / him with the Druid Sigil marked in the air, saying:D1: Seo iad uiscí na beatha!D2 acknowledges this, then holds the chalices up and repeats the invocation, while D1 controls the energy flow:D2: People of the old times, our ancestors, our kindred, hallow these waters. Share with us the bond of life upon earth. Share with us comfort, knowledge, and blessing. Speak to our hearts, that we may become one with you all.D2 sips from either or both, then passes both in a sunwise fashion (to the person on her / his left), blessing them with the Druid Sigil and saying:D2: Behold the waters of life!The chalices go around the grove, each person receiving the blessing from one person and passing it along with the cups to the next. Eventually the return to D1 and are placed back on the altar.The Chalices are refilled, then consecrated twice to the Spirits, all as before, with sipping, passing and blessing. While each is speaking the other is directing the energy flow, from the center of the grove outwards (and back again) on the horizontal plane, not just to the Four Quarters, but in all directions.D1: A sprideanna na seanaimsire, agus na háite seo, a chomhghuaillithe, a mhúinteorí, beannaígí na h-uisci seo dúinn. Roinnigí orainn athbheochan na Talún. Roinnigí orainn suaimhneas, eolas, agus beannacht. Labhraígí linn inár gcroí, le go mbeadh muid in aon bhall libhse...Seo iad uiscí na beatha!D2: Spirits of the old times and of this place, our companions, our teachers, hallow these waters. Share with us the renewal of earth. Share with us comfort, knowledge, and blessing. Speak to our hearts, that we may become one with you all...Behold the waters of life. The chalices are refilled once more, then consecrated twice to the Gods and Goddesses, all as before, with sipping, passing and blessing. While each is speaking the other is directing the energy flow, from the center of the grove upwards and out in a radiating cone, and back again.D1: A Dhéithe na seanaimsire, a mháithreacha, a aithreacha, beannaígí na h-uisci seo dúinn. Roinnigí orainn bhur gcumhacht le go nginfeadh muid an domhan. Roinnigí orainn suaimhneas, eolas, agus beannacht. Labhraígí linn inár gcroí, le go mbeadh muid in aon bhall libhse... Seo iad uiscí na beatha! D2: Gods of the old times, our mothers, our fathers, hallow these waters. Share with us your power to regenerate the Earth. Share with us comfort, knowledge, and blessing. Speak to our hearts, that we may become one with you all ... Behold the waters of life! At this point there should be a double helix of energy spiraling both upwards and down, with a slow vortex of energy coming in from the sides as well. After a pause for all to absorb the invoked spirits, D1 speaks:D1: Has anyone brought praise for the Lady and Lord of this feast, or for the other High Ones?All present offer Praise, beginning with D2, and moving sunwise around the grove, ending with D1. Each sings a song, recites a poem, performs a dance or plays a tune in turn. During this offering of Praise, the energies flowing through the grove should slowly become stronger and stronger. The D1 ends his / her Praise.D1 takes the branch and sickle from the altar and goes to the center of the grove. There she / he holds the branch up in her / his right hand (unless lefthanded), touches the sickle, and offers it as a symbol of the energies already sacrificed.Instead of a Bhantiarna (o Lady) and a Thiarna (o Lord), the proper names of the deities of the occasion may be substituted. The energies moving through the grove are focused into the branch "and out the other side" to the deities of the occasion.D1: Téann ár moladh suas chugat ar sciatháin iolar; beitear ár nglórtha suas chugat ar ghuailne na gaoithe. Eistigí anois, a Bhantiarna, a Thiarna, más é bhur dtoil é, agus sinn ag ofráil na h-íobairte seo ar son na beatha. Glacaigí léi, más é bhur dtoil é, agus glanaigí ár gcroíthe, ag roinnt arainn do chuid síochana 'is do bheatha. D2 joins D1 in holding the branch, and repeats the sacrifice in English:D2: Our praise goes up to thee on the wings of eagles; our voices are carried up to thee on the shoulders of the wind. Hear now, O Lady, O Lord, we pray thee, as we offer up this sacrifice of life. Accept it we pray thee, and cleanse our hearts, giving to us of your peace and life. The branch is placed back upon the altar, or (if one is present) into the fire. The energies in the grove should be very still at this point.D1 asks all present to meditate upon their deepest needs. Those who wish to speak their's out loud may do so. The D1 waits to be sure that all who wish to speak have done so, the turns to D2 and speaks:D1: Of what does the Earth-Mother give, that we may know of the continual flow and renewal of life? D2: The waters of life. D1: From whence do these waters flow? D2: From the bosom of the Earth-Mother, the ever changing All-Mother.D1: And how do we honor this gift that causes life?D2: By partaking of the waters of life.D1: Has the Earth Mother given forth of Her bounty?D2: She has.D1: Then give me the waters!D2 refills the two chalices and hands them to D1, who consecrates them for the fourth and final time in Irish. The consecrations should be modified to refer to the deities of the occasion. During the consecrations, the energies returning to the grove from the Lord and Lady are focused on the chalices.D1: A Thiarna, a Bhantiarna, Eistigi agus freagairt orainn! Bean-naigi na h-uisci seo duinn. Muide do chlann, a mhol thu, agus anois iarrann muid ort leigheas, beannachtai, cumhacht agus tinfeadh... Seo iad uisci na beatha!D2 repeats the consecration for the fourth and final time in English:D2: O Lord, O Lady, hear us and answer us! Hallow these waters! We your children have praised you, and now we ask from you healing, blessing, power and inspiration .... Behold the waters of life!The chalices are passed around the grove as before (with sipping, passing and the blessing), filling each person who drinks with the power of the deities of the occasion.When all have drunk from the chalices, a song or chant should be sung, coordinating the divine energy flow through breath and movement, thusly: on each exhalation while singing, half the energy is sent in both directions around the grove and the rest is sent towards the ritual center of the grove (and thus to the deities of the occasion).On each inhalation, energy is absorbed from both the other people and the deities. This should produce a rythmic and ever increasing flow, back and forth between the people and between them and the deities. This will fade away natureally as the song ends, leaving all present stronger, healthier and more unified.If there is an urgent need for healing or other serious magical working to be done, it would take place at this point, when all present have been filled with the powers of the Lady and Lord of the occasion. Alternately, if any members of the Grove are ready for a rite of passage, such as Paganiing, handfasting, funeral, or elevation (such as installation of a new Bard for the grove), this would occur now.In any case, the presiding clergy should have been notified before the ceremony began, and the necessay tools gathered. Except for an emergency or a rite of passage, the only Druidic spells to be cast in a High Day ceremony should be those of general blessing upon the Grove and the surrounding land (including any ecological magic that may be needed). Magic done at this point of the ceremony is primarily a matter of channeling the divine energy into the person or thing being affected, rather than the additional generation of human energy.After a pause for silent contemplation, the D1 speaks:D1: Tá beannacht na Bantiarna agus an Tiarna orainn!D2: The Lady and the Lord have Blessed us!D1: With joy in our hearts, let us return to the realm of mortals, to do the will of the Gods and our own.D2: Every time we invoke them, they become stronger and more alert to the needs of their people.D1: But now comes the time when we must prepare to depart. So let us give thanks to those whom we invited here today.D1: A Bhantiarna, a Thiarna, O Lady, O Lord --D2: Go raibh maith agaibh! We thank you!All: Go raibh maith agaibh!D1: A dhéithe na seanaimsiri, O Gods and Goddessess of the old times --All: Go raibh maith agaibh!D1: A sprideanna na seanaimsire, agus na háite seo, O spirits of the old times, and of this place --All: Go raibh maith agaibh!D1: A sheana, a shinseara, a mhuintir, People of the old times, our ancestors, kindred --All: Go raibh maith agaibh!D1: A Oghma, a Thairna na ngeataí, a Thairna an Fheasa, an Fheasa, bíodh na ngeataí idir na saolta a druidte!D2: O Ogma, Lord of the Gates, Lord of Knowledge, let the Gates Between the Worlds be closed!D2 leads a brief reversal of the Tree mediatation to provide recentering, grounding of excess energy, and unlinking.D1 gives the final benediction:D1: Teigheadh muid amach faoin domhan, agus muid lan-chinnte, gur thug ár n-íobairtí taitneamh do na déithe, gur fhreagair siad ár n-urnaí, agus go bhfuil muid ag dul amach faoin domhan faoina gcoímirce.D2: Let us go out into the world, secure in the knowledge that our sacrifices have pleased the Gods and Goddesses, and that we go forth upon the Earth under Their protection.D1: Tá an searmanas críochnaíthe againnn!D2: We have finished this ceremony!D1: Bíodh sé -- So be it!All: So be it!All may now disperse, perhaps singing a Recessional song.
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(As soon as possible after waking up, I go to my altar, pour some holy water into a small glass, and light a stick of incense. Then, I take a few deep breaths and begin my rite.)Grounding and Centering Chant:Solid as the Tree, roots deep within the Mother Ancient as the Land, strong as the Sea Reaching for the Sky, the moon the stars, the heavens Powers that flow through me. (3x)I stand at the Center With all of my resources surrounding me.Before me, the light of life Behind me, the shadow of strife; To my left, the shield of love; To my right, the runes of power; Above me, the star of wisdom; Below me, the path of knowledge; And within me, the everlasting magick, By which all things are possible.Lady Brigid, I greet you this morning and ask for your aid. Lend me your eloquence that I may speak these words and work this rite in beauty.I arise from sleep and come before my altar to renew my commitment to the path I have chosen with every single step I take upon it. I am here to honor my Gods and my Kindred and to give thanks for the many blessings they bestow upon me.(I face behind me to address the Outdwellers.) All you who do not choose to aid me along my path, I recognize your function and respect your purpose. I ask only that you honor mine as well and leave me in peace this day.(I anoint my face and my pendant with holy water.) With this water, I cleanse myself of all that is useless to me, that which holds no joy or beauty, and anything that would do me harm.(I draw a triskele over my center with incense.) In place of these, I charge myself with the wonder of life, the compassion of love, and the protection of truth.The Well, the Fire, the Sacred Tree Flow and flame and grow in me. (I offer some water to my Tree and my plants.)(I hold my holey stone and reconnect with the Earth.) I honor the Earth, mother of all life. Your child stands before you with love and respect.Earth Mother Chant:Dwelling in the earth, swelling in the trees, Here is the spirit of the woman we call mother. Mere de la terre, qui tourne, qui tourne, Le labyrinthe de la vie!My Sight beholds the beauty of the Gods, My blood is alive with the wisdom of the Ancestors, And the voices of the Nature Spirits resound in my soul.Forseti, I call to you in my heart, in my mind, and in my soul. Trusted Counselor, I offer myself to you as a vessel. These eyes, these lips, these hands are yours: guide them to do your work. Be with me this day as I move among my Folk. Help me to nurture understanding and connection in my community and among all life.Brigid, Bright Lady, guide to my voice and source of my art, I invite you into the shrine of my soul. Kindle the fires of inspiration in my heart and move through me to bring beauty and healing to all those whose lives are touched by my own.(I say any additional prayers I may have at this point.)To all of you who are my allies, I give my love, my honor, and my devotion. Accept my offerings and be near me this day. Grant me your guidance that I may walk the path before me with wisdom. Speak to me, and I will listen.(I draw a rune and record it in my journal along with any insights I may have about the appropriateness of the previous day's rune.)I thank you for the multitude of gifts you have given me, as well as for the simple joy of knowing your presences in my life. May there be peace and love between us today and always.Closing Chant:I am walking to the Grove, I am on the path I chose, I shall never lose my way 'Cause I dream all night And travel by day.
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Here is a very short rite for daily devotions, designed especially for traveling, staying at friend's places, riding on a bus or plane, and so forth. It makes every effort to accommodate varying settings, social situations, time constraints, and availability of materials for offerings. It should be doable in the space of a smoke break. Yet it also follows the full Core Order of Ritual (COoR version from the ADF-Liturgists mailing list, November '06).Items needed:water (as it is the most readily available item I can think of, it is used for purification, offerings, and blessings; other items may be substituted where available and appropriate)omen method (use a method appropriate to the situation; travel-ready possibilities include drawing an item from your pocket, casting different-colored pens, looking in your surroundings for omens (signs, clouds, birds, colored lights, etc.), flipping three coins, or drawing runes/ogham from a set on a keychain).1. Initiating the Rite(take a deep breath and focus on the work to be done)2. Purification(dip a finger in the water and touch it to your body)(optional: Appeal for Inspiration-- additionally touch your finger to your lips as a request for eloquence and inspiration, possibly naming a specific being as its source)(optional: Outsiders Offering—dip your finger again and cast this bit of water over your shoulder.)3. Honoring the Earth Mother and 4. Statement of PurposeHail, Earth Mother, whole and holy, honor unto thee! I offer now as the ancients did to the Kindreds Three!(optional: Two Powers Attunement-- gesture to the sky above and the earth below while aligning with these energies)5. (Re)Creating the Cosmos and 6. Opening the Gate(s)(conjure a mental image of the Fire, and optionally also the Well and Tree)By Land, Sky, and Sea, And Fire, Well, and Tree: O (gatekeeper's name), Let the Gate(s) be opened!(imagine the Gate(s) opening)7. Inviting the Three Kindreds and 8. Key Offerings(for each, dip a finger in the water and raise it in offering)To the Ancestors: water, may it strengthen thee! To the Nature Spirits: water, may it strengthen thee! To the Gods and Goddesses: water, may it strengthen thee!(optionally, do the same for any patrons of the occasion you wish to include)9. Prayer of SacrificeO Kindreds, accept my sacrifice!10. Omen(take the omen—if favorable, continue; if unfavorable, skip to 15 and try again later with other offerings or a revised perspective)11. Calling (asking) for the BlessingsI give my gifts to the Kindreds Three, Now let your blessings strengthen me! Hear my prayer and give to me: (desired blessings)12. Hallowing the BlessingLet your blessings come into these waters, that I may drink them down.(drink some or all of the remaining water, as appropriate)13. Affirmation of the BlessingHail the Kindreds, strong in me! Thanks be to the Kindreds Three! Peace to all beings, so may it be!14. Workings (if any)(optional)15. Thanking the Beings(included in #13 above, but if desired, a further thanks may be simply: "Thanks be to the Kindreds")16. Closing the Gate(s)O (gatekeeper's name) Let the Gate(s) be closed.(imagine the Gate(s) closing)(optional: Two Powers Re-attunement-- gesture once again to the sky above and earth below while re-aligning with these energies)17. Thanking the Earth MotherHail, Earth Mother, whole and holy, honor unto thee. I've offered now as the ancients did to the Kindreds Three.18. Closing the RiteThe rite is ended. Go in peace.
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Since others have been sharing their ritual outlines, here's ours in Shining Lakes Grove. We have made one glaring addition, the "Allies," who are the spirits of the people and their gods who once lived on this land. We did this because we felt it was needed (we got lots of indications that led us to this conclusion, including several High Day divinations), and because it is an IE way of dealing with one's defeated rivals.We also have "Ana honoring" in the place of the Earth Mother. Ana is the goddess of the Huron River, who is the goddess of our land (the Huron watershed, where our grove is located), so she is our Earth Mother goddess. That said, here 'tis:FooleryRaffleBriefingTeach chantsPurifiersProcessionalConsecrationsBardic invocationAlliesAna honoringMeditationUnity chantStatement of purposeTreeFireWellOutsidersManannanAncestorsNature SpiritsDeitiesArchetypesDeity of the OccasionPraise offerings pass: [we pass an item of seasonal significance around the circle to be charged during the praise offerings; it becomes our main sacrifice.]Group praiseMain sacrificeOmenReturn blessingCauldron blessing [Our cauldron holds water and a special charged stone sphere; participants may take some of the water for healing and blessings.] New members, etc.UnwindingClosing statementRecessional
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This ritual can be performed at a home hearth shrine or in a larger Nemeton with a minimum of tools or preparations. It is especially good for solitary work, or for very small groups.When any offering is made, it must have a clear intention, for spiritual wisdom, guidance in one's life's path, to open the way to prosperity or love or simply to honor the Powers. The focus of a rite can be toward a specific, personal goal or for general religious or spiritual purposes.This rite is especially proper for the worship of the Patron Deities of one's household, but it may be used to entreat any of the Three Kindreds - Gods and Godesses, Dead or Sidhe. It can also be used as a preliminary rite in which the Priest/ess makes offering to those Powers that will preside at a larger work.The RiteThings you will needFire-pot or candle and censer with incense Cauldron with blessed water Offering bowl Altar-tree symbol, wand or staff as Bile Images of Patron powers(can be used with or instead of Bile ) Horn for pouring and drinking An offering bowl if the rite is indoors Offerings: corn meal, silver, olive oil (or essential oil), ale for pouring and drinking1: Ground and center.Use any method that works for you2: Give nine knells or knocks saying:I am here to honor the Gods. Bless me, O SHINING ONES, in my working.3: Earth-stone is placed in the Offering Bowl.A pinch of corn meal is offered in the Bowl, saying:EARTH MOTHER, I am your child. Accept this offering .....Uphold and bless my rite.4: Silver is offered into the Cauldron, saying:In the deeps flow the waters of wisdom. SACRED WELL, flow within me.5: Fire (and incense) is lit and an offering of oil is made, saying: I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love and power. SACRED FIRE, burn within me.6: World-tree, Wand and self is sprinkled and censed, saying:From the deeps to the heights spans the World Tree. SACRED TREE, grow within me.7: All is sprinkled and censed, saying:By the cleansing of water and fire let all ill turn away from me and mine.8: Outdwellers:A bit of ale is poured to the south of the Fire, saying:All you of the outer dark, Any who abide beyond the light of this work's fire, Accept this offering and trouble not my working.9: Priest/ess contemplates the Three Worlds and the Grove, saying:The Fire, The Well, The Sacred Tree, Flow and Flame and Grow in me! In Land, Sea and Sky Below and on high! Thus is the Sacred Grove claimed and hallowed. So be it!10: Statement of purpose:I have come to do as the wise ancients did. To make offering to the Powers and to (state purpose). So be it!11: Oil is offered to the Fire, saying:I make offering to the Keeper of the Gates. Join your magic with mine and let the Fire open as a Gate, let the Well open as a Gate, let the Tree carry the Spirits to my sacrifice. By this offering and by my Magic, Let the Gates be OPEN!12: Offering is made to the Kindreds:The Horn is filled and elevated, saying:Hear your true worshipper (your name) As I make due sacrifice. Old Ones, my Ancestors, Remember me as I remember you!ANCESTORS, accept my sacrifice! (a quarter of the ale is poured into the bowl) Spirits of this land Aid me as I aid you!SPIRITS accept my sacrifice! (a quarter of the ale is poured into the bowl) GODS and GODDESSES of elder days Honor me as I honor you!SHINING ONES, accept my sacrifice! (a quarter of the ale is poured and the Horn set aside.) Gods and Dead and Mighty Sidhe, Powers of earth and sky and sea, By fire and well and sacred tree, Offering I make to ye! So be it!I make my offering to the Kindreds of the Worlds to those who dwell below to those who dwell above to the tribes of Spirits In Land or Sea or Sky13: Offerings are made to the Patron Powers of the riteAs explained in the liturgical notes.14: Prayer of Sacrifice:As the last of the ale is spilled and an offering of oil is given to the Fire, a heart-felt prayer is spoken asking the Spirits, especially the Patrons of the Rite, to grant the boon. It might include:Let my voice arise on the Flame... Let my voice resound in the Well.... O HONORED ONES (insert names of the Patrons) Hear me now as I offer up this sacrifce. Accept my worship and reverence. Grant (state purpose) and give me your blessing!15: The Omen:The Offerer meditates on the Patrons and on the intention of the rite, then casts a simple omen using runes or another divination system. The offerer meditates on the omen, seeking to understand what blessings the Powers offer in return for the Sacrifice. S/he composes all this - the image, the intention, the omen - into a single gestalt of energy.16: The Blessing:The Horn is refilled and the offerer breathes the combined current into the drink saying:I pour the ale of inspiration, I draw water from the Well of Wisdom. I call upon (Patron Powers) To give to me as I have given to you. O (lord), O (lady), hallow these waters, I open my heart to the flow of your blessing; I, your child and worshipper. Behold the Waters of Life!(The offerer reverently drinks the ale, perhaps sprinkling any object to be consecrated in the work. She meditates on the influx of magical current.)17: The Work:Any remaining work - spells, etc. in pursuit of the intention, is now completed.18: Closing:When all is done, the offerer gives thanks, saying:GODS, DEAD and SIDHE: I thank you for upholding my Magic. Lord of the Gates, Lord of Knowledge, I give you my Thanks! Now let the Gates of the Worlds be CLOSED! SHINING ONES..... MIGHTY DEAD..... NOBLE ONES, I thank you for your aid and blessing. (Patron Powers), I give you my Thanks!Offerer makes a closing triskel, then recenters and contemplates the entire working and ends, saying:The Fire, the Well and the Tree, Flow and Flame and Grow in me! Peace and Blessings. THE RITE IS ENDED!
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This rite can take place during the Workings phase of a full ritual or by itself.The guests are arranged in a circle around the Priest and the couple to be Handfasted. There is a small altar in the center, behind the Priest, to hold the following items:A Silken CordA Chalice of MeadA Small Loaf of BreadThe Priest rings a bell three times three.The Priest says:Pwyll, Lord of Annwfn, said, "If I could choose from all the women and maidens in the world, 'ts you I would choose."And Rhiannon responded, "If that is what you want, set a date with me before I am joined to another man."The Hall was then prepared for Pwyll and his host, and the host of the court as well. They ate and reveled, and it came time to go to sleep. Pwyll and Rhiannon went to the chamber and spent the night in pleasure and contentment.Children of the Earth, we are here in the sight of the Gods, the Nature Spirits and the Ancestors to see two lives brought together in love and happiness._________Name of Bride________, please state your intent to all present.The Bride turns and faces the People and says:Today is the appointed day. I declare to all present, Human and Divine, that I wish to join my hand to _____________Name of Groom_________.The Priest says:_______Name of Groom_________, please state your intent to all present.The Groom turns and faces the People and says:Today is the appointed day. I declare to all present, Human and Divine, that I wish to join my hand to ___________Name of Bride___________.The Priest holds up the chalice of mead and says:Share this cup as you will share your love and concern, holding faith in one another.The Couple share the cup, drinking of the mead. The Priest returns the cup to the altar.The Priest holds up the loaf of bread and says:Share this bread as you will share your worldly goods and debts, holding faith in one another.The Priest breaks the loaf and gives half each to the bride and groom. They eat of the bread and return the remaining bread to the altar.The Priest says:___Name of Bride____ and ___Name of Groom___ , you have shared of your love and of your goods.What oaths do you make to one another?The Bride says:Dearest Name, in the names of the Three Kindreds, I promise that I shall hold faith with you. I also promise....Here the Bride swears her oath, ending with:May the earth open beneath me, may the sea rise up against me and may the sky fall upon me should I forswear my oaths.The Groom says:Dearest Name, by the Might of the Water and the Light of the Fire, I promise that I shall hold faith with you. I also promise....Here the Groom swears his oath, ending with:May the earth open beneath me, may the sea rise up against me and may the sky fall upon me should I forswear my oaths.The Priest says:Please hold hands, right on right and left on left.The Couple cross their wrists and hold hands, right hand to right hand, left hand to left hand.The Priest takes the silken cord and loosely binds their wrists together and says:May love guide your hearts. May the Kindreds guide your souls, and may your joy be a light in the world, growing in the Eternal Present.(To the couple) Now show all attending, Human and Divine, the love you have for each other.The Couple kisses. The Priest unbinds the cord and says:Children of the Earth, these two have joined their hands and hearts as one. Let us give our blessings by voicing our joy and our praise!All hail Name and Name! Joy and Long Life!The People say:Joy and Long Life! Hurrah!The Priest rings the bell three times three.
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Free Spirit Gathering (FSG) is an annual Pagan gathering in northern Maryland with an attendance of about 700 people each year. The opening, closing and main rituals are coordinated by the planning committee, but a number of other groups offer both open and closed rituals. Mugwort Grove has traditionally held their Midsummer high day ritual at FSG. This year the planning committee decided to try to get a number of the attending different groups to jointly plan and perform an eclectic main ritual for all the folk. They promptly went out into the Wiccan community to elicit help. Four months later, unable to find even 2 groups to willing to work together, a committee member suggested a main ritual performed by the ADF Groves of the area.Although initial coordination between the Groves was rough, planning went smoothly once a central planning group was formed from core members of each of the area Groves (Mugwort, Cedar Light, and Raven Hawk). Each of the groves has their own style of performing the ADF liturgy, and we realized early on that this could not be a Grove-specific ritual. It had to be something totally different. Step one was to go back to the standard liturgy and design a ritual from ground up.The challenge was to create a ritual that would speak to all the participants, regardless of background. With that in mind, we carefully chose the deities, the songs, the visual effects, and the sound effects. We realized that at any given time, some of the folk would either not be able to see or hear everything that was transpiring; therefore, every effort was made to facilitate broad range visual effects.A series of workshops were taught by ADF members to facilitate understanding of ADF, Druidism, and the Main Ritual. They were as follows:ThursdayChoreography & Movement– Panel Discussion led by Will PiersonDragons and Fairies and Giants, Oh My!– Skip EllisonDruidism through the Ages– Skip EllisonHoly Wells in Ireland and Britain– Doreen MotheralSigns & Omens– Panel Discussion led by Will PiersonDanu Pathworking– Kathryn DonaldsonFridayThe Role of the Magician in ADF– Skip EllisonPre-Ritual Briefing: Structure and Design of the Ritual – Caryn Laney-MacLuanIntention & Prayer– Panel Discussion led by Will PiersonGroup Preparation & Centering– Panel Discussion led by Will PiersonDruids in the Land– ExplorerPre-Ritual Briefings– Caryn Laney-MacLuanSaturdayWhat is ADF?– Skip EllisonOfferings, Gifts and Sacrifices– Panel Discussion led by Will PiersonPre-Ritual Briefings– Caryn Laney-MacLuanGreenwoman & Greenman– Doreen MotheralSacred Presence & the Deities– Panel Discussion led by Will PiersonPre-Ritual Briefings– Caryn Laney-MacLuanWho Were the Celts?– Skip EllisonIn the past, the main ritual at FSG had been performed in a soccer field approximately 50 yards away from the main festivities, camping, and vendors. We decided to change the main ritual location to the center of the campground. This change better facilitated access to the ritual by mobility limited individuals and created an event that no one in the camp could ignore. It also helped focus the energy of the entire festival around the main ritual, as we were constructing the site for days prior to the actual event, attracting a great deal of curiosity and attention. The site itself was formed of concentric rings rather than one large ring. This allowed more people to gather within earshot and visual range of most of the activities. The concentric rings had 3 clearly marked aisles with the world altars at the end and outer edge of the ritual space. In the center, we erected a 25-foot bilé, along with a large cast iron cauldron for a well, and a large portable grill for the fire. Hanging from an ornate frame, we had Cedar Light's gong, wrought from an old fire extinguisher. The main celebrants formed the innermost circle. Folk who were mobility limited were just behind them. The rest of the Folk filled in the three wedges of the circle.The processionals started from three different locations each with standard bearers, horn blowers, drummers, and/or a bag piper. At the appointed time, the processions started through the camp, each entering the ritual space from pre-marked paths corresponding with one of the three wedges. As the first procession reached a predetermined spot, the celebrants in the center began the processional chant. This ensured that all three processions would be singing the chant together as they entered the ritual space. Other grove members were assigned traffic control duties as folk entered the space so that the aisles were kept clear and to usher in latecomers.Speaking parts were intentionally kept to a minimum due to difficulties in being heard by the whole group. Most speaking parts were also accompanied by visual events so that the folk could see something was happening even if they couldn't hear it. All praise offerings were auditioned beforehand and the number was strictly limited. A one-page flyer was handed out to all participants while entering the ritual space with the ritual outline and the words to the songs.The main power raising and release was a topic of much discussion among the planners of this ritual. We realized that many of the folk coming to the ritual were only there for "a sensation."We set out to give them just that while also facilitating a constructive release of the energy raised to the deities called. We did this by way of a 3-way chant, which got louder and faster to the point of crescendo. Each wedge of the circle had a chant leader and several grove members to help carry the chant for that section. The folk were directed before the start of the chant to, at the sound of the horns, release all energy and send it towards the center by whatever means they saw fit. Once they were out of breath from howling, yelling, trilling, whatever, they were directed by a druid in the center to "Drop and stick your fingers in the dirt!" This occupied and re-grounded them while a druid in center offered final prayers of sacrifice.The omen was done by use of runes and the waters of life were returned to the folk by aspurging teams (two per aisle). The magical working of the rite consisted of sending the energy of the praise offerings to the deities and asking in return for their guidance, motivation, and direction for nurturing our world and ourselves. (The theme for this FSG was "Nurturing Our World.") At the end of the rite we recessed, declared victory, and drank heavily in true druid fashion.Lessons Learned:• Face to face communication is critical in the beginning planning phases. Much time and energy was lost trying to clear up email miscommunication. Questions could not be immediately addressed, presumptions were made, and tempers flared. All of which was resolved in one face-to-face afternoon meeting.• The workshops and pre-ritual briefs were invaluable to the folks' understanding of the liturgy and symbolism. It truly enhanced what people got out of the ritual.• Announcing each step as the ritual progressed helped participants stay in touch with what was happening.• Using flip charts for the pre-ritual briefs was extremely useful as a teaching aid, although somewhat cumbersome.• Performing a walk through several hours before the ritual to check blocking and timing was highly significant to the smooth performance of the actual event.• Use of nursery tape was very colorful and effective for marking off the space but was a big pain to remove afterwards. We recommend the use of lime or something that can remain where it is lain.
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The General Rite of Offering was designed as a venue to worship, honor and make offerings to any beings among the Indo-European Kindred, with exception of those beings considered to be Outsiders to any given ritual setting. Specifically, this ritual was created to provide additional opportunities for the worship of the Indo-European Kindred in general, as opposed to high rituals focusing upon a specific Being(s) of the Occasion, as well as for Grove’s to be able to offer additional opportunities for worship within their diverse communities. This ritual has not been tied to any seasonal customs or any other specific purposes and has been intentionally created to provide hearth culture neutrality. The deities invited to provide Bardic Inspiration and to function as the Gatekeeper may be chosen from any Indo-European hearth culture.PRE-RITUAL ACTIVITIESDuring the preparation phase of our ritual the following activities are completed prior to initiating the rite. Upon arrival to the ritual site and prior to any ritual tools being unloaded or set up, we gather to invite and make offering to the Spirits of the Land. The Spirits of the Land are those beings attached in some way to the land we use for our worship. These spirits may be Nature Spirits, Ancestors or Deities that are often protectors and guardians of the land itself. Utilizing the following invocation, we ask for permission to worship upon the land and the Spirits of the Land are invited to join in our celebration, if they wish to do so.Spirits of the Land From the crossroads between Earth and Sky, Upon the border of this Great Lake And among those that dwell in this plane, We call out to the spirits of this land. Once more we assemble upon this ground and ask for the use of this place for our worship.Deities of past and present peoples; Guardians and protectors of this ground; Those of you in tune with our purpose; We invite you to share in our celebration. Spirits of this Land, accept our offering!An offering of milk and honey is made to the Spirits of the Land. While the offering is being made around our ritual area all who have gathered sing the chant: We Approach the Sacred Grove 3x’s to attune to the land, its spirits and each other. Once the chant and offering are complete all participants say the following.Spirits of this Land, accept our offering! All: Spirits of this Land, be welcome among us!Following the invocation and offering to the Spirits of the Land we unload our ritual tools and other items necessary for our gathering. We set up our ritual space and our feasting hall prior to the arrival of guests.After the Nemeton has been set up the waters for the well (which have been gathered from 3 water sources) are poured and blessed by an officiate using the following invocation or one of their own: Water (as the waters are being poured) With the power to create and destroy And the strength of cleanse and purify, Flowing from deep within the Earth.Gathered from three wells for a sacred purpose. Blessed is the water that will hallow and make holy our Nemeton!The fire kindled with flint and steal and blessed by an officiate using the following invocation.Fire (as the fire is kindled) With the power to create and destroy, And the strength to cleanse and purify. Forging forth as flint strikes steel.Kindled from the hearth’s flame for a sacred purpose. Blessed is the flame that will hallow and make holy our Nemeton!Once our Nemeton has been prepared we dress for ritual and a pre-ritual omen is taken. One rune or ogham is drawn for each of the three Kindred for the purpose of avoiding unforeseen problems within our ritual to come. Once the messages from the Kindred have been considered any necessary changes are made prior to proceeding. If the omen is good we proceed with our preparations.Pre-Ritual Briefing Once guests have arrived a Pre-Ritual briefing is facilitate, which discusses the purpose, intention and order of the upcoming ritual. Songs and chants to be used within the ritual are practiced at this time, as well as specific directions given for guest participation.INITIATING THE RITEGrove Attunement Following the pre-briefing, all participants are assembled for the Grove Attunement. The Grove Attunement is a guided meditation, which utilizes an adapted Two Power’s meditation. The Grove Attunement is intended to aid all participants to let go of negative thoughts or struggles, while connecting to the powers of Earth and Sky and to each other, as we unite as one people with a common purpose for the period of the rite. Closing your eyes, take a few deep cleansing breaths. Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. In through your nose and out through your mouth. As you breathe, lay aside the worries, troubles and woes of the mundane world. (pause for a 4 count)We now stand between the Earth and Sky Feel your feet firmly resting upon the Earth Know that below us flows the primal waters, Cold, dark and chaotic; filled with the potential of all life. Allow the primal waters to enter your being. Feel the coolness of the waters as they pool within your belly, within your heart and finally, within your head. (pause for 8 count)Reaching high into the sky above Feel the illuminating radiance of the Heavens Know that above us burns the primal fires, Warm, light and ordered; filled with the spark of all life.Allow the primal fire to enter your being. Feel the warmth of the fires as they illuminate your mind, your heart and finally your spirit. (pause for 8 count)Feel the primal powers of Earth and Sky as they surge through you, lending strength and energy to your being. (pause for 8 count)As we open our eyes, know that we assemble as one folk to worship with a common purpose.All: May our worship be true. May our actions be just. May our love be pure. Blessings, honor and worship to the Holy Ones.Procession We begin our ritual by gathering in a single file line outside of our Nemeton. We process to our ritual space with a slow walk, while singing a chant or song. The song is repeated until all participants are within the Nemeton.In Song Come we now as a people To gather together at the sacred well Come we now as a people To gather in the warmth and the light of the flame © Stone Creed Grove, ADFRepeat until all participants have entered the worship area.Musical Signal A musical signal, a bell, hammer striking an anvil, drum beat, etc. lets all who have gathered know the ritual has begun.HONORING THE EARTH MOTHERHonoring the Earth Mother and Sky Father An opening prayer is given to honor and invite the Earth Mother and Sky Father, the primal Mother and Father of all, to our ritual. We have made a personal addition to the ADF Core Order of Ritual in our opening blessings with the inclusion of a Sky Father. The Earth Mother and Sky Father are not to be confused with the Neopagan concept of Lord and Lady, but are the primal mother and father of their pantheons. Our Earth Mother may be localized Earth Mother or chosen from among the Goddesses of Sovereignty from a hearth culture specific pantheon. The Sky Father deity honored in our opening blessings is the God of the Clear Sky or Day Sky. He is the embodiment of Sky power, the illuminating radiance of the Heavens. It is our belief that through the union of the Earth Mother and Sky Father that all life comes into being and true balance can be achieved.Earth Mother(kneeling at the well)Ancient One of ever changing beauty Primal Mother of Gods and Men And Great Goddess of Sovereignty We are renewed in your waters Cradled within your mantel of green And sustained by your abundance Earth Mother, we call upon the life-giving magic of the Earth!Sky Father(standing at the sacred fire arms outstretched to the sky)Flashing One of the Sun’s healing warmth Brilliant Father of the Clear Sky And Great God of the creative spark We are purified between your flames Strengthened through your radiant light And prosper from your fertility Sky Father, we call upon the illuminating power of the Sky!Officiate inviting the Earth Mother and Sky Father together say:Great Earth Mother and Sky Father, Through your sacred union springs forth all life. Mother and Father of all that was, of all that is and all that will be. We come before you in love and respect and we ask that you uphold and bless our gathering!An offering of white bread (1 whole round loaf) and clarified butter is made to the Earth Mother and Sky Father.Earth Mother and Sky Father, accept our offering! All: Earth Mother and Sky Father, be welcome among us!Invocation for Bardic Inspiration *Optional. An officiate may call upon a specific Deity to provide participants with the gift of inspiration and eloquence for the period of our worship. This deity is also called upon to aid us in communication with the Otherworld. The Deity of Bardic Inspiration can be a deity from any Indo-European hearth culture with the ability to provide such inspiration.Goddess of Inspiration & Poetry Great Mother of Song & Music May our words echo in the sacred well. May our hearts and minds burn with your eternal flame. May our songs resonate upon the wind. May you grant us the gift of inspiration and insight!An offering of cream & honey is placed in the offering bowl for Brighid.Lady Brighid, accept our offering! All: Brighid, be welcome among us! STATEMENT OF PURPOSEThe statement of purpose is a brief statement of the purpose for the ritual. It explains the reasons we have gathered, who the Beings of the Occasion will be (if any) and is often accompanied by a storytelling based on Indo-European mythology to establish the historical precedent.This eve we gather upon the Earth as one tribe; To worship and honor the Kindred as one people; We gather kin and clan beneath the Sky; To make sacrifice to the Kindred; Receiving their blessings in return. May all who gather this eve be welcome among us!PURIFICATIONOutdwellers The Outdwellers are defined by Whispering Lake Grove as beings of chaos that are not in tune with the purpose and intention of our ritual. The Outdwellers are addressed and given a token outside of our Southern fire in an attempt to control the chaos that enters our ritual space. The officiate placing the token to the Outdwellers does so just after the purpose of our ritual has been established. The items for the Outdwellers are usually given in an even number and are darker in color representing the chaotic nature of these beings. These items are given from the left hand, while avoiding eye contact. We strive not to offend or provoke, but to avoid establishing a guest/host relationship with any and all beings among the Outdwellers. During our rituals all present are asked to turn away and pay no attention to these beings as they are addressed to avoid establishing a relationship with them.Outdwellers(at the Southern fire a token is placed for the Outdwellers)Beings of chaos and discord! Hoards, whose minds know not rest and whose spirits know not peace. To all those, whose screams and cries, harmonize not with our songs and praise. Know that this time and place we claim as ours! You may have held it in the past, you may hold it in the future, but for now, Let it be known that it is OURS! We have given to you all that we intend to give. May order reign and chaos trouble not our gathering!Purification of Participants & Space Participants are led in the following power raising chant:With the powers to create and destroy And the strength to cleanse and purify.As the participant’s chant, blessed water is taken from our well and incense briquettes within a censor are lit from the sacred fire. Participates are sprinkled with water and censed with incense. Water is then sprinkled once around our ritual space to cleanse the space, followed by the incense for purification.When all participants and the worship area is censed and asperged the following words are said:Through the union of fire and water, Our Nemeton is made whole and holy! Once more we have met the threat of chaos with order and laid claim to this place. We have made sacred this space and time that we may worship and honor the Kindred as one people.Creating the Group Mind & Affirmation of Unity A ritual officiate will assist participants to re-establish group mind and reaffirm their connection to the Earth and Sky, followed by all chanting: In SongDeep Peace (Author Unknown)Deep peace of the flowing air to you Deep peace of the sacred flame Deep peace of the running wave to you Deep peace of the quiet earth May peace, may peace, may peace fill your soul Let peace, let peace, let peace make you whole.Repeat chant 3 times(RE)CREATING THE COSMOSConsecration of Time An officiate will take the participants to the time of cosmic beginning of Norse mythology or to the time of the coming of the Tuatha in Irish Celtic mythology due to the lack of a creation mythology for the Irish Celts. Other Indo-European creations myths may also be adapted for this purpose. This activity prepares the way for the convergence of the worlds and re-establishes group mind.In the beginning and so too in the end; there was but fire and ice, and between them a vast emptiness. To the North laid the ice and snow, frigid winds and fearsome storms ravaged the land. To the South burned the fires, molten and glowing the dancing flames consumed all before them. In the vast emptiness the warm breath mingled with the ice. The warm winds began to melt the ice and tiny drops of water began to form. Within the tiny drops of water new life began to stir and the powers to destroy life became the powers that created it.The fire, well and tree are honored with a song or invocation and are prepared through offering to become the sacred center between land, sea and sky in preparation for opening the ways between the worlds.Fire, Well & Tree (chant) Fire, bright Fire Gate to the Shining Ones Fire, bright Fire Our passage to the Sky Fire, bright Fire Warmth of our Community Spark of Life We honor you nowIncense is offered to the fire.Well, deep Well Gate to the Underworld Well, deep Well Our passage to the Sea Well, deep Well Wisdom of the Ancestors Waters of Life We honor you nowSilver is offered into the well.Tree, great Tree Gate that reaches everywhere Tree, great Tree With you we share the Land Tree, great Tree Our passage to the Otherworld Source of Life We honor you now.The bile is asperged with water from the well and censed with incense. Words & music by PandoraCompleting the Cosmology Land, Sea and Sky are established, as well as the Underworld, Middle world and Heavens through invocation.To Land, Sea & Sky The waters support and surround us. The land extends about us. The sky stretches above us. And at the center burns a living flame. Let us pray with a good fire. May all the Kindred bless us. May our worship be true. May our actions be just. May our love be pure. Blessings and honor and worship to the holy ones.Land, Sea & Sky Text by Ceisiwr SerithOPENING THE GATESAn invocation is spoken asking a Gatekeeper deity (a God/Goddess of the Threshold) to ward the way and facilitate communication between the worlds, as well as to assist in opening the gates. An offering is made to the Gatekeeper and all participants join in singing a power-raising chant prior to the gate opening. The Gatekeeper deity can be any Indo-European psycho pomp or liminal deity.The magical portals (fire, well and tree) are then opened. The Bile or tree becomes a crossroads or axis between Earth and Sky, between this world and the Otherworld, where spirits and communication may travel freely between the worlds. The Sacred Fire is opened as a way to the Shining Ones, the Deities and the Sacred Well is opened as a way to the Mighty Dead, the Ancestors. Through these portals we send our love and worship in the form of prayers and offerings. The Kindred (The Noble Spirits, Mighty Dead and Shining Ones) in return send us their guidance, wisdom and blessings through the portals.Manannan MacLir, it is your might and magic that wards the threshold. Grey Rider of Aonbarr, we ask for your protection as we walk through the mist this night. Mighty Lord of the Crossroads, as we travel between the worlds of man and Sidhe may you part the mist before us.Irish whiskey is offered to Manannan.Manannan MacLir, Mist Weaver, accept our offering! All: Manannan, be welcome among us!Let us raise our voices in song to the Gatekeeper!All in songGatekeeper open the portals, Between the Gods and mortals, Power freely flows, as our magic grows!Repeat chant three times © Stone Creed Grove, ADFManannan, merge now your magic with ours! See the flame leaping forth from the fire. See the mist arising from the well, Flame and mist converging upon the tree. Forming a meeting place between the realmsStriking a sigil or triskel over the fire Let the fire burning towards the heavens open as a gate that we may follow the way to the Shining Ones. Striking a sigil or triskel over the well Let the well whose depths reach the Underworld open as a gate that we may follow the way to the Mighty Dead.Striking a sigil or triskel upon the tree Let the tree, pathway between Earth & Sky, be open to us. By the land before us! By the seas about us! By the sky above us! Let the Gates Be Open!INVITING THE THREE KINDREDWe pray and make offering to the Kindred. We honor the Noble Spirits of the world around us, our animal companions, the green world, fairy folk and other non-human spirits. We honor the Mighty Dead, our Ancestors of blood, as well as those of spirit that have passed from this world. We honor and worship the Shining Ones, our Deities, asking them for their blessings in our lives. We end each invocation by all participants welcoming the Kindred among us.Now that the world of the living and that of the spirit are one, we call out from the crossroads to the Mighty Kindred. Allies of the Middle Realm!Noble Spirits Beasts of legend and lore Lurkers of mist and shadow Creatures of fur, fin and feather Allies of the Middle RealmBeings of myth and magic Messengers of the Otherworld Dwellers of land, sea and sky Watchers of this sacred ground!Hear us, Spirits both great and small, for we are in need of your company! Noble Spirits, join us in celebration this night!Seeds and cream are offered upon the ground.Noble Spirits, accept our offering! All: Noble Spirits, be welcome among us!Mighty Dead Priests of magic and lore Chieftains of kith and clan Bringers of law and order Mighty Ones of the realm belowHeroes of myth and legend Warriors of strength and courage Beloved Dead of blood and spirit Ancestors of flesh and boneHear us, Teachers and Guides, for we are in need of your wisdom! Mighty Dead, join us in celebration this night!Beer and bread are offered.Ancestors, accept our offering! All: Ancestors, be welcome among us!Shining Ones Guardians of hearth and home Protectors of kith and kin Bringers of peace and plenty Shining Ones of the realm above Champions of honor and might Wielders of war and destruction Dwellers of light and shadow Deities of land, sea and skyHear us Eldest and Brightest for we are in need of your blessings! Shining Ones, join us in celebration this night!Clarified butter and white bread are offered.Shining Ones, accept our offering! All: Shining Ones, be welcome among us!KEY OFFERINGSInvitation of the Beings of the Occasion For the purpose of this ritual the invitation to the Kindred to serves as the Key Offering. The Indo-European Kindred are the honored guests of the occasion.Personal/Praise Offerings Ritual participants are given an opportunity to make praise offerings in the form of poetry, song, dance, or works of their hands etc. These offerings of praise may be given to any among the IE Kindred. Praise is given freely and nothing is asked for in return. Ritual participants may also give a personal offering of thanks or petition the Kindred, if they wish.THE PRAYER OF SACRIFICEThe purpose of the Prayer of Sacrifice is to collect all of the energy, love and honor left within our ritual area intended for the Beings of the Occasion. Once collected this energy is to be sent through the gates just before the final sacrifice is made. A final sacrifice is prepared and given. It is at this point in the ritual that the energy that has been flowing through the gates from the participants now begins to flow back to us from the Beings of the Occasion in the form of blessings.Through our praise, love and sacrifice; We honor deities, as they walk among us. Through communication with the Otherworld; We receive their guidance, inspiration and insight. Tonight we call out from the crossroads to our guests of honor! As we prepare to make our final sacrifice. The final sacrifice is prepared. It is in love, honor and respect that we have offered hospitality to the Kindred this night. We have sung their praise; made our sacrifice. It is our hope that our words and sacrifice have conveyed our love. We call once more through the Gates and deep within the Otherworld that all shall know of our devotion. Mighty Kindred, we honor you. The final sacrifice is made. Kindred, accept our sacrifice! All: Kindred, accept our sacrifice!Participants meditate, sending their energies through the gates. Let us raise our voices in song as the Kindred reveal their will.In song Come druid all, ovate and seers And let your minds be still Earth, sea and sky will lend no fears As the gods reveal their will.Let every heart sing praise to them And all our works be skilled Claiming their blessings to the very end. As the gods reveal their will. (Words by Sean Miller)THE OMENThe Omen is taken utilizing a symbol set, for example, by drawing three Ogham or three Runes. The type of symbol set utilized and the number of symbols drawn may very. The primary purpose of the Omen is to give the Beings of the Occasion a voice, as we ask if they have accepted our praise, offerings and sacrifice. The secondary purpose of the Omen is to preview the blessing and receive guidance; wisdom, inspiration, insight, warnings or other messages the Beings of the Occasion may have for us. The Grove Seer gives a brief interpretation and explanation for participants to contemplate each message.CALLING FOR THE BLESSINGBlessings are call down from the Beings of the OccasionTwo pitchers will be filled and sat in the midst of the hallows. The following words will be spoken over the pitchers. As in the ways of old we have given our gifts freely and as in the ways of old a gift is given unto us in return. We will drink deep of the Cup of Inspiration. May the blessings of health, wealth and wisdom be ours. Mighty Kindred, your blessings upon us! All: Kindred, your blessings upon us! We gather with you between Earth and Sky. We are proud to call ourselves your people. Once again, Mighty Kindred, your blessings upon us! All: Kindred, your blessings upon us! We have brought our offerings. We have made sacrifice. One last time, Mighty Kindred, your blessings upon us! All: Kindred, your blessings upon us! The pitchers are lifted saluting the fire, well and tree.HALLOWING THE WATERSThe Blessings of the Beings of the Occasion are invoked into the Waters.Behold the Waters of Life! Mighty Kindred, hear and bless us. Noble Ones, hallow these waters of life. Mighty Ones, hallow these waters of life. Shining Ones, hallow these Waters of Life. Lifting the pitchers before the participants. Behold the Waters of Life! All: Behold the Waters of Life!AFFIRMATION OF THE BLESSINGThe participants are asked if they wish to receive the Blessings of the Being(s) of the Occasion. Upon receiving affirmation the Waters of Life are passed and shared among the participants. As the Waters are shared, it is customary to sing a song or chant until all have had an opportunity to receive the blessing. Now Good folk, do you wish to receive the blessings of our honored guests? _____________. Then we shall drink deep the blessings of the Kindred!The Waters are passed and all participants share the waters. As the waters are passed participants sing the following song.In songPour the waters, raise the cup, drink your share of wisdom deep, strength and love now fill us up as the elder ways we keep.© Stone Creed Grove, ADFWORKSAny work that may need to be done on behalf of the community may be performed, as needed, during this section of the ritual.THANKING THE BEINGSAll of the participants thank the powers that have attended us during the ritual in reverse order. Each Being that was invited to join our celebration is given a token of thanks. The Earth Mother and Sky Father are not thanked until later in the ritual.Shining Ones, Eldest and Brightest. May you continue to guide and bless us as we walk this path. Shining Ones, known and unknown, we thank you for your blessings and guidance this eve. (a final token is offered) May there be peace between us until we meet once again by the hearth’s fire. All: Shining Ones, we thank you! Mighty Dead of blood and spirit, those who inspire and guide us in our lives. Beloved Dead we thank you for the wisdom you have shared with us. (a final token is offered) May there be peace between us until we meet once again by the hearth’s fire. All: Mighty Dead, we thank you! Noble Spirits of land, sea and sky, Companions who aid and guide us in our journey. Noble Spirits, we thank you for sharing your knowledge and protection. (a final token is offered) May there be peace between us until we meet once again by the hearth’s fire. All: Noble Spirits, we thank you! Lady Brighid, Great Mother of Song and Music. We thank you for your blessings of inspiration and eloquence. (a final token is offered) May there be peace between us until we meet once again by the hearth’s fire. All: Brighid, we thank you!CLOSING THE GATESThe Gatekeeper is thanked and receives a final token of thanks. The Gates between the worlds are closed.Manannan MacLir, Weaver of Gray Mists; we thank you for your protection and guidance as we have walked between the worlds this night. (A final token is offered) May there be peace between us until we meet once again by the hearth’s fire All: Manannan, we thank you! Manannan Mac Lir, Great Guardian of the Threshold, we now, ask that you close the gates, warding the way between the worlds once more. Let the fire burning towards the heavens once more become but flames. Let the well whose depths reach the Underworld once more become but water. Let the tree, pathway between Earth & Sky, become but wood. By the land before us! By the seas about us! By the sky above us! Let the Gates be closed!THANKING THE EARTH MOTHER AND SKY FATHERJust prior to the conclusion of our ritual, the Earth Mother and Sky Father are thanked and all that has gone unused is returned to the Earth and Sky.Illuminating One of the Sky, may you continue to show us the way to courage and right. Bright Father of the Clear Sky, we thank you for the strength and healing warmth you have given us. (a final token is offered) May there be peace between us until we meet once again by the hearth’s fire. All: Sky Father, we thank you! Ancient One of Ever Changing Beauty, may you continue to renew and sustain us. Primal Mother of the Gods and Man, we thank you for all life. (a final token is offered) May there be peace between us until we meet once again by the hearth’s fire. All: Earth Mother, we thank you! We now return all that has gone unused to the Earth and the Sky, may they continue to support, surround and sustain us. All offerings that remain are burnt in the fire or scattered upon the Earth.CLOSING THE RITEUnmerging, Regrounding & Recentering: Meditation Participants take part in a final meditation for the purpose of grounding and centering energy from the ritual. Good folk, join me once more as we close our eyes; breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth (pause for a 2 count). As the mighty oak is part of the forest, we are all part of the great circle of life. Remember the blessings we have received together this night (pause). As we stand between Earth and Sky Once more feel your feet firmly resting upon the Earth Know that below us flows the primal waters. Once more feel the coolness of the waters that have pooled within your belly, within your heart and finally, within your head. (pause 4 count) Reaching high into the sky above Feel the illuminating radiance of the Heavens. Know that above us burns the primal fires. Once more feel the warmth of the fires that have illuminated your mind, your heart and finally your spirit. (pause 4 count) Feel the primal powers of Earth and Sky surging through you, as they have given strength and energy to your being. (pause 4 count) Keep of this power what you need, sending what remains forth from our beings into the Great Lake (pause). See this energy heal and protect her as we conclude our worship.May all that is be what was, that it may be again!Musical Signal A musical signal lets all who have gathered know the ritual has ended.All: We will keep the faith until the sky falls upon us and crushes us; until the earth opens and swallows us; until the seas arises and overwhelm us. Recessional At the conclusion of our ritual, participants leave the ritual space in song until all have left the Nemeton.CHORUS The sky fuels the waters And the waters sustain the skies We walk together from this place With the honored as our guidesStrong in our purpose We balance and survive From many wells of fortitude Our spirits are revived CHORUS Joyous in our sharing We honor dead and alive With voices of sacred wisdom We travel the path of our lives CHORUS Fulfilled in our learning Our souls will always thrive In our varied hearts and minds We keep the sacred for all time CHORUSlyrics by Moon DragonGeneral Rite of Offering 2007 (Unless otherwise credited) Ritual text written by Raven & Carrion Mann
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I've written a ritual opener that I thought others might like to see. It can be done by a solitary or by a group. I will give it for a group; the required changes for a solitary are obvious.The waters support and surround us. The land extends about us. The sky stretches above us. At the center burns a living flame. (light a candle or oil lamp or fire) Let us pray with a good fire. May all the kindred bless us. May our worship be true. May our actions be just. May our love be pure. Blessings and honor and worship to the holy ones."Let us pray with a good fire" is RV 1.26.8. It's one of my favorite ritual lines of all time. This can be used as a centering meditation by removing the RV line and the lighting of the candle. It can then be done anywhere and any time.While I'm thinking of the RV, I would like to give one of my favorite hymns, 8.30, in O'Flaherty's translation:1.Not one of you, gods, is small, not one a little child; all of you are truly great. 2. Therefore you are worthy of praise and of sacrifice, you thirty-three gods of Manu, arrogant and powerful. 3. Protect us, help us and speak for us; do not lead us into the distance far away from the path of our father Manu. 4. You gods who are all here and who belong to all men, give far-reaching shelter to us and to our cows and horses.[Ed. note: RV = The Rg Veda]
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Use the standard opening ritual, up to the Calling of the Kindred. Only call the Ancestors. Then continue, but after the praise offerings (which should all be offered to ancestors), the following is said:It is said that the dead have a journey to make. It is said the that dead cross a river on their journey. It is said the the river becomes filled with their memories. It is said that the river is filled with their wisdom. It is said that the river comes to the surface as sacred springs. It is said that those who drink from those springs receive the wisdom and the memories of the dead.A bowl of spring water is held up. Someone says:From the ground it comes, bubbling up with ancient knowledge. When we drink it, may we be filled with this knowledge. When we drink it may we commune with the ancestors. When we drink it May we meet with our beloved dead.The bowl is passed around for all to drink. When all have drunk, light a candle from the fire, and say:We light the way for our ancestors' return. May they come and feast with us.Process to where your feast will be, the carrier of the ancestor candle going first. At the feasting site, put a plate in front of the candle, and provide it with food. Later dispose of the food either in a cemetery or in water.Note that I have left who says what open. The section with the "It is said"s can be done by a number of people, with each person saying a different line. (This will make memorization easy.) The part with "When we drink it" can be said as a litany, with a priest saying "When we drink it" and the others responding.When the water is passed, it may be drunk from the common bowl, drunk from a dipped in hand, or drunk from a separate cup carried by each person, depending on grove practice.
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All gather about a table. In the center of the table is an oil lamp or a long burning candle. There are also two bowls, a bottle of beer, and a pitcher of mead or apple juice. Someone says:We propitiate the Outsiders. May they not disturb our rites. May we form our Cosmos in the midst of Chaos.Someone pours the beer into one of the bowls and takes it outside. It is left there until the following day. If that is not possible, it is poured out on the ground. When the person comes back in and joins the others, someone says:Let us pray with a good fire.Someone lights the lamp or candle. Then someone pours about a third of the mead or apple juice in the remaining bowl and says:We make offering to the gods. May their power be with us this day.Someone pours another third of the mead or apple juice in the bowl and says:We make offering to the ancestors. May their wisdom be with us this day.Someone pours the rest of the mead or apple juice in the bowl and says:We make offering to the nature spirits. May their blessing be with us this day.Someone says:The waters support and surround us. The land extends about us. The sky stretches out above us. At the center burns a living flame. May all the kindred bless us. May our worship be true. May our actions be just. May our love be pure. Blessings and honor and worship to the Holy Ones.Then perform such work as you wish; offerings, a meeting, or whatever. After the work, return to the table and once more gather around it. Someone holds up the bowl and says:The kindred have blessed us with their presence. May we go on our way, filled with their blessings.Someone carries the bowl outside and leave it overnight or pour it out. When that person returns to the table, someone extinguishes the fire and says:Extinguished without but burning within. The living fire flames within us.This ritual may be used for a variety of purposes. It was originally written for opening and closing a grove meeting, but it can also be used as a solitary rite. If used that way, the "work" portion can be removed, a devotional rite to one's patron can be inserted, or magical work can be done. The ritual can even be used to open and close informational meetings, presentations, etc.I have left the division of labor in this ritual up to the participants. Everything may be done by one person, or each part by a diffferent person, or any variation in between. "Let us pray with a good fire" is from the Rig Veda 1.26.8, O'Flaherty's translation.There are two references to the three functions in this ritual. The first is the section "May our worship be pure, may our actions be just, may our love be pure." In this section, the functions are in the order 1, 2, 3. In the section "Blessings and honor and worship to the Holy Ones," they are in reverse order, 3, 2, 1.
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Today I gird myself with triple power Invocation of the Gods; Attunement with the Spirits; Reverence to the Ancestors.Today I gird myself with the Power of the Magic Cauldron With the power of the Spear and Sword, and the Stone of Sovereignty. With the whole company of the Mother's KinToday I gird myself with the Power of the Noble Ones Obedience of Spirits, service of the Sidhe With the loving blessing of the Dead. Wisdom of the wise, courage of the strong, innocence of the young And the deeds of heroes.Today I gird myself with the Power of Heaven Light of the Sun, brilliance of the Moon, speed of Lightning; Swiftness of Wind, depths of the Sea, firmness of Earth Hardness of Rock And the Power Under the EarthToday I gird myself With the Goddess' Power to direct me With the Gods' Wisdom to bear me up With the Child's Love to content me Their eyes to look after me, their ears to hear from me, Their voice to clarify for me, their hand to guard me, Their paths open before me, their shield to ward me, From the snares of spirits, from the weakness of will, From habit and unmindfulness, from all who wish me ill Far or near.I summon these Powers to be upon me and in me, to make me equal to any challenge: To come between me and any power that threatens my body or spirit: That I may have the wisdom of the wise, the love of the loving, the power of the powerful; That I may be known in the Inner Realms and acknowledged with honor. Know me. O Mighty Ones, for my name is ...Magic within me, magic on my right hand, magic behind me; Magic on my left hand, magic before me, magic above me, magic beneath me. In the eye of all beholders, in the ear of all who hear In the heart of all beings My magic is established.Today I gird myself with the three fold power Honor to the Gods! Honor to the Fair Folk! Honor to the Dead! And honor to the Wisdom of Magicians That dwells in me forever So be it!
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The person I wrote this ritual for was experiencing problems with his body not acting as it should (sort of like a cancerous growth). The ritual would work well in any case where someone's body has been invaded by impurity, though, and the main thrust of it is a call to an ancestor to ask for that ancestor's help in purifying the seeker's body, along with a call to Lugh to aid in the process. This ritual is written in an abbreviated format because it was originally meant to be done by only two people, and I was trying to emphasize the Working and de-emphasize other things, and generally speed things along. In the text, I've replaced the original person the ritual was done for with [Seeker], and his ancestor with [Ancestor]. If you ever do a form of this ritual, I think it would be best to use the full names (first, middle, and last) of each where possible. That's what I did, and it came out very powerfully. * Gathering & setting materials up (fire, well, tree; symbolic spear of Lugh). (Making sure that all are familiar with the chants included.) * Moment of Silence & Contemplation. * Musical Signal: Three chimes. Procession optional. * Opening Prayer: We are here to honor the gods, and to ask their blessings in return. * Fire, Well, and Tree: Fire: A small fire is lit in the cauldron, a candle if necessary. I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. Sacred fire burn within us. Well: Silver is offered to the well and its waters are poured. In the depths flow the waters of wisdom. Sacred water, flow within us. Tree: An Incense stick (lit from sacred fire) censes the tree, asperging too. From the depths to the heights spans the world tree. Sacred tree, grow within us. The Fire, the Well, the Sacred Tree, flame and flow and grow in me. In land, sea and sky, All: Below and on high. Thus is the sacred grove claimed and hallowed. All: Biodh Se! By the cleansing of water, and fire, let all ill turn away from me and mine. All: Biodh Se! * Outdwellers: A cup of ale is poured outside the ritual space, saying You who come from the outer dark, You who stood against the gods and man, You who are cold of heart and cruel of mind, Take this offering and trouble not our working. * Bardic Inspiration: Lady Brighid ("breezh") is called and asked for inspiration: O Brighid the skillful, O Brighid of the triple spirit, O Brighid who comes in light and shadow, Thrice blessed be your flaming path. Lady Brighid, share with us the flame of your spirit, And let our words inspire Lady Brighid, join us! * Tree meditation: Grounding and centering with the energies of Earth and Sky. * Opening the Gates: Manannan mac Lir is called: O Manannan, Lord of the Gates, Lord of Wisdom, open the ways for us. We walk in your holy ways, we walk the Sacred Road. Share your magic with us, ward us as we walk in safety. Manannan, walk with us! "Shoo-lin O Manannan, Walk with us Manannan" (repeated 3 times) * The Three Kindreds: The Gods, the Dead, and the Sidhe ("shee") are called: Gods - Hear us, Shining Ones of eld, you who uphold the worlds. In you we grow in wisdom, strength, and purity. Honor us as we honor you: Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice! [Oil is offered to the fire] Honored Dead (done by Seeker) - Hear us, Old Ones, our ancestors and kin, You whose blood flows in our veins. From you we spring and with you we will grow in health. Remember us as we remember you: Ancestors, accept our sacrifice! [Corn meal is sprinkled around the bilé] Sidhe - Hear us, Spirits of the Land, You within stone and stream, beast and herb and tree. From you we learn to live in harmony with our world, and ourselves. Aid us as we aid you: Land Spirits, Accept our sacrifice! [Seed is sprinkled around the bilé] * Recentering Meditation: Integrating the newly-present Powers. * Statement of Purpose: The meaning and intent of the Working is stated: We gather here this night to ask the father of the mother of [Seeker], [Ancestor], to aid him in purging himself of that which is unnatural, of that which is unasked for, and of that which is preternaturally harming him at this time. * Invocation of the Ancestor of the Occasion: [Ancestor], [term for ancestor's relationship in Ancestor's language], [relationship to Seeker] of [Seeker], is called: [Seeker makes her/his own call to Ancestor, asking for the exorcism of the unnatural, the removal of the malady, and the healing of the problem. Honor is given, Offering is made, and Help and Healing are asked for.] * Invocation of the Deity of the Occasion: Lugh Lamfhada is called (words by Ian Corrigan): Lugh, the Victorious, We make our Grove under your shield, O Lugh of the White Horse And the Brilliant Blades. You of the Perfect Form, Child of Light and Shadow, Slayer of Balor, purger of the unnatural, be in our midst. Accept this ale in welcome Lugh, Champion, King of All (ale poured) We make our working in the joy of the Samildanach ("sow-eel-dahna") The Clever One, the Sure Hand The Bard and the Smith. May we be at peace Under the hand of the Chieftain of Danu, Taking joy in the protection Of the master of all crafts at once We offer this bread, That the harvest may flourish by the hand of the ploughman. (bread offered) By the Sacred Three of Glory, and By the Spear and by the Raven Hear now your people's call Come, we pray, among your folk O Lugh the Victorious Our Light and our Guide O Lugh the Victorious Our Champion and Protector O Lugh the Victorious Our Savior and Healer Accept this offering of fruit And be present in your strength. (fruit offered) * The Magickal Working: The Invocation and Working is spoken: Lugh, we ask that you aid the father of the mother of [Seeker], [Ancestor], in purifying him. We ask your aid in purging the poisons within him, in assimilating the lessons needing to be learned, and in healing the wounds within and without. Son of Cian of the People of Danu, and son of Eithne of the Fomhoire; Master of Light and Dark, aid us in this Working. Aid [Ancestor], aid [Seeker], and aid [Seeker]'s true Folk in this Working. Lugh Lamfhadha, Lugh of the Long Arm, Lugh the Champion of the Tuatha de Danaan, lend your Power to this Working! Let the purity of the blood of [Ancestor] be ever greater in [Seeker]'s veins, let the purity of the strength of [Ancestor] be ever fuller in [Seeker]'s body, and let the purity of the spirit of [Ancestor] be ever stronger in [Seeker]'s spirit. Let all impurity be banished, let all healing be invited, and let this begin NOW. * The Omen: An omen is taken with cards or runes. * Thanking the Powers: Thanks are given to the Powers in reverse order: Each time we invoke the Powers they become stronger and more alert to the needs of the Folk. But the time has come to end our Working, and it is proper to give them thanks: Lugh Lamfhada, go raibh maith agait ("gora ma-agit", we thank you) [Ancestor], go raibh maith agait Land Spirits, go raibh maith agaibh ("gora ma-agiv", we thank you plural) Honored Dead, go raibh maith agaibh Shining Ones, go raibh maith agaibh Manannan mac Lir, go raibh maith agait Lady Brighid, go raibh maith agait. * Final closing: Deconstructing the Cosmos, closing: By the Walker of the Ways, 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. We have done as our ancestors have done, and as our children will do, and the Powers have answered. Let us go out into the world secure in the knowledge that our sacrifices have pleased them and that we go forth under their protection. The ritual is at a close. All: Bee-shay!
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The musical signal will be given to call the folk for the ritual.D1: Wir sind hier um die Goetter zu Ehren. Folk: We are here to honor the Gods.Led by the clergy, the folk processes to the ritual site & form the ADF sigil singing the Processional Chant three times:We approach the sacred grove, With hearts and minds and flesh and bone, Join us now in ways of old, We have come home.Fire, Well, and TreeThe Fire Maiden (FM) will light the fire and make an offering. FM: I kindle the sacred fire of nine woods 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 asperge the site and the folk.The Tender of the Tree (TT) will dress the Tree. 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 asperge and cense the Tree.D1: The fire, the well, the sacred tree Folk: Flame and flow and grow in me! D1: In land, sea and sky Folk: Below and on high! D1: Thus is the sacred grove claimed and hallowed. Folk: So be it! D1: By the cleansing of water and fire let all ill turn away from me and mine. So sind Sie!The folk will be led through the Grove Meditation and then will chant the Unity Chant three times:Earth, sky, and sea, Blessed are these three, Day bright and darkest night, Two sides of the light.Now one in mind, we will find Our praises here resound Yes one in mind we will find, From our lips to the sacred ground.Ritual Purpose and Historical PrecedentD1: We gather here to ask the protection of the Kindreds, for ourselves and for this place especially. As we call them now, so do we offer them a place here as long as we remain within. As we honor them now, so do we pledge to honor them as long as we remain within. And as we create the sacred grove to share with them now, so may they hallow this household and share it with us as long as we share it when them. So sind sie.Inviting the GatekeeperD1: 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 shining ones. Watch the fire and Yggdrasill and see Bifrost, the rainbow bridge, manifest to us.D1: Heimdall, shining one, guardian of beautiful Bifrost, son of nine waves and sounder of the ill fated horn, 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 sing the Gatekeeper Chant three times:We invoke you Heimdall, Opener of every gate. We invoke you Heimdall, Opener of every gate. You will reach us, you will teach us, And reveal our fate. You will reach us, you will teach us, And reveal our fate.Invoking the Deity of Bardic InspirationD1: Listen to the music of the universe, the music of Saga and draw inspiration into your hearts. Bard:Saga, All hear the ancient one come. Saga, Help us see the harvest, Saga. Guide us to the table, Saga. Sing us tales of wonder, Remind us that we are able To drain the cup yet drink again. Golden seer of eternal light, Guide us with your beloved presence. Your song is our own, Saga.The OutdwellersA cup is poured for the outdwellers and they are acknowledged. Nature Spirits, Ancestors, and GodsNature Spirits - D1: Draw the strength of nature as we call the nature spirits. D2 will come to the center and pick up the offering of seed and says: Landspirits, join us in this celebration. Accept these offerings.D2 pours a little pile of seed on the Tree and then spreads some around the outside of the circle, then returns to the center and says while D1 lifts the bowl: Hallow these waters. Share with us lore and blessings.D1: Seih den Lebenswassern da! Folk: Behold the Waters of Life!The folk chant Fur and Feather three times:Fur and feather and scale and skin, Different without but the same within, Many of body but one of soul, Through all creatures are the gods made whole.Ancestors -D1: Remember the wisdom of our past kin as we call them.D3 will come to the center and pick up the offering of flowers and says: People of eld, honored dead, our kindred, join us in this celebration of joy as you taught us in days of eld.D3 puts a few flowers on the Tree and then dresses the well, then returns to the center and says while D1 lifts the bowl: Hallow these waters. Share with us lore and blessings.D1: Seih den Lebenswassern da! Folk: Behold the Waters of Life!The folk chant Mothers and Fathers of Old three times:From far beyond this mortal plane, Mothers and Fathers of old, We pray that you return again, Mothers and Fathers of old, To share with us the mysteries and secrets long untold, From the ancient ways we seek to reclaim, Mothers and Fathers of old.Gods -D1: Feel the protections of the gods as we call them.D4 will come to the center and pick up the offering of oil and says: Gods and Goddesses of old times and new we ask you to join with us in this celebration of nurturing joy.D4 pours a little oil on the Tree and then on the fire, then returns to the center and says while D1 lifts the bowl: Hallow these waters. Share with us lore and blessings.D1: Seih den Lebenswassern da! Folk: Behold the Waters of Life!The folk chant Hail all the Gods three times:Hail all the Gods, Hail all the Goddesses, Hail all the Holy Ones, We dwell together.Lords of the Sky, Ladies of the Sacred Earth, Spirits and the Ancestors, We dwell together.Re-Centering & Merging MeditationThe folk are led in a meditation of recentering and merging of the new energies.Invitation to Thor & Praise OfferingsThor, warder of Midgard, friend of man, we ask you to join with us this day of warding and to aid us in defense against threats to our home. Have the folk brought praise?Bard: They have.D1: So sind sie. (Praise offerings follow)A Sacrifice of LifeD1 (holding up oak branch): Our praise goes up to you on the wings of eagles, our voices on the wind. Hear us Thor, we pray to thee as we offer up this sacrifice of life. Accept it and open our hearts and give to us of your protection, peace, and life. So sind sie!Magickal WorkingThunar, Odin's Son, Earth's Son, Thunderer Friend of Man, Midgard-Warder, Mjollnir-Wielder, Troll-Killer River-Stemmer, Stone-Thrower, Serpent-Crusher, Thurses-Bane Strike the Serpents near our Stead, Smite the Serpents, Sudden Death Make this Warding, with your Might, with Mjollnir-Hammer Shining Bright!(pours bottle of Guinness into a mug, holds in one hand, and picks up hammer aloft in other)Thor, we offer this to you in faith and ask that you ward this household, which always will have a place for you, and those who dwell within, from all harm and threat. Thor, accept our sacrifice!All: Thor, accept our sacrifice!OmenAn omen is taken with the runes and shared with the Folk.Waters of LifeD3: Of what does the Earth Mother give that we may know of the continual flow and renewal of life? Folk: The Waters of Life.D3: And from whence do these Waters flow? Folk: From the bosom of the Earth Mother. The ever-changing All Mother.D3: And how do we honor this gift that causes life? Folk: By partaking of the Waters of Life.D3: Has the Earth Mother given forth of her bounty? Folk: She has!D1 raises the cup and says: Thor, we have praised you, hallow these waters and give to us of your power and protection and vitality. Seih den Lebenswassern da! Folk: Behold, the Waters of Life!Cups are passed and the Waters are shared, while Share the Waters is chanted:Share the Waters, raise the cup, Drink your share of wisdom deep, Strength and joy now fill us up, As the elder ways we keep.Thanking the HostD1: 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: Thor, 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: Saga, Wir danken Sie. Folk: Wir danken Sie. D1: Heimdall, Wir danken Sie. Folk: Wir danken Sie.Closing the GatesD1: 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! 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.As the folk process out of the ritual area, Walk with Wisdom is chanted:Walk with wisdom, from the hallowed place, Walk not in sorrow, our roots shall ere embrace, Let strength be your brother, and honor be your friend, And luck be your lover, until we meet again.
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Prepare ritual space to include a representative of each the fire, the well and the tree, three additional candles for each of the Kindred, a cup of water, a bowl for offerings, the offerings themselves (such as incense and steel cut oats), divination tool and matches/lighter. You may also include an offering to the Outdwellers during purification. Some feel that since their home shrines are already hallowed, there is no need to offer to the Outdwellers there. This is up to you. Also, many of these items can be permanent fixtures on your shrine.Initiating the RiteRing bell or simply state: "I have come to honor the Gods." Purification"As I prepare to come before the Kindred, I set aside those parts of myself that distract me from the task at hand. I push away all thoughts of mundane life that would creep into my mind."Perform Nine Breaths to cleanse and prepare to establish sacred center. Concentrate on blowing out the negativity that may be pent up inside you.Honoring the Earth Mother"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. I thank you. Earth Mother, accept my offering."Offer steel cut oats, or some other prepared grain.Statement of Purpose"As I stand firmly upon the Mother Earth, I give praise and offerings to the Kindred in the ways of those who have gone before me."State seasonal material as appropriate and any other workings you will be doing during this rite such as oaths or prayer requests.(Re)Creating the CosmosSing the "Portal Song" as you add silver to the well, light your fire and focus your energy into the tree. Two Powers Meditation or other grounding and centering exercise Conjuring of the Mists/Calling of the GatekeeperOpening the GatesSay a few lines about why you have chosen this Deity as a Gatekeeper. Invoke your gatekeeper. Make offering. Concentrate your energy and mime the gate opening with your hands as you feel the gates slide away and bring you into the presence of the gods."The gates are now open!"Inviting/Offering to the Three Kindred"Kindred! A Child of Earth calls to you! I call forth the Ancestors, those who have gone before, the Spirits of the Mighty Dead to join me here. You, who have been where I am, passed into the beyond, and hold now the secrets of life and death. Ancestors of blood and spirit, I call to you. Ancestors, accept my offering!"Light the Ancestor's candle as you speak and end with your offering."I call to the Nature Spirits, you who dwell in the middle realms, coexisting with the human race. Spirits of place, I call to you. 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 Nature Spirits' candle as you speak and end with your offering."I invite the Shining Ones, the Gods and Goddesses who live in the upper realms. 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!"Light the Shining Ones' candle as you speak and end with your offering."Welcome, Kindred to this place, and thank you for the gift of your presence."Key OfferingsInvite Patrons/Deities you wish to work with today. Make offerings to them and give appropriate praise.Prayer of Sacrifice"I thank you for hearing my words! I have freely given of my hands and of my heart. May you accept the gifts I place at your feet in humble praise with joy and happiness. Bless-ed Kindred! Accept my Offerings!"Give final offering with gusto.OmenUsing the divination tool of your choice, take the omens."Kindred, do you accept my offerings today?"Draw, if yes, thank them. If no, offer more."What are the blessings you offer in return?Draw a second time."What are the further needs the Kindred have of me today?"Draw a third time. Take a moment to internalize the omens. Also, think about what these omens mean in terms of what you have planned for the day."I thank you for this information"Record Omens.Calling for the Blessings/Waters of Life"Kindred, I have given freely to you from my hands, my heart and my spirit. In return, I ask that you send forth your blessings into my cup that I may receive them."Shining Ones, Nature Spirits, Ancestors! Pour forth your blessings!"Allow me to drink of the Cup of Inspiration. Kindred! Pour forth your blessings!"Impart me with the wisdom of ages past and the vision of the future. Kindred! Pour forth your blessings!"Slowly lift your cup as you invoke the blessings of the Kindred, with the cup at full arms reach above you as you pronounce "pour forth your blessings" the third time. Hold for a moment and feel the energy flow into the cup.Hallowing the BlessingWith Arms still stretched before you, pronounce:"This cup now holds the waters of life! I drink this in the name of the Kindred."Drink the contents of the cup.Affirming the Blessing"May these waters I have received flow through my body and through my spirit, and may they pour out into the rest of my life."WorkingsThis is the time to perform any magical working, ask for assistance with a problem or take an oath.Thanking the BeingsFirst, thank the deities of occasion or patrons you invited."Ancestors, I thank you for knowledge you have shared with me. Nature Spirits, I thank you for your continued assistance in this realm. Shining Ones, I thank you for the blessings and wisdom you have imparted to me."Closing the Gates"[Gatekeeper], I thank you. I ask you to join your magic with mine once more. Help me to make the well but water, the fire but a flame, and the tree but wood."Close the gates with your hands."The gates are now closed."Thanking the Earth Mother"Earth Mother, you are my greatest support. Sustainer of Life, I would be nothing without you. All that remains unused will be given to you. I thank you."Closing the Rite"As those before me have done, I have honored the gods. As I close this rite, I remind myself that the gods go with me in my heart that I may walk with wisdom, power, peace and inspiration. The Rite is ended."Snuff flames, or if small, extinguish all candles in one dramatic breath.
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The back yard of the family welcoming in the new child. Ritual space is set up with a water-filled cauldron, a main altar, and a small hibatchi with fire in the center of the yard. A large oak in the yard serves as the "World Tree." Parents and child sit in a swing to the side of the ritual area. The main deities are chosen for their significance to the newborn and his/her family. Three flanking altars form an outer circle for . . . Nature Spirits (low table with a green bowl of earth, green candle, and a smaller green cup with whiskey) Ancestors (low table with a navy bowl of local water, navy candle, and a smaller navy cup with whiskey) Deities (low table with a light blue bowl of feathers, blue candle, and a smaller blue cup with whiskey) PRELIMINARY WORK Set up space: Nathair - Druid in Charge (DIC) Pre-ritual briefing: DIC "It was traditionally the mother who named a new child, after its time of danger was passed. This family has already named their baby by filing a legal birth certificate with the state. Now though, they wish to name him before their community after his time of danger has passed. We come to welcome this new person, extend the hand of friendship and community, thank the Deities for his safe arrival, and ask their continued blessings." [Mundane details of the rite are addressed and explained] Individual meditation: [all meditate until the musical signal calls them back together] BEGIN THE RITUAL Musical signal to gather: DIC [Chimes rung. The group gathers and processes to form a circle around the ritual space.] Opening prayer to Earth Mother: "Earth Mother, you are our home, the ground beneath our feet. We honor you, and seek to live in balance with you. We ask your presence in our ritual today. Earth Mother, blessings and welcome!" [A small bowl of cornmeal is taken from the main altar and sprinkled on the ground before the World Tree.] All respond: "Blessings and Welcome!" Invite Bard (Brigit): "Brigit, you are known for your healing, as well as your craftwork, but today we call you in your aspect as Bard. Help our words to be inspired, our movements graceful, and our wits sharp to please you and all gathered as we perform this ritual. Brigit, Blessings and Welcome!" All respond: "Blessings and Welcome!" OPENING THE GROVE Grove meditation: DIC [A guided meditation is led asking all to imagine themselves as trees with roots deep in the earth, and branches entwined with each other in the sky.] Unity chant: "We are a circle within a circle, with no beginning and never-ending" (three times) Statement of purpose: [The child's father steps into the circle holding him . . .] "It has long been the custom of a community or group to welcome its new members with a ceremony. Communities are as important today as they have always been, though they are now often groups of choice and not of location. You represent this child's community, you who will be his role models, his friends, and his confidants. We come together now to welcome him into our midst, and bless (name) as he begins his walk through life with us." Outsiders offering: [Takes a small cup of beer from main altar and pours it out away from the group.] "Outsiders, we leave this offering to you who are not concerned with what we are doing today. May you enjoy this drink and leave us in peace." ESTABLISH SACRED CENTER [The three elements of the sacred center are honored as usual, but after that, a blessing is also asked for the child. The father steps to the center of the circle holding the baby.] "We know little of how our ancestors worshipped in times passed. What we do know is that they had three things at their sacred sites: a hearth, a pit, and a deep shaft. The hearth was for the sacred fire, the pit for a sacred well, and the shaft for a pole, or bile - the World Tree." Fire "Sacred Fire, like you we come to dance for a short while, and like you we are hungry and must be fed. You cook our food, light our way, and keep us warm in winter time. O, sacred fire, we burn with you." [An offering of whiskey is poured into the fire.] All respond: "O, Sacred Fire, we burn with you!" "O, Sacred Fire, lend your passion and will to this child. May he keep the fires of life kindled in his heart!" [The child is presented to the fire — close but not over!] Well "Sacred Well, you are the womb from whence we spring. You are the waters of the mother, the collective unconscious that gives birth to creativity and life. You hold the water that nourishes us through out our lives. O, Sacred Well, we flow with you!" [An offering of silver is dropped into the well.] All respond: "O, Sacred Well, we flow with you!" "O, Sacred Well, lend your creativity, your ongoing capacity for change and renewal to this child. May he know a lightness of being!" [The child is presented to the well.] Tree "Sacred World Tree, you are the axis of the universe. You hold the upper world high in your branches, and the lower world below in your roots. In you, meet both fire and water, light and dark. O Sacred Tree, we stand with you!" [An offering of honey is poured before the tree.] All respond: "O, Sacred Tree, we stand with you!" "O, Sacred Tree, lend your strength and endurance to this child, May he keep his roots firmly planted in Mother Earth, and his sights soaring with the stars!" [The child is presented to the tree.] Call in Gatekeeper (Danu): "Danu, you are the gateway, the mother that brings us into life. We call on you to watch over us and guard the gate between the worlds as we walk the elder ways. Danu, Blessings and Welcome!" All respond: "Blessings and Welcome!" OPENING GATES [The three Druids calling the Kindreds come to the center with their staffs as the gatekeeper is called in. They form an upright triangle with the tops of their staffs touching over the well. As the gates are called open, they slide the sticks down until they form an open horizontal triangle. Walking backwards (carefully!) they retreat to their world's altar and leave the staff behind it on the ground.] "Let the gates be opened!" MAIN OFFERINGS Call in Nature Spirits: "We call to the spirits of this place: those of fur and feather and scale. We call to the spirits of green growing things, and the spirits of soil and stone, rock and pool. We honor you and thank you for letting us share this space with you. Blessings and Welcome!" [An offering of whiskey in a small cup on the Nature Spirits' altar is taken and poured on the fire.] All respond: "Blessings and Welcome!" Call in Ancestors: "Now we invite our honored Ancestors. Ancestors of body, mind and spirit, those who gave us form, taught us, and helped shape our beliefs, welcome. To the honored family of this child who dwell beyond the ninth wave, we most especially bid welcome . . (name the child's departed great grandparents, etc.). Blessings and Welcome!" [An offering of whiskey in a small cup on the Ancestors' altar is taken and poured on the fire.] All respond: "Blessings and Welcome!" Call in Deities: "The children of the earth call out to the Tuatha de Danaan, the children of Danu. High Ones, we ask that you be with us in this rite. We also welcome the patrons of all those gathered today. Blessings and Welcome!" [An offering of whiskey in a small cup on the Deities' altar is taken and poured on the fire.] All respond: "Blessings and Welcome!" Invite in patron power (Dylan): "Dylan, Lord of the Sea, God of the waves, son of Ariahnrod, we call to you asking that you might join us in our rite today. Dylan, Blessings and Welcome!" All respond: "Blessings and Welcome!" Praise offerings - Master of Ceremonies (MC): "Now is the time in the ritual where we offer gifts to the Gods. Those who have gifts for the child may also bring them forward. Who has something to offer?" [Participants take turns coming forward, either giving things they have made to the child or the high ones, or singing a song, or reading a poem.] FINAL SACRIFICE [When all who have gifts to give are finished, the MC takes a cup of whiskey from the altar and pours it into the fire as a final sacrifice.] "Are there more gifts? No? Then let the Gods accept our sacrifices, and for those who could not be with us today in body, but are with us in spirit, we offer this final sacrifice." [The whiskey is poured into the fire, or in front of the World Tree.] Seek an omen: DIC [Ogham sticks are pulled from a small bag giving a reading from the Three Kindreds on how the energy will be returned.] Meditation on omen: [DIC leads a short meditation on the divination given.] BLESSING and WORKING Waters of Life: [Takes the two chalices from the main altar- one of wine and one of water - and holds them up towards the sky.] "High Ones, we ask that you bless these waters, sending us your energy that we might take it and use it to do our working here today. Behold the Waters of Life!" [Some wine and water is each poured into a silver cup belonging to the child, the rest is passed around the circle for each to drink from, or pour a small offering on the ground.] MAIN WORKING Naming: DIC "Who will speak for this child giving him the name he will be known by?" Mother: "I will." [She steps to the center of the circle holding the child and tells the story of why they chose the newborn's names — what each of them mean, if they came from relatives, etc. After she is finished she presents the child by his full name] All respond: "(Name) Blessings and Welcome!" Spell of blessing: DIC "Now we will pass a token of goodwill, a necklace to hold our wishes and blessings for (name.)" [All gathered pass a triskele pendant on a cord around the circle, sending a blessing or good wish for the child into the amulet.] Affirmation of success: DIC [The DIC takes the amulet and holds it aloft.] "May the wishes of those gathered here today stay with this child and help him in his life. May the Gods make it so. By their will, it is done." [The DIC places the necklace around the child's neck.] UNWINDING AND ENDING [As the Kindreds and Deities are thanked, the Druid doing that role takes a small amount of the Waters of Life set aside in the child's cup and asks for the High Ones' blessings with it.] Thank Patron and ask his blessing on child: [Anoint the pendant around the child's neck with wine.] "Dylan, Lord of the Sea, King of the Waves, help us bless this child. May he know strength, and beauty, wisdom and compassion, the love of his friends, family, and high ones. Dylan, we thank you for your presence today. Join us at revels if you can, but go if you must. Blessings and Farewell!" All respond: "Blessings and Farewell!" Thank Deities and ask their blessing: [Anoint the top of the child's head with wine] "High Ones, Gods and Goddesses, we thank you for being with us today. We thank you for the safe deliverance of this child and ask that you continue to bless him through out his life. May it be a good one. Deities, Blessings and Farewell!" All respond: "Blessings and Farewell!" Thank Ancestors and ask their blessing: [Anoint the child's hands with wine.] "We thank the Ancestors for being with us today. May the path they have laid before us continue to inspire and guide us on our journeys. May the Ancestors watch over this child (name) and help him as he learns and grows. Ancestors, bless this child. Honored Dead, we thank you for your presence and ask that you join our revels if you are not needed elsewhere, and if not, we bid you goodbye. Ancestors, Blessings and Farewell" All respond: "Blessings and Farewell!" Thank Nature Spirits and ask their blessing: [anoint the child's feet with wine.] "Nature spirits, join us now in blessing this child (name). May he be blessed as he walks in harmony with you and Mother Earth on the journey of his life. Bless this child. Nature spirits, thank you for letting us share this space with you. May we not forget you and the lessons you bring as we all walk our daily lives. Blessings and Farewell!" All respond: "Blessings and Farewell!" Close gates and thank Danu: [The three people who invited the Kindreds come forward to cross their three staffs in a triangle over the well.] "Danu, we thank you for lending your presence here today as we blessed this child. Stay if you can, but go if you must. Blessings and Farewell!" All respond: "Blessings and Farewell!" "Let the gates be closed!" [The three Druids let their staffs slide upward until the points meet at the top. They return to the circle.] Reground and center: [A reverse tree meditation has all gathered return from tree shape back to human shape.] Thank Bard: "Lady Brigit, we thank you for being with us today, guiding our words that they might be sweet for the wee one. Join us at revels if you are able, but if you are not, go with our gratitude and love. Blessings and farewell!" All respond: "Blessings and farewell!" Declare end: DIC "This rite is ended, may all join us inside for revels!"
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Water- it not only covers 70% of the Earth's surface, but makes up 90% of our bodies as well. We can live for over a week without food, but without water we would die very quickly. luckily for us, it constantly bubbles up out of the ground, washes up onto the shores, and falls down upon our very heads. How wonderful! And as if that isn't enough, it is also the main ingredient in whisky and beer.Since water is so very important in every other area of our lives, it makes sense that water would be crucial to our Mythology, Cosmology and Ritual as well. This article will explore some of the methods we've developed in Red Oak Grove to use Sacred Water. We will discuss what water means to us, where we got our Sacred Water, some of the special containers we use to hold our Water, what we do with it, and how we take care of it. This article should give you many ideas of ways you can use Sacred Water to enhance the meaning and power of your own Rites.(By the way, since we're from New Jersey we pronounce it: 'WOOD-ur', but you can say it any way you want.)Water itself is a magical thing: a combination of two very flammable gases. It's somehow a liquid at room temperature and hard as stone when frozen. In all three states, it's colorless, but when sunlight shines through it, it refracts a brilliant, multi-colored rainbow that can be seen for miles.The three states of water, solid, liquid and gas, can be seen as symbols of the three Realms Land, Sea and Sky. The Sea is commonly associated with the Ancestor Kindred and is seen both flowing beneath the Land and surrounding it.In Red Oak Grove we use water to purify both people and place and as a symbolic vessel for the Ancestors and Their Blessings. We use the symbol of the Well as one of the three Gates to the Otherworld and as a special home or symbol of our beloved Goddess Brigedd.When we first began working together as a Grove, we got some bottled distilled water to use in our Ritual. We consecrated it by the simple act of intentionally devoting its use to a religious ceremony. Since it was being set aside for the exclusive use of the Kindred, it was, therefore, sacred (cut off) from mundane use. During the Ritual, this water was blessed for the Kindred, so it became even more special and precious. You wouldn't pour something like that down the drain, would you? Of course not. We saved it and it became our Sacred Water.We used this same Water at the next Rite, and the one after that. As time went by, we occasionally got together with other Groves to do combined Rituals. We would always bring our Sacred Water, and if the other Grove brought theirs, we would pour them together in a little private ceremony before the public Rite. Our Waters would mingle and mix on the Altar and be used and blessed together in the Ritual. When the people dispersed, we would carefully divide the Hallowed Waters between the Groves and take them home.At Wellspring 1998, we did this with about 12 Groves who also brought water from home. In addition, the water was charged by the very powerful magical working and the combined will of everyone there.A small amount of our Water came from the Atlantic Ocean, gathered at different ceremonial times. For example, last Spring Equinox at dawn, we went to the beach, planted a staff in a dune, lit a candle, and scooped some sea water up in a shell. We did a short but powerful Ritual, thanking Brigedd for the return of the warmth to the land. We took some of this water home with us to add to our Sacred Water.During our Rituals, the majority of the Sacred Water is in a bowl in the bottom of our Well. Our Well looks like a real well, with a peaked roof and a turn-crank. It's really a lawn ornament, purchased at a garden supply store, and stands about 2 feet high. We have decorated the roof supports with plastic ivy. There is a silver ladle in the bowl of Water. We also have a large glass pitcher full of plain fresh water sitting next to the Well.Before the Ritual, we ladle some Sacred Water from the Shell into the Ancestor Bowl. This is one of three special Bowls used during the Kindred Invocations, described below.Once the Ritual begins, the people have been called together, and the Outsiders have been honored, we begin the purification. D2 picks up the pitcher of fresh water and Dl ladles three scoops of Sacred Water into it, visualizing the blessing and sanctifying of the Water. D2 then pours some of the water onto the hands of D1 and hands him a clean white hand towel. Dl takes the pitcher, pours water onto the hands of D2, and hands her the towel.The celebrants are asked to turn and face the outside of the circle and hold out their hands. They are told to turn back toward the circle once they have been purified. Dl walks around the circle, constantly trickling water onto the ground from the pitcher. The celebrants extend their hands forward into the stream of water as it goes by. D2 follows with the towel so they can dry their hands.This process not only purifies the people with Sacred Water, it makes the Ritual area Sacred by cutting it off from normal space with a symbolic barrier of water. In effect, the Sacred Ritual Space is now an 'Island' surrounded by Sacred Water.We also honor water when we Open the Gates. To help us, we call upon Manawydan ap Llyr, who is cognate with Manannan mac Lir, Lord of the Sea.When we invoke and honor the Three Kindred, we use three bowls, each one different. For the Nature Spirits, we use a rough clay bowl filled with local soil, and for the Gods, we use a brass bowl containing a glowing charcoal briquette upon which we sprinkle granulated incense. The Ancestor Bowl is a small white ceramic bowl, decorated with a sea shell pattern. My mother made it before she died (if she had made it after she died, we'd really have something special!) It rests on a small hand-woven blue mat which was given to my mother's sister on a trip to Wales. My aunt gave it to me just before she died when I told her I was a Druid. So you can see that this bowl has plenty of associations to the Ancestors.After the Nature Spirit invocation, the appointed celebrant goes to the Altar, holds the Ancestor Bowl up high and says:Mothers and Fathers, Old Ones, and Ancestors, I reach across the Veil with my words and call to You Mothers and Fathers of our Families, Parents of our Parent's Parents, I call you into this Sacred Water. Old Ones of this Land, Loving Tribes of Caretakers, I call you into this Sacred Water. Ancestors of our Culture, Ancient worshipers of our Gods, I call you into this Sacred Water. I call you with the water of the deep blue oceans, I call you with the water of the gentle rains, I call you with the water of the darkest wells. I bid you: Enter this Water now! That we may be Blessed, Guided and Inspired by our Communion with you. Gadael hi bod! (Welsh for "Let it be!)The Celebrant then walks around the circle and blesses each person with the Water by dipping their finger in it and making the Awen mark (three lines radiating down from a central point) on their forehead and saying:With this Water, Celebrate your Communion with the Ancestors.After the Kindred and the special Deities of the occasion are called, and after praises are offered to Them and an Omen is taken, we share the Waters of Life. There is a pair of large matching goblets on the Altar. Whisky (Gaelic for Water of Life!) is poured into one of them and water from the pitcher into the other. Remember, this water had three scoops of Sacred Water added to it just before the purification of the people. The goblets are held up, everyone concentrates upon them, and the Kindred are invited to send their blessings into them- into the Waters of Life. Dl makes the pronouncement:Behold! The Waters of Life!The goblets are passed around the circle, with each person drinking or pouring a few drops onto the ground, as they wish. When the first person chokes on the whisky, we always say, "don't worry, the 'Chaser of Life' is coming around right behind it!"While we always manage to finish the blessed whisky, we try to leave a few sips of the water to pour back into the Well. We might change that and put some of the water back into the Well before we pass it around.When the Ritual is over, and the people have dispersed, we pour the water from the Ancestor Bowl, and any remaining in the goblet, back into the bowl in the Well. This all goes into a special 16 oz. plastic jug we use to store the Sacred Water (or is divided with the other Grove(s) who brought their water), then we top off the jug with water from the pitcher.The next day I perform another short ritual in my kitchen: I strain the Sacred Water through a paper coffee filter to remove bits of dirt and leaves which always find their way in. I then boil the Water for five minutes to disinfect it and then filter it once again. The jug is also washed out with boiling water. Then the Sacred water is put back in the jug and once again topped off, this time with distilled water, and kept in my refrigerator until the next RitualThose are the procedures that we follow for every Ritual we do. There are also a few special uses for Sacred Water that we do from time to time.When a new Magical Tool is added to the Grove collection, or someone brings a personal Magical Tool that they want to purify, bless, and dedicate, we will use our Sacred Water It can both purify and bless, but it can't dedicate, only- we can do that.Once we went to a group campsite and felt an unwelcome and unwelcoming presence in a covered pavilion. We used our Sacred Water to purify the pavilion and banish any Spirits that didn't wish to celebrate with us. Afterward, it felt clean.Emerald Dragyn, Senior Druid of the Grove of the Midnight Sun, and I used our Sacred Waters to purify the Bride and Groom at a Handfasting we conducted last Samhain. I've been asked to do a Pagan baptism this Spring, and I will use the Water for that. I believe it would also be very effective to use in Healing Magic.As you can see, we have a pretty elaborate and complicated procedure for using our Sacred Water. It is obviously a lot of work and requires quite a bit of determined attention to detail, but we believe that one of the purposes of Ritual is to show the Kindred how much They mean to us. If we make it all easy and convenient, we aren't showing that we care very much. To some extent, I think the more time you take for Ritual preparations and performance, the better it works.We are very proud of our Sacred Water and treat it like the extremely precious substance it is. Feel free to adopt or adapt any of our ideas that you like or use your own inspiration to develop other ways of handling this special symbol and marvelous stuff. May the Sacred Waters flow in you!
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There are several ideas about naming and saining ceremonies for a newborn baby. In Pre-Christianized Ireland, there are records of passing a newborn through a fire three times while asking the blessing of the Gods on the baby or of carrying a baby three times around a fire to bless it.Several charms that were collected from Christianized Ireland were published in Carmina Gadelica by Alexander Carmichael. "Silvered water", which is water that has had silver in it, figures prominently in these charms. Most of these were to be done as soon as possible after birth.There are other legends about places where the newborn baby was passed through a hole in a stone for protection from Fairies. Most customs that have come down to us are for the protection of the baby from unseen forces.In the case of the Fairies, it was for protection from changelings. Other objects used for protection were iron, especially in the form of iron nails and fires. There are records from the sixteenth century in the Isles of Skye of women carrying torches around the house where a baby was being born up until the time it was baptized.For this ceremony, I've attempted to use parts of the older customs as well as a charm directly from the Carmina Gadelica.1) This should be done as soon after birth as possible, while still in the hospital if permitted. Hospitals usually have a problem with candles, so if candles can't be used, wait until the baby is home. Water that has been used in the Well during ritual is used for the blessing. This has the advantage of being sacred and of having had silver in it.2) The mother is given an iron nail bent in the form of a circle and told to keep it near the child as it sleeps. This should be done right after birth. As the parents hold up the baby, a small candle is passed under, over and around the baby while saying:"We ask the Spirits of Nature for protection. We ask the Ancestors for protection. We ask the Shinning Ones for protection."3) A drop of the water is placed on the baby's forehead as the following are said:"We call for the blessings of the Spirits of Nature on this wee one. We call for the blessings of the Ancestors on this wee one. We call for the blessings of the Shinning Ones on this wee one."4) The following are said to finish this section:"We ask for this to guard you from the Fae. We ask for this to grant to you the graces. We ask for this to give to you long life."5) A splash of water is then dropped on the baby while saying each line:"A wavelet for thy form, A wavelet, for thy voice, A wavelet for thy sweet speech; A wavelet for thy luck, A wavelet for thy good, A wavelet for thy health; A wavelet for thy throat, A wavelet for thy pluck, A wavelet for thy graciousness; Nine waves for thy graciousness."
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Items needed: a sink with water, a towel for drying, a candle (preferably unscented but this is a personal choice), matches, and an image of your Sacred Tree. Arrange these on your bathroom counter as you feel works best due to your counter space.To start take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes lightly and breathe in through your nose to fill your lungs. Hold that breath for a moment, then breathe out through your mouth. Repeat this a few time until you feel that your mind is clear and you are relaxed.Once you feel relaxed, pick up the matches and light the candle on the bathroom counter. Slightly close your eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine the flames within you and around you as you say: "Sacred Flames of the Sky, Burn strong within me, Cleanse my body, mind and spirit anew." After you feel the flame burning within you, let the waters flow into your hands. Close your eye slightly, take a deep breath, and imagine the waters flowing through you, then wash your face after you say: "Sacred Waters of the Deep, Wash away my impurities, Cleanse my body, mind and spirit anew." Once you are finished, and have dried your face, close your eyes lightly and breathe in through your nose to fill your lungs again. Hold that breath for a moment, then breathe out through your mouth. Repeat this a few times until you feel that your mind is clear and you are relaxed again. Now, imagine your Sacred Tree growing deep into the ground and sprouting high above after you say: "Sacred Tree of all the Worlds, Grow within me as I learn. Plunge my roots deep Below as I ascend high Above." Once you are done, extinguish the flame of the candle. Unless this is the permanent place for these items, clean up the space and continue with your daily life.
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So, O Mighty Ones, we call to you as our kin, in love of the All-Mother, to join in our magic. Come to our fire, Spirits; meet us at the boundary of the otherworld. Guide and ward our way as we come into your realm.All: Ancestors, accept our sacrifice!Offering is made to the shaft. Druid takes up an offering of herbs and stones, and invokes: The children of the earth call out to the spirits of this land. Hear us, companions and teachers.To all our allies, kindreds of stone and stream, fertile earth and crystal, 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 tree, root and stem and fruit; green kins, we offer you welcome!To our allies, kindreds of fur and feather and scale, eagle and bear, salmon and serpent; all who move on the land; red kins, 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 of the otherworld. Guide and ward our way as we come into your realm.All: Nature-Spirits, accept our sacrifice!Offering is scattered to the four directions. Druid takes up offering of oil, invokes: The children of the Earth call out to the Gods and Goddesses. Hear us, eldest and brightest, first children of the mother to all the shining goddesses, mothers and queens, warwomen and witches, muses and lovers; goddesses, we offer you welcome!To all the shining gods, fathers and rulers, protectors and magicians, guides, champions and lovers; gods, we offer you welcome!To all the deities of those here gathered, you whom ye worship, you bless our lives with wisdom, health and bounty; 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, Spirits, meet us at the boundary of the otherworld. Guide and ward our way as we come into your realm.All: Accept our sacrifice!Offering is made to the fire.Druid says: Gods and Dead and Mighty Sidhe, Powers of Earth and Sky and Sea, by Fire and Well, by Sacred Tree offering we make to ye!Patron OfferingsDruids take up offerings of apples and bread, saying: Now we make offering to the patron powers of our rite.RENEW MIST VISION... see a couple, standing in an orchard filled with apples of gold, silver and crystal... the woman is a strong, beautiful queen, all in white... her hair is red, her face is mature, calm and wise... she wears a cloak of cow's hide and bears a distaff like a spear... the main is a vigorous elder in robes of grey and sea-blue.. .his hair and mustaches are white but his face is youthful, and he wears a torc of silver... in his hand he bears an apple-want of silver, with fruits that chime like bells... they are Mannanan the Wise, Keeper of the Gates, Teacher of Magicians, and Aine the Ancient, Queen of the sacred Land, Lady of the Sidhe...To you, rulers of the Isle of Apples, we make offering.Manannan mac Lir, we give you apples, fruit of healing and blessing.Aine, we give you bread, made by our skill from your bounty. Join your magic with ours in this work of Druidry.Now let our voices arise on the Fire let our voices resound in the Well. Let our call be carried to the powers.O Manannan, O Aine, all our allies among the Gods, the Dead and the Sidhe, hear us now, we pray you, as we offer up this sacrifice. Accept our worship and grant us your aid and guidance in return.All: Powers, accept our sacrifice!Omen and Return BlessingDruids lead trance moment, thus:Feel your desire... your love for the Spirits and the land... flowing inward through the Gates... the Fire lifts it... the Well receives it... the spirits assembled are honored and strengthened...Druid takes up the Runes, or whatever, saying:Now that we have gifted the powers, we prepare for their gift to us in turn. Let us ask the powers what blessing they offer us.The omen is taken and interpreted. The Druid draws from the Cauldron into a bowl and elevates it, saying:We draw water from the magic cauldron; We fill the blessing bowl, O Mighty, Noble and Shining Ones we have honored you. Now we ask for your blessing, as a gift calls for a gift. We go now into the mist, to thank and commune with the powers of this land. By our magic we will send our vision through the gates, faring forth to spirits' home. Now, we pray you, hallow these waters! Let all who receive them be given soul-strength for the journey. Open our inner eyes and sharpen our wits. Open us to vision, to wonder and to power.Behold the Waters of Life!All are sprinkled as a power charm or song is sung, the Song of Amairgin is very proper as are some shamanic style power songs.The JourneyA heart-beat drum begins softly as the Druids lead the name:Now, with power gathered in, we deepen our trance and make our journey... make yourself comfortable... if you wish, now is the time to lie down... or to sit up, spine straight... and breathe deep... renew your center... connected with Earth and Sky... surrounded by the Wizard's Mist... let your body relax further... your limbs, your belly, your face... with every breath becoming calm and still... open and prepared... to make the inward journey.Feel now the presence of the Mist, shining silver all around... it swirls and flows around your form... around your feet, rising... around your loins, rising... around your heart, rising... around your head, rising to enwrap you, enfold you in the Mist of Between... surrounded by featureless mist... before your eyes, above and around you... mist even below you... you are adrift in the mist... drifting... in the mist.Feel yourself drifting... in calm and wonder... you can see before you the spirit-shape of the Gates... the Bright flowing upward, the Dark flowing down... equal and beautiful... pulling and calling you... bring to mind your ally... see its form... open yourself to its spirit being... it may come to lead you... in your vision's eye, you stand... and move toward the Gates... you are pulled into the current, light or dark.You move into the flow... carried faster... allies and spirits around you... moving between... you travel long... you travel in an instant... you emerge again into mist and drift slowly to a halt... you come gently to rest, on solid ground... you have arrived in a place that is much closer to the Otherworld... where you may meet and speak with the Powers in the Land. The mist begins to thin... a landscape becoming clear before you... for a time, now, explore and learn from the vision of the Hidden Land... as a breeze blows the Wizard's Mist away...Heart beat drum continues for a time, then nine knells are rung. Trance continues:You have approached the Sidhe... perhaps spoken with the spirits... as you have done, so may you do... truer and better in times to come.. look again, all around you, and remember...Remember... the sense and feel of the Hidden Land... the time you spent... gifts or wisdom gained... now remember our Grove... the Gates... turn around and move toward your Gate... your ally can lead you... the Mist appears around you, engulfing you... turn your mind toward your body... seated or lying in our Grove... you flow back, aided by allies... seated in our valley, wrapped in mist... move firmly back inot your flesh... breathe deep... feel your center... your connection with Earth and Sky... and remember... breathe deep, stretch and be fully back in your body as you open your eyes.After the trance the horn is passed once around for each to speak thanks to the spirits who aided them.ClosingDruids say: The powers have blessed us!With joy in our hearts let us carry the magic from the sacred grove into our lives and work.Each time we offer to them 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.O Aine and Manannan 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!Any remaining offerings etc., are spilled on the ground, saying:Mother of all, To you we return all that is unused in our work And all the power that is unneeded in our hearts. Earth MotherAll: We thank you!The closing triskel is made, saying: By the Keeper of the Gates and by our magic we end what we began. Now let the Fire be flame, let the Well be water, Let all be as it was before, and the ways between be shut.All: Let the gates be closed!Go now in the peace of the way of wisdom, our rite is ended.A final nine knells is sounded.
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Here's an offering of a female coming of age rite of passage based on the Spartan wedding ceremony. I was going to abstract from it and offer an outline as well, but I kept delaying posting because I just wasn't doing the outline. So if folks are interested, we can work on an alternative outline together.Girl wakes up and dresses in favorite dress. She chooses a favorite item from her childhood and waits in her room.Musical signal.Girl proceeds into main area, where adults are gathered. Presiding priest/ess announces that this is the day that ____ is to become a woman. Priest/ess asks girl if she is ready. If so, the Priest/ess asks the girl to offer thanks to the patron deity of girls for her protection over the years. Girl makes offering (incense?) and speaks her thanks. Then the priest/ess asks whether she has brought an item symbolizing her childhood which she is prepared to sacrifice. Girl affirms, and offers her item to a younger sibling, charity, or whatever.Priest/ess says that it is now time for her ritual cleansing. Girl goes into bathroom and draws and takes bath, which has bath salts and herbs which the girl has previously prepared and dedicated for this purpose. She will be told to come out when she is fully dressed.While she is in the bath, her clothing is stolen and replaced by boys'/men's clothing, so that when she emerges she finds stuff like boxer shorts, tube socks, etc. Also there will be a blindfold there.When she emerges, she will be led to as liminal a spot as possible. (A basement feels like it is neither inside nor outside, for example.) Her hair will be cut and she will be laid on a surface that is neither a bed nor not-a-bed. (The Spartans used a bed of sticks--a table would probably work.) She will be told that she is neither a girl nor a woman, that she is at the point between, the magic moment wherein the future will be determined. She is now to walk the ways between, and find her new patron, her new direction. She will need to ask her patron what new responsibility she must assume, and what new privilege that may entail.The girl will then be left alone in silence for a long time. (No, I have no idea how long that should be.)After awhile, the attendant returns and asks her if she is ready. If she says yes, the attendant will help her up, and tell her to choose the direction of her steps. (This assumes either that more than one exit is possible, or that different meanings can be assigned to different directions.) This is the omen-taking.After her direction is determined, she is led either to a bathroom or dressing room, where she shall find a new adult-looking dress, stockings, etc. The attendant or other women will attend to her, perhaps shaving her legs, putting on make-up, styling her hair... When she is done, she shall return to the main area.The priest/ess asks what she has learned. At this point she shares her direction, the responsibility she must take on, and the privilege she now expects as a new adult.The attendant then reports the omen, (based on the direction she chose while blindfolded).Blessings are called down on the waters of life, and they are shared. (Champagne, perhaps?) All drink to the health, wealth and happiness of the new adult, and to the community thus strengthened by her addition.This may be followed by some adult activity, like going out to dinner with adults-only. But the rite isn't fully over until she returns to her bedroom that night, to find that while she was undergoing her rite, the adults have somehow transformed her room, so it is no longer the room of the girl who left it that morning, but is now the room of a young adult. (Rearrangement? New bedspread? Stuffed animals no longer on display? Different things on the walls?) [Ed. Note: Bardd Dafydd later suggested the possibility of taking a different name, which Deborah heartily agreed was a good idea.]
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This ritual is for an 'associate member'-type category, that we have chosen to call: 'Friend' (or Cyfaill (kuh-VIE-eelH)). See the End Note for a funny story. Other Welsh terms: Tylwyth o Ddar Rhudd - "Family of the Red Oak" (Full members) Llyfr o Cyfraith - "Book of Law" (our Bylaws) Gadael he Bod! - "Let it be!" ('You said it!') Cyfaill Rite of Joining Priest: The members of this Grove are like a close family. We have promised to support each other to an extraordinary degree. And the members of any family also have a circle of friends - people who care for them and wish them well. We like to formalize this bond of friendship with a ceremony and a special name: ‘Cyfaill’. Is there any here who wish to become Cyfaill o Ddar Rhudd? <The candidate/s step forward, bringing a bottle of their favorite beverage.> <C: I do.> And have you fulfilled the requirements of our Llyfr o Cyfraith? <C: Yes.> Are you ready to exchange our Oaths of friendship? <C: I am.> Candidate recites, or repeats after Priest: I, ________, extend a hand in friendship to the Clan of the Red Oak. Extends hand, palm up I swear to respect the laws and customs of the Red Oak Grove. I swear to hold the honor and confidences of the Red Oak Grove in high regard. I swear to _____________________________(promise/s of candidate’s choice) I so swear by/on/in the eyes of _______________________(candidate's choice) <each additional Cyfaill takes the oath in turn, each placing their hand, palm up, on top of the pile of open hands> Priest: I, Bardd Dafydd, on behalf of Tylwyth o Ddar Rhudd, extend a hand in friendship to you, ____________. (name each candidate) <Priest places his right hand on top of the pile of hands and left hand on bottom of pile, making a sandwich> We swear to honor you as a friend for as long as you abide by your Oath. We swear to respect your beliefs and your ways. We swear to value any contribution you choose to make to the Red Oak Grove. In the eyes of these witnesses, we so swear. Tylwyth only: We so swear. By the Fire and the Well and the Tree, we so swear. Tylwyth only: We so swear. In the name of Don and An Dagda, Brigantia, Llew, Rhiannon and Cernunnos, we so swear. Tylwyth only: We so swear. Do you have a contribution for the Cup of Friendship? <Take bottle from each and pour some into Cup> The Priest holds it up and says: As we share this cup, so may our lives be shared - In peace and in friendship. Priest drinks then says: Gadael he Bod! Priest offers the Cup to each candidate, in turn. The candidate holds it up and says: As we share this cup, so may our lives be shared - In peace and in friendship. Candidate drinks then says: Gadael he Bod! The group of Candidates offer the Cup to each person in the Circle, saying in unison: In peace and in friendship. Each person drinks and then says: Gadael he Bod! Priest: Behold - Cyfaill o Ddar Rhudd! Welcome! Tylwyth and Cyfaill: Welcome! End Note We performed this to welcome our first three 'Friends', and it was totally awesome! We worried that the combination of three randomly selected beverages might turn out to be undrinkable. As a joke we tried to anticipate the worst combinations we could imagine. Myrddin won with the following: Beer Soda Tomato Juice We thought about coordinating the beverages, but decided it might be more fun to see what happened. When the candidates arrived, they had brought: Beer Irish Mist Amaretto Irish Cream!!! Yuck! We all fell out laughing (this was pre-Ritual). This was far worse than our worst fears! Then I noticed that there were four bottles and only three friends. "Who brought two choices?" I asked. It doesn't matter, two of them said (they were friends and had come together) take whichever two you want. I left the Irish Creme on the table and hoped for the best. So we mixed: Beer (a strong Viking Ale) Irish Mist Amaretto You should have seen the faces of the participants as I did this. Then I drank first. My face lit up. "This is delicious!", I cried. No one believed me. As the Chalice went around, first to the new Friends, then presented by them to each Member and Guest, it was fun to see each person's face turn from suspicious to delighted. "Hey! It *is* good!" many of them said. We decided the setting had a lot to do with the experience. Anyway, it was great. I recommend it - both the Joining Rite and the recipe!
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The Shrine bears a simple fire — a candle or three, or nine, and a censer to receive offerings of herbs or incense — a small cauldron full of water and a representation of the World Tree Pillar. A small bowl of salt or ochre sits at the base of the Tree. All sit before or around the Shrine.1. Three knells on a bell.2. Silent Breathing, and basic meditation. A timer may be used, or one member may watch a clock. Three knells sounded to end the silence.3. All Say:We are here to honor the Gods We are here to remember the Elder Spirits We are here to keep the Ways of Druidry4. Two Powers Attunement: Led or read by one or two of the members.5. Attunement concludes with all saying:The Fire, the Well, the Sacred Tree Flow and flame and grow in me. I span between the Earth and Sky Rooted deep and crowned high.6. The Three Worlds symbols are passed deisil around the ring, and each anoints themselves. Each or all say:The primal Sea around me The shining Sky above me The holy Land beneath me The Order of the Worlds stands firm Around me and within my soul.7. Offerings of incense are made or a simple cup poured into bowl or onto ground, or other offerings placed at the Tree. All say:We offer our offerings In the eye of the Mothers who bore us In the eye of the Fathers who quickened us In the light of the fire and the sight of the Powers Accept us, we pray, as your kin and allies Mighty and beloved Dead Wild Ones, Nobles of the Land Eldest, Wisest, Shining Ones Accept from us offering That your power inspire and instruct us That your power heal and sustain us That your power preserve and defend us Each shade and light Each day and night Each hour in blessing This we ask, and give you this due honor!8. All meditate in silence on the whole construct of the rite9. All recite the Great Blessing:We offer our thanks to the Mother of All. We offer our thanks to the Gods, Dead and Spirits. May the Three Sacred Kins Bring joy to all beings, and renew the ancient wisdom. To the Fire, Well and Tree we offer our thanks. May Wisdom, Love and Power Kindle in all beings, and renew the ancient wisdom. To the Earth, Sea, and Sky we offer our thanks. May the ancient wisdom be renewed, And may all beings know peace, joy and happiness In all the worlds.So be it!
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As part of our work to develop our own cosmology, we continue our regular An Bruane meetings. Once or twice a month, members of Shining Lakes Grove meet to discuss, research, and perform rituals specifically aimed at performing works for our deities or our lands.On November 10th, six Grove members (Fox, Rob, Mama Moon, Kore, Marae Price, and Lori Hammock) visited Rob's parents' new land to perform a blessing ritual for it.To prepare for the ritual, the group discussed the land with the Hendersons, exploring what changes they'd made and planned to make to the land, how they intended to use it, and how long they'd been living on the land.Pieces of sod were gathered from the four corners of the property and brought to the center, where it was placed in a pile. The central fire was built over the gathered land, symbolically bringing the entire property together to one central point.After standard purifications with sage, water, and ochre, the ritual began (with Jan, Rob's mother, participating).The fire was consecrated, and then a broom was made from an ash wand and birch branches. The broom was used to sweep out the house and the barn to purify it. As the buildings were swept out, they were smudged, and hawthorne branches were hung in the crawlspace or from the ceilings to protect them from fire and lightning. As added protection, and as a symbol of community, Brid's Crosses were also hung up.The ritual group then returned to the outdoors, making offerings to the fire to promote fertility and to symbolize the Hendersons' new beginnings on the property: eggs, seeds from the SLG spring equinox ritual, hawthorne, and the birch branches from the broom.Oil was offered to Lugh through the fire. Oil was then poured on the ash handle from the broom, which was held over the fire and then pounded into the ground where the Hendersons were planning on planting their garden. The intent of this was to charge the wand, and by contagion the ground, with the essences of fire, fertility, and the spirit of Lugh.Offerings were made to the Nature Spirits. As is the tradition, an area of the land (known as the Devil's Half-acre) was set aside specifically for the Nature Spirits.As a final step of the ritual, the Hendersons were instructed to spread the ashes from the fire, after it had extinguished and cooled, spreading the energy of the ritual over the land just as the energy had been pulled together at the start of the ritual, and just as the smoke from the fire had spread out over the land.
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To be done before your personal shrine.You will need: Offerings Offering bowl One unlit candle Matches Pen or pencil Small piece of paper Fireproof 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 day This night In complete balanceAll beings naturally seek a life in balance All of nature seeks a balanceTo be out of balance means one is without Without time Without love Without peace Without the Shining Ones Drained and lost Sometimes not understanding the emptiness feltLife out of balance is a life changed As water exposed to too much cold or heat becomes unrecognizableIn this rare moment a quick breath twice each year I revel in this balanceAs in the checkbook figures that balance As in the new life offsetting the passings As in the day after the night As in the cool of winter after the heat of summer As in the wisdom of age after the impulsiveness of youthEach life, each dream are like the seeds carried by the winds From dandelion puffballsSome land on asphalt Without water for balance They cannot sproutSome land in rivers Without soil for balance They cannot sproutSome land in the forest Without sun for balance They cannot sproutSome land in the meadow All is in balance They 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 life So much I cannot control So much I cannot foresee I have faith In myself, in my ancestors and in the Shining Ones I open my heart to my life taken Like rain sweeping the seed off the asphaltLike the current washing the seed onto the shore Like the wind blowing the seed away from the forest To the place To that perfect meadow Where all is in balance So every hope, dream and desire Can sprout and grow into its potentialIf I can dream it If I can visualize it If I can work together with others If I have faith I 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 community Balance the preserving with the replacing Balance the responsibility with play Balance 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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Props Needed:Lighter and matches.Offerings - fruit, nuts, seeds, etc.Cup for the waters of life.WaterWood for the fire.Teas and instant coffee.Teapot.Food for after (donuts, fruit, etc.)Candles - long tapers.Extra flashlight.Small single burner stove.Cauldron for the Spiral firepit.After everyone has gathered at the designated site, they will proceed to the Vigil Area. People will chant: We Approach the Sacred Grove.NOTE: Two leaders will set up the Vigil Area beforehand. They will also smudge the people as they enter the area.The people will form a circle as they enter and the leaders who smudged them will complete the Sigil.The welcoming of people will follow this.We have gathered tonight to begin the first step, within the Folk of the Grove. We ask for aid and guidance from the Gatekeepers, and all who aid us in this quest we undertake tonight.The people will all be given a long taper. The people will then ALL light the center fire while singing: We Will Kindle A Fire.One of the leaders will explain what will be happening to them as the night progresses.The first part tonight will be a lighting of the Ritual Fire you have helped to build. After this, there will be a centering and grounding of all participants. We will then explain a little about sacred objects, sacred space, allies from the Kindreds, the creation of a spiritual community, and the direction and goals of the Folk of Muin Mound Grove. Then we will chant for awhile around the fire and have everyone tell a little about himself or herself.This will be followed by a discussion of pathworking. Then a pathworking to The Forest of Herne and Nemetona's Sacred Grove. This will be followed by a brief discussion of your experiences within the pathworking. After this will be more chanting around the fire and warming drinks, if needed.The night progresses with storytelling, more chanting, and more meditation and centering. Around 4:00am, we will begin the preparations for the Morning Welcoming Ritual. The Ritual will welcome in the sun and the finish of the All Night Vigil.Participants will be asked to rise and form a circle. One of the leaders will lead the Grove Meditation.Participants will be asked to make themselves comfortable again, while one of the leaders explains about: sacred objects, sacred space, allies from the Kindreds, the creation of a spiritual community, and the direction and goals of Muin Mound Grove.People gather around the fire as they tell everyone a little about themselves. Then we will move on to chanting.After everyone is awake again, one of the leaders will talk about pathworking. This will be followed by a general potty break. When everyone has returned the pathworkings to The Forest Of Herne and Nemetona's Sacred Grove will begin.After the pathworking, people will have a chance to discuss their experiences within the pathworking. Everyone will then get up for more chanting and warming drinks, if necessary (Ginseng and Red Zinger tea, for example).All Night Vigil - Pre-dawn Part of the RitualThe first part of this phase of the Ritual will begin about 4:00am. Leaders will ground and center everyone together.People are told that they are embarking on a journey through the worlds. The leaders tell everyone as they move away from the area of the fire:As we depart from this sacred fire, we go to the place of beginning, Chaos. From Chaos, we will journey through the worlds of land, sea, and sky to the outer realms.Everyone is led in a triple spiral out to an area outside the sacred space. The leaders will then announce that this area is the outer realm.Here dwell ALL ancestral Gods and Goddesses. From here are pathways to our everyday world. And here we make offerings to the land, its animals, trees, and spirit guides. Will everyone please make an offering now. Please stay within the light of the fire.After the offerings are given and the people are back in a group, they will then take out their candles. They will be re-led in a triple spiral back into the sacred space and the candles will be lit upon re-entering the sacred space.This light you bring back into the sacred space is the light of greater knowledge. With the knowledge gained from your journey, together with the rest you have learned tonight, you have the power within yourself to find the direction you take in your work with this Grove.The spiral will continue back to the center (firepit), forming a circle around the fire. Each will then place their candle in the fire one at a time, giving a personal dedication as they do so.Do the chant: Hail All The Gods, Hail All The Goddesses. All link arms to form a group hug.Think now on the mysteries of the Waters of Life. As this water has been gathered from 3 sacred sources, so to does our world revolve through 3 sacred realms. Realms that you now have traveled. Behold the Waters Of Life!The leaders will again re-center and re-ground everyone.Now attention is again given to the Bilé.You have been taken through the realms, and once again we center on the Bilé, sacred tree of the ancients. To you now, are opened the pathways to all realms. We give to you the knowledge of the sacred Nemeton. Use this knowledge wisely.Acknowledge the Gods/Goddess and other entities that have helped through the night.Blessings be upon this night. Thanks be to all the Gods and Goddesses, Ancestors and Nature Spirits that have helped us through this night. Behold, as we were once surrounded by darkness, we shall now be surrounded by the new day's light! Within this light is contained all the energies of land, sea, and sky. We give thanks to all those spirits that have aided us.Everyone will get down and touch the ground.As we come to the close of this night, let us all give back to the Earth all the energy that we no longer need. And in doing so, our Ritual comes to an end. Allowing us to take on the mundane world once again.Everyone will get back up and walk over to a table set up with food (donuts, fruit, etc.). Leaders will talk to everyone individually to find out how they are doing and to make sure they grounded well.
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Prayer for Hurricane Katrina Victims A Solitary Celtic Ritual Template General Welsh Liturgy Rite of Ancestral Healing Welcoming Ritual for Associate Member Mother Grove Gaelic Rite  
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OpeningAttendees are asperged as they line for processional. Sing We Are A Circle as attendees are censed/smudged as they enter the Nemeton.Senior Druid: We come here to honor the Moon in its fullness, during its height of power. Called by what name you will...Grove Bard (chanted after Senior Druid recites opening): Manni, Luna, Artemis, Inanna, Selene, Soma, ArianhrodSenior Druid: (recited as the Bard chants)You who silver the waves You who brings forth shadow You who are the keeper of magick Cauldron of the Night, we honor youAll: Cauldron of the Night, we honor youSenior Druid: Let the song of silver open our inner selves to magick and mystery as we close our eyes, and center.9 bell chimes.OutdwellersGrove Warrior:To the ancient dark ones of strife and discord As we acknowledge the darkness within ourselves Accept this tithe and leave our work in peace.Well, Fire, and TreeWellGrove Bard:Come we into the Well The waters of creation, the well of wisdom Let us pour our prayers That the sacred waters may cleanse us Of that we desire to relinquishWater is poured into vessel that is passed among Grove members. The Bard leads the Well Song:We pray at the Well of Wisdom To cleanse us body and soul We come to the Sacred Waters That Your blessings be knownFireGrove Warrior:Come we into the Fire The flame of creation, the light of inspiration Let us send our prayers Of that which we wish to accomplish On the sacred smoke of our NemetonPrayer strips are placed into vessel that is passed among Grove members. The Bard leads the Fire Chant:Sacred fire and sacred smoke Raise our magick to Those above Hear our voices, we call to Thee Bring us Vision that we may seeTreeSenior Druid:Come we into the Sacred Bile The Tree of Life which upholds us through all worlds Let us bind our prayers to its branches Of that which is in our hearts Let our magick travel through the boundariesAttendees bind a ribbon onto the prayer stick that is passed among the Grove members while singing the Full Moon Chant:We are gathered in the light of the Moon We do worship by the blessings of the Moon Full in Your journey, across the starry sky Through Well, Fire, Tree, to You our prayers riseDrawing Down the MoonModerately paced drumming.Senior Druid: (with projection)Great Orb of Night, we call upon thee In our lives, bring us your mysteryAll: Bring us your mysteryIn our nemeton, be here with usAll: Be here with usIn our working, lend us your magickAll: Lend us your magickKeeper of Night, we invoke theeAll: Keeper of Night, we invoke theeMoon of Mystery, we invoke theeAll: Moon of Mystery, we invoke theeMuse of Magick, we invoke theeAll: Muse of Magick, we invoke theeLively drumming and dancing as Senior Druid focuses and directs energy raising. Stick with ribbons tied on it is driven into the Earth at the base of the Bile at culmination of energy raising.Blessing CupCalming drumming.Senior Druid: We have come together on this e'en of the Full Moon, the night of increase, of magick and potential.Let us charge and share this Cup of Blessing. As we stand here, united in circle, round as the Moon above us, may our magick be stronger by our bonds of unity, may our magick be radiant in the Silvery Light, may our magick be united as we take into ourselves the Mead of Mystery. Send forth your prayers and charge our cup with magick as it passes your lips.Cup is passed as attendees discuss their magickal needs while visualizing and putting her/his goal into the mead, then drinking from it.Personal WorkingAttendees are instructed to do whatever personal work they will.Re-CenteringSenior Druid calms, re-focuses and re-centers the attendees.ThankingSenior Druid leads round of thanks to the Moon for aiding the work and the attendees for gathering that evening.ClosingSenior Druid: With our work being done, by the power of the Moon in its fullness may our magick journey onwards. This rite is ended. Let us come together and join hands as we sing Let Us Journey On:Let us journey on Children of the Earth Carry the Nemeton's blessings Into our lives and work As we journey on Children of the Earth Let the Nemeton's blessings Bring peace to home and hearth
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I once conducted a funeral rite for a friend's pet bird. It was done in simplified ADF style. I had a bird shaped candle holder which I brought as the central light of the ceremony. I told my friend that we would burn part of the candle during the rite and that as long as the candle was lit, the spirit of the bird would be with us. When it came time to bid the bird goodbye, she would say her farewell and blow out the candle. By this, she would release the spirit to go on its own way, unencumbered by the owner's desires. However, every time she lit that candle, the animal's spirit would return for a while. She could enjoy its presence and speak to it while it stayed, until the candle was extinguished. Once the candle was totally burned, then the bird and owner would be completely free of all bonds but love.Consecration of Time9 bell rings, in sets of three.Consecration of Space & ParticipantsCensing of the place, smudging the people and asperging both.Consecration of IntentWe are friends of [owner's name] and here to help, The spirit of [pet's name] reach Summerland. Release the grief and sooothe the soul, In memoy of a worthy life. Outdweller OfferingThree pennies thrown outside to appease restless spirits.Outsiders, you who will not help us Take these (throw) and leave us in peace! Opening the GatesSinging to Heimdall & Mothgud to open the gates, then explaining to them that we wish for the pet's spirit to return, for as long as the central candle burns. Owner lights the candle.We invite you Heimdall, opener of fiery gate We invite you Mothgud, opener of icy gate You will reach us, you will teach us and reveal our fate You will reach us you will teach us and reveal our fate (Note: in Norse beliefs, Heimdall is the guardian of the rainbow bridge to the realm of the gods & goddesses, while Mothgud is a female giant who guards the ice bridge to the underworld realm of the dead)Sumbel (Minnehorn): Horn of MemoryUsing organic apple juice as a ritual drink, we passed the drinking horn around the circle, each one talking, taking a gulp and passing the horn. Each would talk about a a memory they had of the pet ("I remember hearing her laughing cries from the other end of the phone and thinking 'what a cheerful bird'"), make a toast to a quality of the pet or its species ("I drink to the freedom that birds and flying have meant to humans"), make a blessing ("Fly free little one. May your wings carry you to a wonderful place"), or anything else that seems appropriate.Farewell to the SpiritThe owner is asked to speak directly to the pet's spirit, saying everything s/he feels must be said before a final separation. These goodbyes are very intense. When all has been said, the owner must extinguish the candle so that the spirit is released. And the decision must come from the owner, it cannot be rushed. This can take a while, but it allows emotions to be sorted and released.Closing the GatesThank the gatekeepers and ask them to close the gates, sending the pet's spirit on its way to the proper destination.Final Blessing & Clearcut EndingMay the ways you walk Bring you again to those you love And may the cherished past Never blind you to new loves.There is a funeral chant that I shared during that sumbel. It came to me years before when I said goodbye to my cat. She was my companion from age 2 to age 19, a siameese named Moustache. I knew she was dying, and I am grateful I had a chance to sing my love to her while she still lived. I cried as I sang and caressed her. If you want me to teach it to you, email me and we'll arrange for a time whan you can call me. Be warned, it brings out all the sadness. My condoleances on the passage of your friend.
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Priestess pours sweet wine in goblet and sets aside.Priestess stands before the altar.On this day, having one in our gathering who wishes to join in true kinship with us honors the Grove of the Midnight Sun. Will that person please step forward?Person steps toward the altar.By what name shall we call you in this ceremony?Person answers with either given name or magickal name.Hail ye Gods & Goddesses, Kinsmen and guests. Here stands before you __________________ soon to be one with the Midnight Sun.____________________ we give you this talisman to signify our bonding (Places talisman around the person’s neck) and furthermore, we ask you to join us in this pledge that binds you to us for a year and a day. After which, a more permanent bond may or may not be made. Please repeat after me:Before the Gods & Goddesses, I pledge thee true kinship. Before the attendance of this gathering, I pledge thee true friendship. From this day forth we are bonded to protect and aid each other. This I declare before the Well, the Tree, and the Fire.Priestess picks up goblet of sweet wine.Let us share this drink in your honor. Welcome to the Grove of the Midnight Sun.Hands drink to new member. New member drinks and hands back to Priestess who drinks.Priestess hands drink to next person. That person says: Welcome to the Midnight Sun and drinks. Hands to next person who says and does the same.
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This rite is an example of how simply we can integrate our religion and life. World Tree Grove A.D.F. loves to eat together, so I wrote the following meal rite to be quick, easy, and able to be done in public restaurants. I numbered (D1, D2 ...) the parts, but any number of parts can be done by an individual.D1 lights a candle saying:The fire of life is lit. Let the flame of peace fill the hall.D2 raises a cup of water saying:The waters of life cleanse the hall. Let our cups overflow with joy.D3 shares a piece of fruit with everyone saying:This is to remind us of the World Tree that spans the realms connecting us all to the three kindreds: spirits, honored dead, and blessed Gods.D4 prepares a plate of offering for the kindreds and hands it to the host who puts it on the home altar.D5 prepares a plate for one of the children saying:The children must come first for they are the future which gives our past meaning.D6 (oldest child) says:As first among the children I thank you. We will work to be worthy to carry on the traditions.D7 says:Let the meal begin.All say:So be it.
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A Solitary Norse Ritual TemplatePet Burial RiteHouse Warding
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Performed for Aiden Taylor Sowell on April 6, 2004 Written by Aesa, adapted from Ian Corrigan's Rite of OfferingPriest: "We have come to honor the Gods of our Ancestors. Bless us, Shining Ones, in our work."The mother of the child offers corn meal and lavender to the Offering Bowl: "Earth Mother, your Children call to you. Accept our offering, made freely and with love. Uphold us in our work."Silver is offered to the Well: "In the deep flow the Waters of Wisdom. Sacred Waters, flow within us"All repeat, "Sacred Water, flow within us!"Oil is offered to the Fire: "Bright burn the Fires of Inspiration. Sacred Fire, burn within us!"All repeat, "Sacred Fire, burn within us!"The Tree is sprinkled with water or oil: "From the realms below to the soaring realms above groms the World Tree. Sacred Tree, grow within us!"All repeat, "Sacred Tree, grow within us!"The father of the child makes offering to the Outsiders, taking small cup of ale out of the ritual space:"Dark and twisted, wights unhallowed, you who dwell beyond our stead—Who look with mailce and with spite upon the work we do. You walk ways shunned by us, and yet we call you kin to selfishness and thoughtlessness and all those parts of man that are less noble and are small and keep us in the dark. To you we make this offering, and at the same time set aside our thoughtlessness and our distractions for the duration of this Rite."Priest: "The Fire, the Well, the Sacred Tree Flow and Flame and Grow in me! In Land, Sea and Sky, Below as on high! Thus is our Grove claimed and Hallowed!"An offering oil is made to the Fire: "Keeper of the Gates! Mix your magic with ours to let the Well open as a Gate, let the Fire open as a Gate, let the Tree open as the Road between all the Worlds. Let the Gates be open!"All repeat, "Let the Gates be open!"The horn is filled with ale.Priest: "We honor our Kindred. Ancestors, remember us as we rememebr you! Ancestors, accept our sacrifice!" ale is poured in Well. "Spirits of Nature and of this place, aid us as we aid you! Spirits of Nature, accept our sacrifice!" ale is poured to the Tree. "Gods and Goddesses of the folk, honor us as we honor you! Shining Ones, accept our sacrifie!" ale is poured to the Fire.The Grove Patrons, Medb and Lugh are called and offered ale. The Parents then offer their own prayers to the Patrons as the priest lights a white candle in honor of the child.The Blessing: The priest fills horn with ale, saying, "I pour the ale of inspiriation. We call on Lugh and Medb, share this horn with us, drink deep and fill our ale with your blessings" Horn is then passed among folk.Child is handed to the priest:"Bright Lugh, you who fought for your very birthright. Let __(child's name)__ be shielded and protected by your arms. Let his name be known to all those of worthy heart and noble spirit. Let him walk a path of honor!""Mighty Medb, you who grant sovereignty, hold __(child's name)__ in your lap and crown him with your glory. Share with him your cup of kingship and guide him down the path of honor!"The child is annointed by the blessed ale, "Behold __(child's name)__, Blessed of the Gods!"Priest: "Bright Lugh, Mighty Medb, for your blessings and your wisdom, we thank you; Hail and farewell! Shining Ones, Hail and farewell! Ancestors, Hail and farewell! Spirits of this Place, thank you for sharing your realm with us, Hail and thanks! Keeper of the Gates, once more share your magic with us, let the Gates be closed!"
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This is an example of a rite to be performed by the celebrants of public rites while the company is being prepared for the procession. 1. The Seer leads a detailed grounding and centering. 2. The Chief gives nine knocks or knells, saying:Let us begin this holy work together. As we are linked with earth and sky, So let us call these powers into this place, That it might be hallowed to holy magic.3: The Sacrificer blesses the waters, saying:You are the gate of the earth The deep way, the holy mouth Anu's cunny.Chorus: By the ladies of waters By the lords of waters By the powers under the earth We thank you for the sacred waters.You are the eye of the earth Mirror of seeing, gate of visions Spring of wisdom (repeat chorus) You are the mouth of the earth Sustainer of life, receiver of gifts Giver of blessings (repeat chorus)The sprinkling bowl is filled from the Well. 4. The Chief lights the Fire, saying:We kindle the sacred fire In the presence of the shining ones In the presence of the gods of fire In the presence of the goddesses of fire Without malice, without envy, Without jealousy, without fear, Without terror of anything under the sun And the holy son of the mother to shield us. O sacrificed and sacrificer Kindle you in our hearts A flame of wit and heart and strength To bear our offerings and our words To the gods, the dead and the sidhe O you who aid us all Friend and foe, high and low We call you to be with us And bring to us your blessing.The Censer is kindled from the Fire 5. All the Nemeton is sprinkled and censed, saying:By the might of the waters And the light of the fire, This grove is made whole and holy.6. The Chief stands at the Bile and turns once around deasil, saying:Let every light and every Shadow proclaim it; Let the kindreds of earth, Sea and sky acknowledge it, Let it be known among the mighty dead Among the noble ones Among the gods themselves: By magic's might we claim this ground As holy ground By fire in the three worlds In honor to the shining ones The sacred grove is established Let the spirits of the (east) wind Hear and aid us (repeat with south, west and north winds) Let all good be welcomed Let all ill be turned away Thus is the nemeton claimed and hallowed. So be it!
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