Home Shrine Rituals

Home Shrine Rituals

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Props: Bowl of waterCandle or oil lampMatchesDivination toolsCup of drink (alcohol, spring water, honey water) Put all the props on the floor and kneel, resting your backside on your feet. Purification: Dip the first two fingers of your right hand into the water, touch your forehead and say:          May I be pure that I might cross through the sacred. Dip your fingers again, touch your lips, and say:          May I cross through the sacred that I might attain the holy. Dip your fingers, touch the bare flesh closest to your heart (i.e, if you are wearing a shirt, touch your throat), and say:          May I attain the holy that I might be blessed in all things. Light the lamp or candle, and say:          May the goddess of the hearth,         the heart of this home,          sustain and support me in this rite. Lift your hands into the orans position and say:          The waters support and surround me.          The land extends about me.          The sky stretches out above me. During the next line, stretch your right hand out and hold it over the fire a moment; then bring it towards you and over your heart.          At the center burns a living flame.          May all the Kindreds bless me!          May my worship be true,          may my actions be just,          may my love be pure.          Blessings, and honor, and worship to the Holy Ones! Hold your both hands over the flame and say:          Flame in the center of all,          be my gate to the lands of the Holy Ones,          opening to their realms.          May my words enter you,          and be there transformed:          breath into spirit,          offerings to spirit.          May the gates be open! Put your hands flat on the ground and say:          My words go to the Mighty Dead,          my words are my offering to them,          passed through the fire in their praise. Touch your hands to your mouth and hold them over the flame for a few seconds and say:          May you come to hear them. Sit back with your buttocks on your feet again, bringing your hands back so they are angled downwards and open, their backs touching the ground. Say:          My words go to the Nature Spirits,          my words are my offering to them,          passed through the fire in their praise. Touch your hands to your mouth and hold them over the flame for a few seconds and say:          May you come to hear them. Sit upright, bringing your hands into the orans position. Say:          My words go to the Shining Ones,          my words are my offering to them,          passed through the fire in their praise. Touch your hands to your mouth and hold them over the flame for a few seconds and say:          May you come to hear them. Return to your resting position, hold your hands in the orans position again, and say:          In the presence of all the Kindreds may I worship well. Sit quietly for a time. Then hold your divination tools in your less dominant hand, hold your dominant hand over them, and say:          What have the Kindreds to teach me today? Divine, and then say:          I hear what the Kindreds have said, and am made wise by it. Now hold your left hand over the cup and while envisioning a light spiraling up into it from beneath the ground, say:          May the powers of the Mighty Dead infuse these Waters. Raise the cup and say:          Behold the Waters of Life! Lower the cup and hold both hands over it. While envisioning a light spiraling in from all around, say:          May the powers of the Nature Spirits infuse these Waters. Raise the cup and say:          Behold the Waters of Life! Now hold your right hand over the cup and while envisioning a light spiraling down into it, say:          May the powers of the Shining Ones infuse these Waters. Raise the cup and say:         Behold the Waters of Life! Lower the cup. Then lift it to your mouth and say:          I drink in the power of the Kindreds.          I accept with gratitude the gifts they give. Drink the Waters. Put the cup down, and say:         Filled with the mystery of the Waters of Life,          I rest in the presence of the Kindreds. Close your eyes and sit in silence a while, concentrating on the Waters flowing through your body, filling every part of you with the divine presence and power. You may meditate as well on the divination, asking how to apply it to your life.When the time is right, open your eyes, look at the fire, and say:          The Kindreds have blessed me with their presence.          May I live a life filled with their blessings.          May I be and remain a ghóstis to them. Raise your arms into the orans position and say:          Kindreds:          Mighty Dead         Nature Spirits         Shining Ones:          I thank you for your many gifts          here and now,          and those to come. Lower your hands, put them over the candle or lamp, and say:          Queen of the Hearth,          flame in the center of all,          gate to the lands of the Holy Ones,          opening to their realms,          I thank you for your help today,          and promise you future worship.          May the gates be closed! Blow out the flame, and say:          Extinguished without         but burning within         the living fire flames within me. Sit for a moment, and then leave.         "Ghóstis" (properly *ghósti-s) is Proto-Indo-European for "someone with whom one has reciprocal obligations, especially of hospitality."        It is my custom not to offer to the Earth Mother at indoor rituals. Her place there seems to me to be taken by the hearth goddess. Since this ritual is intended as an indoor one, therefore, I have not included a section for the Earth Mother. If you wish to include, the opening prayer is best added between the lighting of the fire and the cosmology song: Touch the ground with your hands, and say:          We build our fires on the breast of the Earth;          on Her our hearths are formed.          To Her these words of honor, of prayer, of worship.      The closing prayer would go between the thanking of the Kindreds and the closing of the gates:          Having given you due honor,          I bid you farewell, Mother Earth.          But how can I do that, with you all around me?          How can I do that with you always in my heart?          Not a farewell, then, but a giving of thanks         and a promise to remember you throughout my days.          Mother of All, I thank you!          Another possible addition would be between the consecration of the Waters of Life and their consumption. This would be a sharing of the Waters with the Kindreds. Theologically, the Waters would be considered a sacrifice, first offered to and consecrated by the Kindreds, and then consumed in a shared meal. To do this, you will need a small bowl. Before drinking any of the Waters yourself, pour a bit into the bowl, saying:         May the Kindreds always receive their due. Some time after the ritual, up to a day, take the bowl outside and pour it out, saying:          To the spirits the leavings.          If the ritual is performed outdoors, you may want to deal with the Outsiders. (I would recommend against doing that in a ritual in your home, since that is one of the jobs of the hearth goddess, and to acknowledge the Outsiders would imply that she’s not doing her job.) This prayer would go before the purification, since it is best to separate from the Outsiders before performing the ritual, and purification is an act of separation. Bring your hands in so the touch each other on your chest. Then move them away from your chest, as if pushing something away. As you do so, say:          Those who would disturb my rite,          those whose ways are not mine.          Accept this prayer as payment        in return for your departure from this place. by Ceisiwr Serith (David Fickett-Wilbar)
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By Trebomâros AuiganiPurification:Before starting the ritual, make sure to properly wash and clean yourself.  Wear comfortable clothing, preferably with deep earthy tones.  When you come to the altar, light up the incense and in a counter-clockwise motion, circle it in front of you saying:May all that holds me be released,May all the binds me be released,May all that enslaves me be released.So that you may be pure and true.Repeat two more times (total of three) Honoring the Earth Mother:As you approach the altar, sit before it and breathe.  Offer steel-cut oats, or some other prepared grain, saying:Earth Mother, I honor you. I thank you for the continued blessing of life that you give to us all. Without you, life would not be possible.Earth Mother, accept my offering. Attunement: Tree Meditation:Perform the Tree Meditation, connecting to the earth below and the heavens above.  As you connect, listen to the sound of your heartbeat.  Once you feel centered and grounded, bow to the altar. Recreate the Cosmos and Statement of Purpose:Pick up the drum and hit it three times.  Light the candle and then start a stick of incense to bless the Sacred Hallows at the altar, saying: Through this fire, well, and sacred tree, I call to you Cernunnos,Lord of the Deep Wood, Keeper of WaysI have come here tonight to give offerings and celebrations.As the way opens to you,May my words rise on the winds and may they sound deep in the wells. Open the Gates:Give libations to Gatekeeper, saying:Spirit of the Threshold, open the ways.May your protection and guidance lead us true,Let the Gates be open! Invite the Kindreds:Raise your hands, saying:To the Kindred, I call on you tonight in Honor of Cernunnos.Light the Ancestor's candle as you speak:I call forth the Ancestors, those who have gone before, the Spirits of the Mighty Dead to join me here. Ancestors of blood and spirit, I call to you.Ancestors, accept my offering!Light the Nature Spirits' candle as you speakI call to the Nature Spirits, spirits of fur and feather, fin and scale, and skin, come to me now! Spirits who hold the sacred knowledge of the world around us, hear me!Nature Spirits, accept my offering!Light the Shining Ones' candle as you speakI invite the Shining Ones, You who are beyond time and space who have the ability to see all and advise in all things. I praise you for your knowledge and wisdom. Join me now.Shining Ones, accept my offering!Welcome, Kindred to this place in joy and celebration! Key Offerings:Take the drum and hit it three times:Cernunnos, I call to you.You who keeps the Sacred MysteriesYou who knows the Ancestral WisdomYou who are honored by many Cernunnos, I call to youLord of AbundanceMighty HunterGatekeeper to the Inner Treasure Cernunnos, I call to youLord of the CrossroadsGuide in the darknessTraveler and Protector Cernunnos, I call to youNourisher of the soulSage of the Healing HandsYou who remind us that we are both tame and wild These gifts we give oh Antlered One.May this whiskey be a delight to you as it warms the bellyMay this silver be a delight to you in gratitude for your gifts from the EarthMay this sweet bread be a delight to you, as it brings people together Ancient One, you who holds the serpent of Chaos, you who holds the torc of prosperityMay your presence bring wisdom, abundance, protection, and healing.At this point, any additional offerings (drumming, dancing, singing, etc.) are performed or presented. Omens and Receiving of Blessings:Take a moment, close your eyes, and breathe.  Let the incense continue to burn and sit in meditation.  Be open to his presence and gifts that might come from that interaction.  You might not see anything during the ritual, and that is fine.  At this time, take the Omen to see if there is any insights from Cernunnos. Affirmation of Blessings:Once Omens have been taken, Take a cup and hold it up saying:Cernunnos, as I stand here tonight, I reaffirm I vow to youKeeper of the Old Ways, I give my work to youKeeper of the gates above and below, I give my work to youKeeper of the Ancestral Wisdom, I give my work to youYou who heals the land and the people, I give my work to you And to you I reaffirm:I will walk in the wisdom of our ancestors,I will be true to my truthI will be an agent of truth in the lives of othersAnd I will be a vessel to bring your will into the worldAs long as the needs are met to continue your work. Myself and my work, I give to you, Mighty Lord.Drink the beverage in the cup Ending the Rite:As you set the cup down, close your eyes and raise your hands, saying:Lord Cernunnos, as we end tonightMay your light continue to be a light to the peopleMay your wisdom continue to be a guide to the peopleMay your protection continue to be a support to the peopleMay your generosity continue to be a blessing to the people. And to the Kindreds who have joined us tonight,Ancestors, thank you for your knowledge and sharing.Spirits of the Land, Thank you for your continued assistance in this realm.Shining Ones, Thank you for your blessings and Wisdom. Closing the Gates:To the Spirit of the Threshold,Thank you for your protection tonight.I now ask that you undo what you have done,Let the Gates be closed! Thanking the Earth Mother:Earth Mother, Sustainer of Life.All that remains unused will be given to youI thank you. Ending the ritual:As you stand at the altar, close your eyes and breathe.  Connect with the earth below and the heavens above.  As you connect, listen to the sound of your heartbeat.  Once you feel your connection to the cosmos, take three deep breaths while you hit the drum (one breath for one drum hit).  Set the drum down and walk backwards from the altar to where you performed the purification.  Bow to the altar.-End of Rite-  
Hearth Cultures: 
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“A Simple First Snow Rite”by Rev. Jan AvendeThis ritual is designed to take place during or shortly after the first snow of the season.Materials needed:freshly fallen snow1-4 bowls to collect snow4 candlesyour regular altar & Hallows setup, including a Wellan offering for the spirits of winter/a winter deity of your choiceStep outside into the snow with your empty bowl(s). I prefer to do this bare-footed and bare-handed, but use your best judgement as far as safety is concerned.“Spirits of winter, I have felt you stirring all about me. Now I see you, as you make your presence known. Be with me as I mark the turning of the season, and all that it entails.”Gather your bowl(s) of snow and bring them back inside to set on your altar. Next to each of the four bowls, or surrounding the single bowl, place your four candles. Light each candle as you speak:“As winter begins, I stand in the light, looking down into spreading darkness below. As this snow melts, let it signify that the light will make it through the dark.""Winter is a time of solitude and contemplation, a time to look within. As this snow melts, let it signify that companionship is as important as solitude.""Water freezes in the depths of winter, bringing with it much beauty. As this snow melts, let it signify the Waters of Inspiration are now free to rush forth and flow into me."For this last part, take one bowl of snow (or a small amount of the snow you have gathered) and place it in your Well. Then light the last candle and speak:"The Cosmic Waters run deep and cool beneath the earth. As this snow melts, let it signify the Cosmic Waters being renewed as the fresh ice flow from the winter nourishes them.”Prepare your offering for the spirits of winter/winter deity and speak:“I call to you now, Spirits of Winter. I see you come, stately and measured, showing off your beauty and destruction all in one breath. I see you, as you frost the land, bringing sparks of light to glitter in the dark. I see you, as you glaze the world with your presence. Spirits of Winter, I see you here, all around me now, and I acknowledge that this is your time of life and joy. As I make this offering to you, I ask that you bless me with the dichotomy of gifts you have to offer. Bless me with solitude and companionship. Bless me with light and dark. Bless me with contemplation and inspiration. Bring renewal to the world. Spirits of Winter, accept my offering!”Allow all the snow to melt. The melt from the first three bowls can be used to bless tools for the winter. I usually take a small sip of the water while it is still cold, so that I can better feel it course through my body. Then, I usually anoint and bless my writing implements and my musical instruments, since winter is the time that I am more prolific as a bard.
Hearth Cultures: 
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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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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.
Hearth Cultures: 
Ritual Category: 
(Originally published in Oak Leaves No. 13.)Early Romans were simple farmers and shepherds, and their gods and religious practices revolved around their homes, farms, and immediate community. Every household had some kind of shrine for the home deities, the Lararium, and would perform daily prayers honor the Lar, the guardian spirit of the household, and the Penates, the guardian spirits of the pantry or cupboards. In previous articles, I have discussed the basics of Roman hearth religion (see OL 10). I am now offering to share some very simple household prayers and rites suitable for a Roman household.MORNING LARARIUM PRAYERThe Paterfamilias was traditionally responsible for leading the house hold each morning in a prayer to the deities of the household (the Lar and Penates) to thank them for keeping watch over the welfare and prosperity of the home and to ask that the coming day be fruitful and safe. In ancient times, the Paterfamilias was the male head of the household; however, in modern times, this need not be so. Just as the Paterfamilias of the community is responsible for the spiritual welfare of the community, the Paterfamilias of the household is responsible for maintaining a proper relationship between the deities and the household.This particular prayer is designed to be performed before the lararium early in the morning after the Paterfamilias has been cleaned and purified, but before breakfast. The Paterfamilias stands before the lararium with arms outstretched and greets the household spirits:Salve Lar Familiaris!Greetings, household Lar!Salvete Di Penates!Greetings, Divine Penates!{If you are making an offering, do so while speaking these lines; otherwise, omit the passages in brackets.}Vos precor {hoc sacrificio obmovendo bonas preces} uti sitis volentes propitii mihi, {liberisque mei,} domo meo, familiaeque meae.I humbly ask that you may bestow your blessing upon me, {my children,} my home, and my household.{Mactete hoc sacrificio}{Be thou increased by this which I give to you.}Ita est!So be it!This is a great time for a few moments of daily meditation, particularly giving thought to what your plans, expectations, and hopes for the day may be and how the kindred spirits may be included and helpful during the day. A daily offering is not necessary, but is always an option, particularly if you seek especial favor that day. Moreover, this would be an ideal time for making a prepared or extemporaneous prayer or vow to a deity (or deities) for assistance in a particular situation. For example, when I had to leave my car at th shop for the day, I prayed to and made a vow to Mercurius (as one who is associates with commerce and fair business deals) Vulcanus (as one who is associated with metalwork and the forge fire), and any other deity who may have been able to assist me in keeping the cost of the repairs to a minimum. (It seemed to work, by the way; I had a loose spark plug, which was easily reconneted, and my mechanic didn't charge me a dime!)DAILY MEAL PRAYERAt the evening meal (or whatever is the main meal of the day), it is appropriate to honor Vesta, the living flame, who is associated with the cook fire and the Penates. If, like me, you live alone and have irregular, quick meals, make a point of offering to Vesta a bit of whatever it is you're eating whenever you do sit down for a meal. Ideally, a place should be set for Vesta at the table with a serving of all that which the family is eating, then after dinner, but before dessert, the contents of the plate are cast into the fire on the hearth. As the offering is made, a short prayer to Vesta is made:Salve, Vesta mater!Greetings, Mother Vesta!Accipe hoc sacrificium factum meo artificio de tua auxilia beata.Accept this offering, made by my own handiwork with your blessed help.Te precor humiliter uti sis volens propitia foco meo, domique familiaeque meae.I humbly beseech you to bless my hearth, and the home of my family.Macte hoc sacrificio.Be thou increased by this which I give to you.Throw the offering to the hearth (or place it in the offering bowl, as the case may be.)Dea propitia sit!May the Goddess be favorable!PRAYER WHEN LEAVING HOMEJanus is the deity most commonly associated with doors in the Roman religion. He protects our homes from that which would bring harm to it or those within it. Not only is it a good idea to invoke Janus as a protector of the home, but Janus is also the gatekeeper between us and the realm of the deities. Establishing a good relationship with Janus may aid in enlisting his help in opening the gates in more elaborate rituals. It's not a bad idea to invoke him every time you enter and leave your home.As you cross the threshold and close the door behind you, say:Semper salve valeque, Jane Clusive!Greetings always, Janus, closer of doors!Extend your hands in supplication and say:Me absente te precor uti sis domum, meam vigilans et ab injuria protegens.I humbly beseech you to watch over my home in my absence, and protect it from harm.Lock the door, then kiss your hand and touch this hand to the door, saying:Ita est!So be it!PRAYER UPON RETURNING HOMEAs you approach the entrance to your home, greet Janus, saying:Salve Jane Patulci!Greetings, Janus, opener of doors!Extend your hands in supplication, saying:Tibi gratias ago quod in me absentia domum meam vigilasti et ab injuria protexsti.Thank you for watching over my home in my absence and keeping it safe from harm.Kiss your hand, touch this hand to the door, and unlock it, saying:Gratias tibi ago!I give you thanks!PRAYER OF ABLUTION (CLEANSING):This is a short prayer than can be used whenever you shower, wash your hands, before a ritual or anytime you feel the need for purification. While washing, say:Haec aqua a corpore impuritates, simile modo velut plumbum ad aurum mutando, eluat.May this water cast out all impurities from my substance as from lead to gold.Purget mentem. Purget corpus. Purget animum.Purify my mind. Purify my body. Purify my spirit.Ita est.So be it.If they were going to be attending or participating in a formal ritual, Romans would cover their heads, capite velato, to protect themselves from any evil omens en route to or during the ritual. If this prayer is used as an ablution prior to a ritual, it would be proper to cover your head with a shawl or length of cloth. As you do so, say:Purus(-a) simMay I be pure.Immunis ex impurtates simMay I be free from all impurities.Mei facti fidi et justi sintMay my deeds be true and just.Stand straight, your hands in a supplicant position, and say:Juppiter mihi induat pietate.May Jupiter enwrap me with Pietas.Ita est!So be it!CONCLUSIONThese are the first Latin prayers I have written, and they are ones I have begun to use on a regular basis. It's not necessary to address the Roman deities in Latin, and I wouldn't recommend anyone doing so without first learning some basics of Latin pronunciation. However, if you understand how to pronounce the Latin and feel more comfortable using it (speaking in Latin always reminds me of the days of Latin Masses and feels more formal to me), I believe the gods prefer it. The most important thing to remember, however, is that the more often you perform these small, daily rites and prayers, the closer you will grow to the deities. Your relationship will grow and you will feel their presence a little more each time your pray to them. Use the prayers in English or put them into your own words once you are comfortable with them. The Gods will hear you and appreciate your efforts and your piety.BIBLIOGRAPHYSerith, Ceisiwr, The Deep Ancestors: Practicing Proto-Indo-European Religion, (forthcoming).Nova Roma Website: Category: Roman Religion 2007.Traupman, John C., Latin and English Dictionary, New York, Bantam Books, 1995.
Hearth Cultures: 
Ritual Category: 
EquipmentOil lamp or candleMatchesOffering for fire (incense)Well (Regwes: "Dark Place.")Tree (Staff in stand)Bowl of waterBowl for offeringsSilver for wellOffering in pitcher (beer or mead is most PIE)AsperserSet upPut the tree in the east, the fire in the middle, and the well in the west. Sit to the west of the well. Put the matches and incense next to the fire, and the other items in front of you.PurificationAnoint your mouth, heart, and hands. Each time, say:Púros [masc.]/Púrā [fem.] s-yēm.[May I be pure.]Face east and say:Déiwons xadbheróim.[I wish to honor the gods.]I am here to honor the gods.May my worship be according to the Xártus.s.Light the fire and say:In the world's very centerI light the fire of offering.At the point where the sacred and the mundane meet.Under the care of the shining goddessUnder the watchful eye of Westyā.Make offering to the fire, saying:I make offering to the fire of sacrifice. May I pray with a good fire.Offer silver to the well, saying:By the Régʷes I am connected to the world below.Waters to land, the Régʷes extends.Asperse the tree, saying:By the holy tree I am connected to the world above.Land to sky, the tree extends.Pour part of the offering in the pitcher to the gate keeper, saying:Xákʷōm Népōt, I make offering to you.May the way be open to the Holy Ones.Make a counterclockwise triskele, from the inside out, over the lamp, saying:Xákʷōm Népōt, xar dhurns moi.[Xákʷōm Népōt, open the gate to me].Asperse the area in a clockwise direction, saying:Méǵ móris əmé ghṛdhyeti.The great sea encloses me.When the aspersing is done, say:My ghórdhos is sacred, set apart,within the border of the encircling water.Sacred and holy is this place of mine,fit for the gods to enter.Pour out the offering to the gods, saying:To the gods and goddesses I make offering.May there be between us the bonds of hospitality.Deiwōs, uzmei ghéwō.[Gods, I pour out an offering to you.]Pour out offering to the ancestors, saying:To the spirits of the ancestors I make offering.May there be between us the bonds of hospitality.Wíḱpotibhos, uzmei ghéwō.[Ancestors, I pour out an offering to you.]Pour out offering to the spirits of the land, saying:To the spirits of the land I make offering.May there be between us the bonds of hospitality.Xánsūs, uzmei ghéwō.[Spirits, I pour out an offering to you.]Pause. Then pick up the offering bowl and say:I receive my share of the sacrifice.Drink some of the offering. Put the bowl down and say:Deities, ancestors, and spirits:I give you honor and worship,praise and reverence.May there be peace and friendship between us.Uzmei gʷṛtins dédōmi.[I give you thanks.]Make a triskele over the fire, clockwise from the outside in, saying:Xákʷōm Népōt, may the gate be closed.Extinguish the lamp. Stand and say: I go my way in fellowship with the Kindreds.Bow once to the east."May I pray with a good fire" is based on Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty’s translation of Rig Veda 1.26.8.Proto-Indo-European lines are translated immediately after-wards. Translations not intended to be said out loud are enclosed in square brackets ( [ ] ). For pronunciation, see here.Xákʷōm Népōt (The Godfather, Guardian, or Uncle of the Waters), cognate with Nechtan, Neptune, and Apāṃ Napāt, is the guardian of a well of flaming waters that give power, prosperity, and wisdom (i.e., trifunctional blessings) to those who drink from it. (But only if they are qualified.) Here he functions as the Gatekeeper.Wéstyā ("Burning One") is a name I have constructed for the PIE hearth goddess. The original name cannot be reconstructed, but most of the descendant forms are related to words like "burn," "shine," etc.
Ritual Category: 
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.]
Ritual Category: 
This is a "bare script" accompanying the Simple Shrine Ritual video, which does not contain the meditations to be given to the student by his Guide, or if no Guide is available, to be recorded & played back, or learned by heart. See the full script for the meditations and a full description of the rite. The Working (The text to be read by the Guide is given in italic. The ritual instructions are in plain type, and the spoken ritual is in bold.) The Guide and the Ritualist take nine breaths together. The Guide leads the Nine Breaths Centering, then begins: Give nine knells on a bell, then raise hands to the sky, and say: I am here to honor the gods. Be with me, Oh Shining Ones, in my working; forgive any errors, and grant me, I pray, your blessing. Offer a pinch of corn meal into the offering bowl, saying: Earth Mother, I am your child. Mother of all I pray you bless and uphold my rite, as you uphold the whole world. Earth Mother, accept my sacrifice! Place your hands on your heart and open to the light of inspiration, saying: Power of Inspiration, attend the shrine of my soul. Quicken my tongue that I may work this rite in beauty and in truth. State the purpose of the rite, saying: I have come to do as the wise ancients did, to make offering to the powers and to know the Druid's ways. So be it! Offer silver into the cauldron, saying: In the deeps flow the waters of wisdom. Sacred well, flow within me. Make an offering to the Fire, saying: I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love and power. Sacred fire, burn within me. Sprinkle and cense the world-tree, wand or self, saying: From the deeps to the heights spans the world-tree. Sacred tree, grow within me. See the Deep Power flowing in the whole Shrine washing away ill, repeating: By the might of the Water and the light of the Fire, this Shrine is made whole and holy. (Ritualist switches to censing herself and all, continuing the charm.) Spread your hands, and encompass the whole shrine in your awareness, saying: Let the sea not rise, and all ill turn away. Let the sky not fall and all ill turn away. Let the land hold firm and all ill turn away. 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! Offer oil or incense to the fire, saying: I make this offering to the Keeper of the Gates. Gatekeeper, Lord of the Between, Keeper of Roads and Opener of Ways, join your magic with mine to guard and ward the gate of this working. Gatekeeper, accept my sacrifice! Now let this sacred center be the boundary of all worlds, Let the Fire open the Gate Let the Well open the Gate Let the Tree hold fast the Way Between. By the Keeper of Gates, and by my Will and Word, let the Gate be open! Fill the horn or cup with ale and raise it, saying: Gods and Dead and mighty Sidhe, Powers of Land and Sky and Sea, By Fire and Well and sacred Tree, offerings I make to thee! To those who dwell below, to those who dwell above, to the tribes of spirits in land, sea or sky. 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! Pour a quarter of the ale into the bowl. Raise the horn, and say: Spirits of this land, Aid me as I aid you! Spirits accept my sacrifice! Pour a quarter of the ale into the bowl. Raise the horn, and say: Gods and goddesses of elder days honor me as I honor you! Shining Ones accept my sacrifice! Gods and goddesses of elder days honor me as I honor you! Shining Ones accept my sacrifice! Mighty, Noble and Shining Ones, be welcome at my Fire! So be it! Offer the last of the ale and make an offering of oil to the fire, saying: Let my voice arise on the flame Let my voice resound in the well Oh honored ones, Mighty Dead, Noble Spirits, Shining Gods Hear me now as I offer up this sacrifice. Accept my worship and reverence. Grant me the Druid's Wisdom, and give me your blessing! Cast for a simple omen, with this charm: (name and nature of the beings one is asking), I have offered to you. Now let the true sight be in me, the true speech be mine, Answer me now, O spirits, what blessing do you offer me, in return for my offerings? Refill the horn, saying: I pour the ale of inspiration, I draw water from the well of wisdom I fill the cauldron of my spirit, with this drink. I call upon the Kindreds to give to me as I have given to you, as a gift calls for a gift. Hold your Blessing Cup up to the Gate... Oh (Patron Powers), hallow these waters! Let this ale be as the Fire of the Gods, as the Mead of Wisdom I open my heart to the flow of your blessing, I, your child and worshipper. Behold the waters of life! Reverently drink the ale, saying: The worlds are in me, and I am in the worlds The spirit in me is the spirit in the worlds By Fire, Well and Tree; By Gods, Dead and Sidhe; The blessing flows and shines in me! Biodh se abhlaidh! (Pronounced "bee shay ow'-lee") (If you have any remaining work, such as spells in pursuit of the intention, they should be completed at this time.) When all is done, give thanks, saying: (Patron powers), I give you my thanks! Shining Ones, Mighty Dead , Noble Spirits I thank you for your aid and blessing. Triple Kindreds, Gods, Dead and Landspirits: I thank you for upholding my magic. Lord of the gates, lord of knowledge, I give you my thanks. Make a closing spiral saying: Now let the Fire be flame, the Well be water, Let all be as it was before, save for the magic I have made Let the Gates be closed! Recenter and contemplate the entire working, and end, saying: To the Mother I give thanks, for ever upholding my life and my work. The fire, the well and the tree Flow and flame and grow in me! Peace and blessings to all beings, The rite is ended!
Ritual Category: 
This work is intended to introduce students to the Inner experience of the basic Druidic Order of Ritual. This script in particular accompanies the Simple Shrine Ritual video. We have MP3 recordings of the script, guided (22 MB) and unguided (33 MB). The rite should be administered by an elder ritualist, with the elder reading the guidance portions of the text and the student performing the words and deeds of the rite itself. If this is not possible it could be led by one student for another, a single student could record the guidance and play it back during the rite, or the student could simply practice the guidance portions until she knows them by heart. If there is a Guide, s/he should be certain to experience and project the described visualizations as completely as possible. This helps create the atmosphere that will draw the student along into the spiritual reality of the Druid's Sacred Grove. The student should have a completed Shrine, and a good, comfortable seat placed before it, located so that she can reach all sections of the work area. The Guide, if any, will sit close to one side to recite into your ear, and should be prepared with the full text of the working (including meditations). If the Ritualist works from a script, it should be a bare script with only actions and spoken words (no meditations). Materials Needed: Small bell, fire-pot or candle & censer with incense (the Tinteann – 'hearth'), cauldron with blessed water the Coire Tobar, or Tobar – 'well'), world tree symbol or wand or staff set up as a pillar (Bile – 'tree'), images of patron deities, a horn or cup for pouring and drinking, an offering bowl before the Fire if the rite is indoors, offerings (corn meal, silver, olive oil or essential oil), ale for offering and drinking, and a tool with which to take an omen. The oil might be kept in a vial, from which small offerings are poured, but it is slightly more traditional to use a bowl of oil and a spoon or small ladle to give it to the fire. If one uses incense, then powdered incense spooned on to charcoal gives the same feel. Non-burnable offerings are made into the offering bowl, which is emptied into earth after the rite. The Working (The text to be read by the Guide is given in italic. The ritual instructions are in plain type, and the spoken ritual is in bold.) The Guide and the Ritualist take nine breaths together. The Guide leads the Nine Breaths Centering, then begins: So, breathe deep, and feel the flow of the Light and Shadow in your flesh and spirit... you are seated here, at your own Shrine of Druidry... if you have let your eyes close, open them now... breathe, and continue to feel the flow of the Two Powers... let your body relax... settle in your seat... as you gaze upon the symbols and tools of your Shrine... remember to hold fast to this relaxation... this detached focus... as you work your rite... You will begin by sounding nine knells or knocks, and making the Opening Prayer... Give nine knells on a bell, then raise hands to the sky, and say: I am here to honor the gods. Be with me, Oh Shining Ones, in my working; forgive any errors, and grant me, I pray, your blessing. So you have begun... breathe deep, feel the flow and shine of the powers, and let your power of vision awaken... let your mind's eye remember the land on which you sit... on which the building that holds your Shrine sits... the land beneath all the human things you know... in that land lives the spirit of the Earth Mother... let your imagination see the Goddess of the land... in whatever form is true for you... as a great woman of strength, wisdom and vast generosity... see her robed and crowned, her form twined with life and changing forms... see her become clear and real in your vision's eye... fill your heart with love for the Earth that sustains you, and open your heart to her love... as you offer to Her... Offer a pinch of corn meal into the offering bowl, saying: Earth Mother, I am your child. Mother of all I pray you bless and uphold my rite, as you uphold the whole world. Earth Mother, accept my sacrifice! Know that the Mother of All underlies all your work... now, in your vision eye, see a triple beam of light shining down upon your from above... turn your palms up to the sky... and let the Three Rays of the Awen shine on your head and hands... this is the Light of Inspiration... the Fire of Wisdom that brings swift, clear power to the Druid's mind... feel its power in you as you honor it, saying: Place your hands on your heart and open to the light of inspiration, saying: Power of Inspiration, attend the shrine of my soul. Quicken my tongue that I may work this rite in beauty and in truth. The Imbas shines down upon you... the Mother of the Land surrounds and supports you... you are about to conjure the Shrine of Druidry, to do as the wise ancients did... to make offering to the powers and to come to know the Grove, the Gate and the Blessing... Child of the Earth, is it your will that this be so?... State the purpose of the rite, saying: I have come to do as the wise ancients did, to make offering to the powers and to know the Druid's ways. So be it! Then breathe deep, and feel the flow of the Two Powers in you... and gaze upon your Shrine... upon your Fire and Well and Tree... now take up the silver that you will offer to the Well... see your Coire Tobar filling with the Underworld Power even as the water fills it... you give your offering into the dark waters, as you say... Offer silver into the cauldron, saying: In the deeps flow the waters of wisdom. Sacred well, flow within me. Gaze upon your Tinteann, and make sure that the flame is burning well... take up your offering to the Fire... see the Power of the Heavens fill the common fire in your hearth, shining beneath it's common light... as you make you offering, saying: Make an offering to the Fire, saying: I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love and power. Sacred fire, burn within me. Now sprinkle your Bile with water, and see the Dark Power flowing up from beneath.. and cense your Bile with incense or flame, and see the Bright Power flow down in from above... Breathe deep, and see the Fire and Water present in your shrine as they are in your flesh... as you say: Sprinkle and cense the world-tree, wand or self, saying: From the deeps to the heights spans the world-tree. Sacred tree, grow within me. Now the Fire and water are present at the center of your Shrine... as they are present in your heart... breathe deep and fill yourself with the Fire and Water... with these powers you will cleanse the Shrine and yourself... begin to quietly speak the charm of cleansing as you take up the Coire and sprinkle the Shrine and yourself... See the Deep Power flowing in the whole Shrine washing away ill, repeating: By the might of the Water and the light of the Fire, this Shrine is made whole and holy. You sprinkle all with the Water and you feel the rinsing of the clean, dark Underworld Power... that washes away the bits and remains of your life's thoughts and deeds... that washes away the half-connected cobwebs of the spirits... leaving you and the Shrine clean... as you replace the Coire and take up the incense... (Ritualist switches to censing herself and all, continuing the charm.) As the smoke of the incense drifts, it carries the shining Power of the heavens... that turns every ill to ash... that warms all that it touches, filling all with pure flame... leaving no room for ill... leaving you and your Shrine flowing deep and shining bright... you finish the censing, and return the incense to its place... breathe deep, and spread your hands over your Shrine... The Center has been blessed, and the Shrine has been cleansed... now fill your Inner Eye with the Middle Realms... the Land on which you rest... the Sky that arcs above you... the Sea that surrounds you... in the Center stand the Fire and Well and Tree... with this vision all around you, speak the charm: Spread your hands, and encompass the whole shrine in your awareness, saying: Let the sea not rise, and all ill turn away. Let the sky not fall and all ill turn away. Let the land hold firm and all ill turn away. 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! So, with the Worlds gathered around you... you are seated at your Shrine in the Center of the Worlds... here at the Crossroad of All That Is, you can open a Gate to the Otherworld... first, it is proper to offer to the God of the Gates... Call up the vision of the Deity who you will ask to aid you in opening the Gate of the Grove... see, if you wish, the Deity's form of flesh... strong and beautiful... you may choose to see the face, eyes shining with secret knowledge... you might see the robes and gems, the tools and weapons of the Keeper of Gates... you may only feel the Deity's presence... an aura of shining, shadowed mist, a power that sees far and opens the roads of seekers... take up your offering, and sacrifice to the God of gates, as you say: Offer oil or incense to the fire, saying: I make this offering to the Keeper of the Gates. Gatekeeper, Lord of the Between, Keeper of Roads and Opener of Ways, join your magic with mine to guard and ward the gate of this working. Gatekeeper, accept my sacrifice! Here, in this place, you have already drawn closer to the Otherworld... already you are surrounded by the Inner Vision of the Worlds... but you can open a deeper gate, here where the Center is strong... a single point, here above your Hallows, that will be for you as the Door of the Otherworld... see the Gate-God turn toward you... hands open... to lend strength to your spell... gaze at your Shrine... and look for a spot that seem to be the Center of the pattern you have woven... breathe deep, and see the power gather there... see a mist form in that spot... put your palms and fingers together, flat... and point your fingers at that spot... as you say: Now let this sacred center be the boundary of all worlds, Let the Fire open the Gate Let the Well open the Gate Let the Tree hold fast the Way Between. By the Keeper of Gates, and by my Will and Word, let the Gate be open! Spread your hands wide... and let your vision eye see the mist part... as though the fabric of your Inner world parted... even the reality of your material air... and see the Gate appear... opening in whatever vision is true and real for you... opening so that you can gaze into it... shining with a shadowed light... a light that is, itself, also the Gate... and so, by this work the Grove is made, and the Gate is open... in this place you can come into the presence of the Spirits... and they into yours... Now it is proper for you to make your offerings to all the beings of the Worlds... you may not yet have a close knowledge of the Ancestors, the Landspirits and the Deities... but whenever you light the Fire and make the offerings, they will surely turn their faces toward you... open your heart to the Holy Beings, and begin the invocation... Fill the horn or cup with ale and raise it, saying: Gods and Dead and mighty Sidhe, Powers of Land and Sky and Sea, By Fire and Well and sacred Tree, offerings I make to thee! To those who dwell below, to those who dwell above, to the tribes of spirits in land, sea or sky. Hear your true worshipper (your name) as I make due sacrifice. First you call to the Mighty and Beloved Dead... feel the blood flow in your flesh, and become aware of the Great Chain of Life and Death... the human bodies and spirits, kin of blood and heart, who at bring strength and wisdom from the past... offer to the Ancestors, saying: Old ones, my ancestors, remember me as I remember you! Ancestors, accept my sacrifice! Pour a quarter of the ale into the bowl. Now you call to the Wild and Noble Spirits... feel the breath in your body, the land beneath you, and be aware of the Uncounted Clans of beings who share the world with humankind... who bring wonder and fortune from the worlds' bounty... offer to the Spirits, saying: Raise the horn, and say: Spirits of this land, Aid me as I aid you! Spirits accept my sacrifice! Pour a quarter of the ale into the bowl. Now you call to the Holy and Shining Deities... the powers of Heaven and the Deep flow in your own spirit... as in the Deities, whose being itself is made of that Fire, that Shadow... the undying Gods and Goddesses of every real, who bring love and illumination... offer to the Deities, saying: Raise the horn, and say: Gods and goddesses of elder days honor me as I honor you! Shining Ones accept my sacrifice! Gods and goddesses of elder days honor me as I honor you! Shining Ones accept my sacrifice! As you have made your offerings, so the eyes of the Gods and Spirits are turning toward your Fire, upon the Shrine... the loving faces of the Ancestors... the strange eyes of the Other Kins... the shining gaze of the Goddesses and Gods... open your heart to the Kindreds, as you say: Mighty, Noble and Shining Ones, be welcome at my Fire! So be it! So, rest a moment in the presence of the Powers... If there were other offerings to make – to Gods of the seasons, to especially honor one of the Powers, you would make them now... but it always proper to work a rite in honor of all the Kindreds together... Now, as you prepare to make the central sacrifice, open your heart again to all the Powers and Beings of the rite... breathe deep, and let your breath move the power in you, bringing it into your hands... take up your final sacrifice... and hold it in your hands... let the Powers carry all your love and reverence, your awe and you aspiration, into the sacrifice... and give the offering into the Fire, as you give all your worship through the Gate... as you say: Offer the last of the ale and make an offering of oil to the fire, saying: Let my voice arise on the flame Let my voice resound in the well Oh honored ones, Mighty Dead, Noble Spirits, Shining Gods Hear me now as I offer up this sacrifice. Accept my worship and reverence. Grant me the Druid's Wisdom, and give me your blessing! Your words, your will and your worship flow up from you, through the Gate, to the Gods and Spirits... for a moment hold the presence of the Powers in your mind, as the smoke of your sacrifice rises to them... This is the hinge of the rite... until this moment your work has focused on sending your voice and you power outward... you have sought to make yourself heard... now the Powers have received your gifts... have heard your call... and the tide of the rite is turning... turning so that the flow returns from the Gods and Spirits toward you... the focus is now upon you and your Shrine... as the blessing of the Gods comes to you... First it is proper to seek an omen of the Gods' will and willingness in the rite... open yourself to the flow of power that is beginning to come through the Gate... take up your divining tool and seek an omen, saying: Cast for a simple omen, with this charm: (name and nature of the beings one is asking), I have offered to you. Now let the true sight be in me, the true speech be mine, Answer me now, O spirits, what blessing do you offer me, in return for my offerings? Contemplate the omen... review the meaning of the symbols, and let your mind formulate the message they bring you... the first flow of the Blessing... that now begins to grow stronger... take up your Blessing Cauldron, and pour in the ale, saying: Refill the horn, saying: I pour the ale of inspiration, I draw water from the well of wisdom I fill the cauldron of my spirit, with this drink. I call upon the Kindreds to give to me as I have given to you, as a gift calls for a gift. Hold your Blessing Cup up to the gate... and know that ino this drink the blessing of the Gods, Dead and Spirits is pouring... in whatever way is true and real for you... a streaming light... a rising shadow... filling your Cauldron... Wisdom, Love and Power that is given to you... yours to accept... see your Cup shining with it, as you say: Hold your Blessing Cup up to the Gate... Oh (Patron Powers), hallow these waters! Let this ale be as the Fire of the Gods, as the Mead of Wisdom I open my heart to the flow of your blessing, I, your child and worshipper. Behold the waters of life! Gaze for a moment into your Cup... see the Blessing that awaits you there... deep in the Waters of Life... the gift of the Holy Worlds... an offering to the Fire and Well within you... now raise your cauldron to your lips and drink... drink deep... and open yourself to the Blessing... feel it in your belly... Breathe deep, and feel the Two Powers in you... feel the Blessing mingle with them... feeding the Fire... glittering in the Water... filling your loins... your heart... your head... it may be that images arise, as the Blessing fills you... remember this moment, this contact with the power of the Powers... as you say... In other rites you might bring an intention, a specific goal, and this power would be turned, by your will and your vision, toward that goal... but for now... remember again the vision of the Sacred Grove... the Fire and Well and Tree in the Center... the Underworld beneath... Heavens above... the Land, Sea and Sky spreading out around you... and all the beings in all the worlds... hold this vision, as you affirm the Blessing... Reverently drink the ale, saying: The worlds are in me, and I am in the worlds The spirit in me is the spirit in the worlds By Fire, Well and Tree; By Gods, Dead and Sidhe; The blessing flows and shines in me! Biodh se abhlaidh! (Pronounced "bee shay ow'-lee") (If you have any remaining work, such as spells in pursuit of the intention, they should be completed at this time.) So you have received the Blessing of the Powers, and you sit with the Worlds and the Kindreds all around you... now, as you prepare to end your rite, it is proper to give thanks to those who have aided you... Breathe deep, and let the Blessing shine in you... fill your heart and mind with love for the world and its beings... with gratitude to the Sky, whose air you breathe, to the Land that sustains your life, to the Sea that maintains the balance of all life... be filled with gratitude to the Ancestors, whose lives made yours... to the Landspirits, with whom you share the world... and to the Gods and Goddesses who sustain all the Worlds... breathe deep, spread your hands and let your love and thanks shine out to the boundary of the worlds as you say: When all is done, give thanks, saying: (Patron powers), I give you my thanks! Shining Ones, Mighty Dead , Noble Spirits I thank you for your aid and blessing. Triple Kindreds, Gods, Dead and Landspirits: I thank you for upholding my magic. Now return your attention to the Center... to the gate which stands open... to the Keeper of Gates... give your thanks to the gatekeeper God, saying: Lord of the gates, lord of knowledge, I give you my thanks. So, bring your hands together, fingers pointing toward the Gate, as you say: Make a closing spiral saying: Now let the Fire be flame, the Well be water, Let all be as it was before, save for the magic I have made Let the Gates be closed! And see, in whatever way is true and real for you, the gate closing... the Mist draw together over the Center... and as the gate closes, the Vision of the Grove and the Worlds fades... you are seated in your seat, before the Hallows of your Shrine... Breathe deep, and renew your center... feel the blessing flow in you... this flow of the Two Powers is not something that you ever need to banish... it is the balance within which your life is maintained... but for now, let your awareness of the Fire and water fade... hold fast to every drop and spark that you need... freely release all that you do not... The rite ends with the Earth Mother, as it began... in every place and at all times, she upholds your life and your work... give her your gratitude, as you say: Recenter and contemplate the entire working, and end, saying: To the Mother I give thanks, for ever upholding my life and my work. So the rite draws to its close, as you say, at last: The fire, the well and the tree Flow and flame and grow in me! Peace and blessings to all beings, The rite is ended!


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