Hellenic Rites and Charms

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The following are ADF rituals inspired by the Hellenic (ancient Greek) culture.Solitary Spring EquinoxDionysos Autumn EquinoxPlynteriaSkiraSynoikiaA Solitary Hellenic ADF Ritual Template (53Kb PDF)Hellenic Dedicant Oath Rite (1MB PDF)Bardic Blessing Rite (51Kb PDF)New Moon Blessing Rite (41Kb PDF)Beltane with Aphrodite (65Kb PDF)Summer Solstice to Helios and Selene (80Kb PDF) 
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MandaLynne's picture
(Orphic Hymns # 25, 27, 28, 39, 75 & 77 lifted from www.theoi.com and lightly edited.)OfferingsSeeds - Earth Mother / GaiaBeaded shells - Bardic Inspiration / the MusesJalepeno peppers - OutsidersSilver coin - Well-gateIncense - Fire-gateVanilla - Tree-gateBeer - AncestorsSpice mix - Nature SpiritsOlive Oil - Shining Ones3 feathers - Gatekeeper / HermesPraise offerings - Demeter, Persephone, EosOther StuffSalt - land purificationWater - sea purificationFeather - sky purificationCandle - FireChalice - WellMaple (or whichever is preferred) - TreeBellDivination tool (runes, ogham, cards, etc)PreparationLight the FireFill the Well(1) OpeningNine knells on a bell"This rite shall now begin.""I come today to celebrate the dawning of the springtime of the year. The time for new growth is upon us. May the beginning of the light half of the year bring inspiration to our spirits and hearts. Today is also a day of balance between light and dark. So too let us take stock of ourselves, releasing winter's frozen imobility in favor of invigorating and refreshing warmth."(3) Bardic Inspiration"Daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, diresounding and divine, Renowned Pierian, sweetly speaking nine; To those whose breasts your sacred furies fire Much-formed, the objects of supreme desire: Sources of blameless virtue to mankind, Who form to excellence the youthful mind; Who nurse the soul, and give her to descry The paths of right with Reason's steady eye. Commanding queens who lead to sacred light The intellect refined from Error's night; And to mankind each holy rite disclose, For mystic knowledge from your nature flows. Clio, and Erato, who charms the sight, With thee Euterpe ministering delight: Thalia flourishing, Polyhymnia famed, Melpomene from skill in music named: Terpsichore, Urania heavenly bright, With thee who gav'st me to behold the light. Come, venerable, various, powers divine, With favoring aspect on your mystics shine; Bring glorious, ardent, lovely, famed desire, And warm my bosom with your sacred fire.""Muses Nine, accept my offering of beaded shells. Inspire my spirit, let my words flow as water, and lend me your many blessings this rite and after."-Orphic Hymn #75: To the Muses(4) Earth Mother Offering"O Goddess, Earth, of Gods and men the source, Endured with fertile, all destroying force; All-parent bounding, whose prolific powers, Produce a store of beauteous fruits and flowers, All-various maid, the eternal worlds strong base Immortal, blessed, crowned with every grave; From whose wide womb, as from and endless root, Fruits, many-formed, mature and grateful shoot. Deep bosomed, blessed, pleased with grassy plains, Sweet to the smell, and with prolific rains. All flowery daemon, centre of the world, Around thy orb, the beauteous stars are hurled With rapid whirl, eternal and divine, Whose frames with matchless skill and wisdom shine. Come, blessed Goddess, listen to my prayer, And make increase of fruits thy constant care; With fertile Seasons in thy train, draw near, And with propitious mind thy suppliant hear.""Accept these seeds, Gaia, and may all of your children grow strong this season."-Orphic Hymn #25: To Gaia(5) Outsiders Offering "For those of you whose purposes Are not akin with mine For any of the energies Who would work against my rhyme I aknowledge that your purpose here Is cause for perseverance But today instead I ask of you To give of your forbearance Take this offering I give And turn the other cheek Turn away and take with you Whatever makes me weak!"Place the offering of peppers outside the ritual space(6) PurificationRub a pinch of salt between the palms."Land firm beneath me, my body is as your soil and stone. Grant me strength and health through your bounty. Earth purify my body."Rinse hands with water."Seas that surround me, my thoughts and feelings are as your waves and currents. Grant me your flexibility, and wisdom as deep as you are. Sea purify my emotions and mind."Brush a feather over the face and hands."Sky around and above me, through which I see the stars, sun, and moon. My soul sings as the many stars twinkle. May your numbers reflect the wealth of my spirit. Sky purify my energy."(7) Two Powers Attunement"Planting myself into the earth, I push my roots down. Reaching into the soil, dark, rich, and nourishing, they search for sustaining water. I dive down deeply, touching the cool waters below, the primordial seas of matter and chaos. I draw this energy up, through my roots, into my body. It fills me, my body, my mind, my spirit, until I am overflowing."Pause to deepen this connection."Reaching outward, into the sky, my branches grow long and strong. My leaves bud and open to the light of the sun, moon, and stars. From far reaching heavens shines the light of creation upon me. I draw this energy down, through my leaves and braches, into my body. It fills me, my body, my mind, my spirit, until I am overflowing"Again pause to deepen this connection."These two powers within me mingle and meld. Becoming mine, combining with my own energy, I am filled with the creative and destructive forces of nature. May these energies and that of the spirit in all things serve me well this day and in those days to come."Pause to feel the energies within and flowing forth from the self into the rite.(8) Opening the Gates"Deep Well diving down below Currents creating, springing flow Through your depths my voice resound Take my words to those I've found Sacred Well of water holy Take this offering now from me And with it, with me here today Help me to create the way."Offer a silver coin to the well."Bright Fire flaming into the sky Shining forth and dancing high May my words follow your heat far up To those who on ambrosia sup Sacred Fire accept this gift Incense with your own smoke lift With it help me create the way So spirits may hear what I've to say."Offer incense to the fire."Mighty Tree spanning through all worlds Roots reaching deep and leaves unfurled Here at the center you grow tall and strong Through you my voice to all carries along Sacred Tree accept my offering of Vanilla whose scent and spirits I love Standing here at the crossroads of all Make the way with me so they here my call."Annoint the tree with vanilla.(9) Gatekeeper Invocation"Hermes, draw near, and to my prayer incline, Angel of Zeus, and Maia's son divine; Studious of contests, ruler of mankind, With heart almighty, and a prudent mind. Celestial messenger, of various skill, Whose powerful arts could watchful Argus kill: With winged feet, 'tis thine through air to course, O friend of man, and prophet of discourse: Great life-supporter, to rejoice is thine, In arts gymnastic, and in fraud divine: With power endured all language to explain, Of care the loosener, and the source of gain. Whose hand contains of blameless peace the rod, Corucian, blessed, profitable God; Of various speech, whose aid in works we find, And in necessities to mortals kind: Dire weapon of the tongue, which men revere, Be present, Hermes, and thy suppliant hear; Assist my works, conclude my life with peace, Give graceful speech, and my memories increase.""Hermes, divine messenger, help me open these ways to the otherworlds. Accept my sacrifice, and let the gates be open!"Offer three feathers to Hermes.-Orphic Hymn #27: To Hermes(10) Three Kindreds Invocation"Ancestors of my blood, those of my heart, and those of this land. Join me in this celebration. Guide me through your history, in this rite and in days to come. Ancestors, accept this offering!"Offer beer to the Ancestors."Hear me Spirits of Nature, nymphs, satyrs, centaurs, and your kin; spirits of these lands, skyflyers, sea-swimmers, and land-striders. Join me in this celebration of Spring. Guide me through your forests and fields, rivers and lakes, mountians and clouds. Nature Spirits, accept this offering!"Offer a spice mix to the Nature Spirits."Shining Ones unnamed today. You of my hearth and home, those of this and other worlds, I honor you all. Join me in this celebration and be most welcome. Guide me in this life and those to come. Shining Ones accept this offering!"Offer olive oil to the Shining Ones.(11) Deities of Occasion - Offerings and Invocations"Daughter of Zeus, almighty and divine, Come, blessed queen, and to these rites incline: Only-begotten, Hades' honored wife, O venerable Goddess, source of life: 'Tis thine in earth's profundities to dwell, Fast by the wide and dismal gates of hell: Zeus holy offspring, of a beauteous mien, Fatal, with lovely locks, infernal queen: Source of the Erinyes, whose blest frame proceeds From Zeus' ineffable and secret seeds: Mother of Eubouleos, Sonorous, divine, And many-formed, the parent of the vine: The dancing Hours attend thee, essence bright, All-ruling virgin, bearing heav'nly light: Illustrious, horned, of a bounteous mind, Alone desired by those of mortal kind. O, vernal queen, whom grassy plains delight, Sweet to the smell, and pleasing to the sight: Whose holy form in budding fruits we view, Earth's vig'rous offspring of a various hue: Espous'd in Autumn: life and death alone To wretched mortals from thy power is known: For thine the task according to thy will, Life to produce, and all that lives to kill. Hear, blessed Goddess, send a rich increase Of various fruits from earth, with lovely Peace; Send Health with gentle hand, and crown my life With blest abundance, free from noisy strife; Last in extreme old age the prey of Death, Dismiss we willing to the realms beneath, To thy fair palace, and the blissful plains Where happy spirits dwell, and Hades reigns."-Orphic Hymn #28: To Persephone"O Universal mother, Demeter famed August, the source of wealth, and various named: Great nurse, all-bounteous, blessed and divine, Who joy'st in peace, to nourish corn is thine: Goddess of seed, of fruits abundant, fair, Harvest and threshing, are thy constant care; Who dwell'st in Eleusina's seats retired, Lovely, delightful queen, by all desired. Nurse of all mortals, whose benignant mind, First ploughing oxen to the yoke confined; And gave to men, what nature's wants require, With plenteous means of bliss which all desire. In verdure flourishing in honor bright, Assessor of great Dionysus, bearing light: Rejoicing in the reapers sickles, kind, Whose nature lucid, earthly, pure, we find. Prolific, venerable, Nurse divine, Thy daughter loving, holy Proserpine: A car with dragons yoked, 'tis thine to guide, And orgies singing round thy throne to ride: Only-begotten, much-producing queen, All flowers are thine and fruits of lovely green. Bright Goddess, come, with Summer's rich increase Swelling and pregnant, leading smiling Peace; Come, with fair Concord and imperial Health, And join with these a needful store of wealth.""Today I wish to honor the lovely ladies of Spring. Persephone, your return from the underworld is celebrated, as is your mother, Demeter, for giving forth again of her earthly bounty. Demeter and Persephone, join your magics this spring and summer, and bring us fruitful, bountiful seasons. Show the busy honey bees your extra special care. Lovely goddesses, accept my offering!"-Orphic Hymn #39: To DemeterOffer praise offerings to Demeter and Persephone."Hear me, O Goddess! whose emerging ray Leads on the broad refulgence of the day; Blushing Eos, whose celestial light Beams on the world with reddening splendors bright: Angel of Titan, whom with constant round, Thy orient beams recall from night profound: Labour of every kind to lead is thine, Of mortal life the minister divine. Mankind in thee eternally delight, And none presumes to shun thy beauteous sight. Soon as thy splendors break the bands of rest, And eyes unclose with pleasing sleep opressed; Men, reptiles, birds, and beasts, with general voice, And all the nations of the deep, rejoice; For all the culture of our life is thine. Come, blessed power! and to these rites incline: Thy holy light increase, and unconfined Diffuse its radiance on thy mystic's mind.""Eos, goddess of the dawn, this is the dawn of the year, and thus your time. The transition from dark to light is one most welcomed by me and the land here. Spring is now upon us, may your light draw forth the green of growing things, and also draw forth my own inspiration, drive, and learning. Your light calls me to come into nature. Eos, accept my offering! May we all celebrate and sing in the time of Spring!"Offer praise offerings to Eos.-Orphic Hymn #77: To Eos(12) Prayer of Sacrifice"Ancestors and Spirits of Nature And Shining Ones most lovely Here I have called unto you With offerings made holy Up with the fire, down through the well Throughout with sacred Tree My voice you hear again today Sounding offerings to thee For my mistakes I ask forgiveness As I give the best I can My wish is for your magics aid; Guide me with your shining hands!"(13) Omen"I take this omen so I may know the will of the gods, within this rite and within my life. May the Shining Ones be kind!"Shuffle and pull three cards/runes/oghams at random. Think on their first impressions and on their deeper meanings as interpreted.(14) Return Blessing (given a positive omen)Calling - "I ask you now Shining Deities, to give of your many blessings. I call forth your gifts into this cup. May your energy infuse this drink, and thus infuse me with your magic. Behold the Waters of Life!" Drink from the chalice. Hallowing - "Make sacred the liquid within this chalice. Put into it your light and love. Into it pour your blessings to me. Within me may your gifts shine bright! Behold the Waters of Life!" Drink from the chalice. Affirmation - "Today I am blessed in this rite, in calling on you. In my life am I blessed in knowing you. As the Waters of Blessing flow through me, my body, my mind, and my spirit, they are filled with your very essence. Behold the Waters of Life!" Drink deeply this time and contemplate the entire construct of the rite.(15) Workings(16) Thanking the Beings"I thank the lovely Shining Ones for their gifts and many blessings. Deities of the day, Eos, Demeter and Persephone, I thank you again and again!""To the ancestors and spirits of nature who have also joined me this day, I thank you much!""I also thank you, wild outdwellers, for staying outside of this space and leaving this rite in peace.""To my lovely Muses, I thank you dearly for your inspiring ways.""And I thank as well the Earth Mother, Gaia, for this land, your bounty, and my body, the vehicle through which I am able to give you honor."(17) Closing the Gates"Hermes, I thank you as well for all your aid, and I ask you again to help me close these gates. Let the Sacred Flame be but fire, the Sacred Well be but water, and the Sacred Tree be but a tree. Until I call on you again, let the gates be closed!"(18) Releasing the Two Powers"Now into the sky from me flows the powers of creation. Into the earth flows the powers of chaos. Into normal time and space I return, into the realm of man and earth, but within me remains the blessings of the Kindreds!"(19) Ending"I thank all again as this rite comes to a close. This rite is done. May I go forth with blessings to bless the world in return!"Nine knells on a bell.
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EmeraldDiane's picture
This is the Autumn Equinox Dionysos rite done by Sassafras Grove, ADF in 2004. Please see the end for credits and works cited. While the inspiration and overarching vision for this rite were mine, its creation was truly a collaborative effort. Dionysos gave me the charge to perform a rite in his honor, and I did the bulk of the research, decided on the theme and intent, chose the Bardic Patron and Gatekeeper, and came up with the magickal working of the Induction of Receptivity. But the actual nuts and bolts of how this rite would happen were hammered out by the three primary planners—me, Earrach, and Rowan. The countless hours they spent listening to my ravings and their suggestions as to how to make all of this raw material into a ritual that worked were invaluable. This rite would not have happened without them. Diana, Maria and FreyaDragon also contributed greatly to this rite. All of the ancient texts were selected by me with the exception of the Gateway closing prayer "To the Stars" which was chosen by Diana. I. Beginning the Rite and Establishing the Groupmind A. Ritual Briefing B. The Consecration of Time The Nine Knells - with tambourine C. The Consecration of Space and of Participants Purification of the Participants: Sea (wash hands), Land (put hands on labyrinth rock), Sky (incense) - Blessers On Site While purifications are taking place, D1 will talk about the season and the harvest (connecting John Barleycorn lore with Dionysos lore) Procession: (Come We Now as a People, up tempo) Congregation will process into the meeting room carrying giant thyrsus, torches, baskets of figs and grapes, ivy, etc. All will process behind the bilé and around the space once. On the next pass, the giant thyrsus will be put in place in the center of the room and the "harvesty stuff" will be placed on the regular altar. Warding of the Site / Acknowledgment of the Outsiders D. Bardic Patron - Arion D2: Poet and Harper beyond compare, Your praise of kings and prayers To gods most high resound As players, ivy crowned, Whirl words to stir the heart, Illuminating mysteries by your art. D3: Arion, Pride of Corinth Excellent in challenge Darling of Sicily Scholar and teacher Entrancing, enthralling, Hear and attend us! D2: Arion, harper, master of melodies D3: Give music to our dance D2: Arion, golden voiced, honey-tongued bard D3: Give words to our music D2: Arion, poet, beloved of gods D3: Give grace to our words D2: Arion, Light of heaven, divinely inspired D3: Hear our prayer D2: Arion, Light of heaven, divinely inspired D3: Heed and attend us D2 and D3: Arion, Light of heaven, divinely inspired Accept the place we have prepared. Sacrificer makes offering to Arion. E. Earth Mother - Gaia O mother Gaia, of Gods and men the source, endured with fertile, all-destroying force; all-parent, bounding, whose prolific powers produce a store of beauteous fruits and flowers. All-various maid, the immortal world's strong base, eternal, blessed, crowned with every grace; from whose wide womb as from an endless root, fruits many-formed, mature, and grateful shoot. Deep-bosomed, blessed, pleased with grassy plains, sweet to the smell, and with prolific rains. All-flowery Daimon, centre of the world, around thy orb the beauteous stars are hurled with rapid whirl, eternal and divine, whose frames with matchless skill and wisdom shine. Come, blessed Goddess, listen to my prayer, and make increase of fruits thy constant care; with fertile seasons in thy train draw near, and with propitious mind thy suppliants hear. (Orphic Hymn 25 to Mother Earth) All touch or kiss the ground. (Song: Oh Earth Mother...) F. Matron of the Grove - Brighid D1: I light this candle in honor of Brighid The Matron of Sassafras Grove Through the years you have been midwife To many changes and new beginnings within our grove. You foster our hope through good times and hard, Through challenge and victories You are the source of all our work The voice in our song The strength of our arm The hand that heals discord The inspiration of all we create Lady of the Hearth Fire Lady of the Sacred Wells Lady of our grove Remember us as we remember you. G. Unifying the Grove Tree Meditation, Merge into Grove. Song: We are one... H. Declaration of Intention and Historical Precedent D2: As we prepare to enter the dark time of the year, the time when everything's dying around us, life still endures. And Dionysos, like Persephone whom we encountered in last year's Autumn Equinox rite, is a symbol of that. I think a lot of people need to be reminded of that as the days get shorter and they start to despair because it's dark when they get out of work and it seems like the cold will never end. In honoring Dionysos, the very embodiment of "zoë," the life-force itself, and experiencing his blessings in the rite, we are actively preparing to face the dark. We are reminded that life does indeed endure, even in the darkest days. Instead of resenting the dark time of the year, we embrace it. In a literal harvest, we are gathering in the food that will sustain us through the winter. In this rite, we are experiencing the power of Dionysos, taking that into ourselves to sustain us through the dark time of the year. By becoming one with the god, we experience his divine essence, the life force itself. We will call him to the rite, present him with offerings of praise, and ask for his blessings. We will receive those blessings through music and dance. As we dance, we take on the personas of the maenads and the satyrs, Dionysos's mythological companions, as we break down the barriers between human and divine. Dance is a way of connecting with the god, of becoming one with his power, of feeling the pure, undifferentiated life force flowing through us. In the second phase of the celebration, the post-rite sacred drinking party, we will engage in his gift of wine, literally taking the god into ourselves to achieve a similar state. By learning about Dionysos and what he represents, we know on an intellectual level that life endures. And by experiencing the mystery of the rite, we know it in our hearts as well. II. Recreating the Cosmos and Preliminary Power Raising A. Creating the Vertical Axis 1. Evoking the Spirits of Fire and of Water The Sacred Fire i. Lighting, evoking and venerating the Sacred Fire, as Sacrificer lights the sacred fire: Fire of the Sun and Stars; Fire of our hearts and minds; Fire of the Gods and Goddesses! Fiery radiance of the Upper Worlds and Animating Spark, burning within all that lives... Let this flame ignite as the most holy and SACRED FIRE... and let its light and heat sanctify this place, these people and these proceedings. ii. Salutation of the Fire, gesture to the Sacred Fire exclaiming: Behold! The Sacred Fire! Sacred Fire: Burn Within Us! (All repeat) The Waters of Life i. Decanting & Descriptive Invocation of the Waters, as Sacrificer makes offering to the well and fills the Grail: Waters of Life's Origin; Waters of our sustenance; Waters of the Cauldron of Rebirth! Around us, below us, and within us, the Waters flow from the Well at the foot of the Great Tree... Let this Vessel, as the Grail of our rite receive, contain and convey to us the Sacred Waters of the Blessed Ones. ii. Salutation of the Waters, gesture to the Sacred Waters exclaiming: Behold! The Waters of Life! Sacred Waters: Flow Within Us! (All repeat) 2. The Creation Myth - D1: WHO ARE WE? FROM WHENCE DO WE COME? WHAT IS THE STORY OF OUR PEOPLE? Not hard... A great misty cloud had gathered together in the void Swirling and spiraling; spiraling and swirling Drawing ever-in upon itself. At its center a radiance shone forth And drove outward the surrounding cloud gathering the waters together here below. And so it was that the stuff of creation drew apart To form the Fire Above And the Waters Below. The Solar Fire warmed the Cauldron of Creation And stroked upon its waters with thunderbolts And begat upon it Life. And the Life begat the Creatures And the Creatures begat the Ancestors And the Ancestors begat Us, the Living People. Upright, like you, Great Tree We bear upon us the mark of Creation Then, now, and for all time. Rooted in the ancestral waters of the World Below, Spanning this Middle-World of form And reaching ever-upward to embrace the Fire Above. 3. Honoring the Great Tree /Axis Mundi ("Bilé") Sacrificer Asperges and Censes the Tree Salutation of the Tree Sacred Tree, Grow Within Us! (All repeat.) The Well, the Fire, the Sacred Tree Flow and flame and grow in me! (All repeat.) B. Opening the Ways 1. Calling the Gatekeeper: Ariadne Aphrodite, Holy of Holies, Queen of the Cretan Labyrinth Cave-dwelling Ariadne She who rules the darkest passages Ariadne Holy One, Show us the Way! Sacrificer lights the candle. All: Ariadne Holy One, Show us the Way! Light-bearing Ariadne She who guides our souls through the Labyrinth Ariadne Holy One, Show us the Way! Sacrificer unspindles the thread. All: Ariadne Holy One, Show us the Way! Thread-giving Ariadne She whose mysteries are as sweet as the priestesses who bear them Ariadne Holy One, Show us the Way! Sacrificer offers honey to the Melissa bowl. All: Ariadne Holy One, Show us the Way! Honey-tongued Ariadne She who bestows the dance of life, death and life again Ariadne Holy One, Show us the Way! Sacrificer bangs a frame drum 9 times. All: Ariadne Holy One, Show us the Way! Sacred-dancing Ariadne She who rises by Her love of the wine-dark god Ariadne Holy One, Show us the Way! Sacrificer strews red roses/rose petals. All: Ariadne Holy One, Show us the Way! 2. Opening the Gate: D2 picks up the red thread and takes it around the periphery of the hallows and spins it into a spiral/labyrinth shape. When completed, she announces: Ariadne, Most Holy of Holies! She has shown us the Way! The Gateway is open! C. Filling Out The Cosmic Picture: The Kindred Invocation Triad D1: We remember and invite in the Dwellers of the Three Worlds. (Sacrificer makes offering to each Kindred during the invocation.) 1. Nature Spirits NATURE SPIRITS, WORLDLY SPIRITS! SPIRITS OF PLACE! WE BEG YOUR ATTENTION AND PRESENCE HERE! YOU: who swim in the Waters! YOU: who creep upon the Land! YOU: who fly in the Skies! ... be with us here! YOU: who dwell with one foot in this world! YOU: of the "Shee"; the "Fey-Folk"! YOU: of those who dwell Under-the-Hill! ... be with us here! YOU: of mountain, plain or valley! YOU: of bubbling spring or flowing river! YOU: Genius Locii; Spirits of Place! ... be with us here! Song: Fur and Feather 2. Ancestors Ancestors, we, your sons and daughters, grandchildren, students and new souls-call to you and ask your witness. To the north, and south, and east, and west we invite you. Hear our voice and feel our welcome. To all who once walked this plane, who have stood along side of us, and watched from your sacred realms, whispering inspiring wisdom, and guidance. We are the branches extending out from your trunk and the solid roots that keep us forever connected. Hear our voice and bless us with your presence this night, and in humble honor we uphold our sacred promise that 'you will not be forgotten.' Ancestors, across the ages we call to you! Song: From Far Beyond this Mortal Plane 3. Shining Ones Friend, use it to good fortune. Learn now, Mousaios, a rite mystic and most holy, A prayer which surely excels all others. Kind Zeus and Gaia, heavenly and pure flames of the Sun, sacred light of the Moon, and all the Stars; Poseidon, too, dark-maned holder of the earth, Pure Persephone and Demeter of the splendid fruit, Artemis, the arrow-pouring maiden, and you kindly Phoebus, Who dwell on the sacred ground of Delphi. And Dionysos, The dancer whose honors among the blessed gods are the highest. Strong-spirited Ares, holy and mighty Hephaistos, And the goddess foam-born to whose lot fell sublime gifts, And you, divinity excellent, who are king of the Underworld. I call upon Hebe, and Eileithyia, and the noble ardor of Heracles, The great blessings of justice and piety, The glorious nymphs and Pan the greatest, And upon Hera, buxom wife of Aegis-bearing Zeus. I also call upon lovely Mnemosyne and the holy Muses, All nine, as well as upon the Graces, the Seasons, the Year, Fair-tressed Leto, divine and revered Dione, The armed Kouretes, the Korybantes, the Kabeiroi, Great Saviors, Zeus's ageless scions, The Indaian gods, and upon Hermes, messenger and herald Of those in heaven; upon Themis, too, diviner of men I call and upon Night, oldest of all, and Light-bringing Day; Then upon Faith, Dike, blameless Thesmodoteira, Rhea, Kronos, dark-veiled Tethys, The great Ocean together with his daughters, The might preeminent of Atlas and Aion, Chronos the ever-flowing, the splendid water of the Styx, All these gentle gods, and also Pronoia, And the holy Daimon as well as the one baneful to mortals; Then upon divinities dwelling in heaven, air, water, On earth, under the earth, and in the fiery element. Ino, Leukothe, Palaimon giver of bliss, Sweet speaking Nike, queenly Adresteia, The great king Asklepios who grants soothing, The battle-stirring maiden Pallas, all the Winds, Thunder and the parts of the four-pillared Cosmos. And I invoke the Mother of the immortals, Attis and Men, And the goddess Ouranie, immortal and holy Adonis, Beginning and End too, which to all is most important, And ask them to come in a spirit of joyous mercy To this holy rite and libation of reverence. ("Orpheus to Mousaios") Song: Hail All the Golds III. Top Tier: Invocation to Dionysos, Praise Offerings and Omen A. Dionysos Invocation Three Priestesses (D2, D3 & D4) are placed around the space, D2 in the back, D3 on the right and D4 on the left. They will each bang their tambourine three times in unison, D2 leading. The first line is said in place, and then they begin to prowl as they begin their individual lines, weaving in and out between the bilé, giant thyrsus, and congregation. They end up standing in front of hallows, facing away from the congregation, by their last individual lines. Three Priestesses: Dionysos we call, Divine and Thunderous, God of Ecstasy! D2: Primeval, two-natured, thrice born, Bacchic Lord! D3: Savage, ineffable, primal, obscure; two-horned and two-shaped D4: Bull-faced and martial, Bearer of the vine D2: Ivy-crowned, triennial, howling and pure D3: Whom the leaves of the vine adorn, of the Underworld's Queen divinely born D4: Reared with the Nymphs, the Mother.s bright bloom D2: Frenzied and howling through the high holy places D3: Basaarian God, mighty and universal D4: Delighting in swords and bloody sacred rage D2: In heaven rejoicing, mad-resounding god D3: Furious inspiration, armed with the thrysis D4: Beloved of men and all the Deathless Gods Pause. D2 and D4 crouch down and pick up the basket (linknon) from the hallows and hand it to D3. All turn and face the congregation. D3 raises the basket over her head and D2 and D4 place their hands on the basket. Three Priestesses: Immortal Dionysos, hear the voice of thy supplicants! Blessed God of Abandon, come to these rites in holy jubilation! The spirit of the god is called into the mask which is hidden inside the basket. D3 holds the basket while D2 and D4 draw the mask out by ribbons attached to either side. They hang the mask on the giant thyrsus, signifying the god's presence in the rite. D3 comes forward and sprinkles the mask with water and blessing oil in an act of sanctification. B. Group Praise Offering Orphic Hymn 49 to Lysius Lenaeus - Dionysos. All: Hear us, Son of Two Mothers, Blessed Dionysus, God of Wine, Lysian, Evion Bacchus, Many-named, secret and holy, fertile and nourishing, Who brings the spark of life and makes the fruits to flourish and increase, Pause, bring offerings of wine from the hallows to the altar around the giant thyrus All: Resounding, Magnanimous Power, Many-Formed God of Health, Holy Flower, Mortals find repose from labor in Your magic, and You are desired by all. Fair, Bromian, Joyful God who bears the vined wand Pause, bring offerings of ivy from the hallows to decorate the giant thyrus All: Incline to these rites, Whether You favor Gods or mortals, Be welcome and listen as Your mystics pray, And come rejoicing, bearing abundant fruits. Pause, bring offerings of figs, grapes, etc. from the hallows to the altar around the giant thyrus. Drummers play quietly during each pause to maintain energy. C. Individual Praise Offerings D. Conclusionary sacrifice (Women rip apart paper bull.) E. Taking of the Omen (scrying) IV. Receiving and Using the Returned Blessings/Power A. Stirring up the frenzy Once the omen is good... D1: The god he is pleased by our outpouring of praise. And now, by his will, may we come to know his blessings of ecstasy and joy. Let the life-force sing within us! Evohe! All: Evohe! D2: Dionysos! Dionysos! He is sweet upon the mountains. He drops to the earth from the running packs. He wears the holy-fawn-skin. He hunts the wild goat and kills it. He delights in the raw flesh. He runs to the mountains of Phrygia, to the mountains of Lydia he runs! He is Bromios who leads us! Evohe! All: Evohe! D3: With milk the earth flows! It flows with wine! It runs with the nectar of bees! Like frankincense in its fragrance is the blaze of the torch he bears. Flames float out from his trailing wand as he runs, as he dances, kindling the stragglers, spurring with cries, and his long curls stream to the wind! And he cries as they cry: Evohe! All: Evohe! D1: Blessed, blessed are those who know the mysteries of the god. Blessed is he who hallows his life in the worship of the god. Blessed is he whom the spirit of the god possesses, who is one with those who belong to the holy body of the god. Blessed are the dancers and those who are purified, who dance on the hill in the holy dance of the god. Blessed are they who keep the rite of Kybele the Mother. Blessed are the thrysus-bearers, those who wield in their hands the holy wand of the god. Blessed are those who wear the crown of the ivy of the god. Blessed, blessed are they: Dionysos is their god! All: Dionysos is our god! D4: On Bacchae, on you Bacchae, Crown your hair with ivy! Grow green with bryony! Redden with berries! Come dance the dance of the god! Fringe your skins of dappled fawn with tufts of twisted wool! Handle with holy care the violent wand of the god! And let the dance begin! All: Let the dance begin! B. Begin the Chant and the Dance All: It's with tambourine and drum With our god, make way we come It's to life and death and life we sing our song. It's with tambourine and drum With our god, make way we come Dionysos, vine and grape the whole night long All dance with thyrsus and/or percussion instruments, dancing, singing and playing in order to commune with Dionysos and take his power into themselves. C. Regrounding Once the dance has run its course, D2 will do a brief regrounding and centering. D. Final Blessing D2 will sprinkle the grapes with the waters from the Grail, infused with the energy of the dance and then go around and feed a grape to everyone present (continuing to ground). E. Call for Unfinished Work V. Unwinding and Ending the Ceremony A. Thanksgivings to Entities Invited (in reverse order of arrival) 1. Dionysos: All three will come forward, D3 with the basket. D2 and D4 will remove the mask from the pole and place it back in basket, asking Dionysos to come with us to next phase of the rite. 2. The Triad of the Kindred - Deities, Ancestors, Nature Spirits. 3. Bardic Patron B. Thanking the Gatekeeper and Closing the Threshold As D3 winds up the thread: With awed reverence, I call upon the pure and sacred Stars, The spirits of Celestial Realms, and daughters of Night. In whirling circles of eternal fires, the source of life, You have poured your light out upon the darkness, To make a path the Fates have shown unto the Wise, In Seven kingdoms run you with wandering flames, unwearied diamond truth forever piercing the Stygian veil, Hail joyful, dazzling, and ever wakeful fires, And on my desires shine with high regard, These sacred rites attend, and end our works devoted to your praise. (Orphic Hymn VI "To The Stars") C. Affirmation of Past/Future Continuity and Success D1: As it has been done in the past... As we have done it now... and as it likewise will be done in the future... we have again forged a link in the sacred chain of Tradition... LONG LIVE THE TRADITION! All: Long Live the Tradition! D. Draining Off the Excess Power - The Restoration of the Ordinary E. Clear-cut Ending: De-consecration of Time and Space 1. Final Benediction - D1 2. Announcement of End - D1 3. Musical Signal - Nine knells (D3), Song: Walk With Wisdom. Credits I. D. Bardic Invocation to Arion: Stoy, Maria. 2004. I.E. Earth Mother Invocation: "Orphic Hymn 25 to the Earth Mother." Taylor, Thomas, trans. and ed. The Hymns of Orpheus. London, 1792. Hare, John B., ed. Internet Sacred Text Archive 16 Dec. 2004. (Also available in paperback) I.F. Brighid Prayer: Stoy, Maria. 2004. I.H. Statement of Intent: Bronowicz, Diane Lynn "Emerald." 2004. II. A. Creating the Vertical Axis: Earrach of Pittsburgh. Sassafras Grove Liturgy. II. B. 1 & 2 Opening the Ways and Gatekeeper Invocation: Paar, Diana. 2004. II.C.1. Nature Spirits Invocation: Earrach of Pittsburgh. Sassafras Grove Liturgy. II.C.2. Ancestor Invocation: FreyaDragon. 2004. II.C.3. Deities Invocation: "Orpheus to Mousaios." Athanassakis, Apostolos N., trans. Meyer, Marvin W., ed. The Ancient Mysteries: A Sourcebook: Sacred Texts of the Mystery Religions of the Ancient World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987. III.A. Dionysos Invocation: " Orphic Hymn 30 to Dionysos," "Orphic Hymn 46 to Liknitus- Dionysus," "Orphic Hymn 45 to Trieterieus - Dionysos." Adapted by Emerald from translations by Athanassakis and Stewart-Avalon, M.Ed., Virginia. Trans. Website of the Sibyline Order of Wicca. Trinity, ed. 16 Dec. 2004. http://www.sibyllineorder.org/sacred_texts/oh_dionysus.htm, http://www.sibyllineorder.org/sacred_texts/oh_dionysus3.htm, http://www.sibyllineorder.org/sacred_texts/oh_trieterieus.htm >. III.B. Group Praise Offering: "Orphic Hymn 49 to Lysius Lenaeus - Dionysos." Stewart-Avalon, Virginia. Trans. http://www.sibyllineorder.org/sacred_texts/oh_lysius.htm >. IV. A. Stirring up the Frenzy: Euripides. The Bacchae. Arrowsmith, William. Trans. Meyer, Marvin W. ed. The Ancient Mysteries: A Sourcebook: Sacred Texts of the Mystery Religions of the Ancient World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987. Adapted by Emerald. IV. B. Chant: "It's with Tambourine and Drum." Cleerdawn, Rowan. 2004. V. B. Thanking the Gatekeeper and Closing the Threshold: "Orphic Hymn 6 To The Stars." Stewart-Avalon, M.Ed., Virginia. Trans. Website of the Sibyline Order of Wicca. Trinity, ed. 16 Dec. 2004. http://www.sibyllineorder.org/sacred_texts/oh_stars.htm >. Bibliography Burkert, Walter. Greek Religion. Trans. J. Raffan. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1985. Kerenyi, Karl. Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life. Trans. Ralph Manheim. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1976. Lonsdale, Steven H. Dance and Ritual Play in Greek Religion. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins UP, 1993. Meyer, Marvin W., ed. The Ancient Mysteries: A Sourcebook: Sacred Texts of the Mystery Religions of the Ancient World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987. Otto, Walter. Dionysos: Myth and Cult. Trans. Robert B. Palmer. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1965. Shinoda Bolem, Jean. Gods in Every Man: A New Psychology of Men's Lives and Loves. New York: Harper & Row, 1989. Theoi Project: A Guide to Greek Gods, Spirits and Monsters. Atsma, Aaron, ed. 27 Jan. 2005. http://www.theoi.com/ Thiasos Dionysos. 27 Jan. 2005. http://www.thiasosdionysos.org/ (link broken) Website of the Sibylline Order of Wicca. Trinity, ed. 16 Dec. 2004. http://www.sibyllineorder.org/order/
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ProcessionThe folk circle around the statue of Athena, who is beside a torch fed by olive oil. At her feet is a pitcher of water, a bowl and a cloth.Priestess of Athena: It is the Plynteria, the day of cleansing. Today we take the goddess Athena from her sanctuary to running water so we may cleanse her, and present her with her new dress. Then we shall return her to her sanctuary, where her olive oil lamp can be relit for the coming year. It is a day when the veils betwixt the worlds is thin. It is not a time for honoring our dead, but appeasing the malevolent spirits who may be about now that Athena is not vigilantly presiding over her city, but outside being cleansed. It is only together, affirming our bonds as xenoi that we can protect Athena against the goblins and other malevolent spirits about. So we begin by becoming to each other guest-friends.FM: I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. Sacred fire burn within us.Folk: Sacred fire burn within us.FM will then cense the site and the folk.KW: In the depths flow the waters of wisdom. Sacred waters flow within us.Folk: Sacred waters flow within us.The Keeper of the Well washes the hands of the person next to him by pouring water over the hands and into the bowl. That person in turn washes the hands of the person next to him/her, and so on until the circle is complete.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 gateway post.PA: The fire, the well, the sacred tree,Folk: Flame, and flow, and grow in me!PA: In land, sea and skyFolk: Below and on high!PA: Thus is the sacred grove claimed and hallowed.Folk: So be it!PA: By the cleaning of water and fire let all ill turn away from me and mine.The Priestess of Athena will lead the grove in meditation, then all will sing the Unity Chant.Priestess of Athena: It is now time to do our work. Today we take Athena to running water, that we may cleanse her. But first we must appease the malevolent spirits that may be about.The men will light two torches from the olive oil torch and step outside the sanctuary.Head of the Warriors: Titans, you who reigned before the gods, and then stood against them, we respect your brute force and make you offerings. Eris, spirit of discord we respect your power to destroy what does not stand firm, and make you offerings. And to all others for whom law is might, or who respect cunning over justice, we respect your powers, and make you offerings, that you trouble us not. Accept this offering. Men:Within our bounds you shall not cross.The women will unclothe the goddess, and place her into a basket and cover her. They will then blow out the torch and step outside the sanctuary. The men will tie a rope before the opening of the sanctuary, and then each walk before or behind the women, carrying their torches, as they process to the water.D1: Nature spirits: Nymphs, dryads, satyrs, maenads, naiads, okeanides, and other daimons of nature we seek your protection and care as we bathe Athena. Priestess of Athena: lambanete kai hedesth anathemeta hemon.She strews figs about.All sing Fur and Feather:D2: Mothers and fathers we ask that you protect now what you preserved in your lives.Priestess of Athena: lambanete kai hedesthe anathemeta hemon.She pours water to them.All sing Mothers and Fathers of Old.D3:Gods and goddesses of old times and new, watch over us as we perform our sacred rite for Athena. Let no ill come to us or ours.Priestess of Athena: lambanete kai hedesthe anathemeta hemon.The Fire Maiden lights incense.They all sing Hail all the Gods.Priestess of Athena: It is time now to perform our sacred rite. Let none look upon the goddess except those who cleanse her, lest we incur her wrath.The men will then stand guard, with their backs to the water, while the women lift the goddess from the basket and wash her.All sing Aphrodite Chant.When the women are done bathing the goddess, they will bring her out and dress her in her new dress.Priestess of Athena:It is done. Before we return to her sanctuary, we must make sacrifices to the appropriate deities. First we sacrifice to the Fates, in thanks that they have brought us to this day, and in hopes that they spin a promising future for us. To the Fates! lambanete kai hedesthe anathemeta hemon.The Fire Maiden makes an offering of incense.Priestess of Athena:Now we make sacrifice to Zeus, leader of the Fates, in thanks for his blessings and in hopes of his future favor. To Zeus! lambane kai hedou anathemeta hemon.The Fire Maiden makes an offering of incense.Priestess of Athena: Now we offer to Gaea, the well-founded earth. We honor you, mother of all, oldest of all, who nourishes upon the earth all that is. lambane kai hedou anathemeta hemon.The Priestess of Athena sings Earth Mother Hymn, and an offering of honey mixed with flour is made.Priestess of Athena:It is time now to place Athena in her sanctuary once again, and relight her hearth fire.All process back in the same order as before. When they arrive, the men will remove the ropes from the gateway. The women will enter, but not place Athena down until the men have relit the torch from their torches.Priestess of Athena:We have bathed the goddess and returned her to her home. Now do we have further offerings to make to her or to any of the other gods? Praise OfferingsPriestess of Athena: Our praise goes up to you on the wings of owls, our voices on the wind. Here us now Athena, and all the rest, as we offer you this sacrifice. Accept it and open our hearts to your blessings. outos exoi!DivinationThe Priestess of Athena will chant: "Alétheia, Diké, Sophia, Areté." As the Diviner reads the Omen, everyone else will sit in meditation, waiting for any signs to come to them as well. After the diviner reveals the omen, anything else that has come to others can be shared as well. The Diviner then leads the folk in a meditation on grove and personal needs. After that the Keeper of the Well will mix the water from the pitcher and the wine in the cup.PA:Of what does the Earth Mother give that we may know of the continual flow and renewal of life?Folk:The Waters of Life.PA:And from whence do these waters flow?Folk:From the bosom of the Earth Mother. The ever-changing All Mother.PA: And how do we honor this gift that causes life?Folk: By partaking of the Waters of Life.PA: Has the Earth Mother given forth of her bounty?Folk: She has!Priestess of Athena calls for Athena and all the others to bless the waters of life. The cup is passed while all sing Share the Waters.SD:Is there an aspirant for Grove membership here today?NM:There is!SD:Step forward so that the folk can see you.NM steps forward.SD: Are you a member of Ár nDraíocht Féin?NM:I am.SD:Will you take oath before the Gods and the Folk?NM:I will.SD:Is there any of the folk here who can say why this person should not be welcomed to the Grove?SD pauses. Step forward to the World Tree and state the name we shall know you by.NM stands next to the Bilé.NM: My name is ________.SD: 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 their tabard, and censed and asperged.SD:Welcome to _________ 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!SD:Let there be music and drumming so that all know that World Tree Grove is one stronger!Priestess of Athena: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."Athena, charin echomen soi.All:We thank you.Priestess of Athena:Panes theon charin echomen humin.All:All the gods and goddesses, we thank you.Priestess of Athena: Meteres kai pateres, charin echomen humin.All:Mothers and fathers, we thank you.Priestess of Athena: Nymphai, Satyroi, charin echomen humin.All:Nymphs and satyrs, we thank you.Priestess of Athena: We have done as our ancestors did and as our children will do and the Gods have answered!The folk are led in a meditation of regrounding, recentering, unmerging and draining of excess power.Priestess of Athena: 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.
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Setting the foundation of house and community.The ProcessionPriestess of Athena: This is the Skira, named after the Skiron, this white canopy. It signals the time for house-building. We are here to build our house, set on the foundation of the values we cherish. We process now to the realm of Demeter, so we may be blessed with her bounty. In the sight of the gods, let us begin!Leading the procession is the canopy held over the three presiding clergy. Immediately behind them come the lead bards, followed by the Archdruid and the leaders of the various tribes. Following them are the athletes and warriors not participating in the race. Behind them are those who dug the offering chasm and those making the offerings. Then the choir, and behind them goes everyone else. Drummers will be evenly distributed throughout the line, in pairs. At the beginning only the lead drummers will drum. After the procession has advanced twenty feet or so the next pair of drummers will begin, and so on. The drumming will start out relatively softly and will build as we advance to the site. On arrival at the site the canopy will be set in the middle, while the bards will process once around, forming the circle.Priestess of Athena:We build our house on the well-founded earth. We honor Gaea, mother of all, oldest of all, who nourishes upon the earth all that is. Choir sings Earth Mother HymnPriest of Apollo:The sun is the source of all life. Fire is the spark of life. It burns within each of us. It is time now to kindle the hearth. When we do so, a new life will emerge, for the hearth is the life-spark of a new organism -- the heart of our community. Let our heart-fire burn with the intensity of spirit of the athletes who bring it forth. Let the race begin! Drummers will start drumming to signal the beginning of the race. When each torch bearer arrives, he shall put his flame into the fire pit, but not kindle the wood. When all arrive they shall together kindle the fire. Drummers will build up intensity and speed during race, climaxing with lighting the fire.Priests: Theesthe ta hudata biou!All: Behold the sacred fire!Priest of Poseidon: While the hearth is our heart-fire, the water of life is the blood that runs through our veins, and the semen that brings forth new life. Poseidon blessed us by striking the earth and bringing forth a spring. In the same act he symbolically mates with Demeter -- the sacred ploughing from which the fertility of the Mother flows forth. Poseidon, bless us with the fertility, inspiration and wisdom of the waters of life!He goes to a spot outside the circle and strikes the earth with his trident. Someone hiding in the grass near him shakes a bottle of seltzer while the Priest of Poseidon is speaking. When the ground is struck, s/he opens the bottle and aims the spray towards the circle, with the well basin below to catch the drippings.Priests:Theesthe ta hudata biou!All:Behold the waters of life!Priestess of Athena: The heart-fire of our household burns, and the waters of life course through our veins. Poseidon blesses us with the spring, but Athena won Athens with her gift of the olive tree. The tree grants us shelter, food and fuel. Most importantly, it is the tree whose roots reach down to the realms below and whose branches touch the sky, the place of the Olympians. It is the tree which connects our household to the ancestors, the nature spirits and the gods.Priestess of Athena plants a sapling between the fire and the well.Priests: Theesthe ta hudata biou!All: Behold the sacred tree!The CommunityNow see in your mind's eye the tree of our household growing, stretching its roots to drink the waters of life, unfolding its branches so its leaves can take in the life-spark from the sacred fire. Our household is now connected to the realms of the ancestors, nature spirits and gods. Now it is time to people our household, to transform ourselves from a group of individuals to a community.Relax, take a deep breath and slowly let it out. Feel your cares slip from your body as you exhale. Tighten the muscles in your feet and ankles, and then release. Feel the tension slip into the earth. Continue to breathe deeply as you relax the rest of your body. Tighten your calves, knees and thighs. And release. Now tighten your buttocks and groin. And release. Feel the tension flow away. Now tighten your abdomen and lower back. Exhale and release. Now your chest. And release. Tighten your hands into a fist. Hold the tension, then release. Now your lower arms. And release. Now your upper arms and shoulders. And release. Tighten the muscles in your neck and jaw. Hold, and release. Now your face. Exhale and release. Breathe deeply. You are feeling very relaxed and heavy.You feel your feet sinking into the earth, turning into roots. Feel those roots sink deeper and deeper into the earth, until they come to the cool river flowing in the depths. Draw in the cool transformative power of the waters of life. Feel them as they tingle up into your feet and legs. As they tingle up the base of your spine, feel your legs and body becoming the trunk of a tree. As that cool energy tingles to your shoulders, your arms become branches reaching to the sky. You sprout leaves. Feel the sun as it warms your leaves. Feel the sacred fire enter you and flow down your branches, and let the warmth of the fire mingle with the coolness of the waters. You reach towards the sun and the earth, supported by both.You are not alone. Beside you is another tree, and beside that tree yet another. Together we are a grove, standing together we are strong, sheltering our house from all that would buffet against it. Reach your branches out so they touch those of the trees beside you, so we all intertwine.FM:The fire, the well and the sacred treeAll: Flame, and flow, and grow in me.FM: In land, sea and skyAll:Below and on highFM: Thus is our sacred household claimed and hallowed. Houtos hexoi!All:So be it!All chant World Tree Grove Unity Chant.Priestess of Athena: Our household is born. But to be sure that it thrives, we need to set it firmly on the strong foundations of our values in the sight of our gods, our ancestors and the nature spirits. But first, to avoid corruption within our house we must make an offering to those outside our house, so as not to incur their enmity.All warriors shall position themselves around the boundary of the site, with their weapons clearly visible.Head of the Warriors: Titans, you who stood before the gods, and then against them, we recognize and respect your brute strength and make you offerings. Eris, spirit of discord we recognize and respect your power to destroy what does not stand firm, and make you offerings. And to all others for whom the only law is might makes right, or who respect cunning more than justice, we respect your powers, and make you offerings, that you trouble us not. Accept this offeringAll warriors: This line you shall not cross.Priest of Apollo: It is now time to invite our kindred spirits. First we call upon Apollo, god of music and poetry, to bless us with his silver tongue, so our words will flow like honey from our lips, and the touch of the Muses will swell our song.The glorious son of Leto goes to steep Pytho, playing his hollow lyre, wearing divine and perfumed clothes. And his lyre makes a lovely sound with its gold pick. And then, like a thought, he goes to Olympos from earth, to the house of Zeus where the other gods are gathered. And suddenly the gods are only concerned with the lyre and song, and all together the Muses sing the divine gifts of the gods, each one answering the other with a beautiful voice.Apollon timomen se. Isthi para hemin. Apollo, we honor you; be with us today and always!Priest of Poseidon: Now it is time to welcome the nymphs, dryads, satyrs, maenads, naiads, okeanides, and other daimons of nature. We invite you to our home, and make offerings to you, that you may bless our house with your fertility of spirit and your good will towards us. Lambanete kai hedesthe anathemata hemon!He makes offerings to the nature spirits.Priests: Theesthe ta hudata biou!All: Behold the waters of life!All sing Fur and Feather.Winner of the race: We whose arete shines today thank our ancestors, whose day of shining glory has past. Without you we would not be. Accept our offerings, and bless our household with your protection.He makes offerings to the ancestors.Priests: Theesthe ta hudata biou!All: Behold the waters of life!All sing Mothers and Fathers of Old.Priestess of Athena:We now invite the gods and goddesses to join us. We will make you offerings, so that you may bestow upon our house your many gifts. Paresmen timhsonta tas qeas kai tous qeous!She puts oil on the fire for the gods.All sing Hail all the Gods.Priests: Theesthe ta hudata biou!All:Behold the waters of life!Priestess of Athena: We have gathered here this weekend to focus ourselves on the values upon which our house is based. Our house stands upon Gaea, the well-founded earth. We are situated in the realm of Demeter, the goddess of the grain and the bounty of the harvest. In the center of the house is the hearth, tended by Hestia who cares for the household and keeps our heart-fire burning. Within the boundaries of our house shall rule the laws given to us by the gods, and passed down to us by our ancestors. Feel the nature spirits around us, and their fertility of spirit. See the ancestors as they come up from Hades. Watch as the heroes of old come again to protect the values they once fought and died for. And feel the presence of the gods, and their mantles of excellence. Merciful Zeus, faithful Hera, powerful Poseidon, nurturing Demeter, just Hades, kind Hestia, wise and clever Hermes, honorable Athena, courageous Ares, beautiful Aphrodite, skillful Hephaestus, independent Artemis, moderate Apollo, and transformative Dionysus.It is time now to make offerings to the kindreds, that they may bless our house. In days of old, they celebrated the Skira with a sacred ploughing, to make fertile Demeter. Then the women would throw piglets into the chasm as their sacrifice. When Persephone went down to Hades, a swineherd lost his pigs into the chasm. The piglets are thus an offering to Persephone. When they go down to Hades, though they lost their present life, they were transformed so they could be reborn. So too do our sacrifices go down to Hades. We thus can sacrifice attitudes, behaviors, prejudices, etc. which keep us from excellence, and those offerings will be transformed, and live again as the strengths and virtues we seek.Those sacrificing clay/dough piglets shall go to the offering chasm, and one at a time throw their piglets in, announcing their sacrifice.In addition to sacrifice, we would like to offer praise to the gods.(If Priest of Apollo has praise offering, it goes here.)Choir sings a Hymn to Poseidon.Priestess of Athena chants a Homeric Hymn to Athena.Any other praise offerings.Choir sings Let us Adore the Everliving Gods.Priestess of Athena: Our praise goes up to you on the wings of owls, our voices on the wind. Here us now Apollo, Poseidon, Athena, and all the rest, as we offer you this sacrifice. Accept it and open our hearts to your blessings. Houtos hexoi!Diviner reads omen as all chant Come Druids All.Diviner announces omen and leads folk in meditation on household and personal needs.Priestess of Athena: Athena, Poseidon, Apollo, Demeter, Dionysus, Hades, Hestia, Zeus, Hera, Hermes, Artemis, Aphrodite, Hephaestus and Ares, we call upon you all to bless the pentaploa, the five-fold fruits: wine, olives, olive oil, cheese, and grain, that we may partake of your blessings. Traditionally, the first to partake is the victor in the race. May he come forth!After the victor of the race partakes, they are passed around.All sing Share the Waters.Priestess of Athena: 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.Athena, charin echomen soi.All: We thank youPriest of Poseidon: Poseidon, charin echomen soi..All: We thank youPriest of Apollo: Apollwn, charin echomen soi.All: We thank youPriests together: Panes theon charin echomen humin.All:All the gods and goddesses, we thank you.Priests:together: Meteres kai pateres, charin echomen humin.All: Mothers and fathers, we thank you.Priests: together: Nymphai, Satyroi, charin echomen humin.All: Nymphs and satyrs, we thank you.Priestess of Athena: We have done as our ancestors did and as our children will do and the Gods have answered!The folk are led in a meditation of regrounding, recentering, unmerging and draining of excess power.Priestess of Athena: 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.
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Opening prayerThe musical signal will be given to call the folk for the ritual.D1: Paresmen timesonta tas theas kai tous theous.Folk: We are here to honor the Gods.Led by the clergy, the folk process to the ritual site and form the ADF sigil chanting a Processional Chant:FM will sense the site and the folk.KW will asperge the site and the folk.D1: By the cleaning of water and fire let all ill turn away from me and mine. Thus is the Sacred Grove claimed and Hallowed. Houtos hexoi!D2: The mother of us all, the oldest of all, hard, splendid as rock. Whatever there is of the land it is she who nourishes it, it is the Earth that I sing.D1: Gaian pammeteiran aeisomai, euthemelthon, presbisten, he pherbei epi cthoni panth hopos estin. Honor Gaea!The folk kneel and kiss the Earth.All stand and the Earth Mother Hymn is sung.The folk will be led through the Grove Meditation and then will chant the World Tree Grove Unity Chant.D1 will state the ritual purpose and historical precedent.As our Athenian ancestors did, today we celebrate the Synoikia, the commemoration of the unification of Attica under the guidance of Athena. We honor her for the gifts she bestowed upon our ancestors and for the power of unification she offers us. Also today we celebrate the Prometheia in honor of Prometheus who gave us divine fire. We celebrate it on the solstice, the beginning of the year, when the old fires are extinguished and the new can be once again divinely kindled, purifying our hearth.First we must open the gate to the gods. Feel the rays of the sun from above and see the path to the gods ascend to the divine fire. We call upon Hermes, you who walk the ways between, messenger of the gods, carrier of dreams, hear us and open the gates to let the gods hear our voices. Hermen angelon athanaton kluthi mou!The folk will chant the Gatekeeper Chant.D1: It is now time to call on Prometheus who stole divine fire from the gods to give to us. He could not bear to see us suffer, so he went to Olympos, took a glowing ember from the sacred hearth, and hid it in a hollow stalk of fennel, and then carried it down to us. Divine fire allows us to do purification, and for this Zeus punished Prometheus by chaining him to a rock and having an eagle swoop down every day and eat his liver. He loses his own purifying organ for the purifying force he gave to us. So now it is time to light anew the sacred fire from the sun, rays brought to us by the eagle who eats his liver, and Prometheus kindles our fire once again. Prometheus, didon pur kluthi mou!The FM will kindle a fire from the sun while the folk chant:Burn bright flame within me Kindled of eternal fire. Of the people I do be, And the people part of me. All one in many parts, A single fire of flaming hearts.D1: We now thank Poseidon for his gift of the sacred well.The Keeper of the Well(KW) will pour the waters and make an offering: From the depths flow the waters of wisdom. Sacred waters flow within us.Folk: Sacred waters flow within us.D1: Now we thank Athena for the olive tree which she gave to us, the tree which unites us all.The Tender of the Tree(TT) will dress the Bile: 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 sense the Bile.D1: The fire, the well, the sacred tree,Folk: Flame, and flow, and grow in me!D1: In land, sea and skyFolk: Below and on high!D1: Thus is the sacred grove blessed by the gods.Folk: So be it!D1: Listen to the music of the universe, the music of Apollo and draw inspiration into your hearts.The Bard will invoke Apollo.The glorious son of Leto playing his hollow lyre, wearing divine and perfumed clothes, goes to Olympos. And suddenly the gods are only concerned with the lyre and song, and all together the Muses sing the divine gifts of the gods, each one answering the other with a beautiful voice. A cup is poured for the outdwellers and they are acknowledged.D1: Draw the vitality of nature as we call the nature spirits.A cup is lifted as D4 says:Landspirits, nymphs of trees and wells, satyrs, help us find our vitality and joy, hallow these waters. Share with us lore and blessings. Theesthe ta hudata biou!Folk: Behold the Waters of Life!The folk chant Fur and Feather.D1: Remember the wisdom of our past kin as we call them.The cup is again raised as D5 says:Heroes of old, honored dead, our kindred, remind us of who we are as you have done before, hallow these waters. Share with us lore and blessings. Theesthe ta hudata biou!Folk: Behold the Waters of Life!The folk chant Mothers and Fathers of Old.D1: Feel the protections of the gods as we call them.The cup is once again raised as D6 says:Gods and Goddesses of old times and new protect us as you have before. Delight in our offerings. Share with us lore and blessings. Theesthe ta hudata biou!Folk: Behold the Waters of Life!The folk chant Hail all the Gods.The folk are now led in a meditation of recentering and merging of the new energies.D2: We now call upon Athena who unites us all. Both Athena and Poseidon loved Athens, the polis of our inspiration. They each claimed it, and after a long quarrel they decided that the one who could give it the finest gift should have it. Leading a procession of citizens, the two gods mounted the Acropolis, the flat-topped rock that crowned the city. Poseidon struck the cliff with his trident, and a spring welled up. The people marveled, but the water was salty as the sea that Poseidon ruled, and not very useful. Then Athena gave the city her gift. She planted an olive tree in a crevice on the rock. It was the first olive tree the people had ever seen. Athena's gift was judged the better of the two, for it gave food, oil, and wood, and the city was hers. From her beautiful temple on top of the Acropolis, Athena watched over Athens, her city, with the wise owl, her bird, on her shoulder, and under her leadership the Athenians grew famous for their arts and crafts.D1 invokes Athena in Greek.D1: Have the folk brought praise?Bard: They have.D1: Houtos hexoi.The Bard now conducts the praise offerings.D1 holds up the offering of incense:Our praise goes up to you on the wings of owls; our voices on the wind. Hear us Athena, we pray to thee as we offer up this sacrifice of life. Accept it and open our hearts and give to us of your peace and life. Lambane kai hedou anathemata hemon.Folk: So be it!The folk sit silently, listening to the voices without and within. When they perceive a sign they share it with the rest. Together the participants determine the omen. The folk are led in a meditation on grove and personal needs.D1 raises the cup:Of what does the Earth Mother give that we may know of the continual flow and renewal of life?Folk: The Waters of Life.D1: And from whence do these waters flow?Folk: From the bosom of the Earth Mother. The ever-changing All Mother.D1: And how do we honor this gift that causes life?Folk: By partaking of the Waters of Life.D1: Has the Earth Mother given forth of her bounty?Folk: She has!D1 takes the cups and does the consecration:Athena, we have praised you, hallow these waters and give to us of your power and inspiration and vitality. theesthe ta hudata biou!Folk:Behold the Waters of Life!D1: As was traditional, the first cup goes as an offering to Hestia, who tends our sacred hearth, now renewed. Hestia first and last!The cups are passed while the folk chant Share the Waters.The folk share drink, Feta, olives and bread and discuss the omen and together receive the blessings of the gods.At the end the cup is drained in an offering to Hestia.D1: Hestia first and last!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. Athena, charin echomen soi. Folk: We thank you.D1: All the gods and goddesses, charin echomen humin.Folk: We thank you.D1: Ancestors, heroes of old, charin echomen humin.Folk: We thank you.D1: Nature spirits, nymphs and satyrs, charin echomen humin.Folk: We thank you.D1: Apollo, charin echomen soi.Folk: We thank you.D1: Prometheus, charin echomen soi.Folk: We thank you.D1: Hermes, charin echomen soi.Folk: We thank you.D1: Let the gates be closed! Houtos hexoi.Folk: So be it.D1: We have done as our ancestors did and as our children will do and the Gods have answered!The folk are led in a meditation of regrounding, recentering, unmerging and draining of excess power.D1: Let us go out into the world secure in the knowledge that our sacrifices have pleased the gods and that we go forth under their protection. The ritual is at a close. Houtos hexoi.Folk: So be it.The drums begin beating, the sigil breaks up chanting Walk with Wisdom.
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Ritual and Practice