Samhain Rites and Charms

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none's picture
Samhain, also known as "Samain", "Hallowe'en", "All Hallows Eve", "Mallowmas", "All Saints Eve", "All Soul's Eve", "Sauin" on the Isle of Man, "Samhuinn" in Scots Gaelic, "Nos Galan Gaeaf" (the Night of the Winter Calends) in Wales, and the "Witches' New Year" (contemporary), is traditionally celebrated on the night of October 31st. Samhain (pronounced Sowen) is one of the original Celtic fire festivals and means "Summer's End" -when the sun's power wanes, and the strength of the gods of darkness, winter, and the underworld grows great.-Taken from "The Wheel of the Year at Muin Mound Grove, ADF" by  Rev. Skip EllisonBackground of SamhainMore Samhain LoreStone Creed Grove Samhain RiteShining Lakes Grove SamhainHearth Fire Grove SamhainWorld Tree Grove Samhain 1997Grove of the Sacred Crows Samhain 1998Stone Creed Grove Samhain 1999Sonoran Sunrise Grove SamhainSamhain Rite to Cailleach BaereClaiming & SainingCailleach Invocation
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Ian Corrigan's picture
Samhain is the first and, in some ways, most important of the great Celtic feasts. It is remembered throughout the Celtic territories as the end and the beginning of the year's cycle, and a time when the gates between the worlds stand open. In the agricultural year, Samhain is the season during which herds of cattle were culled. A few were kept for breeding stock while many were butchered to sustain the clans through the winter. Thus the season between Samhain and midwinter was a time of feasting and plenty. The change from the light to dark half of the year meant that the powers of the spirit world were especially active. Common folk considered the night of Samhain a time to keep to their halls and seek the protection of the gods and goddesses as they enjoyed the bounty of the passing year. Some tales tell of raiders from the otherworld who every year burn the hall of Erin's king. Of course the feast of Samhain was Christianized as the feast of All Saints and All Souls by the church in the Middle Ages. It is commonly assumed that this reflects a Pagan custom of honoring the ancestors and heroes at Samhain that fits well with the agricultural meaning of the season, and is universally accepted in modern Paganism. Mythically there are several patterns proper to Samhain. One key tale has the Dagda mating with the Morrigan, their loving creating a fertile river. Another refers to Donn, the first Ancestor of Erin, who gathers the year's dead ones and on Samhain sends them to the Isles of Summer in the West. All these strands combine in the modern Celtic Neopagan holy day of Samhain. It is celebrated as Harvest Home, when the year's labor is ended and we enjoy the fruits of our effort. It is the feast of the dead, when we honor our ancestors, the heroes, and those who have passed in the past year. It is the gate time, when works of magic and spirit-contact are especially strong. It is New Year's night, when the old passes away and the new begins in darkness.
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Ian Corrigan's picture
The Festival of Samhain marks the ending and beginning of the Celtic Year. Samhain (pronounced "Sow-in") comes from the Irish Gaelic and means "Summers End". There is a great deal of distortion as to the true meaning of the Holiday, fostered in large part by religious propaganda perpetuated by overly superstitious fundamentalists.Sometimes one will hear of an "Evil God" named "Samhain", but such a deity never existed anywhere in Celtic lands or Europe for that matter. It was a literary fiction masquerading as scholarship from the early nineteenth century. Fables of Druids leaving "Jack-o-lanterns" at the homes of families who have helped procure a sacrifice for "Samhain" (or Satan) are likewise scurrilous at best.Samhain can be viewed a number of ways.First, it was an important agricultural observance, when the final harvest was taken and the folk were now dependent on stored food, hunting and slaughtering of animals for survival. Herds were culled to eliminate the weak and unnecessary and ensure that the limited amount of food would go around for the next six months. In this aspect, Samhain is a holiday of Plenty and feasting, laying in a layer of fat before the winter, and gathering together for safety and protection.The harvest being over, the seeds for the next years crops are planted. They'll lie dormant until Oimelc (Feb. 1st) when they will begin to sprout. By Beltain (May 1st) they will have shown growth, and it is this time of year that is concerned with the fertility of the coming crops. Those same crops will be harvested by Samhain, and the cycle begins anew.In present times the importance of this part of the festival has diminished for most people living in this country, but you should try to see this from the stand- point of a tribal people for whom a bad season meant facing a long winter of famine in which many would not survive to the spring.(S. McSkimming, Dalriada Heritage Trust )Samhain is also a time when the veil separating our world, the mortal realm, and the world of the Gods and spirits becomes thin. As such, it is a good time to commune with the recently departed before they continue their journey from death to the "Summerland" - the realm of the Gods. There they can enjoy an eternal paradise of feasting, joy and plenty, until they are ready to cross back over to our realm and become incarnate beings again....Death was never very far away, yet to die was not the tragedy it is in modern times. What was of great importance to these people was to die with honour and to live in the memory of the clan and be honoured at the great feast Fleadh nan Mairbh (Feast of the Dead) which took place on Samhain Eve. (S. McSkimming,)Likewise, the separation between past, present and future becomes blurred, allowing for glimpses not only into the realm of the ever Young, but of things which have not yet come to pass. Divination has been historically popular at Samhain, from the Irish myths; to children casting nuts into a fire and kenning their future sweetheart by the way they pop and burn.Samhain, as the beginning and ending of the yearly cycle, can be viewed as any other "New Years" celebration.Sig Lonegren, in a treatise remarks:So as this Samhain approaches, what is ending in you? What do you have inside that it is time to let go of? No healing is complete until you get beyond recovery. Use Samhain to take the thirteenth step: Transformation. In the Tarot, the thirteenth card of the Major Arcane is Death, and it is ruled by Scorpio. Samhain occurs in Scorpio. The card of Death doesn't necessarily mean physical death (though it can mean that), but more productively, it can be seen as an inevitable heavy change or transformation. Something old must be gotten rid of to make room for something new to be able to come in. Use the magic of this time to say good-bye to an old habit or addiction, an old relationship, or anything else it is time to leave behind.Samhain is the time when we connect with the vital forces of nature and make ourselves ready for the long descent into winter. It is a time to reflect on that which we've brought into our lives, and that which we need for the times to come. Connecting with our roots and examining the directions we need to grow. We feast with the ancestors and ensure the continuing vitality of our people, be it ourselves, our family or the community in which we dwell.
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Ian Corrigan's picture
A: The Statement of Purpose and PrecedentWe gather here on the Feast of Samhain, the End and Beginning of the Sacred Year, the Time of Turning when the Dark Time begins. This is the Last Harvest. The fields lie empty, sinking into Winter^s Sleep and our larders hold what gain we have reaped from our labors.As our forebearers did, so do we do now, and so may our descendants do in time to come. We are here to offer worship to the Lord of the House of the Dead and to the Queen of Phantoms; to the Gods, the Dead and the Sidhe; and especially to our honored dead here on the Feast of the Dead.We offer to Donn the Dark One, the Antlered God who offers hospitality and peace to those bound for the Ancestors' Country. We offer to Morrigan, the Great Queen of Battle and Sorcery; the Old Woman of Death and the Cauldron of Rebirth.In this Season of Death we honor the Holy Dead as the ancients did, and we seek the Seed that will wait in the Womb of Winter. Now let us open the Ways Between...B: Honoring the Patron DeitiesTo the Gods, the Dead and the Sidhe we offer welcome. All you Spirits who gather here with us, join now to honor the Patrons of our rite.On the Night of the Scythe and the Skull, the honor-feast of Summer's End, let us worship the Dark One and the Great Queen. The Invocation of DonnIn the season of darkening, the Lord of the House of Death receives the Spirits in his Hall. He is Donn the Dark One, called Cernunnos the Horned One. He is the First Ancestor, the Torc Bearer, The Guardian of the Cauldron of Plenty. Hear us now, Horned One, Dark one, Receiver of the Dead, Granter of Rest, Patron of the Feast in the Land of the Dead. We your children pray you to come in, to let your gaze fall upon this Sacred Ground, to indwell our rite and give us your blessing. We make due offering to you. We give you... (offering made into shaft or offering bowl.) Silver, that you grant the wealth of the Underworld, Source of All Potential. (offering made to the Fire) Oil, that the richness of the Land be renewed as our own lives are renewed. (offering placed at the foot of the Tree) Horn, that the beings who know you may bless us in the Season of Hunting. Be welcome among us, Donn; Dark One, accept our sacrifice!The Invocation of MorriganAs the Earth falls into sleep the Queen of Spirits is choosing those who will go to the Cauldron of Rebirth. She is Morrigan, the Great Queen of Phantoms, the Chooser of the Slain. She is the Battle Raven, the Red Woman, Mistress of the Cauldron. Hear us now, Red One, Great Queen, Lady of the Reaping, Cauldron-Witch of Sorcery and Prophecy. We your children pray that you be with us, that you look kindly upon our holy rite, that you come into our Grove and give us your blessing. We give due offering to you. We give you... (Shaft) Precious stone, that the Bones of the Earth may be clothed again in life. (Fire) Whiskey, that the Waters of Life May flow in us and Spirit indwell flesh. (Tree) Feathers, that your raven Eye watch over us in the Season of Sleep. Be welcome among us Morrigan; Great Queen, accept our sacrifice!C: Honoring the AncestorsOn the feast of Samhain the veils between the worlds are thin. We call to our Beloved Dead, the blessed Ancestors, to join our feast and receive due offering. Come to the Gates, honored ones; hear our call, we your children who remember. We offer you our worship, our reverence and our love. You who fill the empty womb, you who cause the seed to spring to spring, you who fill the breast with milk, receive now these offerings, made in your honor: Apples, the Fruit of Life and Death. Pork, the flesh of the Sacred Sow. Hazel nuts, concentrated meat of wisdom. We offer these... (some of each offering made to the shaft) To the ancient heroes of the Pagan World; those men and women who did the bidding of the Gods for the good of the folk. (offering made) To the honored Dead of the passed year; those women and men of our folk who inspired and guided our whole world. (offerings made) To our own Beloved Dead, Grandmothers-and-Fathers, family and friends who have gone ahead, we honor you and grieve for you. (offering made) To all of you we give these fruits and meats that you may feast in joy in the Land of the Dead.D: During the Praise OfferingsWhile the Praise Offerings are made, a wreath is passed among the people and all who wish tie a black ribbon onto the wreath in commemoration of their own dead. This wreath is then given to the fire at the Prayer of Sacrifice.E: The BlessingThe Ale of Blessing flows in us, filling us with the magic of Morrigan and Donn. As the year turns, let us welcome the quiet of the Dark. Let the stillness of the land calm and satisfy our spirits, allowing us to receive the Harvest's Bounty. Let the gain of the passing year be ours, to fill our lives with contentment. Let us welcome the Dead who wish to return to the living world, even as we remember those who depart. May we rest content as we pass the threshold of new beginnings.The Death Song(Repaganized from the Carmina Gadelica)You go home this night to your home of winter, To your home of fall, of spring, of summer, You go home this night to the Turning House, To your pleasant rest in the Land of Joy. Rest you, rest, and away with sorrow, Rest this night in the Mother's Breast, Rest you, rest, and away with sorrow, Rest, O beloved, with the Mother's Kiss. In the Many Colored Land; In the Land of the Dead; In the Plain of Joy; In the Land Beneath the Wave; In the Land of Youth; In the Land of the Ever-Living; In the Revolving Castle, the House of Donn. Rest in seven lights, beloved, Rest in seven joys, beloved, Rest in seven sleeps, beloved, In the Grove of the Cauldron, Morrigan's Shrine. The shadow of death is on your face, beloved But the Cauldron of Rebirth awaits you, The threefold turning of your Fate, When your rest has given you your peace. So rest in the calm of all calms, Rest in the wisdom of all wisdoms, Rest in the love of all loves, Rest in the Lord of Life and Death, Rest in the Lady of Life and Death, Till the Season of Turning Till the Time of Returning Till the Mystery of the Cauldron
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JohnAdelmann's picture
Written by Kami Landy of Shining Lakes Grove (SLG), with revisions by Rev. John "Fox" Adelmann and Rob Henderson.OutlineFire, allies, tree fire well/openingConsecrate groundsBriefing-at parking lot: censing and appleBonfire- Bardic & informal intro (call for stories)Final story with "statement of purpose"Fox's warning about the nightRemove Fox - Outsiders...Ana, Nature Spirits and DeitiesInvite people to enjoy journeyManannan, processionOfferings- food, etc.Ancestor invitationFox blows horn for deadDead blow horn and come inPraise offeringsDead lead dance. End by burning offering.Divination- Lisa: nut hullsReturn- shared feast.Cauldron blessingGo back up hill- sing "Blood of the Ancients"Ana- returning thanksBuild up the fireCollective thank you to Nature Spirits, deitiesReconnecting meditationFinal hug, "Walk with Wisdom"PartsGreeterPurifiers- one smudging, one offering applesStoryteller/BardSeanfhear (old man)People to call: Earth Mother, Nature Spirits, Deities, ManannanServers for the deadManannan3 or 4 "dead"Drummers or musiciansMaterials9 woods for the fire such as: yew, pine, oak, birch, willow, rowan, apple, holly, grapevine.silver for the well20-30 luminaria lining the paths to the upper fire and to the NemetonIncense for purification: a mix of mugwort, sage and myrrh. CenserApple slices dipped in lemon juice (or salt water)Lantern and bells for Manannan, conch for calling himHorn for the dead to blowHalf-masks for the deadThrone for Manannan, draped in silver/grey and blue/aqua.Blanket, seats, etc. for the "feasthall" of the deadA low table near them, for folks to place momentos of their own deadFood, drink, etc. for the dead, in nice containers and with lovely tableware. Perhaps an enclosed candle for the center of their area.Cups and possibly plates for sharing the feast.Thing to pass during praise offering and then burn: a basket of nuts and applesTwo or three people, possibly the "dead" (dressed in mundanes), need to go to the Arb and redirect people to Botsford, then *quietly* come to the woods near the Nemeton and wait to be called.At Botsford's at 7:30PM, the fire lit at sundown, the Nemeton fire and well opened and hallowed ahead of the rite, and the Allies (Native American spirits) welcomed and invited at that time.There should be a person with a candle lantern greeting people in the parking area, telling them that the ritual begins at the upper fire, with storytelling as befits the season, so they should prepare themselves for an otherworldly journey and proceed to the fire. On the path, there will be one person smudging with incense- something purifying, opening and warning, such as a mix of sage, mugwort and myrrh. Another person will offer them slices of apple dipped in salt water or lemon juice- the otherworld feast, gift of Manannan.At the fire, begin with the Bardic invocation. This will be offered by Richard MacKelley, who then gets people singing and telling stories.Storytelling(various people - encouraged by the bard, Richard MacKelley)CenteringCome! Draw near the fire, draw in. Take it within you, draw in. Taste the fire of inspiration That is the fire within the head, The gift of the gods that warms the spirit. But look inside now, to the deep upwelling well of wisdom Stilling you, touching you from deep within the earth. The year turns to stillness, Look within at the spark of warmth in your center, The life which nurtured, rests at the heart of your self. Follow it, to the sheltered cave of birth, And the deep pool of vision that lies within it, Giving knowledge of ancient ones returning, And of lessons learned and time to come. See there, a shadowed glimpse of the sun-lit land, the summer land Where the blessed dead feast and love And test their skills in endless rounds of pleasure, A life more bright than life. Who shall you see there? Who will come to you, To tell you of the wonders they know in that place of many wonders? Which dear one holds you in memory, As you hold them, and cares still for your welfare? See them in your minds eye, in the eye of the pool of vision, And share with them love and honor, laughter and tears of healing. Peace and blessing be on them, And on us who greet them with song and story, Feast and dance this day. Beckon to the one you have seen, to join us for this time, To be with us in memory, In the realm of life as we reach toward them in the land of youth. And taking with you memory of the beloved dead, Of those who have led the way, return to the cave of birth. See yourself looking into that deep pool of vision For the spark of life's warmth, and now turning outwards once again, We call to them, Come! Draw near the fire.How Manannan brought the gifts of invisibility and immortality to the Tuatha De Danann. (Kami)It happened, long ago, when the gods retired to the sunlit lands and made the gateways through the hollow hills, leaving the changing realm of life to the sons of Mil, that Manannan mac Lir brought to them certain gifts, that they might live forever unchanging and move unseen among the sons of men. Now, many and wondrous were the gifts that the Tuatha De Danann had brought with them to Erin's shores, and some of those they left for the use of humanity. Among those were the Lia Fail, the stone of kingship, which sat until the days of our grandfathers upon the hill of Tara. The well of Segais, the well of wisdom, which rises at the bottom of the sea, became the source of the river Boyne, from which those who dared might drink their fill. Gifted to Finn macCumhal was the inexhaustible crane bag, made from the skin of the woman Aife when she had been transformed into the shape of that bird, which held all great and magical treasures. Other great treasures were lost beyond all finding, gone into the mists of legend. But in that time of change, three new gifts they gained. First was the cloak of mist which enabled the Tuatha De Danann to walk unseen among men. Second was the silver apple branch of Emain Abhlach, the plain of apples, which banished all sorrow and fatigue. So sweet was its sound that it entertained all who heard it, better than the finest of music. Third was the "Feast of Age". No one who ate of it grew old, for as often as they were eaten, the pigs which made up this feast were renewed in the morning, and those who had eaten of them likewise. In this way did Manannan, gracious host, keep the Tuatha De Danann in the land of promise, and this gift is shared with the blessed dead, who come to sit among the gods. There they have the sweetest of wine and the best of foods, fierce fighting and acts of valor by day and all wounds vanishing by night so that there may also be eloquence and words of gentle love in that hall. And in time, perhaps those who died in this world that they may be born there, die in that world and are reborn to this, for did not the druid say; "death is but the middle of a very long life?"SongsFrom far across this mortal plain, Mothers and Fathers of old, We ask that you return again, Mothers and Fathers of old. To share with us the mystery, And secrets long untold, Of the ancient ways we seek to reclaim, Mothers and Fathers of old. It's the blood of the ancients That runs through our veins And the forms change, But the circle of life remains.[encourage people to tell stories of their relatives and ancestors]Final story: How Cormac macAirt went to Tir na nOg (Kami)When Cormac mac Airt was king of Ireland, he was a good king and wise, his people prospered and he was greatly loved. And if he was well loved, his children is wife was adored. And if his wife was adored, his children were cherished even moreso. One day, as he walked upon the plain, he saw a youth playing. This youth had shining hair so fine it was like silver, and cheeks red as apples, his eyes flashed and his smile could bring an answering smile from a stone. In his hand he carried an apple branch, and upon it were nine silver apples. As he shook the branch, the sound of bells rang out, so sweet and pure that Cormac stood to listen, and found the cares and weariness of the day lifted from him. So deep his peace and pleasure, he determined to have this branch to bring the same to his people, no matter what the cost. He asked the youth what he would take for this branch, and the youth said that he would have Cormac's wife and son and daughter upon the following day. Well, this shocked and saddened Cormac, for his family were the sun and moon to him, but a bargain is a bargain and he could not take back his word. So Cormac returned to his hall and told the people what had happened. There was much wailing and crying out, for the people were loath to lose their queen and heirs, but Cormac shook the branch for them, and they were contented and set at peace. The next day, the youth came and took Cormac's wife and son and daughter away, and the people began to wail again, but once more Cormac shook the apple branch and the people were quieted. So they continued on for a year. The work went faster, for whenever Cormac shook the branch all fatigue was swept away. There were fewer quarrels, for whenever tempers flared Cormac shook the branch and people calmed. There was peace and prosperity among all the people at Tara, but after a year, Cormac was no longer contented. He missed his family more than the branch could soothe. So one misty Autumn morning he left his high seat and walked away Westward, following the path his family had taken. After a day and a night and a day, Cormac found himself in an unfamiliar land. Bright were the colors, soft the grass, tall the trees, and the sound of birds was like sweet speech to his ears. As he walked, he came to places of wonder. First, he saw a group of men thatching a house with feathers. No sooner had they got one side done, but they saw that they were out of feathers and began to hunt for more. And while they sought more feathers, those of the first half of the roof would blow away, so that the task was never done. Cormac watched, but said nothing, for he could see no sense in this task. Again he journeyed on, until he came to a place where a fire was lit for making charcoal, and a woodsman was dragging up immense trees. He brought one, and laid it on the fire, but in the time it took him to go for the second tree, the first was all consumed, so that he could never sit to warm himself. Once again, Cormac watched a while but said nothing, then journeyed on. Next he came to a barren plain whereon he saw a giant head. Into the skull poured one great stream, and from the eyes and ears and mouth flowed five smaller ones, in all directions. He wondered at this marvel, and traveled on across the plain to where he saw a brightly lit and welcoming house. The door was opened by a fine lady who welcomed him in with the cup of blessing and wash water for his feet. A table was set for feasting, and a grand lord sat in the high seat. On the hearth a pig was roasting, yet it showed no sign of being cooked at all. The lord said to him; "Be welcome to my house, Cormac macAirt, king of Ireland. Come, let me show you a marvel. You see that pig, roasting on the spit? Well it has this quality- that if four truths are told while turning it, it will be fully cooked." The warrior, his wife, a servant each told a tale, and their fourths were cooked, and then Cormac told how he lost his family, and the feast was ready. Then the warrior showed Cormac the golden cup with which he had been greeted and said; "You see this cup, well it has the property that, when three lies are told near it, it will break, and three truths told near it will make it whole again." They demonstrated it's property by means of some nonsense, and when it was said to Cormac; "neither your wife nor your daughter has been unfaithful, nor has your son slept with any woman," it came back together. Then the warrior revealed himself as Manannan macLir and asked whether he and his people had been happy in the last year. Cormac told him truthfully that the people had been contented, peaceful and productive, yet missed their royal family almost as much as Cormac himself had missed them. So Manannan told Cormac that they would soon be with him once more and said; "Many times have I visited your realm, seen and unseen. Many times have I invited you to visit me in mine. Not until now have I prevailed upon you to accept my hospitality." Then through an inner door came the most beautiful sight ever to meet the eyes of Cormac macAirt - his wife and daughter and son, smiling in joy to greet him. Together they laughed and wept and hugged, looked at one another long and deeply to see that all were well, and then they sat at last to the feasting. As the dined, Cormac told of the marvels he had seen while crossing the plane. Manannan explained them; the thatching of feathers were the words of poets, who gain no fame nor give any great thought to their words, so that they are all blown away and the world left unchanged. The log that burned before the man could cook his supper, was the work of those who labor for another's gain, not gaining pride nor sustenance from their efforts. And the great skull was the well of wisdom, flowing into the head and being expressed by the senses. A gracious host was Manannan mac Lir, and the best of companions his wife, and the night passed pleasantly indeed, but as the sky began to pale, Manannan made a gift to Cormac of the apple branch and the cup of truth, and sent the family off to bed. When they awoke, they were once more upon the plane of Tara, and a year had passed since Cormac's leaving. Great was the rejoicing when they returned to the hall. And that is how Cormac mac Airt won the silver branch of soothing from Manannan mac Lir.Fox, coming in as the seanfhear - the old man:[wanders around the fire, muttering at people, then turns and tosses in some flash powder]Hear me, children of this earthly realm; Beware your words this night, Beware of those who hear unseen, Beware of hidden ways between The world of the living and The sunlit summer land. It is a night of death, The ending of the year, The dying of the light, The dimming of the sun's great fire. Do you not fear the darkness? See shadows move within the forest; Which is yet more fearsome. The dark itself, or what is faintly seen in darkness, Shadows and mysteries of past and time to come? So have a care not to wander off your well-marked paths, Nor speak lightly now of ones long gone, For they may be among you at this turning of the year. Beware!Outsiders Invocation (Rob):Begone, old man! You bring a note of confusion and discord to our ritual this night. We have not need of your scare-stories here. Leave the ordered circle of our firelight and do not return!Seanfhear:Ignore my warning at your peril. I have spoken to you, what comes after, none may say. I say to you again- go home, where it is safe and warm and bright, and do not trouble the wandering spirits with your foolishness. [leaves]Call to Ana (Kore):We're the children of the earth, what have we to fear from any creature, living or dead? Trust the earth to continue, our River Mother Ana to preserve us in our place upon the earth, as she has always done. As long as we flow along with her, what have we to fear from the turning of time or any spirits out of time? They, too have belonged to the earth. Ana! Mother, You are with us this night, as every other, and we take joy in your fluid grace, slowing now and peaceful with the coming of the time of sleep. Share our journeys, as we journey on with you.Call to Nature spirits (Matt): [a voice speaks up from around the fire]You call us children of the earth. Then look to the first children of the earth, bear and deer and tree and salmon, eagle and raccoon and squirrel: hunters and hunted. They know well the cycles of life and death, and meet them without fear, for though there is an ending in death, yet there is in time a return. So let us be led by their wisdom, to take joy in life and adventure in death, to honor change and the steadfastness of life's return. The spirits of nature shall lead and join us on our journeys. We welcome them among us. Hail to you who know the wisdom of the earth! Beannachai agaibh!Deities (Raven): [standing up, addressing the fire]And I call to the gods of our people, who instruct and protect us in all things. They will go before us to show the way, and guard us that our steps be sure and strong. We are a people of courage, of wisdom, of vision and adventure as our gods themselves. Therefore, I call to Lugh our father, Bile' and Danu the first ones, Brid of the hearthfire, Ar'n the lusty and the Stag God who leaps in splendor unnamed, to be welcome in our rites and on our journeys, in this sacred day and time and place. Beannachai agaibh!Rob: It is indeed a night of mystery. Let us call to Manannan to guide us, lest we be lost in the mists of change.[hand out bells to people around fire]Call to Manannan (Rob):[blow conch]Manannan comes, he comes Even to our fire he comes. From beyond the sea's nine waves he comes, From beyond the isle of Donn he comes, Lighting the moonlit path of mist he comes, Showing us hidden gates he comes, Guiding his sacred guests he comes, Leading the longed-for dead he comes, To our calling, to our greeting, to our blessing to our welcome, [all ring bells] To the feasting of the night of Samhain he comes,[Pause. Wait for him to arrive.][Manannan (Marae) steps forward silently, lantern in hand]Welcome, Manannan, honored lord, hallowed guest, high one, Failte romhat! Grey one, what would you have of us this night?[Manannan gestures to everyone to rise and follow him][begin procession, ringing bells for Manannan][Upon arriving at the Nemeton, people are quietly directed to bring food-offerings to the work altar, opposite the place of the dead. These ushers will sit to the right of the dead and be willing to help serve them.][people call to their beloved dead, led by Rob]Seanfhear (Fox):Come ancient ones from days long past, come you whose feet knew clay in recent years, come you who gave flesh to your children and you who give loan of this place, and you who teach the paths of spirit. Come, ancestors well-loved and long-remembered, Come! You who have been called by name, come and share in the feast.[Fox blows horn for dead. Victor blows the horn of the dead.][The dead come and take their seats]Wait! You call this a feast? Where are the offerings of hospitality?[3 or 4 servers carry food to the dead]Praise offerings (Rob begins):We are honored to be here with you. I have brought an offering, a token of esteem, to convey love and blessing.[does own praise offering, passes the basket][pass the basket, each person may make an offering as it comes to them, or merely add energy to it and pass it on. When it gets to the ushers. one of them carries it past the dead, Manannan and the Seanfhear to the next person. When the basket gets back to Rob, he will take it and place it before the dead. This is the signal to begin the final offering.]Final offering: [The dead take up the basket and lead us in a snake dance - Fox begins the drumming for it.]SongYou who dwell in the summer land, Honored dead, join us in the dance. By our side receive our love today, Dance with us on this holy day.[At the dance's conclusion, the basket is taken to Manannan; an offering from the dead to their lord. He takes it, makes a gesture of acceptance, and passes it to the seer.]Divination (Lisa): [The basket of nuts and apples is tossed in the fire and scried into for the message of the ancestors and the direction of the coming year.]Seanfhear: [One of the "dead" whispers in Fox's ear, who says:]Those you have called here are pleased with your offerings of hospitality. They bid you share in the feast.Return: [sharing the feast. People may continue to bring offerings to the dead or to tell stories about their loved ones or to suggest songs.]Cauldron blessing - Seanfhear:We thank you for joining us. It is long since we have been so well treated. But now the feast is ended. The living cannot thrive and grow in the land of the ever-young, as the dead cannot live anymore in the realm of time. Leave now, return to your proper place, and do not forget what can happen when you venture abroad on the night when the year turns to winter. Take with you as you go, your memory, and also if you dare, a blessing from the cauldron of health, wealth and wisdom, for you have shown honor as befits a good guest.[Manannan will hand the cauldron to one of the "dead", who will hold it by the gate out of the Nemeton so people can take what they need as they leave.][process back up hill]SongIt's the blood of the ancients That runs through our veins And the forms change But the circle of life remains.Ana - return and thanks (Kore):We who have journeyed far from familiar ways, we thank you for keeping our place in the world we know. You have held for us a place upon the earth, the realm of life, and we rejoice now to greet you with love and honor, Ana, our mother, daughter of this ancient land. Though we may leave this place and return to our homes, you are ever in our hearts for you are the river of life to us and we do not leave your presence, within this world.[build up the upper fire, we're all freezing!]Thanks to spirits and deities who journeyed with us (Matt): First children of the earth, ancient high and shining ones, you spirits and deities who have joined us on this journey, for your guidance and protection, your joyful awesome presence on this journey, no less for all the blessings you bring to our lives, we give you thanks and blessing and honor this day that marks the boundary- time of the year. Slan leibh!Reconnecting Meditation (Kami):So- we have journeyed far, within ourselves and between realms. Now we return to ourselves, to the ways and world we know, wiser perhaps, and comforted by contact with loved ones from across the endless sea. The gate now is closed, forms are firm, each place is but itself. And yet all realms adjoin; pass through the mists or the archway or cave, the twilight and shoreline, the boundary and wasteland can be the gate. All worlds are here. And so are we.Song: Walk with WisdomFox: Affirmation, new member, new officers, announce fire vigil.Announcements: hottubbing, raffle, "witch night", etc.
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This is a relatively standard Samhain rite, although while many honor the Morrigan at Samhain, this particular year we honored the Cailleach Baere, an Irish goddess. Also, since our elected officers take office at Samhain, there is a brief section on the investiture of offices after the main invocations.(Note: Many of the ritual phrases in this rite are taken from rituals written by Ian Corrigan of Stone Creed Grove and Paul Maurice of World Tree Grove.)ProcessionalThe musical signal is given to signal the beginning of the ritual, and the folk process to the ritual area, making the ADF sigil if possible.D1: We are here to honor the gods and the old ways, to receive the blessings of Donn and the Cailleach, and to remember our ancestors.Earth MotherD2 honors the Earth Mother with words and an offering of corn meal:D2: Earth Mother, you stand beneath our feetYou grow all around us, you tower above us.Earth Mother, we offer you this giftTo return to you a gift which you have given usWe ask that you help us stand together and be strong in this riteEarth Mother, accept our sacrifice.All: Earth Mother, accept our sacrifice.Grounding and Uniting in the Grove MeditationBard leads the folk in the Unity Chant:All: We are one, in our grove,upon the earth, within the sea, beneath the sky.We are joined, to send our call,to the honored dead, to the spirit folk, to the blessed gods.We praise thee, in one voice, in our sacred grove.We are one.Establishing the Sacred Grovethrough Fire, Well, and TreeThe Fire Maiden (FM) lights the fire and makes an offering of incense.FM: I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power.Sacred fire, burn within us.All: Sacred fire, burn with us.FM censes the site and the folk.The Keeper of the Well (KW) pours the waters and makes an offering of silver.KW: In the depths flow the waters of wisdom.Sacred waters flow within us.All: Sacred waters, flow within us.KW asperges the site and the folk.The Tender of the Tree (TT) dresses & censes the world tree.TT: From the depths to the heights spans the world tree.Sacred tree, grow within us.All: Sacred tree, grow within us.The formation of the vertical axis is completed with:D1: The fire, the well, the sacred tree,All: Flame and flow and grow in me!D1: In land, sea and sky,All: Below and on high!D1: Thus is the sacred grove claimed and hallowed.All: Biodh Se! ("bee-shay")D1: By the cleansing of water and fire, let all ill turn away fromme and mine.All: Biodh Se!Opening the Gates Between the WorldsD1 sings to Manannan mac Lir (song by Marae Price):D1: We stand at the borders,And watch the mists close in...Waves rolling, rolling...Where shore meets the ocean,Where land meets sea and sky...We call to you, Manannan,Manannan,Manannan...We welcome you, as you one day will welcome us.D1 makes an offering to Manannan and says: Manannan mac Lir, accept our sacrifice, and let the gates be open!All: Manannan mac Lir, accept our sacrifice, and let the gates be open!Offering to the OutdwellersD4 makes an offering to the Outdwellers outside of the ritual space, saying:D4: You who come from the outer dark,You who stood against the gods and man,You who are cold of heart and cruel of mind,Take this offering and trouble not our working.Invoking the Goddess of Bardic InspirationThe bard invokes Brighid, goddess of poetic inspiration:Bard: Lady Brighid of the Bards,Blessed Fire of inspiration,Fire the flame within our hearts,Lead our creative explorations.Lady Brighid hear our song,As we give up our rings of praise,Let your blessings make us strongAs we serve you all our days.The Bard makes an offering to Brighid, saying: Brighid, accept our sacrifice!All: Brighid, accept our sacrifice!Honoring and Inviting the Three KindredsD5: The children of the earth call out to the mighty dead. Hear us, our ancestors, our kindred.To all those whose bones lie in this land, whose hearts are tied to it, whose memory holds it; ancient tribes of this place, we offer you welcome.To all of our grandmothers and grandfathers, our own beloved dead, blood-kin and heart-kin; ancient tribes of our blood, we offer you welcome.To all those elder wise ones who guide their people, wise women and men of ancient days, we offer you welcome.D5 makes an offering and says: Ancestors, we give you honor and praise, and ask that you join us here this night. Ancestors, accept our sacrifice!All: Ancestors, accept our sacrifice!All sing Mothers and Fathers of Old (repeated 3 times).D6: The children of the earth call out to the spirits of the land. Hear us, companions and teachers.To all our allies, kindreds of stone and stream, crystal and fertile soil, pools and every water; kins of the earth, we offer you welcome.To all our allies, kindreds of the growing green, herb and flower, shrub and mighty trees, root and stem and fruit. Green kins, we offer you welcome.To all our allies, kindreds of fur and feather and scale, all who walk or fly or swim or crawl, we offer you welcome.D6 makes an offering and says: Nature spirits, we give you honor and praise, and ask that you join us here this night. Nature spirits, accept our sacrifice!All: Nature spirits, accept our sacrifice!All sing Fur and Feather (repeated 3 times).D7: The children of earth call out to the shining ones. Hear us, eldest and brightest.To all the shining ones, first children of the mother, wisest and mightiest, loving and comforting; gods and goddesses, we offer you welcome.To the gods and goddesses of this place, ancient and powerful, known to us or unknown; gods of this place, we offer you welcome.To all the deities of those here gathered, you whom we worship, you who bless our lives; o patrons and matrons, we offer you welcome.D7 makes an offering and says: Gods and Goddesses, we give you honor and praise, and ask that you join us here this night. Gods and Goddesses, accept our sacrifice!All: Gods and Goddesses, accept our sacrifice!All sing Hail All the Gods (repeated 3 times).Meditation of Merging the Energies and Re-CenteringRitual Purpose, and Honoring the Spirits of the OccasionD1 states the ritual purpose & precedent, and makes offerings to Donn, the Cailleach, and the Ancestors.[Note: The Donn and Ancestor invocations were written by Ian Corrigan, while I wrote theCailleach Baere invocation for this rite specifically.] - The Invocation of DonnIn the season of darkening, the Lord of the House of Death receives the Spirits in his Hall. He is Donn the Dark One, the First Ancestor, the Torc Bearer, The Guardian of the Cauldron of Plenty.Hear us now, Horned One, Dark one, Receiver of the Dead, Granter of Rest, Patron of the Feast in the Land of the Dead. We your children pray you to come in, to let your gaze fall upon this Sacred Ground, to indwell our rite and give us your blessing.We make due offering to you. We give you...(offering made into shaft or offering bowl.)Silver, that you grant the wealth of the Underworld, Source of All Potential.(offering made to the Fire)Oil, that the richness of the Land be renewed as our own lives are renewed.(offering placed at the foot of the Tree)Horn, that the beings who know you may bless us in the Season of Hunting.Be welcome among us, Donn; Dark One, accept our sacrifice!- The Invocation of Cailleach BaereAs the Earth falls into sleep the Hag of Baere is wielding her scythe and cutting the green corn down, to sow it again in the late winter's night. She is the Cailleach, the wise and cunning old woman, who passed into seven periods of youth while her husbands passed away behind her, grandmother to peoples and races of the Earth. Her eyes are keen and sparkling like the cold river stream, her hands are gnarled like the twisted roots of ancient trees, and her skin is old and wrinkled like the scattered leaves of autumn.When the Cailleach calls, deep within the forest, deep within the land, we can feel it in our bones, like the roots of old. It is time to come home, into the darkness of the woods, where the old hag will cut us open, and we will grow new again, our frailty and weakness cut down like the corn.Hear us now, Cailleach Baere, Great Ancient Grandmother, Lady of the Deep Forest, Old Witch of the Roots and Cauldron. We your children pray that you be with us, that you look kindly upon our holy rite, and that you come into our Grove and give us your blessing.We give due offering to you. We give you...(shaft)Precious stone, that the Bones of the Earth may be clothed again in life.(fire)Whiskey, that the Waters of Life May flow in us and Spirit indwell flesh.(Tree)Bone, that the old and unnecessary fall away into peaceful rest.Be welcome among us Cailleach; Great Grandmother, accept our sacrifice!- Honoring the AncestorsOn the feast of Samhain the veils between the worlds are thin. We call to our Beloved Dead, the blessed Ancestors, to join our feast and receive due offering.Come to the Gates, honored ones; hear our call, we your children who remember. We offer you our worship, our reverence and our love.You who fill the empty womb, you who cause the seed to spring, you who fill the breast with milk, receive now these offerings, made in your honor:Apples, the Fruit of Life and Death.Pork, the flesh of the Sacred Sow.Hazel nuts, concentrated meat of wisdom.We offer these...(offering made)To the ancient heroes of the Pagan World; those men and women who didthe bidding of the Gods for the good of the folk.(offerings made)To the honored Dead of the passed year; those women and men of ourfolk who inspired and guided our whole world.(offering made)To our own Beloved Dead, Grandmothers-and-Fathers, family and friendswho have gone ahead, we honor you and grieve for you.To all of you we give these fruits and meats that you may feast in joyin the Land of the Dead.Praise Offerings to the Kindreds and SpiritsD1: Have the Folk brought praise?Bard: They have.D1: Biodh Se!The Bard conducts three rounds of praise offerings: Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Gods.After the three rounds, D1 conducts a group intonement to honor the gathered spirits.An Omen for the Blessings is Taken and SharedReceiving the Blessings of the Gods and SpiritsD1 holds the waters aloft and hallows them with the blessings of the gods, as revealed in the omen. Then he raises the cup aloft and says:Behold the holy cup of magic, the outpouring of blessing from the mighty ones. When we share the draught of the gods we drink in wisdom, love and strength to do as we will in the worlds, in service to the Shining Ones. We have honored you, Donn, Cailleach Baere, our Ancestors, and all the Spirits here this night, and we pray you honor us in turn, for a gift calls for a gift. O shining ones, bless our spirits and our lives with love, magic and bounty as we receive these sacred waters. Seo iad uisci na beatha!All: Behold the waters of life!D1 asperges the Folk and guests.Investiture of Offices for the Coming YearD1: Now, with the blessings of the Gods, the Ancestors, and the Spirits of Nature in us on this night of rebirth, and their presence all around us, we seek once more to honor that which has come before and welcome that which will come anew.D1: Let us honor and thank our officers who have worked for the Folk over the past year.(Presentation of gifts and accolades)D1: Now let the new officers of our Folk come forth and make their oaths of Office for the coming year.(The new Scribe, Pursewarden, and Senior Druid of the Grove each place their hand upon the World Tree and take their oath of office, one at a time.)D1: With our new officers in place, and our old officers duly thanked,let our Folk and our Grove be blessed in the coming year. Biodh Se!All: Biodh Se!Thanking the Kindreds and SpiritsD1: The gods have blessed us. With joy in our hearts, let us return to the realm of mortals to do both their will and ours. Every time we invoke them, they become stronger and more alert to the needs of the folk . But now comes the time when we must prepare to depart. So let us give thanks to those whom we have invited here.D1: Donn, Cailleach, Ancestors, go raibh maith agaibh.All: Go raibh maith agaibh ("gora mah-ageev", plural).D1: Gods and Goddesses all, go raibh maith agaibh.All: Go raibh maith agaibh.D1: Nature spirits, go raibh maith agaibh.All: Go raibh maith agaibh.D1: Lady Brighid, go raibh maith agait.All: Go raibh maith agait ("gora mah-agit", singlular).D1: Manannan mac Lir, go raibh maith agait.All: Go raibh maith agait.D1: Earth Mother, go raibh maith agait.All: Go raibh maith agait.Closing the Gates and Ending the RiteD1: By the keeper of the gates and by our magic we end what webegan. Let the fire be flame and the well be water and the waysbetween be shut. Let the gates be closed!All: Let the gates be closed!D1: We have done as our ancestors did and as our children will do andthe Gods have answered! Let us go out into the world secure in theknowledge that our sacrifices have pleased the gods and that we goforth under their protection. The ritual is at a close. Biodh Se!All: Biodh Se!The musical signal is given to signal the end of the rite.
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The musical signal is given to signal the beginning of the ritual, and the folk process to the ritual area, making the ADF sigil if possible.D1: We are here to honor the gods and the old ways, to receive the blessings of Donn and the Cailleach, and to remember our ancestors.D2 honors the Earth Mother with words and an offering of corn meal: Earth Mother, you stand beneath our feet You grow all around us, you tower above us. Earth Mother, we offer you this gift To return to you a gift which you have given us We ask that you help us stand together and be strong in this rite Earth Mother, accept our sacrifice. All: Earth Mother, accept our sacrifice. Grounding and Uniting in the Grove MeditationBard leads the folk in the Unity Chant: All:We are one, in our grove, upon the earth, within the sea, beneath the sky. We are joined, to send our call, to the honored dead, to the spirit folk, to the blessed gods. We praise thee, in one voice, in our sacred grove. We are one.Establishing the Sacred Grove through Fire, Well, and TreeThe Fire Maiden (FM) lights the fire and makes an offering of incense: I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. Sacred fire, burn within us. All: Sacred fire, burn with us.FM censes the site and the folk.The Keeper of the Well (KW) pours the waters and makes an offering of silver: In the depths flow the waters of wisdom. Sacred waters flow within us. All: Sacred waters, flow within us.KW asperges the site and the folk.The Tender of the Tree (TT) dresses & censes the world tree: From the depths to the heights spans the world tree. Sacred tree, grow within us. All: Sacred tree, grow within us.The formation of the vertical axis is completed with:D1:  The fire, the well, the sacred tree, All: Flame and flow and grow in me! D1:  In land, sea and sky, All: Below and on high! D1:  Thus is the sacred grove claimed and hallowed. All: Biodh Se! ("bee-shay") D1:  By the cleansing of water and fire, let all ill turn away from me and mine. All: Biodh Se!Opening the Gates Between the WorldsD1 sings to Manannan mac Lir (song by Marae Price): We stand at the borders, And watch the mists close in... Waves rolling, rolling... Where shore meets the ocean, Where land meets sea and sky... We call to you, Manannan, Manannan, Manannan... We welcome you, as you one day will welcome us. D1 makes an offering to Manannan and says: Manannan mac Lir, accept our sacrifice, and let the gates be open! All: Manannan mac Lir, accept our sacrifice, and let the gates be open!Offering to the OutdwellersD4 makes an offering to the Outdwellers outside of the ritual space, saying: You who come from the outer dark, You who stood against the gods and man, You who are cold of heart and cruel of mind, Take this offering and trouble not our working.Invoking the Goddess of Bardic InspirationThe bard invokes Brighid, goddess of poetic inspiration: Lady Brighid of the Bards, Blessed Fire of inspiration, Fire the flame within our hearts, Lead our creative explorations. Lady Brighid hear our song, As we give up our rings of praise, Let your blessings make us strong As we serve you all our days.The Bard makes an offering to Brighid: Brighid, accept our sacrifice! All: Brighid, accept our sacrifice!Honoring and Inviting the Three KindredsD5: The children of the earth call out to the mighty dead. Hear us, our ancestors, our kindred. To all those whose bones lie in this land, whose hearts are tied to it, whose memory holds it; ancient tribes of this place, we offer you welcome. To all of our grandmothers and grandfathers, our own beloved dead, blood-kin and heart-kin; ancient tribes of our blood, we offer you welcome. To all those elder wise ones who guide their people, wise women and men of ancient days, we offer you welcome.D5 makes an offering: Ancestors, we give you honor and praise, and ask that you join us here this night. Ancestors, accept our sacrifice! All: Ancestors, accept our sacrifice!All sing Mothers and Fathers of Old (repeated 3 times):From far beyond this mortal plane, mothers and fathers of old We pray that you return again, mothers and fathers of old To share with us the mysteries and secrets long untold Of the ancient ways we seek to reclaim, mothers and fathers of old D6: The children of the earth call out to the spirits of the land. Hear us, companions and teachers. To all our allies, kindreds of stone and stream, crystal and fertile soil, pools and every water; kins of the earth, we offer you welcome. To all our allies, kindreds of the growing green, herb and flower, shrub and mighty trees, root and stem and fruit. Green kins, we offer you welcome. To all our allies, kindreds of fur and feather and scale, all who walk or fly or swim or crawl, we offer you welcome.D6 makes an offering: Nature spirits, we give you honor and praise, and ask that you join us here this night. Nature spirits, accept our sacrifice! All: Nature spirits, accept our sacrifice!All sing Fur and Feather (repeated 3 times):Fur and feather and scale and skin, Different without but the same within. Many of bodies but one of soul, Through all creatures are the gods made whole. D7: The children of earth call out to the shining ones. Hear us, eldest and brightest. To all the shining ones, first children of the mother, wisest and mightiest, loving and comforting; gods and goddesses, we offer you welcome. To the gods and goddesses of this place, ancient and powerful, known to us or unknown; gods of this place, we offer you welcome. To all the deities of those here gathered, you whom we worship, you who bless our lives; o patrons and matrons, we offer you welcome.D7 makes an offering: Gods and Goddesses, we give you honor and praise, and ask that you join us here this night. Gods and Goddesses, accept our sacrifice! All: Gods and Goddesses, accept our sacrifice!All sing Hail All the Gods (repeated 3 times):Hail all the gods, Hail all the goddesses. Hail all the holy ones, We dwell together. Lords of the sky, Ladies of the sacred earth, Spirits and the Ancestors, We dwell together. Hail all the Gods! Hail all the Goddesses! Hail all the Gods...and Goddesses. Meditation: Merging the Energies and Re-CenteringRitual Purpose, and Honoring the Spirits of the OccasionD1 states the ritual purpose & precedent, and makes offerings to Donn, the Cailleach, and the Ancestors.The Invocation of Donn: In the season of darkening, the Lord of the House of Death receives the Spirits in his Hall. He is Donn the Dark One, the First Ancestor, the Torc Bearer, The Guardian of the Cauldron of Plenty. Hear us now, Horned One, Dark one, Receiver of the Dead, Granter of Rest, Patron of the Feast in the Land of the Dead. We your children pray you to come in, to let your gaze fall upon this Sacred Ground, to indwell our rite and give us your blessing. We make due offering to you. We give you... (offering made into shaft or offering bowl.) Silver, that you grant the wealth of the Underworld, Source of All Potential. (offering made to the Fire) Oil, that the richness of the Land be renewed as our own lives are renewed. (offering placed at the foot of the Tree) Horn, that the beings who know you may bless us in the Season of Hunting. Be welcome among us, Donn; Dark One, accept our sacrifice! The Invocation of Cailleach Baere: As the Earth falls into sleep the Hag of Baere is wielding her scythe and cutting the green corn down, to sow it again in the later winter's night. She is the Cailleach, the wise and cunning old woman, who passed into seven periods of youth while her husbands passed away behind her, grandmother to peoples and races of the Earth. Her eyes are keen and sparkling like the cold river stream, her hands are gnarled like the twisted roots of ancient trees, and her skin is old and wrinkled like the scattered leaves of autumn. When the Cailleach calls, deep within the forest, deep within the land, we can feel it in our bones, like the roots of old. It is time to come home, into the darkness of the woods, where the old hag will cut us open, and we will grow new again, our frailty and weakness cut down like the corn. Hear us now, Cailleach Baere, Great Ancient Grandmother, Lady of the Deep Forest, Old Witch of the Roots and Cauldron. We your children pray that you be with us, that you look kindly upon our holy rite, and that you come into our Grove and give us your blessing. We give due offering to you. We give you... (shaft) Precious stone, that the Bones of the Earth may be clothed again in life. (fire) Whiskey, that the Waters of Life May flow in us and Spirit indwell flesh. (Tree) Bone, that the old and unnecessary fall away into peaceful rest. Be welcome among us Cailleach; Great Grandmother, accept our sacrifice! Honoring the Ancestors: On the feast of Samhain the veils between the worlds are thin. We call to our Beloved Dead, the blessed Ancestors, to join our feast and receive due offering. Come to the Gates, honored ones; hear our call, we your children who remember. We offer you our worship, our reverence and our love. You who fill the empty womb, you who cause the seed to spring, you who fill the breast with milk, receive now these offerings, made in your honor: Apples, the Fruit of Life and Death. Pork, the flesh of the Sacred Sow. Hazel nuts, concentrated meat of wisdom. We offer these... (offering made) To the ancient heroes of the Pagan World; those men and women who did the bidding of the Gods for the good of the folk. (offerings made) To the honored Dead of the passed year; those women and men of our folk who inspired and guided our whole world. (offering made) To our own Beloved Dead, Grandmothers-and-Fathers, family and friends who have gone ahead, we honor you and grieve for you. To all of you we give these fruits and meats that you may feast in joy in the Land of the Dead.Praise Offerings to the Kindreds and SpiritsD1:   Have the Folk brought praise? Bard: They have. D1:   Biodh Se!The Bard conducts three rounds of praise offerings: Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Gods.After the three rounds, D1 conducts a group intonement to honor the gathered spirits.An Omen for the Blessings is Taken and SharedReceiving the Blessings of the Gods and SpiritsD1 holds the waters aloft and hallows them with the blessings of the gods, as revealed in the omen. Then he raises the cup aloft and says: Behold the holy cup of magic, the outpouring of blessing from the mighty ones. When we share the draught of the gods we drink in wisdom, love and strength to do as we will in the worlds, in service to the Shining Ones. We have honored you, Donn, Cailleach Baere, our Ancestors, and all the Spirits here this night, and we pray you honor us in turn, for a gift calls for a gift. O shining ones, bless our spirits and our lives with love, magic and bounty as we receive these sacred waters. Seo iad uisci na beatha! All: Behold the waters of life!D1 asperges the Folk and guests.Investiture of Offices for the Coming YearD1: Now, with the blessings of the Gods, the Ancestors, and the Spirits of Nature in us on this night of rebirth, and their presence all around us, we seek once more to honor that which has come before and welcome that which will come anew. Let the new officers of our Folk come forth and make their oaths of Office for the coming year.The new Scribe, Pursewarden, and Senior Druid of World Tree Grove each place their hand upon the World Tree and take their oath of office (written beforehand), one at a time.D1: With our new officers in place, and our old officers duly thanked, let our Folk and our Grove be blessed in the coming year. Biodh Se!Thanking the Kindreds and SpiritsD1: The gods have blessed us. With joy in our hearts, let us return to the realm of mortals to do both their will and ours. Every time we invoke them, they become stronger and more alert to the needs of the folk . But now comes the time when we must prepare to depart. So let us give thanks to those whom we have invited here.D1:   Donn, Cailleach, Ancestors, go raibh maith agaibh. All: Go raibh maith agaibh ("gora mah-ageev", plural). D1:   Gods and Goddesses all, go raibh maith agaibh. All: Go raibh maith agaibh. D1:   Nature spirits, go raibh maith agaibh. All: Go raibh maith agaibh. D1:   Lady Brighid, go raibh maith agait. All: Go raibh maith agait ("gora mah-agit", singlular). D1:   Manannan mac Lir, go raibh maith agait. All: Go raibh maith agait. D1:   Earth Mother, go raibh maith agait. All: Go raibh maith agait.Closing the Gates and Ending the RiteD1: By the keeper of the gates and by our magic we end what we began. Let the fire be flame and the well be water and the ways between be shut. Let the gates be closed! All: Let the gates be closed! D1: We have done as our ancestors did and as our children will do and the Gods have answered! Let us go out into the world secure in the knowledge that our sacrifices have pleased the gods and that we go forth under their protection. The ritual is at a close. Biodh Se! All: Biodh Se!The musical signal is given to signal the end of the rite.
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GwynneGreen's picture
Grove of the Sacred Crows, ADFSet-up: have 2 fires set-up // Light the old year's fireBardic invitation: "Black shadow, Raven Wing"Processional: slow steady drummimg Opening prayer - GaelicAll-: We are here to honour the GodsGG-- Under the Dark wing we standAF- We stand unveiled and bedazzledGG- Bedazzled by the sheen of destinyAF- A Sheen fringing the portals of the otherworldGG- Fringed with a beckoning brillianceAll- Under the dark wing we standDowse Old Fire: CgHistorical precedent: GGLight new year's fire: Cg (Burn Bright)Placing the Hazelnuts in fire, sea , land- STGate openingGG- Feel the breath of the mighty Gods whisperingAF- See the gates of the shining realms partingGG- Know the night of the endless worlds beginningAF- Hear the voice of the creatures dark thrummimgGG- Taste the chill of the twilight air revivingBoth- And Be Stillgatekeeper invitation to Sheila na Gig : GGoffer silver to sheila wi/chant to Sheela na Gig -AllProtection: Macha -ST3 realms:AF- Everything, all together/Day and night/Drown, bury & burn/Midday,midnight dusk and dawn/See, feel, hear, taste and smell/Everything, all together GG- The King/This world & The otherworld/Ancestors, Gods & nature spiritsthe FirBolg, the Fomorians,Tuatha de Danannan, the Sons of M'l/The streams of knowledge/The KingAF-The center/Dark & light/Land, sea and sky/North east south & west/Ulster,Leinster, Munster, Connaught & Meath/The CenterInvitation to Deities:Primary-seasonal -Morrighan & Badb & Nemhain- GGAll chant : Morrighan,Morrighan, Morrighan, Nemhain...offeringAncestors -AFAll chant : Mother & Fathers of oldDonn -offer whiskeyGods- GGAll chant: Hail all the Godsoffer whiskeySpirits of the Land -PBAll chant: Fur & Featheroffer ginger cookiesGod Staves- Tribe MembersSeaonal Workings:1) Welcome Aidan & name as tribe member -GG/AF2) Offering to Tlachtga & Mongfind -ST3) Re-dedicate the cauldron-PP & offering to the Daghdha-R4) Calling of the role of the dead- All5) Lighting of votives for people to receive the fire of the tribe -GG,Cg/AllPraise Offerings- GGSacrifices- PPDivination-ST -hazelnuts// oghamManannan's offering of silver to the sea (give to Sacrificer)Sharing the watersGG- "Seo iad Uisci na beatha" -3x before waters go aroundWaters brought around: (waters -land/sea/sky/mystery)pitcher & cloth-RGrove & Individual petitionsconsecrationsworkingspassages pour out waters of mystery - R(while this done all say 9x):Sacred Salmon circuitous swirlingKnowledge nectar nourishment needingWell of wonder wide-op'ning wisdomHoly Hazel hazardous heedingNechtain never nevermore ceasing ...Thanking:Gods/Goddesses of tribe -GGNature Spirits - PBGods -GGAncestors -AFSeaonal Deities- Nemhain, Badbh, Morrighan- GGProtection- Macha- STGatekeeper- Sheila na Gig- GGBardic- GGExtinguish new fire- Cgconclusion-GG
Category: 
ShawnMiller's picture
Pre Ritual Briefing/Claiming & SainingATTUNEMENTPROCESSIONAL:Song: Come We Now as a PeopleCome we now as a people, to gather at the sacred Well,Come we now as a people, to gather in the warmth and the light of the fire.OPENING PRAYERSEarth Mother: An offering of Grain is made to the offering bowl, saying:Danu beloved ancestral mother of prosperity and plentyFrom whose starry womb the green earth springsYou who are the bearer of all lifeWe pray you bless and uphold this rite.Invocation to Brighid - Spirit of Bardic Inspiration:Brighid, O' lovely lady of the green mantle,Goddess of poetry, of bards, of fire and fertility,Brighid, we pray you; as our thoughts form words from inspiration and flow into melodies - let your flame flicker in our hearts and compel us in our work.Outdwellers: An offering is made to the south of the Grove, saying:Ancient dark ones, we make this offering to you.You who dwell in the outer darkYou who stood against the godsYou twisted and misshapenYou cold of heart and dim of mindTake this offering and trouble not our working.Likewise we acknowledge in ourselvesWeakness and perversityHatred and spiteCowardice and ignoranceWe contemplate these ills and enemies and for this sacred time, we set them aside!Purification - Fire and Water: Druids draw water from the Well and light a censer from the Fire. They quickly cense and asperge the company, while the company intones or chants.TRIADS: Fire, Well & TreeSilver is offered to the Well, Oil to the Fire, and Incense and Water to the Bile as the Company sings the Portal Song:ChorusBy Fire and by Water, between the Earth and Sky,We stand like the World-Tree rooted deep, crowned high.Come we now to the Well, the eye and the mouth of Earth,Come we now to the Well, and silver we bring,Come we now to the Well, the waters of rebirth,Come we now to the Well, together we sing:ChorusWe will kindle a Fire, Bless all, and with harm to none,We will kindle a Fire, and offering pour,We will kindle a Fire, A light 'neath the Moon & Sun,We will kindle a fire, our spirits will soar.ChorusGather we at the Tree, the root & the crown of all,Gather we at the Tree, Below & above,Gather we at the Tree, Together we make our call,Gather we at the Tree, In wisdom & love.ChorusSTATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND PRECEDENTWe gather here on the Feast of Samhain, the End and Beginning of the Sacred Year, the Time of Turning, of twilight, when the Dark Time begins. This is the Last Harvest. The fields lie empty, sinking into Winters Sleep and our larders hold what gain we have reaped from our labors.As our forebears did, so do we do now, and so may our descendants do in time. We are here to offer worship to the Lord of the House of the Dead and to the Queen of Phantoms; to the Gods, the Dead and the Sidhe, and reverence to our honored dead here on this, their Feast. -We offer to Donn the Dark One, the Antlered God who offers hospitality and peace to those bound for the Ancestors' Country. We offer to Morrigan, the Great Queen of Battle and Sorcery, the Old Woman of Death and the Cauldron of Rebirth. -In this Season of Change we honor the Holy Dead as the ancients did, and seek the omen for the coming year when the veil between the Worlds is thin.Now let us open the Ways Between...OPENING THE GATES:O Manannan, Lord of the Gates, Lord of Wisdom, open the ways for us. We walk in your holy ways; we walk the Sacred Road. Share your magic with us; ward us as we walk in safety. Manannan Mac Lir, accept our sacrifice!Gate Trance (after the ritual opening of the Gates):Now, we turn our minds to Magic... make yourself comfortable, straighten your spine, and breath deep... Renew your center... Earth below and Sky above... feel the currents of light and dark... flowing in your flesh, and in our Grove... feel the presence of our circle... see before you our simple Hallows, the shining Fire, the dark within the Cauldron... the currents of Fire and Water swirling around the Bile... See, with your vision's eye, by imagination and by will... see rising from the Hallows a mist...Silver-grey, warm and thick... rising to swirl around your form... rising around your hips... rising around your chest... rising to enclose your head...Filling our Grove with Magic's Mist... the Mist of the Borderland... that separates the common world from hidden truth... feel the mist grow thick behind your back...An offering of oil is given to the Fire. The Druid then conjures the Gates, making an opening triskel on the Fire and Well, saying: Now, lord of ways, join your magic with mine and let the fire open as a gate, let the well open as a gate, let the tree be the crossroads of all worlds. Open as a road to our voices and to the spirits. Let the gates be open!All: Let the gates be open!The Mist... feel it thicken, feel it swirl and shift and rise upwards... surrounding and encompassing us as the gates to the otherworlds...Breathe deep, and feel the flow of Light and Shadow in your flesh... breathe deep and feel the Mist around you... flowing in and through and out of the Gates...Let the Mist enclose you, turning your mind inward... turning your eye toward the Gates themselves... let us build a vision in the Light and Shadow of the Gates at the Center... at the Boundary of All Worlds...Close your eyes if you wish, or let them focus into the Otherworld... the vision at first moves quickly...You see glimpses of forests and rivers and the plains of the Inner Worlds... fragments of scenes from visions and dreams...All the while your eye is drawn onward... drawn now downward, into the Earth, passing along tree root and watercourse, down through veins of quartz... into the Deeps... toward the Light... Now the vision resolves... you see before you a portal made of three great stones... two upright and a great capstone, with darkness all around it... yet within it there is light...You gaze through the Gate.... your vision focusing into a cavernous room... vast and deep... perhaps a timbered hall, perhaps a corbeled dome of ancient stones... as you enter, moving surely through the door, the Hall seems empty of guests...It is furnished with a pair of thrones before a huge round hearth... a fire burns low in the pit, and the shadows dance on the walls...As you watch the shadows you realize that every inch of the walls are covered with shrines, images and carvings, all depicting some aspect of the Powers...This is our vision-shadow of the Feasting Hall of the Gods... the image into which we draw the presence of the worshipped... now let us give offering to the Powers of Blessing, that our work may be made strong...KINDRED OFFERINGSThe druids make proper offerings to each of the kindreds, standing at the fire.AncestorsThe children of the earth call out to the mighty dead. Hear us, our ancestors, our kindred.To all whose bones lie in this land, whose hearts are tied to it, whose memory holds it; ancient tribes of this place, we offer you welcome.To all of our grandmothers and grandfathers, our own beloved dead, blood-kin and heart-kin, ancient tribes of our blood, we offer you welcome.To all those elder wise ones who guide their people, poets and seers, judges and magicians, wise women and men of ancient days, we offer you welcome. So, o mighty ones, we call to you as our kin, in the love of the all-mother, to join in our magic. Come to our fire, spirits; meet us at the boundary. Guide and ward us as we walk the elder ways. Ancestors, accept our sacrifice!(An offering of food and/or drink is made onto the ground or into a shaft)Nature SpiritsThe children of earth call out to the spirits of this land. Hear us, companions and teachers.To all our allies, kindreds of stone and stream, crystal and fertile soil, pools and mighty seas, kins of the earth, we offer you welcome.To all our allies, kindreds of the growing green, herb and flower, shrub and mighty trees, root and stem and fruit. Green kins, we offer you welcome.To all our allies, kindreds of fur and feather and scale, all who walk or fly or swim or crawl, we offer you welcome.So, o noble ones, we call to you as our allies, in the joy of life upon earth, to join in our magic. Come to our fire, spirits; meet us at the boundary. Guide and ward us as we walk the elder ways. Land-spirits, accept our sacrifice!(An offering of herbs, flowers and/or trinkets is scattered around the nemetons edge or hung on the tree)DeitiesThe children of earth call out to the shining ones. Hear us, eldest and brightest.To all the shining ones, first children of the mother, wisest and mightiest, loving and comforting, gods and goddesses, we offer you welcome.To the gods and goddesses of this place, ancient and powerful, known to us or unknown, gods of this place, we offer you welcome.To all the deities of those here gathered, you whom we worship, you who bless our lives, o patrons and matrons, we offer you welcome.So, O shining ones, we call to you as our elders, in reverence and love, to join in our magic. Come to our fire, shining ones; meet us at the boundary. Guide and ward us as we walk the elder ways. Deities, accept our sacrifice!(An offering of scented oil is poured on the fire)See these beings now at our fire. See them ringing our Grove, mingling their energies with ours. The Gods, Dead and Sidhe, joining us as we sing to them (Kindreds Song):Gods & Dead & Mighty Sidhe, Powers of earth & sky & sea.By fire & well, by sacred tree, Offering we make to ye.KEY OFFERINGSDruid refreshes the vision-of the hall, saying:Recall now, the vision-shadow of the Feasting Hall of the Gods. The pair of thrones, the fire burning in the pit, the shadows dancing on the wall...Welcome to the Shining Goddesses & Gods. The beloved Ancestors, and the Noble Sidhe. To all of you gathered on the Honor feast of summer's end, we bid you join us in worshipping the Morrigan and Donn, here in this hallowed place.Honoring the Patron Deities The Invocation of DonnIn the season of darkening, the Lord of the House of Death receives the Spirits in his Hall. He is Donn the Dark One, called Cernunnos the Horned One. He is the First Ancestor, the Torc Bearer, and The Guardian of the Cauldron of Plenty. Hear us now, Horned One, Dark one, Receiver of the Dead, Granter of Rest, Patron of the Feast in the Land of the Dead. We your children pray you to come in, to let your gaze fall upon this Sacred Ground, to indwell our rite and give us your blessing. We make due offering to you.We give you...(offering made into shaft or offering bowl.) Silver, that you grant the wealth of the Underworld, Source of All Potential.(Offering made to the Fire) Oil, that the richness of the Land be renewed as our own lives are renewed.(Offering placed at the foot of the Tree) Horn, that the beings that know you may bless us in the Season of Hunting.Be welcome among us, Donn; Dark One, accept our sacrifice!The vision-image of Donn is established, present in the Hall-vision.The Invocation of MorriganAs the Earth falls into sleep the Queen of Spirits is choosing those who will go to the Cauldron of Rebirth. She is Morrigan, the Great Queen of Phantoms, and the Chooser of the Slain. She is the Battle Raven, the Red Woman, Mistress of the Cauldron. Hear us now, Red One, Great Queen, Lady of the Reaping, Cauldron-Witch of Sorcery and Prophecy. We your children pray that you be with us, that you look kindly upon our holy rite, that you come into our Grove and give us your blessing. We give due offering to you. We give you... (Stone given to the shaft) Precious stone, that the Bones of the Earth may be clothed again in life. (Wine given to the fire) Red Wine, blood of the land might be renewed through death and birth... (Black feathers given to the tree) Feathers, that your raven Eye watches over us in the Season of Sleep. Be welcome among us Morrigan; Great Queen, accept our sacrifice!The image of Morrigan is established in the vision-hall.Honoring the AncestorsOn the feast of Samhain the veils between the worlds are thin. We call to our Beloved Dead, the blessed Ancestors, to join our feast and receive due offering.Come to the Gates, honored ones; hear our call, we your children who remember. We offer you our worship, our reverence and our love.You who fill the empty womb, you who cause the seed to spring, you who fill the breast with milk, receive now these offerings, made in your honor:Apples, the Fruit of Life and Death.Pork, the flesh of the Sacred Sow.Hazelnuts, concentrated meat of wisdom.We offer these...To the ancient heroes of the Pagan World, those men and women who did the bidding of the Gods for the good of the folk.(Some of each offering made to the shaft)To the Wise: (naming of nine Ancient Wise Leaders and Priests)To the Warriors: (naming of nine Ancient Warriors and Protectors)To the Sustainers: (naming of nine ancient Hospitaliers and Bards)(Offerings made)To our own Beloved Dead, Grandmothers-and-Fathers, family and friends who have gone ahead, we honor you and grieve for you.To the honored Dead of the passed year; those women and men of our folk who inspired and guided our whole world.The Roll of the Past Years Dead are read from the Grove Book of the Dead(Offering made)To all of you we give these fruits and meats that you may feast in joy in the Land of the Dead.Note on the Praise OfferingsWhile the Praise Offerings are made, a wreath is passed among the people and all who wish tie a black ribbon onto the wreath in commemoration of their own dead. This wreath is then given to the fire at the Prayer of Sacrifice.SACRIFICE:All are led to send their energy through the gates to the powers, meditating on the deities and the nobles.The druids prepare the final offerings and say:So we have given of our love and our wealth to the lord and lady. Now let our voices arise on the fire, let our voices sound in the well let our words pass the boundary to the otherworlds. O Donn, o Morrigan, we give you our love, our respect, our devotion as we pray you...All: Morrigan and Donn, accept our sacrifice!Now we have called the company of the Powers to our Grove... as they are gathered in their Hall, we are gathered around our Fire... beside our Well... in the shadow of the World Pillar...here and now it is proper for the Cauldron of Blessing to appear...For it is the Cauldron of blessing that gives and is replenished, promotes and is enlarged, nourishes and is given life, the Cauldron will infuse us with that which the Gods deem proper, and necessary. To you we have given, and from you we would receive. Reveal to us now, our Blessing...THE OMEN(The Druid leads a re-centering, while the omen is prepared on a tray)See now in the vision's eye a shimmering rising from the Fire in the Hall of the Shining Ones...A spiraling flow of Light and Shadow that seems to coalesce, to solidify into the image of Donn, Lord of Animals seated in the realm of the Ever Young, and the Morrigan, Queen of Phantoms and Initiatrix of Heroes.Two ritualists have been sitting in chairs, bent over with cloak and hood about them. They sit up and reveal faces concealed by the masks of the Donn and Morrigan.The Morrigan speaks:On this night that stands at the rim of dark and light, the veil between the worlds is thin. Know that on this night above all others the Shining Ones and Ancestors hear the prayers of mortals and on this night the kenning of their will is most easily obtained.A gift calls for a gift! Offerings and sacrifice you have made. Learn now the wyrd of the folk who have come to this hall seeking the blessings of the mighty.The omen tray is placed before Donn and the Omen is drawn. A Druid reveals the results with very basic, simple meanings. The Druids make brief speculation as to the results...Donn speaks:Hear now the nature of the blessing the Gods see fit to bestow upon us.Donn continues with a poetic/prosaic interpretation of the Omen. When done, he says:What use have you for: _______? What use have you for: _______? What use have you for: __________? Meditate now on how you will take this blessing...The Morrigan speaks:The blessing of the Gods is poured from the caldron of mystery, the caldron of plenty, the caldron of rebirth.Do the Children of the Earth desire the blessing? (All respond)Do you come in honor to the Elder Ways? (All respond)Do you desire that every one of us be Blessed? (All respond)THE BLESSING:The Donn and Morrigan bow their heads and resettle themselves. As the Druid leads the Caldron meditation they slip out of the chairs leaving the masks on them and blend in with the crowd once more. Meanwhile, the Druid speaks (continuing previous trance):See in your minds eye, the Caldron of Blessing. It is exalted and is ennobled, round and deep... light and dark are so blended in it that none could say if it were gold or blackest iron...Its rim is graven with runic emblems and Humans and animals alike cavort about its' sides in an everlasting dance of life and death...It seems supported by the light and heat of the flames...The Light shows that every surface of the cauldron is covered with images, symbols and runes... waiting to be deciphered...It floats just above the eyes of the folk... the Cauldron in the Inner Grove... from which it is our will that we all draw blessing...Children of the Earth, in this season of magic you are offered a boon! Choose now, and hold this prayer in your mind and heart as we draw at last, the Blessing. Let none drink of this vessel holding ill will to any here in their hearts! Let this be the cup of peace and fellowship!Hallowing the WatersThe Druid draws water from the Cauldron into a cup and elevates it, saying:We draw water from the magic caldron; we fill the Blessing Bowl. O Mighty, Noble and Shining ones we have honored you. Now we ask for a Blessing as a gift calls for a gift. Now let us enchant the Blessing Cup, that our work may bear true fruit. This is the outpouring of Blessings from the Mighty Ones, from all the Powers, from the Caldron of Wonders! Drink we now the draught of the Gods. Drink in Wisdom, Wealth and Strength, so that we may live our lives in truth, joy and honor.So, O Mighty, Noble and Shining Ones, hear and answer us! Hallow these waters Donn and Morrigan!BEHOLD THE WATERS OF LIFE!The cup is passed in the usual way, perhaps singing (Blessing Song):Pour the waters, raise the cup, drink your share of wisdom deep,Strength and love now fill us up, as the Elder Ways we keep.FINAL BLESSING:When all have drunk, the Druids lead a final meditation:The Ale of Blessing flows in us, filling us with the magic of Morrigan and Donn. As the year turns, let us welcome the quiet of the Dark. Let the stillness of the land calm and satisfy our spirits, allowing us to receive the Harvest's Bounty. Let the gain of the passing year be ours, to fill our lives with contentment. Let us welcome the Dead who wish to return to the living world, even as we remember those who depart. May we rest content as we pass the threshold of new beginnings...Now let us rest in silence, with the Power of the Between in us, and know the blessing as it manifests itself in our lives...(Silence, for a time)Works (if any) are brought before the GroveInvestiture of Officers for the coming yearCLOSINGWhen all is done, the druids lead a resettling, then begin to close the grove, saying:We have been blessed by Donn and Morrigan, offering we have given and Blessings we have received by the Mighty, Noble and Shining Ones. But now it is time to return to our common world, to leave behind the place of the Cauldron...Remember the Hall of Donn... the presence of Morrigan... the shining inheritance of the Cauldron... remember the Mist of Vision... that brought us to this place...Now let the Mist come again... let it rise around us... rise around you... the vision of the Cauldron dims... as the Mist closes around you...Remember our Grove... the Fire, the Well, the Tree... your vision returns to the Center of the Worlds, the Sacred Grove where we began...The Mist dissolves again... and we are in our Grove together... returned truly and well to the common world... with the Blessing of the Gods in us all.With joy in our hearts let us carry the magic from our sacred grove into our lives and work.Each time we offer to the powers they be come stronger and more aware of our needs and our worship.So now as we prepare to depart let us give thanks to those who have aided us.O Morrigan and Donn,All: We thank you!O Gods and Goddesses of elder days!All: We thank you!O spirits of this land!All: We thank you!O ancestors, our kindred!All: We thank you!To all those powers that have aided us, we say again...All: We thank you!Druids renew the company's centering once more:Finally, see the receding mist fade completely away, the Well, Fire and Tree becoming the common tools they were before, and remember that while our grove fades, the vision and memories of our rite are there always for you to use, and to carry with you in our common world.The druids go to the center, bearing the wand. They speak:O gatekeeper, warder of the ways, for your presence and power, your guiding and guarding we say...All: We thank you!Druid makes the closing sign over the hallows with the wand, saying:Now by the keeper of gates and by our magic we end what we began.Now let the fire be flameLet the well be water;Let all be as it was before.Let the gates be closed!All: Let the gates be closed!Then any unused offerings, return flow, incense, water etc. is given to the earth, saying:Mother of all, to you we return all we leave unused. Uphold us now in the world as you have in our rite.All: We thank you!Go now, children of the earth, in peace and blessings. The rite is ended!The bard leads a proper chant as the company processes out of the Grove.  Notes on the Rite:Grove Attunement/Processional: Traditionally, the Attunement has taken place after the preliminary offerings and before the Well, Fire & Tree (vertical axis). We've recently moved it to before the Processional so the momentum built from the offerings doesn't get brought to a stand still. Gatekeeper: For this rite, we've expanded the visualization of the Gates considerably. Previously, this was included in the overall trance working that was designed for the Key Offerings. Since part of that working was to establish the "Feasting Hall of the Gods", the set-up was moved to the Gatekeeper section to spread the trance throughout the entire rite. Book of the Dead: For many years, we've kept a book where people have the names of the past years dead entered into. During the "Honoring the Ancestors" portion of the Key Offerings, those names are read as folks make their own, silent, personal offerings. The Omen: Owing to the large degree of Lore concerning divination at Samhain, It seemed proper to make the Omen-taking a central part of the Rite. After the Sacrifice, the Deities are Masked and Enthroned, and it is the individuals who are masquerading as them who perform the steps leading up to the Omen and it's actual casting and interpretation. Owing much to the theme of the "thin veils between the worlds", the masked deities add a blurring to the distinction of common and sacred. Likewise, having them reveal the omen ties in with direct revelation by the Deity to the worshippers. Once the next step of the ritual (Hallowing the waters) begins, the couple removes their masks and joins the crowd once more. Works: Samhain is the traditional time of the changing of Officers within StoneCreed Grove. Once again, this may involve an Omen or two to determine what kind of year to expect (and gauge their actions accordingly). Toasts and Boasts may also be performed where past actions (of the previous officers) are praised, and boasts made of future actions by the newly elected/invested. Closing: Once again a little order change. Previously, final offerings were made to the Earth Mother before the Gates were closed (and the Gatekeeper thanked). In keeping with the Last in, first out (reverse order) theory, the Final Offerings have been moved to the very end, after the closing of the Gates and return to our common world. She is initially offered to first, and should be finally offered to last.Checklist of OfferingsPreliminary Offerings:Earth Mother: An offering of Grain is made to the offering bowl Outdwellers: An offering (ale) is made to the south of the GroveVertical Axis:Well: Silver is offered to the Well Fire: Oil to the Fire Tree: Incense and Water to the BileGatekeeper:An Offering of Oil made to the fireKindreds:Ancestors: An offering of food and/or drink is made onto the ground or into a shaft Nature Spirits: An offering of herbs, flowers and/or trinkets is scattered around the nemetons edge or hung on the tree. Deities: An offering of scented oil is poured on the fireKey Offerings:Donn:Offering made into shaft or offering bowl of Silver Offering made to the Fire of Oil * Offering of Horn placed at the foot of the TreeMorrigan:Precious Stone given to the shaft Red Wine given to the fire, Black feathers given to the treeAncestors:Apples, Pork, Hazelnuts, are offered three times.Sacrifice:Precious Metals, fine drink, or any other large, generous sacrificeClosing:All unused offerings are placed in the appropriate receptacles *Either Olive oil or Hazelnut oil
Category: 
KirkThomas's picture
Pre-Ritual PreparationIn the Henge:The fire is prepared, the well opened, the World Tree Offering Bowl placed in position and the following items placed on or near the altar:Drinking horns, bowl for aspersing, a sea shell with sage for censing, bell, offerings (Whiskey in a bowl with a ladle; corn meal and dry oatmeal in a small bowl; silver for the well; ale in a small drinking horn; hazelnut oil; cooked pork in a small bowl, an apple in a small bowl; herbs, flowers and stones in a small bowl; a small wreath of twigs; sage for censing; a basket of apples - enough for each participant to have one; Cider or beer for the Waters of Life - also water; small drinking cups; a loaf of pumpkin bread), a taper by the fire, and divination tools.At the Outdweller's Altar:A small bowl is filled with water from the Well and taken to the Outdweller's Altar. A bowl of incense is also placed there. A bowl of beer is placed on the Altar.At the Gathering Place:At the place of the procession's beginning, a sage smudge stick is prepared and lit for the Procession.Before the Procession begins: Druid 1 welcomes the people and gives the briefing. This will include creating the Sacred Center and Opening and Closing of the Gates, as well as Praise Offerings.The Bard teaches the People any new songs.The Seer leads the People in taking a moment to center.ProcessionDruid 1 carries the bowl of charcoal while the Lead Drummer creates a rhythmic drumbeat and the Bard leads the People in song as they process to the Outdweller's Altar outside the Sacred Precinct.The Bard leads the People in singing:We Approach The Sacred GroveWe approach the Sacred Grove With hearts and minds and flesh and bone. Join us now in ways of old; We have come home. (Repeat until Procession is ended)PurificationAfter the People arrive at the Outdwellers' Altar, Druid 4 stands to the east of the Altar, facing the People.Druid 1 says: Warrior! Make offering and appease the Outdwellers who will not support our ways. Druid 2 takes up the bowl of sacred water and stands at the south of the Altar. Druid 1 takes up the incense and stands at the north of the Altar. He puts incense on the burning charcoal.Druid 4 says:Mighty spirits, dark or light, You who care not for our way, Outdwellers! We know your might, Your forbearance we'll repay! Holy ground where you can play We do now establish here. Have some fun and don't dismay, Stick around and have a beer! Bíodh sé amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee) So be it!Druid 4 makes an offering of ale to the Outdwellers, pouring it on the altar.Druid 1 smudges and Druid 2 asperses Druid 4.Druid 1 says: Children of the Earth! Come forward and be purified as we enter the Sacred Precinct.Druid 1 and Druid 2 go to the entrance of the sacred precinct. Druid 1 censes while Druid 2 asperses the People as they Process through the grove towards the Henge.The Bard leads the People through the grove to the Henge with Druids 1 and 2 following last.Meanwhile, drums are beating and as the People are purified, the Bard leads the People in singing:The Portal Song Chorus: By Fire and by Water, between the Earth and Sky, We stand like the World Tree, rooted deep, crowned high. By Fire and by Water, between the Earth and Sky, We stand like the World Tree, rooted deep, crowned high! Verse: Come we now to the Well, the eye and the mouth of Earth. Come we now to the Well, and silver we bring. Come we now to the Well, the waters of rebirth. Come we now to the Well, together we sing. Repeat Chorus We will kindle a Fire, bless all and with harm to none. We will kindle a Fire, and offerings pour. We will kindle a Fire, a light 'neath the Moon and Sun. We will kindle a Fire, our spirits will soar! Repeat Chorus Gather we at the Tree, the root and the crown of all. Gather we at the Tree, below and above. Gather we at the Tree, together we make our call. Gather we at the Tree, in wisdom and love. Repeat ChorusThe People find their places in the Circle of the Henge, leaving room for Druid 1 and Druid 2, who enter last.Druid 1 holds the bowl of burning charcoal.Druid 1 circles the Henge deosil, censing the space, and then returns to his place.WelcomeDruid 1 rings bell thrice-three times while saying: Nature Spirits! (rings bell three times) Ancestors! (rings bell three times) Shining Ones! (rings bell three times) Welcome! We shall meet here at the Sacred Center when we open the gates to the Otherworlds.The Earth MotherDruid 1 says: Earth Mother! Bearer of all life! We show you honor!The People kneel and kiss the Earth.Druid 2 says: Earth Mother! We build our fire upon Your bosom, claiming this place as our own. Bíodh sé amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee) So be it!Druid 1 offers the corn meal and dry oatmeal to the unlit Fire. Druid 2 lights the fire.The People say: Bíodh sé amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee) So be it!Rhythmic drumming begins to accompany the Bard.The Bard leads the People in singing:Earth Mother Earth Mother, we honor your body Earth Mother, we honor your bones Earth Mother, we sing to your spirit Earth Mother, we sing to your stones (repeat as necessary)Purpose and PrecedentDruid 2 says: This is the End and Beginning of the Sacred Year, the Time of Turning when the Dark Time begins.Druid 3 says: As our ancestors did, so do we now. We are here to offer worship to the Great Queen of Battle and Sorcery, the Morrigan, Lady of Death and the Cauldron of Rebirth.Druid 4 says: We are also here to offer worship to the Good God, Dagda, Father God and God of Fertility.Druid 1 says: We gather here to celebrate the Feast of Samhain, the time of prophesy and transformation. And in this Season of Death and Rebirth, we honor the Holy Dead as the ancients did, and we seek their wisdom.Storyteller says: So now, Children of the Earth, let me tell you the tales of Morrigan and the Dagda. Storyteller then tells of the Morrigan and of Dagda, and of their coupling in sacred space, straddling the river Unius, and of Her prophesy of the Battle of Magh Tuiredh.Druid 1 says: So let us join together as one folk to make our offerings in joy and reverence! Bíodh sé amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee) So be it!The People: Bíodh sé amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee) So be it!Imbas(Awen in Welsh; Inspiration in English) Rhythmic drumming begins to accompany the Imbas.Druid 1 says: Brigit! Great Triple Goddess! We ask you for inspiration for our Rite!Sanctifier takes smoking sage bundle to the Shrine of Brigit and censes the image. She returns the incense to the altar. While this is happening,The Bard and Druid 1 invoke the Imbas, singing in Call & Answer:Lady Brigit (Words by Peggy Kaan) Lady Brigit of the Bards Blessed Fire of Inspiration Spark the flames within our hearts Lead our creative exploration Lady Brigit hear our song As we give offerings of praise Let Your blessings make us strong That we may serve You all our days.Druid 2 offers whiskey to the fire.Bard and Druid 1 together say: Bíodh sé amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee) So be it!The People say: Bíodh sé amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee) So be it!The Three RealmsDruid 1 says: Let us establish the Three Realms here! We see the Sky arching over our heads like a great, upturned bowl. We feel the Land here under our feet, and we sense the Sea surrounding us outside our Nematon.Rhythmic drumming begins to accompany the Bard.The Bard leads the People in singing:Unity In The Three Realms Beside you I stand, hand in hand, On this Sacred Land. With one breath we cry, you and I, To the Sacred Sky. And together we one day will be Across the Endless Sea.The Three Worlds and AttunementDruid 1 says: We establish the Three Worlds of the Heavens, Midworld and Underworld when we attune ourselves with their powers, and magnify them within us.Seer leads the 2 Powers meditation to attune the company to the Earth and Sky powers and to join the company in spirit.Opening the Sacred CenterDruid 1 says: Druids! Let us open the Sacred Center!The Lead Drummer starts a moderately fast, rhythmic drumbeat. The other drums in the circle join in. They continue until the Gates are opened.The following actions take place simultaneously until everyone is in position.Druid 1 takes silver and goes to the Well. He stands to the SW of the Well and faces the center of the circle.Seer 1 goes to the SE quadrant of the circle, getting a ladle of oil from the main altar on the way. He stands in the East facing the altar of Manannan mac Lir in the West.Druid 3 goes to the Fire, getting a ladle of whiskey from the main altar on the way. She stands to the SE of the Fire, facing the center of the circle.Druid 4 draws water from the well, using the bowl there, and goes to the Tree. The Bard lights a smudge stick at the fire and goes to the Tree. Druid 2 moves widdershins around the circle, leading the People in quietly and slowly chanting: Well and Fire and Sacred Tree, flow and flame and grow in me...Druid 2 continues moving widdershins around the circle during the entire working, until he opens the Gates.The chanting continues, only interrupted by the People saying the final line of each of the three following invocations.Druid 1 offers Silver to the well, with these words:Sacred waters 'neath our feet, Unformed powers of the deep, Fountain upwards now to fill us, Sacred Well, flow within us!The People say: Sacred Well, flow within us!Druid 2 leads the People in chanting: Well and Fire and Sacred Tree, flow and flame and grow in me...Druid 3 offers whiskey to the Fire, with these words:Sacred fire, light of Heaven Warm us as creation wakens. Show us all our inner brightness. Sacred fire, burn within us!The People say: Sacred fire, burn within us!Druid 2 leads the People in chanting: Well and Fire and Sacred Tree, flow and flame and grow in me... (Bard lights the sage bundle if the original has gone out).Bard censes and Druid 4 asperses the World Tree. Druid 4 and Bard say:Sacred Tree, which joins together Powers of chaos and of order, Grant us wisdom, strong and ageless. Sacred tree, grow within us!The People say: Sacred tree, grow within us!Druid 2 leads the People in quietly chanting: Lord Manannan... Lord Manannan... Lord Manannan...Sanctifier takes the smoking sage bundle from the Bard to the Altar of Manannan and censes the image, then returns sage bundle to the main altar. Meanwhile,Seer makes an offering of whiskey to the fire, saying:Gatekeeper! We ask in reverence, Open now the sacred boundary. Manawydan, Lord, come to us, Ward us as we walk in safety!The People say: Ward us as we walk in safety!Druid 1 leads the People in quietly chanting: Open the Gates... Open the Gates... Open the Gates...The chanting, drums and rattles continue. They increase in speed and volume.Druid 2 holds the bottom of his staff, pointing the top of it at the top of the World Tree. He begins to spin widdershins, faster and faster. When his staff first passes the Fire, Druid 2 says:Let the Fire open as a Gate!He continues spinning at least one full revolution.As his staff passes over the Well, Druid 2 says:Let the Well open as a Gate!He continues spinning at least one full revolution.As his staff passes by the Tree, Druid 2 says:Let the Tree connect the Worlds!There is a loud drum roll ending in a strong stroke. The chant, drumming and rattles stop. Druid 2 stops spinning, holds both hands (and staff) in the air and shouts:Osclaítear na geataí! (OS-kluh-TEER na GA-thay) Let the Gates be open!The People shout:Let the Gates be open!Kindred OfferingsDruid 1 says:Druids! Make our Offerings to the Kindreds - the Ancient Ones, the Noble Ones and the Shining Ones.ANCESTORSDruid 2 prepares an offering of ale beside the Sacred Well, while:Seer says these or other words:Mighty Ones! We offer you: Apples, the Fruit of the Sacred Isles of Tir na Nog, land of perpetual youth. Seer places apple in Offering Bowl.Pork, the flesh of the Dagda's sacred pigs and Cauldron of Plenty. Seer places pork in the Fire.Oil of Hazel Nuts, the food of Wisdom, Seer pours oil into Fire.And Beer, to help you on your way.Ancestors, you Mighty Ones, Witness now our humble actions. Kin of heart and Kin of blood, Ancient Ones, we call you Sacred! Come unto us now, we pray, Join us at the Well this day!Ancestors, accept our offerings!Druid 2 pours beer on the ground by the Well.The People say:Ancestors, accept our offerings!NATURE SPIRITSThe drums begin again, pounding out a moderate beat.Druid 2 makes offerings of herbs, flowers and/or trinkets scattered around the Nemeton's edge or hung on the World Tree, while:The Bard sings these or other words:All you Spirits of the Land Come and hear from us firsthand. Fin and feather, fur and skin, Come and hear our mighty din! Leaf and stone and Fairies, too, Let our Sacred Pact renew! Land-spirits, accept our offering!The People say: Land-spirits, accept our offering!DEITIESDruid 2 makes an offering of whiskey to the fire, while:Druid 3 says these or other words:Shining Ones, O Great and Boundless; Gods and Goddesses, come to us! You are welcome by our fire, Let us know what You desire. Known and unknown Deities Meet us at the Boundaries!Shining Ones, accept our offering!The People say: Shining Ones, accept our offering!The Bard leads the People in singing:Hail All The Gods Hail all the Gods, Hail all the Goddesses, Hail all the holy ones we've brought together! Powers of the sky, Powers of the sacred earth, Powers of the underworld we've brought together. Hail all the Gods! Hail all the Goddesses! Hail all the Gods and Goddesses! (repeat)Key OfferingsDruid 1 says: Morrigan, Great Queen, we call upon You!Druid 1 invokes the God.Druid 2 offers whiskey to the fire andSanctifier takes the smoking sage bundle to the Sigil Altar and censes the image, returning the sage to the main altar. Druid 1stands in the north, facing the Altar to the Morrigan in the south, and says:Invocation of The Morrigan Chorus: You are the Crow, the Battle Queen, And chooser of the slain. You come to us and burn us clean - Now we're reborn again! Verse O fearsome One, when battle comes, Then great antagonisms Cause death and woe to all who fight The wars of man's great Kingdoms. O bird of Death, O battle crow, You know when death must come. Your cry is heard and men will quake To hear Your battle drum. Repeat Chorus But Death and Life are intertwined, For transformation shows That old ways pass into the new When birth from death follows. Oh purge us, Lady, of the old That we might find the new, And grow and change and grow some more To see our battles through. Repeat Chorus Oh come to us, and prophesize The future of our lives, And let us know the awesome truth Of where our growth derives. Great Battle Queen, accept our offering!The People say: Great Battle Queen, accept our offering!Druid 2 says: Dagda, Good God, we call upon You!Druid 2 invokes the God Dagda.Druid 1 offers whiskey to the fire andSanctifier takes the smoking sage bundle to the Sigil Altar and censes the image, returning the sage to the main altar. Druid 1 stands in the northwest, facing the Sigil Altar in the southeast, and says:Invocation of The Dagda Chorus: You are the father of the worlds, Abundance follows You! And generous fertility The pang of death subdues. Verses With great and wondrous power, You Have always been infused; Your mighty club both kills and cures, And often is it used! Your mighty cauldron overflows With food for rich and poor; And warriors dead can be reborn When dipped within it's core. Repeat Chorus Before the mighty battle day On Samhain Eve so old, You came across Great Goddess Death A-washing in the cold. With foot on either bank She stood While washing armor, red With blood of warriors soon to die And soon to ravens fed. Repeat chorus With wondrous passion, Fertile God, You soon became inflamed; And took the Goddess then and there - Life's primacy reclaimed! For out of Death must come re-birth As good must follow ill; Abundance flows from emptiness When we our spirits fill! Repeat chorus Great Dagda Mor, we call to You To join us here tonight! Your great abundance fills our need And makes our future bright! Abundant Dagda, accept our offering!The People say: Abundant Dagda, accept our offering!Praise OfferingsThe Rite of Letting Go, Acceptance and ClaimingDruid 1 says: Children of the Earth, now is the time to burn away those parts of us that need letting go that we may accept and claim ourselves.As the spirit moves you, come forward and take the wreath, bringing your "Rite of Letting Go" sheet to the fire. This be an offering to the Kindreds. At the fire, you may speak aloud what you are letting go, or remain silent, and then burn your sheet in the fire.At that time, you may also make Praise Offerings to Morrigan and the Dagda, the Kindreds or your Patrons. You may offer silver to the Well, sing songs of praise, recite poetry, dance or do whatever would please the Kindreds most. You may also make a donation to the Grove by placing it on the altar.Druid 2 stands quietly holding the wreath. As a person comes forward to make a Praise Offering, he hands the wreath to that person. When the Praise Offering is done, he takes back the wreath and silently holds it until the next person comes forward. The final Praise Offering will be the singing of Ian Corrigan's "Hoof and Horn" and the dance of the Wild Hunt.The OmenDruid 2 offers the wreath to the fire, and any other offerings to the fire or World Tree Offering Bowl, while:Druid 1 says: Seer, have our offerings been accepted by the Kindreds?While the wreath offering burns, The Seer takes the Omen. He interprets it, discovering if our Rite and our offerings are pleasing to the powers. While the Seer is preparing to read the omen, the Druids prepare the Waters of Life.BlessingsThe Return FlowDruid 1 says: Please stand and hold hands while we prepare the Waters Of Life.The People all stand and hold hands in a circle.Druid 1 pours mead into the large drinking horn.Druid 2 fills another horn with waters from the Well. They are hung on their hangers.Druid 1 takes Sacred Water in a horn or chalice and stands in front of the Altar.Druid 1 says: O Mighty Morrigan, Goddess of Transformation! O Great Dagda, Lord of Abundance! O Noble, Ancient and Shining Ones! We have offered to you, so we ask for your gifts in return.Druid 1 elevates the Waters.Hallow these waters! Bless our lives with love, magic and bounty as we drink of your essence. Kindreds, we ask you, give us the waters of life!The People say: Give us the waters of life!Druid 1 gives the bread to the Sanctifier. Druid 2 takes the horn of water and Druid 1 takes the horn of mead.Druid 1 pours holy water in each horn and a few drops on the bread.The People let go of each other's hands and the drinking horns and bread are passed. All drink from one or the other horn while the Bard leads the People in singing:Pour The Waters Pour the waters, raise the cup; Drink your share of wisdom deep; Strength and love now fill us up As the elder ways we keep. (Repeat until all have drunk from the horns)The WorkingsA Dedicant Oath may be taken here.INSTALLATION OF SENIOR DRUIDSeer says: In days of old, the King of Ireland was wed to the Goddess of Sovereignty, that he might be fit to reign and bring prosperity to the land. Nowadays, we elect our Senior Druid, and Gannd has been so elected.Druid 2 brings forth a loaf of pumpkin bread, standing beside the Senior Druid.The Seer says: Gannd, this loaf represents the Goddess of this land, the Earth Mother, the Goddess of Sovereignty.Senior Druid says: By wedding the Goddess this year, I hereby swear to uphold the worship of the Kindreds, to uphold our Grove, and to uphold Ar n'Draiocht Fein!Senior Druid stabs the loaf with his knife.Druid 2 puts loaf in the Offering Bowl.Seer says: All Hail Gannd, Senior Druid of Sonoran Sunrise Grove, ADF!The People say: All Hail Gannd! Bíodh sé amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee) So be it!THE TRANCE JOURNEYThe Seer leads the People in a Trance Journey to the Isles of the Blest, enlisting Manannan mac Lir as Guide, that the People may commune with their dead.Closing the GatesDruid 1 says: The Mighty Ones have blessed us! So as we prepare to depart, let us give thanks to those who have aided us. A drum beat begins and rattles fill the sound.Druid 2 says:O Mighty Morrigan, Goddess of Transformation; O Great Dagda, Lord of Abundance, we thank you!The People say:We thank you!Druid 3 says:Gods and Goddesses of elder days; mighty Ancestors; noble Spirits of the Land; our Kindreds, we thank you!The People say:We thank you!Seer says: Gatekeeper, warder of the ways, for your presence and power, for your guiding and guarding, we say: We thank you!The People say:We thank you!Druid 1 says:Earth Mother! For holding up the world and granting us Your blessings, we say: We thank You!The People say:We thank You!Druid 2 says:Now we end what we began.The drums begin to play and Druid 2 leads the People in chanting, starting quietly and building in speed and intensity:Close the Gates... Close the Gates... Close the Gates...Druid 1 holds the bottom of his staff, pointing the top of it at the top of the World Tree. He begins to spin deosil, faster and faster.As the staff passes the fire, Druid 1 says:Let the fire be flame!As the staff passes the well, Druid 1 says:Let the well be water!As the staff passes the World Tree, Druid 1 says:Let all be as it was before!There is a loud drum roll ending in a strong stroke. The drumming and rattles stop. Druid 1 stops spinning, holds both hands (and staff) in the air and shouts:Dúntar na geataí! (DUN-tar na GA-thay) Let the Gates be closed!The People say:Let the Gates be closed!The GroundingDruid 1 says:Great energy has been raised within us this day! Let us be grounded once more.Seer leads the People in grounding.The RecessionDruid 2 then rings the bell thrice-three times.Druid 1 says:Please stand and hold hands in this Circle.Walk with wisdom, children of the Earth. The Rite is ended! Bíodh sé amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee) So be it!The People say:Bíodh sé amhlaidh! (BEE-uh SHAY OW-lee) So be it!The Bard leads the People in singing as they stand holding hands in the Circle. After one time through, the Bard leads the People singing out of the Circle:Walk With Wisdom Walk with wisdom, from this hallowed place; Walk not in sorrow, Our roots shall 'ere embrace. May strength be your brother And honor be your kin; And luck be your lover Until we meet again! (Repeat until Recession is ended)At this point, a party/potluck is held for the assembled people.
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Mother - CornmealWell - Silver or CrystalFire - OilLand - CornmealSea - WaterSky - IncenseOutdwellers - AleManannan - ShellsAncestors - SageNature Spirits - Herbal MixShining Ones - OilGods and Goddesses - OilWaters of Life - Mead or Ale and WaterThe sacred Grove is arranged as described. The celebrants hallow the Grove; the Fire is lit, the Well is filled, the Tree is blessed.Well:Sacred well, let your waters flow down, down to all the sweet waters beneath the earth. Once again we ask you to become our mouth of the earth, our eye of the earth, our opening of the earth. Beeche!Fire:Sacred fire, become once again all the fires who have burned and who ever will. And may you carry our words, praise and love up to the Gods and Goddesses, Ancestors and Nature Spirits. Beeche!Tree:Sacred Bile, roots going into our Mother below and your crown stretching to the heavens above. We ask that you connect our world with all the other worlds. Beeche!Processional (chant - We Approach the Sacred Grove by Sean Miller)With singing, arrive and circle the hallows deosil. The Druids complete the sigil, then give the opening prayers.Aspurging and Censing as people enter the areaWell:May we wash away all Earthly cares.Fire:May the Spirit rise within you.Opening PrayersSenior Druid:We come here to this place, this grove of trees, to form a circle of flesh and bone and blood and spirit. This place is wrought with emotion, with desire, with dreams, with sweat and with tears. And yet we still come forth with smiles upon our faces, with questions in our hearts and with one another's hands held in our own. We are here to honor the Gods! All: We are here to honor the Gods! Chant: (Author unknown) Earth Mother, we honor your body Earth Mother, we honor your bones Earth Mother, we sing to your spirit Earth Mother, we sing to your stonesSenior Druid: (cornmeal)It is the custom among our people, our folk and our grove, to bestow a kiss upon our Mother. O beloved mother of all From whose starry womb the green earth springs You who are the bearer of all life We pray you bless and uphold this rite. Mother accept our offering! All: Mother of all accept our offering  Two Powers Meditation Historical PrecedentSenior Druid:Samhain is one of the original Celtic fire festivals and means "Summer's End', when the sun's power wanes, and the strength of the Gods of darkness, winter, and the underworld grows great. As Beltainne marks the beginning of summer, Samhain records its end. Samhain is regarded as the Celtic New Year and also the 'Festival of the Dead'. It is believed that at this time of the year the souls of the dead can walk amongst the living. On the night of Samhain, the door to realms beyond mortal comprehension is opened, the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, and the evolving wheel guarding the gates of the Spiral Castle has stopped for a brief moment. This night and all of the first week of November once blazed with ritual fires, upon which the early Celts symbolically burned all the frustrations and anxieties of the preceding year.Naming the Deities of the RitualGoddess:Hear us now, Cailleach Baere, Great Ancient Grandmother, Lady of the Deep Forest, Old Witch of the Roots and Cauldron. We your children pray that you be with us, that you look kindly upon our holy rite, and that you come into our Grove and give us your blessing. We acknowledge youIn Unison:We acknowledge you.Well, Fire and TreeWell: (silver or crystal)O sacred waters that flow and swirl beneath all being accept our offering! Let us know the elder depths within ourselves the source of all, the well of elder wisdom Sacred Well, flow within us! All: Sacred well, flow within us! Fire: (oil)O sacred fire that consumes and transforms True and holy light of the shining ones Accept our offering! O sacrificed and sacrificer Let holy flame warm our spirits and our lives. Sacred Fire, burn within us! All: Sacred fire, burn within us! Tree: (sprinkled and censed)O sacred pillar, boundary of all worlds, Stand at the center of the sky, Stand at the center of the sea, Stand at the center of the land on which we dwell. Let us be deepened in your depths Raised to your heights Strengthened in your strength Sacred Tree, grow within us! All: Sacred tree, grow within us!  Establishing the BoundariesLand: (cornmeal sprinkled around the outside of the sacred space)By the Fire and Well, let the blessed land be the founding of this Sacred Grove. Let the land hold firm and not open up and swallow us.Sea: (water sprinkled around the outside of the sacred space)By the cleansing of Water, let the primal sea be the boundary of this Grove. Let the Sea not rise up and drown us.Sky: (incense is thrown into the fire)By the Light of the fire. Let the shining Sky be the roof of this Grove. May the Sky not fall down upon us.OutdwellersAncient Dark Ones You who dwell in the outer dark You cold of heart and dim of mind Trouble not our working, for we leave behind our weakness and pervisity, Our hatred and spite, Our cowardice and ignorance. We offer this ale for being the keepers of these energies, so we may continue this rite in Peace and Harmony. Opening The Gates O Manannan, Lord of the Gates, Lord of Wisdom, open the ways for us. We walk in your holy ways, we walk the Sacred Road. Share your magic with us, ward us as we walk in safety. Manannan MacLir, accept our sacrifice! All: Manannan MacLir, accept our sacrifice! Senior Druid:Now, lord of ways, join your magic with ours.(each ritual officer opens their gates)Fire:Let the fire open as a gate.Well:Let the well open as a gate.Senior Druid:Let the tree be the crossroads of all worlds. Open as a road to our voices and to the spirits.In Unison:Let the gates be open! All: Let the gates be open! Kindred OfferingsChant: (by Ian Corrigan) Gods and Dead and Mighty Sidhe, Powers of Earth and Sky and Sea, By Fire and Well, by Sacred Tree Offerings we make to yeAncestors: (cornmeal)The children of the earth call out to the mighty dead. Hear us, our ancestors, our kindred. People of old times, our Ancestors, our Kindred. Share with us the bond of life upon the Earth. Share with us comfort, knowledge and blessing. Speak to our hearts that we may become one with you. Ancestors, accept our sacrifice! All: Ancestors, accept our sacrifice Nature Spirits: (herbal mix)Spirits of old times and of this place, our companions, our teachers. Share with us the renewal of the Earth. Share with us comfort, knowledge and blessing. Speak to our hearts that we may be one with you. Nature Spirits, accept our sacrifice! All: Nature Spirits, accept our sacrifice! Shining Ones: (oil)Gods of old times, our mother, our fathers. Share with us your power to regeneration. Share with us comfort, knowledge and blessing. Speak to our hearts, that we may be one you. Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice! All: Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice! After all the offerings have been made, the druids recenter the company and lead an attunement to all the spirits that have been called, and a proper chant or hymn is sung to the three kindreds.Grove Patrons and Matrons:And at this time we call upon our Grove patrons and matrons, Daghda and Danu, Freya and Odin and ask them to join with us tonight for our working.Senior Druid:Welcome to the Gods and Goddesses, the dead and the sidhe! To all of you who have gathered at our fire, we pray you join us in worshipping the patrons of this holy rite here in our sacred Grove.Invocation of Deities (oil)Goddess:As the Earth falls into sleep the Hag of Baere is wielding her scythe and cutting the green corn down, to sow it again in the later winter's night. She is the Cailleach, the wise and cunning old woman, who passed into seven periods of youth while her husbands passed away behind her, grandmother to peoples and races of the Earth. Her eyes are keen and sparkling like the cold river stream, her hands are gnarled like the twisted roots of ancient trees, and her skin is old and wrinkled like the scattered leaves of autumn.When the Cailleach calls, deep within the forest, deep within the land, we can feel it in our bones, like the roots of old. It is time to come home, into the darkness of the woods, where the old hag will cut us open, and we will grow new again, our frailty and weakness cut down like the corn.Hear us now, Cailleach Baere, Great Ancient Grandmother, Lady of the Deep Forest, Old Witch of the Roots and Cauldron. We your children pray that you be with us, that you look kindly upon our holy rite, and that you come into our Grove and give us your blessing.We give due offering to you. We give you... (pour into shaft) Precious stone, that the Bones of the Earth may be clothed again in life. (pour into fire) Whiskey, that the Waters of Life May flow in us and Spirit indwell flesh. (sprinkle or tie to Tree) Bone, that the old and unnecessary fall away into peaceful rest. Be welcome among us Cailleach; Great Grandmother, accept our sacrifice! All: Cailleach, accept our sacrifice! Senior Druid:Now is the time for individual offerings, if there are any among us who would like to make a praise offering, be it song, poem, or story, you may do this now.Sacrifice and OmenSenior Druid:So we have given of our love and our wealth to the lord and lady. Now let our voices arise on the fire, let our voices sound in the well let our words pass the boundary to the otherworlds. o lord, o lady, we give you our love, our respect, our devotion as we pray you. Lady and Lord, accept our sacrifice! All: Lady and Lord, accept our sacrifice! All are led to send their energy through the gates to the powers, meditating on the deities and the nobles.Senior Druid:Having prayed to the powers, let us open to them, asking what blessings they offer us in return.Omen is taken as usual. The seer then interprets the omen, leading the company to contemplate the things they would ask of the powers, especially as suggested by the omen. Company recenters in preparation for the blessing. (chant: Power of the Spirits)Return FlowSenior Druid:Close your eyes and let your body still. Using your inner vision, let your mind roam to look around and above us. Look at the crowd of friends gathered on this plane and on the other planes. Spirits of this Place, Ancestors and Shining Ones, all of them looking at us with love in their hearts! We ask you now, gathered host, return to us your blessings! Give them to us into this cup of water and this horn of mead. Gathered Host, we ask this of you! Behold the Waters of Life! All: Behold the Waters of Life! We give this first offering to those of the Fold and of the members of the Grove that couldn't be with us tonight. May these blessings give them the strength and nourishment to do what they need!Chant: (by Ian Corrigan and Phoenix) Pour the waters, raise the cup Drink your share of wisdom deep Strength and love now fill us up As the elder ways we keep Share the first loaves, break the bread Eat the fruits of Mother Earth Strength and love now fill us up As the elder ways we keepThanking the Deities (oil)Senior Druid:The mighty ones have blessed us. With joy in our hearts, let us carry the magic from our sacred grove into our lives and work. Each time we offer to the powers, they become stronger and more aware of our needs and our worship. So now as we prepare to depart, let us give thanks to those who have aided us.Goddess:Cailleach Baere, we thank you for being with us tonight. As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in closing, given out of love with nothing asked in return. Cailleach Baere, we thank you! All: Cailleach Baere, we thank you!  Ancestors:Ancestors, we thank you for being with us tonight. As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return. Ancestors, we thank you! All: Ancestors, we thank you! Shining Ones:Shining Ones, we thank you for being with us tonight. As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return. Shining Ones, we thank you! All: Shining Ones, we thank you! Nature Spirits:Spirits of this Place, we thank you for being with us tonight. As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return. Spirits of the Earth, we thank you! All: Spirits of the Earth, we thank you! Gatekeeper:O gatekeeper, warder of the ways, we thank you for being with us tonight and lending us your magic. As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in closing, given out of love with nothing asked in return. Gatekeeper, we thank you! All: Gatekeeper, we thank you! Senior Druid:Mother of all, to you we return all we leave unused. Uphold us now in the world as you have in our rite. Mother of all, we thank you! All: Mother of all, we thank you! Closing the Gates (oil)Senior Druid:Now by the keeper of the gates and by our magic, we end what we began.(each ritual officer closes their gates)Fire:Now let the fire be but flame.Well:Let the well be but water.Tree:Let all be as it was before.In Unison:Let the gates be closed! All: Let the gates be closed!  Reversing the Two Powers ClosingSenior Druid:Go now, children of the earth, in peace and harmony, this rite has ended!Chant: (by Inish) Let us journey on Children of the Earth Carry the Nemetons blessings Into our lives and workAs we journey on Children of the Earth Let the Nemetons blessings Bring peace to home and hearth
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Ian Corrigan's picture
Druid gives nine knocks or musical sounds, pausing 'til the last has died away, saying:Let us begin this holy work in silence, for in silence even the greatest of works have begun, and to the silence they will one-day return. From the silence let us draw the powers of Earth and Sky, of Ancient Waters and Fire from on high to this place, that it might be hallowed to holy magic.Druid blesses the waters, saying:You are the gate of the Earth, the deep way, the holy mouth, and Anu's Cunny.Chorus: By the ladies of the waters, by the lords of waters, by the powers under the Earth, we thank you for the sacred waters.You are the eye of the Earth, mirror of seeing, gate of visions, spring of wisdom.ChorusYou are the mouth of the Earth, sustainer of life, receiver of gifts, giver of blessings.ChorusThe sprinkling bowl is filled from the WellDruid lights (or feeds) the fire, sayingWe kindle the Sacred Fire:In the presence of the Shining Ones, in the presence of the Gods of fire, in the presence of the Goddesses of fire...Without Malice, without envy, without jealousy, without fear or terror of anything under the Sun, and the holy power of the Mother to shield us.O sacrificed and sacrificer, kindle you in our hearts, a flame of wit and heart and strength to bear our offerings and our words to the Gods, the dead and the Sidhe.O you who aid us, friend and foe, high and low, we call you to be with us and bring to us your blessing.The censer is kindled from the fireDruid stands at the Bile and turns once around deosil, saying:Let every light and every shadow proclaim it, let the kindreds of earth, sea and sky acknowledge it. Let it be known among the mighty dead, among the noble ones, among the Gods themselves.By magic's might we claim this ground as holy ground. By the fire in the three worlds, in honor to the shining ones the sacred grove is established.Let all good be welcomed, let all ill be turned away. Thus is this Nemeton claimed and hallowed.So be it!The Grove is now fit for worship.
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Ian Corrigan's picture
(To be included as part of the standard ADF Liturgy) As the Earth falls into sleep the Hag of Baere is wielding her scythe and cutting the green corn down, to sow it again in the later winter's night. She is the Cailleach, the wise and cunning old woman, who passed into seven periods of youth while her husbands passed away behind her, grandmother to peoples and races of the Earth. Her eyes are keen and sparkling like the cold river stream, her hands are gnarled like the twisted roots of ancient trees, and her skin is old and wrinkled like the scattered leaves of autumn. When the Cailleach calls, deep within the forest, deep within the land, we can feel it in our bones, like the roots of old. It is time to come home, into the darkness of the woods, where the old hag will cut us open, and we will grow new again, our frailty and weakness cut down like the corn. Hear us now, Cailleach Baere, Great Ancient Grandmother, Lady of the Deep Forest, Old Witch of the Roots and Cauldron. We your children pray that you be with us, that you look kindly upon our holy rite, and that you come into our Grove and give us your blessing. We give due offering to you. We give you... ( pour into shaft) Precious stone, that the Bones of the Earth may be clothed again in life. (pour into fire) Whiskey, that the Waters of Life May flow in us and Spirit indwell flesh. (sprinkle or tie to Tree) Bone, that the old and unnecessary fall away into peaceful rest. Be welcome among us Cailleach; Great Grandmother, accept our sacrifice! All: Accept our sacrifice!
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Ritual and Practice