Spring Equinox Rites and Charms

Articles on Ritual and Practice

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Ostara aka Eostre is the Neopagan High Day associated with the Spring Equinox, and thus takes place on or near March 21st. We have no evidence that the ancient Celts celebrated this holiday, but we do know that in Wales the holiday is called Alban Eilir or Mid-Spring. Similar themes are shown to us throughout many cultures - acknowledgment of the lengthening day, the greening of the Earth, hares, eggs and special flowers to name a few.The original feast of Oestre at the Vernal Equinox was a time for ritually blessing the fields and seed. If you wish to participate in the old traditions, try any of the following: Wear the color green, ritually plant seeds, draw water from a running stream before sunrise, dye eggs and decorate with magic symbols to exchange with friends and loved ones.-Taken from The Wheel of the Year at Muin Mound Grove, ADF by Rev. Skip EllisonGrove of the Seven Hills Spring Equinox 2007
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Processional: Folk Process to Earth Mother Mound singing the Earth Mother ChantHonoring the Earth Mother: BrendaProceed to Nemeton singing Come We NowStatement of Purpose & Words of Welcome: Alfred"The folk of the Grove of the Seven Hills gather to celebrate the Equinox, the time of balance, the time to exhale after the long darkness. We gather to welcome the time of light, of warmth, of growth. We gather to honor the healing energies that are beginning to flow through the soil beneath us, in the plants around us, and in the heavens above us. As our Ancestors have done before us, let us pray with a good fire."(light the fire)Prayer for Bardic Inspiration: Chris invokes the Awen Ren"I will pluck the yarrow fair, /That more benign shall be my face, /That more warm shall be my lips, /That more chaste shall be my speech, /Be my speech the beams of the sun, /Be my lips the sap of the strawberry."(offers yarrow to the Fire.)(Re)Creating the Cosmos: Richard"In the deep flow the Waters of Wisdom and Rebirth. Sacred Water flow with in us" (pour offering into Well)."Bright burn the Fires of Inspiration, Transformation, creation and destruction. Sacred Fire, burn within us." (pour offering to Fire)."From the depths to the heights spans the World Tree, the sacred axis of all the realms. Sacred Tree, grow within us" (make offering to the Tree)James will make the sacrifices.Folk will sing Fire, Bright FireOpening the Gates: WolfJames will call on Mananan MacLir as our Gatekeeper Folk chant, "Open the Gates" as Nancy says, "let the Well open as a gate, let the Fire open as a gate, let the Tree span the worlds...Let the Gates be open!" All repeat, "let the Gates be open!"Outsiders: Jeff will deal with the Outsiders. Take offering to Outsiders alter and say "Outsiders, you whose work is not our own this day, you who would disrupt this rite; we make peace with you. Accept this offering and trouble not our working."Inviting the Three KindredsNature Spirits: RenAncestors: (light the lantern) James FireboyShining Ones: AlfredCall to the Ancestors of our Path: Nancy"We remember the pagans who have gone before us; those who honored the Gods we now honor, those who treated with the spirits of nature with whom we today treat, those who trod the Earth, and felt Her call. Those who taught us how to listen, how to pray, how to live within the Sacred cycles."I will pluck the tree-entwining ivy,/to put milk in udder and gland/ with speckled fair female calves,/As was spoken in the prophecy,/On this foundation for a year and a day,/Through the bosom of the [goddess] of life, and of all the powers." (this is said as the honeysuckle vines are passed out)"Where did the snakes go? They went nowhere, they shed one skin and grew another. The path turned, and those who walked it turned as well. We walk that path today. The Earth reminds us that skins, like bark may fall away, but the person, like the plant, endures. We honor the Pagan Ancients, their shed skins enrich the soil that strengthens our roots."Invitation of Beings of the Occasion: Nancy will tell the story of Airmid and Miach and call to them to join us.Praise OfferingsSeasonal Customs: The folk will dedicate and plant a garden plotPrayer of SacrificeJayna: "Miach below us, Airmid above us, we call from the center of the realms. We stand ready to learn the secrets of healing, we stand ready to work the ways of healing, we stand ready to receive the gifts of healing."Chris: "As we reach into the soil, we pray to Miach, he from whom the herbs of healing spring. Mighty physician, bone-mender, strength-giver, hear us and bless our labors."Jayna: "As we set our seedlings and tend these herbs we pray to Airmid, she who knows the end of ills. Shoot-tender, cure-finder, hear us and help us relearn that which has been forgotten. May we heal by root, by leaf, by bloom. Airmid, Miach, accept the gift of our efforts."Nancy: "For luck of men,/For luck of means,/For luck of wish,/For luck of sheep, For luck of goats,/For luck of birds,/For luck of fields,/For luck of shell-fish, For luck of fish,/For luck of produce and kine,/For luck of progeny and people,/For luck of battle and victory,/On land, on sea, on ocean,/Through the Three on high,/Through the Three a-nigh,/Through the Three eternal,/We plant thee now,/we plant thee now."The folk plant their seeds/seedlings.Omen: Nancy will take a Ogham reading and then call for the BlessingFolk will Affirm the BlessingLitany of the WatersNancy will Hallow the Blessing and the folk will share it.Working: folk will sprinkle the Waters over seeds to bless them and fill them with the healing powers of Airmid & MiachThanking the BeingsClosing the GatesThanking the Earth MotherClosing the Rite
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Musical Signal marks the beginning of ritual.Folk process to Nemeton singing We Approach the Sacred Grove.D1: We have come to honor the Gods of our Ancestors.Sacrificer: Let us pray with a good fire as our Ancestors did before us.A Meditation is performed.Nerthus, the Earth Mother, is honored on behalf of the Folk.The Bard offers prayers for the Inspiration of the Folk.A cup of ale is poured, taken from the Nemeton:Dark and twisted, wights unhallowed-you who dwell beyond our stead; who look with malice and with spite upon the work we do. You walk ways shunned by us and yet we call you kin, to selfishness and thoughtlessness and all those parts of man that are less noble and are small and keep us in the dark. To you we make this offering, and at the same time set aside our thoughtlessness and our distractions for the duration of this rite.D1 performs a Hammer Rite by holding the hammer aloft and saying: Hallow and hold this holy stead. Then D1 touches the ground with the Hammer saying Helga va thetta, ok hindra alla ilska.D1 honors the Nine Realms by lighting the nine candles on the Yule log in order:In the middle: Midgard, which we all shareTo the left: Muspellheim, land of fireTo the right: Niflheim, land of iceTo the middle of the right three candles: Helheim and the Halls of the deadTo the left: Svartalfheim deepTo the right: Jotunheim, vastTo the middle of the left three candles: Asgard, and the halls of our GodsTo the left: Alfheim, sweetTo the right: Vanaheim, brightThe Folk sing the Portal Song as the Sacrificer makes the appropriate offerings.D2 recites the historical precedent:We come together on the Equinox to honor Eostre. The Venerable Bede tells us that the upcoming month was called, by our Anglo-Saxon Ancestors, Eostrmonath and that offerings, sacrifices, processionals, and rituals were held for Eostre in that month. Her name is connected to the word for East—She comes to us in the Dawn, She comes to us as the Dawn. She is the rising light, She is the rising life. Light and dark today are balanced, but soon the light will lengthen and hold sway. Let us keep the rites of our Ancestors! Hail Eostre!All the Folk repeat: Hail Eostre!Warrior offers ale to the Gatekeeper:Warder of Asgard, Heimdall, we hail you! Keen-eared, sharp-eyed, biding of Bifrost to you we call! Son of nine mothers, by Fire and by Water watch and ward us as we keep the Old Ways. Aid us now, Bridge-Ward, hold open the Gates! Carry our calling to the halls of the Aesir! By nine flames shining, by waters flowing, by Heimdall's magic, may the Gates be open!Kindred offerings are made to the Landvettir, to the Alfar and Disr, and to the Aesir and Vanir.D1 pours the Blot to Eostre on behalf of the Folk.Unity RiteD1:We gather this day to honor Eostre. Just as our Ancestors honored you, so do we turn to you, bringer of life, bringer of fertility to strengthen and renew our community (offers flowers to cauldron). As memebrs of the Folk of Ar nDraiocht Fein, we honr the unity and the diversity of our community. We are united in kinship with the Spirits of the Earth, with the Ancestors, with the Shining Ones, and we are united in service to all who likewise seek to honor the Kindreds. Eostre, we turn to you to bless the renewed commitment to our community, to its leaders, its fellowships, its members worshipping as individuals and all of our Brothers and Sister of the Pagan Paths. These are the clergy of Ar nDraiocht Fein, may they be blessed and strengthened.D1 makes offerings as D2 reads each name:Barbara Wright, Bard Dafydd, Bjorn Patsson, Caryn MacLuan, Duir, Earrach of Pittsbugh, Epona, Fox, Francesca, Gannd, Gwynne Green, Venus, Ian Corrigan, Issac Bonewitz, Jenni Hunt, Kirk Thomas, Liafal, Matt Ducar, Norma Hoffman, Paradox, Rob Barton, Rob Henderson, Shawn T. Miller, Skip Ellison, and Todd Covert. Purify the hearts of those who lead us in worship, nourish and refresh them on their way.D1: These are the Groves and ProtoGroves of Ar nDraiocht Fein. Eostre, share your good will with them and the communities they serve.D2 recites the litany of the groves:River of Fire Protogrove, Red Maple Grove, Enchanted Desert Protogrove, White Birch Protogrove, Dancing Lights Protogrove, Red Oak Grove, Little Acorn Grove, Three Cranes Grove, Grove of the Other Gods, Grove of the Seven Hills, The 6th Night Grove, Grove of the Midnight Sun, Live Oaks Protogrove, Stone Creed Grove, Shining Lakes Grove, Whispering Lakes Grove, Protogrove of the Mystic Ash, Mugwort Grove, Sassafras Grove, Grove of the Twilight Owl, Cedarlight Grove, Crann Bethadh Grove, Ancient Path Grove, Protogrove of Ash and Thorn, Rogue River Grove, Tear of the Cloud Protogrove, Nemos Ognios Protogrove, Abhainn Glas Protogrove, Muin Mound Grove, Grove of the Sacred Crows, Thistle Dew Protogrove, Earth Dragon Protogrove, Cerridwen's Heart Protogrove, Black Bear Protogrove, Wild Onion Grove, Raven Wood Grove, Raven's Cry Grove, Otter Bay Protogrove, Sonoran Sunrise Grove, Protogrove of the Rising Pheonix, Stone Glen Protogrove, Hallowed Oaks Grove.D1 offers ale as D2 says: As the fellowships of Our Druidry are many, embrace and strengthen them all!D1: For those in our community who honor the Kindreds as individuals and as families; for our fellowship with all who honor the Kindreds, whatever their path—we ask the blessing of Eostre. So May It Be!D2: Accept our sacrifice in behalf of our fellowships (offers ale to cauldron).A Symbel is celebrated.D1 offers thanks to the assembled spirits and entities on behalf of the Folk: This Rite is ended!
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The musical signal will be given to call the folk for the ritual.The folk processes to the ritual site singing The Processional Chant:D1: Wir sind hier um die Goetter zu Ehren.Folk: We are here to honor the Gods.The Fire Maiden (FM) will light the fire and make an offering.FM: Sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. Sacred fire burn within us.Folk: Sacred fire burn within us.FM will then cense the site and the folk.The Keeper of the Well (KW) will pour the waters and make an offering.KW: In the depths flow the waters of wisdom. Sacred waters flow within us.Folk: Sacred waters flow within us.KW will then asperge the site and the folk.The Tender of the Tree (TT) will dress the world tree.TT: From the depths to the heights spans the world tree. Sacred Tree, grow within us.Folk: Sacred tree, grow within us.TT will then asperge and cense the altar.D1: The fire, the well, the sacred tree,Folk: Flame, flow and grow in me!D1: In land, sea and skyFolk: Below and on high!D1: Thus is the sacred grove claimed and hallowed.Folk: So be it!D1: By the cleaning of water and fire let all ill turn away from me and mine. So sind sie!The folk will be led through the Grove Meditation and then sing The Unity Chant - 2.D1 will state the ritual purpose and historical precedent. See Yggdrasill, the cosmic tree, that connects the nine realms, the axis of the universe. Now we call upon Heimdall, the gatekeeper, so we can connect to the realms and the shining ones. Watch the fire and Yggdrasill and see Bïfrost, the rainbow bridge, manifest to us. Heimdall, shining one, guardian of beautiful Bïfrost, son of nine waves and sounder of the ill fated horn, you who can hear the grass grow and even hear the wool growing on the sheep, we ask you father of all men to open the gates. You who teach us the runes and our Wyrd let us walk in your light so we may journey and learn in safety. Leuchten uns hervor, Heimdall.The folk will chant the Gatekeeper Chant.D1: Listen to the music of the universe, the music of Saga and draw inspiration into your hearts. The Bard will invoke Saga:Saga... All hear the ancient one come... Saga... Help us see the harvest... Saga... Guide us to the table... Saga... Sing us tales of wonder Remind us that we are able To drain the cup yet drink again Golden seer of eternal light Fire us with your beloved presence Your song is our own... Saga A cup is poured for the outdwellers and they are acknowledged.D1: Draw the strength of nature as we call the nature spirits.D2: Nature spirits, wondrous wights, we invite you to join with us this day. Hallow these waters. Share with us lore and blessings.D1: Seih den Lebenswassern da!Folk: Behold the Waters of Life!The folk chant Fur and Feather.D1: Remember the wisdom of our past kin as we call them.D3: People of eld, honored dead, our kindred, we invite you to join with us today. Hallow these waters. Share with us lore and blessings.D1: Seih den Lebenswassern da!Folk: Behold the Waters of Life!The folk chant Mothers and Fathers of Old.D1: Feel the protections of the gods as we call them.D4: Patrons, matrons, Shining Ones we invite you to join with us this high day. Hallow these waters. Share with us lore and blessings.D1: Seih den Lebenswassern da!Folk: Behold the Waters of Life!The folk chant Hail all the Gods.The folk are now led in a meditation of recentering and merging of the new energies.D1: Nerthus, earthmother, mother of blessed Frey and Freya, join with us this day as you awaken from your long winter's nap.The folk kneel and kiss the Earth. All stand and the Earth Mother Hymn is sung.The bard now conducts the praise offerings.D1: Have the folk brought praise?Bard: They have.D1: So sind Sie.The Jötuns receive an offering of seed.The last praise offering is the egg hunt, in honor of the fertility of Nerthus.D1 holds up an evergreen branch and says: Our praise reverberates through the rock to you; our voices on the wind. Hear us Nerthus, we pray to thee as we offer up this sacrifice of life. Accept it and open our hearts and give to us of your peace and life. So sind Sie!Folk: So be it!While the omen is being taken the folk will quietly chant Come Druids All.The diviner will reveal the omen.D1 raises the cup:FM: Of what does the Earth Mother give that we may know of the continual flow and renewal of life?Folk: The Waters of Life.FM: And from whence do these waters flow?Folk: From the bosom of the Earth Mother. The ever-changing All Mother.FM: And how do we honor this gift that causes life?Folk: By partaking of the Waters of Life.FM: Has the Earth Mother given forth of her bounty?Folk: She has!D1 takes the cups saying: Nerthus, we have praised you, hallow these waters and give to us of your power and inspiration and vitality. Seih den Lebenswassern da!Folk: Behold the Waters of Life!The cups are passed while the folk chant Share the Waters.D1 says: 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: Nerthus, Wir danken Sie.Folk: Wir danken Sie.D1: Goette, Goettern, Wir danken Sie.Folk: Wir danken Sie.D1: Vorfahr, Ahne, Wir danken Sie.Folk: Wir danken Sie.D1: Naturgeisten, Wir danken Sie.Folk: Wir danken Sie.D1: Saga, Wir danken Sie.Folk: Wir danken Sie.D1: Heimdall, Wir danken Sie.Folk: Wir danken Sie.D1: By the keeper of the gates and by our magic we end what we began. Let the fire be flame and the well be water and the ways between be shut. Lassen die Toren zumachen.Folk: Let the gates be closed.D1: We have done as our ancestors did and as our children will do and the Gods have answered! Let us go out into the world secure in the knowledge that our sacrifices have pleased the gods and that we go forth under their protection. The ritual is at a close.Folk: So sind Sie.The drum begins beating, the sigil breaks up chanting Walk with Wisdom.
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Gleichennacht means "even night" and is a fitting name for the ritual celebrated around the time of the Spring Equinox. Since the signs of spring are a lot more visible at this point than Disting, the Norse goddess of the earth Nerthus is often honored at this time.Gleichennacht RitualOstara Blot and Unity Rite
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(Orphic Hymns # 25, 27, 28, 39, 75 & 77 lifted from www.theoi.com and lightly edited.)OfferingsSeeds - Earth Mother / GaiaBeaded shells - Bardic Inspiration / the MusesJalepeno peppers - OutsidersSilver coin - Well-gateIncense - Fire-gateVanilla - Tree-gateBeer - AncestorsSpice mix - Nature SpiritsOlive Oil - Shining Ones3 feathers - Gatekeeper / HermesPraise offerings - Demeter, Persephone, EosOther StuffSalt - land purificationWater - sea purificationFeather - sky purificationCandle - FireChalice - WellMaple (or whichever is preferred) - TreeBellDivination tool (runes, ogham, cards, etc)PreparationLight the FireFill the Well(1) OpeningNine knells on a bell"This rite shall now begin.""I come today to celebrate the dawning of the springtime of the year. The time for new growth is upon us. May the beginning of the light half of the year bring inspiration to our spirits and hearts. Today is also a day of balance between light and dark. So too let us take stock of ourselves, releasing winter's frozen imobility in favor of invigorating and refreshing warmth."(3) Bardic Inspiration"Daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, diresounding and divine,Renowned Pierian, sweetly speaking nine;To those whose breasts your sacred furies fireMuch-formed, the objects of supreme desire:Sources of blameless virtue to mankind,Who form to excellence the youthful mind;Who nurse the soul, and give her to descryThe paths of right with Reason's steady eye.Commanding queens who lead to sacred lightThe intellect refined from Error's night;And to mankind each holy rite disclose,For mystic knowledge from your nature flows.Clio, and Erato, who charms the sight,With thee Euterpe ministering delight:Thalia flourishing, Polyhymnia famed,Melpomene from skill in music named:Terpsichore, Urania heavenly bright,With thee who gav'st me to behold the light.Come, venerable, various, powers divine,With favoring aspect on your mystics shine;Bring glorious, ardent, lovely, famed desire,And warm my bosom with your sacred fire.""Muses Nine, accept my offering of beaded shells. Inspire my spirit, let my words flow as water, and lend me your many blessings this rite and after."-Orphic Hymn #75: To the Muses(4) Earth Mother Offering"O Goddess, Earth, of Gods and men the source,Endured with fertile, all destroying force;All-parent bounding, whose prolific powers,Produce a store of beauteous fruits and flowers,All-various maid, the eternal worlds strong baseImmortal, blessed, crowned with every grave;From whose wide womb, as from and endless root,Fruits, many-formed, mature and grateful shoot.Deep bosomed, blessed, pleased with grassy plains,Sweet to the smell, and with prolific rains.All flowery daemon, centre of the world,Around thy orb, the beauteous stars are hurledWith rapid whirl, eternal and divine,Whose frames with matchless skill and wisdom shine.Come, blessed Goddess, listen to my prayer,And make increase of fruits thy constant care;With fertile Seasons in thy train, draw near,And with propitious mind thy suppliant hear.""Accept these seeds, Gaia, and may all of your children grow strong this season."-Orphic Hymn #25: To Gaia(5) Outsiders Offering "For those of you whose purposesAre not akin with mineFor any of the energiesWho would work against my rhymeI aknowledge that your purpose hereIs cause for perseveranceBut today instead I ask of youTo give of your forbearanceTake this offering I giveAnd turn the other cheekTurn away and take with youWhatever makes me weak!"Place the offering of peppers outside the ritual space(6) PurificationRub a pinch of salt between the palms."Land firm beneath me, my body is as your soil and stone. Grant me strength and health through your bounty. Earth purify my body."Rinse hands with water."Seas that surround me, my thoughts and feelings are as your waves and currents. Grant me your flexibility, and wisdom as deep as you are. Sea purify my emotions and mind."Brush a feather over the face and hands."Sky around and above me, through which I see the stars, sun, and moon. My soul sings as the many stars twinkle. May your numbers reflect the wealth of my spirit. Sky purify my energy."(7) Two Powers Attunement"Planting myself into the earth, I push my roots down. Reaching into the soil, dark, rich, and nourishing, they search for sustaining water. I dive down deeply, touching the cool waters below, the primordial seas of matter and chaos. I draw this energy up, through my roots, into my body. It fills me, my body, my mind, my spirit, until I am overflowing."Pause to deepen this connection."Reaching outward, into the sky, my branches grow long and strong. My leaves bud and open to the light of the sun, moon, and stars. From far reaching heavens shines the light of creation upon me. I draw this energy down, through my leaves and braches, into my body. It fills me, my body, my mind, my spirit, until I am overflowing"Again pause to deepen this connection."These two powers within me mingle and meld. Becoming mine, combining with my own energy, I am filled with the creative and destructive forces of nature. May these energies and that of the spirit in all things serve me well this day and in those days to come."Pause to feel the energies within and flowing forth from the self into the rite.(8) Opening the Gates"Deep Well diving down belowCurrents creating, springing flowThrough your depths my voice resoundTake my words to those I've foundSacred Well of water holyTake this offering now from meAnd with it, with me here todayHelp me to create the way."Offer a silver coin to the well."Bright Fire flaming into the skyShining forth and dancing highMay my words follow your heat far upTo those who on ambrosia supSacred Fire accept this giftIncense with your own smoke liftWith it help me create the waySo spirits may hear what I've to say."Offer incense to the fire."Mighty Tree spanning through all worldsRoots reaching deep and leaves unfurledHere at the center you grow tall and strongThrough you my voice to all carries alongSacred Tree accept my offering ofVanilla whose scent and spirits I loveStanding here at the crossroads of allMake the way with me so they here my call."Annoint the tree with vanilla.(9) Gatekeeper Invocation"Hermes, draw near, and to my prayer incline,Angel of Zeus, and Maia's son divine;Studious of contests, ruler of mankind,With heart almighty, and a prudent mind.Celestial messenger, of various skill,Whose powerful arts could watchful Argus kill:With winged feet, 'tis thine through air to course,O friend of man, and prophet of discourse:Great life-supporter, to rejoice is thine,In arts gymnastic, and in fraud divine:With power endured all language to explain,Of care the loosener, and the source of gain.Whose hand contains of blameless peace the rod,Corucian, blessed, profitable God;Of various speech, whose aid in works we find,And in necessities to mortals kind:Dire weapon of the tongue, which men revere,Be present, Hermes, and thy suppliant hear;Assist my works, conclude my life with peace,Give graceful speech, and my memories increase.""Hermes, divine messenger, help me open these ways to the otherworlds. Accept my sacrifice, and let the gates be open!"Offer three feathers to Hermes.-Orphic Hymn #27: To Hermes(10) Three Kindreds Invocation"Ancestors of my blood, those of my heart, and those of this land. Join me in this celebration. Guide me through your history, in this rite and in days to come. Ancestors, accept this offering!"Offer beer to the Ancestors."Hear me Spirits of Nature, nymphs, satyrs, centaurs, and your kin; spirits of these lands, skyflyers, sea-swimmers, and land-striders. Join me in this celebration of Spring. Guide me through your forests and fields, rivers and lakes, mountians and clouds. Nature Spirits, accept this offering!"Offer a spice mix to the Nature Spirits."Shining Ones unnamed today. You of my hearth and home, those of this and other worlds, I honor you all. Join me in this celebration and be most welcome. Guide me in this life and those to come. Shining Ones accept this offering!"Offer olive oil to the Shining Ones.(11) Deities of Occasion - Offerings and Invocations"Daughter of Zeus, almighty and divine,Come, blessed queen, and to these rites incline:Only-begotten, Hades' honored wife,O venerable Goddess, source of life:'Tis thine in earth's profundities to dwell,Fast by the wide and dismal gates of hell:Zeus holy offspring, of a beauteous mien,Fatal, with lovely locks, infernal queen:Source of the Erinyes, whose blest frame proceedsFrom Zeus' ineffable and secret seeds:Mother of Eubouleos, Sonorous, divine,And many-formed, the parent of the vine:The dancing Hours attend thee, essence bright,All-ruling virgin, bearing heav'nly light:Illustrious, horned, of a bounteous mind,Alone desired by those of mortal kind.O, vernal queen, whom grassy plains delight,Sweet to the smell, and pleasing to the sight:Whose holy form in budding fruits we view,Earth's vig'rous offspring of a various hue:Espous'd in Autumn: life and death aloneTo wretched mortals from thy power is known:For thine the task according to thy will,Life to produce, and all that lives to kill.Hear, blessed Goddess, send a rich increaseOf various fruits from earth, with lovely Peace;Send Health with gentle hand, and crown my lifeWith blest abundance, free from noisy strife;Last in extreme old age the prey of Death,Dismiss we willing to the realms beneath,To thy fair palace, and the blissful plainsWhere happy spirits dwell, and Hades reigns."-Orphic Hymn #28: To Persephone"O Universal mother, Demeter famedAugust, the source of wealth, and various named:Great nurse, all-bounteous, blessed and divine,Who joy'st in peace, to nourish corn is thine:Goddess of seed, of fruits abundant, fair,Harvest and threshing, are thy constant care;Who dwell'st in Eleusina's seats retired,Lovely, delightful queen, by all desired.Nurse of all mortals, whose benignant mind,First ploughing oxen to the yoke confined;And gave to men, what nature's wants require,With plenteous means of bliss which all desire.In verdure flourishing in honor bright,Assessor of great Dionysus, bearing light:Rejoicing in the reapers sickles, kind,Whose nature lucid, earthly, pure, we find.Prolific, venerable, Nurse divine,Thy daughter loving, holy Proserpine:A car with dragons yoked, 'tis thine to guide,And orgies singing round thy throne to ride:Only-begotten, much-producing queen,All flowers are thine and fruits of lovely green.Bright Goddess, come, with Summer's rich increaseSwelling and pregnant, leading smiling Peace;Come, with fair Concord and imperial Health,And join with these a needful store of wealth.""Today I wish to honor the lovely ladies of Spring. Persephone, your return from the underworld is celebrated, as is your mother, Demeter, for giving forth again of her earthly bounty. Demeter and Persephone, join your magics this spring and summer, and bring us fruitful, bountiful seasons. Show the busy honey bees your extra special care. Lovely goddesses, accept my offering!"-Orphic Hymn #39: To DemeterOffer praise offerings to Demeter and Persephone."Hear me, O Goddess! whose emerging rayLeads on the broad refulgence of the day;Blushing Eos, whose celestial lightBeams on the world with reddening splendors bright:Angel of Titan, whom with constant round,Thy orient beams recall from night profound:Labour of every kind to lead is thine,Of mortal life the minister divine.Mankind in thee eternally delight,And none presumes to shun thy beauteous sight.Soon as thy splendors break the bands of rest,And eyes unclose with pleasing sleep opressed;Men, reptiles, birds, and beasts, with general voice,And all the nations of the deep, rejoice;For all the culture of our life is thine.Come, blessed power! and to these rites incline:Thy holy light increase, and unconfinedDiffuse its radiance on thy mystic's mind.""Eos, goddess of the dawn, this is the dawn of the year, and thus your time. The transition from dark to light is one most welcomed by me and the land here. Spring is now upon us, may your light draw forth the green of growing things, and also draw forth my own inspiration, drive, and learning. Your light calls me to come into nature. Eos, accept my offering! May we all celebrate and sing in the time of Spring!"Offer praise offerings to Eos.-Orphic Hymn #77: To Eos(12) Prayer of Sacrifice"Ancestors and Spirits of NatureAnd Shining Ones most lovelyHere I have called unto youWith offerings made holyUp with the fire, down through the wellThroughout with sacred TreeMy voice you hear again todaySounding offerings to theeFor my mistakes I ask forgivenessAs I give the best I canMy wish is for your magics aid;Guide me with your shining hands!"(13) Omen"I take this omen so I may know the will of the gods, within this rite and within my life. May the Shining Ones be kind!"Shuffle and pull three cards/runes/oghams at random. Think on their first impressions and on their deeper meanings as interpreted.(14) Return Blessing (given a positive omen)Calling - "I ask you now Shining Deities, to give of your many blessings. I call forth your gifts into this cup. May your energy infuse this drink, and thus infuse me with your magic. Behold the Waters of Life!" Drink from the chalice. Hallowing - "Make sacred the liquid within this chalice. Put into it your light and love. Into it pour your blessings to me. Within me may your gifts shine bright! Behold the Waters of Life!" Drink from the chalice. Affirmation - "Today I am blessed in this rite, in calling on you. In my life am I blessed in knowing you. As the Waters of Blessing flow through me, my body, my mind, and my spirit, they are filled with your very essence. Behold the Waters of Life!" Drink deeply this time and contemplate the entire construct of the rite.(15) Workings(16) Thanking the Beings"I thank the lovely Shining Ones for their gifts and many blessings. Deities of the day, Eos, Demeter and Persephone, I thank you again and again!""To the ancestors and spirits of nature who have also joined me this day, I thank you much!""I also thank you, wild outdwellers, for staying outside of this space and leaving this rite in peace.""To my lovely Muses, I thank you dearly for your inspiring ways.""And I thank as well the Earth Mother, Gaia, for this land, your bounty, and my body, the vehicle through which I am able to give you honor."(17) Closing the Gates"Hermes, I thank you as well for all your aid, and I ask you again to help me close these gates. Let the Sacred Flame be but fire, the Sacred Well be but water, and the Sacred Tree be but a tree. Until I call on you again, let the gates be closed!"(18) Releasing the Two Powers"Now into the sky from me flows the powers of creation. Into the earth flows the powers of chaos. Into normal time and space I return, into the realm of man and earth, but within me remains the blessings of the Kindreds!"(19) Ending"I thank all again as this rite comes to a close. This rite is done. May I go forth with blessings to bless the world in return!"Nine knells on a bell.


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