Mother Grove Gaelic Rite

Mother Grove Gaelic Rite

Mother Grove Gaelic Rite

This is an example of a ritual created according to the original ADF liturgical outline. The English prayers were written by Sally Eaton, myself, and others. This particular ritual, with appropiate modifications, has been performed on several High Days by the members of the Mother Grove.

During good weather, the ritual is set up outdoors, in as natural an enviroment as is possible. If the weather is foul, try to use a cave, cabin, yurt or other premedieval enclosure. The altar is set up in or near the center of the grove. Whenever safe, there should be some sort of main fire availiable (in the actual center). Two chalices are on the altar, along with a sickle and a small (ceremonially cut) branch (12" - 18") of a seasonal appropiate tree.

Each person present should have brought a work of art to offer in praise. The presiding clergy should be dressed in long white robes, all others in white tunics or dresses, all with colorful embroidery and trimming. Regardless of culture represented, the general effect should be premedieval.

As currently written, the ceremony assumes that there are two Druids leading, one of whom is more fluent in Irish than the other, who are referred to as "D1" and "D2". All of these lines and actions may be taken by a single Druid, or may be parceled out differently according to local circumstances.

The people are called to order and formed into two parallel lines some short distance away from the grove. D1 and D2 stand at the head of the lines and speak:

D1: Tá muid anseo leis na Déithe a adhradh.

D2: We are here to honor the Gods.

D1: A Dhéithe, a dtugann bhur gcumhacht beatha do gach aon rud atá beo, bígí anseo linn.

D2: O Gods, whose power gives life to everything which is alive, give to us your presence.

All begin to process towards the grove, singing an appropiate song. Those musicians who have instruments that can be played while walking, should do so. Banners and (if safe) torches may be carried as well.

When they arrive at the grove, the lines split and go around the opposite halves of a circle, meeting at the far side. Assuming that there's room to do so, D1 and D2 continue to process around the ring of people in opposite directions, completing a circuit and then going straigt towards the altar. They pass on either side of it, then continue until they are slightly beyond the edges of the ring on the opposite side from their entrance. They then turn inwards and return to the altar (thus making a Druid Sigil: {symbol in originial}). They wind up behind the altar, D1 on D2's right.

In a large congregation, the ring of people will close up behind them. The torches may then be carefully put into the fire, or otherwise disposed of. After all have settled, the following song may be sung by ALL, accompanied by Harp, drum or pipes.

All:

O Earth-Mother!
We praise Thee:
that seed springeth,
that flower openeth,
that grass waveth.
We praise Thee:
for winds that whisper,
through the shining birch,
through the lively pine,
throught the mighty oak.
We praise Thee,
for all things,
O Earth-Mother,
Who givest Life.

D1 leads the Tree Meditation. Musicians present may accompany this.

D2 discusses the deities of the occasion and the meaning of this particular festival.

D1 and D2 invoke the Gate Keeper:

D1: A Oghma, a thiarna na nGeataí, a thiarna an fheasa, oscail na geataí dúinn. Tá muid ag siúl i do lorg, tá muid ag siúl ar do bhealach. Scaoil dúinn do theagasc taispeain dúinn cén chaol a siúl faidh muid slán. Molann muid thu mar gheall ar do chumhacht. Siúil linn a Oghma!

D2: O Ogma, Lord of the Gates, Lord of Knowledge, open the ways for us. We walk in your footsteps, we walk your roads. Reveal to us your teaching, reveal to us the way to walk in safety. We praise you for the brightness of your power. Walk with us, Ogma!

D1: Siúil linn a Oghma...

D2: ...walk with us Ogma!

D1: Siúil linn a Oghma...

D2: ...walk with us Ogma!

D1: Siúil linn a Oghma...

D2: ...walk with us Ogma!

All join in on the following song:

D1: We invoke thee Ogma,
Opener of every Gate

All: We invoke thee Ogma,
Opener of every Gate.

D2: You shall reach us,
You shall teach us
And reveal our fate.

All: You shall reach us,
You shall teach us
And reveal our fate.

ALL repeat until D1 signals. Usually this will be when the four lines have been sung a total of three times each.

The main chalice should now be filled with the Waters of Life (Irish whiskey, preferably), and a secondary cup filled with ordinary water or some other nonalcoholic liquid. Both cups are now consecrated to the Ancestors.

While each is speaking, the other is directing the energy flow, from the center of the grove downwards and out in a radiating cone, and back again.

D1 takes the main chalice in his / her right hand, and the secondary one in his / her left (vice versa if he / she is left-handed), raises both chalices, and speaks:

D1: A sheana, a shinseara, a mhuintir, beannaígí na h-uiscí seo dúinn. Roinnigí orainn ceangal na beatha ar talamh. Roinnigí orainn suaimhneas, eolas, agus beannacht. Labhraígí linn inár gcroí, le go mbeadh muid in aon bhall libhse.

D1 sips from either or both cups, then passes them to D2. When D2 has them firmly in her / his hands, D1 blesses her / him with the Druid Sigil marked in the air, saying:

D1: Seo iad uiscí na beatha!

D2 acknowledges this, then holds the chalices up and repeats the invocation, while D1 controls the energy flow:

D2: People of the old times, our ancestors, our kindred, hallow these waters. Share with us the bond of life upon earth. Share with us comfort, knowledge, and blessing. Speak to our hearts, that we may become one with you all.

D2 sips from either or both, then passes both in a sunwise fashion (to the person on her / his left), blessing them with the Druid Sigil and saying:

D2: Behold the waters of life!

The chalices go around the grove, each person receiving the blessing from one person and passing it along with the cups to the next. Eventually the return to D1 and are placed back on the altar.

The Chalices are refilled, then consecrated twice to the Spirits, all as before, with sipping, passing and blessing. While each is speaking the other is directing the energy flow, from the center of the grove outwards (and back again) on the horizontal plane, not just to the Four Quarters, but in all directions.

D1: A sprideanna na seanaimsire, agus na háite seo, a chomhghuaillithe, a mhúinteorí, beannaígí na h-uisci seo dúinn. Roinnigí orainn athbheochan na Talún. Roinnigí orainn suaimhneas, eolas, agus beannacht. Labhraígí linn inár gcroí, le go mbeadh muid in aon bhall libhse...Seo iad uiscí na beatha!

D2: Spirits of the old times and of this place, our companions, our teachers, hallow these waters. Share with us the renewal of earth. Share with us comfort, knowledge, and blessing. Speak to our hearts, that we may become one with you all...Behold the waters of life.

The chalices are refilled once more, then consecrated twice to the Gods and Goddesses, all as before, with sipping, passing and blessing. While each is speaking the other is directing the energy flow, from the center of the grove upwards and out in a radiating cone, and back again.

D1: A Dhéithe na seanaimsire, a mháithreacha, a aithreacha, beannaígí na h-uisci seo dúinn. Roinnigí orainn bhur gcumhacht le go nginfeadh muid an domhan. Roinnigí orainn suaimhneas, eolas, agus beannacht. Labhraígí linn inár gcroí, le go mbeadh muid in aon bhall libhse... Seo iad uiscí na beatha!

D2: Gods of the old times, our mothers, our fathers, hallow these waters. Share with us your power to regenerate the Earth. Share with us comfort, knowledge, and blessing. Speak to our hearts, that we may become one with you all ... Behold the waters of life!

At this point there should be a double helix of energy spiraling both upwards and down, with a slow vortex of energy coming in from the sides as well. After a pause for all to absorb the invoked spirits, D1 speaks:

D1: Has anyone brought praise for the Lady and Lord of this feast, or for the other High Ones?

All present offer Praise, beginning with D2, and moving sunwise around the grove, ending with D1. Each sings a song, recites a poem, performs a dance or plays a tune in turn. During this offering of Praise, the energies flowing through the grove should slowly become stronger and stronger. The D1 ends his / her Praise.

D1 takes the branch and sickle from the altar and goes to the center of the grove. There she / he holds the branch up in her / his right hand (unless lefthanded), touches the sickle, and offers it as a symbol of the energies already sacrificed.

Instead of a Bhantiarna (o Lady) and a Thiarna (o Lord), the proper names of the deities of the occasion may be substituted. The energies moving through the grove are focused into the branch "and out the other side" to the deities of the occasion.

D1: Téann ár moladh suas chugat ar sciatháin iolar; beitear ár nglórtha suas chugat ar ghuailne na gaoithe. Eistigí anois, a Bhantiarna, a Thiarna, más é bhur dtoil é, agus sinn ag ofráil na h-íobairte seo ar son na beatha. Glacaigí léi, más é bhur dtoil é, agus glanaigí ár gcroíthe, ag roinnt arainn do chuid síochana 'is do bheatha.

D2 joins D1 in holding the branch, and repeats the sacrifice in English:

D2: Our praise goes up to thee on the wings of eagles; our voices are carried up to thee on the shoulders of the wind. Hear now, O Lady, O Lord, we pray thee, as we offer up this sacrifice of life. Accept it we pray thee, and cleanse our hearts, giving to us of your peace and life.

The branch is placed back upon the altar, or (if one is present) into the fire. The energies in the grove should be very still at this point.

D1 asks all present to meditate upon their deepest needs. Those who wish to speak their's out loud may do so. The D1 waits to be sure that all who wish to speak have done so, the turns to D2 and speaks:

D1: Of what does the Earth-Mother give, that we may know of the continual flow and renewal of life?

D2: The waters of life.

D1: From whence do these waters flow?

D2: From the bosom of the Earth-Mother, the ever changing All-Mother.

D1: And how do we honor this gift that causes life?

D2: By partaking of the waters of life.

D1: Has the Earth Mother given forth of Her bounty?

D2: She has.

D1: Then give me the waters!

D2 refills the two chalices and hands them to D1, who consecrates them for the fourth and final time in Irish. The consecrations should be modified to refer to the deities of the occasion. During the consecrations, the energies returning to the grove from the Lord and Lady are focused on the chalices.

D1: A Thiarna, a Bhantiarna, Eistigi agus freagairt orainn! Bean-naigi na h-uisci seo duinn. Muide do chlann, a mhol thu, agus anois iarrann muid ort leigheas, beannachtai, cumhacht agus tinfeadh... Seo iad uisci na beatha!

D2 repeats the consecration for the fourth and final time in English:

D2: O Lord, O Lady, hear us and answer us! Hallow these waters! We your children have praised you, and now we ask from you healing, blessing, power and inspiration .... Behold the waters of life!

The chalices are passed around the grove as before (with sipping, passing and the blessing), filling each person who drinks with the power of the deities of the occasion.

When all have drunk from the chalices, a song or chant should be sung, coordinating the divine energy flow through breath and movement, thusly: on each exhalation while singing, half the energy is sent in both directions around the grove and the rest is sent towards the ritual center of the grove (and thus to the deities of the occasion).

On each inhalation, energy is absorbed from both the other people and the deities. This should produce a rythmic and ever increasing flow, back and forth between the people and between them and the deities. This will fade away natureally as the song ends, leaving all present stronger, healthier and more unified.

If there is an urgent need for healing or other serious magical working to be done, it would take place at this point, when all present have been filled with the powers of the Lady and Lord of the occasion. Alternately, if any members of the Grove are ready for a rite of passage, such as Paganiing, handfasting, funeral, or elevation (such as installation of a new Bard for the grove), this would occur now.

In any case, the presiding clergy should have been notified before the ceremony began, and the necessay tools gathered. Except for an emergency or a rite of passage, the only Druidic spells to be cast in a High Day ceremony should be those of general blessing upon the Grove and the surrounding land (including any ecological magic that may be needed). Magic done at this point of the ceremony is primarily a matter of channeling the divine energy into the person or thing being affected, rather than the additional generation of human energy.

After a pause for silent contemplation, the D1 speaks:

D1: Tá beannacht na Bantiarna agus an Tiarna orainn!

D2: The Lady and the Lord have Blessed us!

D1: With joy in our hearts, let us return to the realm of mortals, to do the will of the Gods and our own.

D2: Every time we invoke them, they become stronger and more alert to the needs of their people.

D1: But now comes the time when we must prepare to depart. So let us give thanks to those whom we invited here today.

D1: A Bhantiarna, a Thiarna, O Lady, O Lord --

D2: Go raibh maith agaibh! We thank you!

All: Go raibh maith agaibh!

D1: A dhéithe na seanaimsiri, O Gods and Goddessess of the old times --

All: Go raibh maith agaibh!

D1: A sprideanna na seanaimsire, agus na háite seo, O spirits of the old times, and of this place --

All: Go raibh maith agaibh!

D1: A sheana, a shinseara, a mhuintir, People of the old times, our ancestors, kindred --

All: Go raibh maith agaibh!

D1: A Oghma, a Thairna na ngeataí, a Thairna an Fheasa, an Fheasa, bíodh na ngeataí idir na saolta a druidte!

D2: O Ogma, Lord of the Gates, Lord of Knowledge, let the Gates Between the Worlds be closed!

D2 leads a brief reversal of the Tree mediatation to provide recentering, grounding of excess energy, and unlinking.

D1 gives the final benediction:

D1: Teigheadh muid amach faoin domhan, agus muid lan-chinnte, gur thug ár n-íobairtí taitneamh do na déithe, gur fhreagair siad ár n-urnaí, agus go bhfuil muid ag dul amach faoin domhan faoina gcoímirce.

D2: Let us go out into the world, secure in the knowledge that our sacrifices have pleased the Gods and Goddesses, and that we go forth upon the Earth under Their protection.

D1: Tá an searmanas críochnaíthe againnn!

D2: We have finished this ceremony!

D1: Bíodh sé -- So be it!

All: So be it!

All may now disperse, perhaps singing a Recessional song.

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Page Information:
"Mother Grove Gaelic Rite." submitted by IsaacBonewits on 15 May, 2019.
Page URL: https://www.adf.org/rituals/celtic/general/mg-gaelic.html

 


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