Raven's Cry Grove Summer Solstice

OFFICIANTS: Presiding Druid (PD)
Sacrificer (SAC)
Bard (BARD)
Other Druids (D1, D2, etc.)


Cauldron filled with water (some from the members homes) Fire altar, to be lit from a candle brought from the PD's home Bile (sacred tree)

Call to the Rite Thrice-three chimes announce the rite.

Protecting the Hallows A Druid (D1) lights a flame in the South and speaks:


"Ancient and Dark Ones of the deep and the wild, You who held this place of old and would hold it once again, I light this flame against your return, But invite you to take of it what warmth you will."


An offering of grain (or other food) is made to the South of the Hallows.


"Accept this offering and trouble not our rite, Nor hinder the forces of prosperity in this time. Biodh se." All: "Biodh se amhlaidh."


Go raibh maith agaibh; thank you. Brothers and Sisters, you may enter the Nemeton."

Participants enter the Hallows, sunwise. A chant may be sung at this point.

Statement of Purpose

When participants are settled and the altar fire is lit, PD speaks:

"May we pray with a good fire. As our Ancestors did in times before and our children may do in times to come, Let us honor the Gods in the Old Ways. This is the time of the Solstice, when the Sun is at its height and the Land graces us with abundance. But this also marks a turning of the year, a turning toward the dark half of the year. This is a time to honor prosperity and fertility, but it is also a time to remember that all gifts have a cost. It is our custom--as with so many others at this time--to honor the dying God. In our Grove, we honor Miach, the Irish god of healing, who, in dying, brought healing herbs to the Land. In the Celtic Lands, Midsummer is the time to gather these herbs. We shall hear the tale of Miach and his sister, Airmid, shortly."


If it is deemed desirable, PD leads a meditation at this point.

Invocation of the Awen BARD:

" A Bhrid! Lady Brigit! We call on you to guide our rite in the way of truth. Let our words be fit and so our hearts. Let it be so--biodh se amhlaidh!" All: "Biodh se amhlaidh!"


Consecration of the Hallows


"Let us begin by sanctifying the Hallows by which we make offering."

The Well: D1:

"Sacred Source, Cauldron of making and unmaking, Fathomless Sea, bountiful Spring, Mother of the Rivers, you who were known of old as Danu. We honor you here with this offering. May we be nourished in body and mind by you."

An offering of silver is made to the Well.

"Uisci naomh, sruthaigh ionainn. Sacred Waters, flow within us."

The Fire: D2:

"Sacred Fire, sacrificed and sacrificer, You who rise to meet your Father the Sun And your Sister the Moon, Holy flame of hearth and altar, known of old as Belenos. We honor you here with this offering. May we be strengthened in spirit and honor by you."

An offering of oil is made to the Fire.

"Tine naomh, loisc ionainn. Sacred Fire, burn within us."

The Bile (Sacred Tree): D3:

"Sacred Tree, rooted deep and crowned high, Center of the Earth and axis of the Worlds, Most honorable of the Kindred of this place. May your roots drink deep of the Waters below." Water from the Well is poured at the base of the Tree. "May you draw life from the Fire of the Heavens." The Tree is censed with incense lit from the Fire. "You hold the very mystery of Life, Piercing the Sky, yielding to the Waters, We honor you here with this offering. May we grow in love and courage Each time we gather around you."

The Tree is annointed with fragrant oil.

"Crann naomh, fas ionainn. Sacred Tree, grow within us." All: "Sacred Tree, grow within us."

Purifying the Participants


Let us make ourselves ready for the working of the rite."

Druids cense and asperge the participants as the Call for Peace is made: To the East: PD:

May there be peace in the East, ancient Leinster, source of Prosperity."

To the South: PD:

"May there be peace in the South, ancient Munster, source of Harmony."

To the West: PD:

"May there be peace in the West, ancient Connacht, source of Wisdom."

To the North: PD:

"May there be peace in the North, ancient Ulster, source of Strength. Here in the Center, let peace rule over this rite." Biodh se amhlaidh."

All: "Biodh se amhlaidh."

Opening the Gates to the Otherworlds


"We now call on Manannan Mac Lir, Our Lord of the Gates to the Otherworlds, To make open the portals for our worship."


"A Mhanannain Mac Lir, Gatekeeper, Sidhe King, Shrouded in mist or met at the crossroads, Let our words sound in the depths of the Well."

Oil is poured on the waters of the Well.


"Let our words rise on the Fire to the Shining Ones."

Oil is poured on the Fire.


"Let the Sacred Tree carry our words to all the Worlds."

Oil is annointed on the Tree.

"A Mhanannain Mac Lir, oscail na Geatai anois. Let the Gates be open!"

Invoking The Three Kindreds


"Let us now give honor to the Three Kindreds, That they may honor us in return."

Honoring the Ancestors


"A Shinseara! Ancestors! You who guide our steps, You who carry the honor of the People to the Otherworlds, We honor you here."

Ale is poured in the Well and the remainder set in a cup on the altar.


"We honor you with the first portion and offer this cup for your taking. Ancestors, come to our hearthside and guide us in our rite. Biodh se amhlaidh."

All: "Biodh se amhlaidh."

Inviting the Spirits of the Land


"A Sprideanna na talaimh! Spirits of the Land! Kindreds of fur, fin, and feather, Of bark, leaf and blossom, of rock, soil, or crystal. Fair folk, green kin, and totem beasts! We honor you here."

Flowers or fruit or the like is placed amongst the Hallows.


"We thank you for sharing this place with us and offer these gifts in return. Earth Spirits, come to our hearthside and join us in our rite. Biodh se amhlaidh."

All: "Biodh se amhlaidh."

Offering to the Deities


"A Dheithe! Shining Ones! Highest and mightiest, First among the Kindreds, worthiest of honor, Ancient of the Tuatha De Danann, we would offer to you in this place. Deities of this place, known to us or unknown, Gods and Goddesses of all those here, Patrons and Matrons, We would offer you like honor. Join us at our fire, o Shining Ones. A Dheithe, glacigi ar n-iobairt seo! Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice!"

All: "Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice!"

Oil is poured on the Fire

Honoring the Patrons of the Rite


"Attend now the tale of Miach, ancient bringer of healing, of his sister, Airmid, and of his sacrifice at the hands of his father, Diancecht."

One of the Druids recounts the tale (to be provided in advance, of course) of the slaying of Miach by Diancecht and of Airmid's attempt to preserve the healing herbs brought forth from his grave on her mantle, the Brat Airmid.


"As Miach, in dying, brought forth healing herbs, let us now ourselves make offering of this effigy and see what it will offer to the Land and the People."

A large god-mask in straw is brought forth. One of the Druids steps forward with a sword.


“As Diancecht slew his son by cleaving his head in twain providing a harvest of healing herbs, let us likewise deal with this effigy and see what it may offer to the Land and the People”

The Druid slashes open the mask with the sword.


"Tear apart the man of straw and cast him in the Fire...will he live again?"

The participants are urged to tear the straw of the great mask apart and cast it on the Fire. An effigy made of herbs on a litter is revealed when this action is complete.


"And here we see the healing herbs, cultivated at this season for centuries."

D1: Offers an explanation of the various herbs and their properties.


"But Diancecht, the master physician of the Tuatha De Danann, would not allow mankind the gift of perfect health and healing. And so these herbs, having been made known, were scattered. And so we shall, knowing that we can only reclaim them through patient nuture and cultivation, but trusting that the Land holds them in trust for us when we need them.. So let us carry forth this Green Man and scatter him on the Earth as token of our trust in the Land to provide what we need."

The gates of the ritual site are opened and the people process out, the Green Man before them. Upon reaching a suitable patch of earth, the people are offered an opportunity to offer praise.

Praise Offerings


"Let any who would offer praise here do so."

Time is allowed for all who so wish to make praise offerings.

Main Offering


"We will allow those who wish to make further offerings to the Hallows of the Nemeton before we conclude the rite, but now, let us return these gifts to the Land in trust."

The people scatter the herbs, asking whatever in return they may.

Taking of the Omen


"Having made offering to the Gods, let us see how our offering was received."

SAC consults ogham (or runes) and announces the results of the omen-taking. If the omen is inauspicious, further offerings may be made and a second omen taken. If the omen is again unfavorable, the rite should be ended, with due thanks made to the Kindreds. If the omen is auspicious, the rite proceeds and the participants process back to the Hallows.

Seeking the Blessings of the Deities

As the people enter the ritual site, one of the Druids (D2) is waiting with the cup elevated.


"In our custom, a gift calls for a gift. Having offered to the Shining Ones, We seek their blessings in return."

PD pours ale (or the like) into a cup and holds it up.


"Shining Ones, we seek the blessings of the three Cauldrons, Of Wisdom, of Plenty, and of Rebirth. We would share in your magic. And so we say as one folk: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!"

All: "Shining Ones, give us the Waters!"


"We would stand in fellowship with you And feast at your side and proclaim ourselves your People. And so we say again: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!"

All: "Shining Ones, give us the Waters!"


We have offered of our love and our work to you; We have shared our hearthside, And, as a gift calls for a gift, We say one last time: Shining Ones, give us the Waters of Life!"

All: "Shining Ones, give us the Waters of Life!

PD elevates the cup saying:

"Is iad seo na h-Uisci Beatha! These are the Waters of Life!"

The cup is passed among the participants.


"As you share in the blessings of the Mighty Kindreds, Do not hesitate to salute or otherwise honor them. At this time, the Gates are still open and offerings may yet be made."

When all have had a chance to drink from the cup and make any offerings, the rite proceeds.

Thanking the Kindreds


"Let us now give thanks to the Powers we have honored here." (The same Druids who offered to invite each Kindred thank them here:)


"Miach, Airmid, grave Diancecht, go raibh maith agaibh. We thank you."

All: "We thank you."


"A Dheithe! Deities! Go raibh maith agaibh. We thank you."

All: "We thank you."


"A Sprideanna na Talaimh! Earth Spirits! Go raibh maith agaibh. We thank you."

All: "We thank you."


"A Shinseara! Ancestors! Go raibh maith agaibh. We thank you."

All: "We thank you."


"A Bhrid! Lady Brigit! Go raibh maith agat. We thank you."

All: "We thank you."


"To all those Powers that have aided our rite, We say once more: go raibh maith agaibh. We thank you."

All: "We thank you."


"We return to the Earth those blessings we have left unused." SAC makes libation from the blessing cup.

Closing the Gates


"We call once more on Manannan Mac Lir to close the gates."


"A Mhanannain! Gatekeeper and Sidhe King! We thank you for guiding our prayers to the Otherworlds. We thank you for guiding and warding our steps in all the Worlds. Let the Fire now be but flame. Let the Well now be but water. And let the Tree now be no more than the true heart we carry forth from this place. A Mhanannain Mac Lir, dun na Geatai anois! Let the Gates now be closed!"

Closing of the Rite


"As we started, so let us end."

Thrice-three chimes are sounded.


"Brothers and sisters, go in peace and blessings. The rite is ended."

The Participants may process forth from the Hallows as deemed appropriate. Feasting ensues...

Author Information

Todd Covert

Articles by Todd Covert

Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, Inc.

Please consider Donating to ADF

Report out of date page via email

Technical Difficulties? Email adf-webmasterat_signadf.org

Suggestions for the Mother Grove? Email adf-suggestion-boxat_signadf.org

ADF, P.O. Box 84, Wickliffe, OH 44092-0084