Sonoran Sunrise Grove Samhain 2003

Pre-Ritual Preparation

In 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.

Procession

Druid 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 Grove

We 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)

Purification

After 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 Chorus

The 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.

Welcome

Druid 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 Mother

Druid 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 Precedent

Druid 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 Realms

Druid 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 Attunement

Druid 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 Center

Druid 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 Offerings

Druid 1 says:

Druids! Make our Offerings to the Kindreds - the Ancient Ones, the Noble Ones and the Shining Ones.

ANCESTORS

Druid 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 SPIRITS

The 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!

DEITIES

Druid 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 Offerings

Druid 1 says:

Morrigan, Great Queen, we call upon You!

Druid 1 invokes the God.

Druid 2 offers whiskey to the fire and

Sanctifier 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 and

Sanctifier 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 Offerings

The Rite of Letting Go, Acceptance and Claiming

Druid 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 Omen

Druid 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.

Blessings

The Return Flow

Druid 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 Workings

A Dedicant Oath may be taken here.

INSTALLATION OF SENIOR DRUID

Seer 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 JOURNEY

The 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 Gates

Druid 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 Grounding

Druid 1 says:

Great energy has been raised within us this day! Let us be grounded once more.

Seer leads the People in grounding.

The Recession

Druid 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.

Author Information

Rev. Kirk Thomas

Articles by Rev. Kirk Thomas

2018 Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, Inc.

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