Nemos Ognios Spring Equinox Rite - 2005

Ritual Briefing

Opening Rite

When it is time for the ritual, the Priest blows the horn and all gather. The Priest says:

Tu-ste! Tu-ste! Tu-ste!
May we all maintain a holy silence.

The Fire Tender says:

May be we pure that we might cross through the sacred.
May we cross through the sacred that we might attain the holy.May we attain the holy that we might be blessed in all things.

and asperses herself and the others.
She then puts the bowl down. She pours some lighter fluid on the briquettes in the páxur, and lights them, saying:

Shining Lady, unite us all,
for by worshipping at a common hearth
we are made one family, one people.
Queen of the hearth, your household is here.
May we pray with a good fire.

She starts to sing, and the others join in.

Burn on our hearth, o fire of our family,
Shine bright for those who gather around you.
Burn on our hearth, o fire of our family,
Shine bright for those who gather around you.

Here in the center a fire is burning
sending warmth through all of space,
answering to our hearts' yearning,
bestowing splendor on people and place.

Burn on our hearth, o fire of our family,
Shine bright for those who gather around you.
Burn on our hearth, o fire of our family,
Shine bright for those who gather around you.

Flame is a goddess whose sight brings blessing
She is the center of home and hall.
Not towards out, but in addressing,
With awe and with love and with patience we call.

Burn on our hearth, o fire of our family,
Shine bright for those who gather around you.
Burn on our hearth, o fire of our family,
Shine bright for those who gather around you.

She pours butter on the fire and says:

Eat with us,
Share our food,
Share our home.

All: Tód ésto-d.

The Procession

The Priest says:

Set forth upon the shining path,
the ancestral way laid out before us.
Place your feet with measured stride,
in ancient rhythm.

All process to the ritual site, with the Priest in the lead, followed by the Fire Tender. She carries the páxur, and the Priest carries the sacrifice. The honey-milk is carried by someone else, and the plate with the silver by a non-member is one is present, or by a member if not.
Once they arrive at the site, all stop. The Priest says:

Kyi spndntéismés!

All: We are here to worship the gods!

The Fire Tender puts the páxur down and sits to its north, and the Priest puts the pitcher of honey milk just to the east of the ngwnis. He goes to the speltá, puts down the sacrifice there, and stands facing east over the speltá.

The Main Ritual

The Fire Tender offers butter to the páxur, while the Priest says:

With the burning of the fire we take possession
of the land it lights, of the world it warms.

The Fire Tender pours some lighter fluid on the briquettes on the ngwnis, and then uses a match to transfer fire from the cauldron to the ngwnis, while the Priest says:

In the world’s very center we light our fire,
here where the sacred and the mundane meet
Here we light a living flame.
Receive our offerings and bless our rites.

The Fire Tender blows on the briquette to enflame the tinder. As she does this, the Priest says:

With our prayers we feed you,
with the breath of our mouths.

Once the fire is going well, the Priest says:

Listen to my words; see the cosmos about you.

He sings:

The waters support and surround us

He makes a semi-circle with both his hands, extending upwards from a point. He sings:

The land extends about us

He puts his hands in the middle of the top of the semi-circle, palms downward, and brings them out to the ends of the semi-circle. He sings:

The sky stretches out above us.

He makes another semi-circle upwards from the edge of the other one, with his hands meeting at its top. He sings:

At the center burns a living flame.

He puts both of his hands, joined together, in the center of the circle he has drawn (and thus the center of the flat area he has also drawn), and brings them in to touch his heart. He sings:

May all the Kindreds bless us.
May our worship be true.

All: May our worship be true.
The Priest: May our actions be just.
All: May our actions be just.
The Priest: May our love be pure.
All: May our love be pure.
Blessings, and honor, and worship to the Holy Ones.

The Priest says:

Come we together on this holy day
across the distances that lay between us
to this time, to this place,
For one strong purpose:
To worship the Holy Ones in the proper manner
To give proper worship to Xausós
To welcome the spring.

Someone sets up the image of Meitros. The Fire Tender puts butter on the ngwnis, saying:

Binder of Friends,
who brings one to another,
placing the hand of each into each:
Meitro, be our go-between with the gods:
may our path be smooth to them;
may their be smooth to us.

Ghladh pnthóm!
[Make the path smooth!]
Open the way!

All say:

Ghladh pnthóm!
Open the gates!

This is done two more times. The Priest then sets up the image of Xaryomen. He goes to the ngwnis and pours butter on it. He says:

Xaryomen Dhétipotei,

All: Xaryomen, Lord of the Law of the People.

The Priest: Sumeneznz prihonz doxte-r

All: Giver of well-disposed friends.

The Priest: Sus Wésto-r zdhi.

All: Be our good Herdsman.

The Priest: Wedhe no-s som

All: Bring us together.

The Priest: Xrneu no-s sé:m.

All: Make us one.

The Priest: Toi somogénze spendemes.

All: May we worship you as one people!

Each time he prays, he pours more butter.
The person with the dish of silver and dimes, takes it to the regwes, removes the tile, and pours the silver in silently. They go to the speltá and purify themselves with the water in the bowl before returning to their place.
The Fire Tender offers butter on the ngwnis, saying:

May all the Holy Ones come to us
as we worship them here.
May they come to us on the shining path
as we call to them, with proper words.

All: Holy Ones, we worship you with sweet offering.

All sing: "Hail all the Gods."

The Fire Tender (or another women; she'll be called the "Xausós priestess") stands and faces the east. The Priest says:

With fallen fetters, in red-robed splendor,
stream forth, Dawn Maiden, return the herds.

The horn is blown, and all except the Xausós priestess sing:

Out of the too-long darkened east,
come to us, Xausós, illumine the land!
Out of the long-extending night,
come to us Xausós, illumine the land!
Out of the frigid, empty cold,
come to us Xausós, illumine the land!

The Xausós priestess goes to the edge of the space, where she pours out some honey milk, saying:

Xausós, come to us, as cow, not as mare.
Disperse the fog the serpent leaves behind.

The horn is blown. Those in the space sing:

Out of the too-long darkened east,
come to us, Xausós, illumine the land!
Out of the long-extending night,
come to us Xausós, illumine the land!
Out of the frigid, empty cold,
come to us Xausós, illumine the land!

While they sing, the Xausós priestess takes a step, stops, and pours the honey milk again. She says:

Xausós, come to us as cow, not as mare.
With your maidens about you, open the gate.

The horn is blown. Those in the space sing:

Out of the too-long darkened east,
come to us, Xausós, illumine the land!
Out of the long-extending night,
come to us Xausós, illumine the land!
Out of the frigid, empty cold,
come to us Xausós, illumine the land!

While they sing, the Xausós priestess takes another step, stops, and pours our more honey milk, saying:

Xausós, come to us as cow, not as mare.
Do not block the gate; may the sun's path be free.

The horn is blown the horn. Those in the space sing:

Out of the too-long darkened east,
come to us, Xausós, illumine the land!
Out of the long-extending night,
come to us Xausós, illumine the land!
Out of the frigid, empty cold,
come to us Xausós, illumine the land!

While they sing, the Xausós priestess steps to the beribboned pole. She pours out the remaining honey milk (she should have poured half or less before this point) in front of the beribboned pole, and says:

Xausós, come to us as cow, not as mare,
opening the mountain's mouth,
pouring forth the white streaming water.
Xausós, maiden, open the way
for the sun to rise and light the earth.
Stream forth, dawn's light.

The Priest says:

Lady Xausós, do not hold the sun back.
Open your cloak and let her rise,
with the Twins attending,
one on each side.
Let her rise,
attended by her maidens.
Let her rise, and illumine the world.

The Xausós priestess goes to the far side of the Xausós pole, clockwise, and faces the space. She takes the pitcher of the Waters and the pole, Waters in her left hand and the pole in her right, and holds the pole up. Those in the space say:

Dawn has returned, out of the night,
arising from the waters at the edge of the world,
coming as cow, not as mare.

The Xausós priestess goes to the entrance of the space, and stops between the Twins poles. The Priest says:

Attend her, Twins.
Assist her, Diwós Sunú.
Ride with her on either side
where she opens the gates of dawn.

The Xausós priestess enters the space and puts the pole in the holder between the images of Páxuso-n and Xaryomen. She puts the Waters down by the ngwnis and returns to her place. The Fire Tender offers butter on the ngwnis, while the Priest says:

We offer to Xausós,
with glad welcome.
Illumine the land, Shining Maiden.
Open the gateway for the sun
each day as is right.
Accept this offering and our praises.

The Priest lifts the sacrifice and says:

This horse has come willingly, eagerly,
to the place of sacrifice
bedecked with gold
in celebration and beauty.

He puts it down, uncovers it and sprinkles water on it, using his right hand, three times, saying:

A pure offering is this,
without blemish or stain,
fit for the Diwós Sunú.

He puts down the bowl of water, and picks up the bowl of barley in his left hand. He scatters grain from it three times with his right hand onto the sacrifice, saying:

Be blessed and fed with the fruits of the earth.

He then picks up the main sacrifice (that is, the top plate) and brings it clockwise about the space, carrying the bowl of barley as well. Each person takes some barley and throws it on the sacrifice with their right hand. When he returns to his place, he puts the sacrifice down.
He puts down the bowl, holds up the sacrifice, and says:

A proper offering is this,
as it is right to give.
We offer this horse to the Diwós Sunú,

He picks up the knife in his left hand and, carrying the animal in his right, he goes to a point between the fires and a little to the south. He squats and puts the plate and knife down. The Fire Tender motions to the Né:r, who comes and faces her. When the Né:r has arrived, he holds the head of the axe down towards The Fire Tender, who pours butter on it and says:

Pérkweti!

The Né:r goes clockwise around the space, holding the axe upright and out. As he walks, The Fire Tender strikes the bell, and the others join in. They increase the tempo and volume as he walks. When the Né:r returns to the sacrifice, he stands and faces The Fire Tender. She says:

Pérkweti!

The Né:r brings the axe down hard against the sacrifice, and then lifts his axe to a vertical position in front of him and returns to his place. When he hits the sacrifice, everyone stops making noise. The Priest quickly cuts a slice from the right side of the bread, using his right hand. He cuts this in half in turn. He puts the top half into the altar fire, saying:

Diwós Sunú,
here is your share.
Sit down at our table,
and see the meal we have spread out for you.
Hed welkwe!
Eat and be strong!

He holds the bottom half over the fire a moment, then cuts it in two. He eats the top half and gives the bottom half to The Fire Tender. The rest is then distributed. Any extra is burned in the fire or put aside for disposal after the ritual.
The Priest pours mead at the base of the ngwnis, saying:

All the Kindreds, be honored in our midst.
We pour out our offering to you,
like living water,
like grain from a bag.
Drink deeply of the gifts we give.
Pnkwudeiwomus gyhi-gyhúmes

All: Tód hésto-d.

He returns to his place. He says:

Have the folk brought praise?

The Fire Tender says:

They have!

Praise offerings are then made by those who wish. When the last offering has been made, the Priest takes the piece of bread from the bottom plate, holds it up, and says:

Gods and Goddesses,
Holy Ancestors,
Spirits of this place:
If anything that we have done here has offended you,
If anything we have done here has been incomplete,
If anything we have done here has not been done in the proper manner,
accept this final offering in recompense.

He breaks the bread into pieces, and puts once piece on the ngwnis, one on the páxur, one in front of the image of Xausós, one in front of each of the Twins, one in front of the image of Páxuso-n, one in front of the image of Xaryomen, and one in the regwes. He breaks the rest up and scatters it about the space as an offering to the Land Spirits.
The Fire Tender then says:

Diviner, take the omens.

After the divination has been announced, The Fire Tender says:

We hear what the Kindreds have to say,
and are made wise by it.

The Priest pours the Waters into the large bowl and takes it to the fire. He holds the bowl over the fire for a moment and then raises it and says:

Nektérm spékyete!
Behold the Waters of Life!

All reply:

Behold the Waters of Life!

The Priest holds it over the fire again, raises it again, and says:

Nektérm spékyete!
Behold the Waters of Life!

All reply:

Behold the Waters of Life!

The Priest holds it over the fire a third time, raises it, and says:

Nektérm spékyete!
Behold the Waters of Life!

All reply:

Behold the Waters of Life!

The Priest says:

With the gates opened and the offerings made,
we have established the bonds of hospitality with the Kindreds.
And, in return, they have given us this blazing water.

He sings:

Fire in water, water in fire,
Bring inspiration
Bring us your power
Bring us to life immortal.

All sing:

Fire in water, water in fire,
Bring inspiration
Bring us your power
Bring us to life immortal.

The Fire Tender says:

What the Kindreds have given us, we distribute freely.

The Priest ladles some of the Waters into the bowl with the mead and the bread and in the bowl in front of the deity images, while The Fire Tender says:

May the Kindreds always receive their due.

The Waters are then are distributed.
After all have drunk, the Priest says:

Filled with the Mystery of Fire in Water
we rest in the presence of the Kindreds.

There is a pause while all meditate on the divine presence which fills them. Then The Fire Tender makes a final offering of incense into the páxur, while the Priest says:

Blessed ones, may you always be with us.
We give thanks to the Kindreds
We thank all the Kindreds for their many gifts.

All:

Usméi gwrtins dédHmes!

The Fire Tender makes an offering of butter and the Priest says:

You who rise,
who, each day newly young,
bring light and warmth to those who worship you.
Be true, Xausós,
uphold the Xartus,
and we will always have occasion to offer to you,
as we have done today,
and as we do now.
Tébhyo gwrtins dédHmes!

All respond:

Tébhyo gwrtins dédHmes!

The Fire Tender makes an offering of butter on the fire, while the Priest says:

Xaryomen, we give you thanks for your presence and blessings.
May we grow and flourish under your benevolent gaze.

All: Tébhyo gwrtins dédHmes!

The Fire Tender makes an offering of butter on the fire, while the Priest says:

Meitro, this butter to send you on your way,
a gift which will lighten your journey.
Remember our hospitality,speak well of us,
and return at our invitation, bearing the gods in your train.

The Fire Tender offers butter on the ngwnis. When it is burned, she takes a coal from the ngwnis and puts it into the páxur, saying:

The true altar of the people is the hearth.

She then extinguishes the ngwnis with some of the water from the pitcher. The Priest then says:

Extinguished without
but burning within.

All: The living fire flames within us.

The person who had offered the silver goes to the regwes and, with their left hand, and with their face averted, puts the tile back on. They returns to their place and purify themselves.
The Fire Tender offers butter to the páxur, saying:

Lady of Fire, Queen of the hearth,
who by rights receives the last,
bless and guard all those who worship you
whether in their home or without
whether alone or with others
whether thinking of you or engaged in business.
Shining One, receive this offering.

All:

Tébhyo gwrtins dédHmes!

When the butter is burned, she extinguishes the fire by pouring water from the pitcher on it and then putting the top of the cauldron on. When it has finished smoking, the Priest says:

With the hearthfire extinguished,
the center of our sacred world is gone.
With the flow of fiery water ceased,
our sacred site dissolves about us.
We will carry it in our hearts, though,
nestled deep with the love of the gods.

The Fire Tender then says:

We have offered to the Holy Ones
and they have accepted our sacrifices.

The Priest says:

We have worshipped the Old Ones as it is right to do.

The Fire Tender says:

We have done what the people before us have done.

The Priest says:

May we always be mindful of those we have worshiped.
May we always be mindful of them, worthy of worship.
May this grove grow strong, under their watchful eyes.

He pauses, raises his hands in blessing, and says:

On all who have worshiped here:

All: Inspiration, power, peace.

The Priest: On all who revere the Kindreds:

All: Inspiration, power, peace.

The Priest: On all who walk the ancient path:

All: Inspiration, power, peace.

The Priest says:

With the gate closed
With the gods worshiped
We will walk in wisdom.

Author Information

David Fickett-Wilbar (Ceisiwr Serith)

Articles by David Fickett-Wilbar (Ceisiwr Serith)

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