Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Gods of the Sacrifice


This is another snippet from the ongoing Initiate's Work writing. In the course of thinking about how to introduce students to the (postponed from the first draft of the Dedicant's Work) Patronage of the Deities, it occurred to me that anyone who hopes to take up the work of priesthood (and that includes those who want to do more fully empowered magic) should build a personal relationship with the Earth Mother and the Gatekeeper. I remain very interested in figuring out the mythic relationship between the kind of Lord of Travelers we find in MacLir, and the strange, magic-king Varuna/Odin, and the Agni-type Priest of the Gods. I rather like a Wizard-god figure that might be Manannan Enthroned - not unlike Math ap Mathonwy, but perhaps more vigorous and active. In any case, here's the snippet, with a charm.

Concerning the Gods of the Druid's Work
In every full rite of Sacrifice the Druid seeks the aid of two of the Great Gods. Every rite opens and closes with an offering to the Earth Mother. The Mother of All is the most ancient, a Primal Power of the cosmos itself. For mortals the Goddess is very near and real – she is the Spirit of the Land on which we light our Fires, the River Mother, the Goddess of the Mound. From her the Corn springs and the Well springs. Yet she is also the Underworld Queen, who welcomes the Initiate in deep places, and the Primal Night, the Great Sea of Stars. She is Queen of Heavens, Earth and Hell; Plow-Queen, Spear-Queen and Sovereignty. The Mother is the Tri-functional Queen of the Gods, and the Earth Mother that sustains all mortal life.

The Lord of Wisdom is the Keeper of Gates. It is the Power of Wisdom that allows mortals to speak through the mist to the spirits, and to receive the Blessing in turn. The Druid brings the skills we call magic, and the friendship of the Lord of Wisdom is the power that guarantees the work of the Gate. The Lord of Wisdom is the Wizard King, who works wonders yet helps to maintain the Order of the Worlds. He is also the Wanderer and the Watcher, who moves between worlds, who walks the Mists Between. He is a King in the Otherworld and a teacher of magical ways to the Druid. Beyond the Gate-work of formal sacrifice the Lord of Wisdom is the Guide and Initiator, leading the Druid through the Between to the Isles of Wonder.

In the course of building a personal practice you will work with many of the Shining Gods. The round of seasonal rites brings us before many of them and the jobs we hold, the skills we treasure all lead us toward special relationships with one or a few of the Deities. Those who seek to do the Priest’s work, or to use our rites of sacrifice as a part of personal magical work, will gain by making a special alliance with the All Mother and the Wizard God.
In the course of the Initiate’s Work each student must come to choose which of the cultures of the ancients she will make her focus. Our Druidry encourages us to choose a specific culture and do our work within it, and especially in the matter of the names and forms of the Shining Ones this is important. For those who, like Your Author, have chosen the Gaelic Celtic culture as our focus the choices for the Druid’s Gods are fairly plain. I have for many years honored Manannan Mac Lir as the Lord of Wisdom. In our local work we name the Mother of the Land Aine, as a variant of Anu/Danu that is historically visible. I offer invocations for these, below, for those who might find them acceptable forms.

The Druid who wishes to make his alliance with these Gods should obtain images or grounding-objects for them, and place them on her Home Shrine. Honoring those Powers should become part of regular practice. A small offering of incense or an individual candle can be sufficient for most days.
Invocation of the Druid’s Gods
As a Child of the Earth I come to the Elder Fire.
As a seeker of wisdom I seek to know the Druid’s Gods.
As a Keeper of the Hallows I seek the aid
Of the Mother of All and the Lord of Wisdom.
Mother of the Starry Deep, Mother of the Sea,
Mother of the Green Land and all the beings of the worlds,
I call to you as a Seeker of Wisdom.
Lord of the Sacred Fire, Lord of Roads and Ways,
Lord of Secret Knowledge and the Ways of the Sacred Grove,
I call to you as a Seeker of Wisdom.
I call to you, Gods of the Wise
To come to my Fire and receive these offerings:
Perfumed oil, that even the air be sweet for you.
Silver, fit for a noble guest.
Whiskey, the Waters of Life
Let these gifts be the simple tokens of my awe and reverence.
Let each one be as a thousand, the gifts of my worship.
Behold me, I pray, and let me behold you
In the light of the Fire!
Mother of all and Lord of Wisdom,
Accept my sacrifice!

1 comment:

druidkirk said...

Very nice, Ian, very nice. I do so like your writing. This is what you should be doing instead of reviewing CTP papers.

This is for the new IP booklet you're writing? Woof!