Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Solitary Druid Ritual

Just for archival purposes I'm going to post this rite here, so that there will be a full-script example of an ADF ritual on this blog. This rite is based on the old Simple Rite of Offering, with longer Kindred calls, and some new language for the Blessing. The genera intent of the rite is to give the student an opportunity to meet the Kindreds at the fire. Old hands may be interested in some of the new language for hallowing and receiving the Blessing.
A Rite of Offering and Calling To All the Spirits.
You should have a completed Shrine, and a good, comfortable seat placed before it, located so that you can reach all sections of the work area. Materials Needed: Small bell, fire-pot or candle & censer with incense (the Fire), cauldron with blessed water - (the Well), world tree symbol, a horn or cup for pouring and drinking, an offering bowl before the Fire if the rite is indoors, offerings (corn meal, silver, olive oil or essential oil, or incense, ale, bread and salt, herbs and small chips of semi-precious stones) ale, fruit juice or water for drinking, and a tool with which to take an omen.

1: Give nine knells on a bell, then raise hands to the sky, and say:

I am here to honor the gods, and to seek the wisdom of the Old Ways. Be with me, all you Gods and Spirits, in my working; forgive any errors, and grant me, I pray, your blessing.

2: Offer a pinch of corn meal onto the ground, saying:

Earth Mother, I am your child. Mother of all I pray you bless and uphold my rite, as you uphold the whole world. Earth Mother, accept my sacrifice!

Place your hands on your heart and open to the light of inspiration, saying:

Sky Father, Fire of Inspiration, attend the shrine of my soul. Quicken my tongue that I may work this rite in beauty.

Set a small offering of drink aside to the south of the ritual space, saying:

Outdweller spirits, hear me! You ancient dark ones, you who stood against the gods and in your striving helped to make the worlds, any spirits who might wish ill upon this work, accept this offering and trouble me not.

3: State the purpose of the rite, saying:

I have come to do as the wise ancients did, to make offering to the powers and to bless my body, my mind and my spirit with the blessings of the Gods and Spirits. As our forebears did, so do I do now, and so may my descendants do after me.
I seek the Wisdom of the Elder Wise, to know the Ancestors, the Landspirits, and the Shining Gods and Goddesses. I seek to be strong in the Sacred Center, to hear the Voice of the Fire and Water, and hold their power in my hands, to see and know the spirits, and be seen and known by them. This I do that I may grow in health, and wealth and wisdom, in wisdom, love and power, in service to the spirits, to the folk and to my own being. To those ends, I will hallow this Sacred Grove.

4: Offer silver into the cauldron, saying:

In the deeps flow the waters of wisdom. Sacred Well, flow within me.

5: Make an offering to the Fire, saying:

I feed the sacred fire in wisdom, love and power. Sacred Fire, burn within me.

6: Sprinkle and cense the world-tree, wand or self, saying:

From the deeps to the heights spans the world-tree. Sacred Tree, grow within me.

7: Sprinkle everything with sacred water, and cense all with incense from the Fire; see the Powers flowing in the whole Shrine turning away ill, repeating three times:

By the might of the Water and the light of the Fire, this Grove is made whole and holy

Spread your hands, and encompass the whole shrine in your awareness, saying:

Let the sea not rise, and all ill turn away.
Let the sky not fall and all ill turn away.
Let the land hold firm and all ill turn away.
Before me bounty, behind me wisdom
On my right hand magic, on my left hand strength

Contemplate the worlds and the Shrine, saying:

The Fire, the Well, the Sacred Tree, flow and flame and grow in me!
In Land, Sea, and Sky, below and on high! Thus is the Sacred Grove claimed and hallowed. So be it!

9: Offer oil or incense to the fire, saying:

I make this offering to the Keeper of the Gates. Gatekeeper, Lord of the Between, Keeper of Roads and Opener of Ways, join your magic with mine to guard and ward the gate of this working. Gatekeeper, accept my sacrifice!

Make a deosil triskel or spiral over the Fire, saying:

In every place where Triads meet, there is the Center of the Worlds.
Let this sacred center be the boundary of all worlds, that my voice be carried and my vision see.
Now let the Fire open the Gate
Let the Well open the Gate
Let the Tree hold fast the Way Between.
Open as an eye of seeing
Open as a mouth of speaking
Open as an oaken door, between this Sacred Center and the Otherworlds.
By the Keeper of Gates, and by my Will and Word, let the Gate be open!

10: Prepare the offerings for the Three Kindreds, and say:
Gods and Dead and mighty Spirits, Powers of Land and Sky and Sea,By Fire and Well and sacred Tree, offerings I make to thee!

• O Mighty Ones, my Ancestors, my kindred; I your child honor you, and ask you draw near my hearth.
You whose life and death creates my life, you whose wisdom upholds my wisdom,
Elder Clans of the Wise, the Warriors and the Keepers of Land, here I give you your due welcome.
To those who dwell below, to those who dwell above, to the tribes of spirits in land, sea or sky.
Hear your true worshipper (your name) as I make due sacrifice to the Dead, the Spirits & the Gods.
And to the Wise Dead I call.
Priests and Priestesses, Seers and Oracles, Singers and Magicians and Sacrificers,
hear me as I call to you.
I have come to the Well and Lit the Sacred Fire – let us meet at the Crossroad, at the Tree of Worlds.
To you who hear me, I offer this offering. (offering of ale)
To you who would teach and aid, I offer this offering, (offering of bread)
To all you who come without harm, I offer this offering (offering of salt)
Whisper to me, Wise Ones, teach the Old Ways for New Days.
Bless my work and aid me to gain from my seeking.
Let the voice of the Wise be heard in the World.
O Mighty Ancestors, I honor your presence, offering my love and worship.
Be with me in my grove and in my heart, and accept this gift in token of my kinship.
All the offerings are given, with an offering of ale, saying:
“Ancestors, accept my sacrifice!”

• O Noble Ones, my Allies, with whom I share the worlds, I ask you welcome me in your places.
You who fill the land with wonder, Spirits of Stone and Stream, Red blood and Green sap,
Tribes of Spirits, the Peoples of the Otherworld,
Here I give you your due welcome.
To the spirits of this land on which I dwell, in which I light the Fire,
I offer a welcome and give an offering.
Spirits in the waters, spirits in the soil, spirits in the stone, spirits in the wind,
And the spirits in the beams of sun and moon, I honor your presence.
Tribes of spirits in the land, Noble Ones, you who rule the Lovely Court, I would be your ally.
Meet me at the crossroad, Noble Ones, see me at my Fire and show yourselves to me in this light.
To you who hear me, I offer this offering. (offering of incense)
To you who would teach and aid, I offer this offering, (offering of stones)
To all you who come without harm, I offer this offering (offering of whiskey)
So dwell with me in peace Noble Ones, and let there be good will between us.
Peace on the land, within the sea, beneath the sky, and I will give you proper offerings.
O Noble Spirits, I honor your presence, offering my love and worship.
Be with me in my grove and in my heart, and accept this gift in token of my friendship.
All offerings are given along with an offering of incense. Cry:
Landspirits, accept my sacrifice!

• O Shining Ones, my Elders, Goddeses and Gods of All Realms, I ask you to draw near to my spirit.
O Wisest and Mightiest, loving and comforting, wrathful and wild, you who sustain all the worlds,
First Children of the Mother, the Tribe of the Goddess
Here I give you your due welcome.
To all the Gods who see my Fire, who hear the voices in my Well, I offer welcome.
To the Mother of This Land, First Goddess, Queen of Land, Sea and Sky, I make due offering.
To the Lord of Wisdom, Magician-God, Lord of Secrets and Priest of the Fire I make due offering.
To the Gods of my hearth, known or unknown, Shining Powers of Blessing, I make due offering.
To you who hear me, I offer this offering. (offering of scented oil)
To you who would teach and aid, I offer this offering, (offering of precious metal)
To all you who come without harm, I offer this offering (offering of mead)
Reveal yourselves to me in your beauty, Shining Ones,
Guide my soul to the Center
And brighten my spirit in reflection of your Light.
O Shining Deities, I honor your presence, offering my love and worship.
Be with me in my grove and in my heart, and accept this gift in token of my kinship.
Drink from the horn is spilled on the ground or into the bowl. Cry:
Shining Ones, accept my sacrifice!

Pause for a moment and feel and envision the Gods and Spirits approaching your Grove. Prepare a final offering, and gather up all your worship and aspiration toward the Gods and Spirits, as you make the final sacrifice, saying:

Hear me my kin, my allies, my elders, I pray, and make your wisdom open to me, let your love flow with mine, and your power be strong with me. Mighty, Noble and Shining Ones, turn your faces toward my Fire, and join me now in my Grove! Oh Host of the Holy, I call you on the Spirit Road; by the Four Winds and the Nine Waves, by the World Tree’s root and branch. By Fire’s light and Well’s might, come to my call, be welcome at my Fire, and accept my sacrifice! (make final offering)

13: Take up your divining tool of choice and meditate on the patrons and on the intention of this rite. Cast for a simple omen, with this charm:

Spirit of the Gift, Spirit of the Song, Spirit of Destiny
Give me the gift of seeing, let me hear the song of the Turning of the Worlds
Mighty, Noble & Shining Ones, I have offered to you.
Now let the true sight be in me, the true speech be mine,
Answer me now, O spirits, what blessing do you offer me, in return for my offerings?

Draw the symbols and lay them outbefore you, perhaps reciting their names and meanings aloud. Meditate on the omen, seek to understand what blessings the powers offer in return for the sacrifice. Then, compose of all this - the image, the intention, and the omen - into a single gestalt of energy.
14: With the omen in mind, lift the Coire Beannacht and call for the Blessing, saying:

Now I call to the Holy Ones, to the Elder Wise,
To the Kings and Queens of the Land,
To the Mother of Blessing and the Lord of Wisdom.
Send me your Blessing in Three Steams
From the Well of Wisdom,
From the Cauldron of the Mead.
Send me your Blessing in Three Steams
Into the Three Cauldrons
Into the Vessel of Blessing.
Send me your Blessing in Three Steams
Fill me with the Blessing
Of wisdom, love and power.
15: Pour the drink into the Cauldron and breathe the combined energy current into the drink saying:
I call upon the Holy Ones to give to me as I have given to you,
as a gift calls for a gift.
Let this be the Vessel of Blessing
And let this be the Draft of Blessing.
Let it shine and flow in this mead.
I open my heart to the flow of your blessing, I, your child and worshipper.
Behold the waters of life!

Reverently drink most of the blessing, perhaps sprinkling any object to be consecrated in the work as well. Meditate on the influx of spiritual current.

16: With the Blessing in you, find your Center and your Power and settle into a trance of vision. Open your eyes to the Inner reality of your Grove, and recite this briocht:
By deep Well and bright Fire
By the World Tree’s root and branch
I come before the Gods
May I be the Kin of the Mighty Dead
May I be the Ally of the Noble Spirits
May I be the Blessed Child of the Shining Gods
Wisdom be upon me
Love uphold me
Power at every hand around me
And Wisdom, Love and Power
In my truest heart.

Rise in your Vision Body, and see there the Host of Spirits that you have called, especially the Gods, and the Elder Wise, and those of the Landwights that seem to come to you.­­ Spend what time you may desire observing them and speaking carefully with them. Then return your awareness to your body before the Fire, and say:

The worlds are in me, and I am in the worlds
The spirit in me is the spirit in the worlds
By Gods, Dead and Spirits;
By Fire, Well and Tree;
The blessing flows and shines in me!
So be it!

17: When all is done, give thanks, saying:

By this work I am blessed, by the power of the Mighty, Noble and Shining Ones! Secure in their blessing, I go from the Grove into my life and work. I go with the blessing of the Gods in my head, and heart and loins. To all those who have aided me in this holy work, I give thanks.

Triple Kindreds, Gods, Dead and Landspirits:
I thank you for your presence in my small Grove.
Shining Ones, Mighty Dead, Noble Spirits
I thank you for your aid and blessing.

18: Make a closing triskel over the Fire.
Lord of the gates, lord of knowledge, I give you my thanks.
Now let the Fire be flame, the Well be water,
Let all be as it was before, save for the magic I have made
Let the Gates be closed!

19: Recenter and contemplate the entire working, and end, saying:
To the Mother I give thanks, for ever upholding my life and my work.

The blessings of the Holy Ones be on me and mine
My blessings on all beings, with peace on thee and thine
The Fire, the Well, the Sacred Tree
Flow and Flame and Grow in me
Thus do I fulfill the work of the Wise.
So be it!

No comments: