Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Bell of Return - Against the Work of St. Patrick

So, I'm in a mood. I ran across the descriptions of early medieval priests 'exorcising' the groves and glens in northern Europe, and it pissed me off. Let their bans be broken, sez I, and their works be set aside.

1: A Rant
Once the black-robed conjurors
Brought bell and candle into every glen
And by their book, with prayers and imprecations,
They drove away the spirits from the folk.

By righteous hatred and by foolish fear
They cast their shadow over town and field
The spirits drew away, behind the Mist
And left their mortal kin to dwell alone.

In our time we have lit the Fire again
We say that those old bans are done and gone
We ring a new bell now, across the land
And call the ancient blessings to return

Now come to us, you mighty spirits old
Of our loved Dead, and spirits of the Land
Rise and return, this Bell I sound for you
To welcome you again among your folk!

2: The Charm
To work this charm, take a good bell or chime to a place of power or memory, where you feel the call of the spirits. This might be a deserted glen or a city park, or even a public monument to the Dead if you have the courage. Take also a simple offering, such as a bottle of good ale or wine to spill, or a piece of silver or crystal to be given.

If it is possible to work the charm at a hallowed place, where the Fire is properly lit, that is best, but it can be done wherever it might be helpful, to weaken the bans of the black-robes, and bring back the Old Ways.

Let fire be lit at the ancient well
Let offerings be burned
I call with the voice of this new bell
Let the Holy Ones return!
(knell)
Rise you spirits from tombs and from memories. We the living honor the Dead!
(knell)
Come all you tribes of the Land’s Folk. We offer peace to the Noble Ones!
(knell)
Rise like serpents from the deep, from soil or under stone, and from living water.
(knell)
Descend like a flight of birds, from wind and cloud and the shining lights of heaven.
(knell)
Come you from green and from blossom, from pool and root and bone come forth.
(knell)
Come back, Oh come back, into the ken of mortals. Dwell with us and among us.
(knell)
Return, Oh return, to the hearth and the forest. Let us make the Old Bargain.
(knell)
Come, Oh come, to the call of the folk, as we honor you as is your due.
(knell)
By nine knells of the bell I break the ban, and call you to return!


I call you from dream. (knell)
From beneath (knell)
From beyond (knell)
I call you by the Fire (knell)
I call you by the Well (knell)
I call you by the Pillar of the World (knell)
Come, oh ancient and shining Gods (knell)
Come, oh mighty and beloved Ancestors (knell)
Come, oh noble hosts of the Spirits of the Land (knell)


By this offering we call to you to return. The bans are broken, the way is open, the folk remember the spirits. Accept this offering, and return! (knell, and give the offering)


3: A Song
Rise, rise, up from the deep
Ancient Powers come to me
Wake, wake, no more to sleep
Come among the living!

5 comments:

Ceworthe said...

Thanks Ian for this rite and song that gives honor to the ancient ways and Kindreds of our ancestors who dwelt in old and new lands for thousands of years before the coming of the black robes

Lairbhan said...

I love this! It is beautiful and very moving. Surely we have come to a time when we must reconnect to the spirits that were once driven away and this would be a wonderful way of doing so.

Ceworthe said...

Did this tonite @ sunset. Very powerful and moving. The Nature Spirits definitely liked it

Rusty said...

I've been considering going to the local Catholic Church and doing the rite there on their property (Hey it's open to the public!)

Erika Rivertree said...

Love this! I'd like to incorporate this as part of my Vernal Equinox observance. :) Beannachtai!