Monday, August 22, 2011

The Court of Brigid - ritual text

I'm back from the Summerland Gathering, and the Court of Brigid working was a good success. We had contacts with several spirits, and began a list of those who were willing to work with us. I'll be compiling and posting that later, with a more complete journal of the work. First I want to put up the full text of the rite posted mainly for archival purposes and because some of the participants wanted to have it.

The Court of Brigid - A Druidic Spirit Working
The Nemeton is arranged with the usual hallows. At the foot of the Bile the image of Brigid is set, with sufficient room to receive the abumdant offerings. Offerings are prepared as in the text, for both Brigid and the Cumhachtai, and a general offering bowl of oil or incense is also present. The presiding Druids sit at the Hallows, and all sit ranged around them in a horseshoe, allowing all to see the forst of the shrine.
Props List
Hallows; Brigid Image; Harp, Hammer, Cup; Book of Spirits; ogham set
Earth Mother: corn.grain
Outdwellers: ale
Hallows: Trove, Oil, incense & sprinkling bowl
Kindreds: oil for all
Brigid Offerings: Milk, Bread, Ale, Silver, Bronze, iron, ogham wand, herbs, incense
Tri Cucmachtai: crystal, incense, whiskey
Blessing Bowl: Vervain, Crystal, Silver
Binding: Oak, Rowan, Hazel

1: Opening the Grove
a: Earth Mother
b: Inspiration
c: Outdwellers
d:Statement of Purpose
We have come to do as the wise ancients did, to make offering to the powers and to seek an alliance with the spirits. We come to make offering to Brigid an Ardhaon, the High One, Lady of Skills, hearth-woman of Water and Fire. We come especially to seek allies among her noble court, three queens, three Powers of the Court of Brigid, and those noble ones who will work with us in our wise arts. Hear us, Noble Ones, and behold us, for we seek to make pact with you. This we do that we 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, let us hallow this Sacred Grove.

e: Honor the Three Hallows
Offer silver into the cauldron, saying:
In the deeps flow the waters of wisdom. Sacred Well, flow in our Grove and in our hearts. O Eye of the Deep, be as a Spring of welcome to the spirits, a source of peace and comfort.
Make an offering to the Fire, saying:
I feed the sacred fire in wisdom, love and power. Sacred Fire, burn in our Grove and in our hearts. By this Fire I claim this place for our own magic, and invite the spirits to this fire.
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. Be you the Pillar of the World, the peg that holds fast the Ways Between.

f: Purification Cleanse all with Water and Fire, saying:
By the might of the Water and the light of the Fire,
This Grove is made whole and holy
Spread your hands and face the east, 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 us bounty, behind us wisdom
On the right hand magic, on the left hand strength
Thus is the Sacred Grove Claimed and Hallowed!

2: Opening the Gate
In every place where Triads meet, there is the Center of the Worlds. Let this sacred center be the boundary of all worlds, that our voices be carried and our vision see.
• O Manannan Mac Lir, Grey God of the Mists, Lord of the Isle of Apples, Teacher of the Wise, we make this offering to you (make offering of Offering Oil). Attend us in this work, Son of the Boundless, as you attended the Tuatha De in their magics. Watch and ward the Ways between as we call the Cumhachtai Brigid. Hold open the gates; stretch your sword, Retaliator, over this Fire that no ill may come to us for as long as this gate is open.
Make a deosil triskel or spiral over the Fire, saying:
Let this Fire open as a gate,
and let no harm come from the Sky;
Let this Well open as a gate,
and let no harm come from the Deep;
Let this Tree be the Crossroads of all worlds,
and let no harm come upon the Land.
• Open as an eye of seeing
Open as a mouth of speaking
Open as an oaken door,
between this Sacred Center and the Otherworlds.
• Now, by the Gatekeeper’s might and by my magic,
By Fire, Well, and Tree,
by Land, Sky, and Sea,
by Gods, Dead, and Sidhe –
Let the Gate be Open!

With the Gates open, we turn our minds to Magic... renew your center... Earth below and Sky above... feel the currents of light and dark... flowing in our flesh, and in the Grove... as we recite the Charm of the Threshold, to open the Inner Eye:
Between Fire and Water, we find our balance
We feel the Waters beneath, the Fire Above... they meet and flow within us... and from their merging rises the Mist of the Between...
From the Union of Fire and Water the Mist rises
Rising to surround and encompass... as the common world fades... and the Sacred center becomes bright...
Let the Mist carry me, and my Eye of Vision open
as our Fire becomes the Great Fire... our Well the Great Well... our simple pillar the bole of the World-Tree... and we behold the shining Gates of the Otherworld...
Let the Eye lead me, and my vision be clear and true
Let my Vision enchant me, with the sorcerer’s sight
Eye of Vision, eye of flesh, let me see clearly
See the Mist draw back... surrounding on every side... and be present in the Threshold Vision... on the Edge of the Land of Spirits... whether your eyes are closed or open... the Threshold is before you...
That the Work of the Wise be done.

3: Honoring the Kindreds
Now to my Sacred Fire I call the Threefold Kindreds, spirits all
All our allies among the Dead, Mighty and Beloved Ones,
stand strong with me in my work,
And receive this offering.
(make the offering)
All our allies among the Sidhe, Red blood, green sap or Spirit Folk, join us in our rite,
And receive this offering.
(make the offering)
All my allies among the Gods, Wisest and Mightiest Ones,
I pray that your power burn and flow in me
So, receive this offering.
(make the offering)
Hear us, kin, allies and elders, I pray, and make your wisdom open to us, your love flow with ours, your power strong in us, that we may do the work of the Wise.
In the Mother’s Love be welcome.
In the Joys of Life be welcome.
In this Sacred Grove be welcome.
And accept our offerings!

4: Invocation of Brigid

a: Trance Eidolon
Now let the Gate be as a window to our vision... opening to reveal the Otherworld... and let us behold the blessed and mighty one, Brigid an Ardhaon... she is seated in beauty and wonder, in a nimbus of nineteen colors... shining and arrayed around her... flowing and changing, emerging from a white-gold brightness at their center... at that Center the High One is seated... clothed in the colors of the sky... day-blue flows with night-star-black... with the colors of the earth curling up the hem of her garment... ornaments of mirror-silver and bright gold adorn her, reflecting the flow of colors... and at the center is the face of the goddess...
See the eyes of the goddess Brigid... gaze into them, whether or not they see you yet... see her features, her gentle smile... her body is thick and strong... in her lap she holds a silver cauldron, filled with a healing brew, that bubbles with the heat of Her Fire... in her right hand she holds a great smith’s hammer of black iron, and in her left hand she bears a small harp of nine strings, that fills the air around her with a simple music...
You approach the goddess... and she towers above you on her seat... let your vision rest in her... as we make our invocation...

b: Invocation
• Brigid of the mantles, Brigid of the hearth fire,
Brigid of the twining hair, Brigid of the auguries
Brigid of the fair face, Brigid of the calmness
Brigid of the strong hands, Brigid of the kine
• Brigid, friend of women, Brigid, fire of magic
Brigid the foster mother, Brigid woman of wisdom.
Brigid the daughter of Danu, Brigid the triple flame.
Each day and each night I call the descent of Brigid.
• That the power of healing be within us,
That the power of poetry be within us,
That the power of shaping be within us,
In earth, sea and sky and among all kindreds.
• Kindle your flame in our heads, hearts and loins,
Make us your cup, your harp, your forge,
That we may heal, inspire and transform,
All in your honor, Brigid font of blessing.
• So we call you, Brigid na Ardhaon, High one, to be present in this image as you are present in our Grove.
See through these eyes, hear with these ears
Speak in our hearts, and receive these offerings
Chorus: Gaeilge charm recited after each offering:
Brigid above us, Brigid below us,
Brigid at every airt about us.
Brigid in our truest heart
Bríd thuas linn, Bríd thíos linn, Bríd maidir linn;
Bríd inár gcroí
• Milk I give, because you succor those in need.
• Bread I give, because you bring strength in bounty
• Ale I bring; because you bring inspiration and delight
• Silver I give, because you bring beauty,
• Bronze I give because you bring skill,
• Iron I give; because you bring magic, and strength
• I offer this Ogham Wand,
because you bring the knowledge of poets.
• I offer these herb-flowers,
because you bring knowledge of the green,
• I offer this incense, because you drive away all ill.

d: Audience-charm
The Vision is strengthened, saying:
So, behold the High one, seated here in the mortal world in this simple image... her rainbow garment all around her... and see her eyes turn toward you... her smile become wider... perhaps she extends a hand... as we say:

The worlds are in me, and I am in the worlds
The spirit in me is the spirit in the worlds
Holy One I set my eyes upon you – set your eyes upon me.
Holy One I behold your face – behold you my face
Holy One I behold your heart – behold you my heart
Holy One I behold your hands – behold you my hands
I am your worshipper,
Shining Brigid, High One,
Hear me, and accept our sacrifice!

5: Calling the Tri Cucmachtai Brid:
Hold the Wand as a scepter beside or before you, as you conjure:
In the power of Brigid na Ardhaon
I call to the Servants of Brigid.
Shining Lady of Skills, send to us your heralds, your ministers, your powers, that we may make alliance.
Come with the Wind and Cloud I call, from the Court of Brigid, you Three Powers, you who dwell in Isles of Wonder.
Come in the Moon and Sun I call, and in the shimmering light of Stars, in the warm and the cool, and the rays of the heavens that bless the worlds.
• We call to the Clairseach Bríd - the Harp of Brigid. Oh you who bear the inspirations of the Poet, the true tongue and the Magic Aires, reveal yourself. Let your face and form appear, arrayed in wonder beside your Queen.

Come, power come, by Brigid’s name:
teacht, cumhacht, teacht, de réir ainm Bríd
• We call to the Cupán Bríd - the Cup of Brigid. Oh you who bear the draughts of the Healer, for woman and of man and of children all, reveal yourself. Let your face and form appear, arrayed in wonder beside your Queen.
Come, power come, by Brigid’s name:
teacht, cumhacht, teacht, de réir ainm Bríd
• We call to the Casúr Bríd - the Hammer of Brigid. Oh you who bear the strength and sorcery of the Smith, who shapes by Fire and Water, reveal yourself. Let your face and form appear, arrayed in wonder beside your Queen.
Come, power come, by Brigid’s name:
teacht, cumhacht, teacht, de réir ainm Bríd

• Final Sacrifice
I call with the voice of the Cauldron of Wonder, I call with the voice of the Hearth of Welcoming. Oh Brigid, Oh great Servants of the High One, answer this calling.
To you, O Noble Ones, I make these offerings:
Crystal, of the Wealth of the Earth
Sweet smoke, of the Beauty of the Earth
Whiskey, of the Delight of the Earth.
And by these gifts I offer you welcome.
Come to my fire, Oh Three Powers of Brigid.
Fáilte a chur roimh, trí Cumhachtaí Bríd.
Come to my call, and accept my sacrifice!
Final offering is given, with meditation on the presence of Brigid.
Omen is taken and interpreted.

6: Conjuring the Court
a: Group agreement
Hear me now, Children of Earth. We are come together here in the light of the Blessing of Brigid, to seek alliance with her servants. Is it your will that we gain these alliances?
Let those who seek to gain those alliances for themselves speak - is it your will?
Is it the will of all that these alliances be made in blessing, and for the good of all being?
Then let us call the spirits.
Vision of the Three Powers strengthened.
• So, Oh, Servants of the High One, we come before you to do the work of the wise, to re-weave the old patterns, to make pact between mortals, and the Court of Brigid, in her name.
So we ask that those gathered here receive your blessing, and let the hosts of your tribes be visible to our vision.
• Let this Blessing Bowl bear the power of the Powers, the holy might of the Tri Cumhachtai Brid.
• By Vervain be blessed by the Cupan Brid, that the spirits of healing see and know us.
• By Crystal be blessed by the Clairseach Brid, that the spirits of the Poet’s way see and know us.
• By Silver be blessed by the Casur Brid, that the spirits of the smith’s magic see and know us.
• Now by this blessing we conjure the spirits of the Court of Brigid. By word and heart and hand we call to those who serve the servants, you spirits who will come to our fire and treat with mortals.
• Come from the Soil and Stone I call, all you who serve the High One, and from the Green crown of the Land, from holds beneath hills, from green halls and the pools and wells.
• Come with the Wind and Cloud I call, and from the deep Sea, all you who troop and fly and sing, you whisperers and cloud-kin, you who dwell in Isles of Wonder.
• Come in the Moon and Sun I call, and in the shimmering light of Stars, in the warm and the cool, and the rays of the heavens that bless the worlds.
• Come without malice, come in a fair form, come in peace and without any harm to me or to mine, neither in body or mind or spirit, neither in health or wealth or wisdom.
• By Four Winds and Nine Waves
By the World Tree’s root and branch
By the Four Treasures and the Crown of Don
By Fire’s Light and Well’s Might
• Where this blessing falls, let the spirits who will work with us reveal themselves.
• Where this blessing falls, let the eyes of vision be made open and clear.
• Where this blessing falls, let all be protected by the Cloak of the High One.
• Oh spirits, reveal yourselves with this blessing!
The blessing is distributed, with all reciting the phrase
“Let my eyes be open and the spirits appear”

7: The Binding
When all are blessed, there is a period for the spirits to gather, then the binding and oath are given:
Nine times round be nine times bound
The Poet’s binding;
The Seer’s binding;
The Sorcerer’s binding;
The Oak binding;
The Rowan binding;
The Hazel binding.
The binding of the Gods Above;
The binding of the Gods Below;
The binding of the Gods of This Green World.
Now give me your oath, I ask.
By my will I would make pact with you. Let no harm be worked against me or mine, whether in mind, body or spirit, in my health or my wealth or my wisdom; by day nor by night, in winter nor in summer, on land or in the sea or in the sky, or in places between. Stand with me by these words, or turn now away, and go!
(Wait a moment, see if the spirit departs) So be it! I take your presence for an Oath, which you swear to all I have said. If you do not swear, depart! (Wait again, then make an oil offering, saying:) Nine blessings upon you with this offering!
Pause for a time as the spirits gather...

8: Treating With the Spirits
Again seek confirmation in conversation or by divination that the spirit is present, and give the Welcome to the Spirit:
Slainte agus failte, a sprideana nemed! Hail and welcome, to you who have come at our call. We are the Druids of Ar nDraiocht Fein - Fire Keepers, Singers and Shapers, and you have come to our fire at our will and word. Therefore know us as allies, and as Noble Ones among you. Give to us the Druid’s Rights, to come and go freely among the Spirits. We give you this offering, so that we may work together. Now speak with us, we ask, before this sacred Fire...

Sharpen your vision eye... empowered by the Blessing of the Three Powers of Brigid... and behold the gathered crowd of spirits... the courtiers of the Court of Brigid... called by our offerings, under the authority of the Goddess and her Powers... speak with them in your heart... ask, perhaps, what elements are of their nature... what kind of boons they can grant, and what works aid in... asking for a name and sign... who will stand forth to speak with you...

If you wish, you may speak with one of these spirits... one who will answer you... in peace and kinship... To learn its name... to ask it what powers it can bring... what works are in its power to perform...

If there are those to whom the spirits are revealing themselves, speak if you will, for our scribes to write down the names of the Spirits...

9: The Closing
as usual but with great gratitude and care.
• Once all is complete, recite the License to depart
• The License to Depart
Depart now, friends, O, Courtiers all, O Cumhachtai Brigid, and remember your oath. Come when we call you, or send your servants in peace with harm to none, and we will make to you due offering.
Cumhachtai Brid - we thank you!
• Thanking & Ending

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