Monday, January 30, 2012

The Court of Brigid - Journal, Pt 2

The basic Shrine of the working.
Fire, Well & Tree, offering bowl,
 the image of Brigid,and an excellent
paving stone from Midnight Moon.
Journal 1/27–29, 2012
I write this on Sunday morning, having completed the first two rites of the sequence. So far we have been blessed, and have been learning a great deal about how to apply these methods. L. and I will work the final rite, convoking the Courtier spirits together, this evening.

I: The Audience of Brigid
The Audience rite seemed to go very well on Friday evening. We made the decision to invite some of the Grove elders and friends, and had a total of eight people present (I suppose the Honored Guest makes nine…). The performance of the ritual went smoothly, including the fairly complex nine offerings to Brigid and the extra-magicy blessings. Actually I thought the Blessing was very juicy indeed, with extra time taken to consecrate the purification by water, and the live flame of the blessing fire passing around. That is always a good dramatic element, and good Indian incense-cones will burn with a live flame for three to four minutes before producing plenty of lovely perfumed blessing smoke. The guests were full of energy and inspiration as we finished, and we continued to converse on into the evening.

My own impressions during the vision portion were that I was welcomed and thanked by the Goddess for assembling the occasion of worship. I think the gods of old times are still unused to hearing their names praised, unused to receiving our offerings. My relationship with Brigid is the closest of my bonds with the Gods, and her presence was easy and natural as well as intense and illuminating. When we had completed the blessing spells, and the water and fire were sitting before Her shrine, folks came to them for further purification and empowerment – just to bathe in Her blessing. It was a moment of wordless delight.

This kind of rite is something I have done many times. Structurally it went without a hitch and needs no edits. I cannot say the same for the second two rites.

II: Structural Concerns

The effort to develop a ritual spirit arte that applies the general principles of Euro-Grimoiric methods using the Druidic Order of Ritual and inside a pre-Neoplatonic, Indo-European mythic cosmos is ongoing. The Court of Brigid is my most formal and sharable working yet, but it is still in alpha testing, if I must evaluate it in that way. Part of the problem lies in how it was created and what I’ve tried to do with it next.
I began the work as a festival ritual attended my many skilled Druids. In that context it was a Big Damn Deal done all at once – an hour-and-a-half working that included a devotional offering to the Goddess, attunement to the mysteriously nouveau Three Powers, and then group trance in which we wrote down the names of some sixteen spirits discerned by the members of the company. In general the structure and progressive entrancement and conjuring built into that rite worked well.

I want to do more work with the spirits we met in that rite, and would like to make the work available to others as well. It seems to me that expecting a solitary mage to assemble and work the full temple-ritual group-rite is less effective than to split the work up into a series of workings for personal performance. Also, the initial rite was a ‘prospecting’ rite. It involves opening the way, summoning a host of spirits, then sorting those for a few who will work with the mage through alliance. However we now have the basic list of initial spirits. I have been forced to ask myself whether to present the work to others as a method contacting those spirits or as a method of doing further prospecting. I have received requests to do the original rite again as a festival event – again I wonder whether and how much Brigid’s Court, vast as it must be, varies from Ohio to California.

However, what I wanted for myself was to deepen my own contact with the spirits who had responded at that first rite. The fact is that since I was one of the primary conjurors in that group rite (along with L) I just didn’t speak with a spirit myself, or add to the list. The list is interesting, and further work by a few folks has been encouraging, so I wanted a direct deal. Therefore I chose to construct the three rites as primarily a method of contacting the Courtiers that had already presented themselves and made an oath to us.
In the end I divided the work into three rites:
1: The Audience: A preparatory blessing in which the mage offers to the patron god of the rite and receives her purifcation and empowerment.
2: The Three Queens: The ‘shaktis’ of the goddess – personified and individual daemons who very directly express the deity’s core nature – the ‘archangels’ if you like – were called to the Fire to be met and allied with as individual spirits.
3: Convoking the Court: calling the individual Courtiers to make pacts. I wrote the new script to allow for a complete summoning of all sixteen spirits. More on that below.
Is it artistic laziness to recycle ones own words in the context of ritual writing? I tend to think it isn’t. Repetition has more value in spirituality than novelty (as little as certain modernists like the fact), and when one is willing to work from written text, as we continue to be, familiarity is very valuable. However, my effort to edit the texts away from their group-rite, one-shot origins into personal rites was only so successful by the time we got to the actual performance.

III: Calling the Three Queens
Look, when the spirits lead the mind in their direction, sometimes we must just follow. Did I ‘make up’ the ‘idea’ of the Three Powers – three great persons of the Goddess who act as agents of the divine power of Brigid? Yeah, maybe, sort-of. It evolved by reading about Shakta tantra, about the local persons of cosmic goddesses who are the direct objects of worship and magic in that very polytheist system. Of course it is no stretch to find the Three Powers of Brigid – Poetry, Smithcraft and Healing – in lore, and not much more of a stretch to name these three great daemons, or Queens of the Sidhe. The Harp, the Hammer and the Cup were the names that seemed obvious to me. I rendered them into Irish, and called them by those names, and they appeared.
In the original festival rite the Three Queens, or Three Powers, were called as intermediaries between the Goddess and the Courtiers, and as authorities by which the latter were called. Really, it was only our long devotion to the Goddess that kept us out of trouble, I think. Now that I have made direct conversation with those three I’m sure it would have been better had we done so in the first place. Fortunately, the benign and homely nature of Brigid (even in the austere nature of the Harp-Queen, or the lessons of the Hammer-Queen) protected us.
The Three Powers appeared to me in forms proper to their nature. The Clairseach Brid – the Harp of Brigid – came as an austere Druidess in white, with her harp and voice, and a sharp, telling gaze. She has a special place in my personal work both as mage, Druid and artist. I was reminded that ‘poet’ meant something very different to the old ways.

The Cuach Brid – the Cup of Brigid – came as the Red Queen, but not with the raving, Morrigan-y energy. Rather she was the red warmth of hearth-fire and good meat. Appearing as an earth-momma in noble garb and a scarlet cloak she brings the mother’s love, and compassion for all beings. I’ve never been heavily into the healing vibe. She reminded me of the value of that work, and the compassion it both creates and requires.
The Casur Brid – the Hammer of Brigid – appeared as a smith-woman, in a skirt and jerkin of thick leather and a thick black cloak of wool. She came more as black iron than as white silver, but both are hers. Strong and skilled, she both inspires artists and works the shaping of fate. I expect to ask for her aid in practical matters. All three of the Queens have interest in financial security and prosperity, whether the bard’s or physician’s fee, the smith’s pay or the wealth of the family farm.

This sounds like fairly standard ‘aspects of the Goddess’ stuff, but they came to our Fire as persons; shining, giant, mighty persons, but still persons. I had prepared their sigils in a new book, but there was no discussion of ‘swearing on’ them. I was told that my devotion to the Goddess earned me the aid of the Queens, and that while offerings were proper and welcome (we had neglected milk for them, though we gave it for Brigid, which they requested) we weren’t making a ‘pact’ with the Three Queen of the Court of Brigid. OK…
L received personal names separate from the titles for the spirits. We looked those up in the Old Irish resources with some interesting results. For now I’ll reserve those names. Myself, I was led to refer to them by their titles.

I had not included a ‘binding’ spell in this rite. In the calling of the Courtiers There is a specific binding and oath, part of the pact. While this was not included in the Three Queens rite, there was some residual pact-y language that I’ll probably remove or modify.

Generally the rite was powerful and fulfilling. There was no practical goal for that rite, in the sense of ‘charging’ the Queens with some task. Rather it was more Theurgy, bringing the active power of the Goddess closer to our shrine through these spirits.

IV: Convoking the Courtiers - 1/30/2012
It's Monday morning now, and we've completed the third rite. This is the money shot of the working, the calling of the more ground-level members of Brigid’s Court. Throughout our discussions about how to manage this the central issue was whether to attempt to convoke all sixteen spirits in one big crowd, take their oaths and then plan further work, or do something else. We both felt that while there would be plenty of juice in the all-or-none approach it might also reduce the practical result through taxing out skills and strength.

Then L had a great idea. We used the pendulum, and asked which of the spirits from the original list wanted to come directly that evening and enter into pact with us. After some experimentation, I ended up holding the pendulum. L held the book that I had prepared (thanks, lulu…) and indicated one spirit’s sigil at a time with her wand. I wasn’t told which spirit she was asking about, nor in what order she chose them, so we had pretty good double-blind on that. My experience doing the pendulum was fairly intense, with the presence of the three Queens very strong. My intuitions about which of the Courts would be predominant was correct, although I had no clues as to which spirit I was asking about. While I intend to keep the names of the spirits to myself, I’ll say that they are four from the Court of the Harp and two from the Court of the Hammer, though two of the Harp Courtiers might cross over into the Cup’s Court.

So, with the number of spirits that we would call limited reasonably we felt ready to go ahead. We had left the Shrine in place in our living room, at our hearth, since Friday evening. The juice was palpable. Just sitting down at it to do the pendulum divination brought the presence of The Goddess, and the Three Queens were there as well. Each morning we policed the previous night’s incense ash and herb bits, making the Shrine ready for the next work.

After considerable fiddling with the sequence, we settled on an outline. We would call to all the spirits with the primary conjuration as written. I had written the third rite as though all the Courtiers would be called, and had arranged the offerings so that they could all be done at once. We removed that section and instead made the proper offering (as was taught by the spirits at the original rite) as each of the six spirits was called in turn. Each spirit was called, given their proper offering, and their name intoned as we drew their sigil in the smoke of the offerings.

The assembled spirits were then bound and charged using the model I’ve developed. Truly, in this case it all felt like a formality. When we did this the first time we called a host of indeterminate spirits, so when we called for only those who work with us in proper ways to remain, bidding other depart, it counted. In this case the spirits stood their ground. After all, they had already heard those oaths when I recited them the first time.

Nevertheless I intended to build a more direct pact with these spirits. I had prepared a liber spirituum, with blanks ready to receive the sigils and names of the spirits and notes about their work. Once we had determined which spirits would be called I entered their names and a light line-in of their sigil. Once the spirits were welcomed we allowed an extended period for interaction with them. During that period I called each of the spirits to me in turn, asking them to place their hand on the sigil and affirm the oath and our alliance. In turn I placed my own hand on the same sign, and affirmed my part as well. This went very well for me, with the spirits anywhere from willing to actively pleased to swear in this way. Most were dignified, some were joyful. This gave me an opportunity to interact with each, see them more clearly, and get further hints as to their natures.

Let me say a word about the means by which the spirits appeared. I have been working in a model that uses vision-trance as the primary mode of seeing spirits. Our ritual model uses the symbol of a Gate, and in my training when I open my Inner Eyes I see the Gate open in our Sacred Space, with the spirits appearing in/through/by means of it. I have done ‘shamanic’ style work for years, and for me these visions aren’t ‘guided meditations’. While I use scripted guidance as a launching-pad at times, in these trances I am simply opening or moving my awareness and reacting to what happens. So, when the spirits appear they come as they will. I *did* have a general notion of how each would appear, based on their first appearance, but had several surprises and clearly external impressions. I did find that asking the spirits to interact directly with a material object (put their hand on a book) produced the most immediate and solid presence of the spirit. Since the rite I have done the sigils with proper line quality, and handwritten their basics.
Starter pages in the liber spirituum 
for one of the Three Queens.

I considered making a triangle of manifestation and using disks of wood with the sigils. I may still, but I’m pushing my own buttons – some of my oldest – by making the liber spirituum, and that’s always good. I am convinced that drawing the spirits firmly into local reality is a valuable technique. I remain unconvinced that ‘visible’ appearance – i.e. a pseudo-sensory event indistinguishable from optical sight, or a psychokinetic vapor or dustcloud – would have produced any more valuable result. I do think that I will prepare a distinct locus spiritus for the next time.

I admit that I had no clear practical-magic objectives going into this. The spirits of Brigid the Goddess of Skills are especially useful to artists and creative folks, and I expect to be working with them quite a bit. However getting through the work as given, especially in three sequential nights, took most of the juice I had available. It seemed fine with the spirits to finish the introductory work and be willing to take up further efforts the next time.

That’s the next step – to begin calling these allies individually and assigning them to tasks. I have several ideas based on their nature. I’m pleased to say that all are sweet and strong beings, ready to improve human life through joy and beauty; the kind of magic that makes the day more pleasant, as well as more occult. I mean to ask them to teach spells, in the old way – patterns of natural things, symbols and words that allow the spirits to accomplish specific things in the manifest world. That will bring us full-circle around to how the Grimoire mages dealt with the spirits, and where their magic originated.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Court of Brigid Working – the plan so far.

OK, a few other Druid mages have expressed an interest and received the materials for this work. L. and I are definitely doing the three rites between now and full moon on Feb 7th. Here’s a few notes on how I think it should go, including things that occurred to me after finishing the text, or as support.
The Audience With Brigid: We’ll be working this rite tonight, Friday, at our own hearth, with a small group of Grove members. This rite is much like a simple High Day, with complex offerings. We’ll arrange a big shrine for the goddess in front of our hearth, including a staff-sized World-Tree pillar with the Fire & Well. Our hearth isn’t used for full fires, so we’ll probably use something else for the ritual fire – I hope to do better than the ring-of-candles-and-censer approach. The rite calls for a hefty nine offerings, and they must all be disposed of properly. So a fire of some sort has to be ready for the incense, and herbs, etc. At very least I'll use camphor and nag champa cones for the Blessing fire, which burn with an open flame for minutes if you don't blow them out. Food offerings will be set before the eidolon of Brigid and taken outside later.
My goal in this rite is to bring the company into a close vision of Brigid. I have continued to be attracted to the Hindu term ‘darshan’. It literally means ‘seeing’ but the connotation is of having an ‘audience’ (which, of course, means a ‘hearing’) with the object. The term is applied to meetings with deities, gurus, kings and any sort of person for whom special access is required. So, our goal is to come into the presence of the Goddess to see and be seen.
The formal blessing phase of the Audience will serve both as preliminary work for the spirit-arte of the next two rites, and a good blessing for all present. I’ve adapted a Fire-and Water module that I’ve used before to provide purification and potentially healing through the water, and empowerment and energization through the fire. The rite should be very intimate and immediate. As usual, success will have a lot to do with my ability to entrance the company and induce the vision.
Calling the Three Queens: We will be working this rite on the Saturday immediately following the Audience. We’ll leave the Shrine in place (though safely cat-proofed) and simply return to it the following evening (L. and I) for the next rite. This is actually the most experimental of the three rites. In the first big rite we did the full audience invocation (though not the separate blessing) and we did a direct summoning of the ‘lesser’ daemons of the Court, seeking their names and conversation. We did not specifically call these three greater daemons of the Goddess for conversation, but only invoked their presence and blessing to allow us to speak with the Courtiers. In this round we will attempt to speak directly with the Three Powers as personal beings.
I find myself unable to avoid playing with Neoplatonic and later occult hierarchy models to this matter. I keep getting the term ‘archangels’ bouncing around in my head concerning the relative status and meaning of these three presences of the Goddess’ might. (Pagans unused to Christian magic may not realize just how god-like an archangel is.) However I also find myself reflecting on Hindu and Tantric models of spiritology, where a Goddess may appear in many persons, with diverse symbols. Those persons are not exactly ‘aspects’ of the single goddess, in the way many of us might have suggested back in the day. Rather they are, well, persons of the deity. Persons with their own names and signs, who may be called into human awareness for human goals, just as we hope to do with the Hammer, the Harp and the Cuaich. In a Hellenic vocabulary it would be proper to call them great daemons of Brigid. In a Gaelic one we say Tri Cuachtai (Three Powers) or Tri Banriona (Three Queens). The ritual as written includes a formal oath and alliance, as with the lesser courtiers. I remain open to the opinion of the Queens themselves on this matter.
The method here is traditional to western magic. A form is imagined for the spirit, and the spirit is called with offerings and invocation to inhabit the form. However the rite uses a pretty intense charm to allow the ‘sight’ using herbs and stones to make a potion for anointing. I look forward to working this. This time I don’t have to be the ritual chief, supporting the visions of others, and can look for myself.
Convoking the Court: L. and I will be working this right sometime during the next week, before the public Imbolc gathering. The rite is written, at present to include the convoking of the Three Powers along with the sixteen Courtiers who presented themselves at the original working. We’ll see how that goes. I have no preconception, really, about whether all those spirits would be available to every mage who might call them. Perhaps it being us two, who first lit the fire for them, will make it more likely. It will be fairly strenuous work, I suspect. Once again I am pleased to have begun with a calm and benevolent power. Love that Brigid!
I do intend to set several of the Courtiers to specific practical magical tasks as well. One of the big questions at this stage is how potent these friends are for such things. While they may seem like a fairly pleasant gang of artists and creative types, I have impressions about several that I want to confirm or deny.
Incidentally, I’m making a new Table of Practice with the oak, rowan and hazel Triangle and the sigils of the Queens. The spirit sigils I’m putting on wooden disks, and so I should end the work with a set of talismans. Pics to follow, if allowed.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Invocation of Brigid

Nine invokers come to center, sacrificer stands ready, and as the invocation is given the nine lights of the Brigid’s Bed are lit in turn. As each candle is lit the folk sing the chorus.

• Behold the lightener of the stars
Brigid of the mantels
She comes on the crest of waves
Arising in splendor in every blessed hearth
Chorus: Bríd thuas linn, Bríd thíos linn,
Bríd maidir linn; Bríd inár gcroí
(breej hooas lin, breej heeos lin breej mawjur lin breej inor cree)
• Come to us as the Cup of Healing
Draw for us blessing from her holy well (chorus)
• Come to us as the Foster Mother
Hearth of comforts, with bounty and plenty (chorus)
• Come to us as the Woman of Skill
Herb-craft and leech-craft, for the folk’s good (chorus)
• Come to us as the Hammer of the Forge
Power of shaping, by Fire and by Water(chorus)
• Come to us as the good Black Iron
Blade of the warrior, the sickle and plowshare. (chorus)
• Come to us as the Silver Bright
Light of the artisan, making of beauty. (chorus)
• Come to us as the Harp of the Poets
Fire in the head, wisdom and cheer. (chorus)
• Come to us as the Bard’s bright song
Joy in the hall and memory clear. (chorus)
• Come to us as the Druid’s spell
Power and mystery, the song of the year. (chorus)
O Brigid the skillful; O Brigid of the triple spirit
O Brigid who comes in light and shadow
Thrice blessed be your flaming path.
Brigid accept our sacrifice

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Banishing Rites & the Druid’s Gate

Being an Obscure but Short Consideration of an Obscure Point of Magical Art in Druidic Rites.
Ceremonial magic includes rituals of ‘banishing and purification’, intended to render a space claimed and made ready for holy work. These rites are often conceived of as methods of ‘driving away ill spirits’. This can be especially so at the end of rites, when tradition teaches that various larvae and shades may have accumulated to seek the work’s light. Ceremonial magicians are concerned to avoid intrusions by ill-spirits, and often live in a mythic cosmos populated by ‘demons’ who might choose to attach themselves and do ill to a magician or his environs.
When ceremonial magicians have looked at ADF rites there has occasionally been a concern that we do not banish at the end of the rites. (see the full script of a simple rite here and here) There is no call to ‘depart now to your own place’, a custom that lingers even in Wiccan ritual. There is no ‘banishing sign’ used to shoo away the crowd of spirits. This has dismayed some magicians.

Why do we feel that we are safe and the work is well-done using the methods we do? I think it comes from several basic differences in emphasis between traditional ceremonial magic (maybe as far back as proto-hermetic times) and a tribal, spiritist perspective.

1: The Worship Pact: The entire thrust of our rites (at least our religious rites, rather than magical rites with specific goal-effects) is to welcome all beings to receive their due offering with honor.
2: The Protections of *ghosti: (Can I capitalize that asterisk?) Since we do not divide the spirit world into Our side and Theirs, good spirits against evil ones, we expect all arrivals to abide by the peace of the holy place. Even ill-doers think twice before breaking guest-custom, and all the spirits that come are guests at our fires.

On a more technical level, I think that the Gate Opening & Closing is our equivalent of CM ‘banishing’ rites. However, it operates using a different metaphor. Rather than thinking of the Otherworld as identical with our perceived space, and ‘clearing out’ spirits from a perceived area of space, the Gate Opening opens a Way between two conterminous realms. When that Gate is closed contact is not easy. When that Gate is opened the way is clear, and the spirits and mortals are visible to one another. We can quibble about whether and in what way the Gate spell is required in order for one to speak with the Gods and Spirits. However, in a technical ritual sense, the opening and closing is our equivalent of “Now we are open to communication” and “Now we intend communication to end”. By closing the Gate we say to the spirits “you no longer have my permission to influence me”. In other words, they have returned to their realms, full of our offerings and with our thanks.

If there is an advantage to the Gate form, it might be that we are less likely to insult or offend spirits of place. To come into a place filled with spirits who precede the magician there and demand in the names of your God that all spirits depart, perhaps with implications of uncleanliness or other insult, is a good way to end up needing banishing rituals all the time after that. While we do some basic cleansing rites, and ask spirits specifically unfriendly to stand aside, we are mainly simply ‘turning on a light’ so that we may speak with the spirits. When we leave the place, we turn out the light and all the local wights are left in peace, with offerings to remember us by.

So that’s why I don’t worry when I don’t end even a serious conjuring rite with a banishing. I am an ally of the spirits, protected by my own familiars and by my own authority. That’s not to say that knowing a few charms for sending away spirits isn’t a useful thing, but I don’t think our Order of Ritual is lacking in good methods of keeping us safe

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Book of Visions - A Manual of Pagan Meditation & Trance

Done at last! This is the meditation and trance material from the Nine Moons training system arranged in a simple order for general work. (Buy it here.) Please heed my warning: if you bought the Book of Nine Moons, you have all (90+%) of this material. Soonish that book will be withdrawn from general distribution to be made available to ADF Dedicants. However nearly all the material and more is available in this book along with the Book of Summoning.

This completes my long writing project of developing a system of Pagan magical training. The experiments in implementing the system are ongoing, and the Nine Moons may be due for a redesign. But completing this will free me up for the next wave including the The Novel.

Here's the back matter from the Book of Visions:

The Druid’s Peace & the Sorcerer’s Eye

The practice of magical arts requires a mind trained in the ability to produce altered states of awareness at will. Whether we refer to devotional ecstasies, silent meditation, shamanic vision or the second sight, the skills of trance and meditation are central to spiritual practice and practical magic. Magical work is supported by the ability to calm the heart and mind, to work with the energies of the Inner World, and to see and journey among the spirits.
The Book of Visions provides clear lessons in the skills of meditation and vision. It is focused on methods that directly support ritual magic and religion, avoiding theoretical discussion in favor of direct instruction. The methods are presented in a series that can serve as progressive lessons, but the many exercises and scripts can also stand alone. Presented within a Pagan Druidic framework, the methods presented are easily adaptable to other Pagan systems.
The lessons include:
• Meditation – Finding Your Peace; simple instruction in basic meditation.
• The Two Powers; Working magic with the powers of Underworld and Heavens
• The Threshold Realm, & the Vision Journey; opening the Inner Eye, and traveling toward the Otherworld.
• The Inner Grove; creating a personal place of power.
• The Nineteen Working: full instruction in a spiritual practiced based firmly on Gaelic lore.

Ian Corrigan has been learning and teaching in the Pagan community for over 30 years. He is an Archdruid Emeritus and a Senior Priest of Ar nDraiocht Fein (ADF) and worked with Isaac Bonewits in the creation of that Pagan Druidic system. He is the author of Sacred Fire, Holy Well; A Druid’s Grimoire as well as The Book of Summoning, and is currently developing the Nine Moons system of Pagan magical training.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Calling the Court of Brigid – the Next Step.

In August of 2011 I composed and led a ritual working intended to begin contact between ADF magicians and spirits identified as servants or ‘courtiers’ of the Goddess Brigid. (initial ritual scripts and journal here) While L. and I worked the ritual proper a much larger group assembled at the festival ‘workshop’ were invited to participate as seers, or simply as witnesses. We had what I consider a notable success with a number of seers naming, in the end, sixteen courtier spirits. Together with three superior ministers of Brigid – the Three Powers, or Three Queens – the working produced nineteen spirits that have now made at least a preliminary oath to work with magicians in our way. As a next step I am recruiting a group of magicians willing to undertake further work with these spirits, and to work a series of initial rites in order to begin.

The original rite was One Big Thing, with only a preliminary meditation. In a festival environment that’s the best I had available. In re-working the method for work by a solitary mage or small group I have divided it into three smaller rites and a follow-up spell. The rites are:

1: An Audience of Brigid – fairly standard offering and blessing rite, though done in detail, with the Blessing used for special purification and empowerment. This could easily be done as a group rite, even as a public rite at a festival or gathering. The blessing would be useful for all, and would serve as a preliminary rite for those intending to go further. The further rites could be done by a small group of people with an appropriate skill-level, but might be more easily done alone or with a partner.

2: Convoking the Three Queens – under the power of Brigid, three rulers of her Court are called. The Harp, the Hammer, and the Cup are conceived as queenly spirits of poetry, craft, and healing. These Powers themselves convey great blessings, and can be approached directly for magical work.

3: Convoking the Court – using shortened calls to the Goddess and Her Queens, the 16 spirits are named, their oaths given, offerings made, and then treated with. The individual magician perhaps finds specific alliances among them, and perhaps new spirits appear. If calling the whole company seems too long, this work could be divided to do the court of one Queen at a time.
I have scripted each of these in detail. A fourth rite is a simple, post-pact method of evoking one spirit at a time.
L. and I intend to do this work over the waxing moon of Jan 24 through Feb 7, along with a small group of other Druids and mages. The intention is to use to either renew one’s connection with the spirits (for those who were present at the initial rite) or to work the three rites and thus establish their connection with Brigid and her Courtiers. I will be blogging the parts that make sense to talk about.