Monday, March 30, 2020

Two Charms Against Disease

Sheltering in place, here in Ohio, in a county not too hard-hit (yet) by the Covid infection, I contemplate how to apply magic to the situation.
In my personal work I have a long-practiced, nearly-unconscious pattern of applying the Two Powers (as some Druids say - the Underworld and Heaven Powers) to cleansing myself and maintaining a healthy pattern. For those not immediately in Our Druidic work, let me expound a little.
• One can approach the impersonal spiritual energies of the cosmos as the powers of Underworld and Heavens.  Allow me to quote myself, from my "Basics of Pagan Worship":

... the ‘energies’ of the spiritual world. Most common is the work called ‘grounding and centering”. In that technique we make ourselves aware of a flow of “spiritual energies” in the cosmos, and balance those energies in our own bodies and spirits. ...
                At the basic level we address these energies as the Light of the Heavens and the Waters of the Underworld. The Underworld Power is envisioned as the Waters Under the Earth, in which all the wisdom of the past is dissolved. The Power of the Heavens is seen as the Light of the Turning Sky, which brings order, pattern and growth. This duality corresponds to cosmic principles, poles of cosmic structure between which the manifest world appears. ...
                Working with the Fire and Water can be a core technique of practical magic, ... The Fire and Water are the primal powers of creation. When we take conscious control of the Two Powers, through imagination and will, we are doing in the microcosm what the Gods and Spirits do in the greater cosmos.
                The standard of proficiency in this technique of energy-work is to learn to bring (awareness of) the Two Powers into the self quickly and surely. ... From that base any number of specialized forms and applications of the energies can be devised.

The 'Fire and Water' healing charm here is precisely that sort of specialized application. I'm sure it could be worked with any sort of 'grounding and centering' but it is designed for the Two Powers work of Our Druidry.

The second charm here is a direct invocation of the Goddess brigid, who I look to as a primary healer goddess. It calls upon Her Three Powers - immediate daemons of the goddess who I know as the Cup, the Harp, and the Hammer. Details of that concept can be found in the Court of Brigid material. Even if not familiar with those ideas, following the images and poetry of the charm should get you close to the goal.

So here's my wish, for strength to our flesh, skill to our physicians, and the comfort and protection of the spirits on us all.

Healing by Fire and Water
A charm to prevent infection and strengthen wholeness

If desired you may work with a candle-flame and a small bowl of water. The charm can be worked in vision, conceiving the left hand as the Water and the right hand as the Fire.

• Begin by centering yourself in the Two Powers, establishing the Flow and Shine of Underworld and Heavens in your body. When you are ready:
• Extend the left hand (holding the water, or with a small amount in the palm, or only in vision), and understand the Underworld Power as flowing up through you, to concentrate in that hand. Breathing strongly and maintaining that vision, recite:
Deep Water rise,
Dark water bright
Strength from the Deep
All-Cleansing might

(and incant this nine times, charging the water)

• Then anoint the forehead, chest and belly or loins with the water, or place the hand on them in turn, from top to bottom, saying:
Flow, Oh Power, from the deep, through my heart, to my hand, that I may be cleansed,
 that I may be rinsed, that every ill be washed away.
That bonds be broken, and washed away.
That hooks be released, and washed away
That every bit be cleansed, and washed clean.
For the Blessing of the water I give thanks

• Abiding in your cleansed state, extend your right hand, holding the flame, or lit incense, or only in vision, and understand the Heaven Power shining down into you, to concentrate in your hand. Breathing strongly in that vision, recite:
Fire of heaven, Fire of the Sky
Moon’s white Silver, Sun’s bright gold
Shine upon me, shine within
That your power I may hold

(and incant this nine times, charging the fire)
• Then use your hand to warm or brighten the belly or loins, heart and forehead in turn with the flame,  from bottom to top, saying:
Shine, Oh Light, from the heights, through my head, to my hand, that I may be made whole.
Let the Light of Formation fill every empty space, and restore me to wholeness
Let the Light of Knowledge fill every empty space, and restore me to wholeness
Let the Light of Illumination fill every empty space, and restore me to wholeness
That I may be whole, and healed, and well.
For the Blessing of Fire I give thanks.
• And clasp the hands before the heart, understanding the whole work, the cleansing and restoration, and affirming.
So by Fire and Water
Let me be cleansed and whole.
So be it.

Brigid’s Protection Against Disease        By the Might of Brigid, Daughter of Danu
By the Mercy of Brigid, Flame in the Hearth
By the Flow of Brigid, Water from the Well
Spirit of the Hammer, Warm the Forge
Spirit of the Quaich, Bear the Draft
Spirit of the Harp, Sing Beauty
So ring, Oh Hammer, in the Cauldron of Warming
Let my furnace burn warm, my power be strong, 
to keep me from all ill.
Be full to spilling, Oh Cup, into my Cauldron of Movement
Let your healing flow through every course, 
to keep me from all ill
Sing like the Birds of Dawn. OH Harp, 
with words of understanding
Let me hear the Song in my Cauldron of Wisdom
to keep me from all ill
Mighty Goddess, make strong flesh and bone
Loving Goddess, make clean blood and wind
Wisest Goddess, Make clear mind and will
In my heart and at my hearth
For my kin and for my folk
That we may all be well.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

A Solitary Spring Equinox Rite

This season our local ADF Grove cancelled our public seasonal ritual performance for, I think, the first time in our history. We've had a couple of weather-related close calls, but this is the first time that we simply won't hold a rite, thanks to the COVID 19 problem.

Here is a reasonably simple rite that can be done at a family dinner table, or alone. It requires a few candles, a bowl of water and a couple of simple symbolic props

I will take the strength of the land for our own, and let growth and the rising light overcome ill.

A Family Table Rite  for Spring

In addition to service for the food, arrange the Center of the table, as desired, with four good candles, one shorter than the others, and an attractive bowl of clean water. If desired a decorative Tree symbol completes the array. A piece of silver or quartz crystal might be present to drop into the water, and incense is good, if tolerable for a meal-table. Also have present a preferred beverage, or two, to receive the Blessing.

• With all prepared, the kin join hands, and breathe together in silence for a moment.
• The Head of the Table lights the short candle, drops the silver into the Water, and speaks:
We come together to celebrate the turning of tides, the rising of light, the balance of the rolling wheel. In the name of the Earth Mother and the Spirit of the Grain, Let us seek blessing.
• All recite:
The Fire, the Well, the Sacred Tree
Flow and Flame and Grow in me
By Land, Sea and Sky, Below and On High
Let the Water be blessed and the Fire be hallowed.
• It is good to formally cleanse– pass the water, or sprinkle all – pass incense if do-able; this may be light-hearted.
One simple charm (spoken three times) is:
By the Might of the Waters and the Light of the Fire
Let this meal/table/gathering be blessed!

An offering is given, saying:
• Where Fire and Water Meet, Where Land and Sea and Sky are joined
There is the Sacred Center, The Crossroads of Worlds.
We light the Fire of Welcome, we draw water from the Holy Well,
And to the Gods of Crossroads we offer,
That this place be a sacred place, a between place,
A place of meeting for mortals and the spirits.
 Let the Roads be open, let the voice be heard, let the Gates be Open!

• The Head, or another, lights the three tall candles in turn as all recite:
Oh all you Holy Beings of the Worlds, In all your might
We call you, whether unnamed or by name, By these three lights
(light one tall candle)
Beloved Dead, you travelers, gone before, To you in love
(light one tall candle)
Oh wond’rous spirits of this land we call, To you in awe
(light one tall candle)
And every shining god, in every heart, To you in honor true
Love, awe and honor, these we light
With these three flames here, burning bright
And bid the spirits bide with us in peace.
The Spring Charm:
For this charm have a stone from the surrounding land (or a small bowl of dirt), a handful of seed-wheat or corn, Two offerings of incense are also ready

The Head, or another, begins:
• Light and Dark in balance, turning; Year comes forth from Winter, changing
Shoots come forth from mud and soil, kits and young are birthed, as well
Sing we springtime one and all, as all the land rejoices.
Unto the landfolk we give honor, remember we your sleep and waking
Give us your blessing in the planting, and multiply it in the reaping
As spring brings summer and the harvest

The stone or soil is taken up and held as the charm is said. The stone or soil may be passed around the table for each to contemplate, if desired.
• To the Mother of All we make our prayer, and likewise give this offering.
An incense offering is made
Many named, who upholds every path, womb of grain and final tomb
Let your power be growth in the season of growth.
Let water run free, and soil be rich and quenched
Let sun be warm and winds kind, and the storm bring the protection of the Thunderer
Earth Mother, you are the Womb of Spring
Be for us the Mother of Peace

The Corn, in a bowl, is elevated, or passed around the table, saying:
• To the Spring Thunderer we make our prayer, and likewise give this offering
An incense offering is made
Thunder-wielder, who wakes the seed and guards the corn
Let your power be growth in this season of growth.
Shake the sky, rumble the ground, and let no good seed stay sleeping
Lightning charge the air, and guard against all ill; keep safe the Beloved Mother.          
Thunderer, you are the Hammer of Spring
Be for us the Shield of Protection

This charm can be said or sung three times, or until all the tokens have returned.
So turn, turn, from dark to light
We stand in place ‘tween left and right
One hand is winter, one is spring
Between is each and every thing.

All recite or sing the prayer of sacrifice, and a final offering of incense might be given.
• Hear us Holy Ones
Offering we give to all
In Honor, Reverence, and Joy
Accept our sacrifice, we call

A daring and confident host might choose to draw an omen at this time. Many will be happy simply to proceed to the Blessing:
The Head of the Table, or another recites:
• The lights are lit, and the feast is ready. Let the blessing be poured for us all.
The prepared drinks are poured, and a single passing-cup is raised, or everyone raises their cup, and recites:      
Let this be blessing, poured for us, from the Holy Powers.
Let it be wisdom, let it be strength, let it be love, between us, true.
Let the World be soil, in which our hearts sprout and bloom and bear.
Let the Season be life, and energy, and strength for the growing
Mother of All, Thunder-Champion, we ask your blessing on these cups.
• All drink, then bide a moment in silent unity.

• The Head begins closing, saying:
• So we accept the blessing of Spring! To all those who have come at our call, All who have given us their blessing, to all those who bide with us in Spring, we give thanks. We bid you go in peace, if you will, or stay at our sides in blessing. Spirits, we thank you!
The Gatekeeper is thanked and the gate closed, saying:
• Keeper of Gates, Lord of Ways, for keeping the crossroad, we give you our thanks.
Now let the Fire be but flame; Let the Well be but water
Let all be as it was before; Save only for the magic we have made.
Let the gates be closed!

Then all recite the Great Blessing:
• We offer our thanks to the Mother of All.
We offer our thanks to the Gods, Dead and Spirits.
May the Three Sacred Kins bring joy to all beings, and renew the ancient wisdom.
To the Fire, Well and Tree we offer our thanks.
May Wisdom, Love and Power kindle in all beings, and renew the ancient wisdom.
To the Earth, Sea, and Sky we offer our thanks.
May the ancient wisdom be renewed, and may all beings know peace, joy and happiness
In all the worlds.        So be it!
• The Head concludes, saying:
Let us keep gratitude in our hearts for this blessing, for this labor, for this good food we are about to eat, in the light of the Holy Ones.
Holy Ones, we thank you (all repeat)
Let’s Eat!