Druid's Rite - Samhain 2008
Led by Valan the Druid & HP Shaper
V. (Inside at mic.) We are Children of the Night Sky. We hold our rites then. The Rites are to build patterns in our Hearts Once we have the pattern, we can go beyond the rites. Follow the Rites until you need them not. These rites are meant to lead you where we most need to go - They come from the sky, from the earth, from the gods of sky and earth. For this reason, they are of us - in us - and for us. And we will have the Druid's Rite now. We will form a procession on the walk near the back porch and go to our Sacred Nematon. We start the procession at the porch, process thru the grotto of the Dead The Fire Tender leads with a lit torch; followed by Shaper and Valan and Minions. HP goes first. HP & HPS proceed straight to the Main Altar, minions go to their stations. Gathering: Valan: As we approach the sacred grove, With minds and hearts, flesh and bone Join us now in ways of Old - We have come Home. Shaper: I hold my lantern up on high To catch the falling tears of night Command my heart to make a call To gather light and gather dark. V. One single spark is all it takes at last To call a circle into being A beacon on the farthest hill For those who are looking - For those who are seeing. So we shall cast a circle FireTender, I charge you with lighting the torches that keep at bay the minions and creatures of the Dark. Shaper: The Watchtower of the North - The realm of the gods. V: The Watchtower of the East - The realm of the Sidhe Shaper: The Watchtower of the South - The realm of the Stars V. The Watchtower of the West - The realm of the dead Fire tender races around and torches at the rim of the circle to MUCH DRUMMING! Statement of Purpose V: We stand at the portal at the end of the year in a place that is not a place and a time that is not in time. In this portal, we are neither in the past or the future, nor are we in our accustomed world, but are in the eternal present in the Summer Lands, the Lands of the Dead, the Realm of Ancestors. We look behind us at the past year and begin to assess what we have done with our year. We look back on friends and loved ones who have gone beyond the veil and remember them. We look at what we must leave behind in order to move ahead. Shaper: We welcome the Lord of the Wild Hunt, the Gatherer of Souls, the son of Night, who leads the souls of the Underworld on a merry chase; gathering the lost and wandering spirits and leading them home. We welcome the Lady who gives rest and healing to those souls, who welcomes the dead, and who guides us all to rebirth. Let us now prepare to journey to their realm. V: And now we will have The Fire, The Well, The Sacred Tree Shaper: In ancient times, Fire, man's greatest tool and nature's fiercest weapon, defined the meeting place of the sacred and the profane, the heart of the home and of religious ceremony. Therefore, when we come together to celebrate the rites of our ancestors, we light a fire. We light this fire as the center of our circle, the symbol of the ancient ways, and as a means by which our sacrifices may be conveyed to the realms of the gods. (Much drumming at this time!) The Fire Tender comes forward and lights the wood in the Main fire pit. (Lots of hooting and cheering. Then he goes to the microphone and says: FT: I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. Sacred fire burn within us. Folk: Sacred fire burn within us. The Keeper of the Well) (KW) (The Well is on Main altar. Get it and walk to microphone, Raise "well" bowl on high Please hold it dramatically aloft. (reading taped to lower bowl) KW: In the depths flow the waters of wisdom. Sacred waters flow within us. Folk: Sacred waters flow within us. KWs will then trounce dramatically around the firepit. End at main altar and put down the well. (much drumming at this time) The Tender of the Tree (TT) - the "Tree" is on the Main altar. Get it and Walk to microphone. Lift the "tree" on high and read: (reading taped to plant pot) TT: From the depths to the heights spans the world tree. Sacred Tree, grow within us. Folk: Sacred tree, grow within us. TT will then lower the tree. TT: The fire, the well, the sacred tree, Flame and flow and grow in me! TT proceeds around the firepit with the little Tree and then places it on the main altar. (much drumming at this time) V: By the might of the Water and the light of the Fire, this Shrine is made whole and holy. BOTH: 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. V. The Fire, the Well, the Sacred Tree, flame and flow and grow in me! In Land, Sea, and Sky, below and on high! Thus is the Sacred Grove claimed and hallowed. Now we will call in those who wait just beyond the veil to witness and bless our rite. Sacrifice to the Outsiders Shaper. Ancient and dark ones; unseen, unsightly, and unloved We make this offering to you You twisted and misshapen You cold of heart .and dim of mind Take this offering and trouble not our rites. (V. takes the Blessing cup and pours "ale" onto the earth, outside the circle ) Opening the Gates, V: 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. Now let this sacred center be the boundary of all worlds, Let the Fire open the Gate. Let the Well open the Gate. Let the Tree hold fast the Way Between. By the Keeper of Gates, and by my Will and Word, let the Gate be open! (Much drumming at this time!) Saille Honor does the Crone's blessing: Know the pillars between which we stand, the pillars of night and day. Know the self which conquers the flame, which brought the fire which burns within our bones and blood. Know and dance within that flame. The gift brings light beyond all blindness. Do not forget; we are the open heart, the spirit and the blood. We are the passions of the gods, we who touch both pillars. So it is, that we here within the circle must look past the last of all boundaries to what lies beyond. For this is our charge...to journey to the beginning place and to return hence with such gifts as are needed most. As has been done of old and shall be done again. For we who are the children of the earth and of the starry heavens, we who walk in all worlds, this be our path - to dream to dance, To dance to dream, And to Remember. Shaper: Centering chant In this place of the Dark Queen of the Earth Now bright with the Spirits of Hallow's Eve night, Confirm we now the sacred center The omphalos, the Navel of the world. V: It is said that the dead have a journey to make. It is said that the dead cross a river on their journey. It is said that the river becomes filled with their memories. It is said that the river is filled with their wisdom. It is said that the river comes to the surface as sacred springs. It is said that those who drink from those springs Receive the wisdom and the memories of the dead. V: "Minions, please gather your bowls of fresh spring water that you might asperse those present with the wisdom and memories of the dead. (They get water from altar and begin aspersing crowd. After they have started.) Shaper reads: We are the stricken, Dying of Death, Shrouded in weeds, Wrapped in our loss. Silent we wait, Clouded by tears Torn by the wind Ragged with mist. V: Where we are wounded there is no healing. Where we decay Nothing is sound Ravaged by night Abandoned by day, Silent we wait, Shadows of Gray. Shaper: Old in our broken Houses of flesh. Old among the ruined pillars of the sun. Old as the halls To which we descend, Old as this dark That does not end. Blessing Cup V. speaks, and Shaper lights a candle: We light the way for our ancestors' return. May they come and feast with us. We ask that everyone partake of juice from the Apples of Immortality. Minions, please pass out cups? Please wait till everyone has a cup to drink. When all have a beverage, we will have a Toast to Death: We will say: To Death, To Life, To Rebirth!! (3 times) Please wait for all to have been served. Minions pass out cups and Apple juice. When all are served, we toast: All: To Death, To Life, To Rebirth!! (3 times) V: Please dispose of your cups in the Main Firepit. They will burn at the Midnight Ritual. Shaper. reads: Elixirs fade, And potions fail. The gold is rusted From the Grail. The wine is changed To water thin, The blood is wasted From the skin. V: And all that from This glass is drunk May leave us only Smaller shrunk. The Dead shall sleep Their sleep of gray Where gold and pearl Shall fall away. Shaper: And let us lie Beside them here Past pain or joy Desire or fear. Let us observe Silence to dwell on these concepts. Then, a bell is rung 3 times. Somberly. (V. rings bell, or the gong!!) OMEN TAKING: Valan: The gifts of the people rise to the gods on the smoke of sacrifice. May our prayers go clearly and without hindrance to those we have praised. A favor requires a favor; a song another song, and a gift given requires a gift in return. This is the law of ancient times, alike between man and man and mankind and the gods. We have offered our gifts to the gods and we ask them in return for knowledge of what tomorrow will bring. Does the future bode bright, or is there a somber warning? I ask then, that the youngest among us draw a Rune that we may know our Fate. The youngest draws and Valan interprets a rune. Shaper: The dance is done, the feast is ended Now from the hallowed hall we must be gone. But, before we go, let us share a blessing. By this sign I'm circled round (draw circle round self.) Against sore stitch, against sore bite, Against all horrors that haunt the night, "Gainst dread that folk fear everywhere, And loathy things that here would fare. V: A sign, a chant: our comfort and stay, May we be warded well this day. No nightmare mire us, no foe harm, In our lives no fear alarm. Help us spirits of the land The Goddess hold us in Her Hand. Ye Elf and Aesir, Vanir aid, From You, our protection's made. Shaper: Now the formal sacrifice is ended. We bid the gods and elements farewell; to go or to stay as they will. We bid our Ancestors to watch over us and guide us on our path. V: Closing the Gate: Please lend your energies and help me Close the gate. Let the fire be flame, (Shaper strikes bell or GONG) Let the well be water, (GONG) Let all be as it was before, save for the magic we have made! (GONG) This rite is ended - go in peace. ************************************************************ Credits: Mabinogian Mara Freeman, Kindling the Celtic Spirit M.M. Sutton, Ph.D, Druid Magic Sirona Knight, Celtic traditions, Emma Restall Orr, Spirits of the Sacred Ground C & J. Matthews, Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom traditional ADF liturgy all prose and poetry by Valan Evers c 2008 - all rights reserved) ************************************************************* Props: Well, sacred tree, apple juice and cups, blessing cups, bell, containers of water, Runes. Torches at quarters, On altar: 1 for Sacred Fire, 1 for ancestors.