2011 Pagan Pride Day Ritual
MoonPath Chapter of CUUPS
Valan (the Druid: Ash the Silent /|\)
References listed at end.
Ritual Items: (seasonal decorations for altar) Blessing cup Ear of corn Large basket for donated food blessing Branch to offer to fire Quarter palm fronds (12) Well Tree Sage mic for Valkyrie as well as quarters Ale and cups (each quarter is responsible for dressing its altar. We will provide altar torches. The West and North will have the Well and Tree, which we will provide.) Players: Spel, Ash, Story Sage, Gate person, quarter teams, fire, well, tree persons, drummers Ash: when everyone is in big circle As we approach the sacred grove With heart and mind, flesh and bone, Join us now in ways of old. We have come home. Statement of Purpose and Precedent: Spel: The Time of Change is upon us again - the Equinox comes, the Wheel turns... What better time for us, the multitude of humankind, Floridian-survivors of the torrid Summer Eagerly awaiting the kiss of cooler days to come, To re-appraise our relationship with our the Earth, upon whose skin we live our small lives. Ash: The Earth Once in her life a person ought to concentrate their mind upon the remembered earth, I believe. They ought to give themselves up to a particular landscape in their experience, to look at it from as many angles as they can, to wonder about it, to dwell upon it. They ought to imagine that they touch it with their hands at every season and listens to the sounds that are made upon it. They ought to imagine the creatures there and all the faintest motions of the wind. They ought to recollect the glare of noon And all the colors of the dawn and dusk. Valkyrie: For we are held by more than the force of gravity to the earth. It is the entity from which we are sprung, and that into which we are dissolved in time. The blood of the whole human race is invested in it. We are moored there, rooted as surely, as deeply as are the ancient redwoods. Spel: Moment of Insight At this moment of insight, Everything is clear And all is right/ And each thing is connected in beauty, A tingling rush at every hair and fiber, This spark of ecstasy, An instance that will be remembered When all else is forgot To feel totally alive In sympathy with the Universe, For the Truth is revealed, Reality speaks rarely, Lucky the one who has heard. Valkyrie: Now we will have the Keeper of the Well: The Keeper of the Well (KW) the “Well” is on the west altar 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. KW; will then asperse the firepit and the Druids from the bowl. Place “well” on Main altar (much drumming at this time.) Valkyrie: Now we will have The Tender of the Tree The Tender of the Tree (TT) From the North – the “Tree” is by or on the North altar. Walk to microphone. Liift the “tree” on high Please hold it dramatically aloft. (reading taped to container) 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 fire with the little Tree and then places it on or near the main altar. (much drumming at this time) Valkyrie: Now we will have The Fire Tender The Fire Tender will go to microphone and say: FT: I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. Sacred fire burn within us. Folk: Sacred fire burn within us. FT: starts the fire. Valkyrie: Let the drums begin! Much DRUMMING and cheering!!!!! Spel: 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. Ash: O sacred fire that consumes and transforms Ancient enemy and first-born friend of humankind. Accept this offering of flowers Become for us the living door to the heavens The manifestation of the Shining Ones. And the path of our return home. Ash tosses branch on fire. Spel: O sacred bough of fragrant memory May your sweet, rising smoke Reach the halls of the gods. May we pray with a good fire! Valkyrie: Instead of Calling the Quarters, we will honor these Cardinal Directions and the Beings they represent with Chants and Poetry. We will begin in the West: the Quarter of Dusk, of Twilight, and t he Autumnal Equinox, the sacrifice and the Harvest as one. Here dwells the creatures of the Watery Deep. May we have the West? (3 per team. 1 speaks, one has Bic, ALL holds branch. Later, they are charged with passing out and juice and cups to their quarter: They go round the circle sunwise. (after quarter is called, put branch on ground in front of altar.) The WESTERN quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the Main Altar. The speaker remains, the other proceed to West. The Western torch is lit as soon as the two arrive: perhaps while the speaker is speaking. Western caller: They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains the hottest blood of all, and the wildest, the most urgent. All the whales in the wider deeps, hot are they, as they urge on and on, and dive beneath the icebergs. The right whales, the sperm-whales, the hammer-heads, the killers there they blow, there they blow, hot wild white breath out of the sea! And they rock, and they rock, through the sensual ageless ages on the depths of the seven seas, and through the salt they reel with drunk delight and in the tropics tremble they with love and roll with massive, strong desire, like gods. And enormous mother whales lie dreaming suckling their whale - tender young and dreaming with strange whale eyes wide open in the waters of the beginning and the end. And all this happens in the sea, in the salt where God is also love, but without words: and Aphrodite is the wife of whales most happy, happy she! All the Creatures of the Sea - thee we Invoke. Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the West. Valkyrie: And now, The North – and, of course, we honor the Trees. The North quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the Main Altar. The speaker remains, the other proceed to north. The Northern torches ares lit as soon as the two arrive: perhaps while the speaker is speaking. Northern caller: I THINK that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed Against the sweet earth's flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in summer wear A nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose bosom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain. Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree. All the Trees, and minions and elementals of the North - Thee we Invoke! Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the North. Valkyrie: Now for the East! Eastern caller: A gentle breeze began to flow, creating music to one’s ears, whence it came no one knows, yet it takes away all our fears. Possessing such power and might, as it steadily warms the cool air, leaves dancing everywhere in sight, magical essence to those who dare. A single gift of beauty to behold, the soft wind felt upon your face, yet, in it’s fury it can be so bold, not every moment is satin and lace. It carries the fragrance of flowers, blending aroma of Spring so rare, hard to believe in Winter it devours, but for now, it’s splendor we share. The mystical wind is like life itself, for it contains both good and bad, never found sitting idle on a shelf, it can make one happy or forever sad. Thee we Invoke. Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the East. Valkyrie: And from the South, we call to the elemental of Fire. The Southern quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the Main Altar in the Southwest. The speaker remains, the other proceed to South. The Southern torches are lit as soon as the two arrive: perhaps while the speaker is speaking. Southern caller: Dancing with the flames a fiery gypsy’s dance – Fire in our hearts, fire in the trees, fire in the sky… Touched with fire we want to catch the flames.... Dancing with the flames we feel the rainbow fire, we feel the fire’s warmth, we see the fiery lady dancing with the gypsys so magical, so dangerous… We feel the breath of fire’s world, we feel the spirit of the fire, we hear the rhapsody of the fire’s wild flames… Thee we Invoke - let this Fire reside within our Hearts! Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the South. Valkyrie: Now we will have The Sacrifice to the Outsiders Spel: 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. He takes the Blessing cup and pours “ale” onto the earth, outside the circle. Valkyrie: And now the Story Sage with our Seasonal Statement: The Planet Earth Speaks: Alma Luz Villanueva I spin through time And darkness: I glue You to me with love. I house your body With earth, Your Soul with air. You swim toward me each night crying, “Mother.” You have not forgotten me: I am too vast, my heart too hot; my blood too sweet; my beauty too astounding. I reveal this to you because it is not a secret; or hidden from your view. I am entirely oblivious. I am spinning through The fabric of your Dreams. I am ever Present. I am an Ancient pattern within You, without you. I am The maker of wonders, The maker of horrors, The maker of beauty, The maker of terror: And I made you to love me whole, Small Echo of my womb: To love me as I Love you. Unconditionally. Valkyrie: Now we will have the Harvest Blessing: Spel: For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped, For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped, For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb, For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home -- We give thanks for this bounty! Spel: (Takes basket of food and blesses it for the needy.) I bless this food that it may bring health and sustain life. Ash: (Holding aloft ear of corn) Blessed are we by the fruits of the union of sun and earth. Here is the mystery and the richness of energy encased in seed. Though the form changes, the energy of Life is eternal. We gather at this sacred moment when the sun has gone into seed to give thanks for the abundance of the season. Spel: I give thanks for the blessings of this Season. Ash: I give thanks for freedom to practice the Old Ways. Valkyrie: So we can raise some energy, let us be joyful and dance thrice around the circle, counting our blessings all the while. DRUMMERS!!! Valkyrie: And now, the OMEN TAKING: 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. Will what we harvested be enough to sustain us in the Dark Season of the Year? I ask then, that the youngest among us draw a Rune that we may know our Fate. (The youngest draws and Ash interprets a rune. If an, unfavorable omen is drawn, the participants are asked to meditate on the gods' message and consider how to respond individually.) Valkyrie: And now the Blessing Cup. Quarter teams will pass out cups. Please wait for the toast to be made before drinking! (When all are served:) Spel: raises the Blessing cup filled with amber juice. Ancient and mighty ones we honor you. Having established the bond of hospitality with the gods, what the gods have given to us we distribute freely. Behold the drink of the gods! Spel: Yet now is the Season of Darkening, the Time of Ripening, when the night and the moon call the earth to fruit. It is the time of the tender goddess, the Maker of heroes, the Old One's Daughter. “Farewell, oh Sun, ever returning Light The hidden God who ever yet remains He who now departs to the land of Youth Through the Gates of Death To dwell enthroned, the judge of Gods and men, The horned leader of the hosts of air. Yet, as he stands: unseen, without the Circle." Ash: So dwelleth He, within the Sacred Seed The seed of new-reaped grain. The seed of flesh; Hidden in earth, the marvelous seed of the stars. In him is Life, and Life is the Light of man, That which was never born and never dies. Therefore The Wise Ones Weep Not – But Rejoice. Spel: May the Life of the Earth be in us. May the Strength of the Earth be in us. May the Wisdom of the Earth be in us. 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. Ash says: Let the fire be flame. (gong) Let the well be water. (gong) Let all be as it was before. (gong) This rite is ended. (gong) Fire-keeper extinguishes the fire with water (Big bucketful of water = big smoky finale.) Everybody claps and sing and hug. ****************************************** References, blessings and credits to: Mara Freeman, Kindling the Celtic Spirit Murray Hope, Practical Celtic Magic M.M. Sutton, Ph.D, Druid Magic Ian Corrigan, Lughnassadh Rite Mabon by Ezzy Violet Sirona Knight, Celtic traditions, Emma Restall Orr, Spirits of the Sacred Ground C & J. Matthews, Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom Asleen O’Gaea, Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Beltane to Mabon Veronica Cummer – Sorgitzak, Old Forest Craft John B. Wilson Joyce Kilmer Samuel E. Stone Any writing not attributed to the abovementioned authors is the sole possession of Valan Evers :©2011, all rights reserved. “Borrowing” is acceptable with credits.