Harvest Nights 2016 Unity Rite

*all parts written by Rev. Jan Avende unless otherwise noted*
Video of the Ritual can be viewed here.

Processional:
“Come We Now As A People”

Before we begin our rite, let us treat with the Outdwellers:

Outdwellers
I raise my voice now, and address all those beings that stand at cross-purpose with our rite today.
We have come together with a focus on Unity.
All those who cannot be in this space with others,
Leave us be!
All those who cannot stand in fellowship around our Good Fire,
Leave us be!
All those who cannot join us in the spirit of *ghosti,
Leave us be!
Outdwellers, let there be peace between us, as we do our Work of Unity today.

Purification
Let Fire and Water purify this space, that it may be made ready for our work.
Let this space around us be set aside as sacred for this time and place.
Now…
Look within yourself, and set aside those things that will not serve you in this rite.
Look within yourself, and strip away the miasma that clouds your visions.
Look within yourself, find the center of you, and come be welcome amongst peers in this sacred space.

Opening Prayer
The spirits of the sky are above us.
The spirits of the land are around us.
The spirits of the waters flow below us.
Surrounded by all the numinous beings of earth and sky and water,
Our hearts tied together as one,
Let us pray with a good fire.
(3CG Standard Liturgy)

And now, as we do in all our rites, let us call first to the Earth Mother:

Earth Mother
The Children of the Earth call out to the Earth Mother!
All Mother, Our Mother,
You who give life and breath to the gods, spirits, and all of us.
Your voice caresses us on the wind.
Your heartbeat thrums within our hearts.
Supporting us and surrounding us, we call out to you!
As we all come from you, so too do we return to you.
In our work of Unity, you hold us to together, as we are all your Children.
Earth Mother, support us in this rite, as you do in our daily lives.
Unite us and hold us close as we honor the Spirits.
Earth Mother, accept our offering!

Earth Mother, accept our offering!

Feel your connection to the Earth grow and deepen. And now, let us call for Inspiration in our Work today:

Inspiration
The Children of the Earth call out to the Powers of inspiration!
To the fire that ignites in our head,
To the waters of potential that rush into our spirit.
Be welcome in our minds and in our hearts.
May our words be true and our intentions clear.
May our prayers flow like honey from our lips.
Inspiration, be with us as we honor all those spirits who sing in harmony.
Powers of Inspiration, accept our offering!

Powers of Inspiration, accept our offering!

Feel as inspiration begins to flow through you. Feel the clarity of focus sharpen as we flow further into the rite.

Purpose and Precedent
We have come together today in celebration of community, and of the ties that unite us as one people of Ar nDraíocht Fein. Now let us join together and honor the spirits: as our Ancestors did before us, so we do now; and so may our children do in the future….

Attunement
Now, standing together, preparing to do the work ahead, let us take a moment to find our center, and attune ourselves to this space, and to each other. Take a moment to watch your breath, as it flows in and out, deep and regular… As we come to honor the Spirits and prepare for the work of Unity ahead, turn your attention skyward, past any clouds, out into the darkness where the stars spark brightly overhead, dimmed only slightly by the glow of the Moon. Feel the crisp autumn air against your skin. Close your eyes now, and allow your attention to be consumed for a moment with the Moon and the stars and the chill.

Then notice, streaming down from the heavens, life-giving Waters. Watch with your Vision Eye as droplets fill the air, plunging down through the chill to splash into the Earth. The Earth, cooling in the darkness, takes in the Waters and their nourishment, and as the ground in quenched, arising from the soil, comes a mist. Watch with your Vision Eye as these mists arise. These are the Mists of Magic.

As the Mists rise into the air around you, like an autumn fog rising with the moon, feel their cooling vapors caress your skin. As they continue to rise, notice how the light of the moon and stars filters through them. And as they crest above your eye level, notice how, all at once, the moonlight streaming down is refracted, and a multitude of colors pour out to bathe this space in its rainbow light.

Focus your attention now on those colors, born out of the Mists from mingling of the Life-Giving Waters, the Deep Coolness of the Earth, and the Bright Sparks in the Sky. Let the colors wash over you, and take their power and magic into yourself. The reds and pinks that are our life-blood and sexuality. The oranges and yellows that bring healing and light to our world. The greens and teals that exemplify nature and magic and art. The blues and purples that fill us with serenity and harmony, and connect our spirit to the world at large. Let this riot of colors, this brilliant diverse rainbow, wash over you as the Mists caress your skin, as you breathe in this magic.

And now, as the Mists sink back to the earth, to pool, swirling on the ground below as we prepare for the work ahead, see those colors merge again back into one. They become a brilliant white light, all colors merging into one unified glow. Expand your awareness now, and remember the people standing around you. Know that they too have been bathed in the colored mists, and are filled now with that white glow. Open your eyes, and see standing about you, your Community. We are all filled with the Life-Giving Waters, the Cooling Power of the Mists rising from the Earth, and the Bright Light of the Heavens. We stand, united in diversity, as one Sacred Grove.

“The waters support and surround us.
The land extends about us.
The sky stretches out above us.
At our center burns a living flame.
May all the Kindred bless us.
May our worship be true.
May our actions be just.
May our love be pure.
Blessings, honor, and worship to the holy ones.”
(prayer: Ceisiwr Serith)
Having centered ourselves, let us now sing out together to center and recreate the cosmos:

Recreate the Cosmos
“The Portal Song”

Calling for a Gatekeeper
Now, Children of Earth, by Fire and by Water are the Mists of Magic born. In your mind’s eye, let those mists, ethereal and formless, flow out from you and envelop the landscape. Take a moment to breath in those mists, and anchor yourself within this Ordered and Centered Cosmos.

And now, let those mists begin to roll back, to dissipate, revealing a figure standing where Land, Sea, and Sky meet. The figure’s long, grey hair is wild and windblown, framing a fierce, weathered and sun-darkened face. They are clothed in what appear to be robes made of blue-ish grey mist, almost identical to the color of their eyes, which shine with wisdom and kindness. As your gaze drifts downward, you see that the figure’s robes drift and pool, swirling as though made of mist around where their feet would be. The figure nods their head in welcome. You see them raise their palms upward, and notice that mists, tamed by this Spirit, flows freely about their hands. This is the Mistweaver: Gatekeeper, Guardian, and Guide.

The Children of the Earth call out to the Gatekeeper!
Mistweaver, walking the liminal places between the realms.
You who guide seekers on their path,
Parting the mists and lighting the way.
Great One of the Boundaries,
Spirits of all kinds are drawn in by your skill,
As you ferry our voices, carry our prayers.
Shining One of Liminality and Passage,
show us the way to walk in safety,
as we deepen our bonds of unity with the spirits and each other.
Meet us at the boundary, Mistweaver!
Join us at our Sacred Hearth, and be warmed by our Good Fire.
Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.
Gatekeeper, accept our offering!

Opening the Gates
And now, Gatekeeper, mix your magic with mine, and aid me in Opening the Gates!

Let this well, filled with the waters flowing across the wide earth,
Join with the Waters below and open as a Gate.
Our connections with the Ancestors deepen as the Gate is opened.

Let this fire, kindled upon the Land, smoke spiraling up to the Heavens
Join with the Fire there, and open as a Gate.
Our connections with the Shining Ones deepen as the Gate is opened.

Let this tree send its roots deep into the cosmic Waters Below,
and let its branches stretch ever upwards and reach for the Fire Above.
This Tree stands at the Sacred Center as a Crossroads between all Worlds,
Allowing our voices and our offerings to travel to all the Spirits

We stand here, connected at the Sacred Center
to all the realms of Land, Sea, and Sky.
Let the Gates be Open!

Let the Gates be Open!

Children of Earth, the Gates are open. Let naught but truth be spoken here.

We now turn our attention to the Kindreds and call first to the Spirits of Fire and Water.

Beings of the Occassion – Spirits of Fire & Water

Sprits of Fire
The Children of the Earth call out to the Spirits of Fire!
Those of hearth and home, who warm our families and tend our souls.
Those of inspiration and vision, who ignite in our heads and brighten the world.
Those of sacrifice and order, who carry our voices and offerings, and maintain the cosmos.
Those Fires of Unity, who burn bright within our hearths, hearts, and communities,
From flickering flame to roaring bonfire.
It is to you we call out, and to you we sing praises.
As we all come together at the Fire at the Center to honor the Spirits in this time and place,
We ask you to meet us at the boundary, Spirits of Fire!
Join us at our Sacred Hearth, and be warmed by our Good Fire.
Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.
Spirits of Fire, accept our offering!

Spirits of Fire, accept our offering!

Sprits of Water
The Children of the Earth call out to the Spirits of Water!
Those of purification, who renew our souls and refresh our hearts.
Those of blessing, who nourish and fill us with the gifts of the Spirits.
Those of invigoration, who plumb the depths in eddies and swirls.
Those Waters of Unity, set aside and made sacred, who flow out across all the world
From rushing stream to raging sea.
It is to you we call out, and to you we sing praises.
As we all mix and mingle our energy together in this time and place,
We ask you to meet us at the boundary, Spirits of Water!
Join us at our Sacred Hearth, and be warmed by our Good Fire.
Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.
Spirits of Water, accept our offering!

Spirits of Water, accept our offering!

Children of Earth, see in your mind’s eye the Spirits of Fire & Water stepping out from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire. As their presence fills our awareness, we turn now to call forth the Ancestors!

Ancestors
The Children of the Earth call out to the Ancestors!
Those of our blood and our bone, who have given us life.
Those of our heart and our hearth, who have guided our steps.
Those of our friends and our folk, who strengthen and deepen our relationships.
Those Mighty Dead: poets, priests, and bards.
Heroes among the ancestors who have shaped our world.
It is to you we call out, and to you we sing praises.
As we all weave our many and diverse roots together in this time and place,
We ask you to meet us at the boundary, Ancestors!
Join us at our Sacred Hearth, and be warmed by our Good Fire.
Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.
Ancestors, accept our offering!

Ancestors, accept our offering!

Children of Earth, see in your mind’s eye the Ancestors stepping out from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire. As their presence fills our awareness, we turn now to call forth the Spirits of Nature!

Nature Spirits
The Children of the Earth call out to the Spirits of Nature!
Those of fur and feather, who run and fly across the land.
Those of root and stem, who grow deep into the earth and reach for the sky.
Those of stone and mineral, who enrich the soil and enrich our lives.
Those Totems, Guides, and Allies, you who teach us your ways to love and honor the Earth.
It is to you we call out, and to you we sing praises.
As we all meld our voices together and uphold one another in this time and place,
We ask you to meet us at the boundary, Spirits of Nature!
Join us at our Sacred Hearth, and be warmed by our Good Fire.
Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.
Spirits of Nature, accept our offering!

Spirits of Nature, accept our offering!

Children of Earth, see in your mind’s eye the Spirits of nature stepping out from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire. As their presence fills our awareness, we turn now to call forth the Shining Ones!

Shining Ones
The Children of the Earth call out to the Shining Gods and Goddesses!
Those of the Heavens, who shine brightly upon us and give us nourishing rains.
Those of the Land, who provide for us and walk beside us on our path.
Those of the Underworld, who care for our dead and know the riches of the earth.
Those Patrons, you who take special interest in us and we worship with our heart, mind, and soul,
Devotees honoring you, as you care for us.
It is to you we call out, and to you we sing praises.
As we all make offerings together and stretch our branches to the sky in this time and place,
We ask you to meet us at the boundary, Shining Gods and Goddesses!
Join us at our Sacred Hearth, and be warmed by our Good Fire.
Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.
Shining Gods and Goddesses, accept our offering!

Shining Gods and Goddesses, accept our offering!

Children of Earth, see in your mind’s eye the Shining Ones stepping out from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire. As their presence fills our awareness, let us take a moment and welcome in our hearts and minds all the Spirits who join us here today.

Have the folk brought praise for the Spirits?

We have!

Then bring it forth!

Praise Offerings Song

Prayer of Sacrifice
Children of Earth, we have given of ourselves
in words of praise and in sweet offerings,
to all those spirits here gathered,
that they may receive our love.

See our offerings as they burn, smoke rising to the heavens.
See our offerings as they sink, into the depths of the well.
See our offerings as they traverse all the realms and pass the boundary into the Otherworld.
We now make one last offering, one final sacrifice,
to honor the Sprits and ensure our gifts are received.

Spirits All, Accept our Sacrifice!

Spirits All, Accept our Sacrifice!

Omen
(Priest speaks) We have made offerings to those spirits called to our Good Fire. It is time now that we seek an omen to see if our offerings were accepted and what we may receive in return.

Seer, gaze now, and let the Vision fill your Sight. Seer, gaze now and speak to us of the worthiness of our offerings, and what we may receive in return for them.

(Seer speaks) …

Return Flow

Calling for the Waters
Having given of ourselves, and received wisdom and blessings in return, we now seek to take of those blessings to enrich ourselves for the work that is to come.
We seek to fill ourselves with these blessings so that we may be thusly imbued with the sacred powers and apply ourselves to the work ahead.

All waters are by their very nature sacred,
We set aside these Waters, for they have been won for us.
We ask that you allow us to partake of them and of these blessings,
To take these sacred waters into our hearts and our minds.
Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

Shining Ones, Give us the Waters!

We ask for The Waters of Community.
We call forth The Waters of Fellowship.
We draw these Waters out, to sparkle in the air about us,
That we may feel their cool mist surround us,
And quench our thirst with their blessings!
Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

Shining Ones, Give us the Waters!

We open our hearts and our minds to the blessings we have been given.
As we stand amongst the Kindreds,
Amongst our Folk, and amongst our community
We call forth these Waters as our due.
We stand, united with all the Powers of the Worlds, ready to receive the blessing!
Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

Shining Ones, Give us the Waters!

Hallowing the Waters
Let the brightness of the Shining Gods fill these waters with the omens we have received,
[Omen, Omen, and Omen].

Let these blessings grow in strength like the light of the moon,
Let these blessings shine with the brilliant power akin to the noon-day sun,
Shining Ones! Shine your blessing down upon us, and fill this Vessel.

Children of earth, when we share these Waters
We share our own wisdom and love.
We prepare to do the good work of the Kindreds.
We prepare to grow and nurture our community and the world.

We, your children, rejoice in your gifts
Bless our spirits and our lives with your magic and bounty.
As we celebrate the strength of our community here today.

Behold, the Waters of Life!

Behold, the Waters of Life!

Receiving the Blessing
Children of Earth, before us is the Cup of Blessing.
Do you wish to share in these blessings?

We do!

Then, as these Waters are shared,
know that they contain the blessings of the Kindreds.
As we sing, reflect on how these blessings will fill you
and shine out in your life and our community.

*waters are asperged*

Waters Song
“Blessings in the Waters”

Working – Unity Rite
***The working altar cloth is a world map (on a separate table). on each region is a candle. unity rite will be done by region, beginning with the NE region, and then moving out in ever-larger rings.***

We’ve taken the blessings into ourselves, and now, as we gather together in unity, it is appropriate that we share these blessings out across the lands and waters to ADF members everywhere. In addition to sharing out these blessings, we will light a flame of Unity in each region, that we may all be tied to this common hearth.

Into this vessel the Waters have been drawn forth. *gesture to Return Flow vessel*
Let these Sacred and Blessed Waters that we have been gifted with, now mix and mingle with the Waters of Ar nDraíocht Fein, that they may fill us, nourish us, and sustain us.
*pour water from the Return Flow vessel into the Unity Cauldron*
Let this Sacred and Blessed Fire, the Unity Flame of Ar nDraíocht Fein, burn bright here on our altar, that it may brighten us, warm us, and unite us.

In these Waters, see reflected the Bright Fire around which we gather.
As these Blessings are ours, may they sustain our Wisdom, Vision, and Piety.
As these Blessings are ours, may they sustain our Courage, Integrity, and Perseverance.
As these Blessings are ours, may they sustain our Moderation, Fertility, and Hospitality.
In these waters, see reflected the Fire, born of the Waters, to which we Sacrifice.

Rooted together, branches entwined,
Our voices are raised to the many trees that grow,
the many waters that flow, and the many spirits that travel.
Let these waters of unity nourish and bless us,
and this flame of unity brighten and warm us.

*as a note for performing this ritual, be sure to check for the current listing of groves for this portion*

For the Solitaries of the Northeast region
And for the Groves…
• Muin Mound Grove
• Grove of the Other Gods
• Red Oak Grove
• Tear of the Cloud Grove
• Nemos Ognios Grove
• Paumanmok Island Protogrove
• Our Whole Protogrove
• Charter Oak Grove
• Inis Ull: Apple Isle Grove
• Northern Rivers Grove
• Hallowed Grove Protogrove
• Protogrove of the White Pines
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Canada East region
And for the Groves…
• Red Maple Grove
• Dancing Lights Grove
• Thornehaven Grove
• Grove of the Nova Scotia Druids
• Lake of Oaks Grove
• Golden Birch Protogrove
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Heartland region
And for the Groves…
• Stone Creed Grove
• Sassafras Grove
• The 6th Night Grove
• Three Cranes Grove
• Black Bear Grove
• Beautiful Rivers Grove
• White River Protogrove
• Northern Mysteries Protogrove
• Hallowed River Protogrove
• Willow at the Crossroads Protogrove
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Southeast region
And for the Groves…
• Cedarlight Grove
• Grove of the Seven Hills
• Grove of the Red Earth
• Manatee Oak Protogrove
• Five Rivers Protogrove
• Three Branch River Grove
• Raven’s Hollow Protogrove
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Upper Midwest region
And for the Groves…
• Shining Lakes Grove
• Wild Onion Grove
• Grove of the Midnight Sun
• Raven Wood Grove
• Cedarsong Grove
• Sinnissippi Tuath Grove
• Protogrove of the Whispering Spirits
• Star of the North Protogrove
• Dancing Waters Protogrove
• Protogrove of the Gathering Waters
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Central region
And for the Groves…
• Blackland Prairie Protogrove
• Ad Astra Grove
• Hearthstone Protogrove
• Thistle Protogrove
• Prairie Shadow Grove
• Nine Waves Protogrove
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Canada West region
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Northwest region
And for the Groves…
• Sierra Madrone Grove
• Larrea Tridentata Grove
• Bright Falcon Grove
• Cascadia Grove
• Protogrove of the Eternal Flame
• Protogrove of the Valley Oak
• Columbia Grove
• River Rose Grove
• Twisted Root Protogrove
• Frog Stone Circle Prison Worship Group
• Cosmic Oaks Prison Worship Group
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Southwest region
And for the Groves…
• Raven’s Cry Grove
• Sonoran Sunrise Grove
• Coast Oak Grove
• Silver Branch Golden Horn Grove
• Sandia Mountain Grove
• Mountain Ancestors Grove
• Chokecherry Grove
• Emerald Desert Protogrove
• *pour*
• *light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the European region
And for the Groves…
• Hollow Hills Grove
• Clan of the Green Mother Protogrove
• Adrana Protohain
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Asia-Pacific region
And for the Groves…
• Silver Birch Grove
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of S. America, Africa and Central Asia,
And for the Groves…
• Fine Na Dairbre Protogrove
*pour*
*light unity candle*

(sung)
Kindled from the great flame, kept by prudent skill,
join with us our common hearth, that these flames be one
Drawn up from the holy Well, Sacred for the Folk,
Flow into our common hearth, make our Waters blessed.

As the Waters flow forth to all of the Folk of Ar nDraíocht Fein, and as this flame brightens our many hearths and regions, we pour a final libation of these Sacred and Blessed Waters that Our Druidry itself may be nourished, brightened, and continue to grow.
*pour*

Let the Waters fill us, and the Fire brighten us, and as we stand as one Folk, one People, one Grove, and let our voices sound together as we continue Our Druidry.

So be it!

So be it!

And now, having done our work of Unity today, let us now, as one people, thank those we have called:

Thank Shining Ones
Shining Ones,
We thank you for watching over us, protecting and guiding us
Your wisdom flows into us,
Your love warms us,
Your magic empowers us,
You live in our hearts and our minds in all that we do.
Shining Ones, Thank you and farewell!

Shining Ones, Thank you and farewell!

Thank Nature Spirits
Nature Spirits,
We thank you for watching over us, protecting and guiding us
Your Spirit invigorates our worship,
Your knowledge informs our praise,
Your companionship warms our hearts,
You live among us, in peace and harmony.
Nature Spirits, Thank you and farewell!

Nature Spirits, Thank you and farewell!

Thanks Ancestors
Ancestors,
We thank you for watching over us, protecting and guiding us
Your blood runs in our veins,
Your Spirit is in our hearts,
Your memories are in our souls,
You live within us and within all those yet to come.
Ancestors, Thank you and farewell!
(~Niniann)
Ancestors, Thank you and farewell!

Thank Beings of the Occassion

Spirits of Water
Spirits of Water,
We thank you for watching over us, protecting and guiding us
Your calmness encircles our spirits,
Your depths speak to our souls,
Your energy rages in our hearts,
You flow within us and within our communities.
Spirits of Water, Thank you and farewell!

Spirits of Water, Thank you and farewell!

Spirits of Fire
Spirits of Fire,
We thank you for watching over us, protecting and guiding us
Your embers warm our families,
Your spark ignites in our heads,
Your flame burns our offerings,
You live within us and within all those yet to come.
Spirits of Fire, Thank you and farewell!

Spirits of Fire, Thank you and farewell!

Thank Gatekeeper
Gatekeeper,
We thank you for watching over us, protecting and guiding us
Your magic mixes with ours,
Your wisdom flows into us,
Your vision brightens in our eyes,
You weave mists about us, and reveal the ways.
Gatekeeper, we thank you!

Gatekeeper, we thank you!

Closing the Gates & Restoration of the Ordinary
And now, Gatekeeper, we ask for your help in one final task today:
To aid us in Closing the Gates.

Let these Waters, which have flowed across the wide earth,
Draw back up into this vessel here,
No longer a Gate opening to the many ways.

Let this Fire, which was kindled upon the Land, smoke spiraling up to the Heavens
Draw back down to this flame here,
No longer a Gate opening to the many ways.

Let this Tree draw its roots back from the cosmic Waters Below,
and draw its branches back from the Fire Above,
No longer standing as the Axis Mundi connecting the Worlds.

Let the Gates be Closed!

Let the Gates be Closed!

Children of Earth, the Gates are closed. Let all be as it was before, save for the magic we have done and the blessings we’ve received.

Thank Inspiration
Powers of Inspiration,
For igniting the fires of inspiration in our heads,
for allowing us to speak with eloquence in our rite today.
You have helped us meld our voice together as one in praise,
and so we say,
Powers of Inspiration, we thank you!

Powers of Inspiration, we thank you!

Thank Earth Mother
Earth Mother, All Mother,
You who support us in all that we do
We thank you for being with us and uniting us in our rite today.
And as all return to you in the end,
so do we return to you all our offerings left unused.
Earth Mother, as we ever strive to walk in balance with you,
We say, Earth Mother, we thank you!

Earth Mother, we thank you!

Recessional
“Walk With Wisdom”

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