Liturgy Practicum 3: Large Group Practice

Liturgy Practicum 3 is designed to focus on large group practices, both within and outside of ADF. In order to pass this course, you will be required to lead a ritual at a festival, and this ritual must be large enough to pose some of the usual problems that large rites create.

Because part of ADF’s vision is to provide publically accessible worship, even to those who are not part of ADF, this course will require that you perform a ritual for a generally non-ADF-centric function as well. You may contact the Archdruid or Clergy Council Preceptor to help you arrange to lead a festival ritual if you are a Consecrated Priest. If you have completed this course in the LGSP, you may submit the same answers, if it falls in the time frame specified below:

Rituals completing the exit standards of this course may not be performed more than three years before the submission date of this course for grading. The Clergy Council Preceptor will require some form of verification that the ritual took place and included the requisite number of attendees.

The primary goal of this course is for students to provide worship opportunities to the community and develop experience running large group rituals.

Course Objectives

  1. Students will increase their awareness of how ritual elements, such as creating group mind, developing effective prayers utilizing techniques such as motion, dance, music etc., and the use of physical offerings enhance small group ritual.
  2. 2. Students will lead rituals both within ADF and outside of it, and will examine their own processes for ritual creation.

1) Explain how you can incorporate words, motion, dance, posture, music, and gesture in a public, large group ritual. How is including each one in large group ritual different from how they are included in a) individual/domestic ritual and b) small group ritual? (Minimum 50 words per item, and minimum 150 additional words for comparison)

words:

Praying through words is often one of the most intuitive ways to pray in both private practice and in group worship.  When praying with a group one way that words are incorporated is commonly through the invitations that are spoken to each of the spirits in the core order of ritual.  These spoken prayers are sometimes pre-written and performed either from a script or from memorization, or sometimes performed extemporaneously.  Words can also be used in a group ritual specifically within set prayers that are common to the group.  In Three Cranes Grove, we use Ceisiwr Serith’s prayer “To the Holy Ones” as a spoken group prayer following the attunement.  We also pray through words when we engage in the call and response style liturgy that is common, particularly at the end of an evocation and during the Return Flow portion of a ritual (Serith A Book of Pagan Prayer 17-9).

motion:

Praying through motion in ADF group ritual is most often done through the processional into the space, and the recessional out, as well as occasionally through the methods of treating with the Outdwellers and purifying the space.  When the whole group enters or leaves a space, this is a method of prayer through motion, as they are declaring that space to be separate from the mundane.  When the person treating with the Outdwellers walks a good distance away from the declared sacred space to make their offering, this is a method of prayer through motion.  When one or several people circumambulate the declared sacred space asperging or wafting incense to purify the space, this is a method of prayer through motion. (Serith A Book of Pagan Prayer 22-4).

 

dance:

Praying through dance is a continuation of prayer through motion.  Dance most often displays emotion, though it can also be used to attain an ecstatic state to open yourself more fully to the Spirits, or to raise energy for a specific magical working. In a group ritual, if the whole group is expected to dance, it becomes important for the dance to be accessible for all participants (or for another comparable role to be available, such as drumming or clapping) and for the dance to be choreographed enough that all can participate together without causing injury.  This can be as complex as a structured unison or group folk dance, or as simple as ensuring that all have enough awareness to be moving in the same direction, or within a space that they won’t run into each other (Serith A Book of Pagan Prayer 24-5).   

 

posture:

Praying through posture often accompanies praying through words, since when speaking, you have to hold you body in someway.  I think it becomes prayer through posture when you make the way you hold you body intentional.  In group ritual, developing a common posture to accompany certain prayers or ritual actions can be part of establishing and maintaining group mind and the energy level within a rite.  For example, when honoring the Earth Mother, Three Cranes Grove has two common positions: kneel and touch the ground, or stand in ‘half orans’ with one hand palm down and parallel to the ground, and one hand up perpendicular to the ground, elbow bent and close to the body, palm facing away from the body.  Specifically for large group ritual, Rev. Dangler and I try to make sure that at least one of us remains in the standing position so that those with mobility limitations who are unfamiliar with out group know that they do not need to touch the ground.  We also have adopted certain postures for calling to each of the Kindreds: when calling to the Ancestors we look and reach towards the ground, palms parallel to and facing the ground.  When calling to the Nature Spirits we reach out to our sides, looking levelly across the earth, arms bent at the elbows and palms facing in towards the center flame.  When we call to the Shining Ones we reach up and look towards the sky, arms extended and palms facing up.  Additionally, when calling to the Gatekeeper or Being of the Occasion, we typically stand in a modified orans posture, with arms bent at the elbows, forearms perpendicular to the ground, and palms facing away from the body (Serith A Book of Pagan Prayer 19-22).

 

music:

Praying through music can be done in small group ritual through the use of chants or songs that the group sings together.  Music can also be used when played or sung by one or a few people to generate a mood for the group as a whole.  I find music to be particularly useful in the context of barding for ritual in order to maintain the energy of the ritual.  Music helps to maintain the focus and the group mind so that the energy generated doesn’t dissipate before it is used.  Drumming is also a useful combination of prayer through music and prayer through motion.  It allows the drummer to engage in the motion and music, and the other celebrants to engage with the sound and beat to connect and maintain the group mind (Serith A Book of Pagan Prayer 25-7).

 

gesture:

Praying through gesture falls somewhere between posture and motion.  In ritual, we most often use gesture when we are making offerings or when we are changing our body posture from one thing to another.  In group ritual gesture large, or over-exaggerated, gesture is useful in giving that motion meaning and ensuring that the Folk present see the ritual action as significant.  In Three Cranes Grove, some common gestures that we use, in addition to switching between the postures described above, include raising an offering to about eye level before pouring or scattering it out, and the variety of gestures that are used when opening and closing the Gates (often spirals, traced Druid sigils, or traced triquettas).  We have also begun to experiment with gestures that go alongside the spoken prayer “To the Holy Ones” that we use at the end of the Attunement (Serith A Book of Pagan Prayer 27-8).

 

Comparison of the Ways of Praying vs. the Size of the Group:

The difference between using each of these methods of prayer between private, small, and large group worship depends on which one it is.  Words are often common among the types of ritual, though in a private ritual one may be more inclined to not pray out loud, or to use more extemporaneous prayers.  In a group ritual, whether small or large, it is important that if prayers are going to be said as a group, that they are set.  If everyone in a large group ritual is expected to speak, it is useful if there is a program that includes the words.  The use of bookends at the beginning and end of spoken prayers also becomes more useful in both small and large group rituals, as it clearly indicates to the congregation where prayers begin and end.

 

Motion, posture, and gesture can be used similarly in all three types of rituals, however in a private ritual one wouldn’t be using those methods of prayer to establish or maintain group mind, but rather to focus their own mind to the task at head, and put themselves into a sacred headspace.  Similarly, music, when used in a group ritual helps keep the energy and focus of the congregation engaged, but when used in a private ritual is more focused on the feelings that it evokes within the solitary practitioner.  Like prayer through words, however, if everyone in a large group ritual is expected to sing, it is useful if there is a program that includes the words.  When dance is used in a private ritual, it is based entirely on what the solitary practitioner needs, whether it is designed to be an offering or designed to create a certain mental state.  In group ritual, whether small or large, it helps keep the energy and focus of the congregation engaged.  Music and dance are also similar to words in that if they’re going to be used in a group ritual with multiple people participating in them, they need to be set, rather than extemporaneous.  In a large group ritual especially, any dance that is used should be taught in a pre-ritual briefing, so as to not interrupt the flow of the ritual by stopping to teach.

 

2) Write and lead a ritual with an attendance of more than 20 at an ADF Festival. Submit a) your script for that ritual, b) video of the rite, and c) an evaluation of the ritual in terms of structure (how the ritual flowed) and function (what was accomplished). Contact the Preceptor in advance to arrange for verification of performance. (Minimum 300 words for evaluation)

 

Main Rite at Harvest Nights 2016 (Unity Rite)

a) Script for the Ritual

Harvest Nights 2016 Unity Rite

*all parts written by Rev. Jan Avende unless otherwise noted*

 

Pre-Ritual Briefing-

 

Processional Song: [Bonnie & Luke will choose]

 

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”

 

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!

 

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.

 

BotO (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: [Bonnie & Luke will choose]

 

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: [Bonnie & Luke will choose]

 

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.

 

 

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 BotO

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 song[Bonnie & Luke will choose]

 

b) Video of the Ritual

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rQo8X22bYI

 

c) Evaluation of the Ritual

Before the ritual, I asked Rev. Pezza how they typically structure the ritual when making praise offerings.  I ended up accidentally flipping the Deities of the Occasion and the Three Kindreds simply due to a miscommunication.  I wanted to make sure I did that middle chunk of honoring the spirits in the way most of the NE folks would be used to, particularly if they did 1 round, or 2 rounds of praise offerings. Folks just went with the flow, and it didn’t interrupt the group mind at all.

 

One of my favorite things about writing and performing this ritual was the Unity Working. In terms of the function of the ritual, I had really wanted to try something a little different than what I had seen and participated in in prior unity rituals. ADF has both the Unity Cauldron and Waters that are typically used in this working, but we also have a Unity Flame that several of the priests tend, including Rev. Pezza. So, Rev. Pezza and I brainstormed through and decided on the details of the working portion of the rite together.

 

The first thing that I think went really well was that because I was writing and planning this ritual ahead of time, the whole ritual was centered around the theme of unity, rather than the unity ritual feeling a bit like a random working thrown in the middle of a general festival ritual.

 

The second thing I wanted to incorporate was ADFs Unity Flame. Since Kathleen is a tender of that flame, the set up was in place, and it was a good opportunity to try it. We were able to use the sung version of the ADF Unity Charm in the ritual, and spread that Flame out across all the regions.

 

The third thing I wanted to try was working with the idea of regions more. Some of the unity rituals I’ve attended have only read off the regions, and that seemed to fall flat for me and others amongst the folk. But, I still wanted something with the regions. I eventually settled on dividing up the groves by region, and then reading out the regions, followed by the groups within that region (groves, protogroves, solitaries, and prison worship groups). This required me to do some digging on the ADF website, as well as sleuthing in Google Maps, to determine which region each grove was located in, since there is no listing of Groves by Region on the ADF website. Then during the ritual we would light a flame from the Unity Flame and pour Waters from the Unity Cauldron once for each region and its groups, working from the location the ritual was in (in the NE region in Massachusetts) out in ever expanding rings. Then, I thought “wouldn’t it be cool to have this all on a map, so people can physically see it, and the magic can manifest that way.”

 

So we did it, and it worked beautifully. I got a lot of good comments about the “groups by region” model, since it helped people place where the different groups were in the world. It made each group seem more real, rather than just a name, and because it made them seem more real, people were more focused, and more focus leads to better intent, and more focused intent leads to stronger magic. So, in function, I’d say this rite and the working was definitely a success.

 

In a small hiccup in the actual performance of the ritual, somehow I managed to not copy/paste the Southwest Region’s groves into the script, so there was a pause in ritual flow when I had to take a moment to pull up the spreadsheet of groves/regions on my phone that I had compiled to finish the litany of groves for the unity working. It felt longer to me than it actually was (it took about 1 min in actuality), but again, it all worked out fine. My ritual team was awesome and held position, Rev. Castner and Rev. Lewis didn’t move with the Cauldron and Cup, Rev. Pezza double checked her copy of the script for the missing section, but then held position with the Unity Flame, and Misha kept right on drumming. My calmness and poise, and their outward display of trust in me to figure it out, meant that the group mind didn’t dissipate and the energy was maintained while I found the missing piece and then continued on.

 

I got some feedback from others that included statements like “I felt the presence of the spirits more in this rite than I normally do in other rites”, “I got those good shivers in several places”, and “I really felt like when the gates were opened, I could feel the difference”. This rite was smaller by half than most rites I’m used to leading despite being a festival rite, which I think is opposite the intent they were looking for in this course which means in a lot of ways my brain treated it as a small group ritual, not a large group ritual. I trusted my bards (Bonnie and Luke) to pick appropriate songs for the rite, and didn’t feel the need for song sheets, since we would be working with mostly short chants that would be picked up easily. I figured Charter Oak Grove would have appropriate hallows and altar supplies for this rite, since they’d been hosting it for 6 years (and traveling in, I couldn’t bring much with me anyways).

 

Because this was, in effect, a small group ritual for me, a lot of the things one would take into consideration for a large group ritual are things that are just typical for me to do when writing liturgy. For example, I made sure the songs were taught in the pre-ritual briefing; I use a decent amount of common call and response, particularly in the bookends in each evocation; open praises offerings were done non-verbally with music overtop. All of these things are typical in nearly every other public rite I lead. They are useful in maintaining group mind and helping a large number of folks feel both involved but not under too much pressure or singled out.

 

3) Write and lead a ritual with an attendance of more than 20 at a non-ADF function, such as a Pagan Pride Day, a non-ADF Pagan festival, or other function. Submit a) your script for that ritual, b) video of the rite, and c) an evaluation of the ritual in terms of structure (how the ritual flowed) and function (what was accomplished). Contact the Preceptor in advance to arrange for verification of performance. (Minimum 300 words for evaluation)

 

Dublin Irish Festival Lughnassadh 2016, one of 7 Sunday Morning Services at the festival.

a) Script for the Ritual

Dublin Irish Festival 2016

Led by Revs. Avende & Dangler

 

Processional:

“We Approach the Sacred Grove”

(verse 1: Sean Miller verses 2&3: Heartland Bards)

We approach the sacred grove

With hearts and mind and flesh and bone.

Join us now in ways of old.

We have come home.

Fire, Well, and Sacred Tree,

We honor all the Kindreds Three.

Recreate the Sacred Center.

As we join as one.

Ancient Wise,

Noble Guides,

Shining Ones,

Join our harmony.

Treating with the Outdwellers:

(~Paul Wasson)

 

I speak now to the Outdwellers.

I speak to the trickster gods and goddesses

that may redirect the energies raised in this rite.

Leave us be.

I speak to those in this realm that may physically disrupt our rite.

Leave us be.

I speak to our ancestors that have not accepted that we follow another path.

Leave us be.

I speak to that which is within us, anger, bitterness, jealousy, there is no place for that here.

Let it go.

Outdwellers all, we offer this gift

in trust that this rite will not be disturbed.

I will stand at the boundary to defend, in case it is.

Outdwellers accept this offering.

Outdwellers accept this offering.

 

Purification:

 

Let us purify our space with fire and water:

By the might of the Waters and the light of the Fire,

this Grove is made whole and holy.

Opening Prayer

(~Three Cranes Grove, ADF Liturgy)

 

Children of Earth, Take a moment and breathe deep in this space that is sacred

Children of Earth, We open with prayers today

that our work might be heard, and that our voices might rise

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

In all of our rites we call out first to the Earth Mother…

If you wish to touch the Earth, you may,

or you may simply feel her supporting you through this rite.

Honoring the Earth Mother

(~Rev. Michael J Dangler)

 

Earth Mother, First Mother

You who are the mother of gods and spirits and all of us.

you support us. you surround us.

we hear your voice on the wind.

we hear you beat in our own heartbeat.

we your children call out to you today

and we make offering unto you

Earth Mother support us in this rite

as you support us in our daily lives.

Carry us forward, hold us tight to your breast.

Earth Mother, Accept our Offering!

Earth Mother, Accept our Offering!

 

The Call for Inspiration

(~Rev. Jan Avende)

 

The Children of the Earth call out to Oghma!

Sunny-faced one, your brilliant rays shine down upon us this morning.

We ask now that you alight upon us.

Lend us your honeyed words.

As your silvered chain travels from your tongue to our ears,

Allow us to speak with the eloquence you give us.

Come to our fire, Oghma.

Meet us at the boundaries.

Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our Good Fire.

Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Oghma, accept our offering!

Oghma, accept our offering!

Purpose & Precedent

(~Rev. Michael J Dangler)

 

As our Ancestors did before us, so we do now, and so may our children do in the future. I call out to all of you and I welcome you to the Druid Sunday Service at the Dublin Irish Festival. As many of you know the Druids walked the lands of Ireland before many other religions arrived. Today we come before you to make offering unto the spirits. The Ancestors: those whose blood runs in ours. The Nature Spirits: whose voices we hear on the wind. And to the Gods and Goddess: the many who come from the earth, who watch over our lives. And today especially on this day, which is Lughnassadh day, the Gathering of Tribes, so appropriate for the Dublin Irish Festival, and appropriate as well for the Olympics. For today, Lughnassadh, is the day when the tribes gather and games were held in honor of Tailtiu, the god Lugh’s foster mother. We’ve told the story of Lugh many times, in three parts. Today we add another part to that story. The enslavement of the Beast of Blight by Lugh himself, and the deliverance of the Folk by his hand. And so, as we do this work today, I ask that you turn your attentions inward, that you consider all the things that have brought you here. And as we always do, let us make our offerings in joy and reverence, and let us attune ourselves to this space.

Attunement

(~Rev. Jan Avende)

 

Children of Earth, close your eyes now and remember your connection to the earth. Feel her pulling down on you. Feel the heat of this day in August, the warmth encompassing you, surrounding you. Know that you are here in this space. And as you feel that connection to the earth below you and the air about you, allow roots to spring forth from your feet, from your spine, and sink deep into the earth. Feel those roots traveling down through the soil, through the bedrock, deep into the earth until they reach the cooling waters below.

These are the waters of potential. Cool. Magnetic. Full of energy. Bring them up using the knowledge of those roots. Draw them up from below, through the bedrock, up the roots. Through the soil, up the roots. Into your feet, up the roots. Feel those waters cool and pool in your belly. Feel them cool and pool in your chest. Feel them cool and pool in your head.

You are filled with the waters of potential, and thusly filled turn your attention skyward and find in the deep dark blackness of space a star that burns bright for you. Allow your attention to go towards it and feel it’s bright fire, its heat, its spark of inspiration and pull that fire towards you. Pull it through the blackness. Pull it down through the atmosphere, through the sky. Allow it to alight on your head and burn within you. Allow that spark, that fire, to burn within your head. To burn within your chest. To burn within your belly and feel its warmth fill you.

Filled with the powers of fire and water, now feel them mix and mingle within you. As they mix together cup your hands in front of you. Feel those powers mixing together and forming a triessence, a third power, and it is this power of fire and water that we will use to do the work today.

As you feel that power pool in your hands press it into your chest, or hold it to your face. Bring it in to yourself again

and know that you are filled with the powers of fire and water and magic. It is through those powers that we will continue this work today surrounded by our folk, surrounded by each other, and by the gods of all the lands.

As you open your eyes speak with me now:

“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)

 

Children of Earth, feel that Center within you. Be attuned to this space, and let us Recreate the Cosmos.

(Re)Creation of the Cosmos

“The Portal Song” (by Ian Corrigan)

CHORUS

By Fire and by Water, between the Earth and Sky

We stand like the World-Tree rooted deep, crowned high.

Come we now to the Well, the eye and the mouth of Earth,

Come we now to the Well, and silver we bring,

Come we now to the Well, the waters of rebirth,

Come we now to the Well, together we sing:

CHORUS

We will kindle a Fire, Bless all, and with harm to none,

We will kindle a Fire, and offering pour,

We will kindle a Fire, A light ‘neath the Moon & Sun,

We will kindle a fire, our spirits will soar.

CHORUS

Gather we at the Tree, the root & the crown of all,

Gather we at the Tree, Below & above,

Gather we at the Tree, Together we make our call,

Gather we at the Tree, In wisdom & love.

CHORUS (with gusto)

Connect yourself to this space, as we honor the Gatekeeper.

Inviting the Gatekeeper

(~Mike Bierschenk)

 

Children of Earth, close your eyes as you are able. In your mind’s eye, see the energy of earth and sky flowing out from you as a mist, enveloping you in the magic that lies between the worlds. See a gap open in the mists before you, widening to reveal a rocky shoreline, white capped waves stretching far into the distance.

Over the seas, crossing the waves as smoothly as if they were a placid lake, a boat approaches. And in the prow of the boat, a tall figure standing, hand outstretched in command. His cloak ripples out behind him, its color ever-changing, bright as noonday, dark as midnight, green as grass and red as gold and blue as the depths of the sea. A circlet of seafoam rests on his brow, and below it you see his face, strong and proud and changing as the waves reflected in his eyes.

This is Mannanán mac Lir, son of the sea, magician and trickster and protector. He passes over the realms and between the worlds with ease, guiding souls and seekers beyond the ninth wave. So too do we invite him today to meet us at the boundaries and make open the ways.

Hail, Manannán, son of the sea!

Guardian and guide, navigator, protector,

we entreat you: guide us as we walk the elder ways,

shelter us as we journey through the center of worlds.

In days of old, the people of your Isle of Man offered you rushes in gratitude for your protection.

Today, our tribute is a song in your praise from that same island.

Join your magic with ours as we open the gates of fire and well and tree,

pathways between and among the worlds for our prayers and offerings.

Opening the Gates

(traditional Manx)

 

C’raad ta’n ree? T’eh er cheet veih Flaunys / Harrish y cheayn dys mullagh Varrool

Where is the king? He comes from the Otherworld / Over the seas to the top of Barrule.

C’red t’eh jannoo? T’eh jeeaghyn my heear, / Soie fo chay er mullagh Varrool

What is he doing? He sits gazing westward, / Under a mist at the top of Barrule.

Qoui ta’n ree? Ta’n ree Manannan, / Ta cashtal echey er mullagh Varrool

Who is the king? The king is Manannan, / He has a castle at the top of Barrule.

Let the gates be open!

Let the gates be open!

Children of Earth, see those Gates between Worlds open.

See the mists part.

See the door at the foot of the tree.

See the Fire that is the Gate to the Heavens, the Well to the Underworld.

Know that we are at the Center,

and let us make offerings to the spirits, beginning with the Ancestors.

Honoring the Ancestors

(~Sophia)

 

The Children of the Earth call out to the Ancestors!

Those of our hearts, those of blood, and those of these lands;

Those who have made this festival possible and gone before us;

Those whose very essence has permeated our lives.

Come to our fire, Ancestors

Meet us at the boundaries.

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!

 

Honoring the Nature Spirits

(~Corbin)

 

The Children of the Earth call out to the Nature Spirits!

Beings of stone, rock, and crystal.

Things that sprout, fruit, and flower.

To our friends that fly, swim, crawl, and run.

Come to our fire, Nature Spirits,

Meet us at the boundaries.

Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our good fire.

Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Nature Spirits! Accept our Offering!

Nature Spirits! Accept our Offering!

 

Honoring the Shining Ones

(~Rev. Jan Avende)

 

The Children of the Earth call out to the Shining Ones!

First Children of the Mother, Tuatha de Danaan!

You Grain Guarders and harvesters

you warriors and champions

Healers, Smiths, Poets, Priests,

All you who are with us each day in our work

Brilliant and Shining,

It is to you we call.

Come to our fire, Shining Ones,

Meet us at the boundaries.

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 Ones ! Accept our Offering!

Shining Ones ! Accept our Offering!

 

Honoring Lugh, the Deity of the Occasion

(~Lisa Lea Allshouse)

 

Bright, Blessed Lugh, Champion of Mankind,

We Children of the Earth call you to our Rite

To give you honor and sing praises to your names.

Lugh Lámhfhada, Long Arm, Long Hand,

Protector of the Folk and the bounty of the Land;

Lugh Lonnbeimnech, Fierce Striker, Sword Shouter,

Slayer of foes, and wielder of bolt lightning;

Lugh Samildánach, Master of All Skill and Art,

Wise counselor, and harbinger of insight;

We are ever grateful for the Blessings you bestow.

Mighty Lugh, you are:

The carpenter, craftsman, and king;

The sorcerer, swordsman, and slayer;

The historian, harper, and hero;

The poet, physician, and smith;

We behold your light in the darkness,

And ask that you illuminate our path.

We hail your victory over fiend and foe,

And ask that you protect us all of our days.

We praise your deft skill and fine wisdom,

And ask that you help us prevail in all things.

We laud your mastery to reap and to sow,

And ask that you grant us a harvest of plenty.

Bright Champion Lugh,

Meet us at the boundaries;

Join us as the sacred hearth,

And be warmed by our good fire;

Guide us and aid us as we walk the elder ways.

Lugh, accept our offering!

Lugh, accept our offering!

 

Prayer of Sacrifice

 

Children of earth, take a breath again, for we are at the center.

We have invited the spirits.

Now, I ask that you join me as we make a final offering:

“The Offering Song” (by Anthony Thompson and Ian Corrigan)

Let our voices arise on the Fire

Let our voices resound in the Deep

May the spirits accept what we offer,

As we honor the old ways we keep.

Seeking the Omen

(~Shawneen)

 

(after reflecting and connecting as is traditional to the Seer)

Children of the Earth

We have Offered, and we have Honored,

We have given of our Praise, our Devotion, and our Treasure

Now, We seek to hear your voice!

Now, At this time, We turn inward, and ask, as is the Ancient Bargain,

What Blessing and Wisdom, do the Kindred hold for us this day?

Standing at the Center of our Sacred Grove, gazing across the Well of Memory…

We ask, what Blessing and Wisdom, do the Beloved Ancestors hold for us this day?

<pull, and interpret few>

Standing at the Center of our Sacred Grove, here at the Foot of our Blessed World Tree…

We ask, what Blessing and Wisdom, do the Noble Spirits of Nature, hold for us this day?

<pull and interpret few>

Standing at the Center of our Sacred Grove, warmed and kindled in the light of our Good Fire…

We ask, what Blessing and Wisdom, do the Shining Goddesses and Gods, hold for us this day?

<pull and interpret few>

And so we have…

The Blessings and wisdom of <A>, <N>, and <S>…

Children of the Earth these are <good/bad> omens!

{After a moments reflection, and after the Rite…

Taken together, these might suggest <X> }

The Return Flow

(~Rev. Michael J Dangler & Rev. Jan Avende)

 

Children of earth, do you accept these omens as your blessing?

We do!

 

Then I ask you once again from that Center where you live,

in this space, think again on each of them.

On [omen]. On [omen]. On [omen].

Consider how you can use these particular omens, these blessings, in your lives.

How do they affect you? How do they brighten you?

Think too, on how you can share these blessings with others.

We sit here today as one united grove. One light, One depth.

Children of Earth, consider that in those contexts,

and then think that the bounds of this tent,

the bounds of this festival, are not the only places the Waters reach.

Think about the world, the bright world that we live in.

Think on [omen].

Think on [omen].

Think on [omen].

How can you expand all these blessings to all the world.

Gifts that are received are gifts that must be given.

We turn around.

We give to the next person who has an open hand.

Give these gifts of [omen], of [omen], of [omen]

as we let them flow forth to you.

Children of earth, as waters flow, they become sacred.

As waters are collected, they are collected in sacred spaces.

All waters are by their very nature sacred.

We have taken these waters,

and we have set them aside at this time, in this rite,

that they may be filled with these blessings that we have heard:

Of [omen]. Of [omen]. Of [omen].

Children of Earth, I ask, is it your will to do this work?

It is!

 

Will you take these omens and these blessings and pass them forth to the next person?

We will!

 

Will you let them guide your hand,

let them guide your mind,

and let them guide your heart,

as you do work for yourself and for others?

We will!

 

Then, Children of Earth,

We draw forth the cup of waters,

and we call that they may be hallowed.

From the well of wisdom!

From the spring of renewal!

From the waters of rebirth!

We call: Shining Ones! Give us the Waters!

Shining Ones! Give us the Waters!

From the fire in the sky

From the bright shining orb

From the stars as they rain down upon us

We call: Shining Ones! Give us the Waters!

Shining Ones! Give us the Waters!

From the Waters that flow from below!

The Waters that flow over the land!

The Waters from the heavens!

The Waters that carry the blessings!

Fill these Waters!

Shining Ones! Give us the Waters!

Shining Ones! Give us the Waters!

 

Children of Earth,

These waters are cut off here,

that they may be filled with these blessings.

See them filled and brightened.

See them full of all that we desire and all that we have won.

Children of Earth: Behold! The Waters of Life!

Behold! The Waters of Life!

 

“Blessings in the Waters” (by Traci Auerbach)

 

May the power of the Kindreds be shown to me.

May the omens and the blessings be shown through me.

May the blessings in the Waters fill my soul.

May the wisdom of the Kindreds make me whole.

Children of Earth, breathe deep again

and feel those blessings run through you as the waters of the heavens,

as the waters of the earth,

as the waters that flow across the face of our planet: clean and calm.

Joyful, bright, and full of blessing.

Children of earth:

Be blessed in this work.

Be blessed in your lives.

Working: Lugh & The Beast of Blight Story

(~Rev. Michael J Dangler)

 

Filled with these waters, I remind you of what we have spoken of earlier:

Listen, Children of Earth, to the story of Lugh of the Long Arm, Thunder-Wielder, Shining God. He who bound the Beast of Blight, gave the grain unto the folk, and let the blessings flow far and wide.

In the fields they worked, the Children of the Mother, for many months. They toiled in sun and rain, They toiled in heat and cold. They brought from the Earth Mother the fruit of the grain.

The folk drew together their harvest, but had not put it away for the winter, when a shadow fell across it. The Beast of Blight had come early, hungry and gnawing, and slipped silently into the enclosure with the grain.

Naught but nine wilted, moldy grains could be had from the storehouse after that; not near enough for a child. And so, a wise warrior was called on: Lugh the many-skilled, the hound’s son, the youth of the storm.

Three droughts of the red ale he took, deeply drunk, and these made his passion deepen.

He road forth on Enbarr, whose mane is the froth of the sea, clutching his famed sword and spear.

Flinging wide the storehouse door, the youthful warrior sought his foe, but in the darkness he was hid. The Beast came against the fierce-striker, claws and teeth a-sharp, a screech as haunting as death.

The Bright One let fly his spear, skillfully aimed, and like lightning it found its home, breaking the Beast, shattering it as an axe shatters the tree, cracking as a bone gone weak from stress, crushed as a field after hail.

The Beast of Blight yet challenged the god, barred his teeth again in malice. Broken, he stood against Lugh. The god’s strong hand came down; Fragarach, Lugh’s answer, left piercing wound from which no man could recover.

Gasping, pained, the Beast gave in: he was no match for the bright and shining god. His treasure lost, he gave it free. The grain poured forth, now free of Blight, free for the folk to store and eat; the first stalk was Lugh’s in thanks.

Lugh bound the Beast of Blight within the late autumn clouds, that he might never arrive early again. So harvest your work, your toil, your joy, and see it safely to the storehouse. May Lugh keep your harvest safe!

Children of Earth, take this story with you,

and take the blessings as well,

as you go forth to do work in the world.

Announcements

(~Dublin Irish Festival)

 

Finally, before we thank all those that we have called, we have some announcements, because this is the Dublin Irish Festival, after all.

On behalf of the Dublin Irish Festival we want to thank you for joining us this morning. As we mentioned early on, we do not pass a plate in our rites, we don’t take an offering up. Typically we do donations before and after our rites, and today is no different. If you find one of us in white robes, you can give us cash that will go to the Dublin Food Pantry, or you can make a check out to the Dublin Food Pantry, whichever you prefer.

We do ask that, for as today we have received blessing, that you turn around and give what you can. For as I said: receiving a gift calls for giving one. Wealth hoarded is not wealth won. All contributions today benefit the Dublin Food Pantry, and your donations are greatly appreciated

We also want to mention that there is breakfast being served after this [list of provided vendors].

Children of Earth, we have done good work today. We appreciate you coming out and being here with us to experience the spirits and to join with us. Our next ritual is at the Autumnal Equinox. We’re up at Highbanks Metropark. Starting tomorrow you’ll be able to find information on our website, threecranes.org, to find out where that is. Or you can send us an email, or find us on Facebook at Three Cranes Grove, ADF. So please do take the time to look us up. Most of our rites are very different than this one. This is very presentational. We tend to like to do stuff in circles, not with audiences, so this is a bit strange for us, but also quite fun.

Thanking the Spirits Called

 

So with all these things said and done, let us prepare to thank all those that we have called:

Lugh Lámhfhada, you of the long arm,

You who have banished the Beast of Blight,

we call to you today.

For joining us here,

For being welcomed at our fire

Lugh Lámhfhada, we thank you!

(~Rev. Michael J Dangler)

 

Lugh Lámhfhada, we thank you!

 

Bright and Shining Ones, Tuatha de Danaan,

You who have come to our fire and aided us in our work

We say: Shining Ones, we thank you!

(~Rev. Jan Avende)

 

Shining Ones, we thank you!

To the Spirits of Nature who surround and support us,

To those who walk the paths of deer

Who wandered through the brook beside us

We call: Nature Spirits,

We pray we leave this festival better than we found it.

To you we offer reverence

Nature Spirits, we thank you!

(~Rev. Michael J Dangler)

Nature Spirits, we thank you!

Ancestors you who have gone before

And allowed us to be who we are today.

For joining us in our work

We say: Ancestors, we thank you!

(~Rev. Jan Avende)

Ancestors, we thank you!

 

To all the powers that we have called,

Named or unnamed,

We call out once more and we say:

We thank you!

We thank you!

Now let us close the gates and prepare to depart:

Thanking the Gatekeeper & Closing the Gates

(~Mike Bierschenk)

 

Mannanán mac Lir, protector and guide, throughout our rite you have watched over us. For this, we give our fervent thanks. We now ask one final favor, that you again join your magic with ours as we close the ways, returning the gates of fire and well and tree to their simple states before.

Qoui ta’n ree? Ta’n ree Manannan, / Ta cashtal echey er mullagh Varrool

Who is the king? The king is Manannan, / He has a castle at the top of Barrule.

Let the gates be closed!

Let the gates be closed!

 

Thanking Inspiration

(~Rev. Michael J Dangler)

 

Oghma, you who formed the letters,

You have brought us along with silver chain.

We call to you today, and we say:

Oghma, we thank you!

Oghma, we thank you!

Thanking The Earth Mother

(~Rev. Michael J Dangler)

 

Once again, we turn our attention to the Earth Mother.

You who have supported,

You who have carried us forth,

You upon whom we turn our way through the heavens.

Earth Mother, Our Mother,

To you we shall return all that we leave unused in this rite,

For what was once yours, is yours again.

Earth Mother, we thank you!

Earth Mother, we thank you!

 

Recessional

 

Children of Earth, once more I remind you of the blessings you have held and carried and been blessed with today. I ask that you turn around and given unto others these blessings of [omen], [omen], and [omen]. Let others know you by your works, by your deeds, and by the joy you have in this. And so, I ask in peace and blessings that you go and walk with wisdom, for this rite is ended.

“Walk with Wisdom” (by Sable)

 

Walk with wisdom from this hallowed place.

Walk not in sorrow, our roots shall ‘ere embrace.

May strength be your brother, and honor be your friend,

And luck be your lover until we meet again!

Goodbye

Thank you all. We are Three Cranes Grove, ADF. Please take a moment to look us up when you get home if you want. We’re happy to answer questions, as well. Thank you again!

 

b) Video of the Ritual

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a4sHdA70ic&t=1809s

 

c) Evaluation of the Ritual

So, this ritual takes place at the Dublin Irish Festival, typically drawing between 250 and 350 people each year, and we’re only given 1 hour for the ritual. It is also a place where we never really know who will show up. We may have all pagans, but we may also have a really large portion of random folks who just walk in and have no idea what we’re doing, or that we’re polytheistic. All of these things inform how we prepare for and perform this ritual.

 

We’ve had to be careful to time ourselves in previous rituals and in practice so that we are sure we’ll run in the specified time. This rite for us typically clocks in at 45 minutes, thanks to our streamlining and pre-ritual rehearsals. It’s also a little weird for us because it is our Summer Cross Quarter rite, but it is performed so differently than normal for us. We normally do ritual in a semi circle, but with this rite we are set up much more like a traditional church, with a stage and the folk facing us in rows. It is difficult to get used to and somewhat uncomfortable for those us who are performing the ritual. You can’t really tell in the performance though that it is difficult, which is good.

 

This ritual is always a little bit stressful for me because I’m coming right out of a full bardic set and don’t really get a chance to get myself in the headspace for ritual before we begin. I did okay with it this year. I managed to get a second to go get my stole and put it on before Joe finished his speech. One thing that was especially odd about ritual wear in this ritual was I ended up using one of Rev. Dangler’s old sickles for cutting off the Waters of Life. It was strange because it was clearly full of energy and power, but it wasn’t mine, it clearly belonged to him. Also, the pitcher during the return flow was way too full for me. Trying to hold it aloft as high and for as long as Rev. Dangler did was ridiculously difficult, and ultimately unsuccessful for me.

 

One of the things I think went really well in this rite, that is very clear, is how well the celebrants synced up their gestures. You can see this really well during the opening prayer at the beginning of the ritual.

 

Rev. Dangler and I also had to sync up our gestures when recreating the cosmos, when we opened and closed the gates, and when we did the return flow. We did really well considering we’d only practiced doing it together one or two times. However, since we are used to working together, and were able to watch each other closely, we were able to successfully follow each others gestures well in order to sync them up.

 

All in all, I think this ritual went really well, and we got lots of positive feedback again this year.

 

 

4) Journal the time spent planning the rituals performed for requirements 2 and 3. Ensure that you examine the following questions in the course of your journal:

a) What are the differences between preparing for a large group ritual, compared to a small group ritual?

When preparing for a large group ritual, one of the biggest differences is blocking. This isn’t something we typically worry about in small group ritual, mostly because everyone is able to stand or sit close enough that they can see what is going on. In a large group ritual, it’s important to choreograph blocking so that movement was clear an deliberate and everyone in the audience could see. Another important part or planning of large group ritual, as opposed to small group ritual is the importance of having a similar voice throughout, so that the ritual remains cohesive to the larger audience. This can mean using the same bookends for every part as well as creating song sheets for anything you expect the audience to sing or say along with you. For our non-ADF rite we also made sure to include and Order of Service with the group songs and prayers printed right in the program, that way audience members who were unfamiliar with the Core Order of Ritual would have some idea of what was going on.

b) How did you prepare the other participants for each ritual? Did you teach them skills, write their parts for them, or work with them in any special way?

 

For the non-ADF large group ritual I had a small group of grove members as celebrants along with me, as well as our other Grove Priest, Rev. Michael J Dangler.  Because I have worked with this group for quite some time, and am both comfortable with them, as well as confident in their abilities it was easy to collaborate with them whether that meant they wrote the parts entirely, we wrote them to together, or I wrote them entirely.  One member requested that I write her part that she would then memorize.  I requested that their written parts be sent to me prior to the ritual, partly so that I could be sure they’d thought about what they would say rather than just speaking off the cuff like we do in most of our rites, and partly so that I would be able to ensure flow and timing for the ritual.  In preparing for the ritual itself we talked a lot before the rite about blocking and positioning on a stage in front of that many people, particularly because it was different from our normal rites where we stand or sit in a semi circle and instead had the celebrants up on a stage, and the audience arranged in rows out in front of us.  Unlike our normal rites, we also had several rehearsals before the rite, and practiced speaking our parts and projecting our voices.  There was generally more critique and practice during the preparation in for this rite, particularly in content and presentation, that we normally ever have for a rite.

 

For the ADF large group ritual, I chose ritual participants, assigned them parts, and wrote those parts for them.  This was in large part because doing collaborative writing over long distances in difficult.  I also offered them the opportunity to write their own parts either with or without my help, but only one celebrant took me up on that, and only for the thanking portion of their part.  Because she sent it to me ahead of time, I was still able to ensure that her part fit with the flow and function of the ritual overall.  I also picked two of the local bards and instructed them to pick music for some parts of the rite that they thought would fit with the theme and would be familiar to people from across the country.  All of the participants for this ritual were experienced ritualists, and I trusted them to know what they were doing.

 

c) What challenges did you face in the ritual you did in the non-ADF setting that you didn’t face in the ADF festival ritual? How did you overcome those challenges? Did you also find challenges in the ADF Festival that you did not encounter in the non-ADF setting? How did you overcome those challenges?

 

There were definitely more challenges with the non-ADF ritual than there were with the ADF ritual.  A large part of that was because for the non-ADF ritual the expectation was that some of the attendees would have no idea what was going on, that this may be the only public event they attend each year, or that they may not even know we’re a pagan group doing a pagan ritual to begin with.  One of the ways we worked to overcome this challenge was by being more explicit on what the parts of the ritual were and why we were doing those things, as well as providing a program that included an Order of Service and lyrics to the songs.  We had to embed the knowledge of what was going on in the ritual in both the pre-ritual briefing, which by necessity was very, very short, and within the ritual itself.  This was because we were on a strict time schedule with only 30 minutes to set up, 1 hour for the ritual, and 15 minutes to tear down.  We also made the decision to choose very short songs for the places we used them and expected the audience to sing along, because we knew that we were on a time restraint and because wanted the audience to be able to pick up on the songs without us having to teach them ahead of time.

 

The ADF rite had significantly less challenges, simply because I could reasonably expect everyone attending the ritual to know what was going on.  One of the challenges I faced personally was because there were a lot of qualified and experienced people I asked to help in the rite, and due to the nature of this course, I felt forced to undermine their skill sets because I felt I had to write the entirety of the ritual myself, and due to the distance of all the different celebrants, I couldn’t collaborate nearly as easily with them.  What I did to mitigate this challenge was write the ritual and offer to each of them that they were welcome to instead write their own parts provided they a) had some tie to or focus on unity, and b )sent me a written version that I could put in the final script.  For this ritual because I was experimenting with a new way to do the Unity working, I had to fight with the ADF website to find out what region each grove was in, which is not one of the search parameters on the website.  So that was a challenge.  I ended up making a spreadsheet, and then looking up the address listed for each grove.

 

d) Did the size or makeup of your audience affect choices regarding the content of the ritual or worship aids provided? As examples, you might consider choice of music, call and response prayers, whether you provided song sheets, or other common ritual content or aids. Why do you feel the audience affected these choices, or did not affect them?

 

For the non-ADF rite some of the things we deliberately chose to use were large props, microphones, uniform clothing, and full programs.  The large props ensured that the audience would be better able to see what we were interacting with on stage.  The microphones were to ensure that the audience members could hear us.  The uniform clothing, Druid whites, ensured that we had a unified and professional look on stage.  The full program allowed audience members to know what order we were doing things in, as well as words to the common prayer and the songs.  The audience affected these choices because there was the strong possibility that they were unfamiliar with ADF, or even pagan, rites at all.

 

For the ADF rite, partly because it was at a festival, and partly because I knew the folks there would be familiar with ADF ritual structure, I didn’t provide things like song sheets or an order of ritual.  I did, however, provide all those I assigned parts with copies of the script so they wouldn’t have to worry about memorizing it.  We used the Hallows that Charter Oak Grove had, so I didn’t have to worry about traveling with any specific ritual supplies.  I did ask my bards to choose songs that they felt more folks would be familiar with, and to avoid music that was either new, or only really present in one geographic area.

 

 

 

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