Special Occasion Rituals

Special Occasion Rituals

This course was designed to expand a student’s knowledge and experiences for liturgical development beyond high day liturgy and specifically targets the development of liturgy for use in everyday life for a variety of different purposes.

The primary goal of this course is for students to enhance their skills for developing special occasion liturgy to meet the needs of individuals and groups occurring within every day life.

Course Objectives

  1. Students will identify, define and analyze several types of special occasion ritual and compare special occasion ritual to high day ritual.
  2. Students will increase their knowledge of creating ritual for diverse audiences.
  3. Students will utilize their knowledge and skills for liturgical writing to create special occasion rituals for a variety of different purposes.

1)  Describe how it is different to write and perform a special occasion ritual instead of a High Day ritual. (minimum 100 words)

A special occasion ritual is often dictated by the specific people requesting the ritual and their needs, rather than the needs of the community.  This ritual may also have a wide variety of attendees who are of different faiths, such as at a wedding or funeral.  It may also be an extremely intimate affair, unlike a public High Day, such as a mother blessing or coming of age ceremony.  One big difference for me is that I do actually script special occasion rituals, and often read directly from the script during the performance of them.  High Day ritual I’m comfortable enough, and have done enough of them, that I don’t often script them in full, if at all.  I simply perform them.

2)  Define “rite of passage” in your own words. (no min. word count)

At is core, a rite of passage is a ritual that takes a person from one point in their life, through a liminal time of transition, and reintegrates them into their new position in life.

3)  Describe how the following elements of the Core Order of Ritual can be used in a special occasion ritual in a way that takes into consideration religiously diverse audiences that may not be accepting of ADF traditions and practices (minimum 50 words per element):

While I have included ways to incorporate the various pieces below, I think it is worth noting that for any of these, the person(s) for whom the rite is for may desire that they not be present at all in the public ceremony. At that point, it’s important to remember that you can simply move these things to the beginning or end of the ceremony proper. For instance, you could recreate the cosmos and open the gates before the rite, and allow the person(s) to call to the spirits that they’d like to be present, including the Earth Mother and Three Kindreds, as well as any specific spirits. You can move the Return Flow to after the ceremony, and simply have blessed the waters for the person(s) so that they can imbibe them after. The Gates can be closed after the ceremony is completely done.

Calling for the Blessings and Hallowing the Waters

Working the Return Flow in a ritual where there is a diverse audience is probably the most difficult of the magical acts we perform to get around. First, I think it’s important to remember that when we’re including these as part of a rite of passage, that it is really only the person(s) that the ritual is for who needs the blessing. This means a child can be bathed in the Waters, or a wedding couple can drink a toast to each other. This gets around the issue nicely. Second, the Return Flow can be poetically described as the culmination of the work that was done, and the blessings taken in in some way. Third, you can vary what substance you use to receive the blessings to best match the audience. Whether it’s water or champagne that you drink, or incense or simply the air that you breathe in, or being anointed or sprinkled with water. There are many ways to take the blessing into your being.

Honoring the Earth Mother

This is easy enough to get around, since referring to Mother Earth, or making a statement that we should honor the earth, is somewhat common in our culture. This is especially easy to do in child blessing ceremonies, since one can speak poetically about how we are leaving the earth to our children, and as such should care for it.

Inviting the Three Kindreds

Inviting the Kindreds is something that I let the person(s) that the ritual is for decide how explicit they want the call to be. Calling on the Ancestors and Nature Spirits is pretty easy to make inclusive for all audiences. Calling the Ancestors is generally acceptable, since many folks during rites of passage have someone who has passed that they wish could have been present. The Nature Spirits can also be done simply by calling out to specific bits of nature, like the trees that grow around the space where the ritual is being held, or the sun shining down on the ceremony, or the wind that is gently blowing through the space and across the world. The Gods and Goddesses can be tricky, but if the person(s) decides they want them mentioned I will either do so explicitly if they wish, or mention them in passing as “the shining ones” or the “divine ones” who watch over the ceremony.

Recreating the Cosmos

When recreating the cosmos, the best way I’ve found to incorporate this into a ritual in order to help a religiously diverse audience feel comfortable is by phrasing the recreation more towards finding the center. By encouraging folks to breathe and remember the reason we’ve all gathered together, and to focus on the physical space here as well as their own center, it remains inclusive to many point of view regarding religion. It is meaningful enough to fulfill the needs of the druids/pagans, it is accurate enough to allow for the magical work to be done, and it is vague enough to not raise eyebrows from devout followers of other religions.

Opening/Closing the Gates

When opening or closing the gates, the best way I’ve found to incorporate this into a ritual in order to help a religiously diverse audience feel comfortable is by phrasing the Gate Opening as the moment when we begin the work, and the Closing as when we finish the work. It is a time to invite everyone to focus their intentions to the task at hand. You can aid this by combining it with, or flowing right out of the recreation of the cosmos. I will often work with only the Fire in ritual where I’m expected to keep the pagan-ness to a minimum. The Fire becomes the focal point, we find it in our center and at the center, and allow it’s light to extend and brighten the work we do. It’s a very poetic way to think about it, but still work for the magic of the rite.

4)  Write a full ritual for one of the following rites of passage (or other with written approval from the CC Preceptor):

Funeral

A Ritual to Remember, and Move on with Remembrance

[parents], we’re here to remember the spirit of your child, and to acknowledge the pain and loss that accompanies their departure.  As all comes from the Mother, so too does all return to Her.

So Earth Mother, holding all life within you, we call to you who supports us and cradles us always. Earth Mother, be with us now.

Tears of joy and sorrow, cries of anger and fear, sighs of contentment and frustration: all these are fueled are by inspiration.  Inspiration, catharsis, be with us now.

Loss is one of those things that rocks our center, and like the waves of grief that accompany it, that rocking continues, leaving us in a place that is often out of balance.  We turn to those people and things that are our rocks in the storm, our lights in the darkness.  And as the center swings past, we catch it, and hold it for this moment in time.

We stand rooted where this flame burns bright at the center, marking this space and time as sacred, and connected to all other sacred places and times. The flame brightens the waters that flow through all the realms.

In these brightened waters, we find the Keeper of Ways: our guide and guardian, ever watchful.  Guide of Souls, you know the waters of all the realms, and you know the bright path.  We honor you for the tears you are paid for safe passage.  Guide us now through the darkness and through the mists.  Be our anchor.  Shelter us in your embrace.  Be with us, as you always are.  Hold safe the way that we may remember, and move on with remembrance.

We grieve and mourn, each in our own time, and in this process we can learn to find our balance and our center again.  I call now to the gods you hold dear so that we may remember:

[deity] I call to you now, let this flame burn bright as we remember this lost child.

[deity] I call to you know, hear our words, today and always, as we remember this lost child.

[deity] I call to you now, root us deep in the waters of memory as we remember this lost child.

A child brings with them hopes and dreams and joys and fears, all blending together in harmony.  And when we lose a child, we mourn each of those things.  We mourn each of those potential children lost.  The dreams we planned for that child.  The hopes we had for that child.  The fears we had with that child.  We grieve both children: The blossom in the womb and the child that might have been.  We honor that life and those lives that might have been as well as those feelings that we will remember always.

A seed planted in your heart, to remember.

*take remembrance token and place it in bowl*

A memory, nourished by the waters, and brightened by the flame, can be carried for as long as needed, growing in remembrance as life carries on.

*light candles around token, and pour waters over*

[deity], as [parents] move on with remembrance, tend this seed.

[deity], as [parents] speak and remember as they need to, listen and support them.

[deity], as [parents] continue as a family, brighten their hearth and home.

Keeper of Gates, as [parents] navigate this process, guide them and shelter them in your arms.

The center, brightened in fire, and watered by tears, is a center that can be found again.  As we come back to this time and this space we again remember the Earth Mother, you who support us, nourish us, and welcome us back to you when the time has come.   As we move on in remembrance, thank you.

If you need support, remember you can always seek support, grief counseling, and other resources from your local children’s or general hospital, or if military from your superior/commanding officer.  You can also reach me at skylark913@gmail.com or 937-901-0090.

5)  Write three full rituals, one for three of the following options (or other with written approval from the CC Preceptor):

A child’s first day of school or college

First Day of Kindergarten

Materials needed:

Backpack

Teacher requested school supplies

[child], today you are going to start on a new path in your life. It’s super exciting, isn’t it? Today is your first day of Kindergarten. You’ll meet new friends and learn new things, and the whole time you’ll have the Kindreds there to watch over and protect you. Would you like to invite them now, so they know where you are, come with us, and know how to find your school?

Yes

Earth Mother, you keep [child] grounded and centered. Stay with them and whenever they need to remember us, wrap them in your arms.

Inspiration, you give [child] the best imagination ever. Stay with them and whenever they are shy or scared, fill them with your joy.

Garanus, you stand by and protect [child]. Stay with them and whenever they need to be self-confident, spread your wings and shelter them.

Ancestors, [child] is your descendant. Stay with them and whenever they need to made a hard decision, be with them in that choice.

Nature Spirits, you bring joy and wonder to [child]. Stay with them and whenever they begin to lose interest in the learning, let them feel your amazement.

Shining Ones, you share your wisdom and love with [child]. Stay with them and whenever they are feeling alone or lost, share your light and warmth with them.

[child], do you feel all the spirits here with us?

Yes.

Spirits! Join [child] as they prepare to go to their first day of Kindergarten!

Now, [child], let’s pack your backpack full of all the supplies and blessings you need.

Remember to be yourself.

Remember to be kind.

Remember to be helpful.

Remember to be respectful.

Thank you spirits for being with [child] as they go to school!

Purchasing a prom or wedding dress

Armoring the Prom Attire

We are here now celebrating as you attend your prom. Let us be grounded in the Earth Mother who protects and shelters us all as we begin the work of armoring you [attire] today. May my voice ring powerful and true as we weave this magic.

Take a moment, before we begin, to breathe deep. Reflect on the joy and excitement that you carry for your prom night. Cast aside any doubts and know that you are comfortable in your skin, and that this [attire] reflects that confidence. Draw up from the Earth the deep Cosmic Waters, and let them wash over you. Draw down from the Heaven the bright Celestial Fires, and let them warm you. Know that these powers mix within you as your spine straightens, and shine out, letting you glow radiant that all may see.

We call out now to the Crane, Garanus, who soars on high, his wings sparkling iridescent in the [sun/star] light. See the rainbow reflect like gems across this [attire] as he prepares to lend his aid to our armoring work today. Garanus Crane, open the ways that we may follow and take part in this important work.

I call now to the Ancestors who went before. To all those who desire to see [teen] enjoy themselves tonight. Lend your magic to mine and weave your protection and joy into the threads of this [attire]. Let no harm or heartache find [teen].

I call now to the Nature Spirits all about us. To all those who know the ways of dance and mirth. Lend your magic to mine and weave your protection and joy into the threads of this [attire]. Let no harm or heartache find [teen].

I call now to the Shining Ones who know our devotion. To all those who share a deep love for [teen] as they step out on this memorable night. Lend your magic to mine and weave your protection and joy into the threads of this [attire]. Let no harm or heartache find [teen].

What blessings are there to guide you through tonight, that you may have the best experience possible?

*take an omen*

Now, as we put the finishing touches on your [attire] let these blessings stream into its fabric and thread. Let the blessings fortify you and keep you safe from harm and heartache. As you finish getting ready, know that you are protected. Tonight you will be filled with joy and excitement.

Kindreds, keep [teen] safe, protected from all harm and heartache, and be with them for this joyful night ahead. Now, [teen], take a deep breath, and ground yourself here. Tonight will be wonderful. Let’s get ready for pictures!

Baby shower (Parent Blessing – CC Preceptor Approved)

Expectant Parent Blessing

Let us enter sacred space, and call the spirits to be present with us. We have special work to do for [parents]. Soon, they will be welcoming a new life into this world, and so our work today involves coming together to bless them and support them.

Now, as we feel the pull of the Earth grounding us in her soil, we ask that she lend her support to the work we do today. She who is Mother to us all, and who was the first to birth us we ask that she guide [parents] on their journey. We ask that they be inspired as they take their first steps forward with this new life.

Let us stand now before this Fire burning at the center of all worlds, and open our hearts and minds to the work ahead. Gatekeeper, I ask that you guide us on this path, just as you will guide [parents] on their journey.

We honor and remember our Beloved Dead, and we ask that they be present with us here and now, and lend their knowledge, love, and support to [parents] as they embark on this journey.

We honor and acknowledge the Spirits of Nature, and we ask that they be present with us here and now, and lend their joy, wisdom, and support to [parents] as they embark on this journey.

We honor and worship the Shining Gods and Goddesses, and we ask that they be present with us here and now, and lend their vision, adoration, and support to [parents] as they embark on this journey.

To ensure all are present that need to be, [parents], would you call to any specific beings you’d like to be present:

 

It is a journey that will bring a lot of changes, and lot of challenges, and a lot of joy.  But, like many of life’s journeys, it is important to remember that we don’t stand alone through life’s joys and challenges: our way is brightened by all those who walk these paths with us.  Let each blessing spoken, and each candle lit begin to ignite the blaze that will light your path.

  • Our children fill us with awe, excitement, and joy.  May you be brightened with laughter in each new discovery.
  • Our children also fill us with frustration, guilt, and disappointment at times.  May you be brightened with patience in each setback.
  • We have many relationships in our lives.  As this new one with your child grows, be sure to also tend the one with your partner.  May you be brightened with love in each breath.
  • You will have to make many decisions regarding your child, and not all of them will be easy.  May you be brightened with wisdom & strength in each choice.
  • Not every decision will be the right one, and it is okay to mess up.  Remember that our children learn how to handle their missteps by watching us.  May you be brightened with forgiveness in each mistake.
  • We hold so many hopes and dreams for our children, but it is important to remember to temper our own desires with those of our child.  May you be brightened with passion in each dream.
  • Our children are always growing, and always learning.  Sometimes it can be difficult to recognize their moment of defiance as a step towards the independence we are trying to instill.  May you be brightened with awe in each milestone.
  • There are many things that may distract us from our children, and it can be hard sometimes to remember that you are their everything. May you be brightened with focus in each moment.
  • Parenthood can make you feel like you’ll never have a moment to yourself again, but also like you’ve never been so alone.  May you be brightened with a village in each moment of isolation.

Many blessings we give you, to aid you in this coming journey, that it may be one of bright days and dream-filled nights. Wisdom to guide you, Blessings to prepare you, and a village to support you.  Let these shining lights burning here now, remind you of the blaze of joy and life that will soon be entering your lives.  And let these shining lights also remind you that even when you’re awake at all hours in the dark of night, that there is still a brightness that can be rekindled, and many flames that can be sought out for strength and wisdom.

And now, as these candles are snuffed, know that you have been brightened with these blessings.  That as the sparks go out here, that they are infused in your hearts, minds, and souls, preparing you and strengthening your for the journey to come.

We give thanks to the spirits for joining us here today, and to the Gatekeeper for guiding us as they will guide you on your journey. And most especially, we give thanks to the Earth Mother for joining us here, as she is mother to us all and will support you always on this path. Go in joy and blessing.

6)  Write a healing ritual different from other rituals written for this course.

Healing Ritual for Mental Health

Purification

Let Fire and Water purify this space, that it may be made ready for my work.

Let this space around me be set aside as sacred for this time and place.

I look within myself, and set aside those things that will not serve me in this rite.

I look within myself, and strip away the miasma that clouds my visions.

I look within myself, find my center.

Earth Mother –

I call out now to the Earth Mother!

You who give life and breath to the gods, spirits, and all of us.

Your voice caresses me on the wind.

Your heartbeat thrums within my heart.

Supporting and surrounding me, I call out to you!

Earth Mother, support me in this rite, as you do in my daily life.

Hold me close as I do this work today.

Earth Mother, accept this offering!

Inspiration (Ogmios) –

I call out to Ogmios!

Sunny-faced one, your brilliant rays shine down upon me.

I ask now that you alight upon me.

Lend me your honeyed words as I do this healing work today.

As a silvered chain travels from your tongue to my ears,

Allow me to speak with the eloquence you give me.

Come to my fire, Ogmios. Meet me at the boundaries.

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

Aid me and guide me as I walk the Elder Ways.

Ogmios, accept this offering!

Purpose and Precedent – 

I come here today to ask for healing for [name], that they may feel relief from the burdens they carry. Depression lies, and its lies need to be revealed for what they are. Mental health can be difficult to maintain, and I come to ask that [name] be comforted and guided as they navigate this trying time.

Attunement –        

Breathe deep, and relax into your body.  As you do so, focus on the fire burning bright here at the Center.  Breathe in, and let your awareness sink into that flame.  Breathe in, and let everything but the flame fade away.  Breathe in, and feel the warmth from that flame emanate and sink into your bones.

Now, with your Vision Eye, see that flame grow brighter and hotter, hotter and brighter.  Breathe in, and see the rippling of the air as the heat emanates.  This is the flame of a forge, a flame from the deep fires of the Earth.  Let its heat fill you.  Feel it caressing your skin.  Feel it warming your bones.  As you stand close to the flame of the forge, feel the ground around you heating up.  As you feel that heat in your feet, let your awareness follow it down.  Down through the bedrock, and into the mantle and core of the Earth.  The forge connecting to those fires deep within the earth.  Breathe in, and sink deeper into the earth, moving from the red, to orange, to yellow, to white-hot heat.  Feel your body heating, and now rise with the heat as it travels back up to the forge.  Up from the core and the mantle of the Earth, up through the bedrock, bringing its heat to fortify the forge.  As the forge is heated and fortified, so too, are you.

Now, as the heat from the forge continues to rise, allow your awareness to follow it up, into the coolness of the winter air around you.  Breathe in, and see with your Vision Eye the heat dissipating as it rises.  Breathe out, and see the frost crystalizing in front of you.  As you continue to rise into the frigid cold of the atmosphere, feel your body maintaining the core of its heat, even while your skin prickles from the chill around you.  Breathe in, and continue to rise up to the cloak of stars, allowing the inky darkness to wrap around you.  Feel the stars, like snowflakes, against your skin.  With this cloak of stars wrapped about you, the chill on your skin contrasting sharply with the warmth of your core, feel yourself now sinking back through the atmosphere with the cold.  As the cold continues to sink down you feel it reaching the rising heat of the forge.

As the chill of the dark, winter sky meets with the heat of the deep fires of the earth, the air swirls in eddies that mix and mingle.  Allow the chill to follow you back down to the forge and settle into the quenching bucket.  Once more focus on the heat of the earth, emanating from the forge, and allow it to fill your body.  Feel yourself heating and heating, your core once again warming out through your skin.  Feel the dross rising to the surface of your skin, and sloughing off as you are purified in flame.  Feel yourself become malleable, and focus your attention for a moment on preparing yourself to enter sacred space.  Now shift your attention to that cloak of stars filling the quench bucket, and allow yourself to plunge into it.  Hear the sizzle as you are rapidly cooled, shaped and ready for the work ahead.  As you have been heated, purified, shaped, and quenched, allow your awareness to come back to this space here.  See the flame once again before you, here on the altar, and know you are ready.

Recreate the Cosmos –

Now that I are here, centered within myself, it is time to establish the sacred center and ReCreate the Cosmos by hallowing the Well, Fire, and Tree.

Remember now the chill of the stars, and see them reflected within the Well here.  All the Waters of the Cosmos flow here, it’s depths swirling like a spinning galaxy.  I bring silver to the Well, to mark it as the Center.  Let my voice resound in the deep, carrying my prayers to the spirits.  Sacred Well, Flow within me.

Sacred Well, Flow within me.

Remember now the heat of the forge, and feel it burning strong within the Fire here.  This flame is every flame, an ember glowing at the Center of All.  I bring incense to the Fire, to mark it as the Center.  Let my voice rise with the smoke, carrying my prayers to the spirits.  Sacred Fire, Burn within me.

Sacred Fire, Burn within me. 

Now, through this Sacred Center, born of Water and Fire, see the World Tree grow, plunging deep into the Earth, and stretching high into the sky.  See it warmed in this cold month by the Fire of the Earth, and nourished by the Cosmic Waters.  I bring Fire and Water to the Tree, to mark it as the Center.  Let my voice travel its roots and branches, carrying my prayers to the spirits.  Sacred Tree, Grow within me.

Sacred Tree, Grow within me.    

The Sacred Center thus established, the Cosmos recreated, it is time now that I Open the Gates between worlds, that the spirits know I am here and ready to work with them.

Gatekeeper/Gates –

Now, by Fire and by Water are the Mists of Magic born.  I see those mists, ethereal and formless, flow out from me and envelop the landscape.  I breathe in those mists, and anchor myself 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.  Here stands Garanus, the Crane, one foot on land, one foot in the water, eye cast to the sky.

Garanus Crane, I call out to you: You who soar gracefully through the air, who stand regal and watchful on the shore, and who fish without shame in the waters.  You embody grace and poise.  You embody reverence and mirth.  Ever liminal in all you are and do, dancing like no one is watching.  You know the waters of all the realms, and you know the bright path.  Guide me now through the darkness and through the mists.  Be my anchor.  Shelter me in your wings.  Be with me, as you always are, and mix your magic with mine to 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.

My 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.

My 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 my voice and my offerings to travel to all the Spirits.

I stand here, connected at the Sacred Center

to all the realms of Land, Sea, and Sky.

Let the Gates be Open!

Three Kindreds –

Garanus, standing now at the Center of Worlds, carry my voice that the spirits may hear my words and see my heart.  May the Ancestors who went before know my love.  May the Nature Spirits all around know my gratitude.  May the Shining Ones who share their wisdom and love know my devotion.  Three Kindreds, be with me as I do the work ahead.

DotO (Brigando) –

I call out now to Brigando,

Bright Lady of the Flame and Forge.

You who brighten my life and temper my spirit.

Be with me today as I do this work,

Wrap me in you mantle and warm me with your fire.

Brigando, accept this offering.

Prayer of Sacrifice –

To all the spirits I have called to for aid in my work today, accept this final sacrifice to know my devotion and gratitude for your presence.

Omen –

I ask now, what does Brigando lend to this work I do today?

*take an omen*

Return Flow – 

I have given of myself in preparation of the work ahead. I have received blessings from Brigando in turn, that they may help me in the work ahead. I seek now to take those blessings into myself, to enrich the healing that I come to do for [name].

Shining Ones, I call out to you now to fill the vessel with the Blessed Waters.

I See the Power of the Fires of the Forge filling these waters.

I See the Power of the Waters of the Cosmos filling these waters.

I See the Power of the world around us filling these waters.

Let the brightness of the Shining Gods fill these waters with the omens we have received, [Omen, Omen, and Omen].  Let their blessings grow in strength like a forge with the bellow pumping strong.

Shining Ones, Rain your blessings down upon me, and fill this vessel. Let your strength augment mine as I approach the healing work ahead.

*drink the waters from the vessel*

Working (healing for mental health) –

I light this flame now that it may brighten my voice and carry my words to the gods above. Bright Brigando, I call to you now:

Wrap [name] in your glowing mantle. Let any tears that might be shed lead only to healing. Be kind and firm in your work, and let your voices ring in the ears of all who come to help. May this flame lit brighten the way, and root out the darkness that seeks to envelop [name]. May it dissipate the lies that depression tells, and allow healing and comfort to come to [name].

Mighty Brigando, accept this offering, brightened in the flame of devotion, and do your work now as I lend my energy by toning.

Thanks –

Brigando, for your presence here, and the gifts you lent to my work today, I say, I thank you!

Kindreds Three, for your presence here, and the gifts you lent to my work today, I say, I thank you!

 

Thank Gatekeeper –

Gatekeeper, Garanus Crane,

Thank you for watching over me, protecting and guiding me

Your magic mixes with mine,

Your wisdom flows into me,

Your vision brightens in my eyes,

Garanus, for your presence here, and the gifts you lent to my work today, I say, I thank you!

Closing the Gates & Restoration of the Ordinary –

And now, Garanus, I ask for your help in one final task today:

To aid me 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!

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 and Earth Mother

 

Ogmios, Sunny faced one, for your presence here, and the gifts and inspiration you lent to my work today, I say, I thank you!

 

Earth Mother, All Mother,

You who support me in all that I do,

For your presence here, and the gifts you lent to my work today

I am grateful.

And as all must return to you in the end,

so do I return to you all offerings left unused.

Earth Mother, as I ever strive to walk in balance with you,

I say, Earth Mother, I thank you!

 

Recessional –

Good work has been done her today to aid [name] in overcoming their mental health difficulties. May this healing work manifest in ways seen and unseen. This rite is ended!

7)  Write a protection ritual different from other rituals written for this course.

Protection of Home and Possessions – Full Moon Ritual

You will need a small piece of cloth and symbols to represent your home/possessions

Outdwellers –

O mighty Titans, who from Heaven and Earth derive your noble and illustrious birth,

You who ruled the cosmos before the Olympians.

Accept this offering as a symbol of peace between us.

Allow this time, place and purpose to be in peace.

I release anything within myself that is at cross-purposes with this rite.

Titans! Outdwellers!  Accept this offering.

Processional  –

  • Purification of the Sacred Space (Khernips) –All those taking part in the ritual wash face and hands in fresh, clean water outside of ritual space. Left over water is carried in and used to purify the ritual space.
  • Add the flame of Hestia to the fire again after processing into the ritual space.
  • Barley is thrown into the fire (kanoun), and scattered all about the ritual space for further purification of the space.  Purification water is also sprinkled around the ritual space.

Opening Statement/Prayer –

O, Makares, (Blessed Ones)

As the moon in its cycle is timeless,

Growing in power each month until it bursts with luminescence,

So we return each month at the time of the Full Moon

In the timeless act of worship

Echoing with our prayers and our offerings,

The moon’s glowing promise of power and magic.

This night, beneath the bright and shining moon,

We gather to do as our Ancestors did before us,

To reforge the sacred *ghosti bond in our worship,

And to mix our powers together to achieve great works.

Elthete (Come) Theoi (gods),

Bless us with your presence,

And partake of what we offer,

In reverence of you here in our Ekklisíasma (Congregation).

Hestia –

For Hestia, I pour these first libations,

First-Born, and Last-Born,

Keeper of the Sacred Flame,

Tender of the Hearth and Guardian of the Home.

You whose fire burns brightly within my heart,

I now ask that it burn brightly upon my hearth.

Hestia, I sing your praises.

Inspiration –

Inspire me with your grace and song

To honor all the Kindreds.

Take my head, my hand, my heart.

Muses Nine, sing through me!

Muses, Accept this offering!

 

Grounding & Centering with the Earth, Sea, & Sky

Gaea, Mother Earth, ground me in your soil.

Hold me in your arms, let my roots sink down

And be nourished by you.

Okeanos, Mighty Ocean, flood around me

As I feel the ebb and flow of your waves.

Pull me to the watery depths, let me bob on the surface and

Let the tide lap around me as I come ashore.

Ouranos, Brilliant Sky, encircle me in your great dome

Let your breezes whisk by me, and as I breathe in

Fill me with endless infinity.

Placing the Omphalos at Sacred Center & Creation of Sacred Space

*sprinkle water around those gathered*

Let this area around me be purified sacred space where we go to meet the gods, and the gods descend down to meet with us.

*waft incense smoke around those gathered, and/or pour oil on fire*

Let the smoke from our sacred fire carry our voices to the heavens to be heard by the gods.

*place omphalos and anoint with oil*

I place this omphalos at the center of worlds, just as it marked the center of the ancient world.  My hands, like two eagles, flying to meet in the middle and establish this as the sacred center of worlds.

Through this sacred center, let the World Tree grow, plunging deep within the earth to touch the Sacred Waters below and reaching through the sky to embrace the Sacred Fires above.

Opening the Gates –

We call out now to Hekate to guide us in walking between the worlds!

Hekate, at moonlit crossroads, you befriend the helpless.

Keyholding Mistress of Earth, Sea, and Sky.

Dark Mother Hekate,

Ghosts and hounds follow you.

You are the black puppy and the black she-lamb.

Torchbearer, we praise you for the brightness of your power.

We offer you [eggs and wine].

Hekate of the Crossroads be our Guide!

Guide us as you guided Demeter in her journey.

Reveal to us the way to walk in safety.

Radiant Hekate of the Torches,

Guiding Light, Keeper of the Keys,

Join your hidden knowledge and power with ours

and help us to open the Gates between the worlds.

Let this water become the Well, and open as a Gate to the worlds below.

Our connections deepen to the Chthonic beings as the Gate is opened.

Let this flame become the Fire, and open as a Gate to the worlds above.

Our connections deepen to the Ouranic beings as the Gate is opened.

Let this Omphalos stand at the center, and mark our sacred center here and in all the world.  Let the tree wrap its roots around the stone and sink into the Well, and let it’s branches stretch upwards and reach for the Fire.

We stand here, connected at the Sacred Center to all the realms of Land, Sea, and Sky.

Let the Gates be Open!

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, Seers, Priests, and Bards.

Apotheothenai, Heroes among the ancestors who have shaped our world.

It is to you we call out to and to you whom we make sacrifice.

You have taught us the ways of old and given us the path to walk,

You have toiled and worked so that we might grow in our gifts,

And bring strength and love to our community.

Ancestors, Mighty Dead,

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!

See in your minds eye the Ancestors stepping out from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire.

Nature Spirits

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

To the spirits of soil and stream,

To the spirits of stone and tree,

To the spirits of fur, flesh, fin, and feather,

To all those spirits who dwell amongst us

as Protectors, Guides, and Helpers, we call to you!

Dryades and Naiades, dwelling in forest and stream,

Oeriades and Nephalai, dwelling in mountains and clouds,

Lampades and Haliai, dwelling in cave and sea,

Nymphai, Mysterious Spirits who care for all our realms,

we walk amongst your blessings and listen to your sweet songs.

You who, through your living, teach us the ways to honor the Earth.

Spirits of nature, Nymphs of all the realms,

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.

Spirits of nature, accept our offering!

See in your minds eye the Nature Spirits stepping out from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire.

Shining Ones

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

Bright and shining Theoi,

Mighty Gods and Goddesses on high.

You wise seers and honey-tongued bards,

Shining your light of knowledge and inspiration down on us.

You courageous warriors and skilled crafters,

giving us virtues to strive for and tools for our work.

You hearth tenders and grain guarders,

providing for us each and every day.

Mighty Titans, lighting the Fire of our Fathers,

we are forever indebted to you.

Brilliant deities of land, sea, and sky,

your brightness illuminates our lives.

We hear your voices echoes across our souls,

As you walk with us, guiding us, each day.

Theoi, 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.

Theoi, accept our offering!

See in your minds eye the Shining Ones appearing from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire.

Gods of Dikhomenia –

*each person speaks of their Patron of Magic as they feel called*

To those Patrons of Magic,

whom we each work with to further our studies in these arts,

with whom we’ve developed special relationships,

You who walk alongside us and keep us safe as we walk the Elder Ways.

I pour out these libations to you as I sing your praises.

Selene, brilliant shining Titaness, your face, full in power and brightness, shines down with grace and an influx of magic and power.  You who have bathed in the sacred waters of mighty Okeanos, you who shine, luminescent, driving your long-maned horses at full speed across the sky.

Selene, splendid Queen of the Night, your glowing amber orb makes this night like the noon of your all-seeing brother,

I pour out these libations to you as I sing your praises.

DotO – Zeus

The Children of the Earth call out to Zeus!

Mighty Thunderer, you who rule the skies,

Come to us now, and shower us with your blessings.

We do protection work today, and call on you to lend your aid.

You who protect the innocent,

You who shelter the traveler,

You who aid the devoted,

Zeus, Great Lord of the Sky,

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.

Zeus, accept our offering!

Final Sacrifice –

I pour these libations now for Zeus

and for all the Kindreds here gathered.

Those Shining Deities who share their power,

Those Noble Guides who share their passion,

Those Ancient Wise who share their knowledge,

I pour out these libations to you as I sing your praises.

 

Omen –

Having given offerings to the Kindreds, we now seek to know what blessings and advice they give us in return.

*Seer makes offering of Oil and/or bay*

 

I ask now that Apollo Mantikos guide my hand.

See with my eyes, Hear with my ears, and Speak with my voice.

Apollo Mantikos, what wisdom or blessings do the Kindreds offer?

Apollo Mantikos, what wisdom or blessings do Selene and the Patrons of Magic offer?

Apollo Mantikos, what wisdom or blessings does [DotO] offer?

Waters –

Haven 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.

*take vessel filled with wine, and vessel filled with water.  Water is infused with the blessings and poured into the wine.  Some water is set aside for the working*

Let the brightness of the full moon fill these waters with the omens we have received, [Omen, Omen, and Omen].  Let their blessings grow in strength like the light of the moon, shining with the brilliant power akin to the noonday sun.  Their strength shall augment our strength as we approach the workings ahead.

*drink watered wine*

 

Working –

Now filled with the strength, blessings, and wisdom of the Kindreds, we seek to use this influx of power to create a talisman out of this simple square of cloth to protect our home.

Father Zeus, your children call out to you!

This cloth acts a barrier, keeping me dry and safe.

The storm may rage, but inside the sky is clear.

Thunder is dampened, lightning reflects

And all beneath this roof stands under your protection.

Mighty Zeus, Father Zeus,

Lend your power to mine as I seal my intent:

Protect us from all harm.

This symbol of your protection will blanket the symbols of me and mine,

Keeping us safe.

The storm shall break against this wall.

Those who challenge it shall surely fall.

The storm shall break against this wall.

Those who challenge it shall surely fall.

The storm shall break against this wall.

Those who challenge it shall surely fall.

So it is said, so it is done.

Esto!

Thanks

 

Zeus, we thank you joining us tonight.

Stay if you will and go if you must.

Selene, we thank you joining us tonight.

Stay if you will and go if you must.

To our Patrons of Magic, we thank you joining us tonight.

Stay if you will and go if you must.

For all the Theoi I pour these final libations.

Those Shining Deities who share their power,

Those Noble Guides who share their passion,

Those Ancient Wise who share their knowledge,

Mighty Kindreds, we offer you many thanks for joining us today.

May the door always remain open,

The fire always burn,

And our voices always sing in harmony.

 

Close –

Hekate, I call to you once more, to join your magic with mine and aid me in traversing the realms.  Help all those here gathered to find their way home again safely as we close the Gates between the worlds.

Let this Well be but water, ever sacred in its own right, but no longer a Gate opening to the many paths.

Let this Fire be but a flame, ever sacred in its own right, but no longer a Gate opening to the many ways.

Let the omphalos no longer be the Center of the Worlds holding us at the Crossroads.  Hekate, as we move away from the Crossroads and return to the center of our hearts and homes, stand ever vigilant as you always do, until we return again in need of your aid.

Restoration of the Ordinary –

Ouranos, Brilliant Sky, encircle me in your great dome

Let your breezes whisk by me, and as I breathe in

Fill me with endless infinity.

Okeanos, Mighty Ocean, flood around me

As I feel the ebb and flow of your waves.

Pull me to the watery depths, let me bob on the surface and

Let the tide lap around me as I come ashore.

Gaea, Mother Earth, ground me in your soil.

Hold me in your arms, let my roots sink down

And be nourished by you.

Thanks Muses –

Sweet voiced Muses Nine,

you have sung with my voice, danced with my feet,

enflamed my passion, and sweetened my words.

For the fire you have filled me with

And for letting it pour forth in harmony and wisdom

I thank you.

Thanks Hestia –

For Hestia, I pour these last libations.

First-Born, and Last-Born,

Keeper of the Sacred Flame.

Though your flame may go out in my hearth,

May it continue to burn ever strong within my heart.

Recessional –

“Go with the Fire” by Mike Bierschenk

Go with the light of the fire inside you

Go with the Shining Ones to Guide you

Go with the Ancestors beside you

Go with the fire.

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