ADF Druid Summer Solstice Ritual 2009


If someone ever tells you that you're putting too much peanut butter on your bread, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.  - Peanut Butter Druid
If someone ever tells you that you’re putting too much peanut butter on your bread, stop talking to them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

The following is an ADF Druid Summer Solstice ritual which I participated in as Druid 3 with Eagle Mountain Protogrove (Now, Blackland Prairie Protogrove.) in 2009. Enjoy!

Call to the Rite Thrice-three chimes announce the rite.

Druid 1: lights a flame in the South and speaks:

Druid 1 Says: “Ancient and Dark Ones of the deep and the wild, You who held this place of old and would hold it once again, I light this flame against your return, But invite you to take of it what warmth you will.”

An offering of grain (or other food) is made to the South of the Hallows.

Druid 1 Says: “Accept this offering and trouble not our rite, Nor hinder the forces of prosperity in this time. Biodh se.” All: “Biodh se amhlaidh.”

Druid 2: thank you. Brothers and Sisters, you may enter the Nemeton.”

Statement of Purpose

When participants are settled and the altar fire is lit, Druid 2 Says:

“May we pray with a good fire. As our Ancestors did in times before and our children may do in times to come, Let us honor the Gods in the Old Ways. This is the time of the Solstice, when the Sun is at its height and the Land graces us with abundance. But this also marks a turning of the year, a turning toward the dark half of the year. This is a time to honor prosperity and fertility, but it is also a time to remember that all gifts have a cost. It is our custom–as with so many others at this time–to honor the dying God. In our Grove, we honor Miach, the Irish god of healing, who, in dying, brought healing herbs to the Land. In the Celtic Lands, Midsummer is the time to gather these herbs. We shall hear the tale of Miach and his sister, Airmid, shortly.”

Short Meditation, Breathing

Druid 3 says:” A Bhrid! Lady Brigit! We call on you to guide our rite in the way of truth. Let our words be fit and so our hearts. Let it be so–biodh se amhlaidh!” All: “Biodh se amhlaidh!”

Consecration of the Hallows

Druid 2 Says: “Let us begin by sanctifying the Hallows by which we make offering.”

The Well: Druid 2 Says: “Sacred Source, Cauldron of making and unmaking, Fathomless Sea, bountiful Spring, Mother of the Rivers, you who were known of old as Danu. We honor you here with this offering. May we be nourished in body and mind by you.”

An offering of silver is made to the Well.,Sacred Waters, flow within us.”

The Fire: Druid 1 says: “Sacred Fire, sacrificed and sacrificer, You who rise to meet your Father the Sun And your Sister the Moon, Holy flame of hearth and altar, known of old as Belenos. We honor you here with this offering. May we be strengthened in spirit and honor by you.”

An offering of oil is made to the Fire, and Druid 1 says, Sacred Fire, burn within us.”

(Sacred Tree): Druid 3 says:”Sacred Tree, rooted deep and crowned high, Center of the Earth and axis of the Worlds, Most honorable of the Kindred of this place. May your roots drink deep of the Waters below.” Water from the Well is poured at the base of the Tree. “May you draw life from the Fire of the Heavens.” The Tree is censed with incense lit from the Fire. “You hold the very mystery of Life, Piercing the Sky, yielding to the Waters, We honor you here with this offering. May we grow in love and courage Each time we gather around you.”

The Tree is annointed with fragrant oil, and Druid 3 Says: Sacred Tree, grow within us.” All: “Sacred Tree, grow within us.”

Purifying the Participants

Druid 2 Says:Let us make ourselves ready for the working of the rite.”Druids cense and asperge the participants as the Call for Peace is made: To the East: Heidi:May there be peace in the East, ancient Leinster, source of Prosperity.”

To the South: Druid 2:”May there be peace in the South, ancient Munster, source of Harmony.”

To the West: Druid 2:: “May there be peace in the West, ancient Connacht, source of Wisdom.”

To the North: Druid 2 “May there be peace in the North, ancient Ulster, source of Strength. Here in the Center, let peace rule over this rite.” Biodh se amhlaidh.”

All: “Biodh se amhlaidh.”

Opening the Gates to the Otherworlds

Druid 2 Says: “We now call on Manannan Mac Lir, Our Lord of the Gates to the Otherworlds, To make open the portals for our worship.”

Druid 3 Says:”A Mhanannain Mac Lir, Gatekeeper, Sidhe King, Shrouded in mist or met at the crossroads, Let our words sound in the depths of the Well.”Oil is poured on the waters of the Well.

Druid 3 Says: “Let our words rise on the Fire to the Shining Ones.”Oil is poured on the Fire.

Druid 3 Says: “Let the Sacred Tree carry our words to all the Worlds.”Oil is annointed on the Tree, and Druid 3 says: Let the Gates be open!”

Invoking The Three Kindreds

Druid 2 Says: “Let us now give honor to the Three Kindreds, That they may honor us in return.”

Honoring the Ancestors

Druid 2 Ancestors! You who guide our steps, You who carry the honor of the People to the Otherworlds, We honor you here.”

Ale is poured in the Well and the remainder set in a cup on the altar.

Druid 2: “We honor you with the first portion and offer this cup for your taking. Ancestors, come to our hearthside and guide us in our rite. Biodh se amhlaidh.” All: “Biodh se amhlaidh.”

Inviting the Spirits of the Land

Druid 1: Spirits of the Land! Kindreds of fur, fin, and feather, Of bark, leaf and blossom, of rock, soil, or crystal. Fair folk, green kin, and totem beasts! We honor you here.”Flowers or fruit or the like is placed amongst the Hallows.

Druid 1 “We thank you for sharing this place with us and offer these gifts in return. Earth Spirits, come to our hearthside and join us in our rite. Biodh se amhlaidh.”

All: “Biodh se amhlaidh.”

Offering to the Deities

Druid 3: Shining Ones! Highest and mightiest, First among the Kindreds, worthiest of honor, Ancient of the Tuatha De Danann, we would offer to you in this place. Deities of this place, known to us or unknown, Gods and Goddesses of all those here, Patrons and Matrons, We would offer you like honor. Join us at our fire, o Shining Ones. accept our sacrifice!”All: “Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice!”

Oil is poured on the Fire

Honoring the Patrons of the Rite

Druid 2 “Attend now the tale of Miach, ancient bringer of healing, of his sister, Airmid, and of his sacrifice at the hands of his father, Diancecht.”

One of the Druids recounts the tale (to be provided in advance, of course) of the slaying of Miach by Diancecht and of Airmid’s attempt to preserve the healing herbs brought forth from his grave on her mantle, the Brat Airmid.


PD:”As Miach, in dying, brought forth healing herbs, let us now ourselves make offering of this effigy and see what it will offer to the Land and the People.”A large god-mask in straw is brought forth. One of the Druids steps forward with a sword.

PD:“As Diancecht slew his son by cleaving his head in twain providing a harvest of healing herbs, let us likewise deal with this effigy and see what it may offer to the Land and the People”  The Druid slashes open the mask with the sword.

PD: “Tear apart the man of straw and cast him in the Fire…will he live again?”The participants are urged to tear the straw of the great mask apart and cast it on the Fire. An effigy made of herbs on a litter is revealed when this action is complete.

PD:”And here we see the healing herbs, cultivated at this season for centuries.”

D1: Offers an explanation of the various herbs and their properties.

Druid 2″But Diancecht, the master physician of the Tuatha De Danann, would not allow mankind the gift of perfect health and healing. And so these herbs, having been made known, were scattered. And so we shall, knowing that we can only reclaim them through patient nuture and cultivation, but trusting that the Land holds them in trust for us when we need them.. So let us carry forth this Green Man and scatter him on the Earth as token of our trust in the Land to provide what we need.”

The gates of the ritual site are opened and the people process out, the Green Man before them. Upon reaching a suitable patch of earth, the people are offered an opportunity to offer praise.

Praise Offerings

Druid 2 says:”Let any who would offer praise here do so.”Time is allowed for all who so wish to make praise offerings.

Main Offering

Druid 2:”We will allow those who wish to make further offerings to the Hallows of the Nemeton before we conclude the rite, but now, let us return these gifts to the Land in trust.”    The people scatter the herbs, asking whatever in return they may.

Taking of the Omen

Druid 2 “Having made offering to the Gods, let us see how our offering was received.”

Seeking the Blessings of the Deities

Druid 2:”In our custom, a gift calls for a gift. Having offered to the Shining Ones, We seek their blessings in return.”

Druid 2  pours ale (or the like) into a cup and holds it up.

Druid 2 “Shining Ones, we seek the blessings of the three Cauldrons, Of Wisdom, of Plenty, and of Rebirth. We would share in your magic. And so we say as one folk: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!”All: “Shining Ones, give us the Waters!”

Druid 2:”We would stand in fellowship with you And feast at your side and proclaim ourselves your People. And so we say again: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!” All: “Shining Ones, give us the Waters!”

Druid 2: We have offered of our love and our work to you; We have shared our hearthside, And, as a gift calls for a gift, We say one last time: Shining Ones, give us the Waters of Life!” All: “Shining Ones, give us the Waters of Life!

Druid 2: elevates the cup saying: ! These are the Waters of Life!”The cup is passed among the participants.

Druid 2″As you share in the blessings of the Mighty Kindreds, Do not hesitate to salute or otherwise honor them. At this time, the Gates are still open and offerings may yet be made.”When all have had a chance to drink from the cup and make any offerings, the rite proceeds.

Thanking the Kindreds

Druid 2 “Let us now give thanks to the Powers we have honored here.” (The same Druids who offered to invite each Kindred thank them here:)

Druid 2 . We thank you.”All: “We thank you.”

Druid 1: We thank you.” All: “We thank you.”

Druid 3: We thank you.”All: “We thank you.”

Druid 2: ! Ancestors! We thank you.” All: “We thank you.”

Druid 3:! Lady Brigit! We thank you.”All: “We thank you.”

Druid 2:”To all those Powers that have aided our rite, We say once more: We thank you.”

All: “We thank you.”

Closing the Gates

Druid 2: “We call once more on Manannan Mac Lir to close the gates.”

Druid 3: A Mhanannain! Gatekeeper and Sidhe King! We thank you for guiding our prayers to the Otherworlds. We thank you for guiding and warding our steps in all the Worlds. Let the Fire now be but flame. Let the Well now be but water. And let the Tree now be no more than the true heart we carry forth from this place. A Mhanannain Mac Lir, dun na Geatai anois! Let the Gates now be closed!”

Closing of the Rite

D2:”As we started, so let us end.” Thrice-three chimes are sounded.

D2:”Brothers and sisters, go in peace and blessings. The rite is ended.”


Ya Work With What Ya Get! Represent Yo.

Did You Represent Yourself?
Did You Represent Yourself?

Conor O’Bryan Warren made an excellent point in his blog article at Under The Owl’s Wing recounting the experiences he had at DFW Pagan Pride Day 2013. In it he says that there are many within the hard polytheistic (meaning folks who see the gods and goddesses as individual deities rather than aspects of one god and one goddess) who see Pagan Pride Day as a mostly Wiccan or Eclectic Pagan event. Well, if these are the only folks who show up then what do you expect? When one is putting together an all volunteer event you work with who shows up and what they bring to the table. I, personally, can’t pull a workshop on Hellenic Household Worship out of my ass because I have only a smattering of knowledge on the subject. So if someone like Mr. Warren who has taken the time to educate himself on the subject doesn’t come to share his knowledge where else would it come from? He is dead on right about the folks who complain that this event is all this or all that but don’t show up, roll up their sleeves or do anything to change it. But there is always time to change that. If you would like to have greater representation in the overall community, no matter what your tradition or spiritual path, get out there and participate in it. There are events like this going on all the time and if there isn’t one, put one together. Oh! It is a lot of work, sure. But very rewarding work when you see it all come together and get to see smiles on lots of faces because they have all been touched by something magickal that you were a part of.

DFW Pagan Pride Day will happen again in 2014. If you would like to be a participant, get in touch.

Bíodh  amhlaidh,

Troy

Considering The Source – Isaac Bonewits

Isaac Bonewits
Isaac Bonewits

Isaac Bonewits would have been 64 years old yesterday. He was a hero of mine from early on in my years of first learning that I was Pagan. One of the first things I read by him was his Advanced Bonewitz Cult Danger Evaluation Frame or ABCDEF for short. He also recorded several songs I enjoyed. Among my favorites were his version of Circles, The Wizard and We Won’t Shave Any Longer. Some of his songs were silly, fun songs, others were serious. You can find some of his silly ones here at Other Silly Songs by Isaac. I had the good fortune to meet him at an Imbolc gathering before he passed away while I was still a Grove Organizer for Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF). He was as friendly and personable in person as he generally was in his writings and other endeavors. Mr. Bonewits wrote a hymn to Brighid on the spot just before our Imbolc ritual. His wife, Phaedra Bonewits posted a status update yesterday mentioning that 64 was a significant age to turn for people of their generation, eluding to the Beatles tune “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64.” She said that she saw a couple at the farmer’s market yesterday about their age and was hit by her sense of loss of not having Isaac there to share life with anymore. She went back to her car and cried in sorrow. I can understand how she feels. It is painful when those we love dearly are no longer there to share life’s moments with us. We know, of course, that they will be born anew but until our paths cross again we must carry on in our current lifetime. I too feel a sense of loss that Isaac is no longer walking among us in the physical plane but am thankful for all of the great works he left behind for us. He was a great elder, leader and an inspiration to many. Hail Isaac Bonewits!

As I mentioned the other day I am curtailing my Facebook time lately. I still check in because, my friends and family still send me messages through it, post things on my timeline, tag me on it and other stuff. But I don’t spend my downtime like I was sharing memes and such. I did get contacted yesterday by a fellow who moved to Texas from Florida a couple of years ago but is living in a very small town with no Pagan population to speak of. He wanted to find other Pagans to get together with and stop feeling so isolated. So, I had him friend me on Facebook and then arranged to suggest him as a friend to some of my Pagan friends down in the Houston and Austin area closer to where he is at. I know that they can put him in touch with others and hopefully he will soon be able to find a group in the community that fits him. Facebook is good for stuff like that. But, I have found some rewarding things to do with my time which I was spending sharing memes and whatnot on the mighty book of face. A lot of those memes have websites attached to them so I decided to take the time I usually don’t bother to take and go find these websites. Some of them are great resources of knowledge, wit and inspiration. Some are other blogs which I am now subscribed to. I have also been going around reading other people’s blogs, commenting and taking part in discussions. There is so much more to be found when you dig deeper into things. Facebook is like a stream in which the water rushes by quickly and is gone. Visiting these websites and blogs is like taking a dip in a nice pond or even the ocean in some cases. There is so much more to be found if we take the time to explore it.

Of course I have still been doing my social thing on Google+ as well, popping in to Pinterest, Twitter and StumbleUpon here and there. Not to mention working on promoting some big event that we are having this coming Saturday. What was that again? Oh yeah… PAGAN PRIDE DAY! Thou must get thine asses down there with some food for the canned food drive, roll up thy sleeve and give blood for the Pagans For Life blood drive so you can get one of those blue bandage armbands. Everyone knows, all the sexy people are wearing blue bandage armbands because they check your blood when you give it to insure you’re clean and disease free. Just sayin’! 😉 After that, go have a good time! We will have performers, vendors, workshops, rituals and all kinds of awesomeness going on. It’s just a few days away now!

Oh! Also, be sure and say hi to Pagan Pope Tommy Elf who is NOT A PRIEST dagnabbit! (inside joke) But is an all around great guy who does a local podcast for Pagan minded folks. He will be out there with a recorder to take down anything people might want to say and share with his listeners.

Bíodh  amhlaidh,

Troy

Ramble On About PPD, ADF, OBOD…

Mine’s a tale that can’t be told, my freedom I hold dear.
How years ago in days of old, when magic filled the air.
T’was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair.
But Gollum, and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her, her, her….yeah.

 – Led Zeppelin

So, today I thought I might have my own publisher’s clearinghouse of sorts and sweep a few random things out that have been bouncing around in my brain for some time that I kept thinking would become the topic of entire blog posts one day. Who knows, maybe they still shall but as we get closer and closer to DFW Pagan Pride Day my mind is going to be increasingly focused on preparations for that, especially considering the extra responsibilities I took on at yesterday’s meeting which I will talk about shortly. As one of my favorite authors, M.R. Sellars, likes to refer to such stuff, prepare for the brain pan drippings! 😉

Fairy Flower Girl
Fairy Flower Girl

One thing I have thought about a lot over the years is that if one is going to be a Pagan one should curse like a Pagan. What do I mean by that? Well, growing up in a primarily monotheistic society we all have picked up the colloquialisms of the mainstream society and will use exclamations like Damn it! Or What the hell? Etc. which are references to places and concepts that don’t really apply in most Pagan religions. We generally don’t go around damning people nor do we have a concept of hell as most modern day Christians understand it. Like many Pagans I tend to replace hell with Hel, which is the name of a Norse Goddess. But I also use phrases like Balor’s Eye! Balor is known in Irish legend as the king of the Fomorians who fought the Tuatha De Dannan. You should really check out the Celtic Myth Podshow to learn of these tales. It’s a very interesting show! Anyway, Balor is said to have an Evil Eye which will strike dead anyone it gazes upon. Thus, I might say Balor’s Eye where others would say damn it or something like that. I have also been known to say things like By Dagda’s Club as a general exclamation of agreement or resolute action. I once in awhile say something like Blessed Mother Goddess but then people tend to think you’re Catholic. 😉 Anyway, just a few random thoughts on that. Anyone else have some Pagany exclamations they would like to share? Please comment!

Onward!

ADF Druid ritual at 2008 PPD
ADF Druid ritual at the 2008 PPD

Okay, I might as well talk about Pagan Pride Day because I love the thought of Pagan Pride Day and what it could mean for the DFW Pagan Community if our project actually works the way I hope to see it work. Notice I say OUR project here. That’s very significant. There is a tendency among folks to assign someone as the leader of something and then all responsibility and all blame falls upon said leader. I never signed up to be in charge of everything that pertains to Pagan Pride Day. That is not my role. But as the promotional coordinator I am the one everyone sees posting about PPD, sharing news about PPD so I have become the PPD guy in most people’s eyes. We have a very large and diverse committee of volunteers from several different traditions represented putting PPD together this year. We have individuals from CUUPS, we have a couple of O.B.O.D. Druids, an A.D.F. Druid, A couple of Wiccans, a few solitaire’s, a Sumerian and I’m sure a couple of other’s that have slipped my mind at the moment. We have a contacts page on the DFW Pagan Pride website with volunteers (another important word) who are filling various roles to help people with things like Vending, Kids area, Volunteers, Entertainment, Workshops, etc. Folks! This isn’t a one guy show by any means. It is a community effort run by volunteers and if something that is important to you or your tradition is not represented then why not volunteer, there’s that word again, I told you it was important, to do something about it. Nothing has ever been accomplished by sitting at home, complaining about how things are. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi. Just my two cents.

Like me, most of our volunteers have real jobs which occupy a large portion of our time during the week, we have families who need our attention and care and we have other things going on in our lives as well. So please be patient if we can’t help you right away but if you get in touch with us someone will try to help you as best we can.

Nature Is My Church
Nature Is My Church

About those extra responsibilities I mentioned. So, yeah. The meeting yesterday was, in my opinion, the best one we have had to date. We got a lot of ground covered and a lot of things accomplished I think. Earlier this week our Entertainment Coordinator quit but we have two volunteers who have stepped up to fill in that role so hopefully I will have exciting news soon on our entertainment front. I have become not only the promotional coordinator but also the treasurer for our group. I should have a lot of new content to add to the DFW Pagan Pride website this week as reports come in on our vendors, sponsors, workshop and entertainment lineup. Unfortunately there will be no more Open Mic fund raisers at Charlie’s Bar but we are talking about doing an Open Mic fundraiser at a place in Arlington instead. Also, there will be a Pagan Garage Sale in September, look for news on that soon. The working group we have together now seems very focused and serious about the roles they are filling. I have a good feeling about how things are progressing now whereas, as I mentioned before, I had my doubts. Later today I will be getting together with my friend Gwilym The Bard to record a 25 second ad spot for Tommy Elf to get out onto the Podcasting circuit for us promoting PPD. Listen for that too! 🙂

Well, that’s about all I can think of for now. Have a great week and be good to each other out there!