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Autumnal Eqinox, 2002

(Inception)

    0: The Sacred Grove is arranged as described. The celebrants hallow the Grove; the Fire is lit, the Well is filled, the Tree is blessed.

 

Procession

  With singing ("Come We Now as a People"), arrive and circle the hallows deosil. The Druids complete the sigil, then give the opening prayers.

 

Opening Prayers

A:  Universal Spirit:  Senior Druid speaks:

 

That which is without name

That which is without gender

That which is without form

Spirit which exists in all Creation

 

We, the Children of the Earth

Call out to you

And ask that you bless this work and our lives.

So be it.

 

All:  So be it!

 

B: Earth Mother: All kneel and touch or kiss the earth. The Seer speaks:

 

O beloved mother of all

From whose starry womb

The green earth springs

 

You who are the bearer of all life

You who are the Mother of all Gods

We pray you bless and uphold this rite.

 

All: So be it!

 

C: Awen: The Bard invokes, saying:

 

Power of inspiration that attends us

Voice of the Fire of Wisdom,

Voice of the Well of Inspiration

 

I call on you to place the clear heart in us

Come into our hearts' shrine

Guide our rite in the way of Truth

 

O power of inspiration in this holy place

O power of inspiration at this holy time

So be it!

 

All: So be it!

 

Purification

 

A: Outdwellers: An offering is made to the south of the Grove, saying:

 

Ancient and shadowy ones, we make this offering to you.

You who dwell in the outer dark

You who stood against our Gods

 

You twisted and misshapen

You cold of heart and dim of mind

Take this offering and trouble not our working.

 

Likewise we acknowledge within ourselves

Weakness and doubt

Hatred and spite

Cowardice and ignorance

 

We contemplate these ills and enemies

And for this sacred time

We purify ourselves

And set them aside!

 

B: Fire and Water: Seer draws water from the Well and Bard lights a censer from the Fire. They quickly cense and asperge the company.

 

Purpose and Precedent

 

We have come together today for the inception of Three Cranes Protogrove, ADF, and to join together in worshiping and praising the Shining Ones. 

 

A Protogrove needs to be nurtured as it grows.  It needs an influx of new ideas, a creative flow that will soak its roots and keep it strong and firm.  It needs leadership to show it the heights it may attain, and dedicated gardeners to tend it and guide it to its destination.  It needs the sunlight of enlightened minds to warm it and to synthesize energy and vigor.  It needs faith in the Gods and Goddesses to grow straight and true.

 

If the flow of ideas grows stagnant, or the leadership and sunlight fail, the trees will not grow, but will wither and die.  Without faith in the Gods and Goddesses, our work is in vain, for it is Their hands which guide our work.  This Grove is our responsibility, for we have planted it.  We must not fail it, for it will never fail us.

 

Grove Attunment

 

Now, let us begin to open our minds to Magic, to the presence of the Gods.  Begin with your body.  Plant your feet firmly on the ground, balanced and upright.  Shake out your arms and shoulders.  Let gravity pull you evenly toward the Earth, as you release the everyday tensions in your flesh.

 

Now, begin to breathe deeply and regularly.  With each inbreath fill your lungs slowly and completely.  With each outbreath empty them entirely.  For a moment, simply watch your breath.  In and out . . . Slowly . . . Completely.

 

Now, as you continue to breathe deeply and regularly, imagine, feel that roots are springing from the soles of your feet, reaching down into soil and stone, down to the World below you.  A strong taproot slides down, going deeper and growing stronger, down to touch the cool, dark waters beneath the Earth.  The dark, cool, magnetic powers of the land.

 

Breathe deep, and with each inbreath draw the Earth Power up through your roots.  Feel it flowing into your feet, tingling and energizing.  Rising up from the Earth . . . into your legs . . . rising up through your legs . . . feel it pool in your groin.  Breathe deep, and draw the Earth Power up your spine . . . rising through your belly . . . rising through your heart . . . rising up to pool in your head . . . Filling and energizing you . . . rising still to fountain out the crown of your head and flow back to the Earth.  Flowing back out through your head and hands, to return to the Earth.

 

So are you now filled with the Power of the Earth.

 

Now imagine, feel, that from far overhead, from deep within the turning Wheel of the Sky, a single ray of light shines down, out and down to bathe your body and your spirit in the warm, electric Sky power.  Shining down over your head . . . over your heart . . . over your loins . . . touching and warming the Earth Power.

 

Everywhere the light touches becomes bright, shining like the sun on the water.  Now, raise your shining hands to the Sky and let the Earth Power flow into your hands.  Feel . . . see . . . your hands brighten and energize with the combined Powers of the Earth and the Sky.

 

So are you now the Sacred Pillar, the World Tree, the vertical axis of all the Worlds.

 

Now, reach out to those beside you.  Join your shining hands together.  Let the Waters and the Light merge and flow through us all . . . the Power flowing upward from below . . . the power flowing downward from above . . . through each and all of us . . . making us one light, one depth, one united and Sacred Grove.

 

 

                                                          Fire, Well And Tree

 

Druids or members of the grove make offerings to the Sacred Center. Silver is offered to the well, saying:

 

O sacred waters that flow and swirl beneath all being

Accept our offering!

Let us know the elder depths within ourselves

The source of all,

The well of elder wisdom

 

Sacred Well, flow within us!

 

All respond: Sacred well, flow within us!

 

An offering of oil is made to the Fire, saying:

 

O sacred fire that consumes and transforms

True and holy light of the Shining Ones

Accept our offering!

 

O sacrificed and sacrificer

Let the holy flame of the Gods

Warm our spirits and our lives.

 

Sacred Fire, burn within us!

 

All: Sacred fire, burn within us!

 

The Bile is censed and sprinkled, saying:

 

O sacred pillar, boundary of all worlds,

Stand at the center of the sky,

Stand at the center of the sea,

Stand at the center of the land on which we dwell.

 

Let us be deepened in your depths

Raised to your heights

Strengthened in your strength

 

Sacred Tree, grow within us!

 

All: Sacred tree, grow within us!

 

Opening The Gates

 

The sacrificer makes an offering to the Raven, saying:

 

Raven,

Battle Maiden, Lady of the ways,

Open the ways for us.

Guide us as we follow in your steps,

Guide us as we walk the Sacred Road.

Share your magic with us,

Ward us as we travel to meet the Kindred.

Raven, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Raven, accept our sacrifice!

An offering of oil is given to the Fire. The Druid then conjures the Gates, making an opening triskel on the Fire and Well, saying:

 

Now, Lady of Ways

Join your magic with mine

 

And let the fire open as a gate,

Let the well open as a gate,

Let the tree be the crossroads of all Worlds.

 

Open as a road to our voices and to the Spirits.

Let the gates be open!

 

All: Let the gates be open!

 

Kindred Offerings

 

The druids make proper offerings to each of the kindreds, standing at the fire.

 

Ancestors

 

The Children of the Earth call out to the Mighty Dead.

Hear us, our Ancestors, our Kindred.

 

To all those whose bones lie in this land,

Whose hearts are tied to it,

Whose memory holds it;

Ancient tribes of this place,

We offer you welcome.

 

To all of our grandmothers and grandfathers,

Our own beloved dead,

Blood-kin and heart-kin;

Ancient tribes of our blood,

We offer you welcome.

 

To all those elder wise ones who guide their people,

Poets and seers,

Judges and magicians;

Wise women and men of ancient days,

We offer you welcome.

 

So, O Mighty Ones

We call to you as our kin,

In the love of the All-Mother,

To join in our magic.

 

Come to our fire, Spirits

Meet us at the boundary

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

 

Ancestors, accept our sacrifice!

 

(an offering of food and/or drink is made onto the ground or into a shaft)

 

All: Ancestors, Accept our sacrifice!

 

Nature Spirits

 

The Children of Earth call out to the Spirits of this Land.

Hear us, companions and teachers!

 

To all our allies,

Kindred of stone and stream,

Crystal and fertile soil,

Pools and every water;

Earth-kins,

We offer you welcome

 

To all our allies,

Kindred of the growing green,

Herb and flower,

Shrub and mighty trees,

Root and stem and fruit.

Green-kins,

We offer you welcome.

 

To all our allies,

Kindred of fur and feather and scale

All who walk or fly or swim or crawl

Animal-kins,

We offer you welcome.

 

So, O Noble Ones

We call to you as our allies,

In the joy of life upon earth,

To join in our magic.

 

Come to our fire, Spirits;

Meet us at the boundary.

Guide and ward us as we walk the elder ways.

Nature Spirits, accept our sacrifice!

 

(an offering of herbs, flowers and/or trinkets is scattered around the nemeton's edge or hung on the tree)

 

All:  Nature Spirits, Accept our sacrifice!

 

Deities

 

The Children of Earth call out to the Shining Ones.

Hear us, eldest and brightest!

 

To all the Shining Ones,

First children of the Mother,

Wisest and mightiest,

Loving and comforting;

Gods and Goddesses,

We offer you welcome.

 

To the Goddesses and Gods of this place,

Ancient and powerful,

Known to us or unknown;

Gods of this place,

We offer you welcome.

 

To all the deities of those here gathered,

You whom we worship,

You who bless our lives;

O patrons and matrons,

We offer you welcome.

 

So, O Shining Ones,

We call to you as our elders,

In reverence and love,

To join in our magic.

 

Come to our fire, Shining Ones;

Meet us at the boundary.

Guide and ward us as we walk the elder ways.

Deities, accept our sacrifice!

 

(an offering of scented oil is poured on the fire)

 

All:  Shining Ones, Accept our sacrifice!

 

After all the offerings have been made, the druids recenter the company and lead an attunement to all the spirits that have been called, and a proper chant or hymn is sung to the three kindred.

 

Key Offerings

 

Druid speaks, saying:

 

Welcome to the Gods and Goddesses, the Mighty Dead and the Noble Sidhe!

 

To all of you who have gathered at our fire, we pray you join us in worshipping the patrons of this holy rite here in our sacred grove.

 

Invocation of Teutates

 

We make offerings to the God of the Tribe

Who is our common ancestor.

He who guides us as Father.

Lord Teutates, God of the Tribe!

 

You who were first among us,

You who guides our people,

Come to our fire!

 

Protector and progenitor of the People

Builder and creator

Loving father and First Ancestor

Accept our sacrifice!

 

Come to our Fire

That we may do you honour

And you may guide us

Throughout our lives.

 

Lord Teutates, accept our sacrifice!

 

All:  Teutates, accept our sacrifice!

 

 

 

This is followed by any proper customs for the occasion, and by praise offerings. The

 

Final Sacrifice and Omen

 

The druids prepare the final offerings and say:

 

So we have given of our love and our wealth

To the Powers.

 

Now let our voices arise on the Fire

Let our voices sound in the Well

Let our words pass the boundary to the Otherworlds.

 

Shining Ones

We give you our love

Our respect, and our devotion

as we pray you...

 

Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice!

 

All are led to send their energy through the gates to the powers, meditating on the deities and the nobles. Then druid speaks:

 

Having sacrificed to the Powers

Let us open to them

Asking what blessings they offer us in return

And the needs they have of us.

 

Omen is taken as usual. The seer then interprets the omen, leading the company to contemplate the things they would ask of the powers, especially as suggested by the omen. Company recenters in preparation for the blessing.

 

The Blessing

 

A: The litany of the waters:

 

Druid speaks:

 

Ancient and Mighty Ones we have honored you

We pray you honor us in turn

For a gift calls for a gift

Hear your children:

Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

 

All: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

 

We thirst for the Waters of Wisdom

The Waters of Bounty

The Waters of Rebirth

 

From the Well of Wisdom

From the Spring of Renewal

From the bosom of the Earth

 

Hear us:

Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

 

All: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

 

We open our hearts to the Great Ones' blessing

We stand in pride, honor and friendship

With all the Powers of the Worlds

Hear us and answer us now:

Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

 

All: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

 

B: Hallowing the waters:

 

Ale is poured into the horns and elevated. Druid speaks:

 

We draw blessing from the Cauldron of Blessing

We pour the Mead of Inspiration

Behold the holy Cup of Magic

The outpouring of Blessing from the Great Ones

When we share the draught of the Gods

We drink in wisdom, love and strength

To do as we will in the worlds

In service to the Shining Ones.

 

Hear us Shining Ones:

Hallow these waters!

 

We, your children, rejoice in your gift

Bless our spirits and our lives

With love, magic and bounty

As we drink these sacred waters.

 

Behold the Waters of Life!

 

All: Behold the Waters of Life!

 

The horns are passed and all drink as a proper hymn ("Pour the Waters") is sung.

 

Closing

 

When all is done, the druids lead a resettling, then begin to close the grove, saying:

 

The Great Ones have blessed us

With joy in our hearts

Let us carry the magic from our sacred Grove

Into our lives and our work.

 

Each time we offer to the Powers

They become stronger

And more aware of our needs and our worship.

 

So now as we prepare to depart

Let us give thanks

To all those who have aided us.

 

O Teutates, We thank you!

 

All: We thank you!

 

O Gods and Goddesses of elder days, We thank you!

 

All: We thank you!

 

O Spirits of this land, We thank you!

 

All: We thank you!

 

O Ancestors, our Kindred, We thank you!

 

All: We thank you!

 

To all those Powers that have aided us, we say again...

 

We thank you!

 

All: We thank you!

 

Druids renew the company's centering once more, signaling the return to common awareness and ease of access to the centered state. Then any unused offerings, return flow, incense, water etc. is given to the earth, saying:

 

Mother of all

To you we return all we leave unused

Uphold us now in the world as you have in our rite.

 

We thank you!

 

All: We thank you!

 

The druids go to the center. They speak:

 

O Gatekeeper, warder of the ways

For your presence and power

Your guiding and guarding we say...

 

We thank you!

 

All: We thank you!

 

Druid makes the closing sign over the hallows with the wand, saying:

 

Now by the Keeper of Gates and by our magic

We end what we began.

 

Now let the Fire be flame

Let the Well be water

Let the Tree be only wood

Let all be as it was before

Let the Gates be closed!

 

All: Let the Gates be closed!

 

Go now, Children of the Earth

In peace and blessings

The rite is ended!

 

The bard leads a proper chant as the company processes out of the Grove ("Walk with Wisdom").

 

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