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Autumn Equinox 2004 Liturgy

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.

Purpose

Today is the beginning of the night, the dark half of the year. As we move into the liminal time between the Equinox and Samhain, we consider what we have done in the past year, and we begin to look ahead to the next.

Procession

With singing ("We Approach the Sacred Grove"), arrive and circle the hallows deosil. The Druids complete the sigil, then give the opening prayers.

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

Opening Prayers

We are here to honor the gods!

A: Universal Spirit: Senior Druid speaks:

You who are without name
You who are without gender
You who are without form
Spirits which exist 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:

We build our fires on the breast of the Earth;
on Her our hearths are formed.
To Her this offering, then,
preparing this to be our space,
our place of worship.
Mother of All, receive this gift!


All: Mother of All, receive this gift!

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!

Purpose And Precedent

As the ancients did before us, so we do now, and so our descendants may do in the future. We have come into the Grove to worship as they did, to offer to the Ancestors; to offer to the Nature Spirits; and to offer to the beloved Shining Ones. 

We come together this day for a threefold purpose - to celebrate the turning of the seasons; to celebrate the planting of this Three Cranes Grove and recognize the milestones we have passed; and to honor the unity and diversity of our Ar nDraoicht Fein community. This ADF Unite Rite is also a means of fostering a sense of community among its members, wherever they may be, by honoring the many local fellowships within ADF--both Groves and Protogroves and its clergy.

Today is the beginning of the night, the dark half of the year. As we move into the liminal time between the Equinox and Samhain, we consider what we have done in the past year, and we begin to look ahead to the next.


Purification 

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

Those whose purpose is cross with ours,
You whose harmony does not match our voices,
Be you God, Goddess, Spirit, or Giant,
We ask that you accept this gift
And trouble not our working.

Likewise we acknowledge within ourselves
All those things that would cause disunity

We contemplate these ills and enemies
And for this sacred time
We set them aside!



Grove Attunment

Take a moment to find the center of your mind, body and soul. 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.

At one with the cosmos and at one as a grove - we are, as a community, greater than the sum of our parts. We stand as a grove in a forest of trees, one folk.

The waters support and surround us
The land extends about us
The sky stretches out above us.
At the center burns a living flame.
May all the Kindred bless us.
May our worship be true.
May our actions be just.
Blessings, and honor, and worship to the Holy Ones.



Fire, Well And Tree

Offerings to the Sacred Center. The seer positions herself at the well, the bard at the fire, and the Senior Druid at the tree. Offerings are placed given when the song states:

Chant: Portal Song

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)

Opening The Gates

The Senior Druid makes an offering to the Garanus, the Crane, saying:

Janus,
You who stand between the realms,
Open the ways for us.
Guide us as we walk in your holy ways,
Guide us as we walk the Sacred Road.
Share your magic with us,
Ward us as we travel to meet the Kindred.
Janus, accept our sacrifice!


All: Janus, accept our sacrifice!

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

Now, Janus
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.
IANUS PATULCIUS ADMITTE NOS IN PRAESENTIUM NUMINUM LUCENTIUM - Ianus of Openings, admit us into the presence of the shining Ones

PORTAE APERIANTUR - Let the gates be open!


All: Let the gates be open!

Kindred Offerings

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

Ancestors
(Seer)


The Children of the Earth call out to the Mighty Dead.
Hear us, our Ancestors, our Kindred.

[You who were here before],
We offer you welcome.

[Ancestors of those present],
We offer you welcome.

[You who guide us],
We offer you welcome.

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
(Bard)


The Children of Earth call out to the Spirits of this Land.
Hear us, companions and teachers!

[Kindred of earth],
We offer you welcome

[Kindred of the growing green],
We offer you welcome.

[Kindred who fly or walk or swim or crawl],
We offer you welcome.

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
(Senior Druid)


The Children of Earth call out to the Shining Ones.
Hear us, eldest and brightest!

[To all Gods and Goddesses],
We offer you welcome.

[To all Gods of this place],
We offer you welcome.

[To all the deities of those here gathered],
We offer you welcome.

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

Senior 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 patron of this holy rite here in our sacred grove.


The druids now give the descriptive invocations of the patron powers of the rite.

Turning toward the fire:

Teutates, First !
Hear my words as they arise on the Fire!
Hear my words as they resound in the Well!
We ask your blessings be upon us
Ever increasing
As we raise our voices to you!

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 guide 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!

Lord Teutates, we invite you to listen, as we tell of our accomplishments over the past year:

Once scattered kernels, random strewn,
Unfertilized, asleep, unkissed,
Lethargic, lurking, latent bloom
Columbus craved a catalyst.

New generation, gumption aimed
Its fertile minds and thirsting souls
Have rooted grove, Three Cranes benamed.
Its spate of growth this Bard extols.

By Kindred sown, a seedling stand
The budding beauty sprouted, surged.
Assisted by the gardener's hand,
Its roots grew deep, its branches merged.

New fruit of labors just begun
With common vision splices hearts;
Enlightened minds may meld as one --
The whole is greater than its parts.

With blood and sweat Cranes served with mirth;
We honored Buffet, Saturn, Soul, 
Toys, canned goods, banners, growth in girth
The Gods screamed, "Grow into your role!"

Lord Esus, consecrate Three Cranes,
Electrify us to the core
With fire inspire; with nurturing rains
Suffuse us, drench us one year more.

We are united in our kinship with the Ancestors, the Spirits of the Earth, and the Shining Ones and we are united in our service to all who likewise seek to honor the Kindreds.

We celebrate our diversity, as Our Druidry embraces the traditions of many ancient Indo-European peoples.…to bring renewed commitment to our community, to its leaders, its fellowships, its members worshipping as individuals, and the many other people who are our brothers and sisters.

MIKE reads from the list of names of ADF clergy, while JUDI pours spring water at the base of the Tree for each:

These are the clergy of Ar nDraiocht Fein…
share your good will for them as I read their names...

Kindreds, purify the hearts of those who would lead us in worship,
Nourish and refresh them on their way.

JENNI reads from the list of Groves and Protogroves while JUDI pours spring water at the base of the Tree for each … then says:

These are the Groves and Protogroves of Ar nDraiocht Fein…share your good will for them as you read their names and the many communities they serve.

Kindreds, as the fellowships of Our Druidry are many,
Let your children the Four Winds embrace and strengthen them all!

LORI speaks, while MIKE decorates the Tree with ribbons:

We do not neglect those in our community who honor the Kindreds as individuals and as families:

May the Kindreds dance with each of our folk,
Give them strength and delight in their path.
Grant strength of purpose to those on the old paths
And bring them joy whenever they may meet.

JENNI:
And we above all proclaim our fellowship with all who honor the Kindreds, whatever their path.

MIKE:
Teutates! In whose name we gather!
By these gifts, to you and Proclaim the strength of all our Fellowship
To all the realms you bless with tidings of the season!
So may it be!


Praise Offerings:

Senior Druid asks for Praise Offerings

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, that they may know our intentions.

Now let our voices arise on the Fire
Let our voices sound in the Well
Let our words pass the boundary to the Otherworlds.

Tuetates,
We give you our love
Our respect, and our devotion
as we pray you...

Teutates, accept our sacrifice!


All: Teutates, accept our sacrifice!

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

Piacular Offering
an offering of incense, oil and silver

Father Teutates,
Gods and Goddesses,
Holy Ancestors,
Spirits of this place:
If anything that we have done here has offended you,
If anything we have done here has been incomplete,
If anything we have done here has not been in the proper manner,
Accept this final offering in recompense.

Then Senior 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.


1. Have our sacrifices been accepted?
2. What do the Gods offer us in return?
3. What further needs to the Gods 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 re-centers in preparation for the blessing.

The Blessing

A: The litany of the waters:

Senior 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!

B: Hallowing the waters:

Ale is poured into the horns and elevated. Senior 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 Teutates:
Hallow these 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.

The circle is brought back together, and all are re-grounded and centered.

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 Janus, warder of the ways
For your presence and power
Your guiding and guarding we say...
We thank you!

We thank you!


All: We thank you!

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

Now by Janus, 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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