Imbolc 2007

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.


Today is a day to rejoice in the return of the sun, to pray for a quick end to winter. Today we call out to Brigando and the powers of spring. Let us approach the Grove with our hearts in praise.


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 asperse the company as they enter.

Opening Prayers

A: Opening Prayer: Senior Druid speaks:

The spirits of the sky are above us.
The spirits of the land are around us.
The spirits of the waters flow below us.
Surrounded by all the numinous beings of earth and sky and water,
Our hearts tied together as one,
Let us pray with a good fire.

B: Earth Mother: (by: Anne) All kneel and touch or kiss the earth:

She is in the frozen ground beneath our feet, the soil that patiently awaits the arrival of true spring. The first glimmer of spring’s coming has touched the Earth, and in the coming months she will stir and begin to shake off the grip of winter.

We feel her in the plants and animals that sleep through winter’s cold.

We know her in the buds that wait on the branches, eager for the awakening touch of warmth and sunlight.

We touch her in the waters of the earth, in the wells that bear her name and bestow her blessings.

Earth mother, all-mother, Blessings to you.

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!

Purpose And Precedent

As our ancestors once did, so we do today, and so our children will do in the future. We are here to pay homage to Brigando, Lady of fire, to the Gods, dead and the sidhe and to the rising light of the year. Now is the time of stirring when the earth begins to soften and the waters to flow, while frost still bites and winds still blow, and the light is growing stronger, and life begins to wake. This is the feast of Brigando, the Goddess of Fire and Water. She is the year’s midwife who births the sun. Through the union of fire and water, the ancients, our forebearers, worked magic to call in the spring. So let us join together as one folk to make our offerings in joy and reverence.


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
(by: Anne)

Plant your feet firmly, and draw your spine up straight. Inhale deeply and fully, feeling your belly expand. Pause briefly, feeling the fullness of your lungs. Now exhale completely, tightening your belly as you expel the air from your lungs. Pause here, at the bottom of the breath, experiencing the emptiness of your lungs. Again, let us inhale deeply, pause briefly, then exhale fully, and pause. And a third time, let us inhale, pause, exhale, pause.

Now allow your breathing settle into its normal pattern, breathing in and out through your nose if you are able.

We stand together, in this place, on this earth, where we have come to worship the gods. Our breaths mingle in the air around us, and our feet share the earth.

Extend your awareness down into the earth, through the cold soil and rock and bedrock, down until you reach the molten outer core of the earth. Here is the fire at the belly of our planet, and here is the molten heat of Brigando’s forge. Pull the liquid heat of the forge up from the depths, draw it up through your legs, and feel the molten energy pool in the cauldron of your pelvis. Feel the energy swirl through you, and pull it higher into your body, swirling through your belly, and higher, until it pools in the vessel of your heart. Feel it pulse and swirl, always moving, and feel it extend out through your arms and up through your throat, into your head, where it swirls and flows, rises and descends, and sinuously glides within us. Now raise your hands and place them on the crown of your head, feeling the complete circuit of hot earth energy moving within you, coming up from the earth, and flowing back into the earth, yet constantly filling you.

Now raise your hands to the sky, and feel the vastness of the heavens above us. Push your awareness up, up, and up ­ beyond the air, beyond the clouds, and into the coldness and darkness of space. Plunge your hands into the depths of the universe, and pull the cold, dark energy of space down from above, down through the sky, down to meet the hot fluid energy of earth. Feel the cold energy of space flow down through your hands, through the crown of your head, feel it flow through and around the molten energy of earth. Both energies move and flow and pulse; the hot energy coming up from the earth seeks to rise, while the cold energy from space seeks to descend. The energies move together, pulsing, flowing, creating currents and eddies within ourselves. Move your body gently side to side, feeling the pulse of energies in that physical movement. Gradually still the movements, but feel the energy as it continues to flow and move within you. Extend your hands to grasp those beside you. Where cold and heat meet, the two merge into flexible strength. We are strong with the powers of earth and sky, of hot forge and quenching cold; we stand together and strong, united by the universal energies that fill us.

Now let us open our eyes, and prepare to worship the gods.

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

So Be It

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

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:


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.


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)The Garanus Meditation

In your mind’s eye, see the mists that hover between the worlds as they roll in around this sacred space. In all directions, the mists close you off from the mundane world, leaving nothing but this Grove.

At the edge of the mists, there is a parting. The mists roll back to reveal the waters, deep and undisturbed. They stretch far into the distance, disappearing into the farthest mists.

In the shallows before you, where the land meets the waters, stands a tall, watchful crane. One foot stands upon the land, and the other is in the water. His eye is raised to the sky.

This is Garanus, the crane.

He has dominion over the three realms: he walks upon the land, feeds in the waters, and flies through the sky. Garanus, the crane, will guide us and protect us as we walk to meet the Kindred at the boundaries of this sacred Grove.

Opening The Gates

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

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.
Garanus, accept our sacrifice!

All: Garanus, 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, Garanus
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 Kindred, standing at the fire.


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;
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.
We offer you welcome.

To all our allies,
Kindred of fur and feather and scale
All who walk or fly or swim or crawl
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!

(Senior Druid)

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!

Priase Offerings to the Kindreds

The folk are asked to bring forth praise for the Three Kindreds.

After all the offerings have been made, the druids recenter the company.

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:

Holy Brigando, exalted one, we call to you today:
Queenly goddess and radiant flame,
Sage counselor and teacher,
Poetess who kindles inspiration’s fire.

Noble Brigando, bright arrow, our defender we call:
Lady of sacred well and iron sword,
Healer and midwife, bestower of blessings,
Smithwoman who forges our community.

Wise Brigando of all crafts, we call you to our hearth:
Weaver and brewmistress,
Milkmaid and baker of bread,
You who provide hospitality, accept ours today.

People of Brigando,
We wait by the fireside for Her–
Smith woman, Poet’s Fire, Ancient Source of Wisdom.
Goddess and Woman and Saint, We call to You,
Come in! and Welcome.
(to the crowd) Go on your knees, open your eyes, and admit 

All: (kneeling) BrigandoBrigando, come to our hearth, come to our hearth today!

Candles are arranged on the hearth and a long match is taken from the fire. The following is repeated while the candles are each lit:

Your first candle lit, is your sunrise birth; the flame of your house reaching Ceugant’s bride.
Your second, is the spark of your union with Bres, son of Elathan.
Your third, is the pillar of fire, as you took the veil, rising high and clear.
Your fourth are brothers, with Dagda your father, Broadb the red, Bedar Ogma and Angus.
Your fifth is eternal life’s spring; that sings your name, in crystal gaze.
Your sixth, is the flame of your altar, that never dies.
Your seventh, is the Grove at Llandwynwn, on Mena’s shore, where lovers tryst.
Your eighth is the strength of your Oxen of Dil, Fea and Fearna, Red and Black.
Your ninth, is the sign of your breath, as new life grows from old, your bridge of truth.
Your tenth, is a milk white cow, of redden ears, The Earth Mother’s Nectar, sweet!
Your eleventh, is a girdle, that spans night and day, yet heals and remains.
Your twelfth, is a veil of truth, in a flowering thorn, your wearyall path.
Your thirteenth, is for your son, Ruardan, to be reborn.
Your fourteenth, is the white light of the flowing word, born at sunrise — the molten sky.
Your fifteenth, is the Grove at Kildare, with solid Oak and crystal spring.
Your sixteenth, are shrines throughout Albion, in church, Well and Wall.
Your seventeenth, is your will, of black iron, forged in the determination of a thousand
Your eighteenth, is a healing, The White Dog at the Portal, the Chalice of your smile.
Your nineteenth is a Clarsach, which spells and binds, the hours, days and signs, all in a silver bough.
Your last is your first, the beginning of the turning sea, the ending of the three in one
The Dancing Sun in the hearts of all! The candle that never dies!

Praise Offerings And Disting:

All persons are invited to bring a representation of the tools of their trade forward for blessing. The tools are blessed and offerings poured.

Each person is then invited to call deities or others.

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 Otherworld.

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

Brigando, accept our sacrifice!

All: Brigando, accept our sacrifice!

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

The Senior Druid and four Grove members approach the center. The Senior Druid elevates the vessel with waters and begins the litany:

Senior Druid speaks:

These are indeed powerful omens;
take a moment to reflect upon them.
Consider first how these blessings affect you,
how you can find their expression in your life.

Next consider how these blessings relate to us all,
how the community as a whole, and this Grove in particular
might be affected by the Great One’s blessings.

Now, in your mind’s eye, see the blessings manifest:
A mist around us, a shining ray from the heavens,
a deep welling from the bosom of the earth.
See the blessings in your own way,
And know the Gods pour them out for you.

[elevate larger pitcher]

All waters are by nature sacred,
welling from the earth or falling from the sky,
but today, we separate these waters *
Asking that they be infused with the blessings of the Kindreds.

[* – pour the waters into a smaller vessel as you speak this line]

[At this point, the waters are set in the center of three candles, unlit as yet. Source note: I picked this up from Ian Corrigan]

Ancient and mighty ones, we have honoured you,
And you have offered us blessings in turn:
Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

All: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

[First candle lit]

Your blessings mingle with the waters before us,
Infusing them, becoming one with them:
Shining Ones, give us the Waters

All: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

[Second candle lit]

In all the ways your blessings may come, in all their forms,
mixing with the waters here, shining and bright with your love for us:
Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

All: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

[Third candle lit]

[Pause for a moment, and hold your hand, wand, or sickle over the waters. Direct the energy from the Grove into the container.]

These Waters now hold the blessings of the Gods,
The outpouring of love from the Great Ones
As we share in these sacred waters,
we drink in wisdom, strength and blessing.

[elevate the Waters]

Behold, the Waters of Life!

All: Behold, the Waters of Life!

Once all have drank from the cup or horn, the folk vocally affirm that the Blessings from the Powers have indeed been received. This not only affirms to the Powers that we have received their blessings, but it also further imprints the reception of these blessings in our own minds.

Children of the Earth, before you is the holy cup
Do you wish to share in these blessings?

All: We do!

Then, as the waters are poured out,
know that they hold blessings for you and this grove and this community.
Work well with these blessings, Children of the Earth.

[Waters are passed out, and quaffed]

Now we have imbibed the Waters of Life,
the outpouring of blessings from the Powers.
Feel the waters within you,
and know that we have been blessed.

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


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 Brigando, 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 will 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”).