Druid’s Rite – Samhain 2006
Led by Valan the Druid
(c) 2006 Valan the Druid

Props:
Small firepit (?),well, sacred tree, apple juice and cups, blessing cups, gong, 
containers of dirt, Runes Torches at quarters, 1 for Sacred Fire, Beltaine ribbons.

Cast:
  V.
  Shaper
  As many minions as possible to help with beverage, cups and dirt.

We start the procession at the porch, process thru the grotto of the Dead.

The Fire Tender leads with a lit torch; followed by Shaper and V. and Minions. 
He goes first. Shaper and I go straight to the Main Altar, minions go to their quarters. 

Gathering:
V. 
As we approach the sacred grove,
With minds and hearts, flesh and bone
Join us now in ways of Old –
We have come Home.

FireTender, I charge you with lighting the torches which keep at bay the minions 
and creatures of the Dark.

He goes around and torches the rim of the circle to MUCH DRUMMING!

Statement of Purpose
Shaper:  
We stand at the portal at the end of the year in a place that is not a place 
and a time that is not in time. In this portal, we are neither in the past 
or the future, nor are we in our accustomed world, but are in the eternal 
present in the Summer Lands, the Lands of the Dead, the Realm of Ancestors.

We look behind us at the past year and begin to assess what we have done with our year.
We look back on friends and loved ones who have gone beyond the veil and remember them.
We look at what we must leave behind in order to move ahead.

V:
We welcome the Lord of the Wild Hunt, the Gatherer of Souls, the son of Night, 
who leads the souls of the Underworld on a merry chase; gathering the lost and 
wandering spirits and leading them home.

We welcome the Lady who gives rest and healing to those souls, who welcomes the dead, 
and who guides us all to rebirth. 

Let us now prepare to journey to their realm.

V:  Join us in the Druid’s Pledge

ALL:  Druids pledge: 
We swear by peace and love to stand;
Heart to Heart and Hand to Hand
Mark, Oh Spirits, hear us Now            
Confirming this, our sacred vow.

V:  And now we will have The Fire, The Well, The Sacred Tree 

Fire Tender :
In ancient times fire, man's greatest tool and nature's fiercest weapon, 
defined the meeting place of the sacred and the profane, the heart of the 
home and of religious ceremony. Therefore, when we come together to celebrate 
the rites of our ancestors, we light a fire. We light this fire as the center 
of our circle, the symbol of the ancient ways, and as a means by which our 
sacrifices may be conveyed to the realms of the gods.

The Fire Tender comes forward and lights all the torches near the main altar 
and surrounding the fire pit. Then he goes to the microphone and says:

FT: I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. 
Sacred fire burn within us. 

Folk: Sacred fire burn within us. 

The Keeper of the Well) (KW) (The Well is on Main altar. Get it and walk 
to microphone, Raise “well” bowl on high 
Please hold it dramatically aloft.  (reading taped to lower bowl)

KW: In the depths flow the waters of wisdom. 
Sacred waters flow within us. 

Folk: Sacred waters flow within us. 

KWs will then trounce dramatically around the fire pit. End at main altar 
and put down the well. (much drumming at this time)

The Tender of the Tree (TT) – the “Tree” is on the Main altar.  Get it and Walk 
to microphone.  Lift the “tree” on high and read:

  (reading taped to plant pot)

TT: From the depths to the heights spans the world tree. 
Sacred Tree, grow within us. 

Folk: Sacred tree, grow within us. 

TT will then lower the tree.

TT: The fire, the well, the sacred tree, 
Flame and flow and grow in me!

TT proceeds around the fire pit with the little Tree and then places it on the main altar. 
(much drumming at this time)

V:  
Now we will call in those who wait just beyond the veil to  witness and bless our rite. 

Invoking the quarters

(3 per team. 1 speaks, one has Bic, 1 holds branch. Later, they are charged 
with passing out and juice and cups to their quarter:  sunwise. 

The East quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the Main altar in the Southwest.  
The speaker remains, the other proceed to east.

Eastern caller: Come! All you wise owls,
with your ravens of spirit-speech,
Flying on the wind that whirls between the worlds,
We hear your whispering with each breath,
in the murmuring magic in our minds,
Blow clear our patterns of thought.
Hail and Welcome!  Caller goes back to the East.

The  Southern quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the Main altar.  
The speaker remains, the other proceed to South. 

Southern caller: 
Come! with your pride of passionate lions,
your blazing wild cats of intensity and desire,
Burning in a whirlpool of liquid fire.
We hear your roaring along our nerves,
dancing in flames that leap in our will.
Hail and Welcome!   Caller goes back to the South.

The West quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the Main altar in the Southwest.  
The speaker remains, the other proceed to West. 

Western caller: Come! on your great slithering serpent,
your dragon rising from the watery abyss,
Pouring out visions and prophetic dreams
We feel your damp spray in our blood,
in the waves that roar within our hearts.
Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the West.

The North quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the Main altar in the Southwest. 
 The speaker remains, the other  proceed to north. 

Northern caller! Come! with your ravening wolves,
your hounds from the depths, eyes glowing red,
charging out of the cavern of earth.
Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the North.

Sacrifice to the outsiders 
V.
Ancient and dark ones; unseen, unsightly, and unloved
We make this offering to you
You twisted and misshapen
You cold of heart .and dim of mind
Take this offering and trouble not our rites.

(V. takes the Blessing cup and 
pours  “ale” onto the earth, outside the circle )

V.:
“Acolytes, please come to the altar and gather your supplies.
We shall circle, giving all a pinch of dirt. We do this that we may remember our Death – 
that we are Dust, and unto Dust we shall return.

When all have dust:
Shaper reads:
We are the stricken,
Dying of Death,
Shrouded in weeds,
Wrapped in our loss.

Silent we wait,
Clouded by tears
Torn by the wind
Ragged with mist.

V:
Where we are wounded
there is no healing.
Where we decay
Nothing is sound
Ravaged by night
Abandoned by day,
Silent we wait,
Shadows of Gray.

Shaper:
Old in our broken
Houses of flesh.
Old among the ruined pillars of the sun.
Old as the halls
To which we descend,
Old as this dark
That does not end.

Burning the Beltaine Ribbons

Shaper:  
In the softly blossoming lust of Beltaine, we wound ribbons around our Maypole, 
and with the ribbons, we wrapped dreams and hopes for fulfillment and fertility. 
That bright, pastel time has passed, and this is the time of the Final Harvest, 
and the repose of the year. The wheel of the year has turned, the time of retreat 
draws nigh, and we must discard and transform those spring-born dreams. We do  
so now by  the burning of  the Beltaine Ribbons. Ribbon Keeper, do the honors!

Ribbon Keeper:  

O sacred fire that consumes and transforms
Ancient enemy and first-born friend of humankind.
Accept this offering of Spring Ribbons, 
Become for us the living door to the heavens
The manifestation of the Shining Ones,
And the path of our return home. 

Gets ribbons off altar, lights them from a torch and burns them in a clear part 
of the main fire pit   
(DO NOT let the main fire start burning.)
(Much cheering at this time!)

Blessing Cup

V.:  We ask that everyone partake of juice from the Apples of Immortality. 
Please wait till everyone has a cup to drink. When all have a beverage, 
we will have a Toast to Death: We will say:
To Death, To Life, To Rebirth!! (3 times)
Please wait for all to have been served.

Minions pass out cups and Apple juice.  When all are served, we toast: 

All:  To Death, To Life, To Rebirth!! (3 times)

V. reads:
Elixers fade,
And potions fail.
The gold is rusted
From the Grail.

The wine is changed
To water thin,
The blood is wasted
From the skin.

Shaper:
And all that from
This glass is drunk
May leave us only
Smaller shrunk.

The Dead shall sleep
Their sleep of gray
Where gold and pearl
Shall fall away.

V:
And let us lie
Beside them here
Past pain or joy
Desire or fear.

Let us observe Silence to dwell on these concepts.
Then, a bell is rung 3 times. Somberly. (V, or the gong!!)

OMEN TAKING:
Valan

The gifts of the people rise to the gods on the smoke of sacrifice. May our prayers 
go clearly and without hindrance to those we have praised.  A favor requires a favor; 
a song another song, and a gift given requires a gift in return. This is the law 
of ancient times, alike between man and man and mankind and the gods.  
We have offered our gifts to the gods and we ask them in return for knowledge 
of what tomorrow will bring. Does the future bode bright, or is there a somber warning?

I ask then, that the youngest among us draw a Rune that we may know our Fate.

The youngest draws and Valan interprets a rune.

Shaper:

The dance is done, the feast is ended
Now from the hallowed hall we must be gone.
But,  before we go, let us share a blessing.

By this sign I’m circled round
(draw circle round self.)
Against sore stitch, against sore bite,
Against all horrors that haunt the night,
“Gainst dread that folk fear everywhere,
And loathy things that here would fare.

V:
A sign, a chant: our comfort and stay,
May we be warded well this day.
No nightmare mire us, no foe harm,
In our lives no fear alarm.

Help us spirits of the land
The Goddess hold us in Her Hand.
Ye Elf and Aesir, Vanir aid,
From you our protection’s made.

Shaper:
Now the formal sacrifice is ended. We bid the gods and elements farewell; to go or 
to stay as they will. We bid our Ancestors to watch over us and guide us on our path. 

V:
Let the fire be flame,   GONG
Let the well be water,  GONG
Let all be as it was before.  GONG
This rite is ended – go in peace.

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