Samhain Druid's Rite
Led by Valan the Druid
Cast: Props: Valan Well Shaper Sacred Tree Fire Tender Apple juice & cups Keeper of the Well Blessing cups Tender of the Tree Bell Ribbon Keeper Containers of water Minions: As many as possible Runes to help with beverage, cups Torches for Quarters, Sacred Fire, Ancestors and aspersing. Beltain Ribbons 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. Fire Tender, I charge you with lighting the torches that 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 Shaper: 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. (Much drumming at this time!) 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. All: 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. All 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. All: 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: By the might of the Water and the light of the Fire, this Shrine is made whole and holy. Let the sea not rise, and all ill turn away. Let the sky not fall and all ill turn away. Let the land hold firm and all ill turn away. The Fire, the Well, the Sacred Tree, flame and flow and grow in me! In Land, Sea, and Sky, below and on high! Thus is the Sacred Grove claimed and hallowed. 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 Lighter, 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. ) Opening the Gates: Shaper: I make this offering to the Keeper of the Gates. Gatekeeper, Lord of the Between, Keeper of Roads and Opener of Ways, join your magic with mine to guard and ward the gate of this working. Now let this sacred center be the boundary of all worlds, Let the Fire open the Gate. Let the Well open the Gate. Let the Tree hold fast the Way Between. By the Keeper of Gates, and by my Will and Word, let the Gate be open! (Much drumming at this time!) V: Centering Chant In this place of the Dark Queen of the Earth Now bright with the Spirits of Hallow's Eve night, Confirm we now the sacred center The omphalos, the Navel of the world. Shaper: It is said that the dead have a journey to make. It is said the that dead cross a river on their journey. It is said the the river becomes filled with their memories. It is said that the river is filled with their wisdom. It is said that the river comes to the surface as sacred springs. It is said that those who drink from those springs receive the wisdom and the memories of the dead. V: Acolytes, please gather your bowls of fresh spring water that you might asperse those present with the wisdom and memories of the dead. V 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. Shaper: 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. V: 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. Blessing Cup: V. lights a candle: We light the way for our ancestors' return. May they come and feast with us. We ask that everyone partake of juice from the Apples of Immortality. Minions, please pass out cups? 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: Please dispose of your cups in the Main Fire pit. They will burn at the Midnight Ritual. 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 firepit (DO NOT let the mainfire start burning.) (Much cheering at this time!) V. reads: Elixirs 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. Closing the Gate: V: Please lend your energies and help me Close the gate. Let the fire be flame, GONG! Let the well be water, GONG! Let all be as it was before, save for the magic we have made! GONG! This rite is ended! Go in peace.