Druid's Rite - Samhain 2008
Led by Valan the Druid & HP Shaper
MoonPath CUUPS

V. (Inside at mic.)

We are Children of the Night Sky. We hold our rites then.

The Rites are to build patterns in our Hearts
Once we have the pattern, we can go beyond the rites.

Follow the Rites until you need them not. These rites are
meant to lead you where we most need to go - They come from
the sky, from the earth, from the gods of sky and earth.
For this reason, they are of us - in us - and for us.
And we will have the Druid's Rite now. We will form a
procession on the walk near the back porch and go to
our Sacred Nematon.

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 Valan and Minions. HP goes first. HP & HPS proceed
straight to the Main Altar, minions go to their stations. 

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

Shaper:
I hold my lantern up on high
To catch the falling tears of night
Command my heart to make a call
To gather light and gather dark.

V.
One single spark is all it takes at last
To call a circle into being
A beacon on the farthest hill
For those who are looking - 
For those who are seeing.

So we shall cast a circle
FireTender, I charge you with lighting the torches
that keep at bay the minions and creatures of the Dark.

Shaper: The Watchtower of the North - The realm of the gods.

V:  The Watchtower of the  East - The realm of the Sidhe

Shaper:  The Watchtower of the South - The realm of the Stars

V.  The Watchtower of the West -  The realm of the dead

Fire tender races around and torches at the rim of the
circle to MUCH DRUMMING!


Statement of Purpose
V:  
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.

Shaper:
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:  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 the wood in the Main fire pit. (Lots of hooting
and cheering. 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 firepit.
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 firepit 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.

BOTH:
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. 

V.  
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. 

Sacrifice to the Outsiders 

Shaper.
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, 
V:
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!)

Saille Honor does the Crone's blessing:

Know the pillars between which we stand, the pillars of
night and day.
Know the self which conquers the flame, 
which brought the fire 
which burns within our bones and blood.  
Know and dance within that flame. 
The gift brings light beyond all blindness.

Do not forget; we are the open heart, the spirit and the blood.
We are the passions of the gods, we who touch both pillars.

So it is, that we here within the circle must look past the
last of all boundaries to what lies beyond.

For this is our charge...to journey to the beginning place
and to return hence with such gifts as are needed most.
As has been done of old and shall be done again.

For we who are the children of the earth and of the starry
heavens, we who walk in all worlds, this be our path - 
to dream to dance,
To dance to dream,
And to Remember.

Shaper:  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.

V:
It is said that the dead have a journey to make.
It is said that the dead cross a river on their journey.
It is said that 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:  
"Minions, please gather your bowls of fresh spring water that
you might asperse those present with the wisdom and memories
of the dead. (They get water from altar and begin aspersing crowd.
After they have started.) 

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.

Blessing Cup

V. speaks, and Shaper 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 Firepit. They will
burn at the Midnight Ritual.

Shaper. 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.

V:
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.

Shaper:
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. rings bell,
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: Closing the Gate:
Please lend your energies and help me Close the gate.
Let the fire be flame,  (Shaper strikes bell or 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.

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Credits:
Mabinogian
Mara Freeman, Kindling the Celtic Spirit
M.M. Sutton, Ph.D, Druid Magic
Sirona Knight, Celtic traditions,
Emma Restall Orr, Spirits of the Sacred Ground
 C & J. Matthews, Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom
 traditional ADF liturgy
all prose and poetry by Valan Evers c 2008 - all rights reserved)

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Props:
Well, sacred tree, apple juice and cups, blessing cups, bell, containers of 
water, Runes. 
Torches at quarters, On altar:  1 for Sacred Fire, 1 for ancestors. 
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