2005 Mabon Ritual
MoonPath Chapter of CUUPS
Valan (the Druid)
September 24, 2005
References listed at end

Ritual Items: 
(seasonal decorations for altar)
Blessing cup
Altar Lamps and oil
Oatmeal in vessel 
Scimitar
Large basket for donated food blessing
Branch to offer to fire
Ear of corn
Quarter palm fronds (12)
Well
Tree
Sage
Ale and cups and pitchers
 (each quarter is responsible for dressing its altar.  We will provide altar 
torches. The West and North will have the Well and Tree, which we will 
provide.)

Valan:  when everyone is in big circle

As we approach the sacred grove
With heart and mind, flesh and bone,
Join us now in ways of old. 
We have come home.

Join now for the Druids Pledge: (all)
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.
Invocations to earth and sea and sky

Spel:  I am a child of the earth, the sky and the sea.
		I am your son, answer unto me.

The Keeper of the Well (KW) By the West - the "Well" is on the 
west altar
 Walk to Fire Pit, 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. 

KW will then asperge the firepit and the Druids from the bowl. 
 Place  "well" on main altar (much drumming at this time)

The Tender of the Tree (TT)  From the North - the "Tree" is by or 
on the North altar
Walk to Fire Pit, will lift the "tree" on high 

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 with the little Tree and then places it on or 
near the main altar. (much drumming at this time)

The Fire Tender will first say:

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

Folk: Sacred fire burn within us. 

FT starts the fire.

V:  Let the drums begin!   Much DRUMMING and cheering!!!!!

Spel:

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.

Valan:

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

Valan tosses branch on fire.

Spel:
 O sacred bough of fragrant memory 
May your sweet, rising smoke
Reach the halls of the gods.
May we pray with a good fire!

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 altar in the 
Southwest.  The speaker remains, the other proceed to east. The Eastern 
torches are lit as soon as the two arrive: perhaps while the speaker is 
speaking.

Eastern caller:  On a breath from the East
Ride the gentle and fierce children of creativity. Spread your luminous 
wings and be here now!

Hail and Welcome!  Caller goes back to the East.

The Southern quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the altar in 
the Southwest.  The speaker remains, the other proceed to South. The 
Southern torches are lit as soon as the two arrive: perhaps while the 
speaker is speaking.

Southern caller: Riding on a scorching flame - a tongue of 
transformation
The Scathing bastions of the South, we invoke you!

Hail and Welcome!   Caller goes back to the South.

The West quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the altar in the 
Southwest.  The speaker remains, the other proceed to West. The 
Western torches are lit as soon as the two arrive: perhaps while the 
speaker is speaking.

Western caller: Those that surf the gentle swell, those who churn the 
blustery sea,
Elemental healers, wise and compassionate,
Witness and bless our rite
Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the West.

The North quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the altar in the 
Southwest.  The speaker remains, the other proceed to north. The 
Northern torches are lit as soon as the two arrive: perhaps while the 
speaker is speaking.

Northern caller: Creatures of the Dank Rocks, Bright Spirits of Her 
Green Mantle, 
Ancient powers of the Earth
Powers of Fertility and Form
Witness and Bless our Rite:
Hail and Welcome! Caller goes back to the North.

Sacrifice to the Outsiders 
Spel:
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.

He takes the Blessing cup and 
pours  "ale" onto the earth, outside the circle. 

Casting the Circle (Foxy Owl)

Circle castor approaches the Main Altar and gets the scimitar. They go 
to the East and proceed sunwise around the circle saying:

I cast this circle with the blade,
Sacred space securely made.
When finished, return the scimitar to the altar.

Statement of Purpose:
Valan:
September is a month of changes. Up on the moorlands, the bracken is 
turning a deep bronze, the scarlet rowanberries blaze against a surreal 
blue sky. Blackberries swell into ripeness. Here in the tropics, sugarcane 
stretches towards the sky, whilst strawberries grow heavy on the vine. 

The slanting evening light tells us that autumn has come, that the world 
hangs breathless in perfect balance between the hours of darkness and 
those of the day. The Wheel has turned. It is the time of the return of the 
dark Mother.

Spel:
We come to the Sacred Grove to honor the Lady of the Harvest, the 
Great Goddess Danu.  In this season, she is the Earth Woman, the 
bounteous Lady of the Grain, the Great Mother, the Giver of Plenty.

As our forebears did, so do we now, and so may our descendants do 
after us. Now let us keep the Old Ways. Let us honor the Powers and 
work our Magic that we may gain bounty and wealth in this season. 

Invocation of Danu
Valan:
Mellow fruiting ripeness,
Heavy-scented dampness
Hangs coolly on my skin
As I drink in autumn Awen.

Silver-misty morning,
Jewelled cobwebs sparkling,
And the sun proclaims the last
Of her yellow-golden warmth.

Blackbirds sing for joy,
Spiders doze in palaces,
And I feel the kiss of Autumn on my parched brow.

Saille:
My love is soft damp autumn,
Red-purple rounding fruits,
Seeping through the hazy heat of Summer,
Pulsing rapture through my blood.
At last wheat ripens
Apple reddens
Light shortens
Year passes
Aging enters on the earth
Reapers ready for the scything
For the sacrifice of ending
Harvest ripe and certain
As we join to turn the wheel

Spel:
We have sown, we have tended
We have grown, we have gathered.
We have reaped a good harvest.
Gifts of gladness richly bringing,
Autumn sheaves and red leaves' fall,
Generous be the heart within us,
Open be our hands to all,
Harvest thankfulness our call.
Danu, we thank you for your gifts.
And we thank you for your bounty.

Valan:  Now we ask that the Offering to the Harvest Goddess be made by 
Dreamrider.  (Dreamrider gets oatmeal in a vessel (provided) and tosses 
it into the fire) 

Moonpillow:
Descend in Beauty, Arise in Might! You whose hair is the Golden Grain; 
you whose flesh is the firm sweet soil, we offer you the Seat of Honor in 
our Sacred Grove. Bring to our Grove the Blessings of your bounty, and 
delight.  We the bounty of your harvest for you, who drink up the love of 
the sun.
We offer you welcome, O Danu!. 

Spel: 

Takes basket of food and blesses it for the needy. Insert words here.

Valan:   (Holding aloft ear of corn)
Blessed are we by the fruits of the union of sun and earth. Here is the 
mystery and the richness of energy encased in seed. Though the form 
changes, the energy of Life is eternal. 

We gather at this sacred moment when the sun has gone into seed to 
give thanks for the abundance of the season.

Spel:  I give thanks for____________________
Passes the corn to one on his Left.  Continues around the circle to Valan.

Valan:  I give thanks for freedom to practice the Old Ways.

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. 
Will our lives be renewed and our Summer fruitful?
 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. If an, unfavorable 
omen is drawn, the participants are asked to meditate on the gods' 
message and consider how to respond individually.

Blessing Cup
Spel: raises the Blessing cup filled with amber juice.

Ancient and mighty ones we honor you. Having established the bond of 
hospitality with the gods, what the gods have given to us we distribute 
freely. Behold the drink of the gods!

All:

Behold the drink of the gods!
 
Valan:  We will pass out cups. Please wait for the toast to be made 
before drinking!

Toni:  Sings lovely song.  (When she finishes it, there is much 
drumming at this time)

Quarter teams pass out cups and pour juice.
 When all have a drink, 

Valan says:

When we give, we receive and are blessed.
What we share will be shared in return.
Those we praise in joy will respond in our need.
We are kin to the gods when we drink their mead.
Valan & Spel:  Behold the drink of the gods!

All:
Behold the drink of the gods!

Spel:
Yet now is the Season of Darkening, the Time of Ripening, when the 
night and the moon call the earth to fruit. It is the time of the tender 
goddess, the Maker of heroes, the Old One's Daughter. 

"Farewell, oh Sun, ever returning Light
The hidden God who ever yet remains
He who now departs to the land of Youth
Through the Gates of Death
To dwell  enthroned, the judge of Gods and men, 
The horned leader of the hosts of air.
Yet, as he stands: unseen, without the Circle.

Valan:
So dwelleth He, within the Sacred Seed 
The seed of new-reaped grain. The seed of flesh;
Hidden in earth, the marvelous seed of the stars.
In him is Life, and Life is the Light of man,
That which was never born and never dies.

Therefore The Wise Ones Weep Not -
But Rejoice.

Spel:
May the Life of the Earth be in us. May the Strength of the Earth be in 
us. May the Wisdom of the Earth be in us. 

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.
 
Valan says:
Let the fire be flame. (gong)
Let the well be water. (gong)
Let all be as it was before. (gong)
This rite is ended. (gong)
 
Fire-keeper  extinguishes the fire with water (Big bucketful of water = 
big smoky finale.)

Toni:  Starts  the  Merry Meet song
Everybody claps and sings and hugs.

***********************************************

References, Blessings and Credits to:
Mara Freeman, Kindling the Celtic Spirit
Murray Hope, Practical Celtic Magic
M.M. Sutton, Ph.D, Druid Magic
Paul Maurice, Gleichentag
Ian Corrigan, Lughnassadh Rite
Starhawk, The Spiral Dance
Sirona Knight, Celtic Traditions
Emma Restall Orr, Spirits of the Sacred Ground
C & J. Matthews, Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom
 
Any writing not attributed to the abovementioned authors is the sole 
possession of Valan Evers (c)2005, all rights reserved. "Borrowing" is 
acceptable with credits.

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