2006 Mabon Ritual
MoonPath Chapter of CUUPS
September 23, 2006
by Valan (the Druid)

(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
  Quarter palm fronds (12)
  Well
  Tree
  Sage
  4 veils and runes of Harvest
  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 asperse 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.)

Valan: 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. One speaks, one has Sacred Bic, one wears the veil
of an acolyte of Nerthus. Later, they are charged with passing out
and juice and cups to their quarter:  sunwise. At the Nerthus-Praise part,
the veiled one passes out a bowl of Runes to each person in their quadrant.
They need only wear the veil during the procession into the circle
and when they pass out Runes.)

(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:  I summon, stir and call you up, gentle and fierce
  elementals and Gods from the realms of As-gard, and Nifel-heim.
  Spread your luminous wings and be here now!
  Hail and Welcome!
  
Folks: 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 others proceed to South.
The Southern torches are lit as soon as the two arrive:  perhaps
while the speaker is speaking.)

Southern Caller: I summon, stir and call you up, Riders of the scorching
  flame and Chaos. The Scathing bastions of
  Muse-pel-heim, Joe-tun-heim and Hel. Come, we invoke you!
  Hail and Welcome!
  
Folks: 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 others proceed to West.
 The Western torches are lit as soon as the two arrive:  perhaps
 while the speaker is speaking.)

Western Caller: I summon, stir and call you up, those that surf
  the gentle swell, those who churn the blustery sea,
  Elemental beings, who thrive in the realms of Vanna-heim and Light-alf-heim.
  Witness and bless our rite
  Hail and Welcome!

Folks: 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 Swart-alf-heim and Midgard,
  Witness and Bless our Rite:
  Hail and Welcome!

Folks: 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.)

Now we will cast the circle: 

Casting the Circle: 

(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.)

And now the Story Sage:

Saille Honor:

In the days of old, when the frost began to bite, and the Harvest
had been gathered, a cart bearing the veiled image of the goddess
Nerthus, would be drawn through the fields and lands by her acolytes,
who also wore veils so as to not, even accidentally, gaze upon the face
of this great Goddess. The following days would be ones of revelry,
rejoicing and merrymaking. No one goes to war, no one takes up arms,
every iron object is locked away. Then and then only, are peace and
quiet known and welcomed.

Our ancestors were well aware not only of the nourishing gifts
of the Earth, but of Her terrible power as well: earthquakes,
famine, flood, storm and destruction. She was beautiful and life
giving, terrifying and destructive all at once. There was bounty
but also immense danger contained in the holy presence of this goddess,
Nerthus. So, once again, we behold the Bright Face of the Goddess,
as well  as the Return of  the Dark Mother.

…and now “The Hymn to the Earth,” by Homer

The Mother of us all,
The oldest of all.
Hard.
Splendid as rock.

Whatever there is that is of the land
It is she
Who nourishes it,
It is the Earth 
That I sing.

Whoever you are,
Howsoever you come,
Across her sacred ground -
You of the sea,
You that fly. 
It is she
Who nourishes you
She,
Out of her treasures:
Beautiful children…
Beautiful harvests…

The giving of Life itself.
The taking of it back
Are yours.

It is you,
The goddess
It is you whom we honor.
Now,
Mother of gods,
Bride of the sky
In stars

Farewell: 
but if you liked what I sang here
Give me a bounteous life, too
Then:  
In my other poems I will remember you.
  
And so, honor her this day, please take a Rune of Harvest
from one of her acolytes. (Drummers, DRUM!!!!!)

(Pass out the baskets of Rune Stones.)

(When all have a Rune:)

Valan:

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.
Nerthus, 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. 
_____________ gets oatmeal in a vessel (provided) and tosses
it into the fire)

____________________:
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 thank you for the bounty of your harvest; you,
who drink up the love of the sun.

We offer you welcome, O Nerthus!


Valan:   (Holding aloft a piece of produce)

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:  (Blessing the food basket)

For food in a world where many walk in hunger
For friends in a world where many walk alone
For faith in a world where many walk in fear
We give you thanks, Great Mother.


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!

(Quarter teams, pass out cups and pour juice.)

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

(When all have a drink,) 

Spel 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 Dark Mother. We sing farewell to her Son:

“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.)

Saille:  Starts the Merry Meet song

(Everybody claps and sings and hugs.)

********************************************************
References, blessings and credits to:
Carolyne Larrington, The Poetica Edda, (translation)
Thorsson, RuneLore
H.A. Grueber, The Myths of the Norsemen (from the Eddas and the Sagas) 
Paul Maurice, Gleichentag
Aswynn, Northern Mysteries and Magick
Yngona Desmond, Voluspå – Seidr as Wyrd  Consciousness 
Mara Freeman, Kindling the Celtic Spirit
Murray Hope, Practical Celtic Magic
M.M. Sutton, Ph.D, Druid Magic
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
“The Hymn to the Earth,” by Homer

Any writing not attributed to the above mentioned authors is the sole
possession of Valan Evers ©2006, all rights reserved.
“Borrowing” is acceptable with credits.
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