2009 Mabon Ritual
MoonPath Chapter of CUUPS
Valan (the Druid)
References listed at end

Ritual Items: 
(seasonal decorations for altar)
Blessing cup
Oil and Incense for opening  gates
Barley in vessel  - 1 for altar, 1 for gate
Ear of  corn
Large basket for donated food blessing
Branch to offer to fire
Quarter palm fronds (12)
Well
Tree
Sage
mic for Story 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.)

Players:  Spel, Ash, Gate person, barley offerer, Saille, quarter teams,  
fire, well tree persons, drummers


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.

Statement of Purpose and Precedent:  
Spel

As the ancients did before us, 
so we do now, 
and so our descendants may do in the future. 
We are come into the Grove to worship as they did, 
to offer to the Ancestors; 
to offer to the “Aye-sir” and the “Van-eer”
to offer to the Nature Spirits; 
and to offer to the beloved Shining Ones. 
Today we kindle  a golden flame of Thanksgiving as we dance among the Harvest fires. 
And tonight, may we give thanks and praise for our families and the community that sustains us! 


Invocations to earth and sea and sky
Valan:  I am a child of the Moon, Earth, Sea and Sky.
	I am your daughter, hear my cry.

The Keeper of the Well (KW) the “Well” is on the west altar
 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. 
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 microphone. Lift the “tree” on high 
Please hold it dramatically aloft.  (reading taped to container)

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 go to microphone and 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. 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 

Valan:
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.

She takes the Blessing cup and 
pours  “ale” onto the earth, outside the circle 

Opening the Gates
Spel:
Oil and Incense are added to the cauldron:

"Mannanan Mac Lir, Keeper of the Gate, 
We ask You in reverence, to keep our passage safe. 
Part the mists of the Worlds  Beyond here, 
Keep us safe, and keep us near.

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.
And now we’ll have the story sage.

DRUMMERS:  Drum her in!

Story sage:
We come to the Sacred Grove to honor the John Barley Corn, the mythical Anglo Saxon figure, 
the sacred sacrificial king, who dies so that his people may thrive. 

Barleycorn, the personification of the barley, encounters great suffering before ultimately dying.  
However, as a result of this death bread can be produced; therefore, Barleycorn dies so that others may live. 
Finally his body will be eaten as the bread.

As you listen to the song, let us remember and be thankful for the sacrifices others have made 
so that we may have enough to eat and a snug home.

There was three men come out o' the west their fortunes for to try,
    And these three men made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn must die,
    They ploughed, they sowed, they harrowed him in, throwed clods upon his head,
    And these three men made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn was dead.


Valan:  Now we ask that the Offering to John BarleyCorn be made by ________________. 
_________ gets barley in a vessel (provided) 
and tosses it into the fire – everyone else toss some into the fire after __________________.

Spel:
“The Wheel rolls more, and Autumn returns.
Cooler the rain; the Sun lower burns.
The coloring leaves mark the change in the Year:
All things move into harvest’s sphere.
I vow to savor fruits first picked;
nor into grief shall I be tricked.
I vow to offer what once I spurned,
and face the Turning reassured.

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 the blessings of this Season.

Valan:  I give thanks for freedom to practice the Old Ways.
Everyone:  Shout out your thanks!!!

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.
 
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 smokey finale..)
Toni:  Starts the Merry Meet song
Everybody claps and sing and hug

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

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
- Asleen O’Gaea, Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Beltane to Mabon

Any writing not attributed to the abovementioned authors is the sole possession of Valan Evers :©2009, all rights reserved. 
“Borrowing” is acceptable with credits.
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