2011 Pagan Pride Day Ritual
MoonPath Chapter of CUUPS
Valan (the Druid: Ash the Silent /|\)
References listed at end.

Ritual Items: 
(seasonal decorations for altar)
Blessing cup
Ear of  corn
Large basket for donated food blessing
Branch to offer to fire
Quarter palm fronds (12)
Well
Tree
Sage
mic for Valkyrie as well as quarters
Ale and cups 
 (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, Story Sage, Gate person, quarter teams,
fire, well, tree persons, drummers


Ash:  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:
The Time of Change is upon us again -
the Equinox comes, the Wheel turns...
What better time for us, the multitude of humankind, 
Floridian-survivors of the torrid Summer
Eagerly awaiting the kiss of cooler days to come,
To re-appraise our relationship with our 
the Earth, upon whose skin we live our small lives.

Ash:
The Earth
  Once in her life a person ought to concentrate their mind upon 
  the remembered earth, I believe. They ought to give themselves up 
  to a particular landscape in their experience, to look at it from 
  as many angles as they can, to wonder about it, to dwell upon it.
  They ought to imagine that they touch it with their hands at
  every season and 
  listens to the sounds 
  that are made upon it. 
  They ought to imagine the creatures there and 
  all the faintest motions of the wind.
  They ought to recollect the glare of noon 
  And all the colors of the dawn and dusk.

Valkyrie:
For we are held by more than the force of gravity to the earth.
It is the entity from which we are sprung, and that into which
we are dissolved in time. The blood of the whole human race
is invested in it. We are moored there, rooted as surely, as
deeply as are the ancient redwoods.

Spel:
Moment of Insight
At this moment of insight,
Everything is clear
And all is right/
And each thing is connected in beauty,
A tingling rush at every hair and fiber,
This spark of ecstasy,
An instance that will be remembered
When all else is forgot
To feel totally alive
In sympathy with the Universe,
For the Truth is revealed,
Reality speaks rarely,
Lucky the one who has heard.


Valkyrie:  Now we will have the Keeper of the Well:

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.)


Valkyrie:  Now we will have The Tender of the Tree

The Tender of the Tree (TT)  From the North – the “Tree” is by or 
on the North altar.  Walk to microphone. Liift 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)


Valkyrie:  Now we will have The Fire Tender

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.

Valkyrie:    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.

Ash:
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. 

Ash 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!

Valkyrie:  Instead of Calling the Quarters, we will honor these
Cardinal Directions and the Beings they represent with Chants and Poetry.
We will begin in the West:  the Quarter of Dusk, of Twilight, and t
he Autumnal Equinox, the sacrifice and the Harvest as one.
Here dwells the creatures of the Watery Deep. May we have the West?

(3 per team. 1 speaks, one has Bic, ALL holds branch.
Later, they are charged with passing out and juice and cups
to their quarter:  They go round the circle sunwise.
(after quarter is called, put branch on ground in front of altar.)

The WESTERN quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the  Main Altar.  
The speaker remains, the other proceed to West. The Western torch is
lit as soon as the two  arrive:  perhaps while the speaker is speaking.

Western caller: 

  They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains 
  the hottest blood of all, and the wildest, the most urgent. 

  All the whales in the wider deeps, hot are they, as they urge 
  on and on, and dive beneath the icebergs. 
  The right whales, the sperm-whales, the hammer-heads, the killers there
  they blow, there they blow, hot wild white breath out of the sea!  

  And they rock, and they rock, through the sensual ageless ages 
  on the depths of the seven seas, 
  and through the salt they reel with drunk delight 
  and in the tropics tremble they with love and roll with massive,
  strong desire, like gods.
  And enormous mother whales lie dreaming suckling their whale -
  tender young and dreaming with strange whale eyes wide open in the
  waters of the beginning and the end.
  And all this happens in the sea, in the salt where God is also love,
  but without words:
  and Aphrodite is the wife of whales most happy, happy she!  

All the Creatures of the Sea - thee we Invoke.
Hail and Welcome!

Caller goes back to the West.


Valkyrie:  And now, The North – and, of course, we honor the Trees.

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

Northern caller:

  I THINK that I shall never see
  A poem lovely as a tree.
  
  A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
  Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

  A tree that looks at God all day,
  And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
  
  A tree that may in summer wear
  A nest of robins in her hair;

  Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
  Who intimately lives with rain.

  Poems are made by fools like me,
  But only God can make a tree.

All the Trees, and minions and elementals of the North -
Thee we Invoke!
Hail and Welcome! 

Caller goes back to the North.

Valkyrie:  Now for the East!

Eastern caller:

  A gentle breeze began to flow, 
  creating music to one’s ears, 
  whence it came no one knows, 
  yet it takes away all our fears. 

  Possessing such power and might, 
  as it steadily warms the cool air, 
  leaves dancing everywhere in sight, 
  magical essence to those who dare. 

  A single gift of beauty to behold, 
  the soft wind felt upon your face, 
  yet, in it’s fury it can be so bold, 
  not every moment is satin and lace. 

  It carries the fragrance of flowers, 
  blending aroma of Spring so rare, 
  hard to believe in Winter it devours, 
  but for now, it’s splendor we share. 

  The mystical wind is like life itself, 
  for it contains both good and bad, 
  never found sitting idle on a shelf, 
  it can make one happy or forever sad. 

Thee we Invoke.
Hail and Welcome! 

Caller goes back to the East.

Valkyrie:  And from the South, we call to the elemental of Fire.
 
The  Southern quarter team proceeds doesil till it reaches the
Main 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: 

  Dancing with the flames
  a fiery gypsy’s dance –
  Fire in our hearts, fire in the trees, 
  fire in the sky…

  Touched with fire
  we want to catch the flames....
  Dancing with the flames
  we feel the rainbow fire, 

  we feel the fire’s warmth, 
  we see the fiery lady
  dancing with the gypsys
  so magical, so dangerous…

  We feel the breath of fire’s world, 
  we feel the spirit of the fire, 
  we hear the rhapsody 
  of the fire’s wild flames…

Thee we Invoke  - let this Fire reside within our Hearts!
Hail and Welcome!   

Caller goes back to the South.

Valkyrie:  Now we will have The 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. 

Valkyrie:  And now the Story Sage with our Seasonal Statement:
The Planet Earth Speaks:

Alma Luz Villanueva

I spin through time
And darkness: I glue
You to me with love.  
I house your body
With earth, 
Your Soul with air.

You swim toward me each night crying,
“Mother.” 
You have not forgotten me:  
I am
too vast, my heart
too hot;
my blood
too sweet;
my beauty
too astounding. 
I reveal this to you because 
it is not
a secret; or 
hidden from
your view.  
I am
entirely oblivious.
I am spinning through
The fabric of your
Dreams.  
I am ever
Present. 
I am an
Ancient pattern within
You, without you.

I am
The maker of wonders,
The maker of horrors,
The maker of beauty,
The maker of terror:

And I made you to love me whole, 
Small Echo of my womb:
To love me as I 
Love you.
Unconditionally.


Valkyrie:  Now we will have the Harvest Blessing:

Spel:
For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,
For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,
For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home --
We give thanks for this bounty!

Spel: (Takes basket of food and blesses it for the needy.)

I bless this food that it may bring health and sustain life.

Ash:   (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.

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

Valkyrie:  So we can raise some energy, let us be joyful and
dance thrice around the circle, counting our blessings all the while.
DRUMMERS!!!

Valkyrie:  And now, the OMEN TAKING:

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 what we harvested be enough to sustain us in the Dark Season of
the Year?
I ask then, that the youngest among us draw a Rune that we may
know our Fate.

(The youngest draws and Ash 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.)

Valkyrie:  And now the Blessing Cup.  Quarter teams will pass out cups.
Please wait for the toast to be made before drinking!

(When all are served:)

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!

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."

Ash:
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. 

Ash 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.)

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
Ian Corrigan, Lughnassadh Rite
Mabon by Ezzy Violet
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
Veronica Cummer – Sorgitzak, Old Forest Craft
John B. Wilson
Joyce Kilmer
Samuel E. Stone
Any writing not attributed to the abovementioned authors is the sole
possession of Valan Evers :©2011, all rights reserved. “Borrowing”
is acceptable with credits.
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