Imbolc Ritual

 

Written by Michael Talvola, and Kaila Kaden

          Sources: 2007 Sonoran Sunrise Grove, ADF Imbolc Ritual

          Raven’s Cry Grove members

 

As performed at ritual February 1, 2014

 

 

INITIATING THE RITE

 

The folk assemble outdoors to observe the preparations

 

 

Guardian

 

Kaila: Children of the Earth!  Welcome to the Imbolc ritual of Raven’s Cry Grove, ADF.  We stand here at the threshold.  Warrior, call a guardian for our rite.

 

Warrior approaches the outdoor tree

 

Tess:

Hail to the Raven Goddess, the harbinger of Death,

Under Your Black wings we learn to face our Fears.

 

Hail to the Majesty of Ruin, tha harbinger of Poetic Devastation,

Under Your White wings we find the path thru the Chaos of our souls.

 

Hail to the the Lady of Battlefields, the harbinger of War,

Under your Red Wings we learn Honorable conflict.

 

Morrigan Warrior Queen!!

As you did once for the people of Ireland,

Blow your protective fog over this rite,

Ward the folk and this space,

 

Warrior makes an offering of red wine to Morrigan, pouring

 

 

Morrigan, Accept our Sacrifice.

 

 

 

Tess: Oh entryway that supports the weight of the heavens it is between you  that we create our threshold.  Please hold open the roadway to the sacred center.  Warrior, mark this space that the outdwellers shall not enter.

 

Warrior draws a line at the entrance.

 

Tess:  Morrigan we ask you to watch this threshold.

 

 

 

 

Outdwellers

 

Kaila: Children of the earth, as we prepare to make offering to the Outdwellers, please avert your eyes so as not to form a relationship with them, and also look to the Outdwellers in your own hearts.  This is a celebration of the returning Spring and renewal.  All that we carry into the nemeton today will flower.  Take only that which you wish to root, grow, and flourish.

 

Warrior!  Make offering and appease the Outdwellers who do not support our ways.

 

Warrior:  

Beings not of this rite,

Those who stand against the Gods,

We ask you to stand outside the boundaries,

And trouble not our working!

 

Warrior makes an offering of ale to the Outdwellers, pouring

 

Bíodh sé amhlaidh!

 

 

Procession and Purification

 

Mike: Children of the earth release the cares of your mundane life.  Take a deep breath in and allow your mind to be still.  Thoughts outside of this time are released.  You are here spiraling ever forward in the present.

 

Kaila: Feel the pull of our sacred space, calling you, whispering on the wind.  In this space we create our sacred realities.  We can become all the Kindreds believe us to be.  Purification allows us to transform into our sacred selves.  Please come forward, be purified, and attune yourself to mythic time.  Let go and cross the divide.

 

Create the candlelight procession.  Light candles in hands of all the folk.  Procession begins with the Priestess of Brighid [Ariel] carrying the flame. 

 

Procession – Song: Come We Now as a People (by Ian Corrigan)

[Bards play in E minor]

 

           Come we now as a people,

            To gather at the sacred well.

            Come we now as a people,

            Together in the warmth and the light of the flame.

 

 

Folk are censed and aspersed as the enter the building, place candles on Brighid’s altar, and take their place in the circle. 

 

When all folk are in place,

 

Kaila and Mike: By the light of the fire and the might of the water, make this Grove be whole and holy.

 

Welcome

 

Mike: ring chime 3x3 times saying:

Ancestors! (chime 3x)

Nature Spirits! (chime 3x)

Shining Ones! (chime 3x)

 

We have crossed the threshold into sacred space.  Please reconnect with the sacred cosmos as we prepare to open the gates to the otherworlds, the place where the kindreds will reveal themselves once more.

 

 

HONORING THE EARTH MOTHER

 

Kaila: Earth Mother!  Bearer of all life!  We show you honor!

 

The people kneel.

 

Earth Mother, your sinuous curves and deep valleys
contain the veins through which the waters of life flow.
The strong oak, gate to all the worlds,
roots deeply within the caverns of wisdom,
drinking its existence.

Blessed Earth Mother, giver of sustenance, shelter, healing, and wisdom,
we honor all the sacrifices you make to sustain the lives which depend on you.
A true mother, we honor you this night and ask that you accept this offering of barley.
(offer grain)

Earth Mother, Join us and accept our sacrifice.
Biodh Amhlaidh

All: Bíodh sé amhlaidh!

 

 

Statement Of Purpose

 

Kaila: We gather here to celebrate Imbolc, the time before birth when the ewes come into their milk.

 

Mike: We are here to offer worship to the triple goddess Brighid: She who protects, heals, and inspires.  Renewal begins for mother earth; seeds take root and come to flower. Let it be so for us as well.

 

Kaila: As our ancestors did, so do we now: we are here to honor the Old Bargain between mortals and the Kindreds.  So let us join together as one folk to make our offerings in joy and reverence.

 

Bíodh sé amhlaidh!

 

All: Bíodh sé amhlaidh!

 

 

Inspiration

 

Rhythmic drumming to accompany the inspiration invocation

 

Kaila: Sister goddesses Bedb and Macha, we ask you for inspiration for our rite!

 

Druid:

Peace to the sky,

Sky to the earth,

Earth beneath sky,

A cup very full,

Summer in winter,

Spear supported by shield,

Bring your blessings to me Badb!

Battle fury, Crow Goddess,

Both Maiden and Crone,

Cauldron keeper,

Fate weaver,

Badb, lead us toward rebirth!

 

Beloved Macha

Sleek mare, Faery woman, Bold Queen

You teach us that there can be no life without death

No beginning without an ending

Come, Macha come!

Be at our side

Let us know the right times to let go

And when to stand firm in our conviction and deeds

 

Badb, Macha – Beloved Sisters,

we call upon you for inspiration.

From dark beginnings all potential is born.

Keepers of the Cauldron of Life, Widsom, Inspiration and Enlightenment.

Take us to that place between the realm of flesh and spirit,

Between this time and that place beyond time,

Where myth, truth, and mystery become one.

Badb and Macha, accept our sacrifice and join us at our rite.

 

          Bíodh sé amhlaidh!

 

All: Bíodh sé amhlaidh!

 

 

Establish the Group Mind

 

Mike: [Two powers meditation]

 

 

Recreate the Cosmos

 

 

The Three Realms

 

Kaila: Druids, let us now re-establish the Sacred Center of the Worlds.

 

Land and sea and starry sky, you surround and sanctify.

 

Mike: Let the land hold firm we pray.  May all ill be turned away!

 

All: May all ill be turned away!

 

Kaila: Land and sea and starry sky, you surround and sanctify.

 

Mike: Let the sea not rise we pray.  May all ill be turned away!

 

All: May all ill be turned away!

 

Kaila: Land and sea and starry sky, you surround and sanctify.

 

Mike: Let the sky not fall we pray.  May all ill be turned away!

 

All: May all ill be turned away!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, Fire, and Tree

 

Start a Drumbeat. 

 

Tommi: Go to the well with silver.

Ken: Go to the fire with oil.

Jessica: Go to the tree with incense.

 

Tommi: offer silver to well saying

Sacred wells, of ancient Eire,

Connect from here, through time and space,

Cosmic potential rises to fill us,

Brigit’s wells, flow within us!

 

All: Brigit’s wells, flow within us!

 

 

Ken: offer oil to fire saying

Sacred Fire, eternal flame,

Burning bright at Kildare,

Cosmic order transforms potential.

Brigit’s Fire, burn within us!

 

All: Brigit’s Fire, burn within us!

 

 

Jessica: cense and asperse the tree

Sacred Oak Church at Kildare

Mighty trees of ancient Eire,

Connectors of potential and pattern,

Sacred Tree, grow within us!

 

All: Sacred Tree, grow within us!

 

Kaila: move clockwise around the circle, leading the chant.  After 3rd time, stop, face center, and raise up arms.

 

Well and Fire and Sacred Tree, flow and flame and grow in me!

Well and Fire and Sacred Tree, flow and flame and grow in me!

Well and Fire and Sacred Tree, flow and flame and grow in me!

 

 

OPEN THE GATES

 

Heather:

Shapeshifter, Mist Lord, Sidhe King!

A Manannan Mac Lir! 

We have come to meet you at the crossroads,

To walk the Sacred Way.

We ask that you share Your mysteries with us,

And ward our steps in safety, Lord of the Gates.

 

Druid makes offering of oil at each of the hallows as each are addressed for

opening.

 

Now, O Manannan, Ferryman of the Shrouded Path,

join your will with ours.

 

Let the fire be opened now, as a gate to the Shining Ones.

 

Let the well be opened now, as a gate to the Otherworld,

 

Let the tree stand as an connector of the ways,

to serve as a path to all the Worlds.

 

Open as a road to our voices so that they may be heard by the kindreds.

 

A Mhanannain Mhic Lir, Osclaitear na Geatai anois.!

Let the Gates be Open!

 

 

Kaila: Children of the earth, we are now at the center of the cosmos.  We are woven into the sacred fabric of the universe.  Here, the Kindreds can hear our thoughts and know our hearts.  Let there only be truth here.

 

 

 

INVITING THE THREE KINDREDS

 

 

Kaila:  Druids! Make our offerings to the Kindreds – the Ancient Ones, the Noble Ones, and the Shining Ones.

 

Ancestors

 

Now, we will make our offering to the Ancestors.

 

Russell:

Ancestors, A shinseara (uh HEEN-sher-un)

You who lie deep within this land, you whose memories hold it, and whose hearts are tied to its very essence; tribes of old, we offer you welcome!

Grandmothers and grandfathers, our beloved dead, kin of blood and heart, ancient tribes whose legacy is in our veins, we offer you welcome!

Elders and wise ones, you who guide the people, wise men and women of ancient days, we offer you welcome!

Mighty Ancestors, A shinseara we would give you honour and praise, and we would ask that you join us here today!

 

offering of Whisky

 

Ancestors, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Ancestors, accept our sacrifice!

 

Mike: Children of the earth, close your eyes, take a moment, and feel the Ancestors as they join us here.

 

Allow a few moments

 

 

Nature Spirits

 

Now, we will make our offering to the Nature Spirits.

 

Jessica:

Nature Spirits,

Wild ones of the woods and hills,

Flying ones soaring in the skies,

All you who swim, slither and slink,

Come join us in our rite.

All you who grow green and fruitful,

with sheltering shade and boughs,

who nourish us, and teach us,

Come join us in our rite.

We welcome you, kindred spirits,

To be with us tonight!

 

offering of fruit or flowers

 

Nature Spirits, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Nature Spirits, accept our sacrifice!

 

Mike: Children of the earth, close your eyes, take a moment, and feel the Nature Spirits as they join us here.

 

Allow a few moments

 

 

 

Shining Ones

 

Now, we will make our offering to the Shining Ones.

 

Ken:

Come to our fire, come feel the warmth

We welcome you here, so that we may honor you with our praise.

 

You who we call Gods, Goddesses, Deity, Spirit

You have many names and many faces, we show our respect to them all.

 

Shining Ones, join the people gathered here and celebrate this Imbolc night.

We offer you this oil to draw you near, so you may receive more offerings from your people.

 

offering of Oil

 

Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice!

 

Mike: Children of the earth, close your eyes, take a moment, and feel the Gods and Goddesses as they join us here.

 

Allow a few moments

 

 

Praise Offerings

 

Mike: Children of the earth, as the spirit moves you, come forward and make praise offerings to the Kindreds or your Patrons.  You may offer at the well, fire, or tree, sing songs, recite poetry, dance, or do whatever would please the Kindreds.

 

Folk make offerings as they will

 

 

 

KEY OFFERINGS

 

Kaila: Children of the earth, it is time to meet the Goddess Brighid.

 

 

Jackie: [Meditation to meet Brighid]

 

 

Ariel:         

          Beautiful Brigid, fires bright,

We call to you this Imbolc night.

The buds are blooming in tops of trees,

The bulbs are rooting where we cannot see.

New life grows in darkness while the Earth still sleeps.

And though rations may be scarce,

There is no need to weep,

For the milk is flowing,

While new life is growing,

Within the sheep.

 

Poet, healer and smith,

Thrice you grant the world your gifts.

Your fires light the spark within

Each one of us

And now we send

To you our call this Imbolc night

That you please join us at our rite.

We offer life giving milk, to nourish you,

As you've nourished us from the sacred ewe

And blackberry to strengthen and to heal

As we celebrate the turning Wheel.

 

offering of blackberries and milk

 

Bright Brigid we call this Imbolc night,

Please accept our offering

And join us at our rite!

Shining Lady, accept our sacrifice.

 

All: Shining Lady, accept our sacrifice.

 

 

Bards: [Offertory song]

 

"Song to Brighid" by Lisa Thiel

 

Blessed Woman come to me
Woman of the Fires,
Woman of Poetry
Blessed Woman come to me
Woman of Healing,
Woman of Skillful Means

Blessed woman of the land
Guide my heart and guide my hand
Blessed Woman of the streams
Guide my soul and guide my dreams
Blessed Woman come to me
Woman of the fires
Woman of Poetry,

Blessed Woman come to me
Woman of Healing
Woman of Skillful Means.
Blessed Woman of the hills
Heal all wounds and heal all ills
Blessed Woman of the flame
Awaken me to renew again.

 

 

 

PRAYER OF SACRIFICE

 

Kaila:

O Great Brighid!  O Noble, Ancient and Shining Ones! 

Incense have we offered to Your shrines! 

Offerings have we made through the Well, Fire and Tree! 

Kindreds!  All this we give to You in the name of Hospitality.

May our Piety increase Your magic!

May our Courage increase Your Power!

And may our Fertile Spirits show the world Your abundance!

Mighty Kindreds, accept our sacrifices!

 

 

PIACULAR OFFERING

 

Mike:

If out of ignorance or faulty memory,

If we for any reason have offended You,

O Kindreds of our People, hear us now.

Accept this offering as recompense,

And know our hearts and our intent are pure.

 

 

OMEN

 

Kaila: Seer, what blessings and wisdom do the Kindreds offer us in return?

 

Russell: takes the omen

 

Kaila:

Children of the Earth, all our offerings, all we have done so far in our rite, have led to this moment.  This is magic time!  We have made offerings to the Powers, and now we shall ask for their blessings in return.  Visualize the blessings that each of you desire and need from the Kindreds.  See it clearly in your mind’s eye. And when we ask for the Waters of Life, when we say, “Give us the Waters of Life”, see the blessing you desire descend into the upraised cup like a mist, filling the cup.  And when we drink of the Waters, you will receive your blessing.  So close your eyes and take a moment to visualize your needs, and the needs of our Grove, that we may all receive the blessings we desire.

 

Allow time for the people to meditate on needs and desires.  Kaila pours mead to the cup and holds it.

 

Mike: O Bright Brighid!  O Ancient, Noble and Shining Ones!  We have offered to you, so we ask for your gifts in return.

 

Kaila elevates the Waters.

 

Hallow these waters!  Bless our lives with Magic, Power and Abundance as we drink of your essence.  Kindreds, we ask you, give us the waters of life!

 

All: Give us the waters of life!

 

A pause…

 

Kaila: Behold the waters of life!  Children of the Earth, drink of the waters of life!

 

Song: Pour the Waters one time, then drumming and music etc.

 

 

 

WORKING

 

A priestess of Brighid [Ariel] moves to near the altar, Brighid’s well, and the anvil and hammer.

 

Mike: leads the folk with the Bards to chant “Way To the Well”

 

We Will Never, Never Lose Our Way To The Well Of Her Memory

And The Power-- Of Her Living Flame It Will Rise, It Will Rise Again.

 

 

Mike: [Introduce and explain the working]

Each of the folk in turn will whisper to the priestess [Ariel] that which they wish to let go of, then drop a stone in the well making a wish, then make a pledge of action and seal it by striking the anvil with the hammer.

 

Two Druids help the folk at the well and anvil.

 

 

AFFIRMATION OF THE BLESSING

 

Kaila: We have drunk of the Waters of Life!  The Powers have given us true and wondrous blessings.  We affirm the gifts of our Kindreds and acknowledge their power in our lives.

 

Children of the earth, do you accept the gifts of the Gods?

 

All: We do!

 

 

 

THANKING AND CLOSING THE GATES

 

 

Kaila: The Mighty Ones have blessed us!  So as we prepare to depart, let us

give thanks to those who have aided us.

 

Ariel: O Bright Lady Brighid, protectress, healer, and inspiration.

Go raigh maith agat!  (GUR uh MAH gut)  We thank you!

 

All: We thank you!

 

Kaila: Gods and Goddesses of elder days; noble Spirits of the Land; mighty

Ancestors; our Kindreds, we say, Go raigh maith agaibh!  (GUR uh MAH-gev)  We

thank you!

All: We thank you!

 

Tess: Mighty Morrigan Guardian of our Rite tonight,  For your Watching and

Warding, Through magic and arms, we say,Go raigh maith agat!  (GUR uh MAH gut)

We thank you!

 

All: We thank you!

 

Heather: Mannan Mac Lir, Keeper of the Gates between, we say: Go raigh maith agat!

(GUR uh MAH gut)  We thank you!

 

Once more we ask you to join your magic with ours and aid us as we close the gates.

 

Now let the fire be flame

Let the well be water;

And let the tree be but the very heart of us all that we carry forth from this place!

Let all be as it was before.

Let the Gates now be closed!

 

All: Let the Gates now be closed!

 

 

 

 

THANKING THE EARTH MOTHER

 

Kaila: Earth Mother!  We give you all remaining offerings, for what comes from

the Earth may return to the Earth.

 

Pour remaining cup to the ground

 

Kaila: O Earth Mother!  For upholding the world and granting us Your blessings, we

say:  Go raigh maith agat!  (GUR uh MAH gut)  We thank you!

 

All: We thank you!

 

 

CLOSING THE RITE

 

Kaila:  Once again, we have continued in our traditions, honoring the Gods,

Ancestors and Nature Spirits, just as in times of old.  We have made offerings to our

Kindreds and received their blessings in return.

 

But great energy has been raised within us this day!  Let us be grounded once more.

 

          leads final grounding.

 

 

Mike:  rings the chime 3x3

 

Walk with wisdom, children of the earth.  This rite is ended!

Bíodh sé amhlaidh!

 

All: Bíodh sé amhlaidh!