Irish Lughnasadh Ritual (DRAFT)

Rev 1.1 final

 

Written by: Anya Windweaver, for ritual August 2nd, 2014

Sources: Ravens Cry Grove ritual archives

 

Initiating the Rite

 

The company gathers on the outside of the Nemeton space, to observe its preparation.

The 4 Treasures are placed in the center of the ritual space, by the Fire:

 

East: Cauldron of the Dagda

South: The Lia Fail, stone of Destiny

West: The Spear of Lugh

North: The Sword of Nuada

 

Sounding 3x3 tones begins the Rite

[Mike]:

Ancestors! (chime 3x)

Nature Spirits! (chime 3x)

Shining Ones! (chime 3x)

 

Invoking the Protector (The Morrigan)

 

[Anya] : Druids! Welcome to the Lughnasadh ritual of Raven’s Cry Grove, ADF! We stand here at the threshold. Warrior, call a guardian for our rite.

 

Heather: [standing in the North]

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, the 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, We ask that you hold at bay anything that may harm our time together.

 

Morrigan, Accept our Sacrifice.

 

Offering of Whiskey

 

Heather: Morrigan - we ask you to watch this threshold.

 

 

Appeasing the Outdwellers

 

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

 

Heather:

Mighty spirits of chaos,

dwellers of the outer dark,

who have stood against the gods.

You who care not for our ways,

known and unknown to us as Other.

Ancient dark ones,

take this offering in honor and respect

and trouble not our working here this day.

 

Warrior makes an offering of tequila to the Outdwellers,

 

Anya: Thoughts outside this time are released. You are here spiraling ever forward in the present. In this space we create our sacred realities. Purification allows us to transform into our sacred selves. Please come forward, walk through the twin flames, and be purified.

 

Form the procession. 

Procession: Chant

 

Procession – Song: We Approach the Sacred Grove (By Sean Miller)

 

We approach the sacred grove,

With hearts and minds and flesh and bone,

Join us now in ways of old,

We have come home.

 

Folk take their place in the circle

 

Purification of the Folk Censing and Aspersing

 

Mike:    We now purify ourselves.

 

From ancient waters we are reborn,

From ancient fires we create form.

With water and fire we now take part,

To cleanse our minds and cleanse our hearts.

 

[D1 and D2] cense and asperse the Folk.

 

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

 

 

Grounding and Attunement

 

Anya: As we have gathered in this sacred space, let us now center and prepare ourselves for this rite and this work.

 

Anya: [Grounding and centering meditation]

 

Honoring the Earth Mother

 

Mike: We begin by honoring the Earth Mother for her many gifts.

 

The people kneel

 

Kaila:

 I call out to the Earth Mother. You who support us.

You who hold us, You who has birthed us, and will once again take us when our time here is through.

 

Sacred Sovereign of the Land, known by many names,

We are born of your verdant, hot and moist womb,

and to your dark moist embrace we shall happily return when our time here is through.

 

Earth mother, we your children call to you to be present here with us

We mean to show you our gratitude for all you give us, and we mean to honor you with our lives.

 

Earth mother, join your power with ours. We your children mean to grow in wisdom through you.

 

Earth Mother, we bring offering of the first wheat of the harvest.

Great Queen, Goddess of the Land, let our rite find favor in your heart.

 

Druid offers the grain to the offering bowl at the tree.

 

 Biodh se amhlaidh!

 

All:  Biodh se amhlaidh!

 

 

 

Inspiration (Brigid)

 

Anya: We now call upon the goddess Brigid for her gifts of inspiration to aid us in our rite.

 

Ken:   A Brid [Breed], bright, virtuous lady, daughter of the Daghda,

We call on you to guide this rite in the way of truth.

Grant us wisdom, inspiration, and eloquence,

great woman of the arts, the life-giving fire of inspiration,

Walk among us in your stately, milk-white gown

Let us hear your healing voice in the well of our hearts,

Let us bring beauty forth from your pregnant fire,

Let your anvils song, craft honor here among your people.

Let your healing fire be felt in the depths of our warm hearts. (offering of oil)

 

 Biodh se amhlaidh!

 

All:  Biodh se amhlaidh!

 

 

Statement of Purpose

 

Mike: Today we gather between the Earth and Sky.

To worship and honor the Kindred as one people.

To sing their praise and make our sacrifice.

As we seek their blessings in return.

 

Anya: Here today we honor the skillful god Lugh and his foster-mother Taltiu, who is a goddess associated with the fields and the Fair held in her honor on the first of August, Lughnasadh. It was Taltiu who gave her life to make easy the way and to feed her people by the clearing the plains and ploughing the soil. Through her labor, the earth gives birth her first fruits so that her children might live. We join now to share the fruits of our own labors, and to celebrate our own skillfulness.

 

At this time of coming together, in this celebration of Lughnasadh, we recognize the old tradition celebrated by the tribes of Ireland. It is at this time when people would gather in the very heart of Eire to feast and compete in games of skill, while never drawing a sword from its sheath in anger or retribution for past misdeeds or ancient grudges. May we too gather in good faith, as one tribe, to acknowledge each other’s hard work and contribution toward  the harvest, knowing that whatever we sow here this eve will be reaped in due time.

 

Mike: As our ancestors did and our children may do, 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!

 

 

Consecration of the Hallows

 

Mike: Let us now sanctify the Hallows from which we offer.

 

Lisa: Go to the well with silver.

Darrin: Go to the fire with oil.

Sarah: Go to the tree with incense and water.

 

Lisa: offer silver to well saying

Sacred wells, of ancient Eire,

Connect from here, through time and space,

Cosmic potential rises to fill us,

Sacred wells, flow within us!

 

All: Sacred Wells, flow within us!

 

 

Darrin: offer oil to fire saying

Sacred Fire, eternal flame,

Burning bright within our hearts,

Cosmic order transforms potential.

Sacred Fire, burn within us!

 

All: Sacred Fire, burn within us!

 

 

 

Sarah: cense and asperse the tree

 

Sacred Tree, rooted deep and crowned high,

Mighty oaks of ancient Eire,

Connectors of potential and pattern,

Sacred Tree, grow within us!

 

All: Sacred Tree, grow within us!

 

Mike:

The fire, the well, the sacred tree,

Flame and flow and grow in me!

In land, sea and sky,

Below and on high!

Thus is the sacred grove claimed and hallowed.

 

 

Opening the Gates (Mannanan Mac Lir)

 

Anya: We call now on the Keeper of the Gates, Mannanan Mac Lir, to make open the portals for our rite here.

 

Mike: Oh Manannan, powerful son of the sea,

 holder of the magics of the crane bag,

ride your gilded chariot, and come gently to us.

 

Piercing the elegant blue of seductive, turquoise seas

Deep in the dappled mist of ancient spiraled threes,

here the breath holds still, in the journey.

 

In your rich velvet cloak slipping silently round

The eternal lands of famed heroes mighty deeds,

Move toward your seekers here and open the mystery,

bearer of the silvered apple branch,

 

We hear the spraying waves roll in the hushed wind of your hair,

Bells and horns announce you from the trembling branches near the bay.

ine-formed one, ward our steps, join with us this day so that you may guide us safely in our workings

 

Gatekeeper accept now this gift offering of ale to Manannan

Let the devotion in our hearts be carried to all the worlds.

 

Manannan, accept our offering!

 

All: Manannan, accept our offering!

 


 

Mike:

Now, O Manannan, Ferryman of the Shrouded Path,

join your magic with ours.

 

We invoke Manannan, opener of every gate

You will reach us, you will teach us, and reveal our fate.

You will reach us, you will teach us, and reveal our fate.

 

Let the Well open as a gate

 

Let the Fire open as a gate

 

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!

 

All: Let the Gates be open!

 

Inviting the Three Kindreds

 

Mike: We now offer to the Kindreds and ask them to join us at this rite.

 

 

Lisa:

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

Genetic fire, the folk songs in our veins,

Tales that hearken back fading memories,

Of glory and wisdom, mortal joys, and pain.

Ageless heroes who overcome apathy, holding the world,

Majestic walkers of Tir na Og,

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

Guide us Ancient Ones, to walk in the ways of this rite, most pleasing!

 

Mighty Ancestors, A shinseara (uh HEEN-sher-un) we would give you honour and praise, and we would ask that you join us here today!  (whiskey to the well)

Ancestors, join us, and accept our sacrifice! 

 

All: Ancestors, join us, and accept our sacrifice!

 

Anya: Druids, close your eyes, take a moment, and feel the Ancestors as they join us here.

 

 

Sarah:

Nature Spirits, A sprideanna na talaimh (uh SPREE-jun-na na TALL-eev)

Spirits of the land, hear your friends and companions!  

Immovable and Yielding Ones, who balance all things.

Kin of sun and moon, Kin of fur and fin, scale, feather, and skin,

Great Spirits of Life who delight and teach us, yes, we call to you!

 

Those who watch with the eyes of the greenwood, dark jungle, or desert cave,

Who shelter in sacred groves and shady bowers,

Those who sing and dance with the rolling golden plains,

Joining in the symphony of all the worlds fertile fields to you we open our hearts.

 

O Noble Ones, exquisite and strange, seen and unseen,

Those of you, who know us as your people,

And those who would befriend us here, this day,

 We respectfully invite you here.

 

Our kindred of fur and feather and fin, our kindred who walk or fly or swim or crawl, A sprideanna na talaimh (uh SPREE-jun-na na TALL-eev) we offer you welcome!offering of flowers or fruit

Nature Spirits, join us, and accept our sacrifice! 

 

All: Nature Spirits, join us and accept our sacrifice!

 

Anya: Druids, close your eyes, take a moment, and feel the Nature Spirits as they join us here.

 

Darrin:

A Dheithe (uh YAY-huh), Shining ones, your children call out to you, hear us eldest and brightest!

You who speak to what is most grand in all the worlds,

And do such deeds that win our hearts and praise.

How could we ever wander on indifferent or weary,

When our souls are illumined by your slightest gaze,

By the simplest of your gestures?

Divine Ones, both known to us and unknown, we seek you,

Those who hold the powers of this place, we respect you,

 Teachers who reveal within us, the jewels of awakening, we adore you.        

All of the deities of those here gathered, with whom we worship, you who bless our lives, our patrons and matrons, we offer you welcome!

For it is you who gently nurtures us while testing our resolve.

We ask your presence here, for we wish to stand with you in our work,

 We long to prove our devotion and sing your praises.

 

A Dheithe (uh YAY-huh) , we would give you honour and praise, and ask that you would join us here this day. (oil to the fire)

Shining Ones, Join us, and accept our sacrifice! 

 

All: Shining Ones, join us, and accept our sacrifice!

 

Anya: Druids, close your eyes, take a moment, and feel the Shining Ones as they join us here.

 

Praise Offerings

 

Mike:  Many welcomes, Triple Host of Spirits!  Let any who would offer praise to the Kindreds here do so. Druids, 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, would bring pleasure to the Kindreds.

 

(ample time given)

 

 

Invocation of the Deities to be Honored

 

Anya: We ask now that the patrons of this season, Lugh and Taltiu be with us.  First we call upon the all skilled one, Lugh!

 

Invocation to Lugh

Ken: Lugh the Victorious, we make our Grove under your protective shield.

Lugh of the White Horse and the Brilliant Blades,

All Skilled and Long Armed, Creator and destroyer of Shadows.

You, the perfect of form, child of star and sun, Slayer of Balor,

Patron of Warriors, Craftsmen, Bards, and Kings

You who teach excellence in all things learned.

To the Celtic tribes of Europe you were known by different names.

To the Irish you are known as Lugh

To the Welsh you are known as Lleu Llaw Gyffes

To the Gauls and Celts of Iberia, you were known as Lugus.

We ask that you join us here, for we wish to do you honor.

We offer this ale, that the harvest may flourish by the hand of the ploughman (offering of ale)

By the rays of the sun and the flight of the Raven, come among us!

Mighty Lugh, Join us, and accept our sacrifice!  All: Repeat!

 


 

Invocation of Taltiu

Kaila: Taltiu, oh selfless Mother, we gather here in your honor.

Taltiu of the Great Plain and the Sheltering Forest,

You whose labors bring the forth the fruits of the field.

You, who raised up Lugh and who sacrified all,

Lady of Grain, Lady of the Plough,

May we learn the virtues of hard work,

And learn to share in our abundance.

 

You, whose festival is marked by the gathering of tribes,

In fellowship and peace, that good tidings prevail,

We ask that you join us here, for we wish to do you honor.
We offer this water and gain, that the earth may flourish and bring forth fruit (offering of water and grain)

 

By the bounty of the earth and turning of the wheel, be here welcome!

Lady Taltiu, join us and accept our sacrifice! All: Repeat!

 

 

Grove Offering to Lugh

 

Mike: Dearest Lugh and Sovereign Lady of the Earth. We come here as one tribe to offer the four treasures of ancient Ireland, that they be so made sacred in your presence.

 

LisaBehold the Cauldron of the Dagda, the Cauldron of abundance and endless supply, from which no one goes away unsatisfied. Magical Cauldron of the great Daghda, nurture and restore us within your deep, watery recesses. Bestow upon us never ceasing abundance. Make each of our hearts your Cauldron so that we may abundantly provide for, nurture and restore those wounded warriors both within ourselves and in this world each day. (grain offered to the cauldron)

 

 

Heather: Behold the Noble Lia Fail, the Stone that knows the heart of humanity!   May we always recognize the qualities necessary to develop within ourselves, so that we can be truly responsible while being truly free.  We sanctify you here. (water offered to the stone)

 

Ken:  Behold, The Spear of Lugh that never misses the mark! Direct action! Spirit of the divine Male, upright and erect. Spear of Lugh, bestow upon each of us your passion and creativity; bring renewed creation to each of us by means of inspired action!  May we come to know what it means to be wise, holding the fire in the head as a divine jewel, quickening the joy of the Kindred and the divine potential of ourselves and all others.  We sanctify you here. (incense offered to the spear)

 


 

Heather:  Behold the Sword of Nuada, the sword of transmission - All are subject to the will of the Sword.  Sword of Nuada, cut through the conflicts we encounter in this life. Bestow upon us the spirit of the warrior. Bestow upon us purity of intent. Bestow upon us the wisdom to wield our power effectively in order to achieve clarity and truly become effective rulers of our own lives.  (Anoint with whiskey)

 

Each grove member goes to one treasure and anoints it with rose water.

 

 

Anya: Kindred Three, accept our sacrifice!

Bíodh sé amhlaidh!

 

All: Bíodh sé amhlaidh!

 

Mike: Druid folk, we will now step forth and bring forth our own personal treasures- that which represents the fruits of your own personal harvest. You may take a corn husk, and reflect upon it that which you yourself are bringing into the Nemeton. What are your personal gifts that you can share with the tribe? When your offering is clear in your mind , you write upon the corn husk and offer it to the fire.  You may also visit the four Grove Treasures. The Spear brings passion and creativity.  The Stone brings ancient wisdom.  The Sword brings purity of intent.  The Cauldron brings abundance. As you are drawn toward one of the Grove treasures, you are invited to go and pay honor to that treasure that you might be granted its boon in return.

 

Druid 1 hands out corn husks to the Folk as they line up near the altar. Pencils are provided (Druid 2) for the Folk to write on the husks.

 

Ample time is given to allow all to offer the husks and visit at the treasure(s) of their choice.

 

(Drumming as Bardic Offering)

 

Honoring of the Grove Champion

 

Mike: Now that our own treasures have been offered, let us consider the deeds of the many brought forth this eve. It has long been our tradition to select and honor a Grove Champion each year at Lughnassadh. O, Mighty Lugh in your presence, we honor one worthy to be called a champion. 

(Pause)

 

For the offerings you have brought forth, you are all worthy of being called Champions should you serve the Land and the communities to which you belong, should you make good your word, striving always for unity first.  The message of this year has spoken loudly remember your connectedness we are in need of each other and the Kindred.  I hope that you will walk forth from this rite more determined than ever to be a unifying wave in the unpredictable sea. 

 

Biodh se amhlaidh!

 

All: Biodh se amhlaidh!

 

Final Offerings

Anya: Dearest Lugh and Sovereign Lady of the Earth.  We have flourished under your guardianship and we thank you with open hearts as we celebrate the 15th anniversary of Raven’s Cry Grove!  Your blessings have helped us to sharpen our skills, develop our minds, brighten our spirits, and serve your people and our community in honor.   We thank you for your vigilance and protection, keeping us always from harm’s way.  The grove grows stronger as you and your ravens hold its center.  We are ever grateful and glad to be your children. May we continue to grow and thrive in your presence.

 

Biodh se amhlaidh!

 

All: Biodh se amhlaidh!

 

 

Prayer of Sacrifice

 

Mike:

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.

 

With this whiskey, I ask forgiveness and expiate my fault.

 

 


 

Taking of the Omen

 

Anya:  We have given of our love, time, and resources.  Our voices and hearts were heard through the rising flame, the depth of the well, and the axis of all worlds.  Ancestors, Nature Spirits, Shining Ones, we give you our love, devotion, and respect, as we earnestly ask you to reveal what wisdom and blessings you offer us in return. 

 

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

 

Anya: takes the omen

 

 

 

The Blessings -Return Flow

Mike:

Druids, 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.  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.

 

 

Anya:  Ancient and mighty ones, we have honored you.  We pray you honor us in turn.  And as in days of old, where a gift calls for a gift, Hear your Children. Kindred Three, grant us the waters!

 

All: Kindred Three, grant us the waters!

 

Anya: We thirst for the waters of wisdom, bounty, and renewal.  From the spring of the well, from the bosom of the Earth Mother, Hear your Children Kindred Three, grant us the waters!

 

All: Kindred Three, grant us the waters!

 

Anya:  We open our hearts to your blessings.  We happily proclaim ourselves your people, and would stand in friendship and honor with you.  Hear us and grant us your favor.  Kindred Three, grant us the waters!       

 

All:  Kindred Three, grant us the waters!

 

Mike:  Children of the Earth, do you accept these blessings? 

 

All: Yes!

 

(A pause)

 

Mike: Then drink heartily for these are the Waters of Life!

 

Song: Pour the Waters by Ian Corrigan

(Sing through once, then soft drumming so voices can be heard a

The cup is shared by all present as they will. )

 

Affirmation of the Blessing

 

Mike: 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.

 

Druids, do you accept the gifts of the Gods?

 

All: We do!

 

 

 

Thanking the Kindred

 

Anya: The Mighty Ones have blessed us!  So as we prepare to depart, let us give thanks to those who have aided us.

 

Ken: O Bright Lady Brighid, healer, and inspiration,

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

 

All: We thank you!

 

Kaila: Lugh, Shining Hero, Protector, All-Skilled King, and Tailtiu, foster mother who reared him well and sacrificed all she had for her people.  Go raibh maith agaibh (GUR uh MAH-gev).  We thank you!

 

All: We thank you!

 

Sarah: 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!

 

Heather: 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!

 

 

Closing the Gates:

Anya:  We call on Manannan Mac Lir once more to close the gates.

 

Mike: A Mhanannain! Gatekeeper and Sidhe King!

We thank you for guiding our prayers to the Otherworlds.

We thank you for guiding and warding our steps in all the Worlds.

Let the Fire now be but flame.

Let the Well now be but the cool water that sustains us.

And let the Tree now be no more than the true center in our hearts that we carry forth from this place.

A Mhanannain Mhic Lir, Duntar na Geatai anois!

Let the Gates now be closed!  

 

All:  Let the Gates now be closed!

 

Thanking the Earth Mother

 

Kaila:  To the Mother of All, the Earth, and to all Powers that have aided our rite, filled with gratitude, we return to you all blessings we can not carry here.  Uphold us now in the world as you have in our rite as we say once more,Go raigh maith agat!  (GUR uh MAH gut)  We thank you! (Remaining libation is poured into the earth.)

 

Closing Statement and Final Blessing

Anya: 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.

 

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

 

lead final grounding.

 

(Thrice x three chimes are sounded by Mike.)

 

Anya:  May the strength of Lugh be with us, may His beauty delight us, may His talents be upon us.  May he drive away the storms from this grove, the community gathered here, and from all who honor the earth.

 

Mike: Brothers and sisters, let us feast in peace and blessings.  The rite is ended.

 

Bíodh sé amhlaidh!

 

All: Bíodh sé amhlaidh!