Roman Summer Solstice Ritual

Written by Michael Talvola

            Drawing upon ADF Roman ritual template by Jenni Hunt

            Inspiration and texts from many sources at Nova Roma

For Ritual on June 16, 2007

 

 

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

 

Mark the four corners of the Nemeton, driving in spikes with steel hammer, and make offerings of water   and grain   at each.  Start at SouthEast corner, then back of altar SouthWest corner, then NW and finish NE.

 

[Note – realized during ritual time – the mundus should be opened during this time, and remain open during the rest of the rite.]

 

PD:
We have marked off this space,

we have made it sacer,

from east to west, from north to south,

we claim it as ours. 

From here to there,

we proclaim it sacred.

 

The space is now sacred.

 

The company assembles as in a public square facing a Roman temple, without a procession, and within a rectangle rather than circle.

 

Sounding the horn begins the Rite (3 times)

 

Invoking the Protector

 

 A Druid Standing North speaks:

 

[adoratio]

Mars Silvanus Pater, te precor uti sis bonae volentatis et propitious mihi domui familiaque nostrae, ad quod offero hoc sacrificium,uti nos defendas, et tu prohibeas et avertas, et averrunces omnia adversa, tam visibilia quam invisibilia, quae nos opponere volunt.

 

[offering of meat]

while PD repeats in English:

Father Mars Silvanus, I pray you be of good will and favorable to me and to our house and household, for which purpose I make this offering that you may prohibit, defend and avert things seen and unseen that may oppose us.

 


Setting Historical Precedence – Statement

 

D:  We are the gods’ and the gods are ours, so let us pray with a good fire.  Let us offer with a full heart, knowing that when we do, we nurture our connection to them and support the very gods themselves.  In remembrance, we strengthen their powers.  In honor, we balance the worlds.  In love, we bring peace and keep the Old Ways present and alive. 


 

PD:

Salvete Citizens and guests!  We gather today to honor the gods of Ancient Rome who live with us and provide for us.  We perform our rite today as prescribed by the forms of our ADF Druidry, for as was the way of Ancient Rome, rites other than those of the city, Rome, are performed per their own customs.

 

Citizens and guests, you may enter the Nemeton.

 

Now the company enters the prepared space.

 

Chant: We Approach the Sacred Grove

 

 
Grounding and Attunement

 

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

 

D: (Lead through the two-powers without cauldrons and then tone and/or link hands for vertical attunement.  Then, bring unified focus back to the Nemeton).

 

 

Purification of Participants and Celebrants

 

PD: Centered, we now purify ourselves.

 

May we be pure that we might cross through the sacred.

May we cross through the sacred that we might attain the holy.

May we attain the holy that we might be blessed in all ways. 

 

[adoratio as altar is approached]

The censer and asperser wash their hands at the altar.

 

PD says: "Haec aqua a corpore impuritates, modo simile plumbo mutando ad aurum, elluat. Purga mentem. Purga carnem. Purga animum. Ita est!"

 

[cense and asperse the celebrants]

While other celebrants wash their hands, and

 

PD:  "May this water cast out all of my impurities from my substance as from lead to gold. Purify my mind, Purify my body, Purify my heart. It is so."

 

 


Honoring the Earth Mother

 

 

PD: We honor the Earth Mother today in her form as Terra Mater.

 

DD1

 

[offer spelt cake to the mundus] 

[adoratio]

 

Terra Mater. Goddess of the bounty of the earth,

We send out words in praise of you, from whom all worlds flow.

Mystery of mysteries, this continual creation,

like a fountain forever bubbling up from the Earth's darkness

She is a cup that is never empty.

Generous One, eternally giving gifts,

We pray to you; we praise you.

 

All: Terra Mater, we praise you.

(bend and kiss the ground)

 

 

Invoking Inspiration

 

PD: We now call upon Phoebus Apollo for his gift of inspiration to aid us in our rite.

 

DD:

Phoebus Apollo,

of you even the swan sings with clear voice to the beating of his wings,

as he alights upon the bank by the eddying river Peneios;

and of you the sweet-tongued minstrel, holding his high-pitched lyre,

always sings both first and last.

 

And so hail to you lord!

 

[offering of incense]

I make this offering of incense to you, as

We seek your favor; grant to us now

 

That our voices be pleasing to Gods, Spirits, and Manes;

That the aim of our rite strike its target precisely;

That our blessings and theirs pass freely between

The realms of the Kindreds and the lips of our Seer.

 

All: Macte virtute esto! (This translates loosely as "Well done!" A simple "Macte" would also be appropriate.)

 

 


Statement of Ritual Purpose

 

PD:    It is the time of the Solstitium Aestivum, the Summer Solstice.  Ancient Rome did not celebrate the solstice with a festival, but it is most appropriate that we honor the great deities that our community might continue to be aided and inspired by them. 

 

Ancient Rome was a pinnacle of grandeur and brilliance of Western civilization, much as the Summer Solstice is the peak of our sun’s light and strength.  But, just as the sun now begins to fade in strength, Rome faded, and the Western world slipped into the centuries long Dark Ages.  Our lesson from the Summer Solstice is that a peak of brilliance and light is followed by a retreat back toward darkness.  The word “Solstice” is from the Latin “Solstitium” which means “standing still.”  We who know of the Wheel of the Year understand that the standing still is for only an instant, then change begins anew.  So it is in the year, our lives, and entire civilizations.

 

We are here today to honor the gods of Ancient Rome with whom we share existence each day.  We reassure them that, though millennia have passed, they are not forgotten.  We pay homage to the ancient triad - Iuppiter, shining father of the Skies and supreme leader of the gods, Iuno, protector of the people and queen of the gods, and Minerva, goddess of wisdom, the arts, science, and medicine.

 

 

Consecration of the Hallows

 

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

  

The Mundus [The Grove well, buried and covered to begin]

DD:

Here is the mundus, the eye and mouth of the Earth.

Open for this brief time that we may receive all Numinae into our rite.

Beneath us, below us and sprouting through us are the waters of rebirth,

The mundus, gate to all of that which is below, we acknowledge and uphold.

[uncover the well]

 

Mundus patet!  - "May the mundus be opened!

 

To the mundus, we make this offering of water

[offering of water]

 

MUNDUS FLUET IN NOS!

Sacred Well, flow within us!

 

 

 


The Focus

DD:

Vesta Mater, Shining Lady, unite us all,

For by worshipping at a common hearth

We are made one family, one people.

Queen of the hearth, Vesta Mater, your household is here.

Let us pray with a good fire.

 

To Vesta, we make this offering of incense:

[offer incense]

FOCUS ARDET IN NOS!

Sacred Fire, burn within us!

 

 

The Portus

DD:

The sacred tree stands here as a doorway,

A pillar between the worlds.

Together, we gather at this sacred portal

In wisdom, love and hope.

 

To the portus, we make these offerings of water, incense, and oil.

[offer water, incense, and oil]

PORTUS CRESCET IN NOS!

Sacred Tree, grow within us!

 

 

 

Opening the Gates

 

PD:  We call now on the Keeper of the Gates, Janus, to make open the portals for our rite here.

 

DD: text on a scroll, held by PD

 

Salve Ianus Pater!!

Ianus Inceptio, God of beginnings;

Ianus Brifons, Two-faced Ianus;

Ianus Patulcius, Opener of doors;

Ianus Domesticus, Protector of homes;

Ianus Quirinus; God of the folk

Lend wings to our prayers and conjure a portal between us and the world of the Gods.

Through your door, let the prayers of your supplicants pass to the Kindreds.

 

Ianus Pater, accept our offering!

[offering of olive oil]

 

 

Now, Janus

Join your magic with ours

 

And let the focus open as a gate,

Let the mundus open as a gate,

Let the portus be the crossroads of all Worlds.

 

Ianus of Openings, admit us into the presence of the shining Ones

IANUS PATULCIUS ADMITTE NOS IN PRAESENTIUM NUMINUM

LUCENTIUM

 

PORTAE APERIANTUR – Let the gates be open!

All: Let the Gates be open!

 

 

 

Inviting the Three Kindreds

 

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

 

Ancestors:

DD

The children of the Earth call out to the Mighty Dead.

Salvete, Majores et Di Manes!

Greetings, ancestors and divine dead.

 

You who were here before, we offer you welcome.

Ancestors of our blood, we offer you welcome.

You who guide us, we offer you welcome.

 

Come to our hearth, Ancestors

Meet us at the boundary

Guide us and ward us as we walk the elder ways.

 

[offering of silver]

Majories et Di Manes, mactete hoc sacrificio!

All: Ancestors, accept our sacrifice!

 

Nature Spirits:

 

DD

The children of the Earth call out to the Spirits of this Land.

Salvete, Numinae et Indigites!

 

Kindred of earth, we offer you welcome

Kindred of the growing green, we offer you welcome.

Kindred who fly or walk or swim or crawl, we offer you welcome.

 

Come to our fire, Spirits;

Meet us at the boundary.

Guide us and ward us as we walk the elder ways.

 

[offering of fruit or flowers]

Numinae et Indigites, mactete hoc sacrificio!

All: Nature Spirits, accept our sacrifice!

 

 

Deities:

 

DD

The children of the Earth call out to the Shining Ones. Salvete, Dei!

 

To all Gods and Goddesses, we offer you welcome.

To all Gods of this place, we offer you welcome.

To all the deities of this household, we offer you welcome.

 

Come to our hearth, Shining Ones;

Meet us at the boundary.

Guide us and ward us as we walk the elder ways.

 

[offering of spelt cake into focus]

Dei, mactete hoc sacrificio!

All: Deities, accept our sacrifice!

 

 

 

Praise Offerings

 

PD:  At this time, before our work, let any who would offer praise and thanks here to their gods, ancestors, or others, do so.  (ample time given)

 

 

Invocation of the Deities to be Honored

 

PD:  Many welcomes dear Kindred, Triple Hosts of Spirits.  Join us now as we call to those who have inspired this rite, those whose charge it is to maintain the order of the Universe.

 

[A tray of cakes is placed upon the altar]

 

[adoratio as altar is approached]

 

The three Druids wWash your theirr hands first and cover your their heads.

This The PD speaks this  prayer (as before)  is to be said while washing ones' hands.

 

"Haec aqua a corpore impuritates, modo simile plumbo mutando ad aurum, elluat. Purga mentem. Purga carnem. Purga animum. Ita est!"

 

 

Following invocations on a scroll, held for each speaker in turn, as is offering held by other Druid

Translation: "May this water cast out all of my impurities from my substance as from lead to gold. Purify my mind, Purify my body, Purify my heart. It is so."

 

Jupiter

DD:

Iuppiter Pater te hoc libum ommovendo bonas preces, precor uti sies volens propitious illis Quiritibus te laudatis,

quoius re ergo hoc sacrificium offero.

 

Father Jupiter

With good prayers I offer to you this cake.

 

[Offering of a cake to the fire if possible, else to the well. Leave the remaining cakes on the tray on the altar]

 

May it be your will to look with favor upon these folk who have honored you,

For which purpose I make this offering.

 

Macte virtute esto! ("Well done!")

All: Macte virtute esto! ("Well done!")

 

 

PD:

By the touch of my hands, I receive the remaining cakes to now be for men rather than the gods.

[Touch the tray of cakes.  Move the cakes to a table off the altar]

We all shall share the cakes later as our banquet shared with the gods.

 

Juno

D[Mike]:

Iuno Mater

 te hoc suffimentum ommovendo bonas preces, precor uti sies volens propitious illis Quiritibus te laudatis,

quoius re ergo hoc sacrificium offero.

 

Mother Juno

With good prayers I offer to you this incense.

[Offering of incense]

May it be your will to look with favor upon these folk who have honored you,

For which purpose I make this offering.

 

Macte virtute esto! ("Well done!")

All: Macte virtute esto! ("Well done!")

 

Minerva

DD:

Minerva Mater, te hoc vinum ommovendo bonas preces, precor uti sies volens propitious illis Quiritibus te laudatis,

quoius re ergo hoc sacrificium offero.

 

Mother Minerva

With good prayers I offer to you this wine.

[Offering of wine]

May it be your will to look with favor upon these folk who have honored you,

For which purpose I make this offering.

 

Macte virtute esto! ("Well done!")

All: Macte virtute esto! ("Well done!")

 

 

Praise Offerings

 

PD:  At this time, before our work, let any who would offer praise and thanks here to their gods, ancestors, or others, do so.  (ample time given)

 

 

Main Offering

 

PD: Today we offer words to those most honored.  These are hymns to Iuppiter, Iuno, and Minerva, given to us by the poet Orpheus two thousand years ago.  As they were intended then as praise and honor, so we offer them today.

 

 

[wash hands]

 

 


Hymn to Jupiter

DD:

O Jove much-honored, Jove supremely great,
To thee our holy rites we consecrate,
Our prayers and expiations, king divine,
For all things round thy head exalted shine.
The earth is thine, and mountains swelling high,
The sea profound, and all within the sky.
Saturnian king, descending from above,
Magnanimous, commanding, sceptered Jove;
All-parent, principle and end of all,
Whose power almighty, shakes this earthly ball;
Even Nature trembles at thy mighty nod,
Loud-sounding, armed with lightening, thundering God.
Source of abundance, purifying king,
O various-formed from whom all natures spring;
Propitious hear my prayer, give blameless health,
With peace divine, and necessary wealth.

 

 

[wash hands]

 

 

 

Hymn To Juno

 

D[Mike]:

O Royal Juno of majestic mien,

Aerial-formed, divine, Jove's blessed queen,

throned in the bosom of caerulean air,

The race of mortals is thy constant care.

The cooling gales thy power alone inspires,

Which nourish life, which every life desire.

Mother of clouds and winds, from thee alone

Producing all things, mortal life is known:

All natures share thy temperament divine,

And universal sway alone is thine.

With sounding blasts of wind, the swelling sea

And rolling rivers roar, when shook by thee.

Come, blessed Goddess, famed almighty queen,

With aspect kind, rejoicing and serene.

 

 

 

 

[wash hands]

 

 

 


Hymn To Minerva

 

DD:

Daughter of aegis-bearing Jove, divine,

Propitious to thy vot'ries prayer incline;

From thy great father's fount supremely bright,

Like fire resounding, leaping into light.

Shield-bearing goddess, hear, to whom belong

A manly mind, and power to tame the strong!

Oh, sprung from matchless might, with joyful mind

Accept this hymn; benevolent and kind!

The holy gates of wisdom by thy hand

Are wide unfolded; and the daring band

Of earth-born giants, that in impious fight

Strove with thy sire, were vanquish'd by thy might.

Great goddess, hear! and on my dark'ned mind

Pour thy pure light in measure unconfin'd;

That sacred light, O all-protecting queen,

Which beams eternal from thy face serene:

My soul, while wand'ring on the earth, inspire

With thy own blessed and impulsive fire;

And from thy fables, mystic and divine,

Give all her powers with holy light to shine.

Give love, give wisdom, and a power to love,

Incessant tending to the realms above;

Such as, unconscious of base earth's control,

Gently attracts the vice-subduing soul;

From night's dark region aids her to retire,

And once more gain the palace of her sire:

And if on me some just misfortune press,

Remove th'affliction, and thy suppliant bless.

Hear me, and save (for power is all thy own)

A soul desirous to be thine alone.

 

 

 


Piacular Offering

 

PD:

[adoratio as altar is approached]

 

Iuppiter Pater, Iuno Mater, Minerva Mater,

Gods and Goddesses,

Holy Ancestors,

Spirits of this place:

If anything that we have done here has offended you,

If anything we have done here has been incomplete,

If anything we have done here has not been in the proper manner,

Accept these final offerings in recompense.

 

With this incense I ask forgiveness and expiate my fault. 

With this humble wine I ask forgiveness and expiate my fault.

 

 

 

Taking of the Omen:

 

PD:  So we have given of our love and our wealth

To the Kindred, that they may know our devotion.

 

Now let our voices arise on the Focus

Let our voices sound in the Mundus

Let our words pass through the Portus.

 

May we open to the Kindreds,

Asking what blessings they offer us in return

And the needs they have of us.

 

Seer  performs divination via ovomancy. 

 

 

 


The Blessings – Return Flow

 

D: Ancient and Mighty Ones, we have honored you

We pray you honor us in turn
For a gift calls for a gift.
Hear your children:
NUMINA LUCENTIA, AQUAE DATIS!

All: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

Again, your children ask:
NUMINA LUCENTIA, AQUAE DATIS!

All: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

And thrice, your children ask:
NUMINA LUCENTIA, AQUAE VIVAE DATIS!

All: Shining Ones, give us the Waters of Life!

 

 

Hallowing the Blessing

 

PD:

Behold the holy Cup of Magic

The outpouring of Blessing from the Great Ones

When we share the draught of the Gods

We drink in wisdom, love and strength

To do as we will in the worlds

In service to the Shining Ones.

 

Hear us Father Iuppiter, Mother Iuno, Mother Minerva:

Hallow these waters!

 

ECCE AQUAE VIVAE!

All: Behold the Waters of Life!

 

 

Affirmation of the Blessing

 

PD says: 

 

"Children of the Earth, the Kindreds have given us true and wonderous blessings.  Do you accept the gifts of the Kindreds?"

 

The People say:  "We accept the gifts of the Kindreds!"

 

 

Song:  Pour the Waters by Ian Corrigan

 

[The cup is shared.  At the same time, the tray of cakes[cake bearer is Karl] from the sacrifice are passed around to be eaten as symbolic banquet with the gods.]

 

After the People have drunk of the Waters of Life, PD says: 

 

"Children of the Earth, the Kindreds have given us true and wonderous blessings.  Do you accept the gifts of the Kindreds?"

 

The People say:  "We accept the gifts of the Kindreds!"

 

 
 
Thanking the Kindred

 

PD:

The Great Ones have blessed us.

With joy in our hearts,

Let us carry the magic from our sacred Grove

Into our lives and our work.

 

Each time we offer to the Powers

They become stronger

And more aware of our needs and our worship.

 

So now as we prepare to depart

Let us give thanks

To all those who have aided us.

 

[each person thanks as they invoked]

 

PD:

MATER MINERVA, GRATIAS TIBI AGIMUS!

MATER IUNO, GRATIAS TIBI AGIMUS!

PATER IUPPITER, GRATIAS TIBI AGIMUS!

 

All: We thank you!

 

D:

To all those Powers that have aided us,

GRATIAS VOBIS AGIMUS!

All: We thank you!

 

D:

O Gods and Goddesses of elder days,

DEI. GRATIAS VOBIS AGIMUS!

All: We thank you!

 

D:

O Spirits of this land

NUMINAE ET INDIGITES, GRATIAS VOBIS AGIMUS!

All: We thank you!

 

D:

O Ancestors, our Kindred

MAJORES ET DI MANES, GRATIAS VOBIS AGIMUS!

All: We thank you!

 

 

 

 

D:

Phoebus Apollo

For you inspiration ad lib

GRATIAS TIBI AGIMUS!

All: We thank you!

 

D:

Mars Silvanus

For your protection ad lib

GRATIAS TIBI AGIMUS!

All: We thank you!

 

D:

Mother of all

To you we return all we leave unused

Uphold us now in the world as you have in our rite.

Terra Mater, GRATIAS TIBI AGIMUS!

 

All: We thank you!

 

Return unused portion of cup to the ground

 

 

 

Final Offering to Vesta

 

[Make a final offering of incense to the sacrificial fire, which is left to burn out on its own. (This, too, is adapted from a prayer by Ceiswr Serith.)]

 

PD:

Vesta Mater, Queen of the hearth,

Who by rights receives the last,

Bless and guard all those who worship you

Whether in their home or without

Whether alone or with others

Whether thinking of you or engaged in business.

Lady of Fire, receive this offering.

 

 

Closing the Gates

 

PD:  Now by the Keeper of Gates and by our magic We end what we began.

 

 

Ianus Clusivius, closer of doors,

For your presence and power

Your guiding and guarding we say...

GRATIAS TIBI AGIMUS!

 

All: We thank you!

 

Now let the Focus be but a flame;

Let the Mundus be an urn [or whatever you're using];

Let the Portal be only a doorway [gazebo, trellis, or whatever].

 

Let all be as it was before...

 

PORTAE CLAUDANTUR!

All: Let the Gates be closed!

 

 

Grounding and Recentering

 

 Ground excess energy

PD:   As we started, so let us end. 

 

 

Sounding the horn ends the rite (3)

 

Benediction

 

PD turns and steps away from the altar, and with his left hand in a gesture of liberalitas, his right hand raised to the sky manus supina, he says:

 

PD: Nil amplius vos hodie posco, superi, satis est.

 

D: No more, Gods on High, do I ask of You today; it is enough.

 

PD:  Ilicet. Di deaeque omnes, superi atque inferi, vos semper ament et felicitam volunt.

 

D: Thus it is done. May all the Gods and Goddesses above and below always love you and wish you happiness in all that is good.

 

PD:  Vadete in pace Deorum

 

D: Go now in the peace of the Gods.

The praeco then leads those observing the rite in response:

 

PD:  Di immortales faciant, tam felix quam pia.

 

D: May the immortal Gods make it so, as fortunate as it is pious.

 

 

PD:   As we started, so let us end. 

 

 

Sounding the horn ends the rite (3)

 

PD:

Go now, Quirites

In peace and blessings

The rite is ended!

 

 

Recessional and Revelry

 


Items needed for rite: (not including basic ritual items)

 

 

Scrying bowl or cauldron for omen

Hot water/tea kettle/stove

Towel and small bowl

Eggs - Lisa

 

Bowl of water and towel to wash hands

Scrolls of protector, opening gates, and three invocations

 

Roman oil lamp (lucerna)

Mola salsa

Spelt cakes

Cakes for Jupiter offering and banquet

Mulsum for blessing cup

 

Offerings:

Silvanus: meat

Terra Mater: spelt cakes

Apollo: incense

The Mundus: water

The Focus (Vesta): incense, meat

The Portus (tree): water, incense, and oil

Ianus: incense, wine, cakesolive oil

Tellus (Terra): spelt cakes

Ancestors: silver

Nature Spirits: flowers or fruit

Deities: spelt cake

Iuppiter: incense, wine, libum (cakes), meat, spelt cake, fruits

Iuno: incense, wine

Minerva: wine

Apollo: cakes of cheese, cakes of honey, cakes of parsley, crowns of laurel