Raven's Cry Grove, ADF
Composed by Todd Covert, RCG Liturgist & Sr. Druid Emertis            Additional text by Eva Gordon

HALLOWS OF THE NEMETON: Cauldron filled with water (some from the members homes) Fire altar, to be lit from a candle brought from the PD's home, and Bile (sacred tree).

PD leads a brief introduction and orientation to the rite of Imbolc. Light the source fire.
Three torch fires for Brigid are lit preceding the Call to the Rite. 

Call to the Rite
Thrice-three chimes announce the rite.

Protecting the Hallows (           )

PD: "We will now seek to protect our rite from the powers that may wish to hinder us."

A Druid lights a flame in the South and speaks:
"Ancient and Dark Ones of the deep and the wild,
You who held this place of old and would hold it once again,
I light this flame against your return,
But invite you to take of it what warmth you will."

An offering of grain (or other food) is made to the South of the Hallows.

"Accept this offering and trouble not our rite, Nor hinder the forces of prosperity in this time."
"Bitheadh e mar sin."    (BEE-uh ay mar SHIN)

All: " Bitheadh e mar sin."

First torchbearer (           ) prepares to lead the procession into the nemeton.
Two other torchbearers (           ) and (           ) stand to either side of the entrance to the nemeton. 

PD: "Tapadh leibh; thank you.  As our Ancestors did in times before and our children may do in times to come,
let us honor the Gods in the Old Ways.  Brothers and sisters, let us pass between the flames of Brigid and join in worship!"

[ Drumming begins... ]

Brideog Procession

First torchbearer (           ) leads  the procession and stands by the unlit main fire.  Women enter the nemeton first, with the brideog doll.  When the Brideog is placed in her basket and all women have entered, PD announces:

PD:  "Tha Brighid air tighinn. Brighid is come. Tha fàilte air Brighid.  Brighid is welcome."

The men respond:
"We would enter to honor Brighid."

All women: "'S e do bheatha! 'S e do bheatha! 'S e do bheatha, a Bhrìghid!"
(SHAY do VAY-huh SHAY do VAY-huh SHAY do VAY-huh  a VREEJ!)

"Welcome!  Welcome!  Welcome, O Brighid!"

The men enter the nemeton. When all attendees have passed between them, the two other torchbearers (           )
and (           ) join the first and light the fire. When participants are settled and the altar fire is lit, PD gives an
introduction to the rite honoring Brighid.

Invocation of the Awen

PD: "Let us now join together in calling on the Awen, spirit of divine inspiration, that our words and our rite may be fit for the gods and goddesses.

Call and response, led by EVA: "Light the Fires Within"

Taken from "Untitled (Brigid Invocation)" by Jennifer Micale, member of Grove of the Other Gods, ADF

Eva: Light the fires within, Brigid,
Light the fires within.

ALL: Stoke the ashless blaze within our hearts.

Eva: You are the fire of the mind.

ALL: Stoke the ashless blaze within our hearts.

Eva: You are the dance that moves our feet.

ALL: Stoke the ashless blaze within our hearts.

Eva: You are the song within our soul.

ALL: Stoke the ashless blaze within our hearts.

Eva: Light the fires within, Brigid,
Light the fires within.

* ALL: Stoke the ashless blaze within our hearts.

ALL join in REPEATING the last verse and chorus, until PD brings to a close.

Sanctifying the Participants
(simultaneously with the Call for Peace).

PD: "Let us make ourselves ready for the working of the rite."

Druids (           ,            ) cense and asperge as PD or Other plays harp (Invocation of Brighid)

The Call For Peace
PD makes the Call For Peace.

To the East: "May there be peace in the East, ancient Leinster, source of Prosperity."

To the South: "May there be peace in the South, ancient Munster, source of Harmony."

To the West: "May there be peace in the West, ancient Connacht, source of Wisdom."

To the North: "May there be peace in the North, ancient Ulster, source of Strength."

In the Center: "Here in the Center, let peace rule over this rite."

PD offers grain to the Earth:
"May we be united with you, Lady of the Land,
Sovereign of the Realm under Sídhe,
Teach us the mysteries and the lessons of the Land,
A' Chailleach, as our ways find favor in your eyes.
Bitheadh e mar sin."

ALL: "Bitheadh e mar sin."

Consecration of the Hallows

PD: "Let us sanctify the Hallows by which we make offering."

The PD and  (           )  lead the folk in beginning the chant:

"Well and Fire and Sacred Tree, flow and flame and grow in me…"

THE WELL (           )

"Sacred Waters, wellspring of life
Goddess Danu, we honor you."
(An offering of silver is made to the well)
"Fountain forth and nourish us
A Thobair naoimh, sruigh annainn! (Uh HOH-bur nooeev, Srooee OW-nin)
Sacred Well, flow within us!"

ALL: Sacred well, flow within us!

First chant begins again.

THE FIRE (           )

"Sacred fire, Bright Belenos,
We honor your flame of hearth and altar.
(An offering of oil is made to the fire)
Shine your light to strengthen us
A Theine naoimh, loisg annain!  (Uh HAY-nuh nooeev, Losh kOW-nin !)
Sacred Fire, burn within us!"

ALL: Sacred fire, burn within us!

First chant begins again.

THE TREE (           )

"Sacred Tree, joining all worlds
Great Green Kin, we honor you.
(An offering of water from the Well and smudging of incense lit from the Fire is made to the Tree)
Keep our spirits centered here
A Chraoibh naoimh, fàs annainn! (Uh *Chrooeev nooeev, FAHS OW-nin!)
Sacred Tree, grow within us!"

ALL: Sacred tree, grow within us!

Opening the Gates to the Otherworlds

PD: "We now call on Manannan Mac Lir, our Lord of the Gates to the Otherworlds, to make open the portals for our worship."

D1: (             )
"A Mhanannain Mhic Lir, Gatekeeper, Sidhe King,
Shrouded in mist or met at the crossroads,
Let our words sound in the depths of the Well."
[ Oil is poured on the waters of the Well. ]

"Let our words rise on the Fire to the Shining Ones."
[ Oil is poured on the Fire. ]

"Let the Sacred Tree carry our words to all the Worlds."
[ Oil is annointed on the Tree. ]

"A Mhanannàin Mhic Lìr, foscail na Geataichean an-dràsta!
(A Va-na-NAHyN vik LEER, Foss-kul na GAY-ti-Chyun un DRAW-stuh!)

Let the Gates be open!"

The Three Kindreds

PD: "Let us now give honor to the Three Kindreds, that they may honor us in return."

Honoring the Ancestors (           )

"A Shinsearan! (Uh HEEN-sher-un!) Ancestors!
You who guide our steps,
You who carry the honor of the People to the Otherworlds,
We honor you here."

[ Ale is poured in the Well and the remainder set in a cup on the altar. ]

"We honor you with the first portion and offer this cup for your taking.
Ancestors, come to our hearthside and guide us in our rite."
"Bitheadh e mar sin."

All: " Bitheadh e mar sin."

Inviting the Spirits of the Land (           )

"A Spridean na talaimh! (Uh SPREE-jun na TALL-eev) Spirits of the Land!
Kindreds of fur, fin, and feather,
Of bark, leaf and blossom, of rock, soil, or crystal.
Fair folk, green kin, and totem beasts!
We honor you here."
[ Flowers or fruit or the like is placed amongst the Hallows. ]

"We thank you for sharing this place with us and offer these gifts in return.
Earth Spirits, come to our hearthside and join us in our rite."
"Bitheadh e mar sin."

All: "Bitheadh e mar sin ."

Offering to the Deities (           )

"A Dheithe! Shining Ones!
Highest and mightiest,
First among the Kindreds, worthiest of honor,
Ancient of the Tuatha De Danann, we would offer to you in this place.
Deities of this place, known to us or unknown,
Gods and Goddesses of all those here, Patrons and Matrons,
We would offer you like honor.
Join us at our fire, o Shining Ones.
A Dheithe, glacaibh ar n-iobairt seo! (Uh YAY-huh, GLAH-keev ar NIB-urt SHO!)
[ Oil is poured on the Fire ]

"Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice!"

All: "Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice!"

Praise Offerings

PD: "Let any who would offer praise to Brigid or the Three Kindreds come forward to the altars."
(Song: Curach Brìghde)
Time is allowed for all who so wish to make praise offerings.

Main Offering
PD gives an introduction to the Main Offering.
PD: "At this time, let us all join in our main offering to Brigid."

PD leads a brief meditation.   Story of Brighid, Aonghas Òg, & a'Chailleach

An offering is made of a Brigid's Cross (MADE BY EVA!).

(Eva) and (           )
Brighde nam brat------Brighid of the Mantles
Brighde nam brig------Brighid of the peat heap
Brighde nan cleachd---Brighid of the twining hair
Brighde na frìth----------Brighid of the Augury
Brighde nan gealachos-Brighid of the white feet
Brighde na bìth----------Brighid of the calmness
Brighde nan gealaphos--Brighid of the white palms
Brighde na nì-------------Brighid of the kine.

Taking of the Omen   (           )

PD: "Having made offering to the Gods, let us see how our offering was received."

SAC consults ogham and announces the results of the omen-taking. If the omen is inauspicious, further offerings may be made and a second omen taken. If the omen is again unfavorable, the rite should be ended, with due thanks made to the Kindreds. If the omen is auspicious, the rite proceeds.

Candle Lighting

An opportunity is given for those who have candles they wish to light from the sacred Fire.
Distribution of ribbons to hang outside overnight for Brighid's blessing
PD, (           ) and (           ) lead a chant:

"Rise up oh flame
By thy light glowing
Bring to us beauty, wisdom and joy."

Seeking the Blessings of the Deities

PD: "In our custom, a gift calls for a gift. Having offered to the Shining Ones, we seek their blessings in return."

D1(           ) pours ale (or the like) into a cup and holds it up.

"Shining Ones, we seek the blessings of the three Cauldrons,
Of Wisdom, of Plenty, and of Rebirth.
We would share in your magic.
And so we say as one folk: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!"

All: "Shining Ones, give us the Waters!"

D2 (           ): "We would stand in fellowship with you
And feast at your side and proclaim ourselves your People.
And so we say again: Shining Ones, give us the Waters!"

All: "Shining Ones, give us the Waters!"

D3 (           ): We have offered of our love and our work to you;
We have shared our hearthside,
And, as a gift calls for a gift,
We say one last time: Shining Ones, give us the Waters of Life!"

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

D1-3 elevate the cup saying:
"Is iad seo Uisgeathan na Beatha! (ISS EE-yud SHO USH-kyun na BAY-huh!)
These are the Waters of Life!"

The cup is passed among the participants.

PD: "As you share in the blessings of the Mighty Kindreds, do not hesitate to salute or otherwise honor them. At this time, the Gates are still open and offerings may yet be made."

When all have had a chance to drink from the cup and make any offerings, the rite proceeds.

Thanking the Kindreds

PD: "Let us now give thanks to the Powers we have honored here."
(The same Druids who invited and/or offered to each Kindred thank them here:)

D(           ): "Brigid, whose feast this is, tapadh leat (TAH-pa  lyat). We thank you."
All: "We thank you."

D(           ): "A Dheithe! Deities! Tapadh leibh (TAH-pa leev). We thank you."
All: "We thank you."

D(           ): "A spridean na talaimh! Earth Spirits! Tapadh leibh (TAH-pa leev). We thank you."
All: "We thank you."

D(           ): "A Shinsearan! Ancestors! Tapadh leibh (TAH-pa leev). We thank you."
All: "We thank you."

PD: "To all those Powers that have aided our rite, we say once more: tapadh leibh uile (TAH-pa leev oo-luh) .
We thank you all."
All: "We thank you."

PD: "We return to the Earth those blessings we have left unused."
SAC makes libation from the blessing cup.

Closing the Gates

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

D1 (           ): "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 water.
And let the Tree now be no more than the true heart we carry forth from this place.
A Mhanannàin Mhic Lìr, dùin na Geataichean an-dràsta!
(Uh VA-na-Nayn Vic LEER, DOO'in na GAY-ti-Chun un DRAW-stuh!)
Let the Gates now be closed!"

PD: "As we started, so let us end."

Thrice-three chimes are sounded.

PD: "Brothers and sisters, go in peace and blessings. The rite is ended."

The Participants may process forth from the Hallows as deemed appropriate.
Feasting ensues...

Return to RCG’s Ritual Liturgy Index
Back to the Raven’s Cry Grove Homepage