Harvest Nights 2016 Unity Rite

*all parts written by Rev. Jan Avende unless otherwise noted*
Video of the Ritual can be viewed here.

Processional:
“Come We Now As A People”

Before we begin our rite, let us treat with the Outdwellers:

Outdwellers
I raise my voice now, and address all those beings that stand at cross-purpose with our rite today.
We have come together with a focus on Unity.
All those who cannot be in this space with others,
Leave us be!
All those who cannot stand in fellowship around our Good Fire,
Leave us be!
All those who cannot join us in the spirit of *ghosti,
Leave us be!
Outdwellers, let there be peace between us, as we do our Work of Unity today.

Purification
Let Fire and Water purify this space, that it may be made ready for our work.
Let this space around us be set aside as sacred for this time and place.
Now…
Look within yourself, and set aside those things that will not serve you in this rite.
Look within yourself, and strip away the miasma that clouds your visions.
Look within yourself, find the center of you, and come be welcome amongst peers in this sacred space.

Opening Prayer
The spirits of the sky are above us.
The spirits of the land are around us.
The spirits of the waters flow below us.
Surrounded by all the numinous beings of earth and sky and water,
Our hearts tied together as one,
Let us pray with a good fire.
(3CG Standard Liturgy)

And now, as we do in all our rites, let us call first to the Earth Mother:

Earth Mother
The Children of the Earth call out to the Earth Mother!
All Mother, Our Mother,
You who give life and breath to the gods, spirits, and all of us.
Your voice caresses us on the wind.
Your heartbeat thrums within our hearts.
Supporting us and surrounding us, we call out to you!
As we all come from you, so too do we return to you.
In our work of Unity, you hold us to together, as we are all your Children.
Earth Mother, support us in this rite, as you do in our daily lives.
Unite us and hold us close as we honor the Spirits.
Earth Mother, accept our offering!

Earth Mother, accept our offering!

Feel your connection to the Earth grow and deepen. And now, let us call for Inspiration in our Work today:

Inspiration
The Children of the Earth call out to the Powers of inspiration!
To the fire that ignites in our head,
To the waters of potential that rush into our spirit.
Be welcome in our minds and in our hearts.
May our words be true and our intentions clear.
May our prayers flow like honey from our lips.
Inspiration, be with us as we honor all those spirits who sing in harmony.
Powers of Inspiration, accept our offering!

Powers of Inspiration, accept our offering!

Feel as inspiration begins to flow through you. Feel the clarity of focus sharpen as we flow further into the rite.

Purpose and Precedent
We have come together today in celebration of community, and of the ties that unite us as one people of Ar nDraíocht Fein. Now let us join together and honor the spirits: as our Ancestors did before us, so we do now; and so may our children do in the future….

Attunement
Now, standing together, preparing to do the work ahead, let us take a moment to find our center, and attune ourselves to this space, and to each other. Take a moment to watch your breath, as it flows in and out, deep and regular… As we come to honor the Spirits and prepare for the work of Unity ahead, turn your attention skyward, past any clouds, out into the darkness where the stars spark brightly overhead, dimmed only slightly by the glow of the Moon. Feel the crisp autumn air against your skin. Close your eyes now, and allow your attention to be consumed for a moment with the Moon and the stars and the chill.

Then notice, streaming down from the heavens, life-giving Waters. Watch with your Vision Eye as droplets fill the air, plunging down through the chill to splash into the Earth. The Earth, cooling in the darkness, takes in the Waters and their nourishment, and as the ground in quenched, arising from the soil, comes a mist. Watch with your Vision Eye as these mists arise. These are the Mists of Magic.

As the Mists rise into the air around you, like an autumn fog rising with the moon, feel their cooling vapors caress your skin. As they continue to rise, notice how the light of the moon and stars filters through them. And as they crest above your eye level, notice how, all at once, the moonlight streaming down is refracted, and a multitude of colors pour out to bathe this space in its rainbow light.

Focus your attention now on those colors, born out of the Mists from mingling of the Life-Giving Waters, the Deep Coolness of the Earth, and the Bright Sparks in the Sky. Let the colors wash over you, and take their power and magic into yourself. The reds and pinks that are our life-blood and sexuality. The oranges and yellows that bring healing and light to our world. The greens and teals that exemplify nature and magic and art. The blues and purples that fill us with serenity and harmony, and connect our spirit to the world at large. Let this riot of colors, this brilliant diverse rainbow, wash over you as the Mists caress your skin, as you breathe in this magic.

And now, as the Mists sink back to the earth, to pool, swirling on the ground below as we prepare for the work ahead, see those colors merge again back into one. They become a brilliant white light, all colors merging into one unified glow. Expand your awareness now, and remember the people standing around you. Know that they too have been bathed in the colored mists, and are filled now with that white glow. Open your eyes, and see standing about you, your Community. We are all filled with the Life-Giving Waters, the Cooling Power of the Mists rising from the Earth, and the Bright Light of the Heavens. We stand, united in diversity, as one Sacred Grove.

“The waters support and surround us.
The land extends about us.
The sky stretches out above us.
At our center burns a living flame.
May all the Kindred bless us.
May our worship be true.
May our actions be just.
May our love be pure.
Blessings, honor, and worship to the holy ones.”
(prayer: Ceisiwr Serith)
Having centered ourselves, let us now sing out together to center and recreate the cosmos:

Recreate the Cosmos
“The Portal Song”

Calling for a Gatekeeper
Now, Children of Earth, by Fire and by Water are the Mists of Magic born. In your mind’s eye, let those mists, ethereal and formless, flow out from you and envelop the landscape. Take a moment to breath in those mists, and anchor yourself within this Ordered and Centered Cosmos.

And now, let those mists begin to roll back, to dissipate, revealing a figure standing where Land, Sea, and Sky meet. The figure’s long, grey hair is wild and windblown, framing a fierce, weathered and sun-darkened face. They are clothed in what appear to be robes made of blue-ish grey mist, almost identical to the color of their eyes, which shine with wisdom and kindness. As your gaze drifts downward, you see that the figure’s robes drift and pool, swirling as though made of mist around where their feet would be. The figure nods their head in welcome. You see them raise their palms upward, and notice that mists, tamed by this Spirit, flows freely about their hands. This is the Mistweaver: Gatekeeper, Guardian, and Guide.

The Children of the Earth call out to the Gatekeeper!
Mistweaver, walking the liminal places between the realms.
You who guide seekers on their path,
Parting the mists and lighting the way.
Great One of the Boundaries,
Spirits of all kinds are drawn in by your skill,
As you ferry our voices, carry our prayers.
Shining One of Liminality and Passage,
show us the way to walk in safety,
as we deepen our bonds of unity with the spirits and each other.
Meet us at the boundary, Mistweaver!
Join us at our Sacred Hearth, and be warmed by our Good Fire.
Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.
Gatekeeper, accept our offering!

Opening the Gates
And now, Gatekeeper, mix your magic with mine, and aid me in Opening the Gates!

Let this well, filled with the waters flowing across the wide earth,
Join with the Waters below and open as a Gate.
Our connections with the Ancestors deepen as the Gate is opened.

Let this fire, kindled upon the Land, smoke spiraling up to the Heavens
Join with the Fire there, and open as a Gate.
Our connections with the Shining Ones deepen as the Gate is opened.

Let this tree send its roots deep into the cosmic Waters Below,
and let its branches stretch ever upwards and reach for the Fire Above.
This Tree stands at the Sacred Center as a Crossroads between all Worlds,
Allowing our voices and our offerings to travel to all the Spirits

We stand here, connected at the Sacred Center
to all the realms of Land, Sea, and Sky.
Let the Gates be Open!

Let the Gates be Open!

Children of Earth, the Gates are open. Let naught but truth be spoken here.

We now turn our attention to the Kindreds and call first to the Spirits of Fire and Water.

Beings of the Occassion – Spirits of Fire & Water

Sprits of Fire
The Children of the Earth call out to the Spirits of Fire!
Those of hearth and home, who warm our families and tend our souls.
Those of inspiration and vision, who ignite in our heads and brighten the world.
Those of sacrifice and order, who carry our voices and offerings, and maintain the cosmos.
Those Fires of Unity, who burn bright within our hearths, hearts, and communities,
From flickering flame to roaring bonfire.
It is to you we call out, and to you we sing praises.
As we all come together at the Fire at the Center to honor the Spirits in this time and place,
We ask you to meet us at the boundary, Spirits of Fire!
Join us at our Sacred Hearth, and be warmed by our Good Fire.
Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.
Spirits of Fire, accept our offering!

Spirits of Fire, accept our offering!

Sprits of Water
The Children of the Earth call out to the Spirits of Water!
Those of purification, who renew our souls and refresh our hearts.
Those of blessing, who nourish and fill us with the gifts of the Spirits.
Those of invigoration, who plumb the depths in eddies and swirls.
Those Waters of Unity, set aside and made sacred, who flow out across all the world
From rushing stream to raging sea.
It is to you we call out, and to you we sing praises.
As we all mix and mingle our energy together in this time and place,
We ask you to meet us at the boundary, Spirits of Water!
Join us at our Sacred Hearth, and be warmed by our Good Fire.
Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.
Spirits of Water, accept our offering!

Spirits of Water, accept our offering!

Children of Earth, see in your mind’s eye the Spirits of Fire & Water stepping out from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire. As their presence fills our awareness, we turn now to call forth the Ancestors!

Ancestors
The Children of the Earth call out to the Ancestors!
Those of our blood and our bone, who have given us life.
Those of our heart and our hearth, who have guided our steps.
Those of our friends and our folk, who strengthen and deepen our relationships.
Those Mighty Dead: poets, priests, and bards.
Heroes among the ancestors who have shaped our world.
It is to you we call out, and to you we sing praises.
As we all weave our many and diverse roots together in this time and place,
We ask you to meet us at the boundary, Ancestors!
Join us at our Sacred Hearth, and be warmed by our Good Fire.
Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.
Ancestors, accept our offering!

Ancestors, accept our offering!

Children of Earth, see in your mind’s eye the Ancestors stepping out from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire. As their presence fills our awareness, we turn now to call forth the Spirits of Nature!

Nature Spirits
The Children of the Earth call out to the Spirits of Nature!
Those of fur and feather, who run and fly across the land.
Those of root and stem, who grow deep into the earth and reach for the sky.
Those of stone and mineral, who enrich the soil and enrich our lives.
Those Totems, Guides, and Allies, you who teach us your ways to love and honor the Earth.
It is to you we call out, and to you we sing praises.
As we all meld our voices together and uphold one another in this time and place,
We ask you to meet us at the boundary, Spirits of Nature!
Join us at our Sacred Hearth, and be warmed by our Good Fire.
Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.
Spirits of Nature, accept our offering!

Spirits of Nature, accept our offering!

Children of Earth, see in your mind’s eye the Spirits of nature stepping out from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire. As their presence fills our awareness, we turn now to call forth the Shining Ones!

Shining Ones
The Children of the Earth call out to the Shining Gods and Goddesses!
Those of the Heavens, who shine brightly upon us and give us nourishing rains.
Those of the Land, who provide for us and walk beside us on our path.
Those of the Underworld, who care for our dead and know the riches of the earth.
Those Patrons, you who take special interest in us and we worship with our heart, mind, and soul,
Devotees honoring you, as you care for us.
It is to you we call out, and to you we sing praises.
As we all make offerings together and stretch our branches to the sky in this time and place,
We ask you to meet us at the boundary, Shining Gods and Goddesses!
Join us at our Sacred Hearth, and be warmed by our Good Fire.
Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.
Shining Gods and Goddesses, accept our offering!

Shining Gods and Goddesses, accept our offering!

Children of Earth, see in your mind’s eye the Shining Ones stepping out from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire. As their presence fills our awareness, let us take a moment and welcome in our hearts and minds all the Spirits who join us here today.

Have the folk brought praise for the Spirits?

We have!

Then bring it forth!

Praise Offerings Song

Prayer of Sacrifice
Children of Earth, we have given of ourselves
in words of praise and in sweet offerings,
to all those spirits here gathered,
that they may receive our love.

See our offerings as they burn, smoke rising to the heavens.
See our offerings as they sink, into the depths of the well.
See our offerings as they traverse all the realms and pass the boundary into the Otherworld.
We now make one last offering, one final sacrifice,
to honor the Sprits and ensure our gifts are received.

Spirits All, Accept our Sacrifice!

Spirits All, Accept our Sacrifice!

Omen
(Priest speaks) We have made offerings to those spirits called to our Good Fire. It is time now that we seek an omen to see if our offerings were accepted and what we may receive in return.

Seer, gaze now, and let the Vision fill your Sight. Seer, gaze now and speak to us of the worthiness of our offerings, and what we may receive in return for them.

(Seer speaks) …

Return Flow

Calling for the Waters
Having given of ourselves, and received wisdom and blessings in return, we now seek to take of those blessings to enrich ourselves for the work that is to come.
We seek to fill ourselves with these blessings so that we may be thusly imbued with the sacred powers and apply ourselves to the work ahead.

All waters are by their very nature sacred,
We set aside these Waters, for they have been won for us.
We ask that you allow us to partake of them and of these blessings,
To take these sacred waters into our hearts and our minds.
Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

Shining Ones, Give us the Waters!

We ask for The Waters of Community.
We call forth The Waters of Fellowship.
We draw these Waters out, to sparkle in the air about us,
That we may feel their cool mist surround us,
And quench our thirst with their blessings!
Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

Shining Ones, Give us the Waters!

We open our hearts and our minds to the blessings we have been given.
As we stand amongst the Kindreds,
Amongst our Folk, and amongst our community
We call forth these Waters as our due.
We stand, united with all the Powers of the Worlds, ready to receive the blessing!
Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

Shining Ones, Give us the Waters!

Hallowing the Waters
Let the brightness of the Shining Gods fill these waters with the omens we have received,
[Omen, Omen, and Omen].

Let these blessings grow in strength like the light of the moon,
Let these blessings shine with the brilliant power akin to the noon-day sun,
Shining Ones! Shine your blessing down upon us, and fill this Vessel.

Children of earth, when we share these Waters
We share our own wisdom and love.
We prepare to do the good work of the Kindreds.
We prepare to grow and nurture our community and the world.

We, your children, rejoice in your gifts
Bless our spirits and our lives with your magic and bounty.
As we celebrate the strength of our community here today.

Behold, the Waters of Life!

Behold, the Waters of Life!

Receiving the Blessing
Children of Earth, before us is the Cup of Blessing.
Do you wish to share in these blessings?

We do!

Then, as these Waters are shared,
know that they contain the blessings of the Kindreds.
As we sing, reflect on how these blessings will fill you
and shine out in your life and our community.

*waters are asperged*

Waters Song
“Blessings in the Waters”

Working – Unity Rite
***The working altar cloth is a world map (on a separate table). on each region is a candle. unity rite will be done by region, beginning with the NE region, and then moving out in ever-larger rings.***

We’ve taken the blessings into ourselves, and now, as we gather together in unity, it is appropriate that we share these blessings out across the lands and waters to ADF members everywhere. In addition to sharing out these blessings, we will light a flame of Unity in each region, that we may all be tied to this common hearth.

Into this vessel the Waters have been drawn forth. *gesture to Return Flow vessel*
Let these Sacred and Blessed Waters that we have been gifted with, now mix and mingle with the Waters of Ar nDraíocht Fein, that they may fill us, nourish us, and sustain us.
*pour water from the Return Flow vessel into the Unity Cauldron*
Let this Sacred and Blessed Fire, the Unity Flame of Ar nDraíocht Fein, burn bright here on our altar, that it may brighten us, warm us, and unite us.

In these Waters, see reflected the Bright Fire around which we gather.
As these Blessings are ours, may they sustain our Wisdom, Vision, and Piety.
As these Blessings are ours, may they sustain our Courage, Integrity, and Perseverance.
As these Blessings are ours, may they sustain our Moderation, Fertility, and Hospitality.
In these waters, see reflected the Fire, born of the Waters, to which we Sacrifice.

Rooted together, branches entwined,
Our voices are raised to the many trees that grow,
the many waters that flow, and the many spirits that travel.
Let these waters of unity nourish and bless us,
and this flame of unity brighten and warm us.

*as a note for performing this ritual, be sure to check for the current listing of groves for this portion*

For the Solitaries of the Northeast region
And for the Groves…
• Muin Mound Grove
• Grove of the Other Gods
• Red Oak Grove
• Tear of the Cloud Grove
• Nemos Ognios Grove
• Paumanmok Island Protogrove
• Our Whole Protogrove
• Charter Oak Grove
• Inis Ull: Apple Isle Grove
• Northern Rivers Grove
• Hallowed Grove Protogrove
• Protogrove of the White Pines
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Canada East region
And for the Groves…
• Red Maple Grove
• Dancing Lights Grove
• Thornehaven Grove
• Grove of the Nova Scotia Druids
• Lake of Oaks Grove
• Golden Birch Protogrove
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Heartland region
And for the Groves…
• Stone Creed Grove
• Sassafras Grove
• The 6th Night Grove
• Three Cranes Grove
• Black Bear Grove
• Beautiful Rivers Grove
• White River Protogrove
• Northern Mysteries Protogrove
• Hallowed River Protogrove
• Willow at the Crossroads Protogrove
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Southeast region
And for the Groves…
• Cedarlight Grove
• Grove of the Seven Hills
• Grove of the Red Earth
• Manatee Oak Protogrove
• Five Rivers Protogrove
• Three Branch River Grove
• Raven’s Hollow Protogrove
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Upper Midwest region
And for the Groves…
• Shining Lakes Grove
• Wild Onion Grove
• Grove of the Midnight Sun
• Raven Wood Grove
• Cedarsong Grove
• Sinnissippi Tuath Grove
• Protogrove of the Whispering Spirits
• Star of the North Protogrove
• Dancing Waters Protogrove
• Protogrove of the Gathering Waters
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Central region
And for the Groves…
• Blackland Prairie Protogrove
• Ad Astra Grove
• Hearthstone Protogrove
• Thistle Protogrove
• Prairie Shadow Grove
• Nine Waves Protogrove
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Canada West region
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Northwest region
And for the Groves…
• Sierra Madrone Grove
• Larrea Tridentata Grove
• Bright Falcon Grove
• Cascadia Grove
• Protogrove of the Eternal Flame
• Protogrove of the Valley Oak
• Columbia Grove
• River Rose Grove
• Twisted Root Protogrove
• Frog Stone Circle Prison Worship Group
• Cosmic Oaks Prison Worship Group
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Southwest region
And for the Groves…
• Raven’s Cry Grove
• Sonoran Sunrise Grove
• Coast Oak Grove
• Silver Branch Golden Horn Grove
• Sandia Mountain Grove
• Mountain Ancestors Grove
• Chokecherry Grove
• Emerald Desert Protogrove
• *pour*
• *light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the European region
And for the Groves…
• Hollow Hills Grove
• Clan of the Green Mother Protogrove
• Adrana Protohain
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of the Asia-Pacific region
And for the Groves…
• Silver Birch Grove
*pour*
*light unity candle*

For the Solitaries of S. America, Africa and Central Asia,
And for the Groves…
• Fine Na Dairbre Protogrove
*pour*
*light unity candle*

(sung)
Kindled from the great flame, kept by prudent skill,
join with us our common hearth, that these flames be one
Drawn up from the holy Well, Sacred for the Folk,
Flow into our common hearth, make our Waters blessed.

As the Waters flow forth to all of the Folk of Ar nDraíocht Fein, and as this flame brightens our many hearths and regions, we pour a final libation of these Sacred and Blessed Waters that Our Druidry itself may be nourished, brightened, and continue to grow.
*pour*

Let the Waters fill us, and the Fire brighten us, and as we stand as one Folk, one People, one Grove, and let our voices sound together as we continue Our Druidry.

So be it!

So be it!

And now, having done our work of Unity today, let us now, as one people, thank those we have called:

Thank Shining Ones
Shining Ones,
We thank you for watching over us, protecting and guiding us
Your wisdom flows into us,
Your love warms us,
Your magic empowers us,
You live in our hearts and our minds in all that we do.
Shining Ones, Thank you and farewell!

Shining Ones, Thank you and farewell!

Thank Nature Spirits
Nature Spirits,
We thank you for watching over us, protecting and guiding us
Your Spirit invigorates our worship,
Your knowledge informs our praise,
Your companionship warms our hearts,
You live among us, in peace and harmony.
Nature Spirits, Thank you and farewell!

Nature Spirits, Thank you and farewell!

Thanks Ancestors
Ancestors,
We thank you for watching over us, protecting and guiding us
Your blood runs in our veins,
Your Spirit is in our hearts,
Your memories are in our souls,
You live within us and within all those yet to come.
Ancestors, Thank you and farewell!
(~Niniann)
Ancestors, Thank you and farewell!

Thank Beings of the Occassion

Spirits of Water
Spirits of Water,
We thank you for watching over us, protecting and guiding us
Your calmness encircles our spirits,
Your depths speak to our souls,
Your energy rages in our hearts,
You flow within us and within our communities.
Spirits of Water, Thank you and farewell!

Spirits of Water, Thank you and farewell!

Spirits of Fire
Spirits of Fire,
We thank you for watching over us, protecting and guiding us
Your embers warm our families,
Your spark ignites in our heads,
Your flame burns our offerings,
You live within us and within all those yet to come.
Spirits of Fire, Thank you and farewell!

Spirits of Fire, Thank you and farewell!

Thank Gatekeeper
Gatekeeper,
We thank you for watching over us, protecting and guiding us
Your magic mixes with ours,
Your wisdom flows into us,
Your vision brightens in our eyes,
You weave mists about us, and reveal the ways.
Gatekeeper, we thank you!

Gatekeeper, we thank you!

Closing the Gates & Restoration of the Ordinary
And now, Gatekeeper, we ask for your help in one final task today:
To aid us in Closing the Gates.

Let these Waters, which have flowed across the wide earth,
Draw back up into this vessel here,
No longer a Gate opening to the many ways.

Let this Fire, which was kindled upon the Land, smoke spiraling up to the Heavens
Draw back down to this flame here,
No longer a Gate opening to the many ways.

Let this Tree draw its roots back from the cosmic Waters Below,
and draw its branches back from the Fire Above,
No longer standing as the Axis Mundi connecting the Worlds.

Let the Gates be Closed!

Let the Gates be Closed!

Children of Earth, the Gates are closed. Let all be as it was before, save for the magic we have done and the blessings we’ve received.

Thank Inspiration
Powers of Inspiration,
For igniting the fires of inspiration in our heads,
for allowing us to speak with eloquence in our rite today.
You have helped us meld our voice together as one in praise,
and so we say,
Powers of Inspiration, we thank you!

Powers of Inspiration, we thank you!

Thank Earth Mother
Earth Mother, All Mother,
You who support us in all that we do
We thank you for being with us and uniting us in our rite today.
And as all return to you in the end,
so do we return to you all our offerings left unused.
Earth Mother, as we ever strive to walk in balance with you,
We say, Earth Mother, we thank you!

Earth Mother, we thank you!

Recessional
“Walk With Wisdom”

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Videos from Theater for Ritual 1

Hellenic Full Moon Rite Statement of Purpose: https://youtu.be/xXOxwc6NJko

O Makares, Blessed Ones,
I call out to you on this night of the full moon,
As it grows in power, ever luminescent.

We come to you each month
As the moon waxes and wanes
marking this time as sacred
and this place as sacred.

We come now to makes offerings
as our ancestors did before.
To reforge the sacred *ghosti bond.

Be welcome Theoi
and join us in our rite.

Ancestors: https://youtu.be/qgcf2vBUPoA

The Children of the Earth call out to the Ancestors!
Those of our blood and our bone,
Those of our heart and your hearth,
Those of our friends and our folk.

We call out to those Mighty Dead and Ancient Wise
Poets and Priests
Those who have walked this path before us
and have use the way
Ancestors, Mighty Dead,
Accept our offering.

Nature Spirits: https://youtu.be/t_C_BeAqk0E

The Children of the Earth call out to the Nature Spirits,
Those Beings who swim and crawl and wriggle and fly.
All the beings of the this Earth wherever they may come from.
Those who dwell in light and those who dwell in shadow,
Seen and unseen.

Natures Spirits:
Animal friends, Mineral friends,
Plant kin and Earth kin.
You who walk with us in all that we do
showing us the ways that we might honor the gods.
Nature Spirits, we honor you.

Shining Ones: https://youtu.be/t91JWEnaCPc

The Children of the Earth call out to the Shining Ones:
Bright and Mighty Theoi!
You who are the first children of the Mother,
Eldest and brightest.

You of craft-folk, you of grain,
you of hearth, you of sea, you of land.
Hunter, gatherers,
forge-tenders, grain guarders.

Gods and Goddesses all:
We call out to you as you share your wisdom and your love.
Shining Ones, accept our offering!

Magic in ADF Ritual

Your answer to Magic 2, exit standard 5:

The three instances of magic that are done in every ADF ritual that I’ll be discussing are the Recreating the Cosmos, Opening/Closing of the Gates, and the Return Flow.

Recreating the Cosmos
The Re-Creation of the Cosmos lines up the different realms, so that they are overlaid, or parallel. It is common to sanctify the space around the ritual and the ritual participants as part of the Re-Creation of the Cosmos. I think this works well, since we are creating the Sacred Center of ritual, and setting aside the mundane for a time in order to commune with the spirits.

When I Re-Create the Cosmos I first hallow the space around the ritual participants, to be sure that the miasma is washed clean and chaos is left behind. Then I initiate the connection to the worlds by declaring that the smoke from our sacred Fire will carry our prayers to the gods. I make offerings to the Fire and the Well, allowing the objects that represent them to become fit for the purpose of ritual. Then I take the omphalos and bring it to the center, declaring that it marks the Sacred Center of all the Realms. The Re-Creation of the Cosmos works because it establishes the Sacred Center and primed the space for the Opening of the Gates.

Because I am mimicking the first establishment of the Center, the magic being performed here is sympathetic. I am mimicking the directions of Zeus, as he searched for the Center of the World.

Below are the words I say most often when Re-Creating the Cosmos:

“Let this area around us be purified sacred space where we go to meet the gods, and the gods descend down to meet with us.
Let the smoke from our sacred fire carry our voices to the heavens to be heard by the gods.
I place this omphalos at the center of worlds, just as it marked the center of the ancient world. My hands, like two eagles, flying to meet in the middle and establish this as the sacred center of worlds.
Through this sacred center, let the World Tree grow, plunging deep within the earth to touch the Sacred Waters below and reaching through the sky to embrace the Sacred Fires above.
Opening the Gates

After the Cosmos has been Re-Created, the space is primed and the Gates are ready to be opened. When the Gates are opened the space between the realms is connected, so that we are better able to hear the Kindreds and they are better able to hear us. It is akin to ringing the doorbell of a spirit. While they are all around us, Opening the Gates allows us to get their attention.

When I Open the Gates, I call on a Gatekeeper for assistance. In my personal rites, this is usually Hekate. I say an invocation that praises Her and extols the reasons why I desire to work with Her in particular. Then I ask that She join Her magic with mine, and help me open the Gates. The physical motions that I make I believe are echoes of what many in ADF do. When Opening the Gate to the Underworld through the Well I make a spiral motion from my center, counter-clockwise down towards my feet. When Opening the Gate to the Upperworld through the Fire I make a spiral motion from my center, clockwise up towards the sun towards my feet. Then to connect the realms I first form a ball (Tai Chi “hold the ball”) at my navel with my right hand on top and left on bottom, then I press my right hand up towards the heavens, and my left hand down towards the earth. Finally, as I proclaim the Gates to be open I take my hands from a ‘prayer’ position and open them out to my sides.

In this manner, I think the motions help to focus the intent of the magic, but it is with the help of the Gatekeeper that the Gates can actually be opened. As with most of the other acts of magic I’ve discussed, it is the relationship with the spirit that makes the magic possible.
Below are the words I say most often when Opening/Closing the Gates:

“We call out now to Hekate to guide us in walking between the worlds!
Hekate, at moonlit crossroads, you befriend the helpless.
Keyholding Mistress of Earth, Sea, and Sky.
Dark Mother Hekate,
Ghosts and hounds follow you.
You are the black puppy and the black she-lamb.
Torchbearer, we praise you for the brightness of your power.
We offer you [eggs and wine].
Hekate of the Crossroads be our Guide!
Guide us as you guided Demeter in her journey.
Reveal to us the way to walk in safety.
Radiant Hekate of the Torches,
Guiding Light, Keeper of the Keys,
Join your hidden knowledge and power with ours
and help us to open the Gates between the worlds.

Let this water become the Well, and open as a Gate to the worlds below.
Our connections deepen to the Chthonic beings as the Gate is opened.
Let this flame become the Fire, and open as a Gate to the worlds above.
Our connections deepen to the Ouranic beings as the Gate is opened.

Let this Omphalos stand at the center, and mark our sacred center here and in all the world. Let the tree wrap its roots around the stone and sink into the Well, and let it’s branches stretch upwards and reach for the Fire.
We stand here, connected at the Sacred Center to all the realms of Land, Sea, and Sky.

Let the Gates be Open!”

Closing the Gates/Restoration of the Ordinary
“Let this Well be but water, ever sacred in its own right, but no longer a Gate opening to the many paths.
Let this Fire be but a flame, ever sacred in its own right, but no longer a Gate opening to the many ways.
Let the omphalos no longer be the Center of the Worlds holding us at the Crossroads.

Hekate, as we move away from the Crossroads and return to the center of our hearts and homes, stand ever vigilant as you always do, until we return again in need of your aid.”

The Return Flow
The Return Flow takes place after all the offerings have been made. It is the reciprocal part from the Gods, that as we have given gifts to them, now we ask for gifts in return. When we ask for blessings from the Kindreds, we take an Omen to see what form those blessings will take. Then the Blessings are infused in some way, often within the Waters, so that the folk can imbibe them and take them within themselves, and carry them into the work ahead and into their lives.

When I Call for the Blessings, I first reflect on the omens that the Seer has received and interpreted. It is important to understand the omen, because that is what you are going to be infusing the Waters with, and offering to the Folk. I find it useful in larger, especially diverse, rites to also call on the Folk themselves to consider the omens and their interpretation, and how it applies to them. I then ask for the Theoi to give us their blessings, as we have given of ourselves. I use the imagery of the moon to help the Folk visualize the Blessings filling the waters. I hold the vessel of water aloft as I ask for the Theoi to send down their blessings. As I am doing this I reach out in all directions with tendrils of awareness, and use them to act as a conduit and a funnel for the blessings, so that they make it into the vessel. As I feel the vessel getting heavier, more dense, and often slightly warmer, I declare that with the blessings of the gods we can grow ourselves, and symbolize this mixing of our energies by pouring the blessing infused waters into the wine (or juice). Some of the water is reserved for any workings that will be done, as well as for those who desire a non-alcoholic drink (when wine has been used). The Folk are then invited to imbibe and reflect on the blessings.

Below are words, or a variation on them, that I commonly say when conducting the Return Flow:

*have vessel filled with wine, and vessel filled with water. Water is infused with the blessings and poured into the wine. Some water is set aside for the working*

Having given of ourselves, and received wisdom and blessings in return, we now seek to take of those blessings to enrich ourselves for the work that is to come. We seek to fill ourselves with these blessings so that we may be thusly imbued with the sacred powers and apply ourselves to the work ahead.

*take vessel filled with water*

Let the brightness of the Shining Gods fill these waters with the omens we have received, [Omen, Omen, and Omen]. Let their blessings grow in strength like the light of the moon, shining with the brilliant power akin to the noon-day sun. Theoi! Rain your blessing down upon us, and fill our Sacred Cup.

*vessel is held aloft as water is infused with the blessings*

Their strength shall augment our strength *blessed waters are poured into wine. reserve some waters for the working* as we approach the workings ahead.

Drink deep, Children of Earth, and think on the gifts we’ve been given.

Esto!

Lit Prac 2 Evaluations

Script for Avestan Summer Solstice Ritual, honoring Anahita, the Mother of Waters

Evaluations per Course Requirements for Liturgy Practicum 2, Requirement 2.2:

Include evaluations of the ritual from two other attendees (Include contact information for the attendees providing the evaluations. Their evaluations must be at least 125 words in length and include a description of what they thought went well and what improvements could be made, as well as whether or not they believe the ritual accomplished its purpose.)

Evaluation 1

(contact info removed for privacy)

Briefly describe the Ritual:

The ritual was the celebration of Summer Solstice. Anahita, the Mother of Water, was the Deity of occasion. Rev. Jan wrote the ritual and assigned parts to volunteers, using the ADF Core Order. She attempted to have many perform parts that they normally would not have or that have not had the opportunity to perform yet. There was no working outside of worship and praise. Everyone had the opportunity to give offerings to both the Anahita and their own personal deity. Indo-Iranian names were used during the rite.

I personally had the opportunity to make peace with the Outdwellers, not a part I normally call; however, fitting given my military service.

What did you think went well?:

Jan was very precise on instructions. There was active group participation within the rite and most people spoke loud and clear. Everyone gave offerings and people actually spoke their praise to the deities out loud; something that not everyone does. People stepped outside of their comfort zone and performed well.

What improvements could be made?:

As an evaluator, I would like to have had a copy of the written ritual prior to rite. This would have given me more time to formulate any questions concerning the rite.

Do you think the ritual accomplished it’s purpose? Explain:

Yes. The purpose was for Jan to write an entire ritual and assign those to parts to individuals who volunteered to be a part of her rite to meet the criteria for the Liturgy Practicum 2, Requirement 2.2. Part of her purpose was to get individuals involved in ritual and to speak out loud when giving offerings. Everyone who came did as she had encouraged in her instructions prior to the start of the ritual.

Evaluation 2

(contact info removed for privacy)

Briefly describe the Ritual:

The ritual was held in Three Cranes Grove’s usual nemeton, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation East in Reynoldsburg, OH. Many of the attendees had assigned ritual parts, which Rev. Avende had previously sent out to their responsible parties. She had also prepared all the required offerings, which were noted in the ritual script.

I don’t believe any of the attendees were previously familiar with Avestan-style ritual; certainly there was no broad knowledge. Rev. Avende began with a briefly not only of the ritual as a whole, but also of the particularities of Avestan ritual. Specifically, she noted the customary tag to invocations and offering praises: “for you brightness and your glory, we offer you a sacrifice!” Rev. Avende’s script also delved into the particular cultural practices of the Avestans, naming particular mythological figures in the Recreation of the Cosmos, calling on the Kindred by their Avestan titles, etc.

What did you think went well?:

The culturally specific namings and invocation tags were particulary effective; much as a translator often leaves a bit of the ‘flavor’ of a source text while doing the bulk of the heavy-lifting for the understanding of the reader, Rev. Avende took historically attested forms and adapted them to the COoR while maintaining their cultural focus.

I was also impressed by the ritual’s response to the broader secular world. The summer solstice, in Columbus at least, aligned with our community’s celebration of Pride; in fact, I and others traveled directly from the Pride festival to the rite. I haven’t talked to her directly about this matter, but I suspect Rev. Avende specifically wrote subtle allusions to the secular cultural context into her script. The attunement played on Anahita’s life-giving waters that flow from the sun, and led us through contemplating the different prismatic colors of the rainbow formed in the mists of magic, which was a fairly clear connection to Gay Pride. In addition, there were repeated references throughout the script to diversity in all its forms. None of this felt in any way forced; it all would have been completely appropriate language at any time of year. But especially in the wake of the shootings in Orlando, it provided a welcome and meaningful space to honor the blessings of the Mother of Waters as she sustains us all, in our diverse array of selves.

What improvements could be made?:

I was very pleased to have the Avestan ‘flavor’ included in the rite, and usually Rev. Avende’s script did a fine job of smoothly interpreting the unfamiliar terminiology. There were a few points, however, when an unfamiliar term would go unremarked. I seem to remember, for example, (though I don’t have the full script in from of me), that the first occurrence of the Avestan term for ‘chaos’ didn’t have an immediate gloss. Similarly, my part (Recreating the Cosmos) included a number of mythological terms for the first plant, first animal, first man, which all seem to have etymologically-related names, but it wasn’t clear in the glossing whether the gloss was translation or explanation. Especially for linguistically minded people like me, that poses a danger of pulling me into my own headspace.

If it sounds like I’m nitpicking, it’s because I am: Rev. Avende’s ritual script was beautiful, and flowed smoothly; it made an unfamiliar hearth culture feel present and welcome. My quibbles above are to take it from excellent to superlative!

Do you think the ritual accomplished it’s purpose? Explain:

Indubitably. First, it assuredly marked the summer solstice: the DotO was absolutely aligned with the High Day, and Rev. Avende’s script tied her attributes back to the summer’s heat and life that we could feel and see all around us. Second, it also achieved the subtextual goals of building community and offering a space for attendees to celebrate the Kindreds and each other in all our great diversity — by welcoming difference, it bound us and the spirits more tightly in a web of care and community. It was one of the more powerful rites I’ve attended this year, and I’m quite glad to have been a part of it.

Evaluation 3

(contact info removed for privacy)

Purpose…

Our stated purpose for the rite was to celebrate the Summer Solstice, to honor the Kindreds, and to honor and give sacrifice to Ardvi Sura Anahita. The Folk did indeed bring honor and praise for the three Kindreds, as well as the Summer Solstice appropriate Deity of the Occasion Anahita, and received Blessings in return during this Avestan Rite. As a bonus, we learned about worship within a hearth culture that was new to nearly everyone who participated in this fully scripted celebration.

I very much enjoyed the ritual that began with offering to Atar, the Great Fire, with purification by washing our hands, and with an Outdwellers treaty. It was noted the Avenstans called to the Earth itself, not an Earth Mother, followed by calling to a deity of inspiration (Haoma) and the attunement. Recreating the cosmos and calling Beaver as the gate keeper continued the fire-in-the-waters theme, and then the gates were opened with well, fire, and tree imagery. General praise offerings by the Folk followed the Kindreds invitations, and offerings to Anahita were brought forth after evoking her. After the Prayer of Sacrifice (my part) came the unusual method of water scrying for taking an Omen. The Blessings were passed on to the Folk through drinking Hallowed Waters. The Spirits called upon were thanked, the gates were closed, Beaver, Haoma, and the Earth were thanked. The rite was ended.

Propitious…

There was excellent preparation for the rite, as evidenced by pre-arrangement of roles and tasks, discussion of the purpose and structure of the rite, and the availability of a full written version of the script (if we had not printed our part or had no electronic access). Jan provided effective coaching for the process and flow of the rite, as well as any parts assigned, before and during the rite. Jan adapted well to any difficulties that arose, handling changes that had to be made smoothly and gracefully.

There was also valuable assistance rendered as instruction on performance blocking, with personalized attention given to participants regarding specific questions. Jan exhibited a good understanding of individual Grove member’s aptitudes for liturgy, their current level of confidence with performance, and their willingness to stretch beyond that comfort level – and, encourage us to stretch she did! Everyone present participated in some way beyond just making personal offerings, even if it was only to use the suggested bookend phrase, “___ , for your brightness and your glory, I offer you a sacrifice,” which sounded very good and right as it was included in nearly every part spoken and in the praise offerings of so many of the Folk. It’s one of those things that quite beautifully knits a ritual together.

Along with fulfilling its ritual purpose, each part provided some information/education about the Avestan entity addressed and/or the way the Avestans might have approached their worship. I think this is one of the duties of those who lead our ritual celebrations – to teach us something of the peoples who have gone before and the deities they worshiped. Sometimes we do that in the pre-ritual briefing, sometimes through ritual storytelling strategically placed in a rite, or, as in this case, quite handily through the carefully worded liturgy itself. Even if I cannot connect with a ritual on any other level, if I come away with a new or different way to consider worship, I have “gained something in the work.”

Possibilities…

I love it when we try new things or take a new approach to things – like the water scrying for the Omen – though, it is inherently more difficult to connect with a method or approach used rarely or never before. The water scrying was completely appropriate to this rite, and this DotO, and I think it was a good call, even if it was uncomfortable as a participant to experience so much newness in one rite.

Offering to the Great Fire, Atar, and the washing of hands for each individual seemed to set the pace of this rite as somewhat slower and more word heavy than we might usually perform… though, again, both items (and all sections of the ritual) were completely appropriate to hearth culture/DotO, and were also a good call. There may or may not have been a goodly bit of wanting to get to the After-Feast in not wanting a ritual to drag on. To be fair, the lengthy liturgy was worth the information imparted.

Personal Favs…

Attunement – it seemed highly appropriate to a Summer Solstice Rite as it involved the Sun and the Waters showing how they combine to form a multitude of colors, and yet also coalesce into one unified white light… I was proud to do this Attunement at the Three Cranes Grove Summer Solstice Rite the next weekend on Sunday morning at the annual Community Festival (ComFest) in Columbus OH.

Bookends – it does indeed enhance the aesthetics of a ritual for many people to use similar formats during their parts, right down to repeating specific wording as in the case of this bookend phrase.

Liturgical Writing Prayers

Prayers from Liturgical Writing 2

lighting a sacrificial fire:

“Calling Hestia”
I call out now to Hestia,
Goddess of the Hearth and Keeper of the Sacred Flame.
You burn ever bright within my heart,
and I ask now that you burn brightly upon my hearth.
A flame, kindled upon the earth, pillar of smoke reaching to the Heavens
that it may connect us to the realm above so our voices may be heard.
I make this first offering to you, Hestia,
as you prepare to accept the sacrifices made today
And see them carried to the mighty Theoi.
Hestia, be welcome here as you become the Good Fire around which I pray.

a meal blessing:

“A Children’s Mealtime Prayer”
Mother Earth gives us grain and bread
And all the food that keeps us fed.
Now the meal is about to start,
So we thank her from our heart.

remembering a recently-passed ancestor:

“For Dan’s Crossing” (Sept 10, 2014)
Beloved Dead, Ancient Wise, Ancestors:
One of our own begins his journey tonight.
He comes to join you, wrapped in Crane-feathered cloak.
Borne aloft to cross the veil by the sweet and gentle wings of Garanus,
And held safe and secure within those wings for the journey.
His passage has been paid by kith and kin
As we set his spirit free to join you.

Light the fires along the way,
To brighten his path as he travels.
Prepare the hall for a great feast,
To welcome him when he arrives.
Show him the way, and where to drink,
And guide him in this new role.
Watch over him as he makes this transition,
As he begins this adventure.

Dan, the Ancestors await, to greet you with joy in their hearts.
Fly now, and know you will be welcomed.
Fly now, and know we will celebrate your time with us.
Dan, farewell for now, and safe travels on your journey.

opening a Grove business meeting

As we gather tonight to continue the good work we do as a Grove,
Let us remember that all here are Children of the Earth.
As we speak, let our voices carry respect;
As we listen, let our ears hear honestly;
As we think, let our mind seek what is best for the community.
So be it!

for blessing a house

(the middle part of this borrows heavily from MJD’s work in the Crane Breviary “Anagantios Moon”)

*flame is kindled just before crossing the threshold of the house*

I call out to Hestia as I kindle this fire here,
that she may light and warm this hearth
and bring blessings for all who dwell here.
Hestia, as I enter this place, I ask that you enter with me
Filling this home with your light, protection, and hospitality.

*flame is carried to each room in the house, ending in the kitchen.
charm below is spoken in each room*

May this flame brighten the lives of those who dwell here,
May its light fill this space: from wall to wall, from ceiling to floor.

*upon entering the kitchen, light a new candle for the individual/family*

May this flame brighten the lives of all those who live or visit here,
May its light fill this home: each room from wall to wall, from ceiling to floor.
Hestia, flame kindled here on this hearth,
be welcome as the Good Fire as you light and warm this home.

The hearth kindled and brightened,
I call out now to Zeus Ktesios,
who protects the wealth and possessions of this home,
And to Oikoyro Ophi, who protects the individual/family in this home.
Strong Father of Justice, Faithful House Serpant,
enter this home where the Fire burns bright
and grant this hearth, home, and individual/family the blessings of bounty
as you lend your protection to all those who dwell here.
Let your power and protection be bound to this Oikos
for as long as they dwell here.

Journal Entry from Div, Trance, & Magic 2

Representative Journal Entry from Divination 2, Magic 2, or Trance 2

14 May 2014
Apollo Full Moon.
This was the Apollo full moon, so I wanted to bless our divination tools. Everyone was using sortilege so I had everyone pull one symbol from whatever system they use and give a brief interpretation. And it was awesome. We had something like 4 variations on sun and light, some in rebirth and new beginnings, some on gifts given or earned and some on the work of the journey. And then after everyone shared the meanings I wound them all together and it all fit so perfect.

Then we let the light radiate over and through our tools and into us. *shivers* the juju. It was awesome. There was that buzz inside yourself that happens when you really know the magic is working.

And, I totally forgot to turn on my recorder. I thought about it. Because I knew this would be a divination that wasn’t for me per say. And when it’s not for me its like a conduit and I don’t remember what I said. But it was awesome. And afterward each person was telling me how it all rang true so much for them. There’s bits and pieces, but it was not meant to be recorded apparently.

I wrote down all the symbols, so I can get close. (Nu, the strife-bearing gift; Sowilo, the sun/victory; Gebo, gift; Birch, new beginnings; Khi, fulfills the golden oracle; Gamma, Gaea the earth, ripe fruits of our labors; The Clinging, illumination and enlightenment; The magician, power/willpower and creativity; Eta, Helios who watches all watches you, the sun; 8 of Stones, apprenticeship and practice of skill; Ivy, the journey, guidance, and travel; 7 of Arrows, insecurity, and facing your doubts; Honeysuckle, lay down your burdens/have fun; Iota, there is sweat, work hard; Rebirth, new beginnings) But not the exact words that I said.

It was something like “with the bright like of the sun illuminating our path, we have been blessed with many gifts. It is now time to take these gifts and focus our willpower and creativity to work on and practice our skills as we set down our burdens so that we might pick up burdens anew as we, face our fears and set out on our new, enlightened path”

Everything just seemed to fit together so perfectly. The script for the working is below, and the whole thing was couched within the basic Hellenic COoR I use.

Set-up:
– all participants have divination tools
– three burning candles with enough space in the center for all tools to be placed OR if outside, space for everyone to stand around the Fire in a circle
– offerings of bay or oil

We come together now in the presence of all the Theoi, but most especially Apollo Mantikos, Apollo Aphetor. Prophetic One, Giver of Oracles.
Klûthi mou, Apollon! (Hear me, Apollo!)
Elthé moi, Apollon! (Come to me, Apollo!)
Deûro Mákar! (Hither, Blessed One!)

We come with our tools, and we come with open heart and empty mind. We ask that you give us the gift of the Mantis, and the gift of your blessing, that our Sight might be improved.

*All Speak Together or Call & Response*
Phoebos, Radiant One,
Shine your light down on me.
Mantikos, Prophetic One,
Send your truth down to me.
Aphetor, Oracle Giver
Send your wisdom down to me.
Proopsios, Farseeing One
Send you visions down to me
Leskhenorios, Converser
Send your voice down to me
Loxias, Speaker
Send your words down to me.
Pythian Apollo, of Delphi,
Let your Oracle speak through me.

*if all are using a sortilege, each person draws a single lot and interprets (otherwise each person seeks an omen in whatever manner they generally use); whoever took the rite’s omen should make sure they are drawing lots from the full set for the working*

We have received the blessings of [all omens].

Apollo Mantikos, Prophetic One,
I seek to know of these omens.
Let your truth be told through me.

Apollo Aphetor, Oracle Giver,
I seek to know of these gifts.
Let your wisdom flow through me.

Apollo Leskhenorios, Converser,
I seek to know of these messages.
Let your voice speak through me.

*Seer makes offering of Oil and/or bay*

These blessings and wisdom that we have received, when taken together, grant us [interpretation of all omens together]. Reflect a moment on these gifts and how they pertain to your Sight.

*pause*

We now take our tools of divination and ask that they be infused with the gifts we have received.

*tools are placed in the light of the fire*

*All Speak Together or Call & Response*
We stand at the center,
In the light of the moon, in its fullness,
And by the light of the Fire, and the truth it reveals.
We stand infused with the blessings,
In the presence of the Kindreds,
With open heart, and empty mind.
We call now for the powers of the Mantis (Seer)
to fill us, and radiate over our tools,
Blessing us with the gift of Sight.

*envision the fire’s light filling the tools to blinding capacity*

Fire, Bright Fire!
Light, Shining Light!
Truth, Radiant Truth!
(repeat 3x)

Our tools thus blessed, and our Sight thus confirmed.
We each now stand, mantis in our own right.

Esto!

Ethical Situations

Your answer to Ethics 2, exit standard 3, situation 5

As there are only 4 situations listed for Ethics 2, Question 3, I’m not sure which one is actually requested here, I’m including Situation 4, and you may find all my responses to the situations from that course here.

Ethics 2: Question 3: Situation 4
A young woman from your local Neo-Pagan community contacts you and expresses a desire to attend your Grove’s upcoming high day; however, she explains that she is in a wheel chair and has an uncontrolled seizure disorder. Another local Neo-Pagan group had explained to this individual that they were unable to accommodate her needs at this time. The young woman plans to bring her personal care attendant with her, but the attendant is opposed to Neo-Pagan beliefs and does not want to actually participate in the service and plans to wait outside the ritual area. Your regular outside ritual space is not readily handicap accessible and the ritual is planned for this outdoor space. What do you do?

a) Explain how you would utilize your problem solving process to resolve the situation. Discuss an effective resolution and why you believe the resolution would be effective (100 words minimum)

The problem that I identify for this situation is that the ritual space does not meet the woman’s needs. This is an issue of accessibility. Possible solutions may include telling the woman that we can’t accommodate her needs, moving or rearranging the current ritual space, or telling the woman that on this short notice we don’t have the ability to accommodate her needs, but will need time to make the space accessible to her wheelchair and invite her to the next public ritual. While the second option is the best option, if the space is already not handicap accessible, the likelihood of our Grove being able to make it so without switching locations on short notice (near impossible to do in our parks system) is very unlikely. Therefore, the most likely solution for this situation is to discuss with the woman what specific accessibility needs she has (ramps, distance from parking lot, etc.) and arrange for those accommodations to be made at the next ritual. Even if this particular woman does not show up again, it is an important modification to make regardless.

b) Discuss how your personal Code of Ethics was utilized in the resolution of the issue presented. (100 words minimum)

My own personal Code of Ethics relates to my resolution regarding this situation in a couple of ways. First, “I will lead others to the flame” means in part that I will do what I am able to do in order to ensure that all can experience the relationship they desire with the Kindreds. Second, “I will be kind to someone.” This situation goes beyond mere kindness in my opinion and is more akin to civil rights. Being kind means that I will grant all basic human rights to individuals, and this means as a Priest I should provide access to a person’s desire to experience this spirituality as much as I am able (Avende). My decision relates to the Clergy Council Code of Ethics in multiple aspects. Under Service, “The Priest has a responsibility to provide service to the Folk.” This does not specify which Folk are worthy of expending the effort to provide service. Additionally, the Clergy Council Code of Ethics specifically focuses on non-discrimination, stating “The Priest has a responsibility to promote inclusivity, diversity, and non-discrimination; additionally, our clergy should promote the respect, self-worth, and dignity of individuals” (ADF Clergy Council). This means that we have a duty to make an attempt to provide reasonable accommodations for all members and potential members of our community.

c) Discuss whether you would consider the situation to be an “ethical dilemma?” Why or why not? (100 words minimum)

This is not an ethical dilemma because it doesn’t conflict with either my personal Code of Ethics or with the Clergy Council Code of Ethics. This may be a difficult situation, depending on what kind of accommodations are needed, and it may be an awkward conversation with both the woman, and perhaps with her non-Pagan caretaker, but it is not an ethical dilemma. Every person has a right to pursue the spiritual path that they feel called for, and they have a right to expect reasonable accommodation to be made for that if they have a disability. It may take some work and some time to figure out how to meet those needs, but it is not an ethical dilemma.