Tag Archives: 3CG

Certificate of Ministry!!!

Look what finally came in the mail this weekend!  Yay!

Certificate of Ministry

Be it known to all that Rev. Jan Avende, having fulfilled the educational requirements of Ar nDraiocht Fein, and having demonstrated exceptional leadership talents, is now an ADF Priest, with all the rights and obligations thereunto pertaining.

The actual ordination ceremony is scheduled to happen at the Summerland Gathering in Yellow Springs, OH on Saturday, August 15th.  The ritual is free of charge and open to the public.

Wisteria Summer Solstice 2015 – Closing Rite

This year at Wisteria Summer Solstice, Three Cranes Grove, ADF was again asked to lead several rituals throughout the festival. We did the opening rite, the main summer solstice rite, and the closing rite. We were asked to tie all three rituals together. The theme of the festival this year was “Weaving Deeper Roots.” The Opening and Closing both take more of a devotional format, and the Main Summer Solstice Rite follows the ADF Core Order of Ritual. I had the pleasure of writing the liturgy and leading these rituals with my grove mates. Here is the script for the Closing Rite:

Statement of Purpose
Well, we’ve made it through a wonderful festival weekend, and in spite of the torrential rains, we’ve grown closer as a community. Perhaps even in part due to the weather. It’s important to remember that even as the rain pounds down, it nourishes the Earth, it nourishes the Land, and it nourishes us. Even as we are soaked to the bone, it drives us closer together. We seek shelter together and our roots grow stronger.

Now, as the sun has returned in full Solstice force today, the Waters we’ve gained are warmed within us and across the Land. Breath deep, and take a moment to feel the Waters within as the warmth of this Summer Solstice sun brightens in them and in you.

Restoration of the Ordinary
This Heart Fire was lit on Thursday from three Sacred Fires: The Fire of Fellowship, the Fire of Inspiration, and the Fire of Blessing. It has been tended by all of us: one Tribe, one Community, One Folk. From this Fire the other fires throughout the festival were lit and joined: PawPaw, Pirate’s Cove, the Stone Circle, and many others. All connected as one, helping us build fellowship, inspiring us, and filling us with the blessings of the spirits and our community. Those fires have been brought back to this Fire, the Heart Fire, that they may be joined together as one once more. Here at this Center they all burn. Here at this Center our roots meet and we are one.

It is now time to remember the connections we’ve made, and the ties we have deepened with our tribe, and to say goodbye for another year. Our roots have grown strong and we have danced around the fire with the Spirits. Now we thank them for joining us around this Good Fire and in our revelry this weekend.

Thanking the Spirits
Ancestors, the Children of the Earth call out to you!
Those of our blood and my 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.
We joined in Fellowship this weekend, and remembered our roots.
We came together as one Tribe, one Community, one Folk,
and continued our observance of the Elder Ways.
For joining us, Ancestors, we make this offering to you in thanks.
May we continue to be guided by your wisdom and blessed by your presence in our lives.
Ancestors, we thank you!

Spirits of Nature, the Children of the Earth call out to you!
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.
We were inspired by you this weekend.
We supported each other as the rains fell, and raised our voices to the heavens in prayer and praise.
We came together as one Tribe, one Community, one Folk,
and continued our observance of the Elder Ways.
For joining us, Sprits of Nature, we make this offering to you in thanks.
May we continue to be guided by your wisdom and blessed by your presence in our lives.
Sprits of Nature, we thank you!

Shining Gods and Goddesses, the Children of the Earth call out to you!
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 in our path.
Those of the Underworld, who care for our dead and know the riches of the earth.
Those Patrons, who take special interest in us and we worship with our heart, mind, and soul,
Devotees honoring you as you care for us.
We raised our arms, our branches, to the sky in unison and made offerings to you this weekend
and we received your Blessings in return.
We came together as one Tribe, one Community, one Folk,
and continued our observance of the Elder Ways.
For joining us, Shining Gods and Goddesses, we make this offering to you in thanks.
May we continue to be guided by your wisdom and blessed by your presence in our lives.
Shining Gods and Goddesses, we thank you!

Sending out the Heart Fire
The Three Kindreds, these many and varied and vibrant Spirits, we’ve now thanked for joining us this weekend in our revelry. Their roots have been woven into ours, and so now we’d like to make it so that we can all take a piece of this Fire home with us.

This is the heart fire of this festival. It has burned bright and strong here, and now, transferring it to these candles we send the Spirit of the Fire to live in these smaller flames.
In this Heart Fire lives the Heart of our Tribe, our Community, our Folk.
When we are missing our Tribe,
we can light this fire and reignite our Fellowship and reconnect our roots.
When we hear that one of our Tribe is hurting or in need of support,
we can light this fire and reignite our Fellowship and reconnect our roots.
When we need the inspiration of our Tribe,
we can light this fire and reignite our Fellowship and reconnect our roots.

So as this flame ignites your candle, let it also ignite in your heart. Feel the heat of the sun warm you as you hold this flame. Feel that warmth spread through you and the energy connect to the flame in your hand, the flame in your heart, and the flame in the Heart Fire here. Know that they are connected.

Dousing the Heart Fire
Now that we have this Heart Fire that we have tended burning in our own hearts, and have the ability to rekindle it for ourselves and each other, even in the darkest of times, the time has come to say goodbye for now, and douse these flames here.

So, even though the Fire may go out here, in this time and in this place, may it always burn ever strong within our hearts.

Go now in peace, carrying this Fire of Fellowship, Inspiration, and Blessing with you. Remember that we have woven our roots together as one Tribe, one Community, on Folk, and that we are all brightened by this same bright Fire.

Safe travels one and all as we journey on until we meet again!

Wisteria Summer Solstice 2015 – Opening Rite

This year at Wisteria Summer Solstice, Three Cranes Grove, ADF was again asked to lead several rituals throughout the festival. We did the opening rite, the main summer solstice rite, and the closing rite. We were asked to tie all three rituals together. The theme of the festival this year was “Weaving Deeper Roots.” The Opening and Closing both take more of a devotional format, and the Main Summer Solstice Rite follows the ADF Core Order of Ritual. I had the pleasure of writing the liturgy and leading these rituals with my grove mates. Here is the script for the Opening Rite:

Statement of Purpose
Welcome! We’re here to light the heart fire that will burn throughout the festival. This is a community flame. It is the hearth of our tribe, and it burns within us all. We gather together each year at this time when the sun rides high in the sky and shines brightly upon us all, filling us with the brightness and warmth of the summer sun.

Establishing Sacred Space
We are all Children of the Earth and here we weave out roots together. We may travel from all over, journeying through land, sea, and sky. Bringing those Spirits with us to share in our joy, revelry, and love. From all the realms we journey here to the Center, to meet around the fire at this sacred time and place.

Welcoming the Spirits
Three fires burn now to help us call to the Spirits and kindle the Sacred Fire at the Center of Worlds, where all space and all time blends together.
Here stands the Fire of Fellowship. As we forge the bonds of community and weave our roots together, let us call to the Ancestors…
Ancestors!
Those of our blood and my 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 to and to you we sing praises.
By the Fire of Fellowship, 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!

Here stands the Fire of Inspiration. As we meld our voices as one, and uphold each other’s trunks, let us call to the Spirits of Nature…
Spriits 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 to and to you we sing praises.
By the Fire of Inspiration, 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!

Here stands the Fire of Blessing. As we make offerings together and all stretch our branches to the sky, let us call to the Shining Gods and Goddesses…
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 in 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 to and to you we sing praises!
By the Fire of Blessing, 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!

Hallowing and Lighting the Fire
Now with the Three Kindreds called, we hallow these Three Fires.
Fire of Fellowship, burn bright and strong!
Fire of Inspiration, burn bright and strong!
Fire of Blessing, burn bright and strong!
Join together, light the heart fire, and burn bright and strong throughout the festival as the Children of the Earth weave our roots together and into the Land.
Children of Earth, Kindreds, Spirits all! Behold the Heart Fire!
Let it burn bright, sacred, and strong, building fellowship between us, inspiring us, and blessing us all!
This fire is for our community, for our tribe. We will all tend it throughout the weekend, as it burns bright within us all.
Go now in peace as the heart fire burns, and revel in our community as we have come home!

Alliance with the Spirits of Fire

Breathe deep, finding your center. Let your body relax.  Breathe deep, feeling the tension drain from your shoulders. Breathe deep, feeling the tension drain from your face. Breathe deep, feeling the tensions drain from you arms and legs. Breathe deep, feeling the tension drain from your hands and feet. Breathe deep, and just be for a moment. 

*Pause*
Calm now, at peace and centered, see in your minds eye mists rolling in around you, the wisps licking across your skin and obscuring your vision. Allow yourself to exist for a moment in this liminal space, expanding and reaching out for clarity without seeing. 
*Pause*
A figure begins to solidify in the mists: it is Garanus Crane. See him standing before you in the shallows of the waters, ever-watchful. One foot upon the land, one foot in the water, eye raised towards the sky. This is the Crane you know. Go to him and reconnect before we begin our journey. 
*Pause*
Now go with Garanus as he leads you away into the darkness of the night.  You journey on until you glimpse in the distance a light. As you near it it grows and you see it is a flame, glowing and flickering with warmth and power. Garanus gives you a bag as you arrive at the edge of the firelight.  In it are offerings for the fire. You hold on to it, knowing you will need them later. As he waits at the edge of the firelight, standing ever watchful, you walk towards the flame. Find a comfortable place to sit by it. This is the fire of your hearth. The fire of your community. The fire of sacrifice. Let its glow wash over you. 
*Pause*
The colors of the fire ripple and dance in and out. See the spirits of the Fire as they reveal themselves. These are the spirits of your home, who cleanses and blesses your space. The spirits of your community who strengthen the ties amongst the Folk. The spirits of sacrifice, who carry your offerings to the gods. As you watch the spirits of the flames, see the colors dance in your mind’s eye. See the white hot spark of inspiration. See the warm orange glow of the burning hearth fire. See the bright yellow spirit of dance and joy. See the deep red glow of community. See the brilliant blue flame that is focused in the night. See the rippling black across the embers. See the shining lights of colors that only you have seen.  Listen to the crackle and pop of the fire as the spirits call out to you. 
*Brief Pause*
Now take up the bag of offerings that Garanus gave you and walk to the fire. See and hear the colored fire-spirit that calls to you, and give them these gifts. Be with this spirit as they take up your offerings, burning and consuming them. Feel their warmth as they come to you and dance around your limbs. Listen as they whisper their secrets to you, telling you of blessings and sharing their wisdom. As you take this time to commune with them, remember to ask for a name so that you may call them again, and what offerings they would prefer you give. Now: listen. 
*Begin sounds for trance journey work (240 bpm drumming) ~15min*
See now the fire dying down, still hot, but reaching its end. Be sure you have asked your fire spirit for a name so you can call on them again, and then bid them farewell. 
*Brief pause*
Step away from the flames and head back towards the edge of the firelight, where you see Garanus patiently waiting for you, and ready to carry you home. You go with him, back into the darkness, and journey on until you again reach the place of mists where the land, waters, and sky meet.  Thank Garanus Crane, and bid him farewell. 
*Brief pause*
See in your minds eye the mists thicken again, the wisps licking across your skin and obscuring your vision.  Breathe deep and become again aware of your hands and feet. Breathe deep and become again aware of your arms and legs. Breathe deep and become again aware of yourself. See the mists roll back as you again exist in this place. Open your eyes and reconnect to this space. 
 

Grief is…

Loss is weird. It is silencing. It is listening. It is support. it is grieving. It is numb. It is every emotion rushing back in to fill that void all at once. It is ripples. It is a network. It is the darkness. It is a flickering spark. It is empty. It is full. It is shock. It is heavy.

The world lost a beautiful soul this weekend. Bess was a flame that shone so brightly that you could see her glow, and feel her light whenever Anna Gail spoke of her. I heard stories about her long before I met her. I had that pleasure when she came to Columbus last year. She scooped up Tally, and played with her, and loved her like family. Her bright heart and bright spirit and unfailing courage are phenomenal, and will be dearly missed. As Traci has declared: when we do something brave, from here on out, we will be “pulling a Bess.”

When I went to the memorial on Sunday night, I was not expecting to speak. I didn’t think I had the words to do it, everything felt numb and empty. I did. I don’t remember what I said. Not exactly. I know when I called to the Spirits of the Land I called them all. I called to the laughter of our loved ones in the trees. I called to the breath of our loved ones in the wind. I called to the tears of our loved ones in the rain. I called to the warmth of our loved ones in the sun. I called to the Earth, who cradles us all, always.

As the ripples from her death spread, like a shockwave, I recognize the numbness I felt at first, the shock. And now, as the dust is settling I’m seeing how much has been knocked down, and shattered. As this tragedy spreads through our family and community, please take a moment to read this, giving you some words to say (and not say).  Additionally, there is some good information here on supporting those in grief.

Prometheia

Processional- 

Song: “Journey to the Temenos” by Jan Avende

Children of the Earth

Journey to the Temenos.

In reverence and mirth

We join our hearts as one.

 

We’ll make offerings

As our voices sing

To the Kindreds here

That our hearts hold dear.

 

Purification- (written by Jan Avende)

*Celebrants will cleanse hands in a bowl of salt water, and dry on a clean white cloth.*

 

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 in this sacred space.

 

Opening Statements- (written by Jan Avende)

Children of Earth, we come together today, the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice, to celebrate Prometheia, honoring the Mighty Titan Prometheus.  It is fitting that we honor him today, as the Sun rides high in the Sky, burning bright for all to see.  Prometheus is friend to all mankind, having stolen the Divine Fire for us, so that we may live in comfort and joy, and be joined together through the community that the Fire offers us.  With our focus on Community this weekend, joined together here at ComFest, let us honor the Kindreds with reverence and love in our hearts.

 

Opening Prayer: (Three Cranes Liturgy)

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.

 

Hestia- (written by Jan Avende)

The Children of the Earth call out to Hestia!

First born and last born,

you are the Lady of our Hearth and Heart.

Your fire burns strong in us,

And we ask that it burn brightly here on our hearth now.

Hestia, sweet fire maiden,

Join us here.  Be our good fire and sanctify our hearth.

Warm us and light our way.

Hestia, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Hestia, accept our sacrifice!

 

Earth Mother- (written by Jan Avende)

The Children of the Earth call out to Gaea, the Earth Mother!

Great Gaea, you who gave life at the beginning of all things,

You who ground us in your soil and sustain our being.

Through you, all the children of the earth are blessed in their harvests,

Through you, are all creatures given life.

You are Ge, the Earth, and Gaea, the mother,

O Holy Goddess and Bountiful Spirit,

We delight in your rich earth

and sing to your bones.

Gaea, Earth Mother,

Meet us at the boundaries.

Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our good fire.

Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Gaea, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Gaea, accept our sacrifice!

 

Surrounding Sea- (written by Jan Avende)

The Children of the Earth call out to Okeanos, the Surrounding Sea!

You who encircle the Earth with your nine shining streams.

Bull-horned god, you drench us in calm and understanding,

In magic and mystery.

From your waves you share with us love and beauty.

You guide the rising and setting of the stars.

Father of river, wells, and springs,

Your serpentine form wraps the powers of the waters around us all.

Okeanos, Surrounding Sea,

Meet us at the boundaries.

Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our good fire.

Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Okeanos, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Okeanos, accept our sacrifice!

 

Sky Father- (written by Jan Avende)

The Children of the Earth call out to Ouranos, Brilliant Sky Father,

You who shine down your wisdom,

Who drape us in your star-studded cloak,

Your primal forces breathe life into us.

Air and Sky, whirling and swirling, calling us

to the beginning and end of all.

Starry Heaven, covering all the Earth in your power.

Your azure form that knowns no bounds,

Whom none can tame as you whisper the world to life.

Ouranos, Sky Father,

Meet us at the boundaries.

Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our good fire.

Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Ouranos, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Ouranos, accept our sacrifice!

 

Inspiration- (written by Jan Avende)

The Children of the Earth call out to the Muses Nine!

You of verse, history and emotion: Kalliope, Klieo, Erato.

You who dance and act: Terpsikhore, Melpomene, Thalia.

You of science and prophecy: Euterpe, Ourania.

You who sing through me the hymns of my heart: Polyhymnia.

Sweet-voiced Muses: Meet us at the boundaries.

Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our good fire.

Kindle the Fires of Inspiration in us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Muses, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Muses, accept our sacrifice!

 

Two Powers- (written by Jan Avende)

Children of Earth, take a moment to calm your mind and body. Breathe deep and close your eyes. Listen to the sound of your own breathing. Hear your heartbeat thrumming inside you. Pause for a second and just listen.

 

***Pause***

 

See in your mind‘s eye where you stand now and picture yourself walking away from where you are.

You‘re walking towards a deep and old forest. Feel the cool, damp earth on your feet. As you enter the forest feel a cool breeze brush your cheek, refreshing in this summer heat.

 

Notice the sounds around you. A gentle rustling of leaves, perhaps from the wind, perhaps made by a squirrel bounding by. Notice the sunlight dappling across your face. The joys of summer caressing your face, filling your soul.

 

As you are walking deeper and deeper into the forest you suddenly come upon a clearing. There is a small pond in the middle of the glade surrounded by trees around the water‘s edge. One of these trees calls to you and you glide over to it. Place you hands on the trunk and feel the rough bark against your palm. Feel the ancient wisdom emanating from it.

 

Turn and place your back against the tree. Feel yourself sinking into it, becoming part of the tree. Feel your toes mix with the roots twinning down into the earth. Allow you mind to follow those roots and tendrils as they creep ever deeper, until suddenly they plunge into the cool deep waters far below the surface of the earth. Use the knowledge of the tree to pull those waters up through your roots. Feel them approaching you, up and up, until they reach your toes.

 

Feel the waters pulsing up through your toes and heels, moving up your legs and pooling in your groin. Feel them surging up into your chest and down your arms. Feel your branches swelling and cool waters seeping into your fingers, your leaves. Feel the waters rush up and fountain out the crown of your head, your uppermost branches and leaves, and come cascading back down into the earth to soak back down cooling your roots again. Having taken your fill, feeling replenished, allow those cool, dark waters to bleed back down into the earth.

 

Again feel the wind brush through your hair, your leaves. Feel as the sunlight shines down on you, brightening and invigorating you. Allow your leaves to take in that bright, golden light. Let it convert to pure energy and infuse your head and chest with light and energy. Let it saturate your branches and flow into your finger leaves. Feel as it washes down through your groin and flows down you legs and energizes you down to your roots. Having absorbed as much light as your body will hold, let the remainder reflect back off you, back into the sky.

 

Feel how the combination of the cool waters and the bright light mixes within your body. Feel how it mingles and brings a new awareness to every essence of yourself. Let your attention drift over yourself from your roots, to your trunk, and on up to your leaves.

 

Let a breath of wind catch one of your leaves and watch as it drifts downward to land fall lightly into the pond. Watch as the water ripples outward from this light touch. Allow your awareness to follow this ripple outward and see as it collides with other, similar ripples. As you follow those to their source you see that they also come from fallen leaves.

 

Now seeing all these leaves in the water creating ripples that touch and rebound off your own, you notice all the other trees surrounding the pond. Reach out your awareness and sense that these trees are all part of this grove. Reach out and feel that you are not alone in this glade, but rather you are surrounded by the warmth of your kin. You are all here together.

 

Take a moment and allow this feeling of togetherness and oneness to soak into your mind, your heart, your bones and your soul. Listen to the breathing of those around you. Your hearts beat as one now.

 

***Pause***

 

With this new realization that you are here among family, you begin to disconnect your self from the tree, just as all those around you do. Wiggle your toes and separate them from the roots. Wiggle your fingers and feel the leaves fall away. Roll you shoulders, allowing you to step out of the tree and once again become your own self.

 

As you now look around you see that while before you came to this glade alone, you now are leaving among friends. It is time now to turn away from the glade and walk back out of the forest. Listen, as before, to the sounds around you. You can now hear the laughter of friends, and you feel now not just the warmth of the sun, but the warmth of companionship. As you break out of the forest and head back towards your body here, keep that feeling that you are now one with the people around you.

Now, step back into your body and take deep breath to settle yourself back in. Wiggle your fingers and toes. Now begin moving your arms and legs just a little as you feel yourself come back to this place. Here, among kinfolk, we may now move on with the work we have for today.

 

All:

“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.”  

(- Ceisiwr Serith)

 

Recreate the Cosmos & Place the Omphalos- (written by Jan Avende)

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.

 

Standing here at the Center, it is now time to Open the Gates to the Many Realms.

 

 

Opening the Gates- (written by Jan Avende)

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!

 

Gatekeeper- (written by Jan Avende)

We now seek assistance in maintaining our connection to the Other Realms, and so we call on a Gatekeeper:

 

The children of the Earth call out to Atlas,

Great guardian who holds the earth and sky asunder.

You stand as the axis mundi, amongst the pillars connecting the many realms.

Driving the stars before you as the very heavens revolve around you.

Your feet know the depths of the sea and you hands the clouds of the sky.

Mighty Mountain, with your starry crown,

I make this offering to you and bid you welcome.

Meet us at the boundaries

Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our good fire.

Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Atlas, accept this sacrifice!

 

All: Atlas, accept this sacrifice!

 

And now, Atlas, I call to you and ask that you act as our Great Guardian here.

Be our Star Crowned and Earth Shod Pillar.

Be the Mountain that holds the earth and heavens asunder.

Hold our axis mundi firm and maintain our connection to all the realms.

Atlas, Guard the Gates!

 

All: Atlas, Guard the Gates!

 

Children of Earth, The Gates now stand open and protected.  Let only truth be spoken here.

 

We have come together today for the Summer Solstice, where the sun stands at its brightest in the sky, and it is right and proper that we do as our Ancestors did before us, and honor the Kindreds on this holy day.

 

Who calls to the Ancestors?

 

Ancestors- (written by Jan Avende)

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, Seers, Priests, and Bards.

Apotheothenai, Heroes among the ancestors who have shaped our world.

It is to you we call out to and to you whom we make sacrfice.

You have taught us the ways of old and given us the path to walk,

You have toiled and worked so that we might grow in our gifts,

And bring strength and love to our community.

Ancestors, Mighty Dead,

Meet us at the boundaries.

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 sacrifice!

 

All: Ancestors all, accept our sacrifice!

 

Children of Earth, see in your minds eye the Ancestors stepping out from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire.

 

Who calls to the Nature Spirits?

 

Nature Spirits- (written by Jan Avende)

The Children of the Earth call out the Spirits of Nature!

To the spirits of soil and stream,

To the spirits of stone and tree,

To the spirits of fur, flesh, fin, and feather,

To all those spirits who dwell amongst us

as Protectors, Guides, and Helpers, we call to you!

Dryades and Naiades, dwelling in forest and stream,

Oeriades and Nephalai, dwelling in mountains and clouds,

Lampades and Haliai, dwelling in cave and sea,

Nymphai, Mysterious Spirits who care for all our realms,

we walk amongst your blessings and listen to your sweet songs.

You who, through your living, teach us the ways to honor the Earth.

Spirits of nature, Nymphs of all the realms,

Meet us at the boundaries.

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 sacrifice!

 

All: Spirits of nature, accept our sacrifice!

 

Children of Earth, see in your minds eye the Nature Spirits stepping out from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire.

 

Who calls to the Shining Ones?

 

Shining Ones- (written by Jan Avende)

The Children of the Earth call out to the Shining Ones,

Bright and shining Theoi,

Mighty Gods and Goddesses on high.

You wise seers and honey-tongued bards,

Shining your light of knowledge and inspiration down on us.

You courageous warriors and skilled crafters,

giving us virtues to strive for and tools for our work.

You hearth tenders and grain guarders,

providing for us each and every day.

Mighty Titans, lighting the Fire of our Fathers,

we are forever indebted to you.

Brilliant deities of land, sea, and sky,

your brightness illuminates our lives.

We hear your voices echoes across our souls,

As you walk with us, guiding us, each day.

Theoi, Shining Ones,

Meet us at the boundaries.

Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our good fire.

Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Theoi, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Theoi, accept our sacrifice!

 

Children of Earth, see in your minds eye the Shining Ones appearing from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire.

 

DotO Prometheus- (written by Jan Avende)

Surrounded now by all the Kindreds, we call out especially on this day to Prometheus.

 

Prometheus, flame-haired Foresight and friend of mankind

The Children of the Earth call out to you!

Sculpting our flesh from the banks of the sacred River Styx

You made us: Children of the Earth and starry Sky.

You see the future, and know what may come.

You stole the Divine Fire, the Sun itself,

Giving us this gift of Fire, knowing the cost to you.

Through you we know the ways of the land,

We gather together as community, bound together by your gift,

Though this gift yet binds you to the Earth.

The Fire, burning light of the Stars, burning light of the Sun,

Meant only for the Gods.

You won it for us, your Children.

Your fiery spirit burns hot and strong,

sharing its heat with us here on Earth.

Flame-haired trickster, and Mighty Titan.

Your wisdom shines brightly down upon us

As the Sun rides high in the Sky today.

Prometheus, you who sacrificed for us

So that we may sacrifice for you and all the Gods.

We call out to know and honor you this day!

Come, be warmed at our Fire, that we have kept burning for you,

Join us at our Sacred Hearth, that we would not have if not for you,

Meet us here at this time when the Fire is strongest,

And continue to aid and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Prometheus, Fiery Titan,

Accept our Sacrifice!

 

All: Prometheus, accept our sacrifice!

 

Have the Folk brought praise?

 

All: We have!

 

Then come forth now and make your offerings!

 

(Praise Offerings)- 

Song: “Come Pray With Me”

(Music: Traditional                  Lyrics: Jan Avende)

 

A Fire lit with piety in the center of the rite

The Druids pray around it, around the fire’s light.

They call to the Gods and Goddesses so bright.

Sing praise you joyous pagans, and come pray with me!

 

Sacred Waters far below, flow into our Well

With our voices raised together, our song will surely swell.

Remember all our Heroes, their stories we’ll tell.

Sing praise you joyous pagans, and come pray with me!

 

CHORUS

So it’s into the Grove, and beside the Tree

Come you pious pagans, and make your offering

Let’s honor the Kindreds of Earth, Sky, and Sea

Sing praise you joyous pagans, and come pray with me!

 

Standing tall and strong is the all-connecting Tree

Beneath its arching branches we stand in harmony

Honoring the spirits so wild and free.

Sing praise you joyous pagans, and come pray with me!

 

CHORUS

 

We pagans all together still long for the day

When we’ll honor the Earth upon which we lay.

She holds us forever, in her arms we’ll stay.

Sing praise you joyous pagans, and come pray with me!

 

CHORUS x3

 

Final Sacrifice- (written by Jan Avende)

We have made many offerings this day.

See now as they burn, smoke rising to the heavens.

See now as they sink, into the depths of the well.

See now as they traverse all the realms and are delivered to the Spirits we have called.

We now make one last offering, one final sacrifice,

to honor the Sprits and ensure our gifts are received.

Prometheus, Kindreds All, Accept this Sacrifice!

 

All: Prometheus, Kindreds All, accept this sacrifice!

 

Omen- (written by Jan Avende)

Having given offerings to the Kindreds, we now seek to know what blessings and advice they give us in return.

 

*Seer crushes and makes an offering bay*

 

Apollo Mantikos guide my hand.

See with my eyes, Hear with my ears, and Speak with my voice.

What blessings or wisdom do we receive…

 

From the Ancestors…

From the Natures Spirits…

From the Shining Ones…

 

Waters- (written by Jan Avende)

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!

 

All: Shining Ones, Give us the Waters!

 

We ask for The Waters of Community.

We call forth these Waters from the Well of Fellowship.

We draw these Waters forth, to sparkle in the air about us,

That we may feel their cool mist surround us,

And quench our thirst in the Summer’s heat with their blessings!

Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

 

All: 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!

 

All: 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 their blessings grow in strength, just as the sun has cycled to its greatest power today,

Let the blessings shine with the brilliant power akin to this Summer Solstice Sun.

Theoi! Shine your blessing down upon us, and fill our Sacred Cup.

 

When we share these Waters

We share our own wisdom and love.

We prepare to do the good work of the Kindreds in the world.

We prepare to grow and nurture the community in which we live.

 

Shining Ones: Hallow these Waters!

 

All: Shining Ones: Hallow these Waters!

 

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!

 

All: Behold, the Waters of Life!

 

Receiving the Blessing

*waters are passed and quaffed*

 

“Blessings in the Waters” (by Traci Auerbach)

May the power of the Kindreds be shown to me.

May the omens and the blessings be shown through me.

May the blessings in the waters fill my soul.

May the wisdom of the Kindreds make me whole.

 

Working- Receiving the gift of fire and community from Prometheus

Story: The Finding of Fire (retelling of Hesiod, written by Thexalon)

 

In the earliest days of the world, there Gods, and there were Beasts, and there were Men. The Men feared the Gods, because the Gods were much older and much wiser than Men. And the Men feared the Beasts, because the Beasts were faster and stronger than Men could hope to be. Sometimes the Beasts would attack the Men’s village, and the Gods would send hail or drought, and the Men suffered. So the Men came together in council, and decided to leave tribute for the Gods and Beasts in the hopes that they would be left in peace.

 

The built a high altar and left trinkets for the Gods, and left food for the Beasts in the nearby forest. The Gods seemed to listen to the Men, and sent no more hail or drought, but the Beasts did not understand Men’s gifts and continued to attack the Men. And so the Men suffered still.

 

One of the Gods was named “Foresight”, and it was his job to observe and predict what would happen. He had an idea, and went to the king of the Gods to explain it:

“Ah, sir, you see how those Men down there keep offering us gifts? Perhaps we could make them our allies by helping them against the Beasts.”

“Why do we need allies? We’re Gods, and the Men have nothing we care about.”

“Not even the occasional dalliance?”

“You leave my private life out of this! And don’t tell my wife! Now listen, remember why I’m in charge here? I overthrew my father and his crew. He overthrew his father and his crew. These Men are our children – what do you think would happen to us if they got too strong? We cannot help them, and that’s all there is to it.”

“But wouldn’t it be nice to have Men down there happily doing what we want? We could enjoy more of their gifts, watch their triumphs in our name, …”

“Enough! You are forbidden to do anything to help them, do you understand?”

But Foresight had known what the king might say, and he had a plan. He went to the highest parts of the heavens, and took a small piece of the Fire he found there, and headed down to the Earth to give it to the Men.

 

But the king of the Gods noticed what Foresight was doing, and knew he had to stop Foresight from delivering his gift. He sent a storm, and flung a lightning bolt *KABOOM!* at Foresight. The king then rushed to where Foresight was, grabbed him and dragged him to the far ends of the Earth, and chained Foresight to a rock, and sent a bird to peck at him every day.

 

Some Men heard the commotion, and came to investigate what had happened. There they discovered Fire, still burning, forgotten on the battlefield. They were scared of it at first, but decided this might be useful, took it back to their village, and tended it, and cared for it. The Fire kept them warm, it allowed them to see at night, and the next time the Beasts attacked the Men brought out pieces of Fire and scared the Beasts away, and the Men could prosper.

 

Generations went by, with Men becoming stronger and wiser with the help of the Fire. And one day, a great hero of Men was wandering the Earth when he discovered Foresight, still chained to the rock.

“I was wondering when you would get here!”

“How did you know I was coming?”

“Listen, I am Foresight, and I knew that if I helped Men one day Men would find me, and help me in return.”

“But why are you chained here?”

“That’s not important right now. If you release me, I will be an aid to Men henceforth.”

“But how do I get you out? If these chains are too strong for you, a God, surely they are too strong for me.”

“Remember the tool that saved you from the Beasts? Try that.”

The hero took the Fire bundle from his pack, and rekindled it near the chain. As the chain heated, it became weaker, and Foresight and the hero pulled and bent and tugged until Foresight was free.

 

Foresight was good to his word. And so now, if you have a difficult decision to make, sit quietly by the Fire and listen carefully – the voice of Foresight will whisper from the flame and tell you the path of wisdom.

 

Working: Receiving the gift of fire and community from Prometheus (written by Jan Avende)

 

*a tea light is given to each celebrant.  A taper is lit from the Fire,

and used to light each candle in turn*

 

Children of Earth, think now on the gifts that we have received.

Prometheus knowingly made a sacrifice,

so that we might have such a bright and shining gift.

Think on the community that can be built around a Fire.

Think on the prayers that can be spoken around a Fire.

Think on the offerings that can be made around a Fire.

 

In it’s simplicity, this flame burns hot and strong.

When you lack for community, let this flame remind you of your folk.

When you lack focus, let this flame be your guiding light.

When all the world seems dark and unforgiving, let this flame brighten your heart.

 

Children of Earth, the gift of Fire is ours,

and through it we may continue to find joy and light,

warmth and community in our lives.

Take this flame, extinguishing it for the moment,

Back to your hearth, where you may again rekindle it.

With it’s life and light, be warmed and reminded of the joy today.

Rejoice, for we have the gift of Fire!

 

And now, Children of Earth, having honored the Kindreds, received their blessings, and done good work, it is time we thank those we have called so that we may take the blessings we have received out into our community and out into the world.

 

Thank Prometheus- (written by Jan Avende)

Prometheus, Flame-haired trickster,

For you presence here today,

And for all the gifts you have given us,

We say: Prometheus, we thank you!

 

All: Prometheus, We thank you!

 

Thank the Shining Ones- (written by Jan Avende)

Bright and shining Theoi,

Mighty Gods and Goddesses on High.

You who shine down your wisdom upon us

And walk with us, guiding us, each day.

We say: Theoi, we thank you!

 

All: Theoi, We thank you!

 

Thank the Nature Spirits- (written by Jan Avende)

Nature Spirits and Noble Guides,

You who, through your living, teach us the ways to honor the Earth.

Nymphs of all the realms, as we walk amongst your blessings

And listen to your sweet songs,

We say, we thank you!

 

All: Nature Spirits, We thank you!

 

Thank the Ancestors- (written by Jan Avende)

Ancestors, Mighty Dead, Heroes,

Those of our blood and bone,

Those of our friends and folk,

Those of our hearth and home,

You have taught us the ways of old and given us the path to walk,

You have toiled and worked so that we might grow in our gifts.

We say: Ancestors, we thank you!

 

All: Ancestors, We thank you!

 

Thank Atlas- (written by Jan Avende)

Great Titan and Mighty Mountain, Atlas.

You who have stood as our Star-Crowned and Earth-Shod pillar,

Holding the earth and sky asunder, aligning them as our axis mundi.

You have stood firm as we celebrate here today.

You have Guarded the Ways for us as we rejoice here today.

Accept this gift now *make offering* and know we honor you for the work you do.

For the connections you’ve helped us to maintain,

And for aligning the cosmos itself,

We say: Atlas, we thank you!

 

All: Atlas, We thank you!

 

Close the Gates- (written by Jan Avende)

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.

 

Let the Gates be Closed!

 

All: Let the Gates be Closed

 

Thank Ouranos- (written by Jan Avende)

Ouranos, Brilliant Sky Father,

You who shine down your wisdom,

Who drape us in your star-studded cloak,

Your primal forces breathing life into us.

We say: Ouranos, We thank you!

 

All: Ouranos, We thank you!

 

Thank Okeanos- (written by Jan Avende)

Okeanos, great Surrounding Sea,

You who encircle the Earth with your nine shining streams,

Guiding the stars and the tides.

Your form laps against our shores as your Waters wrap us in their blessings.

We say: Okeanos, we thank you!

 

All: Okeanos, We thank you!

 

Thank Gaea- (written by Jan Avende)

Gaea, Earth Mother, All Mother,

You who gave life at the beginning of all things,

You who ground us in your soil and sustain our being.

We walk lightly upon your bosom as we honor you.

For you support this day and all days,

We say: Gaea, we thank you!

 

All: Gaea, We thank you!

 

Thank the Muses- (written by Jan Avende)

Sweet voiced Muses Nine,

You have sung with my voice, danced with my feet,

enflamed my passion, and sweetened my words.

For the fire you have filled us all with

And for letting it pour forth in harmony and wisdom

We say: Muses, we thank you!

 

All: Muses, We thank you!

 

Thank Hestia- (written by Jan Avende)

For Hestia, I pour these last libations.

First-Born, and Last-Born,

Lady of the Hearth

And Keeper of the Sacred Flame.

Though your flame may go out on our hearth,

May it continue to burn ever strong within our hearts.

Hestia, we thank you!

 

All: Hestia, We thank you!

 

Recessional-

Song: “Walk With Wisdom”

(- Sable)

Walk with wisdom from this hallowed place.

Walk not in sorrow, our roots shall ere embrace.

May strength be your brother, and honor be your friend,

And luck be your lover until we meet again.