Tag Archives: three kindreds

Reconnecting: A Prayer to Begin Again

Sometimes when we’re trying to build a practice, we end up forgetting. Forgetting to honor our gods. Forgetting to honor our ancestors. Forgetting to honor the spirits around us.

And it can feel really, really hard to start back up again with whatever prayers and devotions you’d been doing or wanted to do.

But it’s okay. Everyone (I promise. Seriously, all of us) has had stretches of time where their devotional practice has fallen off. It’s okay. All you need to do is pick it back up again.

Your gods, your ancestors, the spirits all around. They’re just as interested in rebuilding that relationship as you. So start up again with your practice. This prayer can help.

Reconnecting Expiation

Have a prayer request of your own? Shoot me an email!

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!

The Three Kindreds

When working within a ritual space I’ve called out the Three Kindreds in two different ways.  Each ways has its place depending on what the focus for the rite is, and depending also on what pantheon I’m working with.  The first way I call out to them, and the way I tend to do more often and feel more comfortable with, if by calling out first to the Ancestors, and feeling the power of them raising up from the ground and soaking up through the Well.  I associate the Ancestors with the Well.  I then call to the Nature Spirits all around me, within this world and realm.  I associate the Nature Spirits with the Tree.  Then reaching up to the sky, I call out to the Shining Ones, and feel their warmth wash around me.  I associate the Shining Ones with the Fire. As I’ve deepened my work however, I’ve begun to question whether or not this way of calling to them is always the best way.  After all, are there not Deities who reside below me, and Spirits of Nature in mythical forms that aren’t of this realm, and the Mighty Dead, the Heroes, who may drift up from the Underworld, who’ve been made constellations, or even those more modern heroes whose accomplishes still influence the world today?  So if I’m always calling to them in a way that partitions them into the Three Realms, am I then, in essence, unintentionally skipping some of the Kindreds?

The result of this argument in myself was to begin changing the way I call to the Kindreds as the circumstances necessitate.  So now, the other way that I call out to them is by first calling to the numinous beings of the chthonic realm.  The Ancestors who dwell there, the Spirits of Nature who dwell there, and the Shining Ones who dwell there.  I then call out to the numinous beings of this realm, the beings in the world around us.  The Ancestors who dwell there, the Spirits of Nature who dwell there, and the Shining Ones who dwell there.   And then finally I call out to all the numinous beings of the Upper Realm, those in the heavens, on Mt. Olympus, or in Asgard.  The Ancestors who dwell there, the Spirits of Nature who dwell there, and the Shining Ones who dwell there.

With this broadening understanding of where each of the Three Kindreds dwell, my understanding of each of them has also broadened.  The Ancestors are the Mighty Dead; the Ancient Wise who have gone before, and as such they have knowledge beyond my comprehension that can help me on my path, my journey.  There are three ways that I connect to the Ancestors.  There are ancestors of my blood, ancestors of my country/culture, and ancestors of my hearth.  My immediate thought has always gone to blood-kin first, and I at first believed that was the only way to approach the Ancestors.  So, that caused major problems for me because I’m adopted.  Trying to forge a connection the ancestors over bloodlines and ties hasn’t worked at all for me.  I think I probably have a bit of mental block against connecting that way.  I’ve tried to do some family history work to trace back my adoptive family, but even that only goes back four generations or so.  My family isn’t very talkative, and doesn’t seem to have any desire to talk about stories from their past, and there are no tales about the “Old Country.”  I’ve only got a couple of names and a few stories to connect me back, and it’s not a connection I feel particularly strong about to begin with.

I’ve had more luck connecting to the cultural ancestors.  The me these are all the people who have helped to shape our world and culture, and made it what it is today.  For me, this means important figures in science (Galileo, Copernicus), philosophy (Socrates, Plato), literature (Shakespeare, Homer), history (Caesar, Queen Elizabeth, Washington), and human rights (Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa), etc.  By honoring the cultural ancestors I connect both to the culture of humanity as a whole, as well as to sub-cultures of people and professions that have shaped out society.  For instance, in healing I may honor or Brighde as well as someone like Alexander Fleming.

The third way I make connections with the Ancestors is through the myths of the heroes.  This goes back so far as to include people like Herakles, Daedalus, and Theseus, but I also see it including folk heroes such as Paul Revere, Paul Bunyan, and the Chocolate Pilot.  They are the people who’ve experienced the world, strove to make it a better place, and because of that have had their stories told to millions.

I see the Nature Spirits in two broad categories.  Those beings of nature that we can see, and those we can’t.  The first type of Nature Spirit is the more obvious.  They are the creatures that inhabit our world: the birds, fish, insects, reptiles and mammals, but they are also the trees, rivers, rocks, plants, dirt, and oceans.  They are all part of the ecosystem that makes our world work together and function, and that is a large part of why they deserve honor.  Of the Three Kindreds, the Nature Spirits are the ones I connect the most to.  I can see them everywhere, and interact on them in a physical sense everyday.  I can go out to my garden and I can honor and worship the Nature Spirits in a way that I can see results.

The second type of Nature Spirit, the kind you can’t see, are the mythical beasts.  This incorporates creatures that live hidden in our world, are described in myths, or take on roles beyond that of their mundane counterparts: the unicorn, phoenix, griffin, dryads, and nymphs, but also the creatures like the crane, wolf, falcon and owl, who have extended responsibilities and duties.  These nature spirits are those who are our spirit guides, our totems, or those to deliver omens.  I connect to these in many ways the same way I do to the visible Nature Spirits, especially in the plants and waters.  I feel extreme connection to the wide variety of nymphs (the dryads, naiads, okeanides, etc.) and see them in the world all around me.  I see this second group of Nature Spirits as the tenders of the first, and it is my job to aid the second group in their care for the first.  And because of this relationship between us, the way I worship the Nature Spirits best and the way I am the most fulfilled by it, is through my active work out in nature, experiencing the world around me.

The Shining Ones are grouped more based on their “job description.”  There are those who work in the Upper Realm, Gods of the sky, air, sun, wind, etc.  or those who are specifically said to dwell in the Upper Realm.  There are those who work in the mid-realm, like Gods of the forest, hearth, commerce, war, etc.  And then there are those who work in the Underworld, mainly the Gods of death.  When I work with the Theoi, I approach them first on a professional level.  When I’m learning about a deity and first begin my approach toward them based on what their “job” is.  I read the myths and occasionally ask others who work with the deity, but I approach them on that professional level.  It’s only after I’ve started to develop that base relationship where we can talk on a professional level that I can then begin to deepen my relationship with certain deities on a more friendly level.  So the Shining Ones are a great in power and in number.

I find myself most strongly drawn to the Gods of the Mid-Realm, and I think that is probably because I’m so strongly drawn to the Nature Spirits.  And just as the mythical beasts protect nature, the Gods of this realm protect and work with all beings of this realm.  That includes the plants, animals, minerals, and humans.  In the sense that it is easier to connect to the Gods of the Mid-Realm because they are more connected to and invested in the affairs of humans.

The Gods of the Upper Realm and the Underworld I generally have less connection to.  I still feel connected to the Upper Realm Gods who I can see and feel and interact with, like gods of the sun, wind, air, and rain.  Though they dwell above me, I directly feel their influence.  I think the reason I still feel only a slight connection the gods of the Underworld is because of my trouble connecting with the Ancestors.

In conclusion, all of the Three Kindreds are tied together.  Each of their relationship to each other affects how I, in turn, am able to relate to them.  Because of my comfort with the more tangible aspects of the Kindreds, it is those particular entities in each of the delineations of the Kindreds that I best relate to, and the more work I have to do to grow the relationship with the others.