So, the ADF discussion group started last August, Ozark Druids, is now a protogrove! As we are trying to grow from being just a discussion group to also doing rituals, we’ve hit a lot of snags. It often happens that we plan to have a ritual and there is either bad weather, a sick host, or scheduling problems. Inspired by the video “ADF Blessing Rite in a Woodland Setting“, I came up with the idea that when we are together for a regularly scheduled discussion meeting sometime, and if the weather was nice and it was close to a High Day, we could adjourn early and meet at the closest park and do a High Day Ritual right then. I remembered my portable ritual kit and decided I could use the same idea for a group ritual (only with a bigger drink vessel and more offerings, etc.). With my expanded kit packed in a backpack in the trunk of my car, we’d be all set!
I came up with this one page fill-in-the-blanks emergency High Days ritual mostly by adjusting a solitary ritual I had pieced together for my own use from my favorite bits of ADF and Heathen liturgy. I didn’t really write it with the idea that there could be a leader. So it may be an ideal ritual to use if the usual leader of the group can’t be there, or for an “emergency” ritual if other plans have gone awry and you’re without a script. It allows for a lot of spontaneity while giving a basic structure to fall back on. Patrons of the Occasion should be decided on before beginning, and all materials needed, at hand. Participants could mark which parts they want to do just before the ritual, or the paper could be passed around during the ritual, with the next person doing the next thing, so to speak. I also thought it would be interesting in a ritual where there were just three or four people, if everyone participated in opening the Gates. I have a copy or two of this ritual packed into my expanded ritual kit.
ADF High Day Ritual
• Purification: Saining & Hallowing (Ring bell or bell branch to mark the beginning of ritual.)
• Opening Prayer: “O beloved mother of all, from whose starry womb the green earth springs,
You who are the bearer of all life, and to whom all life descends in death’s darkness,
We honor you this day and pray you bless and uphold this rite.
Mother of all, receive our offerings!” Kneel to kiss the earth, give offering.
• Two Powers Meditation
• Sacred Center & Opening the Gates: Make offerings to the triple hallows and Gatekeeper, while saying:
“We give ______ to the Fire. We give ______ to the Well. We give ______ to the Tree.
We make offerings to the Gatekeeper, _______, who wards them well.
By Land, Sky, and Sea, by Fire, Well, and Tree…_______, Let the Gates be opened!”
(All place hands over the Hallows and raise them together, and envision the Gates opening.)
• Calling to the Three Kindreds & Patrons of Occasion (while offering to each):
“To the Ancestors, we give offering and welcome. To the Nature Spirits, we give offering and welcome.
Hail [patron(s) of occasion], [add descriptors/ words of praise],
Open our souls’ eyes that we may see you. Open our hearts to hear your wisdom.
Bring us your blessings bright.
Kindreds Three, join with us as we honor the turning of the seasons
at the time of _______. May you bless and uphold this rite.”
• Seasonal Commemoration: This can be enacting customs, more prayers/offerings/songs/magic, etc.
• Omen: “What have the Kindreds to teach us today?”
Divine, and then say: “We hear what the Kindreds have said, and are made wise by it.”
• Blessing Cup: “Ancient Ones, the Children of the Earth call out for your blessing.
Hallow these waters, O Holy Powers. Grant us the blessing we seek.
May the Wisdom, Love, and Power of the Deities, Ancestors and Nature Spirits
flow into this cup of blessing.”
Hold cup out with both hands and feel the energy flow into the cup.
“This cup now holds the waters of life. We drink this in the name of the Kindred.” (All drink.)
“May these waters we have received flow through our bodies and through our spirits,
and may they pour out into the rest of our lives.”
• Thanking Kindreds: “We offer our thanks to the Mother of All.
We offer our thanks to the Gods, Dead and Spirits, and to [patrons]. May the Three Sacred Kins
Bring joy to all beings, and renew the ancient wisdom. To the Fire, Well and Tree, we offer my thanks.
May Wisdom, Love and Power kindle in all beings, and renew the ancient wisdom.
To the Earth, Sea, and Sky; we offer our thanks. May the ancient wisdom be renewed,
and may all beings know peace, joy and happiness in all the worlds.”
• Closing: “Now by the keeper of the gates and by our magic we end what we began.
Let the fire be flame. Let the well be water. Let all be as it was before.
Let the gates be closed! We go now, as children of the Earth, in peace and blessings.
The ritual is at a close.”