Imbolc Ritual 2013

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This year, a friend of mine started a group to learn more about Paganism and magic. The group consists mostly of women I’ve known for years, so I am delighted to be a part of it and build on that sisterhood. For our first ritual, I hosted and pieced together this ADF-style ritual, using my favorite tidbits of ADF and CR liturgy, tailored to the personalities of the group:

IMBOLC RITUAL SCRIPT        2013

SCRIPT KEY
•Speaking parts are in italics.
•Songs are underlined.
•Script has the option for
3 Priestesses to officiate:
P1, P2, P3.
P1(host)_____________
P2:_________________
P3:_________________

MATERIALS
•Juniper wand and bowl of water for purification.
•Bell or bell branch
•Three Hallows symbols: Fire (candles & matches), Well (small cauldron of water), and Tree.
•Complete Imbolc altar with Bríde doll & basket.
•Bríde’s Girdle
•Chalices/goblets for all participants
•Pitcher of drinking water or other beverage
•Tarot deck
•Wand
•Chant handouts
•Offering bowl & offerings: silver, cornmeal, oats, bread, oil or red ochre

(P2) Purification: Carry fire around ritual site and smudge site with juniper long before people arrive, to let the smoke dissipate (in case someone has allergies to the smoke). Sprinkle site with water. Anoint people with water as they arrive. (All place tools and/or talismans upon the altar as they arrive. These items will absorb energy and blessings from the rite.)

(P1) Introduction & Opening Prayer (ring bell three times)
“The Wheel of the Year turns on and on, bringing us all to and from each Season, and from and to another…  What will be is. What was will be. All time is here and now upon this sacred ground. We now pause to watch the Wheel turn, and to honor the Old Ways on this blessed day, to celebrate Imbolc – the time of newly awakening life. In this moment between time, We come to welcome the goddess Bríde and receive Her blessings of healing and inspiration. We gather to celebrate in joy and reverence as a part of the ever turning Wheel of Life, Death, and Rebirth.”

(P3) Earth Mother Blessing“…and now we ask the Earth Mother to bless our rite:
O beloved mother of all, from whose starry womb the green earth springs, you who are the bearer of all life, I pray you bless and uphold this rite.”

(P2) Three Realms Meditation
“Three was a sacred number to the Celts. They did not categorize things into four elements,
but rather they viewed the world as being made up of three parts.
The three realms are- the Land, the Sea, and the Sky.
We may attune ourselves to these realms with a centering meditation…
Close your eyes. Take a deep breath, and as you let that breath out, imagine you are a tree sending a taproot down into the Earth… Now begin to feel the roots growing outward, spreading all around… Every time you exhale, send more and more energy down through those roots, until you feel firmly rooted to the ground…
We stand firmly upon the land.
Your roots grow deeper… Be aware of the cavernous Underworld kingdoms below you, where underground rivers seep through the unutterable darkness to their ultimate destination…
The Sea always surrounds us.
Now feel your roots absorbing water and nutrients from the soil. As you breathe in, feel this energy rising up though your roots, into your body… With each breath, the energy rises… until your entire body is filled with the energy of earth and water… Breathe deeper and let it flow out through the top of your head like a fountain of light… Feel your branches reach up and outward through the air… Become aware of your green leaves and how they turn toward the sun to receive warmth and light… Feel the energy of the light charging the chlorophyll in your leaves… Breathe in the air and life giving energy of the realm of Sky…
The Sky spreads itself above us.
We are at the center of the Three Realms.”

(P1) Triple Hallows
“At the center, there exists three sacred Hallows, through which we connect with the Spirits of all the Realms. The Triple Hallows are the Fire, the Well, and the Tree…”
FIRE: Light the fire and make an offering of oil. Say:
“I kindle this fire in the name of Bríde, golden flame of hearth and home.
Sacred fire, burn within us.”
ALL: “Sacred fire, burn with us.”
WELL: Pour the waters and make an offering of silver. Say:
“In the depths flow the waters of wisdom, cleansing, and creation- the waters of Bríde.
Sacred water flow within us.”
ALL: “Sacred water, flow within us.”
TREE: anoint the Tree with oil or red ochre. Say:
“From the depths to the heights spans the world tree, interconnecting all things.
Sacred tree, grow within us.”
ALL: “Sacred tree, grow within us.”
ALL chant 3 times: “Fire, Well, and Sacred Tree, flow and flame and grow in me.”

(P1) The Gatekeeper
“Manannan mac Lir, Gatekeeper, Son of the Sea, come to us, ward us as we walk in safety!”
(Place offerings in dish.)
“We ask in reverence, open now the sacred boundary between the worlds
so that we may commune more directly with the Deities and Spirits.
Let the Fire open as a Gate. Let the Well open as a Gate. Let the Tree open as a Gate…”
(Open Hallows with a wand or bell.)
“The Gates are open. Sisters, we are now woven into the fabric of the universe.
Here the Kindreds can see deeply into our hearts. So let there be only truth here.”  

(P2) Inviting the Kindreds
“Tonight we call upon the Spirits of Place, of the land all around us,
to be at peace with us and walk among us.” (Place offerings in dish.)
ALL: “Noble Ones, come. Be welcome.”
(P3)“Tonight we call upon our Blessed Ancestors, those who have gone before
and who watch over still, to join us at this celebration.” (Place offerings in dish.)
ALL: “Mighty Ones, come. Be welcome.”
(P1)“Tonight we call upon the Deities and Spirits of Hearth & Home, whose names each of us hold in our hearts, to be with us in reverence and blessing.” (Place offerings in dish.)
ALL: “Shining Ones, come. Be welcome.”

(P1) Inviting Bríde
“We are calling upon Bríde- Queen of the Hearth and Flame,
Midwife and healer, Poet and Seer, Lady of the Mantles…”

Song: Holy Water, Sacred Flame

“Bríde, Bríde, come thou in, thy bed is made.”

ALL CHANT SOFTLY THREE TIMES: “Let Bríde come in, Bríde is welcome.”

(The Bríde doll is brought out from behind the altar and placed in the basket.)

Song: Welcome Bríd

(P3) Bríde’s Girdle  
“Arise, in the name of Bríde, and go out three times.
Go through and emerge replenished and renewed.”

Song: Born of Water  -during song, all circle around and go through Bríde’s Girdle until all have gone through three times.

(P2) Omen
“We are reborn! Let us see now what blessing the Spirits give us.”
Everyone takes a random card from a tarot deck to divine ones personal blessing,
and one is taken as a general omen for the ritual.

Song: Way to the Well

(P1) Blessing Cup
“Close your eyes and let your body still. Using your inner vision, let your mind roam to look around and above us. Look at the crowd of friends gathered in this realm and in the other realms. Spirits of this place, Ancestors, Shining Ones, the Goddess Bríde– all these Blessed Kindreds looking at us with love in their hearts! We ask you now, gathered host, return to us your blessings! Send them to us in these vessels of water. Gathered Host, we ask this of you!
…Behold the Waters of Life! May we drink deep of peace, of blessing, of healing.”
(All drink, bask in blessing.)

Sharing & Magic
At this time, anyone who wants to share (a song or poem etc.) may do so.
Requests for healing are attended to, and/or workings of magic.

(P1) Final Prayer to Bríde
“Bríde, gold-red woman, Bríde, flame and honeycomb,
Bríde, sun of womanhood, Bríde, lead us home.
Bríde, you are a branch in blossom. You are a sheltering dome.
You are our bright precious freedom. Bríde, lead us home.”

(P3) Thanking the Powers
“The Kindreds have blessed us. With joy in our hearts, let us carry the magic
from our sacred circle into our lives and work. Each time we offer to the powers,
they become stronger and more aware of our needs and our devotions.
So now as we prepare to close this rite, let us give thanks to those who have aided us…”

(P2)“We offer our thanks to the Mother of All. We offer our thanks to the goddess Bríde,
and to all the blessed Spirits we welcomed here tonight.
May the Kindreds bring joy to all beings, and renew the ancient wisdom.
To the Land, Sky, and Sea, the Fire, Well and Tree- we offer our thanks.
May Wisdom, Love and Power kindle in all beings, and renew the ancient wisdom.”

(P1)Closing the Gates
“Now by the keeper of the gates and by our magic, we end what we began.
Now let the fire be but flame. Let the well be but water.
Let all be as it was before. Let the gates be closed!”

ALL: “Let the gates be closed!”

(P1) “May the Ancient Wisdom be renewed, and may all beings know:
Peace, Joy and Happiness in all the worlds.”

ALL: “As it was, as it is, as it evermore shall be. With the ebb, with the flow, blessed be.”

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…and for those without a priestess role, I made this short guide:

IMBOLC RITUAL 2013
~Participant Guide~
Welcome to our Imbolc ritual. The style of this ritual is Celtic. You will notice we will not be casting a circle or calling the quarters. Rest assured, our space is well warded. You may move freely about without restraint. Our power will flow organically. This basic outline is not a script, but will help you keep track of what is happening and be a guide to your participation. Bríde (pronounced “BREE-jah”) is the modern Irish name for the goddess Brighid/Brigit.

Purification
All receive a drop of water on the forehead upon arrival
and place items to be blessed on the altar.

Introduction & Earth Mother Blessing
(All bend to acknowledge the Earth in your own way.)

Three Realms Meditation
Triple Hallows: Fire, Well, & Tree
All repeat phrases after priestess speaks them:
“Sacred Fire, burn within us”
“Sacred Water, flow within us.”
“Sacred Tree, grow within us.”
All speak 3 times in unison with Priestess at her signal:
“Fire, Well, and Sacred Tree,
flow and flame and grow in me.”

Calling the Gatekeeper

Inviting the Spirits (Kindreds)
All speak in unison with Priestess at her signal:
“Noble Ones, come. Be welcome.”
“Mighty Ones, come. Be welcome.”
“Shining Ones, come. Be welcome.”

Inviting the Goddess Bríde
Song: Holy Water, Sacred Flame

All chant three times with Priestess at her signal:
“Let Bríde come in, Bríde is welcome.”

Song: Welcome Bríd

Bríde’s Girdle
Song: Born of Water  -during song, all circle around
and go through Bríde’s Girdle
until all have gone through three times.

Omen

Song: Way to the Well

Blessing Cup

Sharing & Magic

Final Prayer to Bríde &
Thanking the Powers

Closing the Gates
All speak in unison with Priestess:
“Let the gates be closed!”

Ending the Ritual
All speak in unison with Priestess:
“As it was, as it is, as it ever-more shall be.
With the ebb, with the flow, blessed be.”

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7 responses »

  1. Pingback: Mint Water | Ozark Pagan Mamma

    • Brighid’s girdle is a circle made of triple braided straw rope. The tradition is from Cork and Tipperary counties in Ireland. They would carry a straw Brighid’s doll through town, and the girdle, stopping at each door and have the occupants step through it as the one’s holding it chanted a blessing.

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