Tag Archives: incantation

semi-daily devotionals

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Here lately, I’ve felt the need to revamp my daily spiritual practices. For a long time, I was only doing an adapted version of Sigrdrifa’s prayer at my bedroom window upon rising every morning. But you’ve got to change things up now and then, and I wanted to start using my den altar space more often. So I came up with a simple devotional that has a light touch of ADF structure. My aim was to do this once a week, but I’ve made it simple enough that I often do it several times a week, thus the title “semi-daily”.

I actually have started using a Gatekeeper in my personal practice (something I only did for group rituals or dedicant rites before), and I call upon Raven for this. I think of the spirit Raven as one of Odin’s birds, but I like the idea that ravens are sacred birds of many other deities from other cultures also. My hearth culture is mainly Norse/Anglo-Saxon but I call upon Celtic deities sometimes as well. So calling upon Raven as my personal Gatekeeper seems right and fitting and has a timeless feel. For offerings I usually use incense, and blessed or herb-infused water.

I Beginning
Fire Hallowing (I only do this periodically, the effect is very long lasting.)

•“Water, make me pure, that I may reach the infinite.” (Forehead anointed with water.)

•“I’m here to honor the Kindreds. Earth, Holy Mother, may you receive my offering of love and bless my time with the Spirits.” (Bend to touch the earth and send love.)

II Cosmos
Tree of Life Three Realms Meditation
“I am at the center of the worlds, and I light a sacred flame.” Light central candle, and from this, a stick of incense.

•Gatekeeper “Raven, you who fly between worlds, messenger of gods, wise and clever bird, I offer you my friendship and love.” (Anoint bird figurine with blessed water. Circle incense around it three times.)
“May you share your magic with me, guide and ward me as I open the ways.”

“Kindreds, I open the Fire Gate of my mind that I may know you.” (Hands at temples.)
“I open the Well Gate of my heart that I may feel you.” (Hands over heart.)
“I open the Tree Gate of my body and soul that I may experience you.” (Arms outstretched.)

III Worship
•Kindred Invocation: Sing “Prayer for your Druid Beads“, circling appropriate altar figures with incense for each verse. (I’ve changed some of the wording for my personal tastes, but use the same tune.)

•Personal prayers; this is my general formula for any personal prayer–
“Beloved Kindreds of my heart, (name personal deities/spirits)
I thank you for all you have given, (name examples)
May you continue to bless and guide me and mine.”

IV Blessing
•Omen of the day: draw a tarot card or rune, first asking the Kindreds what they wish for me to know today.

V Conclusion
•“My love and thanks to all beings.
As it was, as it is, as it evermore shall be.
With the ebb, with the flow, blessed be.”

semi-daily devotionals

flying devil oil

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Now that we are well into the dark half of the year, my thoughts turn to workings of decrease and defensive magic. One of the best items to have in your magical supply cabinet is flying devil oil. This fast acting oil is reputed to be the best for all kinds of defensive magic. Use it for banishing evil or negativity, or to reverse a malevolent spell or curse. But do not wear it one your skin, it may burn!

Making flying devil oil is simple. Do so with reverence and intent. Select a small bottle (you may want to sanitize it with boiling water to keep the oil from going rancid) and add red pepper flakes, ground red pepper, then olive oil. Give it a good shake.

Use flying devil oil to anoint your entryways and windows for house protection rituals. You can use it on ritual tools, sachets, poppets, petition papers, and talismans (that aren’t worn against the skin). You can use it to anoint uncrossing candles. You can even use it in and of itself as a spell bottle… When you feel negative vibes, or have negative thoughts, just go get your flying devil oil off the shelf and give it a good shake. Watch the pepper flakes fly around in the oil and visualize them burning through negativity. You can add a spoken spell like “Harm and hurt has no hold on me.”

flying devil oil

Sigrdrifa’s Prayer One Page Book

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Last year, I posted an article about making little mini books out of a single sheet of paper. Since then, I’ve figured out how to make them digitally! Below you will find a simple version of Sigrdrifa’s prayer, the only direct invocation of the Norse gods preserved from ancient times. It is a classic and beautiful prayer that can be said anytime, but is especially appropriate at the start of one’s day, observing the sun rise, and at the Solstices.

Copy and paste image into a word processing program (set up with narrow margins) to make sure the image takes up most of a full sheet of paper, expanding as necessary.
After printing, trim away the margins on the outside of the thick black lines. Let your child color the pictures, then follow directions given in my article magic one-sheet-of-paper mini book to complete the book.

Sigrdrifa prayer magic bookFor more Summer Solstice fun, see Kids’ Activities for Midsummer / Summer Solstice.

Hallow Magic for the High Days

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Most ADF rituals emphasize worship over magical workings, or so I’ve heard. It doesn’t have to be so… why not have it all? The Druid-style rituals I piece together tend to be short and sweet, so there’s plenty of room to add a little magic. Here are some ideas I’ve had for High Day themed magical workings that are aligned with the Triple Hallows. Most of these ideas are for outdoor rituals. For some of these, you may want to have a crafting session ahead of time, then have participants bring their finished work to the ritual, ready to give it that final “oomph” of energy before activating in the Hallow.

In the following workings, I use the word “intent” a lot. What I mean by this is the goal of your magic, and the act of thinking about it and letting the energy of it flow into what your are crafting or doing. Your intent can be for increase (like for prosperity, wisdom, love, for a few examples), or your intent could be something you want to release to the universe (like negativity, bad vibes… things that hold you back) for the Kindreds to transform it into something better or make use of somewhere else.

As a general guideline, do “releasing” work in the waning part of the year (Lughnasadh to Yule) or during a waning moon, and “increasing” work in the waxing part of the year (Imbolc to Midsummer) or waxing moon. Whatever your intent, you can often change it’s nature by perspective and wording, to flow with the season. For example; if you want to do prosperity magic, but it’s a waning season/moon phase, make it a “poverty banishing” working instead.

FIRE
These are items that are fashioned to be burned in the Fire Hallow.

  • PRAYER LEAF: Hand out big Sassafras leaves (or other big leaves) and markers for participants to inscribe their intent through words symbols or pictures. This one is ideal for any High Day. I like to use it for Samhain, and with bay leaves on Imbolc. (For indoor rituals, use slips of flash paper instead; to avoid having a room filled with smoke.)
  • SUN SYMBOLS: Hand out thin straight sticks or wheat stalks and sun-colored yarn/raffia for participants to make rustic “god‘s eyes”, weaving with the energy and intent of their goal. This one is ideal for Summer Solstice.
  • HARVEST FIGURES: Hand out string, sticks, corn husks, raffia, and/or other dried plant materials for participants to shape and tie into human or animal form, representing a goal or intention completed. This one is ideal for Harvest holidays. I like to use it for the Autumn Equinox.

“At this time we shall infuse our ______ with the energies of our intentions.
When you are ready, you may come to the Fire and burn them.”
After all have done this, say:
“Our intentions have been released to the Sky, to the Kindreds,
and to the passing of the seasons. It is done.” ALL: “So be it!”

WELL
These are items that are fashioned to be placed in the Well Hallow. Consider using a flowing stream for your Well Hallow.

  • PRAYER BOATS: Hand out paper and markers/crayons for participants to make origami boats and inscribe their intent on them through words, symbols and/or pictures. I like this one for Lughnasadh/Freyfaxi.
  • FLOWERS: Let participants choose from a basket of flowers, the one that represents their intent, or make paper flowers. This one is ideal for Beltane.
  • PRAYER SLIPS: Hand out pens and strips of water soluble paper for participants to inscribe their intent. This is another good one for Imbolc.

“At this time we shall infuse our _____ with the energies of our intentions.
When you are ready, you may come to the Well and set them afloat.”
After all have done this, say:
“Our intentions have been released to the Waters, to the Kindreds,
and to the passing of the seasons. It is done.” ALL: “So be it!”

TREE
These are items that are fashioned to be hung from the branches of the Tree Hallow.

  • CLOOTIES (prayer flags): Pass around a basket of various colors of thin natural fabric cut in strips (or participants may bring their own; the magic is especially powerful when it is cloth torn from one’s own clothing). Participants choose color and pattern of cloth based on their intent and infuse them with the energy of their intent with touch and prayer. Each dip their cloth in the Well and tie to the tree. Ideal for any warm weather High Day.
  • TREE ORNAMENTS: Hand out toast, peanut butter, birdseed, string, and cookie cutters. Participants cut shapes from the toast, spread on peanut butter, and sprinkle on birdseed (all with intent!) then poke a string through for hanging. This one is a good one for Winter Solstice.
  • WISHING EGGS/SPHERES: Hand out papier-mâché eggs (with 2 holes poked in one end), paints, markers, and string. Participants use paint and markers to inscribe their intent through words, symbols and/or pictures on the eggs, then hang them on a tree or shrub with string.  Do this one for the Spring Equinox.

“At this time we shall infuse our ______ with the energies of our intentions.
When you are ready, you may come to the Tree and tie them.”
After all are tied, say:
“Our intentions have been released to the Land, to the Kindreds,
and to the passing of the seasons. It is done.” ALL: “So be it!”

High Days – unscripted

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In a previous article I talked about how to celebrate High Days without a ritual, yet still with meaning and reverence. For this one I’ll be covering the middle ground; having a bit more structure; with an ADF ritual that flows organically, and is totally unscripted. I formulated this guide with solitaries and families in mind, and the rituals are to take place in the home- in the dining room area.

To do an unscripted ritual, the first thing you need to know is the structure of your ritual by heart. ADF ritual structure may seem quite complicated to new comers, but after you’ve done that type of ritual for a while, you will indeed see the logical order of it. You may find Druid Ritual Beads quite useful to keeping track of ritual sequence in the beginning, and if that still doesn’t help as much as you need, put off doing unscripted rituals until it comes naturally for you. You don’t need to memorize liturgy, but you may find it helpful if you have some favorite turns of phrases memorized, and I will go more into wordage below.

The following basic formula pretty much adheres to the Core Order of Ritual. The “musts” of the Core Order are included, so you can count it as specifically ADF-style on your Dedicant Program documentation. Some items in the Core Order are optional, and so I have adapted and rearranged things a bit to be more appropriate to a home setting. In my personal practice I have replaced the Outsider appropriation with a simple Anglo-Saxon Hallowing because I don’t want to set up a ghosti relationship with Outsider spirits; I’d rather drive away, than appease such entities. After all, whatever is fed, comes back, right?  I have placed the Hallowing and the purification portions of ritual at the beginning of ritual. Opening prayer and the Earth Mother prayer are combined for simplicity like the one in “The Standard ADF Liturgy”.

Preliminaries
Before beginning ritual, the basic set up it to have your house cleaned to your satisfaction and to have a High Day altar set up in your dining area and easy to see, and get to, from the table. You may want to get the whole family involved in preparing items and decorations for this. Be sure to include symbols of the Three Hallows, offering and libation bowls, and a goblet for the Waters of Life. Your Fire Hallow should be a candle or lamp that will burn for the full length of the ritual. If using music, have that close at hand as well, to turn on and off easily. You may want to use a High Day playlist with a guided two powers meditation (or just meditative music) included at the beginning for the Three Realms centering, and an ending song at the last. You will also want to have a meal prepared and table set. You may also want to have additional offerings (besides portions of the meal) at the ready; incense and dry grains, as well as Three Hallows offerings such as silver beads (for the Well), spice, red ochre, or vermillion (for the Tree), and oil (for the Fire).

Fire Hallowing
As I mentioned above, I do a fire hallowing instead of an Outsider appropriation to drive any unfriendly entities from my ritual space. Doing this is pretty straight forward; I walk around the house carrying a lantern or sheltered candle while singing the Anglo-Saxon Hallowing Charm. It’s pretty easy to memorize short chants/songs like this. If you are not comfortable singing, you could just say it like a poem. Or one could also simply say “Thunor (or “gods/spirits of fire”) hallow this home.” After making the round, use the flame from the lamp to light the Fire Hallow on the altar.
(If you choose to do an Outsider appropriation instead of a fire hallowing, do so at the edge of your yard or property and you can say something very simple, like “Outsiders, take this and turn away from our rites.” then libate or give offering.)

Water Purification
Simply sprinkle the ritual area with water. You can also infuse the area with juniper smoke, as per Celtic tradition. Then place a drop of water on everyone’s forehead. No words are necessary, but if you want, you can say something like “May all ill turn away.”

Opening Prayer
You can combine the opening prayer with honoring the Earth Mother by memorizing this simple line: “Earth, Holy Mother, bearer of all life, we pray that you bless and uphold this rite (on this day of _______).” Kneel to touch the earth and give offering.

Three Realms Centering
For this you could use a recording of a guided centering meditation that includes water, earth, and sky (such as the Two Powers meditation), or memorize a Three Realms blessing and say it while centering. The simplest blessing I know is “As it was, as it is, as it evermore shall be, I stand at the Center- of Earth, Sky and Sea.” Another option would be to learn an ADF Land, Sea, Sky Chant and center yourself while singing it.

Three Hallows
(Light the Fire Hallow, if you haven’t already.) For this portion of the ritual, you could simply offer to the Hallows without saying anything at all. You could also just say what you’re doing while doing it, for example: “I give silver to the Well. I give oil to the Fire. I give spice (or incense, red ochre, or vermillion) to the Tree.” Another option is to sing the ever popular Portal Song while offering to the Hallows.

Gatekeeper & Opening the Gates
In you own words, simply hail/call a Gatekeeper, make an offering, then ask the Gatekeeper to be a ward. For example: “Hail Manannan, Gatekeeper, accept this offering and ward the ways between.” Then place hands or a wand over the Hallows and say “May the Hallows open as a Gate.” lift hands or wand while taking a step back, then say something like “The Gates are open between the Worlds.”

Calling & Offering
*At this point of the ritual, the food is brought out and everyone sits at the table for the feast.
Invoking Spirits can be quite a simple matter if need be. One can simply say “Hail <name>, (<title>, <descriptor>,) be with us and accept our offering”. Then place an offering (a portion of the meal) on the offering bowl and a libation in the libation bowl. You can go around the table and have everyone (who wants to) make hails, offerings, and libations. Go around once for the Nature Spirits, once for the Ancestors, and once for the Deities. Then make another round for the Deities of the Occasion.
You may choose to proceed with the meal, in communion with the Kindreds, before going on to the rest of the ritual.

Divination
Simply say something like “Do the Kindreds accept our offerings?” and divine using your preferred divination method. Make more offerings, if they’re called for. You can also divine an omen for what the following season holds in store.

Blessing Cup
Pour a drink into a goblet and say something like “Kindreds, we ask for your blessing. Holy Ones, give to us the Waters of Life.”
(Hold goblet out with both hands and feel the energy flow into it.) Then, “We drink in the name of the Kindred.” Pass the goblet around the table for all to drink. This would be a good place in ritual to sing (or play) a blessing chant. (“Blessing in the Waters” is my favorite.)

Music & Merriment
Enact the customs of the season; play music, games, magic, tell stories, or whatever seems fitting to the mood of the High Day.
You may want to save dessert for this stage of the ritual.

Final Prayers
Make sure each participant is given a chance to approach the altar in one’s own way. Perhaps make available little strips of flash paper on which to to write prayers and devotions. The slips will instantly burn when touched to the Fire Hallow.

Thanking & Ending
Simply thank all the Spirits in reverse order and close the Gates. Sing or play an ending song and extinguish the flame.
I like to say (or sing, to the tune of a Lisa Thiel song) “As it was, as it is, as it evermore shall be… with the ebb, with the flow- blessed be.”

blessingsinthewaters

Stovetop Hearth Rites

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Quite a few years ago I came across the idea of having a hearth goddess shrine in the kitchen. I think it was in a book about house magic. The shrine it described was to the Greek hearth goddess Hestia. I liked the idea but didn’t see at the time how I would implement it and I didn’t feel a strong connection to Hestia. I saw a variation on the theme in an article I’ve mentioned before; “Takin’ It All Home” by Kami Landy. I suppose the idea incubated in the back of my mind for a bit, but then it finally occurred to me what form my kitchen shrine would take and the ritual actions that would form around it.

Though I think of her as much more than a hearth goddess, Bríd, as goddess of fire, is my obvious choice of deity to honor at a kitchen shrine. I would decide on a symbol or image to use for her and where to put it. It would need to be small, and something I could place away from splattering oil and steam, but still be right in front of me when I went to cook. I decided against having a lamp or candle to light every time I set out to cook. It would be an extra step that I know I wouldn’t keep doing. I felt that just the imagery should be enough and some simple brief actions surrounding it.

It would be one small object (home-made, of course) to focus on and remind me of Bríd. I’ve collected Pagan and Celtic coloring pages for years, so I searched through my collection to find something I could color in and decoupage. I found a Bríd’s cross superimposed over a sun. I really like the imagery though in the future when this one is worn out, I might go with a depiction of the goddess instead.

So this is how I made it… I cut out three circles from a pizza box lid and glued them together to create a strong disk. I taped the cut edges with small tears of masking tape then painted the entire disk black with craft paint. After this dried, I glued on the picture with a thin layer of white glue and let it dry, then put on a couple layers of Modge Podge. Then I painted the image with craft paints. Originally I was going to put this on the wall above the stove, squeezed in between my spices and cooking utensils. But then it occurred to me that I could stick a magnet strip on the back and place it on the stove’s hood. So that is what I did. It keeps it safer from steam and splatters and easier to reach. I slide it further up onto the stove hood when not being used for my cooking blessing, so it won’t get knocked down.

And this is how I use it in ritual… when I’m about to start cooking, I say a short blessing and rub a pinch of the dry ingredients I’m using in my cooking  (usually salt, spices) around the edge of the image as offering. That’s all there is to it. Not hard to keep up a ritual such as that. The brief words of my cooking blessing was inspired from a couple of Bríd prayers I learned years ago:

~~~
“Gentle red-cheeked Bríd
Of flame and honeycomb,
Bless this cooking, bless this home.”
~~~

Three Kindreds Shrine/Altar Dedication

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This is a short rite I came up with to hallow/bless/consecrate a home altar space.  I think it’s a good one to use whether setting up an altar/shrine for the first time or re-establishing one after a move.  Or perhaps your altar /shrine has been dishoveled or disturbed- that would be another reason to do a new altar dedication.
(Note: I usually consider the “shrine” to be the part where the Spirits (Three Kindreds) are depicted in art or statuary and adorned.  I consider the altar to be the part of the shrine, the flat surface area, where offerings and other ritual items are placed.)
Set up: Clean the surfaces where the shrine & altar will be set up.  Dust and clean all shrine figures and altar pieces and set up in the designated location.  Make sure candles are placed where the flames will not catch anything on fire.  Have ready incense for offerings.

Purification: Smudge altar with Juniper smoke, encircling with the smoke three to nine times.

Three Realms Blessing
“As it was, as it is, as it evermore shall be — I stand at the Center of Earth, Sky and Sea.”

Purpose
“I establish this shrine and altar to keep the old ways and honor the Kindreds Three;
the Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Deities.”

Fire Lighting
“I kindle the sacred flames of my hearth and home in honor of the Kindred Three.” 
(light the 3 altar candles) 

Offering & Request for Blessing
“May this shrine be recognized by the Three Kindreds.
Nature Spirits, I offer you incense, peace, and welcome.”  (light incense)
“May these rites and this shrine honor you, and may you bless me and mine.
Ancestors, I offer you incense, rememberence, and welcome.”  (light incense)
“May these rites and this shrine honor you, and may you bless me and mine.
I call to my Deities; (speak the names of your deities)–
Shining Ones All, hear my prayer to you- I offer you incense and worship.”  (light incense)
“May this shrine and the rites of this household honor you.  I ask that you guide my path and bless me and mine.”

At this time, add more prayers, praise songs, or just meditate and be in the presence of the Spirits.
When ready, extinguish candles and say:

“As it was, as it is, as it evermore shall be.”