Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dedicant Oath Rite

Dedicant Oath Rite
The text of the Dedicant's Oath Rite and a self-evaluation of the Dedicant's performance of the rite. (500 word min.)

Group Meditation
Closing your eyes, take a few, deep, cleansing breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, (pause). As your breathing opens and expands your lungs, let it open and expand your spirit as well. (pause)
Before you, a tall, fertile mountain rises high into the clouds. At its base, you see an opening, wide and welcoming, drawing you into a large cavern, delving deep into the earth. As you enter the cavern, traveling down a rocky, yet foot-worn, path, you begin to hear a soft trickling sound echo in your ears. (pause)
As you walk deeper into the reflectively lit cavern, this sound becomes a steady whisper, (pause) then a fast chorus of moving water, (pause) and finally growing into an energetic rush. As it steadily grows louder and faster, feel the rising power of a primal, ancient energy drawing near. (pause)
Reaching a bubbling underground spring, you step into the cool, rushing waters, just enough for it to cover your feet. Allowing the waters to absorb into your skin, you feel the energy of the earth surge upwards through you. (pause 8 count)
Filled with the earth's swirling energy, you see another worn path to your right inside the mountain, winding upward in a spiral, lined with gradually brighter torches with increasingly stronger flames, leading the way to an opening at the top of the mountain. Traveling this path, you see the sky above drawing nearer and nearer, you feel an ever, increasing warmth and rise in the primal sky energy. Still walking with your face turned upward, feel this rising energy start to fill and warm you, the sky’s power coursing down from your head and throughout your body. (pause 8 count)
As you reach the summit, feel the energies of the sky merging with that of the waters, order and chaos blending and balancing within you, giving you strength and vitality (pause 8 count)
Opening our eyes, let us know that, together, we also balance and strengthen each other, as we focus as one on our worship.
The cool dark waters flow around us. The bright hot fire burns within us. Standing tall we gather at the center of the world. Upon the Earth, the life bringer, we worship
together. Together as one we gather at the navel of the world.

Opening Prayer
Today is a time of balance, time to breathe in the warmth as the days grow warmer and exhale the darkness as the days grow brighter. We gather today in this sacred place upon the earth and beneath the sky to welcome the time of light, warmth, and growth.

(Offering at the southern edge lay a token to the Outdwellers) To all the forces Chaos and Discord, whose minds know not rest and spirits know not peace. I acknowledge you as I ask you to leave this work in peace. Take this token as a sign of the peace between us and trouble us not.

Purification of Participants and Space
(A bowl is filled from the Well and the censer is kindled from the fire. Ritual participants are cleansed with water from the well and purified with smoke from the censor. Touch the water to your head, heart, and loins saying:) Feel the ebb, feel the flow, filled with the power, of the waters below.
(Hold your hand over the flame, and remember your connectedness with the Fires above. Touch this heat to your head, heart, and loins saying:) Feel the heat, feel the might, pulse with the power of the fire’s light. Sanctified we stand at the center of the world in the light of the fire with the flow of the well. With the powers to create and destroy, and the strength to cleanse and purify, through the union of fire and water, our temple is made whole and holy. We have met the threat of chaos with order and laid claim to this place. We have made sacred this space and time that we may worship and honor the kindred!

Statement of Purpose
We also gather at the crossroads surrounded by the land, sea, and sky to bear witness to an oath that is not sworn lightly. This day we shall worship and honor the kindreds as one and seek their blessings upon this Dedicant in return. As one journey comes to an end and another begins, may all who gathered be welcome among us. I come into the sacred grove of the elder ways, toward the sacred center, to the meeting place of the worlds. I, Amber, approach the gods in pride and wonder, as a seeker of blessing. I come to the well and kindle fire to make an oath of dedication to the path of the old wisdom, the eternal way. I come to give my worship to the gods and goddesses, to the beloved and wise dead, and to all the Kindreds and spirits with whom I share the worlds. I ask them to bear witness to my oath, and guide my way. As the ancient wise did before me, so I seek to do now. Let every holy power hear me, and look kindly on me as I make my oath.

Recreating the Cosmos
I call Flowing Ocean from who first came both Gods and mortals, whose waves surround and encircle the mighty Earth. (Make offering of silver to the Well) You are the source of Earth's pure bubbling fountains, every river and the spreading sea, whose waters purify the Divine Powers, Earth's limit, Fountain of polarity, whose wide-
spreading waves ever roll, approach gently, and be forever kind to your mystics.

Primal Fire, ascend to me with the dawn, and rule the sky. (Make offering of oil to the Fire) Glory of the Sun, Aethereal Fire, radiant heat that inspires life, Light Bearer, Power of Stars, Hear my prayer of supplication, And be thou ever innocent, serene, and gentle to our Land.

I place this stone as the Omphalos, the naval of the world, the sacred center of all the Cosmos. (Pour libation of wine over stone). 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. The Tree reaches everywhere, either with roots or with branches, and the trunk lies at the center of the universe. From there, we can reach all worlds and all beings.

Completing the Cosmology
The waters support and surround us. The land extends about us. The sky stretches above us. And at the 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.

Honoring the Hearth and Earth Mother
Hearth Goddess
(Light hearth lamp). Hestia, mistress of ever burning and peerless fire, you dwell in the house’s center. May you hallow the initiate of this rite.

Earth Mother
Beautiful Goddess of the bountiful Earth, we call to you this day! Mighty Mother of Olympus, you create the chaotic potential on which we thrive. Great Mother of the
powerful earth, may your strength always build new life. Gaia, Earth Mother.

Patron Goddess
Our praise goes up to you on the wings of owls, our voices on the wind. Hear us now Athena as we offer you our dedication. Always remind us of your presence here. May you always be welcome, always honored, and always in our hearts. Accept our loyalty and open our hearts to your blessing. Athena be welcome among us.

Opening the Gates
Gatekeeper Invocation
I now call to Hermes that I may open the Ways between. Guardian of the Boundaries, aid us as the worlds converge and call our Kindred near. Hermes, guide me this night and grant me a measure of your power as you help me to find the power within myself. Help me to walk between the worlds, traverse the three realms, and open the gates. Gatekeeper open the portals, between the Gods and mortals, power freely flows, as our magic grows! Hermes, merge now your magic with ours! See the flame leaping forth from the fire. See the mist arising from the well, Flame and mist converging upon
the tree. Forming a meeting place between the realms.

Let the well whose depths reach the Underworld open as a gate that we may follow the way to the Mighty Dead.

Let the tree, pathway between Earth & Sky, be open to us.

Let the fire burning towards the heavens open as a gate that we may follow the way to the Shining Ones. By the land before us! By the seas about us! By the sky above us! Let the Gates Be Open!

Invocation of the Three Kindreds

A child of the earth calls out to the mighty dead. Hear me my ancestors. Mighty ones, from the ancient tribes of this place to my own blood-kin and heart-kin; to the druids and warriors and farmers, to you I give welcome at my sacred fire. We pray that you return again Mothers and Fathers of old to share with us the mysteries. To my Heroes, both shared with many and known to me alone through your great inspiring deeds and your kindness shown to me I now know a better world. (Offer sacrifice of poetry to the fire)We ask you to hear our voices and witness my oath. I ask that you to guide my ways as I walk the path of Druidic wisdom.

Nature Spirits
A child of the earth calls out to the tribes of spirits. Hear me my companions. To the Kindreds of stone and stream; to those of leaf and root and to those of fur and feather and scale, to all, I give welcome at my sacred fire. Nature Spirits, Worldly Spirits, Spirits of Place, I ask you to hear my voice and witness my oath. (Offer sacrifice of grain to the fire) I pray that you will open my way as I walk the way of the earth in reverence, the druid's way.

A child of the Earth calls out to the shining ones. Hear me, gods and goddesses of old time. To all the first children of the Mother, the wisest and mightiest; to all the deities of this land, known or unknown; to those mighty ones who watch over my own soul. I call to the Olympians: Father Zeus who rules on high. Royal Hera, Blesser of Marriage.
Lord Poseidon, ruler of the seas. Rich-haired Demeter, bringer of seasons. Golden
Aphrodite, Ruler of love and laughter. Brazen Ares, Courageous God of Battles,
Beautiful Artemis, Queen of the Beasts; Shining Apollo, God of Oracles and healing;
Grey-Eyed Athena, Maiden of War and Wise counsel, Renowned Hephaestus, Master
of Fire, Glorious Hermes, Divine Messenger and Guide of Souls; Ivy-Crowned
Dionysus, God of Indestructible life Virginal Hestia, Keeper of the Hearth. To you I
give welcome at my sacred fire. (Offer mead to the fire) I ask you to hear my voice and witness my oath. I pray you empower my ways as I walk the path of divine magic.

Oath Offerings and Prayer of Sacrifice
A child of Earth comes to the sacred grove to make an oath to the powers of the worlds. I come by the road of seeking, through the door of new learning, to the fire of inspiration, to the well of wisdom, to the gates between the worlds. I give you my oath as an offering in your honor. O mighty, noble and shining ones, hear me. I am Amber, and it is my will to walk the Druid’s path. So I swear by the gods and by the dead and by all the spirits. I swear to live by the virtues given by tradition, to strive to live well and do good. I swear to keep the feasts and observances of the Druid way, keeping the wheel of the year. I swear to seek the truth of the elder ways, to learn the lore and meaning of our ancestors' wisdom. These things I swear by the well that flows in me, by the fire that shines in me, by the tree that roots and crowns my soul. Before all the powers, and especially before my patron Athena, with her subtle and not-so-subtle pushes and teachings! Now let my voice rise on the fire, and resound in the well. Let my words pass the boundary to the spirits. Mighty, noble and shining ones, accept my oath! Today I find myself upon the doorstep of change, not knowing where I am going for sure, but only knowing in my heart that this is the direction I wish to go. The earth calls to me, begging me to come home, and I know that today I must answer. Every search I take leads me back to the same place, where I once again know that I am home. This decision is not one that has honestly been easy for me, nor is it one that I am going to take lightly, but it is true now and will remain so as long as I can possibly keep it in my heart. I want to understand the ways of the spirits, of myself, of my ancestors, and of those natural spirits around us, both known and unknown. After so much searching and so much time, I now can declare before this world and the Otherworld that I am and will remain a keeper of the Old Ways, a seeker of the Ancient Wisdom, and a protector of nature.

The Omen
(The omen is taken, asking what blessing the powers offer the dedicant in return for her offering.) Let your minds be still Earth, sea and sky will lend no fears As the gods reveal their will. Let every heart sing praise to them and all our works be skilled, claiming their blessings to the very end as the gods reveal their will.

The Blessing
Calling for the Blessing
            (Three charm-items are used for this blessing. The first is a dark rock (underworld), no larger than a marble, a small, light stone (upperworld), no more than an inch long, and a bit of stone half of one color and half of another (otherworld). These stones were be set on the shrine for three days before the rite, then washed and rinsed well. Take up the blessing cup in your left hand and recite this charm of blessing, dropping in the stones when called) Ancient and mighty ones, I have honored you. Now I pray you honor me in turn. I thirst for the waters of wisdom, of bounty and rebirth, from the bosom of the Earth Mother. I open my heart to the blessing of the great ones, and pray you hallow these waters. (Drop the black sphere into the cup.) May the dark waters of the underworld rise in this cup of blessing. As I drink, may I know the depths of the world's chaos, the all-potential in which I am rooted. May the Mother of all know me, and grant me wisdom, love and power. (Drop the light rock into the cup) May the shining light of the heavens blaze in this cup of blessing. As I drink it, may I know the heights of the world's order, the seed of life that quickens the spirit. May the fire father know me, and grant me wisdom, love and power. (Drop the two-colored stone into the cup) In this cup of blessing the two powers meet. Let it be as a boundary place, and let magic be its substance. As I drink let the way between be open in my heart. May the keeper of gates know me, and grant me wisdom, love and power. Now I pray to you, O spirits, hallow these waters, and I will rejoice in your gift. Bless my spirit and my life with health, bounty and wisdom as I drink the sacred waters. Behold the waters of life!

Hallowing the Blessing
Feel, see, and hear the Power of Kindreds pouring into your cup at the Sacred Center. Give to me the Waters of Blessing! Give to me to Waters of Life! (Slowly and contemplatively, drink most of the blessing cup. As you sip renew your center, and feel yourself drinking in the power of the gods and spirits. Take up your dedication token and anoint it with the waters of life. Say:) By the might of the waters and the light of the fire, by the three Kindreds in the three worlds do I bless this token. May it serve always to remind me of my oath as I wear it near my flesh. Let the blessing of the powers shine and flow in it, turning aside ill and kindling wisdom, love and power in my spirit. Put on the token.

Affirmation of the Blessing
(Drink of the Waters, knowing in your heart that they have been blessed. As you drink, think about any needs you have, and feel those blessings giving you the power to meet those needs. Visualize the end result you seek and/or speak it aloud.) Power of the Spirit Flowing in me. Power of the Spirit Growing in me. Power of the Spirit Shining through me.

Thanking the Beings

Mighty Kindred of all the Realms, Natural, Chthonic, and Olympic Beings who enhance our lives. May we continue to be blessed by your favor. Kindred we thank you for all your gifts To all the Great Goddesses and Gods, Deathless Blessed Ones I thank you for your many blessings this night.

Nature Spirits
Nature Spirits, Worldly Spirits, Spirits of Place I thank you for your many blessings this night As we continue to share our world in peace and harmony.

To my Ancestors of blood and hearth, and all my Heroes I thank you for your many blessings this night. My love is yours, as I know yours is mine.

Closing the Gates
Hermes, Opener of the Gates, we thank you for your protection and guidance as we reached out through the Realms this day. Our honor and love go with you! Hermes, we thank you! Hermes, Great Guardian of Boundaries, we now ask that you close the gates, warding the way between the worlds once more. Let the tree, pathway between Earth & Sky, become but wood. Let the fire burning towards the heavens once more become but flames. Let the well whose depths reach the Underworld once more become but water. By the land before us! By the seas about us! By the sky above us! Let the Gates be closed!

Thanking the Hearth and Earth Goddesses and Patron

Patron Goddess
With joy in our hearts, let us return to the realm of mortals to do both their will and ours. Powerful Goddess of warriors, may you continue to \ help maintain order. Athena, we thank you for your strength and wisdom. But now comes the time when we must prepare to depart. So let us give thanks to those whom we have invited here. Our honor and love go with you!

Earth Mother
Gaia, beautiful Goddess of the Earth, may you continue to create and sustain the potential within us. Mighty Mother of Olympus, we thank you for all life. Divine earth, mother of men and of the blessed gods, I thank you for your support and sustenance. Our honor and love go with you!

Hearth Goddess
(Put out hearth fire.) Hestia, mistress of ever burning and peerless fire, you dwell in the house’s center. We thank you for your blessings and light. Our honor and love go with you! We return all that has gone unused to the Earth and the Sky, may they
continue to support, surround and sustain us.

Closing the Rite
Let us once more close our eyes, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. (pause 2 count) As the mountain rises and towers above the clouds, so we too have risen on the blessings of the Kindred. Let us not forget all they have shared with us. Standing on the mountaintop, feel the Sky' s power from above continue to course through you, its radiant light still warming your spirit. (pause 4 count) Remembering the bubbling spring flowing in the cavern far beneath you, feel the Earth’s primal power continue to course through you, it’s cool depths continuing to fill you with vitality. (pause 4 count) Feel the ancient energy of Earth and Sky continue to swirl together within you, know that they balance you with warmth and vitality (pause 4 count) As the Primal Powers have shared their energy with you, let us together now draw from our own revitalized energies, sending and sharing them with the land and waters that surround us here, that we may show our appreciation and help sustain her. (pause 4 count) You now turn toward the spiraled path to leave the mountain, and starting to walk back down. You see the other path that leads to the outside opening of the cavern begin to draw gradually
nearer. (pause 2 count) Emerging from the entrance to the world around us, we return to where we began. (pause 2 count) As we open our eyes, we may have left the mountain' s radiant heights and cool depths, but let its might remain in our hearts as we conclude our worship.

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