“RITUAL IS THE POETRY OF THE WORLD OF ACTS” ~ROSS NICHOLS.
A songwriter can bring awareness to the listeners connecting them to things unnoticed. The same is with ritual as it has no powers on its own. The powers come from the effects it has on those that take part in it. Ritual helps the individual focus, consciousness, intuition, intentions, and many more things. It helps to remind us of the bigger picture of the universe and that we are just a small part of it all. We use rituals to get closer to the gods and the natural world, give thanks, & bring more awareness of the Sacred.
The act of ritual is symbolic.
It is an art form that should be honed, just like anything else. Done with skill and the basic layouts can bring meaning and many wonders to the individual’s life. Ritual is diverse; while it is often done outdoors, some choose to ritual indoors. It can be solo or in a group gathering.
Most Druid rituals are done in circles; this symbolizes the unity of each one of us as one people. We honor the four directions and the earth, the sky, the sun, and the moon, the ancestors, the gods, and goddesses. And consists of blessing members within the circle with fire and water. At times, a man and a woman face one another at the circle’s entrance, symbolizing the gateway into which we are brought into the world. Prayers and chants are offered. Ritual clothes are worn, and it is a big celebration with many people.
These are some things that are within each Druid Order and each Druid Grove, and they vary from one to the other. This is a big thing in a group setting, but many do not have people to gather for significant rituals. At the same time, others will not have an outdoor space to have things set up. Some of us live in small areas and lack the means to have a significant flashy ritual. Nevertheless, you still can have rituals.
This is a stripped-down version of ritual: just the basics that you can do in a small place with which you can then make it much more to incorporate into the outdoors or with a gathering of people. You can add to it and make it your own.
Purification of the self and space first must wash one’s self and turn anything off that will disturb you. It is essential and often forgotten: Lighting! Turn off any cool lights and have at least one warm light to set the mood & quiet the mind naturally. A quiet mood helps purify oneself. This also should include washing, grounding, and centering to balance yourself before the ritual.
Here is the basic ingredients to help you with ritual. There are many Rituals one can do, but they all have the necessary steps; this one has the most critical ingredients.
- Make a Sacred Space.
- For the lighting of Fire and Candles along with incense, one can use a diffuser as well.
- An invocation of the recipient.
- An offering to the recipient.
Example of a Basic Ritual you can modify this anyway you chose. I filled in somethings to help with your creative flow.
- Initiating the Rite – Light candle
I light this candle in the presence of the ( Gods, Spirits, or Ancestors)
- Purification – Breathe deeply, clear the mind.
- Honoring the Earth Mother
I praise you Earth Mother for you give us ground to stand on. As we come from you so shall we return.
- Statement of Purpose – “———-“
- Inviting the Gods, Ancestors, Or Spirits
Give what every to feel is appropriate.
- Thanking the Gods, Ancestors, Or Spirits
- Thanking the Earth Mother
- Closing the Rite
Rituals can be much more involved, offering to the fire, deity, spirits, ancestors. Meditations and prayers can also help with connecting to deities, spirits, and ancestors.
Within Druidry, there are bunches of different rituals for many things.
- Rites of Passage
- Coming of age
- And many more
A Druid Ritual Based on John Greer
.Your altar should be in the center of a circle
- 4 small bowls placed on the altar
- For the North – Half filled with salt or earth
- For the South – Half filled with sand with a votive candle
- For the East – Half Filled with sand with incense
- For the West – Half filled with pure water
- Distilled water is dead water – Tap water is treated and can contain chemicals.
- Use well or spring water
- The bowls represent the four elements
- Air- East
- Fire – South
- Water – West
- Earth – North
- We are representing the three druid elements with
- Incense – Nwyfre
- Water – Gwyar
- Salt/Earth – Calas
- You will also represent three rays of light with the candle.
- You will sit in the north
- Three more items are needed
- A Knife/Sword/Dagger
- Drinking horn, with wine, mead, juice ~ you pick
- Robe/Ritual clothes
Opening The Grove
To begin, get your ritual space all set up. Clear your mind and begin.
- Enter into your circle, walk around it with the sun. Walk around to the north side of your altar and face south.
- Raise your palm to salute the sun saying.
- Let the powers attend as I am about to open a grove of druids in this place. The first duty of druids assembled in the sacred grove is to proclaim peace to the four quarters of the world, for without peace, our work cannot be done.
- Take your sheathed blade and go to the east. Face outward, raise the blade head level and horizontally—left hand on sheath right on the hilt.
- Pull the blade halfway from the sheath, push it back in, saying.
- I proclaim peace in the east.
- Lower the blade and proceed to the south and repeat all
- I proclaim peace in the south.
- Go to the west; repeat the steps.
- I proclaim peace in the west.
- Go to the north; repeat the steps.
- I proclaim peace in the north.
- Now return the blade and go to the north.
- Facing south across the altar saying.
- The four quarters are at peace, and the work of the grove may proceed. Let the grove and all within it be purified with air.
- Now head to the eastern part of the altar, pick up the bowl with the incense, and carry it to the eastern edge.
- Walk-in a circle around the circle’s outer edge; you can move your arm in a slow sweeping or side to side motion to help widen or spread the smoke.
- Visualizing that the smoke is purifying and blessing everything in the grove.
- Making your way back to the east to return the bowl saying.
- Let this grove and all within it be purified by fire.
- Go to the southern part of the altar, pick up the bowl with the candle – without sweeping or excessive motions.
- Repeat above but this time – visualize fire purifying everything in the grove saying.
- Let this grove and all within be purified with water.
- Now take the bowl with water and go to the western edge. Repeat the above this time, visualizing water purifying saying.
- Let this grove and all within be purified with the earth.
- Now take the bowl with earth to the northern edge repeat visualizing earth purifying everything.
- At the north of the altar say.
- I invoke the blessing of the mighty ones with the words that have been the bond among druids.
- Grant o holy ones thy protection
- And in protection strength.
- And in strength understanding.
- And in understanding knowledge.
- And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice.
- And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it.
- And in that love, the love of all existences.
- And in the love of all existences, the love of
- Earth our mother and all goodness
- When finished, say “Ah-oh-en” three times.
- Awen Awen Awen
- Feel that word flow through all in the grove.
- Now take the seat in the north. This completes the opening of the grove.
Closing the Grove
- When your work is complete, take a seat in the north and return to stillness in your mind. At the north side of the altar, face across to the south and say.
- Let the powers attend as I am about to close a grove of druids in this place. Peace prevails in the four quarters and throughout the grove. Let any power remaining from this working be returned to the earth for its blessing.
- Ritual work leaves energies behind so visualize the energies flowing towards the altar down into the center of the earth. Concentrating on that till the space feels clear of energy, say.
- I invoke the sword of swords.
- Draw your blade to the sky and say
- From the rising sun, three rays of light.
- From the living earth, three stones of witness
- From the eye and mind and hand of wisdom
- Three rowan staves of all knowledge
- From the fire of the sun, the forge
- From the bones of the earth steel
- From the hand of wise, the shaping
- From these Excalibur
- By the sword of swords, I pledge my faithful service.
- To the living earth, our home, and mother
- When finished, say “Ah-oh-en” three times.
- Awen Awen Awen
- Raise your right hand to salute the sun and walk around the altar to exit.
Any ritual can be easily modified and put the “meat” of what you are doing in-between the Opening and closing Offerings to the gods, spirits, ancestors, etc.
Remember there are many of Druid Ritual out there do not over think it.
For those that are Recon Druids you would want to make your Rituals in tune with your Tradition/Custom. So if one is a Recon Gaulish Druid or Gaelic Druid keep things in those realms. Using the language as much as possible and Invoking those God/ddesses keep the culture in the ritual.