Monday, August 19, 2013

ADF Norse styled Yule ritual

          Yule is one of my favorite festivals. Even as a child I loved Christmas time, well before I realized that so many of the holidays symbols were Pagan in nature. When I became Pagan it only increased by love of the holiday.

          Then I found ADF Druidry through the local Grove in Georgia. This was when I experienced a Norse flavored Yule vigil. It was the most amazing experience I have ever had with group ritual. The power and love during the vigil was beyond moving. So from that day forth, even though I am Hellenic by culture, Yule has always been celebrated as Norse. The following is the Norse rituals (all be it very edited to be more my style) that was used in the Grove of the Red Earth, ADF. The following is the general schedule and then the ritual scripts for each. During the time we are not performing ritual/Sumble and tending the Yule fire, members of the Grove played games throughout the night. We took shifts so that everyone got a chance to sleep some.


Yule Schedule

1. Beginning Sacrifice (Sunset): Calling to the gods, invocation of protection & their presence for celebration, hallowing of the area. This is the time of the sacrificial loaf and dedicating the drink offering (and loaf), making oaths on the loaf, giving offerings to the gods and sharing with the people. Oaths made should
be ones you plan to keep!!!

2. Sumble (around Midnight): Ritual toasting- During this rite the drink is hallowed and passed around for all who wish to participate. We drink to toast and remember. First round for the gods, the second round for the ancestors, the third open to any (gods, ancestors, or nature spirit [land wight]). Things said here are in
the way of wyrd and have great power for good or ill.

3. Welcoming the Sun (Sunrise): Sunna is welcomed, drink shared, ritual wreath is offered to the fire. Breakfast Feast is then blessed and shared with the nature

4. Main Ritual (ADF format- after Breakfast Feast): sacrifice of animal decorations… praise offerings of animal crackers!


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Beginning Sacrifice: Sunset

Meditation

Statement of Purpose:

‘We gather this eve as our ancestors of old… on this the longest night of the year. On this night, it was believed in many cultures, rides The Wild Hunt. The Hunt is lead by many leaders, in some by Odin, in others Thor, or Holda, or Freyja. Still in others it is said to be led by the Horned God of Northern Europe, Cernunnos. The myths behind The Wild Hunt are just as varied. Some say it is the gathering of souls of the death to be taken to the Otherworld, others that it is the hunt of oath breakers and violators of basic moralities, and still others that believe the souls taken are to serve in the final battle against Chaos.

But no matter  the culture, there seems to remain the danger that those who witness The Hunt could get caught up in it and be taken to the land of the Dead themselves.

So it is on this might we stand together, to fortify each other, to celebrate our time together and the hopes of the coming year. So shall we begin!

Hallowing of the area:

Creation of Sacred Center:

Hammer Rite:

(Hold the Hammer to the sky)
‘Between the burning fires of heavenly Chaos and the frozen wastes before time, We stand at the joining of fire and ice, of the Gods and the living, in the place of the holy divine! Hammer of Thor, Hallow and Hold This Holy Stead!’ (Draw the shape of a large T to the sky then to the floor to bless and protect from above and below)

Hallowing of the Drink and Loaf:

(hold hands over the bread and drink while saying:) ‘Hail, you gods, Hail, you shining ones! Share with us this bread and drink! We offer to you not as servants, for we have no masters, but as friends, and as near kin!’
  
Oath Making:

‘All that wish to take an oath this eve come forth! But be warned; DO NOT take lightly that which you pledge this Yule night, least you suffer the fate of an oath breaker!

(each person wishing to come forth does so, placing their hand upon the load to make their oath.)

Sharing of Sacrifice:

‘Let our Yule vigil begin! Let us join together in community to celebrate our bonds and the returning light…’

(each person wishing to takes a small part of the oath loaf and drink. The remainder  is given to the Tree as an offering.)

‘Hail great giving Earth! Keep safe always the sacrifice, keep it ever holy!’

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sumble: (Midnight)

Statement of Purpose: ‘The Sumble is an ancient and holy Norse rite that is a formal series of toasts. This rite was so favored and wide spread that is flourishes even in our modern day traditions, such as weddings, award ceremonies, Thanksgiving dinners, New Years toasts and banquets.

We shall pass around the Blessing Cup. Thrice shall it go around, First for the gods, second for the ancestors, and third for any Kindred you wish to honor. Make your toast and drink from the cup… then pass to the next person near you.’

(fill the glass with mead.) ‘Let us drink and remember for we enter into the river of wyrd!’

(Drink is hallowed through the Sacred Center by each of the Hallows then passed around for 3 rounds)

1.      The Shinning Ones- ‘Hail to the gods, the shining Ones, Mighty in Power!  Hail the Dwellers in Asgard’s high halls! Honor we offer and thanks for past blessings! We remember and toast before all in the hall! (first round is made with the cup making toasts to the gods)
2.      The Ancestors- ‘Hail to the Alfs, all about us, the Father of our folk. Hail the Dises, all about us, the Mothers of our might. Hail to our kin, in the hidden lands, Hail the ancestors on this holy Yule!’ (second round is made with the cup making toasts to the ancestors)
3.      Open Round- (third round is made with the cup making toasts to whom ever among the Kindreds the people with to toast)

(Once completed with the third round close the Sumble by saying:)

‘Now let us go forth from this place to say mighty words and do mighty deeds!’

(if there is any remaining drink pour it into the Tree offering bowl saying:)

‘Hail, great giving Earth! Keep safe always the sacrifice, keep it ever holy!’

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Welcoming the Sun (Sunrise):

(Hallow the breakfast feast then remove a portion of the food for the land wights.)

Meditation (short):

(Blessing Cup of Juice is held high to Salute the rising Sun)

‘Hail, Bright Day and your Son the Dawn!
Hail, Dark Night and your Daughter the Twilight!
Look upon us twin the light, with loving eyes,
And give us your blessings!’

‘Hail, Gods; Hail, Goddesses.
Hail, the Giving Earth,
Grant to us, the storied ones,
And healing hands in this life.’

(Blessing Cup is passed to those assembled)

Sunrise Sacrifice:

(Hold up the plate of food and say)

‘Hail, the Giving Earth and all Her Children. We give back this portion of our feast to those that dwell with us. Join us in celebrating the Returning Light!’

(place the plate of food at the tree)

‘Let us feast together and celebrate the new day!’

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Procession Song: (Bardic)  We approach the Sacred Grove with hearts and minds, flesh and bones, Join us now in ways of old, we have come home. We have come home.

Purification of the people

Hammer Rite:

[Hold the Hammer to the sky] ‘Between the burning fires of heavenly Chaos and the frozen wastes before time, We stand at the joining of fire and ice, of the Gods and the living, in the place of the holy divine! Hammer of Thor, Hallow and Hold This Holy Stead!’ (Draw the shape of a large T to the sky then to the floor to bless and protect from above and below)

Welcome

World Tree Meditation

Consecration of Place and Time

Offering to the Outsiders:   Outdwellers, turn from our grove!

Offering to the Earth Mother: Beloved Earth Mother, be in our grove!

Offering to Poetic Inspiration: Spirit of Inspiration, be in our grove!

Recreation of the Cosmos and Establishing Scared Center

Hallowing of the Well: Spirit of the Well, be in our grove!
Hallowing of the Tree: Spirit of the Tree, be in our grove!
Hallowing of the Fire: Spirit of Fire, be in our grove!

Invocation of Raven: Honored Raven, come to our grove!

Opening of the Gate:      Well, Tree, Fire

Kindred Invocations

Offering to Ancestors:   Beloved Ancestors, accept our offering!

Offering to Nature Spirits: Spirits of Nature, accept our offering!

Offering to the Gods:  Mighty gods, accept our offering!

Song: (Bardic)      Gods & Dead & Mighty Sidhe, Powers of earth & sky and sea. By fire & well, by scared tree, Offerings we make to ye!

Main Rite

Kindred of Occasion Invocation

Odin:

Alfadir, foremost of the Aesir, Son of Bor and Bestla, We call to you! Great Odin, HEAR OUR CALL!

You who sacrificed much in pursuit of wisdom, We call to you! Great Odin, HEAR OUR CALL!

You who resides in Valaskjalf, who sends forth Huginn and Muninn to learn of the nine worlds, We call to you! Great Odin, HEAR OUR CALL!

We call you home from your long nights ride hunting on swift Slipnir’s back! Return now with from preserving the world from the ettins, with our great thanks, we the people give you this offering. Hail and greetings Odin! (Drinks some of the offering then pours libation)

Freya:

Most beautiful and propitious goddess, foremost of the Vanir, daughter of Njord and Freyr, We call to you! Great Freya, HEAR OUR CALL!

You who married Od, you  whose tears are as gold, you  whose cloak of feathers gives the power to change the wearer into a falcon, We call to you! Great Freya, HEAR OUR CALL!

You who resides in the palace Folkvang were love songs fill the halls, you  whose hall is Sessrummir where one half the fallen warriors go, the hall in which fallen  woman go, We call to you! Great Freya, HEAR OUR CALL!

We call you from your great hall Mistress of Mysteries, Bright Golden Frey’s Twin.  We call you forth to honour you goddess of Magic and Wisdom, of growth and joyous laughter, you Amber, Gold giving Friend of man; we the people give you this offering.  Hail and greets Freya! (Drinks some of the offering then pours libation)

Praise Offerings:

First round of Praise Offerings to be made to Odin. Second round of Praise Offerings to be made to Freya. Open Praise Offerings after that. Praise Offerings for Yule this time will be either libation or Animal Crackers hung on tree.

Main Offering: (Every One will take part in the prayer)

We stand together as one with the Kindreds witness to Sunna’s return.
We witness the turning of darkness to light, the turning of the barren year to hope.
We eagerly await the signs of the forth coming spring.

Let us give thanks for that which we received this past year.
For the bonds betweens Kindreds are maintained by the exchange of gifts.

(Offerings of thanks to any of the Kindreds: Animal crackers placed on the tree)

A new year dawns with the rising sun of Yule,
With it we ask for that which we need the coming year for ourselves and for our kin.

(Main Offerings of Painted Deer forms for wishes of the coming year placed on the tree)

Shining Gods, Might Ancestors, Glorious Nature Spirits; accept our offerings and grant us your blessings!

Oath Making:

‘All that wish to take an oath this eve come forth! But be warned; DO NOT take lightly that which you pledge this Yule night, least you suffer the fate of an oath breaker!

(each person wishing to come forth does so, placing their hand upon the load to make their oath.)

Sharing of Sacrifice:

‘Let us join together in community to celebrate our bonds and the returning light…’

(each person wishing to takes a small part of the oath loaf and drink. The remainder  is given to the Tree as an offering.)

‘Hail great giving Earth! Keep safe always the sacrifice, keep it ever holy!’

Taking of the Omen


Hammer Blessing for Water of Life: Blessing cup is held in left hand, hammer in right hand. Make hammer sign over cup and say: (David)

Now let the weal-might, of Odin and Frigga
Of Frey and of Freya, of Tir and all Aesir
Of Alfar and Disir, and all goodly wights
Shine in this Blessing, We pray as your people
Hallow the Waters, O Mighty and shining
Offerings we’ve given, Pray gift us in turn!
Behold the Gift!


Cup Litany: 

             If you have heard our voice, you ancestors who watch over us,
If you have been drawn close to our fire by our praise, by our blessings, by the gifts we bring, then you’ll do what is right Mighty Ones.
You will remember us kindly
You will bless us
You will be close kin to our folk!

(All)        The gifts of the gods for the people of the gods!

If you have heard our voice, you spirits of the living land,
If you have been drawn close to our fire by our praise, by our blessings, by the gifts we bring, then you’ll do what is right Noble Ones.
You will remember us kindly
You will bless us
You will be good neighbors to our folk.

(All)        The gifts of the gods for the people of the gods!

If you have heard our voice, you keepers of every Art and Mystery,
If you have been drawn close to our fire by our praise, by our blessings, by the gifts we
bring, then you’ll do what is right, Shining Ones.
You will remember us kindly
You will bless us
You will be dear friends to our folk.

(All)        The gifts of the gods for the people of the gods!

In the name of Memory, the preserving shrine, (Well)
In the name of Earth, our common mother, (Tree)
In the name of Truth, which has no beginning and no end, (Fire)

Let no one who comes to the Great Feast go away unsatisfied. Let the Blessing Cup never run dry.

(Passing of the Blessing Cup to all attending)

End of Rite

Return the Waters of the Earth:

Thank deity of occasion:

Thank the Gods:

Thank the Nature Spirits:

Thank the Ancestors:

Thank the Spirits of Inspiration:

Thank the Earth Mother:

De-Hallowing of the Fire, Well, & Tree; Close the Gate, and thank Raven

End of ritual

Song: (Bardic)  Walk with wisdom from this hallowed place. Walk not in sorrow, our roots shall ere embrace. May strength be your brother, and honour be your friend, And luck be your lover until we meet again.
Post a Comment