Appropriately, the patron for the rite was Goibniu, smith god of the Tuatha de Dannan and one of the Tri de Dana. I had never worked with this deity, as my matron Brig inspires my creativity in both poetry and art. She is sometimes attributed as the mother of the Tri de Dana and was called on for Bardic Inspiration in this rite.
After the processional, honoring the Earth Mother, treating with the Outdwellers and asking for inspiration, Drake led another wonderful Two Powers attunement (he had done a beautiful Hellenic oriented attunement at their Spring Equinox). The Sacred Center was established with the Portal Song and Jamie called on Cu Sidhe, or Dark Hound (not a literal translation) to help open the gates between the worlds. This felt very appropriate as we were about to enter the dark half of the year. I like Manannan as a gatekeeper especially during the summer months but enjoyed having Cu Sidhe guide us again (he was called upon at their last Samhain).
Earlier that week, through the Grove’s email list, I volunteered to invite the Deities. In Black Bear we usually leave the calling of the Kindred’s to volunteers the day of, during the pre-ritual briefing. However I have been wanting to develop more of a liturgical language with the Kindred (most of my work at home has been silent, having felt awkward speaking “alone” at my home shrine; it’s something I wish to change). I welcomed the Deities at Stone Creed’s Lughnassadh, with little time to prepare (with the games). Inspiration came through but did not write it down afterward. Some of it is certainly reflected in this prayer as both rites were with the Gaelic hearth culture and focused on gods of skill (it is said of the Tuatha de Dannan that those who had a skill were gods and those that did not, were not). So I had the Tuatha de Dannan in mind while including all gods of all cultures. I was also inspired by Kirk’s call to the Shining ones at Isaac’s Memorial Service, focusing gods of the three realms. This is what I came up with on the drive to the ritual:
The Children of the Earth call out to the Gods and Goddesses,
Gods of the Tribe,
Gods of our Ancestors,
Gods of this Land,
Matrons and Patrons of those gathered here,
Deities known and unknown,
You, who walk this land beside us, ensuring it’s fertility
You, who shine down from the heavens above us, maintaining order
And You, who dwell in the Underworld beneath us, who receive our dead
Gods of wisdom, might and skill
Come join us at our fire during this time of balance and bounty and accept our offering!
I usually don’t care for it when the folk are addressed as “Children of the Earth”, but I could not think of a more appropriate opening and knew it was part of Jamie’s ritual vocabulary, so it would fit in. However I did not get the memo that this was a more casual rite. The other two people that invited the Kindred were more simple and direct and here was the self proclaimed “backwoods druid” getting all high churchy. Oh well, I think the deities got the invite. Jamie called on Goibniu and everyone gathered at the fire to make their offerings in reverance. The omen was taken and the blessing received. Then came time for the working. Each grove member and guest (if they wished) approached the altar and hit hammer to anvil three times. Once for what they have loved about the grove, once for what they have not and once for what they wish to see in the future.
Now I don’t know why my guests chose to participate it being their first rite but I felt very compelled to be a part of this reforging. I have watched this grove grow in the last year and half and though I am now aware with the conflict that may have transpired as of late, I want to see them succeed more than ever. After trying out the local eclectic pagan scene for awhile, I craved community with those that speak the same cosmological language that I do. Silver Falls is the closest and easiest grove to get to and after this rite, it feels like home.
I enjoyed the food and fellowship that followed but had to get home to my family. The next day I emailed my friend Paet to ask what she and her husband thought, knowing that what she calls “Celtic Shamanism” is a mix of Wicca and Irish Catholicism. She had this to say:
“Jim and I both had a wonderful time. I loved the ritual. It was the first one that I’ve been to that seemed “real”. Somehow I felt that I had done this type of thing many times before. Really didn’t feel like an outsider at all. Very odd. But then everyone I’ve met since joining PP and now visiting this group – I feel like I’ve met all of you before.
Thanks for letting me know about this group. Too far to visit too often – but they are very nice and welcoming people”.
Well done Silver Falls, well done!