Yule 2009

(Portions of this rite by Stone Creed Grove whose original rite can be found at http://www.adf.org/rituals/norse/yule/scg-yule99.html and HearthFire Grove whose original rite can be found at http://www.adf.org/rituals/norse/yule/hfg-yule-98.html ).

All text spoken by the officiant is in bold.  Text in BOLD AND ALL CAPS are to be spoken by all.

Procession & Outdwellers

(Offering is made to the south or the entry of the grove)
Hear me all you wights unhallowed
Etins, trolls and all the Out-garth,
Ravers, enemies of Asgard,
Here we give you proper honor.
Take this gift, here freely given,
Trouble not our holy working,
For our hall will be well-warded,
By the Redbeard's mighty hammer.

Purification

Smudging and/or water purification before entry to the grove

Honoring the Earth Mother and the Statement of Purpose

Earth Mother, you are our foundation, our place of safety and the source of our strength.  We give honor to you with this offering (place offering in bowl) and ask that you join with us today to honor the Mighty Kindreds.  Earth Mother we honor you!
ALL:  EARTH MOTHER WE HONOR YOU!
(bestow a kiss upon the earth, as you are able)

We gather here on the Feast of Yule, the Beginning of the Sacred Year, the Time of Turning.  Our larders hold what gain we have reaped from our labors.  While we notice now the long darkness in which we spend many hours, in the Scandinavian countries the darkness is more absolute. Such a desolate time inspires feasting and the celebration of light. Evergreen trees and holly, which remain green throughout the long nights and bitter cold, are a promise that life is not fled, but will return to the land and bounty return to the folk.  On this day we honor all the Gods and Goddesses of the Folk. Yule is the most holy of the Germanic Feasts and shares many of the functions and connotations of the Celtic Samhain Feast. The Gods and Goddesses are closer at this time as are the Dead, Trolls, Ettins, Wights and other magical and mysterious beings. Yule is a time to recognize boundaries, between future and past, ours and theirs, realized and unrealized. Oaths for the coming year are particularly appropriate at this time.  On this day, we take joy in our Tribe, and celebrate to drive the cold winter away from our hearts!  We are here to honor the Gods!
ALL:  WE ARE HERE TO HONOR THE GODS!

Meditation/Establishing the Group Mind

Close your eyes.  Take slow, full breaths and allow your mind to settle and focus on the work to be done.  Feel the wind on your face, the sounds of the trees, and the smell of the fire.  Allow these sensations to fill your mind.

Now, using your inner vision, let your being move out of your body and flow down into the ground.  As you move down, you can smell the warm, clean smells of the earth, hear the sound of sweet water as it passes by you.  You can feel the movement of energies around you.  Follow these energies down until they join with the current of molten lava flowing around and through the earth.  These currents are the source of the power in the Earth.  They flow around and under the skin of your Earth Mother.  They change the shape of the continents and allow new earth to form.  As you flow with these energies, allow your being to fill with them.  Filled with the warmth of these energies, allow your being to start moving back up toward the surface, toward your body.  As you move upward, you know that you are bringing these energies with you – not just what’s within you, but the totality of these energies.  As you reenter your body, let these energies flow out from you and move around the sacred space.  As the energy moves around this place, you can feel the warmth around you.

As you feel that warmth around you, let your being again move out of your body.  This time, allow it to move upward.  As you move up, you can hear the wind around you, smell the clouds as you pass through them, and feel the water in them.  Above you, you can see a star brighter than the others.  This star is your special star, the source of the power from the Sky.  Allow your being to move up until it merges with this star.  The energy here is different from the energy of the Earth, colder but still very powerful.  Let this energy fill you until your being feels full.  Now start back down toward the sacred space and your body, bringing the energies with you.  Again, you’re bringing not just the energies within your being, but the totality of those energies.  As you come back into your body, let these energies flow out from you and move around the sacred space and the energies from the Earth.

With the powers and energies of the Earth and Sky joined together here with you, be filled with the power and love that is here.  Be at peace with yourself.  Now, open your eyes and let your vision return to your mortal eyes as the rite continues.

(Re)Creating the Cosmos

Sacred Well, let your waters flow down, down to all the sweet waters beneath the earth.  We ask you to become the mouth of the earth, the eye of the earth, the opening of the earth.
(give offerings to the Sacred Well in the offering bowl)

Sacred Fire, become all the fires that have burned and that ever will.  And may you carry our words, praise and love to the Gods and Goddesses, Ancestors and Nature Spirits.
(give offerings to the Sacred Fire in the offering bowl)

Sacred Tree, roots going into the Mother below and with your crown stretching to the heavens above, we ask that you connect this world with all the other worlds.
(give offerings to the Sacred Tree in the offering bowl)

Opening the Gates

Warder of Asgard, Heimdall we hail you, Keen-eared and sharp-eyed, biding on Bifrost, Gjallerhorn's holder - to you we offer, Son of Nine Mothers, by Fire and by Water.  Watch us and ward us as we work the Old Ways.  Aid us now, royal one, hold open the gates!  Now we bid Bifrost be here among us. Descend from dwelling of Gods, bright Asgard.  A rainbow of light from all ways flowing.  Carry our calling to all the Aesir.  By Nine Flames shining, by Waters flowing, by Heimdall's magic, Gates now be open!
ALL: BY HEIMDALL’S MAGIC, GATES NOW BE OPEN!

Inviting the Kindreds

We call now to you who have come before.  Ancestors of our tribes, our people, and of the tribes that were in this place before us.  This offering is for you.  (place offering in offering bowl)  We ask that you give us your aid in our work today.  Ancestors, be with us!
ALL: ANCESTORS BE WITH US!

We call to the Spirits of Earth, creatures of land, you who walk, crawl, and grow, creatures of the waters, who swim, float, and cleanse, creatures of the sky, who fly, glide, and soar, and to those of the Fair Folk who live with us here.  This offering is for you.  (place offering in offering bowl)  We ask that you join your might with ours for this rite.  Spirits of the Earth, be with us!
ALL: SPIRITS OF THE EARTH BE WITH US!

We call now to all the Gods and Goddesses not specifically named in the rite, the mothers, the warriors, healers, gods of the land, gods of the sky, gods of the earth and of the people. This offering is for you.  (place offering in offering bowl)  We ask that you join us today and give your aid and your blessings to this working.  Shining Ones, be with us!
ALL: SHINING ONES BE WITH US!

Offerings and Invitation to the Beings of the Occasion

Ullr (“OOL”), great huntsman and master of the bow,
Sif’s son and Snowshoe-Aesir,
We ask you O Glory of Winter to join with us on this dark night,
For the frost is thick and the cold is chilling to the bone.
O mighty shield-god, fair of face and fight,
As the darkness covers the fields and the folk,
We pray that you share your strength us,
That your skiff should shield us from harm,
And that your shining light fill the hall the and Folk again.
Ullr, be with us!
ALL: ULLR, BE WITH US!

Skadhi (“SKAH-DEE’), great huntress and serpent-hanger,
Njord’s husband and snowshoe-goddess,
We ask you O Shining Bride of the Gods
to join with us on this night of darkness,
For the winds are wailing and the wolves are howling in the hills.
O mighty winter-goddess, woman of the wild,
As the darkness covers the fields and the folk,
We pray that you share your strength with us,
That you guide us in our goings and doings,
And that you bring the light of your wisdom
to fill the hall and the Folk again.
Skadhi, be with us!
ALL: SKADHI, BE WITH US!

Individual sacrifices, if any, are to be done here

Prayer of Sacrifice

So we have given of our love and our wealth to the Mighty Ones. Now let our voices arise on the fire, let our voices sound in the well, let our words pass the boundary to the otherworlds. Blessed Folk, we give you our love, our respect, our devotion as we pray you.  Mighty Kindred, accept our sacrifice!
ALL: MIGHTY KINDRED, ACCEPT OUR SACRIFICE!

Omen

Having prayed to the powers, let us open to them, asking what blessings they offer us in return.

Omen is taken as usual. The seer then interprets the omen.  Company recenters in preparation for the
blessing.

Calling for the Blessings

Ancient and mighty ones we have honored you. We pray you honor us in turn, for a gift calls for a gift. Hear your children.  Shining Ones, give us the waters!
ALL: SHINING ONES, GIVE US THE WATERS!

We thirst for the waters of wisdom, of bounty, of rebirth from the well of wisdom, from the spring of renewal, from the bosom of the earth mother. Hear us.  Shining Ones, give us the waters!
ALL: SHINING ONES, GIVE US THE WATERS!

We open our hearts to the Great Ones blessing. We stand in pride, honor and friendship with all the powers of the worlds. Hear and answer us now.  Shining Ones, give us the waters!
ALL: SHINING ONES, GIVE US THE WATERS!

Hallowing the Blessing

(Ale/whiskey is poured into horns or cups as applicable)

We draw blessings from the cauldron of life. We pour the ale of inspiration. Behold the holy cup of magic, the outpouring of blessing from the Mighty Ones. When we share the draught of the gods we drink in wisdom, love and strength to do as we will in the worlds, in service to the shining ones.  Hear us and hallow these waters! We, your children, rejoice in your gift. Bless our spirits and our lives with love, magic and bounty as we drink these sacred waters.  Behold the Waters of Life!
ALL: BEHOLD THE WATERS OF LIFE!

Affirmation of the Blessing

The cup(s) are taken around by the Officiant saying, “Behold the Waters of Life” with the Celebrant repeating back, “Behold the Waters of Life.”  The last Celebrant offers the Blessing to the Officiant.

Workings (if any)

Any?

Thanking the Beings

Ullr, god of the hunt, we thank you for your aid and your blessings today.  As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return.  (place offering in bowl)  Ullr, we thank you!
ALL: ULLR, WE THANK YOU!

Skadhi, goddess of winter, we thank you for your aid and your blessings today.  As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return.  (place offering in bowl)  Skadhi, we thank you!
ALL: SKADHI, WE THANK YOU!

To all the gods and goddesses who were here, but not named, we thank you for joining with us and giving your blessings.  As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return.  (place offering in bowl)  Gods and Goddesses, we thank you!
ALL: GODS AND GODDESSES, WE THANK YOU!

To all the Spirits of Nature, we know you are around us every day and are always in our lives.  We thank you for joining with us today and giving us your blessings.  As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return.  (place offering in bowl)  Spirits of Nature, we thank you!
ALL: SPIRITS OF NATURE, WE THANK YOU!

Ancestors, without you we wouldn’t be here.  We thank you for joining with us and giving us your blessings.  As this rite is ending, we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return.  (place offering in bowl)  Ancestors, we thank you!
ALL: ANCESTORS, WE THANK YOU!

Closing the Gates

Heimdall, you have been our guide to Asgard.  We ask that you come to us now as this rite is ending and we give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return.  (place offering in bowl)  Heimdall, we thank you!
ALL: HEIMDALL, WE THANK YOU!

Heimdall, we ask you to join your magic with ours, and let the Well be once again a well, and let the Fire be once again a fire, and let the Tree be once again a Tree.  Heimdall, let the gates be closed!
ALL: HEIMDALL, LET THE GATES BE CLOSED!

Thanking the Earth Mother

We give you our thanks, Earth Mother, for being present during this rite of our thanksgiving.  Please walk with us through our nights and days, both the sad and the sweet.  We give you this gift in parting, given out of love, with nothing asked in return.  (place offering in bowl)  (bestow a kiss on the earth, as you are able)

Meditation/Return Flow

Once again close your eyes.  Using your inner vision, look at the sacred space filled with bright swirls of energies – energies that have come from above and below and from within yourself.  Take those energies from the Sky above and bring them back into yourself.  Now, let your being expand upward, back toward your special star.  Bring those energies with you and guide them on their way back to the star.  As the energies leave your being, keep what you need for yourself, and let the rest go.  Let your being return to your body as you continue.

Now, as you look around you, you see that energies of the Earth are still swirling around you.  Take these energies into yourself and start transferring them back to where they came from, back into the dark, moist earth below you, back under the skin of the Earth Mother, keeping as much as you need for yourself.  Let your being return to your body.  As this phase of the work draws to a close, allow your body to be energized by the forces that have gone through it.  Open your eyes and look around you at the sacred space.  Be at peace with yourself.

Closing the Rite

Go now with the peace of the blessings of the Kindreds.  Walk in the joy of the coming sun.  And most of all, be good to each other.

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