Bealtaine Ritual for the Irish Pantheon

Pre-Ritual Work

The Irish Pantheon–the Tuatha De Danann (the Children of the Goddess Danu)

Explain about how the Tuatha De Danann means Children or People of the Goddess Danu. Explain about the importance of the number three in their Irish culture and magic (sea, land, sky). 

Explain about hospitality as an essential part of Irish myth and paganism (host/guest respect and kindness)

Explain about the connections we have in ADF Druidry to the Irish ways of worshipping their deities.

Beverly will have sage for those who want to be smudged before entering the circle. Also, people will be able to walk up to a bowl of purified water and use it on themselves. People will be encouraged to say “May my cares and worries be washed away.”

Starting the Ritual

Initiating the Rite

Either ring a chime or a Tibetan singing bowl and then state: 

“We have come to honor Irish pantheon.
May our words, actions, and offerings help us 

Through our connections to the Irish druids and filidh
Through our connections to the sea, land, and sky
Through our connections to our own hearts, minds, and spirit
And through our work together on this day.
A blessing on our time together today, a blessing on our lives, and a blessing on the land.”

After Start Purification

Once the deep breathing is finished and everyone has purified themselves, walk around the perimeter of the group with the sage and say:

“By the Might of the Waters and by the Light of the Fire, this Grove is made whole and holy.”

Once it is done, say: “We have centered ourselves and we are now stepping away from mundane life. 
We have prepared ourselves to work with the three kindred.
Our worries and cares are left behind as we engage in our work here.”

All: “Remember we are all brothers and sisters
All people, animals, stones, trees, and the wind.
We descend from the gods and goddesses
We live among the noble spirits of nature and the Good People,
And we all become ancestors.
We are connected to this world and the next.
We come together to honor our connection
May we learn from the ancestors,
May we work in harmony with nature
And may our actions, words, and deeds honor the shining ones.
So be it.”

Acknowledgement of the Outsiders

“To the outsiders interested in our affairs 
Such as the Fomorians and those who bear us ill will
We acknowledge you all and choose to share
A bit of what we have to distract from our cares,
Our workings, our magic, and our prayers.”

Honoring the Earth Mother

Get the steel cut oats to offer to Danu before speaking the words, empowering the offering in your hands.

“Great Earth Mother Danu, we honor you. 
We gather today to honor you and your children–the Tuatha De Danann
We hear the songs of the birds and think of what you’ve created.
We hear the songs of the wind playing amongst the trees branches and enjoy your soothing voice.
We smell the blossoming of the flowers and the cool earth beneath our feet, so we thank you for these gifts.
We feel the warmth of the sun upon our skin and are know imbas as we experience the magic of your creation.
We thank you for all you provide for us. Your blessing is appreciated. 
Danu, accept our offering.

All: “Danu, accept our offering.”

Statement of Purpose

“We stand here together to pay our respects to the Irish pantheon–the Children of the Goddess Danu. The Irish, Welsh, and Celtic ancestors that came before us gave us Druidry, and for that we thank them. The Tuatha De Danann went underground when the Milesians came went into the mounds and their people are known as the Daoine Maithe, the Fair Folk, and to thank the Irish myths, people, and deities for their impact on our appreciation of art, poetry, literature, art, and how to enjoy both the joys and sorrows of living and the celebration of life.”

All: “I am a part of all that is
And all that is is a part of me
I belong here in this world
I belong here as who I am.”

Recreating the Cosmos

Here we will empower the fire with an offering, put silver in the well, and our energy and give offerings to the tree. All three people will move to where the pillar of the cosmos they will be empowering and start giving it their energy before and after their spoken piece.

Opening the Well

“We come to offer silver to the well so that it may stand as our connection to the mighty dead. May our well connect to the waters that lead to the underworld so the ancestors can find their way to join us here for our ritual and our workings.”

Opening the Tree

“We come before the tree and to pay our respects to the noble spirits of nature where descends into their burrows and connects to the World Woods that connect the lands of the past and present throughout our world. May this tree serve as a beacon to help those Fair Folk and the nature spirits that want to work with us in positive and beneficial ways to us for our ritual and our workings.”

Opening the Fire

“We come to empower the fire so that it may stand as our connection to Danu and her children–the Irish shining ones. May our fires become a beacon to the gods in the sky so that they may find their ways to join us here for our ritual and our workings.”

Uniting the Fire, Tree, and Well Together

Together: “With this done, the portals are now open to the three realms in our nemeton.”

Meditation

Here I will do a basic guided meditation using “being a tree” imagery where people first reach down into the earth and pull up the dark waters to ground and empower themselves with, and then reach out to the sides to pull the green energy of the living world and the magic of the world around us into themselves, and finally reach high into the sky and imagine pulling the light from a distant start down into themselves. Then ask people to hold their hands in a V and imagine their spread fingers become like branches reaching out to connect everyone present into a united grove of trees for the purpose of our ritual and working.

Opening the Gates (April)

“We invite Manannan Mac Lir, god of the sea and He who led the Tuatha de Danann to safety. You who straddle the shoreline between the sea and the land, the sidhe mounds and the upper world, and bring us all together, we ask you to open the gates so we may honor those who fall under your care.

Make your offering to the gatekeeper. 

“The gates are now open!”

All: “The gates are now open!”

Offerings to the Spirits of Inspiration

“We make an offering to Ogma Grian-ainech(Ogma Shining Countenance), the warrior god whose greatest weapon was his words. May your blessings inspire us to be as eloquent as you Ogma, tapping into the mystic as Amerigan Whiteknees did, and as filled with magic as the Dagda would be.
Ogma, accept our offering!”

All: “Ogma, accept our offering!”

Inviting/Offerings to the Three Kindred

Calling to the Ancestors

Facing the gathered people, but also focused on the well:

“Mighty dead! We call to you to, ancestors of my blood and the blood of others Donn, first of the Milesians who died upon Ireland’s shores 
We ask you to let us honor and work with those you guard.
We call out the filidh, Amerigan Whiteknees for your wisdom teachings.
We call out to Cu Chulainn, great hero to inspire us in our personal struggles and battles.
We call out to Fionn Mac Cumhaill, to grant us wisdom like his from the salmon of knowledge.
We call out to the druids and filidh of old to aid us in our spiritual pursuits.
We call out to you through the dark waters to the underworld.
We honor you all for what you have done for us, will do for us, and how you look after us.
Ancestors of blood and spirit, accept our offering!”

All: “Ancestors of blood and spirit, accept our offering!”

Calling to the Nature Spirits and Fair Folk

Facing the gathered people with one hand pointing towards the tree:

“The noble spirts in nature! We call to you, spirits of the sea, land, and sky
We call out to the gods and goddesses of nature who look after our world
We call out to the spirits within land and plants that reside around us
We call out to life that surrounds us, 
We call out to the wind that brushes against our skin
Noble spirits of nature, accept this offering!”

All: “Noble spirits of nature, accept this offering!”

Calling to the Gods

Stand behind the fire, facing the gathered people while focusing your energy and words into it.

“Shining ones from the realms above to the Tuatha De Danann who dwell in the mounds, 
Those who watch from on high or from under us, hear our requests. 

Those Irish kings of the Tuatha de Danann:
Nuada of the Silver Arm, the Dagda, and Lugh of the Long Arm
We call out to you and hope you hear our call so we may interact with those you led.
Gods and goddesses, come join us.
Shining ones, accept our offering!”

All: “Shining ones, accept our offering!”

Welcoming the Cosmos: Tree, Well, and Fire

“Gathered kindred, we welcome you to our ritual.”

All: “Gathered kindred, we welcome you to our ritual.”

Key Offerings

Honoring Selu

“Selu, corn mother of these sacred lands we stand upon,

First woman of the Cherokee, we honor you.
Harvest goddess of the Red Earth and of our grove,
We honor you.
Selu, accept our offering!

All: “Selu, accept our offering!”

Honoring Frigg

“Frigg, patron of magic for our grove,
Goddess who guides our hands and hearts when we perform ritual magic,
We honor you.
You how know seidr, spa, and galdr, we honor you.
Frigg, accept our offering!”

All: “Frigg, accept our offering!”

Honoring the Fair Folk

“Bealtaine is one of the two days the Daoine Maithe (the Good People)
Are freely able to come to our world. 
We honor you as we hope you will honor us.
Good People, accept our offering!”

All: “Good People, accept our offering!”

Honoring the Kings and Queens of Our Pantheons

“To the kings and queens of the pantheons of those gathered here, 
We thank you for your presence in our lives and in the goddesses and gods we work with.
We honor you.
Kings and queens of our pantheons, accept our offerings!”

All: “Kings and queens of our pantheons, accept our offerings!”

The Round of Tuatha De Danann Verbal Offerings

Praise Offerings

“To Danu and your children, thank you for hearing our words and accepting our offering! 
To those who followed Nuada of the Silver Arm, Lugh of the Long Arm, and the Dagda
And those who have chosen to join us, 
Thank you for hearing our words and accepting our offering! 
May what was freely given be happily accepted. 
Children of Danu, accept our offerings!”

Prayer of Sacrifice

All: “Children of Danu, accept our offerings!”

Omen and Blessings

  1. What gifts do the ancestors bestow upon me in return for our offerings?
  2. What gifts do the nature spirits bestow upon me in return for our offerings?
  3. What gifts do the gods and goddess bestow upon me in return for our offerings?

Calling for the Blessings/Waters of Life

“Gathered kindred, as we have given to you, we ask that you grant your blessings to us.” 

Lift up the pitcher, hold it in the direction of the fire to get the energy of the gods and goddesses, then towards the well, and finally towards the tree, pausing at each until it feels like the energy has infused the pitcher from their blessings.

“The mighty dead, the noble spirts of place, and the shining ones, pour forth your blessing into this vessel I hold in my hands! Grant us your gifts so that we may take them within us!”

Hold the pitcher slightly above you and feel the energy from the gathered kindred and all the work you’ve done entering it.

Hallowing the Blessing

“This vessel now holds the waters of life as blessed by the kindred! We accept your gifts!”

All: “I accept your gifts!”

Affirming the Blessing

Pour the water into the cups. 

“May these gifts we have accepted enter into our lives as they entered through each of us. May the blessings spread throughout our lives as the blessed liquid spreads throughout our bodies.”

Magic Working

Thanking the Beings

Thanking the Gods and Goddesses

All: “The shining ones, we thank you and bid you farewell!”

“Goddesses and gods who are children of Danu, we thank you for being here with us tonight and the blessings you have given us. The shining ones, we thank you and bid you farewell.”

Thanking the Nature Spirits and Fair Folk

“Spirits of nature, we hope we are able to make use of the gifts of friendship you gave us and that all the we might do in the present and future in our world. Spirits of nature and the Fair Folk, travel safely and we bid you farewell.”

All: “Spirits of nature and the Fair Folk, travel safely and we bid you farewell!”

Thanking the Ancestors

“Ancestors, we thank you for the wisdom you’ve passed down so that we may connect to the lands through the guidance and wisdom of your experience. May we benefit and learn from what you have to teach us. The mighty dead, we thank you and bid you farewell!”

All: “The mighty dead, we thank you and bid you farewell!”

Thanking the Spirits of Inspiration

“Ogma, we thank you for your presence in granting us imbas and empower our words 
So that we may speak and perform our ritual with truth, honor, and courage:
The truth of our hearts, the strength of our arms, and the consistency of our tongues.
Ogma, we thank you and bid you farewell!”

All: “Ogma, we thank you and bid you farewell!”

Thanking and Releasing the Gatekeeper

“Manannan Mac Lir, we thank you for your assistance holding the gates open so we may work with the three kindred and tred safely within their domain. We ask you to assist us once more:”

Closing the Gates

Closing the Fire

“May this beacon of flame to the shining ones be just a fire.”

Closing the Tree

“May this connection to the World Woods be just an ordinary tree.”

Closing the Well

“May the deep waters that connect us to our beloved ancestors be just water.”

Bring your hands together. “May the gates be closed.”

Thanking the Earth Mother

“Danu, you who keeps our world alive through your creations and systems, We thank you for your presence in this ritual and in our lives.
Danu, we thank you and bid you farewell!”

All: “Danu, we thank you and bid you farewell!”

Ending Meditation

Do a simple grounding technique and have people shake out a bit at the end.

All: “Remember we are all brothers and sisters
All people, animals, stones, trees, and the wind.
We descend from the gods and goddesses
We live among the noble spirits of nature and the Good People,
And we all become ancestors.
We are connected to this world and the next.
We come together to honor our connection
May we learn from the ancestors,
May we work in harmony with nature
And may our actions, words, and deeds honor the shining ones.
So be it.”

Closing the Rite

Paraphrased from John O’Donahue:
“May the nourishment of the earth be yours
May the clarity of light be yours
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the gods, goddesses. and ancestors be yours.”

“As has been done before by those who have come before us, we have thanked and honored the gods, the ancestors, the faeries, and the nature spirits. May their gifts, wisdom, and strength grant us what we need to be able to properly honor them all and continue to do our work to help us all.

Strike the chime or Tibetan bowl three times to signify the end of the ritual.

(Image by Romacdesigns from Pixabay)

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