Spring Equinox Ritual for Lada

Pre-Ritual Work
Give people some garden-worthy sunflower seeds to place on an ice cube or two to use as a blessing in their own lives (if they can’t plant it) of the gift of spring and the energy it entails or plant it to help bring the beauty and light of a sunflower to the land which is a symbol for Ukraine.

Slavic/Ukrainian Goddess—Lada
Lada is the Slavic (Ukrainian) fertility goddess of summer, love, and beauty. On the Spring Equinox, Gerovit (god of the sun and war so he can rule the months of summer) releases Lada from Irij (where souls go after death and birds go for winter) to bless the world for the spring and summer months before she returns Irij for the winter.

The idea behind today’s ritual is for us to send Lada’s blessing of the energy of renewal and love to the Ukrainian people and the situation with the war with the hope that we will help them with the promise of love and the positive possibilities of spring. We will also be tapping into the energy we are sending for the Ukrainian people for tapping into the energy of Lada and the promise of spring.

Starting the Ritual

Initiating the Rite
Either ring a chime or a Tibetan singing bowl and then state: 
“We have come to honor Lada, the Slavic fertility goddess of summer, love, and beauty.
May our words, actions, and offerings help us connect her energy with the people of Ukraine in their time of need. May we bring hope to them in their time of need.
May we bring a blessing on behalf of of the Ukrainian people, a blessing on our time together today, a blessing on our lives, a and a blessing on the land.”

Purification
People to purify themselves with, everyone else will be taking slow, centering deep breaths in, and slow exhalations out. As people dip their fingers into the water and tap it upon their heads (or sprinkle) and over their hearts, “May your cares and worries be washed away.”

Once the deep breathing is finished and everyone has purified themselves, the next thing spoken:

“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 nature spirits
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 the nature spirits,
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
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 Mokosh before speaking the words, empowering the offering in your hands.

“Great Earth Mother Mokosh, we honor you. 
As the frozen earth lets go of the winter
And the moist soil of spring brings forth the promise of spring, 
We feel the hear the songs of the birds as they are released from Irij.
We hope that you will protect all of your children in their own lands. Your blessing is appreciated. 
Mokosh, accept our offering.”

All: “Mokosh, accept our offering.”

Statement of Purpose
“We stand here together to pay our respects to Lada, Slavic and Ukrainian goddess of the summer, love, and beauty on the day she is released from Irij to the bring spring back to the world. We hope to be able to connect, work with you on behalf of ourselves and for the Ukrainian people, and better understand and be aware of you all through our workings and offerings today.”

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.

Well: 
“We come to make an offering 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.”

Tree: 
“We come before the tree and to pay our respects to the spirits of nature by connecting with the World Woods that connect the lands of the past and present throughout our world. May this tree serve as a beacon to help the nature spirits that want to work with us in positive and beneficial ways to us for our ritual and our workings.”

Fire: 
“We come to empower the fire so that it may stand as our connection to Lada and the 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.”

Fire, Well, and Tree together: 
“With this done, the portals are now open to the three realms.”

Meditation 
Here I will do the basic Two Powers guided meditation using “being a tree” imagery, and then perform a short meditation where people have their eyes open and really experience the sounds, smells, sights, and sensations of being outside.

Opening the Gates 
“We invite Zorya, goddess of the Morning Star and Evening Star, to open the gates between our realm and the other realms.
Zorya who opens the gates of heaven in the morning and closes them at night, whose time is between light and darkness, we ask you to join us.
Zorya, we ask that the gates be opened.”

“The gates are now open!”

All: “The gates are now open!”

Offerings to the Spirits of Inspiration
“We make an offering to Veles, god of poetry, wisdom, the underworld, protector of cattle, and trickster god whose fights against Perun bring the much needed rains. 
May your wisdom and blessing for poets help us create a beautiful ritual today.”
Veles, accept our offering!”

All: “Veles, accept our offering!”

Inviting/Offerings to the Three Kindred

Well: 
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 
Who have walked the path of healing and helping,
We call out to you through the dark waters to the underworld.
We call out to the doctors, the nurses, the herbalists, 
The wise women and men, the hedge witches,
The seidr, the shaman, and those who help heal new and ancestral wounds and pain.
Ancestors of blood and spirit, accept our offering!”

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

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

“Peaceful Chuhaister and the spirits of nature, we call to you!
May our words dance as music to your ears.
We also honor the creatures that swim, walk, 
Fly, and crawl, as well as the spirits of the land, sky, and sea.
To the elemental spirits of the land,
Chuhaister and the spirits of nature, accept this offering!”

All: “Chuhaister and the spirits of nature, accept this offering!”

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

“Shining ones from the realms above, 
Those who watch from on high and who hear our requests. 
Those who love and care about humanity,
We call out to you and hope you hear our call.
Gods and goddesses, come join us.
Shining ones, accept our offering!”

All: “Shining ones, accept our offering!”

Tree, Well, and Fire: 
“Gathered kindred, we welcome you to our ritual.”

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

Key Offerings 

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!”

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!”

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!”

Lada: 
“Lada, the world needs your blessings for your people right now.
Your people are wanting that which you bring to flourish once again in their lands—Love, beauty, the spring that leads to a beautiful and healing summer
For the Ukrainian harvests that feed so many in Europe need your protection and love.
May your blessings help us manifest love, beauty, and our own promise that spring brings.

Lada, come join our ritual!” 

All: “Lada, come join our ritual!”

Praise Offerings (x2 with x1 for people who aren’t here)

Prayer of Sacrifice:
“To Lada, we hope your coming back into the world helps heal Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. May your love and beauty spread across the lands now that you are back in our world. May this gift honor you so you may help heal our world with the beauty of spring. Lada, accept our offerings!”

All: “Lada, accept our offerings!”

Omen: 
Here are the three questions: 

  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 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.”

Workings

Thanking the Beings

Fire: 
“Goddesses and gods, 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.”

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

Tree: 
“Chuhaister and the 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. Chuhaister and the spirits of nature, travel safely and we bid you farewell.”

All: “Chuhaister and the spirits of nature, travel safely and we bid you farewell!”

Well:
“Ancestors, we thank you for the wisdom you’ve passed down so that we may connect to the lands through the guidance of your experience, the wisdom of your interactions with nature, and the spirits therein. 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: 
“Veles, we thank you for your presence and helping us speak powerful words, so that we may speak and perform our ritual with wisdom, poetry, and a silver tongue.

Veles, we thank you and bid you farewell!”

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

Closing the Gates
“Zorya, we thank you for your assistance holding the gates open so we may work with the three kindred. We ask you to assist us once more.”

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

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

Well: 
“May the deep waters that connect us to our beloved ancestors be just water.”
Bring your hands together. “May the gates be closed.”

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

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

All: “Mokosh, 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 nature spirits
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 the nature spirits
And may our actions, words, and deeds honor the shining ones.
So be it.”

Closing the Rite
“As has been done before by those who have come before us, we have thanked and honored the gods, the ancestors, 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.

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