Cylch Blodeuwedd

Druidic Grove in North-West Wales

What is Ritual? Why should we have it in our lives?

by gillian - November 4th, 2012.
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What is Ritual?

Why should we have it in our lives?

WHAT IS RITUAL?

Ritual is the fine art of taking a break. Pausing on this trodden path of everyday life, we give ourselves the time to see where we are walking. It is “time out”. It is experiential. A profoundly personal act even when shared, ritual reconditions our perspective. It is the practice of reminding ourselves of the value and power of living. It is that moment in which we stop and, looking around, understand that life is sacred.

(And if something is sacred to us when we perceive its spirit, there is no need for us to set that thing aside as being too precious to handle. Far from it. Relating to the sacred inspires communication).

Ritual is the act of pausing to learn on a journey that leads us to know that all life is sacred.

RITUAL IS:

Certainty: Ritual helps us to focus on what we believe and so create an inner certainty. Where there is faith, a craving to believe, ritual guides that need to a place of knowing, grounding it, assuring us that it is real. Put another way, ritual helps us to take complex spiritual concepts and bring them into actual tangible reality that we find easier to identify and interact with. It helps to make our beliefs more accessible to us and more easily integrated into our everyday lives.

Congruence: Ritual is a tool for harmony. The process and perspective of ritual directs us to the essence of our spirit’s purpose, while acutely attuning to the changing world around us. Therefore ritual becomes an interface between our most inner beliefs and our daily life and practice.

Relationship: Ritual helps us to forge relationships and deepens our connection. It provides us with physical tools and direction to honour the individual…. the new moon, the old oak tree, the person we love…. as a sacred being, but it also provides us with a time and place that is dedicated to developing and deepening our relationships further. Ritual provides an arena in which we can discover, and deepen and extend our discoveries. Within ritual,we are able to explore the sacred, experiencing life through our own spirit energy and connecting with that of others. It is within that vision, connecting with spirit, that we are most filled with the creative energy of life. It is here that we find our inspiration, in the beauty and power of spirit’s creativity.

Change: The primitive drives of life are the ones that cause most mayhem, both within the individual psyche and within our society. These are the drives of survival, reproduction and familiarity. Ritual can be harnessed to help specifically address those subjects that are difficult to deal with, particularly those clouded with social taboos such as sex, death and insanity. Ritual can afford us a time and space for safely expressing deep emotion through periods of crisis and confusion. Where our perceptions are confused, tattered or wounded for any reason, the language of ritual offers us ways to reconnect with what heals, allowing us to clarify our beliefs, sort out the positive from the negative, and once again claim our strength. Grounded in the here and now, ritual is a potent technique for facilitating and enabling any process of change, re-creating and reconnecting us, body and soul, to the nourishment that the world around us naturally provides.

Celebration: Ritual is a way of marking and honouring changes in our life. Once change in our life

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has been achieved, whether by ritual or determination, celebrating and joyously marking that change is a critical part of the process. It affirms that the shift is done; declares it openly to those who would witness it, and closes the gate to ensure that reversing is not an option.

Clear intent connects our physical actions with their spiritual outcome.

ACTIVITIES THROUGH WHICH RITUAL IS CONNDUCTED:

Words and Prayers: Ritual language must accordingly have within it a clear intent which speaks to spirit, a flow of energy that engages with our subconscious perception, and an action that communicates to the outside world what has been done. Our intention, through congruence, slides into the creativity of manifestation.

(But also bear in mind that it is of vital importance to have very clear and definite intent in your mind, positively in your heart and soul, before you even put such things into words!)

Stories and Poems: These can be used to express elusive emotions and capture complex thoughts; or, in the case of stories, archetypal situations, characters and problems can be illustrated and discussed.

Drama and Mythology: Another useful tool to illustrate problems or remember important events or concepts. Drama allows the person to assume the mantle of another character and briefly begin to experience another persona from the inside out, thus deepening our understanding and awareness.

Music and Dance: Methods of literally attuning oneself to the energies of mood, thought, emotion and expressing them through sound and movement which literally resonates with energetic vibration. One could almost say that it is the sacred, the hidden within us, made externally manifest.

Trance, Chants, Meditation: All mechanisms to enhance attunement and connection, generally or specifically, or to heighten awareness and clarity of perception. For example, when seeking to clear and cleanse oneself, seeking greater nurturing, or the answers to specific questions and challenges.

“ESSENTIAL ASSECCORIES”:

“There are none. If we can’t make a ritual work with no tools whatsoever, we have no hope of making it work with a clutter of props” Emma Restall Orr.

Robes: There is no uniform code of dress or colour of robe in the druid tradition, though some orders do work with certain ideas from various old manuscripts. White robes are very often used, symbolising the highest light or attainment of knowledge, while many robes are of naturally died an d unbleached fibre, giving the impression of an off-white robe. Some druids consider the potency and vibration of colour more important, wearing the blues of the ocean, greens of the forest, greys of rocks and thunderclouds, reds of bloodlines, browns of earth, etc..

Yet why wear a robe at all? One reason is that when we step into ritual clothes, we step into the mindset of perceiving the sacred world. It is one of a number of ways in which we can move from mundane perception to the state of mind needed in a ritual.

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Other ways include:

  • Ensuring there will be no distractions; taking the phone off the hook, allowing yourself a sacred period of seclusion.

  • Bathing, perhaps in water scented with essential oils or an aromatic infusion of herbs or flower petals.

  • Changing the lighting, closing the curtains, turning off all the electricity, using only candles, lanterns or firelight.

  • Changing into clothes and jewellery that are used only for ritual or special and sacred occasions.

Altar: The value and use of an altar is as an enduring tool for focus. When our sanctuary, both of our body as intimate space and th inner temple of our mind, is strong enough to be unaffected by distraction, our spirit centre is the pivot, the balancing point, with our consciousness taking our perspective wherever it will. When the world around us is buzzing with distraction, the focus point of an altar is quite invaluable.

Your altar might be dedicated to a god or goddess, your ancestors,, the land which feeds us, etc.. Family objects or photographs might be placed here; natural items, works of art. In fact, any artefact or object which expresses the beauty and power of the forces which we are honouring through our alter and which will guide us to focus better – seashells, pine cones, leaves, stones, fossils, or pictures. The important thing to remember is that whatever you place on your altar must resonate and be significant/important to you. Objects on an altar are an aid to focus, and the mental and emotional associations we have with everything we place upon it must be considered.

Candles are perhaps one of the most helpful tools. Lighting a candle on an altar clarifies our focus, bringing us back to perceive the sacred, while at the same time being an act of thanksgiving, honouring whoever or whatever the alter represents.

Power Objects: Feathers, fur, claws, teeth,horns, shells, bones, pebbles, stones, pieces of wood. Anything that is loved and respected soon starts to glow and it’s innate spirit shine through and resonate with your own.

Incense: If you accept that everything resonates with it’s own energy, so do the plants and spices which are used to make incense, whether they are essential oils, dried herbs, seeds, resins, petals, berries or tree bark. Incense is usually used for consecration and cleansing, but can assist the mind to focus and concentrate in many different ways for a wide variety of purposes.

Fire: The element that is often considered most powerfully transformative. Where ritual requires a symbolic or actual process of release, representations of what we are letting go can be given into the ever-changing, bright flickering, consuming flames. Also a way of making offerings to the ancestral spirits; fire is an ideal medium, for it takes the physical and reduces it to its pure spirit essence, where spirit to spirit, it can be shared.

The Bowl: Cups, glasses, bowls, chalices, cauldrons. Symbolic of the womb, the power of the feminine creative source, the black iron cauldron is the most important representation, which holds the terror of true potentiality the depths of the unknown, the dark void of the universe, infinite and boundless.

Weaponry: Symbolic power of masculine creativity….knives, swords and wands represent the penis

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that balances the energy of the cauldron womb, and can be used for directing energy and the flow of intention.

The Staff:A wooden staff works in much the same way as a wand. Though not used so much for directing energy, staffs also show relationships between trees and druids. The druid carries his or her staff as a symbol of their connection to that tree, or that species of trees, and a reminder of the wisdom of all trees. The wood is chosen for its unique wisdom and natural lore; the weight and length (traditionally shoulder height) are carefully determined. A staff amplifies our rootedness deep in the earth, our arms open wide to the beauty of the skies as the branches of a tree, the stability of the trunk reflecting the core of our physical being.

Offerings: These are an essential aspect of the druid tradition, as they represent the mutual and appropriate exchange of energy on physical, emotional and spiritual planes. When we are inspired, it is necessary to offer our thanks in return. Many druids will carry with them at all times an offering pouch. In this will be a blend of herbs, nuts, seeds, dried petals, berries, little stones, or shells; the mixture is unique to the person and the place they live in, and the season of the year. (I personally frequently offer something of myself… like a hair, plucked from my head; or a few minutes of loving or healing energy, or the blessings of light.)

THE FORM A RITUAL TAKES:

Finding Our Feet: Ways/techniques of calming ourselves and truly being present, with clear intention in our minds, before we can begin. A way of coming together mindfully. Of centring ourselves.

Spirits of Place: Before any ritual is performed, it is essential to call on the spirits of the place where it is to be held and ask their permission. If the spirits of a place are not willing to have a ritual take place in their space, then the whole proceedings might become disrupted, disconnected and very unsatisfactory at best, and decidedly distressing and potentially damaging at worst. If working alone, it is necessary only to pause and mentally send out your intention to hold such a ritual, and wait to sense the “feeling” that comes back to you. With a group, good simple language will suffice. For instance:

Hail, Guardian Spirit of this place!

Hail, Guardian Spirit of this sacred place!

Hail, Guardian Spirit of this place!

We come here in peace and with clear intent.

We come here to (state intention)

And we ask, in peace and with respect, that you might accept our presence.

Hail, Guardian, accept our presence!

Guardian, we ask you to accept our presence.

Speaking of the ritual intent is important here, but we are not talking to all those gathered for the event, simply the guardian of the place. Of the three levels of communication we use in ritual, then, the first two are important here: speaking spirit to spirit, where words are not so necessary because energy is the main medium of communication, and speaking to our own subconscious. Spirit will respond through the vibration of energy the atmosphere of the place, though those who are able may see or hear an answer more clearly. The response from our own subconscious tells us how we are feeling deep down about performing the ritual, and this emotional feedback needs to be

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acknowledged. A negative tremor within may not mean that we must c all off the ritual (a stronger reaction will indicate clearly if this is the case), but may offer us a distinct impression of the internal fears that are being addressed by doing it.

Calling For Peace: Calling for Peace in a druid ritual is a tradition with a long history. Affirming that there is peace on many levels, internally and externally, the call works through the psyche, the community and the world beyond. It is a way of assuring that the rite is celebrated without disruption. In some circumstances the druid’s words will establish peace. Any words can be used, but the traditional ones are:

May there be peace in the North!

May there be peace in the South!

May there be peace in the West!

May there be peace in the East!

May there be peace throughout all the worlds!

Defining Sacred Space: Usually, rituals are held out in the open air, with the grass, leafmold, sand or rock for a floor, while the ceiling is the open sky above, with all its colours, clouds, the stars, the moon and the sun. Sometimes a circle of trees or stones might be used and the energies of the resident spirits invited to make the circle stronger. Usually though, a circle is then cast by the druid in person, using a sacred knife, a wand or a pointed finger. This shows a clear intention to detach the sacred space from the surrounding world, creating a “bubble” within which there is absolute safety. Thus the ritual is not affected by the happenings in the ordinary world beyond its boundary, and the world is not affected by what is taking place within the ritual space.

Consecration: Cleansing and calming to the site to be used; druids use the four elements of creation; earth air, fire and water. The first three are found in the form of incense, where plant matter is burned to give off a pungent smoke. Both incense and water alter the vibration of energy in a sacred space, clearing, cleansing,lifting, settling, quickening or invoking. They can be healing and exorcising, affirming and dissolving. Incense can clarify the mind and draw us into different mental states. Water from different sources also has different effects, the salt-water of the sea having more of a cleansing effect than the life-giving energy of fresh water.

When consecrating the circle, the censer is taken to the centre, the altar or the west, where the druid asks that the water be blessed. The smoke of the incense is then offered around the circle, first around the edge, then within the circle of those gathered, then around the centre, three circles being walked altogether before the censer is returned to the altar or centre.

The chalice (container) of water is then taken to the centre, the altar or the west, where the druid asks that the water be blessed. It is then taken around the circle in the same way as the incense the water being sprinkled upon the ground, the altar and all those gathered as the blessings are shared.

The Directions: The next part of the ritual is the honouring of the spirits that inhabit our world. In some traditions, the spirits or guardians are invoked or called into the rite, yet the druidic perception understands that these spirits are already and always with us. Instead of asking for their presence, we offer them our respect, focusing our mind to understand their energies and power, their wisdom and the relationship we have with them. In other words, we reach for the spirit, the sacred,in the four corners of our world, so that we might find inspiration in every part of creation.

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Words that might be used – spoken by four different people:

Spirits of the East, powers of waking and of freedom, blackbird song and eagle’s flight, sylphs of the wind, breath of life in the rose light of dawn, I ask that you honour this our Circle as we honour you. Witness and inspire this rite. Hail and Welcome!

Spirits of the South, powers of vitality and beauty, pride of stag and fire of fox,sprites of the sacred flame untamed, courage and heat, I ask that you honour this our Circle as we honour you. Witness and inspire this rite. Hail and Welcome!

Spirits of the West, powers of fluidity and direction,wisdom of salmon and otter’s play, undines of chuckling brook and raging sea, devas that dance with our love and emotion, I ask that you honour this our Circle as we honour you. Witness and inspire this rite. Hail and Welcome!

Spirits of the North, powers of stability and potential, guardians of earth and ancient stone, creatures of night and fertile soil, badger and mole, silent owl, I ask that you honour this our Circle as we honour you. Witness and inspire this rite. Hail and Welcome!

Spirits of Place: The three Worlds: Once we have established our perception as one which sees the world as sacred, we honour the spirits of place once again, this time not by simply asking the guardian spirits to accept our presence, but in search of actual inspiration from them. This involves specifically addressing the spirits of the three worlds… land, sea and sky. In some druid rites, the words of reverence to the three worlds are expressed in the honouring of the directions. Other rituals in the tradition spend less time on the directions, pouring focus into the three worlds. Some parts of the tradition associate only the land with nature spirits; the seas being the world of ancestral spirits and the skies that of the gods. In practice this is understood to be merely a metaphorical model, and most do acknowledge that there is spirit, ancestral energy and deity in all three worlds.

You of the Sacred Lands, of the skies that hold us and the seas that surround us, tooth and claw, fur and feather, root and branch, flipper and fin, earth and sea and sky, may your journey be blessed by the Gods whom we both revere.

Spirits of Place: The Ancestors: These are the spitits of the land beneath our very feet… those ancestors whose feet walked the earth beneath our feet, whose hands, sweat and blood shaped the landscape around us. We are looking for their wisdom, the stories of their lives that will guide our own.

The nature of the call may vary, depending on the purpose of the ritual. It may be a thanksgiving with offerings, or we may be invoking the ancestors, asking for their presence so that their wisdom might inspire us.

Hail, Ancestors, you of this sacred land, you whose breath we now breath, whose tears have fallen upon this meadow, whose laughter is music lingering among the trees, whose blood has mixed with this blessed soil, honour our rite as we honour you. If you would come in peace and share our intention, join us here that we may learn. Hail and Welcome!

Druidry is a very locally focused tradition and it is the spirits of the environment directly around us that we first turn to and honour, for these are the most important relationships. Yet we never loose sight of the global picture and often a call to the ancestors of the land will be to those of our islands as a whole. If we use more abstract words, such as “ancestors of the land which feeds us” we can extend the prayer, thanksgiving or invocation through the world as a whole.

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The Ancestors: Blood and Heritage: Our blood ancestors are also honoured within the tradition of the Druid ritual. It isn’t necessary to invoke these as souls who drift through the veils: our blood ancestors are within our blood. Their stories, their failures and their mistakes, their victories and affirmations, their life experiences all hum in our bones, flowing through the wires of our nervous system, shimmering in the hologramatic core of every cell. This is our DNA. This is evolution. This is the most powerful source of wisdom, if we would listen to it. It might be remembered too, as we have just crossed the threshold of the millennia, that in just 1,000 years we each have somewhere close to 8,600,000,000 direct grandparents or forebears. We are all related. So we might say:

Ancestors, you who gave us life, womb to womb,hand to hand, breath to sacred breath in the twine of souls through millennia upon this Earth, accept our thanks for your innumerable gifts. Those of you who would join us here in peace, be welcome here. Share with us in the beauty of our celebration.

Like many things, ancestors come in threes; those of the land, those of blood and those of our spiritual heritage. This last group are those who have shared the spiritual and religious beliefs and perspectives that we now hold. They are the druids of old, the priests of the land back through time, those who have revered the gods we revere. While our blood relatives gave us the gift of life, our spiritual forebears showed us the beauty of living:

Hail to you, sacred Ancestors, teachers of old, you whose wisdom has passed through the ages, now to touch us with softness of owl’s feathers, with clarity of mountain water, with strength of undoubted love. Enter our circle, come in peace, that we may know the power of your Awen. So may it be.

Please note: To carry out every part of the ritual form so far could take half an hour. Obviously where there is not the time, a shortened version can easily be put together by blending elements and invocations, prioritizing what is important and what is appropriate. However we condense or extend the opening of a ritual though, it must be kept in mind that the creating of sacred space is profoundly important in any rite. Simply making the temple is the heart of spiritual and ritual practice. Our intention, on some level, is always to acknowledge the world as sacred, and it is the creating of a sacred sanctuary which affirms that perfectly.

The Declaration: is when the druid announces why it is that eveyone has been brought together. The intention was previously stated for the spirit guardian of the locality, so that they would accept and bless the rite; now it is spoken to all who have gathered, in body and in spirit. It is a prayer for guidance, an affirmation of resolve, a confirmation of the goal shared, once again bringing the focus of all those present into the here and now, into “one purpose, one voice and one sacred space”.

The Gods: It isn’t necessary to work with gods in druid ritual. As a spiritual philosophy that holds within it so many different religious paths, from the Classical to the Christian, Nordic to Celtic, the tradition is not primarily about deity, but about our relationship with the spirits of place and the ancestors, communication and connection.

The Action: With the sanctuary created, the spirits of creation honoured, our gods and sources of inspiration invoked, what needs to be done in a ritual can now go ahead and be done; whether it is a ritual for change, a rite of passage or a festival celebration. (We will look at what is done in ritual separately)

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The Grounding: At the end of a ritual the winding down process is as important as creating the temple/circle in the beginning. Any benefit gained can be shattered if the closing is done ineffectively or disrespectfully. When the ritual has been powerful the need to ground is crucial. Simply checking the flow of energy and how we feel may be enough to restore the balance. If not, we can return to the consciousness that we had before the ritual began. Aware of our own sacred circle of intimate space within the wider circle or filling the circle (if that is appropriate), we can again follow the energy of the earth as it seeps into our body, rising through us like summer sap to spread through our branches, reaching up into the skies, as the energy of the sun is gently absorbed by our skin, tingling, slipping down through our bones and into the earth.

Balanced, centred between earth and sky, we review the ritual, olur purpose, the energy we have invoked and the inspiration gained, and we spend the time we need simply letting that current move on into our creative response. Sometimes it is possible and appropriate to pour our inspiration into creativity while still within the ritual space, to dance, sing, write, sculpt, to generate a needed breakthrough, to find a new idea, a new level of healing, whatever it may be. If we must wait, our awareness of the flow will hold and guide our focus until the rite is done, when the energy will pour into the world beyond according to our new creative intention.

The Eisteddfod: The eisteddfod in druid ritual is the “official” place and time for our creativity to be expressed, though the weather, the nature of the rite and every other influence and intention will decide whether and when this is the case.

The Feast: The celebratory sharing of the feast affirms that we are in touch with our physical selves and grounds the rite more deeply. In most rituals this is the simple sharing of bread and mead or wine, (though any other liquid… like water, fruit juices or milk can be used…. and any other food can be substituted such as cake).

The bread is first blessed with the druid touching it to the ground and calling to the powers of the earth, to those of the dark soil that feeds us, to the goddess of the land who nourishes our crops. Rich words of thanksgiving are often used, those that weave with the course and purpose of the ritual, words that are appropriate too for the time of year. The druid might speak of the magical alchemy that takes the green wheat through its golden drying and dying process to emerge from the fires as the sacred loaf, the staple food of our culture. A simple blessing might sound something like this:

Mother Earth, in the name of our Gods and the Gods of our Ancestors, we give you thanks. You nourish us body and soul with your gifts of beauty and of abundance. As you honour us with such precious life, so may we honour you. May this bread be blessed.

The mead, often in a traditional mead horn, but otherwise in a drinking bowl or chalice, is then raised to the skies and the powers of nature are called upon as the druid makes their blessing. Often they will speak of the wild dance of the bees, the nectar of summer’s bright and colourful flowers, the sun’s fire drawn down through sweetest beauty to inflame the sacred drink of our ancestors. A simpler blessing would be something like:

Father Sky, in the name of our Gods and the Gods of our Ancestors, we give you thanks. Light of the Sun and blessings of rain fall upon the body of our mother, bringing forth her gifts. As you honour us with your blessings, so may we honour you. May this mead be blessed.

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The bread is then broken and the first part is given back to the earth. Likewise the first sip of mead is poured upon the ground. If there is a fire or ancestral altar, the next piece and sip are offered to the ancestors with the invitation:

Feast with us, spirit to spirit.

The key individuals in the rite are then offered a mouthful of bread and a sip of mead with a blessing that is apposite to the ritual. Here are a few ideas.

Eat, that no one may hunger. Drink, that no one may thirst.

May this bread be the first taste of an abundant harvest.

May this mead be fire to warm your heart through the winter.

The feast is then taken around the circle and offered to everyone who has gathered. In this way, the blessings of the land and of the ritual are shared.

In summertime, when the rituals are blessed with warm sunshine and can drift on for hours, very often after the ritual sharing of bread and mead, the feast is opened out to become a glorious picnic, the eisteddfod continuing amidst the food and drink.

The Closing: After the sharing of the feast and the eisteddfod’s creativity, the last prayers are said within the circle, with thanks being given to all those whose spirits have inspired the course of the ritual’s flow and blessings offered out to the worlds beyond.

The closing of the ritual is in many ways a simple reversal of the process that created it. Each spirit who has been honoured and invited to witness, inspire, bless and protect the rote is once more honoured, this time with thanks. While most of the spirits of place and the powers of nature who have infused the temple/circle with their energy will remain present anyway, as we come to close the ceremony we say our goodbye:

Return to your realms in peace, as in peace you came to honour this our rite. With thanks, in the names of the Gods of our people, and all that we have been, all we are, all we can become, we bid you from this sacred rite, Hail and farewell!

Beginning with the gods, then the ancestors of blood and heritage, the ancestral spirits of the land, the spirits of place, the three worlds and four directions, dryad, devas the faerie and elementals, all are honoured and given thanks. Nobody can be missed out, for if they are, the energy of that relationship will hold a part of us in that otherworldly place of the ritual, keeping us unsettled and ungrounded.

Spirits of the North, great bear, mighty badger, spirits of the earth, we give you thanks for the gifts of strength and endurance that you have brought to our Circle. My Lady of the Womb, may your gifts remain with all who have gathered here this day. We bid you hail and farewell!

Spirits of the West, wise salmon, laughing otter, spirits of the water, we give you thanks for the gfifts of deep wisdom and fluidity that you have brought to our Circle. My Lady of the Seas, may your gifts remain with all who have gathered here this day. We bid you hail and farewell!

Spirits of the South, proud stag, running fox, spirits of fire, we give you thanks for the gifts of passion and energy that you have brought to our Circle. My Lord of the Wildwood, may your gifts

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remain with all who have gathered here this day. We bid you hail and farewell!

Spirits of the east, singing blackbird, eagle flying, spirits of the air, we give you thanks for the gifts of clarity and far sight that you have brought to our Circle. My Lord of the Rising Sun, may your gifts remain with all who have gathered here this day. We bid you hail and farewell!

The thanksgivings done, the last prayers made, the circle is now ready to be opened., marking the end of the ritual. If the temple was detached by cutting the threads that connect us to all through the web of spirit, to open the Circle the druid weaves those threads again, walking counter-clockwise around the Circle, using the power of their intention. If a barrier of brilliant energy was scribed, the druid withdraws it as they walk the Circle. If the Circle was simply woven together, spirit to spirit, in one intention, the counter-clockwise walk can be enough to open it. Hands held in a circle are consciously unclasped. The outside world trickles in.

If other circles were invoked, those made by the dryads and devas, or the spirits of the stones, these will stay firm and true until the druid, giving thanks, asks that these spirits release their hold. In this way, the shift from the sacred sanctuary of the consecrated circle back into daily life is made a gentle process, step by step.

When a cirlce is opened, particularly one that has been tightly cast, the shift in energy is extraordinary. Often the temperature drops suddenly, a wash of vulnerability sliding in as we are once more exposed to the energies of a changing world. At the same time, there’s the excitement of being able to take what was done in the ritual and integrate it into our ordinary lives. The inspiration gained starts itching to be used.

The druid then offers thanks to the guardian spirit of the place and all those seen and unseen who are still gathered around. The last prayers before the ritual is done might sound something like these:

May the Spirits of this Place have been nourished as much as their presence has nourished us. Guardian Spirit, we give you thanks. May your Gods guide and protect you well, the energy of your worlds flowing freely and inspired. Blessed be as blessed is.

This celebration ends in peace as in peace it began. May the wealth of this rite and the blessings we have received go with us all as we depart this place, to nourish, strengthen and sustain us until we meet again.

So may it be!

(The words and prayers, invocations and blessings written here are given as a guide. It is strongly recommended that people use their own…..)

In other words, every word spoken and action undertaken in a ritual are simply all ways of focusing the mind, body, emotions and spirit on the sacred energies, helping to deepen our intention and connection.

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