Yule Ritual Summary

Yule Ritual
December 17th, 2017
Deities of the Occasion: Danu and Bel
Offerings: decorated wreath
Omen: Ehwaz – Gebo – Jera
Return flow: tree ornaments
Attendees: 8


Our first indoor ritual of the season, to both Grandmother Danu (at her most dominant time of the year) and Grandfather Bel (as his least). We went without a live tree this year, using our regular porta-bilé and decorated a wreath instead. Return flow was a set of lovely berry-wreath wire ornaments made by Gen. And so begins the cold time of the year. Happy winter to all!


Ritual Summaries: Fall Equinox and Samhain

Fall Equinox Ritual
September 17th, 2017
Deity of the Occasion: Ana
Offerings:  decorated gourds
Omen:  Isa – Sowilo – Kenaz
Return flow: cider
Attendees: 4

Samhain Afternoon  Ritual
November 4th, 2017
Deities of the Occasion: Lugh and Ana
Offerings:  skull cookies
Omen: Dagaz – Berkano – Gebo
Return flow:  rune candy
Attendees: 7

Samhain Evening Ritual
November 4th, 2017
Kindred/Deity of the Occasion: The Ancestors and Manannan
Offerings:  whiskey
Omen: Isa – Fehu – Sowilo
Return flow:  rune candy
Attendees: 15


There are photos from before and after the Samhain Evening Ritual at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidrozian/sets/72157666011103429/

Only four people came to the Fall Equinox ritual, which was obviously a disappointment to me.  (I’m tempted to include the persistent spider in that attendance figure, but then Gen and Amy would both scream at me.)  We thanked Ana for bringing the life to the land in the form of the second (fruit) harvest.

Samhain was much better attended, despite the bad weather, since for the first time we have an outdoor site with an indoor site available to move into.  Fox and Marisol were kind enough to rearrange their living room for us, and it turned out to be just big enough for 15 of us without feeling cramped.  As is our custom, the afternoon rite celebrated the reunion of Lugh and Ana at the end of the growing season and beginning of winter, and in the evening rite, we honored Manannan and shared the stories of our Ancestors.

The outdoor rituals are now finished for this turn of the Year Wheel, and now we’ll be returning to the Friends Meeting in Ann Arbor for our indoor rites.  See you there!

A Month of Writing Prayers


(Several members of the ADF Clergy Council are participating in NaNoWriMo this month by writing a prayer a day.  I won’t be taking part this year, since I want to focus on writing the Study Program for the Hellenic Kin, but I did take part last year, so I’ll post a compilation of what I wrote then.  Enjoy!)

In ancient past
The one born first
And then born last
From Kronos burst

And now to you
We call your name
To join us through
Your living flame

Your heat and light
The central site
Of household rite
And all delight

Hail Hestia!



May this ochre on my head
Join me to the Realm of Land
And keep me grounded

May this water on my hands
Join me to the Realm of Sea
And keep me cleansed

May this smoke around my body
Join me to the Realm of Sky
And keep me energized

The Land supports me
The Sea surrounds me
The Sky enshrouds me
And I stand at the center
Ready to begin

May the Three Realms purify me!



You are the quiet space in the noisy wood
The place where all beings gather together
When the year shifts its seasons, we journey to you
To recreate the Cosmos and renew the ancient ways
And connect your here and present with all past and future days

Hail Nemetona!



Silver on my tongue
Light in my eye
Centered in the Realms
Touching Land, Sea, and Sky

Give me the words
Give me the rhymes
Give me the bardic fire
Ignite my mind

Teach me how to speak
Teach me how to call
Teach me how to sing
Help me inspire all

Awen, let your light shine down!



Deep beneath the earth and many miles away
You travel up toward the sky, then down to the sea
Pouring over dams, oozing through wetlands
Gliding through villages, flowing through cities
Fed by streams, leaving lakes in your wake
Connecting the wild and the orderly for over a hundred miles
Receiving all outpourings, and pouring out your blessings
To all that live within your ‘shed

Hail Ana, River Mother!



Radiant daughter of Thaumas and Elektra
One foot in the sky, the other below
You carry water from the sea to the clouds
Glowing with the sunlight, shining through the rain
Between all realms you fly effortlessly
In service to Hera, you bring divine words
Virgin goddess, wielder of the kerykeion

Hail Iris, rainbow messenger!



Remember the Sages
The smoke of their offerings
And the sound of their songs
Rising high into the sky

Remember the Warriors
Protecting the boundaries
Blocking those who would disrupt
The beach holding back the waves

Remember the Producers
Planting the seeds
Tending the animals
Shaping what the land gave

Remember the three functions
Of the ancient peoples
As we continue their work today!



Ancestors of Birth
The blood that flowed in you
Is the same that flows in me

Ancestors of Spirit
The knowledge that came from you
Is the same that inspires me

Ancestors of Place
The ground that you walked on
Is the same that holds firm beneath me

Hail the Ancestors!



Worms tunneling
Moles digging
Badgers burrowing
Roots gathering
Shoots growing
Seeds germinating

Life in the ground
Life in the dark
Life in the Land below
We call to you
Be with us in this space

Hail, Spirits of the Underground!



Shining Gods of the heavens
We call to you
Descend to us on a ray of light

Powerful Gods of the waters
We call to you
Flow to us with the tide

Deep Gods of the underground
We call to you
Stand firmly with us on this land

Deities all, we call to you: be with us!



Thallo, bringer of blossoms
Spring brings your blessings
New bloom, new life, new hope
And then the wheel turns

Aukso, bringer of growth
Summer brings your blessings
Growth of the plant, growth of the animal
And then the wheel turns

Karpo, bringer of food
Autumn brings your blessings
The ripening and the harvesting
And then the wheel turns

The cycle is always spinning
From old end to new beginning
You three sisters, hand in hand
Bring the blessings of the land

Hail the Three Seasons!



We are here to sing our praises to the Kindreds
That they may rise on the smoke of the Fire
Resound in the depths of the Well
And spread outward to all the worlds
And we know that without you
There would be no sacred songs
No sacred dancing, no sacred poetry
From you come the inspiration and the eloquence
And as you share with us, we share with the Kindreds

Hail Polyhymnia, Muse of Many Praises!



The fire of transformation
The flames of communication
Give our offerings transportation
Takes all the good and gives it to the gods
Through you, we give our gifts
Through you, we renew our connection
Through you, the work is done

Hail Agni!



Radiant beams shining down from on high
All outcomes revealed as you fly through the sky
Past, present, future, all melded as one
And easily seen in the light of your sun
We call to you now: O give us a sign
Of what to expect as we walk down time’s line

Hail, Apollo Moiragetes!



From seeds we planted
In the way you taught us
Becoming the tall grain
Grown with your vitality
Reaped and ground by our hand
Then baked by your flame
And now, the bread is made

The Children of Earth
The Three Kindreds
We worked together
Transforming the world
To better us all
And renew the bond between us

May we share in these blessings!



Hark! The herald Hermes brings
Staff with horns and feet with wings
Coming from Olympos high
Crossing land and sea and sky

Listen to his words divine
Give him thanks and pour him wine
Soon, he must be on his way
Zeus calls again, he cannot stay

Hark! the herald god does fly
Carrying news from Zeus on high

Hail Hermes, Angelos Athanaton!



The order of your being flows
From seed to shoot
From shoot to stalk
From stalk to grain
And back to seed

Steadying the soil
Channeling the rain
Storing the sunlight
In a form that we can use

And the grain brings food
And the food brings your order
To the farm, to the town, to the city
From everyday worship in the household
To the grandest of festival rites
The roots of all human activity
Stem from your divine laws

Hail, Demeter Thesmophoros!



When the time comes to make that choice
To put my training to use
To put my courage to the test
To put my body on the line
I will look to your example
And do what needs to be done
To protect others and preserve order

Hail, Tyr!



Son of the stars and the dawn
From mountainous heights, you fly down
Your breath turns the rain into snow
And ice-covered lakes you allow
This time of the year thus requires
Our forethought, so we may prepare
To weather the winter you bring
And wait for the coming of spring

Hail, Boreas the Winter Wind!



Dark and low
Shaped like a bow
Grown with light
Visible at night
Full and round
Easy to be found
Start to wane
Later night you reign
Once more dark
The starry sky is stark
Your cycle through
We now begin anew

Hail Selene!



From soft acorn to small sapling to hard wood
With roots digging deep and branches grasping the sky
Standing firm in the space between
We stand alongside you
That we may share in your strength
Protected by your shade
And connected to the Cosmos

Hail to the Spirit of the Mighty Oak!



Goddess of the eye well, heal my sight
Goddess of the teeth well, heal my bite
Goddess of the womb well, bless me inside
Goddess of all healing, be my guide

Your waters rise from far below
And bring your blessings as they flow
This clootie now with you we share
And ask you for your blessings fair

Hail, Brigid of the Healing Well!



There once was a comedy muse
Who held many humorous views
She could sing in a style
That would give us a smile
And now, she’s the muse that we choose

When we write something short, smart, and snappy
Or an idyll that’s blissful and sappy
If for insight you thirst
Give her offerings first
And you’ll make your whole audience happy

Hail Thalia!



Let us remember the Dionysia of ancient days:

As we walk to the ritual circle, let us remember the pompe
Whole villages walking together to the celebration

As we make our offerings, let us remember the thusia
Everyone coming together to share food with the Gods

As we say our prayers, let us remember the theatra
Tragedies, comedies, all to please the god of the festival

And as we leave, let us remember the poleis and the komai
Urban and rural communities each celebrating in their own way
To maintain the cosmic order that unites us all

Hail, Dionysos Melpomenos!



God of horse, hear my prayer
Grant the speed of a mare
With the wind in her hair
Senses lifted, aware
As I cut through the air
Starting here, going there
Gentle path, weather fair
‘Til the end, which is where
I will give one more prayer

Hail, Poseidon Hippios!



Hiding in the grass
Running among the trees
A flash of red in the green

Smartest in the woods
Too clever by half
Prey have no chance

Cunning trickster, inspire me now
To be always active
And to be always thinking

Hail, Spirit of the Fox!



You spring up from the ground
And send out your shoots
Always reaching, always full of energy
And always smelling sweet
Bless me now with your energy
That I may overcome that which stands in my way
With vibrancy and sweetness

Hail, Minthe!



We make these offerings to the spirit of the local watershed
We do not know your name
We do not know your story
But we know that you are there
We know that all water that falls to your ground rolls into you
And that you bring the life to the land
And that your waters will flow on to other places
And so we honor you, and ask for your blessings,
In the hope that we will one day get to know you

Hail, Unnamed Spirit of the Watershed!



There’s a isle with a western bay
From the land, so very far away
Thirsty sailors landed there one day
For water for their trip

They found a boy near the island’s lake
And he dozed, simply wouldn’t wake
He was so cute, they just had to take
The boy back down to their ship

The sailors grabbed Bacchus, the divine god
For the truth, they couldn’t see
To their ship, to steal the boy-god out to sea

Bacchus had a smell so sweet
From his hair so curly to his tiny feet
Acoetes, the one to treat
With the boy he knew a god

He woke, all in disarray
He had come from far away
But he made it clear he couldn’t stay
For Naxos was his home

The sailors told Bacchus, “you’re a fine boy
“What a good friend you would be
“But we need you here for our journey on the sea”

Acoetes told the other guys
To just take the boy-god homeward
But then vines grew from the sea and grabbed
Their ship and pulled it downward
The men grew scales and flipper tails, so they’d finally understand
‘Cause dolphins never get to go on land

And now, on the solid ground
One man walks to a Theban town
And serves a god who’s still around
He still can hear him say

Acoetes says, “Bacchus, you’re a fine god
“And your prophet I will be
“To ensure that your divine nature, all will see”

Hail Bacchus! May we know you when we see you, and may we treat every stranger well in case we don’t!



The ritual we’ve begun is now done
Sacred guests bid farewell, Portals closed
May the magic we worked in this space
Resonate throughout the Cosmos
And may we carry the spirit of reciprocity
With the Kindreds and with each other
Out into the rest of the world, to share with all

The rite is ended!

Lughnasadh Ritual Summary

Lughnasadh Ritual
August 6th, 2017
Deities of the Occasion: Lugh and Ana
Offerings: wine / “Balor’s eye”
Omen: Dagaz / Eihwaz / Sowilo
Return flow:  sparkling fruit juice
Attendees: 7


August continues to be our low turnout month, with folks having festival and other commitments.  A pity, as the weather was good and the ritual went well!  We did our usual toast to Lugh and Ana, along with the stabbing of “Balor’s Eye” by the two people who didn’t know what would happen when the balloon exploded.  (No spoilers!)

My thanks once again to Fox and Marisol for providing a ritual space for us to celebrate the sun and a tent undfer which we could hide from it.  >8)

Summer Solstice Ritual Summary

Summer Solstice Ritual
June 18th, 2017
Deities of the Occasion: Bel and Danu
Offerings: oil / sun wheel
Omen: Gebo / Tiwaz / Fehu
Return flow: the Lemonade of Life
Attendees: 15


(Ritual photos by David Rozian can be found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidrozian/albums/72157685344104785 )

The weather was sunny but windy, preventing us from getting the pavilion set up, but with none of the possible showers I’d been worried about, it worked out fine.  (Well, I did end up having to navigate my way up the steps into the house for the potluck, but honestly, I need the exercise.)

We had a good turnout, especially considering we did the ritual on Father’s Day to avoid conflicting with Michigan Pagan Fest.  It would be nice not to have to make that choice every year, but that’s the nature of running a public group.

The ritual itself was our usual summer fare of singing and burning things for Bel and Danu.  The solstices tend to be less intense than our other rites, but that’s what Bel and Danu have told us they prefer.

The new site is definitely working out well so far, I just hope Lughnasadh isn’t windy as I suspect it will be hot enough for us to want that pavilion up for shade!

Beltaine Ritual Summary

Beltaine Ritual
May 7th, 2017
Deity of the Occasion: Aren
Offerings: oil / Maypole dancing / fire jumping
Omen: Hagalaz / Raidho / Dagaz
Return flow: Waters of Life / jumping the fire
Attendees: 35


(Photos taken by David Rozian are available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidrozian/sets/72157680579409934/)

It was a lovely day for our first ritual at our new nemeton!  The wind kept the temperature brisk enough that I didn’t need to remove my jacket, even though the circle was out in the sun and unprotected by any shade.  This may be a problem come August, but for May it’s fine.  We also ended up having to place some of our ritual gear out on open ground as well, just because there wasn’t anything to prop it up; Fox’s suggestion of building small portable shrine enclosures is a good one.  As with our previous nemetons, it will always be a work in progress and we will always be finding ways to make the site both more functional and more beautiful.

Fox, being the crazy person he is, managed to climb a ladder and attach the Maypole topper to the top of the 17 foot bile’.  Getting the ribbons under control and tied around the bile’s took a bit longer.

The ritual itself went smoothly.  Offerings of oil were made, along with the Dance of Transcending the Boundary (which I managed to do standing up this year) and the Maypole dance.  I’m glad I had some idea how many people were coming, since Gen had originally only put 16 ribbons on the topper before bumping it up to 28, and all 28 ended up being used!

After a favorable omen, our randomly selected May Queen chose a much taller friend to jump over the hearth fire (much lower than the raised fire pit we’re using as the central offering fire), along with aspurging with the Waters of Life.

After the ritual, folks stayed around for quite some time, conversing and exploring the wooded paths of the new site.  My renewed thanks to Fox and Marisol for making it available to us!

Spring Equinox Ritual Summary

Spring Equinox Ritual
March 19th, 2017
Deity of the Occasion: Ana
Offerings: eggs
Omen: Jera / Nauthiz / Raidho
Return flow: Waters of Life / blessing of the seeds and tools
Attendees: 14


Our usual ritual of finding the life within the land (colored eggs) and telling the story of Ana.

I will sort of miss doing our rituals indoors until next December.  Being outside is amazing, of course, but at the Friends Meeting I can actually move my wheelchair around and help set up.  The outdoor site means either I’m using my walker or someone else is pushing my wheelchair.

It was great to see so many new folks there!  I hope our new outdoor site in Pinckney isn’t too far for folks to travel.

Imbolc Ritual Summary

Imbolc Ritual
January 29th, 2017
Deity of the Occasion: Bríd
Offerings: yarn / storytelling
Omen: Dagaz / Eiwaz / Gebo
Return flow: bread
Attendees: 10


Another lovely Imbolc rite in the basement of the Friends Meeting, our usual site for winter rituals.  Folks were still cleaning up after their post-service meal, but it was clear enough for Rodney and the other early arrivals to have everything set up by 2:15.

We repeated last year’s offering of taking turns telling a story while tying pieces of yarn together, combining both a bardic and a weaving activity.  The omen was good, and we shared Gen’s pull-apart bread as the return.

One departure from the usual is that a few of our members couldn’t attend because they were taking part in protest rallies.  Something tells me that will be a common occurrence for the near future.

Ritual Summaries: Fall Equinox, Samhain, and Yule

Fall Equinox Ritual
September 25th, 2016
Deity of the Occasion: Ana
Offerings: decorated apples
Omen: Fehu / Jera / Hagalaz
Return flow: cider
Attendees: 5

Samhain Afternoon Ritual
November 5th, 2016
Deities of the Occasion: Lugh and Ana
Offerings: decorated skull cookies
Omen: Raidho / Dagaz / Mannaz
Return flow: rune candy
Attendees: 7

Samhain Afternoon Ritual
November 5th, 2016
Deity/Kindred of the Occasion: Manannan and the Ancestors
Offerings: oil
Omen: Ehwaz / Wunjo / Thurisaz
Return flow: bread
Attendees: 18

Yule Ritual
December 18th, 2016
Deities of the Occasion: Bel and Danu
Offerings: decorated tree
Omen: Dagaz / Othala / Jera
Return flow: ornaments
Attendees: 10

Sorry I didn’t get a chance to do proper write-ups for these, but other projects devoured my time.  My thanks to Jan for letting us hold our outdoor rituals at her farm after we were forced to leave Cavallo, and my continuing thanks to the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting for letting us use their space for our indoor winter rites.

Lughnasadh Ritual Summary

Lughnasadh Ritual
July 31st, 2016
Deities of the Occasion: Lugh and Ana
Offerings: libations; the remains of Balor
Omen: Thurisaz / Gebo / Ansuz
Return flow: bread, juice
Attendees: 7


Another lightly attended ritual during the summer doldrums.  Much like the previous ritual, the shaded location at our temporary site kept it from getting horribly hot, and going inside for the potluck was a good plan.

Our Regional Druid, Amy Castner, visited us again, and had the honor of wielding the spear (an actual metal-tipped one this time) to strike Balor.  Her battle cry of “eep” resounded across the land as his head exploded in a blossom of red petals!

My thanks to everyone who was there, and I hope I’ll see lots of people at our table at Ann Arbor Pagan Pride Day on September 17th: http://annarborpaganpride.org/

Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF