The Outline Of Druidic Rites
Part 1: ESTABLISHING THE GROVE
In ancient days Pagans gathered in places hallowed by tradition. Sometimes these were temple buildings. More often they were groves and glens in the deep forest, or high places. In our times we must usually recreate the holy atmosphere of the Sacred Groves by ritual and meditation.
The Procession: In some cases the presiding priest/ess will come out of the
Grove and lead a procession of all the worshippers into the holy place. Usually this is accompanied by song. At other times the worshippers are sent to meditate alone then called to the Grove by horn, drum or song. When approaching the Grove one tradition is to circle the Center of the Grove three times in the sunwise direction.
Honoring the Mother: The priest/ess usually gives a simple statement of
beginning, followed by a prayer and offering to the Earth Mother who
upholds our lives and rites. One common custom is to bend and kiss, or place
a hand on, the earth to honor Her.
Opening Meditation: The priest/ess or a Grove member will lead a basic grounding and centering. This attunement helps us to connect our individual souls with the Two Powers. The Earth Current or Underworld Power carries the dark, mixed elements from which all forms arise. The Sky Current, or Starry Power is the ordering pattern that crystallizes forms out of the Underworld potential. Together these powers manifest the Middle World in
which we live.
Following the Grove meditation the Priest/ess gives a statement of
the intention and purpose of the rite and its precedent in the Ways of the
Affirming the World Order: Druidic ritual is anchored in the Sacred Center
world with the Otherworlds of the Spirits. We use one or more of the universal symbols of the Center – the Fire, the Well and the World-Tree. Fire connects us with the Sky, the Well with the Underworld and the Tree is the Boundary Between All Worlds, rooted deep and crowned high.
In this phase of the ritual the Order of the Worlds is acknowledged – first the vertical axis of Under- Mid- and Starry Worlds. The rite may then honor the three worlds of Land, Sea and Sky, or the Four Directions. By affirming these symbols in our rite we acknowledge them in ourselves, making our own souls a temple in which the God/desses may dwell.
Opening the Gates: Meditation on the World Order is a valuable spiritual
tool all by itself. The next part of the rite transforms the simple symbols of the
Center into true Magical gates. First the priest/ess invokes the Deity that has charge of the Ways Between, in the pantheon of the rite. We offer to the
Gatekeeper and ask their help in the work.
The symbols of the Sacred Center are then conjured to function as the Gates Between. Through these gates we send our love, worship and offerings to the powers and they, in turn, send blessing to us. As long as the Gates are open our thoughts and impulses can be heard clearly by the God/desses and Spirits.