Celtic Polytheism, Event, Holiday Celebration, Prayer

Lughnasadh – A Belated Summary

Lughnasadh season is busy in our house because it also usually coincides with the start of the Kemetic Epagomenal Days, and this year it also coincided with my return to Priestessing for the Morrigan.

Altar for the Fox and Fungi Lughnasadh celebration

This year, our main ritual was celebrated with the Fox and Fungi group at our local UU Church, which I co-led with another group organizer. We did a druidic style ritual based on a liturgical outline I’ve devised for the group, which sort of splits the difference between Wiccan ritual structure, UU service structure, and the ADF Core Order of Ritual that I became accustomed to when I was previously a member of an ADF Druid Grove. (Yes, those work together better than you might think!) We called upon Lugh and Tailtiu as the deities of the occasion, and a friend and very good storyteller regaled us all with her version of Tailtiu’s story. Our main working was done with leaves placed in baskets. We each had two leaves. On one, we wrote something we were good at or something we’d accomplished that we were proud of. On the other, something we hoped to learn to do, or something we hoped to achieve. As we listened to musical accompaniment, we each came up to the altar to put our leaves each into the appropriate basket. Later, the leaves were taken outside to our ritual space.

It was nice to be with our community, but it did mean that our home observance went largely undone – I wrote a prayer and Scott poured Lugh and Tailtiu each out a shot of whisky, but we didn’t do a large family dinner. I’ve copied the prayer below, for those interested.

Lughnasadh has arrived,
And the days begin to grow shorter
Fruit is ripening on branch and vine
And grains are golden in the fields

Summer heat still hangs in the air
But we have begin the harvest
We are standing on the cusp of autumn
And soon the nights will be chill

On this day we honor Lugh and Tailtiu
His foster mother, who cleared the land
So that the people might plant grain
She gave her life for her people’s needs

Come to us now, and join in our celebration!
We offer you food, drink, and merriment!
We ask in return for your blessings:
Help us to bring in the first fruits of our labors

Lugh and Tailtiu, Hail and Welcome!

lughnasadh Prayer, by Aleja Nic Bhe Chuille
Paganism, Prayer

Prayers to Athena Columbia

So, some Political Shit went down recently, and part of my reaction to it included this pair of prayers to a local cultus aspect of Athena that I consider to be the Patron Goddess of both Washington, DC, and of the American Government more generally (the ideals, more than the failures, that is).

The first prayer was pretty much a knee-jerk reaction to watching states pass laws that blatantly challenge Roe V. Wade and restrict the rights of the approximate half of their citizenry that have uteri (women, but also some trans men and nonbinary folx).

The second prayer came after the other part of my reaction, which mostly consisted of banework. I realized that the representatives fighting against this wave of BS might need a bit of protection against the baneful workings of the anti-reproductive-rights crowd. (Yeah, I’m not going to call them “pro-life”. They’ve been pretty clear that they don’t actually care about life.)

Also, on the topic of sending protective or blessing magic to representatives, which when unwanted I usually consider a type of banework, Gwendolyn Reece’s recent blog is worth reading. I tend to agree that this type of work is both ethical and needed, but I leave in my usual disperse-if-truly-unwanted clause, leaving acceptance up to them and their guide(s)/god(s)/ancestors. Banework does not mean a working is unethical, just that it may be potentially harmful. However, what I consider ethical and what my fellow travelers consider ethical may not be identical – one should always stick to their own code.

I posted these prayers to a small e-shrine I keep on tumblr, but I thought I’d reproduce them here for all of you!


Prayer to Athena Columbia: We are in Crisis

Athena Columbia! Hear the Prayers of your supplicants!
Lady of American Democracy, we are in crisis!
Oligarchy and Theocracy reign and Freedoms are denied:
Athena Columbia Eleutheria, Lady Liberty, we have need of your Light!
We, the oppressed, will fight in the ways we can:
Athena Columbia Nike, Lady Victory, shine upon us!
We will oppose unjust laws, and promote equity:
Athena Columbia Dike, Lady Justice, guide us!
We will search for facts and oppose lies:
Athena Columbia Aletheia, Lady Truth, show us the way!

Pallas Athena Columbia, Protectress of the United States,
Bright-eyed Goddess, Dread Maiden and Glorious Queen:
Hold us to the promise of our ideals,
Make us ever aspire to your righteousness,
Keep us on the path towards equitable governance,
And destroy those who would privilege only themselves.


Prayer to Athena Columbia: Protect our Representatives

Athena Columbia! Hear the Prayers of your supplicants!
Lady of American Democracy, protect our laudable representatives!
Those who uphold the ideals of freedom and an end to oppression:
Athena Columbia Eleutheria, Lady Liberty, bathe them in your Light!
Those who fight for our rights and for a better future:
Athena Columbia Nike, Lady Victory, show them your favor!
Those who seek to create an equitable legal code:
Athena Columbia Dike, Lady Justice, guide their pens!
Those who are informed by factual reporting and science:
Athena Columbia Aletheia, Lady Truth, help them see clearly!

Pallas Athena Columbia, Protectress of the United States,
Bright-eyed Goddess, Dread Maiden and Glorious Queen:
Help them hold fast to the promise of their ideals,
Encourage them to aspire to your righteousness,
Usher them down the path towards equitable governance,
And protect them from those who would do them harm or lead them astray.

Celtic Polytheism, Event, Holiday Celebration, Paganism, Prayer, Ritual

Imbolc!

 

This year for Imbolc, we helped to organize a ritual at our local UU church.  At home, our deities of the occasion are Cailleach and Brigid, and the group agreed to honor them for our ritual.  We used a shortened version of the ADF creation of sacred space and ritual center, honoring of the Hallows (Fire, Well and Tree), the Kindreds (Shining Ones, Ancestors, and Nature Spirits), and a short meditation to help us connect to the space between the worlds.

Then we invoked the Cailleach and Brigid.  Another participant read a prayer they’d found called “Prayer to Brigantia, Keeper of the Forge“, by Patti Wigington, substituting “Brigid” for “Brigantia”.  I wrote a poem for Cailleach following the same pattern, and Scott read it during the ritual.  I’ve reproduced both, below.

We also tied raffia to pussywillow branches for our hopes and intentions for the spring, similar to cloutie ties, and we sang Kelianna’s song Brighid’s Flame together.

It was a simple ritual, but poignant for many of the participants, and it’s proof that we can pull something together in less than a week.  Still, I think we’re going to plan farther ahead for the Spring Equinox!

 

Imbolc Prayer for Cailleach, by Aleja Nic Bhé Chuille

Hail, Cailleach! Bringer of ice and snow,
She who blankets the world in white,
She who freezes the world so time seems to slow,
She who encourages us to rely on each other,
She who is called the Blue Crone,
And teaches us the true meaning of survival.

Hail, Cailleach! Queen of Winter,
She who frosts the ground with her staff,
She who dropped rocks and made mountains,
She who shaped valleys and hills,
She who flies over the land as a great winter storm.

 

Prayer for Brigantia, Keeper of the Forge, by Patti Wigington

Hail, Brigantia! Keeper of the forge,
She who shapes the world itself with fire,
She who ignites the spark of passion in the poets,
She who leads the clans with a warrior’s cry,
She who is the bride of the islands,
And who leads the fight of freedom.

Hail, Brigantia! Defender of kin and hearth,
She who inspires the bards to sing,
She who drives the smith to raise his hammer,
She who is a fire sweeping across the land.

 

[Feel free to use my prayer to Cailleach for your own rituals, with proper attribution!]

 

Celtic Polytheism, Holiday Celebration, Paganism, Prayer

Prayer for the Solstice

This is a prayer I just wrote for my 3-day Solstice working for Na Morrigna. It’s a little rough, still, but it was written in a fit of inspiration a few moments ago. I may edit it later, but this is the version I used today, and will be using tomorrow and the following day.

We are the children of light

Children of darkness

And seekers of balance

Darkness beneath our wings

Wings that shelter the oppressed

Oppressors fear our darkness

Light that blazes in our eyes

Eyes that witness injustice

Injustice condemned once brought to light

Balance ripens into peace

Peace sown by justice

Justice grows into balance

A never-ending spiral

The spiral of the Sun

The Sun’s renewal never ending

Shortest day and longest night

Night the deepest darkness

Darkness once more birthing light

We are children of the light

Children of the darkness

And seekers of balance

Prayer, Spellwork

Prayer for the 4th

Originally, Glasreo and I had hoped to be part of a small group doing a working in DC today, but that did not pan out for us.  While we hope those colleagues of ours manage to pull off their grand endeavor with the help of the Theoi and other gods, we are home, and adding our power to the tide in our own small way.

A Prayer for the 4th of July

Today, I pray to the gods of War – that peace may be sought and maintained.

Today, I pray to the gods of Truth – that lies may have no power and be silenced.

Today, I pray to the gods of Justice – that the disenfranchised may be heard and provisioned.

Today, I pray to the Mighty Dead of this nation.  I call out to them, and I pour them libation, that they may maintain their legacy, and that the founding principles of this country – the ideals of the Enlightenment – may prevail.

Our Mighty Dead dreamed of a country where all could be free to be who they truly were, without fear.  While we now think many more aspects of individual identity should be protected, and we acknowledge that society does not give us all equal power, we continue to strive in the same ways that they did: increasing liberty and justice for all.  May those ideals unite us, where others would divide us.

I honor also this land – from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, to our northern border with Canada and past that to the Alaskan arctic, to our southern border with Mexico and the Gulf as well as the south Pacific islands.  The land contains many different biomes, innumerable ecosystems, and a great diversity of life beyond humanity.  Land, Sea, and Sky: these, too, are citizens, and they, too, must be protected and cherished.

So Hail to the Gods, Hail to the Mighty Dead, and Hail to the Natural World!

Tonight, my prayers will be lit in sparklers, not incense.