Ancestor’s Night

Ancestor’s Night Ritual of celebration and honor – Bolded items are either headings or actions, to make it easier to know what I was supposed to say vs do.

The parts in side parentheses (like this) are after-the-fact notes from me while I write this entry.

Begin Ritual

I am here to honor the gods.

Honoring the Earth Mother

Nameless Mother,
Known to all, and revered.
You stand solid beneath my feet,
Strong rock and soothing moss
Gentle mountains and rolling hills,
Carry me on to the night’s next night.
Support all well, soul of Yggdrasil,
Beautiful blue-green jewel of the Cosmos,
Protector and cradle of humanity,
Honor to you, Nameless Mother.

Offer Rose hips along tree, in well and around fire.

Earth Mother, accept my sacrifice.

Saga, heroine of words
Fine wordsmith with a tongue of tales,
Whose words are like the finest mead,
I ask you spinner of sagas,
To inspire me and give my words power.
Saga, let your inspiration flow!

Offer mead

Saga, accept my sacrifice.

Participant performs A Meditation – (I didn’t do a very good meditation, but I tried. It’s hard to keep your mind blank and think about keeping your mind blank, I didn’t hit a groove – which I have accidentally before – but I gave it my best)

Statement of Purpose – (I maybe was too literal with this, but alas)

The purpose of this rite is to celebrate the life I have, to honor those lives that came before me, and to give praise and thanks as it is due to the best of my ability. To honor the gods and goddesses that call to me, and to honor the ancestors of my life – both in blood and in spirit.

pour a cup of beer for the Outdwellers and take it out of the ritual space:

You who come from the outer dark,
You who stood against the gods and man,
You who are cold of heart and cruel of mind,
Take this and trouble not my work.

Establishing the Sacred Grove through Fire, Well, and Tree

Sacred Fire

Sacred Fire, holy woods
Warm light to fill the hall
Nine realms are known
With my words this night
Let all realms hear the call
Light fires within, warmth to the True
Fire’s flame burns to form the garth
Woods kindle well, with the fire of the hearth.
As I call the Kindred forth…

Cense the fire

I kindle the sacred fire in wisdom, love, and power. Sacred fire burn well within me.

Sacred Well

Holy Well, waters deep
Three streams strong gather the flow
One of Wyrd, the shining ones know
Another yet, icy, serpent-safe
Last of wisdom, many eyes to see
What is, what was, and what will be
Watching sisters of örlog, three
Many eyes look on, watching well.
As I call the Kindred forth…

Silver the well and cense the waters

In the depths flow the waters of wisdom. Sacred waters, flow within me.

Sacred Tree

Mighty Tree, middle of all
Nine realms full its branches make
Much knows Har, High One hung;
Ygg’s steed hight, ever green stays.
Serpent below, eagle above
Squirrel between, Nith-hewer gnaws
Ash-wood tall, wet with white dews
Strong-standing and true, I seek shelter
As I call the Kindred forth…

Cense the tree

Filling the cosmos, cradle to the soul does span the world tree. Sacred tree, grow within me.

Opening the Gates Between the Worlds

Heimdallr, Holy One; Hallinskihdi, Whitest As
Son of nine waves, Sire of Jarl’s sons
Shining guardian, Gjallarhorn holder,
Rune-shower Rigr, Hight Jötun bane
Great golden-toothed Turner of hearths,
Unsleeping reed-giver, Who hears the wool grow
Well-known wise watcher, I ask your help now:
Bïfrost bridge-warder,Open the ways once again.

Sing the Gatekeeper Chant (substituting Heimdall for <gatekeeper>) 3x (I actually forgot to write out the words to the chants, so instead I just chanted whatever came to mind and felt right to say)

Offer Mead

Heimdall, accept my sacrifice.

Let the fire open as a gate, let the well open as a gate, let the tree open as a gate between the worlds, and let Heimdall walk with me in all ways. Let the gates be open!

Honoring and Inviting the Three Kindreds

Ancestors

Ancestors old, Heroes renowned
Blood of my veins, Strength in my soul,
Grandmothers, Disir, Wise watching women,
Weal-bringing warders, I offer you welcome.
Grandfathers, Alfar, light-alf, dark-alf, black-alf,
Weal-bringing warders, I offer you welcome.
Great heroes of eld, might-memory knows,
Your valor shines still, I offer you welcome.
O Ancestors of blood and heart, I call you forth!

Sing Mothers and Fathers of Old 1x -(I actually forgot to write out the words to the chants, so instead I just chanted whatever came to mind and felt right to say)

Pour Mead into offering shell

Ancestors, accept my sacrifice.

Nature Sprits

Land spirits, Keepers of place,
Wise with weather, your knowledge runs deep.
Luck and prosperity, your blessings fall,
Honor to you, I bring this night.
Dragons great, Ancient as earth,
Boulder-homed, Water-homed,
Land homes old, Guardians true,
Your strength is strong still, I offer you welcome.
O Spirit dragons great and small of the natural world, I call you forth!
(I use dragons because it’s pretty ingrained. I’ve pictured dragons as a force of life for most of my own life. Not the d&d kill the ancient wyrm kind, but more as gentle and powerful manifestations of nature.)

Sing Fur and Feather 1x (I actually forgot to write out the words to the chants, so instead I just chanted whatever came to mind and felt right to say)

Pour Mead into offering shell

Nature Dragons, accept my sacrifice.

Gods and Goddesses

Aesir, Vanir, Shining Ones all,
On Itha Plain met, Many moons past,
Of Ask and Embla, My ancestors first,
Many things made, Of the gods we all come.
None of you gods, is not mighty indeed,
Of soul, sense, and being you have given us well,
Taught us of runes, of faith and troth,
Of right-mindfulness, and honor true,
O Shining Ones of magic and might, I call you forth!

Sing Hail All the Gods 1x ( again, I actually forgot to write out the words to the chants, so instead I just chanted whatever came to mind and felt right to say)

Overfill offering shell with Mead.

Gods and goddesses, accept my sacrifice.

Meditation of Merging the Energies and Re-Centering

Honoring the Spirits of the Occasion

Make offering of tea to Grandmother.

Dear Grandmother, I know these words are not your ritual,
I know these gods are not the name of your God.
Yours is mine, though I see and honor them differently.
Yours is mine, though my prayers are said differently.
Yours is mine, a pious life of kindness and acceptance.
Yours is mine, and within these rituals I have found peace.
I make this offering that you will come and share in this peace with me.
I am you, and the stars, and the spirits, and the gods, and you and they are me.
The Cosmos cocoons us all, as the Fire, the Well and the Tree give us strength and life.
We share stars – the lights of the gods, the gifts of life – and are bound by this.
I honor you, in the halls you now dance and delight in, and know that you are never far.
General Praise Offerings to the Kindred

I have called the Kindred here today and it is right to give them praise: A round for the ancestors Share a drink, a round for the nature spirits Share a drink , and a round for the gods Share a drink.

Shining Ones, Noble Ones, and Mighty Ones, I have given you praise and honor! A gift calls for a gift, and I pray to you as I offer up these sacrifices. Accept them, open my heart, and give to me of your blessings.

Quietly chant Come Druids All (1x) (as before, I didn’t recite anything specific, but I did meditate and honestly kind of space out while pulling the runes. I usually keep my hand in the bag and let myself drift every time I pull runes during a ritual. I figure I’m helping myself more if I’m not really thinking about it)

Take the omen, interpret it, and record it.

Receiving the Blessings of the Gods and Spirits

Wyrd’s well waters, I waited to reveal,
Three women weaving, Scores cut and laws laid,
Women writing örlog for the sons of men.
Well have I witness to the glory of gods,
Giving gift for gift, great ones all.
The waters received, wetness of galdr.
Words were spoken and runes were read,
Wyrd was revealed And weal I await.
With these waters let the blessings flow…

Shining Ones, Noble Ones, and Mighty Ones, I have praised you and received your blessings. Hallow these waters and give to me of your power and inspiration and vitality. Seih den Lebenswassern da! Behold the waters of life!

Drink from blessing cup (Mead is delicious, but at night on an empty stomach I was perhaps flawed in my planning.)

Thanking the Kindred and Spirits

Kindred have come, heeded the calling
Honor was given, and honor received.
Great are my dead, and great are my heroes,
Great are my land wights, and great are my gods.
With each call I make to the Kindred true,
They heed my calls more, and our troth stronger be.
Rite ending, words waning, our troth stronger still,
I carry it well, with me all ways
Honor to the Kindred, for ever more.

I have called upon the Kindred and they have answered! With joy in my heart I carry their magic into my life and work. Each time I offer to the powers they be come stronger and more aware of my needs and worship. So as I prepare to depart let me give thanks to those who have aided me.

Grandmother, Ich danke Sie!
Saga, Ich danke Sie!
Heimdall, Ich danke Sie!
Gods, Goddesses, Ich danke Sie!
Mother Earth, Ich danke Sie!
Ancestors, Kindred, Ich danke Sie!
Dragons of nature and life, Ich danke Sie.

Meditation of Re-grounding and Re-centering (I did much better this time, I focused on my breathing and drifted for a bit. It helped to end things in a very relaxing way).

Closing the Gates and Ending the Rite

Now by the keeper of the gates and by my magic I end what I began.
Let the fire be flame,
Let the well be water,
Let all be as it was before.
Let the gates be closed!

I have done as my ancestors have done, and the Kindred have answered.
I go now, a child of the Earth, in peace and blessings. The ritual is at a close. So sei es!

End of Ritual

I spoke longer to my grandmother than what’s written above. Some things are personal and while I mean to share as much as I can, well, some things you keep to yourself I think. Regardless it was a positive experience all around. It was also the only time in the last 36 hours or so that I wasn’t dealing with my headache, so that was nice as well.

Now, to the runes from the draw. It took longer than usual, not only to draw them, but to make sense of them. I read on them a bit right after the ritual but couldn’t make sense of them. It took a few hours of muddling it over in my head, but I think I ended up on the right track eventually. Which is ironic in a way, because they ended up being about being on the right track – far as I can tell.

Uruz – This rune seems to be more about directing energy already there. To organize it and take steps to make sure it’s basically doing what it should be  – or doing what you want it to be doing. It also acts as a forewarning when you need to stock up or protect against something. Like a natural disaster or loss of job.

Because it’s so dependent upon context, I’ll have to look into the rest of these before I can really get a feel for this rune’s meaning.

Next is Raidho the rune of traveling, of change. Paired with Uruz it’s giving me a strong sense of needing to be prepared for a change in the future. Given yesterday’s devotional plus this in the midst of Ancestor’s Night, I kind of feel like I should be stocking piling on comforts and medications so I can cope with whatever is coming and in that sense be in a better position to deal with it. Maybe even end up coming out the other side of it in a better position than I’d be in otherwise.

Finally, Perthero the rune of luck, chance, fate – the dice cup, the rune caster. When I first read these I likened it to winning the lottery, but dismissed that pretty quick – aside from “What are the odds”? the other side to it is more important. I don’t want to get caught up in thinking that all this positivity and these readings mean that I can just coast. Nothing comes to the person who does nothing for themselves.

At least I’d prefer it to not be that way.

In the end, it feels as if the runes themselves are directing energy toward the journey, that while chance still plays its part, something (someone) is looking out for me and doing their best to help me move along the right path. In my Grandmother’s words, I’d say it’s like I have an angel watching over me.

Which is comforting, given that my Ancestor’s Night was built up around honoring my Grandmother and connecting with her, as much as it was to honor the gods and kindred themselves.

Blessings All

~Quin

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Odd Omen

Today’s ritual started off with a knotted back, sore legs, and a tangle inside my own soul to be perfectly honest. I’d had a rough week at work, and my last devotional had gone south, which probably lent itself to the clunky week. I even ended up calling off on Wednesday – not a thing I do – because I felt ill at the idea of even going into work that day.

So today’s ritual was just as much about reconnecting with my gods and goddesses as it was strengthening myself and unknotting things internally. At first I wasn’t sure it was going to work, but as the ritual went on I realized I was relaxed.

When I first got my current job I was pretty excited. It was a decent jump in pay, plus a couple extra holidays and a LOT of vacation time for a new job. (15 days, vs ten.) On top of that I knew I was going to learn a ton of new things in my field and the vibe of the office was a lot more friendly and casual than my last position had been.

Lately though, things are hinky, and I’m realizing that there are, sadly, quite a few phobic-toward-anyone-not-white-and-straight-and-Christian types in my immediate vicinity. The amount of racism, transphobic and homophobic thoughts are unsettling. And they’re subtle too – for the most part, which makes it very difficult to report on, or even talk about directly to the persons involved.

Top on a little good old fashioned technophobia and office favoritism, and barely 9 months after I started, I’m ready to leave.

So, yeah, internally, very knotted up. =/

But, as I said, the ritual went well, it had the intended effect I had been hoping for. I shared a drink with my ancestors, the Kindred, and the gods/goddesses. It was, perhaps, not the wisest of me to share hard apple cider with my faith first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, massive light weight that I am, but someone was looking out for me, because I don’t even feel the tiniest bit woozy.

At some point I was compelled to draw an omen. I asked for signs about my job, but backpedaled on that – my mind is made up, I already know what I’m doing in regards to that, and it feels right, even if it’s scary. So instead I just asked for whatever omen they desired to give me, and if they were so inclined, some kind of hint as to who was reaching out to me.

Someone listened, but since I’ll be looking these up as I’m writing this, right at this moment I don’t know who. I just I know that I usually draw three runes. Today, I drew 5. The first two came out easy as you please, but the last three came out all at once, there was just no separating them while my hand was in the bag. There’s plenty of room in there for my tiny hand, so it wasn’t for lack of trying.

I’m not 100% sure what to do with it, but it feels like those three should be considered very strongly connected when I do decipher them.

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First is ELHAZ, for which there is a very repetitive theme of protection. Be it from an animal-spirit guide, in general, from one’s own spiritual power, and/or as a sign of good luck. There’s a warning against grasping Elhaz, that while it offers protection it can cut those that are rough toward it. I’ll take this as a sign of being protected, we’ll see how it holds up against the rest of the reading, as it could be an introduction to whomever has their eye on me.

Next, RAIDHO, the rune of traveling. When paired with Elhaz it implies protected travel. Raidho is often considered to be a statement of the “right way to go” or that one is on horseback (a mode of transportation, i.e. Raidho) and that it is leading one along the Way. I personally struggle with accepting the idea of fate, and that our lives are predetermined before us – but I do believe that we have a series of paths available to us. With varying degrees of the correct path vs essentially having gone off the path. Elhaz and Raidho back to back like this, feel to me like an assurance that the choices I’ve made regarding my career is the correct path and all I have left to do now is follow through assertively with that change.

Then the inseparable three. PERTHRO – DAGAZ – OTHALA

Perthro is, as far as I can gather, the unknowable rune. It can be tied to luck, to fate, to Figg and the Norns. It is the cup and the well, the caster of dice and the caster of runes. It implies fate, luck or chance in a reading and I’m left with the distinct impression that I’ll not know what this implies until I’ve looked at the other runes.

Dagaz the sun, a rune of positivity and hope. Dagaz in a reading often lends itself to a positive outcome, a kind of stay strong and things will get better sort of vibe. Possibly it means slow and measured progress vs sudden outcomes, and/or a clarifying rune to bring things to “light” as it were.

Finally, Othala. The rune of family, homeland, inheritance, of connection both with past lives and current spirits. “As the final rune of the Futhark, OTHALA “Contains” the power of all the other runes, our mystical heritage.”

My initial feeling on this, even after sitting here for long moments and contemplating things which has left said initial feeling unchanged, has me feeling that it’s the runes themselves that are calling to me. Which is kind of an odd feeling, and not at all what was expected. There’s a fringe assumption that in line with that it does include Frigg, with whom herself and the Norns are closely tied to the divination portion of the runes.

But then as well, Odin himself is very closely tied with the runes, and the utilization of them in magical ways. To be perfectly fair, Odin kind of scares the sprinkles out of me, and I’m not sure how I’d react if it was him who took to me. I suppose I’d need to begin construction of an actual functional backbone quite immediately.

Through the runes as well, is a pathway to connecting with my ancestors, and Kindred and all the gods and goddesses. Very family-esque, very connected and protected. Which is rather indicative of this and previous readings.

At this rate I may have to face my fears, and make from scratch my own runes, though I still say that fashioning tangible items is far and away not a skill I possess.