Midsummer Rite for the Fae

I was just looking around at some old rituals and came across this one that I thought I would share.  It’s a fun little rit, but some of the parts are borrowed from Shakespeare and elsewhere and can be quite long and not easily memorized.  There is nothing more energy-killing in a ritual than having someone simply stare at a scrap of paper and monotonously read out the lines.  So, I recommend that those with longer parts should at least read them several times in advance so that they know the lines well enough to be able to put on a show while reading them out.

The ritual requires a couple of props.  You need a fairy, Puck, and Mab.  When our grove performed this at the Summer Solstice in 2015, our members made beautiful Puck and Mab puppets; the puppets gave the ritual that much more fun and energy.  You also need a bed of some sort on your altar for Puck and Mab to retire to; we used a lambskin blanket.

Ritual

  1. Initiating the Rite & Purification:

The group gathers outside the circle. Two torches stand in the path to the circle.

Druid #1: Let us with gladness sound the drum
To honour the magical ones we come!
Light the fires to guide the way
and purify our bodies here today!

Druid #2 lights the torches.

Druid #2: Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter fire-imbibed,
Heavenly, thy sanctuary. 

The folk pass through the torches and circle the firepit.

  1. Establishing the Group Mind

The folk perform an appropriate chant.

  1. Statement of Purpose

Druid #1: Thrice three muses silver my tongue
Let prose abound as these words are sung!
We gather under the waning midsummer sun
to greet the fey as the day is done
and with them let us make much merry
as we honour the King and Queen of fairie!

Yet ere we proceed with this mirth
Let us give offerings to our Mother, the Earth!

  1. Honoring the Earth Mother

Druid #3:  Earth, Divine Goddess, Mother Nature
Who generatest all things and bringest forth anew the Sun
Which thou hast given to the nations;
Guardian of sky and sea and of all gods and powers;
through thy power all Nature falls silent and then sinks in sleep.
And again thou bringest back the light and chasest away night
Thou coverst us yet most securely with thy divine shades
Thou dost contain chaos infinite, yea and wind and showers and storms.
Thou sendest them out when thou wilt and causest the sea to roar;
Thou chasest away the Sun and arousest the storm.
Again, when thou wilt, thou sendest forth the joyous day
And givest the nourishment of Life with thy eternal surety.
And when the soul departs, to thee we return.
Thou art duly called the Great Mother of the Gods;
Thou conquerest by thy divine name.
Thou art the source of the strength of nations and of gods,
Without thee nothing can be brought to perfection or be born;
Thou art great, Queen of the Gods.
Goddess ! I adore thee as divine;
I call upon thy name; be pleased to grant that which we ask thee,
so shall we give thanks to thee, Goddess, with due Faith.

Earth Mother, accept our sacrifice!” (repeat by all)

Druid #3 scatters the Earth Mother offering on the ground.

  1. (Re)Creating the Cosmos

Druid #1: As folk gathered together in this grove
a single purpose have we wove
with the great power of Druidry
let us bless the Well, the Fire, and the Tree!

  1. Establishing the Sacred Center

Druid #4: Upon the Land does dwell
the dark, deep, and sacred well
May this offering of silver suffice
as our humble sacrifice

Sacred well, as above so below
We beseech thee, within us — flow!  (Repeat by all)

Druid #4 offers silver to the well.

Druid #4: With flames that leap ever higher
we gather ‘round the sacred fire
Freely we offer thee this pleasing scent
that thy flames may consume upon ascent

Sacred fire, our spirits doth yearn
We beseech thee, within us — burn!  (Repeat by all)

Druid #4 offers incense to the fire.

Druid #4: As a folk wild and free
we gather ‘neath the sacred tree
Behold! your faithful daughter
gives you this offering of blessed water

Sacred tree, may your strength bestow
We beseech thee, within us — grow!  (Repeat by all)

Druid #4 offers water to the fire.

All chant repeat x 3:

By Fire and by Water, between the Earth and Sky,
We stand like the World Tree, rooted deep, crowned high.”

  1. Opening the Gate(s):

Druid #1: Upon the Land betwixt the Sea and Sky
to Manannan Mac Lir we cry
Manannan Lord of the Blessed Isle
We seek your aid and your crafty wile

Manannan Master of the Misty Waves
Where men go ‘yond their graves
Manannan Mac Lir show us the way
Open the gates here today!

These words we have spoken
Now let the gates be open!  (Repeat by all)

  1. Inviting the Three Kindreds

Druid #2: From across the Western sea
we bid our noble dams and sires
to join us as we stand wild and free
upon the ancient way we aspire

Honoured kin, we remember
as we call thee to join our rite
by our fire, and let the glowing ember
guide you home through the night

Accept these offerings we bring to thee
Within our hearts and our grove welcome be!

Ancestors, accept our sacrifice! (Repeat by all)

Druid #2 makes the Ancestor offering.

Druid #4: We call out this midsummer’s eve
to the Shining Ones above
to join us as we stand wild and free
we call to thee in reverence and love

Shining Gods, your children ask
that you bless and attend our rite
thus in your glory we may bask
before the sacred fire bright

Accept these offerings we bring to thee
Within our hearts and our grove welcome be!

Shining Ones, accept our sacrifice! (Repeat by all)

Druid #4 makes the Gods/Goddesses offering.

Druid #5: Spirits of Nature! here –
In this interminable wilderness
Of worlds, at whose immensity
Even soaring fancy staggers,
Here is thy fitting temple!

Yet not the lightest leaf
That quivers to the passing breeze
Is less instinct with thee;
Yet not the meanest worm
That lurks in graves and fattens on the dead,
Less shares thy eternal breath!

Spirits of Nature! thou,
Imperishable as this scene –
Here is thy fitting temple!

Accept these offerings we bring to thee
Within our hearts and our grove welcome be!

Nature Spirits, accept our sacrifice! (Repeat by all)

Druid #5 makes the Nature Spirits offering.

Druid #1: If the folk has for the gods brought gifts
offer them up now, but do it in shifts!

  1. Key Offerings:

Druid #6 comes forth holding a small fairy. Druid #7 comes forth holding Pwck.

Druid #6 Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Call’d Robin Goodfellow: are not you he
That frights the maidens of the villagery;
Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn;
And sometime make the drink to bear no barm;
Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm?

Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck:

Are not you he?

Druid #7 comes forth holding Pwck.

Druid #7: Thou speak’st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night.

I jest to Oberon and make him smile
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Neighing in likeness of a filly foal:
And sometime lurk I in a gossip’s bowl,
In very likeness of a roasted crab,
And when she drinks, against her lips I bob
And on her wither’d dewlap pour the ale.

The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
And ‘tailor’ cries, and falls into a cough;
And then the whole quire hold their hips and laugh,
And waxen in their mirth and neeze and swear
A merrier hour was never wasted there.

Druid #6 and Druid #7 place the fairy and Puck on the altar.

Druid #1 comes forward with Mab.

Druid #1: O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men’s noses as they lie asleep;
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o’ mind the fairies’ coachmakers.

And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love;
O’er courtiers’ knees, that dream on court’sies straight,
O’er lawyers’ fingers, who straight dream on fees,
O’er ladies ‘ lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are:
Sometime she gallops o’er a courtier’s nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
Sometime she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five-fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And being thus frighted swears a prayer or two
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night,
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes:
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them and learns them first to bear.

Druid #1 places Mab on the altar and pours out an offering to Mab and Pwck.

Druid #1: Welcome Pwck and Mab
King and Queen of Fay
Offerings we heap upon you this day
To further honour the King and Queen
let us dance upon the green!

Druid #1 leads the group in a spiral dance.

  1. Prayer of Sacrifice

Druid #1: Fae! If we mortals have offended
Think on this and all is mended:
All our acts are pure and true
Meaning but to honor you.

Take these gifts which love has made
And let our debt to you be paid!

  1. Seeking the Omen

Druid #1:Between the Worlds of Earth and sky
We have danced the Fairy Ring
Weaving ribbons, bright offerings fly
To honor Elven Queen and King.

Let us with unimpeded thought
Attend the seers wisdom trove
And the message they have brought
From other realms to sacred grove

Seer takes the omen.

  1. Calling (asking) for the Blessings

Druid #1: Mortal law and Fairy custom agree
Host and guest are bound by hospitality
As we have given freely from our hearts
The Fairy King and Queen in turn impart
Their gifts told by our seer’s keen sight
As here in new found friendship we unite.

Children of Earth, is it your wish and will
These blessings to receive and bond fulfill?

All We do!

Druid #1 holds up the blessing horn.

Druid #1 Mighty fae between us let there
always be peace and never strife
so unto you we offer this prayer
Give unto us the waters of life!

All Give us the waters of life!

  1. Hallowing the Blessing

Druid #1: Behold the waters of blessing!
Behold the waters of life!
As from this horn you drink
be full of the mead from this fest
and of the gifts of Faeries think
so drink… drink and be blessed!

  1. Affirmation of the Blessing

The blessing cup is passed around.

  1. Thanking the Beings

Druid #1: Our work here nears its end
but first, back to where they dwell
let us to the spirits send
and bid them fond farewell

 

Druid #6: King Puck of the darkling wood
all here gathered send their praise
for your blessings rich and good
though now we must part ways
Return now to woods and tree
accept our thanks, and blessed be! (Repeat by all)

 

Druid #7: Queen Mab of the elven fae
all here gathered send their praise
for your wondrous gifts this day
though now we must part ways
Return now to woods and tree
accept our thanks, and blessed be! (Repeat by all)

 

Druid #5: Spirits of Earth, Sky, and Sea
Weave your magic now back home
To cave and eyrie and dark sea foam
accept our thanks and blessed be! (Repeat by all)

 

Druid #4: Shining Ones, thanks to thee
Stay if you will but leave if you must
With perfect love and perfect trust
accept our thanks and blessed be! (Repeat by all)

 

Druid #2: Ancestors, we honour your memory
We are you children, the harvest you sowed
For your gifts you are forever owed
accept our thanks and blessed be! (Repeat by all)

  1. Closing the Gate(s)

Druid #5: Manannan now help us close this door
To simple flame let the Sacred Fire return
To simple water let the Sacred Well return
Let all return to as it was before
May the gates be closed! (Repeat by all)

  1. Closing the Rite

Druid #1: May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May the Goddess hold you in the palm of Her hand.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s