ADF Prairie Sky Beltane 2019
As the ground stands below us
And the wind rises above us
We come to the fire of sacrifice
May it support our work and carry our voices
To those on the other side.
So, let us pray with a good fire.
Chime 9 times
We would like to begin today by recognizing and acknowledging that we are on the lands of the Peoria, Kaskaskia, Piankashaw, Wea, Miami, Mascoutin, Odawa, Sauk, Mesquaki, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Chickasaw Nations. These lands were the traditional territory of these Native Nations prior to their forced removal; these lands continue to carry the stories of these Nations and their struggles for survival and identity.
We walk on history, and our steps create the history yet to come. Our actions are our legacy to be remembered in the bones of the land and the bones of those who walk upon it.
May we always be mindful of this.
To the Earth, our Mother
The Earth that bore us
The Earth that sustains us
The fertile, all-encompassing Earth
We make due offering
Earth Mother, accept our sacrifice
All: Earth Mother, accept our sacrifice!
Spirit of Inspiration
I call now to awen, the spirit and force of inspiration.
You who inspires the words of the poets
You who brings beauty into the world, come to us now.
Awen, be with us tonight as we seek to honor the Gods and Goddesses.
To the spirit of inspiration, accept this offering!
All: Spirit of inspiration, accept this offering!
Spirits of Chaos, spirits of darkness
Spirits opposed to this work
By whatever name you are called, take this offering
And trouble not this working.
Statement of Purpose
Thank you all for joining us today. Beltane is the time of quickening, of strongest growth, and all the joy that brings. We are here to align ourselves with that, deepening the bonds of our community, and to reawaken our connection to this land. As the land quickens and grows, so too may our bond with the land and all who dwell within and upon it.
Far below our feet
A river runs through the earth
Silvered and sparkling
A gathering of offerings, and magic, and life
With silver hallow this well,
Adding our own offerings to all those that have come before.
In the center of the world burns a flame
Kindled in the water and arising from it
It gives form to all in its light
And power to all who come to it.
First priest, first sacrifice, accept this offering
That this fire may bring us closer to the Divine.
With roots dipping into the deepest well
and branches touching the heavens themselves
The world tree stands, bridging the worlds.
Let this pillar serve as that, and our prayers travel its trunk.
Let’s take a moment to close our eyes and bring our attention to the earth beneath our feet. Feel it’s solidness, its heaviness, its depth. Open your senses and see the life teeming below your feet. The grass growing, the mushroom network speaking, the insects tunneling bringing air and life to the soil. Find the roots of the trees cutting through this smorgasbord of life, and send your energy down with them. See yourself digging deeper into the dirt, feel the clay getting heavier, seeking water. Go deeper still, as the coolness surrounds you. There you’ll find the buried waters, filtered through the ground from decades and even centuries ago, a giant river coursing through the earth, bringing with it life. Send your roots down into that river, and drink deeply.
Let the deep water energy seep upwards, filling your roots. Climbing through the layers of soil, add your energy to the exchange that brings life. Draw that energy up, up through the roots, through your feet, through your bones, into your belly. Let the deep dark energy fill your being, and send it up even further still.
Reach above you towards the sky. Feel the wind moving you,
the motion of the clouds, the dizzying dance above our head that makes us all so small. Feel the air get cooler, crisper, thinner as you send your energy up. See the light, the filter of air and clouds drifting away as your climb. Energy from unimaginable distances is raining down on you now; gather it up and bring it down. Feel the crystalline energy of the stars trickle down to your head, your neck, your chest. Let it mix with the cool dark energy from below. Like two colors blending, they swirl together and become one.
Allow this new color to fill you, fill your aura, and seep outwards. Feel your connection now, to all of life, all the cosmos, all that’s come before and will come.
When you’re ready, open your eyes.
I call to the spirit of apple
You who stand at the edges, guarding the way between
Dun-colored, you provide shelter
Silvered, clear passage
Apple, accept this offering and join us today
Help us open the gates between the worlds
Let the cool water which feeds the roots open as a gate
Let the smoke from the fire of sacrifice open as a gate
And let this apple, our world tree, bridge the way
That our prayers, our offerings, and our works may travel its trunk.
Let the gates now be open!
Ancestors whose blood flows through our veins
Ancestors of spirit, whose actions guide and inspire
We make this offering in remembrance of you
As we have not forgotten you, may you not forget us
Ancestors, accept our offering
All: Ancient ones, accept our offering!
Spirits of the land I call to you this day
Ancient mighty ones who still walk the Earth
Spirits of tree and stone, water and soil
Flight of birds and brush of breeze
In the expanse of the prairie, under its blazing sky, I call to you
Accept our offerings, and be welcome in this grove
All: Noble ones, accept our offering!
To the Shining Ones, those most worthy of worship
We give you this offering
God and Goddesses from lands across the sea,
you who look over your people wherever they are
Be welcome in this grove
Shining ones, accept our offerings!
All: Shining ones, accept our offerings!
Nature spirits, like you, we are children of Earth, shaping the land from which we emerged. And like you, eventually giving our life that others may thrive and grow.
Green kin, we thank you
Because of you, the world is alive
Beyond abstraction, rich with layers of identity.
A “who” and not a “what”.
We live with you, among you, and within your realm.
Spirits of the land, your roots lie deep
You reach taller than the stones we humans erect.
Endlessly changing, evolving, growing, conquering.
Without artifice or design.
We have heard your call, and we have seen your omens.
Nature spirits, we bring you these gifts
Tokens of gratitude for your hospitality,
And as acknowledgement of the work that is yet to be begun
For the past 9 months we have been hearing the call of the Nature Spirits. The beings that inhabit this land have given us a task, and we, the folk of Prairie Sky, intend to answer that call today.
If you would like to participate in this oath, please step forward at this time. Those who do not, you are not bound, but you are witness to the promise we make here today.
Folk of Prairie Sky, do you wish to dedicate our Grove efforts from this Beltane to next to the Nature Spirits?
Will you work to deepen your relationship with the Nature Spirits through gifts and service?
Will you work to deepen your awareness of the diversity of nature?
Will you, in small ways, take steps to heal what is needed and support what is thriving?
From this Beltane to the next, for the space between these two, we stand bound to fulfill this oath. As individuals, and as a Grove, we are bound, and lest the the sky fall, the Earth burst open, or the sea overwhelm us, we will fulfill this oath.
Prayer of Sacrifice
Let my voice arise on the flame
Let my voice resound in the well
Oh honored ones,
Hear me now as I offer up this sacrifice
Accept my worship and reverence
Kindreds, accept these offerings!
All: Kindreds, accept these offerings!
Omen by Janet Gan
Here is our omen with Druidcraft Tarot.
Our offerings were very well received. They see the work we all did to prepare our offerings. It wasn’t just the tangible offerings of today they are acknowloging. It is also the work we are doing in our communities as a grove and individually.
Their gift to us is being our guide through life, the good and the bad. They are there to lead us past the pain on the narrow path. Even if you cannot see a way that things will get better and your hands are tied, their promise is you will indeed get through this.
They ask that we all take a role participating with our Grove. Too much on one person can create imbalance and fatigue. When we all pitch in and help each other, it eases the load and creates balance. Remember that you are only one person. Let others help!
A gift given deserves a gift in return. Kindreds all, send your blessings to these cups, that we may share in your gifts! Brigid, make this cup be as your well, that we may drink of your blessings!
Behold the waters of life!
Drink now of these waters, and take into yourself the blessings you would wish to receive.
Creel’s Dedicant Oath with Omen by Ashley Price
After a year of study, I am before you, my Grove-mates, the Kindred, and the Land to take my oath to follow the Elder ways.
Beloved Earth Mother, this child offers cornmeal and thanks.
[cornmeal strewn on ground]
Outdwellers, I give you respect. In return for an oat bannock and cider, I ask that you not disturb this oathing.
[bannock and cider beyond the edge]
Perun, Watcher of the Four Ways. I give you meat and ale. Witness and protect this oathing.
[meat and ale to the fire]
Huginn and Muninn, feathered brothers of the One-Eyed One, valued Gate Keepers. I give you cornmeal muffins with peanut butter, and ask you to carry word of my oathing across the realms.
[muffins to the edge]
As I greet and honor my Patron God and Goddesses, I share gifts with you in their name. As each basket goes around, take a gift for you to take home, and by this gift, remember this oathing.
First, I honor Ceres, Lady of the Grain. See her as she walks the edge of the fields in Spring. Wide hips swaying in a long skirt, bright kerchief on her hair. Her feet, bare, bless the fields freshly turned furrows. As she paces the field’s edge, she casts furtive glances to the forest shadow’s where the Green Man is watching.
Ceres, queen of agriculture, she who encourages the garden and the field. She who ensures food for family and livestock through the winter. She who gives us the grain for both baking and beer. I offer the three grains; oat, wheat, and barley corn, and also olive oil.
[grains and oil to the fire]
►basket of buns around those gathered
Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of Mexico. You asked Juan Diego for a shrine and gave him proof for the Arch Bishop in winter roses. I thank you for the love and care you have shown my children when I was not able to do so. A sacrifice is not fitting, but I share roses in honor of the miracle you caused to occur.
►basket of spray roses
Lady Brigid and your Fire Keepers. Hearth Goddess. Goddess of Inspiration, Goddess of the Forge, and of Healing. May I gain knowledge and inspiration as I seek your guidance. I offer you golden honey and my joy in your dancing flames. Beeswax candles to our guests.
►basket of candles
Cernunnos, Patron of my heart. Protector of the Wilderness. Keeper of the Wildlife. Redistributor of Wealth. He who knows the hidden paths in this world and those to the next. I honor you with scented evergreen branches.
[pine branches to the fire]
►basket of antler discs and shiny dimes
As I stand upon the Land, before the eyes of the Earth Mother, the Kindreds, and you who gather here, I give my Oath. Once known as Eva Creel Lancaster. Once known as Eva Creel Orozco. Now known as Creel Forever Unbelove’d and as Forest Daughter. I am a child of the Earth Mother. I swear to respect the Outdwellers. To acknowledge the Land. To honor the Three Kindred. And, to work to help the Folk have good lives whether they be family, friend, Grove-kin, or stranger. I pledge to continue learning and caring through all of my days. May my efforts please the Folk, The Ancestors, The Land Spirits, and the Gods. May it be ever so.
I thank the Earth Mother, the Kindred, Huginn and Muninn, Perun, and you for bearing witness to my oath.
How has her oath been received by her patrons?
Straif, the fid of transformation. This is a turning point, and an intense one. I know Creel approached her oath not as the completion of work, but as a new beginning, a foundational change. And it looks like that’s exactly what she’s getting.
What encouragement do the kindred offer her?
Onn, the fid of travel. Smoothing the way. The coming phase is going to be hard, is going to make her dig deep, but she will be helped along the path by her patrons, and I hope, her community.
What further work do the kindred require?
Queirt, the apple. This is the tree that serves as token for travel between this world and the next, and is associated with the liminal places and the outskirts. It’s not a gentle fid, but one that again, forces you to dig deep to get at the foundations of things. I interpret this as very much in line with straif, but moreover nudge in the right direction.
[Gift of Penzey’s Spices to Ashley]
To the kindreds all, Noble, Mighty, and Shining, I give you my thanks. Thank you for your aid and blessing, you who uphold my magic and this work.
Closing the Gates
I call once more on the Apple
You who stand guard at the edges
Join with us once more, and help us close the gates
Let the well be but water
The fire but smoke and ash
And you be but a tree, having touched the mysteries and returned.
Let the gates now be closed!
Thanking the Earth Mother
To the Earth Mother
Ground beneath our feet
You who uphold and sustain this world
We give you thanks.
Beltane is a turning point, a time when the world wakes up and seeds planted begin to flourish. At this time of change we have come together to deepen our relationships with the kindreds, with each other, and to witness new beginnings for the Grove and for one of Own. Thank you all for making this possible, and being part of this work.
Photos courtesy of Ashley Price, Kevin Price and Alice Dilts