A Prayer for Balance at the Equinox

If you’re like me, and the world is feeling a bit off kilter, maybe this prayer can be helpful for you.

Balance can be challenging in turbulent times

As the light and the dark are balanced on this day,
So do I ask for balance in my life.
I call to you, Cernunnos,
Antlered One,
Liminal One,
Balanced One,
Help me to walk the line between,
To find the calm of balance
As it flows through my life.
I call to you, Cernunnos,
To guide my mind,
Guide my heart,
Guide my body,
To find the balance I seek.
Cernunnos,
Guide me well.
I thank you.

Image by Andreas Riedelmeier from Pixabay

Minimalist Ritual

I often hear that ADF style rituals are complicated or too hard. I wrote this very basic, minimalist ritual to demonstrate how you can do a quick Core Order of Ritual rite almost anywhere.

If you’re interested in seeing how this breaks down, I’ve mapped it to the Hearthkeepers organization of the Core Order of Ritual which combines a few of the steps into one in some cases to make it a bit easier to understand.

A single candle on my altar
A single candle is all you need for this ritual

Needed for the Ritual:

  • Candle or other symbol of fire. Electric candles work well if you’re in a space where an open flame isn’t a good idea or not allowed. A red rock or other symbol of fire also works.
  • A cup of water or another drinkable beverage.  You’ll need about a ½ cup.  I’ve used tea, water, and wine equally well for this.
  • A bell (phone apps work well as substitutes if you don’t have a bell)
  • Divination tool (Check out the various phone apps or the Nine x Nine divination set on the ADF Website if you don’t have something to use)

Some notes:

  • You are invited to replace the more generic titles, such as Gatekeeper, with names of the specific deities or beings that you work with in those roles.
  • I called Cerridwen as my Being of the Occasion as she is the one I wished to worship in this rite. You are welcome to call to any Spirit or Deity that makes sense for your ritual.I was going for the ultra-minimalist ritual here, so a lot of this is done in your head. 
  • Please note that ALL of this can be done in your head to varying degrees of results.  I recommend at least having a symbol of fire and pouring out offerings of water
  • I have included the optional step of calling to Inspiration, but I did not do the, optional, Outsider component as I did this ritual at my shrine.
  • Stage directions are in curly brackets “{ }” everything else is spoken aloud

The Ritual

I pray to the Kindreds, may you Bless me as I do you Honor.

{light your candle or touch your fire symbol as you say the following}

Kindled from the Great Flame, kept by prudent skill,
join with our common Hearth, that these flames be one.

{ring a bell three times and feel the sound clear the space}

Earth Mother, may you join my rite and lend your Blessings.
Inspiration, may you join my rite and lend your Blessings.
Allies of my Hearth, may you join my rite and lend your Blessings.

We come before you to thank you for your Blessings.

Between Order and Chaos, I stand at the center of the Worlds.
Gatekeeper, I call to you to aid our work and guard the Ways between.

{in your mind’s eye, see your hallows – Well, Fire, and Tree. Feel their textures and hear the sounds.}

As the Fire opens as a gate, as the Well opens as a gate, as the Tree opens as a gate, so the GATES ARE OPEN!
I call to the Kindreds, Ancestors, Noble Ones, Shining ones, may you join my rite and lend Your Blessings.
Cerridwen, Creatrix of Awen, I call to you. May you join my rite and lend Your Blessings.
Cerridwen, Great Goddess, to you I do honor. May you accept this sacrifice as a token of my devotion.

{make an offering of water}

To all the Kindreds here, to you I do honor. May you accept this sacrifice as a token of my respect.

{make an offering of water}

May the Kindreds share Their Wisdom with me.

{take an omen}

{touch or hold up the water}

Mighty Kindreds, you have shared your Wisdom with me, and I ask that you share your Blessings. May you bless this water as you bless me.

{drink}

My thanks to you Lady Cerridwen, for your aid in this rite.
My thanks to you, Ancestors, Noble Ones, Shining Ones, for your aid in this rite.
Gatekeeper, I ask your aid one more time.

As the Fire becomes flame, the Well becomes Water, and the Tree becomes as a tree again. So, the gates are CLOSED.

My thanks to you, Gatekeeper, for guarding the Ways and lending your aid.

My thanks to the Allies of my Hearth, for your aid in this rite.
My thanks to Inspiration, for your aid in this rite.
My thanks to the Earth Mother, who supports us always, for your aid in this rite.

This rite is ended.

Further Resources

A Day of Prayer to Freya

A few months ago, I started up doing a Day for Prayer for Freya. This was originally inspired by a the World Odin Prayer Day. Unfortunately, it seems that the group who did the Odin’s Prayer Day was not one that I’d like to associate with. But, this is the internet and I can do my own thing.

So the Freya Prayer Day was born.

On the 2nd Friday of every month, we invite people to join us being aware of Freya in some way. There are people who simply choose to think about Her for that day, others who hold devotional practice for Her, and others who like the posts and tweets but don’t say what they do.  It doesn’t matter what anyone does. Hosting this Prayer Day and creating the monthly newsletter is one way that I make offerings to Her.

There are almost as many ways to do offerings as there are individuals who practice any form of devotional religion. I choose to spend my time, effort and attention as offerings for Freya.

How do you choose to do your offerings or devotions?

Offerings and gifts

A rather full mortar of offerings being mixed for the Kindreds
A rather full mortar of offerings being mixed for the Kindreds

As I mentioned in my last post, I make a lot of offerings in my daily practice 🙂  Five or six times a week, I make devotional offerings to various Kindreds.  Most of the time, I’m making offerings to the gods that I work with more closely, some of the times it’s to my ancestors or to the local nature spirits.

Offerings are not intended to drive you broke, or be a huge sacrifice all of the time. Offerings are more like when your friend comes over and you offer them a drink, or some food.  Much of the time it’s something that you can easily afford, but you still pay attention to your guest’s needs and desires.  I wouldn’t offer salami, cheese and crackers to a vegetarian, for example, but something more appropriate for them like carrots and hummus. Larger sacrifices are appropriate sometimes, but not every time.

I think that it’s very important that the offerings that you make come from you in some way.  Maybe you purchased the offering, maybe you made it from purchased components, maybe you grew them … the idea is that you put some of your own energy into it.  This energy can come in the form of money, time or attention – and is most commonly some combination of the three.

Much of the time, I make offerings from combinations of dried plants (sometimes from my garden, sometimes not), gemstones and incense. These kinds of offerings are most often gathered in a dish on my altar then later are scattered on the ground or offered to the fire. Other times, the offering is in something that I have crafted – usually these are donated to charity, but sometimes they go to the fire. When it’s appropriate, I will often also offer drinks – alcoholic and not, home made and not.

The key thing about offerings is that it’s personal. What you give must have meeting to you and to the being to whom you are making the offering. If you’re ever wondering what offerings to give to a being – ask them, do some research, do some divination or trance work, and see what feels right.

If you’d like to dig further into the idea of Sacrifices, I recommend “Sacred Gifts: Reciprocity and the Gods by Kirk S Thomas. Thomas goes into the history of offerings and sacrifices and why we would want to do them.

Letting go of the old

Burning OfferingsOn Samhain night this year, I took the offerings that I had made over the last season and burned them in a cauldron on my grill. The grill itself is a gas grill, but I was using it for a safe space to burn my offerings.

Multiple times a week, I make offerings in my practice. They’re usually dry offerings, but sometimes include oils or resin incense.  Since I make these offerings on my indoor altar, it’s difficult to burn them as I’d prefer.

Before my grill, I’d take my cast iron cauldron and burn the offerings on my concrete patio that’s a bit hidden from my neighbors. I put a layer of Epsom salts in the bottom of the cauldron, and soak it in a bit of rubbing alcohol then light the flames.  Using tongs I’d place the offerings onto the flame in bits to burn. Because the flame was pretty open, I’d have to watch it the entire time.

Now that I have the grill, I have the option of closing the lid and letting it burn.  I do like to watch the flames just in case.  I will also sometimes sing songs to the Kindreds while I’m burning the incense to make it more spiritual and not just practical.

As you can see from the cauldron, I have a decent amount of offerings to burn! I think I’m going to get a bigger container to burn them in for the future.

If you live in an apartment and are allowed to have a grill – of any kind – it’s very useful for burning offerings in addition to cooking.  The key is to have a safe place to have a fire. The more contained the fire (like on a tray or in a pot) the better to make clean up easier. Don’t put anything toxic on it and make sure to clean the grill well before cooking food on it again.