Ancestor Rite

On the last quarter of each moon, some ADF Druids perform a ritual to celebrate and honor their ancestors. Each person does their own ritual and there are no specific requirements to participate other than a focus on the ancestors. 

Here is a ritual that I did and shared with other ADF members online.  You can see a video of the ritual below.

For this ritual, you will need a candle, and something to write on. You could use your fingernail, a pen, pencil, or a pin.  The candle can be anything that you’re comfortable using. I use a tea light candle in this video and it works well.

You will be inscribing the rune Othala on the candle. For me, Othala is about traditions and lessons that you have learned from your family (blood, adopted, or chosen), and your teachers, and the world around you. 

Here is the ritual script. The video has subtitles if you’d like to follow along there.

Ritual

We pray to the Ancestors.
May you bless us as we do you honor.

Kindled from the great flame kept by prudent skill,
join with our common hearth that our flames be as one.

Jord, Earth Mother, may you join our rite and lend your Blessings.

Allies of our Hearths may you join our rite and lend your Blessings.

We come before you to thank you for your
Blessings and ask for your aide
in our working tonight.

As once there was Fire and Ice,
between them came the giant Ymir.
From Ymir’s body the gods created our world.
Between Fire and Ice,
between Order and Chaos,
We stand at the center of the Worlds

Heimdall, Guardian of the Rainbow Bridge,
I call to you to aid our work and guard the ways between.

As the fire opens as a gate,
as the well opens as a gate,
and as the tree opens as a gate,
so the gates are open.

I call to the Kindreds,
the Ancestors,
the Noble Ones,
Shining Ones,
may you join our rite and
lend your Blessings.

Ancestors, you who have come before
once more we call to you may you join
our rite and lend your Blessings

Ancestors, we do you honor.
May You accept this sacrifice as a token of our devotion.

May you accept this sacrifice as a token of our respect.
To all the kindreds here to you we do honor.

May the kindreds share their wisdom with us.

[Draw your Omen]

Children of Earth please take a moment to remember your Mighty Dead, those Ancestors who have joined us here today,
along with the other Shining Ones,
along with the Noble Ones and the Nature Spirits.

Let us ask them to bless the waters.

Mighty Kindreds you have shared your wisdom with us.
We ask that you share your Blessings.
May you Bless this water as you have Blessed us.

Behold the Waters of Life.

If you accept the Blessings of the gods, of the Kindreds, please drink.

Now, take a moment to remember those ancestors
who have had a big impact on you.
Maybe they’re ancestors of blood, or spirit, or tradition.
Whoever they are, invite them to join us here today.

[If you have a candle, write or inscribe the rune of Othala.]

Othala is a rune of tradition and ancestors.
It connects us to that which has come before and reminds us to bring the blessings of the past to the future.

Othala is about culture and history and the things that we were raised with, things that our chosen family, our blood family, our family of society, families of nature have taught us as we go through lives.

[As you inscribe the rune, think of the things the ancestors have taught you.  Sometimes it’s happy memories and positive lessons, and sometimes it’s lessons about what not to do, or how to react or not to react when things happen. All of these lessons feed into who you are.]

Today we honor the ancestors, and all the parts of them that are in us.

We light this candle to honor our ancestors:
ancestors whose DNA we carry;
ancestors whose teachings we carry;
ancestors who have paved the way for us.

May we remember the lessons you have taught us.
May we remember the paths you have cleared for us.
May we remember that we are the ancestors of the future.

Ancestors we honor you.

[Take a moment to feel the strength, the backing, the lessons of your ancestors – good and bad – all of them helped make you who you are today. We can choose who we honor. And we can choose what impact they have had on us it is up to us to recognize those lessons.]

Our Ancestors remembered, our Work done,
It is time for us to unwind what we have wrought.

Our thanks to you Ancestors for your aid in this rite.

Our thanks to you Ancestors, Noble Ones, Shining Ones, Nature Spirits, for your aid in this rite.

Gatekeeper, Hemidall, now we ask for your aid one more time.

As the Fire becomes flame,
as the Well becomes water,
as the Tree just a rock again,
so the gates are closed

Our thanks to you Hemidall for guarding the ways and lending your aid.

Our thanks to the Allies of our Hearths for your aid in this rite.

Our thanks to Jord, the Earth Mother,
who supports us always,
for your aid in this rite.

This rite is ended. Go in peace.

May the Blessings of the Kindreds be with you this day and all days

New Year, New Recommendations

Yes, I realize that it’s the third week in January, but life has been just a little crazy.

Last year I had a lot more time to read books and explore new things than usual, so I thought I’d share some of my Favorites. 

Books

  • Good Juju: Mojos, Rites & Practices for the Magical Soul” by Najah Lightfoot is a good book that introduces the reader to Najah’s approach to magic. I’ve since had the opportunity to take a class from Najah, and she’s down to earth and authentic in both her book and her classes.
  • Psychic Witch” by Mat  Auryn is a good, down to earth, introduction to using your psychic senses coupled with s number of exercises to help you develop your senses. 
  • “Water Magic” by Lilith Dorsey is a nice overview of water and water magic across cultures and practices.
  • Saulé and the Sunrise” and “Saulé and the Sunset” by Jean Pagano – these children’s books are a great introduction to Baltic mythology for young children.

Podcasts

  • Three Pagans and a Cat” is hosted by a Druid, a Green Witch, and a Heathen. It’s a great podcast that talks about a range of pagan topics and work to be as inclusive as possible.
  • Around Grandfather Fire” is one of my favorite podcasts. Three friends co-host this podcast with a wide range of guests. They have an ability to ask hard questions and get real answers.
  • The Modern Bruja” is an entertaining conversation between a fun pair of hosts that cover a wide range of topics across the non-Wiccan pagan sphere.

TikTok

  • @benkielesinski takes us with him on his hikes through the mountains and forests near Vancouver, Canada
  • @notoriouscree shares his traditional dances and some of the challenges with being a person from a First Nations tribe with us
  • @mhara_starling speaks to us of all things Welsh and witchy from her homeland – with some awesome outfits too!
  • @hichaweon is an atheistic witch who shares her thoughts and perspectives with us in a very frank way
  • @dreadfulbird is a former wrestler and now life coach who shares some amazingly practical suggestions, and often will do one-minute relaxation videos to help interrupt the crazy of the day.
  • @jimtwosnakes is a practitioner trained in the ways of Peruvian practices who shares his perspectives and wisdom with us. Jim is also one of the co-hosts of Around Grandfather Fire.

Prayer for People in Power

I pray for all people in power.
May they consider all within their influence.
May they consider the people
And the all the rest of our world.
May they consider the balance of things.

I pray for all the people in power.
May they find the strength
To do what is best, not what is easy.
May they find the wisdom
To understand what is needed.
May they find the allies
To help them keep to the path.

I pray for all the people in power.
May they be kind, and wise;
May they be strong, and true;
May they remember their communities,
And all within their influence.

by Victoria S – Jan 20, 2020

A Reading for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Today’s reading is done with the Dusk II Onyx tarot. It seemed very appropriate for today.

First let me say how much I love this deck. The artwork is evocative and quite different from your standard tarot deck. It’s hard to read in the dark – the cards themselves are pretty dark, but there is a lot of detail in many of the cards.

So here’s the reading.

The cards are:

Eight of Gourds: new horizons; satisfaction
Four of Gourds: introspection; awareness
Temperance: patience; adaptability; moderation

Together the cards tell me that we may feel that we are moving into new horizons, but we need to check ourselves and look inward to make sure that we are doing the right level of introspection and are aware of our biases and preconceptions.

We must stay adaptable and patient while we continue to move forward. Be flexible in your thinking and willing to consider new perspectives and learnings as we move forward together – all peoples, with equal rights in law and in practice.


And as a reminder … Black Lives Matter. Racists and white supremacists are not welcome here.

Joy and Abundance Sigil

As 2021 starts out in … interesting … ways, it’s a good time for us to share a bit of positivity to help balance out the terrible things.

May we all find a bit of joy and abundance in our lives this year.

I used Laura Tempest Zakroff’s method of sigil making and have included the components so you can see how it’s created.

Black and White caption with components #JoyAbundanceSigil

Here’s an image for sharing. You are welcome to use and share it with credit.

The Value of Daily Practice

As I have gone deeper in my practice and spirituality, I’ve come to realize the value of a regular practice. I do a (mostly) daily practice, but I think that there is value in weekly or monthly practices as well. The value is as much in the repetition and the way it reinforces your spiritual focus as it is in the creation of relationships with the Kindreds. 

I do not think that you need to spend long at the practice either. It’s the fact that you show up that matters. 

My daily practice is pretty short as you can see from the 90second-ish video below but I find that I really miss doing it when I don’t.

I should add here that a Daily Practice is NOT required to be any kind of pagan. It’s a great way to get closer to the gods and spirits, but it’s not the only way.

If you’re interested in starting a Daily Practice, take some time to figure out what you want to do. Look at the options out there. Some people include journal writing or magical journaling as part of their practice, some include meditation or yoga, others just pray, or make offerings. A practice has to work for you or you’ll abandon it.

To give you an idea of what a daily practice could look like, here’s what I do. 

My Daily Practice

as of December 2020

[Ring a chime three times]

Kindled by the great flame
Kept by prudent skill
Join with our common hearth
Let these flames be as one.

[light the candle]

I call to the Kindreds
and the allies of my Hearth
My thanks to You
for your Blessings

[Make an offering]

To the Ancestors, Noble Ones, the Shining Ones
my thanks to You for your Blessings

[scribe an awen on your tree or in the air near your symbol of earth]

I call to the Spirits of Healing
may you hear the calls of all who need healing
and may all be well again.

[Make an offering]

I call to the spirits of the Ogham
may you share Your wisdom with us.

[Draw an Ogham disk]

[You can see the video at https://youtu.be/HBLnNpdR1cYhttps://youtu.be/HBLnNpdR1cY]

Welcome to 2021!

What a crazy year 2020 was … there’s so much to forget, and so much to remember.

2020 was the year I finished my Clergy coursework, it was the year I moved to Montreal (where it feels right in spite of everything), I became a leader at work, and managed to build a team that works well together in spite of never having met each other.

I learned how to edit videos, and do some basic animation, I realized that there is more in common between my work and my spirituality than I thought. I solidified my daily practice and realized how much my spirituality supports me. I learned so much about who I am and what I really need to keep going.

There were lots of moments, days, weeks, that I’d like to forget – the stress of knowing if we could cross the border, missing my family and friends, wishing I could visit my family here in Canada, and a whole lot of grief over what we can’t do.

I have cried more this year than I can recall ever having done, but I have also learned to lean on other people and to ask for what I need.

There is good and bad in this year – and parts we should certainly remember. ADF has become more comfortable with online rituals and connections, I’ve realized that I can use zoom to reach out to my friends and family back in the US.

And then there are the things that aren’t related to the pandemic. Black Lives Matter but racism and hate still exist and are accepted in some areas of our societies. People will make choices on what some people say and not on logic or facts.

While we have a vaccine for COVID-19 and the US has a new president (or will in a few days), we can’t forget the lessons of 2020.

We must continue the fight against racism and strive to be actively anti-racist and promote minority voices wherever we are. We should remember how much we need each other and the importance of casual conversations and touch. We need to remember the lessons we learned about ourselves – our motivations, our needs, and what is really important to us.

As we move forward into 2021, let’s keep those memories and invite hope, joy, and abundance to grace us this year.

May the Ancestors support us

May the Nature Spirits nourish us

May the Shining Ones Guide us

May the Kindreds Bless our Lives

By Victoria S