Requirements:

Candle

Container to serve as well

Bottle of water

Separate containers for drink / water as well as grain / birdseed

Grain

Silver dollar

Birdseed

Drink

Tarot cards

Coin

Paper / Pen

Structure:

    1. Acoustic signal: Clap hands three times.
    2. Grounding: The two powers meditation
    3. Purification: Holding arms out ‘around’ altar space, focus on setting space ‘apart’ for worship.
    4. Honor the Earth Mother: Looking to window, extemporaneous words of praise, offer some grain
    5. Statement of purpose: Extemporaneous words to the effect that I come to observe the equinox, to reinforce my commitment to the path of paganism, and to strengthen my relationship with the local spirits.
    6. (Re)create the Cosmos.
      1. Put the silver dollar into the well. Say something spontaneous to the effect of: “The realm of the deep, home of the ancestors.”
      2. Light the candle. Say something spontaneous to the effect of “The realm above, home of the shining ones.”
      3. Offer water to the tree. Say something to the effect of “The middle realm. My home, as well as the home of those I care for and the nature spirits.”
    7. Invoke the Gatekeeper, Open the gate
      1. Invoke Curennos. Something like “Cernunnos, on this equinox, I ask your assistance. You, who are half wild, half man, sitting in the realm between. I ask today that you join this ritual as gatekeeper.”
      2. Open the gates. “Cernunnos, gatekeeper, join your magic to mine and help me open this gate.” Making a spiral gesture, visualize a portal opening above the well and fire.
    8. Invite the Kindred
      1. Invite the ancestors. “Ancestors, old ones, whose blood flows in my veins, whose passions inhabit my mind, I ask that you hear me this day. Accept my offering” — pour out some drink — “and from beyond this mortal realm, join me this Equinox in ritual.”
      2. Invite the nature spirits. “Spirits of the land, of beast and wing, of stone and tree, I ask that you hear me this day. Accept my offering” — offer some bird seed — “and join me this Equinox in ritual.”
      3. Invite the gods. “Shining ones, matrons and patrons, from your realm on high I ask that you hear me this day. Accept my offering” — pout out some drink — “and join me in this Equinox ritual.”
    9. Offerings? Beings of the occasion? All the Kindred
    10. Prayer of sacrifice?
    11. Omen
      1. First, an up-or-down omen as to whether my offerings have been accepted. (Coin toss, heads = m yes, tails = no)
      2. Speak earnest praise individually for the ancestors, the nature spirits and the gods as the Tarot cards are shuffled. Maintain focus on their presence and the presence of the gate.
      3. “I take these three omens, that I might know the will of the ancestors, of the nature spirits, and of the gods in this rite and in my life.” Turn over one card as each Kindred is mentioned.
      4. Contemplate first impressions — Deeper ‘book’ meanings will be looked up later.
  • Write omens down!
  1. Workings: Praise, presentation of myself to the kindred. Declaration of intent to build a relationship.
  2. Thank the beings
    1. Thank the gods. “Shining ones, I thank you for your participation in this ritual today. Your presence has inspired me.” Pour out more drink. “I praise and thank you.”
    2. Thank the nature spirits. “Nature spirits, I thank you for your participation in this ritual today. Your presence has encouraged me.” Scatter more birdseed.
    3. Thank the ancestors. “Ancestors, I thank you for your participation in this ritual today. Your presence has strengthened me.”
    4. Thank Cernunnos with an offering of my birdseed. “Cernunnos, I thank you for your assistance today, without which this ritual would not have been possible. Your presence honors me.”
  3. Close the gates. “Cernunnos, with gratitude for the assistance you have provided me this Solstice, I ask that you once again close the gates.”
  4. Thank the Earth Mother. “Earth Mother, I thank you today not only for the bounty from which we live in excess, but for the assistance you have provided here today.” Empty the drink.
  5. Close the rite. “With [Insert emotion here] I hereby end this ritual.”
    1. Audio signal: Clap hands three times.
    2. Extend hands, focus on integrating the space set aside for worship back into the secular world.

This was the script I prepared before the Autumn Equinox in 2015. Ultimately, I didn’t wind up performing all of it, as the up-or-down omen on whether the offerings were accepted was negative three times in a row. I wound up thanking the kindreds for their answer and bringing the ritual to an end there. Then I wrote this blog post about the experience.

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