Berengaria Order of Druids ceremony – Autumn Equinox
By Sarah Rooke, Archdruidess
On an altar let there be a phial of anointing oil, a chalice of water, a salver of salt, burning incense, three lighted candles, a rock or crystal, some flowers, a wand and or athame, a sword or bat’leth (if possible), bread and wine/fruit juice and a container of herbs. Druids in white or pastel, or Druidic/Celtic robes
Celebrant: Before I begin, am I ready to start this ceremony?
Celebrant: I am
Celebrant: (Takes sword or wand in the air, going round in a circle) I conjure thee oh circle of power, that thou may be a meeting place of love, joy and truth, a shield against all wickedness and evil, a container and a condenser of all the power that we shall raise within thee. A rampart and a protection. Until the time when the sky falls above our heads, or the sea rises up and smothers us, or the earth opens her maw and swallows us, in the holy names of the gods and goddesses that we worship, I do consecrate and bless thee
Celebrant: The earth is blessed
Celebrant holding a container of salt water, walks round the circle, sprinkling on floor saying:
Earth and water were you cast, let no adverse purpose past. Be in complete accord with we, as is our will so mote it be
Celebrant holding burning incense, walks around circle, wafting the scent everywhere saying:
Air and fire harken now to our desire, awaken the sleeper deep within, let no evil enter in. Be in complete accord with we, as is our will so mote it be
Celebrant (at East): There is peace in the East
Celebrant (at South): There is peace in the South
Celebrant (at West): There is peace in the West
Celebrant (at North): There is peace in the North
Celebrant (standing in centre): There is peace throughout the entire land
Celebrant: Holds athame/wand up and in a sweeping circle points it down saying:
The Earth our mother lies at our feet, the sky above protects us. This circle is now complete, and the ceremony may now commence
The main ceremony
Celebrant: I stand before the Sacred Grove of Minbar of the Berengaria Order of Druids and to the Guardians, Ancestors, and Spirits of this Place. I declare my intent, I am grey, I stand between the candle and the star. We are grey, we stand between the darkness and the light
Celebrant: Alban Elued, the Autumn Equinox is the time of equal day and night. It heralds the beginning of autumn, the coming of shadows, as summer gives way to winter. It is also when the leaves start to turn brown from green and begin to fall off the trees. Autumn is when the God and the Goddess are in their ‘Middle Age’ and for us at a personal level, it means the autumn of our lives, as we reflect and recollect on what we have reaped so far, thus it is also a time associated with the harvest. Autumn means precisely that, ‘Our Tomb’. It is when the birds start to fly south for the coming winter, and when many animals also hibernate from the incoming bad weather,
Celebrant: In Ancient Greece, around this time, the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries would be enacted. They were based on the myths of how the young Goddess of the Spring, the Kore, was abducted by Hades, the Dark Lord of the Underworld, to become his wife and queen. The maiden’s distraught mother, the Goddess of the Corn, Demeter, searched bitterly for her beloved daughter until she withdrew her life giving energies from the Earth and so the Land became barren. Eventually, great Zeus intervened, and with the help of Hecate and Hermes, Demeter was reunited with her daughter, who had been renamed as Persephone. All parties agreed that the young maiden would spend half of the year with her mother on Olympus, and the other half with her husband in Hades. Thus half the year was in light and half in darkness.
Celebrant takes time to meditate and reflect on this mystery, reflecting in ones own life and at this special time of the year. A path working or meditation in the celebrants chosen path may follow. Celebrant may seek to commune with the Gods and Goddesses of their tradition.
Celebrant: Who is this shining vision before me? For she has a diadem of stars, is crowned by the moon and is robed by the sun, and her throne is the earth.
Celebrant gases into crystal on altar.
Celebrant: Behold, for I am seeing and experiencing a vision of the Goddess Herself! Know that in Ancient Greece, on the Holy Night of the Thesmophoria, Persephone appeared at Eleusis to Her people in wonder and awe. Let us with reverence and gratitude contemplate this beauty and splendour before us, as they would have done many centuries ago. An ear of corn is reaped in silence.
Celebrant takes time to contemplate this vision of the Goddess.
Celebrant: Not always is it the Goddess’s will that She reveals Herself to us. She will do so when we are ready to receive and accept Her. For two thousand years now, the God has reigned supreme on earth, whilst the Goddess has remained hidden. Now it is time for balance to be restored as the cosmic clock rings thrice for those that see and hear. Know that All Gods are One God, and All Goddesses are One Goddess, and there is One Initiator. All men are Sons and Priests of the God, and all women are Daughters and Priestesses of the Goddess. For this is the Sacred Mystery of the Initiates throughout the Ages of Time and Space.
Celebrant: Like the Bajorans, let us open the Orb of Time with the Prophets from the Celestial Temple to see what we need to know at this time. (Celebrant visualises a Bajoran orb being opened and looks into it, seeing visions. Vedek closes orb after a few moments).
Celebrant: Love and the Law must be present for us to understand and have knowledge, and hence progress in the universal scheme of things. What is past, present and future also has bearing. For here is the Mystery of the One; what was, is and shall be. For if you have sad life, probably have sad death, but at least there is symmetry. This is the harvest, or the karma of life.
Celebrant: May the Goddesses and Gods bestow their gifts of joy and love to all in peace and harmony.
Celebrant: I give thanks to the Guardians, Ancestors and Spirits of the Place for the Inspiration, Originality, and Imagination that has been bestowed on me today.
Celebrant holds out platter of bread, with wand/athame makes pentagram to bless it
I hereby bless this in the name of the Gods and Goddesses
Celebrant holds out chalice of wine, with wand/athame makes pentagram to bless it
I hereby bless this in the name of the Gods and Goddesses.
After partaking of bread and wine, celebrant intones druidic chant of Awen three times:
Awen, Awen, Awen
Celebrant: I shall now recite the Druids Prayer, Grant oh God/Goddess, thy protection, and in protection, strength. And in strength, understanding, and in understanding, knowledge. And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice, and in the knowledge of justice, the love of it. And in the love of it, the love of all existences. And in the love of all existences, the love of god and goddess and all goodness
Celebrant: I shall now say the Druids Oath, We swear, by peace and love to stand, heart to heart and hand in hand, mark oh spirit and hear us now, confirming this our sacred vow.
Celebrant may like to offer their own poems, dancing or songs here, and also any special prayers or thoughts at this time as they feel appropriate
Celebrant: As is tradition, I raise my hands in the air, sending out thoughts of peace and harmony to all things and beings, and any projects I have in mind
Celebrant: My ceremony completed, I close this circle so I may return to everyday life. But first i thank the Guardians, Ancestors and Spirits of the Place.
Turns to East: There is peace in the East
Turns to South: There is peace in the South
Turns to West: There is peace in the West
Turns to North: There is peace in the North
Standing in centre: There is peace throughout the entire land
Celebrant: In the Name of the Gods and Goddesses that I worship, I send blessings out to the cosmos and the soma of our Universe, and all lifeforms, things and beings, remembering that the truth is out there! We also give thanks to the Gods and Goddesses for the love, beauty and truth that surrounds us now and forever. May we go forth with the Divine Blessing. Live Long and Prosper. May the Force Be With Us! Happy Autumn Equinox!
Celebrant: Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again
Note: This a solo use ceremony that can be performed alone by oneself or with others