Order of Worship
The members of Whispering Lake Grove, A.D.F. would like to take this opportunity to invite you to attend our† public worship. We hope that the following information will provide an introduction to the structure and meaning of our worship.
Honoring Our Grove Patron
Manannan Mac Lir, Whispering Lake Groveís Patron Deity, is honored and invited to join us in celebration as part of our opening blessings.††
We begin our ritual by gathering in a single file line following the Grove Bard outside of our Nemeton. We proceed to our ritual space with a slow walk, while singing a chant or song. The song is repeated until all participants are within the Nemeton.†
Seer, Eld Naδr offers clarified butter to the fire.
Picture by: Kimberlie Heath
A musical signal, usually in the form of a hammer striking an anvil nine times for our Norse rituals or nine drum beats for our Irish Celtic rituals, lets all who have gathered know the ritual has begun.
Honoring the Earth Mother
Honoring the Earth Mother and Sky Father
An opening prayer is given to honor and invite the Earth Mother and Sky Father, the primal Mother and Father of all, to our ritual.† Whispering Lake Grove has made an addition to our opening blessings in the inclusion of a Sky Father.† The Earth Mother and Sky Father are not to be confused with the Wiccan concept of Lord and Lady, but are the primal mother and father of their pantheons.† Our Earth Mother may be localized Earth Mother or chosen from among the Goddesses of Sovereignty from the Norse-Teutonic or Irish Celtic pantheons. The Sky Father deity honored in our opening blessings is the God of the Clear Sky or Day Sky.† He is the embodiment of Sky power, the illuminating radiance of the Heavens.† It is through the union of the Earth Mother and Sky Father that all life comes into being and true balance can be achieved.†
Invocation for Bardic Inspiration
The Bard will call upon a specific Deity to provide participants with the gift of inspiration and eloquence for the period of our worship. This deity is also called upon to aid us in communication with the Otherworld.
Statement of Purpose
The statement of purpose is a brief statement of the purpose for our celebration or ritual. It explains the reasons we have gathered, who the Beings of the Occasion will be and is often accompanied by a storytelling based on Norse-Teutonic or Irish Celtic mythology to establish the historical precedent.
The Outdwellers are defined by Whispering Lake Grove as beings of chaos that are not in tune with the purpose and intention of our ritual.† The Outdwellers are addressed and given a token outside of our Southern fire in an attempt to control the chaos that enters our ritual space.† The officiate placing the token to the Outdwellers does so just after the purpose of our ritual has been established.† The items for the Outdwellers are usually given in an even number and are darker in color representing the chaotic nature of these beings.† These items are given from the left hand, while avoiding eye contact. We strive not to offend or provoke, but to avoid establishing a guest/host relationship with any and all beings among the Outdwellers.† During our rituals all present are asked to turn away and pay no attention to these beings as they are addressed to avoid establishing a relationship with them.
Purification of Participants & Space
Participants are led in the following power raising chant:
With the powers to create and destroy
And the strength to cleanse and purify.
As the participantís chant, blessed water is taken from our well and incense briquettes within a censor are lit from the sacred fire.† Participates are sprinkled with water and censed with incense.† Water is then sprinkled once around our ritual space to cleanse the space, followed by the incense for purification.
Creating the Group Mind & Affirmation of Unity
A ritual officiate will assist participants to re-establish group mind and reaffirm their connection to the Earth and Sky.†
(Re)Creating the cosmos
Consecration of Time
An officiate will take the participants to the time of cosmic beginning of Norse mythology or to the time of the coming of the Tuatha in Irish Celtic mythology due to the lack of a creation mythology for the Irish Celts.† This activity prepares the way for the convergence of the worlds and re-establishes group mind.
The fire, well and tree are honored with a song or invocation and are prepared through offering to become the sacred center between land, sea and sky in preparation for opening the ways between the worlds.
Completing the Cosmology
Land, Sea and Sky are established, as well as the Underworld, Middleworld and Heavens through invocation.
Opening the Gates
An invocation is spoken asking a Gatekeeper deity (a God/Goddess of the Threshold) to ward the way and facilitate communication between the worlds, as well as to assist us in opening the gates.† An offering is made to the Gatekeeper and all participants join in singing a power-raising chant prior to the gate opening.
The magical portals (fire, well and tree) are then opened. The Bile or tree becomes a crossroads or axis between Earth and Sky, between this world and the Otherworld, where spirits and communication may travel freely between the worlds. The Sacred Fire is opened as a way to the Shining Ones, the Deities and the Sacred Well is opened as a way to the Mighty Dead, the Ancestors. Through these portals we send our love and worship in the form of prayers and offerings. The Kindred (The Noble Spirits, Mighty Dead and Shining Ones) in return send us their guidance, wisdom and blessings through the portals.
Inviting the Three Kindred
We pray and make offering to the Kindred. We honor the Noble Spirits of the world around us, our animal companions, the green world, fairy folk and other non-human spirits. We honor the Mighty Dead, our Ancestors of blood, as well as those of spirit that have passed from this world.† We honor and worship the Shining Ones, our Deities, asking them for their blessings in our lives. We end each invocation by all participants inviting the Kindred to join us in our celebration.
Invitation of the Beings of the Occasion
We call to the Beings of the Occasion inviting them to be welcome among us. They are the honored guests of the occasion. Offerings are made to each of the Deities or Beings.
Ritual participants are given an opportunity to make praise offerings in the form of poetry, song, dance, or works of their hands etc. These offerings of praise are given to the Beings of the Occasion. They are given freely and nothing is asked for in return.
Seasonal Customs/Lore Play
During high day rituals a seasonal enactment is part of our worship. The seasonal enactment is often a time to portray myth, legend or to re-enact an event associated with the season from Irish Celtic or Norse/Teutonic mythology.† This re-enactment is a group offering for the Beings of the Occasion.
The Prayer of Sacrifice
The purpose of the Prayer of Sacrifice is to collect all of the energy, love and honor left within our ritual area intended for the Beings of the Occasion.† Once collected this energy is to be sent through the gates just before the final sacrifice is made.† A final sacrifice is prepared and given to the Beings of the Occasion.† It is at this point in the ritual that the energy that has been flowing through the gates from the participants now begins to flow back to us from the Beings of the Occasion in the form of blessings.
The Omen is taken by drawing three Ogham (Tree Ogham) or Runes (the Elder Futark). The divination tool is dependant upon the cultural focus of the ritual. The primary purpose of the Omen is to give the Beings of the Occasion a voice, as we ask if they have accepted our praise, offerings and sacrifice. The secondary purpose of the Omen is to preview the blessing and receive guidance; wisdom, inspiration, insight, warnings or other messages the Beings of the Occasion may have for us. The Grove Seer gives a brief interpretation and explanation for participants to contemplate each message.
Calling for the Blessing
Blessings are called down from the Beings of the Occasion.
Hallowing the Waters
The Blessings of the Beings of the Occasion are invoked into the Waters.†
Affirmation of the Blessing
The participants are asked if they wish to receive the Blessings of the Being(s) of the Occasion.† Upon receiving affirmation the Waters of Life are passed and shared among the participants.† As the Waters are shared, it is customary to sing a song or chant until all have had an opportunity to receive the blessing.
Any work that may need to be done on behalf of the community may be performed, as needed, during this section of the ritual.
Thanking the Beings
All of the participants thank the powers that have attended us during the ritual in reverse order.† Each Being that was invited to join our celebration is given a token of thanks. The Earth Mother and Sky Father are not thanked until later in the ritual.
Closing the Gates
The Gatekeeper is thanked and receives a final token of thanks.† The Gates between the worlds are closed.
Thanking the Earth Mother and Sky Father
Just prior to the conclusion of our ritual, the Earth Mother and Sky Father are thanked and all that has gone unused is returned to the Earth and Sky.
Closing the Rite
Unmerging, Regrounding & Recentering: Meditation
Participants take part in a final meditation for the purpose of grounding and centering energy from the ritual.
A musical signal, usually in the form of a hammer striking an anvil nine times for our Norse Rituals or nine drum beats for our Celtic Rituals, lets all who have gathered know the ritual has ended.
At the conclusion of our ritual, participants leave the ritual space in song led by the Bard until all have left the Nemeton.
Rites of Offering