This ritual was written to celebrate the Rainy Season in the Coast Range Mountains of California. It is performed on the day of the Winter Solstice. It is begun indoors, at the foot of the Yule Tree, and then moves into the wet, greening gardens of our home, for the wassailing of the orchard, and the planting of native wildflower seeds in our muddy garden swales. Gortex is the preferred ritual garb for this season!
Pause at the edge of the ritual space to quiet the mind, ground the body, and open the spirit to the Numenons of Nature present in this place. Step into the ritual space.
I enter the Sacred Grove with reverence.
I enter the Sacred Grove in peace.
Place an offering of native wildflower seed just outside the Eastern side of the Grove.
Salute the East.
Peace and greetings to the East,
Birthplace of the rushing winds,
Where the golden eagle soars at dawn,
With gifts of insight and inspiration.
Thank you for the blessings of Air.
Place an offering of native wildflower seed just outside the Southern side of the Grove.
Salute the South.
Peace and greetings to the South,
Pathway of the brilliant flames,
Where passionate, courageous hearts
Draw strength from warmth of Heaven’s Hearth.
Thank you for the blessings of Fire.
Place an offering of native wildflower seed just outside the Western side of the Grove.
Salute the West.
Peace and greetings to the West,
Wellspring of the mighty sea,
Whose cascading mists, and currents, and tides
Inspire reflection and change in the wise.
Thank you for the blessings of Water.
Place an offering of native wildflower seed just outside the Northern side of the Grove.
Salute the North.
Peace and greetings to the North,
Homeland of the ancient trees,
Whose lives embody the ages of time,
Through quiet accretion of manifest glory.
Thank you for the blessings of Earth.
Salute the Heavens.
Peace and greetings, Father Sky,
Source of Nature’s Law, and Light,
Lord of the distant, Celestial Sphere, and
Master of seasons and cycles, here.
Thank you for the blessings of Spirit Above.
Salute the Earth.
Peace and greetings, Mother Earth,
Churning power of heat and rebirth,
Lifter of mountains, and mixer of seas,
Shaper of winds, and all life among these.
Thank you for the blessings of Spirit Below.
By the power of decisive action,
And the wisdom of calm reflection,
With the help of all the powers of Nature,
May the power of Spirit Within grow strong.
May it bless and protect me,
this day and always!
Awen! Awen! Awen!
Grant, O Holy Ones, thy protection;
and in protection, strength;
and in strength, understanding;
and in understanding, wisdom;
and in wisdom, justice;
and in justice, the love of it;
And in that love, the love of all existences;
And in the love of all existences, the love of Earth,
My mother, my home.
Tracing the tribann in space:
Light of Heaven, and
Life of Earth,
In their union, Spirit’s birth,
In realms of Land and Sea and Sky,
Jewel of Light,
Fill the world with blessings, bright!
May all living beings of this world
Be healed and blessed to fruitfulness;
May all who strive for enlightenment
Awen! Awen! Awen!
Sit, and read the Holiday Lection:
I come to the Sacred Grove today to celebrate the Winter Solstice, time of shortest days and weakest light, when the world around us seems most dark. In the Coast Range Mountains of California, the Winter Solstice is also the time when the Rainy Season reaches its full, majestic power. It brings much-needed water to the parched soils. It fills our lakes and reservoirs. It soaks long-dormant seeds, encouraging them to sprout. It swells the mycorrhizae in the soil, in preparation for next year’s drought. And it encourages the herbs, shrubs, and trees to push new growth, re-greening a world that has for so long been dead.
This is a time of great hope and joy. It is a time to plan and prepare for the learning, growing, and creative work of the new year. And it is time to offer support and encouragement to family and friends of both human and other-than-human-kind, as they prepare for their own seasons of bright new growth and creative expression.
It is also time to recall that the true power of magic is in our ability to control the thoughts and emotions which we allow to rule our minds, hands, and hearts: “‘Tis the darkness or brightness one carries within that marks our true value to heavenly kin.”
It is time to rekindle inner light, amidst the deepest darkness of the year.
Set aside the Holiday Lection.
Light the Yule Tree.
It is my intention, in the coming season of new light and new growth, to… (Fill in here with a spoken description of my plans for personal learning, spiritual growth, and creative expression in the coming year.)
Commit these intentions to writing, in ink on paper.
Place the written intentions into the prayer-box on the altar.
So may it be.
Mother Earth, and Father Sky,
With reverence and gratitude for your gifts,
I offer my service and love, in return,
tending the needs of land, sea, and sky
So that all living beings of your creation
may continue to thrive.
Wassail the family orchards, singing “The Coast Range Wassail.”
Scatter native wildflower seeds in the muddy swales of our native garden.
Then, return to the foot of the Yule Tree to close:
I depart the Sacred Grove with gratitude;
I depart the Sacred Grove, in peace.
Deep within the still center of my being,
may I find peace.
Here, within the quiet of the Grove,
may I share peace.
Gently, within the greater circle of all Life,
may I radiate peace.
Awen! Awen! Awen!
See more from The Coast Range Druid’s home page, here.