Fog Season Celebration

This ritual was written to celebrate the Fog Season in the Coast Range Mountains of California.  I perform it each year, with family and friends, on the day of the Summer Solstice.

The basic structure of the ritual was inspired by the ritual forms typical of the Druid Revival, and in specific, those used within the Ancient Order of Druids in America, of which I am an active member.  It (roughly) follows the AODA ritual form, but adapts AODA ritual components to more closely align with my family’s practice, which focuses less on magical/masonic/hermetic type ritual, and more on forging direct relationships with the Numenons of Nature (in the words of Aldo Leopold), and in expressing gratitude and reciprocity for extant blessings (as suggested in Braiding Sweetgrass), rather than summoning and banishing powers.

In addition, as a mother of a young child, it is important to me that all rituals I organize be family-friendly, and include meaningful roles for young children in attendance.  As such, I wrote the role of “Herald” to be performed by my (then) six-year-old son.

GROVE CELEBRATION for FOG SEASON – SCRIPT

Arrange chairs in a circle.

GROVE DRUID
Please attend, as I am about to open a Grove of Druids in this place.

Participants stand in a circle.

GROVE DRUID
The first duty of Druids assembled in our sacred grove is to proclaim peace to the four quarters of the world, and to recognize and give thanks for the many blessings of divinity, which dwell within the heart of Nature.
(pause)
Herald, you may begin.

The Herald places an offering of wildflower seed just outside the Eastern side of the circle.

HERALD
Peace and greetings to the East!

GROVE DRUID
(saluting the East)
Birthplace of the rushing winds,
Where the golden eagle soars at dawn,
With gifts of insight and inspiration.

ALL
Thank you for the blessings of Air.

The Herald places an offering of wildflower seed just outside the Southern side of the circle.

HERALD
Peace and greetings to the South!

GROVE DRUID
(saluting the South)
Pathway of the brilliant flames,
Where soothing warmth from heaven’s hearth,
Encourages and lights the heart.

ALL
Thank you for the blessings of Fire.

The Herald places an offering of wildflower seed just outside the Western side of the circle.

HERALD
Peace and greetings to the West!

GROVE DRUID
(saluting the West)
Wellspring of the mighty sea,
Whose cascading mists, and currents, and tides
Inspire reflection and change in the wise.

ALL
Thank you for the blessings of Water.

The Herald places an offering of wildflower seed just outside the Northern side of the circle.

HERALD
Peace and greetings to the North!

GROVE DRUID
(saluting the North)
Homeland of the ancient trees,
Whose lives embody the ages of time,
Through quiet accretion of manifest glory.

ALL
Thank you for the blessings of Earth.

The Herald returns to the center of the circle. He casts an offering of wildflower seed into the air.

HERALD
Peace and greetings, Father Sky!

GROVE DRUID
(saluting Father Sky, above)
Source of Nature’s Law, and Light,
Lord of the distant, Celestial Sphere, and
Master of seasons and cycles, here.

ALL
Thank you for the blessings of Spirit Above.

The Herald sprinkles an offering of wildflower seed on the ground at the center of the circle.

HERALD
Peace and greetings, Mother Earth!

GROVE DRUID
(saluting Mother Earth, below)
Churning power of heat and birth,
Lifter of mountains, and mixer of seas,
Shaper of winds, and all life among these.

ALL
Thank you for the blessings of Spirit Below.

GROVE DRUID
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 us grow strong.
(pause)
Wondrous Child, Jewel of Light,
Fill the world with blessings bright!

ALL
(chanting)
Awen!

Herald sits.

GROVE DRUID
(tracing a Tribann in the sand)
From the rising sun, three rays of light;
From the living earth, three stones of witness;
From the eye and the mind and the hand of wisdom,
Three sacred trees of knowledge.
Holy Book of Nature, teach us;
Numenons of Nature, guide us,
While we kindle inner light.

ALL
(chanting)
Awen!

GROVE DRUID
Please be seated.

Participants sit.

GROVE DRUID
We are gathered here to celebrate Summer Solstice, time of longest light, when the sun reaches its northern-most position, and reverses its course along the horizon, with days now shortening, as we head back towards winter. Our Grove Ovate has a short lesson for us on the powers influencing our local season.

Grove Ovate stands; Grove Druid sits.

GROVE OVATE
Here in the Coast Range mountains of Northern California, summer is the Season of Fog.
(pause)
While the sun is in his summer home, he creates a Pacific high pressure zone, which sends us our summer westerly winds. As those winds approach our shores, they push aside the surface waters of the ocean, allowing a powerful upward surge of icy water from the depths.  As damp ocean breezes reach our shores, the chill of this icy upwelling causes the moisture to precipitate, giving birth to the Great Fog Bank of summer.
(pause)
But the ways in which we experience that fog will vary with the microclimate in which we happen to live. Those who reside near the mountain gaps may find themselves socked-in, most days; Those farther inland, who are more protected by the coastal range
may never see a wisp. And in all cases, the weather changes, with the cyclical surge and retreat of the mist.

Grove Ovate sits; Grove Druid stands.

GROVE DRUID
The wisdom and teachings that we glean from the surge and retreat of summer mists also depends on our frame of mind. While we engage in today’s ritual work, I encourage you all to think about the blessings and challenges that Fog Season brings.
(pause)
Our Grove Bard will direct our work.

Grove Druid sits; Grove Bard stands.

GROVE BARD
Let us put hearts and hands and minds together to create some beautiful beach-art, to illustrate the Powers of Nature currently at work, around us and within us, during this summer Season of Fog.

Participants create their works of art, and share what they have made with one another. When all have finished, the Grove Bard continues:

GROVE BARD
The work is complete. We leave it here, as a gift of beauty and inspiration, to all who come here after us.  Let us return to our circle, to hear the poems, readings, and songs that people have brought to share.

All participants return to the circle, and sit. Participants take turns, reading aloud, or performing, a poem, story, or song which they feel best represents the season of Summer.

GROVE BARD
Thank you all for your inspired contributions to our Fog Season Celebration.

GROVE DRUID
Please stand, as I am about to close this Grove of Druids.

Participants stand in a circle.

GROVE DRUID
With reverence and gratitude, we take our leave.

HERALD
(saluting the East)
May peace preside in the East.
(saluting the South)
May peace preside in the South.
(saluting the West)
May peace preside in the West.
(saluting the North)
May peace preside in the North.

GROVE DRUID
We close this Grove by reciting the words that have long been a bond among druids. Please join hands.

Participants join hands.

ALL
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, our Mother and home.

GROVE DRUID
Mother Earth, and Father Sky,
With reverence and gratitude for your gifts,
We offer our service to you, in return.
As we prepare to leave this place,
We shall properly dispose of all litter and debris,
So that all beings here may continue to thrive.

ALL
(chanting)
Awen!

GROVE DRUID
The Grove is closed. Please take trash bags, and let’s clean up this beach before we go. Thank you all for coming!

**THE LOVELY PHOTO OF SAN FRANCISCO FOG, ABOVE, IS BY BROCKEN INAGLORY, VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.