Nemos Ognios, Grove of the Living Flame, ADF
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Nemos Ognios Brighid’s Day Ritual 2009

Before ritual, disconnect fire alarms. Prepare a fire in the fireplace (but don’t light it).

In the living room, Jenna forms a “hedge” with a circle of rope/clothesline with the xā́sā at its center. It has to be big enough to hold her, the fire equipment, one of the large purification bowl (metal mixing bowl, to be used for offerings), a small bowl of water for purification, two pitchers of milk, the pitcher of Waters, the ladle on a plate, and incense and the salt spoon in a bowl.

At the beginning of the ritual:

Inside the hedge:

Outside the hedge:

On the kitchen table:


On dining room table:

Outside front door (after all have arrived):

Cei gives the ritual briefing and finishes putting things in place. If there are guests, they put their dimes on a plate at this time. Cei puts a lit candle and the brass Brighid’s cross outside the front door, along with matches, just in case. Everyone else waits in the dining room.

The Beginning Ritual

When it is time for the ritual, Jenna goes to the kitchen table and rings the bell. The others join her. When all have gathered, Cei says:
Bígí i do thost! May we all maintain a holy silence.

Jenna says:
May be we pure that we might cross through the sacred. May we cross through the sacred that we might attain the holy. May we attain the holy that we might be blessed in all things.

She asperses herself and the others, and then puts the bowl down.

The Procession

Cei says:
Set forth upon the shining path, the ancestral way laid out before us. Place your feet with measured stride, in ancient rhythm.

Jenna picks up a pitcher of milk and the plate with the bread. Cei picks up the other pitcher of milk and the beer. A guest picks up the dish with the dimes. All process to the living room, led by Jenna and then Cei.

When all have arrived at the ritual site, Cei says:
Ta muid anseo leis na dheithe a adradh!

All: We are here to worship the gods!

All go to their places. Jenna remains standing. Cei says:
Come we together on this holy day across the distances that lay between us to this time, to this place, for one strong purpose: To worship the Holy Ones in the proper manner, To honor she who is the heart of our home.

Jenna says:
We gather today to celebrate the feast of Brighid, the feast of the She who burns on our hearth, the goddess in our midst.

Cei says:
We call to Brighid, the flame on the hearth.

All: Come to us, come to us, bless us with your presence.

Cei: We call to Brighid, inspirer of poets.

All: Come to us, come to us, bless us with your presence.

Cei: We call to Brighid, strength of smiths.

All: Come to us, come to us, bless us with your presence.

Cei: We call to Brighid, power of healers.

Cei: Come to us, come to us, bless us with your presence.

During this, Jenna has been going to the front door. After the last sentence, she says:
Lady Brighid, come in, come in, come in, you are thrice welcome!

All: Lady Brighid, come in, come in, come in, you are thrice welcome!

Jenna opens the door and brings in the candle and the Brighid’s cross (relighting the candle if it has gone out). She puts the candle down next to the xā́sā, lifts the xā́sā, puts the Brighid’s cross down under it, and puts the xā́sā back.

Jenna pours the lighter fluid on the briquettes in the xā́sā and lights them with fire transferred from the candle via a match, saying:
In the home’s very center is a living fire, here where the sacred and the mundane meet, under the care of the Triple Brighid.

She spreads her hands and says:
The fire of Brighid is the flame on our hearth.

She pauses while the flames catch. Then she says:
High One, Brighid, unite us all, for by worshipping at a common hearth we are made one family, one people. Queen of the hearth, your household is here. May we pray with a good fire.

She blows on the fire, while Cei says:
With our prayers we feed you, with the breath of our mouths.

Jenna holds her hands out to the fire, cupping them together, and says:
Receive our offerings and bless our rites.

She starts to sing, with the others joining in on the chorus:
This flame is small that’s how it seems yet even so it bears our dreams

For flame’s a goddess to whom we pray to be one family, here today.

The flame now grows from coal to coal and every one is each a soul

For flame’s a goddess to whom we pray to be one family, here today.

The flame has spread from heart to heart. It binds us still when we’re apart.

For flame’s a goddess to whom we pray to be one family, here today.

She burns within through all our days. Let all as one sing out her praise.

For flame’s a goddess to whom we pray to be one family, here today.

For flame’s a goddess to whom we pray to be one family, here today.

Jenna sings the last chorus by herself, with " family, here today" is sung more slowly.

Cei says:
Brighid is here, in the fire on the hearth; there she stands, in golden garments, tall and lovely.

All: Brighid is here. Failte, a Bhrigid.

The guest with the dimes goes to the mundus, and with eyes averted, opens it, putting the tile on the floor, and pours the dimes in. They then purify themselves and return to their place. While this is going on, Jenna says:
Around the hearth fire, throughout long ages, our people have gathered, for warm and community. Tonight we welcome the honored dead to sit beside the hearth they once held so dear. Welcome to the Ancestors!

All: Welcome to the Ancestors!

Jenna says:
Be our priestess, Brighid, drawing the gods near, and conveying our offerings to them.

She pours milk into the offering bowl, saying:
We feed you with cow’s milk, a Bhrighid, Giver of Thrice-milked Cows, Brighid.

All: Biodh se amladh.

Jenna puts the loaf of bread in the offering bowl, saying:
Eat with us, Share our food, Share our home.

All: Biodh se amladh.

Jenna says:
Brighid is pure, and only the pure may approach her. With pure body and mind, make offering.

Jenna anoints her feet, hands, and head with water, praying to be pure, and puts the bowl of water outside the hedge. She pours more milk into the offering bowl, saying:
With reverence I pour this milk to you.

She then puts incense on the fire, saying:
Sweetly may this incense rise through the fire, this offering to the goddess of fire.

Each person comes forward and offers milk. Women make the offerings themselves, while men take the pitcher and give it to Jenna to make. Cei is last. After he is done, Jenna fills the offering bowl with more milk, saying:
We feed you with cow’s milk, a Bhrighid, Giver of Thrice-milked Cows, Brighid. All of us together offer it to you.

Jenna holds her hands over the hearth a moment and then brings them back to cover her face a moment. Then she opens them and holds them palms out towards the fire and says:
With the burning of the fire we take possession of the land it lights, of the world it warms.

She drops her hands.

Cei sets up the image of Janus to the east of the fire. Jenna says:
Janus Inceptio, God of beginnings. stand at the opening of our rite. Janus Patulcius, Opener of doors, open the gate between our world and that of the gods that our prayers might go through to them.

As she says the last, she puts incense on the altar fire. She then says:
Open the gates for us, Janus Reclude portas!

All: Open the way!

Jenna: God of beginnings, of all that is new Reclude portas!

All: Open the way.

Jenna: You who guard the sacred door Reclude portas!

All: Open the way.

Jenna: From the land of the gods, To the land of men,

All: May sacred power flow. May Janus be our guide to the gods.

Each time the people say "Open the way," Jenna makes an opening sign.

Cei then sets up the image of Xáryomen. Jenna offers butter. Cei sings:
Xáryomen Dhétipotei,

All: Xáryomen, Lord of the Law of the People.

Cei: Sumenezṇz prionz dōtor

All: Giver of well-disposed friends.

Cei: Sus Wéstēr zdhi.

All: Be our good Herdsman.

Cei: Wedhe nōs som

All: Bring us together.

Cei: Xṛneu nōs sḗm.

All: Make us one.

Cei: Tebhyo sṃgénze spendemes.

All: May we worship you as one people!

Cei: Unite us, Xáryomen, make us one,

All: May we come before the gods speaking with one voice.

Jenna puts incense on the briquettes, saying:
May all the Holy Ones come to us as we worship them here. May they come to us on the shining path as we call to them with proper words.

All: Holy Ones, We worship you with sweet offering.

All sing “Hail All the Gods.”

Cei pours beer with his right hand into the second offering bowl, saying:
All the Kindreds, be honored in our midst. We pour out our offering to you, like living water, like grain from a bag. Drink deeply of the gifts we give.

Cei returns to his place. He says:
Have the folk brought praise?

Jenna says: They have!

Praise offerings

When the last offering has been made, Cei says:
Holy Brighid, Gods and Goddesses, Holy Ancestors, Spirits of this place: If anything we have done here has offended you, If anything we have done here has been incomplete, If anything we have done here has not been done in the proper manner, accept this final offering in recompense.

While he says the first line, Jenna tears off a piece of the pita bread and puts it in the main offering bowl. When he says the second, she tears off another piece and puts it on the fire. She then gives the rest to Cei. He tears off a large piece, which he then tears into three, two small and one large. He puts a small piece in front of each image, and the larger piece between the two. He tears of another piece with the second line and puts it in the mundus. He puts the rest in the offering bowl, breaking it up while he speaks the rest of the prayer.

Jenna then says: Diviner, take the omens.

After the divination has been announced, Jenna says:
We hear what the Kindreds have said, and are made wise by it.

Jenna pours the Waters into the their bowl. She ladles milk from the offering bowl into it, stirs it three times clockwise, and puts the ladle in the pitcher that had held the Waters. She holds the bowl over the fire for a moment and then raises it. She says:
Féachaígí ar na h-Uisci Beatha! Behold the Waters of Life!

All reply: Behold the Waters of Life!

Jenna holds it over the fire again, raises it again, and says:
Féachaígí ar na h-Uisci Beatha! Behold the waters of Life!

All reply: Behold the Waters of Life!

Jenna holds it over the fire a third time, raises it, and says:
Féachaígí ar na h-Uisci Beatha! Behold the Waters of Life!

All reply: Behold the Waters of Life!

Cei says:
With the gates opened and the offerings made, we have established the bonds of hospitality with the Kindreds. And, in return, they have given us this blazing water.

Jenna says:
Fires of Brighid: Fires of Poets, Fires of Smiths, Fires of Healers, Inspire us with the Fires of Creation: Inspire us, Brighid. Waters of Brighid: Waters of Purification Waters of Protection Waters of Nourishment Inspire us with the Waters of Life: Behold the Waters of Life!

All: Behold the Waters of Life!

Jenna says: What the Kindreds have given to us, we distribute freely.

Jenna ladles some of the Waters into the libation bowl, saying:
May the Kindreds always receive their due.

The Waters are then are distributed. Each person comes to the hedge, and Jenna fills a cup and hands it to them across the hedge.

After all have been drunk, Cei says:
Filled with the Mystery of Fire in Water may we rest in the presence of the Kindreds.

There is a pause while all meditate on the divine presence which fills them. Then Jenna says:
With wondering souls we have welcomed this wisdom, with grateful hearts may we accept its manifestation in our midst.

Cei says:
We have offered to the Ancestors, we have prayed to all the Great Ones, we have worshiped Brighid as it right, and they have given us only a token of what they will bestow. We have asked, we have given, we shall receive. Biodh se amladh.

All: Biodh se amladh.

Then Jenna says:
Never would we take without returning, never receive without appreciation. We must end our rites, but we will do it with gratitude.

Then Jenna offers incense, while Cei says:
Blessed ones, may you always be with us. We thank all the Kindreds for their many gifts. Go raibh maith agaibh.

All: Go raibh maith agaibh.

Jenna offers butter, while Cei says:
Xáryomen, who guards society’s peace, you have joined us together in our worship today: though the rites may end, and the people scatter, may our fellowship remain strong. Xáryomen, we thank you for your presence and blessings. May we grow and flourish under your benevolent gaze. Tebhyo gwrtins do-mes.

All: Tebhyo gwrtins do-mes.

Jenna offers incense, saying:
Janus Patulcius, we thank you for opening the way. Janus Clusivus, close the way; Janus Pater, claude portas. May we be blessed in your closing even as we were blessed in your opening. Although the door may be closed May the Holy Ones be never far away to answer us in our need. Tibi gratia agimus.

All: Tibi gratia agimus.

Jenna, with a sign of closing: Let the gates be closed!

All: Let the gates be closed!

Jenna offers incense, saying:
Á Bhrighid, Belovéd, Lady of Fire, Queen of the hearth, who by rights receives the last, bless and guard all those who worship you whether in their home or without whether alone or with others whether thinking of you or engaged in business. Shining One, receive this offering. On this day, your greatest feast day, we honor, worship, and thank you. Go raibh maith agait!

All: Go raibh maith agait.

The person who had offered the dimes goes to the mundus, puts the tile back on, returns, and purifies themselves, while Jenna is saying:
It is now time for the Ancestors to return to their own hearth fires, to gather around them as the Further Family. Farewell, Ancestors, may your journey be blessed!

All: May your journey be blessed!

When the incense is burned, Jenna extinguishes the fire by setting the top of the xā́sā on gently, saying:
We cover you, Brighid, not sending you away, but keeping you with us everywhere.

When the fire has finished smoking, Jenna says:
Extinguished without but burning within.

All: The living fire flames within us.

Jenna says:
With the hearthfire smoored, the center of our sacred world sleeps. We will carry it in our hearts, though, nestled deep with the love of the gods.

Cei then says:
We have offered to the Holy Ones and they have accepted our sacrifices.

Jenna says:
We have worshiped the Old Ones as it is right to do.

Cei says:
We have done what the people before us have done.

Jenna says:
May we always be mindful of those we have worshiped. May we always be mindful of them, worthy of worship. May this grove grow strong, under their watchful eyes.

Cei says: On all who have worshiped here:

All: Inspiration, power, peace.

Cei: On all who revere the Kindreds:

All: Inspiration, power, peace.

Cei: On all who walk the ancient path:

All: Inspiration, power, peace.

Jenna says:
With the gates closed With the gods worshiped With the ancestors honored We will walk in wisdom.

All go to the kitchen, in the same order as they came in, and Jenna rings the bell to end the ritual

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