FIREFALL: A POEM/ HYMN/ LITURGY FOR THIS TIME

Oh, Sun of Righteousness for All.
as on that ancient day.
when you looked upon us,
you smiled on humankind.
and let your fire fall.

Let your fire fall,
let your fire fall,
let your fire fall on us, today.

Oh, Benevolent Sharer of All.
shine your light and understanding now,
newness in mind, and body,
and in spirit, too.
Whisper long-sought words of wisdom to all.

Let your fire fall,
let your fire fall,
let your fire fall on us, today.

Oh, Power Behind It All.
may we know the heat of pure desire.
To be, to do, to act in love, authentically,
May our hearts and minds be open.
to hear your enlightened call.

Let your fire fall,
let your fire fall,
let your fire fall on us, today.

In a world of long shadows,
grant us, yet another fire-fall.

(2014 © Copyright Tadhg Jonathan. All Rights Reserved.

A Hymn For Alban Hefin: Summer Solstice (Review & Song)

The Summer Solstice, known to the Celts, Druids of old in the Welsh language as ‘Alban Hefin’ (which means ‘the light of the shore’) is a few days away.

The words, based on ancient words, below, can be read as poetry or liturgy at the time of the solstice, or indeed, at any time. They can also be used as a song, which works well to the tune of ‘She moved through the fair’, a wonderful, otherworldly Gaelic, Celtic tune of old.

So, happy Alban Hefin (21/22 June) to you and yours, and here is ‘A Hymn For Alban Hefin’ (albeit written by me as a song, poem, liturgy etc)).

Great Light above.
All hail the sun
from whom all life proceeds,
Oh Glorious One.
Unending, unbroken
you traverse the sky.
Turning night to day.
With joy we cry.

Unresting, unheeding
in beauty you shine.
Full of health and vigour
poured out like new wine.
For all humankind
your riches bestow
from heaven above
to the Earth below.

All life you create
in the circle of love.
And we celebrate
your end-less gifts.
Laud and honour
for-ever be,
to you Bless-ed One,
For-ever Three.

Great Light above.
All hail the sun
from whom all life proceeds,
Oh Glorious One.
Unending, unbroken
you traverse the sky.
Turning night to day.
With joy we cry.

Tune: ‘She moved through the fair’. For an instrumental version of that song, to familiarise yourself with the tune and to ‘fit’ the words above, do click on the following link. The first fifty-five seconds of the recording gives an outline tune to verse one and subsequent verses. [Tune link].

In the audio below, there is about 36 seconds of one of the verses (and there are four of the verses ). It’s my way as a vocalist, to give you a rough version of the first verse, to give an even roughly version of me being vocally – and (as I mentioned) I’m not a vocalist.

However you can, do please the solstice summer on this article, its song, , poem, liturgy etc. Bless you.

Words inspired by: Light’s Abode, Celestial Salem, attributed to Thomas á Kempis

The Caim (Review)

The caim is a profound ‘circling’ prayer used by ancient Celts and others over the millennia. It is still used by latter-day Celts, Christians who value its benefits, and by some wiccans, pagans, mystics and fellow-druids friends known to me

Yes, it can be used by anyone who knows the value of prayer.

The word caim is gaelic, and it has to do with ‘protection’ or ‘sanctuary’; it is derived from the root word meaning ‘circle’, to bend, or turn, and this becomes apparent when you start forming the caim.

Introduction

The rudiments of forming a caim are known to us, but much detail was not recorded or has been lost in the mists of time. I like to think it was the former, and that those who used the caim of old, didn’t want to legislate the minutiae of what should be done.

Rather, they wanted to pass on the idea and deep spiritual concept, the essentials, so that it could be purposely adapted to suit the group or individual using it in the future, and its contents changed to meet the circumstances or need of the pray-er, and so would remain vibrant.

It’s flexible.

Many, today, use a minimalist approach to the caim. This is:

  • making a caim and
  • using one of the prepared three-fold prayers, see the appendix, especially (but not only) when incorporating it in a formal, group service of some kind, and
  • closing the caim.

The minimalist approach is good, and is a great place to start, but there’s so much more to it, and so I’d also like to take your further on this exciting adventure.

Bearing in mind we have been left the essentials of the caim, I’ve found most benefit is derived, for me, when I ‘fuse’ it with something else: with creative visualisation to form an innovative variation.

That is, I use imagination.

In using imagination, I see this as thought-intentionality, to complement my words of any prayer said. I would encourage you to try the same.

Imagination? The I Am has given each one of us a great imagination, one to be used. Indeed you use your imagination when you watch tv. You might be watching a thriller or ‘spooky’ movie and suddenly someone or something jumps out of the shadows in the storyline, and you flinch. You do that because you’re engrossed in the movie; yes, your imagination was at work. It’s as though you were ‘in’ the movie. Such is the power of imagination.

Imagination is also at work when advertisers show you sun-drenched beaches for your prospective holiday on tv or in the newspaper. You imagine you’re there. You also use your imagination, when, say, you’re planning a big event and need to think about the decor, food, gifts etc. Or, maybe youre an artist, a writer, like to journal, or are a musician, or even just ‘doodle’? None of that would happen without imagination.

And, you can use your imagination here, in the caim, as a force for good. You can use it to draw near and encounter, to bless others, and bless yourself in a ‘visual‘ manner. It’s a win-win situation.

It may feel strange or ‘forced’ at first, but do persevere and do try it several times. Don’t be too analytical as you experience the caim (as to be analytical means you ‘jump out’ of the experience – a sort of ‘are we there yet’ event, which usually means ‘no’!). Don’t make it into a chore, but, rather, enjoy the adventure.

Many times my prayer time resembled a shopping list with the word ‘Amen’ tacked onto the end. I wanted something more. Something deeper. To spend more time with the Holy One. To ‘see’ afresh, in my minds eye. The caim was one answer.

So, find a place where you won’t be disturbed, and,  do mute the mobile phone. Take some time to centre yourself – that is, to slow down your mind and just lightly enter that ‘inner space’, that dreamy-state of the mind. Relax. You are always in control, but surrender. At this point, it is best to keep your eyes open.

Making a caim

As you stand (and it can be outdoors or indoors, in a room in your house etc) extend your arm, point to the floor, (say about four to six feet away from your body) and slowly turn your body through a full circle. There, you’re inscribing an invisible, imaginal circle, the caim

As I stand in a candle-lit the room (and one that I use as a study, a sanctuary, and where discerning men and women come for liminal sessions with me), I stand and quieten my mind. There is no no rush.

After a few minutes, I point to the floor. I have already marked out a circle, about six foot (2 metres) in diameter, with rocks (which are just smaller than my fist, and which can be removed later), and slowly I turned my body, revolving 360 degrees. I like to face east, but the choice is yours. I start off facing east and end up facing east. I also like to turn deosil, clockwise to begin the caim.

Sometimes I have a chair in that circle of stones to use after turning 360 degrees, but today I’m standing.

Stage 1: The Separation

Now, it may be good to close your eyes as you enter into the first of three stages, the first being: separation. This is a leaving of worldly distractions, of slowing those thoughts down, and journeying inward to that place of peace, power and potential. You are still in control, but you make an effort not to focus on distractions. Trust me, you will get thoughts of what else you could be doing, who you should have telephoned, or what you should buy at the shops etc, but let them go.

My eyes are closed now, and in my mind’s eye I’m imagining that I’m journeying inward to a comfortable and safe place, a place that is full of power and potential. I slow my breathing, quieten my mind, and over the next few minutes enter a state of ‘rest’. I’m metaphorically journeying toward the Source, God.

Stage 2: Transition or ‘Gap’ Time

The space that you’ve entered is liminal space, the imaginal realm. Some like to call it the realm of the imagination, and that’s okay. For me, I like to call it the imaginal realm, as in our culture, when one talks of the imagination it is perceived as a place of pure fantasy and unreal.

That place, the imaginal realm, to me, is as real as the physical realm.

It is an intermediary space between the physical realm (which we can all relate to and understand – it is the place of the body) and the ouranic realm (the place of the spirit, where all that is good and holy originates).

‘ I looked for someone among them who would…stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land…but I found no one. Ezekiel 22: 30 (part), the Book

The imaginal realm is the place of the soul. To me, it is ‘the gap’, a place of encounter that the Ancients boldly wrote about.

I feel safe, I feel ‘cocooned’ from all that is happening in the world about me. I am at peace within this circle. For me, I have inscribed a circle of the floor around me, but it is a circle when it touches the floor; I perceive it as a bubble of power, big enough to encapsulate me and more. It is, to me, the ‘closet’ or ‘room’ that  the Christ said we should enter.

Some, may like to pray an already-written prayer (only) at this stage (see appendix), and then move onto the final stage, that is stage three. This is the minimalist approach, but I like to go deeper. How about you? There is nothing to fear.

If we accept that there is place of Bliss which is, symbolically, a higher plane, then we need to use some of that power. And so, I raise both hands for about a minute, and visualise the blossom of golden trees, and the pollen of golden plants falling on me, power from on high. Not mine, but belonging to That Which Is Bigger Than Ourselves.

There is no rush. Just enjoy the experience. If you find it difficult to visualise, or if nothing seems to happen, do continue, and don’t worry. Even if we don’t experience anything, I do believe things are happening, and I do believe it’s our intentionality that counts, and all this is rewarded by the great Rewarder of All.

The woman in great need, pushed through the crowd and, ‘…came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.“Who touched Me?” Jesus asked. But they all denied it. “Master, said Peter, “the people are crowding and pressing against You.” But Jesus declared, “Someone touched Me, for I know that power has gone out from Me.”… Luke 8:45-46 (part), the Book.

We’re in a place of peace, power and potential, a place between the physical realm and the ouranic realm; and each of us in that place are intercessors. We’re standing in the ‘gap’ between the physical realm and the Other.

I lower my hands now. And wait for a minute or two.

Now, I like to hold my hands, gently, in front of me, as though I’m holding something. In my imagination I am holding something – a power-blessing. I like to mould it, and shape, and imagine it to be the size of a football.

Hopefully, you’ve already decided who you’re going to prayer for. It could be for a specific person in need, an event that has happened that has caused a major upset, or it could be a prayer for a future event, the locality, a sad event somewhere else on the planet, it could be an ecological need. Whatever the need is, the caim is a good spiritual ‘tool’ to use.

Whatever the need is, I imagine it outside this safe ‘bubble’.

And then, I like too ‘push’ that power-blessing in the direction I’ve imagined that that person or event to be. You don’t have to be locationally accurate – it’s the intention that’s important.

And, just to redouble my effort, I imagine that I have to use my body to sway back and forth, gently, for a minute, as if you really ‘push’ that power-ball of prayer-blessing to the recipient or location. I don’t do an exaggerated ‘push’ as though I’m meeting resistance – there is no resistance, here – but I like to be intentional about that ‘push’.

You might even want to vocalise who, or for what, the power-blessing was for, and the desired outcome. ‘Help [name],’ or ‘Heal [name] etc.

And, off it goes….and arrives immediately. You might imagine the desired effect already taking place, even though it may take some time in the physical realm to come about. This is faith.

And so, I lower my hands. And relax. The power-blessing has gone out. I give gratitude in my heart to the Parent of Lights, for enabling me to be a conduit.

But, there’s more.

As I stand, and continue to face the direction that that power-blessing was sent. I wait for a minute or so. With my arms out, at shoulder height, I wait. I breathe deeply several times in anticipation, believing that what was sent out, comes back – although it may work its way out in my life in a different way to that original power-blessing, I do believe it comes back as a ‘gift’ so that we also benefit.

I do believe a blessing comes back to the sender, in one form or another, immediately or some time in the future. And, that’s one good reason to send out something positive, rather than something negative.

I inhale to, metaphorically, accept the return blessing.

Just a little more!

Time for more gratitude to the Power who supplies all that we need. Here you can add vocal prayers, vocal praise, vocal gratitude. I, then, lower my arms.

It’s about time for us to return and leave the imaginal realm, that liminal place.

Stage Three: The Return

This is really a reversal of stage one, and is something that need not be rushed. Take a minute or two to still your mind. Just bask in the closeness of your encounter…even if you can’t feel anything. The Friend is close.

As you stand there, allow your breathing to return to normal, slowly open your eyes, perhaps not focussing on anything in particular, but just ease yourself back to that former state.

With my eyes open, I point to that circle, I used stones, but you can point to where the invisible circle, the one you inscribed earlier, is.

Slowly I turn my body through 360 degrees. I like to face east, and so face east once I’ve gone full circle. But, I move in the opposite direction this time – anti-clockwise (or widdershins, as it is known) – to close the caim.

And then I wait for another minute, and leave the circle.

If the outline I’ve used seems overly complex, don’t be deterred. It’s the way Ichoose to use the caim, and it comes naturally, having done it many times. Use it as a framework, but not as a rigid formula. You will develop your own ‘habits’, and then you’ll find, over time, most of them, as you perform the caim, will change, but that’s okay. You cannot make a mistake. It’s all about intentionality.

The caim is a spiritual ‘tool’ for you to use – one amongst many – and not a magical formula that won’t work unless you get it absolutely right. Adapt it, and use it to best serve you needs, and that of others.

That’s it. Well almost.

A Gesture To ‘Ground’ The Power-Blessing, And More

Having sent out an power-blessing, there is always some work to be done, to work towards making the prayer come about, in the physical realm. I do believe the One Who Answers Prayer does indeed answers prayer, but I also know that people like you and me, are used to bring it about, and that is an amazing privilege.

It doesn’t mean that you have to do everything to bring about that specific power-blessing, but just be open to work towards it.

We need to do something in the physical realm, after using the caim. Even a small gesture is good.

For instance, if you’ve prayed for someone to get though their exams, the action now needed might be that you give them some verbal encouragement, rather than, say, spending days teaching them. If someone is not well, maybe a get well card could be sent to them. If you’ve prayed for assistance to rectify an environmental calamity in another part of the world, you don’t have to sell everything and visit that place, but it could be that you might consider sending a small amount of money to a relief agency, as a gesture.

You don’t have to do it all by yourself – a small gesture to ‘ground’ that prayer-blessing, and ‘cement’ that intentionality, maybe, is all that is needed.

And, all action should be legal, decent, honest, borne out of love, and with a healthy ‘dollop’ of common-sense added for good measure.

I also usually journal

I like to record what I’ve used the caim for, and what I’ve done, practically, ‘to ground’ that prayer. It’s always good to look back, and see what a difference you have made, or may have made, and add the outcome to the journal. If you see no tangible outcome, then write that at a latter date, but I do believe you can, and have, made a difference, even if you can’t see it.

If you want more information or have a question, or have tried the caim (perhaps for the first time and want to share your experience), please do contact me. I also lead workshops about the caim and other liminal events (in physically locations, as well as online via skype, individually and in groups).  Email: tadhgtemp@gmail.com

Bless you, Tadhg.

The Rainbow Blessing [Celtic Poem, Liturgy & Blessing] Reviewed

We live in a universe full of vibrant colour, and though we can only see part of the spectrum, what we can see is wonderful in its beauty.

We can witness the yellow radiance of the daily new-born sun as it rises above the horizon, to the deep red colour of evening and sunset. Grass, trees, flowers, a superabundance of insects and animals, nature arrayed in all its beauty is set before us in a blaze of colour, to gaze upon in awe and for us to be blessed.

The following, reviewed a few years ago, then, may be used as a poem for yourself or as liturgy in a ritual, and as a blessing to you and others:

Title: The Rainbow Blessing (By Tadhg Jonathan)

May the blessing of the red sun as it sinks below the horizon be yours.
May the blessing of orange, the colour of flame and hearth be yours.
May the blessing of the wild, green earth and all life be yours.
May the blessing of the blue sea and wind which calls forth waves upon it be yours.
May the blessing of indigo, the twilight colour of change and coolness be yours.
May the blessing of violet, the colour of majesty and might be yours.
And may all the colourful blessings of the God Of The Rainbow be upon you and yours, now and always.

Blessings, Tadhg.

Ephemera: Beltane 2021: Thoughts & Ideas For You

Beltane is fast approaching, as we look forward to 1 May in the northern hemisphere. In Wales we call it Calan Mai.

This festival is usually commemorated with bonfires, maypoles, dancing, and performing other rituals.  And, as well there is a couple of English videos that you might like to watch.

“A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.”
–  Emily Dickinson 

Ancient Celts used to light two bonfires. At one bonfires they believed the would purify themselves, as well as increase fertility in the world. At another bonfire they would pass cattle between them, and they belief they would would purify the cattle, and ensure the fertility of the herd. Although many modern Celtic doesn’t do the ritual, as you will see something similar that will encourage you to do some relevant practice.

Here is how you might like to do something close for Beltane (and there are a couple of videos that will show you Beltane being used in England), such as:

  • how about you use google for a photo of a maypole of (usually girl) children on the alter, and imagine it for five or ten minutes, and maybe use imagine yourself as part in it, or watching it close by. Here is a video of young children using a maypole in England: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncIAdeQGxoo
  • you might like to use one small flower to plant a little cup of water to think of nature, ecology and fertility.  
  • maybe you might like to spend 30-60 minutes for a walk in a forest or city park etc.
  • you might like to read a poem, such as

There is no time like Spring,

When life’s alive in everything,

Before new nestlings sing,

Before cleft swallows speed their journey back

Along the trackless track –

God guides their wing,

He spreads their table that they nothing lack, –

Before the daisy grows a common flower

Before the sun has power

To scorch the world up in his noontide hour…

(Christina Rossetti, by ‘Spring)

  • you may might celebrate a small altar (maybe with a small cloth, a candle, a small posies of yellow flowers) 
  •  maybe you might like to use a prayer for Beltane, one below here, or one of yourself:

Creator God, forgive our moments of ingratitude, 

the spiritual blindness that prevents us 

from appreciating the wonder that is this world,

the endless cycle of nature, 

of life and death and rebirth. 

Forgive us for taking without giving, 

reaping without sowing. 

Open our eyes to see, 

our lips to praise,

our hands to share, 

and may our feet tread lightly

on the road that, together, we travel.

(Copyright © John Birch, 2016 · Prayer written when copied freely for worship).

Conclusion

Do have something special for Beltane for yourself – have a liturgy or prayer, an altar, a meditation or imaginational time for a few minutes, or use the time in the forest or city park for a small time to celebrate this time of Beltane.

Many blesses, Tadhg.

Mother Earth Day: 22 April 2021: Things To Do, And Liturgy

On Thursday, 22 April 2021 will be Mother Earth Day. Mother Earth is urging us to call to action. Nature is suffering – flora and fauna hurts everyone. Seas are filling with plastic and becoming more acidic, wildfires and floods, have affected millions of people.  Now we have Covid 19 as a worldwide health pandemic.

“How strange that nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude!” (Emily Dickinson)

Here is a number of Earth Day things here you might like to consider today (or later), and after it there is details about a liturgy for the way:

Ideas To Do

  • how about bicycle to save driving a car, or use public transport
  • how about writing a new poem (or a classic one) for Mother Day Earth for your house
  • use a park or forest to use trees and flowers, insects etc and see appreciate more
  • how about buy a flower for home or for our gardens, and
  • other to buy heather and lavender etc are good for bees and other insects
  • have a no tv day
  • read a book about ecology, flora or fauna, occasionally
  • you might like to do a liturgy (yours or others) with a candle too (today or each month)
  • how about a vegetarian dinner that day (as many use too much meat in dinners)

”And forget not the Earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play with your hair”. Khalil Gibran

  • buy a useable bag and/or use a refillable water bottle
  • write down a commitment and making a plan about two eco-actions
  • buy if possible to get some foods from a local market’s farmer
  • you might like to have some time for meditation
  • buy some seed packets
  • turning off lights and electronics when not in use, or use energy-sight bulbs
  • our how about encouraging your friends to help get trash taken off

”Earth’s crammed with heaven…But only he who see, takes off his shoes.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning

  • how collect rained water for your garden or flower pots
  • join a local/national organisation for birds, nature, trees etc

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tzu

Liturgy For You On Mother Earth

Below is a first and third general part of liturgy and it can be used in several purposes, so then the second part of the liturgy (which can also uses Hildegard Von Bingen) can and also be used for for Mother Earth.

O most noble Greenness, rooted in the sun,
shining forth in streaming splendour upon the wheel of Earth.
No earthly sense or being can comprehend you.
You are encircled by the very arms of Divine mysteries.
You are radiant like the red of dawn!
You glow like the incandescence of the sun!

(Hildegard von Bingen)


(1) Liturgy Beginning

You might like to have a candle here at the beginning of their liturgy. Do be cautious of it, and keep it away from children, animals and fabrics etc. You might have a paper and a pen (for writing an impromptu liturgy, poem or writing you might like to use in the second liturgy.

And. So please start:

On Rising
The Source of All is Spirit, and those who worship the Source of All must worship in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24, The Book, paraphrase)

Calling The Quarters
Calling the Quarters, as we turn in sequence to face the four cardinal compass points, helps us to become fully present so we can deeply connect to the world around us, and create safe and sacred space for us all.

Facing East
Guardian of the East, Oh Ancient One of the air,
we call upon the Spirit to be with us today.
Come charge this circle with the power of the wind.
All: We welcome you.

Facing South
Guardian of the South, Oh Ancient One of the fire,
we call upon the Spirit to be with us today.
Come charge this circle with the power of the flame
All: We welcome you.

Facing West
Guardian of the West, Oh Ancient One of the waters,
we call upon the Spirit to be with us today.
Come charge this circle with the power of the tides.
All: We welcome you.

Facing North
Guardian of the North, Oh Ancient One of the earth,
we call upon the Spirit to be with us today.
Come charge this circle with the power of the land.
All: We welcome you

From the centre, perhaps adopting the orans posture 
Guardian of all, Oh Ancient of Days,
we call upon the Spirit to be with us today.
Come charge this circle with your power.
All: We welcome you.

Call For Peace
The call for peace is an affirmation that there is peace amongst us, now; and that peace is offered to the world though not all embrace this, today, but one day will do so.

Is there peace in the East?
All: There is peace in the East.

Is there peace in the South?
All: There is peace in the South.

Is there peace in the West?
All: There is peace in the West.

Is there peace in the North?
All: There is peace in the North.

Throughout the entire land there is peace.

(2) Liturgy For Mother Earth

You might like to use the paper and pen to make a Mother Earth or similar poem from yourself, or wrote a bit of prose, or use a few minutes of meditation and use paper or pen to write about thoughts that might have heard during meditation. Do be worried about liturgy or poems, and what you do half way through – it doesn’t have to be perfect, but aim to be intention, and I’m sure you will, and the Source of All is always pleased with our intention.

“It is spring again. The Earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” Rainer Maria Rilke

So, you might use or try something to do something like this:

We come to you dear Mother Earth,
giving thankfulness to you, for all that there is on your wonderful planet.
All: We thank you.

We give you our forgetfulness and forgiveness dear Mother Earth,
and ask you that we are helpful, to be more aware, alive and thoughtfulness.
All: We ask you.

May we best become closer to the flora and fauna, ecology and humankind,
and we ask that we can do more each day in our environment at so close and so far away.
All: We ask you.

We come to you dear Mother Earth,
giving thankfulness to you, for all that there is on your wonderful planet.
All: We thank you.

You might like:

Wild Geese, by Mary (and a great eco-poet and more):

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

(3) Liturgy For Ending

Closing The Quarters
Facing East
Guardian of the East, Oh Ancient One of the air,
we thank you for your presence with us today.
All: We thank you.

Facing South
Guardian of the South, Oh Ancient One of the fire,
we thank you for your presence with us today.
All: We thank you.

Facing West
Guardian of the West, Oh Ancient One of the waters,
we thank you for your presence with us today.
All: We thank you.

Facing North
Guardian of the North, Oh Ancient One of the earth,
we thank you for your presence with us today..
All: We thank you.

From the centre, perhaps adopting the orans posture 
Guardian of all, Oh Ancient of Days,
we thank you for your presence with us today..
All: We thank you.

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserve of strength that will endure as long as little fe lasts.” Rachel Carson

Final Blessings 
We bless our ancestors, in Bliss, embraced by the Friend.
We bless each other, our global family of humankind, secured by the Friend.
We bless those yet to come who are known only to the Friend.
And, We bless the Friend, the Universe, Mother God who is always with us.
Bless you each.

Do ensure you extinguish the candle/s.

Alban Eiler (Spring Equinox) 2021 : Words And Events

It’s coming closer. The season changes, nature times, and earth’s majesty reminds us.

Spring Equinox, also called as Alban Eiler, as it’s known in Wales as ‘the light of the earth’, takes place on Saturday, 20 March, 2021, Saturday or Sunday? Are here are ways that you might to plan ahead for yourself eg liturgy, poems, and flaneur (and other events)..

Spring Equinox is one of the eight of the wheels for the Druids and others (such as many ancient and medieval Churches etc), and so Spring Equinox is one of the four astronomical times of the year, that so is one of the four sun events – the other being four lunar events.

Now, some will use the Sunday as a time for various liturgy or special events to celebrate Easter. And, some others might use events on the Saturday evening – as ancient tribes (even still) use the evening of Saturday as the sun goes down and the new day enters. Perhaps you might prefer a Saturday liturgy just after twilight (maybe, about from 8pm), and then use Sunday for a special event.

So, firstly, here is a liturgy that you might use or adapt for your Spring Equinox or Alban Eiler. 

And secondly, here (after the liturgy) there is a few ideas of how you might have a special event that late Saturday and/or Sunday. 

LITURGY

You might suggest one or more of the following:

  • to use a candle (but do be careful about children, pets, furniture etc)
  • put a vase to use a few daffodils
  • put appropriate a book of spring poems, or use some of the poems/quotes/ecology-prayers used in this liturgy
  • you might like to use a few  minutes of a poem or two here, and/or used a time of quiet meditation, used at the beginning and end of the liturgy
  • you might use a prayer at the liturgy of point three to: give our own thankfulness to the spring season and wildlife, and to give needlessness of ecology etc.

Start

Beginning Spring poem/quote: William Wordsworth (and/or quiet meditation)

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed, but gazed but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

One: The Earth Blessing Of The Four Quarters

(Facing east)
Blessed be the One who crosses boundaries,
who is evident in the lengthening day,
in the turning of the Great Circle, and
who is felt in the soft, refreshing Spring wind.

(Facing south)
Blessed be the One who is evident in the colour green,
Viriditas,
who makes plants grow and flower,
and the trees to prepare for blossom, and
who warms the earth as the sun rises higher in the sky.

(facing west)
Blessed by the One who causes nature to stir from her sleep,
who waters the earth, and calls to the deep,
and the deep joyfully replies and springs to life, and
who changes the slow, icy brooks into life-laden babbling streams.

(facing north)
Blessed be the One who speaks to the earth,
and from decay new life immediately appears,
who showers the earth with rain from your storehouse of abundance, and
who blesses the earth, which, in turn, blesses us.

(facing centre, suggested)
Lord of the elements, ‘Three-Personned’ God, we praise you.

Two: For Personnel Renewal

Lord of Springtime, Lord of All,
refresh us and awaken our senses.
Cleanse us inwardly,
and dispel the dust of resistance and old habits,
and fill us with your love and grace,
that the blessings you give us, we can give back to you
in eternal praise.

Three: Creation: End Of Day/New Day Liturgy 

Praise to you, Mother-Labourer of All,
who has birthed all creation and who re-creates.
I/We rest now with you,
Maker and loving Sustainer of all your children, and
I/We ask you to enfold me/us,
and all those on my/our heart/s.
Amen.

End Spring poem/quote: Katherine Mansfield (and/or quiet meditation)

The fields are snowbound no longer;
There are little blue lakes and flags of tenderest green.
The snow has been caught up into the sky–
So many white clouds–and the blue of the sky is cold.
Now the sun walks in the forest,
He touches the bows and stems with his golden fingers;
They shiver, and wake from slumber.
Over the barren branches he shakes his yellow curls.
Yet is the forest full of the sound of tears….
A wind dances over the fields.
Shrill and clear the sound of her waking laughter,
Yet the little blue lakes tremble
And the flags of tenderest green bend and quiver.

Fourth: The Earth Blessing Of The Four Quarters (Repeat)

(Facing east)
Blessed be the One who crosses boundaries,
who is evident in the lengthening day,
in the turning of the Great Circle, and
who is felt in the soft, refreshing Spring wind.

(Facing south)
Blessed be the One who is evident in the colour green,
Viriditas,
who makes plants grow and flower,
and the trees to prepare for blossom, and
who warms the earth as the sun rises higher in the sky.

(facing west)
Blessed by the One who causes nature to stir from her sleep,
who waters the earth, and calls to the deep,
and the deep joyfully replies and springs to life, and
who changes the slow, icy brooks into life-laden babbling streams.

(facing north)
Blessed be the One who speaks to the earth,
and from decay new life immediately appears,
who showers the earth with rain from your storehouse of abundance, and
who blesses the earth, which, in turn, blesses us.

(facing centre, suggested)
Lord of the elements, ‘Three-Personned’ God, we praise you.

[Don’t forget any unlit candle]


EVENTS

Here are suggestions that you might consider, if covid-rules allow in your area: 

  • spend some time walking part of a forest or part of your city park, and/or watch a bench, and/or to have a quiet time, 
  • have a different organic breakfast for yourself or others (and make it a slow and special breakfast), but, if you are not allow to share with others at home, then how about using similar food to be given to someone on a shop’s food bank,
  • use a few spring flowers eg daffodils in a vase or use pictures from iPhone and iPad on your table,
  • plant a bulb or seed a few in your garden, or send a £1 (or more) to a charity that will promote bees, birds, trees or allow ecology in general etc,
  • use flowers locally you see, weed or insects you see using your photos of your iPhone or iPad, and later on use google to spend say a few minutes to find some a few facts that you find them interesting,
  • you might like to spend an hour, say, and saunter (see flaneur), and aimlessly and wonderfully check your forest or city, and see it see differently, so long as you’re safe, and here’s an idea: https://tadhgtalks.me/2016/06/15/world-sauntering-day/
  • make a journal from onwards to spring, and record each day (perhaps, note the type of weather, or astronomical and moon, or what wildlife might be known, and use a weather or astronomical or wildlife etc  data book’s/almanac for 2021, or  star-gazers book for the year  
  • make some food for wildlife, in the forest, or park but ensure it is lawful to do it, and all animals are able to digest properly.


CONCLUSION

Spring equinox, Alban Eiler, is a great day. The liturgy is a special time, and don’t forget events on the day will be useful on other days and weeks ahead. If you have other liturgy or events, please do email me, too. Meanwhile, happy Alban Eiler for you on 20 March, Tadhg.

(Oops apologies for mention the Spring solstice. LOL)

Ephemera: The Full Moon (And Others), And Events You Might Enjoy

The next full moon starts on 27 February 2021 in the constellation of Leo the Lion in the south-east northern hemisphere. Here are a few ideas to make the full moon to make your different and enjoyable. Such as:

  • Sister Moon, Adapted Part of the Canticle: Liturgy
  • Moon Months Names (Liturgy or Poem)
  • Moon Bathing (Walking, Meditation, Saining etc)
  • Writing A Letter And Letting It Go

SISTER MOON: RITUAL: PART OF THE CANTICLE OF THE SUN BY FRANCIS (ADAPTED)
This liturgy/poem may be used in its entirety, though some of it more slightly covers the full moon.

Oh Most High, All-Source, and Goodly-One, Great are your praises, your glories, and your blessings.
All: Hail and welcome you.

As Brother Sun you give us the day, the light, and beautiful radiance.
All: Hail and welcome you.

As Sister Moon you give us the Moon’s face who is gleaming, beloved and peaceful. In the firmament, as the full moon ‘rides’ the celestial circle, you bedazzle a myriad of luminaries – comets, planets, stars and galaxies, all beyond number.
All: Hail and welcome you.

As Brother Wind you give us moderation of temperature and wind, and calmness and the moodiness of the currents ways.
All: Hail and welcome you.

As Sister Water you give us moisture that is purposeful, that you bedew us, and fill us with sprinkling that is pure.
All: Hail and welcome you.

Oh, Sister, Mother Earth, you supply the world and our nourishment anew, and with a magnificent panoply of flora and fauna.
All: Hail and welcome you.

MOON MONTH NAME/S: POEM/RITUAL
Here’s a poem/liturgy for the full moon for each month of the year. You can use the particular month’s moon that refers to the actual one month that refers to it, or you might like to say all twelve month’s verse and slowly use the appropriate month.

JANUARY
The night air is still, Quiet Moon,
and frost on the ground is strewn.
Sounds are muted and all is at rest,
Warmed we are, and so truly blessed.
We remember you in our praise tonight,
this betwixt, magical time of twilight.

FEBRUARY
Moon of Ice, we greet you well,
your smile charms us like a subtle spell.
And, as upward we crane our necks to look,
you write love-letters on our heart’s invisible book.
As you look down upon us and see
in us a reflection of the Immutable Three.

MARCH
Open our hearts, our intellect and mind,
and search our ways, so that in you we find,
the reason for the smile on your face.
It is the ‘Moon of Winds’ Creator’s grace.
And, in gratitude and awe,
we cry out, insatiably, for more.

APRIL
We welcome you Growing Moon,
whose face is carved like a sublime, ancient rune,
to remind us to look above and beyond,
to revere your light in that ancient pond,
to honour with all, and with our soul,
honour you, the One Behind It All.

MAY
The Bright Moon is May’s delight,
look kindly on Earth’s children tonight.
May we be blessed forever to be,
One with you, Eternal Three.
That divisions here on Earth, may cease,
as we celebrate this night as your timely feast.

JUNE
We honour you, Moon of Mead,
and lift up our heads, lift up our need,
that in you, you will supply,
our humble requests, hear our plaintive cry.
That we might be blessed in your light,
and revel in oneness this summer’s night.

JULY
We celebrate midsummer, Oh Moon of Corn,
that from darkness, you are now full-born.
Around us mirth and joy is heard,
You light the world by the Creator’s word.
Teach us to listen and observe
to nature’s wisdom, to love all, and all to serve.

AUGUST
Welcome Barley Moon, a beaming light
o’er the golden grain at night.
Reflecting sun, giving food for our table,
you hang there in a sky, in a sea the colour of sable.
Your light now full, this month in size you grew.
Dear bright moon, we welcome you.

SEPTEMBER
Welcome Singing Moon, of mirth and merriment,
of lovers’ poems, and words of lament.
At the close of day, upward many look and think,
and celebrate your beauty in song and drink.
And then in silence and awe,
we contemplate your beneficial, wholesome, tidal law.

OCTOBER
Welcome Harvest Moon, new light reborn,
keeping watch over the cultivated corn.
As the temperatures fall and air begins to chill,
as owl noises can be heard from dale and hill,
so may we, in wonderment, pause and be still.

NOVEMBER
Ah, Moon of Snow, we welcome you,
yellow light in a sea of blue.
Created by the One Behind It All,
Arianrhod, by your name we call,
you, once again, to be,
and seek you, from incumbrance us free.

DECEMBER
Cold Moon hanging in the darkened sky,
your love, your power, your face forever shy.
In awe we gaze upward, and and question, ‘why?’
Why should the Moon-Maker gift us,
with your smile so beauteous?
Cold Moon hanging in the darkened sky.

MOON BATHING (FULL MOON): 
WALKING, MEDITATION, SAINING, KATAPHATIC AND APOPHATIC SPIRITUALITY Moon bathing means basking yourself under the full moon – so that you can see the full moon, other  you can’t see it, or that it is full somewhere close.

It fills you with positive energy, can boost you, rejuvenates you and creates you with new life changes. It can be used with meditation or with liminal ‘dream-like’ encounters.

So, the ‘direct’ method means immersing yourself into nice, warm water. The ‘indirect’ method means you can spend some time out of the house at the time of the full night and walk under it, or bask it in your house under a rug.

If walking under the night’s full moon it would be good to just gaze at it, or think or gaze deeply. Moonbeams are powerful. If done by your garden, you might have a nice wine or a nice cup of herbal tea – maybe echinacea, or nettle, or lavender, or camomile etc.

If walking in a bath or without using water but laying on a rug, you could mediate – if you are using a kind of liminal ‘dream-like’, Kataphatic encounter, then you might like to use a liminal adventure in a forest or beach at which the moon is present, and use its energies permeate yourself directly.

You might use a rose petals for the bath. Oh, our for laying  under the rug you would might think of saining , or using one of those fragrance diffusers (with appropriate ‘oil’ diffusers such as with frankincense or myrrh).

Whatever you do, do be safe – if using water don’t use too much and not too hot, if you use a candle etc then be careful with yourself, with children or animals, and ensure fabrics.

If using a bath or if laying under a rug you might like to try a liminal ‘dreamless’ encounter. It’s  best, then,  to have a clock to encourage you to  stop at ten or twenty minutes, and during that time you ask, think or look at ‘nothing’. This is called apophatic meditation or spirituality, and purposely seems of ‘nothing’ as the Source of All, as the Source of All is incomprehensible.

WRITING A LETTER AND LETTING IT GO
At the time of the full moon is the best time to release to write. You could write a letter to yourself about the things you are worried about, or you might want to rid yourself of a habits, or add something about doing something positive. Or you might write a letter about someone who needs positive energy or similar, but the letter is never sent to them. I would suggest you write the letter on use water-solvable paper so it can be dissolved and not seen by anyone at the end of the event. Even a paper-shredder is usable. However, for safety-sake I wouldn’t encourage you burning the letter.

CONCLUSION
I hope the few ideas mentioned here are useful to you, and I’d be pleased to see any ideas that you have used times at after times, showing me to then, please. In all cases intentionality is important. Do have a wonderful event this full moon event.

Blessings from Tadhg.


[The moon header photograph is copyrighted: All rights reserved, 2020, Pennie Ley (see here). Used  with permission. Many thanks Pennie.]

Ah, The Kindly Face: The Poem Or Liturgy Of The Moon’s Face.

I love the changing moon.

You might, like me, have a liturgy you use each month – perhaps as a new moon, or like me you might like the monthly full moon. Here are words that can form as part of a liturgy or as a poem for the face’s moon. These words were used a year by me ago or so, and I like them to show the moon’s travail by us (as a full moon is due soon), but which can also be used for new moon words/liturgy soon after this liturgy/poem.

Not only do I like the moon because I am a Druidic-Christian (or as a Christo-Druid), and it fascinates me above the night’s sky, and as a poet it to meld words, but also as I am an amateur astronomer.

I hope this following liturgy/poem is useful to you.


Ah , The Kindly Face (Poem/Liturgy)

Ah, The kindly face.

The blessed Earth-maker moved and the Earth was split, rent asunder,
and its twin was created, yes, the the Moon was formed.
Blessed be the Moon-maker, who made this wonder,
and who created its face to look down upon us.

Ah, the kindly face.

The crown of the moon is Oceanus Frigoris, a place ancient and old.
A reminder that it is, indeed, the Sea of Cold,
and, best seen in winter.

One eye is Oceanus Tranquillitatis, the Sea of Tranquility, or peace,
where in July  nineteen sixty-nine humankind first set foot on the moon in Apollo eleven.
A fact to remember, in awe, as we gaze, upward, into the heaven[s].

The other eye is Mare Imbrium, the Sea of Rain.
It is the larger of the two, so no need for eye-strain.
But, on the day when it pours, and you choose to stay indoors,
it may be the Moon to whom you should complain.

For, the moon controls the tides, and does impact upon our weather
and part of the mouth on that face, Oceanus Procellarum, is the Sea of storms.
And, as you and I look upward, together
we now know.

But, there’s more, and no reason to quibble,
for that mouth
seems to dribble
into Mare Humorum, the Sea of Moisture,
to the south.

The blessed Earth-maker moved and the earth was split, rent asunder,
and the the Moon was formed.
Blessed be the Moon-maker, who made this wonder,
and who created its face to look down upon us.

Ah, the kindly face.

And, as we look up, and wisdom seek,
May we be a star in the (soon) waning Moon
May we be a staff to the weak.1

Ah, the kindly face.

Samhain 1: Introduction Of The Festival, The First Day Of Winter

Samhain (pronounced ‘so-uhn’) is  a wonderful festival ‘oozing’ with ancient Gaelic tradition and ‘magic’. Something you can participate in, wherever you are. It marks the end of the third harvest and the end of autumn, and it marks the advance of the season of winter. It is the start of the dark period, winter and the underworld, when our thoughts go to those whom we love who have passed-on.

‘Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin. Our loved ones who have passed on are not far from us.’ (Ezra Taft Benson)

It’s when, in rural communities, surplus cattle were culled, and their meat stored for the depths of winter.

It starts on the evening, at dusk, on Saturday, 31 October, but don’t forget that we’ll have a Facebook live-streaming event, a ceremony to celebrate the event, called Them Night Of Long Shadows, to honour the ancestors. More details about this will follow in a few days.

But, here’s some suggestions to whet your appetite, and to start thinking of Samhain. Samhain is a cross quarter day, indeed it’s the first of the year as it starts the Druid and ancient Celtic new year. It is a moon festival (as opposed to sun festivals, such as the solstices and equinoxes when time is measured by the sun’s elevation etc)

Winter advances: 
Since ancient times this time was seen as a feast of the dead, and the modern idea of Hallow’een ‘sits alongside’ it. Hallowe’en? The name comes from ‘all hallows eve’. When Christianity arrived in Celtic countries, and the church discouraged fortune-telling, and magic etc, a day of celebration of all the Saints of the Church was instituted on 1 November. 

The wind is full of a thousand voices
They pass by the bridge and me.’ (Loreena McKennitt, ‘All Souls Night’
)

Many of our hallowe’en traditions, such as bobbing for apples which were originally part of the foretelling of the future, and the baking cakes containing “lucky tokens” also originated at this time, and survive to this day. In addition, and an import from America, it is a time for children (or all ages) to visit door-to-door dressed as something with a ‘deathly’ theme to it, to ‘trick or treat’.

A time to take stock
Samhain, then, was a time when farmers would take stock of their animals – which would live, and which would be killed, and a time to finally gather in (any) residual harvest; a time when local and tradition rituals would be enacted eg bonfires, and embers of these would be taken home as a form of protection; young men would run around the villages boundary with torches, again, for the villagers’ protection, as that night, many believed that the veil between this world and the world of the dead was ‘thin’, and something might (or did) come through for a while. It’s a time for the imagination to run riot, and for stories to be told.

‘Somewhere in a hidden memory
Images float before my eyes’. (Loreena McKennitt, ‘All Souls Night’
)

Whether you believe this factually, ‘romantically’ or not at all, the stories of that night, retold around a bonfire, perhaps, intrigued men and women, and (no doubt) frightened (hopefully in a ‘nice’ sense) many a child. Even today, the tv ‘lights up’, innocently, with many horror movies at this time of year to keep adults ‘mesmerised’. It is a ‘thin place’, this time.

Taking stock? A ‘thinning’ of the veil between here and the other, ensures that this night, the evening of 31 October, is a feast, a celebration, a time of deep thought, a reflecting of the life of those that have gone before us.

Even in its simplest form – depending on your theology – it is a time to think about the ancestors, how they contributed to make us the person/people we are today, and to give thanks. A time to remember the ancestors in different, honouring ways. For me, reflection, thinking about the ancestors and the giving of gratitude to the Source of All predominates at this time.

Do something
Others will indulge in ritual, and though each may have a different way to acknowledge this feast, I enjoy the variety, enthusiasm and intentionality that my Christian, Celtic Christian, co-Druids, Wiccan and other friends put into this festival. I have my own way, my own ritual to mark this time, and it may be that you do, too.

My advice to you is: Do it! Be honest to yourself, be sincere and intentional, be joyful about it, but in some way (large of small, complicated or simple) observe the time, and make it something good, and wholesome, and memorable.

Enjoy the feast
A bonfire might be out of the question, but how about lighting a candle, at least for 10-20 minutes and thinking of your ancestors in a joyful and honouring way? They’re home. You might now be able to run around then edge of a village, but how about an evening walk, a silent walk of gratitude? Elementals? Here’s your opportunity to find our more about them – an evening when their activity is said to increase – and you can find a lot about them on the internet, but don’t make it only ‘book-learning’. Why not go for a county walk, or a walk in the park, or alongside a riverbank, and meditate in some way, to ‘day dream’ and reflect? And, then perhaps, later, treat yourself to a meal, a glass of wine, a warm coffee as you gaze at the cold night sky, and yes, even watch a good, scary movie?

Ofcourse, you might like a ritual of some sort or recite relevant poetry, or sing a song, and here’s a poem/song I penned some time ago. If you join the Facebook live-streaming event you might even hear me sing it.

Song/Poem

The Circle is turning,
autumn  becomes winter.

The Circle is turning,
autumn  becomes winter.

The Circle is turning,
autumn becomes winter.
And nature sleeps, as the darkness falls.

The trees, they slumber.
Deep roots are dreaming.

The trees, they slumber.
Deep roots are dreaming.

The trees, they slumber.
Deep roots are dreaming.
I’m listening to the winter’s sacred rest.

The snow is falling,
the earth is bless-éd.

The snow is falling,
the earth is bless-éd.

The snow is falling,
the earth is bless-éd.
The hope of spring, ye-et to come.

The Circle is turning,
(and) autumn becomes winter.

The Circle is turning,
(and) autumn becomes winter.

The Circle is turning,
(and) autumn becomes winter.
And nature sleeps, as the darkness falls.


If you’re ‘brave’ enough to sing it, there’s a delightful melody (the tune of Fear a Bhata (The Boatman), a traditional Gaelic piece of music to accompany you)), but if you want to hear me sing it, just join me for that Live-streaming Night of Long Shadows Ceremony – details soon.

Or, you might like to read (and recite) Rabbie Burns’ poem ‘Hallowe’en’, part of which is:

Upon that night, when fairies light
On Cassilis Downans dance,
Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze,
On sprightly coursers prance;
Or for Colean the rout is ta’en,
Beneath the moon’s pale beams;
There, up the Cove, to stray an’ rove,
Amang the rocks and streams
To sport that night;

And, finally, you might like to recite the following traditional Scottish prayer:

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us


However you celebrate it, do make it something spectacular and memorable. More about Samhain will appear here, as we think about The Long Of Night Shadows event, denials how to view it, and to print out a liturgy if you wish to participate.