1. Explain how you can incorporate words, motion, dance, posture, music, and gesture in a public, large group ritual. How is including each one in large group ritual different from how they are included in a) individual/domestic ritual and b) small group ritual? (Minimum 50 words per item, and minimum 150 additional words for comparison)


Words are by far the most common thing in all rituals.  This is how we communicate between the people running the ritual, attending the ritual, and the Kindred.  The choice of words used is important though.  They can work towards creating a group mindset through the use of a group meditation or trance journey.  They can forge a common imagery that everyone will see and experience.  They can give a common expectation and understanding of what is being done.  Through the use of prayers they can give a common intention and focus for everyone in attendance. Words are the most basic part of almost all rituals.



Motion also plays an important part in rituals.  It can also be used to help forge the group mind.  This would be done through everyone doing the same things at the same time, such as processions, or the passing of ritual props.  It can also be used to designate who is the person to be focused on.  The person that is moving, and usually talking, is who is the center of attention, and can help keep people interested as they are looking at different places.



Dance is a powerful way to raise energy, and there are a couple ways it can be used in ritual.  One is the individual, or a small group of people using dance as a form of offering to a being.  This can bring a thing of fleeting beauty to the ritual that will quickly keep the interest of the attendees.  The other way is to do a group dance.  This can be difficult because there may be people with different mobility issues, and there are those that just don't want to participate in such an activity.  In cases like this, something like a snake/spiral dance works well.



Posture is another method of creating group mindset.  If everyone is going through and touching the earth when calling the Earth Mother, or holding hands when raising energy through intonation, they enforce the group mind of all present.  The other use of posture is to designate who is the focus.  If everyone is sitting, then the person standing is the person that needs to be payed attention to.



Music is another great way to get cohesion in a group when done as a group thing.  It will bring the group together doing the same thing at the same time.  This will raise the energy and give a focus all at the same time.  When done as a subset of the group, it provides some entertainment and a focal point during the ritual.  In all cases though, music works best when all involved know the piece that is being played with the one exception to this would be music that is best described as noise making.



The use of gestures in my experience tends to be more of a personal or small group thing than something that everyone does in a ritual.  The use of gestures can be for a couple uses.  The first is to reinforce someone's personal practice during the ritual.  An example of this would be looking at the various gestures used when calling on the multitude of beings by the people that are attending the ritual.  Very few are consistent, and most will likely trace back to personal practice.


For the people running the ritual, gestures are best used to bring focus to what is happening, or doing the magic that is being done at that time.  As an example from my personal practice, when opening the gates, my gestures tend to be to put my hand in the object (fire or well) and do a gesture within the object.  This both draws attention to what I am doing, and does the magic of opening the gates.



With all of these, there are differences between what one can do in a small group or a large group.  For words, when you have a small group, set prayers, calls and responses and similar are easy to do, especially when the group has been working together for a long time.  Conversely with large groups, you are going to have to spend more time teaching these prayers and similar and/or hand out paper that has them written on them.  We also have to be aware of volume and clarity of speaking as larger groups will be more difficult for the person in the back, or behind you, to hear and understand you.


When it comes to motion, postures and dancing, getting everyone to do it together can be difficult.  The larger the group, the more difficult this is to do.  For small groups, movements around the space, postures, and dancing can easily be done by everyone that is able.  As the group gets larger though, you will need to have more coordination to make sure people do as desired, and do so safely.  The other difference is more specific to dance.  Dance is best done with some kind of musical or rhythmic accompaniment.  Getting this in a small group will be more difficult as it takes away a significant percentage of the people that can do the movement unless the dancers are also the music makers.  There is also one more thing to consider with regards to any kind of movement.  Is the ground clear?  If you are not on flat ground, it would be well advised to minimize the movement that is being done or else you could end up doing what Kirk did at my ordination and loose balance and topple over a major prop.


Gestures best sum up the overall difference between large and small groups.  The larger the group, the larger the gestures need to be so that everyone can see them.  This is specifically talking about the people running the ritual.  A benefit of this is that it is easier to hide things when working in a larger group because the attention can be directed one place through all of the above while something is happening elsewhere in the ritual space.  In smaller groups, there is no hiding, everyone sees and hears everything.


  1. Write and lead a ritual with an attendance of more than 20 at an ADF Festival. Submit a) your script for that ritual, b) video of the rite, and c) an evaluation of the ritual in terms of structure (how the ritual flowed) and function (what was accomplished). Contact the Preceptor in advance to arrange for verification of performance. (Minimum 300 words for evaluation)

a)  Ritual for Tear of the Cloud Chaos Ritual

Aspurge, Cense, Ego at start of the ritual

Statement of Purpose: Robb
We are here to celebrate the Spring Equinox. This is a chaotic time of year. The weather is unpredictable. The seasons are changing. It is in this time of chaos that we, as a grove, celebrate the chaos in our life. We recognize the disorder that comes, and we celebrate it. We also ask that with our recognition of this chaos, the forces that cause it are gentle on us the rest of the year so we may have a long and fruitful year.

This is also the ritual where we found our grove patron, the little bundle of chaos called Ratatosk. We celebrate our working with the Great Squirrley One this day, and ask that he is always there to help us and guide us.

We are here to honor the forces of Chaos!

Guided Meditation: Gretchen
Gretchen Persbacker
Now, I invite everyone to close your eyes, and open your ears, and open your minds, and open your hearts.
Breathe slowly and deeply. Make yourself comfortable. Stretch if you need to. Allow yourself to relax and feel at ease. Let the cares and worries of the mundane world slip away. Focus on this moment, on the sensation of breathing, the feel of the air being drawn deep into your lungs and then released again.

Now, turn your awareness inward. Focus on that place within you that is the very core of your being—your essence. Cast aside the trappings that others use to define you. Shed the words and attributes that are but a poor attempt to describe the fullness of your being. Leave behind your history. Leave behind your name.

As you continue to draw your attention down into your center, you find yourself floating in dark, warm waters—the well of chaos from which all of existence emerges. You become detached from your physical form and all of its limitations. Here, you nothing more than a mote of awareness, a bright spark of light and thought adrift on the currents of the unknown. You see without eyes, hear without ears, and feel without flesh. Sensation and experience are not limited in this place of imagination and dreams. In this place, all things are possible.

Here there are no restrictions—no calendars, no schedules, no deadlines, no clocks. In this place that is both more and less than a place, time has no meaning. Past, present, future—all are one.

You drift on the currents of chaos, dancing along on the waves of creativity, pulled into the whirlpools of a glorious madness. Here, in this place, there is no fear, no hesitation, no doubt. Each direction is very like another, yet no two are the same. This is a place that defies explanation. This is a place that resists definition. In this realm of the infinite, nothing is real, and everything is possible.

Feel the power and potential that surrounds you and draw a part of it into yourself. Fill yourself with its radiance. Embrace the creative energies that flow around you and through you. Take a few moments to savor the power that fills and surrounds you.

Now, slowly, gently, accept once again those limitations of physical form that you need to cross back into the world that we call real. Feel your body—your feet planted firmly on the ground, the air filling your lungs as you breathe slowly and deeply. Hear the small sounds all around you. Be aware, once again, of your brothers and sisters standing here with you in this sacred and protected space.

As you drawer nearer to reality, bring with you that little piece of chaos that you pulled into yourself, allowing it to flow through your body, filling you with energy and inspiration. Now, allow the chaotic images of the primordial sea to fade. See the faint shimmer of light through your closed eyelids. When you are comfortable, when you are ready, open your eyes so that we may join together in this celebration of nature on this sacred day when we acknowledge the powerful forces of creativity, renewal and rebirth.

Earth Mother: Cherie
Great and bountiful Earth Mother. As it is our custom, we honor you first. It is from your bountiful womb that we sprang forth. Your body feeds and sustains us throughout our lives. It is back to you that we return in the end. In this time of chaos, when you are waking up and preparing yourself for the summer to come, we make this sacrifice as a thank you for all that you do.

Earth Mother! Accept our Sacrifice!

Bardic Inspiration:Cary
Kvasir! You were the peace between the Æsir and the Vanir, born out of the spit of the gods. In your death, your blood was mixed with honey to produce the finest mead around, the Mead of Inspiration. You were stolen by dwarves, then by giants, and then stolen once again by Oðin who brought you back to Asgard.

Kvasir, you are the Mead of Inspiration. Inspire us like you have the bards of old. Give us silvered tongues so that we can say what we need to say, and please the Kindred. Kvasir, Inspire us this day! Kvasir! Accept our Sacrifice!

Hallowing the Hallows: All
Portal Song
Ian Corrigan and Stonecreed Grove, ADF

By Fire and by Water, between the Earth and Sky
We stand like the World-Tree rooted deep, crowned high.

Come we now to the Well, the eye and the mouth of Earth,
Come we now to the Well, and silver we bring,
Come we now to the Well, the waters of rebirth,
Come we now to the Well, together we sing:


We will kindle a Fire, Bless all, and with harm to none,
We will kindle a Fire, and offering pour,
We will kindle a Fire, A light 'neath the Moon & Sun,
We will kindle a fire, our spirits will soar.


Gather we at the Tree, the root & the crown of all,
Gather we at the Tree, Below & above,
Gather we at the Tree, Together we make our call,
Gather we at the Tree, In wisdom & love.

CHORUS (with gusto)

Gatekeeper: Robb
Ode to the Great Squirrely One
Robert Lewis

O Great Squirrely One!
How you run up and down that tree
From its serpent-infested roots
To the crown adorned with feathers.
How do you not tire
On this endless journey?

O great communicator of Yggdrasil!
You share the words of the wyrm, Níðhöggr;
You share the words of eagle on high.
Insults are hurled between the two.
You keep the order of the worlds
Through the insults that you hurl.

Ratatosk, Great Squirrely One!
We call on you to be our voice:
Spread our words throughout the worlds
From the crown above to the roots below.
Ride that great horse Ygg,
On your path between the worlds!

Ratatosk! Great Squirrely One! Accept our Sacrifice!

Opening the Gates: Robb
Now, Great Squirrley One, join your magic with mine. Let the well be connected to the wells at the base of Yggdrasil, and let them open as a gate! Let the fire be connected to the fires of creation, and let them open as a gate! Let the tree be connected to Yggdrasil, and be the crossroads of all the nine worlds, open to our voices and open to the spirits.

Let the Gates be Open!

Land Spirits: MJ
Land spirits, you are all around us. You of fur or feather, scale or skin. All of you that walk the land around us, we offer you welcome. You of flower or leaf, twig or stem. All of you that grow around us, we offer you welcome. You unseen spirits that live in this place. The weights and elves, all the unseen spirits, we offer you welcome.

Come, join us at our fire, drink of our whiskey. We offer you all welcome.

Land Spirits! Accept our Sacrifice!

Ancestors: Cherie
Ancestors, you who have walked the land before us. Those of our family that have passed, we offer you welcome. Those of our friends, and those who made a difference who have passed, we offer you welcome. Those who lived in this place and walked this land before us, we offer you welcome.

Come, join us at our fire, drink of our whiskey. We offer you all welcome.

Ancestors! Accept our Sacrifice!

Shining Ones: Cary
Shining Ones! You who we call patrons and matrons, all that look over us as individuals and as a grove, we offer you welcome. You who inhabit this land, and look over this place in the world, we offer you welcome. All the deities, known or unknown to us, all you ancient ones, we offer you welcome.

Come, join us at our fire, drink of our whiskey. We offer you all welcome.

Shining Ones! Accept our Sacrifice!

Patrons of the rite:

Ratatosk: Gretchen

Ratatosk! We call on you once again. We call on you as a guest of honor. You are our grove patron, and we thank you for all you do for us. We ask that you join us, and share in the revelry that we have today. We give you our devotion, and our love, and ask that you accept this sacrifice we make today.

Ratatosk! Accept our Sacrifice!

Outdwellers/Jötunn: Robb
All you of the outer dark, you who abide beyond this fire's light. We call on you to join us as you are some of the powers of chaos. We call specifically on the Jötunn, the giants from afar. We call on you and ask you join us in the spirit of *ghosti-. We ask that you come to our celebration of chaos. We ask that as we share this time together, you remember our hospitality in the future, and are kind to us throughout the year.

Outdwellers, Jötunn, we offer you welcome.

Outdwellers! Jötunn! Accept our Sacrifice!

Work of the rite and Praise Offerings: Robb
We have work to do this rite. As is our tradition, we will be coloring hard boiled (we hope) eggs. We do this as a symbol of the planting of the seeds of spring. Please, design and color two eggs however you are called to. Infuse them with the hopes and desires for the spring and summer. Later, we will charge them as a group, asking for a fruitful six months, and you will be asked to take them home with you. One is for you to eat to bring this into yourself, the other is for you to give to your land.

<color eggs>

We now open our fire for anyone to make offerings of the season, and to the powers we have invited in.

Sacred Goat Sacrifice (loaf of bread): Cherie
Behold, the Sacred Goat! We make this sacrifice as a shared meal, between us and all those that we have called in today. Kindred, Ratatosk, Outdwellers, and Jötunn! Accept our sacrifice and join us in this meal!

Omen: MJ
Omen will be taken using runes

Hallow the Waters: Gretchen
Ancient and Mighty ones, Powers of chaos, we have given to you. We have honored you. In good *ghosti- tradition, a gift calls for a gift. Hear us and fill these waters with the omens we have just heard. Infuse them with your wisdom and strength. Give us the Waters of Life!

Behold, The Waters of Life!

<pass waters around to drink>

<infuse the eggs with the intention stated above>

We now give thanks for all of those that have come and aided us in this rite.

Jötunn and all the Outdwellers. We have welcomed you into our lives. We ask that you accept our sacrifices, and that you give us a year that is not full of chaos. Jötunn and all the Outdwellers, we thank you.

Ratatosk, our patron. We thank you for all that you do for us and ask that you continue to look over us and guide us. Ratatosk, we thank you.

Shining Ones. Those whom we call patrons and matrons, those that look over us know or unknown to us, we thank you.

Ancestors. Those who have walked the world before us, we thank you.

Land Spirits. You are all around us, and you are the closest to us, we thank you.

Closing the Gates:
Ratatosk, we thank you once again for the aide you have given us as our Gatekeeper. It is time to close the gates, so I ask you once again to join your magic with mine. Let the well become just water. Let the fire become just flame. Let the tree become a tree once more. Let the connections between all
these symbols dissolve. Let the Gates be Closed.

Ratatosk, we once again express our gratitude for all you have done for us as the gatekeeper, and as our patron. Ratatosk, we thank you.

Kvasir, you have inspired us, and given us the ability to say what needed to be said. Kvasir, we thank you.

Earth Mother, you are first in our thoughts, and you are last in our thoughts. Without you, we wouldn't be here. As is our tradition, we give to you all that remains. Earth Mother, we thank you.

Closing Meditation: Gretchen

Now, I invite you once again to close your eyes, and open your ears, and open your minds, and open your hearts.
Breathe slowly and deeply. Relax your body, calm your thoughts and journey inward once again to the endless sea of possibility—the great void of chaos. Since you carry within you a piece of this source of all being, the transition is made smooth, and you soon find yourself floating on the ceaseless, directionless currents.

Now, as your thoughts mingle with the forces around you, release back into the void the excess energies that you have drawn into your being. Keep only that which you can comfortably carry with you in the world of everyday reality—just enough to spark the fires of creativity and open your mind to inspiration. Allow the rest to flow away from you, back into the ever-churning sea.

Now, it is time to prepare once again for the mundane world. Once again, accept the limitations of flesh—be aware of your body—the feel of your breath flowing slowly, in and out, the rhythm of your heart beating within your chest. Feel the ground beneath your feet, the air against your cheek, the scent of the incense, the small sounds around you. Feel the presence of your brothers and sisters gathered together in this sacred space.

Accept once again the boundaries and restrictions with which we define the real world. Take back the trappings of that which we call reality—the passage of time, the burden of commitments and duty. Reclaim the words and attributes with which you define yourself. Take back your history. Take back your name.

But in the midst of all these things that rein you in and weigh you down, do not forget that you are still a child of chaos. You still carry within you the seed the infinite—the spark of potential that is your blessing—one that you have received, and one that you are called upon to bestow upon others.

As our rite draws to a close, and we end what we began, remember the lessons of chaos—of imagination and spontaneity, and carry them forth into your life, bringing balance to order and magic to a world in great need of it. When you are comfortable, when you are ready…open your eyes.

Closing Statement: Robb
And now friends, our ritual is over. We have celebrated the powers of chaos and made connections with those that we normally do not. Take the chaos they brought into your lives and turn it into something productive, not an obstruction to the life you want to live. As was done before, we have done again, and will do once more. Children of Earth, the rite is ended.



b) video can be found at: removed for privacy of participants

Signatures of those in attendance.  Art Shipkowski can verify:

c) This ritual was the Tear of the Cloud's annual Chaos Ritual.  The history behind this ritual is the concept that weather in the Albany area is very unpredictable and chaotic during the spring equinox. As an example, we had snow this year on the equinox.  We have been calling in various powers of chaos into our ritual over the years to honor and remember them, and ask that they leave us alone, or at least be gentle with us the remainder of the year.  I should note that this was the second ritual of the day in that space, with the previous one being a divination ritual involving me doing seidhr work, and then a quick re-set to do the second ritual.


Overall, the ritual went mostly as planned.  While the words that were spoken were not always what was originally written, my grove knows that they should be speaking their heart when doing the ritual, and not let the ritual script get in the way.  This is especially true for this ritual.  I did discover during the ritual that there were a couple small things that were forgotten to get set up.  First there was the “fire” that was not lit at the start.  This was noticed during the opening meditation and was lit during that.  I doubt most people noticed that.  The other thing that was missed was the whiskey was not in the ritual.  This was discovered when I realized that the line “drink of our whiskey” was changed to “drink of our mead” at the first kindred offering.  A small joke about chaos was made, and the whiskey was fetched.


In the hours prior to the ritual, an idea of something to add to the commune with chaos part of the ritual was to have everyone pull a rune to describe the rest of their year.  This was done with a bag that contained 4 full sets of runes.  This actually worked in conjunction with the previous ritual where everyone got an egg with a rune in it.  Not surprisingly, but comforting none the less, people drew similar runes to what they got in the previous ritual, and in some cases, the exact same rune.  This addition helped keep the minds a bit more on this being a ritual setting, not just a social setting, when we were partaking in food, coloring eggs, and letting chaos rule the ritual.


In the end, the ritual came out mostly as planned.  We got good omens, we communed with chaos and the outdwellers, giving them their time.  This has historically worked well for us by forging these relationships and remembering those that are usually shunned, and we expect that once again for this upcoming year, the grove will benefit from these relationships and continue to avoid the majority of the drama of the pagan community.


  1. Write and lead a ritual with an attendance of more than 20 at a non-ADF function, such as a Pagan Pride Day, a non-ADF Pagan festival, or other function. Submit a) your script for that ritual, b) video of the rite, and c) an evaluation of the ritual in terms of structure (how the ritual flowed) and function (what was accomplished). Contact the Preceptor in advance to arrange for verification of performance. (Minimum 300 words for evaluation)

a) Ritual for BTW Brighid



Cense, aspurge, and leave the ego at the start.


Grounding and Centering – Tree meditation - Temple

Close your eyes.  Take a deep breath in... and out.  Again, in.... and out.  See yourself as a tree, with your feet being your roots, and your arms your branches.    With your roots, start pushing downwards.  Through the floor, through the foundation.  Go into the ground, the moist dark earth.  Keep going down and feel the earth move to your will.  As you go down, you will find stones, and boulders, go around them as you search for the cool waters deep in the earth. 


As you reach these waters, draw them up into your body.  Feel the cool water climb up your roots and into your feet.  Feel them fill your legs, your loins.... draw them up into your belly, your chest.  Feel them fill your whole body with the energies of the deep.  Feel them spill out the top of your head, the palms of your hands, and pour back onto the earth.


Now turn your attention to the sky.  High above you is a star of your own, shining down on you.  Reach up to the start with your branches.  Grow them up into the sky.  Reach up and gather the light from the star.  Feel the light coming down, into your arms, into you head.  Feel the light fill your body.  Feel it mingle with the waters. The light of order mixing with the waters of chaos.  Filling you with energy from above and below.  Take a moment, and rejoice in the power.


It is now time to release the energy.  Hold on to the energy you need, and release the rest.  Send the light back up to the sky.  Send the water back into the ground.  Pull your root and branches back in.  Know you can tap into these powers when you need to.  Take a deep breath in... and out.... in.... and out...  and when you are ready, open your eyes.

Earth Mother - Kirk
Earth Mother! You who surround and support us. You who provide a home to all that we see and love every day.  You who nurtures the nature that surrounds us.  With out you, we wouldn't be here, and we honor you for that. Accept these offerings as a token of our appreciation. Earth Mother, Accept our Sacrifice!

Statement of Purpose -Robb

Today, we come together to celebrate the Irish goddess Brighid.  She is the goddess of the forge and smithing.  She is a force of inspiration  having inspired poets and bards throughout the years.  Finally, she is a healer.  It is this last aspect we are here to celebrate.  We are here to call on Brigid, honor her, and ask her to heal us all in return.

Hallowing the Hallows - everyone
Portal Song:

By Fire and by Water, between the Earth and Sky
We stand like the World-Tree rooted deep, crowned high.

Come we now to the Well, the eye and the mouth of Earth,
Come we now to the Well, and silver we bring,
Come we now to the Well, the waters of rebirth,
Come we now to the Well, together we sing:


We will kindle a Fire, Bless all, and with harm to none,
We will kindle a Fire, and offering pour,
We will kindle a Fire, A light 'neath the Moon & Sun,
We will kindle a fire, our spirits will soar.


Gather we at the Tree, the root & the crown of all,
Gather we at the Tree, Below & above,
Gather we at the Tree, Together we make our call,
Gather we at the Tree, In wisdom & love.

CHORUS (with gusto)

(Words and music by Ian Corrigan ©Stonecreed Grove, ADF)

Gatekeeper - Robb

Manannán mac Lir, Lord of the ways, lord of the gates.  We call on you today to aid us once more in our works today.  Manannán, guard and ward us as we walk the elder ways.  Take our words far and wide to all those that need to hear them.  Bring back to us all that we need to hear and know.  Manannán mac Lir!  Accept our Sacrifice!

Now, lord of the ways, join your magic with mine.  Let the well open as a gate to the worlds below. Let the fire open as a gate to the worlds above. Let the tree become the crossroads between all the worlds, open to the spirits and our voices. Let the Gates Be Open!

Outdwellers - Robb
All you of the outer dark. You who are beyond the light of this works fire. You who are not aligned with our purpose on this day. We make you this offering, and ask you leave us alone. If you do so, we will pour the offering to you when the rite is over.

Ancestors - Drake
Ancestors! You who have walked this land before us. You who are part of our lineage, we offer you welcome. You who are friends and allies, we offer you welcome. You who walked this very land, we offer you welcome. Come, Join us at our fire. Ancestors, Accept our Sacrifice!

Land Spirits - Nick
Land Spirits! You who live among us. Those of fur and feather, scale and skin, we offer you welcome. Stick and stem, leaf and flower, we offer you welcome. All those seen and unseen, the fae, all of you spirits of the land, we offer you welcome. Come, Join us at our fire. Land Spirits, Accept our Sacrifice!

Shining Ones - David
Gods and Goddesses of Elder Days! You who each of us call our patrons and matrons, we offer you welcome. You who look over our lives and our grove, we offer you welcome. All of you, known or unknown to us, we offer you welcome. Come, Join us at our fire. Shining ones, Accept our Sacrifice!

Brighid - Jeremiah

Lady Brighid!  Daughter of the Dagda.  You are the matron of the forge.  You aid those that work the craft of smithing.  You are also the matron of the inspired arts, the poets and bards, old and new.  You are the matron of the healers and all those that strive to aid the sick and ill.  You are the embodiment of the tamed fire through these arts.

Brighid, we call on you today to come and aid us in our works.  We honor you, and remember you for all that you have done.  We ask that you lend your magic and skills to us as we do healing work for those gathered here in body and in spirit.

Lady Brighid!  Come to the fire!  Accept our sacrifice!


Praise offerings -Robb

Anyone that has offerings to the Kindred or Brighid, please, come forward and make them now.


Prayer of Sacrifice – Robb
As our final offering, I want us to all intone.  The purpose of this is to give part of ourselves and our magic to Brighid, and ask that she takes this energy and send it out to all those gathered here in body and in spirit and send them the healing energies that they need.  Ah......

Omen - Kirk
Omens are pulled asking what blessings we receive.

Blessing of the Waters - Temple
Ancient and Mighty ones. We have given to you and in the tradition of *Ghosti- a gift deserves a gift. Fill these waters with the omens we have just heard, and fill us with their powers as we drink the waters. Kindred, Give us the Waters! Behold, the Waters of Life!

Brighid - Jeremiah
Brighid!  We have given to you, and you have returned the favor. For all that you do for us, we say, Thank you.

Shining Ones - David
Shining Ones! We have given to you, and you have returned the favor. For all that you do for us, we say, Thank you.

Land Spirits - Nick
Land Spirits! We have given to you, and you have returned the favor. For all that you do for us, we say, Thank you.

Ancestors - Drake
Ancestors! We have given to you, and you have returned the favor. For all that you do for us, we say, Thank you.

Gatekeeper - Robb
Manannán mac Lir!  We have given to you, and you have returned the favor. For all that you do for us, we say, Thank you.

Now, once more join your magic with mine, and aide us in closing the gates. Let the well become water. Let the fire become flame. Let the tree become a tree once more. Let the Gates be Closed

Earth Mother - Kirk
Earth Mother!  We have given to you, and you have returned the favor. For all that you do for us, we say, Thank you. We also return to you all that is left unused.

Outdweller - Robb
Outdwellers!  You have left us worship in peace, and we will now uphold our end of the bargain and pour you your sacrifice.

Go now, Children of Earth in wisdom and peace.



b) Video can be found at: Removed to protect privacy of participants

Signatures of those in attendance.  Kirk Thomas can verify:

c) This ritual was done at the Between the Worlds Mens Gathering in September, 2014.  Overall, the ritual went well and was received very well.  There were many challenges to overcome though.  The first challenge was that I was pulling people from across the country to take part in the ritual.  I sent out scripts, and as I expected, people really didn't take the time to read and memorize their parts.  That didn't really bother me though, the way I always run my rituals, even with a script present, is that the script is a guideline.  Say what comes natural, just in that theme.


The first issue I had were some changes in cast.  I found that there were other ADF members at the ritual that I didn't count on, so people that got double parts gave up one of their parts and gave it to the others.  Hours before the ritual though, the person I had calling Brighid, the deity of the occasion, told me he was unable to call her, he was having personal issues and was not in a state of mind where he could.  This of course put me in a slight panic as I wasn't prepared for this.  Thankfully, I was able to get Kirk to agree to call Brighid.


As expected the ritual didn't survive first contact.  The themes did go as I wanted them to go, but the words, for the most part, were each person's own words.  The biggest mistake was actually my own.  I completely skipped over opening the gates, and I didn't realize this until I was about to thank the gatekeeper at the end.  I had to make extra offerings to him and thank him more than usual for all the work he did due to my mistake.


Overall though, the ritual was very well received.  The rite flowed well overall, and the omens were mostly good, especially how Kirk interpreted them.  The final sacrifice of the ritual was the raising of energy through vocalization (Ah's) and send that off to Brighid to request that she bring healing back to us on that land.  I was not sure how well this was going to work going in, but from what I experienced, being the focus of the Ah's to direct them to Brighid, this worked well.  After the ritual, I had many people come up and thank me for the ritual, and told me how well it went for them.  One person said that he could see Brighid there and that she requested we move more (aka dance).  Many people said they felt some presence, presumably Brighid, there.  One other person, a spiritualist in path, had a completely different experience.  He talked about a bunch of spirits coming in from all directions and basically guarding the ritual.  From what he was describing, I can only assume that it was the Ancient Wise that he saw.


In the end, even with the one major mistake, this ritual went well, and was well received.


  1. Journal the time spent planning the rituals performed for requirements 2 and 3. Ensure that you examine the following questions in the course of your journal:
    1. What are the differences between preparing for a large group ritual, compared to a small group ritual?
    2. How did you prepare the other participants for each ritual? Did you teach them skills, write their parts for them, or work with them in any special way?
    3. What challenges did you face in the ritual you did in the non-ADF setting that you didn't face in the ADF festival ritual? How did you overcome those challenges? Did you also find challenges in the ADF Festival that you did not encounter in the non-ADF setting? How did you overcome those challenges?
    4. Did the size or makeup of your audience affect choices regarding the content of the ritual or worship aids provided? As examples, you might consider choice of music, call and response prayers, whether you provided song sheets, or other common ritual content or aids. Why do you feel the audience affected these choices, or did not affect them?

Chaos Ritual Planning/journaling.


This ritual is a tradition within the grove and everyone from the grove has participated for multiple years.  The biggest difference will be the location and size of ritual.


Location:  To have more than 20 people, in March, we needed a larger indoor space than my dining room.  The 2 places we've used in the past, Venture Inward and the UU church both have space big enough to hold the ritual.  The UU Church has the disadvantage of being in the city of Albany, not near an exit of the highway, and only on-street parking.  We were expecting a number of out of town people, so being easy to find and easy to park at were big concerns.  Therefore we went with Venture Inward.  Still a small room and easy to be heard in.


The next question is who was going to show up.  We expected majority to be ADF members, and a handful of non-ADF members.  There are a couple grove traditions that are not common outside of our grove, so those were planned to be explained.  It was unknown if there were going to be anyone there without experience in ADF ritual.  To be inclusive, and make it easier for those non-ADF members, programs of the ritual were created.  A pre-ritual briefing was also planned to be done.  This would at minimum go into the history of why we do this ritual, and words of caution about who we are inviting in, and why it works.


Changes that were considered to make it amenable for a larger group.  Supplies for the working of the day were planned to be more (eg, at least 2 dozen eggs and 2 dying kits).  For the waters of life, as we were indoors, in a rented space, I went back and forth over weather to drink or sprinkle the waters.  Drinking will slow the ritual down, but that could be desirable at that point as we are about to ask the powers of chaos to leave.  Sprinkling won't kill the energy, but will be spreading some water onto the carpet.  Drinking was chosen because of the carpet and not wanting to do anything to potentially upset the owners.   One extra point that was considered was how long to do the praise offerings/working.  It was determined to keep an eye on the energy level and see where things were going as this was a time of planned chaos.  At minimum, it should be enough time for people to dye eggs and eat some food.  Other than that, the ritual was not really changed from what was used in previous years as ADF ritual format in general is very well adapted for larger groups.


To prepare the participants, I modified the ritual we have done for the past many years.  This meant that the material was already familiar to the grove.  Parts were assigned and the ritual was emailed out.  I would have loved to have a practice ritual, but all of our schedules are full and that was not going to be a possibility.  There were no skills taught or any special working with any of the ritual crew.


The challenges for doing this ritual were really not greatly different than the non-ADF festival ritual.  Logistics as to where, as described above, were probably the biggest challenge unique to this ritual.  Other than that, the challenges were not unusual for any ritual.  Making sure that the supplies get there, the ritual props are set up and visible to the audience, making sure people know where and when the ritual is, and of course getting at least 20 people to show up.


There were really not many special considerations when planning with regards to the makeup of the attendees.  The grove  in general does not use a lot of song or set prayers.  Therefore, only the one song, the Portal Song, would have to be taught.  The grove has for the past few years handed out printouts of the rituals in book form both as a keepsake for the attendees, but also so they can follow along and not feel lost.  The biggest thing I had to consider was how much detail to go into for the pre-ritual briefing.  If there was even one person that had not been to an ADF ritual (and there was) then the COoR and what we were doing had to be explained more.


BTW Brighid Ritual Planning/Journaling


This ritual was in some respects easier logistically than the ADF ritual.  The ritual location and time were set by the festival coordinators.  The only real issue was making sure I had all the physical supplies I needed at the festival site, and that they got transported to the ritual site and set up before ritual.  It was worked out with the festival to have a fire lit before the ritual, and we would put it out when the ritual was done.  This was done during the day, so torches were not needed.  The one extra thing that had to be done due to the location was put up a sign pointing to the entrance.


The next question, since the ritual was not near a high day and there was a tradition of changing the deity around yearly at this festival for the ADF ritual, who would be the deity.  A few were considered, and the first question in my mind was who was popular enough to draw 20 people followed by who would be able to have a theme for the ritual that would fit the community.  I figured that Brighid was a very popular deity that many people at the ritual would find pleasing to work with.  The community has also been going through some rough times emotionally, and physically, so working with her in a healing capacity would probably be a good to benefit the community.


As this ritual was with a majority non-ADF members, there were some considerations to make with regards to the ritual.  Singing would be at a minimum, and no set prayers or calls/responses were planned.  This kept what we had to prepare the participants to do easier.  A workshop was planned earlier in the festival to explain what ADF is, and prepare people for the ritual, and what to expect.  This kept the pre-ritual briefing to a minimum too.  The other thing that was seen as a possible slow point was the praise offerings.  Drumming of at least a heart beat was planned to be done during that time to try to keep the energy up.  It was also planned to sprinkle the blessed waters because of the size, and not wanting to have 2 down times within the ritual.  Unlike the ADF ritual above, programs were not produced because it was unknown if there were going to be 20 or 50 people there, day or night, wet or dry, etc.


The ritual crew were all experienced performers, and the majority of us have worked together at this festival or other festivals over the years.  Smaller parts were assigned to other ADF members that were newer to working with us with the bigger and more important parts going to the more experienced.  The ritual was written well in advance and emailed/mailed to the ritual crew long before the ritual.  There was no chance for us to practice, and we got only a few minutes to make sure everyone knew what they were doing right before the ritual.  There were no needs, and no possibility, to teach skills or work with the crew as we were from all over the country and only got together for that festival.


This ritual did present some challenges that were not there for the ADF ritual.  The first one being that the ritual crew was from all over the US, and we did not have any chance to get together and practice.  We barely had time to make sure that everyone knew the order of the ritual and make sure they knew where their sacrifices were and what to do with them.  This was overcome by playing traffic cop, basically announcing each part and calling them forward between each part.  This also kept the attendees in the loop as to what was going on.  Another challenge was planning what to do in the event of inclement weather and the condition of the ritual site.  We were fortunate in that the weather was dry, and the ritual site and path down to the site were not muddy or slippery.  One final challenge popped up at the very last minute.  The person that was supposed to call on Brighid could not because he was not in the emotional place where he could due to things that happened at the festival.  A replacement had to be found last minute, and to be honest, caused a panic in me.




There are a few common things that go for both rituals.  In general, the logistics were similar.  A space large enough, and accessible had to be used.  For the indoor ritual, it was still a relatively small space, and that meant that there was no real need for any kind of voice amplification.  For the outdoor ritual, there was no electricity near by, so amplification could not be used.  In both cases that meant the ritualists had to be conscious of projecting, and making sure the people behind them also heard what was being said.


The other consideration was what to do with the down time that would be caused by allowing everyone to make praise offerings and the receiving of the blessed waters.  For the indoor one, the praise offerings down time was covered by the activities that were planned (egg dying, socializing, food, omens).  For the outdoor one it was covered by drumming.  When we come to blessed waters, we let the lowering of energy happen for the indoor ritual, but we went through quickly with the outdoor one by sprinkling instead of drinking.


Overall, the differences between large and small rituals when doing a COoR  are not that big.  Those two sections I mentioned above are the biggest places that can effect the ritual.  The other real consideration comes to audience participation such as songs and prayers.  For large groups that are not familiar with the common songs/prayers of that group, it is in my opinion better to forego the use of these.  Whereas if majority of the group was familiar with these, then it would be fine to add them in.  In either case, having a program with what is expected and where it occurs is helpful for any songs or prayers.  More can be done with smaller groups though because the people involved tend to be more familiar with each other and are able to build up a common practice over time.