Simple Self-Blessing Rite
-Michael J Dangler
[This ritual grew out of two things: 1) my upcoming book, Cultivating the Fire of Piety; 2) my work in prison ministry. You will note that this rite is extremely simple, and involves no tools or offerings. It doesn't even indicate that a flame is required. It still follows the basic ADF Core Order of Ritual, but it can be done literally anywhere by anyone.]
Stand before your altar. Relax, and begin.
Feel the earth below you, the firm ground. Experience the earth as upholding you, as maintaining your weight. Feel the earth holding you, rather than you pushing against the earth.
Earth Mother, I stand upon you today and recognize that we begin with you and we will end with you. Uphold me now as I give praise, and support me as I receive blessing.
In your mind's eye, see the sacred center open before you: watch the mists part, see the door to the Otherworld open, or watch the spiral of the magic from between the worlds reveal the Otherworld. The Gates are now open, and the true work can begin.
I call out to my ancestors, those who came before me, you of my blood and you of my heart. I seek to give you praise, to remember you now, and to honour you.
Think on your ancestors: see their faces, smile with joy at their presence. If you have praise to give them, do so now.
I call out to the spirits of this place, the spirits of nature who are the soul of this land. I seek to give you praise, to call out to you now, and to honour you.
Think on the nature spirits: the faeries of the wood, the spirits of the land. If you have praise to give them, do so now.
I call out to the deities, first children, eldest and wisest. It is you to whom we look for guidance, and you who grant the greatest blessings. I seek to give you praise, to honour you now, to give you due worship.
Think on the deities: the great ones who bless our lives, who watch over us and show us that unconditional love. If you have praise to give them, do so now.
[optional] - If you have a patron deity, one that you might wish to offer to specifically, now is the time to do that. If not, simply move to the next portion.
Today, I have given of my praise and myself.
Take a moment to visualize, as you shout this last statement, all of your blessings, praise, and intent flowing up to the gods, out to the spirits of nature, and down to the ancestors. Hold yourself in that moment, watching your praises flow from you, and prepare yourself for what may be offered in return.
Now, take your divination tool up.
As I have given to the Powers, I open to them. If there are blessings to be had, what might the nature of those blessings be?
Draw three symbols: one for the Ancestors, one for the Nature Spirits, and one for the Deities. Examine each one, think about the omen offered, and consider how it might translate into blessings.
Now, take these omens and concentrate on them, holding forth a cup of water or other beverage, saying:
Indeed, the Powers offer me blessings. Now I seek the manifestation of those blessings, the outpouring from the Powers that offer them. To those who enter this exchange, pour forth your blessings into my cup!
Envision the blessings before you, either as a mist, or a vortex of energy, or as pictographic representations of individual blessings. Watch them pour into the cup, mixing and infusing with the liquid already inside.
This in my hands is a holy cup of magic, the great blessings offered to me as joyful return of my praises to the Kindreds. Here are the deep waters that flow within the earth and that rain from the sky. These are the waters of life!
Now, with joy in my heart, I give thanks: To the Deities, thank you for your blessings. To the Nature Spirits, thank you for your blessings. To the Ancestors, thank you for your blessings. To all those Powers who have aided me, thank you for your blessings.
[If you made an offering to a patron above, make sure you thank him or her first: thank in the reverse order from invitation.]
To the Keeper of the Gates
In your mind's eye, see the sacred center close before you: watch the mists gather, see the door to the Otherworld close, or watch the spiral of the magic from between the worlds close in on the Otherworld. The Gates are now closed, and this rite is ending.
Mother of all, to you I will return all things I have left unused. For supporting and upholding me in this rite, I thank you!