I have performed my dedication at my home shrine, August 9th at dusk. I spent the days preceding the ritual in preparations, furnishing the altar, preparing a rich sacrifice and cleaning ritual dishes. I also meditated on the contents of the liturgy and did research on the powers I wanted to call upon. I felt uplifted and spiritual, and my room was already hallowed and full of serene peace when I begun the ritual. Only my flatmate, a good friend of mine, attended as silent guest.
I begun by calling on Horae, the spirits who govern each period of the day, and asked Hora Spondae (Hour of libation) co come. Even before, I circled the room clockwise carrying a bowl with purifying incense, even though this showed unnecessary. Shortly before initiating the rite I also decided to include an appeal for inspiration to Apollo in the opening prayers and give him a bowl of laurel, which was accepted graciously. (This was only the second time I have called unto Apollo, so I was hesitant.) I gave Mother Earth an offering of stone shaped candle and aid in on the floor. Then, stating the purpose of my ritual (“to give a sacred oath”) I continued to blessing the three realms – Underworld (Hades), Middleworld and the Heavens (Olympos). I lit the sacred fire, an oil lamp, and touched the bowl of holy water. A sacrifice of incense was made to Ianus Patulcius, the Opener of Door along with Ianus Bifons, the mysterious Two-faced God of new beginnings. I could not feel the opening of the gate as I was used to; it seemed to be half-way opened already. I had a rich sacrifice for the Kindred – a bowl of herbal incense for Nature Spirits, a scented candle sprinkled with herbs for Ancestors and a bowl of exquisite incense for the Gods.
Somewhere during the offering section, I paused, confused and had to regain my mind, because the amount of the mana from sacrifice begun to overwhelm me and also the air in the room got unbreathable, filled with smoke as thick mist. I felt incapacitated to feel the full presence of the High Gods when I got to this point of ritual. Luckily, my friend started opening all the windows and door. I panicked slightly, because I was unsure about my skill to transform so much mana properly into the blessing cup. I performed a piacular offering before stating the prayer of sacrifice and asked for an omen to be given to me. A spiral of smoke rose violently from the offering bowl and I pronounced the sacrifice to be accepted. I was choking slightly, but proceeded to the final sacrifice – giving my oath. I took the first paper into my hand, on which was written the oath I gave at age thirteen:
Let my mind be open to your truth.
Let my mouth be silent among the unbelievers.
Let my heart seek you always.
Let my hands lift in praise of you.
Let my feet always walk your secret paths.
“Nine years ago, I gave this oath to the Old Gods, I have used it as a roadmap. Now I call unto Mnemosyne (Memory) and dispose it in the waters of (Lethe). Let it be a thing of the past and may it count as my good deed at the Underworld court.” I put the paper into the Well. “I give this new oath to Diké (Justice)”, I said, lightning a blue candle, “because you will be the last to depart when the Earth becomes inhabitable. Until Justice rules this Earth, I shall be bound to this Oath.” Then I read my oath and lit a violet candle in sacrifice to Horkos (Oath).
“I seek the threefold path of Virtue, Piety and Study. To behave right unto myself, other people and the Powers. May my time on this path be long and prosperous. This I swear.” (approximate translation)
I chose this key concept of Our Druidry, because I wanted to give an oath so basic I could live by it for the rest of my life, independent on spiritual tradition and specific Gods which may change. This core teaching about our duty to the Powers, society and ourselves holds true for me. I pronounced the pendant that was lying next to the Oath candle to become a sign of my dedication and proceeded to call for the blessing, hallow the cup of wine and share it with my friend. Because of the dramatic course of the ritual I decided to skip the prayers to patrons and do them as a devotional tomorrow. After sharing the feast I unwinded the ritual quickly by closing the gates, forgot to thank the beings and rang the chime three times to tell Horai the time of sacrifice was over.
Then I looked on the room behind me and it was absolutely full of mist, even though all the windows were already open, my eyes hurt (they still do) and I felt like fainting. I quickly assembled my luggage and went outside the house to take a walk, while my friend would bring the burning offering bowl to the balcony. It took me another couple of hours to regain my sense of self, and writing this the morning after, I can still feel something profound has happened inside of me which I am not fully able to seize at this moment. From the liturgical aspect, I really felt that 1. it was incredibly hard to concentrate on performing such a complex liturgy on my own, unaided, while falling into deep trance and 2. I would rather prefer simpler devotional framework or different type of ritual for my future personal mystical / magical practice. From the safety side of things, I was really happy I didn't do this alone, because I would be unable to spot the amount of smoke and probably faint. But in overall I would judge my performance of the rite as good and I feel accomplished about what I have done.
- Current Mood: calm