Humankind has been performing ‘ritual’ since we first dropped out of the trees (and probably before). We may call them routines or even habits but they not only become an intrinsic part of our lives but they connect us with the World and with others. We go to work and come home at the same times and in the same way every working day. Every day we wish family members, friends and colleagues “Good Morning” and “Good Night”. Many of us may even make our cup of tea in the same cup and in the same way every day. Routine, habit, ritual.
But is that the same as Druid ritual? Only in part. Druid ritual is much, much more.
What is the purpose of Druid ritual?
Druid ritual is the verbal and mental expression of our belief. But it not only expresses our reverence for the Natural World and all Life. It is the means by which we connect with them all. Druid ritual is more than just words or thoughts. It creates a bond between us and the Natural World through which we channel love and peace to all. Druid ritual opens all our senses and makes us truly aware of the Natural World and being a part of it. It is how we connect to the Elements of Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Nwyfre (the Life force) and their gifts. It is how we connect to all Life and to the World of Spirit. And within those connections, we find and embrace our own Spirituality.
What is a Druid ritual?
Unlike other beliefs, there is no required form to Druid rituals. It can be as simple as a solo meditation or as formal and structured as a large Grove or Druid Order gathering. The content of ritual will vary depending upon the purpose of the ritual and the personal preferences of the person conducting it. Some will always cast a circle to create sacred space within which to perform the ritual while others consider the circle unnecessary, as to Druids the whole Natural World is sacred. Many will call the Quarters to welcome the Spirits of Place, of the Elements, the Seasons and the Cardinal Points to join in the ritual. Many will also welcome their personal Deities and their Ancestors to join them. It is entirely up to the person conducting the ritual.
Who conducts ritual?
In Druidry, anyone can conduct ritual. Druidry has no formal priesthood. All who follow our belief are Druids and conduct their rituals in the manner that has meaning to them. Many rituals are conducted alone. In large gatherings, the ritual may be conducted by just one person or involve designated people who take the same part in the ritual at every gathering. At other gatherings, those who wish to take an active part can do so. Rituals can be scripted or created free-form to suit the inspiration of the moment.
When do Druids conduct ritual?
Whenever they want. Most Druids will celebrate the eight festivals of the Druid year. Druids will also celebrate through ritual the main events in life including Naming Ceremonies (Birth), Handfastings (Marriage) and Passing Over (Death). But ritual is not confined to those events. Druids may conduct ritual as part of their daily life. A stroll in the forest or meadow may inspire a ritual. A Druid may turn to ritual to find comfort after a difficult day or personal problem. To a Druid, our Deities, Ancestors and local Spirits of Place are always present and always approachable.
Where does a new Druid start with ritual?
There are an increasing number of books that will offer you rituals. The main Druid Teaching Orders have their own ritual formats. At each Grove you attend for a festival such as Beltane, you will hear a wide range of different rituals. It can be very confusing! So the best answer as to where to start with your own rituals, is to “keep it simple”. To begin with, a short meditation and perhaps a prayer is fine. Think about why you are going to perform a ritual. Is it for one of the eight Druid festivals? If so, think about what is happening in the Natural World at that time. How does that affect life in the Natural World, including yourself. Set up a small altar and place on it something relevant to the ritual. It will provide you with a focus and allow your creative thoughts to flow to help you find meaning and purpose in your ritual. Whatever you do, always include in ritual only what is meaningful to you. It is your ritual. Enjoy it.
|Ritual||Link to view and print ritual|
|Alban Arthan (Winter Solstice)|| AlbanArthanRitual2020ShortRitual1a.pdf |
|Alban Eiler (Spring (Vernal) Equinox)|| AlbanEilerRitual2020ShortRitual1a.pdf|
|Alban Hefin (Summer Solstice)|| AlbanHefinRitual2020ShortRitual1a.pdf|
|Alban Elfed (Autumnal Equinox)|| AlbanElfedRitual2020ShortRitual1a.pdf|
|Samhain / Samhuinn|| SamhainSamhuinnRitual2020ShortRitual1a.pdf|
|Alternative Closing Prayers|| Closingprayers.pdf|