Dedicant Oath Rite

XI.  Dedicant Oath Rite

The timing for this oath was amazingly…how can I describe it?  Ironic?  Fortuitous?  An epiphany?  Despite being neo-pagan for nearly 30 of my 50+ years, what is the major component in other neo-pagan paths that didn’t connect with me that my Druidry does?  It’s the Lunar vs. the Solar.  Wiccan and all the other neo-pagan, witchery, etc paths have such a strong moon-magic and lunar influence.  My youngest memories of my life have been facing the sun, closing my eyes and feeling the magic of the sun soaking through me, blessing me, and at times mesmerizing me.  And what is my final High Day rite for me to perform on this year of studying the Dedicant Path?  Summer Solstice, the longest solar day of the year.  It is a powerful day for the Sun. The zenith.  This is the day I choose to perform my Oath Rite. Summer Solstice, Midsummer, from this day forth will be the Anniversary of My Oath.  Coincidently, the Moon is waxing and will be full next weekend.

And so I had set forth with preparations, writing, making sangria (a wine loaded with the fruits that have ripened for Midsummer), arranging, meditation and trance, until I came to the day, and performed the rite…

Summer Solstice, Midsummer 2010

In honor of Midsummer, I decided to do this rite outdoors, under the dogwood tree in my garden.  The weather was iffy, very wet this season in the Pacific Northwest, but fittingly so as I discovered during Two Powers.

COoR Steps 1, 2 and 3, Initiating the rite and Purification, Honoring the Earth Mother :  These three steps in the COoR go together for me.  In my pantheon, while Danu is the Mother of the Shining Ones who were the Gods of my Celtic heritage, Earth Mother is the Mother of my Native American Nature kin upon the land in which I live upon, and of my Native American Ancestors, and so She is also very special to me.  Mother Earth is the Planet I live upon, the womb that sustains me, and I have a strong connection to the earth of the Pacific Northwest.  My Native American ancestors are of the plains, not from here, but the Spirit Elders among them come to me and are happy that I honor the land.

I looked at my bell I usually initiate my rights with and a sudden thought struck me that what I need is a rattle for my earthy rites and a crystal chime for initiating spiritual ones.   Instead, I initiated the rite by turning on “Celtic Meditation Music” by Aine Minogue.

I lit a stick of bound sage.  I smudged myself, and then smudged the space that would become my sacred space.  I then smudged myself again.  This speaks to my Druidry senses as well as my Native American heritage, as I honored both Earth Mother and Grandmother Spider, asking that they help prepare and purify me and Our space for the rite, the Sacred Center for Grandmother Spider, Mother Earth, and myself who is Their daughter, who They call Spider Lily as we prepare to unite the North American soil beneath me with the realm beyond the veil that will be reached beyond the Gate.

COoR Step 4, Statement of Purpose: I announced:

“I come today in the presence of the Kindred, on the day our Sun zeniths to its fullest upon Summer Solstice, to swear my Sacred Oath before my Kindred and Gods.”

CoOr Step 5, Recreating the Cosmos/Establishing Sacred Center:  First I meditated on the Two Powers.  I then dropped my offering of one of a silver pentacle to my well bowl, I lit the central candle as my representation of the Sacred Fire, and from the candle I lit incense of dragon-blood for extra “oomph.”  I wafted the smoke up into the dogwood tree representing as my world-tree.  I returned to meditating on the Two Powers and then turned my meditation towards the Three Realms of Land, Sea and Sky, uniting the planes through the vertical Two Powers until I saw the flash of light across the vertical and horizontal axis that is created when I do this.  With this, I saw water, misted in the air, water running deep underground and rising on the horizon as a lake above earth.  I saw the dogwood before me, and then I saw within to a world tree taking up the water like blood into veins.  The water rose in the air as mist, rose through the veins of the tree to the lofty leaves, and vapor formed above and gently misted down, completing the cycle.   The misty weather in our realm felt even more important as it joined the vision of the mist in my meditation.  There was a “gentleness” as the rite started, soft and flowing.

6: Opening the Gate: I lit my oil burner as an offering to my Gatekeeper, Fafnir (who is also a self-appointed spiritual baby-sitter to me) using pomegranate oil, and asked Him to open the gates.  I then meditated deeper, as for me it is not enough to invite the Kindred through the gate, but I have a talent for and a need to step through that gate to Their side as well.  Opening the gate for me is a two way function.  They do not step through here completely nor do I step through to them, there is a space that is created for me when I meditate to a trance like state that brings me partially to Their space as They enter into mine and We are united together in that singular space that I cannot define into words.

7.  Inviting the Three Kindreds: With the gate now opened, I lit the three clear glass votives and invited them each in turn as I lit Their candles and I made an offering of lavender blossoms to those candles. With the lighting of each candle I took a moment to feel each group pressing closer to me in that space that is neither here in this world nor is wholly in theirs.  After feeling the press of the Ancients, the Nobles, and the Shining Ones, I invoked a poem of an unknown author that is also engraved on one of my pendants I have hanging with my other spiritual jewelry.

Thee I invoke by moolit sea

By standing stone and twisted tree

8.  Key Offerings: I poured wine I’d mixed into a sangria with grapes, apricots and black plums especially for this rite as this was also my Midsummer rite, (two chalices, one for sacrifice/offering and one set aside for later for the Calling for Blessing) as I called Danu, Bel, Brigit, Dagda and Morrigu, and my Mentor from another realm, the golden Sairys.  For Fafnir and Sairys, Guardian and Mentors who do not delight in joys of fermented fruit, I added an offering especially for Them by way of a small geode that is polished on one side, and the outer side surfaced with gold.  They were pleased. With this, I upheld the offering and I asked Them to witness and accept my oath of dedication.

9.  Prayer of Sacrifice:

We join today on this longest day of the year, when the solar power is greatest upon Mother Earth!  I give heartfelt thanks to You who I have given to freely, to those who have guided and taught me throughout this Wheel of the Year as I have studied this path of druidry.  Receive and accept my offering  with the sincerity in which it is given.  Blessed Kindred, Draconic spirits, Great Danu who is Mother of my Gods, please accept my offerings!

10.  Omen: I used my Druid Tarot deck and received the following three cards:

1.  “What wisdom do you share with me…?” I received the “World” card.

2.  “What blessings do you offer?” I received Three of Swords inverted.  This had particular personal importance.  The entire purpose of this lifetime has been of weeding out bad past life influences, and the process of doing so in this life has had much emotional suffering brought about by identifying and culling those negative relationships between my lifetime at Isle of Anglesey up to this lifetime.  I was here in this life to break many, many ties.  I was told at age 7 that this lifetime would be a long dark tunnel, but that I must never give up hope; that I must get through that tunnel to the other side, and then I could rest, and enjoy reward.  Those three swords in that heart have undermined my entire lifetime, and now that card is inverted, turned over.  I am through that tunnel.  I am done.  Weeding is over.  Getting through that tunnel is the biggest blessing I could hope to have received in this long life. That heart pierced with three painful swords is upended and turned over like a cup that has been drained and with finality overturned.

3.  “What do you request of me to further our work together?” Queen of Cups.  Be myself.  Keep myself open and compassionate.  Trust and don’t close myself off.  I’ve tried closing myself, sealing myself away when overwhelmed in pain.  It’s not something They want me to do.  They can’t reach me when I do.  I’ve tried wearing masks, trying to conform to Queen of Swords, or of Wands.  I’ve tried locking myself away and protected.  It’s not who I truly am and not how They want me to be.  I need to be true to myself, true to the spirit They know me to be.

11-13. Calling of the Blessing, Hallowing and Affirming the Blessing:  I called for the Blessing to be received now in my chalice, twin to the chalice of the key offering made.  I asked that they bless me on this path and help me grow within it as I plant my own spiritual tree within it.  I held the chalice and closed my eyes to visualize the power of the gift imbuing with the wine.  I held the chalice aloft and affirmed the blessing with “I accept these blessings, may they be challenging or boons, for I am strong with my Kindred as they are strong with me.” The wine was then drank and the chalice put aside for the next part of the rite.  One word…yummy.

14.  The working…My Oath.

~The Oath~

“I gather You here together,

Noble Ones, Nature Spirits, Keeper of the Lands, Pixies and Gnomes, Elven and Fae, I invite You to witness my Oath.” (with this I pause to concentrated on feeling Their presence)

“Ancestors, Celtic Hearth and Honored Tribe, my family of Irish and Scotts descent, my family of Commanche and Cherokee. I invite You to witness my Oath.” (I pause to concentrate on feeling Their presence)

“Ancients, Children of the Mother, Tribe of Danu, I invite You, Brigit and Dagda, Morrigu.  I invite You to witness my Oath.  And I invite You, Grandmother Spider, to join us and witness my Oath “(I pause to concentrate on the Shining Ones and Their presence)

“To the Two Draconics, I give soul- felt gratitude for guiding me through that long dark tunnel that was foretold to a 7 year old girl in a field full of Awen.  I give special thanks to the Two who refused to accept failure in a defeated and abused young woman, to the Two who have kept me humbled me when I grew too cocky, and gave me a spine when I had none.  I give special honor to the Two who have taken mistakes I have made and turned them into lessons, I give special acknowledgement to Two who have alternately chased after me and then led me by the nose, guarding and teaching me regardless of what path I walked to deliver me here to the end of that tunnel that was foretold 44 years ago and have delivered me to a Promise once made.  The Two are not in any pantheon of which I can find, but they have been in My Path for all these long years and without them, I’d have been lost so very long ago”. (I pause to concentrate on Them)

“I now call with my heart and soul and eternal love to Danu, the Mother who sent Them All, my Great Mother who sent the Draconics to lead and cajole me, to the Great Mother who blessed Earth Mother with our Noble Ones, to Great Mother who gathers all my Kindred across two heritages and to a Great Mother who blessed me with the ability to hear Them and see Them and who blessed me with the ability to so easily reach through the membrane that separates our realms so that I am able to commune with Them.  I know this is not a common thing, it is a great, great blessing, and one that I will never take for granted or belittle its value.  Great Mother Danu, I ask that you hear my oath.” (I pause to feel the presence of my Great Mother)

“Mundanely I am called Danyka Liusadh MacTalla by peers, and Gramma Firecar by the young.  Among You, You have named me, and I have accepted and reclaimed my name from previous lifetimes, translated into modern words as Spider Lily.  I swear by You all, upon all my past lives that it is my will and promise to follow the path I started upon centuries ago, traveled from Eire to the Isle of Anglesey, a path I started upon in this life, fell from and found once again. It has not been an easy passage finding my way, and I am so very grateful that You never gave up on me, regardless of how unworthy at times I have been.  I give to you all, my oath, that I will no longer falter.”

“I will do my best to uphold the Virtues, I will observe the Wheel of the Year, I will continue in my spiritual studies, and I will continue to administer to those that the Gods put before me to shelter and care for as I too have been sheltered and cared for. I have found my home, and home here is where I shall stay.  I was a Druidess then. I am a Druidess now, and a Druidess I will continue to always be.  On this I give my oath.”

I set the wine down and take up the jewelry I have chosen for this Oath.

“As a symbol of my vows, I dedicate this pendant that I shall always wear.  The metal is gold, precious to the Two.  The stone is Pearl, symbol of the soul[1]and this pearl lays in the petal of a golden Calla Lily, which is a symbol of rebirth and resurrection.  Above this flower are three diamonds, to remind me of the Three Kindred, and of the Three Realms of Land, Sea and Sky, and to always work towards the balance of the Triad of Body, Mind and Spirit.”

“I ask that you bless this necklace, and accept this as a binding of my Oath.”

I passed the necklace through the Well bowl of water, through the Sacred Flame, and through the smoke of the incense.

Here I then sang the song I’ve been singing since my first oath, to the tune of Beethoven’s Fur Elise

“Day, wake another day, I wake

Sing, giving flight to prayers  I make

Live well with piety, study, virtues, read,

Diligently follow…

Creed, faithful to the creed, I make

Vows, honor to the oaths I take

Soul singing through the day,

Singing as I pray

Wake another day.”

I placed the necklace around my neck.

Now…Is this unusual for a classical piece of jewelry to be used rather than one that screams out “pagan?”  I have drawers full of pagan jewelry including an actual twisted bronze torq from England with dragon-heads adorning each end.  I have rings and pendants and anklets and bracelets with a plethora of symbolism in precious metals, some adorned with stones of magical attunements and some with precious stones.  But the Lily is important to me, to my family.  Grandmother Spider and my Great Mother Danu have given me and my daughters all Lily names.  She says that we are Her lilies.  I am Spider Lily.  My oldest daughter was born on the last day of January (which outside of the Gregorian Calendar may have very well have fallen on true solar birthday of Brigit) and she has very pale ivory skin that is rare in my family. They call her Snow Lily.  Her daughter who has my golden skin tone (and more common with my Native American family) is our third generation ballerina is named by our Matrons as Dancing Lily.  My second daughter, born “behind the veil” with her amniotic sac covering her and is the most psychic and creative of us is Moon Lily.  My third is Tiger Lily, a terror and a spitfire.  I named her well giving her the mundane name of Morrigan.  I’d thought that my youngest had not been given a Lily name yet as Grandmother Spider simply calls her “Beauty.”   Then when I did some research on lilies,

trying to find a clue as to why my Matrons and Patrons have a fixation on lilies in regard to my family, I found a florist list of what flowers are given for what meaning, the Calla Lily is defined as “Beauty.”  [2]

I am a firm believer in reincarnation and working through each life to better the soul.  The pendant I chose as a symbol of my Oath consists of The Lily (of rebirth and regeneration) and The Pearl (of the soul), adorned with three diamonds, the sacred number sparkling like the three rays of Imbas (also called Awen. ) This is a necklace I will never be without and it represents my Oath perfectly for me.  Now will I add to that?  Yes, I am looking for a gold spider charm.  I’ve found copper ones, gold-tone ones, but no solid gold little spider charms and I want one of at least 10k and it needs to be tiny to not overshadow the lily.  I hope to find one by the one year anniversary of my Oath.  I plan on celebrating this oath each year on Midsummer the way a hand-fast is celebrated on an anniversary, for just as an “anniversary” is an celebration of an oath  and promise made to a lover, this Midsummer’s Oath I make will have an anniversary of a promise made to my Gods.

COor steps 15-18: The rest of the rite was followed by standard COoR,  I thanked all the Great Ones that attended and asked Fafnir to close the gates as I felt myself withdrawing from the trance-like atmosphere.  I thanked Grandmother Spider and the Earth Mother and announced the rite closed.

My thoughts on how it all went?   Gently, soft.  Quite often the essence of rites feel powerful with earth, air or fire, but this was full of water, flowing and gentle, and it felt very much as though there was a huge finality to it, as though I’d finally completed a great circle that’s been rotating for several centuries.

Beyond this rite, I also have plans for a tattoo to commemorate this Oath.  I have seven tattoos, each received at different phases of my lifetime and I haven’t gotten a new one in a very long time.  It’s appropriate that I get a new one now as I take this oath.

I’ve worked a couple of ideas together with Photoshop and my Wacom tablet and this is what I’ve come up with.

The Spider itself is a tribal art tattoo from a royalty free clip art company.  The spider is stemmed into a flower, to reflect the name my spirit teachers had given me, Spider-Lily.  On the body is an Imbas, or Awen as it is also called to reflect my Druidry Path.   The spiderlily is my symbol, and despite what the world may call me in this lifetime, I am and always have been Damhán alla Líle…Spider Lily is my true name.


2. “Wherever the cultivation or liberation of the soul is regarded as the goal of spiritual striving, the pearl may symbolize the soul itself. This belief may have historical roots in the mythological thinking of the Hellenistic world, from which has come the formula “Ho sōma, hē sarx” (“The body is the tomb”). In this view, the subject of spiritual and eternal life is the immortal soul that exists within an alien and perishable body. According to the Mandaeans, the pearl’s temporary home within the oyster provides an allegory for the temporary dwelling of the soul within the body. A variation of this imagery is found in the Coptic Kephalaia, a Manichaean text that relates how the soul is like a raindrop that falls into the sea and enters the body of an oyster in order to develop into a pearl. So, too, the soul acquires permanent definition and individuality by enduring life in the body. The pearl as a symbol for the actualized soul found its way into the poetry of the ūfī mystic Farīd al-Dīn Aṭṭār ” (http://www.bookrags.com/research/pearl-eorl-10/)

I have reincarnated many lives and expect I will reincarnate many more times, as I continue to work at developing my soul.

[2] “The main and the most significant calla lily meaning is magnificence and beauty. The calla lily name finds its origin from a Greek word for beauty. The calla lily meaning originates from a Greek myth that says the lily originated from the breast milk of Greek Goddess, Hera.”  http://www.buzzle.com/articles/calla-lily-meaning.html

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~ by Spider Lily on August 29, 2010.

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