Fourth of July Ritual 2016

Grounding/Centering meditation

Cense and Aspurge

Earth mother

Earth Mother, as is our custom, we make our first offering to you, for without you, we would not exist. We are all your children, and through you we are connected to one another and to the intricate web of life that binds all creatures. You nurture us and sustain us throughout our lives, and in the end, you welcome us once again into your warm embrace, just as you so lovingly cradle the mortal remains of our fallen heroes.

Earth Mother, we offer you our gratitude, our praise, and our love. We call to you and ask that you join us here, and we give to you these tokens of our affection and devotion.

Earth Mother, accept our sacrifice!

Bardic Inspiration

I call on our ancestors that inspired us as a country.

I call on Thomas Pane who set us on the path to becoming a country with his pamphlet Common Sense. It was your words that inspired a loose collection of colonies to join together and fight to become the country we are today. Fill us today with your skills of oration, so we may say what we mean to say.

I call on Henry David Thoreau who inspired generations with his poetry and actions. It was your experiment with returning to a simple life at Walden Pond that inspired many of transcendentalist movement. Your poetry spoke of nature and natural living like none other of your time. Your words have inspired great leaders generations after your death. Give us today your mastery of language to speak in poetic tongues.

I call on Louis Armstrong, who was one of the most influential musicians of the first true American sound, Jazz. Your call on the trumpet and your skill with the vocals inspired scores of people to take up music. Although you were not the first, you are the one that made the scat style of singing, and pure improvising to become an accepted and loved music. Share with us your skill for melody and harmony.

Thomas Pane, Henry David Thoreau, and Louis Armstrong. Come and join us tonight. Fill us with inspiration. May we speak only the truth. May we say what needs to be said. Inspire us, Ancestors of Inspiration. Accept our Sacrifice!

Hallow the Hallows

Portal Song:

CHORUS
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:

CHORUS

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.

CHORUS

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)

Open the Gates: Bald Eagle being gatekeeper

Bald Eagle! Great symbol of our country. Your image is on the great seal, holding arrows of war and the olive branch of peace. You show you're ready to defend our country bur are always looking for peace.

You are a creature of the sky. You walk the earth. You feast on carrion. You are a being of all worlds.

Noble Bald Eagle! We call on you to join us this evening. We ask you to aide us by taking our words afar. Be our communicator. Spread our message wide

Great, Noble Bald Eagle! Accept our Sacrifice!

Now Noble Bald Eagle, join your magic with mine. Let the fire open as a gate. Let the well open as a gate. Let the tree be the crossroads between all the worlds, open to our voices and to the spirits. Let the Gates Be Open!

Call on the Outdwellers to accept our offering

All you of the outer dark. You from outside our kin and friends. Those that want to join us only to disrupt. We honor and respect you, but we ask you don't disturb us.

Outdwellers, Accept this offering and trouble us not.

Ancestors

Ancestors! You who we find here in our Grove. You who walked this land, and who's spirits continue to do so. We offer you welcome!

Ancestors! You who helped found this great country. Our founding fathers and mothers. Those who sacrificed their lives to stand up for a United States of America. Ancestors of America, we offer you welcome!

Ancestors! You who are kin of those in ADF, and of those gathered here in our Grove. You have walked the world before us and have helped us become who we are. Ancestors of our blood and kin, we offer you welcome!

Ancestors! We call to you. We invite you to join us at our fire. Aid us and guide us in our celebration of our nations founding.

Ancestors, Accept our Sacrifice!

Land Spirits

I call upon the spirits of the land, and offer you welcome.

I call to the natives of this place, to all the beings, both seen and unseen, who call this land home, and offer you welcome.

I call to the natives of this nation, of America, to all those spirits of this great land, both seen and unseen, who have called this country home throughout the ages. I call to those native spirits of the wilds, both known to us and unknown, who have dwelt here since time before memory, and offer you welcome.

I call to those beings of the land, both seen and unseen, who are not native to these shores, but who came here more recently, brought from across the seas by our ancestors, carried in their hands, in their heads, and in their hearts and offer you welcome. I call to all those whose seeds flourished in this fertile soil, both those who joined peaceably with the native ecosystems, as well as those who have yet to find a happy equilibrium, in the hopes that reconciliation may yet be achieved, and I offer all of you welcome.

Land Spirits! We call to you. We invite you to join us at our fire. Aid us and guide us in our celebration of our nations founding.

Land Spirits, accept our sacrifice!

Shining Ones

Shining Ones!

Shining Ones! All the deities that are here with our Grove. Those that are here all the time, and those that visit on occasion. The Gods and Goddesses of this land, we offer you welcome.

Shining Ones! All the deities that are indigenous to the United States.

The Gods and Goddesses of the native people, and those that were here even before them. Deities of the United States, we offer you welcome.

Shining Ones! All the deities that were brought here to the Americas by our ancestors. Those of our native lands, and those that look over us in our personal lives. The Gods and Goddesses of the folk and their ancestors, we offer you welcome.

Shining Ones! We call to you. We invite you to join us at our fire. Aid us and guide us in our celebration of our nations founding.

Gods and Goddesses, Accept our Sacrifice!

Statement of Purpose and Precedence

The fourth of July, and to be more precise, the second, is the celebration of Americans standing up to what they saw as the British Tyranny and declared their independence. This year marks the 240th year since that declaration of independence was written by Thomas Jefferson, and the list of grievances were ratified by the continental congress. This started the long war to sovereignty, and the long road of the United States of America as a country.

Today, we find our federal government is having difficulty working together. Nothing gets done, and in some respects, that may be a good thing. We find our country extremely polarized though, and neither side is listening to the other, and neither side is willing to compromise. This is not what the founding fathers wanted, and this is not the foundation of a working government by the people, for the people, and of the people.

Today, will call on the many beings of Washington DC, through their memorials and monuments. We will call on them to wake up. Call on them to give guidance to our leaders. Call on them to break the gridlock and get everyone to work for the good of all citizens of the United States of America. We will not be the only ones doing this. There are other Neo-Pagans currently in DC doing this same work. As we call on these ancestors, be mindful we are adding to the work they are doing, and setting forth a shared magic.

Beings of the Occasion:

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson! You were an amazing author, and composed one of the most important documents that founded this country, stating in part, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” You were our third president, and was responsible for the purchase of much of our mid-country through the Louisiana purchase. Without you, our country would not be what it is today.

Thomas Jefferson! Come, Join us and aid us in our works today.

George Washington

George Washington! You fought the British in our quest to become a new country. You brought us through one of our lowest points, with that winter at Valley Forge, and proved yourself a brilliant tactician in the war. You were elected to be our first president, and much of those eight years were spent giving us the foundation that we continue to build upon. You also foresaw the partisan predicament we are currently experiencing when you advised us to avoid it during your farewell address as you saw it starting between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

George Washington! Come, Join us and aid us in our works today.

Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee! While there may be no official memorial to you in our nations capital, there is a place where you are remembered, your former estate which is now the Arlington National Cemetery. You are remembered by us here today as a man that stood up and fought for what he believed in. Defending your beliefs is something that can be respected by all. We call on you and ask you to send your strength and courage to those that run this country, and ask them to learn from you, and work towards a compromise to keep this country continuing to move forward. It will be well to remember words you said, “It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.” May we never grow fond of war and work towards peace.

Robert E. Lee! Come, Join us and aid us in our works today.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln! You presided over this nation during one of the most turbulent times in our history. You did what you could to preserve the nation, and to start to bring civil rights to all of mankind within the borders. As you said in conclusion in your Gettysburg Address, “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Abraham Lincoln! Come, Join us and aid us in our works today.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt! You presided over another of our worst times. It is due to your social projects that we were pulled out of the great depression. It was also due to you that we joined the rest of the world in fighting against the fascist governments of Japan and Germany. As you said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” and we are again in a time where many of us are in fear of those that are different in looks and religion. Guide us towards removing that fear.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt! Come, Join us and aide us in our works today.

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King! You were the face of the civil rights movement in the 60's. You preached peaceful civil disobedience in order to promote the change that you were fighting for. You were one of many that were beaten for your belief that you deserved to be treated as a human and citizen of this country and not as someone that didn't deserve the rights everyone else had. You had a dream. A dream of equality between all, no matter their sex, race, or religion. You fought hard and long, and faced an untimely early death. The struggle you dedicated your life to still continues to this day, and has expanded to be more than just equal rights for those of African descent, but now of all minorities, including sexual orientation and gender identities. May you continue to support us all in the continuing struggle.

Martin Luther King! Come, Join us and aide us in our works today.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

John Fitzgerald Kennedy! You too do not have a memorial within DC, but your eternal flame can be found at Arlington National Cemetery. You were the leader of our country during the height of the cold war. You worked hard to not start another world war and tried to contain the fear of the time, communism. If we had some other leader at the time, they may have used the nuclear weapons and changed the course of humanity. Let those in congress heed your sound advice of “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy! Come, Join us and aide us in our works today.

Praise Offerings

Now we make time to give praise offerings to our founding fathers, and all those through all the years that have help shape this country to be what it is today, especially those whom we called upon.

Shared Meal

Behold the Sacred Bull! With this bull, we give half to the kindred and all we have called in. The other half we share amongst ourselves.

Magical working

We will now join our energy together. With an Ohm, we will take our energy, and send it to the many monuments in DC, both those we have called upon today, and all the others that exist all around the city. We call upon these monuments to wake up, and give guidance to our leaders. Guide them to work for the people, and to do what is best for all the people. Compromise and work together whenever it is possible, and put the divisiveness of the last many years behind us. We also call on Minerva, the lady on the top of the dome of the capital to do the same, and be a force of change for the better of all within the country.

Take Omen

Hallow the Waters

Ancient and Mighty Ones! We have honored you on this day of celebration. Fill these waters with the blessings we have just heard. Fill these waters with your blessings! Behold the Waters of Life!

Thank the National Ancestors

To all those who have helped in the founding and the growth of this country, all those honored ancestors we have called upon today. We thank you for the sacrifices you have made, and we thank you for joining us here. National Ancestors! We Thank You.

Thank the Shining Ones

Shining Ones! Gods and Goddesses of those gathered here, of this country, and of this lovely land. We thank you for aiding us in our works this day.

Shining Ones! We Thank You.

Thank the Land Spirits

Nature Spirits, I call to you again to offer thanks. I call to the spirits of this place, I call to the native spirits of this nation, and I call to the spirits that traveled to this new land along with our own ancestors and give you thanks for your presence.

Land Spirits, we thank you!

Thank the Ancestors

Ancestors! Those of the folk gathered here, those of this country, and those of this land. We thank you for aiding us in our works this day.

Ancestors, We Thank You.

Thank the Bardic Inspiration

Thomas Pane, Henry David Thoreau, and Louis Armstrong. We called on you to inspire us, and that you have. We thank you for giving us the words we needed to say, and inspiring us to say them.

Thomas Pane, Henry David Thoreau, and Louis Armstrong, We Thank You.

Thank the Bald Eagle and close the gate

Bald Eagle! You are the symbol of our country. We called on you to be our gatekeeper, and to spread our words far and wide. You most certainly have done this, and we thank you for all that you have done.

Now, Noble Bald Eagle, I ask that you once more join your magic with mine, and let the fire become but flame. Let the well become but water. Let this tree become a tree once more. Let the Gates be Closed!

Thank the Earth Mother.

Earth Mother, as always, we welcome you first, and to you we give final thanks and tribute. We offer up our gratitude for all that you have done for us, for all the many blessings you have bestowed upon us. Beloved mother of us all, we thank you for your presence-in our rite and in our lives.

Earth Mother, we thank you!

Thank the Outdwellers

All you of the outer dark. Those that are not our kin and friends. We thank you for not disturbing our rite. You upheld your end of the bargain, and we will now uphold our end. Outdwellers, Accept our Sacrifice.