Wyrd Ritual – The Norns for Teens and Tweens – Our Norse Year 2017

Wyrd Ritual – The Norns for Teens and Tweens – Our Norse Year 2017

The Pagan Family Connection meets near the Sabbats. I teach wheel of the year and use different mythologies to do so. The Tween and Teen group meets once a month. While not on the full moon (we meet second Saturday), we operate more as a public coven and our rituals are mostly about the phase of the moon and/or a Goddess or God.

In all my reading and research this year I was drawn to the Norns.  They spoke to me in a very direct way and I had to listen. For me this manifested in both a ritual and a painting.

Because I am never sure exactly how logistics will work out until we actually do ritual, the one thing I will change in future is the weaving craft. One of the moms took a group of mostly boys before ritual to teach them how to braid. And the craft I chose took a long time. We chanted A LOT. The cool thing about that was that no one appeared to be bored. Semi-trance states were achieved through the chant and the repetitive activity of braiding.

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Pre-Ritual Class

Choose officers – who will take up their positions in the quarters. Review invoking pentagrams.

Have everyone choose their ribbon/floss/beads. Measure and cut and tie to a safety pin.

Discuss Yggdrasil and the Nine Worlds, weaving craft

Gather and Ground  – All gather standing in a circle.  

Circle Casting spoken by ALL

The HPS takes athame and HP take up wand and cast the circle around the space.  Everyone stays standing still during the circle casting.  Officers are in their quarters, the Northern officer stands in the NE during the circle casting.

 

ALL: O Circle, from the first swirlings of the cosmos,

We summon you!

O Circle, from the dance of the stars,

We invoke you!

O Circle, from the spinning earth,

We call you!

O Circle: Be for us a holy place,

Be for us a shield and a defense,

Be for us a temple to the Gods,

Be for us a gateway of loving souls!

In the names of the Lady and the Lord, So mote it be!

 

Elemental Blessings

HPS In the name of the Lady and the Lord,

I consecrate this salt and this water to our use:

Be Thou the blessed essence and blood of Life!

 

The HPS then mixes salt into the water, saying:

Earth and Water together shall purify the Circle.

HP: In the name of the Lady and the Lord,

I consecrate this incense and this flame to our use:

Be Thou the blessed breath and heart of Life!

 

The HP then lights the incense, saying:

Fire and Air together shall consecrate the Circle.

HPS and HP walk slowly around the inside of the circle.  HPS sprinkles each person with water, HP censes them.

Once the circle is cast, the HPS stands in the NW and the HP to the NE, so the officers may collect their element from the altar.

Gathering of the Elements

Officers pick up the elemental symbol for their direction, one at a time and process the element inside the circle.  Once the symbol is processed, it is placed back upon the altar, the officer goes back to the circle and the next officer takes her/his turn. While each officer processes all say the following words:

East: From the Breath of the Earth:

We bring the purifying winds.

 

South: From the Heart of the Earth:

We bring the consecrating fires.

 

West: From the Blood of the Earth:

We bring the cleansing waters.

 

North: From the Bones of the Earth:

We bring the essence of life.

 

Elemental Invocations

The Officers are standing in their directions.  Officers draw the appropriate invoking pentagrams, beginning the figure with the All part.

North: All face North.

Guardians of the North, Powers of Earth:

Bearers of Grounding and Stability:

From mountaintops and valleys deep we call You!

 

All: We invoke Your Presence into our Circle

To ask Your blessing upon our rite. So mote it be!

 

East:   All face East

Guardians of the East, Powers of Air:

Transmitters of clarity, discernment and focus,

From the whispering winds and fierce gale we call you!

 

All: We invoke Your Presence into our Circle

To ask Your blessing upon our rite. So mote it be!

South: All face South

Guardians of the South, Powers of Fire:

Bringers of passion, inspiration and will,

From animal heat and the molten core we call You!

 

All: We invoke Your Presence into our Circle

To ask Your blessing upon our rite. So mote it be!

 

West: All face West.

Guardians of the West, Powers of Water:

Maintainers of wisdom, intuition and compassion,

From the placid pool & the raging deeps we call You

 

All: We invoke Your Presence into our Circle

To ask Your blessing upon our rite. So mote it be!

 

Circle Dance

All join hands for the circle dance.  HPS leads the dance and the chant.  She will start the chant slowly, make it faster, then slow it down until she stops the dance and the chant.  

 

All chant: She changes everything She touches

And everything She touches changes

 

Or

 

We all come from the Goddess

And to Her we shall return

Like a drop of rain

Flowing to the ocean

 

Earth Mother Invocation

All face North, focus on Goddess Images

Boy Reader: Gaia, you who cradle all the world in your arms– in this vast mysterious universe, our very bones belong to you. You witness our love for the tall grass, wind, the fruits and grains, rocks and mountains. We stand on your soil in sunlight, starlight, moonlight, rain, eclipse and earthquake, offering a timeless prayer.

We walk in the spirit of you. Earth Mother, Gaia.  We speak in your tongues.  We plant your seeds.  Attend our dreams.  Clarify our thoughts.  Inform our acts.  And every day at dawn, seize our hearts anew.

Earth Father Invocation

All face South, focus on God Images

Girl Reader: O Great God Pan, beast and man,

Shepherd of goats and Lord of the Land,

We call you to attend our rites on this most magical of nights.

God of the wine, God of the vine,

God of the fields and God of the kine,

Attend our circle with your love

And send Your blessings from above.

Help us to heal; Help us to feel;

Help us to bring forth love and weal.

Pan of the forests, Pan of the glade,

Be with us as our magic is made!

 

Solar God Invocation

All face the center of the circle

HPS: Great Lord, You who are the Sacred Spark,

Defender and Sustainer of the fertile earth,

You Who lead the Hunt,

and rule the quiet lands of death,

We, Your people, are gathered in Your honor!

 

All: We ask Your blessing and presence among us

That we might celebrate Your rites

In love and joy and truth. So Mote It Be!

 

Reader 1: Pan, great God of the wood.  Osiris, great father of the earth.  Consort to the lady and master of fields and fertility.  Ancient God of the forests deep, Lord of the Sun, we welcome you freely.  Horned Hunter, father and master, you teach us not to be trapped in fear. Master of all that is wild and free, we ask you to join our circle:

Reader 2: My law is harmony with all things.  Mine is the secret that opens the gates of life.  And mine is the dish of salt of the earth that is the body of Cernunnos that is the eternal cycle of rebirth. I give the knowledge of life everlasting.  And beyond death I give the promise of regeneration and renewal.  I am the sacrifice, the father of all things and my protection blankets the earth.

Reader 3: Gracious God, lord of all, father of all growing things, we ask you to join our circle.  Enfold us in your warm embrace, bless us father as you fill us with strength and teach us with your boundless energy.

Reader 4: I who am the lord of the hunt, and the power of the light, sun among the clouds and the secret of the flame, I call upon your bodies to arise and come to me.  For I am the flesh of the earth and all its beings. Through me all things must die and with me are reborn.  Let my worship be in the body that sings, for behold all acts of willing sacrifice are my rituals.  Let there be desire and fear, anger and weakness, joy and peace, awe and longing within you.  For these too are part of the mysteries found within yourself, within me.  All beginnings have endings and all endings have beginnings.

Reader 5: Ancient Warrior, lord of the flame, wild hunter of the green forest and horned stag of the rolling hills, we call upon you to arise this night.  Great spirit, abundant creator and lord of all, we, your children, invite your awakening and ask your blessings on these rites we do in your name.  Come to us and walk with us in love and beauty.

HPS: Hear now the words of He who is the radiance of the Sun and the taste of salt upon the tongue, He whose bones grace thy every meal:

Reader 6: I am the shadow in the bright day.  I am the reminder of mortality at the height of living.  I am the never-ending veil of night were the star goddess dances.  I am the death so that life may continue.  I am the strength that protects, that limits.  I am the power that says no and that is enough.  I am the things that cannot be spoken of, and I am the laughter at the edge of death.  

Reader 7: Come with me into the warm enfolding dark, feel my caresses in the hands, in the mouth, in the body of one you love.  .Gather in the moonless night and speak in unknown tongues.  The Dark Mother and I will listen.  Sing to us, cry out, and the power will be yours to wield.  Blow me a kiss when the sky is dark and I will smile, but no kiss in return.  For my kiss is the final one for all mortal flesh.

Lunar Mother Invocation of Goddess

HP: O most gracious and magnificent Lady:

You who are the beauty and the strength

of earth and moon and stars,

You Who are our Source and our Return,

We, Your people, are gathered in Your honor!

 

All: We ask Your blessing and presence among us

That we might celebrate Your rites In love and joy and truth. So Mote It Be!

 

Charge of the Goddess:

HP: Listen to the words of the Great Mother who of old was also called among men Hecate, Morrigan, Cerridwen, Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Diana, Arianrhod, Isis, Bride, and by many other names:

HPS: Whenever you have need of anything, once in the month and better it be when the moon is full.  Then shall you assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me who am Queen of all Witcheries.  There you shall assemble, you who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet who have not won its deepest secrets.  To these will I teach things that are yet unknown.

Reader 1: And you shall be free from slavery, and as a sign that you are truly free, you shall be naked in your rites, and you shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love all in my praise.  For mine is the ecstasy of the Spirit, and mine is also joy on earth.  For my Law is Love unto all beings.

Reader 2: Keep pure your highest ideals. Strive ever towards it. Let nothing stop you or turn you aside. For mine is the secret which opens upon the door of youth; and mine is the cup of the Wine of Life: and the Cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of immortality.

Reader 3: I am the Gracious Goddess who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of Man. Upon Earth I give the knowledge of the Spirit Eternal, and beyond death I give peace and freedom and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor do I demand sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother of all things, and my love is poured out upon the earth.

HP: Hear the words of the Star Goddess, She in the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven, whose body encircles the universe:

HPS: I who am the beauty of the green earth; and the White Moon amongst the Stars; and the mystery of the Waters; and the desire of the heart of man. I call unto your soul: arise and come unto me. For I am the Soul of nature who gives life to the Universe; From me all things proceed; and unto me, all things must return. Beloved of the Gods and men, your inmost divine self shall be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite.

Reader 4: Let my worship be within the heart that rejoices, for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals; and therefore let there be Beauty and Strength, Power and Compassion, Honor and Humility, Mirth and reverence within you.

Reader 5: And you who think to see me, know that your seeking and yearning shall avail you not unless you know the mystery, That if that which you seek you find not within yourself, you will never find it outside yourself, for behold; I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.

The three who will speak for Urd, Verdandi and Skuld take seats in front of the northern altar. They keep their heads down, do not make eye contact with the readers. Everyone else sits or stands in a semi circle facing them.  Once everyone is settled down, the readings can begin

 

Wyrd Ritual

Reader: Located at the center of the universe is the Great Ash Tree, Yggdrasil. At the base is the sacred spring -Urd’s Well –  that feeds it.  It is a spring of destiny. And it is the home of the Norns. Urd’s Well is located in the green fields of Hel where the weather is warm and sunny, and they sing and weave in the shade of the ash leaves.

Reader: There are millions of Norns. Every living creature from an ant to a human, from elves to giants to the gods, have three norns. They are present at every birth. But the most important Norns live among the roots of Yggdrasil.  They sprinkle the roots with holy water and pack clay around the roots to protect it.  They carve the name of every baby born into the bark. They write destinies upon the leaves, so when a leaf falls, a being dies.

Reader: The three Norns are sisters. They are named Was, and Being, and Shall Be. Also called Urd, Verdandi and Skuld. They are the goddesses of fate. They are the writers of runes.They control destiny.

Reader: Every day the gods cross Bifrost and descend to Urd’s Thingstead.  They assemble there in council, to seek the wisdom of the Norns. The Norns warn the gods of future evil, bid them to make good use of the present, and teach them lessons from the past.

Reader: Urd, Verdandi and Skuld do not make these decisions on their own.  The visions they see, the words they speak, come from orlog – the eternal law of the universe. Orlog is the destiny of all that has ever been and all that ever will be.  

Reader: The orlog is the thread, the yarn, the wool.  The Norns weave the orlog into webs. The webs of our lives – our history, our past, our present moments, and what has yet to come. This web is your Wyrd.

Reader: Urd, the eldest sister, is also called Wyrd- What Once Was.  She symbolizes fate and the past. She reminds us of the lessons we learn from our past. She is That Which Has Become. She reminds us to learn from previous experiences.  She wants us to forgive ourselves and others, but never to forget the consequences of our actions. She needs us to take these lessons into our Now so we can become better.

Reader: Verdandi is What Is Coming Into Being. She is the current moment.  She helps us  to look boldly at what is right before us. She observes everything and jumps fearlessly into action – into the next moment, which is the future. She shows us to not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.

Reader: Skuld, the youngest sister, is What Shall Be. She is That Which Should Become. She holds a blank scroll, a book of infinite possibilities. What her sisters weave, she can undo. She rips the threads of orlog from our Wyrd, so we may make different choices to steer our path ahead.

Reader: Let them speak. Let the Norns, creator of the runes, and weavers of spells speak  to us.

The Norns look up and make eye contact with all assembled during the rest of the ritual

Urd: Orlog is a person’s luck or fate. It is built on your actions and is accumulated through ancestry. Part of orlog is inherited- it is passed down through your ancestors.

Verdandi: It can be strengthened by living a life of honor, positive principles, being healthy, truthful, and doing good in your communities.

Skuld: This part of orlog will be passed down from you to your children. In a way, part Of your orlog is not up to your making: it has already been made and is given to  you.

Verdandi: But you are still responsible for the actions you take in responding to them.

Urd: The part of orlog that is determined by you is built through the actions and behaviors you have shown throughout your life. You cannot get rid of past wrongs by attempting to atone for them- they are still there.

Skuld: However, sufficient atonement and actions that are considered “right” could equal out the balance. And though the wrongs would still be there, the “right” would make it even once again.

The Norns indicate with hand gestures and making their own bracelets that the weaving is to begin.

Urd: Weave with us. Choose the threads that represent your past, your today, and what you’d like to see for all your tomorrows.

Verdandi: Weave with us. Your Wyrd is a web of of your choices, your actions. Every action, no matter how small, will have far reaching effects.

Skuld: Weave with us.  The good you do today will grow to greatness in time.  The ill you did yesterday can be made right by the choices you make now, and in all your  tomorrows.

Urd: Weave your lessons from your past.

Verdandi: Weave your actions from now to create good.

Skuld: Weave positive visions for your future.

Everyone sits comfortably and begins to braid their Wyrd.  Once everyone has started braiding, the readings can begin.  No need to rush the readings. Take your time.  Allow for long pauses between readings.

Reader: We are dark and we are bright

We are formed from earth and light

From joy and pain our lives are spun

But all too soon the spinning ís done

 

Reader: No one knows why we are born

A web is made a web is torn

Like wandering seabirds we alight

And rest one moment then take flight

 

Reader: So may we find the hidden way

Beyond the gates of night and day

To that sweet land where apples grow

And endless healing waters flow

 

Reader: And at that spring may we drink deep

And wake to dream, and die to sleep

And dreaming weave another form

A shining thread of life reborn

 

Reader: Weaver, Weaver weave her thread,

Whole and strong into your web

Healer, Healer, heal her pain,

In love may she return again

 

Reader: We are dark and we are bright

We are formed from earth and light

From joy and pain our lives are spun

But all too soon the spinning ís done

If people are still braiding, the HPS or designated cantor, will chant the following until everyone is done. People are encouraged to chant with the HPS/cantor.

WE ARE THE FLOW AND WE ARE THE EBB.

WE ARE THE WEAVERS, WE ARE THE WEB.

Once everyone is done, the chant is stopped. Braids are either wrapped around wrists, draped around necks, or held in hand. Everyone stands for the rest of the ritual. QUIETLY move chairs outside the circle. Once everyone is standing still, the Norns speak:

Urd: Keep your Wyrd safe. Right now will be your past in a moment. Learn from it.

Verdandi: Mind your actions. Be present. Act now out of love and peace.

Skuld: Keep your Wyrd safe. And remember you can alter the course of your path by the  choices you make.

HPS: Odin, the All-Father, said ‘Cattle die, kinsmen die, you yourself die; I know one thing which never dies: the judgement of a dead man’s life.’ Live life in such a way that when you are in Valhalla or Folkvang, Fensalir, or even upon the quiet, green plains of Hel, people speak well of you.

HP: Van Gogh said ‘Whoever loves much, performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.’  For every meal you prepare, for every hand you hold, cheek you kiss, job you do – do them with love for yourself, your family, your friends, and for the gods. 

HPS: Buddha said ‘You can’t have a better tomorrow if you still think about yesterday all the time’. Do not get caught in the Wyrd of your past.  Learn from it. And move forward with wonder and love through life.  So Mote It Be.

 

All: So Mote It Be.

 

Cakes and Wine

The HPS (standing in northwest) holds the chalice while the HP (standing in the northeast) holds the athame above the chalice.  At the last line, HP places blade in the chalice to bless it.

Blessing over Wine:

All: As the Athame is to the Fires of Heaven…

So the Cup is to the Depths of the Sea…

And conjoined, they are One in Truth!

 

HPS sips from chalice, passes it to HP to have a sip.  He then hands the chalice to the person next to him, who holds it until after the cakes are blessed.

HP holds the plate while the HPS holds her hands over the plate for the blessing

Blessing over Cakes:

All: Lady and Lord bless this food,

Symbolic of Your Bounty,

That in sharing it we affirm our Common Bond!

 

HPS takes cake, then the HP.  The person holding the chalice takes a sip and passes it along the circle with a “Blessed Be” and optional kiss. The HP then hands the cakes to the person next to him and the cakes are passed the same way as the chalice.

Opening the Circle

Dismiss the Elements in each direction as below. Elemental Officers stand in their quarters. Each officer should direct the participants to face the appropriate direction.

North Officer: Guardians of the North

We thank you for your presence and blessing,

And as you return to your holy realm

We say “Hail and Farewell!”

 

All: Hail and Farewell!

East Officer: Guardians of the East

We thank you for your presence and blessing,

And as you return to your holy realm

We say “Hail and Farewell!”

 

All: Hail and Farewell!

South Officer: Guardians of the South

We thank you for your presence and blessing,

And as you return to your holy realm

We say “Hail and Farewell!”

 

All: Hail and Farewell!

West Officer: Guardians of the West

We thank you for your presence and blessing,

And as you return to your holy realm

We say “Hail and Farewell!”

 

All: Hail and Farewell!

After all dismissals are finished all present join hands, and led by the HPS all say:

HPS: The Circle is open, but yet unbroken.

All: Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again!  So mote it be!

 

This ritual is composed of : Circle opening and closing taken from the Society of Elder Faiths Liturgy. The Charge of the God written by Daniel Webster Christensen, The Charge of the Goddess written by Doreen Valiente. Gaia Invocation adapted from a poem by Claudia L’Amoreaux Fox. Compiled November 2013 by Kara  for use in the Society of Elder Faith’s Tween and Teen Group.  

Goddess of the North by Lynda C. Welch

Gods and Myths of the Viking Age by H.R. Ellis Davidson

Tales of Norse Mythology by Helen A Guerber

‘Weaver Weaver’ by Starhawk

http://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/others/the-norns/

http://mythology.net/norse/norse-gods/norns/

http://bonekindred.weebly.com/the-norns.html

https://www.adf.org/articles/gods-and-spirits/norse/norns-three-sisters.html

http://www.germanicmythology.com/PoeticEdda/GRM31HEL.html

https://silverlotus.net/adopt-a-deity/norns/

https://www.magicalrecipesonline.com/2012/06/the-three-fates-the-triple-goddesses-of-fate-and-destiny.html

https://asatruassembly.wordpress.com/heathenism/wyrd/

http://bonekindred.weebly.com/orlog.html

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