There are several sources of inspirations for this ritual. Firstly I was asked to put together a ritual involving the Morrigan for the Spring Equinox. It is one of those seasonal rituals I decided not to put into Celtic Lore and Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess, and is often requested. Then not long after I was asked to lead a ritual to claim sovereignty. The ritual wasn’t at first intended to have anything to do with the Equinox but the timing of the event worked out that the two themes became intertwined.
For myself the Spring Equinox is both a time of balance and renewal. It’s that time of perfect balance between night and day, when we are just a step away from spring and the sweetness of summer to come. In my own practices it is also a time to encourage the building energy of growth. A time to offer a blessing to the land, as it is the source of our own sustenance. In the past I would leave bird seed and other offering to help the wild life get through that last bit of winter. In Connecticut, as I am reminded of with yesterday’s snow storm, there is still often snow on the ground, despite the scent of spring is in the air. Spring isn’t always so apparent this time of year, at least not where I live. It needs a bit of a helping hand. This fit nicely with the concept of sovereignty. In Celtic myth kings gained sovereignty by ritually wedding the goddess of the land. Essentially the two became one and the same. What happens to one befalls the other. When Nuada the king of the Tuatha Dé Danann’s hand is cut off in battle he is no longer allowed to be king, for his blemish will be translated to the land.
So this ritual is both about connecting to the land that gives us life and taking up our own inner sovereignty. To align with our truest Will and take up power within our lives. Since the Morrigan Devotional Ritual at PantheaCon the four treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danann have been on my mind. And I can think of no better way to connect both to the land and our own sovereignty than working with the Lia Fái, the stone of destiny that cries out for the true sovereign.
Morrigan Spring Equinox Ritual
You Will Need:
A large stone or rock (preferably from your own property)
A sword (or athame)
A spear head
A bowl or cauldron
A torc/crown (or whatever symbol you wish to use to represent self-sovereignty)
A cup of mead (with wine or apple juice as a substitute)
If you do not have one of the items to represent one of the four treasures a picture of a sword/spear etc can be used in its place.
Cast the circle or create sacred space, in whatever way you prefer. When you are ready stand in the center of the circle, say:
From the four cities the Tuatha Dé Danann learned the art of magick
And came upon perfect wisdom,
With them they brought a sword, a stone,
a cauldron of worth, and a spear for the making of heroes.(1)
Hold up the sword towards the east, then place it on the eastern quarter of the altar saying:
Here is the bright sword of Nuada,
No one ever escaped the hand that held it
Hold up the spear head towards the south, then place it on the southern quarter of the altar saying:
Here is the spear of Lugh,
No battle was ever won against it
Hold up the cauldron towards the west, then place it on the western quarter of the altar saying::
Here is the cauldron of the Dagda,
No host ever left it unsatisfied
Hold up the stone towards the north, then place it on the center of the altar (as you will be working primarily with this item) saying:
Here is the Lia Fái of the Morrigan
It never spoke save when a king or queen was upon it
Stand with your hands upraised. If working in a group choose who will invoke the Morrigan, while the rest of the group chants Ard banríon which is modern Gaelic for high or great queen (thanks Órfhlaith for that!. If you are doing a solitary ritual you may wish to spend a few minutes chanting after to saying the following invocation:
Who is the living land
Who is the heart of the tribe
Who dwells in the center of self
The torc of power, the honey mead cup you offer us
Great Queen come now to us!
When you are ready stand before the altar, saying:
We stand at the threshold, on the cusp of a new cycle
Where dark gives way to light
Where winter gives way to spring
The land is restored, what had been barren will produce fruit
What was dead shall be reborn anew
At this time of balance we come to renew ourselves
To draw forth strength from the land,
And to lend our strength to it in turn
Hold your hands over the stone. Close your eyes and take a deep breathe. See a light deep within the land beneath your feet. A light that radiates from the center of the planet, a fire that fills all living things, including yourself. See this light rising up, until it shines through the stone on the altar, filling it. When you are ready say:
Beneath the peaceful heavens lies the land.
Resting beneath the bowl of the bright sky.
The land lies, itself a dish, a cup of honeyed strength, there, for the taking,
Offering strength to each
There it lies, the splendor of the land.
The land is like a mead worth the brewing, worth the drinking.
It stores for us the gifts of summer even in winter.
It protects and armors us, a spear upon a shield (2)
Here is the strong place, at the center of our being, at the center of the land
Here is the Lia Fái
Here is the bestowing of sovereignty
May it be blessed nine times eternal!
Place the torc (or whatever you are using as a symbol of sovereignty) on the stone. If working in a group, place each participants item around the stone or have the items touching the stone in some way.
Take the cup and hold it above the altar. See the Morrigan filling it with her strength, imbuing it with the gift of sovereignty. When you are ready say:
I drink of the honey mead cup
I shed the husk of winter
A new balance is struck within and without
I drink of the strength of kings and queens
I drink deep of the Morrigu
Put the torc on, saying:
I take up the mantle of sovereignty
I embrace and am aligned with my truest Will
Place your hand on the rock. (If working in a group have participants place a hand on the ground.)
As it is with the king so it is with the land
As is with the queen so it is with the land
As I have been blessed, so I send me blessings out into the world
May my work be to my benefit and others!
Spend a few moments sending healing loving energy into the land that sustains us and into the world that we live in.
Thank the Morrigan and close the circle in whatever manner you wish. Leave an offering outside to both the Morrigan and the land. Bird seed or some other offering that would benefit the land around you would be appropriate.
(1) Based on text from the Yellow Book of Lecan, although the spear was originally described as for the killing of great champions
(2) Parts of this chant is taken from one of the poems spoke my the Morrigan. Poem B: Section 166, Lines 819 as translated by Chris Thompson which can be found here: 827http://storyarchaeology.com/2013/01/27/poems-of-the-morrigan/Interpretation