“Gifts of Awen”

My latest musical composition, which I now sing as part of my daily devotions:

I have not yet added back up instrumentals, as I typically sing this while walking the land, after morning prayers. With that in mind, this one might forever remain a simple vocal tune. I will consider adding layers at a later date.

If you like the song, and would like to download a copy of the sheet music for your personal, private, non-commercial use, you may do so here:

“Gifts of Awen” by Larisa Ananda White

Enjoy!

First Rains Dance

Darned inconvenient when the First Rains arrive in the very wee hours of the morning, when singing and dancing loudly out-of-doors will get you reported for disturbing the peace. So, we waited for first light, and tried to sing quietly, and muffle our laughter and squeaks of joy, as we danced in celebration of the healing power of Gwyar…

Today, we dance
The Return of the Rains,
Quenching the fires,
Cleansing the panes.
We dance for the hope
Blessed Simurgh has brought,
With the flow of clear water
Her magic has wrought.

Praise Simurgh, Spirit of Transformation,
Breaker, re-maker of all creation,
Bringer of Holy Wisdom and growth,
Endings, beginnings, despair, and hope!

Daily Devotions

(Pause at the edge of the ritual space to quiet the mind, ground the body, and open the spirit to the presence of Divinity. Open the altar cabinet doors OR step out into the garden, at dawn.)

I enter the Sacred Grove with reverence.
I enter the Sacred Grove in peace.

(Visualize the Sacred Grove, materializing.)

(Salute the East.)

Peace and greetings to the East,
Birthplace of the rushing winds,
Where the golden eagle soars at dawn,
With gifts of vision, scent, and song.

(Salute the South.)

Peace and greetings to the South,
Pathway of our brilliant sun,
Whose soothing warmth and plays of light
Encourage us and bring delight.

(Salute the West.)

Peace and greetings to the West,
Wellspring of the mighty Sea,
Whose fog banks and rain clouds, rivers, and tides
Cleanse and refresh us, and nourish all life.

(Salute the North.)

Peace and greetings to the North,
Homeland of the ancient trees,
And patient, radiant Shasta Mountain,
Teaching us to simply be.

May there be peace within the Grove;
May there be peace throughout the World.

(Light the gold candle OR greet Dyéus in gesture.)

Praise Dyéus, Father of Law and Light,
Source of inspiration and sight,
Lord of the shining celestial sphere,
Master of Life and Spirit, here!

(Light the green candle OR greet Matria in gesture.)

Praise Matria, Mother of manifest Earth,
Churning power of heat and birth,
Builder of landscapes, shaper of seas,
Keeper of hearths, and all makers, and Sidhe!

(Light the blue candle OR greet Simurgh in gesture.)

Praise Simurgh, Spirit of Transformation,
Breaker, Re-maker of all creation,
Bringer of Holy Wisdom and growth,
Healing, diversity, awe, and hope!

In the union of these Three
Powers of Divinity,
Are born the Kindred, we jewels of life,
Who fill the world with blessings bright.

(Light the white hearth-candle OR bring hands to heart.)

Awen!

(Visualize a stream of golden energy emanating from the Heavens — filling my body with light, shimmering, starshine, as if my body were turning into a body of sunlight.)

Awen!

(Visualize a stream of green energy emanating from deep within the Earth — filling my body with earthy weight and stability, as if my body were becoming a mountain.)

Awen!

(Visualize a swirling stream of blue energy emanating from the vast, roiling Seas — filling my body with a sense of the immanent power of change.)

(Allow the three energies to mix within me, creating a shining ball of white light, which expands to fill the Sacred Grove.)

(Open hands to the wider world, allowing that energy to radiate outwards, showering blessings upon all Beings in the Realms of Land, Sea, and Sky.)

Grant us, O Holy Ones, thy protection;
and in protection, healing;
and in healing, strength;
and in strength, understanding;
and in understanding, wisdom;
and in wisdom, justice;
and in justice, the love of it;
and in that love, the love of all existences;
and in the love of all existences,
the power to heal, and bless your world,
that all may find comfort and peace in my presence.

Deep within the still center of my being, may I find peace;
Here, within the quiet of the Grove, may I share peace;
Gently, within the greater circle of all life, may I radiate peace.

Awen! Awen! Awen!

Sing: “Gifts of Awen”

(Morning nature divination & meditations.)

Dyéus, Father of Inspiration;
Matria, Mother of all Creation;
Simurgh, Spirit of Transformation;
Spirits of Nature, one and all:

Thank you for your steady presence, and guidance in my life.

I depart the Sacred Grove with gratitude;
I depart the Sacred Grove, in peace.

(Allow the Sacred Grove visualization to dissipate. If at altar, snuff the candles and close the altar cabinet doors. Depart the ritual space, slowly, returning to the normal course of the day.)

Prayer to the Kindred

Hael, my Kindred of the Land,
From jagged peak to silty strand!
Hael to the mosses and lichens that grow,
Turning rough, barren rock into soils, below.
Hael to the flowers and food plants and glades,
And old growth that offers up shelter and game.
Hael to the animals, teachers and friends,
And fungi who work to recycle all ends.

Hael, my Kindred of the Sea,
From mountain spring to ocean deep!
Hael to the seashore, its currents and tides,
Its wetlands and fishes, and seaweeds and fry.
Hael to the snowfields, and rivers that flow,
Cleansing and shaping the landscape below.
Hael to the wellsprings, and soft-falling rains,
Which nourish all life, and soothe all our pains.

Hael, my Kindred of the Sky,
From puff of cloud, to starry night!
Hael to the sun and its rich, golden dawn,
Its brilliant noon sunshine, and comforting warmth.
Hael to the songbirds, and sweet-scented breeze,
To rainbows and sunsets, and shade from the trees.
Hael to the glittering planets and stars,
Who teach us and guide us by lighting the dark.

Kindred Spirits of Land, Sea, and Sky,
Thank you for sharing, and blessing my life.
Spirits of Nature, here on Earth,
Be welcome at my Sacred Hearth!

Awen! Awen! Awen!

Rituals for the Vernal Equinox

Here in the central Coast Range Mountains of California, where I live, the Wheel of the Year is quite different from most other places in which Druidry is typically practiced. In order for my personal practice of Druidry to authentically connect with the land, sea, and sky with which I live, it was necessary to rewrite the Wheel of the Year and develop a completely new set of seasonal rituals, which honored our local spirits of place, and the wisdom embodied by the natural seasons and cycles, found here.

The following activities are those which I perform on the day of the Vernal Equinox (or thereabouts), typically at a beautiful coastal location, where we can wade in the warmish-waters of the Pacific Ocean, and enjoy tide-pooling and a picnic on the beach, before the icy upwelling of Summer spoils all the fun.


FLOWER SEASON READ-ALOUD

I/We come to the Sacred Grove today, to celebrate the Vernal Equinox, a time of balance between darkness and light that is shared by all living beings on Earth. It is also a time of dramatic change in weather, all over the world. This shared experience, of perfect balance coupled with rapid change serves to unite all beings of planet Earth, despite our many differences.

Here in the Coast Range mountains of Northern California, spring is the Season of Flowers. As the sun continues its journey northward, toward its summer home, the surface waters of the ocean warm up, and the land warms up, and the green hills come alive with color, as the wildflower season reaches its peak. Skies turn sunny and clear, and blue, as the rainy season begins to fade.

At this moment in time, we in the Coast Range Mountains of California celebrate the unbridled beauty of spring, the explosion of wildflowers blooming on the hills, and the myriad trees and bushes simply dripping with flowers – promising bountiful future harvests: pink-flowering currants, blueberry and manzanita berries, plums and apples, lemon, lime, and orange blossoms, and the wild lilacs, all purple, blue, and white, buzzing with the delighted symphony of thousands of pollenating, nectar-sipping bees.

This is the time to acknowledge and celebrate the unbidden blessings that bring joy to our lives, and as is right and proper in Nature’s gift economy, to share those blessings with others who cross our paths.


FLOWER SEASON – SONG

Sing “Spring Has Now Unwrapped the Flowers”
(a traditional, 13th Century Beltane carol):


FLOWER SEASON – ACTIVITIES

Weave flower garlands and crowns, and distribute them to random passers-by, spreading the unbidden blessings, and joy of the season.

Have each person in attendance describe an unbidden blessing in their life, for which they are grateful for, today.

Host a spring picnic on the beach, complete with wading, rock-scrambling, tide-pooling, and sand-castle building or beach-art activities.

And, even if (as it did this year) the beach excursion gets rained out, you can still celebrate, at home, and get outside a bit, between the raindrops, for sharing smiles…