The British Druid Order › Forums › BDO Public Forum › do you know any standard services for the 8 celebrations? › Reply To: do you know any standard services for the 8 celebrations?
David has already posted what are generally considered to be the “standard” prayers and vows, the ones that are recognised by most groups.
As for a standardised set of prayers and rites, I don’t think any such thing really exists because there is no consensus among all the various modern druid groups with regard to the Wheel of the Year anyway. Furthermore, I believe many Celtic Reconstructionists only follow the four festivals: Imbolc, Bealtaine, Lúnasa and Samhain to be found in Gaelic tradition as they don’t consider the solar festivals to be “traditional” or “Celtic”. I’m not sure I necessarily agree with that position, but it is a position that many take.
Another problem you could run into is that there are so many divine figures from the various Celtic cultures, some overlapping and some not, that it would be difficult to standardise anything – what would you include and what not? Yet another issue could be that many druid tradition(s) place great emphasis on the spirits of the place, therefore these will naturally vary from place to place. For example, the landscape of my ancestors is dominated by rugged cliffs, moorland and the sea, not gentle, shady valleys with wooded groves, so that will inevitably affect the way they, and I, relate(d) to those places. Although the cycles of the seasons and the sun were of importance, undoubtedly, the cycles of the moon and the tides were of utmost importance to people whose survival depended very much on the sea.
Continuing the theme of spirits of the place, many British and Irish river names (and elsewhere) seem to be connected with female water spirits/nymphs/deities and folklore abounds with stories relating to female spirits in the waters – waters that, through archaeology, toponymy and folklore, we know were long held in reverence – and still are, so, for example, it may be appropriate (perhaps) to incorporate those depending on your geographical location, again, if you so choose.
My own view would be this: why not meditate upon each of the festivals that you choose to mark and see what wells up inside you? Map out your own sacred landscape where you live and see how that landscape and its seasons speak to you so that you can build your own wheel of the year around it?