do you know any standard services for the 8 celebrations?

The British Druid Order Forums BDO Public Forum do you know any standard services for the 8 celebrations?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 26 total)
  • Author
  • #11105

      Do you know of any standard services for the 8 yearly celebrations, and do you know of any standard prayers that are said at druid gatherings.

      david poole

        One standard prayer was invented by Iolo Morganwyg and is used at Gorseddau and within Neodruidry. The translations originally were by Reverend John Williams and referred to God, modern variations can refer to God and Goddess or Spirit.

        Grant, oh Spirit, thy protection
        And in protection strength
        And in strength understanding
        And in understanding knowledge
        And in knowledge the knowledge of justice
        And in the knowledge of justice the love of it
        And in the love of it the love of all existences
        And in the love of all existences the love of Spirit and all goodness

        Another vow which is often made is:

        We swear, by peace and love to stand, heart to heart and hand in hand. Mark, oh spirits and hear us now, confirming this, our sacred vow.

        Apparently this came from Ross Nichols and the Universal Bond, and was first performed publicly upon Tower Hill in 1956 and is repeated three times with participants holding hands.

        Another thing which is quite common is chanting the awen three times, this can have variations such as I-A-O or I-A-O-M, the point is to use three sacred vowels to create a sacred word, resonating with energy.

        As for standard services, there should be celebrations of some kind at any sacred site at the right time of year and right time in the day, check your local pagan information for how to find these.


          Yeah, David, I am aware of that one, and it is used at the welsh poetry gatherings, and at most midsummer festivals, but that it not what I am talking about. What I think would be nice to to have like 8 standardized druid services, and the Celtic Gods or Goddesses that are honored at each turn of the spokes of the wheel. These standard services could be used for a map of what a service should be like, or just used for a quick guide. Also, I think that there was a prayer being said by the OBOD up on Glastonbury tor in the OBOD summer camp video, and I would love to know what that was, or see a copy of it. So, I think there are some real standardized things that lots of Neo pagans and druids are saying at the gatherings. Also, do you know which gods and goddesses are honored at each festival, like at Lunasa, Lugh is honored. I like the Ross Nichols universal bond that you found, and I was not aware of that and thanks for the info that I always find enlightening, Thanks BlueFalcon



            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?



              Dowrgi, I understanding exactly what you are saying, and those are good thoughts, and I agree with them. In contrast I am looking for the best of the best of the printed druids services. Some must be better than others.
              And I see the printed services as a template to make your own, or something to grab in a jam when you are short on time. I think the celebrations are important because they bring us closer to a relationship with the Celtic Gods and goddesses. And as I understand it, the goddesses like gifts like poems or songs, or maybe planting flowers or trees in their honor. I think we all like gifts, and gifts bring us closer to each other, like Christmas and birthday gifts. They are a way to show we love others and care about them. Even a birthday card to a relative who hates you can re-establish a relationship of honor and respect. However, I am really against giving cut flowers to a god because that is like giving a dead dog to a friend. Plants are living beings and the flower is the sexual part of the plant. I don’t think it is appropriate to give a dead plant’s sexual organs to a god or goddess. If there is a need to give flowers, then they should be living plants that are potted and have flowers on the plant, or better yet, plant some wildflowers in honor of the goddess. So ritualize it up and make some new friends with the Celtic Gods and goddesses.


                Well, if you have a look on the Druid Network page entitled Rites and Rituals, you’ll find a number of rites that have been submitted, including seasonal rites, by various groves and practitioners. Don’t forget that the third and fourth booklets of the first Bardic course module (Ritual and A Bardic Miscellany) have a lot of information about this too.

                Rites and Rituals


                david poole

                  In my experience BlueFalcon many pagans use the forms which I mentioned hence why I mentioned them, that doesn’t mean we all have to be restricted to these we can all do whatever we need to do or whatever a situation demands, but it helps to know what other people are doing and where they are coming from. I think Dowrgi has come up with a very good resource, the OBOD has some very complicated seasonal rituals which are worth following as a basic framework which you can adapt to your own needs. And of course the Bardic Grade course does go into ritual as a subject in some detail, which is worth taking a closer look at. Morgan Daimler and Halo Quin go into ritual in their books, many authors do this as well as you may well find something which suits you.


                    Ceremonies and rituals seem to be very important to the American Indians, and they use these for healing the spirit from things like anger, and cancer, and alcoholism. I wonder if druidry needs things like this, or if today’s modern druids even have the skills. Druidry was really wiped out in the UK by the Christian Church who had their fingers up everyone’s bum. And the UK is really not that large when you compare it to the size of America, or what should be renamed to ” the land that the whites stole from the Indians.” And it was easy for the church fanatics to ferret out witches and druids in the UK. but the U.S. Indians still retain a great deal of the primitive (what is really more advance) religion.
                    I feel that the American Indian religion is very close to Druidry in many respects. Remember, starting in about 14,000 or even earlier, correct me if I am wrong, the Church of England and the Catholic Church became dominate. Even Chaucer got scared of the church and the church came after him because they did not like the Satire of the church in the Canterbury Tales, and most of the copies of the tales were burnt by the church, but for the angels of literature, two copies were saved, which is a gift from heaven, because it would have been a major world loss to not have the Canterbury Tales which I treasure. The American Indians talk about things that happened and were given to the Indians before the world was even created, so they have a different perspective on historical time. And they see the sacred in all things, like I wish that the druids would see, and take a firm stand on. It is hard to be a druid when no one will commit to any standard beliefs, and so many Neo-pagans are ashiest or just party goers, and would rather follow Egyptian gods than the Celtic Gods. I feel that the American Indians would understand me and not make fun of my beliefs or think I was on drugs for the things I believe. And the American Indians also believe in the faery people. And they also think that animals have souls and that we are brother and sisters with the animals and that the animals can teach us things and that we should have a relationship with the spirit of the land. Does not all this sound similar to being a druid. they also have a belief in the great spirit, the creator. Do we have anything like that in Druidry. I think we have all been so brainwashed by the Christian Church that it is difficult to see through the lens of any other religion. And many druids don’t seem to care, and are more interested in the beer tent. But think about it for a minute. Druids have gatherings and turn up the loud electric music. Does anyone really think that the faeries and the animals really want to listen to loud electric music. I mean should not our gatherings be no electric and very sacred ceremonies. Look, I understand why the modern druids want to turn up the music and party, and the gatherings bring lots of people to druidry, and I say do as thou will as long as it harms none, Ok, so I am not telling anyone what or how to be a druid, and I would never do that, because people would throw beer bottles at me, especially Neo pagans, But I am just saying, could we as druids be more sacred? Could we be more respectful when we deal with the great spirit, the spirit of the land, the spirit of the Celtic Gods and goddesses. Anyway, I feel that the American Indians would get the kind of stuff I am saying and go, yes, BlueFalcon, we understand you, you who sits above here and there. I mean, if not the American Indian shamans, where can we as druids rediscover the primitive religion of druidry, and not let druidry be a modern projection of the past by re-in-actors who may consist of modern psychologist, or historians, or christian ministers playing hooky from church, or atheist, or spiritual explores, or nationalist, or any and every other type of person. And I have found that the historians love to argue their theories on who and what the Celtic goddesses are, like who is the Goddess Ceridwen. They hate it when I say she is a grain goddess and get all their knickers in a twist, because some professor wrote a paper in the past that said he had officially debunked such nonsense. I mean these history dudes love to argue a point, and my take is that most of them are wrong because they are going false premises. I think the only way to really know what these gods or goddesses are is to form a relationship with them. Then I think these history professors would find out that what they thought and what the real story on the goddess Ceridwen are two different things. And how can you really be a druid without a relationship with the Celtic Gods and Goddesses and the otherworld and the animal spirits and the faery race? I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. I do get respecting all peoples views. but I would like to hear their views on druidry, and not just some silent tacit agreement. that makes no sense. I find that druids on these online groups are afraid to speak out their views because they will find peer pressure silencing them and they dare not question the leaders who are in authority. Druids often say they are against dogma, but get raging mad if you question what their leaders say druidry is. In conclusion, I say speak, be creative, go with awen, don’t follow leaders, and it is starting to look to me like we as druids have a great deal to learn from the North American Indians. 1000s blessings BlueFalcon


                      The peoples of Britain and Ireland have healing traditions going back millennia – Stonehenge was also a place of healing and there seems even to be archaeological evidence to support this. The other megalithic sites around these isles are still considered places of healing along with the holy wells, springs and other special places. The bones of a teenage boy from around 1500 BCE were analysed and shown (according to the analysis) to be of an individual from the Mediterranean area, which may lend weight to this being a place of pilgrimage, the renown of which was known far beyond these shores. If you’re interested, look up the “Boy with the amber necklace – Stonehenge”.

                      The death blow to druidism in Britain was dealt by the pagan Romans, not by any Christian church as such. On the contrary, legend and folklore would have Jesus visiting the British Isles with Joseph of Arimathea, in which case they would certainly have met pagan Britons and quite likely druids. However, that is legend that cannot be proven and upon which many would cast doubt. Nevertheless, it’s also unwise to attack Christianity wholesale – especially given the historical context of Celtic Christianity and the golden age of Celtic civilisation and culture on the western fringes of Europe. Had it not been for the Celtic monks, we would know even less of our ancient roots and in many cases, they did a good job of preserving and syncretising it.

                      The Church of England as such only came into being in 1534 when Henry VIII couldn’t get his marriage annulled. There was no Church of England in 1400. Prior to that the Catholic Church had been the only church in the British Isles for over a thousand years or more. And in relation to Geoffrey Chaucer, to be honest, I’ve never heard any of that and I doubt its accuracy given the position that Chaucer held and the fact that he actually died in 1400 before the Canterbury Tales were completed. One of the (surprisingly) many remaining manuscripts of Chaucer’s work actually belonged to Henry IV, King of England. Chaucer’s critique of the church of the times, it has to be said, was popular among fledgling “protestant” movements, so that is the only factor of which I know that may have come into play, but this was after his death. All that being said, Chaucer was a devout 14th century Christian and a Catholic.

                      As for the numerous Native American spiritualities and traditional belief systems, I personally believe they belong to Native Americans and we should be careful not to appropriate what is not ours unless Native Americans themselves decide to share it with us and on their own terms. We also have our own rich traditions, and in terms of Celtic-speaking communities, we are also trying to save, conserve and protect what remains because so much has been lost.



                        Don’t have a Cow Dowgri, Calmy Doony, but do feel free to express your thoughts. I am pretty sure that Chief Greywolf got his name after attending a Native American Indian Ceremony. And I am pretty sure that the BDO is into Shamanism. So, if we don’t look to the Native American Indians, where do we look to find druid Shamanism? As for Chaucer, I am right on that one, The catholic church, who have been caught having perverted pedophiles for priest, tried to wipe out all copies of the Canterbury tales because of the satire of people like the monk. Further, fat King Henry the 8th, if he did have a copy, it would have been copied from one of the last two copies remaining, but I doubt fat Henry read much after being hit in the head at a jousting tournament. The monks you talk about were in the 10th century, and were only loosely under church control, but by the 13 and 14 centuries, the church was back sticking their greedy fingers up all the celts bums, and they were well under way burning witches. The only ones who killed less witches that Elizabeth was King James and Henry. These people created some real bad karma for themselves. And then there is Ireland, the emerald Isle, that it took the church a while to get to because there is a small sea between Ireland and England, but when the church got there, they went to work starving and killing the irish and destroying their native culture, and going back on everything that St. Patrick had told the druids about Christianty. And if we don’t look to the Native Americans for clues on what primitive spirituality is, then where do we look? Africa? Egypt? I am not saying that druids should practice native american spirituality, I am saying we would do well by learning from them. And the druid boy is interesting but it does not much help modern druids fight cancer, or drug addiction

                        Traditional Cherokee song to the Great Spirit

                        We n’ de ya ho,
                        We n’ de ya ho
                        We n’ de ya,
                        We n’ de ya
                        Ho, ho ho ho ho
                        He ya ho he ya
                        Ya ya ya


                          Shamanism is a word of Tungusic origin, so there are people who don’t even feel it’s appropriate to apply it outside of those cultural areas, however, if we are using English, then we are somewhat stuck with the word, although I would prefer to use the appropriate indigenous words if we’re speaking about a given culture specifically. Nevertheless, if we accept the definition of a shaman as being an intermediary between the worlds in a given animist tradition, we can find such traditions all over the world and throughout history including the native British/Welsh awenyddion, just for example.

                          Regarding Chaucer, I don’t know where you got those ideas from or who told you, but I strongly doubt that about Chaucer and I would have to see some kind of evidence to convince me otherwise. On his death, Chaucer was actually living within the grounds of Westminster and was buried next to the Lady Chapel, if I’m not mistaken; this would hardly have been the case had he been considered a heretic. The extant copy to which I referred belonged to Henry IV, not Henry VIII, and there are actually a large number of original manuscripts remaining, surprising given the times and the ravages of the subsequent centuries. Henry VIII, old tyrant as he was, was also a highly educated man of the Renaissance and, among other things, wrote in Latin and composed music.

                          The monks of the Christian orders were under church control because otherwise they would not have been monks, would they? In fact, the religious orders in Ireland existed long before Viking attacks or the Anglo-Norman incursion of 1169, when your man Diarmait Mac Murchada invited the Normans over to help him get the Kingdom of Leinster back. During the golden age of the “Celtic Saints”, the Irish monasteries were such great centres of learning that they actually sent missionaries to the rest of Europe, as far afield as Italy.

                          As for witchcraft, it was only a capital offence in England from the mid-16th century and under Elizabeth I, only prosecutable if some harm could be proven to have been done. Relatively few people were tried and executed for witchcraft in Britain in Ireland in comparison to the rest of Europe, especially in Ireland, throughout the period and the so-called “witch craze” was more a phenomenon of the 17th century, that is to say, after Elizabeth I’s reign. Let’s not forget that Elizabeth I had her own court astrologer and magician, Sir John Dee, and that her own mother, Anne Boleyn, had been beheaded on trumped-up charges against her.

                          If we’re following a Bardic course, accepting that bards were the keepers of tradition, the recorders of history and genealogy as well as preservers of that tradition, then I think we must strive to fact check and make sure that the claims we make are accurate and true. Unfortunately, the Internet is just filled with utter rubbish, badly-sourced, inaccurate or just plain wrong information and we need to be aware of that and address it with what we do.

                          Concerning Native American spiritualities, there is nothing wrong with learning from any culture if one’s learning is sincere, however, there’s a lot of stuff out there that’s just made up nonsense and that many Native American spiritual leaders have stood up and spoken out against because they find it offensive and hurtful – especially because of their historical experience as victims of colonial expansion.

                          In terms of Celtic spirituality, there’s also a lot of stuff out there that’s very dubious and which does nothing to help the Celtic cultures of today, cultures that are struggling for their very survival. My own opinion is that it’s harmful to those cultures who are indeed battling to revive or maintain their languages and traditions. We, as followers of the druid path(s), need to be aware of this and not inadvertently become part of the problem.

                          Let’s not forget our motto – y gwir yn erbyn y byd.




                            Stay calm Sir Dowgri, The catholic church tried to wipe out Chaucer’s book at the end of Chaucer’s life. There had been a political change, but after Chaucer’s death copies were found and printed on Caxton’s press. I was amazed at how little of this can be found online. So I refer you to Riverside Chaucer Edition, my favorite. For the history of the book. The early church did preserve some celtic stories, but also put their spin on them. Taliesin was not at the cross of Jesus during the passion. That is just an unbelievable concept, along with Jesus visiting England. Please. And the problem is that so little real spiritual lessons are in what we do have of the Celtic literature. So that is why I say that the only way to be a druid is form a relationship with the celtic gods and goddess and the faery people, and from their discover the spiritual side of druidry, all else is just 60s and 70s counterculture, with some psychology thrown in, and a dose of new age. If we are to return to a druid spirituality, we will have to have ways to deal with the spiritual life druids, and not just superficial re-enacting. We will need ceremonies to heal people from disease, and drug addiction. We will need contact with the Celtic Gods and Goddesses. Just being ecologically minded is not enough. The Celtic Gods and Goddesses call out to us to regain our spiritual power and healing. And it is difficult for people who have been brainwashed by Christianity to find their way home.


                              Stay calm Sir Dowgri, The catholic church tried to wipe out Chaucer’s book at the end of Chaucer’s life. There had been a political change, but after Chaucer’s death copies were found and printed on Caxton’s press. I was amazed at how little of this can be found online. So I refer you to Riverside Chaucer Edition, my favorite. For the history of the book.

                              Then you’ll be able to provide an unequivocal a verifiable source for your claim. I am familiar with the edition you mention, I’ve just had a look and I can’t find a reference to what you’re claiming. I’m not sure what political change you mean, Henry IV outlived Chaucer and was succeeded by Henry V, his son, who reigned until 1422 and was in turn succeeded by Henry VI who reigned until 1461 and then again from 1470-71. Caxton’s printing of Chaucer wasn’t until three quarters of a century after Chaucer’s death, in fact, William Caxton himself was only born 22 years after Chaucer had died.

                              As for the legends about Jesus and Joseph of Arimathea, why should one legend be any more believed or less than an other when we are in the realms of myth? Whatever, they are part of our traditions and our folklore and go back a long time. Here we also need to be careful, because which bits of which particular myth or legend do we then accept if we reject the other? Keeping in the same vein, the works attributed to Taliesin blend themes from the pre-Christian past, Christianity and the Classical world within the context of a Medieval Welsh court which is probably exactly the way it would have been and with which the people themselves wouldn’t have had a problem.

                              And the problem is that so little real spiritual lessons are in what we do have of the Celtic literature.

                              Gaelic literature, the third oldest vernacular literature in Europe, has left libraries full of material. There’s a lot and there’s plenty of spirituality, myth, mysticism and philosophy ready to be found.



                                Dear Dowrgi, I don’t live in the world of myth, I live in the Celtic Otherworld. Implying something is mythic is to see things as not real. In the Celtic Otherworld the Gods and Goddesses and faery are real as you and I. Yes there are many Celtic stories, but most of them are about the Celtic Otherworld, and at best only give a quick view through the mist of what it is like and some inkling of how to get there, maybe a signpost or two. I have a difficult time remembering any real stories that have spiritual lesson in them. Perhaps you could point some out, and refresh my memory. Are there any Celtic sermons on the mount? or parables in the myths that can teach us some profound lesson of how we as druids can live a better spiritual life. I have noticed that most Neo Pagans turn to modern psychology for clues to better ways to living and dealing with stress and disease. I am not a Neo Pagan. Garr Gomm is an Awesome psychologist, and I like his psychology self help, but is that really druidry? I invite you to step through the hedge into the Celtic otherworld. You seem to understand all this stuff, just make the next step, it is only a thin veil away.
                                Don’t be afraid. The Celtic Gods and Goddesses are waiting for you, and want to have a deeper relationship with you. Maybe a ceremony to them could get the ball rolling, hopefully a shinty ball. best Sir William


                                  Sir Dowgri, I think you will find what you are looking for here, it is free on amazon prime

                                  Chaucer: Road To Canterbury
                                  1h 59min

                                  Included with Prime

                                  Geoffrey Chaucer’s life to middle age, He survived the Black Death as a child, and become actively involved in the 100 Years War, the war that was to leave England devastated. Despite all these catastrophes, English literature went though a short Renaissance, and the program considers the leading role that Chaucer was to play in it. Terry Jones (Monty Python) stars.

                                Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 26 total)
                                • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.