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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Baby Blessing

I'm having a rough time this week with migraines as the weather is changing, so instead of not blogging at all, I decided to offer a published (but under my copyright) piece that might still be of some interest.
A Baby Blessing Ritual

   The child should be dressed in something beautiful and meaningful for the family. If indoors a small altar can be created with a candle (triple wicked if possible) and a bowl of sacred water, as well as something representing a tree. These symbolize the three Celtic realms of land, sea, and sky that form the bedrock of our world and were used to swear oaths in ancient times. If outdoors the altar should be prepared in front of a tree and contain the candle and water. The officiant should walk three times sunwise around the altar holding the infant and chanting:
"Once for Danu, mother of the people of peace,
We go around the path of the sun, beloved one

Once for Lugh, many skilled god,
We go around the path of the sun, beloved one

Once for those who have gone before,
We go around the path of the sun, beloved one

To aid you from the Fairy-kin
To guard you from the Host

To aid you from the Fairy-hound
To shield you from the specter

To keep you under the mantle of the Gods
To shield you, to surround you,

To save you from powers that threaten
To fill you with blessed imbas*

Three times round we go
To wash you in inspiration."

   The child should then be passed (with extreme care!) over the candle flame to the father, back across the flame to the officiant, and then across a third time back to the mother. (If the infant is wearing anything long or flowing I would put the candle on the ground for this part to ensure maximum safety). The officant should then pick up the bowl of water and dipping their fingers in should drip water onto the child's forehead for each line of the following:
"A little wave for your form,
A little wave for your voice,
A little wave for your sweet speech.

A little wave for your means,
A little wave for your generosity,
A little wave for your appetite.

A little wave for your wealth,
A little wave for your life,
A little wave for your health.

Nine little waves for you
By land, sea, and sky
In the names of the Gods of my people
the spirits of the Otherworld,
and the ancestors whose blood lives within you."

The remaining water should be poured out at the roots of a tree, and the gathered family and well-wishers should feast and celebrate.

* imbas is an Old Irish word that means inspiration or knowledge
   This ritual is based off of material from the Carmina Gadelica volume 3 by Alexander Carmichael, adapted and paganized. The ritual is used by the Druid Order of the White Oak and may be used by anyone or reprinted with proper attribution to the author. It was previously published in CWPN's the Wiccan Read and can be found on White Oak's website.

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