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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Blessing the Growing Season


Preparing seeds to plant in the spring was something that was approached with great solemnity and ritual. The seeds to be planted would be sprinkled with water, in a sunwise motion, while a blessing charm was recited (Carmichael, 1900). This was done on a Friday, as it was seen as the day best for any action not needing the use of an iron tool (Carmichael, 1900). Interestingly Friday is also the day that the Good Neighbors were thought to be most active - they who are said to abhor iron - and in Irish belief the growth and success of crops is intertwined with the favorable interactions of the Good People.
  As we move into spring and get ready to plant this year's seeds, I'm offering a pagan version of a planting prayer from the Carmina Gadelica. It includes within it actions to be taken while saying it and ends with a mention of a blessing charm and divination act to be done at harvest time. I hope you may get some use from it.

Blessing the Seeds
I will go out to sow the seed,
In the names of the spirits of the land;
I will face boldly into the wind,
And throw a gracious handful on high.
Should a seed fall on a bare rock,
It will have no soil to help it grow;
The seed that falls into the earth,
The dew will make it full.
Friday, auspicious day,
The dew will come down to welcome
Every seed that lay in sleep
Since the coming of the merciless cold;
Every seed will take root in the earth,
With the blessing of the Good People,
The seedling will come forth with the dew,
It will inhale life from the soft wind.
I will come round with my step,
I will go rightways with the sun,
In name of the Goddess of the land,
In name of Gods of my people.
Blessing for abundance and health,
Be giving growth and kindly substance
To every thing that is in my ground,
Till the harvest day comes.
On the day the autumn equinox arrives
,
Beneficent day,
I will put my sickle round about
The root of my plants as is needed;
I will lift the first cut quickly;
I will put it three turns round my head,
Saying my rune as I do,
My back to the airt of the north;
My face to the fair sun of power.
I shall throw the handful far from me,
I shall close my eyes twice,
Should it fall in one bunch
My harvest will be productive and lasting;
No old woman will come with bad times
To ask charity from us to take our luck,
Neither rough storms nor frowns will come
Nor stint nor hardship shall be on us.

The original is as follows:


THE CONSECRATION OF THE SEED 88
I WILL go out to sow the seed,
In name of Him who gave it growth;
I will place my front in the wind,
And throw a gracious handful on high.
Should a grain fall on a bare rock,
It shall have no soil in which to grow;
As much as falls into the earth,
The dew will make it to be full.
Friday, day auspicious,
The dew will come down to welcome
Every seed that lay in sleep
Since the coming of cold without mercy;
Every seed will take root in the earth,
As the King of the elements desired,
The braird will come forth with the dew,
It will inhale life from the soft wind.
I will come round with my step,
I will go rightways with the sun,
In name of Ariel and the angels nine,
In name of Gabriel and the Apostles kind.
Father, Son, and Spirit Holy,
Be giving growth and kindly substance
To every thing that is in my ground,
Till the day of gladness shall come.
The Feast day of Michael, day beneficent,
I will put my sickle round about
The root of my corn as was wont;
I will lift the first cut quickly;
I will put it three turns round
My head, saying my rune the while,
My back to the airt of the north;
My face to the fair sun of power.
I shall throw the handful far from me,
I shall close my two eyes twice,
Should it fall in one bunch
My stacks will be productive and lasting;
No Carlin will come with bad times
To ask a palm bannock from us,
What time rough storms come with frowns
Nor stint nor hardship shall be on us.


Reference:
Carmichael. A., (1900). Carmina Gadelica

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