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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ritual For The Pleiades: The Way Opening

We are reaching the time of year for the acronychal rising of the Pleiades, when they are on the eastern horizon just after full dark, or roughly about 9pm for my latitude, This coincides with the general time of the autumn equinox and I personally choose to celebrate my ritual for it on the equinox. In my constructed mythology this  When the time of the Opening of the Way Between Worlds, when the dead and Good Folk and Others have more freedom to move within our world. 
The Opening of the Way is the fourth and final ritual in the cycle I have been working on over the last year. I am planning to perform this ritual myself on Monday (the equinox) and hope that others will also do so and offer feedback on their own results. In the next year I will repeat the rituals I have created so far and make any necessary adjustments.
So, to the ritual itself.  The offering that I will be referring to and making in this ritual is one that I use when I am home and able to cook. It is a recipe that came to me in a dream once and which I have written about before, for small honey cakes that I call Cáca Síofra.   

Opening of the Way Between Worlds
There is no point when the way between worlds is closed but there are times when the ways are wider and narrower. Something like the tide, it ebbs and flows. Also there are places in our world that have been slowly cut off from Fairy, where that energy and influence have been pushed back by other powers. At certain times of year the way to Fairy narrows, the energy that can be felt in this world lessens a bit; at others most notably in my own experience the heliacal and acronychal rising of the Pleiades, this energy increases in ways that humans perceive. It's a palpable shift. This ritual is designed to invite in and encourage this energy and this opening. It is also intended to invite the energy of Fairy back into the places where it has been pushed out over the last thousand years or so. Re-aligning and righting the balance. 

I recommend doing this ritual close to full dark, ideally when the Pleiades have risen or are visible on the horizon.
Find a good space open beneath the sky where you can see the stars. If this is not possible due to weather concerns try to set up an altar near a window or perhaps arrange some appropriate artwork near your ritual space. If necessary this entire thing can be done as a visualization exercise. My own outdoor altar for ritual work usually contains space for offerings, water in an appropriate container, candles, and a token representing the Fairy Queen I honour.
Create sacred space as you see fit if you wish to. I usually do this now by moving counterclockwise around my space sprinkling water and chanting to open the way between worlds.
Invite in any Powers you wish to. This is not a ritual for named Gods unless they are explicitly associated with the Good People of one culture or another. This is a time to invite any goodly inclined spirits, allies, Fairy Queens or Kings, or Liminial Gods in. We invite, we don't invoke, evoke, or compel. They either come as we call or they don't.
I might say something like:
"I call to all goodly inclined spirits,
spirits of the land, spirits of the air,
Fair Folk who would be my friends,
Friendly ones who aid my liminal path,
Liminal gods, Fairy Queens and Kings,
My wonderous Lady ---,
Queen of stone and well,
I invite you all to join me here
As I honour the Opening
Of the Way Between Worlds"
After this is done wait a moment and observe. Use all your sense to note if there is any obvious response to your call. This may be obvious, such as the wind picking up or the temperature changing, or it may be a more subtle feeling of presence.  don't rush but wait until things feel settled.
"Tonight the Seven Queens rise in the east,
Standing on the horizon,
as daylight falls to night
Their eldritch blue light burns brightly
A signal fire calling us back to them
The Queens dance at the world's edge
between worlds, between time,
The way that has been narrowed
Is now a road, fair and broad
The door that stood cracked
Is now being pushed to fullness
The gates are open, may
They be opened wider
The Queens look upon the land
May they bless what they see"
Put out the offerings you have brought and pour out a bit of water.
"I offer sweet honey cakes [or whatever you are offering]
And pure clean water
To the queens
To the liminal gods
To those beings that
would aid me
to the spirits of air
and of earth"
At this point if there is anything else you would like to do in your ritual - sing, dance, chant, divination, meditate, journey - do it. When you feel ready to say goodbye, say:
"The Queens light up the sky
The way between worlds is open
Our worlds are intertwined
As they have been and will be
Praise to the Queens,
May they bless us
A good word to the Fairy Rade
May they cause us no harm"
Pour out the water that is left. Say
"May my words honour the Queens
May may actions honour the liminal Gods
May my allies stand with me
May there be peace between me
And the spirits of the air and earth
May there be friendship between me
And all goodly inclined spirits."
Take down your compass/circle or sacred space however you normally would. In my case here I'd walk it clockwise sprinkling a bit of earth or leaves and asking that the space be returned to its former state. Take down your altar.
Ritual Feast
Part of my own celebration will include a feast or ritual meal the following day. This is inline with some older practices that would see the night before as the beginning of the ritual date and the following day as its continuation and would incorporate ritual feasting into the process. My plan is to do the ritual itself at midnight but treat the following day as a holiday, with small gifts for my family and a big meal the next evening. A portion of that meal will be set aside and then left out as an additional offering. I will also look at taking omens the next morning.  

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