A River Bathing Rite for Pilgrimaging Irish Polytheists

A River Bathing Rite for Pilgrimaging Irish Polytheists November 6, 2019

I’m planning a walking pilgrimage soon from the political center of my state to the magical center of my state to create a magical circuit. I will cross many rivers along the way so I spent the time making a river bathing rite to perform in all the major waterways I cross along the way. I was also asked by the leader of the Irish Paganism discord server for a river bathing rite at the same time. Here is what I came up with.

The prayer here is a modified version of the charm in the Carmina Gadelica Vol 1 #24. The modification rests on the idea that divine rivers are seen to flow from the milky way itself, the celestial river.

Need list:

  1. Flower petals
  2. Fire/Candle/Lamp
  3. Eco safe river offerings
  4. Pan

Stating the Purpose:

Go dtugtar onóir do na ndéithe. (Guh JCHUGtar ON-oh-ir duh nuh NAY-heh)
Go raibh onóir do na ndéithe. (Guh roh ON-oh-ir duh nuh NAY-heh)

We are here to honor the gods.
May the gods be honored.

We are here purify ourselves and receive the blessings of the gods.

Light the candle, place it on the shore in a safe place.

Inviting beings.

Throw flower petals from local flowers into the water making it an intended place for hospitable exchange.

Invite your tutelary and patron deities if any, the local river spirit in your own words.

Making offerings to the water

Make sure any beings invited receive their own offering. Choose them based on your knowledge and experience, but also their eco-friendliness first and foremost.


Say this prayer while filling your pan with palmfuls of water. Pour it over your head at the end. Repeat as many times as necessary.

Milky rill river running,
Pouring downward supernal rain,
Blessings falling upon my rite,
Cleansing only holy remains.
A palm for wisdom,
A palm for increase,
A palm for my share,
The three palmfuls,
Of the Kindred Three,
To preserve me
From every envy,
Evil eye and death;
The palmful of the White Cow, the Shannon, The [local river],
The palmful of the Bridgets of Fire,
The palmful of the Phantom Queens,
Three Triunes Of Fate.

Main Sacrifice

I give myself as sacrifice for holy work, I give myself as a living gift to the gods.

Dunk yourself fully.

Take Omen

Pray with silence. Quiet your body, quiet your heart emptied of emotion, and quiet your mind, just focus on listening to what you hear and seeing the nothingness behind your closed eyes. The things you hear and notions you conceive or things you see are messages from the River spirit.

Chanting the Ogham Kennings

To bring about change, chant the word ogham the Bríatharogham. To sweep something away, chant the kenning in Irish for broom, to sweep away the issue. To guard your wealth, chant the kennings for the milk-pale ogham. It’s as simple as that. Build energy, visualization, and emotion for greater success.

Other Work

If you’ve got an animal that is sick, you can perform stuff like the Incantation of the red water in the Carmina Gaedelica Vol II Eolas 180. Address other needs as needed here before thanking the beings and leaving the space.

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