Spring Equinox Ritual for Children

Spring Equinox Ritual for Children March 10, 2017

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAWith all the Pagan parenting posts lately, I feel like now is a good time to post a kid-centric ritual. This is done in the style of Ár nDraíocht Féin, a polytheistic Druid organization. When doing ritual for children, allow lots of time for children to ask questions and experience in their own way – this is way more important than following the script.

A Children’s Spring Equinox Ritual
Supplies:
Fire, Well, and Tree symbols
Kindred representations
Offerings for Earth Mother, Gatekeeper, Fire, Well, Tree, Ancestors, Gods, and Nature Spirits
lots of birdseed, enough for a couple handfuls for each child
Snack
Pitcher of water
Little cups

Initiating the Rite:
Children can form a processional, or just gather around the fire and sing.

“Here we are Together” – to the tune of “The More We Get Together”
“Oh, here we are together, together, together,
oh here we are together to love the Kindreds.
For your friends are my friends
and my friends are your friends
and we all are here together to love the Kindreds.”

Purificiation:
Each child gets a chance to wash their hands in the bowl of water.

“Just like we wash our hands before we eat to keep dirt and germs out of our bodies, we wash ourselves before we come to ritual too. Not only are we washing away whatever is on our hands, but we also want to wash away the bad feelings in our hearts, like being afraid or feeling hurt, or worrying too much. Imagine that all those bad feelings are just like dirt on your hands, and as you wash them in the water, all those things are washed away just like the dirt.”

Statement of Purpose:
“Spring is coming! The weather is getting warmer outside, and now it mostly rains instead of snowing. Have you noticed that the sun might already be awake when you get up? And it’s staying up later and later each night, too. Pagans like to celebrate this time of year because it’s so exciting to see new green grass growing, little shoots of flowers coming up from the ground, and lots of birds coming back to our home! At this time of the year, many Pagans believe that the world around us is waking up and celebrating the winter going away. This is very exciting, because it means that the weather will get even warmer, and the plants around us will grow tall and green! Today, we’re going to celebrate the earth waking up and giving things energy to grow.

Do you like presents? Just like we give our family presents at Christmas or on their birthdays, we like to give our Ancestors and the Gods and nature spirits presents too! We will invite many spirits to our ritual today, and give lots of presents, and you all will get a turn! The first Goddess we give a present to is the Earth Mother, because She gives us a home to live on.”

Honoring the Earth Mother:
Pick a child to give the offering to the Earth Mother. Have everyone shout “Welcome Earth Mother!” as the offerings are given.

Recreating the Cosmos:
Pick children to give offerings to the Fire, Well, and Tree.
“The Fire, the Well, and the Tree are powerful symbols – the fire burns in the heavens, the water runs deep in the underworld, and the tree goes through our world and reaches to both of them. We’re going to sing a song to honor these symbols, and as we do we will give them presents just like we gave to the Earth Mother!”

“Children’s Hallows Song” – to the tune of “This Little Light of Mine”
“This sacred fire of mine, look how bright it shines,
this sacred fire of mine, look how bright it shines,
this sacred fire of mine, look how bright it shines,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

This holy well in me, dark and very deep,
this holy well in me, dark and very deep,
this holy well in me, dark and very deep,
very deep, very deep, very deep.

This sacred tree of mine, it grows up so high,
this sacred tree of mine, it grows up so high,
this sacred tree of mine, it grows up so high,
up so high, up so high, up so high.”

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAOpening the Gates:
Choose a child to give an offering to the Gatekeeper.
“Now that we’ve sung about the Fire, the Well, and the Tree, we want those symbols to be like big doors, called Gates, into their worlds. This is big magic, and we will ask the Gatekeeper to help us do it. Let’s give the Gatekeeper a present since we’re going to ask for their help! Everyone shout “welcome Gatekeeper! Come and help us!”

Now that the Gatekeeper is here we can open those big doors into the other worlds. Everyone shout “Let the Gates open!”

Inviting the Kindreds:
Choose three children to give offerings to the Kindreds.

“Children’s Kindreds Song” – to the tune of “Mr. Moon”
“Oh spirits of the land, land, spirits of the land,
won’t you please come here with me?
Oh spirits of the land, land, spirits of the land,
won’t you please come here with me?
These little children are asking you
to please come here so we can be with you.
Oh spirits of the land, land, spirits of the land,
won’t you please come here with me?

Oh mighty Gods, Gods, bright and shining Gods,
won’t you please come here with me?
oh mighty Gods, Gods, bright and shining Gods,
won’t you please come here with me?
These little children are asking you
to please come here so we can play with you.
Oh mighty Gods, Gods, bright and shining Gods,
won’t you please come here with me?

Oh ancestors, ancestors, my dear ancestors,
won’t you please come here with me?
Oh ancestors, ancestors, my dear ancestors,
won’t you please come here with me?
These little children are asking you
to please come here so we can be with you,
oh ancestors, ancestors, my dear ancestors,
won’t you please come here with me?”

Offerings/Seasonal Customs:
Have each child hold out their hands and pour a bit of birdseed into their cupped hands. Explain that these are seeds that help make plants grow, and that they are also food for birds and other animals like squirrels. Let children explore the birdseed – it may be most fun as a sensory experience with lots in a large mixing bowl. When the children seem tired of this –

Prayer of Sacrifice:
Have each child take a handful of seed.
“Everyone hold your birdseed carefully, and then we’re going to run around and scatter it so that it will land all over the ground and feed lots of animals! As we run, let’s share our happiness that spring is coming with the Kindreds. Let’s all say together “Yay for Spring! Yay the Kindreds!”

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Omen:
Any tarot or oracle deck or set can be used for this, with each child drawing a card and drawing their own interpretations from the pictures. This is a lot more fun for the kids if you make a limited set of printed cards on regular paper, so they can keep their omen as a reminder of the ritual.

Calling, Hallowing, Affirmation of Blessing:
Be sure to set aside some of the snack as an offering to the Kindreds.
“Now that we’ve given the Earth and the spirits our gifts, they want to give us gifts too! Their gifts are a little different sometimes – they can give us courage and strength, joy and fun creative ideas, or good times with our friends. Let’s ask all the Kindreds to put their gifts into this special water, and then we can drink their blessings while we eat our special snack! Everyone say “We want your blessings!”

Thanking the Kindreds:
“Since the Earth and the Kindreds gave us such wonderful presents, we want to say a big thank you to them! Everyone say “Thank you Sun!” Now let’s say “Thank you Ancestors!” and “Thank you Nature spirits!” and don’t forget to say “Thank you Gods and Goddesses!”

Closing the Gates:
“Earlier we opened those big doors called Gates into the other worlds. Now it’s time to close them up again. Let’s say “Thank you Gatekeeper!” and then “Let the Gates close!”

Thanking the Earth Mother:

“Just like we gave the first present to the Earth Mother, now we give Her any of our leftover presents; since everything we have comes from Her. Now let’s all say “Thank you Earth Mother!”

Closing the Rite:
“And that’s it! I hope you all had a fun time giving some presents and getting some blessings in return. Remember that the Kindreds are watching over and protecting you. Thanks everyone!”


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