Full Moon Ritual at Baile na Dagda

Bradán was both looking forward to and apprehensive about tonight’s full moon ritual with Temple of the Ancient Fire. As a young and unattached man he hoped to meet others of his own age that he might befriend since his family only recently moved here from the New Caledonia resettlement camps far to the southwest. His family had long wanted to join one of the last remaining communities derived from the great Nova Falias kingdom of the first world and learn the ways of the ancient ones.

But it was cold tonight and the ritual was to be skyclad and outdoors. “T’was a cold, cold, night for a skyclad rite” the line from a poem kept repeating itself in his head. What would he say when the priestess calls upon him to speak? He was always nervous when speaking in front of strangers. What if they didn’t like him? What if they made fun of him?

A Cleric at Baile na Dagda

Ah, but the moon was full tonight and by their tradition, new seekers were to be admitted and their first tools of the craft would be cleansed and charged for their use. He had already set up his personal altar at home and awaited the newly prepared tools to begin using it for his daily offerings and observances. Oh! The ritual bell just rang! Everyone is being called to line up for ritual bath and anointment. The smell of incense was strong in the air, everyone shed their robes and hung them from the nearby tree branches.

Skyclad circle

A steady drum beat sounded softly as one, by one, people are challenged in by the gatekeeper and anointed on the forehead with a drop of oil by the maiden. Then the people circle in around a large fire with an altar placed in the north. Both Priest and Priestess enter first then take their places to await the others. The quarter callers take their positions in the four cardinal directions and others pick their spots between them as they walk in. Bradán’s long, blonde locks fall around his shoulders and he sees a group of people near his own age close to the west quarter.

He bids his parents a good night as he goes to stand by these newfound potential friends and they, in turn, smile warmly and welcome him in. A bit of chat before the priestess calls the ritual to order reveals that they are a polyamorous nest who reside in one of the roundhouses on the outskirts of Baile na Dagda and farm the land there, trading in the afternoons at the town center.

The moon is high, on this night of power, the children come, at the witching hour. Our hands are raised, to the four directions. Spirit Power, is ours again, the chant repeats over and over as the ritual begins. The words of Spiral Rhythm carried down through the centuries and spoken to this day among the people of this community, of this planet, so far from earth. It was such a poetic tie to the mother world and to the ancestors.

After the ritual

After ritual there was much drumming and dancing and merrymaking. Bradán spoke more with his new friends and eventually was invited over to their roundhouse for drinks, storytelling and rest. When he woke up the next morning, everyone was out in the fields preparing the land for the coming spring so that new crops could be planted.

He felt that he had found his place among his new friends. They teased him as he came outside about sleeping in late and cajoled him to help with the work, then a delicious breakfast was shared at the community table. Afterwards Bradán excused himself for now. For he had work to attend to at his own, small home and to tell his family of the night he had at the ritual while he prepared his altar with his new tools for devotionals and offerings. It was a good day and he felt more alive than he had since leaving New Caledonia. What an exciting time it was!


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