Why A Formal Contract With The Deities
So I’ve had people ask me WHY would I want a formal contract with the deities? Haven’t I been making offerings to them already? Weren’t they already my household deities? The answer to the second and third questions is yes. The answer to the first one is not so easy.
The idea for a formal contract just came out of a few things that I read in a couple of books. The one book that is a representation of all I had read was The Horse, The Wheel and Language by David W. Anthony in it he says that an Indo-European speaking patron could accept outsiders as clients without shaming them or assigning them permanently submissive roles, as long as they preformed the sacrifices properly. Praise poetry at public feasts encouraged the patrons to be generous and validated the language of the songs as the vehicle for communicating with the gods who regulated everything and therefore spreading the language. (p.343) He also said that The Proto-Indo-Europeans sacrificed sheep, cattle, and horses to a troublesome array of sky gods, and fully expected the gods to reciprocate the favor. (p.98) Putting the two pieces of information together gave me the idea of the formal contract. The fact that the Celts had household gods that they worshipped other than the ones that the tribe prayed too also helped me make this decision.
I am not saying here that this is attested too in any literature, but it does make some sense to me at least. So this is my UPG on this instance. Here is my ritual:
Dip your hand into water, touch your forehead and say: “May I be pure that I might cross through the sacred.”
Dip your hand again, touch your lips: “May I cross through the sacred that I may attain the holy.”
Dip your hand again, touch your heart and say: “May I attain the holy that I might be blessed in all things.”
Sit or stand in front of the deity Altar/Shrine and say a blessing for the three realms:
The Waters support and surround me.
The Land extends about me.
The Sky reaches out above me.
At the center burns a living flame.
Light the candle or flame at the center of the Altar/Shrine. Say:
I light this fire to carry my prayers to the Gods of my ancestors.
Now you ask the gods, nature spirits and ancestors to join you.
I ask the gods of my ancestors to join me in my ritual, I ask my ancestors to guide me, and I ask the land spirits to aid me. I ask all to be a witness to my endeavor.
Now insert a prayer for the gods you want to petition.
Morrígan, great warrior goddess, prophetess, and sorceress, I raise my voice in praise of you with wonder and awe. I sit in your presence, oh great source of terror and comfort.
Lugh Lamhfhada, great warrior and god of many arts, I praise you. Bright and shining god and flaming spear out of the chaos I honor you.
Next state the purpose of the ritual:
I would like to formally ask you to accept me as a client. I will make offerings to you daily and dedicate all my rituals to you and in exchange I ask for your guidance, blessings, fighting strength and prosperity in my life.
Now it is time to make the offerings:
Pick up the offering for An Morrigan and raise it above your head and say:
To the Morrigan, I honor you. My Queen, I offer you my hospitality and give thanks for your blessings and protection!
Now place the offering in the place designated for the Morrigan. Pick up the offering to Lugh and raise it above your head then say:
To Lugh Lamfhada, I honor you. Samildananch, I offer you my hospitality! The Voice of Thunder, I give thanks for your blessings and protection!
Now place the offering for the place designated for Lugh.
Now thanks the gods, nature spirits and the gods for listening to you.
I thank the gods of my ancestors for joining me in my ritual, I thank my ancestors for guiding me, and I thank the land spirits for aiding me. I thank you all for being a witness to my endeavor.
Listen carefully to your dreams or divination to see how the ritual went.
From my journal:
I woke up today to a feeling of peace and when I performed my daily offerings for the first time I not only felt peace but also I felt power, as if I was infused with it. I’m guessing that my contract was accepted. Another thing that made me feel that were my dreams from yesterday. I dreamt of ravens and crows giving me bread. They would also land on my outstretched hands to take food from me without scratching me or harming me in any way.
Anthony, David W. The Horse, The Wheel and Language. Princeton University Press, New Jersey. 2007 p. 98, p. 343
Serith, Ceisiwr. A Book of Pagan Prayer. Weiser Books, San Francisco. 2002. p. 36