Na Déithe libh mo chairde,
Meditation and mindfulness practices are popular subjects of interest. For many years I was a sporadic meditator, but gradually grew into a regular daily meditation discipline. It has proven to be of tremendous benefit, often in unexpected ways. I practiced Vipassana/Insight meditation with Louisville Vipassana Community, a local Buddhist lay sangha, and through the years I explored other meditation styles with various groups.
In recent months, I got to thinking about whether I could recall having come across any meditation practices from Celtic traditions. I honestly couldn’t find any, at least that fit my definition of “meditation”. The few references to contemplative practices I found hail from a Christian context.
The one exception could perhaps be found within the Celtic Buddhist lineage, but I am only superficially familiar with this. Without having a defined and accessible meditation practice from Celtic tradition, I was inspired to create one. It’s a meditation and devotional, which I dubbed the Morningstar Rite, as I do this in the early hours of the morning.
For me, early morning before “the house” is awake feels charged with potential. I feel innately attuned to the solitude and gentle inspiration of this time of day. I also like the connotations of guidance and hopefulness suggested by the dawn/early morning/morning star.
For the loving benefit of all beings, I share here the liturgy of the Morningstar Rite. You may freely use as you like, adjusting any wording or sequence as befits your needs. May it bring you joy and equanimity.
~ Reverend Erika Rivertree
The Morningstar Rite
Open with Three Lights Blessing (recite or chant while lighting altar candles):
Three lights that illuminate every darkness: truth, nature, knowledge.
2. Holy Kindred Invocation Chant:
Be welcome in this sacred space
I honor your wisdom and light
Together share blessings of truth
With gratitude and grace
3. Offering and Consecrating
(light incense, pour libation, anoint, sain, etc as desired).
4. Deep Peace of the Tree Meditation from the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids.
This is a slow and gentle moving meditation.
5. 20-minute silent sitting meditation: signal beginning and end with bell x3.
6. A short reading from Celtic and/or comparative tradition.
My customary go-to reads are selections from any or all of these:
The Poem-Book of the Gael by Eleanor Hull
The Celtic Spirit: Daily Meditations for the Turning Year by Caitlín Matthews
365 Tao: Daily Meditations by Ming-Dao Deng
Tao Te Ching translated by Gia-Fu Feng, Jane English, and Tionette Lippe
(Note: Taoism pairs well with Druidry)
7. Close with Three Realms Blessing:
Neart mara dhuit
Neart talamh duit
Mathas mara dhuit
Mathas talamh duit
(Power of sea be with you
Power of land be with you
Power of sky
Goodness of sea be with you
Goodness of land be with you
Goodness of sky)
8. Conclude with Journaling & Tea.
I finish with writing in my journal anything pertinent about my experience during the rite. I also prepare a cuppa tea to savor as an uplifting blessing to the start of my day.