Rites of Passage
Dedication Ritual

In every loving woman there is a priestess
of the past -- a pious guardian of some affection,
of which the object has disappeared. Henri Frederic Amiel


The Dedication
of Ardriana Cahill

Sunday, September 6,1998
Duck Creek, Utah
On the night of the Harvest Moon
Meditation: It was 35 years ago when my mother first led me to our family’s spiritual path. I have continued on without her the best I could. For the past three years, I have been getting calls from my Ancestors,—Dad.? . . . and my children—Jessica! . . .Regina! to the position of priestess of our clan. After eight years of study on my Celtic path, and these three years of contemplation and seeking insight, I am . . .reluctantly . . .here. Feeling unprepared, with no new garment, no symbol of position, the ritual slapped together, with the days, the stars, and the elements against me, (it has rained for two days and the sky promised to hide the moon, (but cleared when the moon was high) I have been thrust here, a child in the wilderness, unworthy, unprepared and anxious.

As a solitary, frustrated at every turn to try and plan every detail, a soft whisper finally spoke to me: Transformation should be a little scary. One should not know exactly what is about to happen. Birth must have the element of coming from the unknown to the known. And all births are painful.

So, I release my frustration and insecurity and I surrender to the night. Let it be as it will. The night is cold, the moon is high . . . and from the shadows of the trees, I step into the light.

In a circle of trees . . .where a white flower grows in the center I seat myself just before it. A huge, ancient, lightning struck tree guards my back. Facing East, an opening in the circle, allows a moonlit path of high grass and wildflowers which guides the moon to my circle. (I had intended to face the North as my ritual reads, but the Rite departs often from the original . . .for the journey that I did not control had already begun.)

Cleansing the ground

With Light and My Sister to the North of me
With Light and My God Mother to the South of me
With Light and My Mother to the East of me
With Light and My Grandmother to the West of me
Do I cleanse, purify and bless this sacred space.

The Circle

By the air that is My Lady’s breath
By the fire that is My Lady’s spirit,
By the water that is My Lady’s blood
By the earth that is My Lady’s body
I cast a circle of Goddess light
On this her glorious moonlit night

With athame

As above . . .
So below.

The Quarters:

North – Earth – My sister (Susan Stimson Gagich)
East – Air – My Mother (Dorothy Berry Mills)
South – Fire –My Godmother (Leigh Monroe Gilson)
West – Water – My Grandmother (Helen McCormick Berry)

Earth, my Sister. Bring with you the spirits of the North, of laughter and tears, of birth and growth, of hearth and home.

(She arrives with the snap of several twigs. She’s wearing a deep green velvet pants suit. Her hair is medium short, dark with bright blonde highlights. She’s smirking.)

Air, my Mother. Bring with you the spirits of the East, of wisdom and inspiration, of adventure and enchantment, of potential and encouragement.

(She arrives silently as with Indian footfalls Her hair is dark and just touching her shoulders. She wears a radiant, metallic gold Grecian gown. Many folds clinging to slim her 40-ish body. Her face is hard to see with the bright full moon shining behind her head. But not enough to obscure her soft smile.)

Fire, my Godmother. Bring with you the spirits of the South, of passion and energy, of warmth and illumination, of courage and confidence.

(She comes dressed in a mid 30’s, tailored, bright red wool suit, her hair is medium brown shot with a small streak of premature gray. It hangs in a vampish wave over one eye to just below her shoulders. She smiles warmly as if happy to see me. Excitement dances in her eyes.)

Water, my Grandmother. Bring with you the spirits of the West, of love and devotion, of dreams and empathy, of peace and initiation.

(She is stands before the lightning struck tree, she touches me on the right shoulder as if to reassure me. I turn to look at her and am stunned to see her 40-ish-looking so much like my mother-like me! She’s lovely in a midnight blue floor length dress. A curious smile lingers on her face.)

(Ghost tone)

Have you come here of your own will?
Compelled, yet calmly, I do.

By what name do you wish to be known in circle?

Why do you come here this night?
I seek a blessing on my service as Priestess to my clan.

How do you enter the circle?
Sine Timore (Without Fear)

What do you ask?

Sister - guardian of the Powers of Earth, Grant me the gifts of a fertile mind and a nurturing spirit that I may be a source of growth and warmth as I guide our clan on a wisdom path. Gift me with a stable heart and strong back to support and protect those we love.

Mother - guardian of the Powers of Air, Grant me quickness of mind that I may be the breath of inspiration and a source of direction when asked. Let my mind be nimble and light that none may confound or bind those we love.

God Mother-guardian of the Powers of Fire, Grant me energy and a powerful love of life to light their way through the seasons ahead. Grant me the unshakable devotion to guard those I love from all that would seek to harm them.

Grandmother - guardian of the Powers of Water, Grant me an open heart so that love shall flow around obstacles unerringly on its course to the great sea. Let me be a well of intuition, insight and fluid grace to carry us upon our way.


Blessed Be this water, the Blood of the Goddess, from which I was created, to which I will return. (Salt into Water). Blessed Be this Salt, the body of the goddess, the earth which sustains me. Water and Salt, Blood and Earth: by these may She bless one who seeks to serve Her. Always.


May I walk in your footsteps . Create in your honor
Worship and serve you . Aware that every step I take
Will reflect upon You, . Remembering who I am
I will guide, encourage, . Enlighten and inspire
In action and silence . By the will of my ancestors
By the will of my descendants . And you here present
All that you impart to me . In love and purpose.

Invocation to the Gods

They stand before me blocking the light of the moon. Yet emanating their own soft sparkling radiance. They both are adorned in gold armor, heavily robed in dark velvets and heavy fur trims. She wears a silver circlet and fall leaves and flowers trail from her long curly hair. He wears a horned helmet and takes it off. She holds a sword in her right hand and a flame burn in the palm of her left. He holds a spear in his right hand and a shield dropped low on his left hand. They are smiling . . .She brightly . . .He, as if he knows a secret.

Bridget, My patroness...
. . .Legacy of my mother.

Bright Lady
Fiery Arrow
Triple flame of Irish hearts
Both blood and fostered.
Mistress of magick and poetry
Spark of love and fertility
Giver of knowledge and wisdom
And skill in the martial arts
Keeper of the hearth fire
Flame that feeds the forge
Goddess of transformation

Accept me now as one of
Your Sacred Kells.

And I will kindle your Sacred Fire
All the days of my life.

Lead me in the ways of the kind.
Lead me in the ways of the wise.
Lead me in the ways of my ancestors.

Cernunnos, My patron...
. . .Legacy of my father.

Horned One
Great Stag ~ Welsh God of the Wild Wood
Architect of seed, flower, and fruit
Guardian of fin, fur and feather
Master of the Hunt
Poetic teacher and passionate lover
Sage elder and proud protector
Lord of death and resurrection
Keeper of the crossroads

Accept me now
As one of your Sacred Warriors

And I will carry your Sacred Spear
All the days of my life.

Lead me in the ways of the strong.
Lead me in the ways of the wise.
Lead me in the ways of my ancestors.

(They speak to me in a language (s) that I don’t understand. I know . . .A blessing . . .A welcome. And a name . . .that I can mimic but do not recognize. The secret name the I never believed in.)


On forehead, on lips, on heart, on palms, on knees, on feet.

I seal my vows. My mind will turn to my God and Goddess
I will know when to speak and when to keep silent
I will love with tradition and will.
I will work with purpose and wisdom
I will kneel to no one. And seek the Green path before me
Bathed in Moonlit. . . All the days of my life

Oil on pentacle and scarf

By donning these objects, I am reminded that I may never shame the office I seek. Before this company and with the blessing of the gods, I accept the mantle as priestess of my family tradition.

Let the winds carry me
Let the rains cleanse me
Let the sun empower me
And the moon enlighten me
Let the Faery dance around my ankles
as the old ones welcome me
into their wisdom circle.

I'm ready.

Releasing the Quarters

Water, my Grandmother
Fire, my Godmother,
Air, my Mother
Earth, my Sister,
I seek your blessing
And promise of future aid
Thank you for attending tonight
In ways, I could not have imagined
I am dedicated,
By your hand, And in your sight.
For now, Hail and Farewell.

In the name of the Radiant Lady
And the Horned Lord,
I thank Thee for thy Blessing

The circle is open. . . but unbroken.

In 1998 -The Priestess path
My oath taking gifts were:
An ethereal temple
A secret name
Wild Magick

© 2004 Ardriana Cahill Art used without permission. Unknown author.

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