A new weekly ritual will be posted here each week, which we will use in our Saturday meetings. For more information on these Saturday meetings, see the Get Involved page.
It is recommended that you have two bowls: one with pure water, another empty. You will also need a glass with your offering to the Gods. Typical offerings are wine, milk, or water, but the offering can be specific to the deity you are addressing. It is also appropriate to have a candle and incense.
Wash your hands in the bowl of water to purify yourself before the gods.
Our gods who order the Cosmos
as you order Fate,
and from whom all Good comes,
we come before you now,
pure in body and spirit,
and with reverence and devotion.
We honor our ancestors also:
our own ancestors
as well as the ancestors
and great men of our people.
We live through them
and they continue through us.
Today’s libation text will be read by Agnete.
Tu išvarai žiemą, parneši malonų pavasarį,
Su Tavimi ima žaliuoti laukai, sodai, miškai.
Prašome padauginti pasėtus javus,
O visas rauges teikis sutrypti.
You chase away winter, bringing a kindly spring
With you the fields, gardens and woods turn green.
We ask you to multiply the crops we’ve sowed
And trample the weeds under foot.’
As you give to us, we give back to you. Hail!
Pour some of your offering into the empty bowl.
It is said that
‘verily at the first Chaos came to be,
but next wide-bosomed Earth.’
And that we are like to the Cosmos:
‘Of Ymir’s flesh
was earth created,
of his blood the sea,
of his bones the hills,
of his hair trees and plants,
of his skull the heaven;
And of his brows
the gentle powers
formed Midgard for the sons of men;
but of his brain
the heavy clouds are
‘the world subsists through the goodness of divinity.’
Therefore, as the Cosmos
is ordered out of Chaos by divinity,
so we, as we partake of this drink,
shall likewise be brought to order by divinity.
The remainder of the drink is consumed.
Today we will read from Chapter X of Sallust’s On the Gods and the World.
Each person who chooses to read will read from the asterisk to the next asterisk. One person will read at a time. I will begin the reading; the person who is above me in the voice channel will then continue the reading, and so on, until the reading is complete. If you do not wish to read, mute your microphone and this will be understood as a signal that you wish to be skipped.
The doctrine of virtue and vice depends on that of the soul. When the irrational soul enters into the body and immediately produces fight and desire, the rational soul, put in authority over all these, makes the soul tripartite, composed of reason, fight, and desire.
Virtue in the region of reason is wisdom, in the region of fight is courage, in the region of desire is temperance; the virtue of the whole soul is righteousness. It is for reason to judge what is right, for fight in obedience to reason to despise things that appear terrible, for desire to pursue not the apparently desirable, but, that which is with reason desirable.
When these things are so, we have a righteous life; for righteousness in matters of property is but a small part of virtue. And thus we shall find all four virtues in properly trained men, but among the untrained one may be brave and unjust, another temperate and stupid, another prudent and unprincipled. Indeed, these qualities should not be called virtues when they are devoid of reason and imperfect and found in irrational beings.
Vice should be regarded as consisting of the opposite elements. In reason it is folly, in fight, cowardice, in desire, intemperance, in the whole soul, unrighteousness. The virtues are produced by the right social organization and by good rearing and education, the vices by the opposite.
This completes this week’s reading. We will pause for approximately half a minute for silent contemplation.
As we complete our sacred duty
of honoring our gods,
our ancestors, and the World
which is an image of divinity,
we will remember that
‘piety consists of holy thoughts’
and that we are to be
courageous, just, and wise
in every aspect of our lives.
The offering can be left in the bowl for some time. Later, it can be poured outside into the ground.