After much burning of the midnight lamp, we’ve put together a ceremony for the Spirits of the Trees, based on the one performed as part of the Woodland Trust‘s Canopy Tree Charter Gathering in Warwickshire in March 2016 (see the video at the foot of the page).
Click on this link: Druid Ceremony for Trees for the 9.5mb pdf file (8 pages, A5 at 300dpi for clarity of printing).
The brief we gave ourselves for the original ceremony was that it should be short, capable of being performed by a minimum of two experienced ritualists, focused, interactive, allowing plenty of opportunities for joining in, and accessible to a wide range of people, most of whom had no previous experience of this type of ceremony. What we did worked well on the night, so we’ve stuck with the same basic outline. Some parts are drawn from ceremonial texts used by the three groups at the core of the Spirits of the Trees initiative; the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD); the British Druid Order (BDO); and The Druid Network (TDN). Many thanks to all who contributed.
We’re aware of the fact that different Druid groups have different ways of working. Hence the Druid Ceremony for Trees is intended only as a guide. Please feel free to alter any parts of it you wish, although we do ask that you retain the Honouring of the Tree Spirits at the four quarters and at the centre of the circle. That way, all our ceremonies will have those passages in common, uniting us in our purpose.
That purpose is threefold: first, to draw attention to the Woodland Trust‘s call for a new Charter for Trees, Woods and People; then to spread awareness of trees as living, inspirited beings; and also to present a good, clear public face of Druidry as we understand and practice it.
To this end, as we say in the preamble to the ceremony itself, we strongly encourage groups performing ceremonies for the Spirits of the Trees to broaden public participation by inviting local bodies who might be interested. These would include arts groups, conservation bodies, trades associations, churches, interfaith groups, schools, colleges and the like.
The best sites for these ceremonies will, of course, be those where there are living trees, e.g. parks or woodlands. When selecting a site, be sure to ask permission from those who own or maintain it, explaining to them what you have in mind. It will help if you have some idea of how many are likely to attend. Hopefully hundreds! Thousands! That said, with a little ingenuity, the ceremony could be adapted for use in theatres, marquees at festivals, back rooms of pubs, city streets or just about anywhere…
Please let us know if we can help and we will do our best to ensure you have a successful ceremony.
Blessings to all, for the Spirits of the Trees,
Greywolf (Philip Shallcrass)
Chief of the BDO