The fixed liturgical elements of the Sacred Grove are few, but they invoke a powerful coherent Cosmos that invites understanding, exploration, and alignment. I am grateful to Wilddragon, founder of the Bhakti Wiccan Tradition, for encouraging me to extend it.
Most of the rituals in this compilation take place in the Cosmos established in the Bhakti Wiccan tradition.
The preparatory elements affirm the presence of a living Tree in the South, a great Sword in the East, a Cup in the West, and one or more Standing Stones in the North.
The Sacred Grove itself is the home of the Lord and Lady, Whose presence is our ultimate goal.
The guided meditation begins with grounding, centering, and moving into trance through the imagery of a great Tree:
Placing your hand on the bark, feeling its life, you find yourself within the Tree with your hand on the inside of the bark.
The journey moves down through the roots into the deep silence of the Earth to the deepest trance state, then back up through the roots to the hand on the inside of the bark.
Finding yourself standing at the base of a great Tree with your hand on the bark, you realize that the Tree has a message for you.
After a time for reflection, follow the path to a place where there is a sword.
Finding yourself before a great Sword, you realize that the Sword has a message for you.
After a time for reflection, follow the path to a stream.
Finding yourself before a Cup in or by the stream, you realize that the Cup has a message for you.
After a time for reflection, follow the path to a place where there is a standing stone or trilithon.
Finding yourself before a Standing Stone, you realize that the Stone has a message for you.
Pause for reflection.
Beyond the Stone you realize the path continues (as if through a gate).
If you are ready, you step forward and follow the path. Otherwise, you retrace your steps to the Tree and return to the present.
In ritual, the Tree, Cup, Sword, and Stone remain consistent, but the path and imagery are varied as the Priest/ess leading journey sees fit, given time, intention, and participants.
The journey from the Stone to the Grove moves the participants into the Presence of the Divine in the person of The Lord and Lady who await their coming in the Grove. The meditation with the Grove is unscripted and usually profound.
This pathworking builds on the symbology established in the quarter calls and strengthened in the invitations to the guardians, all geared to open the worshippers to the God and Goddess.
The overall tone is of balance and harmony. The Sword stands opposite the Cup, also associated with male and female, active and accepting. The living Tree stands opposite the Standing Stone, also associated with earth and ethereal, grounded and soaring, life and spirit.
The journey itself is a rich teaching meditation with the Tree, Cup, Sword, and Stone as the Teachers, but, in the long run, the Journey is merely a prelude to the Sacred Grove, wherein the Lord and Lady await our return.