Our rituals draw inspiration from the Romano-Celtic temple or “fanum”, characterised by a rectangular building with an entrance on one side, surrounded by a covered walkway. The interior contained, at the very least, an offering pit, fire, or altar; they could also be as complex as the temple to Nodens at Lydney, which (uniquely) was made up of 3 rooms that held different purposes. Around the exterior, it’s likely that the covered walkway was used for circumambulation and/or offerings – whether to the deuoi of the temple, or to other small shrines isn’t known.
We draw inspiration from this temple space to inform how the ancestors once worshiped the dêuoi, and this format could certainly be applied to a dedicated grove, temple, or room for rituals; however, we’ll begin with simple rites undertaken upon one’s altar. Of course, a single candle or offering bowl is enough.
Before the ritual, the participant should dip their hands into blessed water to clean them, then clean their face with the water, asking that the waters cleanse their spirit as it cleanses their body, bringing them clarity and stillness as they come before the dêuoi. This is less about being “impure” and more about focusing one’s body and spirit to the task at hand, denoting that they are about to perform a sacred act, and invoking of water and its connection to the Wheel.
Our ritual begins by marking out the ritual space, like the circumambulation of the fanum. If performing a larger ritual, then by all means a procession around the space is called for; however for every-day purposes and at one’s home altar, a sprinkling of water, ringing of bells, or circling of incense is sufficient. It’s also at this point that offerings to protective dêuoi should be made: Toutatis, Camulos, Brigantiâ, or Nemetonâ for example.
The Sacred Fire
If a fire is being used, it is lit, and a prayer said to Brigantiâ (who we associate with lighting, signal fires, and light), or Aidu (the personification of fire). If an offering pit is being used, a prayer can instead be said to a river deuos/deuas, a psychopomp, to Berôs – the Well, or to Drus – the World Tree.
Next we thank the senisamanos – or ancestors – for connecting us to the dêuoi. Tea is our preferred offering, or coffee. Dêuoi that connect us to the senisamanos can also be invoked at this point – Matrona, Ogmios, Cernunnos, or Epona – and given offerings.
Finally, the dêuoi of honour are invoked, generally three or a singular deuos/deuas. We begin with an Invocation, then Argument, Petition, and Thanks, using the Tegos Runos format. Offerings are made to the fire, bowl, or pit. After each offering, a drink is poured into a cup, to be drank later in the ritual.
After the offerings are complete is the working of the ritual. Meditation and divination are common parts of this process, but if one wishes they could also use this time for feasting, taking a healing bath, or sleeping to interpret their dreams. A key part of the working for the Tanxtos is to raise a Wheel symbol to the sky and say a prayer to Taranos.
Finally, the ritual is brought to a close. The cup of libations is consumed, the fire is extinguished, and a cup of tea is shared with the ancestors. At each step the relevant dêuoi are thanked for their presence and entreated to go in peace.
As stated above, this ritual format can take many forms, such as A Call for Rain. A short example can be found here as a daily ritual, to be performed in the morning, or whenever a Follower of the Wheel is making a cup of tea.
Sources for information beyond the shared gnosis of Sepanioi Roti are as follows:
Carpentier, L. (2015). Un axe de recherche pour l’origine des temples à plan centré en Gaule romaine : une nouvelle analyse fonctionnelle des espaces. Annales de Janua. Retrieved 2021, from https://annalesdejanua.edel.univ-poitiers.fr/index.php?id=902