Tea Ritual 2016 – Sue Baxter
Introduction I have grown herbs for many years, and use them in cooking, cleaning, for making incense etc. While beginning my studies on the OBOD Ovate course, and after a visit to Chambawallah Teas shop in Birmingham, I felt guided to research, journey and create a tea ritual. I have created my tea mix for a healing ritual. You may create other mixes for maybe tonics or transformation?
The important things to think about when thinking of creating a tea ritual are
How are you going to get the ingredients and create the tea mix?
What equipment do you need to create the ritual?
How will you create the sacred space for the ritual?
The following is my process, from thinking about what the ingredients may be, through to preparing a ritual for someone. I have added some of the blessings that I use, you may choose your own, relevant to the way that you work in ritual. I have divided the process into three parts.
Information, herbs and items you may need
Preparing the items, and day before the ritual preparation.
Preparing and creating the ritual.
Collecting/buying/storing of Herbs and Ritual Items
The first thing is to decide how you will get the herbs you need for a tea ritual, this may include growing them, you may know where wild herbs grow and are able to forage for them, buying herbs from a garden centre or maybe buying dried herbs online. You may use this recipe or like to try your own.
Each time I collect herbs, I always ask for Bridget’s wisdom to help me in my tea ritual work with the following blessing:
"To the great goddess of Ireland and beyond
I anoint my head as you anointed those you blessed
Oh Brigid, I too ask for your blessing and wisdom, and knowledge,
The wonderful, gifted Celtic goddess that you are.
I am humbled by the bees who bought their magickal nectar
from your Apple Orchards in the otherworld.
As you walked, your feet like kisses to the earth, -shamrocks and flowers would appear
Please share with me your knowledge of herbs and otherworldly help
In this great time of healing, I too can pass healing to others, so they can find their way
Come share with me so I can walk in your footsteps, and my steps be like kisses to the earth,
deepen my spirituality and wisdom, for the benefit of all sentient beings."
You may need to dry the herbs, and when completely dry, finely chop them and store them in air tight containers. I use jars to store all my herbs, with the herb names and dates that the herbs were picked on labels.
Collecting items to use
This is a list of the items that have become sacred for my tea ritual, you may have similar or chose different items for yours.
Blue bottle for the water that I use, and a pink quartz crystal programmed for healing.
Circular tray symbolic of the Earth, of the circle of the year, and of the sacred circle that we create for ritual and ceremony.
Two cloths, to sit in the tray – the first representing the elements, and the second one representing the Tree of Life.
Ritual tea pot, and cups for herbal preparations.
I recently bought these cups, thinking they were very apt for the ritual.
I have small spoon for measuring the herbs into one of the teas, and a dish for mixing the tea, and a box to keep the tea in.
I prepare the water and tea the day before to give them time to blend.
Rituals and blessings
At each stage of creating this ritual, there is opportunity for purification, consecration, invocation, intention and focus, using prayers, blessings etc. I have added some of mine below.
Preparation – Day before
Preparing the water
I buy spring water for the ritual. 24 hours before the ritual, or at least the night before, I place the crystal in the blue bottle, and add the spring water. I cork the bottle and leave it on the windowsill.
Blessing – As I am preparing the water I say the following blessing focusing on the person that the Healing Tea Ritual is for.
“May the joy of the sea coming home to the shore be created in this water for healing to rinse through your soul
May the wind as it loves to call things to dance, lighten your gravity with grace
May the dignity of the moonlight restoring the earth, bring your thoughts to those of reverence and respect.
As water takes whatever shape it is in, may you also be free for who you will become
May you receive the healing you request for your highest good to aid you on your journey”
Preparing the Herbs for the tea
Collect together cinnamon quills, bay leaves, apple blossom, orange peel, raisins, and agrimony.
On the Tray - Have a ritual spoon to measure herbs, and ritual tea container in which to mix and store the tea until the ritual. I have created a sigil message to use as a mantra to drum over each herb as they are measured and added to the container. This process of chanting and mixing takes as long as it takes.
This is a good place to add a blessing of your choice. After which the pot is closed and stored until ritual.
My Healing tea ritual recipe –
Before the person comes for the ritual.
Preparing space – Clear the energy of the room where the person will sit to drink the tea. Create a sacred space, and light candles/incense? as appropriate.
A blessing for the spirits of place, time, ancestors, tribe and journey.
Preparing the Tray – The tray is blessed as the cloths are placed upon it. The first is a kabbalah blessing, and then an Elemental blessing – This cloth is created to represent the elements, who I now ask for their blessing on this Tea ritual.
"Of the East, I thank you for the light of this day, that moves across the sky and awakens our life. May intellect be drawn and shared in this sacred time. From the South, fire, sacred of creativity, I seek vitality and healing alliance. West, power of places between the worlds, I ask for the blessing of inner knowing, for the lightening and cleansing rain. North – mountain tops, I seek perspective and path of service in a space free of shadow. Great spirit I give thanks for your blessings and wisdom on this ritual."
The teapot, cup and tea are then placed upon the tray with the following blessing for the person who will receive the ritual and blessing.
Preparing the Tea – The kettle is rinsed out and filled with the crystal water from the blue bottle, the following blessing is said. spirits of tea, place, time, journey, etc
For me, the person and ritual are not to be in the room where the tea is brewed?
Once the person has arrived.
They are invited to take a seat ready for the tea ritual. I explain to them that this is a silent ritual. There is paper and pencil for them if they would like to make notes of any thoughts, feelings, visions, and experiences that they have during the silence of the ritual, I explain that I will be sitting in meditation while they are drinking the tea, and that there will be time after for discussing the notes if required.
I go and boil the kettle, warm the pot, add the herbal tea mix, with a blessing to Brigid. As I pour the boiled water into the pot the following blessing is given.
I wait 8 minutes for the brew to seep, I give the final blessing:
"May all that is unforgiven in you be released
May your fears yield their deepest tranquilities
May all that is unlived within you,
blossom into a future – Graced with love."
I then take the tray into the room for the person.
I pour the tea into a cup and offer to the person. I focus on the elements and higher wise beings sharing their wisdom and healing with the person as they drink the tea. I sit in silence with my eyes closed in prayer/meditation until they have finished. This time is usually about 5 minutes.
After I allow them to talk and say what comes. If there are any questions I answer, if there are any issues, I coach/guide the person to find their own answers. When they are ready they leave.
Clearing/closing the space -The space is closed, and thanks are given to the spirits of tea, place, time, journey, etc . The utensils, pot etc are washed and blessed before putting in their place until the next time there is a ritual.
I hope you enjoy your experiences of creating your own tea ritual.
My next research will be to find a more natural way to boil the water, and then to create other mixes for teas, maybe for a tonic or tea of transformation.