German Ritual Phrases:
German is quite an inflected language. For instance the simple English ritual phrase, “accept our offering” becomes quite involved and has numerous
variations. Is one addressing one entity or more than one? Is one presenting one item as offering or multiple items? If multiple items, are they multiples of the same item (ie: 4 spoons) or completely different items (ie: 1 spoon, 1 knife, and 1 fork)? The answers to each of these questions determines how the phrase is translated.
Many of our ritual phrases can be directly translated into German, but that is not how any German-speaker would ever say it. For instance, “Let the Gates be
open,” can be directly translated. However, German-speakers would be far more direct in their wording and say, “Open the gates!” Where I was able,
I have included both the formal translation, and the more colloquial. The direct translation for Holy Ones is “Heilige.” However, to German-speakers, that words means “saints,” which is not quite what is meant. In this phrase book I have included both “Heilige,” which is technically correct, and “Götter” which is closer to our English meaning.
There is no direct translation for “Kindreds” in German. I spent an evening discussing the difficulty of this phrase with three native German speakers (one
originally Swiss, one from Saxony, and one from the Netherlands border)). The closest word to “Kindreds” is a phrase that was tainted by extensive
use by the Nazi party. So they have several work arounds that come close to the meaning. Often, they simply use the English term in their ritual work, or “Götte und Geiste” (gods and spirits).
This Nazi issue extends into many elements of ritual speech. Many, many American pagans on a Germanic path say “Hail” throughout their rituals.
Germans simply refuse to say “Heil” for very obvious reasons. Standing in ritual with Germans, they said “cheers” or “prost” instead, which was oddly informal.
Children of Earth: Kinder der Erde
Earth Mother: Erdmutter
Nature Spirits; Naturgeister
Ancestors; Ahnen, / Vorfahren
Holy ones: Heilige/ Götter
(to multiple entities) Accept our offering: Nehmt unsere Gabe an
(to one entity) : Nimm unsere Gabe an
Be welcome in our Grove: Willkommen in unserem Hain
We stand at the center of the worlds: Wir stehen in der Mitte der Welten
Earth Mother, uphold us in our rite: Erdmutter, unterstütze uns in unserem Ritual
Let us pray with a good fire: Lasst uns mit einem guten Feuer beten
May all the Kindreds bless us: Mogen die Kindred (stammen, “tribes”) uns segnen
This Grove is made whole and holy: Dieser Hain ist hehr und heilig
From the depths to the heights spans the World Tree: Von den Tiefen zu den Höhen erstreckt sich der Weltenbaum
Sacred Tree, grow within us: Heiliger Baum, wachse in uns
Sacred Fire, burn within us: Heiliges Feuer, brenne in uns
In the depths flow the waters of creativity: in der Tiefe fliesst das Wasser der Kreativität
Sacred Well, flow within us: Heilige Quelle, fließe in uns
Mix your magic with ours: Vereine deine Magie mit unserer
Let the Gates be open: Mogen die Türe sich öffnen
Commonly used: Öffne die Türe (Open the Gates)
Let the Gates be closed: Mögen die Türe sich schliessen
Commonly used: Schliess die Türe (Close the Gates)
So be it: So sei es
Behold, the Waters of Life: Siehe das Wasser des Lebens
We thank you (sing): Wir danken dir
We thank you (pl/inf): Wir danken euch
We thank you (pl/fr): Wir danken Sie
Go now in peace: Gehet in Frieden
This rite is ended: Dieses Ritual ist beendet.