Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Merry Wild Onion Yule!

Yule is our first indoor rite of the year and as we do for all our indoor rites we headed to Life Force Arts Center and arrived as it just started to get dark. It has been a particularly chilly December and this evening was no exception. Chris and Colleen went in to start setting up and Jack and I hurried in the cold to Starbucks to get a box of coffee for the post rite socializing. When we returned we helped finish setting up, greeted the people that had shown up while we were gone, and then Chris gave his (not so) brief ritual explanation and we began.

The deity of the occasion was Odin, same as last Yule and so we focused on the Runes and integrated them into the rite. Each part of the core order of ritual got it's own Rune that corresponded to what was taking place (Gebo for the sacrifice and Eihwaz for the Ancestors for example.) As each part was spoken the participant would place the correct rune on the World Tree Yggdrasil. Heimdall was the Gatekeeper and Bragi was the Bardic Deity. I did the Norse Well, Tree and Fire again this year, Colleen baked Julekake for the offering and the return flow, Chris read a poem for Odin that was written by a member of ADF and Jack wrote a carol called the Snows of Valhalla which made me think we need to write more Yule carols, or he does anyway. If he keeps this up we will have an entire song book by next Samhain! We had some guests as well and even though this was their first ADF rite they helped us with the invocations which is always nice, you want people to feel included. (They also brought vegetarian lasagna for the potluck which made it even nicer!) :)

The Julekake and Stella were then offered to Odin (apparently we have it on good authority that Odin favors Stella Artois, who knew?) and the Omen was taken. we got Elhaz (Protection) as the answer to "was the sacrifice accepted" (our sacrifice Omen) and Ingwaz (fertility , creativity, new beginnings) as our Grove Omen. A very positive Omen all around although we had a moment of concern when neither Jack nor I could figure out what Ingwaz was! It was Joan (our host with the most at LFAC who joined us for the rite) who realized that I used the Anglo Saxon version instead of the Elder Futhark when I made my Runes! Whoops! But I rather like the Anglo Saxon version so I figure as long as I know what it means, then it's okay.

We then shared the return blessing and passed around the horn with beer in it and the Julekake with butter and Gjetost which is a caramelized goat cheese and is traditionally served with the Julekake. As always we then asked for blessings for all who couldn't be there, and for our families and friends. The Ansuz Runes that Jack had wood-burned for everyone were also passed out, a tangible reminder of Odin's blessings. Then we wound the rite down and went and feasted on homemade gingerbread, the above mentioned lasagna, Bûche de Noël, coffee, juice, wine, and some other things and socialized and told stories and explained a little about ADF and enjoyed the warmth and companionship that this time of year invokes so perfectly.:)

Hope everyone had a blessed and joyous Yule/Solstice as well! :)

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