Monday, February 28, 2011

Imbolc 2011

You don't really realize how ingrained the turning of the Pagan year is in your psyche until it is disrupted. I think it was really hard for us to get into Imbolc almost a month after the time it is usually celebrated. However, we rallied and manged to have a very nice rite anyway. We didn't do everything we had planned (no butter this year) and we improvised almost the whole thing and we still mess up the words to We Call the Tribe if we don't have it written down in front of us, (it's four lines people!) but I think it was still a meaningful experience for all of us.
In particular the time for Praise Offerings was probably the most important part of the ritual. We are quite casual about this part, we sit and talk about the Deity, read poems or sing songs, tell funny stories, that sort of thing, and this Imbolc was no different. Chris read some poetry and recited some from memory and Colleen read a poem she quickly found using her smartphone (who said Pagans can't embrace technology?) Jack discussed feeling the need to create and then finding the tools to actually create your ideas, and I talked about rediscovering skills you already had and either forgotten about or lost the confidence to use (especially in my case.) We also acknowledged the need to make mistake and fail sometimes in order to grow and improve one's craft.
A new member J, then read a poem she composed a few years ago dedicated to Brighid who is her Patron, and it was very good! Joan the proprietor of LFAC who often attends our rites when we are there (much to our delight) taught us an energy raising technique that involved us singing tones spontaneously and simultaneously to create energy and something that amazingly sounds very pleasing! It's something I'd like to try again in the future.

After the Praise Offerings we lit the candles arranged in the semi circle on the altar and I explained the symbolism behind the colors chosen. Orginally we were going to do something around the nine aspects of Brighid but with all the rescheduling it just didn't come together (honestly Brighid seemed more interested in kicking our collective creative behinds anyway and who I am to argue with Her?)

Colleen then did the Sacrifice (dried sunflower petals which was another improvisation but it seemed appropriate) and I took the Omen, and the Sacrifice was accepted.  Brighid also had some advice to give us regarding creativity with the second Grove Omen. Chris then asked for blessings and we them via a cup of white grape juice and wound the rite down. Everyone got a candle and holder to take home for their personal shrines and altars and I think everyone felt a bit more inspired to get creating and use the Awen we were blessed with at the rite! I am sure we won't make it a habit to have our High Day rituals a month late, but at least if we do have issues and problems in the future we know now that we can roll with the punches and still put on a great ritual! :)

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