Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Solstice 2011

Summer Solstice altar
Summer Solstice day dawned cloudy and potentially wet, so we initiated our rain plan and moved the rite to Jack and Chris' house. Ironically it didn't rain the whole day but I have to admit a certain amount of pleasure at having the rite in air conditioning as the day was muggy and hot.
The first thing we did was prepare the herbs for the herb bags, we have made herb bags before for our rite to Belenos, but this time we could add some grown by Jack in his and Chris' new garden! As people started showing up, we prepared the altar and made sure everyone had a drink and some nibbles.

Herb bags waiting to be
blessed and filled
We began the rite processing from the kitchen to the diningroom/ritual room, singing We Call the Tribe, with Jack leading us because we still mess up the words (headdesk) I think we are improving though, it's not that we forget the words just in what order they go in! As always we invoked the Earth Mother, and Jack did a visualization for the meditation. We called Cernunnos as our Gatekeeper (using an invocation by Michael Dangler) and Brigantia for our Bardic inspiration, in keeping with the Gaulish theme.

Wild Onion Grove
We invoked the three Kindreds but did not give offerings I now realize, well they must be quite forgiving as nothing untoward happened (no woad drinking or anything!) I must start keeping better track of the offerings! We then of course invoked Belenos and made praise offerings, Jack read his Belenos story (which I will post a link to as soon as I get it!) and Jennifer read a lovely poem she wrote (again will try to link) For the Sacrifice we offered fresh herbs from Jack and Chris' garden and some Polish honey wine Chris and I found at the store. We thought that the honey wine would be a good choice as its amber color and sweet taste seems to embody this time of year and is very appropriate for a Sun God!

Jack tells a story of Belenos
I then drew the Omen and the sacrifice had been accepted, the Grove Omen was also very positive (despite forgetting the Kindred offerings!) So Chris prepared and asked for blessings on the return blessings of mead and of course the herb bags and we all had some mead (and pomegranate juice) and filled our little bags with the herb mix. (The herbs were echinacea, fenugreek, juniper berry, blackberry leaf, eucalyptus, meadowsweet, spearmint, rosemary, and hellebore) We then concluded as the sun came out of the clouds and so we all went outside to enjoy the beautiful garden and quickly improving weather and have more nibbles and honey wine!

Enjoying the garden and
each other's company
So next up is Lughnassadh. It looks like we will be going back to Lugh this year and we will be doing the whole country fair theme again with a bake-off (Lugh picks the winner and it becomes the sacrifice), games, prizes etc and it will probably be a whole day affair. We are currently discussing the details on our new message board, as well as some of our future plans, talks, field trips etc. Anyone is welcome to participate even if you aren't in the Chicagoland area, the more the merrier I say! Besides I am hoping we can have some cracking good discussions about a lot of things. We also have an RSVP page on the site now where you can RSVP to any of the remaining High Days of the year as well as any other events that will posted as they arise. Anyway hope everyone had a lovely Solstice and is enjoying the bounties of summer!


  1. Small correction: the Cernunnos invocation for the Gatekeeper was from a Mike Dangler ritual on the ADF site ( ) but he noted that the prayer itself was from Cei's Book of Pagan Prayer ( ).

  2. The poem I read for my praise offering to Belenos:

    Belenos, we bask now, find bliss in your brightness;

    Your strength shines down on us, the earth to restore.

    Your light brings the harvest, fine food and fair feasting,

    And now we give thanks for your blessings and more.