Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Samhain 2012 - Signs and Portents

I try to maintain a Mythopoeic world-view - that the world we live in is part of a larger, interconnected, vibrant and alive place. With ancient stories to guide us and spirits and Deities and Who Knows What Else roiling around in a froth of activity and living. With all this hubbub around us, it just makes sense to be sensitive to what's about, and use divination tools to make sure we get a sense of things and grab any message that might be directed at us. 

So I tried not to be overly worried about the Samhain ritual that we were missing due to me needing to go to Ohio to be with my father.  Who, in his declining years, had a semi-serious medical emergency that ended him up in the ER. (It turned out to be, uh, a physical blockage of his digestive tract so was dealt with - but there are some lifestyle changes due in his future. I know, I know, TMI.)

But it got me to thinking, how funny/odd/weird it was that for our Grove's traditional "Ancestor" rite I was wending off to be with one of my Ancestors - albeit one that was still alive and kicking. (Ask me one Yule - our "storytelling" rite - about frantically received texts from me after the rite. Sorry for the scare Caroline!) One of the things about Our Own Druidry (in fact, most religions strive for this I think) is that we believe that Our Religion should inform our daily lives. Not just a Full Moon or Cross Quarter kinda thing.

So, was it a Deity speaking to me or just a weird twist of fate? Omen or Pizza? However kewl it might be that Someone Spoke to me, ultimately what matters is my reaction to it.  One more holiday and attendant story to help me remember what Ancestor means - and how I sometimes fail at honoring them while alive, or their memories when they've moved on.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Earth Mother Invocation

I just came across this on FaceBook and (after learning a bit more about the Ute) thought it would make a good Earth Mother invocation.  

Earth, Teach Me

Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.

A Ute Prayer

I won't give a link where I found it, it's pretty much blanketing teh Intarwebs.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wild Onion Yule 2012

This year due to scheduling conflicts, we had Yule at Chris and Jack's house. (No worries though we will be back at Life Force Arts Center in it's new location for Imbolc!)

For the ritual we did the same thing we did last year, we assigned each step of the ritual with a rune (after a bit of re-writing as some runes weren't really in the right places) and then had the participants place the corresponding rune ornament on the tree at the appropriate time. The tree this year was my sparkly one and I also added an excessive amount of tinsel so it looked much nicer than it did last year.

Amazingly Chris' Odin plaque survived the Great Flood of 2011 with minimal damage so it graced the altar and we now have the Heimdallr Bifrost prayer beads to use as a symbol of Heimdallr (our Gatekeeper for Norse style rites) as well.

Overall the rite went very well. I did my Norse Well Tree and Fire, everyone shared their Odin stories, we sang the Snows of Valhalla and the sacrifice was made (beer, lots of beer!) and the Omens were good. We shared more beer for the return flow and for the take-aways Jack made Rune cards for each person to randomly select as a personal omen for the year.

The only major fail was my Wild Onion Wassail song. I usually am not a huge fan of filked Christmas carols but this one seemed sort of appropriate for a reinterpretation and the whole wassailing thing is pretty Pagan anyway. We sort of ran through it at the beginning but then sort of forgot about it. I had intended it to be sung during the return flow as we passed the wassail cup around, but that was vetoed and it was decided it would be sung at the end but by then I think everyone just wanted to go feast and we never sang it. Oh well there is always next year I suppose.

 After the rite we stuffed ourselves silly with lasagna and garlic bread, a vegetable platter, a cheese plate, chips and dip, juice, beer, wine, eggnog, cookies, and homemade gingerbread,  as well as stockings filled with treats and presents courtesy of Jack and Chris!

Imbolc is the next High Day and we will be honoring Brighid and making butter! We will also be resuming our work with the Forest Preserve in February so keep watching this space!