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.
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.
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.
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!