It won’t be a huge entry this week, since between the Imbolc ritual yesterday and preparations for Valentine’s Day at the flower store this week, I’ve not had a lot of time to write.
Yesterday’s rite was, well, not quite what I expected, but then again how many of our rites are? Usually our Imbolc rites attract a fairly good crowd, but it sounds like everyone’s car decided to get sick at the same time. We only had sixteen folks yesterday, and seven of them were first-timers. As I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, getting a “group mind” established in a public rite is a challenge, and moreso when it’s a lot of new people who don’t necessarily know what to expect. So I made sure to talk during the segues (pronounced “segways”, like those silly-looking wheeled things people stand on), saying things like, “Now that we have opened the gates, we invite the Kindreds to be with us here in the ritual space”, things that maybe I wouldn’t need to say if everyone was an experienced ADF congregant, though it couldn’t hurt!
The ritual went well, I thought. We passed bread around the circle and had everyone cut a piece off, and then offered the bread to Bríd. We also offered her a Bríd cross, which we threw into the river after the rite, to honor her more watery aspects. We had a very good omen, with the runes telling us that Bríd wanted to act as a divine inspiration to us. As our return blessing, we gave out our traditional brat Bríds (or should that be brats Bríd?), and we took turns holding the knife in a candle flame and thought of the hard times in our lives, and asked Bríd to help us learn and grow from those hard times and become stronger, as a blade becomes stronger by being tempered in a flame. So we managed to honor her fiery aspects as well as her watery ones.
I’d say that everyone thought the ritual went well, but I hate to speak for others, maybe people could actually post a comment here and not only confirm my assessment but also prove that somebody is reading this blog? >8)
Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF