So I just got back from Lughnasadh, well from visiting Gen’s family after Lughnasadh so please do excuse the lateness of the post, as well as the brevity because I really don’t want to stay up super late to write this. >8)
Friday night went well, we had 19 people total who made beeswax candles and ten attended a wonderful first public rite from Cedarsong Protogrove to honor Lugh and Tailtiu. And I’m thinking, wow, our steadily increasing turnout to High Day rituals is continuing!
Saturday, we had 15 folks on the site throughout the day, most of them had been there on Friday as well. We started in the afternoon rather than the morning, because I was pretty sure people didn’t want to show up in the morning just to here me drone about SLG history. There were only twelve folks at the main rite itself (and the weather was lovely all weekend, so I’m quite certain it wasn’t a fear of rain this time around!) and the ritual itself went well. The omen itself was a little hard to interpret, Rodney finally decided that Lugh and Ana were asking us to do a guided meditation so we could get in better contact with them. I’m not big on doing guided meditation of any sort during a large group ritual, but when that’s what the omen asks for, that’s what we do. After the meditation we got a much better omen, so that was good.
In the evening Jude did a presentation on labyrinths, and yes I did set up the portable labyrinth I talked about last time, and it was well-loved enough that we’ll probably set it up for our next High Day as well. Then Gen did a workshop on salt dough sculptures, and I made a snake for my home altar, and I’ll paint it as soon as I get it back in baked form. Gen and I then let a Hellenic-style ADF rite for all nine of the folks who were still on the site. We all made oaths to our gods and asked for their help in completing them. Some of the folks who worked with salt dough made tablets and wrote their oaths on them and offered them at the herm in our nemeton, a very Greek way to do it! Well, offering the tablets to the well might have been more traditional, but then the local deer wouldn’t have been able to eat them once we left. Call it a modern adaptation.
And then I came back on Sunday to do a few more workshops and a guided meditation, and… Nobody came. Just the folks who had stayed the night before. After so many people told me last year that they would have attended on Sunday if we had any actual Sunday events, I convinced the Grove leadership council that we should add a day. Apparently I shouldn’t have bothered. Ah well, Lughnasadh is perhaps the trickiest festival to schedule, with so many other things happening (I myself was invited to a pig roast on Saturday), and I know we’re not the absolute top priority for anyone who isn’t me. Even the folks who want to attend our rites only have so much time to devote to them, I can hardly expect everyone to want to spend two or three days there. We’ll call it a learning experience, and next year when we close up the festival on Saturday night, I won’t feel even a twinge of worry about people missing out on it.
Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF
Salt Dough Sculpture: http://www.ancientnile.co.uk/saltdough.php