Yule Ritual Summary

Yule Ritual
December 14th, 2014
Deities of the Occasion: Danu and Bel
Offerings: decorating cookies / cookies and milk
Omen: Berkana – Othala – Gebo
Return flow: cookies and milk
Attendees: 10

Notes:

No one came to the Fire Lighting at my apartment the night before. I don’t know whether it’s a general lack of interest in doing it (it’s not as though Fire Swatch draws a lot of people these days, and that’s outside in the woods) or just the usual time commitments people are subject to in December. We’ll see how many people come to the next two . (On the bright side, we had decided not to do ornaments for the return flow, so I didn’t get stuck making those myself!)

Gen and I arrived at the site at 2, expecting to find the Friends still cleaning up the basement after their event, but it was quite empty, apart from Daniela who was the only one to arrive early. Rod arrived not too long after, so we were ready to go by about 2:40. (Now watch, we’ll show up at 1:30 for Imbolc and they’ll all still be there.)

The ritual itself went smoothly, Only ten people were present, but I’m relatively okay with a Yule ritual being small and more intimate, compared to, say, a small Spring Equinox or Beltaine. We decorated sugar cookies (loved Rod’s Storm Trooper head on a bell-shaped cookie) and offered them to Danu and Bel along with a glass of milk. The omen was good, so we shared cookies and milk for the return flow. (No, not the same cookies and milk we offered, all you people who think we don’t know how offerings work.)

The potluck and socializing went fairly quickly, and there weren’t enough people present to justify a raffle, so we cleaned up and left before sunset, which is saying something when sunset is a bit past 5!

Now begins the usual three week period of no Grove events, as people do have many other commitments to take care of. Here’s wishing you all happy holidays and a blessed new year!

Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF

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Samhain Weekend Summary

Samhain Ritual Weekend
November 7th and 8th, 2014
Deity of the Occasion: Ana and Lugh / The Ancestors and Manannan
Offerings: mask-making / bread
Omen: Sowilo – Ingwaz – Ansuz / Uruz – Thurisaz – Gebo
Return flow: cider / bread
Attendees: 9 / 19

Notes:

Fire Watch was pleasant, despite the neighbors honking their car horn in an effort to annoy us. Ten of us were there to light the ritual fire, swear in the Grove officers for their new term, and our very stripped-down Pompaia ritual to bless the nemeton.

Nine people were at the afternoon rite, all adults, to honor Ana and Lugh. The ritual went well enough, but using a ritual script written to be accessible to children when children don’t show up is seeming more and more silly to me these days. The afternoon rite is far more likely to get adults who can’t make it to the evening ritual, and I feel like we’re doing them a disservice and we should really just do one of our regular unscripted full-on High Day rites instead. It’s not like those are child-hostile.

The evening rite saw nineteen people brave the darkness and the somewhat cold to join us in our illuminated nemeton to honor Manannan and the Ancestors. The setting is always beautiful, and there was a real presence and a real power to the rite.

After, we had our Ancestor Supper, participated in by all of five people, because as I’ve learned over the years, most people would rather do the social jibber-jabber thing than do yet another religious thing. Still, I’m a Priest who takes the whole “honor the Kindreds” thing seriously, and I’d rather see it done with just a dedicated few of us than not see it done at all.

Now it’s time for us to get all warm with three indoor rites before we return to our nemeton in the spring. Until then, may our ritual space spend the winter sleeping well beneath Danu’s shiny blanket.

Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid (for yet another term), Shining Lakes Grove, ADF