December 13th, 2015
Deities of the Occasion: Danu and Bel
Offerings: wreath, nuts
Omen: Othala – Isa – Ingwaz
Return flow: fruitcake cookies
This was our first Yule since we officially ended the pre-ritual indoor fire lighting ceremony. I’ll miss doing them, but nobody showed up to any of them last year, and I’m well past the point of pretending that something is a Grove tradition if I’m the only one doing it. At least we’d decided not to do Yule tree ornaments, the traditional activity for the Yule fire lighting, so we didn’t have to find another time to do those. And there are worse things than staying at home with a Yule tree and drinking tea.
I got to the site at 1:20, expecting to see the Friends still cleaning the basement after their event, but the place was completely empty and the light were out. I had enough time (and nobody begging me not to overexert myself) to get most of the tables. Rod brought the ritual gear fairly early but had to head back home for the raffle tickets, so I ended up directing the setup.
The ritual went smoothly enough. We passed our usual greenery wreath for the individual praise, but this time it has a bowl built into the center so we could place offerings of nuts into it. Rodney did get his group praise snowball fight despite the 50 degree temperatures outside, thanks to an artificial snowball set. The return flow was fruitcake cookies, which tasted surprisingly good!
After the potluck and the raffle, we had our usual gift exchange, then managed to get the place cleaned up well before the next group arrived. December is a busy month for just about everyone, including the Friends.
Despite the ridiculously warm temperatures, I thought it was a good ritual, And now begins the quiet time of the year, when Danu’s snow-free but still kind of dark and wet presence covers the land, and we turn our thoughts inward, to the home and to indoor activities.
Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF