Yule Ritual Summary

Yule Ritual
December 13th, 2015
Deities of the Occasion: Danu and Bel
Offerings: wreath, nuts
Omen: Othala – Isa – Ingwaz
Return flow: fruitcake cookies
Attendees: 15

Notes:

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

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Samhain Rituals Summary

Samhain Rituals
November 7th, 2015
Deity/Kindred of the Occasion: Lugh and Ana / Manannan and the Ancestors
Offerings: bird seed / oil
Omen: Uruz – Jera -Ehwaz / Dagaz – Jera – Iaguz
Return flow: apple slices / candles
Attendees: 10 / 16

Notes:

We actually had some folks at Fire Watch, unusual for this year, but I figured Samhain would be the one that people would actually attend. After lighting the fire, we had our usual officer initiation for the new year, and then I led a brief Khalkeia rite to honor Hephaistos and Athena.

Saturday afternoon, we had a good turnout for the afternoon rite, our first one that we ran as a full rite and not a stripped-down “family friendly” rite, and it went well. We celebrated the reunion of Lugh and Ana at the beginning of the dark half of the year, and made seed-on-peanut-butter-on-cardboard-roll bird feeders t decorate the nemeton.

In between rituals, Gen led a session of decorating skull cookies, then led the decorating of the nemeton for the evening rite. No luminaria or tiki torches this time, but there were plenty of candles to go around.

For the evening rite, we called to Manannan and the Ancestors, honoring our own personal Ancestors and sharing the flame of inspira6tion deep within the darkness of the woods. And burned lots of things in the fire, because it was dark and cold, though not as cold as usual for a Samhain around here.

After the main rite, we set up a plate of food for the Ancestors (and I’m very happy that people actually joined in this time), the socialized, and somehow managed to clean up the site in the dark without losing anything (that we’ve noticed yet).

And with the last of our outdoor rituals for the year concluded, we now prepare for the winter, for indoor rituals, and for the blessings of Danu as the snow and the quiet fall upon the land.

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

 

(Pictures can be found at: https://plus.google.com/photos/103265206100710904743/albums/6214969440946737361 )