May 7th, 2017
Deity of the Occasion: Aren
Offerings: oil / Maypole dancing / fire jumping
Omen: Hagalaz / Raidho / Dagaz
Return flow: Waters of Life / jumping the fire
(Photos taken by David Rozian are available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidrozian/sets/72157680579409934/)
It was a lovely day for our first ritual at our new nemeton! The wind kept the temperature brisk enough that I didn’t need to remove my jacket, even though the circle was out in the sun and unprotected by any shade. This may be a problem come August, but for May it’s fine. We also ended up having to place some of our ritual gear out on open ground as well, just because there wasn’t anything to prop it up; Fox’s suggestion of building small portable shrine enclosures is a good one. As with our previous nemetons, it will always be a work in progress and we will always be finding ways to make the site both more functional and more beautiful.
Fox, being the crazy person he is, managed to climb a ladder and attach the Maypole topper to the top of the 17 foot bile’. Getting the ribbons under control and tied around the bile’s took a bit longer.
The ritual itself went smoothly. Offerings of oil were made, along with the Dance of Transcending the Boundary (which I managed to do standing up this year) and the Maypole dance. I’m glad I had some idea how many people were coming, since Gen had originally only put 16 ribbons on the topper before bumping it up to 28, and all 28 ended up being used!
After a favorable omen, our randomly selected May Queen chose a much taller friend to jump over the hearth fire (much lower than the raised fire pit we’re using as the central offering fire), along with aspurging with the Waters of Life.
After the ritual, folks stayed around for quite some time, conversing and exploring the wooded paths of the new site. My renewed thanks to Fox and Marisol for making it available to us!