High Day Recap – Samhain

5 11 2013

I did my ritual on Samhain evening at home alone. It started off quite badly as I was only using candlelight and I couldn’t see the words of the ritual that I had written. I had to add extra candle light which mucked up the flow. Eventually I sorted it and things went relatively smoothly from then on. I used the Solitary Druid Fellowship’s ritual format with some changes. As Morrighan is associated with death, Donn is lord of the dead and Cailleach Bheur has roots in both Ireland and Scotland relating to winter, I thought it was appropriate to honour them as patron and write prayers to them. The offerings I used were oil for the shining ones, fire and each patron, seeds for the nature spirits, home-made cider for the ancestors, silver coin for the well, incense for the tree, oats for the earth mother, an apple for Manannan as gatekeeper and bread as a final offering. I also chose to integrate some extra workings into my ritual including a house cleansing, warding and blessing, as well as specific actions to honour my ancestors. These extras meant the ritual took over an hour to do but helped the whole flow of the ritual. I also used the two powers meditation in the ritual. To honour my ancestors I lit a candle for each of my grandparents and a friend who had died, as well as spending a minute in silence to honour them. I didn’t feel anything special happen in the ritual and I think I need to make more effort with gestures and raising my voice to have more of an effect.

This was the first time I used the Ogham set I had made for the Omen. I asked “Grant me true seeing that I may know what blessings you have for me” after seeing it used by another ADF member in one of their rituals. The Omen was Huathe – Consequence, Fearn – Endurance and Saill – Intuition. I am interpreting this as saying that the blessings that will be the consequence of this ritual are endurance and help in developing intuition. Or it could relate to the need to have endurance and commitment/ discipline to follow a new direction of meditation and looking inward/ developing intuition which I seem to be moving towards in my life. I am interpreting this as a positive omen.

The rest of my celebrations included a party with friends, leaving out food for the ancestors, carving a pumpkin and eating a meal of spicy butternut squash soup, colcannon with vegan sausages and baked apple.

Dedicant Path Week 29 – High Day Recap – Mabon

25 09 2013

I did my Autumn Equinox ritual on Sunday afternoon. The ritual started off a big haphazard but I got into the swing of things quite quickly and it went well from then on. I used the Solitary Druid Fellowship’s ritual with a few changes of my own, including using the words “parting the veil” rather than “open the gates” in order to make it more Celtic. I chose to honour An Dagda as the main god of this ritual because he is the Irish Celtic god of the Earth and the turner of the seasons. He also has a cauldron of plenty which I felt fitted in nicely with the harvest theme of this festival. I wrote a praise prayer to him myself and used that in the honouring the deities of occasion part. As I had already done a 20 minute meditation in nature during the day, I kept the meditation part very short but I don’t think it harmed it in any way. The offerings were the same as normal except for an extra portion of oats for An Dagda. My normal offerings are an apple for Manannan, oil for the fire and for the shining ones, a silver coin for the well, incense for the tree, seeds for the nature spirits, cider for the ancestors (I have just finished brewing my own so I used that in this ritual) and oats for the Earth Mother. I didn’t feel anything special happen in the ritual but this is the second time when I’ve felt a sense of readiness/ confidence/ empowerment once the ritual was ended. I have decided I need a better final offering for all the Kindreds instead of just water so I will need to have a think about that at Samhain. I also mucked up a little on the oil and to keep pouring it in the middle of ritual ruins the flow of things so I need to make sure I have it already poured out beforehand next time.

The omen was confusing but positive I think. I pulled three tarot cards. First I asked – “how were my offerings received?” I was given Two of Stones – Challenge. Reading the handbook for the Tarot, it talks about challenge, rivalry, adversity, something born of insecurity in the subconscious. It’s also about having personal integrity and sincerity, standing my ground and remaining clear and focused on objectives. I’m not 100% sure whether this is meant to be positive or negative. Do they feel challenged or do they want to challenge me? Do they want to challenge me about my offerings? Perhaps they don’t like them?The second question was “how shall you respond?” For this I pulled the Green Woman. This is a symbol of the universal mother, the womb of nature, the female archetype of wildness and the bounty of the great mother or goddess of sovereignty. She challenges all comers to brave her tests and offers them inner kingship, love and a deep bond to the riches of the earth. It’ about the blessings of the earth mother, fertility, nurturing, protection and the path of communion with nature. I’m taking this as meaning they are offering blessing, fertility and abundance so its a big positive.
The final question was “what more would you have me learn?” For this I pulled the six of vessels – Reunion. This is confusing again. Its about affection and love in a situation which needs resolving or could be a reunion in the soul – of the individual with their own nature. I think the Kindred are saying there is something in me that needs resolving or reuniting.

I think I need to have much clearer questions and use my new Ogham set rather than the Tarot to make things a lot simpler and easier to understand.

For the rest of my celebrations, I made an Ogham set using local pebbles. I had a big potluck meal with friends and drank cider I had brewed myself, and I decorated the house with lots of leaves and other things from nature.