High Day Recap – Ostara

25 03 2014

I did my Ostara ritual at the moment of the vernal equinox on 20th March. It went well and I had a surprisingly good Two Powers visualisation (perhaps because I was standing up this time and so it felt more real.) As usual I used the Solitary Druid Fellowships basic ritual format with my own additions and changes. I honoured Eostre and Njord as the patrons of this ritual as Eostre is the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, while this is also the beginning of much of our fishing season so Njord seemed appropriate. I honoured Heimdall as my gatekeeper and Hertha as the Earth Mother. I gave oats to the Earth Mother as an offering, silver to the well, oil to the fire and shining ones, an apple to Heimdall, seeds to the nature spirits, cider to the ancestors, oil to Njord and Eostre and bread as a final offering. I also did my Oath at this rite, giving Honey as an offering to all the kindreds.

I took two omens during the ritual. My normal Ostara one using my homemade Ogham set was Luis – protection from the gods, Hawthorn – consequences from the Ancestors and Hazel – creativity from the Nature spirits. I’m not sure what to make of the omen as it’s got both positive and negative elements. I wonder whether the Ancestors want more from me. I will have to meditate on this and seek guidance.

The rest of my celebrations included making a curried scrambled tofu dish as a vegan alternative to scrambled eggs and an attempt at naturally dyeing eggs which only really worked with tumeric. I also decorated my altar with daffodils.





High Day Recap – Imbolc

1 02 2014

I did my Imbolc ritual at 3pm on 1st February. It went reasonably well although I lost one piece of my script for a minute and forgot to light one of the candles. However I felt empowered at several points during the ritual. As usual I used the Solitary Druid Fellowship’s ritual format although with quite a few additions. I decided that as this was a Celtic holiday, I would honour the celtic pantheon again with the Patrons being Brigid and Manannan (as it was traditionally the beginning of the fishing season too). Manannan was also my gatekeeper. I gave oats to the Earth Mother as an offering, silver to the well, oil to the fire and shining ones, an apple to manannan, seeds to the nature spirits, cider to the ancestors, soya milk to Brigid and bread as a final offering. I also prayed for a blessing over my seeds, tools and land.

I used my Ogham set for the Omen and got – Ceirt (beauty, love) from shining ones, Ruis (Transition ) for ancestors and Coll (Creativity) from the nature spirits. I am taking this as a very positive omen and blessings from the Kindred.

The rest of my celebrations included eating lots of (fake) dairy products, putting cloth out for brigid to bless last night, making a brigid bed, lighting lots of candles and putting them in the windows, leaving bread and butter on the windowsill as an offering, buying a candle making kit, and this evening I will make a spicy lentil shepherds pie.





High Day Recap – Yule

22 12 2013

I did my ritual at 5pm on the day of Yule because I wanted to time it to coincide with the actual moment of the Solstice. I stumbled a bit at the beginning….I think it was because I was nervous at the fact that my partner was there (though not taking part) so I was self conscious doing it alone but “in public.” As usual, I used the Solitary Druid Fellowship’s ritual format with some editing of my own. I am trying out switching my hearth culture from Celtic to Norse so I decided to honour Sunna as its the time of the sun’s rebirth, and Odin, the leader of the Wild Hunt as my deities of the occasion. I also changed gatekeepers to Heimdall. 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 Heimdall as gatekeeper and bread as a final offering. As part of the final affirmation, I lit yule candle to honour the Sun. I didn’t feel anything special happen but I do seem to feel more contented/ fulfilled/ at peace afterwards so I think a switch of Pantheon is the right way forward.

I used the Ogham set for the Omen and asked the Kindred “Grant me true seeing this season that I may know what blessings you have for me.” I pulled three Ogham – Saill/ Willow – Intuition, Nion/ Ash – Wisdom and Ur/ Heather – Dreams or Feelings. I am interpreting this as a positive omen and that the Kindreds are offering me blessings in these areas or saying I need to pay attention to inside feelings/ intuition and dreams to gain wisdom?

The rest of my celebrations included a party with friends, some porridge left out for the house wight and eating a Yule feast.





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.





Dedicant Path Week 18 – High Day Recap – Lughnasadh

11 08 2013

I did the ritual on my own about an hour before sunset on eve of Lughnasadh. The ritual went really well as I used the Solitary Druid Fellowships ritual with a few of my own modifications. These were a change in the prayer to the earth mother (to one I had written myself) and a different statement of purpose. I also included a three minute meditation during the centering and grounding part as I learned from the last one that having it further on seemed to break up the flow of the ritual. This time it worked well. Manannan Mac Lyr was my gatekeeper and the patron was Lugh. The offerings were as before – oil for the fire and gods, apple for the gatekeeper, silver coin for the well, oats for the earth mother, cider for the ancestors, seeds for the nature spirits and a special offering of bread for Lugh that I had made myself. I also wrote a prayer to Lugh. The ritual went well but I didn’t feel anything special.

The omen was very positive. First I asked how were the offerings accepted and got back the knight of vessels – the eel. The Eel is the purveyor of wisdom and protection, it can become a weapon of warriors and it swims through the weeds. The card is also associated with attraction, welcoming, compliance, agreement and union. I felt this meant the offerings were received positively. The second question was – how shall you respond? The card was Queen of Stones – the bear. This means power and protection of the land, richness and plenty, pragmatism, generosity and prosperity. It can also mean a demanding individual, assurance and frankness. The final question was – what more would you have me learn? This came out as Ten of Bows – responsibility. It talks of a struggle up a path towards the reassuring glow of security and companionship, the need for inner fortitude, stoic resolve and determination to take on the task handed to me, to take responsibility for actions and learn valuable lessons. I am interpreting this as a very positive omen and that the kindred accept my offerings and give me prosperity in return but they expect me to be responsible and determined in the tasks I have to deal with.

The rest of my celebrations included making bread as a symbol of the first harvest of grain and picking blackberries from behind my house and putting them on my altar along with sweetcorn. I didn’t have a party this year because people were too busy but hopefully I will for autumn equinox.





Dedicant Path Week 12 – High Day Recap – Litha

23 06 2013

I did my Solstice ritual at the time of the solstice (6.04am) on Friday 21st June. The ritual went well and quite smoothly. I used the structure and wording from the Solitary Druid Fellowship’s ritual but with a few modifications. I decided to honour Manannan and Aine as the patron deities during this ritual and Manannan was also the gatekeeper. I printed out an image of him to put above my altar which made things easier I think. I remembered to keep the offerings close to me this time so the flow of the ritual went better and I used the same offering types as previously. I found two praise poems online (one for manannan and one for aine) which I used as part of the ritual. I also decided to honour the sun by doing a sun salutation (yoga). I included this weeks meditation in my ritual, doing both the two powers and the metta meditations but I’m not sure I did them in the right place so might move the meditation to a different part of the ritual next time. I didn’t feel anything special happen but I did enjoy the ritual. I asked different questions this time of the kindreds for the omen – first was how were my offerings received? The card I pulled was Green Woman and the explanation was to do with summer solstice, fire, sovereignty, blessing, bounty and divine life. I am taking that as a positive omen. The second question was – how shall you respond? I pulled the Moon on Water card but it was upside down which totally confused me. Meanings include potential, winter solstice, gateway to the soul, mystic still point, intuition, consciousness, inner transformation, illuminating a path or darkness. It was however upside down which should mean the opposite of these things. It confused me quite a lot unless it means something about the external. The final question was what more would you have me learn? Again this was upside down but was the Woodward. Normally this means Lughnasadh, patience/ love countering anger & hate, maturity, courage, calm resolute strength, facing fear and inner darkness, mercy. I’m not sure what the kindred want me to learn that would be the opposite of these things? Any thoughts would be appreciated. I definitely need to make some runes or Oghams so there isn’t an upside down option to confuse me in future. I am taking away from this that the Kindred accepted my offerings though so that is good.

The rest of my celebrations included a big party with friends, decorating my with oak leaves and sunflower seeds, watching a version of a midsummer nights dream and spending time in nature. I also got up to watch the sunrise at 5am but it was cloudy so didn’t see much more than the sky turning a bit pinker.





Dedicant Path Week 8 – High Day Recap – Beltane

1 05 2013
Beltane Panoram

Beltane (Photo credit: pyramis)

I did my Beltane rite at 5pm on Wednesday 1st May as an ending to the celebrations. I used the structure and wording from the Solitary Druid Fellowship’s ritual but with a few modifications e.g. incorporating a prayer to the Earth Mother I had previously written. I really liked the wording of the ritual, with its emphasis on affirming our relationship with the cosmos as the purpose of ritual. I wasn’t sure which deities to honour from the Irish pantheon for this rite, so I chose not to honour any specific deities but rather honoured them all generically. The gatekeeper was Manannan Mac Lir because I am finding myself developing quite a connection with him and am thinking he may end up being my Patron deity. I live on the coast and the ocean and fishing very much dominate our lives here so I feel it is right that he is honoured. I did the ritual alone in my house as I am to nervous to do things outside in public and I don’t have a garden. I enjoyed giving the offerings, however I mucked up with the offering to the fire as I poured the oil on the flame and it went out. For offerings I used oil for the fire and the gods, apple for the gatekeeper, seeds for the nature spirits, silver coin for the well, oats for the earth mother, incense for the tree and cider for the ancestors.  I will need to bring the offerings closer to me next time as they were on a desk which wasn’t close enough and trying to get them disrupted the flow somewhat. Also, doing it in the daytime had an effect on the atmosphere of the ritual as the candle didn’t really shine much (and I forgot to light two other candles). The ritual went well however I didn’t really feel any connection which disappointed me. I also got a strange omen reading. I decided to take three tarot cards (using Wildwood Tarot) – one for each kindred, asking “What blessings do the kindred offer me?” I received an upside down “The Seer” from the Shining Ones, the “Three of Arrows” meaning Jealousy from the Nature Spirits and “Ten of Stones” meaning Home from the Ancestors. Reading up what they meant, I’m not really sure what to make of the message as it doesn’t seem very positive. Putting together the messages, I think it might be telling me that there’s some negative emotions towards certain people that I need to deal with. However I’m not sure and am very confused.

The rest of my celebrations have included a big party with friends last night, making a maypole for my altar, decorating with flowers and hawthorn branches (Cornish tradition), going for a walk to nature to experience the beginning of summer, spending some romantic time with my partner and making summery foods like potato salad (vegan), flapjacks and homemade lemonade.