Monday, September 12, 2016

Lughnasah- the drifting of clouds

So now over a month later, this glorious month of Lugh, of summer, of heat and seasons changing.
Welcoming cool nights and even the drenching heat of summer’s return, we and the leaves change.
The drying of the gardens is different now as harvest calls past.

Lughnasah or Lughnasad or Lughnasa is that high point stretching,
the last endless before fall.

As much as the strong summer sun was unbearable at times this season drops us headlong into fall.
Nights come so much more quickly and it is just dawning at 6am.
Autumnal Equinox is soon.
But the clouds, in the sky, 
draw our eyes.

Thanks summertime, summer vacation, summer sun!
eternal daylight withdrawing.

Telling the stories of Lugh
and his foster mother Tailtiu
and all the battles and the instruments and the winning and the harvests.
This telling and retelling as sacrifice.
May we continue in our strength. 
May we remain joyfully together.

Some notes from then now:
Visits from our old neighbor, 
the Bear,
and the other neighbors.
Honoring the Bear.

 bird songs and human chatter
connection to the earth as the wind chimes the gong
You light the fire.
We work the fire back to life as Bridget sacrifice, 
our continued breath.

group effort of sacrifice as creative devotional.


fruit and mead, sage and sweetgrass,
wet and heavy vegetables onto the fire,
a summer afternoon fire.
fireworks as the fire is soaked at night.
A giant flame.
It’s all OK.
Healthy Balance.
Focus within.
Grounded on the Earth.
Smoke in the sunlight.  

Our Omens
from the Ancestors: Raido-Communication
from the Spirits of Nature and Place: Year-Harvest
from the Gods & Goddesses: Laguz or Lake, that which we draw up from
for the Season: Isa or Ice.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

MidSummer (from the other side)

our cherries in my bowl

Just now on this Interdependence Day burning the last of the sage offering unused at ritual and now clearing the whole house, each of the directions, circling each of the rooms, 

the central staircase from attic to basement, each of the doorways, the perimeter of the house, the walkway, the circle, the self and back to the hearth.

MidSummer is this streaming heat

 and sweat and tears and energy and events and schedules and friends and family.

Unlike Equinox, there is little balance, just extended time, dream or a-wakened.

The quiet moments are filled with birdsong. 

The busy moments are filled with everything else.

The garden is now a riot of color. 
Each day new flowers bloom. It is glorious. 
And busy. 

We ran headlong into MidSummer,

from end of school, to our anniversaries, to high season of work.

Even with days off, the catastrophes of computers

delayed or held hostage actual set up,

vacuuming in the heat, racing to the store, giving up with pizza.

It's summer.

Many folks who haven't been here might have shown up,

but just her, our regional Druid, charming and shining like the sun, made it.

And all the long time grove family,

though we did not hear from one, he-who-is-always-here-at-the-solstices and who was missed, though remembered with love.

And just at the start of our procession, they showed up too. 

I knew they would.
Teenager, Bryan, me and 3 other grove women, her and them.

Its always good to go into the woods,
silently over the moss, and past memories grown up.

Lots of flowers, petals, oils, food, beer, sage, garlic,
old magic newspapers, stuff in pockets
Whole prayers out loud, quiet and silent.

Now it a month past MidSummer, 
I can see the imperceptible loss of daylight.
Drought and raging thunderstorms define this high summertime.

There are no pictures of all our sacrifice, nor can I remember much.
Trying to really be here and present, to pray whole and holy grounded on the earth.
Prayers for peace and gentleness always.
Gratitude for love, the simple joys of love.


Our Omens:

from our Ancestors: Elhaz or Protection, the Elk Sedge. Drawing on natural powers or allowing previously suppressed powers to surface, luck in the hunt, success through strong and rewarded effort
from the Spirits of Nature and Place: Eihwaz or the Ewe Tree or Death's Hook or also identified with Yggdrasil (the World Tree). The Axis symbol of eternal life, links between the worlds, the space and the force that links opposites and the energy between them
from the Gods & Goddesses: Kenaz or the Torch. The ability to shape and craft and to light the way.
For the Season: Gibor/Gebo or Giving.

Let's shine our light of loving energy as our protective power of giving.

Magic is in the here and now, in each petal, in the bird calls and the clouds, in the shining eyes and kind hearts of each of us, in the faint trickle or loud rush of the stream. How we come together, making meals from nothing or from all the same food, or from what we forgot to get or to offer or to share;
how time passes both quickly and incrementally, kids growing large but just the same in spirit, memories overlapping dreams overlapping the present;
how we live and love each day is all there is.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

this glorious May-part 2

It rained a lot before Beltaine. Which was good. 
And with the cooled-down spring we slowly lingered into the season.

The full schedule had already started with work and school and events rolling over each other.
It was Bryan's birthday.
We received our Arts Education Grant Award.
Volunteering our time and energy.
Jobs and driving in between.
Non-stop until the late dusk turns to night.

The May is always thus.

There were many blessings and synchronicities, perhaps as always. 
Our dear friend and original Grove member, who had moved away, had just moved back here.
The new ADF Arch Druid and Vice-Arch Druid were coming for the holiday- doing the long drive from there to here in the middle of the night, for a day.
Folks who had never been here connecting with other people they know who had also never been here.

Exactly enough here. Exactly right.
folks gather

I was up late the night before cleaning and cooking and trying to wait up for our guests but finished and was finished and lay down, waking in the middle of the night sensing them but too asleep to fully come to the reality of not dreaming until the morning.
Coming downstairs to Druids and coffee and sunshine.
Hosting as deep conversation and connections reconnect with many pots of coffee.
Setting up the MayPole, Druids working together with intent, not just us .
The group planning as integral to sacrifice, the grove formation as part of the whole.

It has been a few weeks since our ritual, which was so power-full and so full in so many other ways.
It was hard to get it all at the time other than to just be, to feel, to hear.

Since then summer has come quick.
At that time leaves were dots of color and now they are some of the largest densest foliage ever.
Or so it seems.
What is real and what is perceived or dreamed or thought or thought we thought sometime is interchangeable.

Or so it seems.
It has been high-summer hot for almost a week. We are in need of some steady consistent good rain.
The trees loom much larger than last month, than last year.
Cherries ripen but we will have few peaches.
The flowers bloom in their consecutive color cycle- first the purples and pinks and now the yellows beginning.
I have just planted a small garden and sown some seeds.

At Beltaine it was magical.
People brought many flowers and good food and small cards listing ingredients.
We had a gluten-free table and an other-food room.
We had aged mead and the first mint water and of course coffee.
Conversations and introductions and discussions went long and pre-ritual rant was hours late 
and the teenage kid was annoyed, wanting to start on time, wanting regular.
A local burn ban means a small fire.
We set up at the Nematon, bring chairs out for older and younger ones, past fiddleheads and moss,
with sticks and liquids and sage and sweetgrass and flower petals for sacrifice.


Our Omens pulled and read by Rev. Carrion Mann
    Our Ogham pulled and read by the ArchDruid with the broken wrist.

My notes on the ritual are brief:
Stumbling and Recovering.
Bird Calls.
Human Calls.
Everybody talking and/or receiving at the same time.
Reaching out for resonance between what has been and what will be.
Maypole true and stable.
Tying up all the ribbons and not un-dancing them.
Otherwise I remember being. Feeling my feet on the ground.
I remember how home it felt to hear her offerings in Irish.
To hear the flute or drum like breath. 
To see others make sacrifice and pull omens, to understand.

Honored to share ritual with such wonderful folk and our dear Kindreds.
It is good to be both an insider and outsider.  It is about being whole.