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.

Suddenly Slowly Summer-this glorious May

This glorious May is all about wonder and becoming.
Joyful busyness and busy joyfulness and falling-down tired.

The multi-dimensionality of blooming.
Transformative passages of spring to summer down a back road in the dark.
The earliest bird chatter well before dawn, and the scent of flowers or approaching storm in the air.

The May.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

the season of Spring

Things progress more slowly on this mountain and the subtlety of  the season has unfurled daily.
Now we are ready for Beltaine.

There had been early heat that brought the valley to bloom just to freeze in a late snow.

and then we started all over again
into Spring. 


But before all this strong sunshine and dry earth
it was grey.
Marvelously grey, like our spirits,
uncertain and disturbed.

fruiting lichen

We had gotten it together to go see family, almost mid-way across the country,
and were to leave just after our Vernal Equinox ritual.
It was a tight schedule and a lot of effort but it was the time.
The challenges of travel, family and health colored the holiday for everyone
and fortuitously we ended up just us 3 for ritual.
A family ritual of balance. 

flowering moss


 I remember the lush green moss in the woods as we processed to the Nemeton.
Now the moss is dry with strong sun only slightly filtered
by just budding trees
and little water.

There were few flowers but even without snow, we thrilled at the awakening of the earth.


Bryan and I did a lot of the ritual sacrifice together, maybe not hand-in-hand but 
heart to heart
or side by side.
Our teenage son, silent in the West, but wholly present,
taking photos until the camera battery died.

hair branches

Strawberry in the East
Strawberries to our directions, a spot of color on the silence of the landscape,
breathing in and out to the water flowing,
the last of his Bailey's to the Earth Mother.
Earth Mother sacrifice

we burned our sweet grass and grain sheaves and poured seeds down the well.
our contained fire was small but alive.
let this fire be a good fire

first flame
 seed sacrifice

fire well and tree
 Just giving thanks from deep in the recessed corners of our pockets from the lost winter and for the season to come.
fire well and tree

fire in the cauldronfire out of the cauldron
final sacrificefinal sacrifice
A large smudge for final sacrifice,
throwing the rune sticks in the North,
throwing sticks
our omens- the last photo

Our Omens
from the Honored Dead: Ansuz or the Voice-LISTEN you are being spoken to.
from the Spirits of Nature and Place: Wunjo or JOY-camaraderie, fellowship, getting along.
from the Gods and Goddesses: Nathuz or NEED-what you need.
for the Season: Perthro or LUCK- the chance cup.

and one extra just to make sure: Algiz or Protection-, the Elksedge, BE ALERT,
the world needs more lerts.

  balance and flow