Sunday, March 29, 2009


We are so alive. Breathing and standing erect, I walk on the Earth, our blessed blossoming mother.
I can feel my center, my hands and feet drawing strength from the ground.
I remembered to consciously let go when washing my hands and also with the outsiders offering. Letting it go back to the earth, releasing to compost.

What a great holiday, fine ritual, full day and belly! How many spirits passed through?! Today is grey and feels colder but the earth is not frozen and before we gather again the trees will flower.

First Elizabeth, then Amber, then Lisa, then Katrina, Eric & ZaraJane & the dog, then White Feather and Teresa, then all our Kindreds, then Nitya and Michael & Ivy, then Dylanna, then Nicci, David, Ari & Sophie.

The sap is still flowing and the stream is strong.
It’s hard to begin at the beginning.

The day Before- True Equinox
Balancing an egg on the kitchen hearth in the morning on the equinox, cooking and cleaning that night.
The Early Morning
Making chicken soup first thing the morning of ritual is some kind of ritual.
Planting potato eyes, feeling the sun & giving thanks for the lack of wind and listening to the birds sing. Candles in nests, tea in the pot, Bryan’s spring tonic of sap and bark and just dug roasted roots on the woodstove and offerings set up outside.

Pre- Ritual Grove Meeting
Elizabeth came with her basket of flowers and seeds and quiche. We gathered for our grove meeting and stayed in the kitchen, which Bryan is now taking as an omen of the season- the overcrowded kitchen. May we always be so blessed.
We set times for a mead/cyser workshop at autumn equinox (when all the ingredients can be harvested) & Yule (when the product has fermented) and a brew workshop the following spring equinox, a year from now. This past year has been transformative and we talked about last Vernal Equinox and how far we have come since then.
People Arrive and Bring Goodies
We started to talk about the people who were to attend ritual, many of them new to our group. Amber arrived just as I began to speak of her. She brought chocolate chip cookies- especially welcome as we had no sweet for our feast. It always works out just right.
Then (Aunt) Lisa came with sesame noodles and soup ingredients. Elizabeth went to do the fire and Bryan began his rant. Katrina & Eric & Zara Jane showed up with their sweet dog and salad and the kitchen was crowded. White Feather and Teresa came in with a HUGE jar of sap (some of which then went for our waters) and White Feather’s new book (and Teresa’s small horse carried in her arms).
How we did not all just devour those cookies right then, I do not know. The dog helped bring everyone outside where there were almost enough seats. Most of us had tea or muffins and the sun felt warming.
I got Hudson to come downstairs with a chocolate milk bribe and he listened to the rant from inside, shy from all the people.
Lovely Children
Kids and ritual. A whole nother topic, but I have to mention the energy of the now that children always bring. They do not plan or frame like adults and are therefore very present and direct. You have to stay on point with kids and dogs for that matter. They always know where the bones are.
Ready, Set
OK, time to get ready, bathroom break, where is the druid robe, zip up, a glass of water, Gong.
We are here to honor the Gods.
Walking on the soft earth, feeling the squish, not hard nor too soft. Green and growing Earth Mother. A line and not a line, not pushing or strolling, gentle line dance.
Lustration in the cold spring water, solarized with a rose quartz. Washing away the winter. Circling up and finding space. Bryan scattered oats around the circle as offering to the Earth Mother and we got comfortable on her, feeling her foundation.
Meditation on the Earth
Feeling ourselves comfortable with no tension in our feet or legs or hands or neck and shoulders or the heavy head.
Drawing the energy of the earth into our feet, feeling that energy with our hands; hearing the stream and feeling the sun streaming into the top of our heads.
Feeling our seat, our base, our bottom, the cauldron of sustenance, that which supports us & feeds us. Breathing 3 times into this cauldron, igniting the fire, seeing it glow, feeling how we have, as support, all that we need. In our center, there is the cauldron of vocation. Sun shining on my chest, warming my heart & belly- the strength and flames from the cauldron of sustenance supporting my vocation. doing what supports me and reflects my center as I breathe 3 times into this center- knowing my true work is within and expands out. And above our heads, like the sunlight is the third cauldron- the cauldron of knowledge. Breathing into this cauldron and igniting the flame of knowledge.

The directions and the gates
The dog and the chicken bones

Offerings to our Kindreds, each one being accepted with a sign: a bird song or bell chime or flash of fire.
Offering for the season, and then all our offerings. first Hudson and also Katrina, oats and then an egg, and then I burned the old and gave thanks for the new and for supportive friends that help balance and transit. Elizabeth offered flowers and Irish words for the season, this season of change and for our beautiful Earth mother, and White Feather offered all gratitude to those who have passed and gone before and also to the seven generations who will come after. The sweet and stinging smoke, the sunlight shimmering in the heat, feeling my feet on the earth, balancing my body and spirit with the slope of the land.
As final sacrifice we scattered old seeds. Bent forward, focusing on the earth, we walked around the circle. I visualized the plants that the seeds would have become, birds that might eat the seeds and the Giant Bean Stalk. Bryan said that it seemed as though so many of them were viney ground creepers. We all seemed to laugh. It was nice to walk and cast out.
Our Omens for the Season
From the Ancestors
: Uruz – the primal ox, that total growth, a wild expansive energy
From the Spirits of Nature & Place: Ehwaz – horse or transportation, the vehicle and the partnership, the partnership between horse & rider, the ability to get, to empower, to make things happen
From the Gods & Goddesses: Fehu or fee, which, this time, was seen as mobile wealth (woohoo cash from the Gods!)
For the Season: Wunjo or joy.
Taking in the Blessings
Facing the well we asked our Kindred to Hallow the waters ,and then, drank in their Sun Warmed Blessings. Integrating and internalizing the blessing within us.
The seed blessing is like the fallout from that – that growth and growing expanding thing.
So much gratitude, centering down and even blowing away.
The glowing fire, the glowing sun, the glowing circle grounding down.
Processing back in the sun and feasting.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Unfreezing the Earth

Ok, so now it is more than a month since Imbolc and the pace has quickened significantly. Spring forwarded last weekend and 1 week until Equinox. The sun rises so much farther to the east that it comes into the door before the windows.

I walked on the mud yesterday and today.
But back then there was still a lot of snow and we were grateful for the warmth of the sun.

Bryan had the fire pit dug out and ringed with snow blocks. We had a well of melted snow for a purification hand wash. Elizabeth was our fire mistress. We had dried herbs and 2 Yule wreaths and turkey fat for offerings. Bridget’s cloak had been in a tree overnight, and we barely needed a coat that day. We had brought our various tools (garden, office, art) to be blessed.

Susan and Elizabeth and Lovisa and her man Chris and Hudson and Bryan and I gathered at the gong and Amy joined us as we processed behind the cars and the VW bus to our Bridget by the stream. One by one we lit our candles and offered our prayers to her. I noticed the buds on the trees, the rushing of the stream, and the brightness of the light. You had to laugh, because Spring was coming.
Marching back to the ice cold water that served as our passage, we washed our hands and got comfortable on the snowy earth. You could sense the energy just underneath the surface. The fire glowed and was strong and warm. The big orange cat from next door joined us, birds sang, faces smiled and squinted at the sun.

I really love how our rituals unfold so naturally. We have grown well together as a group.

The Earth Mother, the Kindreds and Bridget- Bridget as special Grove Matron on her holiday. Can we offer enough? We have no Bard but our spirits sang. We all made our offerings and then there were the wreaths. Dry circles of pine placed on the smoldering embers turned suddenly into a giant blaze. (I gently pulled Hudson back, the cat left.) Bridget loves a good fire.

Our Omens were:
From the Ancestors: Fehu or fee or what things cost. The ancestors are talking to us about a price.
From the Spirits of Nature & Place: Uruz or Ox. This primal strength, it’s a natural growing urge, picking up momentum and getting bigger.
From the Gods & Goddesses: Odul or sacred enclosure. Also what we hold precious, and try to keep safe.
And From Bridget & the Season: Raido or communication. Traveling in a circuit, a progress: right action
The Blessing and passing of waters is getting smoother, and we all got to drink, even the cat.
And then the magic working began.
Bryan pulled out an ever expanding hempen rope as Bridget’s girdle. 9 ropes knotted in 8 intersections forming a huge circle. We each passed through this, passing it around the circle thrice. Climbing or jumping through or wriggling like an emerging worm or fish or unentangling arms and legs like an inside out shirt. Each time a new passage, closer to spring, closer to Bridget.
We asked the Kindreds and Bridget to then bless our tools, the tools of our skills and crafts, the tools of our trade.
Grounding down to the earth, to the potential within, eyes tearing from smoke, we thanked everyone and thanked again and then brought the Bridget idol and her cloak, outside from before the dawn, into the house to grace our hearth.

Crowding around a small table, toasting and eating, creating sacred milk magic, many warm faces.