Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Samhain draws nigh, it is Summer’s End

out of many one

The nights are chilly and come early. Some trees are already bare and the oranges and reds have darkened. Harvests are stored as best we can; the garden should be fully put to bed but there are always a few more things to do.

The Wheel turns, Summer's end and a new year begins.

Interesting times we live in. Let’s gather and offer gratitude to those who have gone before and have lit the way for us.

I pulled some cards for the season and for our ritual and what really came across was honoring and being at peace with the fullness of who we are. There is only one of each of us and, like our ancestors who are remembered for who they are and what they did, it is essential for us to be who we are. To quote again from Martha Graham to Agnes B. DeMille “THERE IS A VITALITY,A LIFE FORCE, THAT IS TRANSLATED THROUGH YOU INTO ACTION. AND BECAUSE THERE IS ONLY ONE OF YOU IN ALL TIME, THIS EXPRESSION IS UNIQUE. AND IF YOU BLOCK IT,IT WILL NEVER EXIST THROUGH ANY OTHER MEDIUM AND WILL BE LOST.THE WORLD WILL NOT HAVE IT.”

As the veil between the worlds thins, it is important to let go of fear and be whole.

We spoke about this season, the Dead, and Gods or Spirits of the passing- those who act as psychopomps and those who transform. There is often the desire to pair things up- the god and goddess of the season, the king and queen, creating a balance. Maybe sometimes that is a bit forced or unnecessary, maybe we leave someone out that way. I thought about the honoring of each, side by side or individual yet related. Our actual ancestors probably did not know each other, but they are all welcome here, none more honored than the next, with no disrespect to any. My grandparents and Bryan's- so different from each other and yet they all are ancestors to our son.

We talked about the Morrighan, and the Norns, the Fates and Valkiries. The Dagda and Cernunos and Mananan and Odin. We will honor them all as best we can in this world.

We are setting out dumb suppers for those spirits already restless and passing thru like the wind. Our fire on Sunday will burn long after ritual. Bring something to honor and remember your dead kindred and your living self- a name, a song, sweet smelling sacrifice, a tasty morsel.

Come by around 4:30pm, ritual by 5, potluck to follow.

Please RSVP, and if you can't be here be with us in person, please join us in your heart.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rebalance- part 2


While we usually host grove rituals for the Solar holidays (solstices and equinoxes) on the day of the actual event, we were unable to this autumn equinox.  And then trying to accommodate people and schedules it seemed like no one would be able to make it anyway.  Thinking about personal needs and the Grove’s need for better scheduling, it, as always, works out perfectly.

From many to none to just a few. We spent the early part of the day at a small memorial service for a dear friend who passed exactly a year ago. Before our last autumn equinox was the last time I had seen her alive in this world and an interesting circle of closure that we meditated with her picture and spirit before this ritual. 


Too hot weather, finally summer heat- unwanted if you are encased in a foam sling- we pass time until the end of the school day and pick up the boy and his friend. Going home we try to explain about the holiday and offer the option for either or both to join us or not. We always feel it is important for our son to honor the Kindred, but he had participated fully in our family ritual and we are not here to force relationship.

Making baked ziti one-armed as Katrina and ZJ arrive. Everything is new, even the bearable weather and we chat and catch up- trading flood and school stories. Gathering ourselves we discuss balance and adjustment- to new environments, friends, work, boundaries and abilities. How things and people change apparently or literally overnight and how to maintain self and space.


Boys ensconced in their game the rest of us each take a basket or pitcher and process to the 5-circle fire pit. We are here to honor the Gods, Gods who give meaning to life. Geese fly in the distance.


All the stalks and branches and wood are wet from the soaking rains we had for days; Bryan lights sage and kindles the fire.


Our directions seemed so clear and distinct- the stream loud and in the east, the birds and milkweed in the south, the setting sun defining the west, the changing leaves and winds of the north portending winter.


The smell of the grapes, the red of the flowers, the black of punk/goth style.  Offering sacrifice to each of the gates, quiet prayers for healing bodies and hearts.


Our omens:       


from the ancestors: Isa or ice, standing still, frozen solid, slippery or clear

from the spirits of nature & place: Uruz- the Ox, strength & growth, force

from the Gods & Goddesses: Fehu- fee, what things cost, wealth, liquid assets

for the season: Daguz or day, the vantage point of high noon, almost the whole cycle

Ogham-   Idad or Yew IMG_7612 DEATH/REBIRTH

our fire burns warm like comfort and blesses our waters.


drinking the endless water, friends helping friends, offering thanks.IMG_7617

We picked everything up and headed to the house, boys just done with their game, fabulous feast comes together like magic.

we laugh and eat and share school stories.


Rebalance the balance- letting go

up to this equinox was a roller coaster of energy and spirit.

up thru our beachy vacation 2011 027IMG_7334 

From the beach to hail and earthquakes and thunderstorms and family gatherings and the hurricane and flooding and devastation and loss and more rain and dissonance and growth and change; the waters flowed strong.


The month between the floods and equinox was a whirlwind of repairing and preparing.  Dealing with loss and letting go and rebounding.  Not quite right but trying each day to move better, with more honor and gratitude and purpose. Clearing, tearing down and fixing, all with planned intent. Processing whatever harvest we could get. Longing for the equinox.    

           IMG_7579   IMG_7545

Recovered and healing, we held our family ritual with tears on the equinox evening. Missteps and at-odds emotions entwined with deep sensitivity and spirit.

One arm immobilized and one arm working, I collected water and sage. Everyone gathers separately, each with their focus. Pouring rain keeps us in but our candle burns bright outside. The boy beats time with his native rattle and we find images of her who will be honored this season as spirit- spirit of our place, special animal companion.  Confusion leads to loud words and then rebalancing as we enter sacred space, sad and angry and quiet.

We are here to honor the gods and the equinox, equal day and night, with the dark to grow until Yule. Now we enter the coming-in time, where we will be together more closely, staying warm and protected from the unrelenting weather. Good to get it out now and clear the air.

With calmness we make sacrifice and with the gates open for our prayers, he weeps long and sincere offering everything for the return of the known, our old balance. Pleeease.

We sit in the dark illuminated from outside by our sacred fire, our small candle in the rain, and from within on the other side by the glow from our warm kitchen. Electricity and phones finally back on, we have been working towards normal, longing for this ritual. No one anymore remembers the high summer, just a season past and so far gone, torn up like the trees and our hearts. Always relearning to be present, not over-doing or planning-just grateful for here and now.

our omens-

from the ancestors:Hagal or hail, disruption of the old pattern. Perhaps a new pattern.

from the spirits of nature & place: Wunjo or Joy

from the Gods & Goddesses: Uruz or the Great Ox, Strength

for the season: Eihwaz or the horse

Ogham – Nion or Ash meaning interconnectedness

We also pulled Froud’s fairy cards: the boy got the Smith, I got Bright Spark and Bryan got the Queen of Laughter

tobi up close