Tuesday, August 21, 2012

the Whole is more than the sum of its parts

It always rains at Lughnasa.
Garden full of bending down flowers.
We talk about the season, just back from the ocean.
garden     boy in the boat
Giant blue heron circling twice so we would see it. Torrential rain. Skittish cat. Slowly setting up the Nemeton. the verdant glowing moss. the mushrooms unseen on the way there but visible on the way back. the slow rumble of thunder just as they arrive. Sitting among the raindrops. going off under the carport. Hudson finding us awkwardly. Re-setting up for ritual under there, him attached to me. Bringing the bilé to the art table, our basket of sacrifice, the runes, a candle, flowers.
Rain blowing hard, them waiting patiently, staying dry. 
My skirt soaked, my shoes soaked, water pouring in a stream off my hat, all of it feeling great. air clear.
Us 3 circling as family around the 5 circle fire pit looking to the sky trying to judge clearing. if it stops by the time we get to them we will go back to the nemeton. but the thunder rumbles more.
the family together going to the nemeton for the waters, set up at the waterfall, entry to our circular stream. the nemeton so lovely and the woods protected from the rain. the offerings which had already been meant to be given there, we left. Sacrifice given. ritual starts at the beginning, in our preparation we give and offer gratitude as sacred as any other.   we are here to honor the gods.
The meditation of running water from the hand wash bag into a large metal bowl. everything punctuated by the thunder and then some rain. filling the well with that meditation water, then the tree then the fire always hard work especially a candle in the wind. Building the bilé as our centering not the directions only the dry and not dry and strait to the gates and Mananan opening them and then the outsiders, we can deal with you another time but trouble us not now, and then our honored dead and the beer as sacrifice into the bowl and also the course salt and then the spirits of nature and place, our companions, more beer and rolling peppercorns like a rainstick into our well, and then the gods and goddesses more beer and froth and a whole jar of oil.
and then for the season any praise?
and the hearts of the chicken from our hearts for the season forgotten and placed and then from me a bouquet of spent flowers, flowers gone to all important seed, the seed of next year, of new beginnings into the well, and then each of our friends offer quiet prayers of edible seed and then all the sacrifice goes one by one into our caldron, our giant bowl of whole, like a world, all the grains and the fragrant smoke from white sage and our sweetgrass and all in the bowl, all together the sum total wholeness. and the boy hugging me, wanting to move and the runes:
from the ancestors: Perth or luck
from the spirits: Daguz or day or vantage point
from the gods & goddesses: Hagal or HAIL as the thunder rumbles a reminder while the rain moves on 
for the season: Odul or Othala or sacred enclosure.
think about what you want to put away and get lucky with
If we want to receive these blessings lets take the waters, where do they come from and have they given forth, has she given of her bounty? Water melted of ice, tasting of melted ice, pitcher sweating on the table, easy to pour glasses lined up on the table, don’t be afraid to drinking it all in,take it in, pouring it cold on my head down my back,  taking it in and on.
thank yous of water and special offering of thanks for Bridget and covered with the grey smoke, grounding through the smoke, the pebbles underfoot, letting all excess energy down into the earth, to the earth mother who can handle it, picking our heads up. the rite is over.
well & firecandle firegods & godessesfirelighting the fireworld tree   sacrifice well firematches burnfire at the basefire in the frothflowers and fire
The rains stopped and the air orange-pink.
We ate cheeses and salad and next-door neighbor tomatoes and cukes and crackers and chicken.
And over the top dessert and good strong coffee.
Reading cards until late focusing on true love.
sky blue sky
The next day clear and blue.
Magically the bowl, our well, was undisturbed by critters and Bryan brought it to the nemeton. Pouring the earth mother’s milk crystalizing around the well’s edge, the portal to the below, place of waters where sometimes frogs live.
All sacrifice given. Beauty, joy, love, water.

our woods 1our woods 2our woods 3our woods 4our woods 5
mossNemetonNemeton centermilk crystalsOur Whole