Wednesday, December 31, 2014

from Solstice to New Years

may our days be merry and bright

mid winter solstice

so grateful to be together
cherishing the light
gathering in the dark

Monday, December 1, 2014

Summer’s End-Happy New Year

full moonSo ready for the door to close and to start anew.
Dumb suppers for many days, since the first hard cold winds began to blow, since the Wyrrd was everywhere and we felt the need to feed passing spirits.
And yet the night before ritual, we didn’t,
and what we left out that night wasn’t.
dumb supper
Now a few weeks later there are no longer any leaves, and we are snow-covered.
We are living our tasks and our days and looking forward
and staying present at the same time.
white moon
clouds at sunset
the sun rises later and dark comes instantly now. 
weird weather takes us
from snow to 70° and back to snow and cold.
day after
Notes from just after ritual with rants from now in italics,
in no particular order:
for weeks feeding the spirits
beef bones & bunny crackers
bread & fruit & gin
not every night this past week nor even the night before 

ashes of flour
   watching the ritual of feeding and consuming
feeling the active process of reciprocity
as devotional humanitycircle of embers

so dark

scheduling and lists
the owl like a coyote the night before
peregrine falcon outside my window that afternoon
and now in these last weeks we have seen multiple
owls and eagles
flying right in front of our driving selves
many hawks just staring
large crows alone in the tops of trees
frozen well
so things lined up and timing went well, we were to have a full house in what became the first snow.
Coming home from a day a week of juggling work and life
and easily set up baking pies and such
pre-thanksgiving like, past Halloween’s overload
a thoughtful Samhain,
lovingly brought into this world like a baby.
Bryan as always crafts fire altars while I am out,
sculptural sacrifice
sometimes seen and sometimes unseen.
who and what is our sacrifice for?
Cleaning and shopping and cooking and filling baskets.
When it all flows simply we realize we are participant in and not necessarily master of ceremonies.
first set up
set up central fire
first snow fallsfood of autumn color
moon rise
 quicker than we thought the darkness came and the moon rose full and alive freeing herself from the trees’ branches  echoing the candles we tried in vain to keep alight.
moon and fire
while standing out taking pictures it felt like it was snowing which in fact it was.
the magic was palpable
set up and snow falls
waiting for who would arrive, setting candles in the dark at the 5 circle fire large enough for everyone but so far away in the dark of Samhain
we decided to stay close to home at the fire we had lit
for light for warmth for spirit
first fire
first flame
sacrifice assembled as folks arrive
first she comes beautiful and smiling with her new man,
who lived in the artist studio building Bryan & I met in;
then lovely folks we had never met except virtually through the
Druid Organization we are all members of;
then more Druids- a whole family with charming toddlers and their friend;
and then another whole family who are friends with our  family.
Wholeness and Holy and Family and Friends
gathered inside with snacks and trucks and each other
while I go back and forth
tending the fire outside, supporting the company inside.
I sat down on the floor to listen to pre-rit 
and the little boy comes over and climbs in my lap
and looks up at me and smiles and says
”Are you happy?”
oh yes, immensely happy.
fire and roses and pomegranate
one brought a shiny pomegranate and wore a fine cloak
and played a large wooden flute
which was like from an other world.
others shared dried flowers and silent prayers.
small children offering vibrant roses as sacrifice
older children taking great pictures
and huddling near their moms.
smoke, snow and magic light
sparking flour
sugar tooflour sparks
acrid smell of burning bread, crackers, garlic
and the sage, lavender
and sweet burnt sugar

emptying my pockets of petals and seeds and prayers
grateful for and letting go of
old medicine scripts
may we never need you again
Fires came back to flame with a puff or a flare
I am a good fire tender, I will one day come to own that
hovering over the flame is like being in it
the smoke is like my breath and fills my 1fire 2
magic final sacrificefire final fire
the whole sweetgrass bundle as final sacrifice        
final fire too
3 things about this ritual from my kid the next day:
it seemed faster (lots of folks in the dark especially kids make for to-the-point ritual) the little kids were sort of distracting (well, yeah, that is the beauty and challenge of family) the Rune ring instead of real Runes was different (Bryan used a ring for Rune casting recently gotten at ComicCon)         spinning the rune ring
We had to remember the omens because we couldn’t take a picture
from the Ancestors:Odul –Sacred Enclosure,
what we keep safe
from the Spirits of Nature & Place:Sowleu-the Sun 
its journey and its motion
from the Gods & Goddesses:Manaz or the Self
for the Season:Uruz -the Primordial Ox, the Aurochs,
the super strength within things
we had our snow-tinged water from our colorful shot glasses
children sharing with their adults.
much later, while we were feasting,
the large fire circle with its intricate and entwined
branches and stalks and sticks
went up in flames from one candle that did not go out.
It burned full and completely and it must have been large. Bryan saw the very end of the sacrifice.
after the fire central fire circle
And in the morning the remaining reeds were strewn
like runes
we could not read.
Mullien runes
reed runes
Sometimes rituals and gatherings are so full in the moment, in the being, that writing is hard. And yet without the writing, the telling and retelling of the stories we forget. 
Our spine
Our Ancestors
Do what you know

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Autumnal Equinox Balance

bee and mint flowers balance
learning painting tips, painting a vision from a year ago
raptors overhead
in the warming sun after a grey cold day when we could sense winter approaching
most folks occupied
many at the Climate March representing in person
what we held sacred here
just us
the 2 of us.heart of cloudsIs is so dry here that even a cloudburst last night is invisible.
Except for the wind.
sacred spaceSo we had thoughts about a big fire, or even a small fire
in the woods 
but the land so waterless
and us still needing to be able to sit
and be comfortable
we decided on the small close to the house fire pit
and at first light only small branches in a metal bowl
at the top of the trunk of an old xmas tree still holding up the sun chimes and serving as our sacred tree at this site.
We placed or poured or tossed all our sacrifice
into the not-yet-lit center
and with patience and effort transferred the flame
from the small contained embers
to the short-lived intense blaze
consuming it all.consumedLet this fire be a good fire,
Let it carry our prayers.
Let this fire be a good fireJust peaceful being here, being present
remembering to take pictures
not thinking about others
only the others
the Kindred
the birds
the bees
the folks marching
the Earth Mother
each other.
Sometimes and especially lately it has been hard.
We are not yet done crying, at least I am not.

But this circle of seasons, so strange in its passing of time is so very grounding.
Soon the ground will be covered with leaves, then snow.
And then buds and vole tracks.vole trails from last year Equinoxes are busy.
This moment in time, almost imperceptible,
and yet absolute.
It is different now, afterward.branches in the bowl
Cutting up the sassafras
leaves and branches
for the fire,
putting out gathered sacrifice,
staying on the time schedule
almost as a means of remembering.
We ask out loud a lot these days
”What day is it? What time is it?”
and then soon afterward again
”What day is it? What time is it?”

We have been rebalancing
in all these changes-
Earth changes
life changes
family changes
health changes

Earth changes life changes family changes health changes.
(add punctuation as needed)
sacred grove
It was a beautiful ritual,
so lost in the meditation on and with the Earth,
I came to the directions from far away it seemed.
Redirecting our energies with the orientation of this planet,
bunny crackers, orange like fall, in handfuls like bunny poop
in each direction. Not a trace of them the next morning.
The East of vision like the eagle or the hawk and rising each new day to that light and the South of our environmental lessons and our family of 400,000 peacefully gathered together due south of us and the West of our neighbors and the sun setting exactly on center and the North of the coming Winter and the White Buffalo and good healing
for ourselves and our families and our Earth Mother.
And the up and the down and the center.
our center
Moth-full tortilla flour gifted with love to the Earth,
falling in dust and clumps,
she supports us all.
moth meal for the Earth Mother
dark pink rose for Mananan, surrounding us with its scent
and also fermented cider with intoxicating apple smell,
then a white rose for Goddess Bridget
and more cider
in a circle
with gratitude.
fire burns roses
   Our outsiders offering towards the woods with kindness
Bryan brought peach scraps, rotted parts and pits
from our first harvest & processing of this year.
He returned with the container filled with fresh whole fruit.
Like a magic trick.  
peaches peaches return whole
Balancing and rebalancing.
 sacrificedried flowers for the Ancestors-all our ancestors,
those humans who were, our family, 
friends and family especially those recently passed,
our teachers, our inspiration, artists from the last century, scientists and writers, farmers and actors,
people who struggled and lived and loved and died.
garlic stalks from the last of last year’s harvest for the Spirits of Nature and Place-rocks and hummingbirds and crows and blue jays and bees and cats and wind and clouds and sun and all the water and waterways and animals and bugs and grass and flowers and seed heads and fruit and mold and rot and compost and so much more on this amazing planet.
dried Thuja branch trimmings for the Gods & Goddesses, the shining ones and the eventual match for our fire.
lighting the fire from the fire
lighting the fire as final sacrifice
and also tossing in
the three corns-chips, crumbs & meal
for the season.

sacred fire sacrifice sacred fire sacrifice
sacred fire sacrifice sacred fire sacrifice sacred fire sacrifice sacred fire sacrifice sacred fire sacrifice sacred fire sacrifice sacred fire sacrifice

Circles of offerings of circles
letting go of old and no longer needed circles
grateful for healing circles
prayers for helpful new circles
grapevine wreath from last year
sweetgrass wreath from last season
small wreath from my pocket
circle wreath
so gentle and focused just the two of us.
reaching into the endless bag of divination
(it’s bigger on the inside) 
finding all or enough of the runes   season changes
from the Ancestors: Jera or harvest or a year
from the Spirits of Nature & Place: Berkanu or birch or beginnings
from the Gods & Goddesses: Kenaz or the torch or the shaping & crafting
for the Season: Fehu or fee.
toes & omenstoesWe get the same or some of the same omens a lot,
we are being told to listen
listen to what we know

hallowing the waters and a bit of mint flowers
in the leftover smoldering smoke. 
2 large glasses and a bit extra
Bryan drinks his down continuously and slowly and I drink mine in several long sips with long breaths in between.

Oh thank you everyone, 
finish the cider all.
cider thanks
We sit and we hug 
We walk into the nemeton to see the sun set
through the entrance due West from due East
We talk about this life, this season, the dry stream,
our growing son, changing times, the Earth Mother