Thursday, August 4, 2011
Lughnasadh with Coast oak Grove
My Lughnasadh started when I arrived at the camp site. The day was filled with lectures and learning, as well as time getting to know good friends. After dinner we washed up and donned our robes. We gathered in a circle of the grove, the central fire already burning. Coast Oak grove took the lead in the ritual of course, but they asked the three of us from the newly forming Cottonwood river protogrove to take up some of the parts. The ritual of course followed COoR. Though they did do some things in a way I had never seen or thought of doing before. It was also the first time I had witnessed the use of whisky as sacrifice and offering in a ritual.
There was the stating of the intention and a welcome. This was followed by the earth mother offering and a song to honor her. Next came the invocation of inspiration to Brigit and an offering of milk, pored out onto the ground, so as not to put out the fire. Cottonwood protogrove stepped up for the blessing of the hollows. I did the world tree. I was a bit nervous, especially since the Arch-druid was standing right beside me. Next was the invocation of the kidreds. Again each member of cottonwood protogrove got to invite one of the kindreds to the fire. I was assigned the gods. I felt that I did a good job, but again nervous. Next came the part where we ask that the sky not fall, the sea not rise, and the land stand firm. Coast oak grove's tradition at this is to take a bowl and add earth, then water, then symbolically scoop in air into the mixture. The bowl then sits on the alter through the ritual. After each point in the ritual there was a song to go with it. I enjoyed this a lot more then I have in the past. I am not sure why. It maybe that Coast Oak grove did such a good job of making us feel at home.
At the offerings, I put a knife that I had hand crafted into the fire for Lugh. He has helped me so much the past couple years. I hope that it pleases him, and he will continue to bless my life. After the invocation of the waters of life and the Omens, which were excellent by the way, some thing unexpected happened. The seer of Coast Oak Grove called the three of us of Cottonwood protogrove to the center and had us stand back to back, where we, and the fledgling protogrove were blessed by the arch-druid and the others around us. It was an amazing and magical, not to mention loving moment. It's some thing I will never forget.
After that the ritual was wound down in the usual way with offerings of thanks to the kindreds and gate keeper, and a recessional song.
I look back now to when I did my first ADF COoR all alone at Yule. How much more I have come to understand the core order of ritual, and the why's of it. How now, I can do a ritual without an outline. How much I have grown. How I have come from standing alone on a cold day stuttering and uncertain, to standing in the midle of 20 people confidently filling my role. I wounder what it will be like another year from now.