Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer solstice 2011

Wow what a difference! I participated in two summer solstice rituals this year. First I played a bardic role in a solstice ritual put on by Kern County Pagan Circle. This is an eclectic meet up of all kinds of pagans, and we put on public rituals for the eight High days. This one was put together by an eclectic wiccan. She and another male member of the group did a pretty good job. I would say the ritual was attended by about thirteen people. The ritual took place on a Saturday at 1:00pm, when the sun was at its zenith. I got to do a lot of drumming for the ritual. The ritual centered around the age old battle between the Holy king and Oak king. We had very nice masks and they dressed up in costumes, and used metal swords with blunt edges with which to fight. Good props make good theater and good theater makes good ritual. The gathered people seemed to really enjoy the fight and story that went with it. I am pretty sure we’ll see these two again at the winter solstice.

The second ritual was an ADF druid only ritual using the COoR. This took place Thursday the 23rd. I had wanted to do it on the 21st but because of work getting in the way, it had to be pushed back. There were only three of us at this ritual, and I performed 90% of it. The energy was so different from the larger group ritual I was part of. I can think of a number of reasons for this. First off is just the number of people in attendance makes a difference. The next major difference for me was that I didn’t feel as mentally prepared for this ritual as I have for others in the past. I have been so busy lately with the mundane world. I must be honest with myself here, I also didn’t put as much pre-work into the ritual as I usually do. I knew there would only be me and two others. I also felt that I had memorized the COoR well enough and that I knew my wording well enough that I wouldn’t need as much. I am wishing now that I had perhaps put a bit more pre-ritual preparation together.

The part that felt the “choppiest” to me was the asking for the blessings into the cup. The words did not flow easily and inspiration left me. I didn’t feel tongue tied so much as numb. Like I could still talk, but it was not with a honeyed tongue. So this is a section I still need to polish.
Most of the ritual went very smoothly, and it was nice to see one of my fellow druids, a new comer to ADF, willing and able to step up and take part in the ritual.

The ritual was very basic COoR. This was so we can all get used to it and practice. Lugh was invited to the grove by name besides the holy kindred in general. At the point to give offerings, we all had some-thing to give and called to different deities. I don’t know if the others were my fellow’s patrons, but I know mine was. I gave a sprig of rosemary that I grew in my garden. An omen was then taken with Ogham fews and I felt the offerings had been accepted. The blessing was the invoked into the cup and passed between us. There was no singing, or drumming. Just simple ritual. Sometimes simple is the best way to be.

After the blessing I had a bit of magic to invoke. Dear friends of mine had decided to renew thier vows of 20 years in a handfasting, and asked me to craft the cord with which the fasting would be done. I made the cord with 124 knots; a charm spoken over each one. With the blessing of kindreds flowing through me I called upon the couples ancestors, I called upon the nature spirits, and Angus Mac Og to lay their blessings upon the cord. I held it upto the open gate. When I felt the time was right I lowered it to me and summoned up the two powers and let them flow through me and into the cord; thus hoping to seal in the energy and the blessings.

I felt a little awkward with people around watching. I usually do such magics solo, but I felt it was good for the other two to see a bit of magic being done, and I felt safe enough with them there.

So it goes another turn of the wheel, another summer solstice done.
May your fires burn brightly, may your waters run deep.


  1. I agree that simple can be lovely and appropriate and very deep. Both of the Solstice rituals sound lovely, though, and it's easier to keep a big crowd focused if you have a bit more pageantry.

    I'm still struggling with the COoR. It makes sense to me ritually speaking, I want to use it, but it still feels very mechanical to me. I know part of that is because I'm comparing it to ritual forms I've used for years and years. Every new thing takes preparation and practice. :)

  2. If you haven't done this, you can simply practice the ritual over and over. Just doing "dry" runs through it without the energy. This will go a long way to helping it feel more organic.