Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A little update as to what else I have been up to

             Well I have started my 3rd semester of nursing school, and I get the sense that It’s not going to be near as crazy stressful as last semester.  However this does mean that my posts will be sporadic at best.  I have not been idle over the summer however, when it comes to my studies in Druidry and working toward my Ordination.  I spent the summer working hard on ADF’s Preliminary clergy training program.  This has Included classes on Law regarding religious organizations, cosmology, liturgy, the structure of ADF, and Indo-European studies.  I have finished them all except for Indo-European Mythology.  I am currently doing the reading for this meaty topic.  I had hoped and tried to finish the whole training before school started, but that just didn’t happen.  I will now read and write as school allows, but school is my main priority. 

                After many years of looking I think I may have found an acceptable spot that Cottonwood River can use to hold rituals in a natural setting.  A county park, that we can reserve that has a fire ring.  It’s $50.00 for a day use.  I am going to send in the paperwork today and we’ll see.  The ritual will be on September 15th this year.  I would have preferred the 22nd, however that is the date of our local Pagan Pride, and I did not want the two to clash.  It is a small community of pagans after all, and they can’t be in two places at once.   I asked for some input for a theme from the other members of the Protogrove, but didn’t get any response.  There is always the old standby of a thanksgiving, but after years of that, I was hoping to see if there was some other similar but a little different we could use.  I will keep tumbling it around in my head, maybe bounce it off a few others and see what ideas shake loose. 

...and it's good!

Those who follow this blog will know that earlier this summer I did a working for the vow breaker.  This working entailed three main points.  The magico-religious dissolution of her marriage, offerings to the kindred to make amends for her breaking of the vows, and a cleansing to banish the evil spirit my guides showed to me that was about her.  In nursing we are taught that whenever we do an intervention we must then return to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention.  What follows is my evaluation of the interventions used. 
                When I met the woman a few days after the ritual she went on for some length about how much better she immediately felt after the ritual.  She used words such as “happier” “lighter” “free”.  She was smiling and in good spirits.  It was at this time I choose to reveal to her all of what had been shown to me in the way of the spider headed malicious spirit.  I also explained my reasons for not telling her all I had known before this time.  She indicated that she understood and appreciated my tact.  I have not spoken to any others of the it except here on my blog. 
                Two weeks or so after the ritual the client went to places of business looking for a job, to replace the one she suddenly and unexpectedly lost, and in one day not only had in interview but was hired on the spot.  This was a blessing but also prevented her from joining the community at our Lughnasadh ritual. 
                I recently had lunch with the client and she is still doing well.  She is now looking for her own place to live with her son, and working hard on her spiritual self as well.  This young lady has done more soul searching in the past two months than a lot of people do in their whole life.  She has started dating the man with whom she had the affair and it is my sense that they are perhaps a very good match.  At least for now they are happy and working to have a healthy relationship. 
As it is with such things, I don’t know if I can ever know how much of her successes is due to the working we did.  I do believe however that it was a very positive event and helped her in many ways. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lughnasadh 2012

                I have been back from our Lughnasadh campout and ritual for a few days now.  I have had time to unpack and let the events settle.  Lughnasadh for me started on Wednesday as I pulled up to the last available camping site along the river Po-Sun-Co-La at 8:00am.  I unpacked and registered with the rangers when they finally came around many hours later.  Why so many days early?  Well there are no reservations at this site and if someone doesn’t take the spot by Wednesday, there won’t be any spots at all for the weekend ritual.  As it was the entire 50 campsites were taken by Wednesday afternoon.   I spent most of Wednesday studying Pharmacology, and watching dragonflies do their dance for me.   On Thursday evening a new comer to our pagan community joined me, as well as one of my Grove mates.  By this point of being alone for almost two days I was ready for some company. I really enjoyed getting to know the new member.  He is friendly, open, honest, very energetic and always there to lend a hand.     As part of the camp and celebrations I used a large extra tent I had and created a shrine and alter in it for a spear I made that was to represent the spear of Lugh, the Gae Assail.  I placed cloth strips in a bowl and a pen on the altar so that people could write out prayers and tie them on to the spear.  These were later placed in the fire during the main ritual. 

                On Friday evening I held a Sumbel.  Not very many people attended this, but it was a lot of fun and very intimate for those of us who did show.  We were given homemade mead from the husband of the kitchen-witch, and it was the best Mead I have ever tasted!  We all loved it and it made the experience that much better. 

                Saturday was the main ritual.  People started showing up at the camp site a little after noon.  The ritual wasn’t until 7:00pm.  We had games planned, but honestly it was so hot that most people just wanted to sit around in the shade and talk and eat, and drink tea or water.  Right before I started ritual, I was told of a beloved member of the pagan community who had fallen very ill.  With some quick discussion it was decided that a healing would be included in the ritual.  The ritual went very well and everyone participated with the call and response and giving of offerings.  I got to recite the story of the second battle and why we celebrate Lughnasadh.  I feel that I did a pretty good job of it.  Interestingly, as I was telling it, I found myself talking on a slight Irish accent.  I wasn’t doing it on purpose, and then I found a style of speech coming out that wasn’t mine.  I could help but wonder if I was channeling the way in which I was telling the story from some ancestor.  It was a fun if peculiar sensation.  As we did last year we make an offering to the River on which we live.  We do this for several reasons. One as a way to say thanks, and to build a friendly relationship, another is the hope that if we do, she won’t take as many lives in the year.  Last year the river claimed eleven lives.   Just after the impromptu healing we did for the sick community member, she suddenly showed up!   We were all overjoyed to see her, wheel chair and all. 

                After the main ritual, we held our first Bardic competition.  Each contestant had to sing, or recite a poem or story.  We had several of each and it was a lot of fun.  I am sure this will happen again!  All in all I think everyone had a great time this year.  A few people went home with headaches from the heat and humidity.  I can’t help but feel honored that so many people are willing to come to my rituals year after year and suffer the intense heat to do so.  I guess I am doing something right.