On December 14, 3CG performed the Yule Blessing Rite in full Nordic Fashion. Seamus and Tanrinia were our DICs, and the DotOs were Frigga and Odin.
I was called upon to do the Inspiration as our assigned Crane didn't show up. It was very rough. I learned that when one invokes Inspiration and feels an urge to sing, singing should ensue immediately. My words were not there, but my intent was true. To those who were not involved in the rite, I almost looked like I knew what I was doing.
We opened the Nine gates in Nordic Fashion. It was very beautifully done! I was inspired by the words our Gate-tender spoke, and I will most likely use them in solitary fashion in the future.
We did a blot during which much praise and honor was given to a myriad of the Kindred. There were some very meaningful and deeply moving speeches made over the horn!
Our omens were good, including Ingwaz, Perthro and Raidho. Raidho has been showing up quite frequently in our omens lately. Hmm....
I was in charge of Return Flow. It was awful for me! MJD told me that the only reason he knew things weren't going as planned was because we were sitting together before hand and he could see the signs of anxiety that he himself deals with before a rite. All in all, I again, managed to look like I knew what I was doing. I did nail the German words. :)
We then had a feast, in order to share our meal and merriment with the Kindred. It was a very nice touch to bless the hall and include the Kindred in our feast. I hope that this becomes a habit at Yuletide.
After our meal, we passed the horn to anyone else wanting to speak. It was an evening full of laughter and much grateful spirit. After we closed the gates, we finished tallying up our donations. The Grove issued a challenge: if we could raise $200 to go toward the purchase of baby formula for the shelters, the Grove would match it by half. Needless to say, the Cranes are donating $300 worth of formula for the cause. There were also several food items and toys going to the food bank and toy drive.
It was a great rite, and I learned a lot. I was called on to begin and lead all of the songs. As an aspiring Bard, I think this is very helpful, not to mention how moving it is to be entrusted with the music for the rites! I am glad that they have found me worthy to hold such an important role (read: important to me).
For the future, I must learn to operate in spiritual mode in public. Six years as a solitary have taken their toll on my tolerance for public speaking. I can sing in front of almost any crowd, but put me in front of a bunch of Druids and I freeze. Is it because I hold their opinion in such high esteem? Is it because I am unsure of my abilities? Is it because I feel inferior when compared to the other neopagan greats I have had the privilege of being in contact with? Who knows? I do know that I will be asking to perform more and more in our public rites. Maybe someday I can even be DIC! I am not ready now, but someday I will be, and I am confident that the Cranes will be supportive enough to lift me until I can fly on my own.