We celebrated Samhain last night at a ritual with over 100 people in attendance. The omens were meaningful and very applicable to our near future: Dagaz, Isa and Jera. Also, Mannaz was pulled in reference to the offerings being accepted.
It was a rough night for me. I don't think my ritual presence was all there, but I did close to as best as I could, under the circumstances.
It felt good to sing for the Ancestors in Hela's hall, even though most of the folk were unfortunately unaware that we were journeying. I think we need Ansuz as a gift from one of the Kindred at the next rite, lol. Wayfaring Stranger went well, barring the sweaty hands that caused a few slips. Oops! One gentleman told me I had a beautiful voice, and he got all choked up because of it. That felt nice. I want my voice to be an instrument. I want the music to touch people the way it touches me. If I can use my voice in this way, to help people have a meaningful experience, to help people go deeper into ritual headspace, I can experience true personal ritual happiness. (Man, I'm such a Bard...) Note to self: being Bard and DIC is fine, as long as you appoint someone else to cover DIC duties while you are acting as Bard. Methinks with a Grove of 30+ people, it shouldn't be too difficult to find folks willing to help. :) (And a control freak, apparently.)
I waxed a bit poetically doing my toast to the Ancestors and received applause for my little impromptu speech during the Blot. Not expecting that, but it felt nice. (Did I mention what a Bard I am? haha)
It was wonderful to see so many folks I haven't seen or have seen only sparingly since Summerlands. Thanks to the folks from Silver Falls, Black Bear and Stone Creed who joined us for this rite, along with several solitaries and non-ADF pagan groups from the greater Columbus area. The community is always the lasting thing I leave with after every rite. I hear there was quite the drum circle after I left, too!
Thanks to the ritual team and all the Grove members who made this rite a success. A list of folks worked hard to make this rite successful. We couldn't have done it without you! Everyone performed beautifully, and I am very proud of my Grovemates.
On a side note, I counted six children in attendance. I think my next project will be to get at least something started for the 3CG Children's program. Druid Scouts, here we come!
And now, onwards and upwards (no where else to go when you start in the Underworld, lol). I am really looking forward to being nothing more than the Bard for Yule.
Happy Samhain, everyone!