On December 18, 2010, I was ceremoniously released from my vows in the Christian faith and baptized by Fire, Well and Tree in the snow surrounded by 9 members of my heart family.
When I arrived at T's house, I was greeted by a smiling group, genuinely pleased to be joining me for this occasion. Half of us even donned our ritual wares, and I was crowned with a halo of holly and white ribbons to accompany a white dress and white cloak. AG looked quite the complement in deep green and black!
We processed to the nemeton with care as we trod through the snow. The fire was lit and off we went! The rite followed the ADF Core Order of Ritual, and the first working came at the Deity of the Occasion position, during which I invited the Triple God of the Christians. More distinctly now than ever, I felt the definite presence of three Beings enter our space, and the Holy Spirit descended just as I remembered her. I thanked them for the gifts they have given my in my life and the beginnings of my spiritual path, I recognized them still as the Gods of my Ancestors, and I made them one final offering--the cross that my father had given me when I was 16 in tolerance and support of my choice--in exchange for release from the vows of baptism and confirmation. It was a difficult working!
I then made offerings to all three Kindred and to my patrons, offering many things that I felt were important between us: pomegranate seeds to Persephone (tossed and ingested), Wine to Athene, red amber to Freyja and green amber to Idunna.
Omens, taken by a magical AG who did quite a bit of working throughout this process: Isa, Hagalaz and Perthro. I was not too thrilled at first glance, but they are rather appropriate. Isa made us laugh because we were standing in the SNOW, but more importantly, AG saw a bridge between what was and what is to be. I received this omen with just this significance when I decided to begin the path of Druidry. Hagalaz was absolutely appropriate considering I had just rent my entire past asunder. And Perthro, well, I suppose it is a hefty chance to take, dissolving the bonds of baptism. In that faith, without them, there is no admittance to their Heaven. I haven't had much time to think more on these omens, but in a few days, I will revisit and see what further information lies there.
After that, we proceeded to the Waters of Life, during which there was much giggling. It seems a very large amount of energy was released into the circle, and it was difficult not to succumb to the urge to belly laugh for no apparent reason--especially since most folks were not to excited to draw down and share those blessings. :P
With the Waters infused, we moved to the second working, where SB baptized me by Fire, by Well and by Tree. I was subjected to ritual smoke, Waters of Life and swept with a broom by my favorite witch, April. It was not as emotionally or energetically intense as I thought it would be at that moment, but definitely empowering!
SB had be draw omens from his bag of oghams myself. From the Ancestors, I received Fearn, the Alder, shielding and protection. From the Nature Spirits, I received Nuin, the Ash Tree, connections to the world and spiritual inspiration. From the Shining Ones, I received Huathe, Hawthorn, purification and wisdom. I think these are wonderful omens for such a significant rite of passage!
Finally, I repeated my Dedicant Oath. I purposefully did not write anything out or revisit what I had prepared the first time. I wanted the words to flow in that moment as I meant them from my heart. In the end, it was pretty similar to the original oath, for my intention to follow the High Days, study and express the Elder Ways and Elder Gods through my art has not changed. If anything, it has only become a stronger driving force in my life.
We made cloak angels on the way back to the house where we had music, food and revelry, and by the time I got home, I was exhausted. I retired for the evening just after 9:00pm, and I slept straight through until morning. I even took a nap before the Three Cranes Grove ritual on Sunday.
Overall, I am very happy with the rite. It was a beautiful day spent surrounded by beautiful people. Thank you to all of you who shared in this important day with me. I can't wait to see where my path will lead next!