Monday, March 28, 2011

Working the Nine Moons

Looking back at the First Moon, it wasn't as bad as I thought. My notes show some good detail, and I am getting into a rhythm of devotional, meditation/trance and habitual offerings.

I purchased a few new items for my altar, and I am looking forward to using them in ritual when the last one arrives.

The main thing I've taken away from this first month is that it's okay to be random. Some days, a simple charm upon rising and a few words of offering to the Kindred are enough. Other days, a full rite of blessings is in order. It doesn't have to be this rigid, unmoving cinderblock in your life, this whole spirituality bit. It should be moveable, flexible, able to breathe with you. The key is to consistently do *something.* That something, though, is totally up to me.  There isn't a right or wrong, and other people's opinions of how I lead my spiritual life are just that--other people's opinions. What I need to focus on is my relationship with the Kindred and work from there.

Not a bad start. I will update after the end of the Third Moon when the vision and trance work begins in full force.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Equinox Rite to Idunna and Eostre

Once more, a lovely rite prepared by the lovely AG, who also ended up DIC for the rite.

Today, we gathered to honor Idunna, Goddess of the Golden Apples of Immortality and Eostre, Goddess of the Spring.

We entered ritual space to the beat of drums instead of a processional song. The drumming carried on throughout the entire rite, and I was very pleased with the effect, though I admit i wasn't sure how it would play out beforehand. We had some talented Drummers and Druids doing this working of maintaining the energy and turning the Wheel of the Year with it. Very well done!

The main offerings were done in two parts. We began with praise offerings of stories told by me and AG regarding the origins of the fair Goddesses. Then, the charming uberrod and the lovely skylark913 did the main Deity invitations and tangible offerings. We also offered pictures and apples that the children had colored during preritual social hour. Of note, my son, Patrick, who is the most amazing Eldest Minion ever, sat with Timmy and drew a picture of a "Butterfinger Flower." My instructions were to make "something Spring-y" so Timmy would copy him and color a picture, as well. It was just as it sounds: a butterfinger candy bar with petals and a stem growing in a field under a huge yellow sun. ♥ Patrick also spent the entire rite trying to keep Timmy occupied and safe so I could sing and participate as best I could. He never ceases to amaze me in his capacity to love and care for Timmy. He's going to make a spectacular father someday, if he decides to have children.

I found it rather sweet that Inspiration happened to be forgotten at the forefront of the rite, and I am inclined to think that it was as it was supposed to be. Why would Bragi not want to be called at the same time his fair wife was to be honored? It definitely made me think more about the nature of their relationship and who Bragi is, in general. I feel like I will soon be compelled to write. (Imagine that!)

Our Omens were excellent! AG pulled to see if our offerings were accepted and drew Mannaz, yes.

Then, each of the folk who honored the Kindred pulled one Rune in turn.
tanrinia pulled from the Ancestors: Algiz, the Elk. Protection and Guidance.
_crow365__ pulled from the Nature Spirits: Isa, Contemplation and Rest after a hard winter.
seamus_mcnasty pulled from the Shining Ones: Sowilo, the Sun, Success!

Taken together, we are free to relax after a long winter and think on the events and lessons from the dark, wintery months. As we move forward, we will be guided and protected along the way toward our success in the seasons ruled by the sun. Very good omens for a Spring Equinox after so many of the folk had such a rough winter!

During the Blessing of the Waters and on through the remainder of the rite, we were slowly joined by a group of what appeared to be Turkey Vultures. It seems the Nature Spirits approved of our rite today. :)

seamus_mcnasty regaled us with a song during the Waters that made my heart happy. Well done, Seamus!

After the rite, I obtained a small cup of the Waters from the horn at Sumble and did some instruction at the table with Eldest Minion and Girl Minion regarding Sumble etiquette and procedure. Jessie spoke over the horn, "Hail all the Goddesses!" And then she chugged. Patrick said, "I feel bad about those people who aren't alive anymore, and I miss them, so yeah, um hail." And then he sipped. Such vastly different children. I took the final portion and hailed AG, because she is awesome and does so much for me that I cannot express my thanks to her enough.

Overall, this was a very nice ritual, despite my post-third-shift, lack-of-sleep state. I had combined this rite with the Retreat Day for the Nine Moons, and the entire day has definitely left me with a lot to ponder. Happy Spring, Everyone!

Monday, March 7, 2011

And so it begins...

I began the Nine Moons training on Saturday, and it didn't go quite as smoothly as I had hoped. I knew it wouldn;t be easy, since everyone was home, but I did my best to keep the schedule. I broke my retreat day into two days, because I worked third-shift on Saturday night.

The morning charm is lovely. I will be rewriting it for use on days when I am going to bed as the sun rises. I like the additions I have made to my shrine, and the offering incense recipe has me excited.

Right now, I need to get through the rest of this week and turn in my homework. After my final exam on Monday, I will be graduating from the University of Cincinnati with my Bachelor's Degree. Awesomeness.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

On the Hinge of Change...

So much is in flux right now that I am not sure what, if anything, will remain unchanged by the end of this current phase of my life. I am finishing up school in three weeks, hence, the absence from posting to this blog. What, with research projects, homework totalling ten pages a piece and a presentation, I've barely had time to fit everything in!

I recently accepted a dayshift position with the hospital, so my entire homelife schedule is about to change. I will be working five days a week now, eight hour shifts, but I will be home every evening with my family. I will be spending significantly less time alone, which has its advantages and its disadvantages.

Finally, I feel almost as though my spiritual life is taking a deep breath in preparation of the work to come beginning this weekend. Everything that I practice now will soon be exchanged for a much different set of devotional, trance and magical acts unlike most anything I have ever done before. I am both nervous and excited by this, and I have great expectations for what my life will look like on the other end.

This is the calm before the storm, and the winds are already moving through the trees. Bring the rain. I am ready.