Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘mabon’

I celebrated my Autumn Equinox ritual in the early afternoon on Friday, September 20, 2013. This was a solitary ADF style ritual that followed the CoOR. I used the Solitary Druid Fellowship’s Autumn Equinox ritual and devotional for this rite, since I wanted a simpler observance for this High Day. I brought silver for the well, incense for the fire, and a bottle of handcrafted ginger ale for the Spirits. As well as honoring Nerthus as the Earth Mother and Heimdallr as the Gatekeeper, I honored the Vanir as a pantheon for this High Day, since they are closely related to fertility and the harvest, which is celebrated at this time of year.

I did this ritual just prior to completing a separate ritual for my Dedicant Oath, and I was a little nervous about both. I didn’t ever really settle into a rhythm, even though the SDF ritual uses lovely poetry and text as part of the celebration. For it’s purposes, I feel like I celebrated other High Days better, and will spend more time on personal offerings when I use this ritual format in the future. Overall it was a good, if somewhat shorter than usual, celebration. I almost poured out ALL of the ginger ale in my last offering and had to remember to save a few mouthfuls for the blessing! That’s what comes of pouring offerings out of the bottle instead of out of my own cup. When I use my cup, I know how much I have to keep back for the blessing!

In the future, before celebrating this holiday, I will also take time to get my “fall” decorations up in my house. It doesn’t feel like fall outside, so having those decorations up (and in my ritual room) helps me feel the changing seasons more than the weather does. I will definitely be using the SDF Autumn Equinox devotional in my future rituals, as I really liked the poetry and imagery for this holiday. It stressed the balance of the Equinox, between light and dark, in a way that I felt was very meaningful.

For the Omen, I said “Great Kindreds, grant me true seeing that I may know what blessings you have for me.” I then drew the following three runes:

  • Isa – Ice – beautiful but dangerous – Something has the appearance of beauty, but danger lurks beneath the surface if you are careless enough to break it. Deceit may be nearby, or a time of frozen standstill. Things aren’t changing – they have the appearance of being fine, but are frozen. Clarity. Make sure your choices are correct and made with consideration and forethought.
  • Hagalaz – Hail – Destruction, death, an early Winter. Destructive, uncontrolled forces of chaos disrupt the natural order – but may renew that order in the end. Disruption of the unconscious.
  • Pertho – Dice cup, vulva, joy, uncertainty – A secret thing, hidden matters, an unseen destiny. Initiation and the unknown changes it will bring. The gamble that is any new beginning. Female mysteries.

Ensure that you know the truth of the situation, what looks beautiful may be hiding danger; the time of destruction is not yet over. The outcome is unknown and will result from your actions – roll the dice carefully, you’re treading on new territory.

Another warning message in the form of a blessing, I think I know what this is referring to – things have been tough recently, in new and different ways, and it’s challenging to go through. But I think the outcome will be good if I continue to work on it and myself, becoming stronger and continuing on my path. This is a pretty personal omen though, so I won’t discuss it further.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The Autumn Equinox (often called Mabon or Harvest Home in Neopagan circles) occurs on or around September 21st each year, and falls at the point of balance between day and night, when the two stand equal. This year it falls on Sunday, September 22, just a few days after the full Harvest Moon on Thursday September 19th. In the Wheel of the year, this is the second harvest festival – usually the harvest of vegetables and fruits – and serves as the gateway into the “dark” half of the year in some myths. (In other myths the dark and light halves of the year switch at the Summer and Winter Solstice, or at Samhain and Beltaine, so this is a common motif that has several different applications).

Our Own Druidry suggests that this is a time to honor Thor and Sif for their functions at the harvest (67), but this doesn’t make much sense to me, so I will be honoring the Vanir as a pantheon, for their role in the fertility of the earth and its productivity. These Gods and Spirits are involved in the productivity of man and the cultivation of the earth, from Frey’s direct patronage and sacrifice at the Harvest to Freyja’s fertility and Njord’s blessing on the harvest of fish from rivers and seas. Since this is a celebration of harvesting and preparing for the winter, storing up and taking stock and being thankful for the plenty of the year, the Vanir are an appropriate group of deities to honor.

Thematically, in the Neopagan Wheel of the Year, this is the time of reaping what we have sown – all of the ideas and plans that were set into motion at earlier holy days are now coming to fruition with the crops, and the focus is on harvesting the bounties we are due for our labors. The cornucopia is a common symbol, and in some traditions this holiday is called the “Pagan Thanksgiving” – a time of giving thanks and celebrating the harvest.

This is a time of plenty – all the crops are ripe – and a time of very busy preparation. Those ripe crops need to be picked and stored appropriately so they will last until next year, whether stored dry like grain, or canned and pickled, or just placed in cellar storage. Winter may be long, so it’s best to be prepared. Being thankful through that preparation is something I find very appropriate at this time of year. I also enjoy canning and pickling as hobbies, which are good ways of celebrating this harvest festival. My garden is still producing okra, so perhaps I will make some spicy okra pickles to mark the occasion.

Read Full Post »

Fall is coming – though you wouldn’t know it by the temperatures outside. The light is changing, and the evenings are shorter. Soon they’ll be cooler as well, and my evening walks will be increasingly more pleasant as the seasons change towards winter.

It’s a bit odd, but winter here is so much more “pleasant” in general than summer, that Fall and Spring get a little mixed up in my mind. Not only do we plant again in fall, for harvesting in winter, but in Summer we tend to hibernate. The heat is so intense that you really don’t want to be outside more than you have to, and other than yard work and (for me) exercise, I stay in the house as much as possible, with the blinds drawn and the air conditioner running. (We keep it “warm” in the house – about 80 degrees – but it still feels cool and comfortable when it’s 105 outside).

Seasons are just a little different, but fall will always be my favorite.

I’m glad I’ll be finishing up my DP in this liminal time. It’s a very in-between sort of feeling, and that’s how I’ve been feeling about the DP. I’m working on my oath, and have only the one high day left to celebrate. (I think I’ll be doing two rituals, but haven’t decided for sure). I’m feeling both more secure in the idea of making my oath, and more insecure in my ability to do so “properly” (whatever “properly” means).

It just feels right to be finishing things up and starting new things at this time of year. Maybe that’s a tie back to my love of school, and how excited I’ve always been for the beginning of school. Even as an adult, I like to go back to school shopping, for new pens and folders and binders. (Or maybe I just have a thing for office supplies, who knows). Regardless, it’s all feeling like it fits together pretty well right now, and I’m glad for the DP to be coming to a close. I’m ready to move forward, to begin the actual work of Druidry, and hopefully to begin working as a DP mentor until I decide if I want to continue on any of the study paths. I’m drawn to the Initiates Path, but I don’t feel like I’m ready to commit to it just yet, so I’m going to wait and learn until I feel more secure.

I may poke around in some of the other modern Druidic traditions – I know OBOD just re-released DruidCraft as an audio book, and I will definitely be picking that up to listen to on my commute. Not that I’m dissatisfied with ADF – I’ll probably end up staying here – but because I’m just curious as to what else is out there under the Druid umbrella.

Endings and beginnings, exploration and rest, expanding and contracting – it’s a fun, in-between, liminal time of year.

I’m ready for Autumn – are you?

Read Full Post »