Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘omen’

13.    Discuss your understanding of the Omen. (minimum 100 words)

The omen is the point in the ritual after the offerings and sacrifices have been made when the Seer steps forward to ask of the Kindreds what their reaction to the offerings will be (Newburg). Some groups ask specifically if offerings have been received (and make more offerings if the answer is “no”), while others assume that all offerings will be received in the spirit in which they were given and will thus be returned with blessings (Dangler, Newburg). The omen is typically taken through the reading of runes, oracles, cards, or other divination methods (older Druid groups typically read bird flight or natural omens instead, which is sometimes still done in ADF). It is up to the Seer to determine the nature of the omen, whether it is positive or negative, and what it means for the grove as a whole. In general, this omen also applies to the individual participants, who should think on what it might mean for them in particular.

14.    Discuss your understanding of the Blessing Cup, or “Return Flow”. (minimum 100 words)

Once the omen has been read and interpreted, the Priest/ess/Druid will ask that these blessings be transferred into the cup of (usually) drink that has been sitting on the altar. This is the direct return flow for the energies of the sacrifices and offerings that have been made. While they traveled through the gates to the otherworlds, the return flow travels exactly in reverse, from the otherworlds through the gate, to be caught in the vessel and presented to the people. This energized water, a mingling of “fires” and “waters” represents the Waters of Life. It is then shared among the participants of the ritual as a way of internalizing the blessings into each person and feeling the transformative power of those blessings. Individuals are directed to visualize the blessing pouring into them in whatever form they might need, as it is at this time that each individual can receive a personal and direct blessing from the powers.

Typically the Return Flow is thought of in three parts: Calling (asking) for the blessings, Hallowing the Blessing, and Affirmation of the Blessing (Newburg). Calling for the blessings is the step that initiates the return flow, where the *ghosti relationship is reaffirmed and reminds the Kindreds of when and how to confer the blessings, and sometimes what blessings are called for specifically. Hallowing the blessing realizes the arrival of the blessings, which permeate the beverage in the blessing cup and confer holiness and sacral power to the drink. Affirming the blessing has two parts – confirmation and integration. Confirmation is the full acceptance of whatever blessings the Kindreds give. Integration is the process of consuming the blessings and making them a part of the imbiber physically, mentally, and spiritually. (Newburg)

In rituals for large groups of people, sometimes the waters are asperged over the group instead of forming long lines of individual people and waiting for each to drink, as a way to keep the ritual energy from stagnating.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »