Celtic Polytheism, Event, Holiday Celebration, Paganism, Prayer, Ritual

Imbolc!

 

This year for Imbolc, we helped to organize a ritual at our local UU church.  At home, our deities of the occasion are Cailleach and Brigid, and the group agreed to honor them for our ritual.  We used a shortened version of the ADF creation of sacred space and ritual center, honoring of the Hallows (Fire, Well and Tree), the Kindreds (Shining Ones, Ancestors, and Nature Spirits), and a short meditation to help us connect to the space between the worlds.

Then we invoked the Cailleach and Brigid.  Another participant read a prayer they’d found called “Prayer to Brigantia, Keeper of the Forge“, by Patti Wigington, substituting “Brigid” for “Brigantia”.  I wrote a poem for Cailleach following the same pattern, and Scott read it during the ritual.  I’ve reproduced both, below.

We also tied raffia to pussywillow branches for our hopes and intentions for the spring, similar to cloutie ties, and we sang Kelianna’s song Brighid’s Flame together.

It was a simple ritual, but poignant for many of the participants, and it’s proof that we can pull something together in less than a week.  Still, I think we’re going to plan farther ahead for the Spring Equinox!

 

Imbolc Prayer for Cailleach, by Aleja Nic Bhé Chuille

Hail, Cailleach! Bringer of ice and snow,
She who blankets the world in white,
She who freezes the world so time seems to slow,
She who encourages us to rely on each other,
She who is called the Blue Crone,
And teaches us the true meaning of survival.

Hail, Cailleach! Queen of Winter,
She who frosts the ground with her staff,
She who dropped rocks and made mountains,
She who shaped valleys and hills,
She who flies over the land as a great winter storm.

 

Prayer for Brigantia, Keeper of the Forge, by Patti Wigington

Hail, Brigantia! Keeper of the forge,
She who shapes the world itself with fire,
She who ignites the spark of passion in the poets,
She who leads the clans with a warrior’s cry,
She who is the bride of the islands,
And who leads the fight of freedom.

Hail, Brigantia! Defender of kin and hearth,
She who inspires the bards to sing,
She who drives the smith to raise his hammer,
She who is a fire sweeping across the land.

 

[Feel free to use my prayer to Cailleach for your own rituals, with proper attribution!]

 

Holiday Celebration

Lughnasadh 2018

This year for Lughnasadh, instead of continuing our theme of having a family meal, we were involved in a lay-led worship service at our local UU Church, focusing on Lugh and the bounty of the first harvest.  I was part of a team that called the quarters (using the traditional elements this time, instead of my local cultus river goddesses) and presented representations of the harvest on a central table, around which we’d put the chairs for seating in two half circles.

I didn’t have a large role in part because I’d missed the second-to-last planning session, when we went to Wisconsin to visit my family and present the Acorn at the tribal picnic for enrollment.  That was nice – seeing everyone, including my brothers, whom I haven’t seen since last August, and before then not for almost two years.  With all the talk of community and coming together at the harvest, it’s hard not to think about how much of my community doesn’t live close by.  Still, this pagan group and the rest of local UU Church is slowly becoming the community I want and need, somewhere I can raise a child, somewhere I can find help when I need it.

I usually find myself more reflective as we move into autumn, but it seems to be starting early this year.  It makes sense, though – with Wep Ronpet following closely afterwards, Lughnasadh is the beginning of the end of my year, with a number of new year’s days of different traditions occurring between now and the secular new year on Jan 1st.

Bright Moon, Event, Holiday Celebration, Kemetic

Kemetic Bright Moon and Sailing Holiday

As I have been doing since the Kemetic New Year in August (Wep Ronpet), I did oracular work for the community on the occasion of the full moon.  This past full moon just so happened to also be the first day of 2018!  I have been sharing the messages I receive on tumblr, and I have decided to start sharing them here as well.    Here is the message I received from Bast and Sekhmet at the beginning of this month:

Now is the time for waiting, gathering your resources, and planning. As the coiled snake waits for the proper time to strike, so must you wait for the proper moment to take action. As the year spins on, you will find your perfect opportunity and if you take action then, you will reap abundant rewards.

This message, unlike previous ones, has implications beyond this moon cycle, into the rest of the year, and it’s hopeful – so take heart.

The other thing that happened earlier this month was my celebration of the Sailing Holiday, where I make Bast and Sekhmet an origami boat and send them “away down the river”, packing up my shrine for a time.  This year I had the privilege of sharing my Sailing Holiday celebration with new friends in a pagan/polytheist/earth religions study group at my local Unitarian Universalist church!  I gave a brief presentation on Kemetic religion, both ancient and modern, and then I opened my traveling shrine, to introduce Bast and Sekhmet to the group.  We then offered them food and drink, and ate it, reverting their blessing to ourselves.  It’s always a good feeling to share your practice with friends!