As we have done for so many years, since our first Imbolc rite in Jenni’s apartment (where we drew a whopping 23 people!), 46 people came together to honour Brigando, read a poem, light 20 candles, and do work in preparation for the time ahead.
As we like to do, we mixed up the parts a bit, and brought new members and friends into the mix for this ritual. This ritual has not changed much since the first year we worked it, and many of the elements are exactly the same from that first year. This is a special rite to many of us, often marking an anniversary of first attendance for so many of our friends.
This evening’s ritual lasted a full hour and a half, which was a bit longer than usual. But, by the end, we had done much work and received many blessings. These are the omens from the rite:
Are our offerings accepted? – Ngetal, the broom: Cleansing and healing. The offerings are accepted indeed.
What do the Powers offer in return? – Oir, the spindle: Hearth and home. They offer us the blessings of fellowship with those close to us and the joy of family.
What further needs to the Powers have of us? – Emancoll, the witchhazel: Powerful magics. We are to work our will in the world through these blessings.
Taken together, these omens indicate that through cleansing and healing, we will find joy in one another and our families. Through this, we will work powerful magics as we move through the world.
These are good omens, indeed, and they played perfectly into the work of the evening.
We began our work by providing each person some time with a brideog, brought around the circle by two children in our midst. During this, we actually managed to sing a song that was done in rounds, something our Grove has actually never managed before. After that, we brought out the healing blanket that we had begun at last Imbolc: our Grove Artisan, Ravenna had led the final effort to put it together, and we re-blessed the blanket with the energy of those present. Following that, we presented a new book, created by Joe, to the folk, noting that the book we have been using since Yule of 2006 is now almost out of pages.
This rite was a beautiful synthesis between what we have done in the past and what we will do in the future. It spoke very much to the work we do today and the history we have yet to make.
Every ritual, I am more and more proud of this Grove. Tonight was certainly no exception.
Hail to the Cranes.
-Rev. Michael J Dangler