Review of Autumn Equinox 2015

The Cranes of ADF in a group photo, 2015

On the 20th of September, the Three Cranes Grove celebrated the Autumn Equinox (a few days early, but we asked some harvest Gods, so it’s okay). It was the Grove’s 13th anniversary, making it our fourteenth such rite. The ritual took place at the Mansion reservable shelter at Highbanks Metropark at 3:30 (okay, we started a bit late).

As is our tradition, the ritual honored Teutates, the patron of our grove. In the four weeks leading up to the rite we participated in an Equinox-along where the grove prepared to honor our patron. On the day of the ritual we gathered the folk and made offerings to Teutates, including a cornucopia full of chiles, a whopping fire, our traditional pork as well as a brief retelling of some of the pertinent details of our first ritual as a grove.

Amid happy folk and playing children and a comfortable late summer afternoon the Cranes called down the blessings of the waters (to the tune of the song of the same name) from the Kindred and began our work.

Lisa Lea was our Seer for this ritual, and we received good omens:

Ur, Saille, Ngetal
Ur, Saille, Ngetal

Were our offerings accepted?: Ur, Heather – growth. Yes they were!
What Blessings do we receive from the Kindreds?: Saille, Willow – flow, liminality and “going with the flow.
What further needs do the Kindreds have of us?: Ngetal, Broom – cleansing, putting things in order, domesticity.
Taken together this may mean that in this liminal time of the Equinox, we grow strong in going with the flow to put our homes and lives in order.

Each newly elected officer of the grove swore an oath to serve the folk and uphold their office (“wrong” crane style, on the neck).

Joe is sworn in as Senior Druid
Joe is sworn in as Senior Druid

The Leslie Dauterman award was also announced. It is given to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to bring together the pagan community in Ohio. This year that award went to Beaker.

Our Bard and outgoing Scribe, Reverend Jan Avende, recited an abbreviated version of the Grove Poem “Clutia Trion Garanonon” (the Fame of Three Cranes) as a combination offering to Teutates and a working to bless the grove.  During this working our portable Bilé was re-consecrated by the fires of piety.

Reconsecrating the Bile
Reconsecrating the Bile

As is our tradition a “Crane Family Photo” was taken following the ritual. Unfortunately I know several people missed the photo since we snuck it in before all the kiddos had to peace-out.

Crane Family Photo 2015
Crane Family Photo 2015

Thanks to a cranky baby I left before the potluck, but I heard a rumor that the full version of the poem was read and if tradition holds many desserts were had by all.

Brightest Blessings!
~Joe Auerbach (incoming Senior Druid)

At the Center we honor Teutates!

We have spent the last three weeks taking a journey to your inner grove and with the Three Cranes’ tender, Teutates. Now the final week, we can look at more traditional celebrations of the Autumnal Equinox.

The Equinox is a point in the celestial rotation that happens twice a year. During the Autumnal Equinox, much like the Spring, the day is divided neatly in half with equal amounts of sunlight and nighttime. Traditionally, the “Fall Solstice” as some Cranes may joke about was a time of reaping the last harvest of the season. This was a time of prosperity and thankfulness, often celebrated by rituals of thanks and offerings. Greeks celebrated Oschophoria, a festival for the reaping of grapes and thanks to Dionysus. Additionally, some celebrated feasts to Demeter and Persephone as Persephone was thematically ushered back down to be with Hades, beginning the dark portion of the year.

Mostly though, it was widely an agricultural holiday.

Terms such as “Mabon” were not created in antiquity, but attributed later during the Neopagan revival.

That said, the honoring of Teutates is also appropriate for us, as the gardner calls to us to reap the rewards of our year of planting and harvest the fruits of our piety.

The prayers and work this week will work around that theme.

Prayer:

Teutates, expert gardner,
who trims away ailing branches so the garden may thrive.
Be with us and guide our hands,
as we harvest the fruit of our piety.
Remind us of our abundance,
but let us not forget the work that must be done again
to maintain our piety and our inner grove.
Hail Teutates!

Meditation:

Building upon last week’s meditation, you may begin by centering in the way it is most comfortable. Sit comfortably and in a quiet space.

To begin your journey, return to the slow breaths. When you inhale, inhale fully, on a three count. Hold it for three count, then exhale completely on a three count. When you are ready, return your mind’s eye to your perfect garden, your inner grove. This time, however, envision the grove, the garden filled with fruits, grains, whatever your garden would manifest.

There at the center, is Teutates. Now, he bears a tool, one of reaping the abundance your work and piety has grown. It is time to work once more to reap the rewards as you stand side by side with Teutates. Allow the work to make you feel grateful, as you swing your arms, and pluck the fruits. Envision the gratitude you feel for the work done and allow yourself to feel the thanksgiving as your hard work bears fruit.

When you are done, thank the faithful tender of our tribe. Leave with the abundance you have harvested together and bring it with you to the waking world.

Service Project:

We are called to service with the thought of abundance in our hearts. Service this week is to share your abundance. Be it financial support (donations) to an organization of your calling, a gift of your time in service, a donation of your craft or trade, or whatever manifestation you wish to give of your personal abundance.

 

Bright Blessings & Happy Autumn Equinox!
~Traci A.

Planting Seeds and Tending Trees

I call out to the Kindreds of the Three Cranes Grove.
To those guides and allies who have aided us this many years.
And to the tender of our grove, Teutates,
You have seen us through another year
and been warmed by our good fire.
With your careful hand,
you have turned two seeds into a well nurtured grove.
Remind us that even the largest oak springs from the smallest acorn,
And that every tree supports the health of the grove.
Hail to Teutates! Hail to the Kindred of our Grove!

"Tender of the Tribe" by C. Marvel
“Tender of the Tribe” by C. Marvel

This week, it is time to work with planting seeds of growth with your spiritual grove. As each mighty tree began as an acorn, so too do we begin within our spiritual relationships. Take a brief look back on the beginnings of your spirituality. What were the acorns planted to begin your work with the kindred and the grove?

Remembering those beginnings, think on what skills you have grown since then. Use the skills you have grown to produce something for the growth and support of your grove. Be it a poem, a prayer, a photograph and description of your home or travel altar. Share this gift with your grove.

Bright Blessings!
~Traci A.

Why is Autumnal Equinox important to Three Cranes Grove?

From the threecranes.org website:

“Three Cranes Grove, ADF, was born on this day in 2002. Of all our High Days, we take special care in working this rite, in planning it out. We celebrate our inception, when two Druids who had never worked a ritual together before stood out on a cold night, struggling to read the familiar yet strange words in the darkness, only a fire to light their way.”

The foundation of the Three Cranes Grove began thirteen years ago with our two founding members squatting at a state park as the sun was fading. While they will likely recant the story at our rite, our grove certainly started with humble beginnings. This high day has always held a special place for our members, especially those who worked hard in those first few years to create a regular, working grove.

This ritual is a bit different than most as it is very Crane-focused. During this ritual, we recite our grove Poem, “Cluti? Trion Garanonon” or the Fame of Three Cranes. It is an epic poem with a new stanza written by committee each year before the ritual, detailing that year’s major accomplishments. Additionally, during this rite, we have the swearing in of officers voted by the grove, making their oaths before the folk.

This, for us, is a time of grove renewal and time to rekindle the fires of our grove’s piety.

Bright Blessings!
~Traci A.

Meditation: In the Garden

Building upon last week’s meditation, you may begin by centering in the way it is most comfortable. Sit comfortably and in a quiet space,

To begin your journey, return to the slow breaths. When you inhale, inhale fully, on a three count. Hold it for three count, then exhale completely on a three count. When you are ready, return your mind’s eye to your perfect garden, your inner grove, There at the center, is Teutates. He tends the gone within and awaits you. Take time and meet with the gentle Gardner and allow last week’s work to guide your meeting with him. Take the time that you need to meet and continue your connection.

When your visit is through, thank Teutates and exit your inner garden, your inner grove. When you come to full consciousness, write down your experience so you may have it with you in the weeks to come.

Bright Blessings!
~Traci A.

Teutates: Tender of the Tribe

Teutates is the gentle tender of the tribe.  He nurtures those things we grow in our community and in ourselves.  Sometimes this is a gentle guiding hand when we are lost in where to go.  Sometimes this is  a needed prune to aspects in our lives when we are devoting our energy in too many directions to make headway.  It allows us to spring forward toward the sunlight as we focus on our goals.

Teutates does not just tend a single tree, he tends the whole Grove.  However, the health and strength of the grove is exponential and amplified by the health of each individual tree.  And so for service this week, we look both within ourselves, and without, to our community.

For the self-care service this week think how Teutates the Gardener can help you nurture yourself so that you can stand strong, and later in turn contribute to the over-all health of the Tribe.

What is an aspect of your life that needs pruning?  Is there something that is pulling lots of resources, but not yielding what you need from it to replenish yourself?  How might you cut back?  What is an aspect of your life that needs nurturing?  Is there something that if you had more time to devote to it would grow and fulfill you even more?

What steps do you need to take to realign your growth?  What will you do to nurture yourself?

For the community-care service this week think how Teutates, Tender of the Tribe, can nurture the community, and how you, as a member of that community, can affect change.

What community members are out there that are in need of support?  Is someone sick or recovering from an illness or surgery that you could bring a meal to?  Is someone having a bad day that you could send an uplifting word or silly picture to?  What community resources are out there that are in need of support?  Is there a local homeless shelter or food bank in your community?  Give them a call and see what supplies they are in dire need of.  Is there an animal shelter or community food garden you can volunteer time at? Is there a community space near you that you’ve noticed always has blowing trash around it?

What will you do to help tend your community, your grove, your tribe?

Bright Blessings!
~Rev. Jan Avende

Teutates: Guardian & Guide

As we continue to honor Teutates leading up to our Autumn Equinox Rite, here is a prayer written by Rev. Michael J Dangler for all those who need the gentle guidance of the Gardener to support us and root us in times when turbulence shakes our balance.

Prayer Candle

We call to the Spirits who guide the tribe:
To Crane,
To Gardener,
To Patrons all,
That they might make safe the way
for those who need help this bright day!

Let the lights of our ancestors be our guides
As we travel the path laid down by the Spirits.
May it lead us to the places
where our hearts are full with love.

And as we are guided to that Grove,
May we shed our fears,
Lighten our souls of concern,
And exist in that moment of serenity.

Let us stand in the center,
Supported by land, sea, and sky.
Let us be joined by the trees
Whose branches and roots
Entwine to support each other.

So be it.

Teutates: Tending Your Grove

Service Project:

Begin to tend your personal grove. With the connection being forged with Teutates, it is time to work with your own personal grove. Be that the cranes or others in your personal spiritual and support circle.

Reach out to your grove and find a way to offer your services to help tend and grow the connections to create one united, and sacred grove.

Bright Blessings!
~Traci A.

Meditation to Meet Teutates

Find a quiet space and find your center the most comfortable way for you. If you are new to finding your center, there are several methods by which to try on the internet, but the ADF Two Powers meditation can be found here.

 

Before you begin your journey, take several deep breaths. When you inhale, inhale fully, on a three count. Hold it for three count, then exhale completely on a three count.

 

Begin to imagine walking upon your perfect garden, surrounded by a well-tended grove. Here, you will come upon the gardner, Teutates who is tending your inner grove. Approach and give yourself time to meet with him, allowing yourself to take in the sights, the sounds and feelings of this space an the one who tends it.

 

When your visit is through, thank Teutates and exit your inner garden, your inner grove. When you come to full consciousness, write down your experience so you may have it with you in the weeks to come.

Tomorrow we’ll begin delving into the service work we can do to deepen our work with Teutates.

Bright Blessings!
~Traci A.

Autumn Equinox Rite-Along: Introduction to Teutates

From the threecranes.org website:

“Teutates is not a name, but a title. The title itself means “god of the tribe” or “god of the people.” Each Autumnal Equinox, the Grove calls on Teutates as our patron. This god may appear differently to every Grove member: to some, he is a specific god or goddess of their experience with the Grove; to others, he is a noble crane standing in the waters at the edge of the land. In all cases, though, he is the deity who watches over the Grove, who keeps us safe and guides us, building the future with a strong foundation.”  –Rev. Michael J Dangler

Trying to put a face to Teutates can be challenging the first time you work with the Deity of the Occassion for our Autumnal Equinox. As it is a title and not a formal name of a god, sometimes, it can be difficult to imagine in your mind’s eye the way you might with a known patron/ess.

For those unfamiliar or who have not forged a working relationship, the goal in the next four weeks it to acquaint (or reacquaint in some cases) ourselves with Teutates. Each week there will be a prayer, meditation and a service project

For an historical background of the deity from Ceisiwr Serith, click the link here.

Prayer:

Teutates, mighty god of the tribe, who tends our grove with a gentle hand. I call out to you today to rekindle the fires of piety. To meet with me at my hearth, and inspire me to grow the bonds of our grove.
Teutates, mighty god of the tribe,
who tends our grove with a gentle hand.
I call out to you today to rekindle the fires of piety.
To meet with me at my hearth,
and inspire me to grow the bonds of our grove.

Tomorrow, we’ll share a meditation to meet and deepen our relationship with Teutates.

Bright Blessings!
~Traci A.