Tonight Three Cranes Grove celebrated Giamonios, the Gaulish end-of-winter moon. It was a small group of us, just four — we celebrated the Thargelia in honor of Artemis and Apollo as our public spring cross-quarter ritual just yesterday, so most people elected to stay home. But our intimate gathering provided a relaxed, informal resumption of our outdoor druid moons, where we cleaned out the firepit in our nemeton and rekindled our fires. At this moon we honor Belenos, god of the fiery sun, and honor the triple fire of sacrifice, inspiration, and fellowship. Our working in this small-group setting gave us the opportunity to speak from the heart: each person volunteered to speak on the fire in one of its three aspects, and I volunteered to tie them all together. So, with appreciative credit to Lisa Lea, Jan, and Thorne for their explications of the fires of sacrifice, inspiration, and fellowship, respectively — and with apologies for my rephrasing and reconfiguring of their words — some thoughts on the fire at the center of all.
The storm has arrived. Thunder rolls all around, lightning streaks from cloud to cloud, its forks mirroring the trees in their early-Spring bareness. Gather yourself, your bare feet, your cup of dark wine, and stand outside, barely skirting the drenching rain beneath the small overhang of the stoop.
It’s been quiet around these parts for a good while, but it’s not for a lack of activity in my real life. Rather the opposite: I’ve been buried under a pile of responsibilities and activities both secular and religious, and writing that has no clear deadline or penalty (read: this blog) has gotten put to the wayside. Of course, there is in fact a penalty: I begin to feel like I have a well bottled up in me, and as if I’m betraying promises I made to the gods when I first started this site. And so, segue, I’m here to write about running ritual and the difficult but worthwhile responsibility it brings, centered around my first time running a ritual at this past Winter Solstice. Continue reading On ritual, responsibility, and consecration
I don’t do magic, not as a general rule. I’m not even sure I think it exists outside of an internal psychological reality, though a number of people I trust seem fairly sure of it. But recently I found a situation that really seemed to call for a response that was, well, magical. A few days ago, a colleague came into the office at work, waving a piece of paper angrily. It was a flyer she’d ripped down from a a bulletin board in our academic building: an image of a bust of a Caesar in white marble, its empty eyes staring out above the legend “Serve Your People / Identity Evropa.”
A week ago, Three Cranes Grove celebrated the autumn equinox, which is also the anniversary rite of the grove. As is customary for 3CG, we honored Teutates, the Gaulish god of tribal protection and the patron of our Grove. In many ways it was quite similar to last year’s rite, but in one specific way it was very different for me: instead of simply attending, I was to have a role in the rite. At the liturgy planning meeting, I had volunteered to call on the spirits of inspiration. This being a Gaulish rite, I knew that I would call on Ogmios, the Gaulish god of eloquence. Continue reading An introduction to Ogmios
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about where I choose to put my time and energy. I have many interests, many passions, and many responsibilities; in a perfect world, many of these pressures would align with each other so that, magically, I could do everything and still have time to sleep. Alas, I live in the real world, where we don’t have Time Turners, or magical spells that do the dishes for us, so some things have to fall by the wayside. I struggle with that necessity, because my impulse is always to say ‘yes’ to opportunities, and to mourn them when I have to decline. Helpfully, the past few days have been full of gentle guidance and correction.
Continue reading Lessons from the trees and the gods: accepting limitations and knowing when to commit
First posts aren’t easy. No new undertaking truly is, I think. And yet: it’s just after Samhain, the beginning of the dark half of the year, the settling cold that precedes spring’s burst of warmth and life. It is, for many pagans, the start of the year. Not necessarily the most auspicious time for a new working, by many counts, but then, neither is the civil New Year, but that doesn’t stop us making resolutions amid the cold and snow. And besides: I have a vow to fulfill. Continue reading Samhain and Beginnings