Autumn Equinox Ritual 2017

This was my first Autumn Equinox Ritual and it was held at the yoga center in Adams, NY on September 30th. We always gather an hour before the ritual starts to give us time to talk, settle down, prepare, and do a little group craft.

Our group craft this year was drawing our own personal wheel of the year on a piece of paper and drawing symbols or pictures of what that time of the year means to us. Next year, we will do one as a grove.

After the group craft, chatting, and letting our food for the feasting heat up, we had our pre-ritual and last minute ritual parts were assigned. We sang our processional song down to the stone circle. We sang Come We Now as a People. This walk always prepares my mind for the sacredness of the situation. Upon reaching the stone circle we gathered in a circle clockwise. The outsiders were given their offerings.

I had the privilege of being assigned to sprinkle the ritual space with water for the purification. This was followed by the incense. The bard and gatekeeper, Lady Brighid, were honored.

The earth mother was honored next and I had offered to call to her. This was followed by singing The River is Flowing. The Three Hollows was next. This consisted of singing the Portal Song while 3 volunteers made an offering of silver to the well, whiskey to the fire,  and holy water for the tree. I volunteered to offer the silver to the well.

Our ritual leader lead us into the grove attunement. Our grove does the Two Powers Meditation. 

Next up was the calling and offerings to the Nature Spirits, Ancestors, and Shinning Ones. I made an offering of whiskey for the Ancestors. I choose this because they most likely miss drinking spirits while they were alive.

The main deity of the occasion was actually several deities. Our grove choose to honor earth mothers of many pantheons because the good harvest was due to them. We choose Tailtiu, Gaia, Danu, Frigga, Prithvi, and Macha. Each person called to their earth mother and told a little about them and made their offering. I had the part of Danu. I was nervous but toward the end, the words were just flowing out of my mouth, thanks to her help. I gave her an offering of water from our local river, the Oswegatchie, which I added fresh healing herbs from my garden this summer. I felt that our Mother really needed healing because of the neglect all this centuries. I feel that the people of the planet need to turn their attention to the earth mother and start forming a relationship with her and give her offerings of thanks. Perhaps, we as a people will become more caring towards each other.

Our grove next made our individual offerings to our personal deities or spirit guides. Our seer drew the omens from her oracle card deck. The omens were good. We called for the blessings and hollowing of the waters, followed by our toast and boast. It was good to hear what was going on in our grove member’s lives.

Our magical working consisted of candle magic. I made soy candles for the grove and we did a little mediation while holding them and infusing healing magic inside.

Then it was time to reverse things. We thanked the Beings of the Occasion and the Kindreds. Our ritual leader closed the gates. We were led out of the Two Powers Meditation, and I thanked the earth mother.

Our rite was ended and we sang the recessional chant, Now the Rite is at an End. 

I am very happy to be taking part in the rituals now that I am a member of the Northern Rivers Grove.

Photo Credit: Michele O’Donnell

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Danu – Mother of the Gods

Danu is the great mother of Ireland. The mother of the gods. The first tribe in Ireland, the Tuatha De Danann – otherwise known as the people of the goddess Danu, was named after her.

As an earth goddess, she is associated with rivers, agriculture, cultivation, nurturing the land, fertility, growth, and abundance. In fact, her name is said to mean “the flowing one” of which all things flow. The land, mountains, rivers, all life springs from her. Several rivers and hills in Ireland are named after her.

Since, all life or creation comes from her, she possesses the knowledge, wisdom, and magic in which to create. In fact, legend says, the Tuatha De Danann attributed their unusual skill with Danu bestowing them with these gifts. I encourage you to look into the myth and legend of the battles of the Tuatha De Danann on your own. It’s quite interesting. Due to Danu helping in battle, she is also considered a warrior goddess. Which is not hard to believe when you think about how a mother will protect her offspring.

It’s true, not much is known about Danu, but you can be sure that since she provides us with land, water, food, and shelter she is very nurturing. All you have to do is look. Look out at the land and see for yourself all that she offers. Everything is there for us to not only survive, but to live a happy, satisfying, creative life grounded in her loving arms. All she asks in return is for you to treat her in kind.

So whenever you need strength, perseverance, nurturing, wisdom, abundance, or magic, call on her and she will instill in you those attributes.

Nurturing the Feminine

I used to be at odds with myself. Where did I fit in? Who was I and what did I stand for? Am I living my truth or someone else’s? What the hell did I really want out of life? Why am I suffering through this life as a female because it would be so much easier being a male?

A lot of time (decades) and much turmoil went on and has been wasted. I say wasted because if only I could have had this wisdom earlier, my life would have been easier. I wouldn’t have fought so hard to change everything natural to unnatural. Unnatural is the way society strives so hard to mold us into being something we are not. But Alas, I guess we don’t really learn this until we are older and start searching for a better way.

I fought my way through being a kid, a teen, a teenage mother, a young wife. I fought from being poor and uneducated to being something more. I went through hell to finish a 2 year college with 4 kids and a husband. I went from one job to the next trying to find a better paying job that helped me take care of my family. Through all this I developed cysts on my ovaries and had to have a hysterectomy. I began exploring my symptoms with the spiritual causes. I really needed to accept myself and begin loving myself as I was.

I fought myself the most. Years ago I was searching to get my anxiety and depression under control and to find what I was looking for. I was always harping on the past, and wishing the present was over with and looking too far into the future. The future I wanted. I was miserable and not enjoying anything in the present. I was not enjoying my family, my job, or myself.

I remember one winter solstice, I asked the goddess Frigg to help me. She is the goddess of marriage, motherhood, fertility, love, household management, and the domestic arts. I called on her because this was what I needed to desperately work on. I needed to reconnect with my feminine side and learn to nurture myself and my family, and pay attention to my home. I needed to make my home my sanctuary. Things have been slow; but a lot of learning has happened. The other day the memory of me asking her for help came to me. I realized that she did indeed help me out. Even all this time that I have not given her much thought.

So this is changing. Frigg, thank you for reminding me! I just now found out she is also the goddess of the sky. Which is funny because all the birds are attracted to me and I find feathers everywhere.  And I do love the wind. Thank you Frigg for all your messages.

My life now is much more grounded and happier. I am in touch with the land, learning the ways of old, taking lessons from my ancestors; learning from Momma Earth, the gods and goddess and the nature spirits . I am much happier being a woman now. Which seems odd I know. But, that’s the way it is. I am being more creative and nurturing and teaching the grandkids about the kindreds and respecting the earth. I am wandering around at home in simple sun dresses and being barefoot. I am learning about the Druids and I am now at home with myself.

Photo Credit: John Charles Dollman [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons