[personal profile] asthefiretree
Mabon/Autumn Equinox

Like Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, the Autumn Equinox is a myth. That is...as people often think of the Autumn Equinox- a 24 hour time period where the time of daylight and time of dark are exactly equal.

Thus started the CedarLight Grove Mabon rite with these words spoke by Will Pearson, one of our Grove's founders. Perhaps not the exact words, as I am writing this looking back 5 months, but very close, and definitely the exact idea.

It may have been 5 months ago that this ritual took place, but I remember it well, perhaps better than others. It was the first to take place after I joined the Grove, and joined ADF. I signed the Book Of CedarLight. It was the first ritual to take place after I had come forth with my decision to complete the Dedicant's Program and then move onto the Clergy Study Program. It was also hot on the heels of a very upsetting instance where someone tried to tell me that I was working on a completely incorrect path and that I should not be part of ADF, suggesting that I look at two paths that I had already examined and rejected.

I also remember it well because this was a rather unusual ritual. It was completely unplanned. Up until the last minute, various people were talking about going to an Indian puja instead of holding a ritual at the Grove. A few days before, Will suggested on the forum in a most roundabout way that we not pre-write the ritual, we knew the structure well enough. We would be focusing on balance, change and how we reacted and moved with it.

So it was unscripted. It was unplanned. 20 minutes before we started, we had no idea who we were calling to. A small group of us huddled together and hashed it out in less than 5 minutes. We were praying for balance in our lives, our ritual patrons would be Apollo and Artemis; Hecate would be our gatekeeper. As a follower of Artemis and Apollo, I would invite them in.

We gathered the natives and assembled in our sanctuary...Will started out with his speech of myth...the myth of Santa Claus was then refuted by a guest in attendance: she had with her a business card from Santa Claus. It was passed around the circle and decided that if Santa Claus had a business card, he must be real. We left the silliness and continued with a comfortable conversation about seeking balance in our lives, many of us agreed that balance is not a static thing to attain and hold onto, but a continuous act or a target to pursue. A few members started drumming softy and we slipped into the rite, a blend of ritual and spontaneity, a sort of balance in and of itself. Apollo and Artemis graced us with their presence, and the Gatekeeper smoothed the ways. Darkness fell and we continued on in candle and firelight. It was unplanned and unrehearsed...it was honest and heartfelt.

From gathering in the circle to dismissal to Revels, we ran two hours, almost to the minute. Some argue that we took too long, that there was too much speech or inappropriate offerings. Everyone has his or her own thoughts. Myself, I would not have changed a moment of the evening. Since finding the Grove, I have been sure that I've been moving in the right direction, and I have had some profound experiences. I have been certain from within- though not without my sources of contention to overcome- but it is a completely different thing to have that inner certainty affirmed from without.

Mabon is commonly thought of as a festival of harvest...for this year, we cast aside the tradition of harvest celebration for a meditation on the concept and seeking of balance in our lives. I found myself right where I needed to be at the time, in a safe place between worlds where I could see the long road that stretched out ahead of me, mental compass pointing straight ahead, the winds blowing lightly with me..
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