[personal profile] asthefiretree
Yule...the celebration of the Winter Solsticeā€¦I have mixed feelings about this day.

On one hand, it is the shortest day of the year. I cannot say that I am affected enough by lack of daylight to claim seasonal depression, but I do feel a marked difference in myself in the shorter days. On the other hand...once the solstice is past, the days become longer. At the same time, I am a night person...and the Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year.

Events such as a joyous Grove ritual do much to take my mind off of the dichotomy.

Our Grove Yule ritual was a first for me in that it is the first ritual that I have attended with Norse deities. I am by now familiar with ritual involving Irish-Celtic, and Greek deities, but Norse was a new one to me thought I didn't think it would be much different. i was mostly curious to see what would happen since two of the deities in question- Freya and Heimdall had recently begun to make minor appearances on my radar.

Ritual took place in two parts, with Revels in between. We incorporated a somewhat improvised sumbel into the ADF structure which involved passing a drinking horn around the circle three times. On the first pass, we made toasts to the Gods. I toasted to those called for the ritual, as well as my patrons. The second toast was to the ancestors. As I mentioned in my Samhain essay, I feel a strong sense of disconnect to my own ancestors. At Samhain, I tried to connect to my ancestors with no result. Still feeling somewhat rejected I found myself feeling that it was more appropriate for me to speak in acknowledgement of those who have been forgotten, whose names have been erased from history, and who have no one left to remember them. This I feel was much better received. The third round was oaths and boasts. Oaths that we are to keep for the upcoming year, boasts of accomplishments for the past year. My great boast was that I had passed the two-year mark at my job, longer than I had ever worked at a single job. I also made here what I consider to be my first oath. My statement of "Hey, I'm here and I dedicate myself to this path." a member of our Grove had made a Ring Of Troth for the evening which was passed around to further solemnize oaths as the speaker felt appropriate. It was emphasized that an oath on the Ring Of Troth was held to a much higher degree of gravity, and to choose one's words and promised actions carefully. Understanding this, and understanding also that I will not know fully what I am getting into until I actually begin it, I felt compelled to take hold of the ring and make an oath to continue my work on the Dedicant's Program and afterwards to proceed to the clergy study program (though, I was mindful to not specify a period of time or a deadline for myself and simply promised that I would do my best to work towards this ends)

After this third round, we adjourned to Revels, returning later to read the oracle, partake of the Waters Of Life and thank the deities for their blessings. Most people left after this, but some stayed the night, sitting outside around the fire, or staying inside the house, talking watching movies and generally spending time together as community. With the celebration of Yule, I felt like I had regained something I was missing at Samhain. Though I still didn't feel an ancestral connection, I was no longer feeling cut off.

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asthefiretree

March 2010

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