We have our own little “circle” here, even though probably most more organized Wiccans would smile about our lack of professionality or even continuity. It’s by far not every ritual we celebrate together, we don’t even have a fire for a lot of them and also a lot of them cannot happen outside because of cold and weather. We have no “Priestess” and no male participants, we barely have a certain process or defined order in which stuff happens in our rituals. Most of the time we’re only three or four women, meeting, celebrating and focussing our energy and thoughts.
That used to be different for quite a while. But life is what it is, so some have moved on, meet with other people or just can’t find the time any longer.
But basically this only means that the few rituals we do celebrate with several people are treasured and all of us contribute. Most of the time, one of us is “in charge” of the ritual and leads the rest of us through the meditation, invokation and all the rest, but more often than not, one of the others also has some idea of what to do or what they need.
This time, five of us met in the evening to celebrate Lughnasadh (or Lammas) as the time of strength, power and sun, of the male energy, dedicated to Lugh, the God of Sun, of craftmanship and warriors. We met under a beautiful, large tree in the midst of a beautiful nature reserve where nobody would disturb us, setting our altar in the grass. Being in an open, protected environment, we couldn’t start a fire but we had candles and incense sticks for purifying the air.
I had asked the girls to bring something representing their skills and their inner warrior and we set the symbols – pictures, a ring, cards, a knife, texts and little amulets which we positioned in between the symbols for God and Goddess and the elements and all the other wonderful things we had for decorating and honoring nature, summer and the energies. We focused, called in the elements and deities in their form of Lugh and Inanna.
I led the others through a short meditation, visualizing the energies flowing through us, down deep into the earth and high up in the sky, falling down and climbing up in a never-ending circle, connecting past and future. I asked them to focus on that which makes them who they are, acknowledging the strenghts they have and also the faults they made which led them to be the one they are now. We envoked our inner warriors with this little meditation:
I am a warrior.
I am one who lives with honor and pride,
in my deeds, words, and actions.
I am a warrior,
and I pay tribute to myself, my family, and my gods,
by living rightly.
Honor is found not in the sword and the first,
but in wisdom, and courage, and strength.
I will make the changes I need to make,
that I may live in a way
that does myself justice.
I pledge to hold truth in my heart,
to hold strength in my hands,
to be honest in my words,
and to stand on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.
This is the way of the warrior,
and I shall live with honor.
~ inspired by Patti Wigington on Paganwiccan.about.com
I had prepared some cards and brought pencils and each of us painted two cards with their hopes and wishes as “Hope Cards” of which then all of us drew one. This will be our lucky talisman for the coming year and it was a real treat to see what everyone came up with. Stina then brought out some affirmation cards she had and we each got two of those as well, so that we all have three beautiful, meaningful cards to carry us through the year and remind us of this wonderful day.
We thanked the elements and the deities for their presence, opened the circle and ate and drank the wonderful things each of us had brought: blueberries, cheese, herb bread, plums, cherry juice. Night had fallen and we were visited by two curious rabbits as we sat and talked and laughed and enjoyed the beautiful, mild summer night. When we finally went home, we each had a smile on our face and were full of renewed energy and love. This is the beauty of our rituals: each and everyone of them blesses us just by meeting and being together, focussing on ourselves and renewing our connection with each other and the energies around us.