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Posts Tagged ‘Neopaganism’

singing and drumming in front of around 500 people or so.. no biggie

This summer solstice the family and I traveled to PSG for a week long adventure in pagan community, music, celebration, ritual and camping hosted by Circle Sanctuary. It was my 5th time attending and once again I found that a great love and understanding permeated every interaction that I came across. The first time I attended, I lost my phone card and someone tracked me down just to give it to me again. I can leave a folding chair anywhere for a whole day and not worry about someone taking it (very different from my own front yard!).

Besides a great deal of trust that flows throughout the festival, it is wonderful to see how our pagan community really works. Activists, musicians and pagan leaders are accessible (I chatted with activist Patrick McCollum, author Loren Cruden, musician Arthur Hinds, some members of Spiral Rhythm, pagan leader Selena Fox and the editor of Circle Magazine,  for example). Also, if you, yourself has a special talent, you are encouraged to make a contribution. No where will you find more of a safe and supportive environment to let your talents shine. Last year I attended a chant circle and shared some of my own original chants. I received such a strong, positive feedback that this year many were looking out for me specifically to hear more of my songs! A few even sang some of my chants back to me and told me that they had been sharing it with others all year!!

This year I found the courage within me to sing an original song on-stage at the talent show (probably around 500 people in the audience). That’s us in the picture!! This is only the second time I have sang on stage (the first was when I sang the Cranberries song, Zombie for a neighborhood block party). My two friends JJ and Tulie got up there with me to accompany me with their voices part of the time and a djembe and a rattle and we rocked!!! So much so, we are deciding to start a band!!! Youtube videos are shortly in my future so that others can use my chants if they wish and I’m sure my friends will be joining me singing a few of them. Side note: if you are close to the Quad Cities Illinois area, can play an instrument and are wanting to take part- LET ME KNOW!!!

I feel so blessed to be part of this amazing community. As Pagans and Wiccans, we are all making history as we are some of the first generations to be part of this growing earth-based religion!

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imbolc 13

Yesterday the kiddies and I did our candle making Imbolc tradition. Out came the dusty candles with drowned or broken wicks and we broke them into little pieces with hammers.  I had a whole pile of half melted, crooked tapers and so we mashed these up too and saved the unused wick parts for the new candles.  After calling it a day, we lit the candles and had  a ritual welcoming the growing light as the seasons get ready to turn. I told them that between now and Ostara signs of spring will start popping up so be on the look out! Offerings of white food and milk were also given to the White Goddess and my six year old made up a song while my toddler and I played bells and rattles.

Saturday Tulie hosted an Imbolc ritual at her big farmhouse and we all had a wonderful time. I wrote a new song for Imbolc/St. Bride’s Day/Candlemas and sang it with my autoharp to help shift the energy into circle casting. We decorated Bride’s Bed with wish-flowers and we drew cards from the wands tarot suit. I received the five of wands which indicated the spark of inner courage. We meditated to the song Fire Prayer and received visions or feelings from Bride. (If you have never heard of this musician I highly, highly recommend checking out her whole Fire Prayer CD!)

The evening was topped off with feasting, singing, chit-chat, laughter and more magic. As the night wore down it was only Tulie, JJ and I left. I felt the urge to dance. JJ felt the urge to drum. Tulie didn’t have a choice… more magic was coming! She began to sing and before we knew it we were all raising energy and invoking the Goddess once more.

As a Mystic, I rely mostly on experience to guide me on my spiritual path. Opening up one’s practice for room for spontaneity welcomes this experience.

Here is text from the Carmina Gadelica about the custom of making Bride’s Bed:

The older women are also busy on the Eve of Bride, and great preparations are made to celebrate her Day, which is the first day of spring. They make an oblong basket in the shape of a cradle, which they call ‘leaba Bride,’ the bed of Bride. It is embellished with much care. Then they take a choice sheaf of corn, generally oats, and fashion it into the form of a woman. They deck this ikon with gay ribbons from the loom, sparkling shells from the sea, and bright stones from the hill. All the sunny sheltered valleys around are searched for primroses, daisies, and other flowers that open their eyes in the morning of the year. This lay figure is called Bride, ‘dealbh Bride,’ the ikon of Bride. When it is dressed and decorated with all the tenderness and loving care the women can lavish upon it, one woman goes to the door of the house, and standing on the step with her hands on the jambs, calls softly into the darkness, ‘Tha leaba Bride deiseal,’ Bride’s bed is ready. To this a ready woman behind replies, ‘Thigeadh Bride steach, is e beatha Bride,’ Let Bride come in, Bride is welcome. The woman at the door again addresses Bride, ‘A Bhride! Bhride thig a stench, tha do leaba deanta. Gleidh an teach dh’an Triana,’ Bride! Bride, come thou in, thy bed is made. Preserve the house for the Trinity. The women then place the ikon of Bride with great ceremony in the bed they have so carefully prepared for it. They place a small straight white wand (the bark being peeled off) beside the figure. This wand is variously called ‘slatag Bride,’ the little rod of Bride, ‘slachdan Bride,’ the little wand of Bride, and ‘barrag Bride,’ the birch of Bride. The wand is generally of birch, broom, bramble, white willow, or other sacred wood, ‘crossed’ or banned wood being carefully avoided. A similar rod was given to the kings of Ireland at their coronation, and to the Lords of the Isles at their instatement. It was straight to typify justice, and white to signify peace and purity–bloodshed was not to be needlessly caused. The women then level the ashes on the hearth, smoothing and dusting them over carefully. Occasionally the ashes, surrounded by a roll of cloth, are placed on a board to safeguard them against disturbance from draughts or other contingencies. In the early morning the family closely scan the ashes. If they find the marks of the wand of Bride they rejoice, but if they find ‘long Bride,’ the footprint of Bride, their joy is very great, for this is a sign that Bride was present with them during the night, and is favourable to them, and that there is increase in family, in flock, and in field during the coming year. Should there be no marks on the ashes, and no traces of Bride’s presence, the family are dejected. It is to them a sign that she is offended, and will not hear their call. To propitiate her and gain her ear the family offer oblations and burn incense. The oblation generally is a cockerel, some say a pullet, buried alive near the junction of three streams, and the incense is burnt on the hearth when the family retire for the night.

~Blessings to All~

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