Sunday, 31 January 2010

Imbolc

This evening I did my Imbolc/Gwyl Ffraid ritual. Idealy I would have done it either Friday or Saturday night but as it was I spent Friday at a friends funeral and then all day Saturday with a her daughter who is close friends from work. It felt... wrong to be having my ritual before today.

* * *

This is the first ritual I have performed in this manner and I really like it, it is certainly a model I will be adopting for my monthly observances and probably also seasonal celebrations.

I have a Roman style oil lamp (reproduction) that I use, this was lit:

Brigantia, mother of the flame, may I pray with a good fire
Brigantia, mother of the flame, may I sacrifice well


a single white candle I have had for a few years and light only at this time was then lit from the central Briganti flame;

Into the eye of the first one did Taranis blow life,
the frost in the bones of the land melts away,
the flesh of the land flushes with life
as the blood of the oceans runs hot on the shore


from the central flame some incense was lit;

Brigantia of the flame,
weave our words into your veil, bear it aloft;
to Taranis the sky father
to the Grey Mare on the hill
and to the Lord in the Wave

Bride of our hearth
Bless this place
With warmth
With shelter
With fire that burns for us.

Bride of our streams
Of wells and water courses
Asperge our land
With rain
With dew.

Bride of the candles
Lit for your remembrance
Bright be your blessings
As the Sun climbs higher
In his Winter rising.

Bride of our company
Of links and friendship
Across Brigantia, the isles
Of your people:
Veil us within the bounds of belonging.


Some honeyed and warmed milk was then poured into a bowl which had some dark rum in it;

Briganti; I offer this milk, as it is right for me to do so

a steamed bun was then placed in a bowl at the altar;

Briganti; I offer this food, as it is right for me to do so

a little of the steamed bun was burned in the flame.

Then I did the triple toast, something shared with the other members of Brython in the same manner and at the same time.

















Monday, 18 January 2010

Incensed!

If there is such thing as a fourth wall in blogging then I am about to breach it. This is a direct appeal to my readers – first of all, thanks for reading and commenting and following me.

Now, I need your assistance with something:

I am going to make some of my own loose incense to be burned – as a mentioned a post or two ago – but have only a very rudimentary idea of what the hell to do. I have it in my head that to make a good incense you need a base 'woody' substance which isn't too fragrance to form the bulk of the incense to which herbs or resins can be added to achieve the desired aroma.

So, what forms a nice low fragrance base?

I have some myrrh and am going to get some frankincense soon as these are resins which I know I like. I am very fortunate that I have the Baldwins shop a five minute walk up the road.

The frankincense has a light, citrus scent to it and I have some benzoin too which although it reminds me of fly-spray in smell will be ideal to add an almost metallic twang to the overall aroma. Perhaps something else too, though as this is intended to be an incense for Taranis I shall have to work on it.

I have seen that honey can be used – the idea of a honey laced incense for Rigantona appeals – and also wine so I think when I am feeling more daring I will have a stab at using these. Oh and I have a sufficiently stocked spice cupboard so will be experimenting with ginger, mixed spice etc.

at this point it is over to you and your wise words and help.

oh, I also have some Palo Santo here too - bloody amazing on its own. i have some powdered too so no doubt some will find it's way in.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Altar Space

I currently share a flat with my best mate from uni, we also work together at the NHM. There is very little space in our flat to have a shelf set aside in the 'shared' areas and an equally small amount of space in my own room. That said, I have a small space on my west facing window where I have room for “stuff”. I was looking on-line for something that could be appropriated as a shrine space and came across Etsy where people hawk their wares, one of the people on there makes small wooden (4”x3” ish size) shrines presumably more for the hobbycraft market. A few dollars each and they are rather nice.

So, some imagery pulled together to form some sort of collage icon and bits and pieces added and they form a nice small shrine. At some point when space become more abundant these can be transferred to form the focal point of a larger altar space.
















Mokkonos: boar tusk, pig teeth and a small carved human skull.

















Rigantona: flint and chalk/bone and flesh of the land, white orchid blossom

Ritual and Liturgy

I have given thought to the format for ritual observances and read the practices of others to see how such a format strikes me. I do have an idea in mind; something I came across a while ago and think could be adapted very easily and function very well. It certainly appeals to my sense of ritual. For now, some of the liturgy is of my own, some is poached from Deiniol until I can prepare some of my own (or realise that his works wonderfully well and doesn't need replacing. Either way, many thanks are owed to him).

At the shrine or altar a candle is lit:

Brigantia, mother of the flame, may I pray with a good fire

from this flame a charcoal block ignited and placed in a burner:

Into the eye of the first one did Taranis blow life,
the frost in the bones of the land melts away,
the flesh of the land flushes with life
as the blood of the oceans runs hot on the shore

Brigantia of the flame;
weave our words into your veil, bear it aloft;
to Taranis the sky father
to the Grey Mare on the hill
and to the Lord in the Wave

Some incense is placed onto the charcoal and an appropriate hymn recited for the deity being addressed. Further incense can be added for further prayer or simply during silent meditation.

Any other offering of food or drink is then made with some appropriate and as yet unwritten words.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

A New Year

It has been almost 2 months now since I did a post on here so forgive me if this turns into something of an epic. Whether it will be followed by regular sequels remains to be seen but I think it about time I got my arse back in gear as such.

The Midwinter Season

An odd shift seems to have taken place; I have always really looked at the winter solstice and holiday 'season' as a series of largely solar events. Sunset on the 21st and sunrise on the 25th etc being points of importance in the seasons from a purely solar point of view. This year though there is a strong emphasis on how I feel about things, it is all turning around to point at Rigantona. It feels like I am no longer focussing on the cause of what's going on, but realising it is all about the effects; right here on solid ground. It is more about what the change in the sun's pathway means to the landscape and of course me. As someone who loves the cold weather and revels in the snowy landscape we have been living in for a couple of weeks, I cant help but feel a tingle of what is about to happen to the world around me. That to me is part of what the celebration is about. Anyhow, that said I flunked up on maintaining anything like the plans I had for marking Eponalia, the solstice and the 25th; fasting during daylight for 4 days after arriving back home and visiting family simply don't mix. Food is simply brought before you and considering that my gran and cousins are rather splendid cooks it just simply didn't cross my mind not to dig in. I did pop outside and make the triple toast and libations; under the stars, overlooking the sea in my mum's back garden. In some ways I am a little disappointed, in others not; I was on the train home on the 28th – Eponalia – and spent it passing snow smothered England, the highlight watching snow settling on the White Horse at Uffington (passing it and seeing it has become something of a highlight, something that deserves a mental salutation). I think this recent season I have gained a new appreciation, and find that I am more settled and comfortable in my place within the scheme of things.

Starry, Starry night

the night time stroll to see my father when back home – divorced parents – reinforced that the heavens should play a part in my ritual calendar. The sense of awe and wonder never diminishes; the bolt down my spine and flutter in my heart are as strong as ever when I look up to see Orion or a merest peek of a new moon. Recent discussions on Caer Feddwyd and other blogs of importance have inspired me on how this will happen.

I am going to begin pulling together a set of observances based upon a lunar calendar;

1: the new moon, that point where the light of the moon is absent will be a time to remember the ancestors in a very simple form. Potia has talked about her own practices and reminded me of something I did a fair while back. It will be a simple affair; light a candle and make a cup of tea. A chat, a remembrance and nothing more. I am going to begin gathering photos of my recent deceased ancestors of whom I have no pictures, and to learn their stories.

2: three nights after the new moon will be dedicated to Taranis. The night when the 'horns' are in the sky will be linked to the sky god. The spinner of the wheel of the sky.

3: the full moon will be dedicated to Rigantona.

As yet, Tigernonos doesn't really feature, I'm not too sure of His place within the scheme of things as I see it is unclear. I have inklings, ideas and thoughts but they need time.

The final matter I have in mind, but again I don't know HOW to implement, isthe rising of Orion with Mokkonos.


In terms of liturgy and practice I will leave that for now I think, I will call it an incentive to post again soon and not leave such a long gap.