Sunday, February 7, 2016

Imbolc 2016

February 7th, 2016
Three Cranes Grove @ Blacklick Woods Metro Park
Ritual dedicated to Brigando.

The rite began with a pre-ritual briefing and we were led outside of the ritual area for a centering exercise focusing on the seasons beginning to turn from winter to spring. When the ritual team was ready we were led back into the ritual area being purified as we walked in with water from a sprig and incense. As always the first honor and sacrifice was given to the Earth Mother. This was followed by a general purification and an offering to inspiration in the form of Agneos. This was followed by a sacrifice to the outdwellers (Strong Coffee) so they might not interfere with our rite. The Two Powers meditation was next followed by the portal song with the hollowing of the hallows.

Garanus crane was called upon as gatekeeper to open the gates by the grove. Offerings were then made to the three kindred. I took this opportunity to make offering to some fox spirits I work with. Then the deity of the occasion, Brigando, was called upon and the folk brought praise and offerings. During this time an effigy of Brigando (the Brideog) was taken around and all of the folk got some time with her. After this candles were lit to the poem “Nineteen Candles for Brigid” by Philip Carr-Gomm. Teams of two paired off and I read “Eighth is the strength of your oxen of Dil - Fea and Fernea, the red and the black“ while another grove member lit a candle.

Following this Omens were taken using the Ogham ask what blessings each of the three kindred had for us. From the Ancestors we received muin, the vine, which was interpreted by the seer as inspiration. From the nature spirits Eabadh, The White Poplar, interpreted as buoyancy and overcoming obstacles. Finally from the shining ones we received Duir, the Oak strength. Upon the pronouncement that the omens were indeed good the priests then invoked them into the waters which were shared with the folk.

After this was the working in which the Three Cranes Grove healing quilt was recharged for the year with the folk intoning and channeling healing energy into it. Brigando was then thanked followed by the three kindreds and Angneos for participating in the rite. Garanus crane was then thanked and asked as gatekeeper to close the gates and the hallows were returned to their normal state. The Earth Mother was finally thanked ending the rite.

The rite was followed by a walk and sing to the nearby bog to deposit the sealed offering that had been sunk in the well in the past year. This year there was no ice so it was easily chucked in so that the offering were taken from the secular world and given to the gods and also in the far future confuse any archaeologists digging on the site.

Over all the rite was moving experience and while I was tired and still semi-ill I had a wonderful time as Imbolc is traditionally one of our biggest and most important grove rites.