The Mabon Ritual was quite... something. I'm still trying to understand some of the stuff I was feeling. One of the things that surprised me was one a compulsion to cleanse the area. It didn't feel particularly 'negative' or unwelcoming or, well, in needing of a cleanse, but I still did it.
I lit some frankincense, sprayed salt water, rang bells, 'commanded' all energies to leaves, shouted etc.
I felt quite empowered.
Another thing I noticed was a dislike to using my Athame. I don't relate to that ritual tool at all - or it could mine that I don't like? Whatever the answer, I don't like using it, so I probably wont anymore. And Pinky's wand was acting bizarrely. Well, one thing for sure, my view towards wands have changed since talking to Erin.
Plus I think it's a little jealous since I began using other wands...
A break down anywho - Don and I arrived at the Temple (Star of Venus looked so bare. It was quite disheartening) and Don promptly got to brushing the floor while I was, as mentioned above, compelled to cleanse the area of all residual energies, positive and negative. I also charged the salt and water for their use. Susan and Pinky arrived and begun with setting out the quarters and the altars, getting everything laid out nicely.
The ritual begun with Don and I blessing each other with the smudge stick and the the salt-water, swapping our respective items. We then asked the ladies to stay outside while we went in and consecrated and blessed the Temple, returning outside for the blessing and cleansing of Susan and Pinky.
We took our places, and, erm, I can't really remember exactly the order that everything happened. I think Don begun by thanking the spirits of place. Not I have to state here and now that Donald is an amazing orator and ritualist. The words he devises are beautiful and fitting with the mentality of ritual and respect. He wrote out a prose of thanks and welcome to the Genius Loci, and read it out with eloquence.
Next came the grounding. I was supposed to come up with something for this but I came out blank, so I asked is Pinky could do her Tree of Life visualisation again. I had mentioned some problems with this at the Ritual Planning session, only because I thought it may be good to experiment with something different. It works, of course - just wanted to push the boat out a bit! This particular one was different. I could actually feel warmth from my feet and coolness from my hands and head.
Pinky then came around the circle with her wand to 'mark out' or cast the circle itself. For the elements, as with Midsummer, we all each called an element. Air for me, Fire for Susan, Water for Pinky and Don called Earth. Finally we collectively called to Spirit by linking hands. I felt a real connection when we called Spirit - usually one of us has a script, or something thought out to say when we call an element but as we were doing it together, there was no one voice, we worked collectively. I think it was either here (or after the other Beings had been welcomed or acknowledged) that I sorta asked everyone to link hands again and chant with me, three times, the Druidic Vow:
We swear by Peace and Love to stand,
Heart to heart and hand in hand, Mark,
O Spirit, and hear us now,
Confirming this, our sacred vow.
I can't say whether it went down well. It wasn't part of the script, but it felt appropriate to me at the time. Pinky and Susan then called to the Deities. One the Goddess side was Persephone, Demeter and Hecate called by Pinky, and for the God was the Mabon called by Susan. I think I called to Taliesin there and then, as the Bardic Circle wasn't taking place, but as Pinky was saying her Poetry anywho.
Pinky then acknowledged the Fae. ("Never welcome them... never welcome them...") It was about then that was the time for me to call to the Ancestors and Descendants. I, er, hadn't prepared anything, again. So I decided to make something up on the spot. Strangely, it came quite easily to me and I think it worked well. As well as welcoming them, it was also a sort of visualisation about the Ancestors and Descendants, naming ourselves also as Descendants and Ancestors. I might write it up at some point.
Don, with his now customary wordsmithery and art, called out to the totems in poem form and asked us to call our own. Normally I would have called to the Owl and Raven, but I think that they were Power animals for a certain period. I have an affinity with both, but I'm doubting now whether they are actually my Totems. So I called out to whatever totem may be mine, revealed or otherwise.
Last was Susan calling the Mysterious Ones.
As all the invoking occurred, the ritual went to the main part, or the Tofu - (not the meat of the ritual lawl, to keep vegans happy). It involved the group writing down what aspects they wanted to shed of old (something I associate with Samhain, but it worked all the same) on leaf shaped paper that Don made. They were then to be composted by Pinky, or burned, when they got home. A basket of apples was then passed around where we picked what we wanted to bring in for the coming year. I picked three - one thanking all my friends and family, one thanking all my achievements and one asking to bring in peace in an angry boy.
After we did this, we each went to the Altar and gave a Blessed Hazelnut to whoever we wanted saying what we wished for them in the new year. And I ate my gifts heartily ;).
I guess it was kinda emotional. Susan was moved, I can't really say for Don and Pinky was... vibrant. I felt sad. I could be over-dramatic and say I always do these days, but that's besides the point. It was highly symbolic. I was shedding the old year in quite a literal sense. I was shedding my old life in a fortnight for University. So I got rid of everything I didn't want to bring there, everything that hindered me this year, and I asked personal forgiveness (by which I mean, I asked my 'Self' to forgive 'my' actions of the year), and asked to be a better friend, to be a better lover, to be a better healer, and a better person. I asked that Kay and everyone else were to be looked after.
The energies were palpable. We didn't need to raise energy.
Pinky gave us Food and Drink, we devoked and feasted. Unfortunately also, we didn't have time for the Bardic Circle, but that didn't matter. I felt inspired, I felt filled, and Pinky shared her muse, as did Don in his rituality, and Susan had to leave, unfortunately.