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Chris Sherbak
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Chris Sherbak [userpic]
Vernal Equinox

So last night was the Vernal Equinox, and we were asked to celebrate our rite with the local Pagan Meetup group (meetup.com) which is organized by one of our members. His thought was that each month a different group would give a lecture about their path followed by a rite and we were to be the first.

There were >>way<< more people there than we expected, so ended up modifying what we do a little bit, but all agreed to stay "close to home" so as to not freak out the locals. (I.e. we were billed as Druids so doing a Norse rite to Sif like last year was sorta out of the picture. We talked about Norse "Druids" in ADF tho.)

As a shout out to my peeps (as Emerald might say):

*) Caroline did a great Well invocation ("what?? who?? I didn't prepare anything!")
*) Barbara snuck in a new Meditation (we abhor "Roots down, Branches up" and are searching vigorously for Something Else")
*) Anne opened 3 gates (Well/Fire/Tree - which I conveniently forgot to close at the end - eep!), and did a Kick Ass praise offering she wrote in the style of e. e. cummings
*) James did a (long! I was kinda freakin' out - I worry about these things - but it was fine!!) story incredibly well delivered that he had written
*) and my beloved Jack handled the Outsiders with aplomb (even tho we all forgot to retrieve the poor statue on the way out!) and for the sacrifice/offering baked a triparite loaf of bread (ok, even he admits it was supposed to be 3 loaves but they rose a bit too much and ended up sorta/kinda merging into a Willindorf-y sort of shape.) Danu got the middle ("the hero's portion") and we shared the 2 outer parts.

I belive the omen (via Barbara and the 9x9) was Need fire, some cauldron and the Cauldron of Plenty. (We really need to write these things down...)

The best quote was: "Wow - that was great! You guys had all that memorized? How much did you rehearse??" If she only knew.

I'm so damn proud of my Grove.

The I'll-kick-myself-for-the-rest-of-my-life moment was starting up the procession with the >>recessional<< song "Walk With Wisdom..." I was convinced the whole thing was going to be a bust at that point ("sh*t, do we have enough extra offerings? do I have that d*mn piacular offering thing that Jenni does...?") but it all worked out and people seemed to like it.

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Current Location: Chicago, IL US
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I would LOVE to hear more about Barbara's meditation. I was tired of the tree imagery by the time I first did my DP work in '99, and I can't stand it anymore. In fact, I'm trying to look beyond two powers. Seems to me folks have been tending toward dogmatizing (is that a word?) the Two Powers (with CapitalLetters, even!) as if it is something fundamental to modern druidry. It's ONE way to achieve a groupmind and (re)establish the cosmos in our minds and in our ritual, but it's nearly always the only paradigm anyone in ADF uses. Variety is the spice of life and our best defender against dogma.

BTW, it never hurts to do a piacular offering; just don't call it the "Jenni offering" again... that was... er, alarming.

Actually, that was the thing about this Meditation (which, oddly, Barbara normally does as a Trance Working - not sure she quite "gets" why we do it) was it was >>precisely<< a RDBU ("ridbu" - Roots Down, Branches Up) as we were concerned throwing too much new stuff at people would be A Bad Thing.

Unfortunately, rather than using the ridbu from Ian that's in the Dedicant Program materials, that we all knew, she came up with Yet Another One, with call and response! Yeow! We were hoping to keep with Old And Familiar but I guess she didn't get the memo. (Actually, she got it, but she apparently didn't read it.) Anywho, like all our rites, it all worked out in the end.

My Grove, gotta love 'em...

I'm tired of the Old and Familiar! Maybe we should challenge the bards or liturgists to come up with some completely different ideas...

I think those Bards and Liturgists should form Guilds! Then maybe we'd get some new songs and rites! :)

What a novel idea!

I think I will respectfully disagree with the whole piacular offering thing.

In my Grove, it isn't a matter of not giving enough, it is usually the case of not giving what They want. If we have a bad omen, the next question is "What do we need to do to fix things." The answer has invariably been the thing that the Deity of Occasion wanted, but was not given.

For example, one Beltaine, we didn't have any dancing, and got a bad omen. The answer for what to do about it was, Naudhiz (Need), Mannaz (People) and Raidho (movement). Clearly we were supposed to have been dancing. Once we got everyone to dance, we had a good omen. I don't think any amount of piacular offerings other than dancing would have improved things. We could have poured gallons of whiskey on the fire, or poured buckets of oil, or sang songs for hours and we still would have had a bad omen.

I think a lot of Groves in ADF get caught up in the idea that they might not give enough, when they should be listening closely to the Kindreds so as to give the right thing. There is a fear that the Grove might not give enough, which doesn't make sense to me. If I want chocolate and I keep getting more and more bread, I'm not going to be happy no matter how much I get. But as soon as I get even a small amount of chocolate, then I'm happy.

There is no need for a piacular offering if you give the correct thing in the first place. It's a matter of quality, not quantity.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)

I think you misunderstand the purpose of a piacular offering. It's to offset any mis-said words, any stumbled-over invocations, any inadvertent omissions or slip-ups. I agree that if the folk haven't made sufficient offerings, no piacular sacrifice in the world isn't going to matter; that's not what they're for.

Walk with Wisdom as a processional? Hilarious.

We've stopped doing the meditation part as it really wasn't doing much for our rituals except put a big slow spot in it.

Our Spring Equinox ritual was good. No one died and we had a good omen. We do an egg hunt during ours which is always fun. All the snow made hiding the eggs a bit challenging as we didn't want to leave easy-to-find foot prints to the hiding spots.