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Chris Sherbak
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Chris Sherbak [userpic]
Rites and the Rants of the Rude

So a couple of days back was our Spring Equinox rite. We decided to praise Eos, Goddess of the Dawn, as representing the dawn of the new phase of the year (along with New Years in some faiths - not our Grove's which we track from Samhain.) We fiddled with the Core Order (as you need to do when you do a Hellenic Rite) which kinda tripped me up but we managed. Specifically, we started (pre-procession) with a Hestia invocation and lighting of the Grove Flame (which we had blessed at Imbolg.) Jeremy (as seer) was blindfolded until the Omen (Jack did a fine job leading him to his seat.)

The "business" that we added was to have after each of the invocations to the various beings (representing aspects of the Universe) to light a votive representing the "dawning of the light." The plan was to start in mostly darkness and as we got closer to Eos' invocation the light would increase and when She arrived we'd turn on all the lights. Worked ok, some people forgot, the candles didn't cooperate, etc. etc. etc. but it all ended up well. I would like to add more "business" like that as up to now our rites have been rather tame with ramping up invocations, praise, sacrifice and return. Very serviceable (perhaps even tame and "Catholic" in some peoples' minds) but I feel me and the Grove are in a position to add more and handle the increased sophistication and texture to our rites.

Sadly, what we're not in a position to handle is disruption and hostile people. Perhaps as we become more sure of ourselves and willing to take chances (Colleen and Caroline did a bang up job with new Triad invocations and Colleen offered up "Aurora" by Bjork) there will be those who have trouble with people growing into and showing strong expressions of creativity and devotion. Clearly growth needs to come in many areas for all of us.

Such was the outburst we experienced during the Return Flow. As we have a fairly transient urban tribe, there are often people unable to join our rites so it has become our practice to ask for blessings for those of our Tribe not present, along with family and friends. While asking for blessings for an ADF Dedicant Clergy friend who'd been having a medical emergency another ADF member (previously a member of the Grove) said (out loud!) "Oh, she's just a hypochondriac!" and other such things. Clearly she didn't care for the woman, but still, Jack was asking for Blessings for her and hoped she could work all that out. Being more shocked than anything (and being the conflict-avoiding Libra/Pisces I am) I didn't react at all and basically shook my head and let it pass. (Chalked up as the Rants of the Rude.)

Definitely need to be more aware and willing to respond - in ritual - for these outbursts. Granted it's sorta shocking to have it come from an ADF Member when you least expect it, but reacting is something I need to be more able to do. For that matter, I probably should have taken the 2nd reading we do (for "special Grove messages" from the Deity of the Occasion) more to heart: the Tower is not something to dismiss lightly. (The reading was 3 Cups, Tower, Heirophant. We're still deciding if the Heirophant is the disease or the cure. ;) Clearly the Tower is the current situation. We read 3 Cups as "from Eos:")

Handling the after effects will take time - and this time most of the Grove is involved. We may talk to the member's SD (she now belongs to another local Grove) or the MA. We'll certainly be more careful about who can attend our events - however distasteful that is to me as I'm one of those hippy dippy, fruits and nuts, 60's California, let-it-all-hang-out types but even I have my limits. Maybe we can still have that someday...

In any event - Eos came when we called, She accepted our Sacrifice and the People had a good time. Another great Onion rite! Check!

Current Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Current Mood: distresseddistressed

Perhaps there's something in the air this year. This is the second report in as many weeks about a rather off-putting disruption in sacred space.

That (and a few blips) aside, it sounds like a wonderful ritual experience!


It really was very nice - we had never called Eos before and we have had some offputting experiences with calling Deities "out of the blue" (we call it the "Fruitcake" response - similar to what you might give someone if they handed you a fruitcake and said "Merry Christmas!")

But Colleen had been working with Her and had a good feeling so we went with it.

We were planning on offering Saffron, but weren't sure how. Jack decided to infuse vodka with the saffron and we had a lovely yellow/orange, delightfully scented sacrifice. Quite wonderful!!

Re: Thanks!

Ok, this begs the question -- any holy cocktails afterward? Seriously, though, that was a fine idea!

Re: Thanks!

re:drinks: sadly, no. We've kinda had to cut back on alcohol at rites - there have been Issues.

I can't tell you how concerned I am about this. I am starting to wonder if we are too easy on people and allow continued bad form to become their MO...when is enough - enough? I am troubled...I believe that patterns must be broken, that we owe it to ourselves and future generations to address this...not you and not in ritual. You did what you should have done, ignored it or it would have only made it worse...but now that ritual is over the person should be talked to and the behavior called out as inappropriate and will not be welcome or permitted in the future. JMHO but I worry about if this person might be a liability to ADF. Gods forbid they ever hold a title or be clergy with that attitude....other than that great ritual - woot and hail the funions!

Thanks Seamus

we're taking a more proactive approach than what's been done in the past. Some of that's on me and I'm willing to admit to being an ostrich.

In many earlier cases, the problem either submerges or leaves altogether. As you say tho, we've decided that ignoring it isn't helpful or respectful to our Tribe nor really the person involved. Also, if we don't defend our rites and the messages we receive from the Gods, what does that make us?

p.s. I think there'd have been less response had there not been 3 new people there. I have to wonder if they left thinking "is this how ADF is?"

Us, too, Seamus. We've been dealing with this issue for nearly two years, and this one event is turning out to be the catalyst for action. Keep us in your prayers.

@Kint: Thanks! I have no idea where I got the idea for the Saffron vodka infusion. Divine inspiration, I suppose!

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

Honestly, I'm not really sure what our bylaws say about it - it hasn't been much of an issue in the past.

But I'm taking the Hierophant card as a message from Eos that we need to review our rules. It'll be a topic of discussion soon enough.

I really enjoy working with Eos. We called to her as gatekeeper for Spring Equinox last year in our Persephone's Return rite. The votive lighting sounds quite moving.

I'm glad the rite itself went well! :) I would love to hear Colleen sing sometime. I hear she is very talented!

Conflict can be such a gray cloud. I'm glad it was only minimally disruptive. What's that phrase? "The omens were good and nobody died." Good rite!

Happy Spring!

I'm not going to comment on the disruptive behavior except to say, that sucks and I am sorry that it has had to happen to you guys.

The rest of the ritual sounds very cool, I love the idea of blindfolding the seer until time to take the omen (or maybe that is just the thought of seeing Jeremy helpless? I kid, I kid).

I miss you guys.

Holy cow. That's pretty bad.