So, despite having worked up what I thought was a pretty good ‘first’ ritual with the Roman pantheon, a ritual that I thought combined earnestness and tentativity (is that word) in a way that reflected who I am at the moment, I had a much more impromptu Solstice.
After getting to spend a full day being a dad, I took off a few hours after dark for the woods. For forty minutes I biked from my house, until I got to a spot where the moon shone brightly and a tree seemed pretty willing to serve as my tree.
Unpacking the backpack full of stuff I brought with me, I realized I didn’t have a candle, or anything to light it with.
Could an almost full moon serve as a holy fire? Probably not.
I thought about calling the whole thing off, but I don’t have to do all of my rituals according to the ADF’s Core Order of Ritual, so I got out the tarot cards and asked the ancestors for an omen. The omen suggested I shouldn’t rush into anything.
So, I did my best to center with the two-powers meditation (which, as it turns out, didn’t help much to erase the frustration I was feeling with myself) and settled in for a much more informal evening with the Kindred.
I felt comfortable speaking to the ancestors without a well — it’s how I almost always speak to them — and the nature spirits seemed to be surrounding me. As for the shining ones, well, I was confident that Janus — whom I wanted to thank for an omen — and Proserpina, who would have otherwise been asked to serve as my gatekeeper, could hear me. That would have to be enough.
It was easily enough.
Once I’d settled in on a course of action, I felt a lot calmer. I did ask Apollo to ‘gild my tongue’ that the words I spoke might be pleasing to the Kindreds and — while I don’t want to say for sure that he did — I do feel like I spoke well.
It’s hard to explain what I did, or how I felt. In fact, it’s so hard for me myself to understand — or even remember the feeling of — what I felt, that since the ritual I’ve flirted with the idea that it’s all maybe a bit of hocus-pocus psychology.
The gist of it, however, is that I spoke earnestly of my desire to grow in my spirituality just as Sol’s light grows on the face of the earth. I made a pledge to the ancestors and the nature spirits that I would try to make them the focus of my spirituality until the summer solstice, and I spoke earnest praise for all of the Kindred.
After past experience, I didn’t feel comfortable asking whether or not my offerings were recieved, deciding to instead try and wait until I felt more confident. But I did ask for omens and they seemed to line up pretty well, so there’s that for me to process.
All in all, it was a really great experience. It was the kind of experience where I wouldn’t have been surprised to find out later that ten hours had passed, or simply ten minutes, the laws of time seemed to apply differently (though, when I got home, a fairly appropriate amount of time had passed).
It was an experience I’d like to repeat, that’s for sure.
Also, I think I should visit that tree again.