On Saturday I participated in a group ritual with the local protogrove. I was nervous going there, but I’m glad I went. Here are the most important details: there were only four of us, and the other three knew each other well. I know the protogrove’s leader from frequent interactions at the monthly meetup. The other two were new to me.
It was a Celtic ritual honoring Brigid. When I was asked if I wanted to participate, I said I’d be glad to honor the Earth Mother. I don’t really know how I feel about Brigid at the moment, so I didn’t want to find myself being. . . I don’t know, l didn’t want to diminish my integrity. (Though, on the second of February, I did honor Brigid at my little home altar again, and gave thanks for the time she and I spent together.)
My greatest memory was of the meditations that the protogrove leader did before and after the ritual. In the script it was called something like “meditation of the grove” and it was very like the two-powers meditation, but it included us growing branches as well as roots, and connecting ourselves with the Earth and with each other, so that we became a grove. At the end, the meditation went in reverse, so that we separated from each other again.
It was a nice idea, and maybe something more. I’ve already mentioned that I’ve been less shy of late, and I’m liking that. That said, after we’d ‘grown together’ as a grove, I found it a lot easier to talk and laugh with the others during the magical working part of the ritual. I can’t really know the reason, but, well, it does seem as though the ritual helped.
The magical working was the other part of the ritual that was new-ish for me. When I do my own rituals, I don’t normally try anything like that. But this time we all made Brigid’s crosses and I really enjoyed the atmosphere of us talking and laughing together as we did. I haven’t yet hung my cross up, but I’m going to have to soon. I just don’t know where to hang it.
Nonetheless, more than the candle we made at the European / German meetup, I liked the idea of making something during the ritual to bring int my secular life as a reminder and a blessing.
The last thing worth mentioning about the ritual is that I ran into my neighbor as I was leaving. He asked if I was going to work on a Saturday, and I said “No, to a ritual.” Very quickly, I said it was a “pagan spring rite” and he said “cool” and left. Then, yesterday, when our kids brought us together, he asked me more about it and seemed genuinely impressed and curious. I don’t think it’s anything for him, but I think that he is the first non-pagan outside of my family (and I haven’t told all of them, yet!) that I mentioned it to and his response was very heartening.