(Took Place on Sunday 2nd November)
Ah, another year and Samhain had arrived in haste. It was warmer this year, I remember it being so cold in 2013 that you could see our torches shivering in our hands. It was wetter this year too, similar to Beltane, there was rain in the air. That’s alright it just means the Otherworld is closer. Appropriate really.
Samhain for the GOC is usually a night for initiations, without giving too much away I am very pleased to announce Strider and Dumbledore are now FULL members of the Grove. Welcome, gentlemen! there’s no going back now…
I was proxy to swearing in for LadyMorgana, Leithin Cluan, Glamorgan, River and Tatterhood. And of course, positions were passed on: Strider became sword-bearer and I fully accepted the role of Herald. Luch Dorca still carries The Box… hopefully someone will take it next year, eh Luch? We still have an opening for whipping boy/girl, but apparently no one’s up for it. I can’t imagine why….
Green Winter King was our MC for the night and recreated his beautiful bi-circle. This consisted of our usual circle having a path leading from the East, outlined with tea-lights, to another circle where the ritual fire was kept. Thinking about it, the imagery reminds me of William Stukeley’s ‘Serpent’ worship ideas…
Anyway, in the prime circle, we were all asked to bring something from our ancestors with us. This could be a solid object, a word or phrase or even a memory. Mostly, we brought memories with us and spoke them out loud. There were a few who had brought actual items. Fortunately, the rain clouds dispersed at the beginning of our ceremony and even the stars made their appearance, at least until towards the end when it started spitting again. We were also asked to bring a piece of paper with us for something written on that we wished to be rid of. The idea was, when we were ready, to walk up the path in the East and ask the Cailleach to help us be rid of whatever we no longer wanted. We would do this by burning our individual notes. I had no paper prepared, so I said a prayer to the Cailleach and offered her tobacco which I cast into the flames.
For the GOC, Samhain is the time of the Cailleach, Winter is her time and along with wisdom, she brings death. In our ceremony’s case, this means letting go of unwanted habits, feelings, etc. Asking her to help us is to embrace the cold and ice, allowing us to prune away that which we no longer need or hold us back.
November Meeting 2014
Took place on Tuesday 11th November in the Gate Hangs Well. Way back in January when we had our planning for the year ahead meeting it turns out we had totally missed out holding a meeting on this particular date. I only noticed because I was looking at my schedule and thought ‘Who’s leading the next meeting? Oh shit!” So, Danceswithweasels had the brilliant idea of going to our usual haunt when all else fails… the GHW.
I brought the Question Cards with me and we drew three cards which lead to some very interesting conversations indeed. I’m going to present the questions for you to read and if you feel like answering here on the blog, you are very welcome to do so (Go on! Lets make this fun!):
1: Does God/Goddess/Deity have a soul? Tatterhood.
2: What’s the meaning of life? And indeed the point of it? Do we simply exist? Strider.
3: Synchronicity, is it coincidence or work of the gods? Locksley.
Number 1 got us talking about what do we mean by soul? What classifies as a soul or spirit? What do we mean by God/Goddess/Deity if we indeed believe in any?
Number 2 had us discussing existentialism and chaos. Are we, as a planet, simply the result a great accident of compounds and matter in the universe? Is there a purpose in life? Does there have to be. Tatterhood’s belief is very similar to my own in that we were meant to be the caretakers of this world and of the other species we cohabit with. If true… how very lost we have become.
Number 3 went full circle and got us talking about the Gods, Deities, life, the universe and everything all over again. I can’t remember if we actually discussed this point, but I’d like to bring it up as food for thought. If random events happen in our favour, then what if the Chaos Magicians are right: we are in fact our own Gods and the manipulation of events to create a favourable outcome is actually down to our very own natural ability to shape our existence…. Magic!