Ceremony took place on Sunday 30th 2016.
It was a surprisingly warm evening once we had gathered. As we prepared ourselves, I was taken aback by the almost ethereal beauty of the Hearth Grove, the fire pit ablaze whilst being surrounded on the four corners by the tall outdoor candle holders. Each proudly containing a coloured jar for their respective cardinal direction. I was immediately reminded of OBOD’s symbol for sacred geometry, a symbol that is part of our Grove insignia.
After the usual ceremonial gubbinz had been performed, there was a lovely surprise for Lynx-Lady and Cyberdragon, as they were welcomed officially into the Grove fellowship. Although Greenfingers’ suggestion of using last year’s radishes had met with refusal. Lol.
A note on the gubbinz- as well as calling on the quarters, Briseilid, called upon the ancestors. An act I felt highly appropriate for the evening.
Swearing upon stone and sword, we reaffirmed, or for our newest fellows, they affirmed alliegience to the GOC. Proxys swore for those who could not attend.
Luch Dorca was MC and had asked us to bring 3 things:
1- a written note of something we wish to let go of, something of our selves to be rid of.
2- a token or written note of something we wish as a project to accomplish.
3- a written note for someone we wish to remember whom had passed on. Did we have a question for them?
He kicked off proceedings with reading a customised version of Shakespeare, which you can see below.
The GOC has always had a reverence at Samhuinn for the Cailleach, and sitting by the fire, cowled in a black hood and cloak was She…. In the body of Luch Dorca. His voice became high and thin, and I’ve heard him laugh before…. He doesn’t laugh like that.
“Come closer…. Come closer…. Come closer my mortals,”
“My voice cannot reach far.”
And so we gathered around this high, giggling, whispery voice. She referred to us as ‘My Mortals’ throughout the visitation. It appears we were claimed. I found myself wanting to call her ‘Grandmother Cailleach’ (as in ‘Grandmother’ for a title of respect, not because she was a sweet old lady, I very much doubt that is the case), Vyvyan told me later that she wanted to call her ‘Lady’. We did neither. That might have been a bit too familiar.
The Cailleach (which one? For there are many) said we had done well to come and that ‘This Mortal’ (her host) had instructed us with the three items given above. It turned out the Cailleach had her own interpretations on these. I shall do them in the order as given previously:
1- She asked us to take out our notes and gave us a choice: throw them into the fire where we can be rid of them. Or…. Keep onto them, work with them for “Not every weakness is a weakness and not every strength is a strength”. Some were burned and some were kept. She told us “This mortal wishes his to be kept.” None of us questioned the affirmation.
2- We were asked to put these notes or tokens onto the altar. Once we told her this was done. She asked me directly “Locksley, are they all paper?” She used my Blog name! I answered they were not as some were tokens. Thanks to Danceswithweasels, I was reminded of the ring she had placed, having not mentioned it as I was still surprised. She blessed all items and requested I burned the notes. The tokens were to be put into the altar box and when we return to the Grove, we are to remember our projects. I’m guessing this was to see how they come on as the year goes by.
3- She asked us to take out our notes, and read them. Take in every word and tell the departed those words using our minds. I will admit, that not having a letter for the deceased, I spoke to them from my heart. Ergo I cannot actually remember if the letters were kept or burned. She did ask if we had any last words for her to deliver, two of us did.
And Luch Dorca returned.
Our annual passing of roles was carried out, the Sword of Justice was passed on to Vyvyan who observed ‘I’ll need to get a belt’ with which to carry it.
Greenfingers remains keeper of both the Box and the fire-pit.
I remain Herald. A duty I am happy to continue.
A spooky night? Not really, an interesting night? Very!
Luch Dorca’s poem:
Now is the winter of our sweet content
Made glorious summer by this sun of thought;
May all the clouds that hung about our heads
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Let our brows be bound with blissful wreaths;
Our bruised minds calmed in unruffled thoughts;
Our consternations changed to happy times,
Our dreadful news to delightful tidings.
Grim-visaged life doth test our fragile front;
And now, instead of chasing filthy coin
To fill our souls with frightful inadequacy.
We stand here in a grove at night
To see our path bathed in light.
Double, double toil and trouble
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
To the grove we Druids come
Two by two and one by one.
To bless the land then go away.
Again to come another day.
What do we do when we are gone,
Two by two and one by one.
It’s here we stand and we shall say,
What we will do the other days.
Plots will we lay, inductions profound,
In this holy place on sacred ground
To set our minds to Earth and air
In league with fire, water and aether
And if our task be as true and just
As modern world be subtle, false and treacherous,
This night we start with great strides
Forth, to gain what we hold most dear,
And give us hope this coming year.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here
the Calliach comes.
I had forgotten to mention the Grove of the Corieltauvi also had it’s 20th Samhuinn!