The candles stood proud, their flames never wavering. The fire burned bright and strong, the stars above us patterned the sky. The circle was cast, blessed with water and fire, peace was given and I was just about to call upon the blessings of the Great Bear to the North…. A bright light in the sky caught my attention, an orange ball travelling across to the trees. A plane would have made noise and flickered, carrying on through the gap in the trees, it did not.
And so, we began our ceremony, led by Briseilid. Strider, Greenfingers, Cyberdragon and Lynx Lady and myself all took part in the Bear themed celebration of the Midwinter Solstice.
Briseilid, gave us a song, joined in by Lynx Lady who also knew the same song- it reminded me of an Native American song I once heard in a Mother Earth lodge…. I digress. This song was used to summon the spirit of bear, indeed, Britain used to have bears and so the essence of Bear was called so we could give respect and honour.
Briseilid gave another song that was comprised of all the names that the Finnish people like to give Bear without calling it bear, for example: Furry Friend, Old Man Of The Mountain, for when they celebrate it’s spirit (and yes they still have bears, but do not fear them).
Because in OBOD the cardinal direction of North is associated with the element of Earth and represented by Bear, we entered the circle through the North. North was also where I was asked to cut a gateway leading from the circle to which there was a path leading to a second altar, dedicated to Bear.
Briseilid gave us instructions of what to do should we wish to partake (which, of course, we all did!) and to take care of stepping through the brambles on the path. Each of us was greeted with the altar, there was a pot for holding all the paper we wrote on for wanting to release something from our lives, there were also oatcakes, honey and mead. We were invited to light a tealight and bring it back into the circle, the idea we returned with the gift of light.
When sharing thoughts on the season, I was delighted to hear I was not the only one who saw the ball of light go to the trees, Lynx Lady saw it too!
Briseilid led a heartfelt and original ceremony, one that left Greenfingers with the comment that we should do more like it.