Ceremony took place on Sunday 29th October 2017.
Attendees: Greenfingers, Locksley, Silverbear Strider, Teller, Vyvyan (now nicknamed ‘Darth Vyv’ due to her black coat with a thick black hood).
I’d been so busy with projects this time last year that I lost touch with the seasons. This year, I could feel Samhuinn approaching and I have missed that feeling so much.
Traditionally, in the GoC, Samhuinn is given to our members of the Druid Grade to perform. Sadly, none were available, due to work, ill health, commitments and distance.
I’d managed for almost two years getting away with not doing a ceremony (the energy was spent on my other projects) and I felt the voice in my mind urge me to give it a shot. “Go on…. do it, you’ve got this…..” so, I asked the Druids if this was ok, and it was. I declared myself as MC and had a plan of how this was going to go.
I wanted everyone involved in some way, so instead of waiting for the night and asking who wants to do a quarter, I deliberately asked for 4 x quarter callers, 1 x person to make bread and 1 x Cailleach. The last was taken up by Darth Vyv who also made some very delicious gluten free bread for us too!
Darth Vyv, as sword bearer cast the circle and called the East. Did anyone else notice the circle had a golden light? Greenfingers called the South, his voice now confident when it used to tremble. Teller called the West with reverence and respect, Silverbear requested for calling North as it pushed her out of her comfort zone, she did it beautifully.
Honouring the Grove of the Corieltauvi’s traditions, we swore upon sword and stone and renewed our Grove allegiance. I swore in for those who had asked me to and Strider had sworn in for Dumbledore (Who had asked both of us, considering I had plenty already, it made sense for Strider to do it). We also observed the passing on of the Grove offices:
- Box- Greenfingers was left with the responsibility.
- Sword of Justice- held from last Samhuinn to this one by Darth Vyv, whom had declared as passing it on to Danceswithweasels the next time we see her.
- Herald- I offered up the position of Herald, as is custom. I was both surprised and very pleased when Greenfingers piped up with ‘Alright, I’ll do it.’ He had thought long and hard about it and from now on, I am happy to declare the role as his. More on this another time.
In the GoC we pay respects to the Cailleach for presiding over the winter. Wanting a bit of theatrical flare I asked for one of the ladies attending to play the part of the Cailleach for us. Vyvyan stepped up to the mark and performed brilliantly. I knew that by the time she drew her black hood over her eyes, crouched before the altar and spoke in an commanding whispery voice that she had this. The Cailleach asked for three pieces of paper with writings from all attendees. The first was of what we had learned this year, the second was what we wanted to let go of. The Cailleach cast these into the fire, telling each of us to hold onto the last (what we wanted to gain) for reflection in a year’s time.
The Cailleach also asked us to take an ogham from her bag and to keep onto this and to return them to Vyvyan after the ceremony. Telling us that now is the time to remember and honour our ancestors, The Cailleach left and Vyvyan (Darth Vyv) returned once again. We shared bread, honey and salt with those we wished to remember. After the ceremony was done, we stayed and shared food, drink and caught up in the Hearth Grove. We also found out what each of our Oghams meant before giving them back.
For the Grove, for those who couldn’t be with us and for those we wished to remember, we were proud to say:
“We swear, by peace and love to stand, heart to heart and hand in hand, mark O’ Spirit and hear us now, confirming this, our sacred vow…..“.