ADF Dedicant Path: Fourth High Day Recap (Yule)
Another “better late than never” post :p
I was able to meet up with my Grove again for this High Day, after having celebrated Winter Nights/Samhain alone. It was a small turn out this time. Just five of us, but that’s fine by me. I much prefer smaller groups. I learned that my Grove seeded two other groves shortly before I found them, which is why the turn outs the past several High Days have been relatively small (though this Yule was the smallest yet).
We began the ritual by passing around an orange with a lighted candle in it while chanting “the light returns.” I found it to be a very powerful experience and got me into the ritual mindset a lot better than the usual opening meditation. However, this could be because I am getting more comfortable with group ritual in general.
The rite this time was Norse, per this Grove’s custom of alternating Celtic and Norse hearth cultures. Heimdall was gatekeeper, while Baldr and Odin were patrons of the rite. I brought praise offerings for Odin (or Woden, as I know Him) and for my ancestors. This is the first time I brought my own offerings rather than using those provided by the grove. I also took a big step and spoke my praise offerings aloud, which I haven’t done before. Bringing my own offerings and speaking the praises aloud felt much more powerful than my silent second-hand offerings have in the past. As with the opening chant, I don’t know if it was the method or my increased comfort with ritual that had this effect – maybe a little of both.
When our senior Druid drew an omen from the Shining Ones for the group, he got the rune Thurisaz, which he interpreted as a negative omen. He meditated on this for a moment and determined that the Gods wanted the orange we used during the opening chant. After offering the orange, he drew the rune Tyr for the Gods, Ansuz for the ancestors, and Gebo for the Nature spirits, all of which were interpreted as positive omens.
We held this ritual in the basement of a New Age store. This store has a mascot cat, but this time there was also a tiny black kitten. The kitten came and went from our area during ritual and made quite a scene when he nearly fell into a tall plastic bin. He had to be rescued. Silly kitty! Despite his antics, the ritual ran smoothly. In fact, I felt that the kitten’s presence only added positively to the ambience. 🙂