|Held on 2/7/99
This was our first Circle together. We have an email list where we chat about what we are going to do at each meeting and then we chat about what we did and what we want to do next. It is a very young group. We only began in October of 1998! What follows is not the ritual we planned, but the actual ritual that occurred. Smile, if you have circled at all, then you know this is a common thing!
We started with a pre-circle chat about what was going to be happening. One member forgot it was ritual night and showed up late! Grin...we had to grab a volunteer for her Quarter. Arwen (that's me!) pointed out deosil and reminded everyone (twice even) "in all things reverence and mirth" so if we goofed, we got to laugh and not be hung up on the fact that we goofed. You will see why later!
Michael was going to sweep for us, but we got sidetracked as he taught us this fabulous Saracen dance! Then we stood together holding hands and Arwen asked us to remind ourselves why we were in Circle that night.
"Before we circle, let's take a moment to join hands and look into the eyes of each person we will stand in the sacred space with. Remember that all things are hers....reverence and mirth. Laughter is the gift of the Lady."
Then Arwen led us in three Om's to balance our energies which worked beautifully. Everyone said that they could feel us all coming together to the same spot.
Then Lorie anointed everyone with her own homeblend of oil. A lovely swirl of rosemary, orange and maybe lavender. Scott censed everyone right after he followed Arwen's miscue about casting the Circle! LOL..see why Arwen reminded us to laugh at our goofs! She knew she was going to be goofing up!
Then Arwen spoke:
She read a poem she had written but she cracked up on the third line of the first verse because she said, "I am channeling Godspell! Day by Day by Day". Silly witches! We all giggled!
This is the season of waiting
Brigid is coming! Brigid is coming!
Waiting for the winter's crust to crack
Arwen meant to say this but it got left out!
"This is the time of the Maiden Goddess, Brigid in her white dress and wheat sheathes. She is also called Brighid; Bride (Scotland), Brid,Brigit, Bridget, Briganta (England), Brigan, Brigindo (Gaul), Berecyntia, Brigandu as well as others. Let us gather then and bless the candles so that we may remember her light throughout our year. We bring seeds as well to plant those things we want in our lives."
We cast the Circle. Arwen blessed the earth and water and then the fire and air. Michael cast the Circle with earth and water and then Luna cast the Circle with fire and Air. Lorie called East. Robyn called West. Scott called South. Jen called North. Arwen conjured the Circle. Michael invite the Lord in first because this is His time of the year still. Arwen invited the Lady in next. Once the Circle was perfect, then we began.
Our altar was amazing! We had a wooden puzzle box turtle, a snake skin, a cauldron with Michael's homeblend incense, gold candle for the God (represented by Lorie's Hearth Gnome), a silver candle for the Lady (represented by Arwen's crone figurine), salt on a pentagram, a bowl of water (the bowl was Arwen's gift from the Solstice gift exchange), some stones, Lorie's oil, Arwen's bat totem chalice made for her by Jen...and other things that I am probably forgetting!
Then E passed the basket around. Arwen was to say something to the effect of "This is Brigid's basket. Lay your gifts and ask for a blessing in an area of your life that needs a creative boost." Great line, but Arwen totally forgot this part because E was so precious in her sarong as she walked the basket for us!
E passed the basket round the Circle with each person stating out loud or silently their gift (two candles and ____ seeds for ____)as they placed their gifts in the basket. When it reached the altar, E placed the basket in the center.
We then passed energy once silently and then raised it with the Goddess chant of "Isis, Astarte, Diane, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna". Michael guided the energy into the basket as we charge it for our own personal growth.
Then E went back around the Circle with the Basket. Everyone closed their eyes (E made sure there was no peeking) and reach inside. We took two candles and a packet of seeds. Everyone chose then we went around and said what we got. The person who brought the seeds told us why those seeds or candles. A minor mishap was when D got icky peppers but really wanted marigolds. Arwen wanted to trade her pretty flowers for his peppers (Arwen loves peppers), but Scott was too fast for her. He got the peppers, but D was fair! He declared that they would plant the peppers in a square and Arwen could have half!
Then everyone got up and danced the dance Michael had taught us. Arwen's husband was our "techie". Arwen had to sit it out, but at least she clapped with everyone. The dance was fun and everyone raised some really good energy!
Cakes and Wine
Then Michael took the Brighid Blueberry Braid that he made that day and Jen took the mead she had made. The cakes were blessed in this manner. Michael took a piece of bread and broke it in half saying something to the effect of "We recognize both the giver and the gift and are grateful for all we have". Then Jen will took the chalice and blessed it with something of this matter. "The cup is full as we are full. May we remember this fullness from Sabbat to Sabbat."
Then Jen and Michael performed the symbolic Heiros Gamos for the group. It was simply lovely! An athame is thrust to the bottom of the cup as both say "As the Cup is to the female, so the Athame is to the male. Thus conjoined, they bring blessedness"
As the bread and mead were consumed (remembering to leave a bit of each for libation), we chatted about how the Circle went. Everyone agreed that we all found each other at the right time!
Then the Circle came down. Each person who called a Quarter bade it goodbye. The Lady and Lord were thanked for joining us and the spirits blessed and released "to those who have joined us from the Other Side, we bid thee depart. And as you go, may there be peace between thee and us for evermore." Then the Circle was opened with the traditional phrase from Arwen's Tradition (and used in many many Trads all over the world!)
The Circle is open, but never broken! Merry Meet! Merry Part! and Merry Meet Again!
And then Arwen gravely announced that she now got to say the most important words any Priestess gets to say after Circle. "Now let's EAT! :-)" It should be noted that several members said this with her. We were hungry! We munched on Arwen's Imbolg stew, Brighid's Blueberry Braid, Cougie's marvelous dip and veggies, Lorie's To Die For Spinach Dip, Luna's Luna'd Eggs, Jen's Mead and Robyn's Honey Cake. The table was groaning and so were we!
By my hand