So much has been going on lately, I feel guilty for not having posted! Ack! I figure I’d do another general updates sort of post, don’t worry, the next parts of my spell are coming soon!
I know it’s quite a bit after, but I wanted to talk about my Beltaine experience this year. I’ve never been very close to the Beltaine festival, mainly because it is a holiday that really needs to be experienced in a group. This year, I finally have a stronger sense of community! I have to say, I love my trad! I’m not an initiate yet, so there are mysteries and bonds unknown to me, but the women I work with are fantastic! While I am a solitary within my tradition (very much a non-Wiccan trad, but we do have covens and solitaries within it), my teacher and I were invited to the local coven’s Beltaine ritual. It was also my good friend Amarth’s real introduction to the tradition, his first experience meeting several of the members. My teacher, Grace of The Little Victorian, attended, as did River from The Green Path (who I finally met in person for the first time, can I just say she is amazing!) and Castiel of Unfocused, of course, along with several other coven members. We wove garlands of fresh cut grapevines and flowers, having a wonderful time doing so and many shenangins ensued along with dinner.
Afterwards we set up the ritual area, gathering our representations and setting up the Maypole. Castiel instructed those of us whom had never danced the Maypole before (myself included) and we ran a test run, then readied ourselves and commenced!
I was given the honor of calling the land spirits, as one of the coven was absent. After raising our hedge and calling all of the spirits and gods, we sparked the hearthfire and chanted to it, getting it to a roaring flame. We then all danced merrily to some good tribal drumming! After our pole was danced, we tossed the garlands over it. I was a bit too short to toss it, so Amarth lifted me up! Being 5’2″ sometimes has it’s disadvantages, but I did have the easiest time dancing the pole!
After that bit of fantastic awesomeness, we got our tribal dancing on. We danced and danced for several songs, and ended up in a frenzy, pounding the ground with our fists and drenched with sweat. It was glorious and one of the most intense experiences of my practice thus far. We then grounded and closed out the ritual after some devotional time. Overall, this was by far the best group experience I’ve ever had, and it has really strengthened my bonds with my trad-mates.
My lessons have been going quite well, with an emphasis on finishing the main classes before school resumes. Still waiting word on if I get the financial aid to get back in. After having a kick ass ritual lesson, I’m currently working on energy work and spellcraft. The material is pretty fantastic, and of course I have an amazing teacher who has both much wisdom and a down to earth sense of experience. I may post on my experiences on working with the exercises given, as basic energy work isn’t super personal. I’ve got to get better at recording my thoughts down in a journal, or on the notepad app for my new kindle fire (/squee!!!!).
With my previous lesson on ritual, I had to compose an opening and closing, which was a lot more work than I originally anticipated. It got me really thinking about how energy works and what presences you would call on a regular basis, why, and what they contribute to the working. In addition, my teacher gave me some remarkable insight on occasions where instead of calling the presences to the location, one would align to the spirits by calling themselves to the presences. Also, skeleton key shenanagins, but that is a thought best saved for later.
I’ve got a few personal goals I’m working on, trying to get my life in order. Things have been crazy and the new apartment isn’t fully arranged yet, but this next week will be the week I hope. In addition to the apartment, over the memorial day weekend I will be working 7 days straight, with 3 12 hour shifts, and 3 of those 7 days will only have a half hour worth of lunch. I’m quite disenchanted with this company, and once living arrangements are sorted out as well as school, I may try to find new employment.
Once I am moved to the apartment, I’ll take pictures of the newly set up altars, in addition to parts of the apartment itself and the potted garden on the patio, since I’ll be taking most, if not all of them, with me. I wish this year I had the money and space to grow belladonna and mandrake, but I’ll have to wait next year to grow those pretties. Probably for the best though.
I realized today that I have a wonderful life. I’ve got things I want to change, goals I want to achieve, but overall I’m a lot happier than I used to be, and a big part of it lies in both my spirituality and the people I have met through it. My life would not be the same without my teacher and my trad sisters and brothers. We will be having an important Litha ritual this year, and while most of it will remain secret (it’s not my initiation though, that’s still a long ways off), I will post what I can of it. You should be hearing again from me soon, I will try to post even with the grueling week ahead.