This weekend was weird, wonderful, tiring, stressful, loving, busy, and a lot of other adjectives that I haven’t had time to process. Saturday was our Arch Druidess Consecration in the Druid Clan of Dana. Laura was supposed to have done it last January but she was too sick. In FOI you have to have an Arch Druidess to function as a Grove and Laura was ours and only an Arch Druid/ess can make an Arch Druid/ess so the Grove really ceased to exist when Laura died. We asked Linda Iles to do it for us and she and deTraci Regula did it for us and it was beautiful. Now we have 3 Arch Druidesses! One for California and the other 2 in Portland OR. I’m glad I had Diana use my camera to take photos because I sure as hell don’t remember al ot of it it. I’ve found I don’t remember the initiations, ordinations etc once I stop being between the worlds. I tried so hard to retain at least some of it. I think the Goddess likes to do a mindwipe for some reason.
I did find out an interesting tidbit. Linda told us the first Grove Olivia and Laurence started at Clonegal Castle back in 1963 was with Philip Nichols pre OBOD. I had no idea that it started that far back. I know Olivia was active with some of the OTO and Golden Dawn people but somehow I missed that connection. Lady Olivia is 94 now.
Lady Olivia hasn’t written an official Arch Druid consecration ritual and Linda wrote her to ask what she should do and some of what we did is based on the ones done by Olivia at the castle. Lady Olivia likes for people to do their own. So Linda had to put it together herself. Linda wrote a beautiful ritual based on what Lady Olivia does at Clonegal Castle. I guess if it’s done at the Castle in Ireland you end up tromping to a Grove and the Brighid Well in the Temple downstairs in the castle and the ritual circle they have. You have to go through the Land of Dana, the Land of Morrigan and the Land of Brighid during the ritual with ordeals in each. Fortunately for us since it was over 90 degrees we stayed under our beloved pepper tree at the UU and virtually traveled. It was Laura’s favourite tree and the one she always sat in front of at Faire.
We were supposed to bring a staff, a robe to wear, a chaplet and a lunula. I used my staff that I made for one of RJ Stewart’s classes long ago made of oak doweling. It’s painted with Holly, oak and knot work, a fox that I drew from the Druid Animal Oracle and an Owl. It also has cords of different colours with beading that fit in tracks I carved into it.
I had brought my cape that is black velvet and has an emerald green dragon tapestry. It’s reversible. I know M and D brought theirs too but Di saved the day. At a meeting we missed for planning Laura’s service, I guess they picked scarves and things from Laura’s collection and Di had brought them for us to choose one. I chose an emerald green and purple scarf to wear as my robe. Much cooler and two of my favourite colours and it made me feel like Laura was there too. My chaplet was one I loved that I got at Ren Faire one year that Yoda likes to wear at home and my lunula is a carved bone crescent moon I was gifted from Ren Faire many years ago by one of my favourite Fair artists. http://www.pale-moon.com/index.php?com=home
I hadn’t bought any ritual clothes in so long I splurged and ordered a shirt from Ancient Circles to wear over black pants. http://www.ancientcircles.com/clothing/Men/ The white and black knot-work one.
We only had a few witnesses. I’m glad. I had a huge crowd for my ordination and it’s bit like getting married, joyful and a bit embarrassing if you aren’t some one that likes being the center of attention. This was just a few of us under the tree we love, in a place we love and missing the one who should have been there with us before her memorial service. It felt right to be quiet about it even though I’m sure there are some people who would have liked to be there or would have expected to be there. I guess this is the spiritual equivalent of elopement.
We had to choose anam cara from the natural world but those will stay private with me for the moment. One of them did the usual smack up the side of the head that finding my ritual name did long, long ago. The Goddess likes to whack me and say it’d right in front of you all the time open your eyes.
It was lovely if hot out there and there was a swallowtail butterfly flitting behind the tree while we were in the land of Tir na Nog. The Celts sometimes thought butterflies were souls and when we were asked to draw an oracle from the dish. Linda had made a tiny Greenwood deck and I drew The Ancestor which was Laura/Hieromum’s favourite card. It’s the Hierophant in the deck. M drew the Fool and D drew the Archer. It let me know without being told that Laura was there. I felt so loved right at that moment and knew that it was alright. I don’t know if other people go into ordinations wondering if we aren’t worthy but I do every time no matter how hard I’ve worked, especially since there aren’t very many Arch Druids in FOI/Druid Clan of Dana.
Now the Grove can grow and we have 2 Companion candidates. It was weird to go change clothes and go to dinner and come back for Laura’s memorial. Not many people knew what we had just done. It felt like I had a light on inside that no one but the ones who were there could see. A very surreal way to start the 24 hours of ritual.