ferine: (ritual)
[personal profile] ferine
I clung to my need for ritual, pomp, ceremony, and had the most meaningful, hair-standing-up-on-the-back-of-my-neck experiences during the spring equinox (Ostara) and Beltane this year. Both were... exhilarating.

The spring, or vernal, equinox proved warm enough for a comfortable afternoon outing. It was bright and sunny, and we opted to make the trek to what I've referred to as my "magic tree" over the years, a cottonwood in the nature preserve by the Adams County Fairgrounds. The tree is a good distance from any trail, past what used to be a prairie dog colony, and near a cluster of other old cottonwoods and overgrowth. The tree that calls to me has five separate trunks snaking from one slightly elevated base of hard-packed dirt, forming a perfect natural altar. We discovered this tree in 2004, and have visited it many times since to leave offerings, give thanks, and to recharge/safeguard the area. We hadn't been there in a long spell this time, perhaps two years? I was flabbergasted and excited that the non-biodegradable offerings I'd left there all of these years were still there. Most touching of all to me was the presence of the silver necklace and pendant which I'd wrapped around and suspended from a branch in 2007, now coated in webs that looked like lace, yet still able sparkle when hit by shafts of sunlight. The ritual I performed was simple, soulful, and so aesthetically pleasing it made me tremble. It included five brown-shelled local farm-fresh organic eggs, local organic unprocessed honey, and five lovely organic sunflowers with long, fuzzy stalks. Photographing the results would have felt wrong, somehow. My mind's eye will forever retain the postcard-perfect scene of the lowering sunlight glinting off the honey decorating the earthy-brown egg, a big sunflower face turned to the egg in a circle, each flower's stem placed between each trunk branching off of the "altar".

We did take photos of the area and the tree, though, which I need to edit and post. That project's currently underway. ☺

Beltane we celebrated May 5th, in conjunction with the full moon (the so-called Super Moon, which was the closest to the Earth for quite some time.) It was overcast and rained off and on, yet the sheer power in the air was immense. Despite the rain, the bonfire lit and remained strong for the duration. Many offerings fed the flames, I was cleansed by Jay's astute smudging (thanks, that really helped me out!), and we observed the flames and nature's fireworks, which were truly stunning. Great, rapid bolts of lightning danced in all directions. Not a minute went by without a bright flash in the darkness. At one point an eerie, unexpected sound reached us--to me, it sounded like a group of young girls wailing and moaning nearby! It was a gathering of coyotes down the hill, the boys assured me. Too cool. ☺

Since Beltane I've felt particularly changed. Profoundly changed. The rituals, the time spent by myself, deep in thought... it's all led to this point. ♡

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Sarah B. Chamberlain

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