Solitary Druid Fellowship: Yule Ritual

I used the Winter Solstice liturgy from Solitary Druid Fellowship (a recently-added branch off of ADF). I have to say, it was really nice having a pre-made liturgy intended for solitary practice. It’s difficult being fairly new to ADF liturgy and feeling that I need to significantly adapt an existing ritual intended for groups or make my own ritual. This made it easier, and as I’ve noticed that my anxiety issues have previously interfered with doing rituals, especially with new groups of people, I needed some “easy”.

That didn’t mean I didn’t avoid the ritual until December 31st, ten days after I had intended to do the ritual … *sigh*…

But hey, I did it, and it was great. It was awesome to feel such a connection to my spiritual path. It’s honestly been a while since I’ve felt that. The best was the omen. I used the Druid Animal Oracle deck, and drew three cards for three questions:

  1. How was the offering received? = Blackbird
  2. What is the Kindreds’ response to the offering? = Hind (white deer) reversed
  3. Any other wisdom that the Kindreds would like me to learn? = Fox

After the ritual, my husband (who is supportive but not particularly inclined to participate) informed me that a herd of ten deer, does and yearlings, had passed through our yard near the end of the ritual. He took a picture for me:

Image

After he told me this, we saw two stragglers (a doe and a yearling) pass by and head the same direction, making an even twelve … and were soon thereafter followed by a stag. The synchronicity of it being the last day of the year (12 months) and the last day of Yuletide (12 days), along with a deer (albeit a white one) showing up in my omen, was powerful and heartening.

Happy end of 2012, everyone! It was not the easiest year for me, and I’m pretty happy to see it go, and to also welcome a new year with new possibilities.

In Idaho

I’m currently visiting my family in Idaho. Just a few minutes down the road from my aunt’s house is a huge public free range field for cattle, filled with golden grasses and sagebrush and shy cattle. I stepped out into the field into a clump of sagebrush, crushed and smelled a leaf of it in my fingers, and looked out onto the valley in which I was born.

Then I shouted my morning devotional prayer. I called it out into the wind, out across the fields, knowing that none but the Kindreds and the cattle could hear me.

Usually my morning devotional prayer is said in a quiet or normal voice in the morning, the first words I speak through a scratchy throat, not too loud so I don’t wake my fiancé or disturb the neighbors. I say it to an indoor prayer, hoping the heater or A/C won’t turn on and disturb the candles.

I had no candles in Idaho. I had no symbols for the Well, Tree & Fire other than the landscape around me. When it came time in my devotional to “bathe my face” from water from the well, I had to pantomime it. And yet I have never felt so alive, so connected after my devotional. It was a most exhilarating and liberating experience!

Pictures of the cattle on the private land on the other side of the road:

 

A bird visitor

Gold finch enjoying basil seeds

Gold finch enjoying basil seeds

I was quite pleased the other day to see this little guy enjoying my seeding basil plant. We’re not supposed to put seeds out on the balcony for birds, which we enjoyed doing in our last place because we always had a number of different birds come to visit. It was entertaining to watch their antics, or to try to identify them. At this place though, we get very few bird visitors to our balcony, though we hear them in the nearby trees.

So it was a very pleasant surprise to see this gold finch finding something tasty. He/she (or perhaps another little friend) has visited quite a few times since I took this photo. I don’t enjoy living in an urban area, so it’s nice to have these little reminders of nature.