Ritual Debrief: November 20th-21st encounter with the Lady of the Stars (Long post, beware)

My last post talked about prep for my introductory ritual with the Lady of the Stars, or Brighid. I haven’t posted the debrief until now because I’m actually quite bad with the whole follow-through thing, but I’m working on that.

I did write up my experience directly after it happened, however, and I’ll be posting that in part, along with some current commentary.

Ended up choosing a different location from the one we scouted earlier – we went to Piper’s Lagoon instead, because it’s by the ocean and, well, She kind of nudged me to go there. (She also nudged me to NOT take a dip in the water, which was a good thing. It was FREEEEEEZING.)

It was very cold, and by the end I couldn’t actually feel my extremities. This is my fault for dressing in ritual gear that followed form rather than function.

So we go there and there’s a picnic bench; I set up and then best friend goes to sit in the car and wait for me. Beginning of the ritual went really well –  before cleansing the space I walked around in a circle three times, drumming. That really set the tone and I have to remember to do it in future rituals.

Being able to drum was quite awesome, and I look forward to living on my own next year so I can do that for future rituals. I set up my altar very nicely as well, but forgot to take pictures because I have a sieve for a brain. Next ritual I’m going to write it on my hand: take pictures! And then probably forget again, but we’ll see how it goes.

The next part of the ritual called for a candle to be lit while sitting in some water, and an invocation to be said. One of Brighid/Lady of the Stars’ mysteries is Fire-in-the-Water.

I get to the candle lighting part and…it’s very windy. Couldn’t get it to stay lit. I used my ritual knife to cut it in half so it would be lower in the bowl and protected from the wind but no go. So I made do, made a laughing comment about it to Brighid.

It’s pretty awesome that my deities have good senses of humor. Actually a lot of the elements of this ritual brought to mind Trickster type deities, and I have been wondering if maybe there’s some sort of Trickster side to Brighid…. It’s something I can’t quite articulate yet, but it bears deep thought.

During meditation/trance I basically sat and talked with Her (maybe I did AI? I’m not really sure). Here’s an approximation of our conversation:

AI stands for Active Imagination. I’m not really sure what the technique is for it, or if I got right. I think I was sort of leaning towards wanting to try it, but I’m not sure if I succeeded.

Brighid: You know you are crazy, right? What on earth would possess you to take a dip in the ocean in winter in the Pacific Northwest?

 

Me: I’m crazy in my devotion to You – it burns like a fire. I feel like leaping into the void of space just to be closer to You.

 

Brighid: there are ways to worship me without killing yourself, which I’d prefer. I do have a use for you, you know.

 

Me: You are our Mother, aren’t you?

 

Brighid: My womb is the spiral galaxy; I birth and forge stars, which you are made of.

 

Me: Why am I even knowing this?

 

Brighid: I am the Light in the dark place.

 

Me: But different people see different things.

 

Brighid: Shadows determine shape. People see what they see. All things are made of belief even if they existed beforehand.

 

Me: We make the gods, you mean.

 

Brighid: We were all here already. Our manifestations and appearance are determined by your perceptions.

At this point I asked some more personal stuff that I’m not willing to share on this blog, which is open to the wide internet. It probably wouldn’t be very interesting to most people anyway.

The next part includes the divination part of the ritual — this was an optional part of the ritual, but if we did decide to do it there were four main questions to stick to, so we could actually compare notes.

I am only going to share the first and fourth questions here, because I feel that 2 and 3 are touching too closely to oath-bound material. We’re not a tradition, and we don’t have oaths right now, but we do have a private forum, and one of the rules is not to share things with people not of the group because we are talking about some very personal, very raw stuff here. I am sharing my experience on my blog here, but I will not be sharing others’ experiences except to maybe say “My views on this are not uncommon within the group.” The rest, however, I’m treating as oath-bound. I don’t want to give you the idea like we’re a closed tradition or anything — we’re not even a tradition yet, we’re just a group that had a shared epiphany — this is just a privacy and respect thing.

I then slowly came out of meditation and did the divination. I drew tarot cards but didn’t look up the meanings – instead I looked at the pictures, and then freewrote what I thought for each one.

 

Who are You:  4 of pentacles. Four five-pointed stars form the Big Dipper; She is the holder of Water.

 

How can I best serve you within the group/what is my role:  Seven of swords – I hold the seven swords of the warriors. I am the weapon-keeper, I am a fighter for justice. I must think about the next seven generations and how to make the world better for them, and being part of this group is part of my path as a rainbow warrior.

There are other things that have come to mind about this reading since then, but they’re half-formed musings from the mind of a lunatic (a label I wear with pride). I’m not ready to share them yet.

The rest of the night is fairly on par with my life in general.

This is where things get rather interesting. The car was within my sight lines as I was now sitting down and facing the park exit. Another car came down and the lights caught my eye – it was the cops.

 

I quickly consecrated my ring, and then said “I ask Your forgiveness, Brighid, as I quickly take down the circle and end this rite.” I did the fastest return to mundane world I’ve ever done and packed up my stuff. Just as I was finishing packing up Mr. Police Officer was there, asking what I was doing and if I was ok (“Oh, just a ritual to the Goddess Brighid, Officer, and yes, I’m fine”). He was really nice and even helped me carry my drum back to the car, saying that he wanted to make sure I wasn’t smoking weed or doing drugs or alcohol down there, that he patrols because it’s an area teens like to use for that purpose, and apparently because the park was closed I was trespassing (I did not know this), and I had parked right in front of a no parking sign (I did not see it as I was half in ritual space already and a little out of it). I was very polite and nice to him and he didn’t give me a ticket or anything, just looked at my ID to make sure there were no warrants out for my arrest, and then said good night and drove off.

Fastest return to the mundane I’ve ever done — well, almost. I was pretty out of it for a while. My best friend and I went to Tim Horton’s (hangout of every Canadian witch after ritual) and I wrote all this out, and we debriefed too. She’s not part of this group, but she’s someone I share everything with, especially my spiritual views — because I can. Her friendship is more precious to me than any riches because of this and so much more.

Anyway. Since the ritual life has gotten hectic, my daily devotionals have stopped, and my spirituality has been put on hold. Again.

There are tentative plans for a joint ritual on the solstice — not as big as the intro ritual was, but something to keep the magic going till Imbolc. There have also been group things going on that I haven’t been involved in — not for not wanting to, but for not being able to sit in front of the computer for any length of time because of my back (I went to the hospital yesterday and got a doctor to look at it, and he gave me pain killers) and for being very tired and busy and stressed.

I’m moving in January, and with a new house I get a new center of being and a new hearth — important things for a follower of Brighid. It helps, too, that I’ll be living alone and will no longer have to deal with my current toxic living environment — which I won’t get into here. Needless to say life has been very difficult where I am.

With a new place will come renewed energy and vigor — and more posts on this blog. This month I will try to post about the solstice, but that may be it. I’m not sure what I have in me spoons-wise.

Until then.

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