Spring Equinox Ritual 2017 debrief

My spring equinox ritual could have gone better, but on the other hand, I did it only a day off from the actual equinox. Which I think might be a record for me of doing a ritual actually close to the day. So I’m impressed with myself for that, and giving myself a pat on the back.

Ways in which I screwed up: totally forgot separate offerings for the land spirits and ancestors. Totally forgot my salt water and incense for the making of sacred space/invoking land, sea, and sky. Forgot my journal for meditation and had to BRB during the ritual.

I didn’t realize I’d forgotten the separate offerings and salt water and incense until after I’d already BRBed once, and I decided it was better to just go ahead with what I had at that point rather than having another interruption. I ended up using part of the piece of bread I had for the main offering/sharing of food for the ancestors and land spirits, and they didn’t seem to mind.

Something new I tried was playing music during ritual. I created a Morrigan playlist on Youtube using some of my Songs of the Gods songs, and played it through from beginning to end, with the songs arranged in accordance with the mood I wanted for each part of the ritual. This worked okay. I had the music volume up for the beginning and ending, which was how I signified the beginning and ending of ritual instead of ringing a bell or something similar.

One way in which it didn’t work was that I was a song short, and ended up having to click replay on the second to last song so I had time to finish the ritual. So I’ll need to find an extra song for the playlist for the next Morrigan-centric ritual I do.

I also actually used my Imbolc water this ritual! I’ve put out water for blessing for both Loafmass and Imbolc, and now I have 2 jars of water that I’m looking at and going “I didn’t actually think this through. What do I use you for?” But before spring equinox ritual I sprinkled a bit on the shrine, and anointed my forehead and wrists with it. That felt right. So there’s one use, at least. I’ve got a few others to figure out so I can actually use the stuff up in the 6 months between the holidays.

Because the equinoxes are for the Morrigan, I’ve decided it’s very important I do magic during them. She is the queen of magic in my view, and I don’t think it would be right to do a ritual to her without some kind of working. Your mileage may vary. So I did do a working during this ritual, but I’m not going to talk about the details just yet.

I also left something on the shrine overnight for blessing: my container of pens that I use for planning, journalling, etc. The Morrigan has made it very clear that my writing is important to do, that it’s something she wants me to do. So it felt right to have her bless the pens.

I’ve come to the realization that I really need to do things in order to understand them, and I come to this realization every time I do something and understand a little bit more about it. I’ve done a lot of navel-gazing on my religion for the longest time, but actually forcing myself to write and perform a ritual? I figure out a lot more about what it is I’m building.

This time I figured out a lot about what the spring equinox means to me. It’s midspring, because I measure the seasons by the presence of light, not weather. It’s a midpoint. It’s a time of awakening — so I offered tea, not alcohol. (Ok, it was decaf tea, because I couldn’t access my tea cabinet so had to grab one of the new ones I’d just gotten, but the symbolism remains.) It’s the moment between sleeping and waking, the moment when you’re not quite sure what’s real and what’s still part of your dreams. The tea is symbolic of the need to wake up, to get stuff done.

It’s the moment between decision and action. It’s a moment of the unknown; it’s the moment you know. It’s the moment between the dark half of the year and the light. It’s balance; it’s liminality.

I wouldn’t have figured out half this stuff if I hadn’t just written the ritual and done it. If I hadn’t done the work. And within my meditations on Spring Equinox I also figured out some things about Fall Equinox: the moment between waking and sleeping. The getting ready for bed equinox. A time to drink alcohol, for it’s time for a night cap. Readying the world for its sleep.

Epiphanies happen during experience. I keep coming back to that; I keep coming back to the fact that there is no substitute for just doing something. Anything, really — it does not have to be perfect. But the more time I spend thinking about religion rather than doing it the more time I’m not really understanding what it’s all about. Theory is all well and good, but I can’t understand this path until I do it, and that just means taking the plunge.

Despite fucking things up, I think this equinox ritual was a success. I think that, because I actually felt the Morrigan’s presence for a moment, near the end. I am so cut off from the gods in this place; I haven’t really felt their presence in this house, not as strongly as I used to. But I felt her. Like hot wax dripping down my scalp, that goosebump shiver that tells me she’s there. She was there. If only for a moment.

So I know I’m on the right track.

 


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