I didn’t take any photos on the Equinox, which means I also didn’t think to post. Er. Sorry about that.
I’d intended to get up early and do my ritual at dawn like I did on the Solstice, but the desire to sleep and my ability to turn off my alarm clock without waking up rather got in the way. I did, however, manage to roll out of bed at a reasonable hour that morning and set up an altar in the back yard.
It was sunny, which was welcome after the prior night’s cloud cover during the “supermoon” — which I did manage to see bits of briefly through the storm we had that night. (Aside: what’s with this year and missing all of the really exciting lunar events because of weather?) I set up an altar and brought a pot of daffodils and my seeds to bless.
All in all, things went pretty well. Mom sending the dogs out partway through was kind of amusing in that I got some unexpected snuggling partway through. Still, doing rituals outside kind of opens one up to the unexpected. I tried to take it with good humor. I’m still working out of The Druidry Handbook pretty much exactly, mostly because I think I want to do the full year and think on it before I decide if I want to make alterations or substitutions to make things blend more with my CR practice.
Afterward, I prepped the front garden bed, raked up some leaves and dead branches in the front yard, and planted the daffodils. I also pulled up some of the young rose of sharon that’s trying to take over around my stoop and gave it to my mother, who actually wants it for some things in the back.
All in all, a good day.
Tonight, though, could have gone a little more smoothly.
I celebrate Earth Hour. I know it has its detractors, but I think it’s a useful symbolic gesture, and a good exercise for me as an individual. To be perfectly honest, switching off my lights for an hour won’t save that much energy. It saves some, though, and the more cities, businesses, and people who participate the better.
This year, I decided to use it as an opportunity to do a short ceremony to honor the Earth and recommit to my Candidate studies. I bought a little tree necklace today and thought it would make a good token to bless. Which would have been great if I’d remembered to get it ready before I turned all the lights out.
One of the things I have to do as a Candidate-level student in the AODA is learn to open and close a grove without a text. Tonight was a really excellent object lesson in the practical reasons for why this is. Tripping over things, blowing out candles by accident, having to hold a book, a sword, and a lamp all at once? All not ideal scenarios.
I may have done my fair share of apologizing to the Powers That Be tonight.
The other useful lesson from tonight was when I discovered that I couldn’t find the necklace by candlelight and wound up actually having to turn a light on to locate it. It, of course, being yet another manufactured Thing, the search for which led to me making kind of a terrible mess a couple of times and knocking some stuff over that was also meant for the ritual.
So, during my blessing it, I asked for it to be not just one symbol, but three:
- A reminder to be more circumspect about materialism, and reduce the number of things I consume, to reuse and recycle more efficiently, and to consume the things I do consume more wisely. Things do not magically make us better.
- A symbol of my renewed commitment to my candidate year, and to a spiritual path which treats the earth as holy and as a thing with moral standing.
- A symbol of the spiritual tree, not just the one I’ll literally be planting in the yard soon to fulfill my Candidate requirements (and which will hopefully give us cherries to eat!), but of the symbolic one that artist Jen Delyth brought into the living culture, and the example given in a Dharma text I once read as an exercise in understanding interconnectedness.
I also did three triple toasts of beer: to the earth, to the people involved in Earth Hour, and to hopes for the coming year’s good efforts at consuming less, cultivating well, and making good choices.
All in all, mostly successful if you excuse the bits where I was like a pagan Mr. Bean. Which I was. A lot.