Monday, November 14, 2011

Still not Samhuinn?

We had thought we might celebrate on the full moon. I like doing ritual, especially Samhuinn which we do at night, on the full moon. There's speculation out there that this might have been a traditional time for gathering rituals, giving people time to travel in the increasing moonlight. Yeah, I'm way too lazy for citations here and it was mostly discussion on some list or other. I'm not worried as much on that as I am that it works for us. Usually.

But we didn't. It's not just that there are a few things I still don't feel we've gotten ready, but last week the days were in the 60s. We got a couple of cold days, which inspired us to get some of the housework that we wanted to get done done, and yesterday was probably got over 60 again. It doesn't feel like it's time yet, even if it certainly looks it.

It also doesn't help that my perception is probably really skewed due to working nights. Now I'm up and out most of the day most days, the days may be shorter but this is the most sunlight I've gotten in five years. It's like I'm catching up on summer, doing summer things I often didn't have enough daylight hours to do. So on the day we would have done ritual, I spent the early part playing with the horses. (Yes, I went to work Misty but Saorsa joined us ont he outside of our very fancy round was actually pretty damn awesome. The girls are doing absolutely great. Obviously, lazy little Misty has moments of exuberance. ) Yesterday we, and our trainer, took the mares up the road all the way up to our "sheiling" ... what had been our upper pasture when I was young, where our temple is although we didn't go anywhere near that far. Just for a visit, which brought up our hopes that we can afford to get that turned back into pasture (now it's mostly golden rod, dog wood and milkweed) and put the mares up there in the summer. This is a bit ironic as bringing them back would then be part of Samhuinn....but we did, of course, bring them back so....sorta, kinda symbolic?

There may be another reason that I've not felt ready. A few days ago I was hit by some thoughts about our rituals and a change that needs made. Really, it should have been done a long time ago, but ..... When we moved here we made some changes related to the move, this should have been one. But changing ritual is a tricky thing. Obviously, I can do it. 20 years ago this Samhuinn (which would have been a couple weeks earlier than this, I stuck more to the calendar then), I did my last Wiccan ritual, in which was focused on leaving Wicca. That was a huge change, it actually took me awhile before I did any formal ritual beyond making simple offerings.

Changes that involve no longer inviting and offering to a particular Deity are the most troubling. When we moved here we realized we had to alter Who our Goddess of the Land was. It was troubling, but it felt very important, because I feel the Land Goddess here was calling me back here. We kept offering to the one we offered to in the Seacoast, it was particularly important as this change was upsetting to at least one person in our group at the time. But when the group disbanded and it was just us, we slowly stopped. I later I found more and more evidence that this name, one so very popular in the Pagan Community, was a late invention and is very unlikely to have been a pre-Christian Goddess (mind you some argue none of Them are, as all the literature is Christian). Her creation can be somewhat traced as John Carey noted (“The Name ‘Tuatha Dé Danann’" Éigse, Vol. 18, prt. 2) as well as Alexei Kondratiev. And, of course, by already honoring, to say the least as She is my patron, An Morrígan, I realized I was not going to be stopping honoring "*Danu."

This time it's harder, because the God in question is one where there is some of the best evidence for His existence. And in this case He had been one I felt a connection with, while *Danu as that name and as she's usually worshiped now, I never felt a connection with. Thing is, since moving here, I haven't felt that connection. He's not here. Continuing to offer to Him as we have was sort of a habit, there was no real call by Someone else wanting His "job" and when we were a group it would have been a even bigger problem for the member mentioned above. But he's not been here for a long time, it's really long past due for me to think about this. And how to handle it.

Thing is, making this change sort of leaves open reexamining our entire ritual structure. Since I felt nudged to do this a few days ago, I feel really jazzed to see what happens, because I feel it might wake things up for us in a lot of ways. If we had celebrated on the full moon, it would have been the same thing we've been doing. I think this "on hold" feeling was in part to explore and prepare for these changes to come.

Still not sure what night we'll do this, we have most things prepared now though so it could be any night now. But it's been a long time since I think I've felt this excited about doing a ceremony. It should be interesting, at least.