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My Beltaine was wonderful.  After a delightfully amorous morning, hubby and I went to The Mustard Seed in Watertown to enjoy their Earth Day celebration.  We got to try a plethora of products, including some eco-friendly perfume, organic cat treats (which our babies really enjoyed), soaps, and a micro-brewed kombucha.  My husband is not a fan of the drink in general, but it was probably the best batch I ever had!  We also had some delicious local baked goods and a grilled portobello sandwich.  Yummy!

We headed to Syracuse to attend Muin Mound’s Beltaine celebration.  Yesterday was actually my three year anniversary of going to Muin Mound.  I made a point to make it to a business meeting.  I want to be more involved, especially as I’m going to become an official Folk of the Grove next month.  My grove mates have become such a spiritual family to me.  It’s so easy to talk to them now, and I have so much fun.

The men went into the woods to find a tree for the maypole.  My husband went reluctantly at first but ended up having a lot of fun finding, sawing, and constructing it with Skip.  Hubby is one of those men who almost always has a knife on him and it was quite handy yesterday!  Muin Mound’s tradition is to attach last year’s Yule tree to the top of the maypole.  We dance around it to celebrate the fertility all around us and leave it standing in the yard to fill the land with more creative energy.  Come Samhain, when the harvest is over, the maypole is chopped up and placed in our bonfire.  It’s a lovely tradition that really connects us to the land.  I wish we brought the camera to get a photo of our maypole this year.  It’s probably the best I’ve ever seen!

The ritual was beautiful.  The usual nemeton was already infested with mosquitos so we opted to use the area closer to the home.  We’ve been using it a lot, actually, and the larger nemeton is generally bug free for Samhain.  It’s sad, in a way, because the nemeton is so visually striking with the large central bonfire and bridge lit by torch-light, but the newer, less-infested nemeton is also lovely and is growing on me.  The second bile (sacred tree) looks quite proud with some offerings hanging from it.  There’s also a lovely pond which works as the well!

As the ritual began, the sky lit up a few times and thunder rolled around us.  It was really something to acknowledge the three realms and chant “may the sky not fall down upon us” in such weather.  I took two larger roles in the ritual this time.  We have a member who always welcomes the Nature Spirits, but she wasn’t there last night, so I took the part.  I felt so confident and just said what was in my heart.  It was an amazing feeling!  I also welcomed and honored the Goddess of the rite, Bláithíne.  I had an idea of what I could say, but in the end I read something prepared ahead of time.  I usually don’t like to do that, but I’ve really never worked with Bláithíne before and didn’t want to stumble or get her story wrong, even though I’m fairly sure I know the basics of it.  I felt a lot of wonderful things while calling to her.  I felt the strength of an independent woman who knows what she wants.  I felt the awe and joy of the plants all around me.  I also felt compelled to learn more about her and make a doll inspired by her to give to the grove next Beltaine.

At the end of the rite, the sky could no longer hold and it began to rain.  It felt cool after a humid day dancing around the maypole.  We were finishing our right so it didn’t spoil our fiery fun at all.  We went inside and had a wonderful potluck feast.

It was such an enjoyable day and I hope everyone did something as wonderful!

May the Kindreds bless you this season!

[ For my LJ friends, please visit me at: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ ]

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I am so blessed to have a husband who is willing to have rituals with me despite his lack of religion.  There are even days, like today, where I feel “out of it” and it’s him encouraging me to do the things I value so highly.  I’ve been feeling congested all day as well as kind of depressed.  I knew I wanted to acknowledge the new season in some way but felt blase about it at the same time.  Hubby kept asking and asking so I finally decided that we would do a very laid back ritual closer to my longer devotionals.

Hubby said he enjoyed it.   He helped out by making a couple offerings and drawing the cards for the omen, even helping me interpreting their meaning for our lives.  To me, it was such a bonding activity.

We honored a being I’ve been calling “Forest.”  I see her as the guardian spirit of NY.  I don’t really know her real name so just call her that because that is where I feel her strongest.  There is a wildness about her and yet a tameness – much of it imprinted on her by us, but she nourishes us through the fertile, tilled fields where thick trees once stood.  She’s the localized Earth Mother who is waking up after a winter nap.

The omen we received was similar to what I got in my last ritual, and yet hubby felt there were other meanings too, which made a lot of sense.  The kindreds are calling us outside, to travel to our tribe, to dive into our different projects, and to not worry so much.

That last bit is something I need to work on…  Really, it’s probably the crux of my personality flaws.  I worry too much about what I need to do, whether or not I’m good at something, whether or not I’m attractive, etc…  I need to just stop and be.  It’s these things that are acting as hurdles to my spiritual development.  My mind is sometimes far too busy and it needs to relax.

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