Monday, October 1, 2012
On Monday, September 24th, I began setting up for what I thought would be a solitary Autumnal Equinox ritual in the Proto Indo-European hearth culture; but my oldest daughter (age 4) decided to join me as well! We followed the ADF Core Order of Ritual, ringing a bell to initiate the rite, then taking nine deep and cleansing breaths to purify and center ourselves. We offered oats and a cherry tomato from the garden to the Earth Mother, and stated that our purpose was a celebration of our wonderful harvest. We offered to the Fire, Well, and Tree, opened the Gates, and invited the Kindred while giving them offerings of incense and libations of water. We did not invite any Deities of the Occasion, as my path is centered around the Earth Mother and this seemed very much one of Her holidays. We offered more offerings to Her, and took the Omen with Tarot cards: first was the Nine of Swords, and so we went back and offered more incense to each of the Kindreds. The second card pulled was the Sun, so we moved on to calling the blessings. We called the blessings into a chalice of water and each drank deep. We then thanked the Kindreds and closed the Gates, and finally thanked the Earth Mother and closed the rite.
It was a very nice ritual, though peppered with questions from my daughter since she's never attended a formal ADF-style ritual. We both felt it was a very sacred time, and felt the Earth's energy as we went outside to pour out the libations and other offerings in the garden. I did feel a bit strange working out the 'Deities of the Occasion' portion; as I said, the Earth Mother is sort of my patron deity, and so I choose to honor Her during the agricultural festivals. It's hard to capture the beauty and sacredness of such a ritual with a word limit and need to describe in detail, but it was a very beautiful occasion.