For Imbolc, I once again put together a ritual for Prairie Shadow Protogrove. We had a Celtic ritual honoring Brigid, held in the study space of a local metaphysical store, since the weather was unfortunately below zero. We had a processional through two candles, purifying the participants with fire. We honored Danu as the Earth Mother, gave offerings to the Fire, Well, and Tree, and welcomed Manannan mac Lir as the Gatekeeper. We welcomed the Three Kindreds to join us, and invited Brigid as the Being of the Occasion. The omen was read, and stated that our offerings were accepted, and the Kindreds gifted us with strong, creative passion in the coming days. We asked for the Blessing on the Waters of Life, and gave some to each participant. Afterwards, each person came up to take a bit of the Fire, so each person could take home a piece of the community flame. We thanked the Kindreds and each deity and spirit we had invited, and closed the Gates.
After the Yule ritual, I felt much more confident about performing public ritual. This time, I wrote the script to include another more participation from another ritual leader, and also included a few parts for any attendees who volunteered to read. I feel like opening it up to more participation really helped the ritual to flow better and encourage the energy contribution of those attending. Also, I made sure to include many key phrases that I had put in the last ritual - especially phrases the participants were asked to repeat - and I feel like the growing familiarity of the Core Order of Ritual among those attending changed the feel of the ritual greatly, so that it felt truly profound, as I imagine most liturgists and ritual leaders hope ritual will feel. We had twelve people attend despite snow and bad temperatures, and the potluck afterwards was great to get to know those who were there for the first time, as well as to talk more with those who I'd seen before.