(cross posted to my dedicant notebook - http://www.anivair.com/ravenna/ and the dp lj community )
So after months of fretting and planning and changing because it didn’t feel right. I have completed my first oath!
It seems that I, the woman who wishes she was a free spirit, actually *IS* moved sometimes my fate! I had written and re-written my oath and the wording never felt right. I had planned to set aside time no fewer than three times to actually schedule my oath, each time cancelling because it didn’t feel right.
Apparently, it just took a gentle push from the divine to tell me it was the right time. I called Joe, asked him to grab my tools, get some incense and to be ready to take off when I got home.
I jumped out of the car. grabbed the offerrings that I have been preparing for months. I got all of the things that we needed for our own mini-rite and we grabbed the puppy and jumped into the car, heading to “my spot”.
“My spot” is a small section of the Hoover Reservoir Park. It is a place that means a lot to me. A few years ago, I went there regularly on my way home. I needed a place to cry, and it was pretty. A great friend of mine turned the space around for me. I stopped going there for tears, and started going there for comfort, for inspiration and for recharging when my internal batteries got low.
I felt it was important that I started my dedicant program here.
So, up we drove (and on January 24th, it was snowy and freezing cold) and I was excited and nervous.
So, I set up my ritual space. Had candles, a well, an actual living tree and was out in nature. I set out my sacrifices.
1) An apple for the nature spirits that I had cut in half and dried months ago into the natural star shape.
2) A moonstone for the well - for the ancestors.
3) Oil I made from the Samhain rite mulled spices - sent to the shining ones
I had Joe use my hand carved wand for the opening of the gates.
I called all to bear witness. Nature spirits, Ancestors and Shining ones. There were no outsdwellers for this rite. Everyone was welcome to bear witness.
I thanked everyone for their presences and then gave my offerrings.
Once the offerrings had been made, I made a simple, honest oath. To study the old ways and incorporate them into my path. To always seek to learn about my faith. To live a life with reverence for the spirits and ancestors, shining ones and to care for the world around me. I asked them to bear witness to my promise and to help me when the path got hard.
My hands and feet were frozen; I was shaking and my nose was sniffly. It was amazingly, painfully cold. But I felt an inner warmth that was helping me get through. Finally came the point where I tried lighting the oil to send my intentions to the shining ones. And it was so cold the butane in my lighter had turned from a liquid to a gas and wouldn’t light.
I had to cheat and light incense with another already lit candle. Sometimes, inviting EVERYONE to witness is both a blessing and a recipe for mischief, but nonetheless, it made me giggle and brought levity to my ritual!
Next was time for omens.
1) Was my offering accepted?
Temperance - “appreciation of moderation through experience of the extremes; to live through the darkest night and the brightest day to appreciate both the twilight and the dawn.” - I’d say the answer was yes.
2) What can the powers offer me in return?
Three of Pentacles - “embodies the principle that hard work and service are rewards unto themselves”- Yup…hard work is what is expected of the dedicant program…and completeing it is a journay and a reward as well.
3) What more do the powers ask of us?
(I can’t remember the card, I will look it up when I get home) - “excitement, dedication,”
I thanked everyone, made a few comments of gratitude and then Joe closed the gates, and it was over.
All in all a twenty minute ritual that seemed to be FOREVER due to the cold. but as I told Joe on the way home, the cold made me aware of every movement. Every shift in weight, every movement of my fingers, my lips as I spoke the words of my oath.
It was bitter cold, but I feld the wind and the cold and everypart of my body at once. More keenly aware of my physical self than I think I could have ever been.
I guess sometimes, overplanning is bad. Spur of the moment ritual seemed to work well for me this time. (If only I had remembered my camera!!!!)
I’m glad that I have it behind me and I can work on the dedicant’s program without this draging me behind.
Now, that I’ve made my promise, I have to get to the hard parts!!!