Thursday night I did my first High Day ritual, celebrating the February cross-quarter, and it went very well! I must say, I absolutely love doing rituals in the ADF style. For reasons I can’t wholly explain, it just seems to mesh well with me and it feels like I’m making the connections to the three Kindreds. When I practiced as a solitary Wiccan many months ago, the rituals were satisfying, but it always felt like there was something missing that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. When I do rituals in the ADF style, it feels more complete for me. I feel that connection to the cosmos and the Kindreds so much better. I’m excited to have found something that, so far, is working for me.
When writing the ritual, I used the “Solitary Self-Blessing Ritual” in the DP manual as a guide. I further customized it, adding a statement of purpose for the High Day, as well as putting in Nerthus as the Earth Goddess and Heimdall as the Gatekeeper. Since the Norse hearth culture is most appealing to me at the moment, these seemed like obvious choices. I decided not to include a deity of the occasion and just focused on the offerings to the three Kindreds in general. The reason I did this was because, being a relative newbie to Norse gods and goddesses, I was unsure who would be appropriate. Rather than agonize over who would be a good choice, I just decided to omit the deity of the occasion. In hindsight, I think it would’ve been better to include a deity here to give the ritual more of a feel for the specific High Day, but everything still ended up working out well.
I’m going to put the pros and cons of the ritual in the list, as I feel this is most helpful when looking at everything as a whole.
- The pace at which I did the ritual felt even throughout.
- My focus was good and didn’t waver often.
- I was able to slip into “the zone” during the ritual. This is my own term I use to describe when I enter ritual consciousness or trance. Although it wasn’t consistent, I was able to slip into it a few times, which I consider a plus. The future goal is to maintain it through most of the ritual.
- Everything felt right. I know this sounds a bit vague, but sometimes you just know when something’s on or off, and this definitely felt on.
- I was able to feel the presence of the Kindreds during my ritual. This should go without saying, but there were times when I practiced Wicca where I didn’t entirely feel the full presence of the powers in my ritual. I didn’t have to worry about that this time.
- My altar space is rather small. Being a TV tray, this isn’t entirely surprising. As such, things were a bit of a squeeze. It wasn’t complete hindrance, but making my offerings got a little messy at times.
- I was constantly having to refer to my write-up of the ritual. This interrupted the flow of the ritual a little bit. I realize this is one of my first rituals and I knew I wasn’t going to memorize everything in a few days, so I’m trying not to be too hard on myself. I’m sure as time goes by, and I gain more experience, I’ll start to memorize some portions of the ritual so this won’t be an issue.
- I felt the ritual didn’t completely capture the essence of this High Day with the lack of a deity of the occasion.
- So, I had my iPhone on me during the ritual so I could look up the rune poems to the runes I pulled to interpret the omen. Obviously, this was a mistake. It just threw the flow of ritual out of whack. Thankfully my blessing was fairly easy to read with the other resources I had on hand and my research on the runes that I had done during the week helped me. Next time, I’ll print the rune poems out. What the hell was I thinking?
The ritual wasn’t without its issues, but I’m still very pleased with it. I felt it was a good start. My omens also came out promising. For the Ancestors I pulled the Ingwaz rune. Ingwaz is the rune of Freyr, fertility, and ancestors. For the Landspirits, I pulled the Thurisaz rune. Thurisaz is the rune of Thor, giants, and thorns. For the Shining Ones, I pulled the Sowilo rune. Sowilo is the rune of the sun, warmth, and victory.
My interpretation of this omen and the blessing is fairly straightforward. At this point in my journey, I am blessed with fertility and potential. I have started on the Druid’s Way, I have many wonderful resources to draw from at the beginning of this journey. I’ve also met many wonderful people to help me along the way and things look promising. However, the way is chaotic, fraught with thorns and difficulties that will require brute strength to push past. Nevertheless, I am blessed with promise and victory to overcome these challenges.
I’m going to completely honest, interpreting the omen is still a bit of a challenge for me. I feel better about this interpretation than the previous one, though. I’m very happy with this blessing.