As part of our work to develop our own cosmology, we continue our regular An Bruane meetings. Once or twice a month, members of Shining Lakes Grove meet to discuss, research, and perform rituals specifically aimed at performing works for our deities or our lands.
On November 10th, six Grove members (Fox, Rob, Mama Moon, Kore, Marae Price, and Lori Hammock) visited Rob's parents' new land to perform a blessing ritual for it.
To prepare for the ritual, the group discussed the land with the Hendersons, exploring what changes they'd made and planned to make to the land, how they intended to use it, and how long they'd been living on the land.
Pieces of sod were gathered from the four corners of the property and brought to the center, where it was placed in a pile. The central fire was built over the gathered land, symbolically bringing the entire property together to one central point.
After standard purifications with sage, water, and ochre, the ritual began (with Jan, Rob's mother, participating).
The fire was consecrated, and then a broom was made from an ash wand and birch branches. The broom was used to sweep out the house and the barn to purify it. As the buildings were swept out, they were smudged, and hawthorne branches were hung in the crawlspace or from the ceilings to protect them from fire and lightning. As added protection, and as a symbol of community, Brid's Crosses were also hung up.
The ritual group then returned to the outdoors, making offerings to the fire to promote fertility and to symbolize the Hendersons' new beginnings on the property: eggs, seeds from the SLG spring equinox ritual, hawthorne, and the birch branches from the broom.
Oil was offered to Lugh through the fire. Oil was then poured on the ash handle from the broom, which was held over the fire and then pounded into the ground where the Hendersons were planning on planting their garden. The intent of this was to charge the wand, and by contagion the ground, with the essences of fire, fertility, and the spirit of Lugh.
Offerings were made to the Nature Spirits. As is the tradition, an area of the land (known as the Devil's Half-acre) was set aside specifically for the Nature Spirits.
As a final step of the ritual, the Hendersons were instructed to spread the ashes from the fire, after it had extinguished and cooled, spreading the energy of the ritual over the land just as the energy had been pulled together at the start of the ritual, and just as the smoke from the fire had spread out over the land.