hands, drarry, hp

Wizard Rock

Hi, LJ! You seemed like a good place to post a thing I've been working on. So I've recently been delving back into the Harry Potter fandom. This year Rowan dressed up as Harry Potter for Halloween and we are almost finished reading Goblet of Fire together. This led to me wanting to read fan-fic, which led to wanting to look at fanart, which led to wanting to listen to wizark rock, something I haven't done in years.

I don't know how many of you even know that this is a thing. I might not have heard of it if the brothers who started said music movement hadn't performed at our campus when I was in college. Harry and the Potters are a riot in concert, they are as much performance art as music. They play all their songs from the perspective of Harry Potter and refer to themselves both as Harry Potter, Year 4 and 7 respectively. Totally dorky but awesome and full of passion. We bought their first two albums "Harry and the Potters" and "Voldemort Can't Stop the Rock" as well as a t-shirt at that show. The husband and I have been randomly quoting lyrics to each other ever since. Their songs get better as the subject matter gets more intense, book by book. I don't think I would know out of context that the last two songs on their third full length album were by the same guys that wrote the first two songs on their first album, they are beautiful and epic but still raw.

And that's pretty much how it is for a lot of the other bands that followed. Draco and the Malfoys, their musical rivals and real life friends, had a couple catchy and quite nasty songs I couldn't help but like, later they became more folksy which I adore. The Moaning Myrtles are a jazzy duo who sing songs from the perspective of everyone's favorite pervy bathroom haunting ghost. The Parselmouths are like the female versions of Draco and the Malfoys, nasty Slytherin brats. The Remus Lupins, a wizard rock heart throb if there ever was one, it helped that he looks like a young David Thewlis, though some of his songs are sung from other characters perspectives. The Whomping Willows, a one man band who actually sang from the point of view of a magical tree, Whompy. These were the bands I found on YouTube and MySpace (yes, MySpace) years ago and are what I think of as classic wrock. But there were so many others I had only heard mentioned or hadn't heard of at all and a few that rose to incredible popularity after I stopped following the scene.

I am having fun revisiting the old ones and falling in love with new (to me) bands like Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls (who sounds straight off the radio), The Butterbeer Experience (who sounds straight of Broadway), RiddleTM, Let's Lumos and Seen and Unforeseen (who all have beautiful voices). Often a band may only have a few songs I like and yeah some of the songs out there I find a bit cringe worthy. That's the thing, anyone can write and record wizard rock and sometimes it's bad, most of the time it's funny or delightfully odd and occasionally it's absolutely gorgeous.

So I began making a list of some of my favorites, to recommend to my Potterhead friends. First I organized it by band but then I thought why not sort them by book? Edited to add: And after a month I have seven YouTube playlists with over 200 songs on them, 50 of which I uploaded. It's been a fun project and I'm still tinkering. YouTube playlist links and long lists below, though they may become obsolete.

Update: I'm now at over 275 videos and Rowan and I have started reading Half-Blood Prince together!

Book 1
Book 3
Book 4
Book 5
Book 7

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

1. The Boy Who Lived- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

2. The Boy Who Lived- The Moaning Myrtles (completely different song)

3. The Boy Who Lived- Riddletm (different again)

4. Letters From No One- Witherwings (bonus track)

5. I Am a Wizard- Harry and the Potters

6. Ascendio- Ministry of Magic

7. Hey Mr. Ollivander- Riddletm

8. Platform 9 3/4- Harry and the Potters

9. Why Won’t You Shake My Hand- Draco and the Malfoys

10. Welcome to Hogwarts- Tonks and the Aurors

11. The Sorting Hat- Riddletm

12. The Enchanted Ceiling- Harry and the Potters

13. Portraits- Hollow Godric

14. Quidditch Stuff- Defense Against the Dark Marks

15. Fluffy- Harry and the Potters

16. Meanwhile- Seen and Unforseen

17. Troll in the Dungeons- Stephanie and the Quaffles

18. Bookworm by Roonil Wazlib

19. Gryffindor Rocks- Harry and the Potters

20. Wizard Chess- Harry and the Potters

21. Christmas Mirror- The Butterbeer Experience

22. Mirror- Siriusly Hazza P

23. Problem Solving Skillz- Harry and the Potters

24. Lakeside Friends- Hollow Godric

25. Hagrid Is My Name- Lily and James

26. Through the Trap Door- Riddletm

27. The Stone- Harry and the Potters (bonus track)

28. Trains, Doubts and Dreams- The Hermione Cookshanks Experience (bonus track)

29. At Hogwarts- The Remus Lupins (bonus track)

30. One Last Goodbye- Let's Lumos (bonus track)

31. Quiet Night- Diagon Alley (bonus track)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

1. Back to School- Harry and the Potters

2. Potions Yesterday- Draco and the Malfoys

3. The Foil- Harry and the Potters

4. Magical Me- The Bandon Banshees

5. Deathday Party ‘92- Stephanie and the Quaffles

6. The Dark Lord Lament- Harry and the Potters (bonus track)

7. Mudbloods and Murmurs- The Bandon Banshees

8. Why’d I Do It- Siriusly Hazza P

9. Dobby Bang Your Head- The Bilbbering Humdingers

10. Gilderoy is a Fraud- Weezard

11. Don't Throw That Book At Me- The Moaning Myrtles

12. I Was Possessed- Ginny and the Heartbreakers

13. Follow the Spiders- Harry and the Potters

14. Then I Died- The Moaning Myrtles

15. Save Ginny Weasley- Harry and the Potters

16. Evanesco Dobby by Ministry of Magic

17. Accio Hagrid- Harry and the Potters (bonus track)

18. Here In Your Car- Ministry of Magic (bonus track)
Parody of Here (In Your Arms) by Hellogoodbye

19. Polyjuice Potion- Hawthorn and Holly (bonus track)

20. Diagon Alley- Diagon Alley (bonus track)
or https://youtu.be/Q3MqaPEReDU

21. Potions Yesterday- Ministry of Magic

22. Save Ginny Weasley From the Basalisk- Dumbledore's Chorus (bonus track)

23. The Basalisk and the Halloween Feast- Seven Potters (bonus track)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

1. The Grim's Lament- Hollow Godric

2. Two Weeks to Myself- Harry and the Potters

3. Trainride- Hollow Godric

4. Why So Sirius?- Defense Against the Dark Marks

5. Halloween at Hogwarts- Ginny and the Heartbreakers

6. Mischief Managed- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

7. Hippogriffs Deserve to Die- Draco and the Malfoys

8. Don’t Let the Moon- Seen and Unforseen

9. The Lonely Half-Giant- Hollow Godric

10. Young Sirius Black's Flying Motorbike- The Remus Lupins

11. My Teacher is a Werewolf (rock version)- Harry and the Potters

12. Final Breath- The Remus Lupins

13. The Godfather- Harry and the Potters

14. The Kiss- Seen and Unforseen (bonus track)

15. Teenage Werewolf- The Remus Lupins (bonus track)

16. Marauders Map- The Remus Lupins (bonus track)

17. Lupin vs. Snape- Neville's Diary (bonus track)

18. Time Turner- Ministry of Magic (bonus track)

19. Knight Bus- KNiGHT BUS (bonus track)

20. Let's Get Hagrid Fired!- The Parselmouths (bonus track)

21. Yummy Malfoy- Witherwings (bonus track)

22. Oliver Wood- Witherwings (bonus track)

23. The Leaky Cauldron- Diagon Alley (bonus track)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

1. The Scar-Hollow Godric

2. Seven Past Five From Stoatshead Hill- Seven Potters

3. Quidditch Brings the World Together- The Bandon Banshees (and repeat)

4. S.P.E.W.- The Hermione Crookshanks Experience

5. The Fourth Tri-Wizard Champion- Harry and the Potters

6. Not the Messenger- The Hermione Crookshanks Experience

7. Goblet of Rock- The Bandon Banshees
(note: there are actually two versions of this song on the same track with a long pause
between them. The first ends at 2:10 the second starts at 3:25, the second is clearer)

8. S.P.E.W.- Harry and the Potters

9. The Yule Ball- Harry and the Potters

10. Bitter About Viktor- Riddletm

11. The Missing Arm of Viktor Krum- Harry and the Potters

12. Prefects Are Hot- The Moaning Myrtles

13. In Too Deep- Siriusly Hazza P

14. What Kind of Name is Hermione- The Parselmouths

15. The Wrath of Hermione- Harry and the Potters

16. The Grave- Let’s Lumos (about Barty Crouch Sr. and the death of his wife)

17. Flesh, Blood and Bone- Harry and the Potters

18. One Last Goodbye- Let's Lumos

19. Remember Cedric Diggory- The Remus Lupins

20. These Days are Dark- Harry and the Potters

21. The Ballad of Ron and Hermione- Riddletm (bonus track)
(I didn’t include this in the line up because I feel it’s out of character for
Hermione at that point in the story and there are references to events in Deathly Hallows
“Bitter About Vikor” felt more cannon. However it’s a beautiful song and the singer’s
voice reminds me of Emma Watson's.)

22. Krum's Song- The Hermione Crookshanks Experience (bonus track)

23. Percy is a Prat- Gred and Forge (bonus track)

24. World Cup- Slytherin Soundtrack (bonus track)

25. The Tournament- Slytherin Soundtrack (bonus track)

26. Predictions for Next Week- Dreary Inferi (bonus track)

27. Cedric Had It Coming- The Whomping Willows (bonus track)

28. Cedric- The Moaning Myrtles (bonus track)

29. S.P.E.W.- Harry and the Potters live (bonus track)

30. It's Quidditch (He's the One)- C Note (bonus track)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

1. Keeping Secrets from Me- Harry and the Potters

2. Aurors for the Win- Tonks and the Aurors (let's just pretend she said wotcher)

3. Toujors Pur- Siriusly Hazza P

4. The Black Family Tree- Tonks and the Aurors

5. Cornelius Fudge is an Ass- Harry and the Potters

6. Luna Lovegood is OK- Harry and the Potters

7. I Must Not Tell Lies- Riddletm

8. Fred and George- Harry and the Potters

9. Dumbledore's Army- Harry and the Potters

10. Our King- Slytherin Soundtrack

11. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

12. These Dreams Are Dark- Harry and the Potters

13. The Human Hosepipe- Harry and the Potters
https://youtu.be/OajlTqSev8M (live)

14. The Weasley Way- The Butterbeer Experience

15. Stick it to Dolores- Harry and the Potters

16. Grawp- Siriusly Hazza P

17. Weasley's Our King from Harry Potter Playlist- HPandHE2015

18. Dreams- The Butterbeer Experience

19. Thestrals- Riddle TM

20. Beyond the Veil- The Remus Lupins

21. The Godfather Part II- Harry and the Potters

22. I May Lose Everything- Ministry of Magic

23. Bridge to the Other Side- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

24. Luna Lovegood- Riddle TM

25. The Weapon- Harry and the Potters

26. We Are The DA- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls (bonus track)

27. Longbottom Legacy- Ministry of Magic (bonus track)

28. Only Power Remains- Ministry of Magic (bonus track)

29. Battle at the Ministry- Tonks and the Aurors (bonus track)

30. Together- Witherwings (bonus track)

31. Bill's Hot Girlfriend- Gred and Forge (bonus track)

32. Marauders Worst Memory- The Remus Lupins (bonus track)

33. Our Fireworks Say Poo- Gred and Forge (bonus track)

34. Really, Harry?- Gred and Forge (bonus track)

35. It Aint Easy- Harry and the Potters (bonus track)

36. Float Away- The Hermione Crookshanks Experience (bonus track)

37. The Year Harry Went Emo- Peeved (bonus track)

38. Wizard Rock- The Boyz Who Lived (bonus track)

39. The Death Eater Tango- The Butterbeer Experience (bonus track)

40. The Human Hosepipe- Harry and the Potters, live in Norway with xylophone

41. The Weapon- Harry and the Potter, live piano version at This Star Won't Go Out

Songs for Luna

Luna Lovegood is OK- Harry and the Potters cover by Seen and Unforeseen

The Ballad of Neville and Luna- The Remus Lupins

Luna Lovegood- Riddletm

I Do Believe in Nargles- The Whomping Willows

Shooting Fish in a Barrel- Draco and the Malfoys

Love Me Luna - Swish and Flick

On Thestrals Wings- The Butterbeer Experience

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

1. My Obsession- The Parselmouths

2. Unbreakable Vow- Errand of Mercy

3. Allegiance- Riddletm

4. Mother, Stop Being Ridiculous- Draco and the Malfoys

5. Knockturn Alley- Draco and the Malfoys

6. In Which I Kick Harry Potter in the Face- Draco and the Malfoys

7. This Book is So Awesome- Ministry of Magic, Harry and the Potters cover

8. House Grown with Ivy- Let's Lumos

9. Merope's Song- The Butterbeer Experience

10. The Tale of Tom Riddle- Witherwings

11. I Believe in Nargles- The Whomping Willows

12. Happy Christmas Day- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

13. Draco Is a Death Eater Theory- The Butterbeer Experience

14. We Save Ron’s Life, Part 8- Harry and the Potters
https://youtu.be/nPZBVkM2k0I (live at the New York Public Library)

15. Felix Felicis- Harry and the Potters

16. Let's Drink to Aragog- Harry and the Potters

17. Emo Guy- The Moaning Myrtles

18. The Duel- Draco and the Malfoys

19. Gryffindor Rally Cry- Ministry of Magic

20. The Happiest Day- Ginny and the Heartbreakers

21. The Cave- Harry and the Potters

22. Draco- Riddletm

23. The Lightening Struck Tower- Ministry of Magic

24. The Blood of a Prince- Harry and the Potters

25. Dumbledore- Harry and the Potters

26. Phoenix Song- Harry and the Potters

27. So It Begins- Tonks and the Aurors

28. It's Not The End- Roonil Wazlib

29. On the Other Side- Ministry of Magic

30. Train to Nowhere- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

31. Snape- The Remus Lupins (bonus track)

32. The Hero Pt. 2- Ministry of Magic (bonus track)

33. The Fate of Severus Snape- The Remus Lupins (bonus track)

34. No One Knows My Secrets But You- Split Seven Ways (bonus track)

~love songs~

25. Amortentia- Let's Lumos featuring Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

26. Oh Ginny- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

27. Hermione's Song- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

28. Lupin's Tale- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

29. Mollywobbles- Roonil Wazlib

30. Maybe Tomorrow- The Remus Lupins

31. Won Won- Gred and Forge

32. Ginny Gets Around- Gred and Forge

33. Harry You’re a Hottie- Ginny and the Heartbreakers

34. Save Ginny Weasley from Dean Thomas- Harry and the Potters

35. Hey, Hey Ron- The Hermione Crookshanks Experience

36. Maybe Tomorrow Duet- The Remus Lupins and The Hermione Crookshanks Experience

37. It's Too Late- The Moaning Myrtles

38. He Doesn’t Love You- Riddletm

39. Nargles in the Mistletoe- The Moaning Myrtles

40. In Which Draco and Harry Secretly Want to Make Out- The Whomping Willows

~end love songs~

41. In Which Draco Malfoy Cries Like a Baby- Harry and the Potters

42. I Like to Cry- Draco and the Malfoys

43. Stay by My Side- The Whomping Willows

44. Hand of Glory- Draco and the Malfoys

45. I Couldn’t Kill Albus Dumbledore- Draco and the Malfoys

46. This Book Is So Awesome- Harry and the Potters

47. Hermione’s Birds and Boys- Harry and the Potters

48. Slug Club- Harry and the Potters

49. Never Going to the Bathroom Again- Harry and the Potters

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

1. Family I- Draco and the Malfoys

2. Family II- Draco and the Malfoys

3. Family III- Draco and the Malfoys

4. Looking for Trouble- The Remus Lupins

5. So Long and Good-bye- Hermione Crookshanks Experience

6. Old Enough to Die- Ministry of Magic

7. On Thestral’s We Ride- The Hermione Crookshanks Experience

8. 99 Death Eaters- Draco and the Malfoys

9. 7 Potters- The Remus Lupins

10. The Mission- Tonks and the Aurors

11. Falling Sidecar- Ministry of Magic

12. O Holey Night- Ministry of Magic

13. My Ear Is Not Here- Gred and Forge

14. The Wedding- The Remus Lupins

15. Fallen- Tonks and the Aurors

16. Goodbye Privet Drive- Ministry of Magic

17. Trio in Trouble- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

18. Ghosts- Split Seven Ways

19. The Letter- Riddle TM

20. The Eye on the Door- Witherwings

21. Ministry of Magic- Ministry of Magic

22. Horcruxes- Harry and the Potters

23. So this is it (take off that locket)- Hermione Crookshanks Experience

24. Don’t Leave- Ministry of Magic
https://youtu.be/qMsjWSLZL7U Acoustic: https://youtu.be/aCNxD_g1OVQ

25. Necessity- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

26. The Hallows- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

27. Cold Wild Yonder- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

28. Godric’s Hollow- Romilda Vane and the Chocolate Cauldrons

29. 16 Years Ago- Riddle TM

30. Greater Good- The Butterbeer Experience

31. There By My Side- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

32. The Peverell Story- The Butterbeer Experience
https://youtu.be/LZFM4gnfEZU (music video with scenes from film)

33. In Which No One Believes What I Say

34. The Radio- Tonks and the Aurors

35. Imprisoned Lightning- The Remus Lupins

36. Penelope- Hermione Crookshanks Experience

37. Dobby- Seen and Unforeseen

38. This Town- Ministry of Magic

39. Fight or Flight- Riddle TM

40. Helena’s Story- The Butterbeer Experience

41. The Diadem- The Butterbeer Experience

42. Family VI (Fiendfyre)- Draco and the Malfoys

43. The Battle of Hogwarts- Kingsley and the Shacklebolts

44. Home- The Remus Lupins

45. The Battle of Hogwarts- Mimbulus Mimbletonia

46. A Brother’s Lament (Demo)- Let’s Lumos

47. Last Sacrifice- Samantha Lin

48. The Prince’s Tale- The Butterbeer Experience ft. Christian Cadeira

49. Open at the Close- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

50. Chapter 34- The Butterbeer Experience

51. Chapter 34- Riddletm

52. Harry Potter Is Dead- Ministry of Magic

53. The End- The Remus Lupins

54. The Flaw In the Plan- Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office

55. Phoenix Lament- Ministry of Magic

56. The Fallen- Danny Dementor

57. Lullaby- The Remus Lupins

58. Teddy’s Lullaby- Let’s Lumos

59. Dear Fred- Kirysten Hippe

60. Fred’s Dead- Gred and Forge

61. We Are Magic- Tonks and the Aurors

62. Family VIII- Draco and the Malfoys

63. Worth Fighting For- Seen and Unforeseen

64. Epilogue- Roonil Wazlib

65. Pépère Lucius- Draco and the Malfoys

66. In Your Shadow- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls
https://youtu.be/pdYxnOz3BK4 (from James Sirius Potter's perspective)

67. Epilogue- Ministry of Magic

68. Bravest Man I Ever Knew- Ministry of Magic

69. Professor Snape- Shane Blair

70. Longbottom Legacy- Ministry of Magic

71. Neville, Neville- Gred and Forge

72. Basically The Man- The Butterbeer Experience

73. Basically the Man Part 2- The Butterbeer Experience

74. Who’s That Puffy Guy- Draco and the Malfoys

75. March of the Death Eaters- Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office

76. End of an Era- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

77. Pep Talk For Harry- Seen and Unforeseen

78. Harry Does- Stephanie and the Quaffles

79. Not the End- Roonil Wazlib

80. For Jo- Riddletm

81. Last Call- Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

82. Phoenix- Riddle TM

83. Sorcerer's Stone- Lily & James
crows, fitheach

Blows off the dust

Hi LiveJournal. I had reason to return and search through you as someone was asking about a ritual I led over 7 years ago. Have edited a number of old entries because goodness I come off as a self-centered snob. Not sure how much that has changed, I hope at least a bit. Here have a picture.

baltic shrine

My kinda sorta Baltic shrine. I think I need to find or make a good representation of Perkunas on the left to balance Saule on the right.

Getting three new chicks in three days, we have 5 laying pullets now. Reading a Dragonfly In Amber, the second book in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. Need a job. And a spiritual outlet. Rowan is doing great in Kindergarten. He is reading quite well and his first tooth is loose.
mystery, demeter

Pagan and Occult themes in Doctor Who

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the first broadcast of Doctor Who. I came to the show rather late, through Netflix in 2009. The husband and I watched all the New Who available there, then caught up with the current series, we fell in love with David Tennant's 10th Doctor and again with Matt Smith's 11th, who is Rowan's Doctor and our family Doctor. We also went back to the Classic Series in between. My husband embraced Classic Who much more enthusiastically than I did. It took me awhile to get used to the slower pacing and yes I realize many older fans dislike the fast pace of the new series. However in the last couple months I've been watching and re-watching episodes furiously and falling in love with all the Doctors.

A week or two ago posted a list of my favorite modern episodes on FB and the other day I sat down to make notes of some of my favorite classics, though I think it will be a long time before I have a true list as there are many more I need to watch, but as I was making my notes I realized a theme in some of my favorites and decided to make a separate list based on that: Doctor Who episodes with a pagan or occult theme. This list is by no means complete and the descriptions are kept short so as not to give away the whole plot. If you are a pagan and Whovian and haven't seen some of these I highly recommend them or if you are a pagan with lots of Whovian friends who are always encouraging to start watching, these might be good episodes to dip your toes into. The modern ones and a few classics are on Netflix, the others may be harder to come by. But if you are interested and don't have access I could ask my husband to burn some discs.

1. The Daemons- The fifth and final story of Season 8 (classic). This is the first Classic story that fully engaged me. It's the Eve of Beltane in the village of Devils End, an archaeological dig of the Bronze Age burial mound of a warrior chieftain, disturbs a demonic (or is it alien?) force. Featuring the Third Doctor and Jo, the Brigadier, a local white witch named Olive Hawthorne (great name!) and the Master posing as a Vicar doing some full on ceremonial magic in the crypt, seriously what could be better?

2. The Brain of Morbius- The fifth story of Season 15 (classic). This one I watched after the "The Night of the Doctor" minisode prequel to the 50th Anniversary Special popped up online and tickled my curiosity of the Sisterhood of Karn. It's Frankenstein vs the Doctor vs the Vestal Virgins aka The Sisterhood of Karn. Science vs religion, but which is the cult? Featuring the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane. Fabulous ceremonial garb and much chanting ensues!

3. The Fires of Pompeii- The second episode of Series 4 (modern). A personal favorite, such a fun yet poignant episode. More priestesses in beautiful red garb! This time its the Sisterhood of the Sibylline, a prestigious cult of soothsayers, but where are they getting their visions from? Featuring the 10th Doctor and Donna with fantastic references to household gods!

4. The Rings of Ahkaten- The eighth episode of Series 7 (or the second episode of the second half of series 7, modern, not yet on Netflix but should be soon) The 11th Doctor takes new companion Clara "some place awesome" at her request, they land on one of a series of planetoids orbiting a larger planet and make their way to a beautiful bustling alien market on the day of a religious festival. Clara gets separated from the Doctor and meets a frightened young girl, Merry Gejelh, The Queen of Years who must sing to the Old God, called Grandfather in front of everyone. And yes, there are beautiful red robes! A gorgeous episode both visually and emotionally.

5. The Aztecs- The sixth story of season 1 (Classic and on Netflix!) A Classic First Doctor episode in all it's beautiful black and white glory! No, I'm serious I probably wouldn't like the costuming, props and setting half as much if it was in color, you'd see how fake they are, but in that glowing silver and white, simply gorgeous! I was wary of watching this one, because of the human sacrifice theme but was pleasantly surprised at what a well balanced story it was. The 1st Doctor and his companions land in an Aztec tomb in the 15th century. When Barbara, an archaeologist, puts on an arm ring an walks out the tomb, the priests mistake her for the reincarnation of the deceased high priest and therefore see her as a god. She and the other companions must keep up this ruse or risk their lives, while looking for a way back in the sealed tomb. I like the complexities of the attitudes toward sacrifice of various priests, warriors and even the Doctor.

6. The Pyramids of Mars- The third story of Season 13 (Classic and also on Netflix!) A very popular classic story featuring the 4th Doctor and Sarah Jane. If you're at all into Egyptology here's a good one for you, though you might find it a bit sparse as I did. Synopsis: "In a Victorian Gothic mansion, strange things are afoot. The master of the house, away in Egypt, has been replaced by a sinister Egyptian. Cloth-wrapped Mummies roam the grounds, killing people. Beneath a pyramid, the last of the Osirians — Sutekh the Destroyer (another name for the god Set) — waits to be freed, to at long last bring his gift of death to all who live."

7. The God Complex- The eleventh episode of Series 6 (modern, on Netflix). The 11th Doctor, Amy and Rory land in what appears to be shining-esque 1980s Earth hotel, but soon find out things are not as they seem as occupants faiths are tested by a Minotaur like creature wandering the labyrinth like halls. This one doesn't speak to my paganism as much as the ones above, but is certainly worthy of a place here for its mythic and modern faith themes.

8. The Shakespeare Code- The second episode of the Series 3 (modern, on Netflix). Feeling a bit witchy? The 10th Doctor and Martha travel to 1599 London and head to the Globe Theater to watch "Love's Labor Lost" but there is witchcraft afoot. Shakespeare flirting, witches and references to JK Rowling abound, very fun!

9. The Time Meddler- The ninth and final story of Season 2 (Classic). Not much to do with spirituality, but if you're feeling a wee bit Vikingy or Saxony, this is quite good story, despite some ridiculous hair and helms. "The Doctor, Vicki, and new companion Steven Taylor arrive in Saxon Northumbria on the eve of the Viking and Norman invasions. It is 1066, a pivotal moment in British history. The hand of a mysterious Monk is at work in the nearby monastery, intending that history takes a different course". This story was the first pseudo-historical: a historical story with science-fiction elements other than the presence of the regular characters and the TARDIS. It is also the first appearance of another Time Lord.

There are plenty of other episodes with spiritual themes or references though I have heard that some people of various faiths begrudge at least the modern series as being anti-religious or feel that faith is dismissed away by science or gods being merely alien beings, my polytheistic world view does not feel at all attacked by the show. Other episodes of interest- The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit (two parter, episodes 8 & 9 of Series 2, modern) deals with The Beast, or the ultimate evil of many planets, who we call Satan. This has nothing to do with my paganism so I didn't list it above, but its worth mentioning. The Pandorica Opens/Big Bang Two (another two parter, this time the season finale of series 5) it takes place at Stonehenge 102 AD with call from Cleopatra and Roman legions that aren't all they appear to be, however I recommend having watched the rest of the season.

The husband and I also listened to a Fourth Doctor audio drama called "The Wrath of the Iceni" featuring Boudica and her rebellion. I'm sure there are other stories with pagan themes in the audios, classic series and maybe even some of the modern that I've missed. Please add any recommendations in the comments below and have a very merry "Day of the Doctor"!
crows, fitheach

Summer Solstice 2013 with Black Bear Grove

It feels so good to type that title. I got to celebrate Midsummer with my first grove again! I arranged a trip to visit the in-laws in northern Indiana to correspond with my mother-in-law’s birthday, the Summer Solstice and be back in time for my husband’s birthday a week later. So the first thing I did a few weeks ago was message Sunny about what the hearth culture and DotO were so I could prepare offerings, maybe write a song and perhaps volunteer for a role. Well it turned out the person who had volunteered to lead Midsummer had suddenly quit the grove and the ritual had fallen into the lap of another member who I chatted with and was excited to potentially have some help. However she has been going through a rough time health wise and while she had planned to lead what sounded like a beautiful Vedic rite, that’s a culture not many in the grove are super familiar with, including myself, and without a strong leader present, it would have been hard to pull off in two weeks.

I resisted the temptation to volunteer to lead a Baltic Summer Solstice, not knowing how new grove members would feel about me stepping in and instead suggested what seemed like a simple solution: going with an A-cultural/Pan-Indo-European rite honoring the Sun/Indo-European Solar deities, giving everyone’s culture equal time and the chance to come together in a sort of grove unity rite. They liked the idea and Koronis, the GO told Sunny and I to run with it. Sunny was a bit stressed after having led Beltane and let me take the reigns on liturgy but offered to lead the planning meeting locally and let us have the rite on her land. I was thrilled to be planning a ritual again and she was happy to have the new/old energy as the Grove was pretty bummed about the recent departure. And we were both very excited to meet each other. Our time in the grove did not overlap, but we have been FB friends for a year or two and our boys are around the same age and both love Tinker Bell. We also talked about making the rite child inclusive, though that didn't pan out so well this time.

So I typed up an outline, some historic background, some suggested songs and posed a few questions giving the local grove members I chance to make some of the liturgical decisions. Well due to life (family illness, technology issues) planning and communication weren’t the most solid, and of course my “simple” solution became more complex, but we all pulled through. The weather hit us with another curve, it was absolutely pouring down rain for several hours leading right up to ritual time. Visibility was so bad I missed the turn for route 45 twice. We were planning on having the rite down near the pond and found a spot that might not be so bad under the trees but when Koronis arrived she suggested we hold it under the car port (which is not as bad as it sounds, it had wooden posts and they were able to build up a nice raised fire). When we went off for our individual grounding and centering I regretted this decision as it was beautiful out in the open air, but it would have set us back at least a half an hour moving everything so I went with the flow. There were a number of other pre-ritual stresses and decisions to make, but I’m rambling too much as it is.


Anywho we gathered together and after Jerry treated firmly with the Outdwellers, Koronis led us in a beautiful Solstice themed Two Powers meditation and attuned us very well to the day, the space and each other. We then processed to the space singing Come We Now as a People, where Sunny asperged us with water blessed by the Midsummer dew, the light of the Solstice Sun, the Moon and the rain. We all knelt to honor the Earth Mother. I feel badly about the lack of communication here, one member was given this role, as he couldn’t be at the planning meeting, he wasn’t informed of it till a couple days before the rite. When I found out I offered to say the part I had written with all the names of the Indo-European Earth Mothers as an introduction and let him lead us in honoring the Earth. What I should have done is given him what I wrote and gone over the pronunciations before the rite, because after I said my part, he was at a loss for words, I had thrown him off and all he could say was “Hail the Earth Mother”. To his credit he led a very eloquent call to the Deities and said everything he probably would said at the beginning when it was time to thank the Earth Mother at the end of the rite. Sorry Steve! Here is what I wrote and said:

“We give honor first and foremost to the Earth our Mother,
She who our ancestors have called:
Gaia, Tellus, Nerthus, Prithivi, Žemyna,
Zemes-mãte, Mati Syra Zemlya, Terra Mater
Ops Mater, Hannahanna, Anu, Danu, Don,
Jörð, Fjörgyn, Perkunatele, Zamin and by many other names”


We then all sang Blossom Lifter:

Earth mother, blossom lifter
Bloom with the wheat,
Bloom with the rye,
Bloom with barley,
And bloom with all grains.

Earth mother, blossom lifter
Bless what we eat,
Bless what we drink,
Bless what we harrow,
and bless what we sow.

Earth mother, blossom lifter
With all these things,
Let us rejoice…
You give to us,
And we give to you.

Koronis again impressed with an awesome invocation of the Proto-Indo-European god of wisdom and inspiration*Xákʷōm Népōt (sometimes called just “Neptonos”), who guards a well of fiery liquid. I had left Bardic Inspiration open to whoever volunteered for it and was nervous when Sunny mentioned Koronis would choose a deity (as I was thinking more of Spirit of Inspiration or the Awen), but Koronis made the perfect choice, I was very glad to a bit of Proto-Indo-European culture present. Cheers to her! I wrote and read the Statement of Purpose:

“We are here to keep the Feast of Midsummer.
To honor the Earth and Sun
To make offerings to the Kindred;
Receiving their blessings in return.
To keep alive the traditions of our Ancestors,
Celebrating the turning of the wheel.
To stand still in the warmth of the sun,
And sway in it’s light.
To dance round the bonfire,
And leap over it for luck.
To bathe our faces in the morning dew,
And bless the herbs we have gathered.
To divine our fate by dreams,
To celebrate light, warmth and fertility,
And to join in fellowship with all who do likewise around the world.”


We all sang The Portal Song to help Establish the Sacred Center/(Re)Create the Cosmos. Sunny led us in a wonderful honoring of The Black Bear as Grove ally and Gatekeeper for this rite. I had suggested she, Koronis and Jerry work together to open the Gates a la three druids with staves which the grove has done in the past. I sent an example but encouraged them to work together on it. It didn’t quite come together words wise, but the motion and energy was there and it was followed by three great unique calls to the Kindred.

We were originally going to have our two boys honor the Nature Spirits, who they had set up a special shrine to with stuffed animals and fairy dolls, but they proved a bit too clingy and talkative at the beginning of the ritual and Sunny’s husband offered to take them on a walk, bless him! They actually were paddle boating on the pond when it came time for their part so Sunny improvised and worked with her little girl Violet to invite the Nature Spirits with kisses to the animals and fairies, it was too cute! Steve and Jerry invited the Shining Ones and Ancestors wonderfully well and the energy was flowing before the main invocation which I led:

“Let us honor the Summer Sun
Without whose light and warmth
Life on this earth would not be possible
We do so this day, remembering the names and relations
Our ancestors ascribed to the Sun

To the Norse she was Sól, sister of Máni,
She who was chosen to drive the Chariot of the Sun
On whose horses (Árvakr and Alsviðr) runes are carved,
Pursued ever across the sky by the ravenous wolf Sköll

To the Anglo-Saxons she was Sunna, sister of Sinthgunt,
Healer of horses, bride of the heavens and delight of elves
She who steers the golden wheeled wagon of the Sun

To the Balts she was Saule, Daughter of Deivas
And Saules-mãte, Mother Sun,
Mother of the Earth, the Stars and all the Planets
She who sails the seas at night in her sun ship
And pauses to dance on the hill on Midsummer morning
Warming her shepherds and orphans

To the Slavs he was Dažbog (DASH-ka-bog), son of Svarog
And father of the Zorya the Morning, Evening
And Midnight Stars who attend him
At beginning and end of his journey
Across the sky, in his brazen chariot

To the Vedic people he was Surya,
Chief of the planets and father of the divine twins
He who drives the chariot of seven horses
Who are the seven colors of the rainbow
And whose temples, festivals and mantras are many

To the Indo-Iranians he was Hvare.khshaeta
(Hvarə.xšaēta) “Radiant Sun”
And later Mithra,
Whose mysteries spread far and wide
And whose birth was celebrated
On the Winter Solstice

To the Hitties she was dUTU URU Arinna,
The Sun Goddess of Arinna, soverign of both sun and earth
Along with the gods UTU Nepisas “The Sun of the Sky”
And UTU Taknas “The Sun of the Earth”

To the Greeks he was Helios,
Golden helmed brother of Eos and Selene
Who drives the chariot of the Sun
And later Apollo, brother of Artemis
God of light, healing, music, poetry and prophecy
Known as Phoebus (fee-bes, “radiant”), Lyceus (ly-see-es, “light”)
Aegletes (a-glee-teez, “light of the sun”) and Helius (he-lee-es, “sun”)

To the Romans he was Sol
Sol Indiges, “the native sun”
Or “the invoked sun”
And later Sol Inviticus,
The Unconquerable Sun

To the Celts the Sun had many faces

To the Gauls he was Belanos,
Bright One, Shining Fire of the Sky
God of healing and purification
Whose feast was Beltane,
The Hinge of Summer

To the Brittans she was Sulis,
Sulis Minerva, whose hot springs
At Bath, Aquae Sulis,
Were the union of fire and water
And drew many pilgrims
Bringing votives and tablets
For healing and curses

To the Gaels she was Aine
And Gráinne- queenly sisters
Of the House of the Sun
Whose feasts were on Midsummers Eve

He was Ogma, son of the Dagda
Sun-Faced God of poetry,
Wisdom and creator of the ogham

Brigh, daughter of the Dagda
Bright fire of the hearth, the forge and of inspiration,
Born at sunrise on the threshold
She of the fiery dwelling and red cattle
Whose warmth brings spring to the land

And Lugh, whose name means light
Lugh of the Long-arm, Lord of All- Skill
He of the shining brow and spear
Whose feast is at the height of summer

Hear us Son and Daughter of the Sky
Hear us Sister, Brother and Lover of the Moon
Hear us Mother of Earth and Father of Planets
Hear us Wife of Storms and Bride of the Heavens
Hear us Mother, Father, Brother of Dawn

We call to you!

Sister, Brother
Mother, Father
Daughter Sun!

Fire of sky and air
Delight of Elves
Shield of the Sky!

Hail the Summer Sun!

Let us now all give praise and offerings to the Sun as we each see fit!”


By the end I certainly felt the air buzzing! Each of the grove members brought praise for the Sun. Jerry honored Lugh and told the story of the Formorians confusion on the morning of battle when his shining face was mistaken for the rising sun. Sunny honored Brigid and told of her hanging her mantle on a beam of sun light. Kornonis honored Helios, Sol Inviticus and Mithra with a Persian invocation, very cool. I sang a song for Saule. We then opened up the offering to the rest of the Kindred. The Green Man, Cernunnos and the bees got praise from everyone with a bottle of mead passed around. Sunny was very sweet to raise a toast to me and finished by toasting the grove. We then lit the Sun Ship (a candle inside a large coconut) a set it to sail the pond while the Sun began her nightly journey. I sang two Lithuanian hymns to the Sun as we processed down to the pond. The Omen was taken by Koronis from Animal Wise Tarot: “From Nature Spirits comes unexpected magic & energy; from Ancestors comes creativity & skill; from Deities comes blessings & magic afoot. A great omen!”


I taught the Black Bears the bright version of Pour the Waters with the additional two verses, that I’m so glad I learned from Stone Creed (all we needed was Ian drumming), but it was much more spritely than the dirge everyone dreads. There were personal workings and as the fire was raised a bit high and mostly was too wide with cinder blocks and an iron circle, we decided not to risk scraped faces and knees and skipped jumping the fire and instead did an impomptu dance around the fire where slowly everyone stretched an arm inward and we became a sort of wheel while I led us in another Lithuanian song about the Sun. Before the Gates were closed the boys came back to thank the Nature Spirits and sing a song for the Sun. All the spirits were thanked and the rite came to a joyful end.


Cheese, more mead and beer were had, vegan hot dogs and marshmallows were roasted for s’mores and there was good fellowship. Rowan kept wanting to run into the house and was asking for attention so I didn’t get to share the other traditional songs I wanted to. Oh well it can wait for another campfire. Do I wish there had been more co-ordination and that my part was less script heavy? Yes, but for less than two weeks planning, I think we kept the Solstice very well. That night a went to bed with a genuine natural smile on my face. I am very grateful to Sunny and her family’s hospitality. We had a great breakfast of pancakes and eggs from her chickens the next morning. So glad to meet a new sister and reconnect with my fellow Black Bears, new and old. Ann and Adam were very much missed but we thank them for starting it all. Hail Black Bear Grove!

virtues, integrity, courage, warrior, perseverance

Morning prayer

Based off Sigrdrifa's prayer.  This certainly has a Norse flavor but I had to reconcile it with my Baltic cosmological outlook, thus the Sun and her daughters (the stars and all the planets including the earth) and also be inclusive of my Gaelic hearth.  I do intend to craft an evening prayer that mentions "Night and her daughter" (in Norse cosmology Jord: the Earth and mother of Thor) as the original prayer does and the moon to which I personally assign no gender.  I did some substitution with the virtues as it wasn't flowing.  Fertility is replaced with Bounty, Moderation with Balance, Integrity with Honor and Perseverance with Strength.  The threshold is both literal and metaphorical.  I use the royal "we" as I am saying it on behalf of my household.  I also want to write a standard meal blessing.

Hail to the Day! Hail to the sons of Day!

To the Sun and her daughters hail!

Hail to the bounteous Earth!

Hail to the Gods! Hail to the Goddesses!

To our Forefathers and Mothers hail!

Hail to the Land and the Landwights!

To our Housewights and Hearth Goddess hail!

May the Kindred bless us and look upon us with kind eyes.

We pray you grant us wisdom, courage and bounty.

Vision, strength and balance bestow upon us.

May we live with honor and piety,

And extend hospitality to all who cross our threshold!

mystery, demeter

Silver Falls Saturnalia

This seems like a long time ago, but with two other rituals, the holidays and the whole family getting the flu, ritual reviews haven’t been a high priority.   This was my second Saturnalia, a recap of my first Saturnalia three years ago, can be found here: http://cedarravenna.livejournal.com/2007/12/19/

Drake lead a lovely Roman rite, his piety and devotion to his hearth culture showed.  I volunteered to honor Vesta but was beaten to the punch by Manda, so instead took the Numinae et Indigites or Nature Spirits.  I love the Roman worldview of Spirits of Place.  From the pantry to the crossroads the ancients saw their world full of spirits.  I wanted to reflect this in my welcoming of them and used only the beginning of end of the prayer provided.  Here is what I came up with:

The Children of the Earth call out to the Spirits of this World
Salvete, Numinae et Indigites!  (sal-WET-ay NOOM-in-I et in-di-GEE-tays)
Spirits of the Land we offer you welcome:
Spirits of the fields and pastures, of orchard and vineyard
Spirits of forests and meadows, of stone and stream
Spirits of the boundaries and crossroads, of flora and fauna
Spirits of our homes and storerooms, of stable and barn
Spirits of our city and state, of fountain and plaza
Spirits of this building and the community gathered here in,
Spirits of place we offer you welcome
Come to our hearth, meet us at the boundary,
Guide us and ward us as we walk the elder ways. (sacrifice Birdseed)
Numinae et Indigites, accept our sacrifice!

I also wrote a song for the occasion that Drake requested I perform for the main praise offering.  I led the folk in the chorus while singing the three (really two) verses, I wish I had come up with a real third verse perhaps mentioning Janus, but I am quite pleased with the tune.  It provided a playful moment in a rather solemn ritual (my only complaint).  I should have recorded it for Tribeways, but there is always next year.

The cries of “Io!” resound
Saturn’s statue now unbound
The best of days, the Golden Age
Joy and merriment abound

Io! Io! Io Saturnalia!
Io!  Io!  Io!  Saturnalia!

For prior to King Saturn’s reign
No vineyards were there and the fields were plain
Then a stranger arrived on a golden ship
And  taught the folk to sow the grain!

Io! Io! Io Saturnalia!
Io!  Io!  Io!  Saturnalia!

The cries of “Io!” resound
Saturn’s statue now unbound
The best of days, the Golden Age
Saturn’s many gifts abound!

Io! Io! Io Saturnalia!
Io!  Io!  Io!  Saturnalia!

norse, ash

Silver Falls Winternights

I had the wonderful opportunity to help write and lead ritual this weekend.  I have been attending high days with Silver Falls Grove in Akron, Ohio on and off for a little over a year and a half.  They are the grove closest to us and have made me feel very welcome.  A month ago I attended my first meeting where among other things Amanda mentioned planning Winternights, a Norse rite in honor of the Alfar and Disir, our forefathers and mothers.  I expressed interest in helping with a portion of the rite, having recently written a Norse Harvest Home for a local eclectic pagan group which never got to manifest.  I wanted to focus particularly on the Establishing of the Sacred Center, tweaking a three part address I wrote for my first Norse ritual, Yule 2006 with Black Bear Grove.  http://cedarravenna.livejournal.com/1730.html 

Performing this ritual act is one of my fondest memories of ritual and I have wanted to relive it ever since.  I felt beautiful, wise, and powerful describing this bit of Norse cosmology.  Most of my inspiration came from Voluspa, the Prophesy of the Volva (Norse seeress), relating the creation and end of the worlds to Odin.  Other bits were borrowed from other grove’s liturgy.  So it was to the Voluspa that I turned for inspiration in tweaking the roles and writing an entirely new section- Honoring the Nine Realms.  This time though I did not picture doing this alone.  With three hallows I wanted three women, each honoring three realms and opening the Gates together.    I have witnessed a handful of beautiful gate openings.  One involved three druids (black bears) bringing three staves together then doing a fancy move to create a triangle.  Others have been at Summerland and Three Cranes Rites with the folk chanting “Open the gates, open the gates, open the gates…” it always gives me chills.  The Gate Opening at Isaac’s Memorial was particularly stirring, the priests of Whispering Lakes Grove did an excellent job.  I wanted to emulate all of that.  Fore the opening on the Gates is not always a powerful moment for me in ritual.  I only recall doing it twice.  Once was during my silent Samhain, where I preformed a sword dance for the Morrigan.  The second time was at an Imbolc where I wrote a chant for the Black Bear relevant to the season and the realms, but the actual magical act was lacking and the gate closing was an afterthought.  I wanted to step up my game, I wanted everyone to feel it.

This would take a lot of coordination with the other two ladies and it is here where I feel I failed.  Manda and I got together for an initial planning meeting after exchanging a number of emails talking about what she pictured for each of the steps.  We decided on an Earth Mother (there is more than one option in Germanic cultures), a deity for Bardic Inspiration and a Gatekeeper, I felt it important that she get her choices as it was her ritual and I wanted it to maintain her vision, even though she told me I could run with it.  They were mostly the same choices I would have made.  So we established our initial outline up to the opening of the gates, the rest I left to her (this will be relevant later). 

We weren’t able to get together with Kc until a week before the rite and the inspiration for the parts I wanted to focus on was trickling in slowly until that day.  I began writing frantically that morning, during the meeting, later than night and the next few days, e-mailing last minute changes.  While this was exciting for me, it was less than desirable for working ladies with a lot on their plates.  However they had indicated they were going to read from scripts not having time for memorization of being comfortable with ad libbing or speaking from he heart (in ritual in general).  I value memorization as a form of devotion but I’m sure it was much easier for me having wrote the words.  I would have liked to have got together that week to practice, but schedules didn’t allow for it, so we had to leave it to before the rite, at which point we just went over the logistics, not the words.    I was thrown a few loops the day of.  Manda forgot her outline for the ritual.  She was going to lead it since it was her vision and her grove but since I remembered the order (up until inviting the Kindred) and was comfortable with ad libbing, I agreed to take over.  Kc forgot she was honoring Nerthus (a role that was originally going to be done by someone who couldn’t attend) and didn’t have anything printed off.  I volunteered to take that as well, though soon found myself freaking out and trying to find someone else, I didn’t.  So there I was leading a rite for another grove, with a new role at the very beginning which I feared my throw off my confidence.  Thankfully it didn’t.  Jamie agreed to lead the pre-ritual briefing for the new comers which was a relief. 

I led the folk in honoring Nerthus and processing inside to the tune of “We Approach the Sacred Grove”.  Midway through I realized I didn’t give her an offering and grabbed an apple I’d brought and took it back outside for her.  It shook me a bit but I leaned on my staff for strength and Jamie’s address to the Outdwellers, his Hammer Rite, Emerald’s beautiful call to Odin for inspiration and Nick’s Two Powers attunement not only centered my mind but each brought waves of energy into my staff.  I could feel it coursing through the wood and with that strength I led the folk.

Manda began addressing the Fire while Kc and I knelt at the hearth feeding it wood, oil and herbs.  I described Yggdrasil, the World Tree, while the others censed and asperged the ritual tree.  Kc paid homage to the three wells beneath Yggdrasil while Manda offered silver and I poured water three times.  We then moved behind the altar to the light the nine candles for each of the realms.  Poor Kc was so nervous she forgot we had a votive lit and taper to transfer the flame and fumbled for her lighter.  This was the one part I had written down for myself, but I didn’t have to look at my notes.  When the arch of candles were all lit we moved back in front of the folk.  I called out to Heimdall, Kc continued describing him and Manda gave him honor and offering.  I then asked him to “merge his magic with ours” and led the folk in chanting.  Instead of a fancy triangle move we each pounded our staves three times as we asked the Fire and Well to open as gates and the Tree to span the Nine Realms.  We drew our staves together and flung them apart as we said “May the Gates be open!    I prepared a bit the night before as a cue to the folk that we were now open to the worlds and transition to honoring the Kindred.  It went well, but this is where things started to get fuzzy for me as a ritual leader.  I had to choose the order of the Kindred though I let Manda and Jamie work out who would go first for calling the Alfar and Disir.  I led the folk in singing “Mothers and Fathers of Old” and making offerings.  Jamie leaned over to ask when I wanted to do the Book of the Dead.  There were things I hadn’t prepared for, they were things I didn’t think I would have to prepare.  Anna Gail called out to the Norns to aid her in the omen, which were good.  I was so not prepared to lead the Waters of Life.  I didn’t know vessels to grab and when I got the correct water goblet I walked over to the first person to offer it… before calling down the blessing.  A subtle psst from Jamie brought me back to the center and thankfully, he led the Hallowing of the Waters.  We decided to sing “Pour the Waters” at the last minute and I continued to feel like a noob until Manda mentioned to me that Kc was in the bathroom with a nosebleed, I started to head out when I saw Rowan clinging to his grandma on the verge of tears.

I had invited my mom and sister to the ritual since it was my birthday weekend and I didn’t have time to do anything special.  My sister and her boyfriend declined but my mom came with my husband, Rowan and two acquaintances who needed a ride.  Rowan fell asleep in the car ten minutes before they arrived.  My mom decided to stay in the car with him rather than wake him up.  They came in during the Waters it seems so I held him and nursed him and Jamie took over the rite.  Thank the gods, I am not the person to read the Grove’s Book of the Dead and the other workings were officer oaths and giving Jamie a gift for serving as Senior Druid.  I wasn’t needed until the gate closing at which point, I straightened my apron, scooped up the boy, grabbed my staff and the little goat stick I brought for him (amazingly not with this purpose in mind) and headed back to the center.  I asked Manda to thank Heimdall and led the gate closing I had worked out in the wee hours of the morning (not an after thought though!).  The gates were closed with Rowan’s help, we pounded our staves nine times (stolen from Emerald at the Warriors’ Sumble) and all were thanked.

I felt good about my parts, at least the ones I’d planned.  Jay said I didn’t have Jamie’s presence, which I don’t disagree with but he also said a lot of very rude things I’d rather not repeat.  My husband has a very hard time giving me compliments. I felt amazing at times and I hope the folk felt something too.  I think the ritual could have benefitted from a one round sumble to the Ancestors, but I was too focused on my section of the liturgy, which I am still very proud of will include below (note that I am Druid 2).  Next time I’m just going to volunteer for a part and not ask others to act out my visions.  Crazy over-elaborate liturgist.    Norn    Establishing the Sacred Center</b>

“Muspel, Primeval Fire, Spark of Creation,                 (Druid 1)                            
Fire of Sacrifice, through our offerings
Become for us a gate to the Aesir, the mighty gods.
May your sweet rising smoke reach their halls,
And may we pray with a good fire".
(Druids 2 and 3 make offerings to the fire)

"An Ash stands, I know by the name of Yggdrasil.                                                (Druid 2)
Three are the roots, that run three ways,
One harbors Hel, another frost giants,
Mortals seek shelter beneath the third.
Serpent below, eagle above, squirrel chattering in between.
May your roots and branches span the Nine Realms."
(Druids 1 and 3 cense and asperg the tree)

"Three Wells are there that feed Yggdrasil.                                                            (Druid 3)
Urdarbrunnr, Well of the Wyrd, Well of Fate.
Mimisbrunnr, Mimir's Well, Well of Wisdom.
And Hvergelmir, the Roaring Kettle, Well of the Underworld
May our voices be carried to the dwelling places of our ancestors"
(Druids 1 and 2 pour water three times and offer silver to well)

Honoring the Nine Realms

“Nine Worlds I know, Nine Realms fill the branches of the glorious Ash    (Druid 3)

To the south lies Muspelheim, Primeval Land of Fire,   (light candle to far L)
Home of the Fire Giants and Surt- Freyr's foe.
To the north, Niflheim, Primordial Land of Ice,              (light candle to far R)
Home of the Frost Giants and Source of Many Rivers.
Through their mists and merging was made Midgard,   (lights central candle)
Middle-earth, Home of Mortal Men and Landwights”.

“Above us shines Alfheim, Land of the Light Elves,  (D2, 3rd candle from L)
There lies the Halls of Frey and our beloved Alfar.
Below us in darkness is Svartalfheim, Land of the Dark Elves,   (3rd from R)
Great forgers of treasure, the Dwarves who dwell deep in the earth.
Across rivers and mountains lies Jotunheim, Land of the Jotunns.  (2nd from L)
Great Giants, strong as stone, the first children of the first being”. 

“In the secret mounds of the earth lies Vanaheim, Land of the Vanir,  (D1, L of center)
Elder Gods of Wisdom, Vision and Fertility.
At Bifrost’s height spans Asgard, Land of the Aesir and Asynjur,  (R of center)
Gods and Goddesses of Might and Skill and the Home of Heroes.
And Beneath the deepest root of Yggdrasil is Helheim, Hel’s Realm  (2nd on R)
Where lies the Halls of the Dead and our beloved Disir”
(Candles from left to right are: Muspelheim, Jotunheim, Alfheim, Vanaheim, Midgard, Asgard, Svartalfheim, Helheim and Niflheim.)

Honoring Heimdall

Warder of Asgard, Heimdall, we hail you!                                                        (Druid 2)
Son of Nine Mothers, Father of mankind
You who can hear a single leaf fall                                                                    (Druid 3)
And the wool growing on sheep
You who blow the horn to signal the end of days
White God, Guardian of beautiful Bifrost                                                         (Druid 1)
Here we give you proper honor,
That you may carry our calling to the halls of the Aesir
And carry our prayers to our beloved dead. (Druid 1 makes an offering to Heimdall).
Heimdall, accept our offering!                                                          (Druid 1 and Folk)
Heimdall, merge now you magic with ours                                        (Druid 2)
That we may open the Gates between the worlds

Opening the Gates

Druid 2 leads the Folk to chant “Open the gates, open the gates, open the gates…”
“May the fire open as a gate!”                            (Druid 1 pounds staff three times)
“May the well open as gate!”                             (Druid 3 pounds staff three times)
“May the tree span the Nine Realms!”               (Druid 3 pounds staff three times)
“Heimdall may the gates be open!”                    (Druid 3)
“May the gates be open!” *                                 (All with Folk)

(Druid 2 addresses the Folk saying):
"Children of Heimdall, we stand at the center of all worlds, beneath the boughs of Yggdrasil, with the wells of fate, wisdom and memory before us ready to receive our prayers to our beloved dead and Bifrost the rainbow bridge, all aflame rises from our fire to the halls of our gods.  Let us welcome the three Kindred".

Thanking Heimdall and Closing the Gates

(Druid 1 thanks Heimdall)
"Heimdall we thank you!" (All)
"Heimdall we ask you once more to merge your magic with ours that we may close the gates between worlds".  (Druid 2)

Druid 2 leads the folk in chanting: "Close the gates, close the gates, close the gates..."
"May the fire be but flame"                             (Druid 1)
"May the well be but water"                            (Druid 3)
"May the world tree be but wood”                  (Druid 2)
“Heimdall may the gates be closed!" *            (Druid 2)
"May the gates be closed!"                               (All with Folk)
D1, 2 and 3 pound staves nine times in unison.
* Staves are brought together and pulled apart for the gate opening and start apart and are brought together for the closing.
horse, sovereignty, rhiannon

Three Cranes Autumn Equinox

This Sunday I drove down to Columbus to attend Three Cranes Grove's ninth Autumnal Equinox. I've wanted to attend one of their Gaulish rites for some time and this was certainly a special one for the grove. Despite feeling various forms of ick and oww throughout the weekend, I felt it was an oppurtunity I would regret missing.

I should have left Rowan with grandma and let Jay pick him up after work, but when I heard that Missy was bringing her minions and saw that Rowan had already fallen asleep in the car (added to the knowledge that Jay was reluctant to watch him that late) I decided it would be fine.  And it was fine, for the first part of the rite. Rowan sat very quietly with me, leaning against my chest, his head underneath my chin. He didn't even ask to nurse until after the gates were open and he did so very briefly. It was the individual offerings to the Kindred that did it. We got up to pour our libation and after that he wanted to take off toward the playground.

Oh the playground, having one in such close proximity to the ritual space was a blessing and a curse. Other parents could leave their kids to play under minor supervision of other adults, but not at Rowan's age. And there was no going back to ritual after he left, except for receiving the blessing, poured into Rowan's sippy cup.

I got to hear bits and pieces of folks' gratefulness to Teututes leading them to the grove and shaping their lives (I missed the main invocation) of oaths being sworn and awards announced. I was literally an outsider to every part of the rite that was Crane-centric and perhaps that was as it should be. It was another grove's home coming rite that I was honored to be at, but I didn't feel a part of this one like I did at Silver Falls. Even though I was welcomed very warmly by the grove leaders and many of the Cranes I knew from festivals.

That being said it was a lovely rite and I did take away some things. There was a lot of focus on attunement and it was the first time I've seen the Two Powers flow into the Establishing of the Sacred Center so naturally and not just feel like another step along the way that we need to get to the Opening of the Gates. For all that tight energy and magic it was balanced by a personal focus on the tribe. And though I missed most of that and left feeling disappointed because of it, I don't know what I would have gotten out of it if I had sat there the whole rite without Rowan. Probably an affirmation that the Cranes are awesome and a feeling of general happiness for them, which I walked away with anyway. It won't be the last 3CG rite I attend but it will probably be the last I take Rowan to alone, at least for a few years.
autumn, pomegranates

Harvest Home with Silver Falls Grove

Last Sunday I attended Silver Falls Grove’s Harvest Home rite. I immediately felt welcome as I was met with compliments, hugs and inqueries about Rowan. The two guests that I had invited from Practicing Pagans (a “Celtic Shaman” and her husband) had arrived before me and were fitting right in. I believe we were the only non-Grove members at this rather important rite for the Grove. Not only was it their two year anniversary and a traditional “home coming” from a busy summer, but the ritual working was a “re-forging of the Grove” after some inner turmoil I am not so privy to.

Appropriately, the patron for the rite was Goibniu, smith god of the Tuatha de Dannan and one of the Tri de Dana. I had never worked with this deity, as my matron Brig inspires my creativity in both poetry and art. She is sometimes attributed as the mother of the Tri de Dana and was called on for Bardic Inspiration in this rite.

After the processional, honoring the Earth Mother, treating with the Outdwellers and asking for inspiration, Drake led another wonderful Two Powers attunement (he had done a beautiful Hellenic oriented attunement at their Spring Equinox). The Sacred Center was established with the Portal Song and Jamie called on Cu Sidhe, or Dark Hound (not a literal translation) to help open the gates between the worlds. This felt very appropriate as we were about to enter the dark half of the year. I like Manannan as a gatekeeper especially during the summer months but enjoyed having Cu Sidhe guide us again (he was called upon at their last Samhain).

Earlier that week, through the Grove’s email list, I volunteered to invite the Deities. In Black Bear we usually leave the calling of the Kindred’s to volunteers the day of, during the pre-ritual briefing. However I have been wanting to develop more of a liturgical language with the Kindred (most of my work at home has been silent, having felt awkward speaking “alone” at my home shrine; it’s something I wish to change). I welcomed the Deities at Stone Creed’s Lughnassadh, with little time to prepare (with the games). Inspiration came through but did not write it down afterward. Some of it is certainly reflected in this prayer as both rites were with the Gaelic hearth culture and focused on gods of skill (it is said of the Tuatha de Dannan that those who had a skill were gods and those that did not, were not). So I had the Tuatha de Dannan in mind while including all gods of all cultures. I was also inspired by Kirk’s call to the Shining ones at Isaac’s Memorial Service, focusing gods of the three realms. This is what I came up with on the drive to the ritual:

The Children of the Earth call out to the Gods and Goddesses,
Gods of the Tribe,
Gods of our Ancestors,
Gods of this Land,
Matrons and Patrons of those gathered here,
Deities known and unknown,
You, who walk this land beside us, ensuring it’s fertility
You, who shine down from the heavens above us, maintaining order
And You, who dwell in the Underworld beneath us, who receive our dead
Gods of wisdom, might and skill
Come join us at our fire during this time of balance and bounty and accept our offering!

I usually don’t care for it when the folk are addressed as “Children of the Earth”, but I could not think of a more appropriate opening and knew it was part of Jamie’s ritual vocabulary, so it would fit in. However I did not get the memo that this was a more casual rite. The other two people that invited the Kindred were more simple and direct and here was the self proclaimed “backwoods druid” getting all high churchy. Oh well, I think the deities got the invite. Jamie called on Goibniu and everyone gathered at the fire to make their offerings in reverance. The omen was taken and the blessing received. Then came time for the working. Each grove member and guest (if they wished) approached the altar and hit hammer to anvil three times. Once for what they have loved about the grove, once for what they have not and once for what they wish to see in the future.

Now I don’t know why my guests chose to participate it being their first rite but I felt very compelled to be a part of this reforging. I have watched this grove grow in the last year and half and though I am now aware with the conflict that may have transpired as of late, I want to see them succeed more than ever. After trying out the local eclectic pagan scene for awhile, I craved community with those that speak the same cosmological language that I do. Silver Falls is the closest and easiest grove to get to and after this rite, it feels like home.

I enjoyed the food and fellowship that followed but had to get home to my family. The next day I emailed my friend Paet to ask what she and her husband thought, knowing that what she calls “Celtic Shamanism” is a mix of Wicca and Irish Catholicism. She had this to say:
“Jim and I both had a wonderful time. I loved the ritual. It was the first one that I’ve been to that seemed “real”. Somehow I felt that I had done this type of thing many times before. Really didn’t feel like an outsider at all. Very odd. But then everyone I’ve met since joining PP and now visiting this group – I feel like I’ve met all of you before.
Thanks for letting me know about this group. Too far to visit too often – but they are very nice and welcoming people”.

Well done Silver Falls, well done!