Posts Tagged ‘equinox’

Hollow Hills Spring Equinox Ritual 2011

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Hollow Hills Grove held their Spring Equinox ritual on Sunday 27th March in honour of Ostara.

Held outside, with warm, spring-like weather gracing our ritual, we began with offerings of oats to the Earth Mother and mead to Wodanaz, anglo-saxon god of poetry.

Outsiders were gifted ale in return for non-interference of our workings, and the sacred fire, well and tree were given incense, a crystal and cider respectively.

Our chosen gatekeeper was Heimdall, dweller at the Rainbow Bridge, who was offered mead, and next the three kindreds were welcomed in and given seeds and mead.

Ostara, our chosen deity of the occasion, was also offered mead, and during our personal offerings she was given chocolate rabbits (in lieu of finding chocolate hares!) as a token symbol of her leporid companion.

The Druid Oracle was used for our interpretive omen and the following cards were drawn:

Nature spirits: Adder – named Nathair, representing transformation, healing and life energy. Druids sometimes called the adder, Nathar, and in Ireland it was thought that the term “snakes” referred to the indigenous Pagan inhabitants, whom St Patrick converted to Christianity, thus “driving out the snakes from Ireland”. Snakes are totems of the earth goddess and sky god.

Ancestors: Salmon – named Bradan, the salmon represents knowledge, wisdom and inspiration. The salmon was regarded as very sacred and teaches us to recapitulate our lives to find wisdom with an attitude of openness and innocence, rather than with strong-headed determination.

Pantheon: Fire Dragon – named Draig-tein, the fire dragon represents transmutation, mastery and energy. The fire dragon brings us vitality, enthusiasm and courage – fuelling the inner fire to accomplish tasks.

After sharing the waters of life, our magical working was the dying of eggs. Eggs represent new life, as heralded by the coming of Spring, with the vibrant colours reflecting the new, fresh blooms becoming evident around us after a long period of dark, grey, brown stillness.

Our magical eggs.

Our Spring Equinox altar.

Autumn Equinox 2010

Monday, October 4th, 2010

On 26th September, members of Hollow Hills celebrated the Autumn Equinox with a ritual dedicated to the Greek goddess, Demeter.

Demeter is the goddess of the harvest, who presides over grains and fertility of the earth  and the seasons.  Demeter and her daughter Persephone are central figures in the Eleusinian Mysteries (secret initiation ceremonies held annually at Eleusis in ancient Greece and regarded as a major festival during the Hellenic era).

The celebration of the Autumn Equinox is a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of deities during the winter months.

Offerings of food and drink featured heavily in this ritual, with gifts of honey, bread, fruits and wine being given, and of course the throwing of barley at the altar by all members simultaneously.  Always a fun part of Greek rituals!

We cast for two omens using “astragali” (knuckle bones) and a corresponding omen table: the first omen received gave us the message “There are no crops to be reaped that were not sewn” and the second, “You will go more easily if you wait a short time”.

The first seems to be guiding us to think about what foundations are we laying, either in our personal lives or as a grove, that will give us our desired outcomes? Are we reaping what we sow?

The second seemed to be advising us to employ a degree of patience and forethought in our actions, rather than rushing headlong into something, but also that waiting too long may produce reckless actions.

Our ritual ended with a thanking of deities and other-worldly entities that had been invited and honoured, and we then returned inside for our feast just as the heavens opened and a torrential downpour began – it seems the gods were benevolent in holding off the rain until the formal work was over. A positive omen in itself, perhaps? 🙂

Hollow Hills Autumn Equinox Ritual Altar 2010