Grove members got together for a retreat over the past weekend to deepen our fellowship and spirituality.
On Thursday night we established our central hearth in the dining hall. We went around the circle and took turns improvising the invocations. We each made offerings to our individual patrons and to the hearth goddesses of the grove. After the rite, we burned the offerings in the outside fire ring with additional oil offerings and dedicated that fire to s’mores and fellowship.
Our omens for this rite were good, though the rune Hagol had us thinking. In retrospect, this probably refers to the shake-up of our plans due to weather on Friday followed by the new things we found to do instead.
It rained non-stop on Friday, squashing plans to go hiking and do some trail clean-up. We mostly hung out in the hall reading, crafting, taking turns relaxing on the bio mat, chatting and snacking. Naps were also taken. After dinner we held a ritual dedicated to our spirits of inspiration-beings who not only inspire our hearts and minds but also help us find the initiative to put thoughts into action. We decided to sing all of the parts of the rite and invocations since we had song sheets with us. After the Kindreds invocations, we each made offerings to our personal Beings of Inspiration. The omen was good, encouraging us to push ourselves outward, make sure we are prepared and to remember that life is cyclical, if we feel stuck now, the wheel will turn and help us unstick!
Saturday was our busy day! Diane W gave us a tie-dye tutorial and we spent the morning with dye buckets creating our own wearable art. In the afternoon, Diane W and Diane D led a rite dedicated to Manannan Mac Lir. The omen was good. Manannan sends his mists of protection around us a thank you for again honoring him. He would like more… not more offerings at this rite, but more acknowledgement from us in the future.
After dinner, we got to sample the sassafras tea Earrach made on site. It was the first time most of us had a chance to taste it!
Thursday and Saturday nights we hung out around the fire, making s’mores, mountain pies, roasting peeps and Twinkies and chatting. We had a good balance of programming and downtime, and plenty of space to work on personal projects and relax.