Our First Ritual as Northern Rivers Protogrove – Imbolc 2013

We gathered at the Kripalu Yoga and Wellness Center in Adams, NY. Due to the weather, we decided to move everything indoors.  Although we love celebrating the High Days outside, it just felt right to go in.  Brighid’s warmth was definitely appreciated amidst a lake effect snow storm!  As always, members were on hand to help set up.  The more we work together, the easier this process becomes. We got everything prepared, including our lovely altar for Brighid!  Those attending brought objects that remind them of Brighid or some of her aspects such as motherhood, fire, Ireland, inspiration, etc.  Despite the old quip about “Pagan standard time,” I’m proud to say we began our pre-ritual briefing and ritual  on time give or take a couple minutes! The ritual went well, although Tara and I were suffering from the giggles at the beginning!  I don’t know why.  I think we were just giddy to be together!  We added more songs to our liturgy this time.  The more we learn, the better our rituals flow.  I look forward to one day having an actual bard in the group to help us with song selection and leading the chants.  That said, we do have a bag piper who I hope to cajole into leading a processional one of these days… Mwahaha!  I’m doing the best I can but it doesn’t come natural to me!  All the same, I think everyone agreed that the rite went well.  Brighid’s presence was known and it’s very apparent that she’s a special Goddess to our little tribe.  Photo by Weretoad, 2013.
Of course, no High Day is complete without a potluck!  Imbolc was another small ritual.  Not everyone could make it because of the weather or illness.  Some folks showed up  after ritual for the workshop  – but it’s quality over quantity!  The food  was excellent.  Hubby and I brought rice and beans, Tara brought a  delicious veggie curry, John made yummy and healthy chocolate chip cookies, and Cassandra and her husband brought braided bread.  We also had apple cider, chocolate kisses, and half moon cookies to celebrate our Protogrove status!  Huzzah!  Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013.
A close up of Cassandra’s braided Imbolc bread.  Photo by Weretoad, 2013.
No Imbolc is complete without a few dairy products!  Photo by Weretoad, 2013.
While we ate and made Brighid crosses, we left the candles glowing in honor of the Goddess.  Several members brought candles with them in order to take Brighid’s sacred flame home for their altars.  Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013.
I lead a workshop on the tradition of Brighid crosses.  Everyone got a chance to make one out of pipe cleaners.  This Lughnasadh, I plan to harvest some of the tall grasses in the field to save for next Imbolc.  It just isn’t the same without natural fiber in my opinion.  I’m sure we can come up with a clean way to soak and fold them at the Yoga Center!  Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013.
Weretoad loves making Brighid crosses so much that he made two!   I think they’ll look nice in our baby’s nursery!  Photo by Weretoad, 2013.
Everyone’s Brighid crosses on display!    Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013.

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve had another successful ritual.  Our little group continues to grow and mature.  Each of us feels the bonds growing stronger and we look forward to another year of lovely rituals to honor the Kindreds here in the North Country!

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