We woke up early and donned our garb. For some, it was as simple as a Dungeons & Dragons t-shirt or a whimsical dress. For others, it meant highland kilts, pouches, and bodices. Some of us even wore masks. We met at the designated place – the beautiful Thompson Park in Watertown, NY. The day was hot, but the hospitable trees blessed us with shade, and a cooling breeze offered frequent relief. We set up our tents – one to share information about Druidism, ADF, and our protogrove; the other to serve as a temporary Earth Mother shrine. At the base of one of our neighbor trees, we set up several fairy looms for children and young-at-heart to play with. A variety of yarn, pipe cleaners, and natural objects were supplied for guests to contribute to the looms as offerings to the Good Folk. We will take them to the Kripalu Yoga Center and display them in the fairy garden there for all to enjoy.
Many curious visitors and old friends stopped by to learn, to share, and to pay honor to the Earth Mother. Several people seemed very interested in our group and what we do. Perhaps we will see them at one of our upcoming rituals?
Many of us enjoyed the various events of the FAE Fest. There were several vendors selling handmade goods such as soap, incense, jewelry, fairy houses, and fantasy-themed prints. Visitors could gain insight into their lives by visiting one of the seers, or receive some holistic healing. There was also a lot of fantastic entertainment in the form of musicians, singers, belly dancers, and kid-friendly activities. At the center of the day was Watertown’s Chalice Circle CUUPs’ harvest ritual. Several Northern Rivers members took part. Everyone was asked to welcome a Goddess to the ritual, and it was interesting how many of us called to Brighid in her various names! She has quite a following in the North Country. Energy was raised and gratitude was given for the harvest.
Northern Rivers was asked to perform a closing ceremony for the festival. We prepared a simple liturgy based on the end of our usual rituals. We processed in with song, established a group focus by inviting everyone to heartily shout their enjoyment for the day, then brought guests’ attention to the Three Hallows we brought to the center with us. The group decided to use this as a teaching opportunity, too. This was accomplished through simply explaining the symbolism of the Three Hallows as we guided the ritual participants to focus on the inspiration, wisdom, and abundance received throughout the day. While doing this, some of Northern Rivers’ members stepped forward to give thanks to each of the Kindreds, eloquently speaking from the heart, before finally thanking the Earth Mother. We sang some of our favorite chants after each statement of gratitude, and were joined by one of Muin Mound Grove’s visiting bards, which was such a blessing. We closed the rite, sending any lingering, excess energy to the sky and earth – basically a reverse Two Powers meditation. We then proclaimed peace in the name of the Three Kindreds, Three Hallows, and Three Realms before processing out of the circle with more song.
It seems that our ritual made a very good impression on several visitors. We received many compliments, and we realized how much we have grown, and that we have a reason to feel proud of ourselves. Brighid’s fire glows strong in us. We have grown in our skills of liturgy, story telling, singing, and magic. May we continue to grow, and may we continue to bring Brighid and the other Kindreds honor!