Solstice Eve Ritual
So for the 4th day of Heliogenna, I ask Demeter to visit her daughter to see for herself how she fares and when she returns to bring back Helios who has been away for too long. This is the first part of my High Ritual. This year the candle is in a yule log (the portion removed from the base of my Solstice tree). Being that I was ill yesterday and today is Thursday, I also honored the Khthonic Gods, ancestors and Zeus.
My tweaked High Ritual template has parts in it form the Solitary Druid Fellowship liturgy. When I read the “Initiating the Rite” and the added bit to the Purification, I got chills. The Kindreds got acorn bread slices drizzled with cinnamon honey (baked earlier today), Zeus got incense and a prayer, the Khthonic Ones and Ancestors got honeyed milk and a prayer while Helios and Demeter got the candle in the yule log to light their way back and a prayer. Every thing was going well until, I realize mid way through the ritual that I hadn’t figured out whether to close the gates or leave them open. If I leave them open, how do I manage that? So when it came time for the omens, the first question I asked was “Should I close the gates?” I drew Page of Wands/Spirit Message. The pearl earring in my right ear promptly fell out. What the heck does that mean? Best I could figure is that closing the gate, something precious would be lost.
The other omens:
- How were my offerings received? Queen of Pentacles/Practicality – Thought that the use of the acorn bread was practical. Not sure if that is good or not… (card also has cyclical meanings as does the next card which is interesting in that Solstice is a major hinge point in the year)
- How shall the Kindreds respond? Wheel of Fortune/Rebalance – balancing things/events. Anything can happen.
- What more would you have me learn/do? Empress/Guardian Spirit – work on my relationship with my Lady? Change my Agathos Daimon’s (ktesios) offering jar? (Bad girl, I keep forgetting to do that with all the seasonal preparations happening. I was out of town when I would have normally done it.)
I asked Hermes to keep the gates open through the night until Helios rises and I can resume the ritual. Then offered him the sweets I had on the offering dish. I put out the flame while praying to Hestia explaining it was for safety and practicality reasons (as tapers are hazardous with a kitten in the house). The yule log candle will be fine as there is no way to knock it over. I paused the ritual with “Stay if you will go if you must” to the Kindreds.
Not sure how much, if any clean up I should do because technically the ritual isn’t over so wouldn’t it be rude to pull the offerings for disposal? Yet milk in the libations bowl may start to stink…yikes. I know others do a similar pause in ritual but I’ve never heard of how to handle such practicalities. Maybe that is part of omen #1 meaning. Be practical with the offerings. I think that is how I’m going to interpret it.
When I pick up the ritual in the morning, I will relight Hestia’s flame and the tapers, finish the prayer, lighting another candle in thanksgiving, then move onto the farewells and closing.