In HotWP podcasts, Cathy and I have talked about the monthly pagan meet up we started a year ago, but I don’t think I’ve ever talked about it in a blog post. We wanted to create a safe place where solitary (or not so solitary) pagans could come together and meet likeminded others in our community. The meet ups are open to all, including those who might not claim the word ‘pagan’ to describe their Path and the diversification has really been a learning experience for me personally. Actually, the meet ups have been a pretty successful venture for all of us and the new friendships we’ve started have been such a blessing.
One thing that Cathy and I really hoped would come from these monthly get togethers was to form a multi-traditional organization in Shiawassee County that would serve all pagans in our area. We are calling this organization Circle of Hands because that’s what we wanted it to be, a circle of people that would hold up those who might not have a coven or circle like we have with the Mystics of Rhea Lur. We also wanted the Circle to serve as a place for education and we wanted to do things like host open rituals and provide pathways to clergy services to those who need/want them. We intentionally took things really slow in getting the Circle started, but I think that is what we needed to do.
Cathy and I were also aware that we already had our hands full with the Mystics of Rhea Lur and we have had to be careful that we kept the two entities separate. Rhea Lur is a Wiccan coven of witches, while Circle of Hands is inclusive of all pagan traditions and those are two very different things.
So, now that I’ve covered all that… I’m so excited to say that Circle of Hands held its first public ritual for Lammas last weekend! It was a great event and I thought I would share some pictures from it, including the one at the top of this post that shows the altar before the ritual started. The ritual was held in a local park that was a perfect set up for a group of pagans. We were in the very back of the park, which meant we had a ways to haul everything back, but it was worth it! We had a nice pavilion that had a nice grill built into the center that we used for the altar. The only bad thing about the park is that we couldn’t have any kind of fire, which we understood and the limitation gave us an opportunity to get creative with Fire and Air (no burning incense either).
Special thanks to flame less candles and magickal sprays!!!
Lammas is the first harvest, traditionally marking when wheat and other grains are harvested. We wanted to honor Lugh, the Celtic sun god whom the Sabbat is named after, and his bride, Blodeuwedd, during the ritual so we decided that we would have these tripod frames on the altar that we would decorate with flowers, fruits and vegetables. These figures became the embodiment of the god and goddess and after the ritual we then left the flowers and other decorations at the park as offerings/food.
We broke bread together as a symbol of the first harvest and to commemorate Lugh’s funeral games. I led everyone in a meditation to meet the spirit of Lammas and to commune with it, to see if there were any messages or tasks for us during this season. We also left offerings for the wild creatures as a ritual sacrifice in the name of the Grain God.
We also did some really fun elemental altars:
And then we feasted!!!!!
All in all, a great day with amazing people. Building a pagan community is something that I feel strongly about in recent years. I know how lucky I am to have a web of support with my coven and other organizations I’m lucky enough to be a part of, but I know that not everyone has that. Cites like Salem and New Orleans have a sizeable pagan presence because of their histories, which is great, and in Michigan I know that the Detroit area has a lot to offer to pagans. But what about the rural areas that are far removed from these pagan centers? I think it’s great to look at what these places are doing and use that as an example for something we can all create in our own backyards. Yes, there is a strong solitary base for many pagans, but I think that there are times when we all might find a need for support.
Thanks for walking the Path for a little while with me… Blessed Be!
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