As I was unable to make the Setantii rite this time, we have a guest post from Bracken!
With most members of the Setantii on tour at Thornborough Henges this weekend, our Alban Elfed was a relatively small gathering. I always like the small rituals. They’re just that bit more peaceful and relaxing, that bit more personal, and we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. It was one of those golden days of late summer warmth that seem to stretch the hours to a good ninety minutes each. I’m sure we won’t see many more of them before we’re getting our coats back out of the wardrobe.
Our Craig had worked on this ritual with a focus on the Sacred Masculine, the Oak King and Holly King, both played by women, as it happens, facing each other across the circle of the year, equals in strength. We also paused for a little chi gung, centering and rooting ourselves firmly in the warm, rich earth of our grove, drinking in the energy of the day to store up against the cold and darkness to come.
At this time of year it is traditional to reflect on what we are harvesting now from what we planted earlier. Among other things, Craig is going forward into the Ovate grade, while I am joining Stoatie in the Druid grade, a move that will bring wonderful changes to our Seed Group. There’ll be more to come on that in future posts, I’m sure. To stand in sacred space and speak of our harvest feels to me so solidly supportive. You just can’t underestimate the value of community to your life or your health. It was a blessed ritual, and Giovanna even managed to hold on to her glasses this time, and all her other possessions as far as I know. To be honest, she took no chances, making a tiny fairy table complete with offerings.
For our eisteddfod, Craig had chosen two poems written by men for Man/God. We had a reading of Auden’s Stop All the Clocks [“Morbid!” – Lynn] and a really funny cod-Shakespearean rendition of Crowley’s Hymn to Pan from Mark the Compost Elf, which was hugely irreverent and completely spoiled the effect 🙂 And all that washed down with Earl Grey brewed in a proper pot and a Lancashire bomb brought over from Yorkshire on the train. We know how to live, us Setantii.
We were joined by two squirrels that came back time and time again for nuts, popcorn and oatcakes. They were definitely stashing them somewhere. I wouldn’t be surprised if their kittens find cashews in their Christmas stockings this year.
For the day, I had worn my favourite crisp, linen dress which is still new enough to be a dazzling white. We were sitting on the grass, enjoying our picnic, and bothering nobody, when out of the woods came a sodden, black pit bull terrier and landed straight in my lap. It slid off with a big smile on its face, leaving thick, black mud in fat stripes all over the skirt of my white dress, rolled over for a belly rub, and ran back into the woods. Along with the hysterical laughter, Gio felt that the dog had a message for me, which worried me slightly, but you know how the Setantii are when it comes to weaving a tale. Within minutes, Mark the Compost Elf had the dog excitedly returning to its owner to relate how it had “rubbed a druid for luck”.
This month, the Setantii contributed to a fundraising effort for the Orpheus Pagan Chamber Choir from Denver, Colorado.
They are trying to raise enough for a professional recording of their very first CD, the Missa Druidica. If you can help, donate using the link above, and to listen to them, go here.
It’s beautiful music. Well done, Orpheus. Well done, Setantii. Till next time. x