Alban Elfed With Raven’s Cry

Last night I visited my local ADF Grove, Raven’s Cry, to celebrate the turning of Summer into Autumn. The rite was done in a Welsh style and the celebrants were largely newer members. Bless their hearts, the rite mostly went off without a hitch despite having to deal with a lack of vowels in many phrases.

I had brought specific offerings to the ritual this time: The remnants of the very first candle I burned at my altar and a branch gifted to me from the sitting tree in my local park. As I wished to give my thanks for the bounty I have come into this year I saw both fitting gifts for my Patronesses and my Grandmother, respectively.

On that note when it came to make personal offerings I went straight to the cauldron and… Let’s just say I hadn’t had a good cry in a very long time. I sat on my knees, holding that branch to my head, for what felt like fifteen minutes. I could feel her arms around me. I could see her face again. I could see the pawprints shrinking into the horizon. That silver silhouette in a gray blizzard. That beautiful, wise bear. I know she loved that gorgeous branch. Now we both have beautiful sticks we can share together.

As mentioned last night we received some omens that felt very personal to me. When asked, the Ancestors spoke of binding together and showing love to each other. The Nature Spirits pretty much jutted a thumb to one side and said “Do what they said.” and the Shining Ones said to look within for wisdom and strength that lies hidden.

The strong indication to follow my Ancestors and the final omen of the silver fur… It was so very personal. I was so moved to feel so close to Grandmother once more. It had not been since that dream so long ago that I felt her presence so strongly.

So here we are. The daylight fades to give way to the night. Truth be told I’m not a big fan of summer. I find the summer to be at best too hot and dry and at worst completely miserable. I don’t ever wish to sound ungrateful to Belenus and all the goodness He showers down upon us but, man… Summer. Autumn and Winter though? Sign me up. And don’t get me started on Springtime. Spring and Autumn both make me wish I could actually transform into a bear and just splay myself, naked in my fur, in the leaves and grass. Hell… What I’d pay right now to lie in my skivvies in a rolling stream.

Perhaps this Autumn I’ll finally start all that baking I keep thinking about. The spirit of the mother has been eking into me lately and I’ve been eager to light the oven and bake some breads and cakes with that particular scent of the season billowing out.

Looking back on what I’ve reaped and what I could do to sow better in the coming months? Since I started my journey of Druidry earlier this year I’ve made some wonderful friends in The Swamp Druid and Grey Catsidhe. I’ve grown quite a bit, though not as much as I imagined I might… But hey, any growth from zero is a monumental percentage! I found and have been visiting a local ADF Grove and I found a home amongst a hearth culture I love learning about and living with. Areas I need to improve in are definitely confidence and trust in my instincts, balancing leisure with study and finding more time to study and grow with my practice, and showing love and appreciation for the people in my life far more. My biggest failure has always been lowering my head and charging full speed into one or two things at a time and it’s far too easy for me to put on blinders while doing so. I need to establish balance between the leisure I enjoy, my relationships with the Kindreds and my family/friends, and the work I do both at my job and in studying to better know the Gods.

But now the night grows long and I really need to get some sleep. I’ve been sick varying little bits all week and I want this week to be the end of it, damn it.

To all who support me and put me in prayer and thought, I thank you. Your support has kept me going all these months. I hope we can all grow into the new year together!

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