December 28, 2016 – Honoring Our Patron Gods


There are only three nights of Yule remaining. Nine candles dance at the front of the altar, casting bright lights to dance off the icons of this home’s Patronesses. While the dead and the breath of nature are all integral to the health and power of every Druid, our relationship with the Gods is one of the most if not the most special bond we hold in our practice. This ninth night of Yule is dedicated to honoring the Goddesses of our home and thanking them for the great words and deeds they have exchanged with us this year.

The intimacy of this bond led me to a ritual slightly different than the previous nights. The candles were lit and I just read to them in turn, from an earlier prepared script, detailing my sincere emotions about knowing each of them…

Artio. You were the first to call to me. You came through the hands of a dear friend and have been beside me ever since. You have been a fast friend, a kind mother, and a fierce guide. I’ve felt your heart, heard your voice, the warm trickle of blood rent from your savage claws. My love for you is so deep and should our paths ever part, I’ll forever carry your blood within me.

Nantosuelta, Lady of the stream, friend of Raven and Hive. Where a bear may feast, a raven may crow. I was led to you on my journey, following a trail of black feathers, mischievous song, and bird houses…. So many bird houses. You have been a welcome ally in our home, ensuring a purity of being and lending the aid of your flock to guide visitations between the realms.

Nehalennia. You are the latest to sit at our altar. Our meeting was long overdue, the ocean a forest long ignored by my fool, longing heart. When I felt the courage to pour my heart out at you, to surrender myself to the beauty over which you survey, your voice finally came to me. And it echoed again and again, louder and louder. I could have never assumed that your guiding light might find its way to the heart of our home altar, but here we are. I thank you for your protection in all my travels and treasure our moments together where the sea strikes the sand.

Also too I would give honor to Sucellus and Belenus. You both have been kind to us this year and hope to know you better in the coming days. Too, love goes to the many Gods and Goddesses we honored in this year’s Grove rights.

December 27, 2016 – Celebrating the Evergreen


We have arrived on the eighth night and on this night we sing the praises of the robust Evergreen. In the east and west both, the mighty Evergreen stand in summer lights and in the darkest and longest nights. A boon to animal and man in the cold winter, these robust Evergreen are a mighty symbol of immortality and renewal.

On this day we honor the great spirit of the Evergreen, which will stand forever between the waters and the stars, a great spirit of health and well-being in this dark time of the year.

We light the lantern, touching eight candles of Yule with the sacred flame.

Evergreen, we honor you on this eighth night of Yule!
With perseverance you grow, in the face of overwhelming obstacles,
in circumstances that make you stronger,
you transcend the odds, rising in strength,
renewing after every dark night.
Teach us, by your everlasting presence,
to persevere through dark and cold,
to wait and weather the most furious storms,
to bloom ever-green and shining no matter the gloom of the sky.
Your power to harm and to heal are balanced within.
Teach us to balance within ourselves,
for our greater good and for the good of our tribes.
Evergreen, shining tree of wisdom and strength,
Accept our offering!

An offering of cool, clean water is given.

December 26, 2016 – A Celebration of Winter


The days grow longer, the nights grow shorter. Winter is still very much upon us but as we dance and celebrate the return of the Sun to the skies, so does the Goddess of Winter, for His light melts her beautiful snow and ice, returning the water to the cold where She reigns, coloring the mountaintops with sparkling white that he might, again, cast his light upon in their dance… All while the Earthmother slumbers in the cold.

On this night we honor the hag of white, Callieach Bheara, who strikes the earth to ice with her ancient staff. She who is most ancient. She who cavorts playfully upon the peaks even here, where the ocean resists her hoary touch, where the warmth of spring rules near endlessly even on the longest nights. Still, even though this place is not blanketed by your ice and snow, we still honor and respect your time of the year and we still feel your frigid winds on late nights and early mornings.

The lantern is lit and seven candles of Yule are kissed by the holy flame.

White maiden, hag of many faces,
Callieach, we honor you.
You of ice and snow,
you, herald of Winter and mistress of the cold!
We honor you with wine and with praise.
With your icy breath and your frigid stave
you breathe white blankets over far fields,
blow cold wind down from the mountain’s peak,
storing the waters of the land as we wait for the return of Spring.
Starry skies reflect your light,
from tundra fields of sleeping earth,
keeping watch over all the land,
who sleeps beneath a quilt of snow.
Winter Goddess, we honor you.
Winter Goddess, accept our offerings!

An offering of wine is poured. (My hand slipped a bit during my giving so She got a little extra. Also I made a mess.)

December 24, 2016 – Honoring the Housewights

IMG_20161224_201027394 (1).jpg

Tonight, when the fifth light is lit, we honor the spirits of the home. While we, man and animal both, inhabit this place we call home other spirits are just as alive within these four walls. The Housewights, the spirits of this place, are with us always, have been with others, and will be with those who set here when we should depart. They protect, bear ancient wisdom, and sometimes engage in a little light mischief. To honor the spirits of our home, whom we find often very joyous and playful, I prepared a humorous little poem just for them.

As always, the flame is lit, and the Yule candles brought to life in turn.

On this night the fifth candle is lit and we pay honor to you, kin of our home,
those beings who share this space with us, neighbors and friends all.
We honor you.
We have spent many years under this roof together.
You have heard our joys and triumphs.
You have witnessed our sorrows and pains.
You have heard our laughter and anger and prayers.
You have secreted away treasures in the dark, and left mischief.
You, dear house-kin, are family.
I have prepared a poem of mirth to share with you, in the spirit of the mischief and joy you bring to us.

The offering is given in a space set aside for them.

Tonight we honor you for the important place you hold in the home.
We share that you may know our heart’s fullness and that it might be worthy to fill this space in which you have long resided.
House-kin, accept our offerings.

December 22, 2016 – Honoring The Nature-Kin


On this evening where three Yule lights dance we give thanks to our kin in nature. They are our allies in the middle world, neighbors of inspiration and harmony, integral to the life that roams, flies, swims, and burrows in the Earthmother’s embrace.

The lantern is lit, the beacon flame shared with the first three Yule candles.

On this, the third day of Yule, we honor the creatures of the land,
those who share our space in the middle realm in peace and harmony.
You who are our friends and neighbors,
spirits of this place all, we honor you.

A plate of meat is placed upon the altar.

As these offerings rest in the glow of these flames, seated upon this sacred space,
may the blessings we have given through this holy work flow into this plate,
so you might share in our blessings together.
Nature-Kin, accept our offerings!

The plate is then taken outside, the offerings delivered to a dedicated space, the Nature-Kin told aloud that the gifts are for them.

December 21, 2016 – Solstice Day, Honoring The Family


We stand again, friends. The second flame rises with Belenus, with the Sun. He left us to journey through the below and rose again this morning, pulling a great quilt of rain behind him over the land. Today is not only a holy day of great joy, celebrating the return of the Sun to the sky, but it is also a night to honor family. Family takes many forms, particularly today. Family is blood and spirit, near and far.

Tonight’s ritual is devoted to all those relationships of special meaning to our hearts and lives. As the light of the fires grows on our altar we honor those who make our world shine by sharing it with us.

The lantern is lit, the flame shared to the first two candles of Yule.

On this, the second night of Yule we honor those people whom we call family.
Our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers,
our aunts and uncles and cousins,
our life partners and our children.
Whether by blood and bone or by heart and hand,
we honor those whom we call our tribe.
We call to the Earthmother that she may provide for them, to ensure they never know hunger.

An offering of corn meal is given.

We call to the Skyfather that he may shine upon their path, that they may know wisdom and direction.

Oil is censed for offering.

We call out to the Gods and Goddesses, that they know safety, security, and be made whole and holy, healed swiftly from all ails.

An offering of wine is made.

Kindreds all, accept our offerings!

This morning I woke up far, far too early. One one hand it was pretty necessary for me to witness the sunrise for my first observed Winter Solstice, but it was also necessary because I had to leave for work. It was one of those blessed moments of synchronicity coupled with a level of exhaustion just right enough to let the magic flow in and out.

As I have done for each day of Yule thus far I spent time on my commute for prayer, thought, and love and shared my sentiments as such with my internet friends and family:

“We’ve survived the long night without being devoured by wolves, the light of the sky is kindled once more, and we shake the coat of snow from our bodies as we stand again in the Earthmother’s embrace.

As we light the second flame of Yule we honor family. In this time of instant international correspondence many of us find our families more full than ever before. Family inspires and supports, embraces and throws, shouts and soothes. Family makes us whole. Life is ever so much more powerful when tied to many others.

Those I call family are nearly too many to name, but I wish to honor you all on this holy occasion.

Terri Jarvis, Earl Whitbeck, Mike Jarvis and Karen, the tree of my blood… For without them I would still be a mote of dust in the stars.

Linda Watson-Jacobs and her husband, Mark.

Kyle Jacobs, Tom, and Dave Morris.

My life-mate Tristan and those that brought him to the world, Debbie Gehman and Dave. Jay and Teo and their branches too.

Raymond Benninger and Michael for always being there for me.

John and David Jr Warriner and their circle for so many laughs and support.

Lauren Neuman, Grey Catsidhe, Michael Talvola, and so many other brothers and sisters in faith.

Laura Bertrand and her husband and son, a family I thought I’d never have in my adult years.

Of course all of my family at work in all lands and lines of businesses, whom I truly feel priveliged to know.

Blessings be too to my MMO families through the year. To Sword and Quill, my friends with the Thundering Hammer, dear old friends of The Broomstick Gang and of course all the magical girls of Tiro Finale who adopted me as an honorary magical girl early in 2014 when I was broken and full of despair, in fear I might never walk again.

Last but not least Matthew Johnson who met me many moons ago under false pretenses and is stuck with me whether he likes it or not. (I still feel embarrassed about the whole Marr thing)

Family is a strange and powerful thing. A field of many seeds, trees begetting trees, plants blending and blooming all together, giving shade for one another. Be you bear or squirrel or deciduous giant we still share this home together and we’d be but a barren wasteland without each other.

Blessings be to my family and the families of our families on this bright and beautiful day of praise.”