Ostara: Welcome, Spring!

A few weekends ago, we came together and shouted a big welcome to the longer days, warmer weather, budding blossoms, and beginnings of new life.

Our Grove has recently welcomed some new members, including a tiny [and ridiculously adorable] addition (keep scrolling), and we are collectively delighted and blessed to see our little gatherings and festivities swiftly evolving into family celebrations.

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We hope you all had a lovely Ostara (or Easter, or sunny spring day), and we wish you many new and exciting beginnings!

-xo

 

You can check out our Ostara posts from last year here and here.

“Happy Yule”

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From our Grove and family to you and yours, may we extend a very “Happy [belated] Yule“, “Merry Christmas“, “Happy Holidays“, and all the rest!

We are all oh so fortunate to find ourselves surrounded by amazing and inspiring people. On this day of celebration, we have feasted, exchanged gifts, laughed, and loved. To each other and to you we say thank you for being. May your days be eternally filled with love and warmth, and possibly an overload of cookies.

🙂

Family Times: Mead Making

One of the greatest aspects of this Grove is that we are, above all else, a family. We comprise a group of individuals who genuinely value each others’ thoughts, opinions, and feelings. We consult each other on all matters of importance, we share in stories, experiences, hardships, and sweet memories, and (!) we actually enjoy each others’ company outside of formally sanctioned, structure-based events (e.g. rituals).

This past weekend, most of us were able to get together for a morning of mead making. The process of making mead, like that of other alcoholic beverages (e.g. wine, beer), actually requires several steps, thus we were only able to complete the initial phase. (This basically involves measuring out and dissolving pounds and pounds of honey into large, sterilized buckets, and then mixing in a few key powdered ingredients. The full step-by-step instructions can be found at the link at the bottom of this post.)

The event proved to be a lovely kick-off to the Thanksgiving weekend, complete with love, laughter, baby-snuggles, coffee, and honey. (Mostly that last one.) The following are a few snapshots of the morning. Enjoy!

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“Look sexy, Dan! This is going on the blog.”

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A wonderful time spent among family!  -Karina xo

[Mead-making instructions will soon be posted here! Please check back later!]

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AEGIS 2015

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We were fortunate this Lughnasadh in that most of the Grove was able to make the trip down to the beautiful Annapolis Valley to celebrate together, as a family and as part of a larger community, at the annual AEGIS Pagan Festival & Spiritual Retreat.

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This year’s festival theme was “The Wild Hunt”, which was reflected in the activities, feasts, and rituals. The GNSD was well-represented throughout the festival, participating in numerous rituals, stepping up to perform a number of volunteer duties, engaging in many a conversation, and taking home three “Golden Pine Cone Awards”.

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Overall, the AEGIS Festival proved a time for…

Connecting with old friends and meeting new, deep spirituality, bug spray, coyotes, bacon bacon bacon, a sense of community, “energy”, jaunts to the beach, campfires, marshmallows, mead horns, potlucks, baby coos, trees, breezes, sunshine, bare feet, face painting, workshops, offerings, playful puppies, broken tent poles, barbed wire, chicken saute, pallet bridges, water buckets, swollen feet, “bad” cider, coffee, ice cream, cool streams, smiles, laughter, love

…and photographs (some of which you see here).

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A wonderful and memorable weekend hand by all. We hope and intend to return next year.

🙂

Ostara: A Peak Into [Personal] Traditions

With Ostara behind us and Beltaine soon upon us, we realized it might be a good time (even if a bit belated) to share the personal Ostara traditions of one of our members and his family, before moving forward to new celebrations…

On the morning of Ostara, this member, his wife, and their young son get out big mason jars and fill them with water. These jars are then taken outside where they can catch the first rays of sunshine on that blessed day, and are left out to “charge” while the family returns to the indoors to enjoy a good brunch.

Following their meal, the three of them work together to do a clean up of the house, starting from the top floor and sweeping down and toward the front door, symbolically pushing out any bad energy they may have collected.

Following the cleaning, they collect the crystals they have placed throughout their home and, using some of the water from the jars outside, they cleanse or “recharge” the crystals. The rest of the day is devoted to crafts and games, and in the evening they  have friends over for a feasting.

 

Imbolc 2015 (Event)

Saturday night’s Imbolc event was a great success. The ritual was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the number of people positively flooding through the doors was fantastic!

Unfortunately, with all our focus being directed into set-up and participation in the ritual itself, none of us managed to capture any particularly share-worthy photos of the celebration. That being said, we did manage to get our hands on this one:

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The Triskele Altar (Clootie Tree and well), photographed by a friend of Alba Nuadh and posted with permission.