Samahin at Deeply Rooted

Fall AltarWe haven’t been all that consistent about keeping our website updated this year. We are still active, and performing public celebrations for the holidays.

Samhain is quickly approaching, and we are holding our ritual at Deeply Rooted Church this coming weekend. If you’re interested in coming, you can preregister here.

If you miss registering, don’t that stand in the way of coming out and celebrating with us.
How ever you celebrate the holiday, have a wonderful Samhain!

Blessings

Imbolc – 2015

The Protogrove celebrated Imbolc last Sunday.  We honored the goddess Brigid, and celebrated the half-way point between Winter (Samhain) and Summer (Beltane).

Triple Brigid


They are the Brigid’s, the daughters of the Dagda, the three sisters who act as one.

IMG_2054She is the Brigid of the poets; who is the divine spark that precedes creation.

She is the Brigid of the smiths; who works the forge of transformation.

She is the Brigid of the hearth; who is the mother that nurtures, protects and mourns her children.

They are the Brigid’s of the eternal flame, which burns within them, and burns in their name.

IMG_2056While spring is the rebirth of the world, Imbolc is the spark that sets the transition to spring in motion, and Brigid is the embodiment of that spark.  We honored her, we celebrated her, and we look to her to guide us like she guides the world towards its rebirth this spring.

From our seer, Brigid was pleased by our offerings, and had the following blessings for us:

Past: Gifu is gifting or reciprocation.  It’s the ghosti relationship between us and the Kindred.

Present: Mannaz is community or humankind.  It is us coming together as a group.

IMG_2055The Need: Eiwaz is the yew tree, the world tree, the connections to other realms.  Through these connections, we feel the impetus to launch ourselves towards the target and are provided the paths to get where we need to go.  This is the cycle of life.

This is a positive omen. We are growing as a community, but need to focus on our target and use what tools are at hand to get us to our goals.

 

For some in the community, the week leading up to our celebration had been full of pain and illness.  May Brigid embrace you, wrap you in her arms and hold you in her healing embrace.

May the blessings of the Kindred be upon you.

 

Koliada – 2014

Solstice FireWell and TreeIn the dying light of the afternoon sun we gathered around the fire. It was at the home of one of our grove mates, a new space for our rites, but with the fire, altar and friends, it was the right place. We were honoring the gods of the Slavs, the gods of our Eastern cousins, as we did last year.

We remembered and thanked the earth mother, Mati Syra Zemlya, who lies sleeping, beneath the snow. We remembered our ancestors, who have the experience countless winters within them. Then, with the ancestors in our thoughts and community around us, we called to Dažbog to return, to bring his light and warmth back to the world. Though we know that the sun isn’t truly dying, we also know the real effects on people from winter in northern latitudes. As the days shorten, the light of the sun in our hearts dims, and it is this fire we seek to rekindle, to brighten the light within us that gives us hope.

Koliada OmenFrom the seer, we were each given a glimpse of the personal blessings from the kindred, while the blessings on the community were revealed by the youngest girl at the rite. Those blessings were to remember to trust in ourselves and our intuition and to find opportunities to see the things to celebrate beyond the mundanities of daily life. To rekindle the light within ourselves in this season we need those small things in life that we can celebrate.

May the sun shine long and bright upon you this winter,
— Dale

Deeply Rooted Samhain – 2014

The horn called, the drum beat; through the woods, to the stone circle we moved together to honor those who passed before us into the otherworld.

Fire-Altar-TreeIt is to our ancestors that we call this night. Across the gulf between worlds we called to the Irish god Dunn to open the gates so our words and offerings would more freely pass between them. To the Irish pagans, Dunn is the lord of the dead, who’s house, Teach Duinn, is a waypoint for the spirits of the dead on their journey to the otherworld.

We spoke of our blood kin that have passed before us. We spoke of the ancestors of our heart who have passed before us. We spoke of the ancestors of our paths, whose knowledge and leadership have contributed to the pagan revival. We made offerings to their memories, and asked that their wisdom not be lost from our world.

This was the first rite held in the recently completed Deeply Rooted Church Oak Grove Stone Circle, and the energy of the place and people was absolutely amazing. Thanks to all those who attended; who remembered their ancestors and kept their memories alive and vibrant in this world.

Blessings,
— Dale

October News

The Equinox has passed, and we hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  October is here and we have a few events this month, which are listed below:

  • The Protogrove will have an info booth at the 2014 Fox Valley/Green Bay Pagan Pride Day event, which is happening this Saturday in Menasha.  This would be a great time to stop by and learn mour about us if our monthly public meetings haven’t been convienent.
  • The monthly discussion group will be happening this coming Monday, October 6th starting at 7pm at Harmony Cafe in Appleton.  We have both a web and a Facebook event setup for it.
  • Our Samhain rite will be held on Saturday, November 1st as part of Deeply Rooted’s Samahin Festival.  Deeply Rooted is an off-grid pagan community near Athens, WI.  It is just over two hours north-west of Appleton and worth the drive.

The protogrove has also been discussing becoming a provisionally chareted grove.  This means that the grove would move away from being organized by a single individual and instead be run by an elected board of directors.  A provisionally chartered grove is the first step to becoming a full grove, and obligates us to make pubic high-day rites availble for all the high-days, and also to organize periodic community service activities.  This is an exciting prospect and there is a significant amount of work involved, including the writing of bylaws to govern the Grove.  We’ll be discussing this at our upcoming monthly public meetings and our monthly Dedicant Path study groups.

Blessings,
Dale

Autumn Equinox – 2014

Autumn Equinox

The horn sounded and we chanted as we walked the long path to the oak grove.  At the boundary to the grove we made an offering to those outsiders who would disrupt our rite, and as an added safeguard we asked Thor to stand guard over us.  We entered the grove and were welcomed by a fire that chased away the slight chill in the air.

In her shrouded frame, a representation of Nerthus was walked around the grove where she was honored and grain was offered into the fire for her.  One by one, the land spirits, the ancestors and a multitude of gods and goddesses were honored and invited to attend.  Those in the rite went to the fire and made offerings to their personal gods, and as a group we invited Freyr and Freyja to attend.  It was Freyr and Freyja who this nights rite was dedicated to.  In their role of bringing fertility and abundance to our world we thanked them for the harvest we have received.

A portion of our harvest, bread, cheese and sausage that we charged were offered up to Freyr and Freyja and through the seer, their blessings were shown to us.  The Waters of Life were imbued with the blessings of the Kindred and were passed among the people.  Now was the time for the sumbl, and the mead horn, filled with the distilled essence of sunlight from last years honey was passed amongst the people.  We toasted our gods, our friends, and our ancestors.  We boasted of our deeds and through our words, the world came alive.

As the light fades in the world, let us kindle the light within ourselves and our community.

We would like to thank Wade and the Deeply Rooted community for their support.

Blessings!

Unknown

PGWS at Deeply Rooted for Mabon Celebration

We’re excited to announce that we will be providing the main ritual this coming weekend (Sept. 19 – 21) at Deeply Rooted’s Mabon Celebration!  This is our second gathering at DR as a Protogrove, and we can’t wait to get back to the great community and the land 🙂

Deeply Rooted is an intentional Pagan Community located just outside of Athens, WI, consisting of 140 acres of natural central Wisconsin forest and nature. Events at DR are open to the public for a moderate fee (work exchange is available for those short of funds), and camping and sleep space is available.  You can register to attend at their website.

September Monthly Meeting Reschedule

FYI – Due to Labor Day falling on the first Monday of the month, we have changed our Monthly Discussion meeting to next Monday (Sept. 8th). It will still be at 7pm at Harmony Cafe – Fox Valley. Hope to see you there!

Lughnasadh – 2014

Last weekend our grove hosted a family campout at High Cliff state park for the Lughnasadh Lugh Altar Statuehigh-day.

In contrast to the weather report, which showed thunderstorms over
the weekend, the gods gifted us with beautiful weather, and we all had an excellent weekend.  There were children running and playing, good conversation and many games of kubb.

Saturday evening we gathered together to honor the Irish god Lugh, who is the namesake for the holiday.  He is known alternately as Lugh Lamhfada (Lugh of the long arm), or Lugh Samildánach (Lugh the many skilled).  Lamhfada refers to Lugh’s use of both the spear and sling shot, which he uses to kill the Fomorian’s champion, Balor.  Lughnasadh AltarSamildánach comes from Lugh possessing all the skills of the other members of the tuath.

While we started a bit late, we had a fine turnout and a wonderful rite.  We honored our ancestors, the sidhe and our gods.  For Lugh, the story of his coming to the Tuatha Dé Danann and the transfer of the knowledge of agriculture from the Fomorians to the Tuatha Dé Danann was told.  During the rite, many people contributed offerings to their ancestors and gods.

OracleThe oracle talked with each person individually, but also drew an oracle for the protogrove.  For the protogrove, we will see participation from those outside our group, our practices will become more integrated with daily life and we should begin seeing the fruits of our past efforts.

I would like to thank all those who contributed their time, equipment, camaraderie, and energy to make this a successful weekend.

Blessings,
Dale

Summer Solstice – 2014

We held our summer solstice rite in the quarry at High Cliff, where drum circles were held, once upon a time.

Altar

While, many in our local community travel to Pagan Spirit Gathering to celebrate the summer solstice, we still decided to hold our rite on the solstice to give those that remained behind an opportunity to celebrate locally.

Our grove held this rite under a Norse hearth, and on this day, the longest day of the year, we came together to honor Baldr.  There was a larger turnout than expected, and with a  good fire, our rite began.  We gave offerings to our ancestors, to our gods and the spirits of this place.  We held a sumbl, that was led by one of our community’s heathens.

We drank mead from three different artisan mead makers from the Fox Valley, and celebrated the longest day of the year in good company!

Blessings,
Dale