I celebrated Summer Solstice with Three Cranes Grove on June 20th, 2010. This rite worked with the Vedic Pantheon, specifically with Savitar, the deity of Solar Light and often of Healing. The ritual itself was particularly interesting because rather than having a Fire, Well, and Tree we instead had three fires; the hearth fire, the sacrificial fire, and the fire of Agniras (the priest for the gods). I took the role of aspersing for this rite, cleansing the folk as the entered the sacred space. Some of the main forms of offering for this ritual were oil and ghee. I brought summer tea and spices to offer to the Kindreds. I don’t feel any specific connection to many Vedic deities, and so I wasn’t sure how I would feel during the ritual, but there was some connection. It was much more like a first introduction to someone you’ve never met, rather than a meeting between old friends, and this makes sense as I’ve had little connection to Vedic gods before.
Our omens for this rite were taken via fire scrying, which our grove has not attempted before. MJD did a wonderful and poetic job. A flame of green accepted our offerings as “songs of praise are heard as our words transcend the boundaries.” The Kindreds offered the grove joy and dance in return as the flames spun in circles, danced and leaped, flew apart only to touch and dance again. The Kindreds require offerings and sacrifices of us, forever and always. The fire is ever hungry “seeking out with nine tongues silvered and buttered with ghee.” I like the way our grove has taken to infusing the Waters with the blessings of the Kindreds using either toning, chanting, or song. We used the “Power of the Spirit” chant to bless the Waters.
During the working portion of the ritual, we honored the fathers, in part because the rite happened on Father’s Day. This was especially moving for me. Missy started out by praising an honoring the father’s of modern paganism, and of our druidry, our past and present leaders in ADF, the clergy of ADF, and then her own personal father figures. We then went around the circle of folk and each person was given a chance to offer praise for their father figure. Hearing of others connections and struggles was emotional and unifying. (394 words)