As we people gather ‘round, we mark this space our holy ground. East, South, West, North, and Spirits of place, we call you forth!
Gods, Goddesses and Deities, of earth air fire and sea; Grant blessings here, and harm to none and bless our work that will be done.
Well that was the way it was supposed to go! I had the pleasure of leading the main ritual for this year’s Durham Pagan Pride Day. Usually the day has it’s challenges. Today was no exception. I completely forgot that I was vending, scrambled to make it all work and promptly realized that there was no way I’d be able to go home for my full ritual supplies and come back.
Thankfully MY community stepped up, stepped in and got everything going right for me.
While many are thanking me for main ritual, I wish to thank everyone who came out, supported the event, bought from vendors, helped set up and take down. My thanks to the local coordinator, Kat who made sure that I didn’t roast in the sun! I also want to thank my sister in spirit Lady Charissa and the Pagan Business Network for their contributions, ideas, support and general cheerleading! See, that was the gist of what the main ritual was all about.
I had pretty words all set up for it, too! Here are all the pretty words. I said most of them! I swear!
(I had the wreath set up ahead of time:)
Many pagans believe that we are all connected to each other – by energy, by faith, by commonality, by the myriad of deities that we honor. This connection is like a spider’s web. This connection is like fine embroidered stitching. This connection is like a network of nerves in our brains. This connection is like a map of veins in our bodies. And like veins we all go back to the source, back to one main energetic place. You can call it what you will: Heaven, The Summerlands, The land of the dead, another plane, another reincarnated life or back to the earth from which we came.
(This is where we strung three different lengths if ribbon around the participants. Some were looped. All were told to hang on to the ribbon.)
And yet, though we have this connection we are divided.
( Some were short, some long, some ended up with two or three pieces.)
We are divided by the different pantheons we honor. We are divided by the ways we honor Deity. We are divided by the songs we sing, the way we dance, and the magic we work. We are divided by the distances between us and our holy places, the distance be us and our chosen kindred and even by the festivals we can actually attend. We are even divided by those who can proudly claim their faith in public and those cannot for fear of unwarranted persecution.
Look at your ribbon, a representation of your connection to your deity and your people. Each of you honors Deity and your kindred a different way. Each of you can feel cut off from the source, alone, dealing with things you believe that no one can even comprehend. We all know this is far from the truth.
I have spoken to quite a few classes at Durham College about what it means to be pagan. For me, at it’s roots it means to spiritually survive, to connect to Deity and community the best you know how. To know that when we feel divide, all we have to do is reach out and make a connection. No we don’t wait for things to happen to us. I don’t know about you but my deities remind me that faith without work is dead. I can lift my voice in prayer, then I lift my butt and get it in gear.
(I showed them the wreath.)
You’ve seen and worked on a wreath like this before. However, this time, we will do something different. Look down at your ribbon, let a small amount your energy flow into it. Let those who are able come forward, and tie their ribbon to the wreath and to each other, to make the connection again to Deity. You can weave your ribbon through the vines making sure that your ribbon ties onto another one to be secure. You can ask for help! You can work together! You can tie your ribbon to only one or entwine it with others. All that matters is that you know that you are not alone and your community stands with you. If you are unable, will bring the wreath to you.
(We made sure everyone was included.)
Folk of Durham Region Pagans. This has been a very different ritual for Pagan Pride Day. We have celebrated the simplest and most holy of who and what we are – energetically connected to the Source, to Deity and to each other. That is truly magic.
Gentle folk, this is your Community Wreath – a representation of all that we are and can be. I will take this wreath with me to any pagan event I go to, to represent those who cannot be there and that those who wish to add their energy may do so.
Gentle folk is this acceptable?
(Thank the gods they said yes!)
And yet, even I can’t be everywhere. I propose that should there be an event that I cannot attend, the organizer contact me to have the wreath present, tie on more ribbons, to make more energy connections and then return it to me.
Gentle folk is this acceptable?
This is where we all empowered the wreath with our energy. It was amazing, awe inspiring and fantastic. What can I say?
It’s different in Durham! We’re a community, maybe divided by our paths, yet we are all connected through community!