Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Enchanted Mountain Gathering

Enchanted Mountain Gathering -- Lammas in the woods was lovely. While the days were hot, the evenings were pleasantly comfortable. Being this is New Mexico, I packed for varying weather conditions thus schlepping half a bag full of stuff I didn't need. I didn't need shawls, jeans, sweatshirt, fleece socks, or rain anorak. But if I'd left them home -- this being New Mexico -- it would've rained buckets leaving yours truly shivering in wet clothes with nothing to change into.

On Saturday, five other ladies & me underwent a croning ritual. Three older ladies who've already been croned acted as priestesses and cast the circle. Each of us crones-to-be invoked deities and spirits representing a direction - in my case, South. We symbolically parted with things of our past. Stuff we were done with - like menstruation and so on. We also embraced what we are going forward with as crone women and received a small token representing this mystery. Once done, we dismissed the directions, opened our circle and departed for the public ritual where we were seated in an arc and presented as Crones to the attendees. Three women were chosen from the attendees to speak for the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone and tell us about their stations and places. There was some lovely silliness. One lady then sang Dancing At Whitsun a capella and it brought tears to my eyes.

After that, we had a community feast followed by a bardic circle and drumming and dancing. For the feast, I had made spicy Asian style ginger noodles which were a hit with both vegetarians and omnivores alike. I retired early as I'd been up since dawn, relaxing to the sounds of drumming in the night while watching the stars overhead.

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