This was a challenging milestone for me - I have advanced rheumatoid arthritis, and since the week before Hurricane Irene, I've been flaring. That means not only a lot of pain and immobility, but exhaustion, 'brain fog', and a growing sense of discouragement.
And that is why we were a day late - I was not ready, and the very idea of pushing to get ready made me want to find a deep hole to hide in.
But, a few extra hours to get myself in a better frame of mind made a big difference. A little debrief on our ritual - it was simple, intentionally, but I do think we needed to plan better and even though it's just the two of us, it needs to be handled as a group ritual in the sense that we need to clearly know who is doing what. There was a bit of fumbling, things that didn't quite come together, but in spite of all that, it felt meaningful and a good start! Next month, we'll do better.
My oath, modified from the suggested ADF First Oath:
I, born Lynda F.. E........, before my partner and beloved Michael and those Gods and Goddesses, spirits of hearth and place, and my ancestors in blood and belief willing to act as witnesses, vow to devote the next year to examining and expressing my Pagan life as a seeker of the Old Ways and a worshiper of the Elder Gods and Goddesses.
With this holy oath, I set my foot upon the Druid's Way.
I vow to do my duty to society, my kin, friends and community by seeking virtue in my daily life.
I vow to do my duty to the Gods and Goddesses and the spirits of hearth and place by regularly keeping the rites and works that call to me.
I vow to do my duty to myself by deepening my understanding of the Druid Way though study, contemplation and discipline, that I might fill my mind with the truth of the Elder Paths.
After the ritual, we shared some homemade mead and locally grown pear slices, and left a share - along with some milk and honeycomb - as an offering. Just as we finished and put out the candles, the full moon broke through the circle of trees overhead into a small patch of clear sky and lit everything up for a moment before moving onward.
Our next step will be to prepare for Mabon - the Autumn Equinox. We plan to celebrate with a public grove in Baltimore and I'm very excited about that! We're fortunate to have a grove near enough to experience group rituals, which will help us get a feel for this.