What beautiful weekend this was! How many ways can you say gorgeous! We had temperatures near or above 80 degrees and warm nights. The maples are starting to turn colors in the area. We had clear skies and beautiful stars!
Michael, Ariel and Benj came Friday afternoon and set up camp. I picking up some wood and Ariel and Benji helped too. Then I went home to get some pillows and set up camp for the night. Michael and I walked the field that night looking at stars and saw a beautiful moonrise! Then Ariel, Michael and I shared a couple of beers around the fire... talking about life and ...of course...politics.
That night I woke up and stepped out into the night (about 4:00 am) and silvery moon light shone down through the trees and the whole of the circle was silver....just magical.
Then I went home in the morning, got my tools, jack and woke up my lovely spouse. I returned and found Tom had showed up and was already working around the altar. I mowed the sacred circle and got it ready for ritual. Then Michael and I started to work with Tom. We got the two floor jacks under the back corners of the Altar and then we lifted it without a problem...no cracks....
Then we placed very big limestone rook in the center of the back of the altar. We decided to tilt the altar forward (1 1/2 inch drop over 3 1/2 feet). We did this as we feel the back of the altar will again settle over time and now the water will run off to the front.
Then we pull out the jacks and placed big limestone rocks on the corners and limestone shims under the Altar and along the edges and backed filled it all.
Tom and Michael were big contributors in figuring this out (leveling the Altar). Benj was there asking questions and Kim and Ariel talked and cheer us on. The Beauty of the circle was graced with Monarch and Swallowtail butterflies. Brent came shortly after we finished with leveling the altar.
Then I took down one more tree but the tree sat down on my chain saw but again Tom and Michael came to my rescue and we were able to use wedges and a long pry bar to free the chainsaw and then to tip the tree out to the grass. Then Ariel, Benji and Michael left. I cut up the tree and Tom stacked the wood.I went back home to get ready for the ritual.
I came back and Tom had decided to leave. I set up the altar and a local person who had been asking to come to our rituals, came. Lisa is her name and has had wiccan experience in Dianic traditions. The weather was soo beautiful that the priestess and priest were skyclad for the ritual.
There was four us in the ritual when another person came....Dave is his name, a local permaculture farmer, who brought two homemade pizzas...the priestess greeted him by cutting him into the circle and with a kiss. The ritual was heartfelt, we spoke of the equinox and the Sun returning to the Summerland and the meaning of community, we shared water, took down and opened the circle and the fire lit. Lisa feasted with us but could only stay for a while and had to leave. My impression is she liked Sweetwood and the Ritual. She talked about coming back for Samhain.
Then Mary and Wendy came and we feasted more and talked into the night. Brent stayed up with me Saturday and listened to a presentation I plan to give at Pagan Pride next Saturday...Thank you so much Brent!
Brent left on Sunday before I came up to pick up the ritual tools! I was out picking up some wood and a local man, Bo came by and we talked and stacked wood together. He said he likes coming back to Sweetood as it is a non dogmatic spirituality and a community based place and organization. He plans to move to Madison but plans to come to more celebrations and was sad to missed the ritual Saturday. and the good folk.
So we had a lovely time and celebrated community. We leveled the altar,cut and made fire wood, mowed some grass, had some good conversations and did a ritual celebrating the Fall Equinox, shared water, food and good friendship.
Thank you Delta, Ariel, Benji, Tom, Brent, Lisa, Dave, Mary,Wendy and Bo!