On the Thursday, the day before the winter solstice Sweetwood Temenos had a snow storm with an accumulation of about 12 inches of snow. The high winds with this storm cause big drifts that blocked the driveway and field road back to the ritual site. Iacchus worked on plowing the driveway Thursday night and Friday morning (winter Solstice) and cleared a path down to the circle. All was ready to receive the good folk by noon for the ritual.
The good folk were coming from Madison, Chippewa Falls, Cross Plains and Viola. There were 6 total good folk who arrived for the ritual and 5 stayed the night. One of the good folk was a young man who shoveled an 8 foot radius around the wood of the bonfire and a pathway into the circle and to the altar!
I set the altar in brilliant blue sky day light and where quiet was the song of the woods. I set a candle lantern on the altar and lit the candle in it at 2:58 pm. I prayed for the ritual and the energy it was going to raise and send off to the world as an offering.
After I had everything set up and centered myself I left the young man to watch over the circle and returned to the house to dress and gather up the rest good folk and the priestess for the ritual.
As I led the good folk out the house to go down to the circle and ritual I heard the high pitch sound of some animals. I thought for a moment that they were coyote pups yapping. But no… it was much more beautiful and uncanny. I looked around trying to place the sounds and then I looked up and to my amazement I saw a very large wedge of swans flying overhead. It was a very large wedge with a very long trailing tail of swans heading east. This sight and omen lifted every ones’ hearts.
All came to circle and gathered around the pile of wood for the bonfire. All were welcomed and then Delta and Iacchus began casting the circle with sound and incense. Then they honored the 7 elements of the Sweetwood Temenos circle (Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Ancestors, Descendants and Community) by calling on the good folk of the circle to hold a jar of water, speak and pour a libation for the element which called to them. When all had spoken and the water jar had been returned to the altar, a libation of whiskey was poured at the edge of the circle for Eris and her kin of mischief makers. Then the invocation of the Goddesses and God was spoken and thus the circle was cast.
The Swans came and flew overhead and Iacchus then took from the altar the stang and handing it to Delta said “Where shall we begin”, and she took the stang and said “All is a Spiral with no beginning” and handed the stang back to Iacchus and he said “a tree without end” and handed the stang back to her where upon she said “renewed by the Gods and Goddesses it gives birth to”. Thus is the rhapsody of Sweetwood Temenos
Iacchus went to the altar and placed upon his head the rainbow mask of the herald of the rainbow bridge. Delta took the stang and invoked the Rainbow Herald. The Rainbow Herald thus spoke of the winter solstice and the time of changing ages, whereupon he took the torch, lit it from the candle on the altar, returned to the wood pile of the bonfire and lit it.
The Rainbow Herald then charge all good folk to mediate on the inner or outer divisions, conflicts with in the soul of Humanity and think of something that would heal that division and make a transformation, a reconciliation or synthesis of opposites. Then with that healing thought take the given ribbon and tie a knot upon my stang. All took time to meditate and then the Rainbow Herald spoke first on ending the sexual war between women and men and spoke of positive sexuality being sacred and one of equality embracing all varieties of erotic relationships. He tied a knot on the stang and then went around to all others to collect their binding magic.
The priestess Delta then led the good folk in the chant of “What was a fight, is now a Delight, together we strive to brighten the light” as the Rainbow Herald danced around the roaring bonfire. With a great shout and blessing of the fire the Rainbow Herald charged the bonfire and brought the stang and the ribbon bindings to the priestess Delta. She took the ribbon from the stang and with one final blessing and great shout from all, cast the ribbon into the bonfire. The fire roared as it took this offering to the four quarters of Humanity’s soul.
Delta de-invoked the Rainbow Herald and Iacchus returned the mask to the altar and fetched a plate of apple slices cut horizontally to reveal the star in the fruit. He blessed and passed the fruit around for all to eat. Delta then poured charged water from the water jar in to the goblet on the altar and brought it to the circle for water sharing. Starting with her priest Iacchus, the water went around the circle, from hand to hand and mouth to mouth the blessing was spoken; “water shared, is life shared is love shared! Drink deep and may you never thirst! Thou Goddess, thou art God“! The goblet came back to Iacchus for one more libation and he blessed the moment, its offering and all who came to this circle!
Delta and Iacchus returned to the altar and took up the singing bowl and incense and took down the circle. The ritual ended with the charge “the circle is open but never broken, merry meet, merry part and merry meet again!” Whereupon swans flew overhead at sunset as all gathered around the blazing fire drinking wassail. Thus was the winter solstice 2012 at Sweetwood Temenos and the end of one and the beginning of another Mayan world.
As the cold of the night gathered around one of the good folk, Michael led all back to the house with the candle lantern. There back at the house a fest with good fellowship and laughter occurred and went late in to the night. 5 good folk stayed the night and in the morning by the work of a kitchen witch, Michelle, all had eggs, hash browns and pancakes with maple syrup or elderberry jam.
Never Thirst, Iacchus
Please note: At the time of lightening the altar candle, at our location, Jupiter (retrograde) was in the first house, 14 seconds away from an exact conjunction with the Gemini ascendant and this conjunction was 150 degrees (quincunx) away from Pluto in Capricorn and Saturn in Scorpio, which were sextile to each other and all aspects between Jupiter, the ascendant, Pluto and Saturn did not vary by more than 17 seconds (less than a 1/3 of a degree).
In astrology this constellation between three planets where one is quincunx to each of the other two, which are sextile to each other is called the finger of God or fate.