This past Sunday I attended the Australian ADF’s local Beltaine celebration run by the Silver Birch Grove (https://www.adf.org/core/index.html). It was my first druidic ritual run by Shazbeth and her grove and I was so impressed. The attendees were friendly as were the facilitators who were organised, open and explained the ritual with handouts provided, which made me feel safe and welcome.
The sounds of the local wildlife and the natural landscape provided a beautiful backdrop score as we gathered in reverence within a liminal place, underneath a natural canopy of native trees and flanked by a stream.
Shazbeith had written the rite and her eloquent words, songs and actions along with some other members of the grove, connected me to the energies of the natural flow of the festival, as well as the environmental surroundings.
The rite itself consisted of honour and veneration to the to the Gods/Goddesses (Manannan mac Lir & Danu), Ancestors and Spirits of Place as well as libations, singing of prayers/chants/hymns, divination, offerings and partaking of the oblation.
I felt and saw the devas of the land surrounding me and I experienced the power raised as it resonated through the sacred space. I sensed some of my own ancestors watching from just beyond the clearing in the north west as well as one of my own patrons (Hekate).
Throughout the celebratory rite it felt familiar – true there were similarities with the way the prayers and libations were performed with my personal Hellenic practise but it was something more than that…it was the reverence and connection to nature whilst also acknowledging those who came before us and the gods who are ever watchful and present in our lives.
After the rite, we all enjoyed a picnic where we shared what we had brought with one another surrounded by wild herbs, flowers, grasses and trees which was uniquely Australian and picturesque.
Thank you Shaz and members of the Silver Birch Grove!