We have had a lot of unexpected changes in our household. They have been positive changes in many ways but also disruptive. We recently moved our family to the lake house in order to better care for a family member. It was a sudden decision and movement which required a lot of work both at the lake house and our home in the city. Which in turn left me very little time to be present in my online spaces or any heavy practice beyond my daily practices and study. However all that changed with the full moon last night!
I am not a big full moon worker, I tend to be more active at a new moon, but the timing just felt right for last night’s ritual. I have been working for awhile on connection and developing an ancestor practice into my journey. My husband and I have been doing genealogy for years now, collecting information here and there and in some branches of our trees have gotten back to the first century, and some only back a few generations. Both of our families are buried across states and countries, yet I wanted a place like a graveyard, dedicated to connecting and honoring them, and the lake provided a perfect grove area for this.
This is important for me because I feel what imbues a graveyard with energy, energy that can be harnessed and used in practices, is the emotions and energy we pour into that ground and space. It is a space we call our ancestors to. So after much walking around the property, feeling the spaces, I decided on a small circular area bordered by a variety of trees that are special to my practice (honey locust, birch, nut trees, redbud, celtis – and soon to plant a crab apple). I set the boundaries of this sacred space with candles, one in the north, east, south, west. The north candle was for the Goddess Hela (Norse Goddess Hel) which has been playing a pivotal role in my ancestor work. The east candle was for the Mother. The south candle for our ancestors. and the west candle for The Morrigan. In the center sits a stone bench and table. It will grow and more will be added as I go but this is the set up I went with to consecrate the space for our ancestors. A place to connect and commune with them.
As I went through each aspect of my ritual I could feel the energies around me growing. I also had some amazing personal experiences. The first was when lighting Hela’s candle. Right after I was done talking and turned to head to the east candle one of our local barn owls – the dark one- flew down into the circle maybe about 10 ft from me (we have two that have taken up residence on the property this year and we never had any before – 30+ years). At first I thought perhaps it was a coincidence and she just didn’t see me, but then she turned and started right at me for about a minute and a half. The she flew up into a branch right by me and we just looked at each other for awhile. Since working with Hela, owls have become the main animal I associate with Her. So I thanked Her and welcomed Her into this space and into myself. Then the owl flew back down into the circle stayed a few mins and then flew back up to their nest ground. It was such a powerful and awe-inspiring moment for me. It was magical and I could feel Hela’s presence growing in the space.
When I lit each candle I said or asked something of each. The pictures below show what was asked/ said and the wax that was left this morning underneath each , along with my interpretations…
Again it feels like another confirmation of the work and the magic at play.
I took pictures at the beginning and end of the ritual to share and found some interesting things in the pictures when looking at them later in the night. I took the pictures all with the same camera and at the same time for both sessions. I can see how some could be explained but there is also a lot that can not based on positioning and such. I am posting them in the order they were taken so you can see the back and forth…
I asked my husband to look at them because he is very scientific/ debunker/ skeptic type personality and I love it because it helps keep me grounded. He was really worried to point out some of his observations though (example – possible lens flare with the candles at the end) because he didn’t want to take anything away from the experience because it all was so profound for me. Here’s the thing though, we can explain a lot away if we try hard enough. There are always possibilities, but what I felt and experienced throughout the whole ritual can not be explained away or taken away by a possible explanation, not for me at least. Sometimes we have these profound spiritual moments and nothing can diminish or change them because it is a personal moment of illumination, of emotion, of soul.
For me it was not just one thing, it was all of it together. With every step I felt a deep confirmation that everyone was happy and willing to take the roles I asked of them on this journey. In the end they claimed the space as theirs and space that is now sacred for them.
After it was all completed the four outer candles were still burning. I looked at each one and there was little to no wax and the flame was burning on the metal disk at the bottom of these candles, so I closed my working and headed to the porch to watch them go out. It took over an hour for the first two to go out (east and west). Another hour or so for the north candle to burn out, and then another hour for the south candle. For me, again this was another sign of the power and acceptance of this space.
There were so many things that happened through out, that I have no doubt about the working or its outcome. Then this morning my husband found a feather from our owl just outside the circle by the south candle.
Faith is a powerful thing. Sometimes we feel like it is so far away when we are being pulled in all directions, yet in moments like these my soul is filled to the brim with it. With faith, with energy, with power, with magic, with love, with gratitude. Today feels like a new dawn, stepping into a new era of my journey, and although I do not know where it is headed I know I am surrounded by everything I need. My Goddesses, the blood of my blood, my living family, and the beautiful energy of this place. All I can express is deep deep gratitude.