I see Druid people…are having a Samhain ritual on November 3rd at the Fenner Nature Center. Yes, there be Druids in and around Metro Detroit. And some are heading to the Western realms of the Land of the Fresh Water Seas to celebrate the Festival of Samhain, the Blood Harvest, last of the Death Festivals on the Wheel of the Year .
Founded in 2008, Cedarsong is a fully chartered Grove of the Cedarsong Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, an international fellowship devoted to creating a public tradition of Neopagan Druidry http://www.adf.org/core/index.html.
Located in Lansing, this group has created a solid and stable worship space for those following the path. Though the primary concentration of Druids known to this writer are located in the Downriver area, there are individuals also scattered all throughout the Metro Detroit area, as well as the Western Shores.
Now, what can a newcomer expect? Well it really depends on the grove you are visiting. In this event, they
“will be honoring Freo and Freyr, the Anglo-Saxon deities that we more commonly know in their Norse spelling as Freyja and Frey. Ritual prep is at 1, ritual is at 2 with a potluck to follow”
But do not be dissuaded if these are not your pantheon, for all are welcome.
If you are bringing your little ones, then be advised that they will may have the chance to take part in a Children’s Ritual, followed by Dumb Supper for all, and then an Adult Ritual. If you have never attended a rite such as this, be prepared to see a deviation from what is usually the standard “Wiccan” format, as this is an entirely different system.
The Seer leads the group to center, much like a Summoner would in American Eclectic Wiccan practice.This is followed by a processional by the drumming and a charcoal censor being used ast the altar of the Outdweller’s altar outside the sacred grove. Here, there is the offering of the Ale.
From there, the rite is very different, from purification, to invocation, to grounding and recession, it is uniquely their own. It is a beautiful experience, and very much ritualized in comparison to smoe other Traditions. However, this does not mean that they are so rigid as to be no fun.
From stoic, to celebratory, this system incorporates music and song in their worship as a matter of form. Bards are of importance in such a way that they are held in an esteem unique to this faith, even having a formal designation. To learn more about what a Bard is and does, please visit http://www.druidry.org/druid-way/what-druidry/what-druidism/what-bard.
If you would like an example of a Traditional Samhain Rite to Donn and the Morrigan, please visit http://www.adf.org/rituals/celtic/samhain/samhain.html, as this is a complete example. The Welsh Goddess is beloved by many in this land, so should be familiar to those looking to find closer links with their own practices in this area. Keep in mind, however, that the Godforms of this rite are not these deities.
The Adult rite is always a solemn affair, as it honors those who have made the transition from this side of the Veil to the other. Family members, community, and ancestors of the grove will be remembered and honored. Thus the Wheel turns, and the Samhain Moon is marked accordingly.
If you are attending, and bringing food, please be considerate of food allergies and mark all dishes containing potential allergens accordingly. Since this event will be held at a nature center, please be mindful to leave no trace behind.
If you wish to learn more about Cedarsong, please contact them by Email: http://senior druid @ cedarsongadf.org.