This year my Samhuinn celebration and ritual was an adventure held in Auckland, which is about an hour’s flight from Wellington. about six weeks or so ago my Friend Nicola suggested that we take advantage of the cheap Air New Zealand flights and go to Auckland for the next Sabbat, which as you may of guessed was Samhuinn. There were a couple of reasons for this: 1/ to see our Friend Nanny Ogg aka Caroline, whom we love to pieces, and 2/ to experience how other groups around NZ actually do and participate in their own rituals, Namely Fire Dragon Grove. Also ‘adventures’
So we intrepid travelling druid and witch, got on a late but cheap flight to Auckland. Nanny Ogg was there to meet us at the Airport and whisk us off to her house somewhere in the wilds of Auckland not far from Conwell Park, which I will one of these days visit proper. Cornwell Park is a huge wonderful green area with sheep and cows, and trees and a hill called One Tree Hill. . . that no longer has a tree because it was cut down by the an activist, who was incidentally the same activist who had a go at turning the Americas Cup into the New Zealand Plate. .. . But that my dears is a topic for a different blog. *coughs*
Anyway Nicola and I were whisked away to a nice house near this park, where we stayed up until the wee hours catching up over cups of tea and tiny digestive biscuits. On Saturday morning I woke early, cause I have a tendency to do that when I am travelling. I made cup of tea and then wandered outside. The birds sounds that morning were not familiar to me, in Auckland they have doves, and minor birds which we don’t have in Wellington. What was missing was the frockling sounds of about 25 Kaka Parrots, the Twitterings of Fantails and the song of the Tui, but then in Wellington my house is about 10 minutes or so from our local wild life reserve.
After waking Nanny Ogg with the making a second cup of tea or was it the third?, I might be a bit of a tea-soak first thing in the morning :)) anyhoo, the rest of the morning was spent planning on what we would be doing for the afternoon. One of the things I wanted to do was to go and visit Aucklands witches Shop Cauldron Craft http://www.cauldroncraft.co.nz/
which is found in Devonport. Luckily they had a sale on. as the story is closing down in June 2013 *sad face* but given that I live in Wellington it is difficult to get up there and spend my money. However I here that it is going to be an online store.. *rubs hands together*
Anyway the three of us went wild.. I purchased many herbs and resins, plus a obsidian plate? Made with local Obsidian whoot.. Samhuinn ritual, and Nicola found things made of crystal and metal, otherwise known as shiny, of course you should buy the shiny.
Nanny Ogg brought a box of locally made candles, and incense for the evenings ritual. Devonport is a bit of an artsy place so we stayed and had lunch, cause we were hungry witches and druids…
Then it was home again to prepare for the evenings invasion of Druids, but given that Fire Dragon Grove is a Druid Grove it is not surprising that the Druids were invading. *grins*
And yes the ritual was different from that of the Summer Stars Grove, for one there were less and different people, and for two in a small intimate group it is way easier for the main rite to be a lot more intense and personal, which it was for this Samhuinn ritual. the quarters were called, the peace sent, awens sung and ancestors invited, things that we had forgotten to organise were brought by the other grove members, starting with the crumble, then seawater from spirits bay, the place it is said where the spirit so the dead in New Zealand travel to get to the underworlds.. then the oak leaves arrived with the blacksmith.. who had the same ideas about what to do with them as we three had discussed at lunch, must be magic. The group was very much like a well magical oiled machine, everyone had something to offer and everyone had something to do. After the main rite of a meditation it was the turn of the Cailleach to arrive, as really, this is her season. The oak leaves were burned with the intention of what the druids were taking with them. Then the Cailleach mixed in some oil with ash from the fire, and each participant was anointed. ‘What you carry with you will transform and strengthen you’ was whispered in each participant’s ear and sealed with a kiss
After the circle was uncast, the feast and eisteddfod was had, eisteddfod is a time where grove members tell stories or recite poems, some related to the season and others not. I believe that in England this is held during the ritual, but here in New Zealand we have a tendency to combine it will the feasting, it just works better for us.
There was also a supper place with a little bit of everything that was put out for the ancestors as a way of honouring them further. Stories were told and great food eaten, and our night finished just nearing midnight the witching hour, with many hugs from new friends and magical people, for they were magical and the evening magic filled.