Welcome to the UUFM Pagan Friendship Circle blog.
Old sage or newly curious, all are warmly welcome. Open yourself to the magick!
Posts from the circle:
I would like to start by thanking all the previous leaders of our Pagan circle, including Deirdre, Morrigan, and Zac, for all the work they put into bringing this group to life. We all owe you a great deal for your efforts, and Sandra and I are doing our best to nurture what you have created.
A lot more has happened in the last few months than I could cover in one blog post. We recently had the opportunity to present a Sunday service at the UUFM, which was a wonderful experience. Thank you very much to everyone who was involved in putting this event together, and a special thanks to all who asked thoughtful questions at the end of the service and to Dick Beeman, whose help was indispensable.
We have a great calendar of events set up for the next few months, which will be posted in the UUFM newsletter. Tomorrow, we’re having a Two Kings New Years’ Festival honoring both Greek and Egyptian New Years’ traditions. This potluck event starts at 6 pm and, like all of our events, is open to all.
On August 4, Stephanie will be leading a ritual for the Lammas holiday (also known as Lughnasadh). On August 18, I’ll be leading a New Moon ritual for Hekate. Both of these events start at 6 pm as well.
I look forward to seeing many of you at these events and beyond. Blessed be!
Hi to my friends both old and new,
I’m excited to share with you the dates for the upcoming Pagan gatherings here at UUFM.
On Saturday February 4th we’ll celebrate both the Imbolc Sabbat and the February Storm Moon. The Imbolc Sabbat will be dedicated to the Fire Goddess Brigid and the renewal of life. Imbolc (meaning ewe’s milk) is a Celtic holy day celebrating the newly lactating ewes, a sign that spring is around the corner and life in the womb of the earth is quickening. But we’re still in the dark half of the year, and as such, divination is often done at this time. We’ll be doing a fire divination in our Imbolc circle, to open ourselves up to what messages the Goddess may have for us for the coming year. And for the potluck dinner, the theme will be Milk and Honey. Get creative
In March, we’ll get together twice. On Saturday March 10th we’ll gather with the Manhattan Goddess Circle to celebrate the Blossom Moon, when we will work to fully release our negative patterns we have uncovered during the dark half of the year and move into harmony with ourselves to find focus and strength for the coming season of power. Morrigan’s circles of full moon energy and reverence are a favorite with all of us.
And we’ll come together again on Saturday the 24th, to celebrate the Spring Equinox, also known as Ostara or Eostre. Ever wonder how Easter got it’s name? We’ll delve into the Pagan traditions of Easter and look at why we have eggs and bunnies to celebrate the birth of the Christian Jesus. And instead of gathering together at night, I’d like to have an afternoon event, with an egg hunt and a ritual circle at dusk. More information will follow; I’d love to get input on what others would like to do for Ostara this year.
And looking even farther into the year, in April, we’ll celebrate the Full Moon on Saturday the 7th with the Manhattan Goddess Circle. It is my hope that we’ll be able to have a Beltane Festival on Saturday April 28, but as most of you probably know, I’ll be leaving for Mississippi sometime this Spring, so anything after April 7th is undetermined. The future of the Pagan Friendship Circle is uncertain, but we’ll discuss it more as the time draws near. I am in talks with the minister of our UU congregation, Michael Nelson, as well as with a few UU members, so stay tuned as things develop. If anyone has any thoughts as to what they would like the future of the Pagan Friendship Circle to look like, get with me, and we’ll talk. This circle is, and always has been, a labor of love from me to you. It’s YOUR circle
See you in February,
Greetings Pagans and Friends,
Happy New Year! As we begin our journey through 2012, I want to encourage everyone to take time to find that sacred gift that you’ve had inside you since the beginning, take it out, polish it up, and show it to someone. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there; you will not be disappointed. Your gift, whether it be volunteering, singing, drawing, painting, cooking, writing, listening, organizing, encouraging, nurturing, healing, sowing, or sewing, your gift is vital, and important, and necessary to the Universe. Let your light shine onto the Earth!
On the 7th we once again came together at the Fellowship to honor the full moon. This month’s full moon was the Wolf Moon, and after our delicious meal with friends old and new we had our group discussion on Communing with the Moon’s Energy. We talked about Drawing Down the Moon from a Wiccan perspective. We looked at different ways this can be accomplished, and we also talked about how the Moon’s energies are different for men and women. We then were given a list to take home of traditional names for the 13 moons of the year, according to legends from various Pagan traditions.
For the Full Moon ritual, we went out to the fire ring and Morrigan had us take a guided meditative journey to meet our totem animal guide, and to allow it to speak to us. Some of us reunited with our totems as old friends, and some met their animal guides for the first time. It was a wonderful experince for all of us. The moon even joined us from behind the clouds, which was the perfect way to end the night.
Our next gathering will be on February 4th, for the Imbolc Sabbat and the celebration of the Storm Moon. We’ll be talking more about letting our light shine upon the Earth as we light candles to welcome the returning Sun. Hope to see you there!
In December, we had two very beautiful celebrations here at the UU fellowship. We started with the Full Moon Esbat on December 10th, honoring the Oak Moon, with Morrigan Oran from the Manhattan Goddess Circle. Before the circle, we had our traditional potluck dinner, and then went back into the old sanctuary for a discussion on crystals and stones, and how to select the right stones for your personal use. I set up stations around the room of stones with their names and their magickal properties, so everyone could touch them, hold them and compare their different vibrations and energies. There were examples of 27 different stones, and at the end of the discussion, everyone was allowed to take one stone home with them as a keepsake. And then on to the ritual. It was a cold night, but we bundled up around the fire for a ritual by Morrigan, discussing and using the magick of fire. At the end of the circle, Morrigan did her Celtic Warrior’s Blessing, a very moving experience for all of us. We are noticing that after every circle we all feel more connected, more a real Pagan community than we did before. And every celebration brings newcomers to our circles, which couldn’t make us happier!
Morrigan’s Warrier Blessing:
“May the weapons of your enemies break across your shields,
May your sword always be true,
May your body know healing.
May your heart know only love.
May your mind be strong and clear.
May your legs always have the strength to carry you forward,
May your arms always have the strength to carry those in need.”
And on December 17th we had our first Yule Celebration! We started off with our potluck dinner, and then reunited in the kitchen for the baking of fine holiday cookies! While we were baking, we discussed kitchen witchery, and how the magick in our lives isn’t confined to our altars or circles. We should allow our magick to flow and permeate all areas of our lives, and no more so than in the kitchen. We discussed magical intent and the healing power of food and fellowship. and we had cookie dough and sprinkles everywhere! We had many more children at this celebration, and they all had a hand in creating Yule cookies to take home at the end of the evening. And I baked cookies shaped like holly leaves for Cakes and Ale in the Circle.
The ritual itself was outside around our firepit. We reenacted the yearly battle of the Holly King and the Oak King. This battle is a Celtic allegory for the light and dark halves of the year. At the Winter Solstice the Oak King reigns supreme as we begin to see the Sun God return to warm the Earth. At the Summer Solstice in June the Holly King will once again win the battle and reign until the next Winter Solstice. We sang Deck The Halls to honor the Holly King’s reign these past 6 months. We also had the Crone aspect of our Goddess, wearing dark maroon poinsettia crown on her head, pass a pure white poinsettia crown to the new Maiden aspect of the Goddess, assisted by the Mother aspect of the Goddess, wearing a crown of blood-red poinsettias. We also burned a Yule Log decorated with evergreens, berries and pine cones. As it burned in the fire, we chanted for the Sun God’s return. We completed our ritual with Cakes and Ale, passed by the newly crowned Maiden and Oak King.
After the ritual we came inside and were treated to traditional Yule carols by Manhattan’s local Heathen Tribe. We passed the Horn and hailed the Gods, our ancesters and each other. We drank warm wassail and ate fresh-baked cookies. It was a beautiful night of wheel-turning and merry-making, and we all came away richer in spirit because of it.
Blessings to all for the coming New Year,