Before I go into what I'm going to be doing for the Equinox this year, I want to explore what I did last year. For the last Equinox I attended my first ever Pagan event hosted by Highland Fire Gatherings. I have helped run group events with the Highland Open Circle, and celebrated the Sabbats with them, but this was the first time I'd been to an event hosted by this different group. The Fire Gatherings are not formal ceremonies like the Open Circle run, they are - as the title states - gatherings with fire.
I have organised many of the rituals I've participated in with the Open Circle are ones I've been leading and/or organising, and that is a lot of responsibility, and despite being Neo-Pagan for close on two decades now, I don't feel like a Priestess, I don't feel like I have got to the spiritual stage for that. I always struggle to write rituals that cater to our eclectic group, to pick the right words that don't sound contrived or pretentiously theatrical, to organise the ritual to work practically... I have the ability to speak in public and to adapt to alterations in situation, but I feel more like the 'mistress of ceremonies' than an actual Priestess. I get so caught up in trying to make a functional ritual on a practical level that I struggle to do the key, core element of any Neo-Pagan ritual; to engage in spiritual practice. Being part of someone else's gathering or ritual is something I much prefer. I'm happy to work as a solitary witch/Neo-Pagan, and I'm happy to be part of a group energy, but I don't want to be the group leader.
|Corn-dolly, eggs, and candles on the altar. |
Photograph courtesy of Highland Fire Gatherings and used with permission.
|Spiderweb woven from yarn and string-lights, made by one of the organisers.|
Photograph courtesy of Highland Fire Gatherings, used with their permission.
|An eight-fold woven spiral frames the forest beyond.|
Photograph courtesy of Highland Fire Gatherings.
|Me singing in my black robes. |
Photograph courtesy of H.F.G
|My purple shelter is on the right. I think I'm inside it! Photo courtesy of H.F.G.|
Faces are obscured because I don't know who might be 'in the broom closet'.
|A row of lanterns hung with garlands at the entrance to the grove.|
More distant lanterns as specks of light in the distance. Courtesy of H.F.G
| Dusk, looking back towards the path.|
Photo from H.F.G.
I stayed until it got truly dark, but as I had to be at college the next day, I went home late, but not too late, and didn't camp. I really enjoyed attending the event, and I went to other events hosted by the same group last year, including their Summer Solstice event, which I will post about nearer this year's Summer Solstice.
The Highland Fire Gathering group has a Facebook page ::here:: if you're local and interested. The Highland Open Circle has it's Facebook page ::here::, too.