I’ll apologize once more, and quickly, for failing to post here. Things have been at least as wacky as predicted. More volume to come in the next weeks.
The results of the wackiness are exciting. Many readers will know that I and my priestess/wife have long kept an eight-acre parcel here in NE Ohio. It has been the site of both Pagan worship and community glee since the early 1980s. We call the place Tredara, which is an Anglicized Gaelic construction for ”three oaks”. For the last 15 years it has been the summer home of Stone Creed Grove, and the site of parties, weddings and private rites of various kinds.
|The Tredara - the nice three oak spot for which|
the place is named.
Our good fortune has included having the empty woods that surround our patch remaining undeveloped. Our little village has experienced rapid growth in the 21st C, but our particular street is still without water and sewer access, making condos overlooking our Nemeton untenable. However we’ve always had an eye out to acquire property both to expand our capacities and simply to prevent development hard by us. A house and multi-acre parcel went on sale a couple of doors down, and some friends expressed interest. When we went to look at it online we discovered that eight acres immediately adjoining our back woods were also for sale, at a price that we could manage, we called our realtor friend immediately.
That was in April, but by Beltaine we were told that another offer had been accepted before we acted, but they were snagged on a technicality. I’ll admit that I was prepared to write it off as a momentary dream, but L. remained convinced that it would be ours. “Why would the spirits show us such a thing and then take it from us?” she kept asking. Not the sort of question I usually seek answers for, but she continued to ask and wait.
If the spirits don’t know what we want for this place by now, they haven’t been listening (though I’m fairly convinced that they have). Both L. and I have been committed throughout our lives to the restoration of a meaningful, working Paganism grounded in physical worship space. After 20+ years of gradual improvement we’re reaching the moment when we are making it happen, and any increase in resources simpy goes to that goal. By late May we discovered that the parcel was still listed for sale. We called our agent, and in fact the previous deal had fallen through (no active hexing from us, incidentally, though I can’t say there wasn’t a degree of passive wishing). After a moment of hesitation we made a formal offer, and began magical work.
|The new configuration, with our|
swampy woods top right half, and
the high and dry new areas left.
We were fortunate to have this phase occur just as the moon was waxing into the Full Moon of June, on the weekend of Summer Solstice. We planned a rite for the coming Thursday, but we set a light each night before that, to warm the cauldron. Thursday before Full Moon we worked our usual Offering to the Allies, convoking our Not-God friends, under the Blessing of Brigid and our other Gods. The Omens for that rite, drawn in ogham, were:
nGetal – Charm Against Wound – the Reed – the Healer’s art,
Gort – the Garden, Ivy, growth and increase.
Uillend – Elbow – Honeysuckle – this last is in the disputed ‘forfedha’ signs. L immediately associated the ‘elbow’ with work, of which there will be plenty. My mind ran toward the sweetness of the honeysuckle, and another kind of elbow-bending, of which there will also be plenty.
Healing, Growth and Labor/pleasure. We took that for a good omen, and lit a larger light as a calling and claiming flame. The next day we got the call that the primary seller had said yes, and that we were waiting on a secondary party in the selling estate to say yes as well. We went in to Solstice weekend on pins and needles.
As usual we had a Grove gathering culminating in the full sacrifice rite on Sunday. Of course the air was full of the new possibilities. Regardless of the legal niceties of ownership, this new purchase will be for the benefit of the Grove, bigger and better facilities, shrines and fun for the community. The whole thing had a dice-in-the-air feeling.
The Solstice rite went beautifully, with perfect weather and a nice turn-out for what is often a minor holy day on our calendar. We keep the solstices, and often the equinoxes, in Norse style, and so we drew the omen from the Elder Futhark:
Sowilo – the Sun, or the Sail of Your Ship Coming In – victory, and as direct as one could ask for solstice.
Othala – Ancestral wealth, real estate.
Berkanaz – The Birch – new growth, the Feminine Power, purification.
I love when the omen is so obvious and true that I must laugh out loud as I draw them! Incidentally, the divinatory question we usually ask is “what flavor of blessing will you pour into our cups?”, so we were quite willing to take that particular cocktail as we waited for the final ‘yes’.
The final yes came the next morning. At this writing we still await making the payment and claiming title, but it’s in the pipe and flowing. We hope to begin brush-hogging as soon as this weekend. We must cut a road through our swampy back woods to the new patch so that we can get foot and golf-cart traffic through without going out on the main road. By Lunasa we hope to be able to camp and park overflow in the new patch, and then we can really get started.
|Some shots of the current status. Rows of shaggy nursery plantings, with nipple-high grass. The good news is that much|
of the ground cover really is grass, and should respond to mowing by becoming nice camping meadow. Also lots of shade.
Someone asked, over the weekend, whether we had ‘a plan’. I laughed. We have an ascending ladder of immediate plans, things-we-can-really-do-soon, and then various models and dreams. It will certainly give me new stuff to blog about in the coming years.
Along that line, this will also require a new round of land-wight work. We were pretty much poised to begin in this past moon, but then switched to a straight practical-magic rite. We will have to light a formal claiming fire as soon as we get title, and from there we will work a round of genius locus contact rites. I’ll post that outline soon.
This is big news for us and the start of bigger news for our local Pagan community we hope. The shrines of the Gods and Spirits are returning to the land in North America. May we all be blessed by it!