So, though I worried earlier about how our ritual this evening would go, it all ended up going pretty much as I expected in nearly every way.
Part of my fear was something that I learned to get over a very long time ago living in Oak Harbor: don’t pay any mind to what other people think–they don’t either, from the looks of it! Part of the exercise this evening was to test us and see who had the chutzpah to just do what we were going to do without giving a fiddler’s fart about anyone else. And, almost all of us passed that test. I learned this as a teenager, when I went around wearing a (very bad) knight’s costume in public on certain occasions, or all day at school, or wore horns made out of a hood, some scrap paper, and some masking tape all day, etc. People will look at you weird, sure, but they’ll look at you weird no matter what, so who cares?
This came into play because there was not a soul in sight when we arrived at the park, and no sooner were we finished setting up that a steady trickle of runners came through the park, and then some people with kids came to play, and then dog-walkers, and lots of other folks. However, once I was in the gazebo where we had the ritual (and where we danced to Krishna Das more than a decade ago the last time I was there), the people outside of it didn’t exist any longer. Sure, I knew they were there, I could see them looking at us with quizzical looks on their faces, but no one was brave enough to approach us, so too bad for them.
There were a total of seven of us in the ritual; the eighth and ninth were there, but didn’t participate (just as expected), or seemed that one was going to but then just as the prayers were about to start, she threw down her script and left the gazebo and never returned, but was running all around the park chasing her daughter (the ninth). Oh well.
We started with this (as we often do), and went directly into these, with all of our offerings (sliced almonds, golden raisins, figs–a new one that was requested while we were in the store earlier!–pomegranate juice, and then some Irish whiskey) coming between the Laudatio Sabinae and the “Sabinian Petition.” Our offerings were a bit odd this time, because in addition to the usual deities, heroes, and Divae/i as well as land spirits and ancestors, Sabazios retained some of them on his tile, which he hasn’t usually done before (but then again, a Sabazian isn’t usually in charge of holding the tile either!); and, the “outsiders” and the Irish in general seemed to also want to get in on things, so they were given some unexpected offerings as well, with the phrase Bendachta Dé ocus An-Dé foraib during that portion. The prayers weren’t as extensive in the “Sabinian Petition” as they usually are, but this particular petitionary prayer doesn’t happen as often as the Antinoan Petition. Following that, the two future Mystai did this poem together/in turns, which was appropriate in various ways. We closed things up with this new hymn, which people were really starting to get the hang of by the end…but, the gods have wanted some dancing, so we did the chorus line a few more times with dancing after we finished it because people hadn’t taken the hint that we needed to be dancing at that stage. ;)
We did some Ephesia Grammata divination to make sure we did everything we needed to, and had some interesting results. We did a V.S.L.M. together before leaving, then had dinner at the Korean place on the edge of town, and then I chatted with the two future Mystai for a few hours more closer to home, and I just got back about a half hour ago.
All in all, it was a successful event, and I’m glad we did it! The (near-)total newcomers had a great time and thought it was wonderful, and so that’s great, too!
Hail to the Divine Sabina!
Hail to the Divine Hadrian!
Hail, Hail, Hail to Antinous!