Every time I celebrate with GoG, I am reminded why I predominantly identify as Pagan. Though, as with most definitions I skirt the edges, and refuse to commit, (Why do we have to label this, baby? Ain't things good the way they are? Come back to bed sweety, we can talk about this in the morning..) whenever I attend a GoG ritual, not only do I feel deeply at home, but I leave changed. Many times profoundly so. This year's Samhain was dedicated to the Morrigan, with her triple aspects being invoked by three different, yet all both lovely and beautiful women, one of whom was the inscrutable and breathtaking, Deb.
This ritual I very decidedly did not have any part other than "congregant". Usually I will do something.. invoke something, act as willow priest, diviner.. something. This year I wanted the full experience of congregant. Honestly, I am unsure why. It just felt important somehow, so I went with it.
It was one of the most powerful rituals I've been to in any context, which is extra awesome to me because it was a religious service, ("We are here to honor the Gods..") and not a practical magical working. I have to say, the Morrigan is/are one/many hard-core Lady(s). Apparently more of a job title than a solid person, per se. Morrigan Co. (as we've been calling Her/Them around the house) is awesome in the most literal sense of the word. It wasn't just the Morrigan's presence in the Grove, but the fantastic skill of each of the invocants. Everyone was truly amazing performing their roles in ritual space. It was a perfect storm of celebratory Pagany goodness.
After the ritual there was tasty food including the ever coveted stuffed pumpkin, followed by the Pumpkin Parade that we do every year to Honor Jack, yes, the Pumpkin King (A large Jack O Lantern) who we pull around in his card, while wearing silly hats and singing "What Do you Do with a Jack O Lantern!?" to the tune of "What do you do with a drunken sailor". I elected to stay in doors this year with Morrigan Co. because those ladies needed people to make them eat, and I would fear for the safety of New Brunswick if they were out rampaging in the parade.
After that there was the Reading of the Book of Names, where we write the names of our honored dead, which are then ritually read aloud every year. This year I stepped up and wrote in the names of my own ancestors. Though none of them were pagan, all of them felt good with the idea, and seemed rather surprised and appreciative. I, also felt closer to the grove. Adding my Ancestors to the Book made me feel.. honestly like family to the Grove itself, and everyone in it. My Ancestors became Our Ancestors. As much as I love the pageantry of ritual, when done right, there just as much power in something as simple as a pen on paper, and reading aloud.
I have to say, very few beings have roused a good fighting spirit in me like The Morrigan did last night. Honestly it's something I've needed. I honor Her for that, and for all the help She has brought to our home.
When 2am barely feels like 10pm, you know it was a good night.