The Needfire: One Group's Journey For Change
Article ID: 8800
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,437
Times Read: 4,267
Author: Oracle DancingGoat/ Shelly O'Brien
Posted: November 20th. 2004
Times Viewed: 4,267
When my Clergy partner and I heard about the Needfire we knew that we were in, that we needed to do this ritual. We worked the Needfire Ritual into our Full Moon schedule. We had already scheduled the Full Moon Ritual for 10:30 PM so that we would be beginning our Rite during the totality of the lunar eclipse. We had decided that there was no better time to hold our Ritual than during all three faces of The Mother.
At the beginning of the week preceding the Needfire, I began to collect the wood needed to complete the Needfire Ritual. I know where almost every kind of tree and plant grows around the area in which we live and this was a serious spiritual search for me. The second day of gathering I called Heidi, my Clergy partner, and told her that we were missing love, understanding and healing for the Needfire. I suggested that we add apple wood to the Needfire for this purpose. She thought that this was an excellent idea and so we added Apple to the end of the list of sacred woods for our Needfire Ritual.
As the 27th dawned, I gathered our sacred woods into small bundles and labeled each of them with their name and purpose. From there I took the time to cleanse and to think about the night's Rite and focus my energies and purpose to the positive change that we were to create as a group.
I arrived at Pagan Church of the Sacred Pentacle, where our Ritual would be taking place. As we were blessed with beautiful weather (something that is far from assured for those of us living in western NY) we were able to hold our Ritual outside and began setting up to do so. The directional altars were meticulously placed, as was the central altar and the fire pit. It seemed we spent more time setting up for this Rite than for any other Rite that we have previously held.
The night was already sacred and the Moon's beautiful face had just begun to disappear in a shadowy crescent. The night was cold, crisp and clear. When everything was in place we just stood and took in the Mother. At 10:30 we were all ready and arranged and we waited in reverence for those who were going to arrive on Pagan Time. Our Rite began at 10:50 PM, within the amazing totality of the lunar eclipse. A brownish gray shadow revealed the moon to us in Her Crone phase. We Cast Circle and called in the Guardians. Next we called The Goddess and The God.
We declared our purpose and lit a candle on a large piece of paper and one by one came forward and wrote what we each felt was wrong and corrupt about our country. Everything from government to health care to the general public's apathy and hatred were put down on that paper. We then put the candle in our large cauldron and burned paper and all, watching till the bitter end as all that we felt is wrong with America was consumed by fire. Just as the last of that small and corrupt fire was finally extinguished, we snuffed all the candles within our Circle. As I looked up, the Moon showed the smallest face of the New Crescent Maiden. I went forward and lit the base of the Needfire in our fire pit. From there we added the Sacred Woods one at a time. Birch was first and it was held aloft and its name and purpose were announced, then it was passed around our Circle and each person put their hopes and positive energies into that bundle until finally it was added to the Needfire. And so it followed with each Sacred Bundle. When this was done, the Mother had almost come to her quarter phase. The woodsy perfume coming now from the Needfire was intoxicating. It was like the scent of nature and spice and the sweet memories of Yule all at once.
Heidi broke some straws from her besom and we lit all the candles anew from the Needfire. Next we all Drew Down the Moon and also Drew In the God of the Forests and Nature.
We then lifted our voices as one in the chant, ~~We are a Circle~. With our power having mounted and all of us steeped in the Gods and each other we then released our energy.
"May the people of our country and her government hear our voices tonight. May they see the right things and do them in all things. May everyone rejoice and embrace each other for our differences. May we live in truth, honor and love in all things. May our government and her people be the best that they can be. May they be moved to act only in honor, truth and love. May they be lead by wisdom and compassion. May we never run but let us be wise in our actions for the betterment of the all and not the one! We moved from there to the Great Rite and the Blessing of the Cakes and Ale. As that was finished we moved next to releasing the rest of our energies and the Gods into our Healing.
So mote it be!"
"The healing tonight is for our country. At this point we followed through and released the Gods and Guardians and Opened Circle.
The healing tonight is for our government.
The healing tonight is for our service men and women.
Our healing tonight is for all peoples.
Our healing tonight is for all of humanity and the world.
So Mote it Be!"
I looked up and the Full Mother was looking down on us.
More powerful magick there had never been. Magick was everywhere.
The night of the elections I was very depressed; I felt as though the whole Needfire had been for naught. I had thrown my vote and time to the wind. I had nightmares that night. The next morning I turned on CNN even though I had sworn to myself that I was not going to - I was depressed enough.
And I noted that the focus of the newsmen and newswomen was the numbers of people who had actually come out to vote. Not in a very long time had so many come to the polls.
And the amazing thing was that when they kept stressing why people had come out: family values and morals.
Either they had come out because they were moved to stop the Bush regime or they had come out to stress their idea of morals and family values by voting for Bush.
That was when I realized that the Needfire had worked after all. We were trying to stop corruption and bring about what was important: truth, integrity, morals and values above all things, such as money and power, which had been the focus before.
And as it dawned on me, I began to cry. Relief and happiness washed over me. The Needfire had worked. Regardless of what our individual values, it was our values that were at the forefront of this election. Magick and positive change is truly afoot!
Oracle DancingGoat/ Shelly O'Brien
Location: Canandaigua, New York
Author's Profile: To learn more about Oracle DancingGoat/ Shelly O'Brien - Click HERE
Bio: An Initiated Witch since 1987. Celtic Reconstructionist. Founder of the Wiccan Church of Caldera 1990. Ordained ULC Minister. High Priestess and co-founder of Pagan Church of the Sacred Pentacle. Co-founder of Pagan's Food Cupboard of Ontario County. Assistant Local Coordinator and Media Director of Fingerlakes Pagan Pride. Media Director Pagan Educational Network of New York.
Shelly has been a community leader, spiritual counselor, and Pagan advocate in the media since 1989. She has worked with the Rochester Police Department on Pagan-related issues. She has taught and conducted many workshops and seminars. Her many media appearances include Channels 8, 10, 13, Rnews, and WXXI AM, and Big Dog Country AM radio. She has been profiled in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Upstate magazine. She has been featured in many area newspapers. Shelly is dedicated to positive public awareness of our Pagan community. Shelly lives with her husband and three daughters in Canandaigua, New York.
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