collwen: (candles)
The morning started early, since [livejournal.com profile] marnen is of the local morris dance team (Pokingbrook Morris). Every year they do a dawn dance at the Moses fountain in Albany's Washington Park. I was able to wake up early enough to put hot water into a thermos so I could warm up with some hot cocoa as Marnen and the team danced the sun in (ok, so they started *after* sunrise...). Afterwards we went to the Gateway diner on Central Ave for breakfast.

Oh, something I noticed the other night- they're *tearing down* the old Denny's that was on Central Ave. So it's definitely goodbye to that old landmark in the lives of myself and quite a few of my friends.

From the Gateway the morris team had a performance for an elementary school in Cohoes (one of the dancers is a teacher there). The kids were impressed, especially with the sword dance they did (and "decapitated" one of the teachers). After that we stopped off at Halal Meat & Groceries in Latham to pick up something for the potluck/celebration that we were going to next (more on that in a minute). We found packages of these little tea cookies baked in NYC that were very good. Not too spicy, nice crumbly texture.

We then headed out to Berne/Knox and up the mountain. I forget how she's associated with the morris team, but Mary runs a retreat (Universal Pathways off of her farm. The impression I got was that the place holds Reiki and primarily celtic influenced spirituality classes. She also has a number of ties with the local pagan community (and the morris team) and hosts various celebrations (like yesterday).

For Beltaine she opens the place for the day. There's a potluck, some dancing by the morris team followed by a maypole dance, a small ceremony in the evening, more food. After the maypole I ended up playing on the drum a little with Marnen and one of the other guys on the morris team who plays concertina and pipe and tabor (it was concertina for this).

And Mary has the the land for people to wander around on.

Good gods, the place is incredible. I only took a couple of pictures with the camera on my phone. They're here in my LJ scrapbook.

One thing I didn't get a picture of was the mikvah and cave. I went up with Marnen and a couple of people from the morris team (including a very energetic 12 year old boy). The stream runs under rock and ground, out through the cave and into the mikvah, then down to the main part of the retreat (and the footbridge I was sitting on in the one pictures in the above gallery). Most of us took off our shoes and stepped through the *COLD COLD COLD* water (if I had testicles they would have been the size of a single grain of rice- both testicles combined!) to enter the cave.

There was a moment where I could only hear the water as it moved over rocks, feel only the cold wet stone beneath my feet and the water dripping onto my back from a crack in the cave's ceiling, and see only the light from a shaft to the outside play across the rolling surface of the stream. Indescribable peace and beauty wrapped up in a single breath of time that didn't last long enough.

On the way back from the cave I found a perfect sized walking stick of birch. I spent part of the afternoon removing bark so it wouldn't crumble off and all over Marnen's car on the way home.

There was a quiet time, then we had a brief ceremony. I got drafted to speak for West. I told them about the trip into the cave. Water can be both still and reflective, or rushing with energy. Even with the rush that is Beltane, we need to have that pool of stillness where we can reflect and consider all that we have and can do. (or something to that effect, I don't remember the exact words). Whatever they were, the words were well received and the fact that despite this being my first time there, and not really knowing anyone, I jumped in when called upon and did well, left a good impression on Mary and the others there (including a rascally older gentleman named Peter who was visiting with his wife from Australia). For dinner, someone had made a casserole of parsnips and fiddle heads (the latter I never had eaten before) which was very good.
collwen: (Default)
click here for details )

Halloween

Nov. 1st, 2007 09:49 am
collwen: (goth)
Last night, after being stuck at work late, Tersha dropped me off at Zach and Erica's house. Marnen met up with me there. David, my friend from Buffalo, was there and boy do I miss him. He and Brooke were in rare form. *evil grin*

So after watching a little bit of the recent "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (I do need to see the rest of it) to wait for people to finish showing up, we cleared the neat mosaic table and held a small Samhain ritual. In attendance were myself, Marnen, David, Brooke, Shira, Zach, Erica, and Rosalee. It was touching at times, funny at times, and very energizing to my soul.

I still want to go back to bed, but that's because the quality of the sleeping after the ritual was very very very good and I want to go back to that deep nourishing rest.

[context for names/associations- David, Brooke, Zach, Rosalee, and myself were part of a pagan core in our APO chapter at SUNY Albany back when I went there. David, in particular, is one of my best friends but stuck in Buffalo.]

Blessed Be

May. 1st, 2006 07:42 am
collwen: (Default)
Happy Beltane.


More of an update to come.
collwen: (Default)
I want to curl up and sleep.

Tuesday night [livejournal.com profile] marnen and I had dinner with his mom and her husband in Croton. Good seafood resturant called the Ocean House. Tiny place, may have been a car diner before. Great food.

Wednesday night we went to 1st Seder in Cornwall. Galen (from Game Gnight, the game merchant) was the host and his parents are cool. I made the lemon cheese & fruit parfait from the CIA class and it went over very well.

Last night we went to 2nd Seder in Elmsford. This is where we've been doing 2nd Seder for a couple of years now. Good food. Good people (a few people from the country dance scene). Good wine. Losing 55ish pounds and not drinking much kills tolerance. I got a little happy/tipsy... which means I got sleepy. Didn't get home until quarter of 2am.

Tonight I go up to Albany (by train) to hook up with [livejournal.com profile] tetsujinnooni and [livejournal.com profile] chickipu_no_oni to go to just outside of Rochester for Easter with Terhsa's parents.

Heh... all these religious meals and my own holiday was last month...

Note to self: check Jon & Terhsa's thoughts on horseraddish and introduce them to Koreich (aka Hillel sandwiches- matzah, maror (chrain aka horseradish), and charoset (Apple, nuts, and spices ground together and mixed with wine)]. I think it's the best part of a Seder.

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Mildred Cady

August 2010

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