I attended the Columbia Grove ADF Gaulish Midsummer Rite. It was my first time at such an event and I never really was able to get my mind wrapped around all that I experienced. Yet, even though I never fully intellectually grasped the content, it was nevertheless an emotionally moving experience and I am very glad that I had that opportunity.
The UU facility where we met, was extremely appropriate. The area where was literally surrounded by tall trees. It was as if we’re meeting in an actual grove. Very apropos.
The rites performed were honoring the God Taranis, Lord of Thunder and Storms, and the Goddess Sulis, Lady of the Sun and heated waters of the Earth. They were strangers to me. But Wikipedia is my friend. Taranis is the Gaulish god of thunder. In ancient iconography he is typically holding up a bolt of lightening in his right hand and holding a chariot wheel with his left. That certainly suggests that in the minds of some, he is a god of war which is perhaps why the British named a military drone system after him.
Sulis is a solar goddess, and associated with
she was conceived of both as a nourishing, life-giving mother goddess, and as an effective agent of curses wished by her devotees. In Great Britain, she was worshipped at the thermal spring of Bath (now a city in Somerset). Sulis’s name come from a root meaning “eye” or “gap”, referring both to the spring from where half a million gallons of hot water still well up every day, as well as to Her powers as seeress.
Her hot spring has been renowned for its healing powers since ancient times, and when the Romans arrived in Britain they built a bath complex around the spring, and named the place Aquae Sulis (“the Waters of Sulis”). Pilgrims came from mainland Europe to bathe in the therapeutic waters, and references to Sulis are known from as far away as Germany
Surprise, surprise, NOT!! I have a lot of leaning to do. I was already a member of Ár nDraíocht Féin, and now I’ve also become a Friend of the Columbia Grove, the first step in coming a full member of the Grove. Being a neophyte, I’ve taken my my first step and started on the Dedicant path, a basic level of Druid training.
I’m looking forward to seeing where all this goes.