I went on an adventure this weekend that had me connecting with myself, and my beloved coven. I began with going to Hallowed Homecoming. This is not your normal Pagan festival, with vendors, performances, or community bonfires and drumming. This had a little more gravitas in which the presentations were a little more focused toward lectures from guest speakers, and rituals specific to the season. Because the event was scheduled just after Samhain, the topics covered a little more toward channeling of spirit, and connecting with the dearly departed. One of the lectures I attended was specific to the Welsh tradition of Wassailing.
I love a good cultural exchange of information, and this did not disappoint. In the Welsh tradition, Rhiannon was giving birth to the horse Goddess, Epona, and was thrown out of their stall by Mary and Joseph, who gave birth to Jesus. Rhiannon had to give birth in the frigid cold with no shelter, succor, or food. It is said that the spirit of Epona wanders the earth, tapping on doors looking for succor. Here is the Wiki link to the tradition. At this point I am immensely enjoying the conversation that this is generating, and recording the lecture for future reference. (Unfortunately I was incredibly technology challenged that weekend, and only ended up with a large number of pictures.) The Welsh (admittedly a little drunk) will dress up the skull of a horse with veils and other decoration, and wander the village, knocking on doors and requesting entrance via song and verse. At this point the owner will then respond in song as to why not, and a sing off begins. Should the homeowner run out of reasons why, the Mari Lwyd is then granted access and proceeds to run around the house, breaking things, scaring the inhabitants, and will only leave when bribed with scotch. When the lecturer informed the class that we were going to perform a Mari Lwyd, I nearly threw my knitting at her, volunteering to be the Mari Lwyd. I was channeling this beautiful chaotic energy that seemed to fit my life situation, and I wanted to channel it out into the world.
Our goal with the Mari Lwyd? A nearby class that was teaching protection rituals! The instructor was aware we were coming, and would invite us in. We learned the song, marched to the class, and proceeded to request access in Welsh. To my disappointment, he did not sing back, but just invited us in. Channeling Cowbell, something I had just learned from my coven, I proceeded to channel my banshee wild spirit and follow my passion for shocking people, and tore around the classroom (as prescribed by Welsh tradition, mind you!) with the rest of the class following me and doing the same. My passion had infected the rest of my class, and we owned the Mari Lwyd ritual. It was the most fun I had in years. I had blocked myself, and this was very cleansing for me!