|Samhain ritual and aftermath
||[Oct. 27th, 2002|10:20 am]
|||||Three Dog Night -- Mamma Told Me Not to Come||]|
Went down to Public Square with Jeff yesterday afternoon at about 5pm--activities were supposed to start at 4, the ritual at 7:30, so we were trying to strike a decent compromise. Not much was happ'nin' at that point. Wandered in the mall for a little while and got something to eat. Jeff asked if I was sure we had the right day, then someone in a cape swirled by us, wafting patchouli in his wake.
Yeah, we're in the right place.
Wandered back out about 6pm and met up with Grimm, someone I know from the Internet and from our now-defunct Thursday night coffee klatches. Introduced Jeff to...Jeff (Grimmy's real name), and talked for a few before Grimm mentioned that the evening was scheduled to go on until 10pm. Jeff blanched. He was already getting the heebiegeebies from some of the more...rustically dressed participants. 10pm was going to be too much. He drove me home and I drove myself back, arriving in time for the fete. The ritual was pretty much what you'd expect, chanting and circling, calling the quarters, a spiral dance (that was fun--first time I'd gotten to do that), the "slaying" of the Stag King, the mourning for the Stag King, lighting incense for our beloved dead, cakes and ale (okay, cookies and water), opening the circle. There was a small fire in the center of the ritual, cunningly set in a washtub filled with water, the fire itself in a large coffee can so no chance of a booboo. On the whole, well-organized and efficiently done. Also, over by 8:30. Why they thought we needed to be there at 4, and how they thought it was going to continue until 10, I have no clue. Perhaps those were the hours for which they had reserved the park and they just sent them out as the hours of the celebration.
Next came the post-ritual party at the home of one of the participants. Grimm rode with me both to guide me there and because he was without transportation. Good thing, too. I never would have found it otherwise. From the outside, it looked like an abandoned building on Detroit Road.
From the inside, it looked like an abandoned building along Detroit Road.
Sheryl, our hostess, just recently purchased the building. It's one of those old-fashioned 3-story brick storefront buildings with apartments above. It was built about 100 years ago, before the advent of indoor lights. All the electrical work has beeen installed in conduit along the wall, rendering it very handy to reach for the purposes of pullig it all out and reinstalling it. At this point, they are the only people living in the building, they are in the process of converting two apartments into a single, large unit for their own use, and renovating the other four to rent out. When that is done they will address the boarded-up storefront downstairs.
This all sounds really great, and the space is terrific, but they are not wealthy people, and the work is going slowly. So while they are living with a very pleasant dream, their day-to-day reality is dumps-ville. Nevertheless, they had the capacity to throw four apartments open for a party, which is a rather impressive feat. For sheer square footage, I've seen very few private-home parties that could beat them.
For sheer number of beds, they kinda had the market cornered, too.
I didn't think much about it as we toured the loft room, which contained three or four single beds (she has kids, but they are at their dad's for the weekend). Then there was the "guest room" in one of the apartments. Then in the apartment without electricity (their current project), we lit a lot of cndles in a room that contained only a single bed. This struck me as a wee bit hinky.
When she opened the door to "the playroom," my growing suspicions were confirmed. Two queen-sized beds, pushed up against each other, and a cat o' nine tails that she gleefully announced had "seen a lot of action in here" the night before. Many candles were lit in this room as well.
When all was said and done, the party was actually quite mellow. A group of people sat in the livingroom listening to music and talking. A group of people were in a livingroom-like space in another of the apartments playing aroun with energy and talking and laughing. Some alcohol was consumed, but no one was getting seriously drunk. No illegals were allowed on the premises. People kind of came and went, then a big chunk of them left at about 1am.
I suddenly realized that I was pretty much left with the core group of people who, from their comments, were the ones who engaged in their little reindeer games.
"Gosh, look at the time--gotta go."
I will say, there was no flirtation, no hint that anything was going to happen, and I had a good time talking and listening to their stories. But it's a world in which I'm definitely an outsider looking in, and I think it's gonna stay that way. It felt like the hippy leftovers from when I was in college--nothing is ever quite clean, no one is ever quite together. The energy was just too chaotic for me to ever want to be bosom buddies with these people. I think I can enjoy their company on occasion, but on the whole, I'm much happier with the middle class pagan friends I have in Joan and Kat and Jeff. It may sound really snobby, but I do not fit in with this blue-collar paganism. There were a couple people who I also expect are professionals in real life and keep neat homes and don't alarm the neighbors (who also left early), but many of these people were quite "out there." I am adaptable enough to enjoy their company, and I genuinely like some of them, but it's not my world.
And everything I was wearing reeks of cigarette smoke. Heavy, heavy smokers. Must shower and wash all my clothes. Ick.