Last night I performed what’s likely to be the last Esbat ritual at my current home, as very soon my husband and I will be moving to our first own property. It seemed very appropriate to dedicate this Esbat to Juno – not only because June is her month, but also because she is associated with the home, and with marriage (it’s our 1st year anniversary next month).
I began the ritual with my usual prayers and offerings to Inari Okami. Because I will soon be packing away my Inari altar for the move, I took the opportunity to say an extra norito, and offer some matcha green tea, to say an extra special thank you for keeping my husband and I safe and happy in our current home, and to pray for good fortune during our move.
I then made offerings to Juno – pomegranate, poppy seed bread and wine – and gave her thanks for our successful marriage and happy home, and to help heal some of my relatives who are currently unwell. It was quite a short and simple ritual.
During the ritual, I was momentarily interrupted by some guests of the neighbours visiting next door (the yard in front of our flat is fairly secluded, but not entirely hidden from next door). But this didn’t really faze me – I remembered that in some traditions, one should always treat outsiders who come upon your ritual as incarnations of the deities, as who knows, they may just be the deities themselves! (We all know stories about gods taking human form in order to test the kindness and respect of mortal men). So I politely said hello, and that was that. I think that taking this view of accepting and welcoming outsiders who accidentally stumble upon you at ritual work is a really nice ethos to take. And of course, animals should be included in this too (I’ve certainly had cats appear during ritual work).
Although it’s not much to look out, I’ve grown quite fond of my secluded ritual area outside my flat and I’ll miss it when we leave. But our next house does have a proper back garden, so I’m looking forward to that!