Last night was was the final Medway Pagans moot of 2015 – but our first moot in a brand new venue, where we’ve moved for various reasons. We were all a bit nervous at first of moving somewhere new, but it turned out to be fantastic – very friendly, with a great space for ritual.
The moot began with a lovely ritual by Phoenix, welcoming the birth of the Sun God, in which each of us received a candle to welcome in the light. We also sang a Pagan version of Silent Night, beginning with a solo by Phoenix which she sang really beautifully (she’s in a choir!). I think all of us singing together really heightened our emotions – as the ritual ended, I felt really moved. A lot of others felt the same way.
After the ritual, our Yule dinner was served. And just like last year, it was delicious! I opted for the vegetarian courses this year, despite not being veggie – partly for a bit of a change, and partly because I am trying to cut down on meat (I used to be vegetarian for several years as a teenagers). I’m really glad I chose the veggie option – yummy soup followed by amazing mushroom patties.
Between courses we did Secret Santa. My husband (he always tries to come to the Yule meal even though he isn’t a Pagan, which means a lot to me) received some patchouli incense and a beautiful glass pyramid with a pentacle inside (he plans to put it on his desk at work), and I got a really interesting-looking book about candle magic, which may well prove useful when I hold the Imbolc moot in February. I’ll probably end up reviewing the book on this blog at some point!
I took the opportunity of the moot to film some of our members talk about their views on Paganism and feminism/women’s rights/gender equality, which I plan to use at the discussion I’m leading with Medway Inter Faith Action. I was delighted to hear so many views articulated so well by our members. Although everyone’s views on the subject varied, one theme that kept coming through was the idea of balance – that there must be equal Masculine and Feminine energies, and so both sexes should be treated equally. This is very useful for my presentation, as it takes a historical look at the relationship between Paganism and feminism, which at times could be rather one-sided towards the Feminine, so it is interesting to hear how ideas and attitudes have moved on in the 21st century to reinforce the notion of balance more than the idea of a primarily Goddess-centred belief system.
It’s also interesting how the ritual we performed right at the beginning of the moot had this theme of balance too – to directly quote from the wording of the ritual, “Darkness cannot exist with out the light, as the Goddess cannot exist without the God. They are in an eternal balance.”