Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Project 28: Yule Ritual Robes

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I'm pagan; more specifically, Wiccan. I honour the old gods of nature and my ancestors and have done so since I was a small child.

I attend a pagan congregation called Gaia's Temple, which is organized by a brilliant and talented priestess named Judith Laxer. Judith contacted me in November and asked me if I would be one of the celebrants for the Yule ritual this year. I told her no, since the schedule of meetings included a Saturday, which would mean missing a weekend with Lingoman. The ritual itself would happen on a Friday this year, which would also mean arriving up in Vancouver for a weekend extremely late. All in all, it seemed too big a price to pay though I was otherwise willing.

Judith wrote back that she could move the meetings off weekends and that perhaps Lingoman might like to travel down to attend the ritual… I replied that it seemed unlikely, but that I would broach the subject at the following weekend. When I arrived in Vancouver that Friday evening, about the third thing out of his mouth was "You know I have Solstice day off work. I could come down on the bus and go to the Gaia's Temple ritual with you if you wanted."

I wrote back to Judith when I got home. "You are some kind of Witch. I'll do the ritual if you'll teach me that spell."

At the first meeting I wound up offering up lots of opinions (are you surprised?) and volunteering to make vestments for the central figure in the ritual drama, the Sun King. Real gold lame was out of the question due to its cost. You actually have to use gold if you want something to look like gold, it turns out. I did, however find some semi-sheer costume fabric at Display and Costume in gold and crimson for a reasonable cost. I also found a very nice looking costume crown, which with the addition of some LED lights really said Holiday Deity to me. I got right to work. For the Sun King, I re-used the pattern from Project 11: Halloween Costumes for my giant hooded robe without the sleeves and added an inner robe and Venetian sun mask.

For myself, since I was asked to invoke the South and the spirits of Fire, I re-used the red inner robe from Lingoman's costume from Project 11: Halloween Costumes and added a new giant hooded robe in Winter white to represent Fire in the season of Winter.

Working with the shiny costume fabric wasn't much fun because it was so delicate that even with my serger I could just barely stabilize the edges with narrow 3-thread hems. The stuff wouldn't take a crease, either, so making the fold-unders for the neck and cuff facings on the inner robe was a spectacular pain in the behind.

I didn't want to spend a fortune on the white robe for myself, since it is likely to get just one use. I purchased a 100% polyester woven slubbed fabric, which frankly was only a little easier to work with than the costume lame! I'll be glad to get back to working with quality natural fibers on my next project.

This is the invocation I wrote:

Invocation of Fire

I send my voice through time and space
In all directions from this place
to summon the spirits of Fire!

You who are Summer's Southern Midday Heat
You who are the self-perpetuating release of energy from matter
You who excite atoms until they yeild their beautiful photons
You who liberate elements by breaking their bonds to each other
You who power every cell in our bodies
You whose discovery by humans began our technological journey
You who comfort us all through the cold days of winter

Arise and come forth!
I summon and stir you!
Respond to your sign!
Be here now!
Blessed be!


Adam said...

Beautiful work, Seumas. Blessed Yule!

Hippy Goodwife said...

Gorgeous as always!