What follows is one person’s experence of that ritual…
I stand on the other end of a bridge that spans a brief divide. Beneath my feet, under the wooden planks, there rushes a cool stream that will, some time down the way, empty into the large saline sea we Utahns lovingly call The Great Salt Lake. The bubbling laughter of the rapid, pregnant water adds its voice to the throaty calls of countless birds, chirping insects and him.
He is Parker Torrence, pagan author, web master, father and husband. Today, he wears another guise and speaks to me now as the High Priest and founder of the DraigeSidh Tradition—of Bivium Draco Draconum Tor, the group running this aptly named Wyrd Day in the Park; Aspen Grove’s Public Summer Solstice Sabbat offering.
“Close your eyes,” he says to me, his very presence filled with a confidence I wished I felt. He is the Guardian; to get to him, I had to cross the river. To move on, I have to change.
I close my eyes and follow his instructions: breathe in, breathe out. He guides me through a brief but powerful visualization that opens my Chakras and can be found in his book Sea, Land Sky: A dragon magick grimoire. When the visualization comes to a close, I am bidden to open my eyes once more.
Parker holds in his hand a pine cone. “An offering,” he says, “for the Forest King.” Before letting me go, he adds, “Remember, it’s the journey that is important.”
Bearing his words in mind, it was in a state of introspection that I wandered down the meandering path, a ribbon of black carved through the wooded area of Murray Park, heading toward the heartbeat rhythm of a drum in the distance; heading toward my Fate.
The stir of magic fills the air, a popping, crackling surge at the base of my skull and warm, fluidity that caresses my skin, leaving goose-bumps in its wake. My feet move of their own accord: right foot, left foot. Ever forward, ever journeying.
I am pointed by the drummer, who never missed a beat, to a sheltered copse on the edge of the bank. There, nearly invisible among the leaves and branches, sits the stout figure of the Forest King, who seems almost as surprised to see me as I was to see Him. Kneeling, I present my offering, wondering for the space of a heartbeat what would happen if He rejected the pine cone in my hand.
Fortunately, He accepted my gift and placed into my outstretched palm a red stone. I rise, thanking him, and turn back to the path. Across the way, three covered shelters wait: the dwelling place of the Three Fates.
Each person that walked down that path that day; each person that gave a gift to the Forest King and received a stone in turn, made a visit to one of the Three Sisters. Everyone that gave payment—their stone—received a message meant only for them, given by the Fate that had guided them unseen along the path, called out to them in whispered hushes to visit one of the three shelters where Fate patiently waited.
A Wyrd Day in the Park indeed!