Grades for three out of my four classes are in for the semester. I’m certain the last grade will be in the B range, so I am not worried about it. My other grades are C, B+, and B-. This means I am going to be a graduate on Yule (that’s when grades are “officially released)! My degree will be a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies awarded by Indiana University.
I and many others have prayed to the Three Kindreds this semester and semesters past for assistance with college. I decided to thank them with a simple and short ritual. Here’s my setup:
Yes, that is an incense burner on the left (with a lit charcoal disc inside) and a lit candle on the right. I included the candle because I conceive its flame as the Sacred Fire of ADF cosmology and liturgy. “May you pray with a good fire” is a common statement within ADF. The Fire transforms offerings into a form that the Kindreds will appreciate.
The ritual was very simple. First, I gathered my materials (incense burner, tongs, charcoal, candle, candleholder, and incense). Next I held the charcoal with the tongs and lit it. Once I was sure the charcoal was lit I placed it into the base of the incense holder. I put the candle in the candleholder, lit it, and said my prayer as I waited for the charcoal to stop sparking. In my prayer, I thanked each of the Kindreds for their help over the past few years to ensure my success. I also thanked them for the growth I have seen in myself. I then made them an offering of herbal incense sprinkled on the charcoal disc, put on the lid, and wafted the smoke towards the flame.
I felt generous, so I made another offering of incense! The candle is still burning while the rest of the incense burns so the Kindreds can receive all the smoke they deserve.
To finish the ritual, I will thank the Kindreds one last time and blow out the candle.
May the Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Shining Ones bless each and every one of you!