The Circle of Coll Seed Group/Seattle
Report for 2012
by Moss Magill
The year 2012 proved to be a rather busy one for the Circle of Coll as we gathered for our regular events such as the Herb of the Month, Druid socials, and the eight festivals of the Wheel. We started the New Year with an honoring of the apple trees when the Sound and Fury Morris dancers invited us to Meridian Playfield for a traditional English Wassail. The dancers led all well-wishers in a toast to the good health of the apple trees so that they would bear an abundance of fruit in the coming year. Revelers sang songs, danced noisily to frighten malevolent spirits, placed bread in the trees for the birds, and shared apple cider and cake. It was a joyous way to extend the holiday cheer to Mother Nature with an enjoyable tradition dating back hundreds of years.
The Occupy Movement was in full swing in January 2012 and the CoC jumped in feet first holding informative meetings for those interested in the cause. We also provided individual representation as one member joined the ranks of the Occupy Seattle Chaplains as the first (and only) Druid chaplain in the organization.
Last yearâ€™s Imbolc was celebrated as a special ceremony when the Gods and Goddesses chose the first Keepers of the Flame of Brigid and the Vessel of Water from the Chalice Well. Henceforth, these sacred items have been present at all subsequent ceremonies and will be passed on to new guardians during Imbolc 2013.
There was a special Herb of the Month field trip to the Hermitâ€™s Grove Magical Gardens and Woodlands where we were greeted by the ever gracious Reverend Paul Beyerl of the Rowan Tree Church. Here, we toured the beautiful grounds graced by many herbs, flowers and trees and our questions were answered by Reverend Paul and his partner gerry.
June marked the first public Quarterly Healing ritual where we gathered to provide space and attention to those in need of nurturing and compassion. The first ritual was inspired by the Seven Operations of Transformational Alchemy, structured with cleansing applications that are described in the ancient Emerald Tablet. This powerful ceremony was refined and offered again in September, and also when the Circle of Coll presented for the first time at the Concentric Circles gathering, facilitated by our friends at OLOTEAS. We raised sacred healing energy a fourth time on December 30 under sacred oaks, where we gathered to acknowledge those who needed physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing in the past year. In this ceremony, we walked in silence through the Arboretum and asked for the healing powers of the trees and of the sacred pools.
The Hedge School gained traction in 2012 with several engaging free public workshops such as Teacherâ€™s Toolbox, Recreating the Rainbow, The Colors of Fall, Meditative Tree Walk, Active Dreaming I & II, Listening with Heart, Soul, and the Tarot. These community outreach projects were delivered by Circle of Coll members who shared their talents and expertise in wide variety of subjects ranging from workshop facilitation to active dreaming to poetry writing to compassionate listening!
Shape-shifting was the theme of our Druid Retreat in August, inspiring union with all creation through the magic of craftwork, journeywork, and body work. Retreat activites focused on Soul Collage, the Taliesin myth, and connections via the senses through physical movement.
There were two new regular offerings that launched in December. The first was the Active Dreaming Monthly Circle which allowed attendees to dream together and to explore the nature of dreams. The second event offered those who participated in the Washington Park (Arboretum) Cleanup with EarthCorps and Green Seattle Partnership an opportunity to help restore the urban forest near the Japanese Garden, removing invasive plants, connecting with nature, and meeting new people.
A very special Alban Arthan was planned to coincide with the much anticipated galactic alignment that peaked on December 21, 2012. The celebrations began just before dawn as Circle of Coll members and others gathered at the Earth Mound in Seattleâ€™s Gasworks Park for a morning vigil and ceremony to greet the rising sun. This was followed by a quick breakfast at a local cafÃ©, and then a Hedge School Workshop: Alban Arthan â€“ Envisioning with the Light of Arthur that included storytelling, divination, envisioning, and reaffirming our relationship to the land.Â After the workshop, members and guests attended a matinee showing of the newly released film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 3D at the Cinerama theatre downtown. Our public Alban Arthan Ritual was held at the Standing Stone Healing and Arts retreat center where we honored the return of the Divine Child (the Mabon), and the rebirth of the golden solstice Sun, asking both for warmth, light and life to return to Earth again.
The Wheel of the Year continues to turn through life and through light and the Circle of Coll revolves and evolves in attunement. Ongoing projects for 2013 continue and new ones emerge as we, the members, transform ourselves personally and gain new wisdom and inspiration. Our Charter is being rewritten, our website will be redesigned and we are reaching out beyond the Druid community to offer our services to wider pagan and interfaith circles. We take on new challenges building upon our spiritual knowledge and creative energies as this period of Great Change unfolds with ever increasing vigor.