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I held my final high day ritual in Obira today.  It celebrated the Summer Solstice and the Skira, an Athenian festival sacred to Demeter and roughly the time when Persephone would have made her annual descent into the underworld before the hot, barren season.

The ritual had special meaning for me, not only because it was the last I would hold in Obira, but also because it was time for me to give up my pendant.  Last autumn at the equinox, when I celebrated the ascent of Persephone from the underworld, I donned a pendant which I vowed to wear till her next descent, whence I would bury it in her honor.  As I donned that pendant, something shifted inside my heart.  The gods "died" for me, and in poetic language I say that Persephone, that goddess of death, "killed" them for me.  In the last nine months, I have experienced a fruitful liberation as I returned to the basics of what I really believe.  Deep down I am less a hard polytheist than a soft polytheist or pantheist.  Persephone woke me up to this by putting the gods, including herself, to rest.

So, today, as I read aloud the Homeric Hymn of Demeter, with the descent of Persephone into death and the grief of her mother, I felt many layers of meaning.  There was the death of my time here in Obira, and the death of the gods.  I buried the pendant and, lifting hands stained with the dirt to which I too will one day return, I gave thanks to Demter and Persephone for all they have taught me.

The weather was appropriate to the mood, overcast and lightly raining, while a flock of sparrows on the other shore of the river chirped loudly, reminding me of all the joys in this impermanent life.

The omen showing the blessings offered in return for my sacrfices was the 2 of Cups: Love.

Omen from the Haindl Tarot - 2 of Cups: Love

Skira Altar, set within the natural beauty of nature.  The white canopy of the Skiron is represented by a blanket draped across a tree in the background