Last night was my initiation into the Risting. It took place at a park after hours. "Park" isn't quite the right word for the place. "Park" connotes a happy, family place with swings and water fountains. This park, though, is actually quite magical.
The park is larger than it seems. I started out walking the labyrinth, and then set out on a solitary walk that brought me by places like the Lake of Reflection and the Tunnel of Darkness. I was afraid I might lose my way in the dark, but my feet kept going, and I found the little clearing in the woods where the ritual was to take place.
My instructor didn't expect me so soon. He said he hadn't finished clearing the space or putting up the hedge, which turns out might have been in my favor. The night before, my classmate was initiated and she told me that after the hedge was put up, she couldn't find them, and they didn't see her. A phone call in the dead of night fixed all of that, but it must've been a bit scary not knowing where to go.
Initiation didn't take as long as it could have. Our instructor threatened us with a ceremony that could go on into the wee hours of the morning. He took pity on my working ass, though, and the ceremony only took about 30-45 minutes (once I found the place). He did most of it: the clearing of the space, the calling of the quarters, etc. I was only responsible for presenting my two items and reading my oath.
The oath was the hardest part for me, being as I've never written an oath before in my life. I showed it to Todd and he called it "cute." I don't know much about the secrets and mysteries of ritual, but I am pretty sure they don't involve "cute.
The scariest part of the night was walking through the tunnel in the dark. Upon first entering the tunnel, the light of the full moon lit the path. However, the deeper into the tunnel I got, the darker it became. Then there was this strange illusion that made the tunnel appear as if there was some sort of moving energy force inside. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, and soon I was near the end of the tunnel where the light from the moon reappeared and guided my way safely out of there.
I was told there would be someone at the end of the tunnel to guide me, but no one was there. During the whole walk, I kept thinking I saw cloaked figures, and as I got closer, these figure would turn out to be trees or posts or other stationary objects.
At the end of the ritual, I was gifted with two items: a besom and a magnifying glass with a jade handle (so I may always be able to see what is hidden). After the circle was open, I was driven to my car, and that was that.
Of course, I know the journey didn't end with that drive to my car. It will continue, only now it has a different slant.
I'm looking forward to that!