As is our custom, we asked for an omen after we all made our offerings at the triple center. The omen is the blessing offered to the folk from the Kindred, after proper sacrifice has been made. When we afford the Kindred their own identities and individuality, we must also allow for an honest conversation to take place.
Mechanically speaking, if the proper offerings have been made, correct markers noted in ritual, and appropriate relationship affirmed, we have done our part in the *ghosti (being in reciprocal relationship) with the Kindred. Ritually, we have said, ‘we offer these things so we may be blessed from You.’ The omen is their response to our offerings and petitions.
I’ve explained this process to my friend’s daughter by equating the omen to someone’s response to asking them a favor. If I ask a friend to help me move, and I have mowed his lawn, watched his home while he was away, and changed the oil in his car, he is more likely to respond yes; however, as an individual, he could respond in ANY way… including denying my request. If we see the Kindred as real things, and not aspects of a larger, universalized whole, then it is the most beautiful expression in the relationship we have with them to interpret their answer through the omen… good, ill, or anywhere else on the spectrum.
I absolutely LOVE the omens parts of our rites. I’m most grateful to be able to have a direct response from the Kindred Three in relation to the work just performed. Even if the omen is to wait and not know right now… I at least KNOW that I’m expected to not know. The relationships built with the Three could not last without their offering omens (and other blessings), and is as necessary as me making my offerings to them. You know… reciprocity, and all that.
It's during this time we receive a blessing in return for our offerings, for reciprocal hospitality-practice is at the heart of what we do.
For both the Solstice rite, and for the full-moon rites that followed later in the evening, in the middle position of both readings was the rune-stave for gift giving/reciprocity/hospitality... the stave, Gebo. At the heart of who we are, there is reciprocal-hospitality.
It's common to hear it said around our Fire, that "... it's all about hospitality." This idea of right-relationship with hosting, as well as guest-ing, is everywhere. It's in how we pray, how we listen, and how we offer to another. It's in how we build relationships, how we approach the unknown, and how we engage humanity.
When practicing hospitality and reciprocity with the Kindreds, we have to interpret what they're trying to tell us sometimes... with humanity, we don't need to interpret arcane symbols or uncover hidden meanings. We simply need to offer and listen, and that requires mindfulness.
Be present. Be in right-relationship. Be the vessel for the blessings of the Kindreds.
May our Omens shine through us all.