The main altar with offerings, libation, a representation of the Great Mother and another of Hekate.
After the rite we got a little wild! A late supper, simple but delicious, was followed by much merriment and laughing. I don't know if it was the very sweet, fruity champagne or what, but we let loose. The result of all this was a special new rite call the Rite of the Lettuce Leaves - but I'm not sure what it is really about. I can say that somewhere there is a photo of one of the priestesses kneeling in front of me receiving the blessing of the three lettuce leaves which I hope is never published!
Despite all the silliness and fun that followed the Vestalia rites, the ritual itself was very moving indeed. We blessed the space, processed with our statue and bathed Her in rosewater, chanted and made our invocations, burned a very fine, handmade amber and vanilla incense (Fred Solls) that was so beautifully aromatic, certainly a fit offering. We built a blazing ritual fire and then burned our offerings, torn pieces of the Mola Salsa, herbs, and barley. It was very hot and humid, but it didn't seem to matter, everything was quite perfect and we were very much lost to the world.
And so... I continue this festival on my own, but with lovely memories of a special night gathering with daughters of the old ways.
The working altar where we bathed the statue before taking Her to the main altar. Here we blended our herbs and lit new candles, from my perpetual hearth flame, which will be used at our hearths and stoves through the year.