On the top of a slope overlooking a river, I saluted the Earth by kissing the tips of my fingers and touching the soil. I offered Her a handful of wheat and then gave Mercury Psychopomp a libation of wine, asking both the Earth Herself and the God of the Golden Staff to be my intermediaries. On the ground, as I uttered a prayer, I then poured fresh water, as well as dog and cat biscuits, as an offering to the animal spirits. I finished with two handfuls of wheat, one to the Earth and another to Mercury. It was a simple tribute, no more than a few minutes long, though I may come to make it more elaborate in the future.
As I left, I looked back and saw a large bird flying. It wasn’t around when I made the offerings and neither did it stop on the site. It just came flying from the west and turned around when it flew over the place where I had honoured the spirits of my family pets and animals. And then it went westwards, back to where it came from. It flapped its wings too many times to be a bird of prey and both the neck and beak resembled that of a duck. Considering that and its dark colour, it may have been a great cormorant, though the fact that the sea is ten kilometres away makes me unsure about it. But whatever the species, the timing and pattern of the flight made me wonder: did it have anything to do with the tribute to the animal spirits or was it a coincidence? An omen or just a bird flying? Maybe tonight’s dreams will have an answer.