Clan

So for today’s trance session I had no expectations. I wanted to just go in and see what happened.

I started like I always do. Calling on my Druid ally Llewelyn for guidance. He appeared   We were in my sacred Grove. He told me to pay close attention to what was happening. My ears pricked up in anticipation. I was ready.

Soon my Grove was filled with deities. All around me. Cernunnos stepped forward and placed a hand in my shoulder. He guided me to the center of the group. Soon there was a mumbling from those assembled. I tried to strain my ears to understand what was being said. Soon the voices became louder. And louder still. I could finally make out what they were chanting. It was one word. “Clan”. The volume grew to the point that my whole being shook with the vibration of that one word. Clan. Then as the volume got to a deafening sound I was immediately snapped back into ordinary consciousness. Left to puzzle this vision.

At first I was confused. I’m no god. Why would the assembly of deities call me one of their own?  I was suddenly reminded that many of our pantheon has their beginnings as mere mortals. Was it a message that I was on the same path?

Then I thought about the fact that we are ultimately the same at many levels. It doesn’t really matter what nation your people hail from. We are all people. A clan of the human race. A lesson my departed father seems to have learned since passing over. It was his word that started me on the Druid path a year ago despite our German heritage. Was this a message to further bring home the message we are all the same?

Either of those two answers fit well with what I’ve been learning. Either is a message well worth contemplating. Are we all at some level not a deity?  Are we all not of one big family of men?  Are we all not one of the clan?

Meeting Brigid

It seems as if my Druid spirit ally Llewelyn has one thing on his mind lately. That is to introduce me to as many deities as possible. Today when I did a trance session he told me once again it was time to meet a deity.

I agreed. What else could I do?  And from my sacred Grove I was once again overcome by the amount of entities gathered. One stepped forward from the group. She was tall and slender with bright red haired. She introduced herself as Brigid. The other entities faded away leaving only her. She sat on the grass and gestured for me to do the same. I sat. She spoke to me then in a soft voice.

“Compassion is the key to end all of the world’s suffering. Compassion for others. Compassion for the worlds we live in. Acts of compassion heal both the giver and receiver. It is the single greatest act we can perform. It all belongs to you to do.”

She ran her hand over my head. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace wash over me. She stood and was gone. I was left in my Grove to think about what she said.

It seems to me there is no lack of the need for compassion on our planet. For the homeless. For refugees. For the sick. For the poor. And our planet also needs compassion to regain its health. I was thinking have we gone too far?  Is it too late?  As I thought this a white bird flew into the Grove. I took it as a sign.

Coming out of trance I got to work researching organizations I could donate to. I found three different groups that address areas of my interest. One of them a group dedicated to cleaning up our environment. I set up monthly donations. I felt like I was part of the cure. Not part of the problem.

I realize how cliche this all sounds. All I know is that it called me to action. And isn’t that what deities are meant to do?  Isn’t that what being a Druid is all about?

I went to my Grove…

Today I was doing a trance session. Just to see what Llewelyn had up his sleeve for me. He told me today I was to have an encounter with a god. Soon my Grove was filled with deities. Some I had met. Some were still strangers to me. But there was Cernunnos stepping out from the group. Come he told me. So I followed him.

Soon we were in a clearing. A group of white robed people were walking in a circle. He gestured for me to join them. I made my way to the circle. The people parted and soon I was in the center of the group. I had my drum with me and I was in my white robe too. So I went to the center of the circle and sat down. Then I started drumming. Soon I had a message to tell the gathering.

I spoke. Cernunnos says to not look. He says to feel. That is the only way experiences will grow. To look we have on blinders. But to feel we are open and free. Feeling is the key to deep spiritual understanding. So says Cernunnos.

From the clearing edge Cernunnos nodded his head in agreement. I had delivered the message to his satisfaction. Then I was suddenly in ordinary consciousness again.

I thought about what I’d just been shown. I admit to not being much of a feeling person. I tend to experience things through my eyes not my heart. The message was clear that I need to start experiencing things emotionally. That is the only way I’ll grow as a Druid. With my eyes I am only seeing part of the picture. With my heart and my feelings I can be open to so much more. Looking at life with my heart and not my eyes I would be able to get s much larger experience of what life truly entails.

The words of wisdom have been spoken. Now I have to act.

Dancing Morrigan

I decided it was time to become more aquatinted with the Morrigan. So of course I went into a trance.

After contacting my spiritual ally Llewelyn I asked him to connect me with the Morrigan. He compiled. This time she came to me as only her white haired older self. I’m used to all three aspects appearing when I meet her in trance. So I was a bit confused by this. I asked her what I should do to gain a deeper relationship with her. She replied that I needed to visit with her for seven days in a row. Then she would grant me the gift of prophecy. I agreed and the trance was over.

The second day I contacted her as promised. This time she told me to dig deeper and do an ogham reading. After coming out of the trance I did an ogham reading on the question what will the outcome of my relationship with the Morrigan be?  The results were very hopeful so I decided to press on.

The third day in trance she told me the ogham reading I had done was just a taste of what was possible. Then she told me to dig deeper and use my drum to contact her.

Fourth day I used my drum. Keeping a steady rhythm I chanted her name. Soon I was in a trance. She appeared to me and as I continued drumming she actually started to dance to the rhythm of the drumbeat!  As she danced joyfully she told me I was almost there to achieving my goal.

Fifth day I used the drum again and once again she danced with abandon. She said our relationship was growing stronger thanks to my efforts. I was getting more in touch with her primal self.

Sixth day I drummed and she appeared. This time the dance was less joyful and more aggressive. She reminded me that she is also a fierce goddess capable of much in the middle realm when need be. Her actions she told me can decide the fate of men especially in battle. Stay on her good side she warned.

Seventh day she appeared. She remained silent. But she held out her hand and gave me a crystal ball. With her other hand she gave me a set of Ogham sticks. These are your tools she said. Use them for prophecy. And call upo her for all workings. She assured me she would heed my call.

So now I have a much deeper relationship with the Morrigan. And the promise that she will be with me in all rites of prophecy. And I got to see her dance!  A successful seven days indeed!

Journey to the Underworld

I’ve been trying to develop a stronger base practice in journeying in the Druid sense. I’m pretty adept at in in Norse terms. But Druidry not so much.

You’d think it was an identical skill process. But no. I’m having to learn the new cosmology and terrain in specific Druidry senses. That’s a completely new skill set. So I’ve been making a concerted effort in that regard. Today I had something of a breakthrough.

Today I did a session where I reached Cernunnos the god of the Underworld. I asked him to give me a tour around. It was a bright green field with large hills jutting up from time to time. As we quietly walked about I noticed there was a large gathering of people just ahead. Out from this throng steps my mother. She was very excited. She told me she loved this place. That it was always Spring here. She told me I was welcome to visit her here any time. And then back into the crowd she drifted.

Next my father appeared. He is always stern. On this trip he told me I was doing the right thing following Druidry. But that I needed to make a better effort. He told me I had to get over my expectations and fears and just do it. Enough monkeying around. Time to do. Cernunnos quietly lead me away and I was back in ordinary consciousness.

I had had a genuine experience at last. With some strong words from my father which is no surprise. I had been given the information. Now to apply it!  That’s the biggest challenge.

Drum and rattle

D2C3A215-74D9-4B19-9809-D0830D38AFDCThese are my Druid drum and rattle. I use them to assist me in various ways that apply to Druidry.

The drum is used in ritual to call the quarters and invoke the ancestors and gods. The act of drumming puts me into a spiritual mindset. It helps my brain make the transition from ordinary consciousness to sacred consciousness. In this way it is a powerful tool for me.

It’s also used to assist me in travels to other realms. I play the drum and chant the name of the deities or Realms I’d like to be in touch with. The drumming gets me into a trance so I can travel to the other realms. Once in trance I can freely travel to either the Upper Realm or Lower Realm. I get wisdom from the gods to use in my daily life. It’s a powerful experience to do these travels. The drum helps make it possible.

The rattle is my standby for trance work. I admit that some days the drum doesn’t work for me. That’s when I turn to the rattle. Often the rattle gets me into trance as easily as the drum. The rattle serves as just another tool in my kit of tricks to make Druidry as living breathing part of my life.

Both the rattle and the drum are decorated with crows. As I work extensively with the Morrigan it seemed like a good fit. Their beauty reminds me of the beauty of Druidry as a way of life. Beauty abounds in my life since I started on this path. May it continue !

Both items were made by Michelle at Gaia’s Workshop Drums. Check out this incredibly talented artist on Etsy. You won’t be sorry!

Think about adding a drum or rattle to your practices. It may bring you places you’d never imagined!

A mighty oak

I have a sacred grove that I go to when I meditate. It’s a clearing in a massive forest. Deep within the trees where almost no sun shines through. It has a grassy lawn and in it I am surrounded by the trees. Sounds of nature permeat the silence.  The sounds of birds. The sounds of squirrels scampering. The very sound of the forest itself breathing and growing all around me. It is a restful spot. A spot where I can go to clear my head and recharge my batteries in the wonders of nature.

In the ring around my clearing is an oak tree. Massive in size the other trees seem juvenile in comparison. This is an oak of great years. An oak of much experience. This oak has seen it all.

The oak stands there alone amongst many. It soars above the rest. It has huge gnarled roots that grow deep into the ground. It’s leaves are massive as well. And acorns lay strewn at its base.

This oak offers me comfort. When I am feeling worn out by my world it takes my burdens upon itself. It offers me flashes of wisdom when I quiet my brain enough to hear its messages. It is a destination for a troubled soul.

It offers me a view of stability. It stands there never moving. Always planted in the same place. Always with its branches swaying gently in the wind. It offers hope to me as I am scattered and frantic and it is solid and strong.

For me this tree is the Tree of Life. Offering advice to those who would heed its ancient wisdom. Offering a place to go of solitude and rest. Offering a sanctuary to those in need of spirituality. This oak offers whatever is needed. And still on it gives.

Meeting Lugh

I decided it was time for me to meet a new deity. I’ve been working with the Morrigan and Cerridwen for some time. But I knew the pantheon was full of cool folk I just hadn’t met. So off into trance I went to see what I could find out.

As always I contacted my spirit Druid ally Llewelyn. Once we were chatting I told him I wished to meet a new deity. Soon enough there was a man standing in front of me. He appeared to be middle aged. He had a beard. He was dressed in peasant clothes. And he held a very large sickle.

As I took him in I asked him his name. He replied “Lugh.”  All I knew about this god was that there was a holiday named for him. But that’s all I knew. So I asked him what I ask all deities when they’re around. I asked him what wisdom he could give me.

“I am the god of the harvest. I collect all the things that have grown for a full season. I offer wisdom in allowing you to know when it’s time to reap the benefits of your works. Turn to me for wisdom in that regard. I wil not fail you.”  And then he disappeared into a mist.

I thanked Lugh for his words. I thanked Llewelyn for the introduction. I came out of trance. And I started pondering this experience.

A god to help me know when it was time to reap. I could use that!  I often start projects but have no idea when to end them. Makes for a messy life. So I can count on Lugh to help me tie up the loose ends. I can complete projects with his assistance. He knows the time to harvest what I’ve been working on. Cool indeed!

So that was my experience meeting Lugh. I still have to process it all. But at least I have an inkling of where to turn. We’ll see where this leads. The deities have yet to fail me!

Hey there Brazil!

I just have to give a shout out to the reader in Brazil who checks this blog every day. Thanks!  But it has brought up a subject for me. The internationality of Druidry. Let’s take a moment to look at this phenomenon.

What brings us together across national boundaries?  First of all there’s the love of nature. Nature is universal. Trees grow in every nation. Flowers bloom everywhere. And the lessons nature teaches are valid no matter what language you speak. The changing of the seasons. The passage of time. All have valuable lessons for us. And they can be taught wherever you are.

The lore crosses boundaries. The lessons to be found in the lore are universal. Reading the lore offers ancient wisdom that can be applied today. There is no doubt that those stories from years gone by can speak to us today. If we’re open enough to learn. Wisdom is to be found in the lore. Check it out!

The pantheon of our gods is universal. From Cernunnos to the Morrigan the gods also have valuable insights to teach us. It is through their stories that we learn. They are certainly worthy of veneration.

There is so much universality in our path it should be no surprise that people are drawn to it no matter where they live. For wisdom. For inspiration. For a love of nature. All of these things make Druidry a universal path. No matter what language you speak!

Beltaine ritual

This is the time of year for the birth of summer. Plants sown is Spring start to grow and reach fruition. Animals born in Spring start to reach maturity. Everything is growing!  And we take this time to celebrate creativity.

For me creating comes from action between the feminine and masculine. Both must be in play for true creation to occur. It is through the union of these two forces of nature that all things are born. Now is the time for the growth of these new elements in our lives. We see the growth of the crops and know deep within ourselves that we are in a period of growth as well. Ideas planted in Spring are spreading their roots and taking shape.

It is with these ideas in mind that I approached Beltaine. So my ritual was a celebration of the union of the masculine and feminine.

I started the ritual as I always do. I lit incense. I drummed in the four quarters and deities to be honored. Of course amongst this list were my patron deities Cerridwen and the Morrigan. I never do ritual without invoking them.

Amid all the incense and drumming I kept in mind my goal to honor the union of the feminine and masculine within myself. I did an act where I inserted a wand into a chalice of water. This symbolizes the coming together of these aspects of self.

Then I meditated. I let my mind be free of daily concerns so that I could open up to the universe. I got some interesting insights into the masculine and feminine and how I need to balance them more thoroughly in my life. Basically I need to allow my feminine self show through in my practice of Druidry. No big surprise there. I am drawn to Druidry in part due to its celebration of the goddess energy of the multiverse.

Then I thanked the deities and drummed my farewell to the quarters. My ritual was complete.

I am still going to ponder the lessons of a balanced sense of self. I need to take steps to include the feminine more into my practices. It is a noble goal and I hope to make significant progress in this regard during the time of year when all things grow.