Wrestling with faeries

I’m having trouble believing in faeries. I know that they’re part of the lore. I know they marry humans sometimes. But really. Faeries?  Really?

As I understand the concept of faeries. They are a form of nature spirit. They assist in the growth of green things. They work magic. They assist humans when the mood strikes them. And I can buy all that.

I have no problem in believing in beings from other realms. I even believe they can cross over into our realm when they feel like it. I have witnessed firsthand the work of such beings. Having had a family farm in my youth I can tell you the growth of plants is nothing short of magic. You take a seed. You plant it. It gets rain. And poof! Soon you have a plant pushing its way up through the ground. Magic indeed. I can believe that there are entities behind the scenes in all that. Something’s at work there. Otherwise it simply defies imagination. No wonder our ancestors saw magic at work.

The Morrigan is said to be the queen of the faeries. She oversees all of their work. She helps decide what they will or won’t do. As queen she commands respect from her tribe. Again I can buy all of that.

Maybe I don’t have such a problem believing in faeries. Maybe I’m simply the victim of too many Disney films. I don’t believe that faeries are all pixies flitting about.

Maybe I need to start a regimen to invite them into my life. Some close encounters would be great. I wish I lived closer to nature now. It’s times like this I miss my youth.

Believing in faeries?  Maybe I’ll let them win this wrestling match!

Prayers

Prayer plays a role in all spiritual paths. The act of prayer is a form of communication with the gods. It acts as a bridge between us and them. It serves as a strong foundation in my practices.

I pray mostly to offer thanks to the gods. Thanks is a good thing to be aware of and practice. We all have so much to be thankful for. Our loved ones. Our health. Our abilities to make it through one more day. And letting the gods know you’re thankful for the role they play in all of that is important.

I also use prayer to honor the gods. It makes a difference that you are taking the time out of your busy day to perform this act. Making time for the gods every day is something we can all aspire to. What better way to take that time then in honoring the deities who play a role in your lives?

I avoid Santa Claus prayers. Asking for things or intervention in an issue on my behalf. If I do offer those kind of prayers I’ll make sure I’ve exhausted every avenue offered to me in this realm. Help from the other realms is great and all but I think the gods appreciate those who do as much for themselves as they can.

Prayer for me also involves offering. I like to offer something to the gods I’m praying to. It is often something simple. Like incense. Or juice. No need to go overboard in this regard. Unless of course you feel it’s called for!  Let your imagination run wild here. I’ve offered crystals. I’ve offered ogham sketches. All seemed to be accepted gracefully by the gods. So I don’t feel hindered in types of items to offer.

Let prayer become a daily part of your routine. It will definitely help you build stronger relationships with the gods. It will help you achieve a calmer state of mind. And you’ll be performing an action that is sure to bring you some form of reward.

Making time for the gods

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in following this path over the past several months it’s that I need to make time for the gods. No matter how busy my life may become spending time with the gods needs to be a priority.

How do I spend time with the gods?  There’s a couple of ways. The first is through simple meditation. Taking time to quietly sit and clear my mind of most everything but the god at hand helps me build a relationship with that deity. I pick a god I want to be closer to. I sit quietly with some incense burning and meditate on that god and their attributes. This helps me build a bridge between our reality and theirs. New ideas may come to me dealing with my everyday life. It’s a time for honest communication with the deities in a nonpressured setting. This is an important skill for me in my spiritual practice.

For deeper communication with deity I go into trance. This is where I build my more lasting bonds. The act of going into trance helps my brain switch gears from the casual communication of meditation to a more serious communication. Trance work for me is also a vital part of my practice. There I can actually hold conversations with deities. I get more direct information. I find more answers. This is also vital to my building a bridge between the realms.

Then there’s the ritual. Doing ritual makes definite time for the gods. In my experience the full blown ritual with incense and drum and the structured action tells the gods that they’re important to you. I try to make time for a full on ritual at least once a week.

Can I make time to do one of these three things every day?  I try. But I know if I don’t I end up getting grumpy and nasty to be around. For that reason alone it is worth the effort.

Make time for the gods in your life. Only then will you reap the benefits of having relationships with deity in your own life!

Spring

Spring is the time of great promises. As the spring rains fall to the ground nourishing the plants around us and they draw that water up into themselves, the only thing that can happen next is green!  The great wonderful greening of the earth. The start of new things.

Spring is an excellent time to begin new tasks. Taking on a new task in your life now will mean that by fall harvest something miraculous will have occurred. You will have grown. Throughout the summer heat you will be experiencing growth of whatever task you have set for yourself. You will become something new. Spring means new life. New growth. What better way to celebrate the coming of spring than to set yourself a new goal?

The rain that falls in spring has a place as well. It is nature’s way of reminding us of our own potential to grow. As the rains fall from the sky simply remind yourself that it is a necessary part of new growth. We all become more than we were during this time. It is the nature of spring.

So with this new time of growth upon us I challenge you. Challenge you to set yourself a goal of growth that can see a harvest of in the fall. But don’t  be scared that your goal may not be fully achieved in one year. Set a big goal that may take tending for your lifetime. The sky is the limit!  The loftier the better!

I offer you the energy of spring. That grand time of renewal and growth. A time when all things are new. A time to cast off the old to make way for the future harvest. Let this time of the year embolden you to do great things!  Hurrah spring!

Chats with Ogma and Odin

I confess I do a lot of trance work. I journey to the other realms for knowledge not available to me otherwise. Two recent sessions resulted in knowledge from my Druid path god Ogma and from my Asatru path god of Odin. Here’s what happened.

One day I traveled to the Norse Realm of Asgard to attempt to talk to Odin. This is always a dicey prospect as he talks to me about as often as he doesn’t. This day he talked to me after me doing my whole drumming and chanting routines to get myself into trance. He appeared as he sometimes does. He seemed out of sorts. He asked me what I had come for. I told him wisdom. Then he drew himself up before replying.

“I will tell you nothing. It will be this way with all the gods here and in all the nine realms. The task you have been charged with is this. Learn to communicate with the gods of your new pantheon. Learn to travel in their realms. Until you have mastered this task no one here will offer you counsel. Learn of the new gods you wish to follow alongside us. Do this for your own good and growth.”

I must admit to being a little taken aback by these words. They seemed so…harsh. Granted it was a fine task to set for me. But to cut me off?  Seems unfair somehow.

So the next day I set myself the task of learning to navigate the three realms of Druidry. It seemed a strange way of doing things. It seemed like a shirt that didn’t fit quite right. But I keep pressing on.

After several days of this exploratory exercise routine I asked my Druid spirit ally Llewelyn to show me the ins and outs of this new multiverse. I also asked him to set up a meeting with a deity I had yet to really build a relationship with. This left things pretty wide open because even though I’d had cursory encounters with the deities of Druidry nothing like a relationship had been established with any of them. Llewelyn told me that I needed to meet with Ogma.

I was standing in a Grove. A mist suddenly arose and became so thick I couldn’t see. Then through the mist a man appeared. Gray hair. Piercing blue eyes. Llewelyn told me it was Ogma.

I told him he was just the party I needed to speak to.  I admitted I was having a great deal of difficulty with my ogham studies.

His answer was swift and firm.  “Study two of the few a week.  Get to know them very well.  Then move on to the next two.  In this way in ten weeks you will have learned them all.  Then tell me you’re having difficulty.”  He vanished in the mist.

I was very pleased with this advice.  It seemed easy enough to do and very practical.  Good stuff.

So I’m still taking exploratory excursions.  And this Monday I will begin the two a week plan.  I’m still a little miffed about the Norse gods going AWOL.  But I have new territories to chart and new gods to know.  Stay tuned for updates on my journeys!

 

Getting unstuck

I’m stuck. I admit it. My Druid studies are not going as I’d hoped. I’m not sure what I expected but I thought I’d be further along than I am.

Maybe it’s just that I’m comparing apples to oranges. My concurrent path of Asatru comes so easily for me. But of course that’s after two decades of work. And I’ve only been of the path of Druidry for 9 months. So when does it get easier?

I am doing the right things. I’m reading. Lots. As much as I can. I’m connecting with others on this path.   I belong to a wonderful Grove. So why don’t I feel a connection yet?

I have had some positive experiences connecting with the deities. I’ve been called by the Morrigan. I’m learning ogham. I write this blog which has been read by people all over the world. I’m studying through OBOD. And I am grateful for all of that. Yet there’s this nagging thought that I could be doing more. More to grow on this path.

I connected with a tree the other day in a forest preserve very near my home. It gave me a branch to create a wand from. I plan to use that wand tonight in my equinox ritual. This will be my first spring equinox as a follower of Druidry. We’ll see what that holds for me.

And this weekend I’m celebrating the event with my Grove. That should help.

So I’m doing what I can to get unstuck. I’ll be calling upon the gods for help in this issue. Maybe I’m just being impatient. Maybe I need to slow down and let things progress as they will. Maybe I need more time to season. Maybe I’m just letting myself get crazy over nothing.

I’ll see what the rest of the week has in store. Connecting with the gods has always been a thing for me. May the gods be with me. Please gods help me get unstuck!

Foreseeing the future

98E0B70D-4A56-4EC9-9588-C9A5DC39A64FThere are  many forms of divination to foresee the future and simply gain insight into an issue. From tarot to the runes mankind seeks answers to pressing questions through these mediums. What was there for the Druid then?  As someone who turns to these mediums in practice and study I needed to find out the Druidic counterpart once I began on this path 8 months ago.

It didn’t take me long to discover ogham. This cryptic alphabet in many ways resembles the runes I had been using and studying for decades.   As a divination system it in many ways was very much like the runes. A set of meanings was assigned to each letter. These were drawn in different layout sequences to speak of the future. Of course their use doesn’t stop there. Simply gaining insight into a situation is another way the ogham is used. Also powerful magic uses are claimed by those who use this system. I don’t know too much about magical applications of the ogham. I’m still studying and learning!

In a book on Druidry I read early on my path was a mention of the use of crystal balls by the Druids. I had never heard of this before so I did what anyone seeking information in this day and age does. I went to Google!  And sure enough I found several hits on the use of crystal balls by Druids. Most sources claimed this practice dated back to years BCE. So I immediately went to Amazon and ordered a crystal ball. I got it and started to practice with it. Sure enough I got glimpses into the future. Many of those visions turned out to be true when checked for verification.

In our undying thirst for knowledge we turn to many sources. Those on the path of Druidry are no different. And I foresee this will be the case as long as mankind exists.

What are the gods?

One of the most basic and most baffling questions of our path must certainly be what exactly are the gods?  It’s a question I grapple with on a nearly daily basis.

There’s the camp of people who simply believe that the gods are 100 percent separate from ourselves and have independent existence. How else could we experience their hands in our lives if that were not the case?  If we admit that the gods work actions in our lives then they must be their own entities. I accept this train of thought up to a point. I have seen firsthand how the gods work in our lives. If they were not entities outside of ourselves how could we explain so many different phenomena?  Chance?  Fate?  Coincidence?  None of those answers are completely fulfilling to me. I believe there must be an entity outside of myself making certain events occur. Maybe that makes me naive or just plain simple minded. But my experiences in this multiverse leads me to this belief.

Partially.

There’s another part of me that believes that the gods are merely archetypes of our own psyche. This belief contends that humans are just too multidimensional of creatures to be explained simply. That we are fully capable of creating pantheons to simply explain our human experiences. Nothing outside of ourselves. Simply a way of explaining and experiencing the human condition through our own imagination

I vacillate between these two very different ways of viewing our gods.  I believe both versions have validity.  I believe neither is totally wrong.  Or totally correct.  So I’m definitely of two minds on this issue.  Makes me a bit crazy sometimes.  But I feel it gives me a deeper experience of the gods.  What are the gods?  Maybe I’ll never have a completely satisfactory answer for that question.  But it’s a rewarding journey trying to figure it out!

 

A little branch

00864CB4-BE1B-427D-8206-5D6495F2AB12Today my husband brought me out to the local forest preserve. It was my intention to find a tree that spoke to me to revisit throughout the seasons of the year. This was to become my tree. For visits. For contemplation. For my own personal growth in regard to the changing seasons. I am an urban dweller and desperately seek a connection to nature. This tree will serve as a part of that Connection.

So I went to the woods and quieted my mind. I looked at trees. I touched them. Finally one of the trees spoke to me. This was my tree.

It was a swamp oak. It’s leaves were completely barren of leaves. It was quiet. It had strength. It’s roots were somewhat gnarled. It spoke to me with impressions of wisdom. And laying on the ground next to the tree was a little branch. About a foot long and an inch in thickness. It was a gift from my tree to me.

I picked up the branch and silently thanked the tree. Then it was back to home.

I cleaned off the bark from one end of the branch. I said a little prayer of thanks while I did so. This was to serve as my Druid wand.

The wand will be used for the primary task of raising energy in ritual settings. I will use it to gather energy for the additional umph it will provide. I have used wands before. They have been crystal wands. This is my first wooden wand.

My hope is that this wand’s Connection to a living thing will provide a new avenue for me to access energy previously unavailable to me. Time and experience with it will tell. For now I’m just thankful that my new friend the tree offered me such a wonderful gift. The offerings from nature abound if only we are aware of them.

Nobody at home

This morning I wanted to blog. To get an appropriate topic I did what I generally do. Went into trance. So I’m in my trance and I call out to Llewelyn. No reply. I try again. Dead air. I tried several more times with no response before finally giving up the ghost. Chalk it up to nobody home.

That’s the way it is with trance work sometimes. You can do all your regular steps to trance. You can actually be in a trance. And nothing will happen. Nothing at all.

Whenever these non events occur I’ve learned to cut my losses and move on with my day. Sometimes I just get a whole lot of nothing.

Trance work doesn’t always result in a rewarding romp through the Otherworlds. If it did I might be tempted to live in that state permanently. But other forces larger than myself thankfully know better. They make sure I stay anchored to this realm first and foremost.

There is plenty to be done in a trance state for certain. But there’s even more to do in a state of ordinary consciousness. Laundry. Dishes. Walking the dogs. Just because I can do trance work doesn’t mean I always should. I have to remind myself that there’s plenty to attend to here. Or be reminded.

I’ve been an experienced trance worker for the past seven years or so. Doesn’t seem to matter how much experience I gain. There’s always something new to learn. Like the lesson of silence.

Being unable to successfully trance this morning doesn’t make me a failure in the whole process. It just means other things needed my attention more pressingly. And that’s okay.

So my plan for today has been a bit altered. I’m not going to travel to the Otherworld to gain wisdom and insight. I’ll find wisdom and insight in this realm. That’s what I got out of today’s trance session!