I was born…

I was born to follow a Druid path. It’s amazing how as I age little things about my past become apparent. Like this little fact. It’s something that now is crystal clear to me. My dad was a Druid and raised me to be one as well. Although he never called it Druidry. It was just the way he was.
My family going back 400 years are farmers. They lived close to the land. They respected nature. They lived according to the seasons of the year. My father also farmed but did more than that. He became a land improvement contractor. He put in drainage systems. He built terraces. He did all he could to leave the land in a better state than he found it in. He was a Druid in that regard.
He honored his ancestors and taught me to do the same. Many hours were spent with my opa or grandfather listening to tales of my German family. I was taught to follow the train back through our family history. Gave me a strong sense of who I was.
My family was one of the first families in our small village to recycle. My father or mother would drive 45 minutes to take the old newspapers and plastic and metal in to be reused. It became a game for me dividing all our trash into their proper containers. A lesson learned early that I haven’t forgotten.
In these simple ways and so many more I was taught small but powerful lessons on how to live a life in touch with the land and nature and all the wonders and challenges it offers. Is it any wonder that as I look back over the years my favorite childhood memories include just sitting for hours on a pile of dirt taking in all the energy of nature?  I was born to follow the Druid path…

Why can’t I fly?

I love birds. I had pet parrots for years. I love the way they think and act. I especially love the way they fly.

Wild birds also have a special place in my heart. They are undoubtedly the best fliers. They can soar past your field of vision into the clear great beyond in an instant.

I wish I could do that. Just take it to the wing and fly. I’m not really sure where I’d go. I think it’s just the act of flying that is the goal. No destination. Simply flight for the sheer joy of flying.

I have ideas. And thoughts. I try to share these with others. I have this blog. I’ve written two books. I share my stuff. And most of the time people respond in a positive manner to it. When I’m busy sharing ideas I feel almost as if I’m flying. As if I’m leaving my MS-riddled body behind and being one with the sky. It’s a powerful feeling. Addictive even. It’s why I write in the first place. To fly.

I hope while I’m flying I’m leaving interesting patterns in my wake that others can follow. Perhaps even grow from. The words I put down are my way to leave a map to the sky. A map that others can follow if they choose. It’s not the only map of the sky out there and maybe not the best but it’s mine. That’s what I leave behind in my flying. A map of the sky as I’ve experienced it. It’s the best I can do.

So maybe I do fly after all. And hopefully my flight brings you a map of sorts to the sky. All that’s left is for you to fly on your own. Go ahead and use my map as a guide and depart to places I hadn’t even imagined. Make your own map too.   Fly.

Lessons I’ve learned

September marks the two year anniversary of my beginning my trip down the Druid path. I felt this was a good time to reflect on what I’ve learned so far. Here goes.

The lore is a living breathing thing. It’s not just some stories that were recorded to simply entertain. They are tales of things that have wisdom for us as much today as it did for the ancestors. If we take the time to study the lore it’s not a very far stretch to see what these stories have to say to us today. We can all benefit from the real life application of the lessons to be learned in the words.

The gods and goddesses are talkative. Very. A little meditation or trance work opens up dialogues with the hitherto unknown. This is a way to directly experience the other realms. Our hearts and minds are opened with a little effort to make the connection with the deities. These conversations are great tools in the regards of self transformation. If you have yet to make an effort to connect with these entities I strongly recommend you try. You won’t be disappointed.

Trees are people. Trees have a life cycle just like humans. They are young and sprightly and become old and wise. Trees are in touch as we all should strive to be in touch with the rhythm of the year. They bloom and wither all in the course of a year. I try my best to be as in touch with these cycles as my tree kin are.

I have learned the value of quiet contemplation. As someone who has a brain that is always in overdrive I now know the power of silence. I can rest and relax with a simple crystal in my hands. Trying to be in touch with nature slows me down. These are the times you cherish most.

Those are a few of the lessons I’ve learned. There are more. And as I continue on this path I look forward to learning much more.

You get what you get

Dealing with the gods in trance can be a dicey endeavor. Often they give me great advice or words of wisdom for my daily life. Most of the time. But today…

I went into trance to have a chat with Cerridwen to hopefully get a topic for this blog post. I did my breathing and lit some incense. The typical things I do to go into trance. Soon enough I was in an altered state of consciousness. I sent out word that I wanted to speak to Cerridwen. She appeared. She was stirring a huge caldron of bubbling liquid. I boldly asked her for help with a topic for this blog. She looked straight at me with her steely eyes blazing. She said “I am preparing the Awen. It is not yet ready. Come again another time for inspiration.”  Then the steam from the cauldron obscured her and she was gone.

Well. Indeed.

No wisdom for me today. No pithy wise remarks to share. Just come back later. Which I shall.

This was just an example of how you can’t have grand expectations for every trance session. Sometimes you’ll come up empty handed. And you need to try again later.

One thing I’ve learned in my years of trance work is you get what you get. Sometimes the veil is lifted and you see the multiverse in rich vibrant technicolor. Other time it’s in sepia. Other times it’s just a big blank. But I needed to learn to be grateful even for the blanks. They have their own wisdom to teach you. The wisdom of patience. The wisdom of perseverance. The wisdom of possibilities. Many lessons can be learned through a non answer answer. The gods communicate in many ways. One of those ways is through silence.

So no wisdom for me today from Cerridwen. Or was there?

Bleeding through

Sometimes something strange occurs when you spend some time traveling to the other Realms. Do it enough and you start to get bleed through. One Realm overlapping into another. This can be rather disconcerting. Especially when you experience it for the first time. But have no fear!  There are plenty of things you can do about this phenomenon.

First is to make sure you’re always properly grounded before you make an attempt at travel between the worlds. This is simply a matter of sitting with your feet flat on the ground. Focus on your breathing. Once it’s in a rhythm imagine roots  growing through the soles of your feet into the ground. With each exhale send the roots down deeper. Soon they’ll be at the core of the earth. Then on your next inhale draw energy up from the center of the earth into your body. Fill yourself with this energy. Once you feel full you’re free to go about the business of travel.

If the bleed through is interrupting your daily tasks simply do a quick grounding. Shake off the remnants of the other Realm. Stay focused on the here and now. Breathe. Stay calm. Be in control.

There may be times you welcome the bleed through. In those cases allow yourself the freedom to follow your consciousness to wherever it may go. Give yourself the opportunity to follow the lead of the multiverse. See where it takes you!

There’s nothing to fear from this. In all my years of practice I’ve never been sent anywhere bad or evil. If you keep your waking thoughts focused on the positive that’s what you’ll experience. Good comes from good.

So if ever you’re drifting into another Realm don’t panic!  Keep your wits about you and enjoy the ride!  Safe and productive journeys to you!

Cerridwen deals me a card

It had been a while since I had done a trance session to check in with my spirit ally Cerridwen. And as someone who kinda considers himself a Celtic Shaman it’s kinda important to do. So the other day I decided to get off my butt and do a trance session.

I pulled out my drum and started pounding. I swayed. I chanted Cerridwen’s name. Soon I was in a trance.

I was in my sacred grove. It’s a place of birch trees and green soft grass. In a clearing there’s an altar of sorts made of three large flat stones. I had been here many times. But this time I wasn’t the only one there.

There was Cerridwen. She appears to me in three forms. Maiden with bright red hair. Mother with a chicken at her side. Or crone with long gray hair. Today she’s the crone. She doesn’t seem to notice me. She’s at the altar with a deck of cards. She’s shuffling them manically. Her attention is fully on her task. Suddenly a wind blows and her black eyes shoot out to look directly at me. She pulls a card from the deck and thrusts it into my line of vision. All I can tell is that the card depicts a female figure holding a chalice. Suddenly the trance ends and I’m back in ordinary consciousness.

I think about my tarot deck. I admit I’d neglected it for months. I use the DruidCraft deck. So I went back into my ritual room and brought out the cards.

I shuffled them. And cut them three times. I pulled the first card on the top of the deck. It was the Princess of Cups.  The image is a woman holding a chalice in front of herself. Wow. Just what I’d seen in my trance. I’m always a bit weirded out by this sort of thing. But it’s also cool.

This card indicates the beginning of a new project. That’s what Cerridwen was trying to tell me. I have just published my second book. It’s called “On Contemporary Seidr: A Guide to Norse Trance”. Check it out at Amazon if you’re interested. And I’m about to start writing my next one with a good friend. Plenty of new projects!  Hopefully they will all turn out well. Stay tuned!

I went to see Cerridwen and she gave me a card. It’s always amazing to me when the deities communicate so clearly and directly. But hey!  They’re gods!  They can do that sort of thing…

Blowing the dust off

Lately I’ve been stuck in a rut. No forward movement. Which I hate. I like my spirituality to constantly be evolving. So when I’m in a rut like this I turn to trance and the other worlds to get me out of it.

I got out my juniper incense. I banged my Druid drum. I got myself into a trance. My intention was to check in with my spiritual ally Cerridwen.

She appeared. Breathing a blast of warm air in my face. The air had a hint of a mist about it. The mist began to clear.

Out of the mist an image arose. It was a man in robes. He did not look at me. He was rummaging through the shelves of a bookcase. Finally he came upon a bag. He pulled it out. Dust flew everywhere from it. He took the bag and in a gust of breath he blew even more dust from it. He stuck his hand into the bag.

I asked him to show me what he had found. He still didn’t look at me. He took his hand out of the bag and trust it toward me. In his hand was a collection of crystals. He put them back into the bag and started digging around again.

Still silent and still not looking at me he again trust his hand into my vision. This time me had pulled out a potted plant full of bright yellow flowers. Back into the bag it went and more digging.

This time he fished out a book. I saw from the cover that it said the word “ ogham”. Suddenly the blast of air and mist returned. He was gone.

Well. That was pretty clear. Blowing the dust off certainly pertained to things I had let sit on the shelf for far too long. Definitely true in regards to the ogham. I have a beautiful wood set that has literally been sitting on a shelf collecting dust. I even have several books on the subject that I have yet to read. That part was clear.

Crystals were my passion years ago. I haven’t used them in ages. Time to start up again.

And the flowering plant was a symbol of nature I’m sure. With the weather having finally turned pleasant it’s time for me to head to the forest preserve.

So three excellent ways for me to get out of my rut. I’ll do my best to follow the lead of Cerridwen. Back to nature, hit the Ogham books and play with some rocks!

We need heroes

As we travel the path of Druidry often we find ourselves in the need of a hero. A bright shining example we can look up to and model our own lives after. Someone who is brave and just and gets things done. When things get a bit sticky we need a hero to help us through.

One of the most famous of heroes in the Druid lore is King Arthur. His tale of creating a wonderful reality around him in his Round Table still speaks to us today. Surrounding himself with the best and brightest served him very well. He created an environment of safety and growth for his subjects. Camelot was a beacon on a hill. And the memory of that grand place shines on.

But who are your heroes?  Hopefully they include living persons. There are many heroes today creating a better world for all of us. You needn’t look far to read or hear about those doing great work. Heroes still live today. Take a moment to make a list of who your contemporary heroes are. You may be surprised at how easy it is.

We also are called to be our own heroes. We can lead a heroic life of creation and change. We can do brave and noble things and become our own heroes. Start a recycling routine. Volunteer to assist those in need. Mentor a troubled teen. There are so many heroic tasks you can undertake. Look around. Opportunity abounds. Fill a void in your world. There are far better things to do than watch TV!

There are times that call for heroes. When you hit such a point in your life have a backlog of people whose example you can draw strength and wisdom from. Remember to be your own hero. And the next thing you know the world will be full of heroes!

Spirit allies

I have many spirit allies on my path of Druidry. They communicate with me in dreams or trance. They offer me help and most importantly guidance on my way. They appear to me almost daily to assist in my concerns. They are like good friends to me.

 

My departed father is one of my biggest allies. After all he’s the one who started me on this path by appearing to me in a dream and saying one word — “Druid”. This surprising and sudden visit set the ball rolling on this chapter of my spiritual life. I am eternally grateful for this piece of wisdom he offered me. Thanks dad!

 

Cerridwen is another of my sprit allies. She helps guide me specifically in the realms of trance and magic. Both of these aspects are of great importance to me. I rely on trance to communicate with entities who are not in physical form. I rely on magic to shape and build my daily life. So Cerridwen helps and guides me as I bridge the gap between Realms. For this I am grateful to her.

 

Ogma guides me in regards to matters surrounding ogham. Divination is another important tool for my life. As such Ogma play his role. His hands guide mine as I pick the ogham sticks. He helps me see true meanings. He shows me the interactions of the sticks in a reading. He’s the bomb!

 

How do you discover your spirit allies?  One key is to stay open for messages from the multiverse. Seeing a lot of crows?  The Morrigan may be calling. Drawn to study ogham?  Ogma may be knocking. Keep yourself open to signs. That’s one sure way to discover your spirit allies.

 

Another method is through trance or meditation. Simply quiet your mind so that it becomes receptive. Use the intention of “I’m going to contact my spirit allies”. This should send out the fact that you are willing to meet them. They take care of the rest!

 

Spirit allies can truly be a boon for your spiritual life. They can bring added dimensions to your experience of the world. They can be your best friends!

Spring renewal

Spring is finally here in the suburbs of Chicago. Temperatures are steadily going up. Sun shines through. Birds are building nests. Trees are starting to show green. Everything is renewing. As I am I suppose.

 

It’s this time of year that my mind turns to renewing the projects I planned for and maybe even started during the winter. But now I approach these things with a new vigor and vitality. Gone are the cold dark days that make it difficult for me to get anything really started. Now is the time for new thoughts and actions.

 

What am I renewing this season?  Several things. One is my renewed oath to study the lore more in-depth. I have been on this path for nearly two years. And I have yet to make any serious attempt at reading the lore. Sure I’ve gleaned pieces from my OBOD studies and other readings I’ve been engaged with. But not a real methodical attempt to read the tales and stories of this path. I have been more focused on the potentially magical aspects of Druidry. Time to get things out of the clouds and back on earth. Time to solidly plant some roots into the fertile soil that is this tradition.

 

I am going to make a concerted effort to study ogham. I’ve got a beautiful set of sticks handcrafted in Ireland at my disposal. I have books to study and more than one cheat sheet. Now I will attempt to actually learn this stuff. Not just read about it. I have done all the planning. Time to act!

 

This season I also plan to get out and hug a few trees. I have a huge forest preserve at the end of my street and a hubby willing to drive me there as I can’t drive or walk the mile due to my MS. But I must get out into nature. I need to reconnect with growing things. Sure I have houseplants but they are a dim reflection of the splendor of a tree.

 

These are are a few of the things I plan to do. Hopefully I won’t allow myself to be sidetracked. Hopefully I will have the discipline to carry it through. Hopefully it will be a season of renewed growth for me. May yours be the same!