Beautiful things

I love beautiful things. Especially handcrafted items.

Above are my beautiful handcrafted “crane bag” and Druid grimoire. I think both are incredibly beautiful things. But their beauty haunts me.

I’ve had both items for some time. The bag was an Etsy find. The grimoire was custom made for me by an incredibly talented crafts woman from Australia. I adore them both and both are featured on my altar. But they remain unused. Pristine yes. But unused.

Why?  The bag I have yet to find any items I deem special enough to include inside it. The grimoire remains blank because I haven’t had any thoughts grand enough to write in it. So they haunt me. I feel bad I have yet to use them.

So why did I get them?  I had good intentions. I meant wholeheartedly to put them to use. But I keep hitting a brick wall when I approach them. It’s as if they are to remain pristine. But beautiful.

I like surrounding myself with beautiful things because in some strange way they remind me of the beauty of nature. The bag reminds me of animals and the sun. The grimoire reminds me of plants growing in spring. As I have MS my forays into actual nature are limited. I have houseplants for the same reason. They too remind me of the splendor of nature indoors.

Which brings me back to the beautiful things above that haunt me. Perhaps I’ll break down and use the bag to house my crystals. Perhaps at the beginning of the new year I’ll use the grimoire to follow the Wheel. Perhaps the insights and items I’ve been waiting for will make themselves known tomorrow. Who knows?  All I know is that beautiful things surround me as it is. And perhaps that’s enough to expect of them. To remain beautiful things.

Journey to the Otherworlds

I was doing a trance session the other day. I got myself into my sacred Grove and enjoyed the calm. Out of the trees comes Cernunnos. Apparently he’s my new best friend because he shows up so often in my sessions!  He took me by the hand and lead me to this enormous tree with a huge trunk. There was an opening in the tree. He lead me through the opening. Inside the tree was a spiral staircase leading up and down. We went to the staircase and Cernunnos lead me down the stairs. We finally arrived at the bottom. He lead me through another opening. He finally spoke. He told me we were in the Underworld. It was sunny but not bright. It was cool and damp. There were other people there as well. After a quick look around Cernunnos lead me back to the tree and the staircase. This time we climbed up. We finally got to the top. Once again he lead me through an opening. And this time we were in a place with bright sun. It was warm and dry. Cernunnos spoke and said that this is the Upper Realm. Again after a quick look around he lead me back to the tree. We went down again but this time we stopped before we’d got to the bottom. He lead me through another opening and we were back in my sacred Grove. Cernunnos had some words for me. He told me that now that I knew how to get there it was my duty to visit these other realms. Then he faded back into the forest. I slowly came out of trance.

The next day I went into trance again. I was in my sacred Grove and found the huge tree with the staircase. Down I went. Finally I was in the Underworld. I looked around and suddenly everything went red. And out of this mass of red appeared an image. It was of an ogham fed. I took note of the image. Not knowing ogham well  I thought I’ll research it later. Then I decided to go up the stairs. So up I went until I reached the Upper Realm. This time as a looked about everything went green. Out of the green cane another image of an ogham symbol. I took note again and headed back down the stairs to my Grove.  I slowly came out of trance. I quickly wrote down the ogham feds I’d seen. Then I turned to my books to research their meanings.

The fed I had seen in the Underworld was Saille. My references told me that one of its meanings was new forces flowing. That made sense to me as this whole Druid experience is still relatively new but things have been flowing freely in this regard. Then I looked up the one I had seen in the Upper Realm. It was Koad. One of its meanings is reaching to the gods. Made a lot of sense considering where I’d been and what I hope to do.

A powerful set of messages. I’ll have to think on them. And then the hard part. Now to put it all into practice…

Battlegrounds

Much of the lore is filled with tales of battle. Whether army against army or one on one these were a warring group of people!  So what can we learn from this war packed group of tales?

For one thing I don’t take these stories literally. I view them as metaphors. If we substitute the wars that go on inside us for the wars of armies we get a whole new picture of the lore.

Think of the war inside ourselves over the issue of belief. As rational beings it is only natural that there should be some interior fighting over this matter. Our intuitive side craves the belief in something bigger and greater than who we appear to be. But then there’s the rational side that says we have no scientific proof of the divine. It’s a battle I wage often inside my own brain.

Of course there are mental battle matches over the truth behind magic. Magic is a theme often brought to light in the lore. Does magic really exist?  Or are we merely creatures of clay incapable of otherworldly acts?  I have had this mental battle in the past and have answered it for myself to my own satisfaction. But it was truly a war of will to get to that point.

If only things were easy!  Then there wouldn’t be a need for internal battle. But we are complex creatures and the very nature of Druidry requires thought. I say wage those battles in your head!  Wage them every day. Only with such dedication came you have a living breathing spirituality that will be profound and personally rewarding.

Crossed legs

I must confess that I have a bad habit. I cross my legs. When I sit. While I’m laying down. I do this s lot. Why is this a bad habit you may ask?  It’s bad because it cuts me off. Cuts me off from the multiverse.

When I’m sitting and I cross my legs I take one foot off the ground. One avenue of contact with earth is cut off. I’m no longer as solidly attached to one of our major sources of energy and inspiration. To be cut off from the earth is to be cut off from life itself. Big problem. It’s better to keep both feet solidly on the ground as much as possible. At the very least its then we can tap into a great reservoir of energy. Having both feet on the ground is kinda like plugging a cord into an outlet. Why unplug it?

Then there’s the whole spiritual aspect to this. Crossing my legs leaves me with a barrier from the multiverse. It serves as a type of moat to keep me in one side and the rest of the multiverse on the other. This is not the way I want to live. My motto is to be open. How open am I when I create walls to keep the world at bay?

Why make an effort to keep myself open at all?  That’s when the magic happens. When I leave myself open to experience all that can occur the magic just pours in. I become bigger than I normally am. I become smarter than normal. I see things as they truly should be. And that’s a good thing.

So I’ll try to uncross my legs. Leave myself open. Stop being so cut off.   Be grounded to the earth. I’ll become a part of the world around me.

A quiet time

Today I went into trance as usual. Drummed my drum. Smelled the burning incense. At last I was in my sacred Grove. As usual I called upon Llewelyn my spirit guide. And I waited.

And waited. And waited. And waited. I saw myself sitting in my Grove in my Druid robes on a rock. I was just sitting there waiting for Llewelyn to respond. He normally does. But it normally doesn’t take him so long. So I called out for him again. Nothing. And so I waited. And sat.

This had gone on for a while. I decided to listen to the birds. I listened to their cheery songs. Other than that all was quiet. Very quiet. And still I waited.

There was sun streaming through the branches of the trees. The sun created patterns on the floor of the Grove in the grass. I sat there contemplating these patterns. Suddenly it appeared to me that one of the patterns the light was forming was the symbol for Awen. /|\. Then it dawned on me that the whole purpose of the day’s trance was the quiet. No visitation with deities. No big messages. Just the quiet.

I sat there on my rock not thinking of anything. Not politics. Not world affairs. Not money troubles. Nothing about my projects to attend to. Just me, the birds and the Awen symbol in the grass right in front of me. And I was calm.

I stayed there that way for quite a while. Enjoying the nature. Enjoying the solitude. Enjoying my own company. It was good. I felt recharged. I felt at peace.

Lesson to self. Not everything is a drama. Not everything requires my immediate attention. Not everything is a disaster brewing. Sometimes it’s just quiet. Sometimes it’s good to be all alone. And I definitely need to visit my Grove with no agenda. I need to allow myself the quiet time.

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.