There 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.
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.
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!
Today 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.
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!
Someone asked me where and how I pick the topics for my blog. That’s easy. I don’t pick the topics. They come to me from the gods. Here’s how it works.
I go into trance. I get in touch with my Druid spirit ally Llewelyn. Sometimes he shows other times not. But when he does show I ask him to help me in finding a topic. That’s when things get fun.
Next he’ll tell me he’s going to put me in touch with one of the deities for some wisdom on this matter. Soon I’m in the presence of the Morrigan or Cerridwen or some other god. I ask them for a topic. And most often sure enough they present me with a topic. I thank them and get to writing. At that point I find the words just flow out. Help from the gods is a good thing!
Sometimes Llewelyn himself will give me a topic. I find that his wisdom is no less reliable in this particular matter. So either way I get a subject for my blog. Cool!
So. The big question now is do I really believe the topics are coming from the gods? Or am I just accessing different parts of my own brain while in an altered state? Which is the true answer to this concern?
Short answer is that I really don’t care much! If it’s from the gods or just dredged up from the depths of my subconscious the outcome is the same. I get my topics. I write here on this blog. And people read it. That’s all that really matters to me.
I personally lean towards the choice that it’s the work of the gods. Their wisdom informs me and their words come into my mind. I’m far too brain addled to write this stuff on my own!
But I also believe that I am human and bound to make mistakes. So I certainly don’t think this blog is anything like the inherent words of the deities. There’s going to be my own stuff getting in the way. No channel is ever perfectly clear. Noise happens. And with me there’s s lot of crackling and buzz sounds in the broadcast.
So that’s how I write this blog. It’s a cool process for me. Try it out yourself!
This is my new Druid robe. Meant to be worn only for the private rituals I conduct in the privacy of my ritual room. As such I’m not concerned about being mistaken as a member of the KKK. Which is ridiculous as I have an African American daughter and biracial grandkids. Anyway…
I chose the color based on images I received during trance. White robed Druids performing ritual. They all had white hoods as well. It was this image that I carried with me on my shopping. No other deeper meaning than what came to me in trance. I didn’t think about Druid grades or anything like that. I just saw this group of Druids performing ritual in white hooded robes. That seemed enough for me.
Why a robe at all? What difference does it make what you wear during ritual? The answer of course is it makes no difference really. But the outfit can set a tone for the proceedings. And that’s my hope. I want to set a more sacred and serious tone to my private rituals. One where the dogs barking and heater coming on have no real place. A serious and serene environment. Donning a special garb can help make that happen.
As I’m limited by budget and abilities to mass produced items I think I found a good match. MS prevents me from sewing as I used to. So it’s off to Amazon when I need something.
Did the people who produced this garment have any idea what I would use it for? Absolutely not. But it’s the power of my intention that makes it a sacred object. The power of my thoughts can overcome its humble beginnings to create a new sacred robe suitable for my ritual use.
I’d like to get a blue cord to act as the belt. Other than that I think it’s perfect for my use.
What about you? Do you have any sacred items of dress that you use for ritual?
A couple of weeks ago I decided to bug the Morrigan and see if she had any wisdom for me. As my thirst for knowledge is unending I figured this was not a surprising quest for me. Little did I know…
So I went to my Grove. That’s always the starting point for any journey for me. Once firmly there I reached out to Llewelyn my Druid spirit guide. I told him my intention. He agreed to summon the Morrigan. Mind you some days he tells me no way. But that day he must have felt like being helpful. So he got the Morrigan to come.
She appeared to me as her white haired self. She asked what I wanted. I told her I was there for any wisdom she could offer me. And in a firm commanding voice she said “Study ogham. All your wisdom can be found there!” And she wandered off.
Hmmm. Not exactly what I had hoped for. I had a set of ogham sticks and books on the subject. But I had yet to do any serious studying. Oh well. Some day. Thanks Morrigan.
Then just last week after still not studying the ogham I decided to see if the Morrigan was in a better place to offer me real wisdom. Off to my Grove I went. I contacted Llewelyn. He called upon the Morrigan. Once again she appeared as her white haired self. Again I asked her if she had any wisdom to share with me. And in her clear firm voice she said “Study the ogham. That is all the wisdom I will give you!” Off she went.
Darn. Twice told the same thing. I guess I’d better start studying.
So I’ve been studying the ogham. Somewhat seriously. After all when a deity gives a command not once but twice it’s time to listen. Urgh!
The other day for my trance session I decided it was time to attempt a meeting with the Horned God Cernunnos. Here’s what happened.
I got myself settled and drummed myself into light trance. I was in my Grove. I stayed there a bit. Then I said to the trees that I had the desire to meet with Cernunnos. Out of the quiet woods there came a centaur with huge horns growing out of his head. He was very tall and imposing but I felt no danger from him. He said “You asked to meet with me.” I told him I was hoping to gain from him any wisdom he might share. He quietly replied “Come” and picked me up with his impossibly strong arms and placed me on his back. Silently he began walking out of the forest. Soon we were at the edge of a clearing. It was a beautiful grassy field. It was twilight. In the center of the clearing was an impressive henge of stone.
Around the inside of the henge there was a circle of people walking the perimeter. Each carried a lit candle and they were all dressed in white robes. They were chanting in a foreign language. I was lifted off the back of my companion. “Go” he said. So I cautiously approached the henge.
As I walked closer a woman from the circle of walking people came towards me. She was older and had a glowing aura about her.
She asked me my business there. I told her that I was seeking wisdom. In a clear strong voice she told me that I was to stay on ny current path and seek the wisdom of the ancients. She assured my there was great wisdom to be found in the ancestors and ancients. Then she rejoined the circle. Suddenly I was snapped back into ordinary consciousness.
So I will try to follow her advice. I will seek the wisdom of years gone by more whole heartedly. I have up to now been only giving scant time in my studies to reading the lore. Guess it’s time to change that.
Wisdom gained with the help of Cernunnos…
I did a trance session this morning. I was seated in my Grove quietly taking it in. Suddenly out of the trees came two children. A boy and a girl. They were holding hands.
They were about 5 years old. The girl was beautiful. Long blonde hair. Blue eyes. The boy was misshapened and ugly. The girl seemed very serious. The boy was dancing and happy.
Immediately I thought of Cerridwen and her two children. Two children from the same source. But remarkably different. Light and dark. Beautiful and ugly. The polar opposite of each other. Much like the universe itself. The two halves that makes a whole.
But in this scenario my visitors made little sense. The beautiful child was serious and somber. The ugly child was happy and dancing about. What did this mean?
The beautiful little girl came to me and sat in my lap. She leaned into my ear to whisper. “Beauty must be taken seriously. Ugliness must be approached with a light and happy heart. That’s my secret.”
She climbed off my lap. Her stride was purposeful. She went over to her ugly brother and took his hand. He was still dancing. She lead him and they disappeared into the woods they had come from. They had given me their message.
I came out of trance. I started thinking about what I had just experienced.
These twins were aspects of myself I knew. Representing my ugly and beautiful sides. My lightness and darkness. But there was a hitch. The beautiful side was somber and serious. The ugly side was happy and joyous. Not what I’d expect from these two.
Then I thought about what the girl had whispered into my ear. My beautiful self must be taken seriously. And my ugly self must be taken with joy in my heart.
It made me think about how I had been taking my ugly self too seriously. And allowing my beautiful self to be brushed aside. I had been taking the wrong approach. I needed to reshape my thoughts so that I could grow. Not taking my ugly self so seriously suddenly made sense. And I needed to take my beautiful self seriously and with care.
A big challenge for me. But I will take this message to heart and try to reshape my thinking. See if it helps me to grow spiritually. See if I can make a change in myself.
The lessons learned in the Grove…
The Elements are a basic concept of Druidry. Most Druids deal with five core Elements. Earth. Air. Fire. Water. Spirit. These five Elements make up what is known of our realm. What we can taste, smell, feel, hear and see. Basic stuff but complex as well.
The concept of the Elements goes back thousands of years. It seems as if these concepts have been with us for as long as man has been trying to explain his surroundings and experiences. How do we use them today?
I use the Elements in my rituals. Earth is represented by the earth my potted plants thrive in. The plants surround the whole of my ritual room. Air is represented by the incense I burn for each ritual. The smoke wafting up through the air is symbolic enough. Fire is represented by the flames of the candles I burn. Their flickering light casts an eerie tone to the proceedings. Water is represented by the cauldron I put water into. It helps to purity the space. And spirit is represented by the Druid themself. Being in ritual alone brings forth a spiritual aspect to light. These are the ways the Elements are represented in my ritual work.
These five Elements form the building blocks of our universe as we know and experience it. Powerful symbols of the multiverse. There is nothing that occurs that cannot be explained by these core Elements. Get them working for and with you and there is no stopping what you can accomplish!