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!

What’s in a name?

Lately I have been under attack on social media for using the word “Druid” to describe myself. I admit that I’m more accurately an Ovate with OBOD. But I use the term “Druid” to describe what I do and who I am.

I confess I haven’t had 21 years of training on this path. But what I have studied and learned so far is much more than I could have dreamed possible for me. I have learned about the realms and how to navigate them. I have learned about the deities and who to turn to in case I need them. I have learned to venerate my ancestors appropriately. All this and more in only a year and a half of studies since being called to the path of Druidry.

My call to this path was unorthodox. I was in bed dead asleep. Suddenly a vision of my departed father filled my awareness. He said one word. “Druid”. I sat bolt upright in bed wide awake. The word echoed in the head. It was odd because in life my father had no use for anything Celtic. Pure German that he was. So I definitely gave it some thought. I had never considered the Druid path up till that point. Yes I vaguely knew bits and pieces about it. But never seriously considered it for myself. Now I had to do some research.

What I discovered got me hooked on the idea. I became a member of OBOD almost immediately. And so began my path.

I started this blog. I called it Druid Musings as a way to identify what it was about. I had no idea to disrespect anyone else’s path. I just used the term Druid as an identifier. And the criticism began.

People on social media started saying things like I may as well call myself an Archdruid. Again I was a little taken aback at the vitriol of these comments. I really didn’t mean anything by using that label other to identify myself in this path versus other spiritual paths.

So I use the term “Druid” to let the world know what path I’m following. And to give myself a handy label for others and myself to use. No I haven’t had 21 years of training. Those days are long gone. Now we live in an era where everything is accelerated. Things happen faster. And so it is with Druidry.

If it offends you that I use the term “Druid” to self identify I apologize. But it is not really for anyone else to label me. I call myself a student of Druidry. A Druid. And of that I am proud.

Spinning my wheels

Lately I’ve had this overwhelming feeling that I’m spinning my wheels. Doing a lot of stuff but not getting any traction. No forward movement. I hate this feeling. I like to think of myself as a forward moving person. But lately. Ugh.

Unfortunately I think we all have this occur from time to time. This sense of what in the world am I spending all this energy on if it’s not getting me anywhere? Especially for me in spiritual matters. I always want to be learning and growing. No movement sucks.

So what to do? I decided to do a rune reading on the topic. Runes are my Divination tool of choice if I want a solid concrete answer to something of a mundane issue. For more spiritual or Esoteric issues I use either tarot or ogham. That’s just the way I’ve found these different disciplines work best for me. Anyway the Rune reading. It told me quite clearly in my balance and energy I’m holding close that I am repeating and scattered. But when it came to motion I should take it was clearly strength. And my subconscious is ready for action. That for me was the big take away. Action. On matters I hadn’t taken before. So it’s time to hit the books.

I’ve been very focused on the Esoteric aspect of this path. But I’ve been very bad at the history and lore. So I think it’s time for me to get a little knowledge about those under my belt.

I think we all can benefit from a more balanced practice. I don’t think it’s good to remain focused on a singular element of this path. At least not for me. I want to be balanced. Just like all things in life moderation is the key to success. Remain moderate in all of your concerns and that will bring balance.

Now I’m off to read…

Winter

Winter has been hitting us hard lately. Below zero temperatures. Snow. Ice. Everything that makes this season a big pain. But what about the upsides of this weather for those of us on the Druid path?

First of all all that time at home indoors makes this the perfect time for studying. And contemplation. These are activities that tend to fall by the side of the road during nicer weather. In the cold and snow and ice we can find the freedom to really explore our tradition with that most powerful tool our mind. This is the time of year I allow myself ample opportunity to read and study. The lore. The myths. Anything Druidic. I just grab my Kindle and read.

This is also a great time for connecting to family and friends. I can spend hours on the phone catching up with all of those people who are important to me. Old friends seem more eager to catch up if the can’t get out to cut the grass or garden! And this this the time my hubby and I have long conversations about spiritual matters. This gives me a chance to share what I’ve been studying or learning. And I never stop learning!

Of course if you can brave the awful cold to go outdoors you can experience this season of beauty and quiet. Things are definitely quieter outside this time of year. The quiet adds to the contemplative atmosphere of things. There’s no questioning the sheer beauty of a coat of new fallen clean white snow. There is joy in hearing the snow crunch under your feet as you walk. Even ice can be a blessing for those athletically inclinded to ice skate.

So a season that on the surface offers discomfort and frigid days actually offers us a time for ourselves. We are allowed to explore mentally the many aspects of Druidry. Not the least of which is the celebration of the changing of the seasons and turning of the wheel of the year.

The tragedy of asphalt and concrete

Civilization gives us many advantages. Modern plumbing. Access to doctors. Ease in finding like minded communities. But it also takes away. There is a cost for all this convenience. For me it’s summed up in the tragedy of asphalt and concrete.
I think of all the land that has been covered by these two substances. I live in a suburb of Chicago. A huge city. Lots of asphalt and concrete. I think of all the wildflowers that could be growing freely in this space. I think of all the acres of trees and prairie plants that could be blooming every spring. And I’m sad.
Sad that I will never know the openness of nature that our ancestors knew. The closeness to the land that filled their daily lives. Our ancestors certainly faced the challenges of nature. But they were also free to experience its power and glory.
I wonder what my ancestors thought about this closeness to the Elements. Or did they really think about it at all? Perhaps it was such a force in their lives that they really didn’t give it much thought at all. Maybe it was so woven into the fabric of their existence that they really didn’t have time to ponder its majesty. But I’m sure there were moments when they would just stand in the midst of it and think “Wow!” Of only for a moment. And yet that was enough.
And therein lies the tragedy. So many of us are urban dwellers and have limited access to those moments of profound wow. We can catch our glimpses of it in parks and forest preserves and other bits of natural habitat. But we are cut off from the moments our ancestors must have had simply by living close to the land. Most of us don’t get the “Wow”s. And I say that’s a tragedy.