I was doing a trance today. I lit incense. I drummed and chanted “Awen”. I got into trance pretty quickly. I called out for Llewelyn my Druid spirit ally. He asked me what I wanted to do today. I told him I was in need of some feminine guidance. I’m not sure why I said that but that’s what I said!
Soon enough a beautiful woman with long auburn hair and wearing white Druid robes appeared in my Grove. She was busy flipping through a book. I asked her if the book had wisdom for me. Without looking up she said “Study. Read. Learn.” Well I knew all that. I had to admit I have been lax in my studies lately. So I asked again. This time she closed the book and looked at me with large green eyes. Here’s what she said.
“Consider the pebble. Small and insignificant. Barely a stone at all. An annoyance to be kicked away. But what if the pebble had a message for you? Would you notice enough to listen? Now consider the pebble caught in your shoe. Now you’d notice it. The annoyance of it being stepped on with each step you took would definitely catch your attention. Or consider throwing a pebble into a calm lake. It would cause ripples that would radiate out and continue on. It would hardly seem that the pebble was insignificant now! So these are the ways a pebble works to spread its wisdom. That wisdom in the fact that even something small and often unnoticed can have a great impact. Let that be the lesson that the pebble leaves you. Small can be mighty. And you are a small man. But you too can be mighty. That’s the wisdom I offer you.”
Then she turned around and left me in my Grove to ponder all that she had said. It’s true I’m small! I only weigh 130 pounds! But me mighty? That we have yet to see…
When’s I speak of love I don’t mean a gushy mushy kind of love. I refer to a deeper more primal kind of love. A love that in my experience of it defies words. It’s a feeling that is in your whole being. A love that can transform you.
That’s the kind of love I get from plants. It is a solid strong enduring feeling. One that infuses my spiritual essence with energy and vitality. How do I access this kind of love?
I pick a plant. I grow several houseplants in my ritual room for this very purpose. Then I meditate on the plant. I change the rhythm of my breathing to a slower pace. I let my vision lose focus and become blurry. If I really want a deep experience I will drum and chant “Awen” until I’m in a trance. That’s the point when things get interesting.
With my vision blurred I become aware of a light surrounding the plant. The plant’s aura I suppose. Each plant I work with has a different color of light emanating from it. And once I’ve seen that light I place my hands up to the plant in a cup fashion. I can feel the energy. I can sense it with my hands. For me it is a tingling sensation. This tingling travels up my arms until I can feel it throughout my body. It mixes with my own energy. It changes the color of my aura as well. This energy is what I call love.
I bask in the glow of this energy for a time. I let myself soak up the feeling of solidity it affords me. I find that each of my plants offers me distinctly different experiences. And plants like trees that are even more solid are another type of energy. The accessing of these energies grounds and centers me to the wonders of nature. And it is always a sacred experience. I find peace and harmony. I find myself. I find love.
I have been contemplating the idea of spirit. What makes it and where do we find it?
Spirit is an aspect of our multiverse that is part of all things. Most notably it is an aspect of the human race. As humans we are blessed with the ability to comprehend spirit. We can think about it and work with it. We can celebrate spirit. We can even share spirit. These abilities are totally the realm of human experience. As creatures we alone are able to fully understand spirit. But is it out gift exclusively?
Animals also have spirit. They my not be able to intellectually grasp its finer points. But as sentient beings they assuredly have spirit. They express it in ways that we as humans may interpret as joy. Who has not seen a dog frisking? Or a cat with catnip? Their joy is unquestionable. And for me this proves their spirit.
Plants for me have spirit. They express it through the energy they give off. If you take the time you can learn to sense the energy of plants. And of course there’s the fact that as they grow they reach for the light. For me these are proofs of the spirit of plants.
Then what about matter? Something without consciousness? A rock. I say it too has a spirit. It definitely is in motion at the molecular level. All inert things have at least that. Is it too far of a stretch to say that through this motion a rock experiences spirit? I say not.
Spirit is in my experience on the path of Druidry an all encompassing and pervasive force. It is everywhere and in everything. To say that only humans have spirit is arrogance. The multiverse is filled with spirit. Even dirt has spirit. So I feel the most alive way to experience our world is to try to find the spirit in everything. Spirit surrounds us. May you experience a life filled with spirit!
Why do I love ritual so much? The donning of my sacred garb. The drumming of my special drum. The chanting. All of it. Why does ritual hold such meaning in my life?
First of all it offers structure. Without ritual my spiritual practices would probably just run amok. Having ritual for set days gives me a chance to really plan and look forward to the day of ritual. I can spend all the time I need figuring out the details of what I’m going to do well ahead of time. By doing this kind of planning I structure my time around the event. It gives me the chance to set aside a specific place and time. What could be a better use of time than planning for a sacred practice?
Ritual gives me the opportunity to measure my progress on this path. I always like to think of myself as being forward moving. The trappings of a ritual is a way for me to evaluate my growth in this tradition. I can easily tell if I’ve made any progress simply by seeing how much easier ritual is now compared to previously. I can take out my yard stick and measure my abilities based on my goals. I ask myself things like “Did I have a difficult time planning?” “Was this ritual more rewarding for me than others?” All the kind of things meant to allow me a view of how far I’ve come and where I need to be next.
Ritual allows me the chance to experience deities. It’s in a ritual setting that I find it easiest to communicate with our gods. This alone for me would make ritual a reason to keep going. My spirituality finds voice and meaning in communication with the gods. I’m allowed to tap into something much bigger than my Self. I’m able to see the world through a different set of glasses. And I like what I see.
So these are some of the reasons I love ritual so much. Ask yourself what emotions does ritual bring up for you? I’ll bet they are strong emotions. I’ll bet it’s love.
This is the time of the year when the veil is its thinnest. When the boundaries between the Realms can most be passed. This is a great time to be in contact with ancestors and deities. A great time for some productive trance work.
I celebrated Samhuinn this year as a marker for one year of serious Druid studies for me. It was one year ago that I had my first Druid celebration. A lot has happened in that year. Losses. Wins. All in the cycle of the year. One of the biggest things that has happened to me is my continued studies of OBOD. Much has been learned. I am waiting approval of my bardic year review do that I can continue studying as an Ovate. I admit to being anxious about this. It’s a lesson for me in patience I guess.
But that ritual this year had special meaning for me. My elder sister passed over this past year. I was hoping to be in contact with her.
I lit my incense. I drummed my drum to call the quarters. I hailed peace. Then I got to the meditation of welcoming the ancestors. I admit at this point I went into trance. I drummed and swayed and chanted “Awen” until I felt my consciousness shift. I was in trance.
My sister appeared as I had hoped. I asked her what wisdom she could offer me. She told me to be true to my path. To not listen to the naysayers. To not sell myself short. And to be more open about myself here on this blog.
Powerful messages for me. All of which I needed to hear. Especially the part about being more open on this blog. I will try to change the tone a bit here and reveal more about myself and my practices. It is a work in progress.
While the veil is still thin I plan to do more reaching out to experience the deities. I’ll keep you posted.
May your own work find you in strong connection with your ancestors and the deities!