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!