The dark time

As we approach the solstice and the beginning of longer days I feel this is a great time to reflect on what has been accomplished this dark season. And reflect upon what is to come as the days get longer.

This has always been a time of introspection for me. A time to pause and spend additional time on studies and spiritual concerns. This season I have spent time with my OBOD studies. Great stuff!  I have learned much in these studies. I am growing, if slowly, on the path of Druidry. Every week there’s a new lesson to focus on. Every week brings new insight. And I’m definitely one who needs the structure of regular lessons!  Otherwise I wander far afield and lose my way. Better to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Studying is a solitary activity. What about fellowship?  I have also become a member of an ADF Grove. It is Raven Wood and it’s a short train ride away. And the priest gives me a ride to and from the train so I can join in!  And she has MS like me so she understands the need for easily available worship space. The gods were definitely in action when they had her contact me!  I love when all of the pieces fit so easily. So I have a group to celebrate major holidays with. A great addition to my spiritual life.

As I look to the coming lengthening days I look with excitement and awe. I can’t wait to put into really that I’ve been learning. The multiverse has given me the opportunity to stretch my spiritual music. And I intend to take advantage of the chance. I’m only satisfied when I’m growing spiritually. This appears to be happening. New information. New challenges. New goals. All laid out at my feet by forces much bigger than I. And it all started with a dream of my father saying the one word to me. Druid.

Let there be light!

Light abounds in Druidry. The very universal symbol of the Druids is the three rays of light. We cannot escape the sun and light that guides us on our path. Even in the darkest depths of the forest some light breaks through to show us the way. Druidry unlike other spiritualities such as Asatru shine by comparison. Light is everywhere.

The other morning in my book of morning devotionals there was a passage along the lines of in my darkest gloom show me the wisdom of light. Every coin has two sides. Even in the darkest things the multiverse throws at us there is light to be found. Nothing is ever truly black or white. It is our duty as druids to seek the light at every turn. Always looking for the sun we find our way through it all.

Humor plays a big part in it all. Our lore is filled with bits of humor. Where else would a goddess transform herself into a chicken to eat her prey?  Laughing at ourselves can get us through the toughest bind. It’s the ability to find humor in all situations that sets the Druidry path apart from all the other spiritualities. A good dose of laughter puts things into proper perspective.

I’ve always had a rather twisted sense of humor. I laugh loudly and some would say inappropriately at situations that occur in my life. An inheritance from my grandfather no doubt. But it has served me well throughout my lifetime. When in doubt I laugh!

Of course there is a dark side to Druidry as well. As I stated every coin has two sides. For example there’s the Morrigan flying over the battlefield in the form of a crow shrieking in uncanny terror. But then she is found at the water cleaning the blood off of the garments of the warriors. A goddess doing laundry?  Pretty funny stuff to me at least!

So humor abounds in Druidry. We are offered the opportunity to laugh or cry as things arise. I choose to laugh. One of the many reasons I’m sure this path is meant for me!

The beauty of a rock

Rocks. Not high on my list of beautiful things. Rocks are the big chunks outside my building. Decorative for some. But not exactly beautiful for me. But lately my husband took me to a local rock shop to find items for a personal divination system I’m devising. I was overwhelmed by the beauty.

There are the obvious candidates of course. Who can deny the beauty of an amethyst tower?  True wonder. But as I hunted for pieces to inspire me on my task I found much less showy sources of beauty.

Malacite. It’s dark greens and browns speak of the fields and forests. Polished it shows a type of solid no nonsense beauty that is unrivalled in most of nature. I spent many moments at the shop gazing into the depths of all of the pieces offered. Finally selecting one I decided it would represent earth in my divination system.

Polished moonstone. Cool to the touch.  Opalescent to the eye. It’s beauty speaks of hidden mysteries. Things known and yet unknown. As I marveled at the beauty of this stone I realized it was the perfect choice to represent balance in my divination system. The balance between the realms.

All of the stones were beautiful in their own way. I ended up selecting about twelve of them. I felt a type of serenity. Peaceful in a way speaking of solidity. I had been brought to the right place for my purpose.

As it was the day after Black Friday they were having a promotion. Spin the wheel and win a prize. My husband spun and won a raw geode.

Butt ugly I couldn’t help but think. When we got it home we got a hammer and broke it open. Inside was an array of beautiful quartz crystals. Perfect for higher consciousness. It’s rough exterior hid its inner beauty. A fitting end to a day filled with beauty.

 

Magic magic

If I’ve learned anything in life it’s the fact that there’s a Broadway show tune quote for every occasion. Today’s quote is “How can life be tragic if there’s magic in your life?”.  Truer words were never spoken.

Since learning that quote in eighth grade it’s been a kind of mantra. It reminds me to shift my focus. If something seems out of whack I’ve learned to look at it from a different angle. Find the magic.

The lore is full of magic. Read any story and there’s bound to be something magical going on. It’s everywhere. Magic serves as a kind of framework for the lore. It provides a unifying structure from tale to tale. To deny the existence of magic is the deny the lore and it’s many lessons for us. To accept that fact is to open your world to all kinds of possibilities.

Magic fills our world. All we have to do is look for it. The simple act of flicking a light switch has its own magic. There is no denying there is magic in human relationships. Love and friendship have their own special magic. And on. With so much magic constantly surrounding us we become characters in our own tales and lore. We are affected by magic at every turn.

We also engage in the act of creating magic. By living our lives fully and exploring all avenues of growth our abilities to create magic increase. The act of reading from the lore and finding ways it’s applicable in our lives is a form of creating magic. We are connecting with ancient sources and bridging a span of time to today. Magic indeed!

Not that by creating magic is everything going to go as we’d like it to. We may be able to shapeshift into a salmon to swim away from a situation only to find ourselves plucked from the stream by some pesky bird flying overhead. We may get eaten by the bird but then we become part of it. Our wisdom builds onto the bird’s wisdom. We somehow become bigger and greater than what we were. We become more. Through an act of magic. I tell you magic is everywhere!

It all depends on your point of view. Try tilting your head a bit to see a new perspective. Another quote from the song goes “In true focus the world is hocus pocus”.  Try that on next time you’re faced with a difficulty. It works for me. Maybe it will work for you.

“Magic magic all of life is magic”.

Learning to think like a druid

My brain is being reshaped. Not a bad idea considering it was mush to begin with. But it’s being reshaped to think like a druid. I’ve thought as a Vitki for so many years this is a total rewiring of the motherboard. Slow work to be sure but here are some of the ways it’s happening.

Thinking about nature. To me up till now nature was just background. It had no life of its own. I’m rethinking that point of view. Slowly nature is communicating with me. I feel and sense the energies of my various houseplants when I tend to them. The rocks around my building are telling me ancient stories from years past. The birds, especially the crows, greet me. The trees are slowly offering up their wisdom. Everything sings now. Nature is taking its rightful place in the foreground. No more background for nature!

Ancestor veneration. Up till recently my ancestors were a bunch of grumpy Germans frowning at me from old photos. Now they teach me. They teach me how to face bad times and how to celebrate the good. Their lives are stories to teach me from. They offer quiet wisdom I had never yet had the chance to learn. They support me in my trials and celebrate my victories. They are more alive to me now than they ever were when the were in this realm. From the other world they shine a much appreciated light in the dark.

The tales from the lore. There’s a whole new world of old stories for me to learn. And all of them speak of magic. The magic to change forms and rule a kingdom justly and fairly. The magic to run a race fully pregnant only to give birth to twins at the finish line. All tinted by magic and other realms interacting with ours. These tales are helping me see the magic in my own life. The small acts of magic that pepper a day. Magic is everywhere. We just need to be awakened to it.

And on. Thinking like a druid may be a task that takes a lifetime. But I’m up for the challenge. My brain is rewiring. Check back in to witness this progress as it unfolds!

What’s the big deal about being a druid anyway?

Being on the path of Druidry is a big deal to me. A huge deal. Although I’ve only been on this path a few months my life has radically changed. A new door has opened up for my life and I’ve stepped beyond the entrance. I still have a life long journey ahead but I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on why exactly this is such a big deal for me.

Devotion to the gods and a strong belief that there is something magical and bigger than me at work in the multiverse. I had a taste of this feeling from my working for years as a Wiccan and vitki. But exploring this new path has only served to solidify this feeling. I am very much made aware of the vastness of experience. Not just in this realm but also beyond. The multiverse is full of wonder and enchantment if we only open our eyes to it. Druidry helps me do this.

Being aware of nature. I’ve always recycled but now it seems more an act of devotion rather than a chore. I have a thriving group of houseplants. Tending them and getting to be familiar with their energies is something new for me. My husband and I drive a hybrid car to leave a smaller carbon footprint on the environment. The changing of the seasons feels more sacred now. The rocks outside of my building tell me stories. All of the nature surrounding me is alive.

Honoring my ancestors. Again not a totally new concept for me but one I didn’t take too seriously up till now. After all it was a powerful dream in which my departed father told me to follow this path that got me started in the first place. Although a thorny topic for me I’m learning more from my ancestors now that they’ve departed this realm than I ever did when they were physically here. A new appreciation for me.

Develop talents. Since starting this path I have been blessed with new talents to learn. Or at least a new and different spin on old talents. I’m playing the harp. I was musically talented as a child but it had been years since I had explored that aspect of myself. Now I’m learning a new instrument. I’m learning ogham. Developing a new divination skill is a big deal for me. I’m also using a crystal ball for divination purposes. Exploring these talents is a huge gift for me since starting this path.

Even though these may not be totally new concepts for me it’s definitely a new spin on them. And my spiritual growth was at a point where it needed new visions. So I may not call myself a druid yet but being on this path is a big deal for me. Huge. I hope it continues to be for the rest of my days.

Learn learn learn!

Starting a new path requires a lot of energy!  There’s so much to learn. I’m doing my best to keep up with everything the multiverse keeps throwing at me to learn about Druidry. And there’s so much!  Here’s what I’m working on lately.

First there’s the ogham. What a topic for learning!  I’m finding out quickly that it’s much more than tree correspondences. It is that surely. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s all the magical uses and correlations. And that’s what I’m most interested in. This system offers a complete set of ways that ogham can be used magically. Similar to the runes that I use ogham offers much more than simply divination. The more I learn about it the more I believe I was destined to discover it. Too bad I’m finding out about it at age 52!  Would have been nice if the multiverse had decided to throw it my way years ago!

Then there’s the harp. While I’m not new to music I’ve never played a string instrument. Just getting it turned up to play is a challenge. I think I’ve conquered that and am hard at work composing melodies on it. It’s a simple harp. Nothing complicated. But it’s a whole new thing to learn as well.

Then of course there’s the lore. I’m learning that slowly. Recently I’ve been exposed to some of the lore through my OBOD lessons. It definitely gives me quite a bit to think about!  Trying to take an ancient story and relate it to modern times. But I guess that’s the power of the lore. It speaks to us through the ages. I’m also listening to Mabonigion on my iPhone. I think it’s wonderful that these resources are available to me. I can relax and hear a well-told tale from ancient times on a modern device. How cool is that?

Then there’s nature. And ancestor veneration. And proper or at least effective ritual. The list goes on. I’m just thankful the gods made sure I’d have MS and not have to work. All my time is dedicated to esoteric work. That’s my full time job. Hey someone has to do it!

So I’ll keep learning. And growing. And maybe some day I’ll actually be able to call myself a druid!

 

Grove experience

Today I went to a Samhuinn ritual with Ravenwood Grove in Crystal Lake. They are a grove of the ADF. And what a wonderful experience it was!

I’m not very good with groups of people. One on one I’m fine. But put me into a group of people and I’m lost. I never know what to say or who to pay attention to. Basically I’m a disaster. So thankfully there were only 8 people. I could actually have conversations with individuals. And what a great group of individuals they are!  They were welcoming and  accommodating. It didn’t take much before I was made to feel right at home.

The priest of the grove also has MS. So she understood my need of a place to sit down and to have a bathroom handy!  They perform many of their rituals right there in their living room. They also have a huge back yard for times when weather allows to have ritual outdoors. Perfect for me and all my special needs.

The ritual itself was wonderful. Following the ADF outline I was already familiar with from ritual performed solo at home. I’ve been a member of ADF for four months now. I have celebrated full moon rituals and even one major holy day ritual on my own using the ADF outline. So even the ritual format felt familiar.

For me a successful ritual must include some connection with the Other World. And this ritual had that. In connecting with the Morrigan it was right on the money. I felt the connection and experienced it through the offering to the Morrigan.

This whole event went off flawlessly for me. I had to take a train out to them. No small feat for someone with MS. Even that went fine. From my initial connection with the priest via her very welcoming email to me letting me know about her grove to the fact that the patron of the grove is the Morrigan everything just fell into place. It even was a full moon night!

For me this was like a homecoming. A coming home to a spiritual place that had been missing for me. I’m so pleased it all went so well. I had a wonderful spiritual time. I can’t wait for their next big ritual!

Spiritual ritual

What makes a ritual successful for me?  What keeps me coming back to performing ritual?  I think the easiest way to explain it is that for me a ritual needs to have an element of connection with the other realms. Some form of otherworldly communication. That is what gets me fired up and returning to the practice of ritual. Hey if it has an element of having a chat with the ancestors or deities I’m all in!

Over the past two days I’ve performed two rituals using OBOD guidelines. Normally I’m a bit sceptical about performing a ritual written by someone else. But I decided I’d give it a try. I’d perform the rituals as written and see what happened. I’m glad I did.

The first ritual was a self initiation into OBOD. The second was a Samhuinn ritual. My first Samhuinn since deciding to take the path of Druidry. Two really big rituals. I decided to do the initiation ritual the 31st and Samhuinn was for the 1st. That way I would be able to remember exactly the date I became a member of OBOD.

I prepared for over a week. The preparation paid off. Both rituals went off smoothly. Both had powerful meaning to me when completed.

So why the emphasis for me on ritual including an element of communication with other realms?  I would say for me that’s when I feel the most spiritually plugged in. I derive most of my spiritual mojo that way. Some would call what I experience UPG and laugh it off. I say it’s the way I keep my practice alive and not just pouring through dusty tomes. There is a place for scholarship of course but most of my spiritual revelations are experiential. I need to experience something other than myself in keeping my practices breathing.

Some would say how do you know you’re connecting with another realm and not just some buried part of your subconscious?  Experience has shown me that there is something out there we can tap into. Just look at the natural world. Nature teaches many lessons that are bigger than us. So if there is that why is it such a big stretch to believe there are other realms of existence? For me it’s not a big jump.

Spirituality makes as successful ritual for me. A large part of my spirituality is connecting with the other realms. And as long as I keep having time with entities from other realms I’ll keep coming back.

A very druid day!

So yesterday was a day full of Druidry. With Samhuinn approaching things seem to be moving at a frantic pace in my development on the Druidry path.

Yesterday I received two big tools to be used in my druid studies. The first was a harp. I plan to study it as part of my Bardic path in OBOD. There’s one challenge!

Then I received from England an ogam set of sticks. They are on the small side but beautifully made. I’m very pleased with them. I had originally decided not to study ogam because of the similarities with runes. But the more research I did the more apparent it became that they were meant to be a part of my path. Who am I to question the hints or smacking with a board upside the head of the multiverse?  Okay. So I’ll study ogam too!

Then a friend contacts me to tell me about a dream she had. In her dream I was wearing a green druid robe and carrying a large book. I was speaking Gaelic. And the Morrigan was hovering in the background. Sounds like even others were part of my druid day!

At the beginning of the year I did a magical rune sending that this year be full of spiritual growth. I figured it would be under the guise of Asatru. Which also has sped up. I have vitki apprentices now. But Druidry wasn’t even on my radar. I knew nothing about it. I’m not Celtic by ancestry. But I had that dream four months ago of my father saying the one word Druid to me. And then it all started.

I now do both druid and vitki rituals. I am a member of ADF and OBOD. My studies are yielding some amazing results. I took to this path running. And I’m just stubborn enough to continue!

I have much learning to do. But the gods keep dropping resources into my lap to follow. Everything is flowing smoothly if a little fast. My trust in the gods will carry me through. After all I have the Morrigan at my back!