I admit I have a fear of Druidry. Not the concept but the execution and details of it.
There is so much to learn! That’s a large part of my fear. It’s daunting. The lore. The pantheon. All seven months into this path still largely unknown to me. Granted I know more now than I did when I started this path. But there’s so much more! I’m developing a phobia of it all. Fear based of course!
Then there’s the whole trance work element. I’m an experienced trance worker. I’ve been doing it the last six years as a Vitki. But this Druid trance stuff is somehow different. First of all there’s only three realms not nine as in Asatru. And I have a good working map of those nine realms. This only three thing scares me somehow. So I get confronted by the fear and just do nothing. Not the best reaction granted. But that’s been my experience so far.
I realize these are irrational fears. Being irrational doesn’t make it less real! I know I can read the books. I know I can do trance to make a map of the three realms. I know all this. But I remain paralyzed.
I suppose this fear could be masking excitement. I admit to having excitement about this path. I was even started down this path by an unconventional manner. That excites me. And what I’ve learned so far about Druidry excites me. So there’s that option. Somebody once said fear is just a mask for other strong emotions.
Maybe this is just newbie growing pains. Maybe it’s just that I’m impatient. Which I am on both accounts.
I need to just let things unfold at their own pace. I need to stop holding myself up to some impossible ideal of my own creation I need to relax into it. Not force it.
Or maybe I just need to get over myself and tackle the work at hand. I don’t know! Ugh!
So after my Imbolc experience with Brigid I of course wanted to find out more about this ancestor that she had shown me. Doing more trance work I found out the following information.
The figure she had shown me I assumed was male. Mostly because of the clothing. But upon my visit to that vision I discovered he was a she! Her name is Anna. She worked her family farm because he three brothers all had farms of their own. She had two other sisters both of whom were married off. She was the eldest of her family. And big boned. That’s the other reason I thought she was a he. From a distance she resembled any man working the earth.
She lived in the late 1400s. As far back as we can factually check my families is the late 1500s. So no real way to fact check. But as the sole worker of her family farm she knew nature well. She lived a very simple life. She was in tune with the cycles of the year. She measured time by the earth cycles. In many ways she lived as a Druid.
She was friendly but busy. She told me my interest in herbology was mostly due to her influences. I also got the sense that she was my direct ancestor linkage to Druidry. She was my main tug at my following this path.
I plan to do more trance sessions to get to know her. I have many questions to ask her. I’m sure she has much wisdom to share. Wisdom about living a life closer to the earth. Wisdom about the changes of seasons. I will find out what I can from her. A new valuable resource. May our relationship bloom like her farm.
I completed my Imbolc ritual. Using the format I’ve grown accustomed to over the last six months I settled in to do some holiday work. Here’s what happened.
First I called the quarters. North is bear. Earth. East is hawk. Air. South is stag. Fire. And West is salmon. Water. I use a drum when calling quarters. So I create quite a ruckus!
Next I lit juniper incense as an offering to the shining ones. The energy I was getting was very calm and serene. I basked a bit in this energy. Not too often I feel calm! Then I was ready to move on.
Next came a prayer for peace. Druids were peacemakers after all. Then it was time to invoke Brigid. I called upon her asking for her presence and hoping for words of wisdom. The energy in the ritual room became electric. I took this to mean she was here.
I addressed her directly. What words of wisdom did she have for me? The answer came in a rich female voice. Continue on your path it said. Keep up the studying. And it said one more thing that surprised me. You are born for this she told me. It is in your blood.
My immediate thought was I have traced my family back to the 1600s on both sides. Both sides are German. Reading my thoughts she sent me an image. An image of a man in a wide brimmed hat tending to a field. He was dressed in rough peasant wear. This must be the ancestoral linkage she spoke of. I got a strong sense of earth from this farmer. Perhaps he’s the one who worshipped nature and could call himself a Druid.
Then the voice warned me that the tie to this path was tenuous. But through the work I’m doing spiritually the tie was strengthening That I am remembering the wisdom of this man. Try to reach out to him she said. Then she was gone.
Quite a ritual I had! And being shown the one who is my tie to the path of Druidry was powerful. Now I see that this ancestor predates the 1600s. He is earlier than that. And he lived a life close to the earth. Some much more to do trance sessions on! The first gift of Spring is this information. Now to follow through as best I can. Praise to Brigid!
I had such success meeting with Taliesin that I thought I’d try another deity. This time I choose to reach out to Cerridwen. She does play a big role in the tale of Taliesin after all.
First I called upon Llewelyn my Druid spirit ally. I told him my intention to speak with Cerridwen. He agreed the time was right for me to do so. And so he summoned her.
I was in a large grassy field with rock outcrops. It was still and silent and sunny. Suddenly a hawk flew into eye range. It circled a few times. I stated my intention to meet Cerridwen. The hawk landed on one of the rocks. I stood below looking up. As I watched the hawk shimmered between the shape of the hawk and that of a crouched woman. Finally it became only the woman. She stood up and stretched. Then she called out that she was Cerridwen and was the mighty goddess of all things magic. She stood with the sun gleaming behind her. She was mighty in magesty. With arms outstretched she greeted me with firm voice. I have come to collect herbs she told me. And she climbed down off the rocks and started searching the field. Into a burlap bag strung across her back she quickly and efficiently gathered her herbs. Trying to catch her attention I called out to her asking what I should be doing about magic. She replied that I knew everything I needed to know. She told me it was time to take action. She went back to collecting her herbs. Next thing I knew she had vanished. My trance was over.
I pondered over what she had said. I knew I had been studying magical workings for years. But I lacked the self confidence to act. She had told me rather briskly to just do it. A message I was not ready to hear but a valid one.
I resolved to put learning into action. I burnt incense. I did a ritual. And I did a small magical working for myself. Time will tell if I gain enough confidence to continue. With Cerridwen behind me how can I fail?
So I did a trance session today to meet with Taliesin. I was seeking wisdom. Here’s what I got.
First I called upon my Druid spiritual ally Llewelyn to arrange a meeting. He was willing to set it up. He asked me what I seeked. I told him and suddenly we were off.
I was in a forest. Trees everywhere. I called out for Taliesin. Nothing. I called again and a man came skittering around a tree and asked what I wanted. I told him I sought wisdom from Taliesin. He laughed and ran off into the trees.
I ran after him. He would get into my sight for a moment than quickly disappear. This went on for a while. Me chasing and catching up only to be left in the dust. Finally I caught up with him after quite a while and he stood there laughing. He told me he had taught me enough for one day. Then the trance suddenly ended.
What lesson had I been given? What wisdom had I learned? Then it dawned on me. The hunt. The pursuit. That was the lesson to be learned.
I thought about all of the pursuits in my life. The pursuit of knowledge: The pursuit of wisdom. The pursuit of understanding. All these were my pursuits. Perhaps the lesson was that the joy is in the pursuit itself. The Hunt. I need to find the joy and happiness in the action of hunting. Not worry so much about the acquisition. This is a life long chore. Not a passing fancy I need perhaps to accept the pursuit as it’s own reward. Big lesson for me.
So that was my first meeting with Taliesin. Hopefully not the last. Wisdom was gained. What more can I expect from meeting with a deity?
All things are impermanent. I have recently been reminded of that fact with my sister recently having switched realms. And then my drum head cracked. All things are impermanent I’m reminded. Even the best things come to an end.
Except our gods. And the lessons and energies they represent. They have been with us since the dawn of mankind. Our need to explain the world around us persists. And has been that way for eons. The gods offer us the way to get a handle on reality.
I have found myself turning to the Morrigan during this time of grief. She has helped show me the lessons of impermanence. Her wisdom has been a much needed voice in the jumble of my thoughts. She slows me that death is just another phase we all will face. How we face it is up to us. What lessons we learn during such times depends on our willingness to be open.
The gods will endure. After the last Druid has left this realm they will simply lie dormant waiting to be rediscovered. They will remain. That’s as close to permanent as we can hope for.
I had an interesting dream the other night. My husband and I were traveling in Ireland. The flyers of things to do spoke of the Druid Path as an attraction. I told my husband I wanted to go check it out. He agreed.
Off we went. We finally arrived at the location given in the flyers. It was a large green pasture with a stream running through it. The stream sprang up from the earth. It also had been paved. In some areas it was paved with large flat rocks. Other areas it was just paved with gravel. The stream ran down a large hill. The gimmick of the attraction was to walk in the stream down the hill and not fall in the process. I immediately told my husband I wanted to try. He agreed. Off I went to try my luck.
A large group of people had gathered to see if I would be successful. I went up to the man in charge to pay my fee. He had longish curly hair and glasses. Perhaps he was the current head of OBOD. I’m not sure about that. So I paid my fee but realized I was wearing clogs on my feet. Not good for making your way down a rushing stream on paved stones. I told this to the guy in charge. And he told me he had just the thing for this situation. Boots. I took the boots and put them on. I stood at the beginning of the stream. I began my adventure.
I made my way down the slippery stream bed. Sometimes fast. Sometimes slow. But I kept walking. I nearly lost my balance a few times. But I kept at it. Finally I was at the bottom of the hill. I had made it!
The crowd of people cheered. My husband hugged me. I was tired but exhilarated. I had done it!
Then I woke up.
I pondered the meaning of the dream. It seemed pretty obvious. I had decided to do something challenging. I was given assistance on this trip. I successfully made my way through it. And there were rewards at the end.
Interesting how your subconscious mind processes your waking reality. I am on this new exciting path. Sometimes I moved quickly. Sometimes slowly. But always moving forward. It’s a journey.
So that was my dream. What have you been dreaming lately?
Okay. I have a problem. I like labels. They help me keep my world intact. As a bipolar patient and someone whose brain has been damaged by MS labels help me keep things neat and tidy. Especially in matters of spirituality. A big issue. Labels help my identify to myself and the world at large who I am. And therefore give a glimpse of where I stand.
For well over a decade I have labeled myself an Asatruar. Following the Norse path has been right for me. But now I been called to also follow the path of Druidry. Concurrently. Which I have been doing the last several months. And my spirituality has blossomed. I have discovered new ways to express myself as a spiritual person. But what about the label? There has to be a label!
I thought about the phrase Neopagan Druid. That seemed to fit. That covered both the Asatru and druid paths I’m on. But it seemed so loose. And it didn’t necessarily encompass the aspects of wicca that I throw in to my practice. Ugh!
So I was discussing this dilemma with my best spiritual friend last night. And she told me point blank that it’s time I lose the labels. That I’m only setting myself up for future failure that way. Leave myself open. That’s the only way to allow spiritual growth. Leave it loose.
So I told her I’d try it. Here I am at 53 years old without a spiritual label. I will try this tactic of leaving myself wide open to whatever comes. Who knows? I could be called by an Egyptian god next…
We are part of a vast multiverse where everything is interconnected. Every person, every animal, every rock and every plant. We are all connected to each other through energy systems. My energy affects yours. Your energy affects mine. Just as moods are transferred from one being to another our energies interconnect. Your happiness wears off on me. Your sadness I feel too.
Never before have I been more aware of this cosmic truth than recently with my sister having left this realm to move on to another. I can actually feel her missing. Her energy may remain in some form or another. But this realm has been affected. Something is missing. I feel it most strongly when I get an urge to call her and share some minor event in my life. But I can’t call. No one would answer.
So I find myself using the gods to fill the void. I have been turning to the Morrigan a lot. Her strength becomes my strength. Her long distance view of the world becomes mine. I do ritual for her. I meditate on her. I find myself drawing closer. As if she were a sister. She fills my psyche.
And she shows me the wisdom of interconnectedness. She allows me to see that we are just small specks of color in a huge painting of being. We are all needed to complete the picture. And when one of us are gone another must step in. The void never remains. The multiverse abhors a void and works quickly to fill one. Different things are used to fill the void. Different colors in the painting. I am using a newfound connection to the gods to fill the void left by my sister’s moving on. I have been shown new colors. I am reveling in them.
So the next time you pick up a rock or view a tree I urge you to truly feel it’s presence in your life. Feel the energies being exchanged. More so true with those you love. Let them affect you. And let yourself affect them. Hopefully in a positive way. But feel the interconnectedness. And store that memory away for dark times. You may need it.
My sister passed beyond this realm this week. In my grief I was suddenly confronted with the question What do druids have to say about what happens when we depart this life? What do druids think about what happens next? A pretty fundamental question but one I had not given thought to in my past several months on the path of Druidry. Time suddenly to find out.
So I consulted the internet. And my Grove priest. I got the answer that there basically are as many answers to this question as there are druids. And here are some of the answers I got.
When we die that’s it. Game over. It all ends. This was not a particularly helpful point of view for me. I truly believe that there is something else. Energy doesn’t cease to exist. It must go somewhere. There must be another way that the energy finds an outlet for. So this idea wasn’t in keeping with my spiritual beliefs. So I dug further.
We join the Shining Ones. Most likely as an entity like a star. Our energy is released only to be reborn is some form. Not human but some form of being that is part of our multiverse. This sat better with me spiritually. It was closer in thinking to my ideals. I liked this answer.
We become part of a group living a life not too different from this realm. Only more fun and carefree. Endless feasting and games. Reunion with loved ones. Perfect for my sister because in this realm she had spent her energy on helping others. Time for her to have an eternity of fun. I thought this was a fitting evolution for my sister.
We become reincarnated. Our energy finds another outlet in a new birth. Although we may not be reincarnated as a human necessarily. We could come back as an animal. Or even an inanimate object. But we come back as something.
These are some of the answers I found to my question. I’m not sure exactly which one is true for me. But it gives me much to ponder over. Which answer sits best with you?