The grey of morning fills the view outside the window from my child hood bedroom as I write this. I have come to my childhood home to spend the holidays with my children and my parents. The fog is thick and heady and an owl who's ring through the woods near by. Before I left my home the weather was miserable along I-5. Ice and snow on most the passes I was going to have to travel over to get here. The going was dangerous. I decided it was time to see if some spirit art could help me out. I chose to do some work calling on the spirit of winter itself as the Irish and Scottish Celts saw her, the Cailleach. Basing the working off the formats that Rev. Corrigan put together, I opened the gates called my allies among the kindred and then called to the Cailleach, giving offerings. I then entered into a trance state. In this state I saw with my inner sight, Stag come through the gate and indicate for me to climb on his back. It would seem I was going to go to her, instead of her coming to me. I climbed up and through the gate we went to the spirit world. The stag took me to a part of the spirit world I have never been to. Several mountain tops away from my usual area of visitation. There I met with the Cailleach. I saw her much as she is described in the lore. Grayish blueish skin, long white hair. I had expected her personality to be harsh and cold as winter can be, but instead found her to be friendly and kind. I talked with her and explained my situation and my request for a Solstice Celebration free of rain (the weather report called for an 80% chance of rain) and clear passage to Oregon. In exchange she requested a temporary shrine and daily offerings of pine incense till Imbolc.
The Solstice rite was a huge success and we had about 25 attendees. We got only the slightest amount of trickle on us at the end of the rite and it quickly let up, causing no ill effects. The next day on my drive up to Oregon, we did get some rain and stormy weather, but all of it in the low lands where it didn't slow us down at all. Just as we got to the first major pass, the mandatory chain check was taken away, and we had clear roads all the way to my parents home in Oregon. Even had some sunshine at the normally coldest and most dangerous sections!
Was it luck? Was it the Cailleach? There really is no way to know for sure, but I trust my heart. You can bet your last dollar that when I get home from this trip, the first thing I am going to do is build a shrine and light some incense, every day till Imbolc.
Friday, December 14, 2012
The plop of a wet large leaf hitting the cement of the patio outside my back door was a good indication why I choose to take my working indoors. We need the rain here, never get enough of it so I try not to begrudge the weather too much. This is one of the few times I have had to do a working indoors, and the first time I have done a spirit art of this level of complication indoors. I had been tumbling the idea of summoning the Tri Cumhachtai Brig (the three queens of the court of Brigit) like a stone tumbling in the surf of the ocean. It wasn’t till after sun down that I decided for sure to do it. I did have all the supplies after all, and this break from school will be short, and the winter solstice ritual is fast approaching. I rearranged my alter and shrine to accomadate this working, and well, it just need a good cleaning up after a couple years of use. The beginning of the rite flowed smoothly from my lips as it has been practiced for two years now. However, I discovered as I picked up my staff sized Slat Draoi that I was long on stick and short on room. The words of my old martial arts instructor rang in my head “you can’t use a staff in a phone booth. The right tool for the situation.” I realized I didn’t have any other sized Slat Draoi. I made a mental note to remedy that in the near future, and refocused on what I was doing, making careful use of the space and tool I had. The offerings were given, the words spoken with confidence and power. I then sat before the alter and now shrine to Brigid, and let myself slide deeper into a trance state, in the hopes that Tri Cumhachtai would be there. I was having trouble getting into it. My mind was not focused as I would have liked. Maybe it was the presence of my wife and step-daughter in the family room, two closed doors away, that was distracting me. Or perhaps it was the outside dog moving against the house, or the sudden sadness and depression I had struggled with all day that came on for no apparent reason, or any number of things, I am not sure, I just know I was struggling. Not wanting the work and offerings to go to waste, I buckled down mentally and started to chant the Ogham name of Beith, followed by Dair, and Lus. I then I began to recite the Gailic charm “Brid thuas linn, Brid thios linn, Brid maidir linn; Brid inar gcroi”. Soon I found my inner sight and saw the three queens standing before me. I thanked them for coming, for their patience, and then we got to work. We made pacts of friendship and assistance. I was informed of some of their realms of influence. I was shown the ways that they have already been involved in my life and development as a Druid. I received further instructions on the type of magical work they (and Brigit) would have me develop. I have been told to develop a system of magical work using the Ogham. This will be both work for inner development and outer magical works. I was instructed on one way of spell casting making use of Ogham letters on a staff of wood. The last instructions were to practice this system and when ready more instruction would come. As the meeting came to an end, the three queens wanted to go, but I came to understand without their explicit say so that they could not till I chose to allow them too. This was a significantly different feeling then during my audience with Brigid herself. I gave a bit more offering of incense, thanked them, and the rite was brought to a close.
* as I am writing this I am getting word of the tragic murders of children in Conneticet by a gunman at a school. Perhaps my sudden sadness and depression was some sort of premonition of something very sad and wrong about to happen.
This working felt very different then the audience with Brigid. With the audience the sense of power and majesty was palpable, visceral. Here with this working it wasn’t like that. It could be that some of this is from my mental struggles to get into a trance state. It also makes sense to me though that working with the queens would have a much different feel then working with the goddess herself. One thing is I felt that I had much more of their focus and attention. They were more present with me then the goddess was. I received more specific instructions about things. This all in turn made the work seem much more “real”. In my conversation with the queens I asked for a prediction of the weather today (I like confirmation that I am not making things up), and well, it’s spot on. Overcast with no rain and a bit of sunshine now and then. Another interesting note to that question is that when I asked it, I felt the queen delve into my own mind. It was not an unpleasant sensation, just different, I got the sense she was seeking information she needed from my mind or memories to make the prediction. After all the weather is not something normally associated with Brigit.
A keening for those killed in Connecticut this day,
too young too young, this evil hath done
families torn asunder
Brigid wept like the rolls of thunder
as the Morrigan made her choices,
forever silencing their little voices.
too young too young, this evil hath done
families torn asunder
Brigid wept like the rolls of thunder
as the Morrigan made her choices,
forever silencing their little voices.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
I stood and took a deep breath. In slow and out slow, letting my mind settle to a quiet state. All was in readiness for the work. The fire was lit, the well was filled. My offerings laid out in order of need and use on the white cloth laid upon the ground. The sky was clear and the stars twinkled brightly in the mild winter night. Slat draoi in hand I began the ritual that would bring me into audience with the Brigid the high one. The practiced words spilled fourth smoothly and I felt myself begin the change in mental state that would take me to a light trance. The fire and well were blessed, the Nemeton made whole and holy. Manannan was offered too and the gates were opened. I took a moment and again took a long deep breath letting my thoughts and focus gather, then, from my soul I called to my allies among the dead, the sidhe and the gods to aid me in this working. I felt them draw near. Taking up the book I began the chant that would draw Brigid’s attention to my fire. At this point the initial rush of the fire had died down to hot embers. Not wanting to lose my trance I left it as it was and choose not to try to stoke it. I placed each of the offerings in the hot coals and repeated the sacred chant with each. When all was given, I keep up the chant and felt the goddess draw nearer, or perhaps it was just her attention, whatever it was, I knew she was “with” me. The fire suddenly sprang back to open flame. I chose to take this as confirmation that she took the offerings, and was indeed present. I then invoked her purification of water, and the blessing of fire. This left me feeling as if my spirit had just had a breath-mint. I felt tingly, clean, and yet empowered. I felt much of the psychic “gunk” I had acquired over the past few months flushed away. I felt clean and renewed. I also felt empowered again as her flame took in my head, heart, and loins.
We spoke of many things. We spoke of inspiration, and magic, of matronage, and instructions of where she would have me take my magical style. Agreements were made, and she granted me her blessing in convoking the spirits of her court, and yet that it was not to be my main focus of magic. She told me a guide would be sent to me. The meeting was then over on her word, and in that ending somehow she gave me a sense of her vast power.
Coming out of what had become a very deep trance state I closed the ritual with offerings of thanks to Brigit and to all my allies. I had trouble standing at first as all the feeling had escaped from my left leg, as is apt to happen when I sit cross legged for prolong periods of time. The fact that I had not noticed it going numb, and had no sense of how much time had passed was a good indication of just how deep my trance had been. The ritual was then ended in the usual way. When all was packed up I stood a while just staring into the now healthy fire, letting the magical and psychic repercussions slowly settle in. When I was ready, I picked up my supplies, turned, and walked into the house.
In the night as I slept I had many dreams of a magical nature. Some I remember some I don’t. This morning while doing my usual meditation and two powers exercise, I found the energy turned up, dare I say, amped up…way up. I felt as if I was humming with power. I did not find it frightening nor painful. I simple was able to hold and deal with more of it than ever before. Step one is complete, now I will prepare for the second rite, convoking the three queens.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
As of today I have finished the nine days of devotionals to Bridgit in preparation for convocations. I am currently preparing for the first of three rites. This first one is about meeting with the Goddess herself and gaining her blessing. My plan was to do the ritual tomorrow night, however, I am still waiting for some of the offerings needed to arrive in the mail. Specifically the pieces of bronze I ordered. I also need some iron and silver, but these are generally easier to come by. Since my last post I haven’t noticed any changes within me, and my meditations have been uneventful, but satisfactory.Also as of today I have finished my 3rd semester of nursing school. This frees up time that will now put to use on my clergy training, Winter solstice ritual crafting, and of course on the Convocation of the court of Bridgit. In Mid January I will begin my 4th and final semester of nursing school.
Friday, November 30, 2012
Day four of my daily devotionals, and the meditation was back to being a still image of the high one seated in her throne. I have noticed that since I started these devotionals I am feeling much more compassionate than usual. It’s a nice feeling. Some examples of what I am referring too would be the woman at the gas station, wearing angry bird pajama bottoms, old tennis shoes, a dirty white old winter jacket and a burger king crown on her head. She was going from customer begging for change. I felt a wave of compassion for her. Another example would be the other day when my b’loved was being very critical of how another woman dressed at a party we had been to. Though I could see the point my b’loved was making I couldn’t help but feel compassion for the woman, who ‘s clothing choice, though uncouth, wasn’t so bad as to deserve such derision. (to cleaify the woman was not known to us nor around when the conversation took place) In the past these are situations that probably wouldn’t have elicited much of an emotional response from me. This week however I found myself wishing there was something I could do to benefit them. I can only attribute the change to the devotional work I am doing. Compassion is a great thing to have. However like all emotions it needs to be in moderation. I am curious to see if this new found compassion is some sort of “rebalancing” the goddess is giving to me, that I am regaining the compassion I lost, or is it a new thing entirely. Right now I think it’s a rebalancing, or re finding an aspect of the person I was before my now ex wife slowly stole it away.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Not much to report about today. I ran through the ritual smoothly I have it completely memorized now and it flows easily. During the meditation portion my mind had difficulty staying focused and it ran after thoughts constantly. A result of this was my ironing out some ideas for the Winter solstice ritual I will be leading in a few weeks. This however was not the intention of the meditation. In the end I was able to buckle down and sink into an altered state of mind and focus. Again I pulled up an image of the goddess in my mind.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
This morning found me in front of my shrine for day 2 of the Bridget devotionals. The rite was the same as the day before. This time though when I was visualizing the image of the goddess, she was sitting on a throne as before, but the throne began to spin in a circle slowly. I tried to hold the image still in my mind, but couldn’t seem to be able to. It “insisted” on turning. I kept trying to hold it still, but this then caused the image to change so that the goddess disappeared and all I saw was an empty throne…which still insisted on spinning around slowly. When I stopped trying to hold it still in my mind, the image of the goddess returned. What else could I do, I simply focused on this image of the goddess in her rotating throne. I am not sure how long I worked with this imagery, but I know that about 30 minuets passed from the time I started the work to the time I left my shrine and went into the kitchen to make myself some breakfast.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Today was the day 1 of the nine day devotional I am doing to the goddess Bridget. I sat at my indoor alter, upon it was a framed picture of the goddess and a Bridgit’s cross I made last Imbolc. There are a number of other items on my alter but for this work they are not important. I rang the bell that sits on my alter nine times, as is my custom to begin all meditation and ritual here. I then went through the devotional outlined by Rev. Corrigan. I meditated on my inner image of the goddess for a long time. Much of the imagery incorporated what was laid down in the text, but there were some details that were all my own. At times I lost my focus, as thoughts of the impending school finals and the need to study, or of the poor clinical review I was anticipating today, rudely came barging into my mind. However I was able to let them go and come back to the beautiful image of the goddess. It seemed to have a calming effect for me. I am thankful for that. Now post clinical review, which went as I suspected (though I still passed the clinic), I find myself wanting to go back to that space. There was peace and beauty there. Needless to say, I am looking forward to tomorrow, where I will continue the devotionals.
Readers, please feel free to comment or ask questions.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
After my last post, I decided I wanted to consult the kindred if this working with the goddess Bridgit is some thing I should do. I got a positive response. When I asked if I should begin the workings this December I got a very strong positive response. So I have been memorizing the short daily devotional to Bridget in preparation for nine days of devotional work. I will do this before I begin my convocations. I will be making some adjustments to my home shrine to be a bit more focused on this working as time permits.
Brid thuas lin, Brid thios linn
Brid maidir linn
Brid inar gcroi
Brid thuas lin, Brid thios linn
Brid maidir linn
Brid inar gcroi
Thursday, November 22, 2012
I got a reprieve from school for a few days and want to take this chance to write about some noteworthy developments in my magical and spiritual life. I have really been struggling with school this semester. I have one teacher in particular who I seem to have communication issues with. For some reason we just can’t seem to communicate smoothly and the end result is that she has come to the conclusion that my clinical skills are week. I have never had this issue with any other instructor in the last year and a half of nursing school. I decided to do a minor working to try and better the communication and situation. The working composed mostly of pulling the two powers into me, and with my will and intent shaping it into a ball of energy with the intent of having her see my successes and less focus on my mistakes. I then released the energy, “casting” the ball into the sky. The end result…it didn’t really work at all that I can tell. However, in the end it would seem she didn’t flunk me either and I will in fact be moving on to the next semester (assuming I don’t blow the final of course, which there is no reason why I would or should). So that little “spell” in my book is a failure. I did this spell the way I did because of time constraints. I simply didn’t have the time to do a full rite. I wish I could have. It’s important to write about the spell failures as well as the successes.
Last week, a local witch and psychic who attends the local pagan meetup came up to me and told me that she had a message from a deceased friend or relative for me. When I first met this woman years ago, I had her written off as… well at best as “ungrounded”. I have now come to find her eccentric, but I do listen to what she has to say. So I listened when she came up and said to me that “there is something you’re not doing before taking a test that you used to do…and he wants you to start doing that again.” Even though the message was vague, I felt that I knew immediately what the spirit was referring too. I had stopped giving offerings to the ancestors on the morning of a test. I am not sure why I stopped. I think that it was a combination of my frustration with school, and just being ok with what I was getting, even though deep down I wanted a higher score. In the past I had noticed that my test scores would improve 5%-6% on the days I gave offerings vs. the days I didn’t. So taking her words to heart, this week I made sure to give good offerings before my tests. I took three tests and I noticed an increase in my test score for all the tests. again about 5%-6%. What’s more is that I got this increase in score even though I didn’t study as much as I had been in the past. I suppose someone could argue is all in my head, or that it’s a psychological trick I am playing on myself. Honestly, I don’t care. To me it FEELS like magic, and I like the results. It will happen again.
I have also begun to once more let myself notice my impression of other people’s energetic states. It’s hard for me to explain. I just get a sense or a feel for the energy a person has. I don’t see auras or colors or anything like that. Yet I sense something. If one isn’t careful all this study of science and nursing will cause a person to lose touch with their intuition. I don’t want that to happen.
Now on to the title of this post, I have been slowly working through Ian Corrigan’s system of spirit art. Though school and life has kept me from doing all the workings as quickly as I would like, it has worked wonderfully thus far. This past summer I got to participate as a seer in one of the group “Court of Bridget” workings that Ian led. This was a great experience. Ian has now released a text that takes one through the complete spirit art system to work with Bridget and her court of spirits. I received my copy the other day. I have been trying to develop a relationship with Bridget for some time, and yet always there seems to be a distance. So with this material in hand I am planning to spend the next part of my magical workings focusing on this goddess and her court. How long, I am not sure exactly. As long as it takes I suppose given my lack of free time. As usual I will write about my experiences here. I hope to do the first working, which is gaining an audience with the Goddess Bridget herself. I hope to do this working in the first weeks of December of this year.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
As fall begins to settle over the dry land, I feel the parched distance in my soul. I am too long away from the temple of the trees and the pews of the grass. My feel the call of the wild deep within me, like a primal urge. Yet I never seem to be able to make the time in my craze to succeed in school. Constantly studying, slouched over a desk, lost in the deep learning of the medical texts. Pages upon pages of all that can go wrong in these amazing bodies we call home, with periodic pictures of pain and suffering. I ache to be free again. Free of responsibility, free of deadlines, free of the everyday testing of how much information I have been able to slam into my long term memory in a mere twenty four hours. I long to run my hands across the rough bark of the cottonwoods and chat with their old spirits in the language of energy traded. I wish to sit and listen to the babbling of Po-Sun-Co-La as the sun twinkles off her sparkly ever flowing cloak....
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
This blog has been silent for a long time. I started this blog as a place to publicly share my experiences with Druidry and as a journal for my inner journey on this path. As readers will know, I am currently in a nursing school, and this is taking not only all my time, but everything I can through at it mentally, physically, and spiritually. It is my spirituality and faith in the holy kindred that get me through day to day. I have done some difficult things in my time, but Nursing school tops them all. I have gone from a straight “A” student with time left over to run a pagan spiritual meetup weekly, my local grove and leading the high day rites, to studying 6 hours a day for a test only to get a “B”. I have had to cancel the last high day right and have no plans to lead another until the winter solstice when I am on break from classes. What I am doing is my daily meditation and daily offerings to the kindred. I am also struggling with one of my instructors, it would seem she hasn’t taken much a like to me and on the last major paper appeared to actively be trying to find reasons to fail me on it (which she did.). I also am beginning to suspect that some of the “vibe” I am picking up from her is religious in nature. I suspect she has at some level an issue with my being pagan. Thus I responded with a small bit of magic of my own in the hopes she will see me in a better light. My studies on my clergy training have been put on hold for the time being, but I am only one essay away from finishing my preliminary work. I plan to finish this up over the winter break. I haven’t made the time to do any major workings or spirit-walks of late. This is something I hope to change over the coming break as well. I miss my weekly meetings, and I miss leading the high day rites. I never realized till now how much I enjoyed it all, until I couldn’t make the time.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Well I have started my 3rd semester of nursing school, and I get the sense that It’s not going to be near as crazy stressful as last semester. However this does mean that my posts will be sporadic at best. I have not been idle over the summer however, when it comes to my studies in Druidry and working toward my Ordination. I spent the summer working hard on ADF’s Preliminary clergy training program. This has Included classes on Law regarding religious organizations, cosmology, liturgy, the structure of ADF, and Indo-European studies. I have finished them all except for Indo-European Mythology. I am currently doing the reading for this meaty topic. I had hoped and tried to finish the whole training before school started, but that just didn’t happen. I will now read and write as school allows, but school is my main priority.
After many years of looking I think I may have found an acceptable spot that Cottonwood River can use to hold rituals in a natural setting. A county park, that we can reserve that has a fire ring. It’s $50.00 for a day use. I am going to send in the paperwork today and we’ll see. The ritual will be on September 15th this year. I would have preferred the 22nd, however that is the date of our local Pagan Pride, and I did not want the two to clash. It is a small community of pagans after all, and they can’t be in two places at once. I asked for some input for a theme from the other members of the Protogrove, but didn’t get any response. There is always the old standby of a thanksgiving, but after years of that, I was hoping to see if there was some other similar but a little different we could use. I will keep tumbling it around in my head, maybe bounce it off a few others and see what ideas shake loose.
Those who follow this blog will know that earlier this summer I did a working for the vow breaker. This working entailed three main points. The magico-religious dissolution of her marriage, offerings to the kindred to make amends for her breaking of the vows, and a cleansing to banish the evil spirit my guides showed to me that was about her. In nursing we are taught that whenever we do an intervention we must then return to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. What follows is my evaluation of the interventions used.
When I met the woman a few days after the ritual she went on for some length about how much better she immediately felt after the ritual. She used words such as “happier” “lighter” “free”. She was smiling and in good spirits. It was at this time I choose to reveal to her all of what had been shown to me in the way of the spider headed malicious spirit. I also explained my reasons for not telling her all I had known before this time. She indicated that she understood and appreciated my tact. I have not spoken to any others of the it except here on my blog.
Two weeks or so after the ritual the client went to places of business looking for a job, to replace the one she suddenly and unexpectedly lost, and in one day not only had in interview but was hired on the spot. This was a blessing but also prevented her from joining the community at our Lughnasadh ritual.
I recently had lunch with the client and she is still doing well. She is now looking for her own place to live with her son, and working hard on her spiritual self as well. This young lady has done more soul searching in the past two months than a lot of people do in their whole life. She has started dating the man with whom she had the affair and it is my sense that they are perhaps a very good match. At least for now they are happy and working to have a healthy relationship.
As it is with such things, I don’t know if I can ever know how much of her successes is due to the working we did. I do believe however that it was a very positive event and helped her in many ways.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
I have been back from our Lughnasadh campout and ritual for a few days now. I have had time to unpack and let the events settle. Lughnasadh for me started on Wednesday as I pulled up to the last available camping site along the river Po-Sun-Co-La at 8:00am. I unpacked and registered with the rangers when they finally came around many hours later. Why so many days early? Well there are no reservations at this site and if someone doesn’t take the spot by Wednesday, there won’t be any spots at all for the weekend ritual. As it was the entire 50 campsites were taken by Wednesday afternoon. I spent most of Wednesday studying Pharmacology, and watching dragonflies do their dance for me. On Thursday evening a new comer to our pagan community joined me, as well as one of my Grove mates. By this point of being alone for almost two days I was ready for some company. I really enjoyed getting to know the new member. He is friendly, open, honest, very energetic and always there to lend a hand. As part of the camp and celebrations I used a large extra tent I had and created a shrine and alter in it for a spear I made that was to represent the spear of Lugh, the Gae Assail. I placed cloth strips in a bowl and a pen on the altar so that people could write out prayers and tie them on to the spear. These were later placed in the fire during the main ritual.
On Friday evening I held a Sumbel. Not very many people attended this, but it was a lot of fun and very intimate for those of us who did show. We were given homemade mead from the husband of the kitchen-witch, and it was the best Mead I have ever tasted! We all loved it and it made the experience that much better.
Saturday was the main ritual. People started showing up at the camp site a little after noon. The ritual wasn’t until 7:00pm. We had games planned, but honestly it was so hot that most people just wanted to sit around in the shade and talk and eat, and drink tea or water. Right before I started ritual, I was told of a beloved member of the pagan community who had fallen very ill. With some quick discussion it was decided that a healing would be included in the ritual. The ritual went very well and everyone participated with the call and response and giving of offerings. I got to recite the story of the second battle and why we celebrate Lughnasadh. I feel that I did a pretty good job of it. Interestingly, as I was telling it, I found myself talking on a slight Irish accent. I wasn’t doing it on purpose, and then I found a style of speech coming out that wasn’t mine. I could help but wonder if I was channeling the way in which I was telling the story from some ancestor. It was a fun if peculiar sensation. As we did last year we make an offering to the River on which we live. We do this for several reasons. One as a way to say thanks, and to build a friendly relationship, another is the hope that if we do, she won’t take as many lives in the year. Last year the river claimed eleven lives. Just after the impromptu healing we did for the sick community member, she suddenly showed up! We were all overjoyed to see her, wheel chair and all.
After the main ritual, we held our first Bardic competition. Each contestant had to sing, or recite a poem or story. We had several of each and it was a lot of fun. I am sure this will happen again! All in all I think everyone had a great time this year. A few people went home with headaches from the heat and humidity. I can’t help but feel honored that so many people are willing to come to my rituals year after year and suffer the intense heat to do so. I guess I am doing something right.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Tonight I performed the ritual for the vow breaking woman. The ritual went smoothly and as planned. I didn’t leave out any parts of it and I feel that it was a truly powerful ritual. When I called up on the gods, the wind picked up and the energy of the grove changed palpably. Later when they were thanked, you could feel the energy change again to what it was before. The woman shed silent tears as I bound her hands in the hand fasting cord that had been used in the hand-fasting to her husband, that was then cut. I held the cut cord up and asked her if she wanted me to place it in the fire or do it herself. I was pleased when she wanted to do it herself and she did. Having not only been at the hand-fasting, but hosting it in my home, it was a poignant moment for me as well. Another poignant moment was the taken of the Oman. I used my Ogham and asked the big question, “are these sacrifices accepted?”. This was gut wrenching moment for me, as the woman has made some pretty big sacrifices already and I did not want to have the holy kindred reject them. Gladly they did not. The omen was very positive. Once all was done, I guided the woman on a journey to speak with the kindred. She shared a little bit of that with me, but that is not my story to tell. I never told her or any one other then the readers of this blog about what I saw two weeks ago in regards to the spirit that was around her. However, when the ritual was done and she was getting ready to leave she stopped and said “ya know, I already feel better now than when I came.” I am taking this as a strong affirmation that my magical working has banished the spirit from her. My hope is now her luck will change, and she can move forward with her life, learning what she needs to learn to find her power, and gaining in wisdom. Time will tell, for all answers are told in time.
Monday, July 23, 2012
So to continue with the spirit work that I talked about last post…the woman who was the subject has chosen to come to me and ask for some spiritual and magical help. In her words she says that she has tried to commune with the goddess, but seems to need more. We sat down together and have come up with a multipart ritual. The first part of this ritual will be about making Priacular offerings for breaking of the vows she made, and hoping to again get into the good graces of the Kindred. The second part of the ritual will be a ritual to act out the spiritual cutting of the handfasting. Lastly will be a cleansing of her with the sacred waters of the well, the waters of the deep, and smudging with incense and the sacred fire. I have done Ogham readings to get an idea of what the kindred want in the way of offerings as well as to the correctness of this ritual. All signs seem to point me to carry on. For a verity of reasons I have chosen not to relate to the young woman what I experienced on my spirit walk. I assess that she’s already under a lot of stress and pressure with all that’s going on. I see no value to adding to it by telling her that I think there is a malicious spirit attached to her. I also have my own fears, mostly I don’t want to come off as seeming “crazy” or to “out there.” I do believe that the working we have come up with will do the job and rid her of the nasty around her. If not…I’ll do something more. Ritual is set for this Thursday.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
The wind blows
It knows, it knows
Its secrets it whispers,
To the trees, to the trees
Its fingers twist and twirl
In my hair, in my hair
The wind blows
It knows, it knows.
Two weeks have passed since my time at ADF’s Northwest regions 8 winds festival. This druid get together brought ADFers from all over the country. It was a time for learning, a time for laughing, a time for making friends and family, a time for healing, and a time for spirit art.
I got to meat for the first time face to face Rev. Ian Corrigan. I must say that after learning his spirit art and following his style of ritual for two years now it was a pleasure to finally meet the man in person. What’s more, I got to share in a spirit working with the Court of Bridget. I learned much from observation and participation in this working. Seeing the ritual working is very enlightening and one can pick things up that just can’t be well communicated in a textual format. My role in this ritual was that of a seer and to see if a spirit would come to me. As the call for the spirits was given, I sensed more then saw a number of spirits approach our grove. In my druid’s sight I did make eye to eye contact with a spirit that I interpreted as a wind spirit based off its form and color. It was like when you make eye to eye contact with a “lovely” person whom you have never met across a room. I thought for sure this was going to be the spirit with which I would palaver and make an alliance. As Ian called out the oath and the charge that the spirits do us no harm, several left, but the wind spirit stayed. Then when Ian began to speak of lasting alliances and asking for its oath, it left. I admit I was disappointed. I then searched with my Druids sight for another when suddenly a young girl of a spirit in a white robe holding a golden harp jumped into my view and got “in my face” as they say. She was sweet and jovial and told me her name was Siarah and that she was the bringer of the desire to sing; in a word inspiration. She flooded me with images and words and in my altered state it all made sense, but like a dream you can’t quite remember when you wake up, a lot of it was gone when I came out of the trance.
Recently a young witch woman in our community broke her hand fasting vows made in the presence of the kindred. Two weeks after her broken vow her toddler became suddenly ill and had to be taken to the hospital and was admitted for dehydration. The child recovered quickly and the illness left as quickly as it came. Then a week later she was suddenly fired from the job she loved and very much needed at this time. Just bad luck? I suppose it could be, but last night I was beginning to suspect there might be more to it. It is well known that the kindred do not take kindly to broken vows and oaths. Through my druid and priestly lens I see these events as related. Not that the kindred are punishing her, but that there are lessons and consequences to be had. The job, I believe, was acquired with the aid of magic and the blessing of the goddess. Thus perhaps she has, for the time, lost that blessing. Wanting to see if I could learn more I chose to do a spirit walk and talk to my guides. I did so and my suspicions were confirmed. Then my old teacher wanted to show me something. The world around me grew pitch dark and out of it I caught the form of man with a huge head like the abdomen of a spider with many eyes that glowed red, and where a mouth should have been was many spider like legs. I was completely unprepared for this. I had no protective charms on my physical body. I followed my first instinct and that was to call into me the two powers as strongly as I could. To literally glow with them and project the two powers out from all around me like an aura. Then I commanded the spirit away and sort of “shooed” it off. One of my spirit allies showed up and also helped. I am sure this is far from a permanent fix. I think that this spirit has something to do with what’s going on, but not sure of the details. After the encounter I found myself quickly back in my body in this world and quite tired. I didn’t get a chance to ask any other questions of my guides.
I’d love to once again delve into the spirit world tonight, prepared this time, and find out more and see if there was something I could do, however, I have my children with me and my daughter has a guest staying the night and this is not going to allow for me to do that. I have felt tired all day, but that could be the oppressive heat we are having today just as well as from the experience I had last night. If the chance arises I will again do a spirit-walk, but it could be a few days.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Today was my first retreat day that I have been able to do as part of my clergy training. The instructions we are given are pretty vague. The only thing I knew I had to do was morning devotionals, prayer at each meal, and a full druidic right. There is nothing about how long a “day” is, or what to do when we are not doing any of the above. As I was thinking about what I would do, it occurred to me that in a lot of ways every day for me right now is a retreat day. I am on summer vacation and I am not currently working. So I stay at home, do some chores each day and do work for my Clergy training. I do morning devotionals each day, and often say prayer over meals (though not as consistently as I should). I don’t do a full druidic rite each day however. In the end I decided that I would cut myself off from all electronics for the day. No phone and no computer. I also decided I would keep myself to the room where we have our alters and which also functions as a guest room.
I started the day off with morning devotionals and meditation. I got very deep and had a nice Spirit walk but nothing of great import was passed on to me. It was more like a spiritual recharging and resting. After that it was breakfast and prayers to the ancestors, offering a bit of the breakfast to them. I used the prayer suggested to us, but I didn’t really care for the way it was written. I then set to organizing the alter room. It was beginning to be used for storage which really it shouldn’t be. I got rid of a lot of junk and made it much more comfortable. I then set to reading and writing. I rewrote the prayer to the ancestors to say over meals to be more to my liking. I also wrote an invocation to Airmed for the upcoming summer solstice ritual. I didn’t get one done for Miach just yet. Not sure how to go about that considering in the tale he’s killed. Well we offer and invoke our dead relatives, why not a god?
I did a lot of reading in Serith’s book “a book of pagan prayers”. This helped me to write the invocation. I also spent some time just doing some plain old thinking. I started to get anxious as the day wore on however and found it difficult to sit. At around 4 I did my full ritual of blessing. During the divination phase I asked these questions; is the offering accepted, what is the nature of the blessing, and what do I need to be aware of? To the first question I received Duir, to the second I received Emancholl, and the third I received Or. My interpretation is that the offerings were accepted, that I will be challenged with an illness in some way, and that I need to be more aware of my money. Not really what I was hoping for, as I was already challenged with illness this winter, and not looking forward to doing that again, then again, it could be an illness of someone else such as a friend or child. Time will tell.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Last night, I and many members of the local pagan community got together to go to the release of “Snow white and the huntsman”. Over all the consensus of was that the movie was so-so. I am not here today to talk about the acting or the dialog. No I am here to point out how incredibly pagan this move is. Some of these elements are really obvious and only the most uninformed would miss the connection. Other elements are more difficult to pick out if someone isn’t intimately familiar with the lore. Let me start with the ecological changes. The ancient Celts had the idea that when a man became King he was to be married to the sovereignty goddess of the local area. The details of the ritual was likely different from tribe to tribe. If the king’s rule was just and he was a “good” king then there was peace and prosperity for all. The crops grew, natural disaster and famine stayed away. Enemies would be defeated and life was good for all. However, if the king was not an honorable man, if he broke his word and dishonored himself and his tribe, the goddess of the land to which he was married would desert him. Famine and drought would come. Enemies would come and the king’s forces would be defeated. The goddess would betray the king and in the end he would be killed and a new king would take his place. This concept is played out in the movie with slight variations, but the pattern is the same. The movie starts with the king and queen and their daughter “Snow white” (who also comes by her name in a very pagan way, but I’ll address that later) and all is well in the land. There is peace, the land is fertile and the people happy and healthy. Then the queen grows ill one winter and dies. The king is “inconsolable” and we begin to see the land fade a bit. Still there is the hope and youth of Snow white and this helps to keep things going. Much later the king takes a beautiful and mysterious woman as his bride, marrying her only twenty four hours after meeting her. This new queen kills the king and sucks away his life on their wedding night, lets her army in the gates and takes over, locking Snow White in the north tower. Her rule is so harsh that all the life of the land retreats and “nature turns upon itself”. Thus our analogy is complete.
Oh but we are just beginning to see the pagan roots of this movie. This new “evil” queen and the permanent winter her rule bring ties us to yet another pagan myth, this one from Celtic Scotland. The main conflict of this movie is the queen who is very old and stays young and beautiful by sucking the youth out of young woman, wants Snow white’s heart, for the queen is told that if she eats the heart she will stay young forever as Snow white is the embodiment of youth and purity, which is easily associated with spring and growing things. Compare this with the tale from Scotland where the spirit of winter, a hag, called the Cialleach. She brings winter, and she rules over the winter months. She captures the young goddess Bridget and imprisons her, because Bridgit will take over and rule during spring and summer. The Cilleach wants to rule all year, forever. Yet a young god from the ever green isle (Ireland) comes and rescues Bridget and together they make their escape on Imbolc and the Cialeach sends the last storms of the season to try to recapture her. In the end she fails and the Cialeach is turned to a standing stone until the next Samhain. One can thus see the very obvious pagan heritage this story carries.
The more obvious pagan portions of the story is the time the heroes spend in an enchanted forest full of fairy and friendly animals, the secret last bastion of green and growing things. This too harkens back to many an pagan story where the hero is taken to a magical otherworld. What I found really astounding is the directory/storywriters inclusion of a magnificent with antlers seemingly made of birch saplings. This white stag was only referred to as “him”. It was plainly obvious to every pagan in the theater that this was the representative of Cernunnos. The stag bends his head to Snow white giving her his “blessing” and thus making her the embodiment of a sovereignty goddess. I also feel I must point out how similar this stag was to a scene in the Gibli animated movie Mononoke.
There were many uses of magic through the movie and plenty of aspects that smack of the shamanic journey and working with nature spirits, not to mention the magic mirror. This movie was so amazingly pagan to its core that the one very Christian head nod, the reciting of the lord’s prayer by Snow White while she is a captive, is jarring and completely out of place. There is no other reference to Christianity in the film, not even at the end when Snow white is being coroneted by a priest! I can’t help but think that the inclusion of the Lord’s Prayer was in fact added in by another party, perhaps the actress herself.
Lastly I want to point out another reason why I feel this film has a strong pro-pagan message. The road to success for our character was obviously helped by the Fey and dwarfs, and of course that magnificent white stag. Never were our characters aided by angels, or the Christian God, or Jesus, nor were they opposed by devils or demons. All in all as a pagan I really enjoyed the film and was pleasantly surprised at how pagan it was.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
I have worked half this hard in school and gotten straight A’s, but now I am in Nursing school, the rules have changed and the gloves have come off. I have sacrificed my social life, my family time, my position as president of the local pagan meetup, and Cottonwood protogrove is limping along at best. All this and I am excited to have gotten solid B’s in all my classes and passed on to the next semester. In this processes my ego has taken some blows, but nothing has brought me to tears like some of my classmates. I have seen a lot of hardworking, intelligent people drop or fail the program. During these trials I have often invoked the help of my ancestors, land spirits, and the gods. I find that most often I am calling on my ancestors to help me through. I think this is for several reasons. First it is the ancestor fetish that I created as my last major magical working. Through this I am able to contact them directly. As of yet I have not done the work to gain the aid of any other Nature Spirits other then my totem the stag. I also call on my ancestors to help me with nursing school because many of them were nurses. Others were pharmacists and physicians. They really understand what I am going through. My work with them has ranged from simple prayers and offerings, to direct communications. My idea of direct communion happens when I open the gates, give my offerings and place my hand on the fetish. I call to my ancestors and ask questions. Sometimes I get a simple feeling in the hand in arm, other times I hear words or phrases in the back o f my mind, or images or just a knowing of something. One example was that I got a knowing of specifically at topics were going to be asked and what I needed to study. A couple times I was “told” to relax, that I had done the work and would do well on the test. Never was I given the answers to the questions…despite my asking. I did not give offerings or communicate with the ancestors on every test or quiz. What I noticed over these past two semesters is that on the tests where I sought out the help of the ancestors beforehand there was consistently a 6% increase in my test score over the days I did not seek their aid.
The Protogrove got off to a really good start, but then we recently lost two of our four members (counting myself) at the same time for different reasons. The timing was also very bad as I was closing in on the end of the semester. I ended up doing the public spring equinox ritual solo, and Beltaine did not happen. However I was able to do a really good talk about dealing with grief and loss from a pagan perspective. Also before the loss of membership the grove gave a good talk on Indo-European Cosmology and why we set it up in ADF as we do.
As for other magical workings, the only really noteworthy experiences I have had are when I went to Oregon to help my parents out in when their alcohol addiction got the better of them and my mother ended up falling down drunk and breaking the tip of her acromion and both arms (not sure which bones exactly). Before I left for Oregon I did a full rite blessing. I really felt the blessings of Lugh come over me, and I got the phrase “you are the light bringer”. When I arrived at my childhood home, I went to the river and there I gave offerings and sought welcome from the land spirits. At the end of the short right a salmon jumped and damn near splashed me, this an a deep area of the river where salmon rarely jump as there is no need. While there to add insult to injury my Dad’s beloved black lab and hunting partner died suddenly and unexpectedly. What was more surprising my father, asked me to say prayers over her. I think he asked this because he was and still is, struggling emotionally and spiritually and didn’t have it in him. So I took up my crane bag, went out to the dog, which he had laid in the back of the pickup and I placed a hand on her lifeless shoulder. I spoke my prayer and asked Cernunnos, as the lord of beasts and a chthonic deity to take her and let her join in his wild hunt. It felt very right. I burned offerings for both the dog and Cernunnos. On the day that I had to leave, I went again to the river, as I had every day since coming there, and I asked for a spirit of the land to watch over my father and mother and to help them heal. I left an offering of a semi-precious stone in return for this. I closed the rite and began my walk up the bank and back to the house a caught the glimps of a black shadow in the shape of a man, but with no details. I did not get a sense of maleficence, and so took this to be a sign that a spirit has taken me up on my request. The end result, is simply that my mother is healing well and has stayed away from the alcohol. My father has sunk deeper into his depression and his drinking worsened. I think however this was necessary as all his life he has resisted treatment or the idea that he is an alcoholic. It finally got so bad he could no longer deny it and has gone to a long term treatment facility. I think this time he has gone for himself. As a healer I know that at times things have to get worse, a healing crisis of sorts, before the bodies healing mechanisms really kick in. I pray it’s similar to what my father has had to go through.
So what have I been up to since school got out? Well not much magically. I am still meditating every day and working on my clergy training. I am doing Ogham castings for free so that I might practice. I am also planning more protogrove meetings trying to get things back on track for that. I’ll be teaching a spell-crafting class on June 16th and also the Protogrove will be hosting a public summer solstice rite on the 16th. I am already looking at options for Lughnasadh. I am going to an ADF druid get together called 8 winds at the end of June and I am really excited about it. I am making plans to do further work from Ian Corrigans summoning book and to find some allies from among the Sidhe. Oh! and I almost forgot one other “working” I did. Once again my ex has decided to try and rob me of my right to claim my daughter as a dependent on my tax return as per our divorce agreement. I gathered all my evidence and sent it in to the IRS and then asked stag to find a fitting spirit to go and help influence things to go my way. Not sure if it made a difference one way or another, but I should be receiving the rest of my tax return next week. Now if I can just prevent this from happening next year…
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
I know it's been an age since I have had/made time to sit down and write on this blog. Nursing school this semester has been a monster to deal with and I just haven't had the time. Summer will be here in just a few weeks however, and readers can once again look forward to regular updates.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
It's been a while since I have gotten to use my skills as a massage therapist to help those who are in high to mid level amounts of pain. Today I got to do it for three people. Being in nursing school has really taken up an avialable time I might otherwise use to do massage, but today it worked out that I got to help some people out. I had forgotten what a nice feeling it is to see some one get off the massage table and watch the slow smile of relief come to their face as they realize they feel so much better. It's good to be reminded that I am in deed a healer.
I have turned in my Dedicant's pathwork, and the reviewer is going over it, and together we are making corrections and cleaning it up. It's hard to make the time to do it with school and all, but it's important to me. I know it's going to make me a much better writer also.
I have decided that I would like to do some volenteer work this summer for Hospice.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
School has started again. I have just finished my 3rd week of my 2nd semester of nursing school. It's fast and furious and I spend a lot of time reading, in class, in clinic and just trying to get it all done, thus the silence on my blog. The biggest news of note in regards to my Druidry is that I have completed my Dedicant's path work and submitted it for review. In a few weeks I should see if I pass or if things need more work. In the mean time I am stepping on to the Clergy path and have begun the preliminary work for that. Besides a several basket fulls of short essays this includes a dialy morning prayer, which now comes after my daily morning meditation, a even prayer over the meal, which I haven't succesfully incorperated into my routine yet, and a monthly retreat day. I haven't yet tried a retreat day, but it's just a matter of picking a Saturday and Sunday and making it happen. Easier said then done I supose.
In my inner life, I came to a painful realization last weekend. That being: alcholism is going to kill my parents, and I am powerless to change that. I saw the toll it was taking on thier bodies when I last visited and I see my parents getting old very fast. They have been trying to hold onto recovery since I was a toddler, but never seem to be able to. 36 years or so later and still they can't manage it. It may be thier liver, or a car accident, or some other type of death, but behind it will be the alcohol. It was a realization that made me sad. I am coming to terms with it however.
Also the other day I was taking a test in my Psychnursing class and there was a test question that described a woman who was very much like my ex-wife. I had a huge emotional reaction to it. It was sudden and unexpected. I have never had a test question give me an emotional reaction before. I was flooded with sadness and pitty. It seems there are still some unresolved feelings in regards to the divorce and my ex and what might very possibly be her borderline personality. Not sure when I will have time to explore that. Probably when I make time for my retreat day.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
So the man for whome I was asked to do a working of healing survived the surgery and recovered completely from it. However the tumors in his brain were just the tip of the iceburg it turns out. It is throughout his entire body, lungs, liver, spleen, even into his bones. It is a death sentence. I didn't recieve word on the exact stage of the cancer, but based on this description I'd guess stage four. All there is to do now is help the family cope as best as I can in what way I can.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
So I have been on the ADF Dedicant's Path for a year and a month now, and I am all but finished. The last step before I submit it is to perform my Dedicant's Oath. I have decided that I shall give my oath in public at the Cottonwood Protogrove's Public Imbolc rite. This feels appropriate as I consider Brighid a patron.
I am also about to start my second semester of nursing school next Tuesday. Despite this, I plan to move forward with my religious pagan studies and start working the Clergy training program as well.
I am also about to start my second semester of nursing school next Tuesday. Despite this, I plan to move forward with my religious pagan studies and start working the Clergy training program as well.
I am still meditating daily, Still doing the two powers and the tree of light exercises. Why?, because they work for me. Today after the two powers and tree of light, I found myself going on a spirit-walk and landed at the court of Lugh. This was a good thing as I was in need of guidence in regards to some leadership questions of the protogrove. Answers came as a mixed combination of words and images. The Ogham I pulled after my return and the end of my meditation was Nin. Very fitting for the situation. It was a reminder and a suggestion for a course of action.
Friday, January 6, 2012
This morning I was asked to do a major working of healing for the Water witche's employer. He has fallen ill while out of state and is in a hospital. I don't know the nature of the illness. I was asked to do prayers, energy healing, and spirit evocation. I did all of thee above. I used the ritual outline I learned in ADF and Ian C.'s work. I opened the gates, gave offerings, took an omen. That being Tinne, I took it as a good omen. I invoked the blessing into the chalice and drank the waters of life. From there I called on my familiar and spirit guid the stag. I asked him to bring to me a spirit that would do good healing work. He left and while I waited for his return I did an energy working using the two powers and healing intention for the Employer. Stag returned with a Sow. I spoke to the spirit for a bit, felt it could do the work, and gave it instructions and then offerings. I finished with offerings and prayers to Bridgit for the Employers healing. Phew! I then did a full Ogham casting for the Employer over the next month. I see illness as being the central focus for the month with healing coming. Death does not seem to be coming.
Let's see what happens.
Let's see what happens.