Thursday, September 30, 2010

smooth feathers and a good book

Yesterday I shared lunch with the person who took the brunt of my Internet social faux pas. It seems that all is well and good between us now. That's a relief. I do like the person a lot.

I just finished spiritual Mentoring by Judy Harrow. I really liked this book. I learned a lot and gained a number of useful insights into some of the behavior I have noticed in the Meetup group. I highly recommend any one who is in any kind of pagan leadership position to read this book.

I have been doing my energy work of the two dragon exercise daily and really enjoy it. As I do it more I find that I can sense the "white" dragon more and more. Previously I described it as feeling more ethereal. Today it felt more "solid". Still different from the red. It's hard to find the words to accurately describe the sensations.

I had a good spirit-walk yesterday as well. Stayed in the middle world and traveled to my friends home and did some healing work on her from the astral. She reported feeling better if not completely well.

School goes very well. I got the highest grade on the Microbiology test as well as the last quiz. The ethics of Death and dying continues to be interesting.
All is quiet on the inner fronts.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Inner thoughts

I have been meditating a lot about the whole fiasco with my response to the ritual at Pagan Pride. I have been asking myself "why?, why so upset?" Well I think there are several layers to this question. At the most shallow of levels I simply didn't care for the way it was planned out and executed. However I know from my totally out of character response that its much deeper then that. At some level I was afraid. Afraid that non-pagans would get the wrong idea about what we neo-pagans do for ritual. That fear comes from pride. I am proud to be a neo-pagan, so proud in fact that I don't want non-pagans to think less of neo-pagans and thus me. So Pride and fear, and thus ego was an issue here.
Expectations, I had come to the ritual with certain expectations and they weren't met. Expectations can get a person off balance emotionally when they aren't met. I should have known this. I have seen my mother do this so many years at the holidays. She always had such specific expectations of people. e.g. how they would act, what they would say, what she would say, ect. When the reality never lived up to her expectations it always sent her into a depression or at least contributed to it. Mostly I had expected the ritual to meet my spiritual needs and it didn't. I had hoped that it would and I wouldn't have to hold a Mabon/Alban Elfed type ritual myself. When it didn't meet MY needs I got annoyed that I would have to be bothered to do it myself.
My disappointment with the ritual triggered fear. A fear that I would some day create and lead a ritual that made others feel as put off and as unhappy as I was. It's sort of like you don't like people who represent aspects of yourself that you don't' like.
Arrogance. I honestly believed/believe that I could have done a much better job, and was righteously indignant that even though I had offered to help with the ritual a few weeks earlier, I was never consulted, and in my mind "NOW look what they did". All of that is Bullshit of course, but there it is.
Though I don't mean this as an excuse, I believe it is a factor to my unusual behavior. I have been fairly stressed out. Wife's been ill, school work is constant, money is tight as always, missing my kids...the list goes on, but I think you get the idea.
So all of these things leaked out when I posted what I posted on a different place. At the time of the writing I didn't mean it as bad as it sounded later, but that's how our shadow-self works at times. I wasn't recognizing what I was saying and doing. In the end, some really good hard working people got hurt, friendships were damaged, though I don't think beyond repair. The good in all of this is that it has shown me things I have yet to polish about myself.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mabon and twin dragons

Mabon went very very well. During the day I worked hard at getting the ritual area ready for company. That was then followed by getting the house ready for company. The usual picking up and cleaning. My lovely wife helped a lot, especially when one considers that she isn't up to 100% yet. Oh but she's almost there! It occurred to me that it seems a bit strange that I spend 5 hour getting ready for a one hour ritual. Now that it's all said and done, I'd say it was totally worth it. I am pleased with the ritual. As the ritual was done for an eclectic group of pagans I made the ritual from both OBOD druid elements and Wiccan elements. I also added in the opportunity of giving offerings such as is done in ADF rituals. The ritual included the usual quarter invocations and a generic invocations of "Lord" and "Lady". As a hard polytheist I much prefer to call by specific name, however this was an open public ritual and in an attempt to make it work for all present, as well as my wiccanish wife I chose this way. I feel it still worked. The theme of course is about giving thanks for all we are given through out the year. This Mabon was especially important to me as it marks our pagan groups first full year of doing the Sabots together. Other then giving offerings and receiving blessings, no magick was done. At least not in any obvious way.

I have done the twin dragon ritual and several days of exercise. Definitely some interesting energetics going on. It seems to me that the red dragon feel more liquid like and the white is more ethereal as they pass through me. The portion with the spear of fire really does an amazing job of making me feel connected with both the center of the earth mother and the sky or cosmos.

I have created a stir in the local pagan community with some things I posted else where about the ritual that was done at pagan pride day. I definitely made some mistakes and I am taking responsibility for that. I have been making amends where necissary. Though I feel that my critiques are legitimate, the way that I said them and the mode by which I transferred the information was completely inappropriate. Thus the need for amends. Given time I suspect things will calm down.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Taming the two dragons

I am ready. I have done my work as diligently as I can for many many weeks now. I feel that I have filled my three cauldrons of earth, sun, and moon. I am ready to do the two dragons ritual and exercise. When I do the three cauldron exercise I no longer feel the intense change in vibration that I used to. This indicates to me that I am already at the level on a daily basis. I still feel energy move, just not a big change. JMG recommends doing the right on a Sabbot. Well tomorrow is such a day. Not only that it is also a full moon, or near to it. I plan to start the day with an Ogham reading to be sure that all is ready, then I will set up the alter, dress in my ceremonial robes and perform the ritual.

On another note, My love and I have decided to host a Mabon ritual this weekend for our pagan community. It was sort of last minuet. I had planned to use the Pagan Pride day ritual as a mabon community ritual, but it seems that personality conflicts got in the way of the group trying to put it together and well, what came out was shabby pathetic gathering that calling a ritual would be an insult. So feeling cheated, I wanted to do a proper ritual.

My b'loved's health is quickly returning. She still has more procedures to struggle through before she'll be healed, but at least for now her strength is returning.
I'd like to thank everyone who sent blessings and well wishes. I truly believe it has helped.

As for my schooling, I seem to be staying on top of things well enough. The Microbiology class has not turned out to be as difficult as I thought it would be. I took the first big test last night. I am unsure as to how I did. I expect to find out tomorrow night.

Last of all, that spell I did many posts back...the one to protect our income and money is still working. Just out of the blue my wife mother sent us money unbidden when we really needed it. This is an act that I am told is completely out of character for her. On top of that my wife's father also offered to send money unbidden, out of the blue, but we graciously declined. No need to be greedy.

May the Macha continue to bless your life with abundance, and may your winter be an easy one.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The ethics of death and dying

One of the classes I am taking at this time is the Ethics of death and dying. I thought I would share some of the writings I am required to do for this class. Our first major assignment is to write how we would like our funeral.

The Death of a Modern Druid
I have ever been a simple, but deeply spiritual man. In that tradition I see no reason why my funeral should be any different. I have spent my life trying to teach people how to live a good and happy life. How to live with honor, compassion, and a reverence for all things. I love to hear a story and at my funeral I want my story shared in the hopes that those who attend will take something away from it that opens their heart and/or mind. Something that gives them hope or at the very least a good laugh and a memory.
The Wake
When I die and pass over to Tir Na Nog, I want to die in my home surrounded by family and friends. I’d like to stay in the home a day to give those whom I leave behind time to mourn in whatever way they need to, be it to pay respects, to eat and drink, or to support to those who need a shoulder to cry upon. I’d like the woman closest to me, my daughters, my wife, others in the pagan community, over seen by Elena to cleanse my body both physically and spiritually. I would then be dressed in my ritual robes. I do not want my body preserved in any way other then cold storage. I do not want any kind of chemicals put into me. I always tried to live a natural and healthy life. I want that to continue in death. I simply want my body cremated. If possible I’d have it done on a large bonfire in some natural space. Sadly laws prevent this sort of thing. I will make myself content with a cardboard box and an oven. If possible I’d like a few things in that oven with me. I’d like a triskele symbol, as well as my wedding ring burned. The Awen symbol would not go amiss either, and last but not least some thing to represent “Stag” my spirit guide and friend. Any who would like to attend this portion are welcome to, though I suspect it happens so quickly after death that not too many will be there. I’d like my ashes collected of course in a nice box. Perhaps something with meaning, but I’ll leave exactly what it looks like to my loved ones.
The Eulogy
I’d like my friends and family to come together in some natural place in the presence of a great oak tree. Perhaps in a park or some one’s personal property or in the sacred grove I plan to build. I’d like Elena Rose, the priestess who married my love and I, and the sister of my heart, to lead a ritual. I ask that she invoke one of two deities. The Morrigan if I should die by violence or Mannanan Mac Lir should I die a natural death. These are the gods that will take me to the summer lands. I ask that she remind those there of the triskele symbol and it’s meanings of life, death, and rebirth. Remind them that I am going to take some time in the summer lands to review my life, and rest my soul before I will once again be born back into the world. I’d like a Celtic harpist and other Celtic music at my eulogy. I’d like it to be festive and fun. I want people to tell stories about me to each other. The funny and the sad. The mundane and the special. I’d like them to remember…never let the truth get in the way of a good story! I’d like a list of my accomplishments read out aloud so that the Gods, Spirits, and honored ancestors will take note. (So too, I hope, will my children and grandchildren). I am not fond of grave yards, nor of head stones, or other markers. No, I do not want any of these. For my ashes I’d like them divided into thirds. Each third shall be cast into one of the three realms of earth, sea, and sky. If my dream of creating an outdoor temple for use in pagan rituals has come true, I’d like my ashes spread there. One third for earth at the roots of the oak tree. One third for water on the water fall. One third on the chimes or sculpture that represent air. In so doing know that my spirit will be there to protect the sacred ground until I am called again to be reborn. If my dream has not yet come true, then I ask that my ashes be spread at the root of a great oak tree for earth. At the top of Iwihinmu (mt. Pinos) for air, and in the pacific ocean for sea.
During the Eulogy between speakers I’d like the harper to play a song. I’d also want a release of butterflies at the service like my wife and I did at our wedding to honor our ancestors. At the end I’d like there to be a feast in my honor. In my mind I see attendees bringing food as in a potluck. I’d like everyone to sit at one long table. At that table I’d like a place set for myself and food placed there. When the feast was over I ask that the food be sacrificed to the fire.
Cremation Container……..$50.00
Butterflies 1 doz………….$95.00
The two people I consulted on this project were Elena Rose, and my wife Janet. I wanted Elena to be the one to lead the Eulogy and ritual at my death, however since we are so close, I wasn’t sure she would feel she could. I was surprised to hear her say with much confidence that she felt she could and would be honored to do so when the time came. I bounced some of my ideas off her and she fielded them all without flinching as is the practical nature of an earth witch. Talking with my wife was a little different. It was her who gave me the idea of the butterfly release, however I could tell that the discussion made her feel a bit odd or uneasy and we did not discuss it long. Perhaps our recent brush with death made it all too real for her to discuss without getting emotional at this time.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

wow...where have I been?

Well Last saturday night things took a turn for the worst in my wife's health. There were complications after her ERCP which caused internal bleeding. She passed out in my arms early sunday morning. I rushed her to the ER and we stayed in the hospital till Tuesday. They had to do another procedure to correct the problem. I have been home taking care of her these past few days as well as getting caught up on my homework. I haven't been able to do my daily mediations like I usualy do. I have snuck it in here and there. Any rate, the above is my reason for no Blogging. As she heals and is better able to care for herself, I'll have more time to blog again.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Elemental journy, end of air, beginning of fire

I have travel, once again, through elemental air. I say once again, because I have done it before in wiccan studies, in AODA studies, and now in OBOD. Not that I mind, working the elemental journy is something a person can spend a life time doing and still always learn new things. So what did I learn or what changed for me this time around? Well, it seems to me that my mind is a bit quicker. I am finding that I am better able to pull up information and things I learned long ago are more available when needed. I am also finding that I am better able to discern the B.S. from the solid info. My mind has always been very open, so I don't feel a lot of change there. I do feel even more balanced then I was before I did this element and that feels nice. My mind is certainly getting a work out these days between three college classes, work, and my bardic studies. On a cosmic level, at the end of elemental air work, as I was walking to class, a single feather from an albino pigeon floted down to me and I was able to catch it. I didn't see the bird from which it came, so it seemd to just have appeared. I am taking it as a sign that I am did well.

This week I began another journey through elemental fire. It is begun with the OBOD fire ritual. My meditations this week are all about fire. Yesterday I invoked elemental fire and asked it some questions. one of which was simply "what do I need to be aware of?" the response I got was "be aware of the one with red hair". No idea what it means yet. perhaps it means I need to spend more time with the goddess Bridget. Maybe it means some one with red hair will come into my life and I need to be aware of their motives. Yesterday I did recieve a friend request from some one I knew in High school. He has a very slight tint of red to his beard. Perhaps that is whome it spoke of? time will tell. Wish I was better at this whole spirit/diety invocation stuff. I feel like such a cement head at times.