Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Working the new gig

Last night I got the call from several friends and fellow pagans for prayers and the like to help them with things going on in their lives. I decided I'd try my hand at the new method I am learning in Ian's book. I have been working on memorizing the opening and closing. Well, best I can say is that I stumbled through it. I had forgotten what it was like to be a beginner. None the less, I kept to the over all pattern and I feel that it went well, if not as smoothly as I would have liked. I asked for aid for a woman who was to have a job interview today. Another wanted blessings for a deceased friend, aid for another who's father just passed the other day, and another for a friend who, due to economy and politics was demoted at work and got a pay cut.
I threw my own needs in there some where. In the ritual, I asked for an oman via Ogham for each person on the nature of the blessing. On one of them I pulled "straif". I wasn't sure how to interpret this as a blessing. It was for a friend who asked for the work to be done, but did not tell me the nature of why. I am still new to Ogham and if any one else wants to give their 2 cents I am all ears. The only book I have on Ogham is from "The druidry handbook" by JMG. in it he says that Straif translates as "sulfur" and is an Ogham of necessity and inevitable change.
The tree association is the Blackthorn.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A journey to the sea, a spirit walk beneath.

Today I and my b'loved went back to the ocean side town where we got married back in June. Gods it seems so long ago already with all we have been through with her illness. Now that she is finally back to health, it was time to visit again. How I love this place. The people in the town are so friendly and I feel so relaxed. We first had lunch at the garden restaurant where we were married. The food was excellent as always. We then drove to the beach proper. There my wife and I both collect some sea water to make use as spell components in the future. Hers will rest on her alter. Mine will be mixed with rain water and water from the local river to be used in druidic spirit art rituals and other rituals as well. After play with the waves, trying to collect water without getting wet in the very cold fall ocean, we walked a bit. Wanting to meditate a while I sat upon a large storm tossed piece of drift wood, aged and bleached to a flaky white by the sun. After finding the comfortable spot, I closed my eyes and just listened to the sound of the waves and the wind. I felt what was left of my tensions slip away. I then let down my energetic walls and felt the power of the land, sea, and sky all around me. The power was immense. Then then it hit me a phrase I had learned from Ian's book in the opening of the grove ritual. "In every place where triads meet, let this be the center of the worlds. Let this sacred center be the boundary of all worlds, that my voice be carried, and my vision see." In that moment I understood what it meant. Not just in my head, no not in my head at all but in my gut. I was there at the meeting of the worlds of land, sea, and sky. I could feel their boundaries pressed against me and each other. With my heart and mind I called out to Manannan MacLir. Once....twice...thrice I called his name over the ocean. After the third call I heard his voice deep and ancient and distant answer me. I felt my spirit stand and walk to the waves. I thought of how our emotions are so much like the ocean with its waves, tides, storms and times of calm. How we as humans must learn to work with these emotions as sailors must learn to work with the "moods" of the ocean. Though there are things that can be done to protect the land and ships from the ocean, it can never be controlled. I can see how emotions too can not really be "controlled" like many think they can be. I would argue that in fact, they shouldn't be. emotions are natural, however, they do need to be channeled and directed in positive directions lest the raging storms sink ships, destroy ports and docks, or flood homes. I heard Manannan call me to the water, telling me to enter. I did. As my spirit self I sank below the waves and swam away from the shore. First fighting the waves, then just letting them pull me out to deeper water past the breakers. Once there I was silently greeted by Salmon. I grabbed on to his back, and he pulled me deep and over a ledge. There we came upon an underwater village of mer-folk. They paid me no mind though I got a few stares. Salmon pulled me to the doorway of one of the buildings. Suddenly a black haired mermaid swam up to me, kissed me as in some sort of benediction upon my forehead and then quickly darted off into the blue distance. My wife's totem is the mermaid and I felt that this was in fact her totem giving me its approval and blessing. Salmon then led me through the doorway into the building. I was in a maze, and I was suddenly alone. Turning around there was no longer a door behind me, but just a solid wall of worked stone. I heard Manannans voice and he said "Many people become lost in the sea of their emotions, lost like in a maze, unable to escape. Forever wandering, searching. Can you find your way out?" Understanding that it was my task to solve this maze I began walking. As I did so I had a few realizations in short order. First I realized that this maze was going to shift and flow with the currents. Second that walking the maze looking to solve it was futile and would never lead me to the way out. I stopped walking and stood and I realized they way out of the maze of emotions was to be "still". Not physically (though this usually helps a great deal with the rest) but mentally, spiritually and yes, emotionally. I sat, closed my eyes and "stilled" my inner self. I felt a shift in the waters around me, and opened my eyes and there in front of me I realized that there was a large square window that allowed sunlight into the maze. I simply had to swim out. I was greeted by the mer-folk who seemed cheered by my finding a way out so quickly. Salmon came to me, and I grabbed on to his back as is my custom, and he pulled me back to shore. I bid him goodbye and walked back to my body. I felt myself easily slide back in, and open my eyes to the physical world. I looked around, saw my b'loved and went to her. We finished the day by taking some pictures, getting her some small pentacle earrings from a local merchant and drove the two hours back home.

The Red cord

So it was that yesterday I made the time to do the initiation ritual of AODA of a druid apprentice. The air was cool with only a slight breeze. the sky was clear of clouds and very blue. As I was preparing the grove a leaf blower was noisily blowing away at the neighbor's, but the man finished just as I was stepping out to do the ritual. It was not a difficult ritual, though it did get me thinking about all I have learned and done over the past year. I suddenly realized how much I have read, how much I have studied, not only in druidry, but in college as well. I gained a perspective I had not before. I found myself on a tall hill overlooking the forest. Seeing the forest as a whole and not just the trees. It is very difficult for me to get as much out of these initiatory rituals when done alone as compared to when done surrounded by others of the order. Yet if I were to wait till I got such an opportunity, I fear I'd be waiting a very very long time in deed. Despite this, I did feel a great sense of accomplishment, and I felt honored to be entrusted with this degree. I am very much looking forward to continuing my studies. It felt good to wrap that red cord around my waist.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Energy in, energy out

It has been some time since anyone has come to me for energy healing/work. So it was that I was glad that the little magi was willing to allow me to aid her with a problem she has been having. She reports that when doing her work as a Ceremonial Magician, she gets a lot of pain in the top of her feet. Upon further questioning I was able to pinpoint that when ever she does any kind of spiritual energy work she has the pain. When the work is done, the pain subsides. At first I was hoping that this apperent energy blockage, for thats how I see it, would clear itself. She's new to energy work and magick and often people new to this will have some discomfort that often clears up. It became apprent that this wasn't going to be one of those times. So...it was time to get to work. I did some massage, and some moving of energy out of her legs and the different energetic bodies of the Magi. Once I felt I Had cleared the blockage, I used two magick stones one of my mentors gave me to balance the flows. Then to test the work, I pushed energy through her feet and legs. First from the legs down, then from the feet up. She reported that that went well, so I went to her head and gently ran energy, first the energy of the deep, water, from head to feet. Then I ran Fire. this also was reported as feeling good. The little magi went home and did her energy work, and reported back that the pain was greatly reduced, but still a small amount of discomfort. This is not unusual, and I hope she'll schedual a follow up soon.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wedding without, wedding within

Yesterday I got the honor of hosting a friends wedding at my home. We had planned it to be an out door wedding, but wouldn't you know it, for once it rained in the desert and we had to bring it in doors. Lucky for us, we have the perfect house for such an event. Many hands make for light work, and in no time at all we had a beautiful (and secretly pagan) wedding ceremony and a very subtle alter to boot. I made some new friends and got to know some others better. The couple are very much in love and it brought joy to my heart to be able to be a part of it. During the ceremony my wife and I held hands and looked often into each other's eyes. It was like being married again. It was a good good feeling. I am an amazingly lucky man. There was only one snafu to the beautiful and joyous event. The bride's mother. She was not happy about it. I don't know the details, only other peoples' speculations. Regardless of the reasons the woman's lack of joy, her fluctuating from fits of breaking down in tears to the point of having to go off alone, to cold glares at her daughter, was sad. The bride, I must say, handled it exceptionally well. I know she'll make one oak of a witch some day.

The mother's breakdowns did provide me with a chance to test some new magicks however. As it happens she took her emotional vomitus into our "Magick" room. Nice huh? Ah well, a cleansing I did go today. I memorized the cleansing ritual of Ian's and performed it in the magick room. I liked it. I liked the flow of energy. I liked the charm of speaking. I liked how it felt when I was done. I think I will try to make a habit of doing it a bit more often.

School is keeping me busy and finals are quickly approaching. So is Thanksgiving. I plan to take a trip to the ocean on Saturday for meditation and to collect sea water, a needed ingredient for future cauldrons and the spirit arts.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just an update

Just a little update. I have been fairly busy this week with mundane things. We are hosting a wedding here at my home for a friend this Saturday and when I am not studying for class I am getting things ready around the home. I have started gathering the needed items for my AODA initiation. Still need to get to the fabric store to get a new cord belt. I have been memorizing the opening ritual as written in Ian's book. I just about have the opening completely memorized. Then it will be on to the closing. From there it is a matter of memorizing several prayers and bringing the needed suplies together for the work. It's still going to be some ways away. I Have not performed the tree of light ritual yet, but it's also in the works.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

In the wake of the storm

The storm in my heart passed as storms always do. No damage was done to those around me, or to myself other then some wasted time being out of balance. It's not often that I have days like that any more. Most days go as I need and want. Most days are filled with love both from within and without. I spent some time in my yard this week quietly touching things up. A little weeding, some raking up of leaves. Some times these are the best meditations. The more you work with the green and growing things, the more your spirit soars.

To all my druid readers pagan or otherwise, I HIGHLY recomend that you watch the animated film "Secret of Kells". It's kid friendly, but is so much more. It's a work of art. I found it beautiful and deeply moving.

As I stated last post, I have recieved the initiation ritual for the next AODA grade. I am currently in the proccess of gathering the needed materials.
I also need to complete the Tree of Light ritual. These things may have to wait till December when I am on winter break from college, but we'll see if I can get them done a bit sooner.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Just angry

I don't know what it was about today. Maybe it was the short and pointed email from my ex. Maybe it was peoples unwillingness to be flexible in regards to thanks giving. Maybe it was that I one again(despite my usualy good discipline) managed to forget to make my credit card payment on time, or that my stepdaughter got some very poor grades, or most likely it was all of these things, what ever it was I have been angry in my heart all day. Mostly I feel I am directing it at myself. I have done a pretty good job of not taking it out on those around me and thus preserving those good relationships. I have fluctuated between wanting to be alone, run away to some other place, or just yelling indescriminatly. In the end I did none of these things. I went to class, work, grocery shopped and cleaned up after dinner. I tried to loose myself on the internet, but that only bored me.

On a good note, I did recieve the initiation to the Druid apprentice level from AODA today. I have looked it over once. I will carry out the ritual soon.
I hope I feel better tomorrow.

Friday, November 5, 2010

and...that's a wrap!

Just a note to my readers that yesterday my love and her final surgery. The Gallbladder has finally been removed. What's more the Dr. was able to do it with the least invasive method. I do believe that this is in part due to all the spells and blessings and prayers she recieved. Now all that's left is the healing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Water and Fire: a new meditation

As I talked about a few posts ago, I got a new book on Druid Sorcery by Ian. I have read the book cover to cover once and then started over, it's a lot to digest. Until today, I hadn't tried any of the exercises in it. This type of magick is not the kind a person can skim over and just jump up and do. no, that would get one in trouble and in a hurry. This is much to learn, to understand, and simply many rituals to memorize that will prepare me to work with spirits. His system does share some common themes with Greers magickal system. Namely Ians ideas of the two energies represented by water for earth energy, and solar or sky energy represented by fire. In Greer's Druid magic book these energies are called the "Telluric" current and the Solar current respectively. Many of the exercises in Ian's book are designed to get one in touch with these energies and learn to control their flow in one's body. Though the specific techniques differ this same theme occurs in Greer's system. One thing Ian wrote that really expanded my understanding of these two energies is the idea that the earth or water energy is filled with the chaos of potential, and the solar or fire energy is order. Though he Ian doesn't come out and say it, it seems to me that it's the coming together of these two energies that causes physical manifestation. Perhaps the two energies came together and created the manifestations of Land, Sea, and Sky and it is the coming together of these three elements in different proportions that creates the myriad things in this world, for are not all things seemingly made up of the three?

Last night I pulled out a meditation that spoke to my spirit from Ian's book. In short, during this meditation one takes a drop of water and places it on their forehead and closing the eyes focuses on the sensation of the water. This is followed up with the staring at a candle or some other flame and filling the mind with only these two things, water and fire. I started my daily work as I always do, giving an offering of incense to the Holy Kindreds, followed by the energy work I have learned from Greer's system. After the two dragons exercise and sphere of light, I sat down in front of my alter, lit the candle and placed the drop of water on my forehead. It was not hard keeping these two elements solely in my mind at the beginning, but after about 10 min my mind wandered slightly here and there, and I wrestled with it like a fish on a line. Some times running to the left, some times to the right, but always having some tie to fire and water.

I really enjoyed this exercise. I plan to make it one that I revisit regularly.