Last night found me beginning a new lunar cycle with my weekly retreat. Although my decision to avoid social networking, games, and the usual entertainment kind of annoys my husband (simply because he wants to enjoy those things with me), I find the escape refreshing. I accomplish much during those hours – including catching up on some housework.
I did do a lot of spirit work, though. My morning devotional has become a sacred way to welcome the Kindreds, especially the Gods, into my home. I enjoy bringing offerings of dinner to my ancestral shrine and I feel that they are easier and easier to relate to. My workings with the nature spirits have been among the most powerful since starting this journey.
Remember the deer skeleton I found? Spiritual deliberation, meditation, and communication found me welcoming the spirit of that deer into my home. I have mentioned before that the tribe of deer has become more prominent in my path. It is becoming clear that the deer is a sort of guide to me. This, and the deer’s desire to be near, found me learning the skills of bone cutting and furthering practicing the art of maceration. Strange things for someone like me to be doing, I’m sure, but obviously the call was profound enough to make me want to learn and do these things. I am finding that animism, Druidism, and witchcraft often mean getting dirty and meeting the underworld powers head on. It can make us uncomfortable, but I often find myself doing these things very matter-of-factly. There was something about being in that clearing beyond the ridge and talking to the deer, making a cairn for it, and feeling the eyes of life and death upon me. That was two weeks ago.
Yesterday I stood on the ridge and looked at the remains of the skeleton. I sat near an oak tree and noticed the buds had been ripped off of the lower branches. The hoof prints and droppings, along with common sense, told me it was the deer eating from my oak friend. I marveled at how any of the little trees could ever grow to the oak’s height. Then I looked again at the ribcage among the saplings below and saw the cycle of life very clearly and knew that there was indeed a sacrificial exchange of life force. I pondered that later as I used a metal rod to loosen the brains – now a goop closely resembling strawberry yogurt. In the end, perhaps all of our thoughts are reduced to goop. Who knows? It doesn’t really bother me either way because, no matter what, the dance continues. Life, death, life death… And Mama Earth spins – indifferent yet ineffably beautiful because of it .
But enough on the deer for now. The seat of her soul is taking a long bath before she is ready to sit near my altar.
In the evening, I performed the Druid’s Fortress exercise which is basically energy work with the Two Powers. I did some similar exercises when I first began my Wiccan studies. Although I’ve always been talented with visualization, it was difficult for me to ever feel anything. This lead me to wonder if any of it was real or worth doing. I’ve always walked a fine line between whimsy and skepticism. The skepticism, while keeping my brain from falling right out of my head (like a bowl of strawberry yogurt) often gets in the way of any spiritual progress. I put such work on a shelf until yesterday. Now, of course I’ve been doing the Two Powers for years now, but I’ve not been doing much to manipulate it aside from rare reiki sessions. Doing the Druid’s Fortress was wonderful. I really felt what I was doing in addition to seeing it in my mind’s eye. It was powerful and I plan to incorporate it into more magical workings.