Many ADF Druids participated in the recent Shrine a Day Challenge facilitated by Rev. Jan Avende. While I did not create a shrine every day, I did participate. I intend to post a gallery of the altars and shrines I submitted, but for now, I want to share one I forgot to upload previously. I’m not sure why I failed to add it to the official #shrineaday album, but here it is now. It’s not very fancy. I actually made it on my bedroom windowsill which has a dark curtain, so it’s a bit difficult to see.
I present my warrior shrine! It’s actually very significant to me because, for the first time, I actually feel that I’m tapping into warrior energy. Sometime last year, I started to think about what it would be like to take a martial arts class. If you’re a longtime reader or friend, you know that I’m very interested in anime. Some of my favorites involve martial arts, and I even started to cosplay a beloved ninja character last year. I really admire the character. In the process of transforming into her physically, I started to think about her personality and how she worked hard to transform herself into someone courageous and able to protect her loved ones. I realized that I no longer wanted to feel weak and vulnerable myself.
This year I decided to stop wondering what it would be like, and I actually signed up for a martial arts class – Muay Thai kickboxing.
A year ago, if someone had told me I was going to enroll myself in a class full of punching and kicking, I would have laughed at that person. Now here I am, learning how to block, how to do a roundhouse kick, and conditioning my body to some of the most intense physical activity I’ve ever experienced. Some days, I don’t want to go to class, but I always feel amazing after. As Imagine Dragons sing in their song, “‘Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins.” It’s truly addictive, and I grow in confidence with myself each class.
I try to go into each session with an awareness and gratitude to my body, the Earth, and An Morrighan. I strive to listen to my body and its needs. I touch the ground and thank the Earth Mother for supporting me before we warm up. When I feel my body starting to slow down, I imagine An Morrighan, her wings spread as she flies into battle. Suddenly, I feel lighter, I feel stronger.
On my shrine, you’ll see a wooden dagger my dad made me when I was younger. I used to read “Redwall” books, and was always inspired by the Redwall warrior. The dagger was made in that spirit. The cards represent An Morrighan, but also qualities of the warrior – an eagle for courage, and a boar for the fighting spirit. I also included my fighting gloves and focus mitts (the later blend into the curtains). I built this shrine, meditated on An Morrighan, and blessed them. It was a meaningful experience, and it has encouraged me to go on.