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Archive for the ‘energy’ Category

Learning to perform the Two Powers Meditation was not difficult for me.  As a former Wiccan I was often exposed to different meditations and guided visualizations.  One of the most common meditations, the Tree of Life, shares some characteristics of the Two Powers Meditation of ADF.  Each asks us to reach into the upper and lower realms and absorb some of that world’s energy.  It wasn’t until I started working with the ADF model that I began to consider the symbolic implications of such an exercise.

Regardless of whether I stand or sit, I first feel myself firmly on the Earth’s surface.  I take three deep breaths to establish a mindset.  In this way I am telling myself that it is time to work and think in the symbolic world – the spiritual world.  I feel myself connected to the middle realm – to Midgar, if I may use the term from Norse cosmology.  Two Powers or Tree of Life, I think of myself as the world tree – as Yggdrasil or the Bile. I am suspended between the depth of the underworld and the sky.  I am of the earth and live in a realm of plants, soil, and animals. Whether I see myself as a human being or the actual tree, I am still very much a being of the middle world, pressing my body into the underworld and stretching up to the upperworld.

I imagine that the powers of the underworld are always available to us.  They are deep beneath the surface for spiritual taproots to drink up and they undulate across the earth to seep through our feet.  I experience the energy as a pulse or vibration that crawls (and sometimes shoots) up my legs.  It spirals in my loins, heart, and skull.  This power is both chaotic and ordered.  I imagine the first current as water.  It has the disruptive potential of a tsunami or raging rapids, yet it is also the same calming, healing, and organized power that trickles out of the earth in the form of sacred wells and rivers – the same forces that determine where many settlements are located.  It is the playfulness of the otter and the wisdom of the salmon.  The energies of the underworld are therefore powerful and deep, calming and healing.  Because of the underworld’s association with the dead, this current has a connection to such energies – the potential for rejuvenation and transformation.  The energies are the mysteries of Hades and the creative potential of dwarven smiths.  It is as masculine as the cauldron of An Dagda and as feminine as the holy waters of the Boyne.

When I lift up my hands, fingers outstretched, I call on the energies of the sky – the upperworld.  I reach to the sun and guiding stars.  I cannot say that I feel a temperature from the underworld current but I definitely feel a heat from the upperworld.  It is subtle but there.  Like the first power, the second pulses and sometimes shoots through my body, spiraling in my skull, heart, and loins.  I see it as fire.  It is the chaotic energy of a wildfire or an explosive star, yet it is also the protective campfire and meditative candle.  It is the transformative flame of the alchemists’ lab and Ceridwen’s cooking fire.  It is the passionate energy of lovers, the rage of a warrior in battle, and the inspirational fire in the head.  It is the might of dueling dragons and the all encompassing sight of the high-flying eagle.  It has the masculine energy of Helios’ chariot and Lugh’s spear, but the feminine energy of Brighid and Vesta’s sacred flames and protective hearth fires.

I believe that the primary difference between the Two Powers is that one is more visible and accessible to us.  The powers of the upper world are equated to the sky.  Although the numerous stars that appear at night are distant to us, we can see them and we know our place within the vastness of their territory.  The sun and moon, which are even more noticeable, determine our daily routines.  A layman can look up and try to predict the weather.  The underworld, on the other hand, though equated with water (something very visible to us) seems more concerned with what lies below the land and the surface of the water.  It is very mysterious to us.  The plants grow out of it, caves delve deeply within it, and we bury our dead there.  We cannot quite grasp it in the way we can the upperworld.  That is not to say that the heavens don’t offer any wonder or mystery, but the underworld is certainly more hidden and, I think, spiritually harder to access in a comprehensive way.  This is why the ancients were both amazed and fearful of their blacksmiths, the priests and artisans of the underworld.

When I perform the Two Powers I am able to concentrate on and experience the deep symbolism of the energies.  I believe that the exercise is called the Two Powers because we call on the energies of the upperworld and underworld into ourselves, we being of the middle world – a third power.  Yet as beings familiar with the middle world, it is the powers of the upper and lower realms that truly inspire, empower, and awaken us, hence two powers rather than three.  We are already the third and we seek union with the other two.  By connecting with the upperworld and underworld, I am essentially recreating the cosmology I believe in and thus deepening my spiritual understanding of the other worlds.  The Two Powers not only connect me to the literal realms of upper, lower, and middle worlds, but to the spiritual realms of the Three Kindreds.  This is a wonderful exercise for simple meditations, and it also works well in ritual as it reminds all who participate of our interconnectivity with the realms and Kindreds.

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The Energy in our Homes

Ok…this isn’t technically Druidic in a cultural sense … but it has everything to do with energy.  I believe that looking to and learning from other cultures, even ones dramatically different from our hearth cultures of choice, is necessary to grow.

I’m curious about feng shui.  The idea that energy flows in and out of rooms intrigues me.  My Irish ancestors must have had some beliefs about this, even if they weren’t as developed or well-recorded.  They were a practical people, but they were also deeply spiritual and concerned with boundaries as well as hospitality.  For many, the center of the home was the hearth and I can imagine it being a center of generosity, well-being, and comfort.  Everything was there for a reason and had to be aptly stored as homes were small.

 

The typical American home isn’t set up like that.  The focal point of our homes is usually the living room.  Truly it is where I spend most of my time.  We have our tv there as well as our computers.  In fact, my husband’s computer is hooked up to the tv.  Our game consoles are also there.  As a result, there are a plethora of wires.  Too many wires…  It makes me agitated and not just because they are obstacles.  Something about their presence feels suffocating and intrusive.  Perhaps it is the energy they channel, along with our other gadgets, filling the room.  I have a difficult time meditating in the living room, and not just because it is difficult to have any quiet alone time there.  Something about my ritual room with its minimal electronics is more relaxing.  The bedroom too.

I found vidoes like the one below on Craftster and have been getting some good ideas.  I’m also curious what the author of O-C-Designer would have to say about feng shui.  I think I have some rearranging to consider…

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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Happy spring!

Yesterday was the Vernal Equinox and I went down to Utica for a reiki workshop led by friend and reiki master Imagickat.  This was her first class on reiki and the first time she’s given attunements.  I must admit, before the class I knew very little about reiki.  She’s given me reiki treatments before and they always really helped.  They make me feel at peace, like massage but in a different way.  This will sound strange, but I love to be touched.  Not in a sexual way – but spiritually.  It’s warming and comforting.  
Back to what I was saying.  I’ve been largely ignorant about reiki.  It’s something I knew existed and, like I said, even experienced from time to time.  For whatever reason I never bothered to read about it.  This is mostly because I have so many other interests that it never dawned on me.  I always (wrongly) assumed it was derived from Shinto  practices in Japan.  I didn’t think it would be appropriate for me to dapple with.  However, I learned that it’s adaptable to any spiritual practice and that it was even brought to America (by the Japanese) and changed so as to be better understood by Westerners.  It’s also incredibly modern, the practice only having been founded in 1922 by Mikao Usui.  
Learning this put me at ease.  Originally, I felt inclined to attend the workshop because I wanted to learn more about using and sensing energy.  I wasn’t sure if I would actually want to go further than learn, but in the end I’m glad I did.  The attunement wasn’t orgasmic, but I definitely felt something.  I’m much better able to sense energy within myself at the moment, but practicing yesterday enabled me to better sense it in others.  I was practiced on so much yesterday that my sinuses cleared for a whole day.  I later practiced on willing family members who said they felt at peace, that headaches vanished, and that they felt something sucked out.  I sensed a weird energy in my mum’s knees and she said they’ve been bothering her recently.  It’s all very interesting.  
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the ritual at Muin Mound in Syracuse.  I was feeling ill yesterday morning and felt that I shouldn’t go after an already busy afternoon (especially considering the necessary and long drive home afterwards).  I missed it but it was wonderful to see my old Pagan friends in Utica.  I’m hoping to do a Druidic ritual with my husband later.
I hope everyone has a blessed celebration of spring!  Just ignore the snow we had this morning.  😉

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