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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

… On the cabin window.


I did my morning meditation and yoga on a dock facing Star Lake. It’s been a relaxing Lughnasadh weekend full of swimming, kayaking, board games, and good company. 

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Each week, I draw a card from my Druid Animal Oracle deck as an omen for the week.  I pray for guidance as I go forward.  During this week’s ritual, I pulled the owl card. I’m not used to seeing this omen, so the meaning didn’t come to me right away.  At first I thought about wisdom, stealth in the dark, and change because of the myth of Blodeuwedd the flower maiden.  She is transformed into an owl for betraying Lugh.  

This made me stop and think a lot about change.  The frog card can signify change, but it’s a total change – inside and out, possibly including one’s environment.  Snake can also indicate change, but more superficial.  One must shed one’s skin in order to grow.  What kind of change is the owl, then?  A punishing change?  An unwanted change?  Change via divine intervention?

I then thought about the link between owls and An Cailleach, as the Scottish-Gaelic cailleach-oidhche refers to owls.  An Cailleach transforms from old to young in several stories.  Could the owl card refer to a change via age or even a spiritual transformation?

I asked for more clarification and drew another card after shuffling.  This time the cat card came to me.  I associate this card with protecting the home and, at times, sensuality.  The former meaning comes from some Irish stories in which cats guard treasure, especially in fairy realms.  As I have cats at home, I see them as protectors and very hearth-centric.  I thought more about the connection between the cards.  They are both predators capable of seeing in the dark, yet I felt more confused.

Although I feel I have a good sense of the cards, their meanings, the symbolism of the animals, and my own understanding of their lore and biology most of the time, I occasionally turn to the companion book for further insight. I might have forgotten something.  Interestingly, another meaning for both cards is “detachment.”  Well, when both cards have literally the same word in their symbolic description, it’s hard to overlook the emphasis.

I’m not sure what this omen means to me yet.  Is it a blessing?  A warning before something comes up?  Maybe it means that, in order to engage with the spiritual change I seek, I need to take some time for myself.  This would make sense given my last post about  once more delving into trance practice.  Only time will tell.

Learning a divination system can be a complex process, but I love how rich and thought-provoking it is.

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One of my treasures…

Bee found my stone collection. This is a stone I found at a beach in Cornwall. I still feel a magic in it. That was the first time I ever swam in the ocean…

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Land, sea, and sky meet at Alexandria Bay, NY. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013.

How does a Druid-in-progress, who also happens to be a busy new mama, find the time to meditate?  I’m finding that my usual methods of sitting quietly and focusing on my breath are not very reliable at this time.  Or…doable.  Baby Bee needs a lot of attention at this point in the game.  When she rests, I try to relax.  And honestly, my mind has difficulty focusing lately.  Must be part of the mama mind.

Today we went on a little day trip to the nearby Alexandria Bay.  The sun was shining and it was the perfect day for a swim.  Only…  I can’t swim right now due to my cesarian incision.  Next best thing?  Putting my feet in.  As I slipped into the cool waters, I felt this tingle rise in my body and I immediately thought about the powers of the sea, the powers of the Underworld.  The sun was shining brightly above, and I was very aware of its heat cascading down upon me, through me.  The sun in the sky – the power of the Upperworld.  They met and mingled in me, a denizen of the Middle Realm.

I enjoyed that for a few moments before returning to my husband and baby who were resting in the shade of some lovely pine trees.  It wasn’t a long meditation, or even a deep one, but I took a moment to reflect on the Three Realms and concentrate on the Two Powers flowing into me.  I needed that.

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We’re very excited to have access to a fire pit and the ability to use it! Weretoad was thrilled to be the fire keeper and took this wonderful photo. 2012.

Last night, the North Country Druidic Study Group gathered for its second ever ritual – Samhain!  Although a few days after the calendrical holiday, my Druidic tradition believes that the veil remains thin for some time.  Personally, I view it like the lunar phases.  Samhain is when it is at its peak, while the days before and after are waxing or waning towards that point.  With that in mind, we gathered at the Kripalu Yoga Center in Adams, NY.  As I discussed before, it’s absolutely perfect for our group.  We have access to a stone circle with a fire pit that we can use!   In addition, we can use their indoor facilities for our potluck.  Their hospitality has been such a gift and I pray we made a good impression. We’ve already been welcomed back for future gatherings so I have a good feeling that this is the start of a good relationship!

As you can see, the stone circle is beautiful! Photo by Weretoad, 2012.

The ritual went well and everyone seemed to enjoy it.  I grow in confidence each time I lead one.  The omens I drew, which, like Muin Mound, I interpret as the lessons and blessings we will receive from the Kindreds this quarter, were very positive and spoke of staying strong and connected to ourselves, our families, and the Kindreds over the harsh winter.  The chanting remains a challenge.  I’m keeping things simple and introducing a chant at a time.  I goofed on the closing chant, but live and learn, right?

Winter was definitely in the air, emphasizing this time as the beginning of the dark half of the year.  We actually saw snow on our way to the ritual!  The trees, compared to the shot of the stone circle above (which was taken in October) are now bare and skeletal.  For at least one member, the mysteries of death suddenly made sense based on Nature’s lessons.

Our ancestral altar complete with mementos and offerings. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2012.

After the rite, we made our way into the warmth of the Yoga Center for our feast.  We had quite a spread and welcomed our Ancestors to our revels!  The group is growing closer and bonding over our interests, our love of nature, and our call to Druidism.  We chatted with folks from the Yoga Center about meditation, energy work, intuition, and daily devotionals.  It was a wonderful evening and I know everyone is excitedly looking forward to the Winter Solstice!  The wheel turns and we move and grow with it.

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Excellent blog post on how humans are part of nature over at Therioshamanism. Great stuff. This “theme,” if you will, has been following me around all week.

“Natural” vs. Artificial” « Therioshamanism.

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As I’ve mentioned before, I started doing Ian Corrigan’s Nine Moons.  It’s a lot of work, and I still have a long way to go, but I really like it so far.  Making it work amidst my already busy schedule is a challenge, but I feel very driven to do it.  My last retreat day was especially fulfilling in part because I got so much accomplished spiritually and artistically.

Along with taking an amazing nature walk where I had an interesting experience with a new animal guide, I made some loose incense as part of my evening ritual.  It smells amazing!  It’s currently sitting with my plants soaking up the sun and moon.

At the moment, I’ve been doing a bulk of my workings on one retreat day.  April is going to be very busy thanks to classes, visiting relatives, a birthday, and various plans for spring break.  Needless to say, I’m going to be a very busy Druid!  This weekend will be the first that I have to divide my retreat over several days.  This isn’t necessarily an inconvenient thing as it will really help me focus on my meditation and trance skills on more than one day.  I’m not sure how everything will go in terms of being around family and friends…  It’s very hard to get alone time long enough for any deep meditation.  Somehow, I will make it work!

 

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