Posts Tagged ‘Study Program’


Look what came in the mail today! Yes, that’s “Patterns in Comparative Religion” by Eliade! It’s for an advanced ADF study course. And yes, actually, I’m excited to read it! Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2015.


I purposefully photographed my personal library’s latest addition for a reason.  Even though I’m working hard to take care of a busy toddler, and making sure she has interesting and wholesome stimuli, I’m still making time for myself.  It’s taken over a year, but I’ve finally started to reestablish a routine that allows me to maintain  personally meaningful, deep spiritual connections.  It was difficult, and I still have a lot of work to do to return to where I was before pregnancy, even before graduate school, but I am getting there.  It’s also a little different since some of my daily rituals involve prayers that are more childlike to promote Bee’s understanding of Gaelic polytheism as well as her early literacy skills.  Morning and evening prayers are simple and melodic.  Motherhood has given me a new appreciation for nursery rhymes and ritual gestures.  So the experiential and the experimental are going well.

The hardest habits to reestablish are my academic studies.  Between six months and a year, Bee suddenly became very active.  That’s only increased.  Finding peaceful time to read has been problematic.  I’m still nursing her, so there are times, during the day, when I may fit in some reading, but she usually wants to play with her hands.  Seriously, she grabs and pinches everything.  Everything.  Imagine a cat laying on the book you’re reading.  Now imagine the same scenario, but give your cat opposable thumbs.  Get the picture?  My new plan is to try to read more in bed at night with my trusty reading lamp.  I spend too much time trying to catch up with social media at night, and for what?  To see all the quiz results people want to share?  Psh.  Between the uselessness of that and recent studies showing how detrimental screen time before bed can be, I think I seriously need to make a change.  This great post on sacrifice from the Agora blog really drove that home to me.

Thankfully, I have allies to encourage these revived and improving habits!  A fellow ADFer started an Initiate Program study group through Schoology to help people like myself get through it.  The study program is a beast but this group, and her breakdown, is just what I needed.  Some of the books on the ADF reading list are very academic and require focus when reading.  I have no choice but making time, during Bee’s sleep, to read.  This study group has really helped reinvigorate me, thus my latest purchase towards the course “Indo-European Mythology 1.”  I scanned the table of contents and I’m already excited!

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Tonight I did an uncrossing ritual as part of my retreat.  It was great to bring together so many materials I’ve been creating over the past month into one ritual.  I used some of my homemade incense with charcoal.  Am I the only one who has trouble using charcoal discs?  They are a pain in the tail!  When I finally got it going, I loved the smell.  It was very “woodsy” and reminded me of my time in the forest.  The purpose of the ritual was to remove energy and spirits impeding my spiritual growth.  In some ways, it also felt like a way to remove baptisms and confirmations in other spiritual paths.  I really felt like I was washing away some of my old spiritual baggage.

The omen was very good.  I definitely feel that I’ve caught the attention of the Nature Spirits and Ancestors.  I get the impression that the Nature Spirits are simultaneously welcoming me further into their world while testing me.  The omens backed this up.  The natural world is full of sweetness to find, but there will always be thorns in the way of those rewards.  The Nature Spirits will not allow us into their purest vistas so easily.  They are tired of people who say one thing but do another.  They require real sacrifice of blood, sweat, and tears for a deeper bond – not just extras from our cupboards.  They want things that we really made, really worked hard on, really produced with our own being or life source.  They want actions – not just talk!

The Ancestors are also giving me some attention.  It started with the information randomly mailed to me by my grandfather.  Then last night, after making an offering of supper to the Ancestors, I decided to look through some of my jewelry for a suitable offering to the Gods in an upcoming ritual.  As I searched, I came across a handmade, felt pin – a bear.  It was made by the Cree on their reservation.  I have ties to that tribe through my mother’s side.  Their blood is so thin in my veins, but I must acknowledge it all the same.  I felt compelled to add it to my Ancestral shrine.  Though they are of a different culture and I’ve never felt terribly pulled to their spiritual path, I honor and acknowledge them in my proud lineage.

Rituals and such aside, I have been enjoying the sights and sounds of spring.  The trout lilies, one of the first plants to sprout in the North Eastern forests of NY, are all over the place!  Seeing them in the North Country reminds me of my home in the Mohawk Valley and strengthens my belief that the Goddess of this land and that are actually one and the same.  In addition, the ferns and moss are spreading out.  The buds on the trees are growing and the nearby marsh is alive with the sound of frogs!  This morning we had a grand thunderstorm!  Oh it was magnificent!  I love the spring.

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