Meditation Journal: Week 5

I did not hit the proverbial ball out of the ballpark with formal meditation this week. In fact, I don’t think I sat for Two Powers even once. These weeks that are filled thing endless things to do and not enough time to do them are a good reminder that taking even just 5 or 10 minutes to drop in and communicate in a more intentional way is well worth it. I got some small prayers and moments of gratitude in while in the car, at work, and while drifting off to sleep; but the really intentional times are always the best.

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Meditation Journal: Week 04

I’ve been trying to sit every day for meditation. Usually it’s just listening to the guided Two Powers meditation offered by Ian Corrigan (found here). When time permits, I have really been enjoying The Inner Work of the Simple Devotional from Our Own Druidry (page 96). My daily meditation work has turned into my time to just sit and be with the Kindred in an intentional way. My hope is that this practice will evolve into my daily devotional work that includes both worship and meditation practice.

Week 17: Third High Day Recap ~ Autumnal Equinox

This High Day was a solitary one. I did a lot of thinking about the general meaning of the harvest, gratitude, and giving back which I thought might lead to a more complex ritual. In fact, this High Day was probably one of the simplest as far as format goes, but it felt incredibly good.

I dedicated this High Day to Dhegom Matr and focused on expressing gratitude for all of the food that grows from the ground, and on the many medicinal herbs as that’s connected to my profession. Paxuson was my Gatekeeper, Xausos was invoked to the fire, The ancestors held the Well, and Perkunos the World Tree.

While I normally follow the full ADF Core Order of Ritual for my work, I chose something less robust this time around. I found a fantastic article on the ADF website that was intended to help solitary practitioners learn and evolve their work with the Core Order. I used the first iteration of that article and was really happy with how it went.

I drew an omen asking for something to focus on between now and the next High Day. The result was Ogham Fearn which I interpreted to mean that I need to be on guard about how I am using my energy overall, and that I should allow it to flow into place where I know it will be fruitful (ie. Stop being lazy and wasting time!).


Resources
Various. Our Own Druidry. Tucson, 2009. Print.

Dangler, Rev. Michael J. The ADF Dedicant Path. Colombus, 2016. Print.
Unlisted. PIE Religion. http://www.PIEReligion.org. Accessed September 2018.
Serith, Ceisiwr. Deep Ancestors. Tucson, 2009. Print.
Ellison, Rev. Robert Lee. The Solitary Druid. Tucson, 2013. Print.

Week 16: The Third High Holy Day: Autumnal Equinox

Like Spring Equinox, the Autumnal Equinox is a time of balance. At the Equinoxes we stand at a precipice of change. The season, the weather, the wheel, and our internal gears are all about to make a dramatic shift; Autumn is the transition from the warm, sunny, long days of Summer to the cold, wet, short days of Winter. Before this change happens, however, we bring in the very last of our year’s harvest. This is a time when the last of the crops are felled and when the fields are prepared for their wintertime slumber. Animals, like humans, are stocking up for the cold months ahead.

This Equinox has been called the ‘Pagan Thanksgiving’, and I agree. This has always been a time of year when I like to take stock of what’s happened over the past turn of the wheel. I like to focus on the good and really expand on feeling grateful and inspired by those things. I also look at the challenges and see what part I played in making them happen, what lessons I may have learned from them, and how I can act and react better in the future.

This High Day for me is about making my gratitude clearly known to my Patrons and to all the Kindred. As a practicing Herbalist, I also work a lot of gratitude in for the many healing herbs that help us stay healthy all year long. Deiwos Sunu are my Patrons, and I also like to especially honor them at the Equinoxes. They watch over those liminal moments of dawn and dusk when the energies of light and dark are mingled, and to me the Autumn is the time of dusk on the Wheel of the Year. I dedicate this High Day to the Horse Twins and also to the Earth Mother for her harvest bounty and to the Sky Father that He might help us keep light, warmth, and virtue alive during the dark months of winter ahead.


Resources
Various. Our Own Druidry. Tucson, 2009. Print.

Dangler, Rev. Michael J. The ADF Dedicant Path. Colombus, 2016. Print.
Serith, Ceisiwr. Deep Ancestors. Tucson, 2009. Print.
Ellison, Rev. Robert Lee. The Solitary Druid. Tucson, 2013. Print.

Week 15: The Nine Virtues- Piety

For me, piety is inseparable from ghosti. Piety is both a willingness to open up to a relationship with the Kindred and the dedication needed to nourish that relationship. Piety is about commitment to keeping the gates of communication open and the many paths along the World Tree well-lit and warm.

I also think about the ADF Core Order of Ritual when I think about piety. While there are many ways to work with the Xartus and the Kindred, we have each agreed to meet in the sacred space that is ADF and work within its agreed upon framework. ADF is far from the rigid spiritual blueprint of many other religions as it gives a great deal of room for personal adaptation and experience; but it also has essential game rules by which we all agree to play. The Core Order of Ritual allows us to dedicate our study and practice to a format that allows communication and participation between many people and many differences. Choosing to observe our community’s calendar of holy days, to perform ritual in the best way we can while striving to get better all the time, and the desire for excellence are all expressions of piety.

While not all of us are prepared to (read: brave enough!) create deep and binding oaths with the Kindred, especially the Gods, our piety to them still matters. It allows our offerings, gratitude, prayers, and love to stand out and reach through to the other places where our Kindred reside. Our piety is what gives power to our connection with the Kindred, our observance of the rituals associated with them, and our work in Druidry. Piety is an expression of love and respect- a willingness to do the work consistently at ever-increasing levels of excellence.


References

Dangler, Rev. Michael J. Through The Wheel Of The Year. ADF Publishing. 2016. Print.
Various. Our Own Druidry. ADF Publishing. 2009. Print.
Serith, Ceisiwr.Deep Ancestors. ADF Publishing. 2009. Print.
Dangler, Michael J. A Virtuous Life. Accessed October 2018. Web.
https://www.adf.org/system/files/members/training/dp/publications/dp-req-1-nine-virtues.pdf
D
angler, Michael J. Where’s The Belief?. Accessed October 2018. Web.
https://www.adf.org/members/training/dp/articles/wheres-the-belief.html
Wikipedia. Piety. Accessed October 2018.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piety

 

Week 13: The Nine Virtues: Wisdom

Wisdom as defined by Our Own Druidry:
Good judgment, the ability to perceive people and situations correctly, deliberate and decide about the correct response.”

Wisdom as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Knowledge that has been gained by having experiences in life.
The natural ability to understand things that most other people cannot understand.
Knowledge of what is proper or reasonable: good sense or judgment.

Jnana as defined by Wikipedia:
Knowledge inseparable from the total experience of reality.


When I think of wisdom, I usually think  of the Vedic jnana as a definition. Many years ago when I was instructed about the definitions and expressions of jnana, it really took root deeply for me. In the modern Western world it seems that we often limit wisdom to ‘what we know’, when it can be deepened to cover what we have experienced and what we feel or intuit. Wisdom, for me, is the point where what we have learned through personal experiences, the empowering guidance of others, and our own latent intuition find intersection. It’s the place where our knowledge, experience, and intuition come into synchronicity.

I often think of indigenous herbal medicine teachers when I contemplate wisdom. These individuals have been trained in the empirical and traditional knowledge of herbs; how to identify them, harvest them, cultivate them, and prepare them as medicines. They have also experienced powerful personal connections and events related to the plant allies they work with which transcend knowledge. There is also an intuitive or heart-centered connection to the plants which allow them to enter into relationship and reciprocity with them.

I work with a reconstructed Proto-Indo-European hearth culture, and in that practice Dyeus Pter, the Shining Sky Father, is the embodiment of wisdom for me. He is a special god who sits atop the World Tree and is able to take in the fullness of what is happening in the Xartus. He can perceive, analyze, harmonize, and empower that which goes beyond rational- the very hidden patterns and substrate of the Cosmos. His wisdom is about working knowledge and intelligent pattern in a very intuitive and even artistic way- the perfect combination of brain power and heart power. I have found that aspiring to cultivate personal wisdom brings me more into alignment with these bigger pictures of wisdom. I get to try and model my own work and wisdom after grand, graceful, cosmic expressions of wisdom and apply them to any area of my life that might need them.

I love that Wisdom is on the list of virtues. It inspires us to learn, experience, and feel all at the same time. It challenges us to read books, hear lectures, attend rituals, meditate, and journey and to apply what we learn and experience in a truly holistic way; to keep it not only in our brains but in our hearts, and our very bodies.

As I’ve been meditating on wisdom in preparation for this essay, I found myself coming back to the Deep Waters over and over again. Meditating on the ancestors dissolving back into the Earth and flowing back into the primordial waters below makes sense to me. The Waters of Wisdom in the Earth contain the experiences and empowerment of all those who have walked this path before us. It is a living tonic of memory and meaning, and with a little organizing anything can be fashioned from it.

From the fiery waters of Xapom Nepots that bestows immortality and the vision of the Shining Ones to the waters that bubble up from the deep Earth, Wisdom is gained through effort, study, and experience every day, all the time. It’s a living thing that is inspired by books, edified by the words of the elders, and given fruition in practice.


References

Dangler, Rev. Michael J. Through The Wheel Of The Year. ADF Publishing. 2016. PDF.
Various. Our Own Druidry. ADF Publishing. 2009. Print.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Wisdom. Web. Accessed July 18, 2016. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wisdom
Wikipedia: Jnana. Web. Accessed July 18. 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jnana
Dangler, Rev. Michael J. Through The Wheel Of The Year. ADF Publishing. 2016. PDF.
Serith, Ceisiwr. Deep Ancestors. ADF Publishing. 2009. Print.

Meditation Journal: Week 03

There was a lot of work and not much time for rest this week, and I found that this impacted how much meditation I was able to do, and how much quality there was in the work I did do. I am still pretty happy with what I was able to accomplish, but have noticed that high-stress and a busy schedule can definitely push the inner work to the back burner. The interesting thing is that making time for even just a quick Two Powers meditation can help with the stress levels, making the whole day better. Practice makes perfect, and hopefully soon meditation will be my go-to when things get challenging.

This week I did just a handful of meditations, and focused only on Two Powers. I’ll get back to my Inner Grove work in the coming week.