Week 10: Seond High Day Recap

For this solitary Summer Solstice ritual, I based my work off of the Solitary Druid Fellowship work of Teo Bishop (no longer active) which can be found here. I strictured my ritual around the Core Order of Ritual, but made some changes to make it more applicable to the Proto-Indo-European deities I work with, and some personal aesthetic preferences.

I spent a good deal of time planning this ritual because I want to work on being able to write my own, from start to finish, within the layout of the COoR. I tried to make sure that every individual step felt right, and also that the overall flow made sense and had clear purpose and intent. I notice that sometimes I get caught up in the doing and am not completely present with the depth of meaning behind that doing. I tried to make the wording, prayers, and actions be more evocative so that I would stay mindful and present throughout the rite. I felt very successful in that, and got some ideas on how to further refine my flow for the next High Day.

The Deities of Occasion for this Summer Solstice ritual were all of the Solar Deities that make up the group I usually work with: Xausos (who acted as Gatekeeper), Diwos Sunu, Sawelyosyo Dhugeter, and Dyeus Pter. Along with honoring Them, I also had a secondary purpose in this ritual to open myself up more to the Xartus and ask for guidance in aligning and understanding more as I grow in my Druidry.

As you can see from the image below, I planned out my offerings pretty meticulously so that they were all within reach and in order of use. I found this to be super helpful, and it allowed me to focus more on the offering itself and less on checking and double-checking that I had it all right.

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I am definitely going to keep doing my offerings this way when there are many to be made- it just made things so simple!

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I moved my shrine to my living room so that I could have more light and more space- it usually resides in my bedroom which is not well-lit and doesn’t have much room to spare. I have recently started working with a living tree as my World Tree, and the experience has been really amazing! I turned the original ‘stick’ I had into a drumstick for my ritual drum.

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I felt like the ritual went very well. While Dyeus Pter was the focus of my offerings and praise, it was Diwos Sunu who really came through. I have been close to Them for some time, but recently that closeness has escalated into a nearly constant state of companionship. Signs that I am choosing to read into with fervor have been happening all around me- from unexpected sightings of horse-related imagery to dreams, conversations, and moments of synchronicity. Since this ritual took place on June 21, 2016, my relationship with them has deepened significantly. I had planned a small tattoo of Them on my right thigh as a way to keep awareness of them with me as I try and walk (read: gallop!) in ghosti with the Kindred, but that tattoo session ended up coming early and the placement changed significantly in a last-minute sort of way.

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I looked forward to the drawing of the omen for this ritual because previously I have only drawn to ask for guidance and areas of focus for my own development. This time I decided to also draw to reflect how the ritual and offerings were received. I admittedly found this daunting because I has fear about not being accepted. I worked through that and drew two omens; one for how the ritual and offerings were received, and one for what I could work on in my personal development between now and the next High Day. I used the Druid Animal Oracle by Phillip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, but hope to move to Ogham soon.

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Blackbird – Omen of Ritual & Offering

I interpreted this card as a positive sign that my ritual was good and that my offerings had been accepted. In the book that accompanies these cards, Blackbird is described as an omen of spirituality, mystery, mysticism, and ‘otherness’. They can be seen as a messenger from the otherworlds, and as an ally in traveling or experiencing these realms.

I have some concern, as mentioned above, about my offerings being received and making it through the gate, so to speak. This omen, for me, was reassuring that my work does in fact go through to the other worlds and that I need to trust the process, even when I may not be able to perceive it happening so strongly.

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Horse – Omen of Personal Focus

This card was drawn in reverse which at first alarmed me. Once I read the meaning, however, I felt quite blessed. I probably don’t have to point out that this is just another instance of Horse showing up, and after the experience I had just had with Diwos Sunu, it came as a clear, positive, and powerful message of ghosti.

In the book, Horse is considered to be an omen of rhythm, connection to Goddesses, and the land. Reversed it shows that the individual may be out-of-step with the natural process of life, and that they need to work to trust and get into rhythm with how things go. This is very relevant for me and what I’ve been working on. Horse helps us get our own cadence into alignment with the natural process of life, of Earth, and of self so that we can shake off fear, scattered energy, and lack of follow-through.

I am really happy about how this ritual went, what kinds of doors it opened up for me, and how it has nourished a budding relationship with Diwos Sunu in such a powerful, tangible, and undeniable way. I am looking forward to the next High Day, and am working on ways to honor Diwos Sunu more in my daily life as well.


References

Druid Network- Solitary Druid Fellowshop Archive. Web. Accessed June 2016. https://druidnetwork.org/what-is-druidry/rites-and-rituals/solitary-druid-fellowship/
Carr-Gomma, Phillip and Stephanie. The Druid Animal Oracle. Touchstone. 1995. Print.
Dangler, Rev. Michael J. Through The Wheel Of The Year. ADF Publishing. 2016. PDF.
Various. Our Own Druidry. ADF Publishing. 2009. Print.
Ar nDraiocht Fein. Web. Accessed April 2016. https://www.adf.org/
Ceisiwr Serith / Proto-Indo-European Deities. Web. Accessed April 2016. http://www.ceisiwrserith.com/pier/deities.htm
Proto-Indo-European Religion. Web. Accessed June 2016. http://piereligion.org/pieritual.html

Week 09: The Second High Holy Day: An Explanation

While I’m sure my research is far from complete, I have not been able to track down a good Proto-Indo-European equivalent for the Summer Solstice/Litha. That being said, there are plenty of cognate cultures with celebrations around this time of year, and a few Deities that really fit in with the energy and meaning we’ve come to know about this time of year.

PIE Summer Solstice

I have chosen to make Summer Solstice a celebration of the Solar Deities and Their trek across the daytime sky. For me, this starts with Xausos and Diwos Sunu, then leads to Sawelyosyo Dhughter, and finally reaching Dyaus Pter. This is a celebration of power, light, inspiration, and warmth with a side-focus on the Xartus in general.

For me, Summer Solstice is a time for hope, inspiration, change, and healing. The Solar Deities are all givers of gifts that focus around relationship and inspiration, so I chose to focus on that. It’s a time of honoring the daily trek of the Solar Deities and what that journey means to us humans and our lives. It’s a time of honoring how much actually goes in to the working of the universe that we often take for granted. It’s a time for recognizing how present and even approachable many of these Deities have been and continue to be for us.

I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to grasp some of the beginning concepts of the Xartus, so I really made that a focus of my prayers as I wrote this ritual. I am making note of how much the Solar Deities harmonize the endless branches of the World Tree while also giving us access in different ways to how the Xartus and ourselves can become aligned.

I wrote my ritual based loosely on the one written for this High Day by Teo Bishop, but made a variety of changes while keeping the Dore Order of Ritual in place.


References

Dangler, Rev. Michael J. Through The Wheel Of The Year. ADF Publishing. 2016. PDF.
Various. Our Own Druidry. ADF Publishing. 2009. Print.
Ar nDraiocht Fein. Web. Accessed April 2016. https://www.adf.org/
Ceisiwr Serith / Proto-Indo-European Deities. Web. Accessed April 2016. http://www.ceisiwrserith.com/pier/deities.htm
Proto-Indo-European Religion. Web. Accessed June 2016. http://piereligion.org/pieritual.html

Week 04: First High Day Recap – Beltane

My Beltane celebration honored Dyeus Pter, the Shining Sky Father. Paxuson acted as gatekeeper.

I chose to use the basic ritual structure written originally by Teo Bishop for Solidary Druid Fellowship, but made a few changes. I didn’t do any magical workings, and did a lot of re-writing of the prayers and invocations to suit my own personality and connection the Kindred.

I ran this ritual solitary at sun’s zenith on May 1, 2016, and put a lot of pre-planning into it which really paid off. I had all of my offerings set up in marked individual cups, and highlighted my ritual notes so that I could follow them without a lot of awkward silences. I made space for spontaneous prayer offerings which was really nice, and felt very good about how the entire ritual progressed.

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I felt really good about this ritual. I have often been attracted to Dyeus Pter, but have had a hard time connecting tangibly which is why I chose to honor him specifically here. I definitely felt connected, and was given a lot of inspiration and confidence about nurturing that connection. I even got inspired during ritual about how to best represent him on my shrine. I left the ritual feeling Dyeus Pter to be more approachable than I had previously felt, and also felt much closer to the deities I usually connect to – Pria, Paxuson, and Xausos. The generally feeling of the ritual was about grounding out my relationship with the Shining Ones in a more practical and everyday way. I got lots of inspiration about shrine work, representing the deities, and a feeling of ‘permission’ about approaching them with more confidence and camaraderie. I also felt very connected to the spirits of nature, and have since really rekindled my love of relating to the trees and staying open to their wisdom – it’s easy for me to forget I have those allies sometimes, so this was a welcomed reminder.

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I used Phillip Carr-Gomm’s Druid Animal Oracle to draw an omen. Eventually I want to use Oghams, but this is what I had to work with this time around. I drew two cards – one was for what the Kindred suggest I focus on in my spiritual development until the next High Day, the second was a blessing to help me attain that development. I drew Dog for the goal, and Blackbird for the support. I interpreted this as simply to work on my loyalty, friendship, and trust to the Kindred every day in every way – to really dig in and become close to them in a practical, reliable, and dependable way. The Blackbird suggested that I not hesitate to use meditation, visualization, prayer, magic, and ritual work to help foster these deeper levels of love and connection to the Kindred.

Hail the Beltane Fire!


References

Dangler, Rev. Michael J. Through The Wheel Of The Year. ADF Publishing. 2016. PDF.
Various. Our Own Druidry. ADF Publishing. 2009. Print.
Ar nDraiocht Fein. Web. Accessed April 2016. https://www.adf.org/
Druid Network – Solitary Druid Archives. Web. Accessed April 2016. https://druidnetwork.org/what-is-druidry/rites-and-rituals/solitary-druid-fellowship/
Proto-Indo-European Religion – Festivals. Web. Accessed May 2016. http://piereligion.org/festivals.html
Wikipedia – Beltane. Web. Accessed May 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltane
Phillip Carr-Gomm. The Druid Animal Oracle. Simon & Schuster. 1994. Print.