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 08: Meditation and Mental Training

I have been really excited to start journaling about my meditation work- partly because I enjoy ‘unpacking’ it through writing, and partly because I think journaling will help with consistency and monitoring how things evolve over time.

My usual daily meditation is simply doing the 2 Powers Meditation, with a bit more emphasis on the three cauldrons/energy centers and ensuring that they are filled, balanced, and strong. Over the past couple of weeks, however, I have started to add to the 2 Powers Meditation and work on Inner Grove visualizations and experiences.

So far this has simply been creating an imaginal grove with Tree, Well, and Fire, and inviting specific or sometimes general Kindred to join me. Usually I am connecting to Diwos Sunu and Pria along with my Ancestors and some of my plant allies, but I have also had experiences where things went in a more ‘general’ direction- and that felt really fulfilling as well. I spend time praising, making heart offerings, sharing, and opening up to receive blessings.

This practice is evolving on its own in a really pleasing way, so I plan on sticking with it and seeing where it goes.


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/

Week 05: Nature Awareness 1

A few weeks before I got to this part of the DP, I ‘discovered’ a spot near my home that in 12 years I have never seen before. It’s a small but potent (in beauty and smell!) hot sulfur spring that bubbles up through a thick layer of resilient moss. It’s nestled against a foothill that’s home to small fish, giant boulders, and lots of meadow-loving wild flowers like Salsify, Mallow, and Yarrow.

I chose to do my Nature Awareness work right at the spring – it’s very private and during the day affords me plenty of undisturbed time to meditate, make offerings, and just be present. Over the past two weeks I’ve been going to my spot nearly every day to connect with the spring, a special boulder, to make prayers and offerings to the Kindred, and to connect to the spirits of the land that’s just 2 miles north of my house.

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Presence

The single most powerful thing I’ve gotten from my time at the spring is a real, palpable, and consistent sense of presence. While I can’t necessarily define every source of that presence, I can say with total confidence that I am not alone in that place – and in fact that I am heard, seen, and related to by non-human beings. The spring itself was silent for many days, but slowly I am starting to feel heard by her, and feel that she moves forward when I come for my daily visits. The spring has definitely been the focus of my Nature Awareness work thus far, but unexpected things have happened. I have been addressing the spring as Donu, and that seems to be going well so far.

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Silent Giant

A few days ago as I was walking out of the foothills where the spring is located, I was pulled in a direction I usually don’t go. My dog was with me that day, and she wandered into a new part of the meadow and started grazing on grasses. As I looked up, I saw a solitary boulder, probably 8 feet tall, basking in the sun. This boulder and I instantly became friends. I sat with it, listened, and spoke. I made offerings, and touched it. I think this is the first time that I’ve ever really felt the individual expression in a stone – the individual that I am relating to in my Nature Awareness work.

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Xuetos

Another experience I have been having consistently when I go out with the intention to sit, listen, share, and relate is with the winds, Xuetos. I have really been hearing them speak and stir, and have been experiencing them as intentional and active spirits in their own right. They have shared several pieces of wisdom with me about how I can work with them for my own spiritual growth and connection to the Three Kindred, and I’m trying to incorporate some of that into my journey now.

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I carry a small tin filled with copper and bronze beads and tiny torcs, gemstone chips, fragrant herbs, and other things with me all the time. I’m always prepared to hold an offering, no matter how small, to my heart before sharing it with a new relation.

Friends Green and Cackling

As I spend more time in this space being as open, aware, friendly, and present as I can, I have noticed that the animals and plants are responding differently to me. The skittish Killdeer which usually squeaks in alarm and runs into the meadow when I approach has started to back off slowly without a sound. Circling crows have stuck around, and the fish in the hot sulfur spring and stream seem interested in my reflection on the water’s surface. They seem to know I am there and that I am there to relate. My small tokens of love and respect seem to have a meaning to them in ways resonant to how they have meaning to me – I cannot wait to see how these relationships develop over time.


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

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.

Week 03: The First High Day

My first High Day essay revolves around Beltane. Since I work in a reconstructed Proto-Indo-European hearth, *Pria is generally the deity being celebrated at this time due to the abundance of flowering trees and budding garden spaces. I would normally align with that, but this time around the wheel I decided to take Beltane as a time to connect with and celebrate Dyeus Pter.

I chose to celebrate Dyeus Pter because of how I see and experience Beltane. For me, this time of year is the true return of the Sun. There’s no doubt that the great wheel of fire in the sky is moving towards its zenith, and we can really start to perceive its effects on the Earth Mother and ourselves. The trees are growing tall, plants are sprouting, the days are noticeably longer, and people are more active. I also see Beltane as a time when the rolling thunder wheel of *Perkwunos makes way for the wheel of the sun.

For me, Beltane and the days surrounding it is the time when winter is truly over. It gets me outside more, the weather gets nice enough for more outdoor ritual and meditation, and the green world comes to life. This is the time of year when I get to watch the plants transform solar energy into food for us, and the time when I can more easily connect to the circle of life.

The sun warms and brings light to those places that may have become stagnant, cold, and brittle. It shines through the world tree and delivers many enlightening messages from the Shining Ones. It activates, stimulates, and heals whatever we are willing to expose to the light.


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/
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

Week 02: The First Oath

I stand before the Three Kindred
and declare myself to be a seeker of the Old Ways
of The Shining Ones, The Spirits, and The Mighty Dead.

With this oath I begin my Druid’s Journey
and I vow to do do my best in body, mind, and spirit.

I will strive to cultivate and keep Virtue in my life;
To live in accord with the Xartus (Cosmos),
and to think and act in ways that honor the Kindred and myself.

I will strive to cultivate and keep Piety in my life;
To always remember the Kindred,
and to nourish and strengthen my relationship with them.

I will strive to cultivate and keep Study in my life;
To grow in wisdom, experience, and expression every day
while coming closer into alignment with
The Shining Ones, The Spirits, and The Mighty Dead
And The Land, The Sea, and The Sky.

These things I vow to the Kindred and to myself
ever in the presence of the Shining Ones;
May my journey be blessed and my fire be good.
So Be It!


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. April 2016. https://www.adf.org/