This would have been written New Years Day were it not for the extreme hangover I had suffered. Regardless, I consulted the Druid Animal Oracle for my yearly focus.
Of dragons and potential
Last year’s card signified 2016 as being a year for discovering my inner potential power, it was not wrong! Last year I had:
Successfully auditioned for the part of Watson in a comedy version of Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles.
Performed two theatre plays back to back.
Provided the voice for the ‘Where Witchcraft Lives’ exhibit in Brighton.
Learned a great deal of my strengths and weaknesses.
Found my place in my day-job and I’m fine with it!
Became a member of a brand new theatrical events group.
Completed my Bardic course and review.
Completed my Ovate initiation just in time for Yuletide.
Learned what my acting type is.
Discovered where I went wrong in my marriage.
Cut my long hair off in the name of charity.
So yes, quite a lot, really!
Eyes in the night
And where does my focus lie for 2017? The card drawn for this year is Owl, or Cailleach Oidhche . The card for detachment, wisdom and change. It speaks of turning a disadvantage into an advantage, also it signifies a call to explain the Otherworld with studying esoteric lore and clairvoyancy. Not sure about speaking with the dead, but seeming as I will be beginning my journey into the world of the Ovate (mystic, seer, healer) this is apt indeed.
I am aware of the Owl being named as one of the oldest creatures of the Earth, according to one of the tales of the Mabinogion. In another tale, it is the final form inflicted upon Blodeuedd by the sorcerer Gwydion. Owl is also associated with the Cailleach, although which specific one, I am not sure. Either way, both Owl, the Cailleach and studying esoteric lore are to be treated with respect.
I found it curious that in modern Druidry, Imbolc has been declared as the first celebration of Spring.
I mean, this is when Winter bites the hardest, right? The nights are gradually getting shorter, but they aren’t getting warmer just yet. When the air is milder and the birds return and that smell of plant life is here THEN come back and tell me we can start celebrating Spring!
Be that as it may, I brought in Imbolc at home on Sunday 1st Feb (I know… Going with the modern calendar instead of the New Moon in February -18th for Astronomers and 21st for the religious- what WAS I thinking!?) by taking down the Yule decorations and keeping my Tree Lights up on my wall. I also put my lava lamp in a more prime place… Bringing in the light indeed!
I also did a very short and private honouring ceremony, I was meant to be joining my friends for a night of Geeky pleasures, but wanted to give offerings to the Divine.
I lit my candle and offered the Gift of Air: Patchouli incense for honouring the Gods. The Gift of Liquid: Seeming it was Imbolc or “Lactation” I thought Goats Milk was appropriate. For the Gift of Earth I offered a bowl of cooked pork mince (homemade Bolognese sauce- from scratch muddafukka!) As Pork is food of the Gods, after all. This is a version of the Land, Sky, Sea mind set which I developed on.
I dedicated these to the Cailleach (Grandmother), The Morrigan (Queen) and to Brighid (Lady). The bracketed titles are just what I feel drawn to when those Goddesses come to mind. I just don’t see them as the Maid, Mother, Crone that modern Paganism is so keen to pigeonhole. Afterwards, I sat in silence for a few moments and was urged to use the DAO.
I pulled out the card, Corr, the Crane, upright. The card of patience, transition and hidden knowledge. I’d read somewhere that it was one of the Birds of the River Goddesses, so I took it to mean that the Goddesses I called to were pleased with my offerings. Just as well, because I encountered something I didn’t expect: a question of loyalty.
For all those who normally follow my blog, then you’ll already know I work with and revere the Morrigan. And in a way, dedicating this seasonal celebration to her and two others, seemed (at least in my mind) like I was cheating on Her. The card helped alleviate this, but there was still that niggling feeling of ‘Aawww! You’ve included other Goddesses… Just you wait until she finds out!’ In the back of my mind. Which is ridiculous. Both Morrigan and Brighid come from the Tuatha De Danaan and I have sworn no fealty to only one. By rights, I have paid my respects with Danu, Brighid, Lugh, The Dagda and the Cailleach and even Dian Cecht before the Morrigan came into my life. I certainly didn’t replace her with either of the two deities, I gave respect according to their seasons: End of Autumn for the Cailleach and the ending of Winter for Brighid.
The way I see it, The Morrigan is my prime Goddess. She is my teacher and guide to my ‘warrior’ self. The part of me that requires action. Brighid is a Goddess of Bards (amongst others) and is a bringer of the flames of inspiration which can only be made physical by action. The Cailleach, in whichever version I am talking to…. Being in the East Midlands, I am going to guess Black Annis is the Cailleach of these lands… a future blog there, methinks! She is the primal Goddess of Time and its cycles, the mysteries she knows of are more ancient and deeper than any. And because I accept there are more than one deities in the universe, I was quite pleased when the Crane card came up. If it does indeed symbolise the water goddesses, then that means no harm done and respect was rightly given for all three.