Tag Archives: Druid Animal Oracle

Owl-right, my son? 

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. 

Art by Bill Worthington.
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Here be Dragons…

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Earth Dragon, art by Bill Worthington.

Ah, 2016, I’ve been expecting you.

With all the strong winds we had this winter, I got the feeling that the winds of change had already arrived; eagerly pushing 2015 out of the way as if 2016 couldn’t wait to get here. 

2015 has been a busy year for me.  I got moved store (again) and have even taken steps to help me back on the road of acting.

Comparing to last year’s reading, how did things play out?

Venom: I lost my cat, Loki.  She was my companion, my little girl and my pain in the arse all at once. I had her put down after she was attacked by a Fox as her chances of survival were extremely slim.  Not a day goes by without me thinking of her. 

I broke the heart of my friend and fellow Grove mate, River.  I thought I was ready for a new relationship and after three months, realised I wasn’t.  So I ended it and hurt her badly.  Looking back on it, I see now that was what’s called a ‘rebound’.  We have spoken since and says she has forgiven me.  I wouldn’t say we are the friends we used to be, but at least we are civil now. 
  The venom was my broken heart and the lesson of Adder reversed is to use the poison that harms into one that cures.  Loki’s death reminded me of the savage side of Nature, it was a serious wound that was brought through the cycle of survival.  I think it would have been worse if I found her after getting run over by a car.
  As terrible as breaking up with River was, things happened in motion to change her life for the better, from what she told me, she has discovered Buddhism which has taught her to let go of the past and embrace the future. 
  I learned a lot about myself from this experience and now know who I am, as well as who I don’t want to be.

Honey: The card of Bee represents community, celebration and organisation.  2015 was a very social year for me, I am blessed with many friends wether it is my Grove, my housemate, my workmates, both my social and spiritual circles.  I even left Pagan Pride in an official capacity, in a good place. 
  With the Am Dram group, I bonded really well with my fellow cast and crew in the One-Acts of that summer.  I spent NYE with Cludgie’s family and mutual friends. It was Cludgie who gave me the final push to go for the role I auditioned for and got.  The director had previously asked if I’d be interested in reading for it and I thought of every reason not to.  I’m glad Cludgie talked me round.
 
Three major creative things happened this year too: me, Strider and Dumbledore got together and formed our storytelling group “Tales From the Fireside”, a separate venture from our Grove that was described by one event organiser as “I knew you’d be good, I didn’t expect you to be awesome”.
  The other was joining the Actors Workshop here in Notts.  Making some good friends and progress in my performing skills.
  And filming the Promo of Gallows Bait in Sherwood Forest, dressed as a proper highwayman for two days!

2015 was for me a year of discovery, having courage enough to do what it is I want to actually do (and sowing the seeds for it to happen) and being surrounded by wonderful people, old and new.  I also did a lot of guest speaking this year, touching on new subjects for me as well as revisiting old ones.

Dragons: I was quite hungover on New Year’s Day when I drew the card for 2016 and as soon as I saw what my focus for this year was, I said in my best George Takei voice: ‘Ohhh Myyyyyyy’ Earth Dragon or ‘Draig-Talamh’ is the card of accessing your inner potential, as well as recognising the potential in others. 
Here’s hoping 2016 will be a very productive year!

Fidelity To Your Deity?

Merry Imbolc, folks!

I found it curious that in modern Druidry, Imbolc has been declared as the first celebration of Spring.

Seriously?

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. 

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Bringing in the light... Unconvetionally!

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.

Venom & Honey

Hello 2015!

I did promise to write this for yesterday, but I brought in New Year’s Day with the last episode of The Black Adder (Always had a soft spot for the series that not many people like) and playing a good and proper dice rolling RPG with my brother (He is red-headed, which according to lore is bad luck for the rest of the year… racist y’see) and friend.

Last years blog, Quoth the Raven,  Had me explaining about a few New Year’s customs and a spot of divination.  So, what did last year’s prediction of my focus entail for 2014? Destruction in order to rebuild and passing through the darkest night before re-emerging to see the light of dawn once more.  How very true indeed.  Here’s what happened-

*Separation: Me and Pipes separated from our 10 year relationship and 6 year marriage.  It was very sad indeed and with heavy hearts we went our own ways.  I still occasionally see my Wife (ex-Wife) and we’ve remained friends.  I even popped round to see her on New Year’s Eve to see how she was, I’ll be joining her this weekend to help celebrate her birthday.

*New Beginnings: I moved out of my previous home into the present one that I share with my house-mate, Artemis.  I also picked up my performing again, acting in a play as well as developing my storytelling.

*Promotion: Of sorts.  I had assisted the Herald of the Druid Grove and after she stepped down earlier on last year, I took on the role until I did so officially at Samhain.

*Endings:  December saw my store close down for good (Its ok, I still have a job in the company, we all got moved to another store), it also saw me read my last Gwersu of the Bardic Grade… I have a lot to do before I move onto Ovate, however.

So, 2014 had seen me broken hearted, yet imbued with creativity.  It saw me take on responsibility when my friend and fellow Grove member needed some serious time out.  It saw me relocate to a warmer house full of geekery.  It brought me some amazing times with my friends, without whom I would have been consumed by bitterness and despair; whether hanging out, in a ceremony, going to Glastonbury or giving me recommendations on certain events to ply my trade, or kicking the shit out of thousands of monsters.  Its saw me say goodbye to the store that provided an income at the very last minute of my redundancy back in 2011, it saw me reach the end of my Bardic Course… making my Solstice Toast & Boast happen in days!  But I have yet to complete it…  And finally it saw me find strength within myself to survive the end of mine and Pipes’ relationship.  I cried my tears and swore out my rage in a very short space of time, but it took me a long while to get used to the void that appeared.  I know Pipes’ condition and how she has suffered, but I don’t think she’d appreciate me putting on here her ordeals.  I decided to pick myself up and get busy.  My heart is healing, but I now keep it heavily guarded without being heartless in my own self.  Will I love again? never say never.  I’ve decided I need to learn to love myself before I go looking to love another.

2015: 

Nathair and Beach
Nathair and Beach

I consulted my DAO twice.  Once just after Midnight in the morning of 1st Jan 2015 and again around 11am.  The first time round was as a demonstration to Artemis and our mate, Jogger (she jogs).  On both accounts I asked the question of “What do I need to focus on in 2015?

The card in response was: Adder Reversed.  It means that instead of allowing the venom within to cause harm to others, it suggests I use it to bring healing to other people as well as myself.  It also means transformation.

For some reason, once I had awoken and tidied up the living room from our drinking session, I wanted to draw another card.  Not instead of, mind you, but in addition.  As if there was a feeling that there was more for the New Year to offer.  And the second card was: Bee.  The card of celebration, community and working with the seasons as well as the power of the Sun.

If I was to dare and put this together (a dangerous idea, but let’s try it anyway!) then I would say that after working with the darkness of last year, and for me, 2014 was about facing and working with my own darkness; this year brings healing and transformation, allowing me to emerge once again into the light of day.  And with celebrating with others, provide a chance of healing others as well.  However, there is the knowledge that these things tend to work out differently than expected.  And rest assured, it’ll go straight on here when it does.

“Quoth the Raven…”

Here we are: 2014, a year away from the Hover Boards we were promised in the movie ‘Back to the Future 2’.

Bringing in the New Year has undergone many changes, especially in modern times where the mainstream celebrate with fire works and lighting Chinese Lanterns, perhaps unknowingly passing the old year and welcoming the new with the most basic (and instinctive) method of communal celebration: fire.

The New Year in folk tradition paints this as a time of transition, not only numerically, but in the world around us as well as the Otherworld.  Yorkshire lore has it that high winds around NY are the ‘Winds of Change’ where the new year is literally blowing away the old year, its effects and energies being cleared away.  In some areas including Yorkshire and beyond (apparently this also applies in Southampton), it was tradition to open all the windows just after midnight to let out all the bad luck and spirits gained from the old year… you had to be careful closing the windows though, because you could end up trapping a passing spirit in your home!

And in this transitional chaos, the world was seen as being in flux.  Meaning, if you knew where to look you could divine what the new year portended.

One Celtic tradition has it that if you were to watch the skies all of NY night, and you knew your clouds, you could tell what the year has in store.  I honestly can’t remember where I got that from, I think its Irish with variants in Scotland and Wales.

Others include:

* First Footing: good or bad luck on you and your household depending on the looks of the first man to come to your door just after midnight:
Dark Hair: Good fortune
Red Hair: Bad fortune (there’s your racist).
In fact, with that tradition, apart from the dark haired fella, any red headed, squint eyed, flat footed, women (there’s your sexist) are all bad luck!  Although if a man has a high instep or rides a horse then that’s very good luck (!?…).    I have flat feet and, in the right light, red in my hair, so next year I might go and knock on the doors of any neighbours who piss me off!

* Clocks: Should be wound up at the time of the beginning of New Year to bring good luck.

* Waking up: For a girl to awaken in the morning of New Years Day to see a man pass by, from her bedroom window, supposedly meant she can hope to be married before the year is ended.

So, getting into the spirit of New Year divinations, I asked my Druid Animal Oracle this simple question:

What do I need to focus on in 2014?

The answer:

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Raven (Bran) reversed.

It means recognising that you cannot build or make foundations of something new without the destruction of the old.  It can also represent having to endure the dark in order to find the light.
Or it can mean the realisation of opposites “in light there is darkness, and in darkness, there is light”. There are stars in the night sky and there are embers that darken in any fire.

I will admit to thinking “Oh shit” when I drew it, but at the same time there is a sort of dread excitement… a development of something new but something will have to give way, what that will be is for 2014 to reveal.

“Allons-Y!”

Sources

Anonymous, ‘The Complete Book of Fortune: The secrets of the past, present & future revealed‘, Blaketon Hall Ltd, Exeter, 1988, p. 483.

Philip & Stephanie Carr-Gomm, ‘The Druid Animal Oracle Deck‘, Connections Book Publishing Ltd, London, This version printed 2005, pp. 20.  Illustrated by Bill Worthington.