Tag Archives: Meditation

Why perform ritual? 

“Do you perform it for their glory, or for yours?” Was the question that popped into my head as I poured the water from Monday’s ceremony into the kitchen plant. 

    A slight rewording from the question posed to Dr. Jones in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but an effective one nonetheless. 

    That previous night had me perform a personal meditation in order to find an answer to something I was thinking through.  Well, more accurately, the meditation was the middle bit of my ceremony (to my fellow members of the Grove who wanted to know how it is I can recall the words by rote….. This is how).  And to perform the meditations and visualisations I use without the ceremonial bits feels…. Naked.

    This is how I do it: 

    1. Peace to the quarters.
    2. Cast the circle.
    3. Bless the circle with fire and water.
    4. Prayer to deity or deities.
    5. Awens.
    6. Middle bit.
    7. ‘Hour of recall….’
    8. Thanks to Deity.
    9. Uncast the circle.
    10. Declaration of the end of ceremony. 

        It’s mainly based on the general OBOD ceremonies, but I have found the form that works for me.  No flowers though.  Can’t be doing with taking from the plant realm for the sake of aesthetics!

          The Order encourages members to try things out and see how things work for them, even saying to stop something if it doesn’t work for you.  I have kept the above as it works for me.  Some of the wording is different and the words I say to deity are my own. 

        The ritual water I give to the household plants, a way of giving back and not wasting what was taken.

        There was a time I would perform this every day, and even though it did calm my being, I became stifled with the repetition.  So now, I like to do it with meaning, the ritual bringing calm and satisfaction to myself as well as honour and communication to those that are listening.  

        Do I do it for their glory?  Not really, as I have other personal rituals for giving thanks and honour.

        Do I do it for my glory?  Perhaps.  But when I perform the ceremony it isn’t for glory, it is a series of repetitious actions that allow me to enter a certain level of consciousness that allows me to find a stillness.  This stillness can be used to calm my fiery temperament, to gain insight or inspiration.  

        And even if there is no one in the ether, the ceremony still serves it’s purpose. 

        “There are FOUR lights!” Pic by Locksley2010.

        ‘Into Darkness’…

        wpid-img_20140730_205721_931.jpg

         

        Yep, I pretty much stole that title from the Star Trek movie.  Because its appropriate, Kirk and crew face their darkest mission, yet it’s about the beginning of exploring the great dark of space.

        In my last post here, I wrote of how I interpreted a visual sight (not to mention all the cawing of those crows) as being a message from The Morrigan… I just didn’t know what it meant.

        My good friend, Cristina, interpreted it as a message of ‘Transformation and regeneration… usually after a time of pain.  And War-Goddesses are also Goddesses of healing‘.

        Today, I figured out the message!

        On the OBOD Bardic course, I’ve been on Gwers #45 since April.  I tried out the Practicum in it when I was in Cyprus, but I more often than not kept falling asleep.  Today, I felt the urge to read it and do it again.  I answered the questions suggested with different answers to what I got the first time.  The exercise (no spoilers for my Bardic friends who will be reading this!) this time was a lot more productive.  I think the chunk of limestone on my diaphragm helped me NOT fall asleep this time.

        My thoughts gave way to nothing…. and then the answer revealed itself like a statue being uncovered in the sea as the surf gives way to reveal a secret hidden in plain sight:

        All of my life I’ve tried to force my hand to make things happen.  Tried to make my life into something to go my way.  In ways, it did and in ways it didn’t.  I mean it’s good to have a goal, but…. BUT… what about letting life give the opportunity?  What about letting life happen and when it presents you with an opportunity you then take it?  There’s a choice there: Stay on your present course and things will work out more or less as you expected.  Or take the opportunity and dare to let life take you somewhere new, somewhere unexpected.  Even if it doesn’t work out… you tried.

        And so… this bit as I wrote it in my Bardic Journal, I KNEW was the answer to what the message was:

        “In life we make our own way, we must take action.  But let life show you how, where and what.”

        And as if to confirm my realisation as I wrote that down, there was a caw… then another… then a third! (I shit you not!) A young crow was on the roof as I was scribbling away out in the garden.  I laughed out to myself, to the crow, to the garden.  I got it!  To allow life to show you an opportunity, you need to take a moment of stillness, look into the dark (as in silence and withdrawal) and have faith.  It doesn’t matter if that faith is in yourself, faith in the Gods, or spirits or whatever… at least put your faith in Life.

        I was happy with that and I accepted it… and in accepting, my regeneration and transformation begins.

        Full Moon Shenanigans

         

        image

        Image by locksley2010, Midwinter Solstice 2012

        Ah yes, the beauty of the full moon.  That silver beauty in the sky inspiring many and getting all the moths (bat-bait) into a tiz.

          This Saturday just gone (19th Oct) was the night I got together with my witchy friend, Lumi to pay respects to the moon spirit and make wishes.

          Technically speaking the moon was full on Friday night, so Saturday was really the first waning gibbous phase.  However, once the rain clouds had moved (rendering the public meeting cancelled) to reveal a starlit sky and a gorgeous moon (we’re talking degrees here, and unless you had a telescope to prove it wasn’t 100% full, then for all intents and purposes, Saturday’s moon was considered full), so me and Lumi decided to carry on the ritual at her place… it was actually on the way there the rain stopped and the sky revealed itself.

          The full moon is considered, in the Western Magical Tradition, to be linked with female energy as it rules earth’s tidal flow and the Human menstrual cycle.  It is also considered to be a magnifier of magic, psychic ability and a time of divination and reflection.  The Moon reflects the light of the Sun, after all, so I think a time of reflection is very apt.  In the OBOD Druid tradition, this reflective aspect is put to use.  In the Order, members are encouraged to focus on a meditation for peace in the world on the night of the full moon.  It seems this either only helps to encourage small acts of good and kindness or maybe there aren’t enough Druids doing this, I mean, take a look around, things are NOT peaceful! Any way, I digress.

          One of the really weird things that was happening during the rite was on the Telly in the background.  As Lumi was calling upon the spirit of the Moon, there was a rite of Artemis being played on an episode of the Beeb’s new fantasy series: ‘Atlantis’.  Very appropriate, indeed as Artemis is one of the goddesses of the moon.

          What I didn’t expect was while Lumi called upon Morgana (as in Morgana Le Fay), in my mind’s eye, I “saw” a lady in a white dress.  Her hair was long and dark (almost a chestnut brown), her aquiline eyes were also dark, her pointed chin at the base of her heart-shaped face.  She was very thin, frail you could say. In certain angles her face could be considered skeletal, but even that was because of her handsome and sharp features.  In this waking vision, she stood behind me and very gently put her hands on my shoulders and said “This one knows me.” She vanished after we asked for her blessing.

          Do I know Morgana Le Fay? Not quite.  I certainly have never called on her before, but I do consider the Lady of the Lake one of my goddesses.  I do know her from the Arthurian stories of course, depending on which one you come across, she is either a sister, nemesis or healer to Arthur himself.
          I also know her as a figure based upon Modron, mother of Mabon ap Modron, and daughter to Afallach, one of the chiefs of Annwn, the Cymraeg name to the Otherworld.  She is also based on Arthur’s sister, Anna*.
          So, do I make a habit of conjuring up the spirit of Morgana and have regular chats with her? Not at all.  As a mother, a lady of the lake, a sister, a supernatural being, that is how I know her.  Will she appear again? Will I get to work with her in the future, that I don’t know…

        *The figure and character of ‘Morgan Le Fay’ in terms of her origins and role is explored in the book ‘The Keys to Avalon: The true location of Arthur’s kingdom revealed’ by Steve Blake and Scott Lloyd, Element Books Ltd, Dorset, 2000, ISBN 1-86204-735-9.