Along the Rio
One of the things I like to do is walk by the Rio Grande. It is after all the heart of the area in which I live, and as someone practicing a Pagan religion, it is important to honor the mother, or the local river goddess that inhabits it. So, I took some time today to go down by the river for a walk and touch a bit of her majesty.
I do this several times a year, walking along the banks of the Rio Grande. At one point I thought seriously about starting up a Druidic grove in my area (and do still), whose Patron would be the River goddess…maybe that will still happen one of these days.
Except for a few springs around, there is very little water…in fact we’ve been in the throws of a drought lasting 110+ days without rain, the Rio is a reminder of the life that water provides.
Skip Ellison, former Archdruid of ADF, has a decent intro course on his website called Getting in touch with the Land , it’s free and a good introduction to listening to the landwights that inhabit a locale. I will say it’s not revolutionary material, but it will provide a bit of interesting information and exercises for those wanting to deepen a connection with their land.
My practice is a simple one: If one wants to honor such land spirits it’s as simple as making an offering. If you go for a walk in the park or a hike on a wilderness trail carry some sunflower seeds or some other food or drink that the local wildlife will enjoy, spend some time quietly sitting under a tree – touch the land, and leave an offering with a thank you to the beings who enliven the area. We all now the peace that comes from being among trees or walking in fields, that is the spirit of the place…remember to acknowledge it.
Ian Corrigans “Cosmos Sigil”
Currently I’m thinking about renewing my Clergy studies within ADF. Before beginning I may inquire about some possible changes that can be made to how the material submitted can be reviewed. Right now Clergy related material is reviewed, upon submission, by one person. I see this as flawed. Certainly material that has been presented to the Mother Grove, and diligently worked on by the Member, should be given the chance to be seen by more than one individual – Doesn’t it demand the opinion of more than one person before receiving a nay or yay?
That’s my main beef with ADF’s programs. The work is rigorous, it is not easy by any means, and it is expected to be academically sound. So shouldn’t the work then be overseen by more than one individual? What if the person reviewing the work doesn’t like the submitter, for whatever reason? What if there is a bias concerning a topic of study? We are human, and humans have opinions, habits, mindsets, and reading preferences that may conflict with anothers.
I’ve also just come from seeing a friend in the hospital, she is also an ADF member, and a fellow grove member. It angers me to see that Pagan Clergy are nearly unheard of in such settings. We had a very serious discussion about this, and about how in times like these Grove members constitute Clergy for each other. Which I don’t have a problem with…but shouldn’t we as Pagans have Clergy on the Hospital Clergy list alongside Muslims, Christians, and Buddhists? Maybe someday that will happen….
Getting ready for summer semester at school..Being an older student really makes me accept the University experience as a gift, and I remind myself of this daily..it makes it easier to get back to the books.
Listening to: Clannad – [Atlantic Realm #09] Under Neptunes Cape [foobar2000 v126.96.36.199]
It seems that the local group I moderate, Within the Circle, is going to have a Midsummer Sunrise Welcoming.
This was my idea as a way to get Pagans of different paths together. Solstices and Equinoxes are events that most Pagan/Occult traditions acknowledge and deem worthy of some type of honoring.
As the the group is based in a mountainous region we may meet at a location that looks over the city, providing an incredible view of the sunrise.
I greeted the sun on the Winter Solstice of 2010 and found it such an amazing practice that I thought a group outing would be awesome.
Sunna will be honored and the wonder of Midsummer will be felt throughout the day… I can’t wait.
Perhaps I’ll share a bit about the experience – with photos.
Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day for it is Life,
the very Life of Life.
In it’s brief course lie all the Varieties
And Realities of your Existence;
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
(Salutation of the Dawn (Hindu) taken from Pagan Prayer by Mary Ellis Ryan,1913. pg.68)
I’ve been conducting a prayer at dawn lately. Every other day I get up with the sunrise and prior to turning on any lights in the home welcome the dawn.
Essentially my greeting is to hold my hands up to the light of the rising sun, then touch my palms to my forehead, then to my heart.
Phrasing is usually off the cuff, but something like; First light of day infuse my mind with Intent this day; First light of day may my heart be bright with Wisdom this day: Delling, light of the dawn, bless me with your light.
Each affirmation follows the palms to the dawn posture, followed by touching the palms to head or body, or the corresponding location.
I started this about seven months ago, but only began to do it in a consistent fashion recently. After watching the TV show 30 days, I found that a Navajo families tradition of running toward the dawn then honoring the sunrise in a similar fashion to what I’ve listed very inspiring. Link to Episode
I think Presence is the goal of anyone partaking in any kind of magical practice.
What good is ritual, meditation, or the honoring of beings without first being fully aware of your space, and knowing your place in the great mix of things.
I use a few different mantra’s while in meditation that help get me to the point of Presence.
I am Here
I am Now
I am Present
Within this Circle (Space, Grove, Ve)
Another that I use specifically for Magical purposes:
I am the Magician
I am Here
and I am Free
Of course the Fire – Well – Tree complex found within the ADF format of ritual is a great aid in recognizing one’s moment and Presence. Essentially this equates to the Underworld – Earth – Heaven symbology most magic practitioners will be familiar with. As Above So Below.
Fire, Well, Sacred Tree
Burning and Growing and Flowing in Me
I Stand between the Earth and Sky
Rooted Deep and Crowned High
Meditation upon these core images; Well flowing beneath and rising within, Tree reaching toward the bright flaming sky, Fire radiating from above. The Tree, the Rune Eiwhaz, is the bridge between the worlds of underworld and heaven, of chaos and order, of dark and light. Embodying all of these powers within meditation unites these worlds in active contemplation. The magician has realized Presence.
I attended a tarot class last night at the local Uniterian Universalist church.
The person leading the course was very adept and extremely ready to offer several opinions, interpretations, and views of the various cards. Being that there was a high turn out lots of good feedback and input.
Also the many different card styles people had greatly added to the discussion and card interpretations were very unique yet all in line with the standard meaning of the cards, as expected.
I’m not really a tarot person, not really a divination practitioner, but I really enjoyed the chance to speak metaphysics and magical symbology with like-minded folks who were for the most part Pagans of one sort or another.
The deck I took with me was my LoTR deck, a gift from my sweet tart.
Current Favorite Pods:
The Following podcasts are those I have found to be incredibly informative this past month. I may update Podcasts on a monthly basis.
Great Interview with Cathbad about pagan virtues, a little about the ADF and some singing:
Interview with Ceisiwr Serith of the ADF regarding Pagan Prayer and a little about the ADF:
Fantastic interview with Kvelduf. Heathens will find it fascinating, and those of the general Pagan ilk will find it enlightening.