The beginning of all experience is the body/self …
My experience is that the body and the human mind/spirit are the primary vehicles through which awareness is expanded and manipulated. Gods,Entities, Spirits, Ancestors, or whatever you wish to call external archetypes/thought forms can help – but all of the tools necessary to develop ourselves internally and externally are part of the human experience. Beyond religious dogma and mythology we have the inherent ability to extend our perception and exacerbate our own spiritual evolution.
In the spirit of that idea another personal meditative practice of mine incorporates the Cauldrons of Poesy. The Cauldrons of Poesy hypothesis comes from the 7th century, probably earlier but that’s when it was written down; it’s a Celtic idea revealing that each person has three Cauldrons/Wells of inspiration that exist within. These Cauldrons turn and overturn, fill-up and empty depending on the persons disposition and life challenges. I would recommend reading the poem which documents their function, but to understand or practice this meditation it isn’t necessary.
The goal with this meditation is to turn the Cauldrons upright. The intent is to fill the Cauldrons one by one with light or with the water of inspiration and have them feed and flow into one another. When this is accomplished you will feel an intense energetic fire originating from the internal location of the Cauldron. This idea plays well with my Runic and Odian practices as Odin is the master of Inspiration and the Runes are a system through which Inspired wisdom is gained, Wells/vessels/cauldrons also play a large and important role in Norse cosmology. The lore of Odroerir, poetic excitation and deep occult wisdom gained from Kvasir also come to mind. The CoP idea is also, obviously, derived from Celtic sources and therefore, perhaps, historically may have been utilized by the Paleo-Pagan Celts, or at least understood in some fashion and sits well with the spirit of Druid Revivalism.
The first Cauldron is the Cauldron of Warming (incubation) and is located in the area of the belly. This Cauldron is fundamental to Health and Body Constitution, and in a healthy person is upright, in the sick it is turned and unable to refill or hold its contents properly.
The second Cauldron is the Cauldron of Motion (Doing or Vocation) and is located in the chest. This Cauldron is said to be turned on its side in most people, but fills and moves upright as artistic mastery or creativity is achieved or sought.
The third Cauldron is the Cauldron of Wisdom and is located in the head. This Cauldron is upside down in everyone, but turns as one learns and develops ones reasoning and gains knowledge. I understand this Cauldron as being filled when a person uses knowledge patiently, applying wisdom and experience gained from life lessons, wisdom that usually comes via introspection, reading, studying, or the challenges of personal development.
Being that I work within a Runic paradigm I associate Runes with each of the Cauldrons. Laguz is associated with the Cauldron of Warming, Eiwhaz with Motion and Raidho with Warming. Why do I associate these Runes with the Cauldrons? These three represent the three worlds for me; Underworld, Midworld, and Upper World. You could certainly associate Ogham or even Tarot symbolism with the Cauldrons, or simply use the cauldrons on their own. I merely use Runes because they hold the lessons of the Cauldrons within them nicely, they are not meant to supersede the Cauldrons power but only to summarize it. I visualize the Cauldron as either bearing the Rune on it’s side or reflecting the Rune in its waters or light once it’s filled.
+ Get into your usual mediation posture, whatever that may be. Achieve a state of calm and relaxed breathing. Your breathing should be seen as coming up from your feet or originating in the belly, filling the belly first then the lungs. The out breath exits as normal through the head.
+ As you breath become aware that with each breath your groin relaxes, the lower muscles of the abdomen also relax the more you breath and you come to realize that the earth supports you. You no longer need to hold your tension in this area, but you are allowed to relax it and the belly region. As you breath through the following steps the earth will supply some of the energy to fill the Cauldrons, but not all, you should utilize the earth to kickstart the process but not sustain it.
+ The Cauldron of Warming > You will begin to visualize the Cauldron in the belly, seeing it as upright but empty. The more you relax the belly and abdomen region it will begin to fill with Light or with Inspiration, with each breath the volume increases. This may be a slow process, but as you fill it and your breath becomes more pronounced in the belly region, you will begin to feel the Fires of Being ignite and intensify in the region.
+ Once the Cauldron of Warming is filled the light will spill over and up into the middle of the chest where you will begin to visualize the existence of the next Cauldron.
+ The Cauldron of Motion > You will begin to visualize the Cauldron in the chest. Your breathing now should begin in the belly and rise smoothly into the chest and out with very little effort. As you breath you are still fueling the Cauldron of Warming, but now that it is full the Light/Inspiration spills upward to fill the Cauldron of Motion. As the Cauldron of Motion becomes more concrete you should feel the Light or essence of Inspiration begin to coalesce within the vessel. As with the Cauldron of Warming it should flower with radiance and the Fire of Being and be physically felt. Take your time filling it don’t rush, allow your breath to enliven the area with energy and life. Stay at this step as long as it takes to feel the Cauldron come to life, or just to enjoy the energy.
+ The Cauldron of Wisdom > Begin to visualize the Cauldron in the head. Your breathing should now be a steady stream, a rythm that should be steady and calm. We still breath into the belly fueling the Cauldron of Warming, which spills upward into the Cauldron of Motion, and now overspills into Cauldron of Wisdom. As it spills upward the Cauldron in our head takes shape and the energy begins to fill it as well. Again, don’t rush allow the energy to spill from one Cauldron to the next, and enjoy the effervescent feeling that comes from sitting, breathing, and living.
+ Once you have enjoyed the cycle of filling the cauldrons and the Cauldron of Wisdom is filled the overspill will exit out the top of the head. With each out breath the life essence/Inspiration will flow out of the head like a fountain of light. You can either see it as showering over the body and covering the body with light and energy, or it can spill up into the cosmos marrying earth and sky which each breath.
+ Ending the meditation begins by no longer filling the Cauldrons. No longer are you pulling energy from the earth or from your base, the Cauldrons are full and they no longer feed each other. Stop the flow of energy from the head and see the energy as being retained internally. I’d recommend to touch your forehead to the ground to actively ground the self and cutoff the expelling of energy, this is a very effective way to eliminate energy drain and keep your power/energy/Life essence internalized.
+ Take a few breaths once you open your eyes and think upon what you accomplished. The Cauldrons should be remembered as being upright and filled with your Life essence/Inspiration.