The Written Word, May 20th, 2012

May 20th, 2012

 

Have been reading a very extensive and well written article on Cernunnos, written by one Ceisiwr Serith. Very well written as far as my level of experience can tell. It also goes into a lot of aspects not normally mentioned or attributed to my new found Companion. What struck me as I read and took notes the other day was His “bi” nature, He walks in between the worlds. Between dark and light, wild and domestic,The Dead and The Living. It made me giggle and just about dance as I read along and the complexity of His nature revealed itself. Makes sense since I’ve always been a “border walker” myself. Hell, even my Ancestors were, literally.

 

Last week I was talking with a friend who is a fellow Polytheist, and they explained how at one point in their Journey their Deity asked to be worshipped in a fashion that was very different from what they were used to. This conversation helped me realize the occurrence of The Virgin and the sudden need to study Catholicism and Jesus and such had a very interesting meaning. It’s a lesson really. One of My own making I suppose. For the past 15 years since I started this Journey I have always stated that “all Gods are One God”. The same Divine essence appearing in many forms so that whichever mortal happens to be contacted can relate and understand the Divine. I believe it is my time to actually put this into practice. Not to mention my time to finally get over my last but of PTSD regarding the Church and Christianity in general. It’s really not the faith itself I have issues with, it’s most of the practitioners. I also cannot give my child unbiased information if I don’t learn about the faith and get over and lingering unfriendliness. SO, time to put my money where my mouth is.

 

That being said, I will be taking the RCIA (Roman Catholic Initiation for Adults) in September. Hopefully at the Polish Church. If that’s where we will be going for Mass then I would like to do it there. Will we register as parishioners? Who knows. Will I convert? HIGHLY unlikely. I can’t lie to a Holy Man for one. Two, I would much rather be baptised as a Pagan officially and get that on record. We will see what the future holds since TECHNICALLY I’m baptised as an Anglican at the moment and have never stepped into an Anglican Church in any Spiritual capacity. In my heart I am a Pagan Polythiest first, devoted to my Gods and Goddess’s and my Ancestors, Beloved Dead and the Spirits of the Land. I follow the Path laid before me though and who knows where it will lead. It’s always an adventure.

 

As I mused over these thoughts on my way to Mass this morning I had this sudden thought bloom in my mind. I thought if Cernunnos and how He walks between the worlds, an intermediary of sorts. And then the thought of Jesus struck me…he was also an intermediary between the Divine and mortals. In some sense I believe that learning how to see MY God, Cernunnos in this aspect is part of the lesson. It made me smile and feel a lot more at ease about this whole thing. Mary is a comforting presence for me. A way for me to access a very peaceful and gentle aspect of the Mother.

 

 

On Friday the Mantilla Chapel Veil that one of my Sisters in CiL sent me arrived. Beautiful black lace. I simply ADORE it. Feels much better then the smaller lacy black headband I was wearing. I can let this veil hang over my shoulders and small parts of my face. When I pray at my altar now I have a long rectangular white scarf that I wear, Marian style which feels very right. Having this black veil to wear to Mass makes me feel that much more comfortable and in tune with the Divine. She also sent along a white one that she wrote “CiL Sister” on with little red hearts. Made me super happy. That may become a almost daily one since the bandanna/babushka type covering seems to be what is wanted right now.

 

My new Mantilla Chapel Veil

 

I’ve been thinking of making a set of prayer beads to go along with The Song of Amergin. I adore that Song.

 

I am a stag: of seven tines,
I am a flood: across a plain,
I am a wind: on a deep lake,
I am a tear: the Sun lets fall,
I am a hawk: above the cliff,
I am a thorn: beneath the nail,
I am a wonder: among flowers,
I am a wizard: who but I
Sets the cool head aflame with smoke?

I am a spear: that roars for blood,
I am a salmon: in a pool,
I am a lure: from paradise,
I am a hill: where poets walk,
I am a boar: ruthless and red,
I am a breaker: threatening doom,
I am a tide: that drags to death,
I am an infant: who but I
Peeps from the unhewn dolmen, arch?

I am the womb: of every holt,
I am the blaze: on every hill,
I am the queen: of every hive,
I am the shield: for every head,
I am the tomb: of every hope.

 

I ADORE rosaries and always have. I already have one picked out that I am going to get. Well, two technically. Both with a Virgin medallion on them, one with beads made of rose petals, the other with beads of jasmine petals. A wee bit pricey though, so it won’t be happening anytime soon. Prayer beads in general are not strictly a Christian thing though. I’m sure they are MUCH older then that and I want a set that I can hold and think of my Deities in the forms that they appear to me usually, not as I am learning to see them at this moment in my Journey. I also find The Song of Amergin very…spiritual…it’s not just an invocation spoken by an Ancient Ancestor or part of the Invasion Myths. It’s almost Mantra like. Each line feeding into the next, reminding me of my connection to all things. It’s actually something I want to write down and take with me when I go into labour. Something I can focus on.

 

I want the beads to be in a circle. I do want some sort of medallion on them. Or maybe a piece of antler or a feather. Something like that to mark the beginning. And amber, bone, wood…not sure what else yet. It is getting added to my list of projects though.

 

Have also decided my Mary shrine will be in the living room, I’m going to get Rob to put up the little corner shelf for me above the general shrine and I will set it up there. Our Lady of Fatima seems to be the version of choice at the moment.

 

Well, that is all for now. Sweet dreams. ❤

The Written Word, May 15th, 2012

May 15th, 2012

I’ve officially renamed these writings “The Written Word”, partly because I very rarely write them in the morning and partly because I don’t write everyday. I’m hoping to eventually but until then I will write when I feel inclined and try not to worry about it. Had a most lovely day out with a very dear friend of mine who we shall call S. He invited me to come to the Goddess Temple with him which I of course immediately jumped at. Besides being a long time and dear friend, S is one of the few people who actually gets it when I talk to him about my Path. I don’t have to explain “visions” or the significance of threes or anything like that. Which makes conversation flow so much easier sometimes. So, off to the Temple we went. Wandered through the local organic type market and got some tasty treats as well as some incense. 12 little boxes with 10 little sticks each for $1.50. And they smell very nice as well as only burning for maybe 5-10 minutes. Almost exactly what I was looking for! I must remember to ask the gentleman who runs the store if he can find other scents for me. The boxes have a little hole where I am assuming you can stick the incense to burn it. Doesn’t seem like the best of ideas seeming as how the box is cardboard and the little holder is plastic, but it did strike me as being SUPER cute.

 

Off to Temple we went after that. The building itself is painted in red and white stripes which always strike a chord in me, red and white being the colours of The Otherworld and generally attached to things of spiritual significance for me. Kinda like a “LOOK OVER HERE!” sign from my Gods. Stepped inside and everything was peaceful, even with a gentleman vacuuming the carpet. Took shoes and socks off as I expected….and love honestly. We had thought that the ritual, or pooja I believe it is called, started at 11am but were informed it started at 2pm. So S showed me around the Temple (it’s a South Indian Hindu Temple), explained who all the statues were for and some of the Mythology and Symbolism behind them. It was amazing and made me all happy. Once we were done and just about to leave S talked to someone and found out that the ritual was actually starting at 12pm, with another at 2pm, so we quickly kicked our shoes back off and sat down.

 

I was wearing my pretty blue scarf out today in a almost nun style covering. The whole time we were walking around the Temple it kept trying to slip off. I take this as an indication that I don’t need to cover like that in this place. Before we sat down I switched to my white scarf that I have now reserved for ritual, laying it over my head like a veil while I cleared the clutter from my mind, opened myself up to the Gods in a more significant fashion and waited for the ritual to start. I kept my head covered as they welcomed the Gods, at least that’s what I assume they were doing. Ringing bells, offering flowers and what I think was blessed water, covering the statues with flowers and flower petals. Once the main three had been welcomed I felt compelled to remove the shawl from my head but kept it on my shoulders. It’s hard to describe the ritual after this, I had my eyes closed in quiet contemplation and communion through most of it, listening to the prayers, chanting, and singing. There were lots of candles, lots of flowers, lots of incense. Basically everything I love in a ritual. While it wasn’t the manifestation of the Gods that I usually see I could still feel that sameness, that Divinity beyond the physical manifestation. So it didn’t matter that it was all a bit new to me or that I didn’t understand the words, the connection was made either way.

 

I was also very pleased by the set up of the Temple. From the readings I have done on archeological digs of Ancient Celtic religious sites, the layout is almost identical. I feel that of I was to recreate a Celtic ritual I could take a lot of pointers from this. I am hoping to attend regularly with S since there are no temples here for Celtic manifestations of the Gods. As I said above, it may not be exactly the same but it feels right and good to go. S also acquired a little bag of ash with a Holy Basil leaf in it as well. The ash itself comes from 7 (I think it was 7) parts of the cow that have been ritualistically burned and are used in ritual. The Goddess of this Temple (whose name I have now forgotten) is attached to healing and childbirth as well as a few other things which was part of the reason S wanted to bring me, because of this though S said I can mix the ash with some water or tea or milk and drink it to help ward off any issues and such. I love it. It makes me all smiley and warm and fuzzy on the inside. Part of me doesn’t want to use it at all but find a little jar to put it in on the main altar. Maybe I will do a bit of both.

 

After Temple it was time for Thai food! Vegetarian green curry…yum. S is now officially my Temple and Ethnic food buddy. It’s Temple and Thai Tuesdays! Hehe! Over lunch we had wonderful and deep conversations about our Gods and the recent spiritual changes we’ve both been experiencing. Synchronicity is awesome. I explained how the Three Realms work as well as the three Invasions. Among other things. It’s fantastic to talk to someone about it and get the “ME TOO!!” look or smile. So needless to say more research into Hinduism must be implemented. On Shiva in particular. Apparently sneaky Shiva appeared to S sitting on a throne with curled antlers earlier this week. Which made me giggle. I think Shiva and Herne are one in the same, different culteral interpretations of the same Divine energy. S and I have made plans to take an incence making course as well as another course that I can’t remember at the moment. Good thing S writes all these things down! We will also be ritual supply shopping soon and once the baby is born he is more then happy to go modest clothes shopping with me! FUN!

 

Oh yes, during lunch my blue scarf kept trying to fall off again so I just took it off. I’m thinking I will lean more towards the wide headband/Bethany Veil type coverings for now where some if not most of my hair is visible, have the white veil for prayer/Temple time and cover completely when I feel called to. I think I may be trying to make up for the lack of modest clothing that I want by covering my hair more, which apparently is not the way to go. At least not right now. Maybe that will change when the baby gets here or when the weather turns cold again. Tending to plants seems to have become part of my daily practice as well. Yesterday I repotted all of my orchids, placing them outside this afternoon for the summer. Let’s hope they will reward me with blooms in the Fall/Winter. Later today I want to repot my Violets as well as run down to the veggie patch to water. I also redid the living room shrine.

 

Now though it is time for a nap!

 

Newest setup for the living room shrine.
May 15th, 2012

“Morning Pages”, May 8th, 2012

May 8th, 2012

Okay. Entry number three. I’ve been meaning to write this for a few days but I keep getting distracted by sleep and

housecleaning. Herne has been rather quiet the last few weeks. Still there just hanging out quietly behind me, a hand on my shoulder. I think He knows I’m a little too tired for any intense interaction at the moment. I was out on Friday to see my pre-natal shrink which was a nice visit. I always enjoy going to St. Paul’s Hospital, it’s one of the few hospitals that don’t give me the creeps. On the way home I walked through the woods beside the creek, checking out the new growth so far this year. On the bus before I got off I was thinking about a post in my Druid group pertaining to how much time we spend online and if members made sure they spent a certain amount of time or anything outside on a daily basis. So I decided since I would be walking that way to get home anyways I might as well walk in the woods.

I’ve had some major anxiety issues going through there since we moved here almost five years ago. I won’t go near it in the early morning or near dusk. I’m quite convinced some creepy serial killer will be waiting for me. I also avoid it around these times because I have encountered a bear once in there. Now that I’ve been medicated for a few years it has been easier to go in there. I’m easing into it. There is a spot that I like to go to for ritual but I only go there in the summer when the ground is dry. It is mildly treacherous getting there so I most definitely haven’t been since I got pregnant. I’m hoping I can remember the longer way to get in there so I can go with the baby. The longer route is easier and doesn’t involve scaling along skinny walkways that may crumble and drop you into the creek. The funny thing is the more difficult entrance, which is my favourite, is the one spot in the whole walk where the energy of the area goes really spooky. Something bad happened right there. I’ve taken my good friend with me and showed her and she agree’s. She is also a Pagan and very in tune with these things.

I was super smiley by the time I got home. Took a bunch of pictures which are posted here. I lay down on my couch nest and began poking around online when a big fat crow plopped into the top rail of my patio. Bent over and took a peek at me, murmured a bit at me. Hung out for a good ten minutes. I haven’t had a visit like that in quite some time. I’m taking that as a sign that my forest walk was a good idea. I’ve also been reading up on ants. I know part of the reason they are poking around, the more mundane reasons, involve the rotting boards in my deck, the wet cat food (they seem to love it) and the heavy rains. They seem to show up more to me than my hubby though. So here is what I found:

ANT The ant is a very hard worker and conscientious in every detail of its work.  They live in huge communities where most tasks are delegated to  individuals who form work groups to carry out various activities of hunting, gathering, nesting and nursery, habitat construction, and protection.  The ant accepts its position within its community without question and is totally dedicated and loyal throughout its lifetime to the entire community.

ANT MEDICINE: The ant people are wonderful builders and architects.  They can show us ways to build a reality based on our dreams. Ants are determined and relentless in pursuit of their mission.  If the ant people come to visit you, it may be this quality they will teach. Solidarity and collaboration are keys to the success of the ant.  Every individual in the community does its duty to ensure the welfare of the whole colony, regardless of its personal safety or how long it must labor.  The ant spirit teaches us teamwork and loyalty. Ants are unselfish and sacrifice themselves to benefit the community.  Learning this valuable lesson of the ant can be the greatest of all gifts. Honor and respect are the hallmarks of the ant people. Ants are tireless workers and hunters and teach the art of perseverance and patience in all that they do. Those with this spirit will find that many of their life lessons will involve the mastery of patience in some way. Ant medicine is subtle yet powerful. It teaches us how to release our egos and aligns us with the virtue of equality. Imagine what the world would be like if humanity held and applied the values that the ant expresses. The next time you step on, squash, injure or kill an ant intentionally, ask yourself why you are choosing to destroy the unconditional love that the ant shares so freely. Valuable insights about yourself and your history can be learned from this tiny little totem.

Now, I must say that I have no qualms about killing these little guys when they are crawling on my counters. I leave them alone outside. But when four or five of them are cruising around my kitchen I WILL squish them. I’m doing my best to keep these things in mind though when it comes to the ants. They still need to stop coming into my house though.

I have also turned my “kinda” shrine in the living room into an actual shrine. I have set up places for candle and incense and now put fresh flowers there as soon as the old ones fade. I have also started keeping fresh flowers on my main altar as well. When I awake I get up do the usual bathroom/brush teeth/make tea/have breakfast then cover my head on the days I feel compelled to and light a candle and incense on the living room shrine. When I go to sleep I light candles and incense on the main altar beside my bed. It’s becoming a nice daily set of ritual. I’ve also been experimenting with using an oil burner on the main altar. The stick and cone incense seems to be bothering my eyes and nose all of a sudden and my hubbys. And the bedroom doesn’t have nearly as much space as the living room so it gets overpowering really fast. It is also the only way I know to have cedar for an offering right at the moment. I plan on identifying cedar out in the woods so I can bring some home and figure out how to make my own little incense cones. Then I can control the size. I usually burn Indian type incense. Perhaps with the more prominent emergence of Herne coupled with my insanely sensitive pregnancy nose the stronger Indian based ones are not being accepted as offerings now.

 

The newest development is my interest in “Soul Midwifery”. One if the Sisters in CiL mentioned it and it immediately struck a chord. Caring for people comes very naturally to me. When I miscarried I read a good book on death and dying and felt the urge then to look into something I could do to help people transitioning into this part of their lives. The idea brewed for years. When my Grandfather passed away about a year and a half ago I took another little step in the direction of assisting the dead. We were lucky, even though he had passed away at the hospital we were given the opportunity to just sit with him for a good three hours before they had to take him away. They let us sit in the cast room with him until they had to open it around 7am. We all sat and touched him and cried but also wished him a peaceful journey, happy for him that after 10 years he would be back with Grandma and that he would not be in pain any longer. I don’t remember at what point I did this but I think it was right before we left. I knew it was time to go anyways, his body temperature was noticeably cooler and his muscles had started to harden. I knew he was most definitely not attached to his physical form any longer but still with us. I placed my hand on his chest and read a prayer for the dead from a book of “re-paganized” prayers from the Carmina Gadelica that a member of my Druid group had put together. What made it extra comforting was that I knew my Scottish Grandfather would appreciate the words and everyone else in the family (all Christians of some persuasion) thought it was beautiful. And I don’t think it really occurred to any of them that it was technically a Pagan prayer. My Uncle’s caregiver (he is handicapped) wanted to see the book afterwards as well.

Today though when my Sister mentioned it I was struck with the urge to jump up and down screaming YES!! THAT’S IT!! So I have contacted the Canadian society for Soul/Death Midwifery to see if there is training available locally. My Sister sent me info on an amazing looking group but it is in the UK. I won’t have the money to go to the UK let alone pay for the classes ANY time soon. So, I’m crossing my fingers.

 

I am feeling more on track as far as my practice goes. I have begun developing my relationship with Herne. I will be reaffirming my relationship with The Morrigan soon as well. I know that at some point in the near future I will also be getting to know The Cailleagh better. I feel this will happen sometime after the baby is born though. I am becoming more and more comfortable with my covering as well as developing a daily ritual routine. I feelmore peaceful. It makes me happy.

 

Living Room Shrine

A close up of the flower arrangement I made for the shrine and altar. I move it to the altar in my bedroom at night and take it back out in the morning.
My little shrine in my living room