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!