The silence has been good for me. Relaxing doing as I need to not working on anything. Just pure and utter spiritual silence.
I am glad the spirits have been giving me a break, however that break is ending. As we enter the dark half of the year they are starting to talk again and giving me guidance. Such as “Why the hell is my bookmark not on the shrine?!” Oh Isaac the hilariousness you bring to my life at times.
This week I will be taking a walk in a local cemetery to bring honour to the unknown dead. Those ones you can’t even read their gravestones. Who have been gone so long that no one knows who they are any longer and may not even have living relatives. Those ones that you can read I am normally drawn to the children for some reason. Probably because they have no descendants of their own to bring them honour.
My altar has been cleaned. It got very dusty this season, with the silence has come a silence on my side as well with only recognizing the high days. This shall be stopping as of Thursday. I will start doing daily devotionals again so that the spirits have a time to speak to me vs doing it all day long. Sometimes they never shut up. Oh well I’ll figure out a good working balance with those who like to be in my life.
This past weekend I added a couple of new chapters to my practice.
I saw my Reiki Master for my second level attunement. I went with my primary to allow my shield to be more comfortable to come down. When I had my first level attunement my shield broke, shattered into pieces. I liken my normal shield to a cement wall which has been reinforced with re-bar. I let in what I want but the door is very strong and doesn’t budge unless I want it to.
During the level 2 attunement the shield didn’t break this time, which I’m thankful for but something else life changing did happen. There was a trance which we were put into while we received the attunement. Near the end, a spirit was to come and give us a present. My present is what the life changing moment was.
I was standing there in the room, with my first love and my first cat with me, my grandfather off in a corner and some other ancestors I didn’t recognize there as well. Isaac came up on my right and smiled at me and extended his arm (I don’t remember which hand he had it in) in his hand was the golden sickle of the ADF Priesthood. I confirmed what he was saying by questioning him with “really?” and all he did was nodded. I took the sickle and when I got home I put in for the training of the prelim clergy training program.
Now to overlay that work onto my Initiate work and the challenges that will bring. Everything in time this time.
I completed the book work back in October and knew I had to wait till festival season to have my initiation. I rounded up my three initiators. That was an ordeal in itself, deciding who I wanted for those roles in this step of my journey. Figuring out who would be intimidating enough but not set off my anxiety. I finally decided on three people who I could laugh and socialize with during fests and rituals and realize that they aren’t always serious. They were Ian Corrigan, Drum, and Michael Dangler. Each of these people has been there for a different step of my journey whether it was answering questions, being my reviewer or helping me out when I was doing the dedicant path with many a question and some insight on my work.
On the first day of Wellspring came my ordeals, the first being the questioning. They lead into it with a talk about the initiates program for approximately 45 min or so and then we all took a break and my questioning began. The questioning allows your initiators to learn that you know the material. To learn how you completed the work and how you continue to do your work. My memory is absolute crap at times and this part I was greatly concerned about. When it came to questioning my actual work Drum would cite things and give me background for me to lead off of which helped immensely. There were times we got to laugh, there were times I cried. All in all it was scary because of it being completely public but rewarding at the same time because I proved to myself I could do it and therefore could do anything I wanted or needed.
Later that evening around 8 came the second ordeal, the ritual performance. This was not public as I had been allowed to choose a smaller group to witness this. Although I am confident in my ritual skills I also don’t think I am capable of leading a festival sized ritual by myself, yet. There were some people who I wish had been able to be there that couldn’t or weren’t but it still worked well. I had grovemates and friends around me as well as my initiators and my “secret guest” initiate who I was going to invite anyways. I had my song sheets, I had practiced. I left out a couple things that I had meant to do but if I left them out there had to be a reason I did so I am not sad that they were forgotten. Around the time of the omen I got taken away for my third ordeal which would lead into me acquiring the secret upon passing.
It was announced at my questioning what the third ordeal entailed, which until that time had only been known as the third ordeal. It was a trance journey with elements of acquiring the Imbas forosnai as you are wrapped in a bull hide and guarded. Inside the building I was guarded by two of my initiators, outside by another initiate and a grove member who helped him try to keep people quiet (even though it didn’t really work so well) as the trance was induced I dropped like a stone into it and stayed in until I was brought out by my initiators. I had passed. I am not going to be releasing my full trance as of this time as I am still digesting everything that happened and learning different things that they wanted me to learn as it seeps in but maybe in the future. When I came out of the trance I was given the secret and wore my cords back to finish the ritual.
I was a little out of it finishing the ritual. I totally forgot my own song and had to ask for a line. Once I got that first line I was totally fine however and was able to finish the ritual without a hitch.
So for the record: I am the 7th initiate that has gone through the ordeals of ADF’s initiatory current. The 1st Canadian, and the 3rd female.
I like to craft, it’s why I have Chelly’s Creations but at the same time I like to have crafted goods. If I don’t do a certain craft, or don’t wish to do a certain craft and I have someone within my circle who can do it so why not support them?
Many of the items I am now collecting for ritual supplies have been made by people within my circle of friends or acquaintances. Such as this bag made for me by Brigde Indigo from Raunchy Old Druids on Facebook.
After a quick modification to include 3 sets of snaps along the open part of the bag to seal it better it currently holds my crystal skulls as well as my Ogham deck.
Currently Koveth and I are in talks about a maille belt for me to be hanging said bag off of as well as a feather quill, I just have to find the feather as I want crow or Raven. He and I normally have a tendency to trade goods for goods so I will be helping him with a few future projects.
Each of my handmade goods holds a special place in my heart as they have also been made by friends for me to use, which for me imparts their energy within my workings even when they are solitary or not around, and I can call on that energy when I am lonely.
Arthur H. Purcell in his 2003 article in Opposing Viewpoints coined the phrase “wasteberg”. This term was designed to allow the human brain to visualize the amount of waste that consumers see versus the amount of production waste that they don’t.
The typical iceberg shows 1/10 of its size above water. The wasteberg only shows 1/20 of it’s waste. If you would like to see how this adds up let us take the current medium size coffee. 1 cup weighs 12.2 grams (0.43 ounces). Lets say you have your tea or coffee double cupped, that then becomes 24.4 grams (0.86 ounces) of waste that you the consumer sees. Using wasteberg rations of 1/20 that gives 463.6 grams (16.35 ounces) of waste per medium serving of Tim Hortons for double cuppers that we the consumers DON’T see. That is all lost through the manufacturing process. That is just over a pound of waste for 2 cups from Tim Hortons to be made, that doesn’t even include you throwing the cups out after the coffee is done.
Green living really needs to be about reducing consumerism, or reusing things versus recycling or throwing them in the green bin or compost heap. Second hand needs to have less of a stigma of cheap or poor and more of a earth friendly feel, but even then some don’t even care about that.
TMI moment skip paragraph if you have issues with the female period. This wasteberg is why I stopped using tampons and pads for my period. This is why I switched to a diva cup about 5 years ago. Best decision I ever made. Well some pads have latex in them so those are a no go due to an allergy. However, my cup is comfier than tampons! I also never have to worry about an “accident” while I am waiting for it to start after I have stopped my birthcontrol for a week. This is because you can put the cup in while you are not on your cycle. When you are you can just empty it out and wash it every 8-12 hours vs changing a tampon every time you use the washroom. For a girl who pees a lot due to high water consumption this is critical!!!
I have stopped using paper towels when possible, instead opting for cloths that can be washed. We use re-usable bags for groceries. When I do the groceries we use re-usable bags for produce that are made out of mesh. I wear my clothes till they have holes in them and don’t fit properly. If not fitting properly is because I’ve gained weight and they aren’t worn out I save them for when I lose some weight as it happens every once in a while. I prefer to buy bigger boxes of things we use vs multiple boxes of them as it is normally less packaging. If I fit any of the decent second hand clothes I’d go that route too.
To me the best way to live greenly is to reduce consumerism vs recycling all the crap that we buy.
Purcell, Arthur H. “Better Waste Management Strategies Are Needed to Avert a Garbage Crisis” Garbage and Recycling. Opposing Viewpoints. N.p.: Greenhaven Press, 2003. 20-27.
Couvrette, Philippe. Research – Weight of a Tim Hortons Cup. 10 March 2008
I wrote this induction script while working on my IP work and am posting it here to share with all of you.
I invite you to make yourselves comfortable as we explore the Three Realms.
Let us begin with your breath… breathe deeply… and allow all tension and pain to be released from your body… from your feet and legs… from your back… from your arms… from your neck and shoulders, and finally from your face and hands… Feel a warm calming fill your body… first, filling your feet… then your legs… your torso… your shoulders… your arms… your hands… your neck… and finally, your head. Allow this feeling of calmness to permeate your being.
As this calm is enveloping you imagine yourself standing barefoot on the rocky edge of a large body of water.
Look out over this body of water… see the waves crest and hear as they crash down… feel their spray on your face and body… this is the sea. Reach down and feel the cool water of the sea flowing around your hands. This is the life force of our planet ebbing and flowing between all the land.
Now… as you slowly turn around, you see rolling hills as far as the eye can see… trees and shrubs dot the landscape as little animals scurry about… this is the land. Feel the rocks under your feet… some smooth, some pointy, all of them hard. This is the body of our planet on which we all live.
It is time now to look up… up into the blue sky with wispy clouds floating around… up to where the birds soar and the sun beams down onto us warming and caressing us. Feel the wind blow against your skin… this is the sky. This is the breath of our planet which we also breathe to survive.
Take a moment to absorb where you are,
You are where the three realms meet, a place where we can access the sacred centre of the world
When you are ready, close your eyes and feel your awareness returning to this place… the sounds of the birds, the crackle of the fire, the breathing of those around you… and when you are ready, open your eyes.
Logs lie together,
arranged and not tossed.
A spark lights the tinder,
A flame begins to roar.
The logs are engulfed,
in the flames as they burn,
to lift our offerings to the kindred.
A gate to the gods.
A shaft into the earth,
the trickle of a spring comes forth.
Soon the shaft is filled,
with the waters from below.
The cool magnetic waters,
which sink down into the earth,
to take our offerings to the kindred.
A gate to the dead.
The tree stands tall,
at the center of the worlds.
roots in the underworld,
down in the earth.
crown in the upper world,
up in the sky.
To let us travel to the lands of the Kindred.
A bridge between the worlds.
These are the gates of ADF ritual; the fire, the well, and the sacred tree. Some see them as combining into one gate in the center of the ritual center, others see them as three separate gates as mentioned above. I am part of the latter group.
Each of the gates has its role in the world and in ritual. These roles are shown within the history as well as in the liturgy of many groves of ADF. This is my center. This is my druidry.