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CTP journals, week 6

Liturgy

This week I kept up the daily devotionals to Lugus and Bodua and added an offering in the evening, alternating between ancestors and nature spirits. This seems to be working for me as a sustainable pattern so far, and I'm hoping I can keep it up.

I also cleaned my home shrine, changed the altar cloths and moved some of my deity images to a side altar, keeping my home shrine for the deities I have a more personal relationship with. It looks much less cluttered and more inviting now.

Trance

I did the next exercise in the Gabrielle Roth book, which involves working with the rhythm she calls "flowing". I used one of her suggested pieces, Persephone's Song, and danced to it in the Workings section of my retreat day COoR ritual today. The instructions were to raise the arms on the in-breath, lower them on the out-breath, and gradually allow the feet and the rest of the body to join in the movement. I found the greatest challenge was to keep the arms moving in time with the breath - they seemed to want to do their own thing - and also found it difficult at first to relate the strong drumbeat of the piece to the theme of flowing. Eventually it did come together, though, and I did feel myself entering a trance state towards the end of the piece. I found it difficult to go from that state to continuing with the COoR; next time I will consciously allow for a period of transition.

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IE Myths for Seers

Also passed first time! I enjoyed this one - it's mostly about the Gaulish seer Diviaticus, who was quite an interesting character. Read it on Scribd.

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CTP journals, week 5

Liturgy

As planned, I added a pre-work devotional to Lugus to my routine this week (note to self: add text). Unlike my devotional to Bodua, though, I didn't feel it was adding anything to our relationship. I'm not sure whether it's the wrong devotional, the wrong time of year (I always find him more remote in autumn and winter, after his ritual death at the equinox), or whether I need to give it more time.

Trance

I did the next exercise from Sweat Your Prayers, which was to lie down and listen to the same piece of music - the first time, lying still and focusing on how your body responds to the music, which instruments seem to resonate with which body parts, etc; the second time allowing your body to move to the music. The piece I chose was Hörst du die Trommeln nicht by Faun, a pagan folk rock band who wrote it as a candidate for Germany's 2015 Eurovision Song Contest entry. The first time through, I felt the rhythm of the drums mostly in my chest and the hurdy-gurdy mostly in my head. The voices resonated in my throat (unsurprising since I'm a singer myself). By the end, I was finding it really difficult to keep my hands and feet still, and second time through, I immediately began tapping them. When the drums kicked in, though, I found the movement naturally transferred to my trunk and shoulders, and later I also started moving my head from side to side. It was interesting to be "dancing" while lying down; obviously more restrictive in some ways, but freeing in others because balance was not an issue and I didn't tire as fast. Unlike the previous exercise, this time I did enter a light trance state when the music and movement stopped, possibly because my heart rate was not as high and I was not out of breath. It was very pleasant and definitely a technique I would like to repeat.

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Ethics 1

Passed first time! You can read it on Scribd if you're interested.

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CTP journals, week 4

Liturgy

I've been getting a lot out of my pre-workout devtionals to Bodua this week; I really feel they're adding an important dimension to our relationship. This coming week I think I want to try adding something similar for my other patron, Lugus.

I'm not feeling the same satisfaction with the evening COoR rituals. I don't know if that's because I need to go ahead and write my own, or whether I need to do something different entirely. Something to ponder.

Trance

I finally did the "dance till you drop" exercise. I don´t think I got what was intended out of it; sitting with my dance-induced faster breathing, I found it harder, not easier to get into a meditative state. I did approach a trance state at times during the actual dancing, though. I will try the next exercise during the coming week.

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