Tags: lugos

wolf drawing

CTP journals, week 7

Liturgy

This week I've continued the same pattern as last week. The devotional to Lugus has felt more effective this week, although I'm not sure why. I'll take it and stick with it, though! I've been doing my evening ancestor/nature spirit devotional about every other night. I'm going to keep at it to see if I can really establish it as a habit.

Trance

The next exercise in Sweat Your Prayers was to sit with a cup of tea and contemplate your blood, where it comes from and how it connects you to your ancestors. I chose to do it after returning from a long hike, which seemed to work well - I think I will try to incorporate that into my weekly routine. Fortuitously, my mother had just sent me a package of different teas to try, so it seemed appropriate given the ancestor theme to use one of those. I chose a black tea flavored with cherry. At first I found it difficult not to get drawn into intellectual speculation about all the things I don't know about the science of blood, but I did get into a trance state after a little while. I was jolted out of it by noises coming from the attic, where my daughter was trying to find something her dad wanted; at that point, I'd been sitting for 25 minutes, making it my longest session in a few years.
wolf drawing

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.
wolf drawing

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.
wolf drawing

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.
wolf drawing

Week 50, part 2: Dedicant Oath write-up

On Sunday, I took my Dedicant Oath, the last step required to complete my Dedicant Program in ADF. Now all I have to do is read over my work one more time, and then I'll be ready to submit! I made some changes to the wording I posted here previously, mainly to add some more hearth-specific references. This was the final version:

Ancestors, Senistres, I ask you to bear witness to my words.
Spirits of this place, Cucullati, I ask you to bear witness to my words.
Shining Ones, Devi, I ask you to bear witness to my words and receive my oath.

I, Eilidh Nic Sidheag, declared a year ago before you that I am a Pagan, a seeker of the Old Ways, a child of the Elder Gods and Goddesses. Today I come before you, my Patrons and all the Kindreds, to confirm my dedication to the Druid’s path, and to offer my oath as a sacrifice in your honour.

I vow that throughout my life, I will strive always to do right by my kin, my friends and my communities, and the stranger at the gate, cultivating the Nine Virtues to the best of my ability and working for a community of justice and freedom.

I vow that throughout my life, I will give ear to the Gods, Goddesses and spirits that call to me through my ancestors, my family and the land around me, seeking to honour them in my rites and respond in gratitude to their blessings, and always keeping a place in my heart and on my shrine for my patrons Lugos and Bodua, for my ancestors, for the Forest, and for the Mothers of the Trinovantes and Catavellauni, tribes of this place.

I vow that throughout my life, I will seek to deepen my understanding of the Druid Ways through study, music and other arts, filling my mind with the truths of the Ancient Paths and developing my skills that I may better serve my Patrons and all my Kindred.

These things I swear to the Shining Ones, and especially to my Patrons, with my ancestors and the spirits of this land as my witnesses. May my oath be known throughout the Three Worlds, and may I keep faith unless the sky fall and crush me, the earth open and swallow me, or the sea rise and overwhelm me. So may it be.


I won't post the rest of the rite, since it largely followed the text suggested in the Dedicant Manual.

We're also required to write an evaluation of how we conducted the rite. Mine is below the cut: Collapse )
wolf drawing

Week 47, part 1: Personal Religion

These are some preparatory questions that the Wheel of the Year study guide suggests we answer as groundwork for our Personal Religion essay.

Is your spirituality personal, or Grove-centered?

Definitely more personal, both by circumstance (the nearest Grove is a four-hour round trip away and not very active AFAICT) and by inclination. I do my best personal work alone, and I have specific things I want to do for the High Days and deities I want to honour. I do value the communal aspect of religion as well, and I enjoy participating in the online forums that are available via ADF and TDN. I would definitely consider being part of a Grove in future, but my personal practice would be my primary one. Collapse )
wolf drawing

Week 46: Three Kindreds Essay

This is long, and a lot of it is based on the preliminary work done in previous weeks, so some of the material will be familiar. I'm posting it here for completeness, but it's behind a cut to save your friends pages. It may change a bit before final submission - I suspect I may want to tinker with it once my Personal Religion essay is finished, because a lot of the material about my personal practice could go in either.

Also: week 46, wow. Only six weeks to go! Collapse )
wolf drawing

Week 42: Seventh High Day write-up

7. Winter Solstice - Briciomu Riuro (21 December 2013)
Script: SDF 2012-2013 December solstice liturgy (http://www.solitarydruid.org/our-shared-liturgy/) (ADF-style)


I celebrated this ritual on the morning of the solstice, around 11 am, this being the most convenient time in terms of our domestic routine (although I did meditate on the returning sun during my early-morning walk with our dog). I honoured Matrona and Mapanos as the Beings of the Occasion, as well as asking Nodens and my Patrons Lugos and Bodua for their assistance during the workings (consecration of a piece of driftwood as my wand, and of a piece of quartz as a symbol of purity.)

Outwardly, the ritual went pretty well. I did stumble over some of the Welsh names when I read a passage from the tale of Culhwch and Olwen, and in future I will take time to rehearse such readings more thoroughly beforehand.

As to my inner experience of the ritual, I once again had a very strong sense of Cernunnos opening the Gates when I asked him to. I also received a positive Omen after making my offerings. However, overall I did not feel this was one of my more powerful rituals; I felt a clearer sense of divine energy when I celebrated Eponalia with a simple devotional a few days earlier. I think part of the problem was that although I have memorised quite a lot of my basic Core Order of Ritual template, I still need to consult my script more often than I would like, which in some ways is more disruptive of my mood than just reading the whole thing; I need to do some more work to memorise the template more thoroughly. I would also like to look again at moving the ritual to a different time, either after sunset on the evening before the solstice, or just before dawn on solstice morning, to get a stronger sense of the darkness of winter and the importance of the returning sun.
wolf drawing

Week 34: Personal Religion

The Wheel of the Year questions for this week are mostly geared towards helping people find a hearth culture and/or a patron. I've already written here about finding my hearth culture, so I'm going to write a little here about my patrons, Lugos and Bodua.

Lugos is cognate with Lugh in Irish mythology and Llew in the Welsh Mabinogion. Depending on which theory you accept, he's either a sun god or a lightning god; I go with the latter. One of our local rivers may be named after him, and the local crows have a mutation that leads a lot of them to have white feathers amongst the black, which was also apparently common around Lugdunum, a Gaulish city dedicated to him. That was how I first became aware of him, and it took me a while to realise that he wanted to be my patron. What really sealed it was learning that dedications to him are also common in the parts of Spain associated with the Camino Santiago and that some think he was associated with pre-Christian pilgrimage there.

Bodua is cognate with Badb, an aspect of the Morrigan, and also known as Cathubodua (Battle Crow). She showed up in a dream, and I gradually came to feel that she wanted to be my second patron around the time of my father's death, when I found her very helpful. So both my patrons have crow associations, and that's why I wear a crow brooch on my cap; I dedicated it to them during a short ritual in which I formally accepted them as my patrons (having previously read Tarot to confirm that this was the right step).

I have a feeling they have Plans for me, and I am starting to have some idea of what those are, but that's for a later post.
wolf drawing

Week 29: Fifth High Day write-up

4. Autumn Equinox - Samalinoxts Messi (22 September 2013)
Script: SDF September equinox liturgy (http://www.solitarydruid.org/blog/the-sdf-september-equinox-high-day-liturgy-and-devotionals/) (ADF-style)


My theme for this ritual was the Mabinogion story of Llew’s “death” and transformation into an eagle at the hands of Goronwy. Nicols (1998) believes this is set at the autumn equinox, and as Llew is cognate with my patron Lugos, it seemed a fitting choice. I replaced certain phrases from the SDF rite with phrases from earlier SDF scripts, as I wasn’t keen on some of the changes that were made this time.

I didn’t feel very enthusiastic before I started; I was suffering from a cold and didn’t want to do anything demanding. However, once I stood in front of my altar, I began to get into the right mindset. I took a moment before I began to silently ground myself, even though the ritual included a more formal grounding later on. I may keep doing this, as it seemed to help me focus.

I continued to experiment regarding how to honour the Earth Mother. I again used the formula set out in my Lugunassatis essay, but added an invocation to the Matrones of the tribes who lived in my area in Paleopagan times. I felt this combined the concepts of the sacredness of the earth and our connection to the land in a way that fits well with the Gaulish hearth culture.

For the Omen, I drew Tarot cards. This led into what was the most moving part of the ritual for me, calling for the Blessing. At the phrase “This in my hands is a holy cup of magic”, shivers ran down my spine. After the ritual, I felt much better, so the words “strengthened by this Druid rite” were literally true for me this time as well, and I was very glad that I persevered and held it as planned.

Works Cited

Nicols, Mike, 1998. The Death of Llew: A Seasonal Interpretation. [online] Available at: http://deoxy.org/time/sabbats/Llew.htm [Accessed 4 September 2013]