An Imbolc Ritual (for a Solitary Druid)

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Imbolc is a festival to mark the ends of the harsh winter, marking the first glimpse of the warmth of the spring and all that it promises for our year to come with the turning of the wheel. I am trying to capture this in my brief video here of my fireplace; may its heat and warmth share that with anybody who reads this.

I recall visiting the UK near the time of Imbolc, and really started to understand what lambing season means. We don’t have many lambs (or even sheep) where I live, so it was a treat to see the hillsides populated with sheep and lambs. While associated with Brigid or Groundhog Day and even with the blessing of the throats on the Feast of St. Blaise or the time of Candlemas, I really like the notion that it shows the turn in the season, from the harshness and darkness of the winter to the health and hopes for spring.

With the energy that comes at this time, I am doing two things. The first is to share this video of my fireplace and the second is to share my personal , solitary ritual I am using today as I celebrate Imbolc. I found a space outside where the snow has finally melted and I can celebrate this. While the location is not one that will allow me to have open fire, I will use my little video above to stand in its place. As so much of my own life is booked solid with work and teaching and research consulting and such, I am focusing on a more meditative ritual with internal poetry more fitting for the energy of the season.

To live as a Druid in New York City!

Awen

An Imbolc Ritual (for a Solitary Druid)

Initiation / Opening

Voice intention of the ritual

This ritual is for the celebration of Imbolc.

Light candles and incense

We shall use the image of the fireplace above due to limitations of space for this ritual today.

Rite of Purpose

Invoke the Spirits of the Place (those ahead, above, and below)

Invoke the spirits of the Air (east), South (fire), West (water), and North (earth)

Breathe deeply

Voice the purpose for this ritual

The purpose of this ritual is to be inspired by the coming warmth of the spring and feel its energy, health, and hope.

Prayer and Centering <peacefully>

Become one with the purpose and place

This space is sacred. All space where good energy flows and where we engage in ritual is sacred space. It was sacred before we came and will remain that way once we leave. This is the belief of druids.

This may include walking the labyrinth

As I am not present to my labyrinth, and will be high in the air, I will look into the distance in the four directions for glimpses of spring and the energy that comes with it, knowing that with the snow predicted for tomorrow, this view will be one for today’s memory alone.

Offering

Consider what I offer <peacefully>

I will offer my druid studies to the shared network of those whose energy seeks to make our world a better place.

Offer it

I seek to give of myself to those who are in need, starting first with those in nature who struggle to live lives of peace and harmony.

Blessing and Sending of Awen

Send the energy of awen into the world <peacefully>

May awen strengthen and work through me. May it guide my intentions and directions. May its flow cleanse me and allow me to share its energy with others. May it continue to work through the naturally world that surrounds me.

Take some with me as I leave <peacefully>

So endeth the Ritual. Awen.

Awen

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Onward and Upward in Druidic Study

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onward-upwardEver have a hurdle in your spiritual progress and need to take some time off from it to regroup and make some sense of it? That is what I have been doing since a challenging experience with some druidic study. Two groups I have studied with have led to more challenges (and thankfully, some personal growth), so I am now onto a third, more personal course of study about druidry.

There is not a single approach to spirituality or practice, so learn what we can and move on if faced with something that does not fit. We do not need to justify it to anybody else but ourselves, though we have to do what feels right to us. Otherwise, we are wasting out time and potentially setting ourselves back.

With this said, Onward and Upward! More about my study with my new teacher and facilitator, Cat Treadwell, in my next post. Who better with to study than one who serves with and support The Druid Network!

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The Celebration of Awen (BMDO DP M1W2)

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wheeloftheyearContinuing my Black Mountain Druid Order (BMDO) Dedicant Path (DP), I am still looking at Awen, specifically the Celebration of Awen here in my second week.

While I am not going to do an intense study of the Wheel of the Year right now, I have been thinking more about the change in seasons and how the  circularity of it repeats  each year while we in turn get older and benefit from more experiences. The regular 12-month calendar that we follow does not seem to account for the change in seasons and as such somehow separates us from our natural world. Those of us living in an urban environment are already somewhat distanced, so following the druid (pagan) wheel of the year provides an opportunity to be present to the changes that happen in the natural world, along with traditional human and agrarian activities that follow it.

The part of the year that most resonates with me is Yule, due in part no doubt to how much Christmas is hyped and celebrated in our culture. The light in the darkness and turning point in the seasonal weather follows a tradition familiar since  child, and perhaps that is a useful way to adopt and adapt to what may appear new to many of us.

That the darkness is met with trees that are still green and fragrant, along with a fire that has a feel of safety and new life, makes the period of Yule even more significant. As I recounted how I celebrated Yule a few weeks ago, it is still alive within me, something that helps me to get through what otherwise could be a dark and difficult time of the year.

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