09 July, 2014

Offerings to the Kindred in the 21st Century

As I grow in my Shamanic Practice, with Teaching, Conference Workshops, and Group and Individual Healings, I reflect back, and give thanks to my Community and my Kindred.

One of my favorite ways to "give thanks" is by making offerings.

A really wise friend spoke about how Energy follows where money is spent (I'm paraphrasing of course). Really great offerings can be created from something in Nature, food & drink, arts & crafts, Poems, Songs, etc. However, for those of us whose creativity manifests in a different way, or serious time constraints, there are Donations as Offerings!

For my Kindred, I follow a Druid Path, and honor the Ancestors, the Nature Spirits/Spirits of Place, and the Shining Ones (deities).

Nature Spirits/Spirits of Place:

I enjoy certain Non-Profit Organizations, such as the Ocean Conservancythe Sierra Clubthe Nature Conservancy, and others. I set up a monthly donation, and dedicate it to the Spirits.

Ancestors:

I enjoy the "Silent Suppers" on different Holidays, and mostly honor Them with food and drink (because The remember the taste and the smell of it). However, I do enjoy giving offerings to "future Ancestors" such as So Others May Eat and Meals on Wheels. I try to focus on local Non-Profit groups, rather than all of the millions of people in need across the world, because I work for my Community (both in public service and shamanism) here in Maryland. And I would quickly become burned out trying to care and donate to all of those in need (in a perfect world, everyone would donate back to their communities, and it would take care of itself).

Gods & Goddesses:

Many deities are interested in working with humans, increasing relationships, and having Their stories told (via myths, books, blogs, etc). The New Alexandrian Library is a massive undertaking by the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel to create a fully-functioning pagan library. What a wonderful way to honor the deities!

How do you give offerings? Are you crafty, or do you prefer donation offerings? By making certain monthly bills "spiritual" does it make it easier to pay them/make them a priority?


03 July, 2014

Rune Journeys

On June 28th, I traveled to Thor's Hollow for an All-Day Workshop on the Elder Futhark Runes.

I've worked with the Runes for many years (since completing the Dedicant Program, as part of  ADF Druidry, back in 2005-6). I was first drawn to them when reading many Norse & Old Germanic myths, and of all of the different Divination systems (i.e., Tarot, I Ching, Bones, etc.), this one works the most accurately for me.

Elder Futhark Runes gifted to me recently
The Runes are used for Divination, Magic, and Medicine/Healing. In this Workshop, led by the glorious and powerful Laurel Mendes, each of the 24 Runes was discussed, along with their symbology in each of the Rune poems. Additionally, Laurel was able to discern additional truths of each rune, through her years of experience in using them in Healing and Divining for others (and UPG, too).

After a few hours of lecture, and a delicious Family-Style lunch, Laurel took the participants on a large Pathworking through Midgard, to Journey to each of the Runes.

We were told to prepare for an hour (to an hour and a half) Pathworking, which involved sitting with eyes closed and picturing the words that Laurel spoke as images in our heads. Of course, one of the major side-effects of working in magical space/time is Time Dilation.

Our Pathworking was a little over 3 HOURS! Whoa!

There were numerous amazing things about this Journey:
  1. Although it was 3+ hours, in my mind (and in many others), it only "felt" like an hour or so. Of course, everyone's butts were numb from sitting, and knees were stiff, but the perception of Time was totally skewed!
  2. The imagery was very powerful-- I was amazed at how many times I saw a landscape in my mind, at least 20-30 seconds before Laurel described it out loud.
  3. Afterwards, when she brought us fully back into our bodies, I was unable to move around much or speak for at least 15 minutes. Those are usually the side effects that happen after a "Spiritual Download" into my brain, and I felt as though the Runes had been "installed" in my system (like in the Matrix, ha!).
All during the past week, as I've pulled a Rune for the Day (to give me an idea of what to expect at work, with family & friends, etc.), the images have flooded my brain with different ideas, and the concepts and relationships between the Runes are much easier to grasp.

This was an amazing workshop, and I am so thankful to Laurel for presenting, and to Thor's Hollow for hosting, and for the community that was created that day. Hail!