This was a tough week for me mentally. There was a very very popular news article in discussion all over the internet this week, and I found it extremely hard to deal with, to the point of having to retreat from some of my online communities due to the anxiety I was experiencing. I expect this will continue until the news article goes away. (I have a therapist, and she is helpful, but PTSD is rough sometimes.) Also the ADF community is still experiencing upheaval, and that’s hard to be around, even if the discussion has been productive.
As such, this was a breathing week. Take breaks and breathe. I took lots of breathing breaks over the course of the week, and that did help. I couldn’t ever really settle into a formal meditation, but I definitely worked on “present moment focus,” especially as I still had to go to work while dealing with a troubled mindstate.
I did not do any formal trance experimentation, though I did explore some different electronic music for experimenting with trance later on. The artist Waterborne has an album called Tibet which combines Tibetan landscape and religious sounds (chimes, language, chanting, singing, street noise) with electronic music in a way that is mesmerizing to listen to. I found it to be very trance-like when I was just listening to it, so I want to try actually doing some trancework with it as my soundtrack. It isn’t 120 bpm sonic driving, but it does have rhythm and beat that I can connect to, and for some reason it doesn’t give me anxiety like the drumming did. I’ll have to see if I need to have it on quietly – so as not to be distracting – or if I need to put on my good headphones and drown in it, like I used to do when I did trance in college. (My guess is the drowning will work for creating a good trance state, but that I will have to learn how to journey from that place.)
As well, I want to do some experimenting around the newly “discovered” Spirit of ADF being that people are encountering in trance. (She is probably beyond my skill at this point, but I’d still like to see what happens if I try.)
Copying in an experience from the first time I did this Liturgy Journal (back in 2014). I want to start bringing in some of those experiences, since they show where I started in all of this. Since this was a tough week, it was a very simple week devotionally. I’m still saying the Sunne prayer when I walk into the sunlight, and I’ve done my daily practice most days this week too. Weekend practice is still escaping me, even with the long weekend. I need to find a good way to “unplug” for my monthly clergy practice preparation as well.
I’m also wondering, having joined the newly created Sacred Fires SIG, if there is something I can build into my regular practice that will encompass some form of flametending without burning my house down. The Anglo-Saxons did not have a hearth tending practice that survived to be written down, so I think this will be all inspiration here. Frige’s position in the household makes her a good candidate for hearth work though. I already honor her when I am cooking and working in the kitchen.
As well, this is a good time to talk about my Prairie Godmothers – the ancestral practice I have that specifically works with my and my husband’s female ancestors who came to the United States and broke ground with their families, living on the frontiers. They’re like fairy godmothers, only they have wooden spoons. I honor them as the keeper of my household, and look to them for guidance and inspiration in housekeeeping and cooking and other domestic pursuits. They do not have names (that I know), but are kind of a collective of spirits who I work with for this specific task. I do not have a specific prayer for them, mostly I just chatter to them about the goings-on in my house and home, and try to listen for their wisdom.
Murphy’s Law of Wells
- You are already close to running late
- Your well didn’t get water in it yesterday because you forgot to fill the cup
- You do your devotional at 5:30 am before caffeine
- You are trying to establish a regular practice but still get to work on time
- Your well is a beautiful wooden bowl made of pieced woods in different colors that was a gift you can never replace
- Your wooden well will have cracked along a seam in the bottom from having water left in it the last time you did ritual
- You will not notice this until half the well has emptied out the crack in the bottom, soaking the entire top of your altar
- You will be out of paper towels in your altar room, and will have to make a mad dash to the kitchen to get some
- Your old ceramic well will be full of wine corks, which have no other place to go, so you will have to leave them in a pile on the counter
- When you empty your old well, it will be full of cork dust, so you will need to wash it
- By the time you finally get back to your devotional, you will have forgotten what steps you did and have to start over
- Making you at least 10 minutes late getting out the door