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Posts Tagged ‘liturgy journal’

Lammas week! Hooray! This is one of my favorite high days, so I’m excited to have celebrated it, both with my study group and on my own, as part of my home-based practice requirements. I did not attend my local protogrove’s ritual, simply because I was still getting over being sick, and it was clear on the other side of town from where I live, and an all-day event, and I just didn’t have the energy for something like that. My study group did a Loaf-fest ritual to Thor and Sif, and I did a solitary Anglo-saxon Lammas ritual to Thunor. I left some room for improvisation in the ritual, especially around the key offerings, and I think that went well. (I’m not sure if I need to include the full ritual text for my journal entry, but I don’t have it with me, so I’ll have to add it in later if it’s needed.)

Unfortunately, my mental health hasn’t been so good lately. This is not unusual when I get very busy over extended periods of time – I’m a pretty strong introvert, and need my space – but for whatever reason this particular down-period is both stronger and more persistent than usual. It’s likely that this is a bipolar episode, which is frustrating because I just have to wait for it to go away, but also kind of comforting, because I know it won’t last forever and I just have to wait for it to go away.

I know during tough mental times, I should be turning MORE to my daily practices, but I’m finding it very hard to stay motivated to do anything. My morning practices have all been at work this week, and done more out of a sense of duty than of any sort of joy or desire for the connection. But I am still doing them. I am trying to do more meditation as well, since that can help during rough brain times, but that hasn’t been as often as I’d like. I did buy some new candles for my hearth practice, which is nice – they smell good too.

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Wow, what a week. Lots of things to think about this week.

My daily practice has been mostly out of sorts this week, between returning from vacation and getting sick (airport crud, yuck). I did manage I think two days, but it was just an off week altogether for my regular practice.

Lesson learned: I’m good at routines, and when my routines go out the window, so does any kind of regular anything I’m used to doing (exercise included in this category). Doubly so for any practice I haven’t fully established yet.

I have started preparing for Lammas though, and what I’m going to do as a solo practitioner. I know I need to do at least one solo high day during this journaling process, and I’ll only be doing the study group ritual for Lammas (the protogrove is doing an all-day festival 2 hours north of my house, and after spending two weekends on vacation or being part of a wedding, I can’t for my own mental health give up a third weekend in a row. More on that later). Since I won’t be coordinating two group rituals, and Yngvi is doing most of the legwork for our Scandinavian celebration with the Study Group, I have time to prep for a solo ritual. I’ll be using my standard Anglo-Saxon template, but I haven’t decided how I want to modify it just yet. Something I’m thinking about.

Then, as I was getting over being sick, I spent all of Friday and Saturday being a bridesmaid in a Very Big Catholic Wedding. This was… exceedingly taxing mentally and physically, and left me feeling very out of sorts with my druid practice. I grew up protestant, but joined the Catholic church in college, because I fell in love with the Mass and the Rosary and the Saints. Also because I had a wonderful church where I was feeling really spiritually nourished. Unfortunately that blew up in my face spectacularly. (I was severely traumatized, and when I went to tell someone about it, I was told that “Maybe God was trying to teach me something” and people sided with my abuser. It was devastating.) I left the church, and then Christianity altogether. (Obviously, as I’m clearly now a Druid.)

However, being back in a very traditional church for a very traditional ceremony, with the candles and the plainchant and the responses and everything? Really hit a sore nerve. It’s not that I have any interest in being Catholic again. I really don’t. (I spent the entire homily trying not to roll my eyes at the priest.) But there’s a lot of nostalgia there that I haven’t quite figured out how to enjoy without feeling horrible about myself as a person. This is compounded by the fact that I know if my family found out that I have left the church for good, they would be devastated, and even at 30 years old, I still have trouble when I disappoint people and don’t live up to their expectations, especially my parents. Religion is HUGELY IMPORTANT to them.

Also, after the wedding, I spent a good amount of time talking to my husband about religion and faith and what I’m doing, and he basically told me that he won’t stop me from doing what I think I need to do about my religion, but he wants no part of it and has no interest in doing any of it with me. My home based practice will be solo, for good. He is extremely independent, and mostly a Humanist, and as long as I’m happy and fulfilled, he’s fine, but he won’t be joining in with any of my high days or little ceremonies at all. He’s pretty much done with any kind of religion, and only really is interested in studying things for the sake of learning. While this isn’t really surprising, the fact that he’s not even interested in learning about what it is that I do and believe was a little hard. It is good that he is okay with me doing what I feel is right for me, and following my own path, but it’s also a little sad that he doesn’t even care to know what Druidry is at all. But that’s his choice, and I can live with it. I’m not sure what it will mean in the future if we have kids, but that’s mostly something we can discuss when we actually decide whether or not we’re having any kids at all.

So while this week wasn’t one much where I did a lot of actual home based practice, I did a lot of very deep thinking about my Druidry, and what going forward on this path may mean. I’m still processing all of it, and I suspect will be for awhile. There’s a lot to parse here.

While I do that though, I’m going to remember some very good advice given to me by Rev. Michael Dangler:

When you don’t know what to do, wash your hands, light a candle, and hug a tree.

 

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Pretty boring week, actually. I managed my morning devotions Monday-Friday, but I’m having trouble establishing them on weekends, I think because I don’t have a defined morning routine on the weekends. Depending on the weekend I can be very busy, and it seems like the lack of structure is making it hard to do morning devotions in that atmosphere. (I am a creature of habit, and I like routines.)

Attempts to add in a meal blessing have fallen totally flat. I love the idea, but in execution it just hasn’t been working. I’m not remembering to do it even after I eat. It’s just kind of an afterthought at the end of the week when I do my journal entry. This is the meal blessing I settled on using:

By the mysteries of the High Ones,
Through the knowledge of the Old Ones,
From the bounty of the Green Ones,With the grace of the Earth Mother,
May this meal be blessed.

It’s simple enough, but I just don’t seem to have the focus to do it.

Also, problematically, I’m way over-committed on my weekends. It’s hard to set aside time for a weekly devotional practice when I spend pretty much all weekend running from one thing to the next. Weekends are my only “free” time (I go to bed really early, because I get up really early, so it’s not possible to do social things on weeknights), so I like to cram in as much social time as possible. The ADF DP Study Group I’m leading is, of course, good to keep doing, but I may have to make some hard decisions about the rest of it, especially since I also have to clean house on the weekends.

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