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Posts Tagged ‘liturgy practicum’

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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(Sorry this is so late in posting. I hadn’t re-emailed my document to myself last week, so you’re going to get two of these this week. I’ve been writing them at home in my course document and then posting them when I remember to do so!)

This week was really boring, ritual wise. Did my daily practice 4 weekdays in a row and then left for vacation, where I promptly forgot all about anything to do with daily practices in the flurry of seeing my friends. This is an annual trip to Seattle that I make with 40 friends from my gaming group, and it’s a TON of stuff crammed into three days, so I’m lucky to get any sleep, let alone free time to do daily practice. I did, however, make time to say hello to the amazing trees that I encountered. Old growth forest just isn’t something you run into in Texas, so the huge conifers were fun and new. I love being around them whenever I visit. I waved hello at Mt.s Raineir, St. Helens, and Hood on my flight as well. Also, I got to see otters!

Normally I’d feel bad for taking a “break” from my Druidry, but to be honest, it was a refreshing change of pace to just let it be something I “am” rather than something I “do”, even if just for a weekend. We’ll see if I can get back into the swing of regular practice next week.

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Fairly normal week. Missed my morning practice 2 days this week because apparently I need to get more sleep. I did it when I remembered, which is, I suppose, what counts.

Also did a bunch of canning this week (pickles, jalapenos, blueberry jam), which always makes me feel close to my prairie godmothers. Their candle burned near my stove all day while I jarred and processed the various things (it couldn’t sit ON the stove since I needed all the burners).  I don’t rely on the food I put up to keep us fed through the winter, but it is an inexpensive way to make food that is in season into something delicious that we’ll enjoy all year long. Both my husband and I love pickles too! It’s weird to think of cooking as a spiritual activity, but it really can be.

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Independence day this week. I wasn’t really sure what to do with it, as it’s a secular holiday, but it seemed somehow right to mark the day as part of *something*, so I baked some cornbread (which seems both very American and very tolerable to my celiac disease) and made an offering to my local spirits. It also rained, so the fireworks weren’t bad this year, which meant the day felt very much like just an extra Saturday in the week.

I’m still having trouble getting my act together with daily practice on non-work days, I think because I haven’t truly established it as a waking practice, and because my husband likes us to do together things when we don’t have to get up and go places. Plus I have a small shrine at work, so if I’m running late or forget at home, it’s easy to just make my offerings there.

This is my work shrine:

photo

So far nobody has commented on it, except someone who asked me if the Tree of Life image was actually an alien (which I can kind of see, if you don’t look closely, it does kinda look like a round face with two big eyes).

Since it’s July now, and the Study Group is doing a Scandinavian ritual to Thor and Sif for Lammas, I need to start thinking about how I’m going to celebrate the day, and whether I want to try another ritual to Ing Frea. Last year’s attempt didn’t go very well, but for some reason I feel like there were other things going on then, and that it’s an appropriate time to make offerings to him.

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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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