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Posts Tagged ‘OBOD’

This weekend at the Imbolc retreat, I learned a new prayer. It’s apparently quite an old prayer. OBOD Druid John Beckett spoke it during one of our rituals as the call to Inspiration, and it spoke to me.

So here it is.

Grant, O Holy Ones, Thy Protection;
And in protection, strength;
And in strength, understanding;
And in understanding, knowledge;
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice;
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it;
And in that love, the love of all existences;
And in the love of all existences,
the love of the Earth our mother, and all goodness.

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Fall is coming – though you wouldn’t know it by the temperatures outside. The light is changing, and the evenings are shorter. Soon they’ll be cooler as well, and my evening walks will be increasingly more pleasant as the seasons change towards winter.

It’s a bit odd, but winter here is so much more “pleasant” in general than summer, that Fall and Spring get a little mixed up in my mind. Not only do we plant again in fall, for harvesting in winter, but in Summer we tend to hibernate. The heat is so intense that you really don’t want to be outside more than you have to, and other than yard work and (for me) exercise, I stay in the house as much as possible, with the blinds drawn and the air conditioner running. (We keep it “warm” in the house – about 80 degrees – but it still feels cool and comfortable when it’s 105 outside).

Seasons are just a little different, but fall will always be my favorite.

I’m glad I’ll be finishing up my DP in this liminal time. It’s a very in-between sort of feeling, and that’s how I’ve been feeling about the DP. I’m working on my oath, and have only the one high day left to celebrate. (I think I’ll be doing two rituals, but haven’t decided for sure). I’m feeling both more secure in the idea of making my oath, and more insecure in my ability to do so “properly” (whatever “properly” means).

It just feels right to be finishing things up and starting new things at this time of year. Maybe that’s a tie back to my love of school, and how excited I’ve always been for the beginning of school. Even as an adult, I like to go back to school shopping, for new pens and folders and binders. (Or maybe I just have a thing for office supplies, who knows). Regardless, it’s all feeling like it fits together pretty well right now, and I’m glad for the DP to be coming to a close. I’m ready to move forward, to begin the actual work of Druidry, and hopefully to begin working as a DP mentor until I decide if I want to continue on any of the study paths. I’m drawn to the Initiates Path, but I don’t feel like I’m ready to commit to it just yet, so I’m going to wait and learn until I feel more secure.

I may poke around in some of the other modern Druidic traditions – I know OBOD just re-released DruidCraft as an audio book, and I will definitely be picking that up to listen to on my commute. Not that I’m dissatisfied with ADF – I’ll probably end up staying here – but because I’m just curious as to what else is out there under the Druid umbrella.

Endings and beginnings, exploration and rest, expanding and contracting – it’s a fun, in-between, liminal time of year.

I’m ready for Autumn – are you?

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My after work meditations this week felt almost stifling, so instead of continuing with my usual sitting meditation, I went with a more movement-oriented meditation.

I ran across this Deep Peace of the Trees meditation from OBOD* and was reminded of a grounding and centering exercise I used to do for Tai Chi that was based on the movement “Embrace Tiger and Return to Mountain”. Instead of the actual movement in the sequence of Tai Chi, it isolates a repetitive series of movements that are intended to balance lower and upper, inner and outer. We did these as a warm up and cool down to every Tai Chi class.

At it’s very basic, it’s two full, slow breaths – Reach up, reach down, pull in, push away.

  • Standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent, inhale and bring your arms up in front of you, moving your hands along your midline until they reach up over your head. As you do this, straighten your knees.
  • When your hands are fully above your head (but elbows are still soft), exhale and swing your arms out to the sides and down, rotating your palms to face down once they reach shoulder level and bending your knees again. At the bottom, cross your hands at the wrists, left hand in front, so your palms are facing your body.
  • Now inhale, uncrossing your arms, and pulling your elbows back at your sides, drawing your hands to your waist, palms face up, straightening your knees.
  • Then exhale and push away from you, keeping your elbows close to your sides and your palms rotating around so they are facing away from you, knees bending again.

I do this exercise in sets of 9 movements. Usually just one set of 9 is enough to make me feel calm, relaxed, balanced, and open to a more heightened state.

I thought this, or some variation on the OBOD meditation might help when I was having trouble focusing (this week was high stress at work, which I think is the source of my lack of focus). I was right, and switching to a moving meditation provided me with the grounding and centering I so needed after dealing with lots of stress and anxiety at work. I need to remember to do these moving meditations more often, since they seem to be extremely effective for me, especially when I’m having trouble getting my mind to settle into seated meditation.

*For all the negative things that happen on YouTube, I love finding Druidry there. Maybe I can help work to broaden the presence of ADF on YouTube once I get a little more established. 

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