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Posts Tagged ‘spirits’

I’ve been working in trance/meditation lately, looking for a more active guide – I have a stable mental grove, and lots of things come to visit me there, but I am rarely led to leave the boundaries of that space, and I know I need to be able to do that kind of journeying as I work toward my Clergy vocation and eventually my Initiate’s work.

So I’m doing a lot of listening, and seeing who shows up, and I have an ancestor who seems interested (not surprising) but his work is very internally focused, so we often do work within my mental grove instead of going out into the Worlds. But I seem to have another spirit guide who wants to help, and this one is … uh … well. She’s showing up as a brindle and white French Bulldog. Which has got to be the most unimpressive spirit guide ever. But she keeps nudging me towards the boundaries of my space, so I’m going to try following her and seeing where we go.

I’ve always maintained that I was the worlds most dunderheaded trance/meditation spirit worker. Now, apparently, I am attracting adorable puppies as spirit guides.

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The part that I *didn’t* share on Facebook? And that makes me feel like I”m a total whackjob barking moonbat?

Is that this little french bulldog started showing up after I added Carrie Fisher to my regular ancestor offerings after Hallows. (It’s traditional to refrain from honoring the dead from the last year until Hallows, so I hadn’t been making offerings for her, but I did a big public one at Hallows, and then ordered an “icon” of her and have her up on my shrine.) I don’t think the bulldog _IS_ Carrie, but I’m kinda wondering if she sent me a puppy.

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It’s just weird and a big adjustment because I have longstanding relationships with rabbit, owl, rooster, and toad. So I always expected if I was going to have a spirit ally that was going to lead me into the worlds, it would be something like that. An animal I already have an affinity with, not one that I think is utterly ridiculous and silly and kind of … well, ridiculous. (And I’ve had plenty of experiences in my mental grove with ALL of those animals, but they clearly came THERE to VISIT me. Whereas this bulldog? she wants to GO PLACES. SEE ALL THE THINGS.)

So I have a new adventure buddy, and we’re gonna go explore all the things. I really do think she’s a good fit, because she’s quirky and inquisitive, and dogs make great companions – all things that I’ve needed in my spiritual life. I need an enthusiastic friend who will encourage me to take risks, and who will – if needed – be very protective if we get into trouble.

But I still feel pretty silly about it.

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I’m to the point in the Dedicant Path where I’m working on some of the bigger, meatier essays about things like my personal religion and my relationships with the Three Kindreds. It’s a bit daunting, especially now that I’ve finished writing my virtue essays (which will get published here over the next week or so). I’m going to tackle the Three Kindreds first, since I think that’s going to be the most challenging of the remaining essays for me to write – and if I’m going to take that approach, I may as well start with the one that gives me the most trouble. (That used to be the Ancestors, but I’ve been doing a lot more work with them, so I’m feeling much better connected there lately.)

Nature Spirits are a big category for ADF Druids – they are one of the “Big Three” divisions of spirits that we work with for our magic and our worship. They are a multitude of different types of spirit, from elves and wights and trolls of lore, to place-spirits and house-spirits, to the spirits of animals (particular animals and as guides). They generally occupy the middle world with us humans, and our magical workings cause us to run into them on a regular basis.

I don’t know much about this class of spirit, but I’m attempting to learn more. I’m currently reading Elves, Wights, and Trolls (Kveldulf Gundarsson) in an attempt to learn more about how my Norse and Germanic ancestors would have viewed this class of spirits. They are, by and large, an extremely diverse bunch, from friendly house wights to dangerous and trickster types who work against humans and against the Gods. Much like humans and Gods, some of them are considerably more cooperative than others. (Though I found his initial explanation on what to offer and how to behave around them very interesting, as they are quite different than the Celtic Sidhe/Fae that I’ve been more accustomed to in mythology).

I hope to incorporate them more into my practice as I learn more about them. The book is a little dense at times, but I think it’s been a good introduction to all the different roles that the different types of Spirits can have – from Jotuns/Ettins to Land Wights to Water Wights. I’m only about half way through at this point, but I think I’ve learned a lot.

I do try to keep a working relationship with my house spirits and the spirits of my little piece of earth. I don’t leave offerings as often as I should, but I try to make offerings of food – especially baked goods – and make sure that I do my best to make my home and yard a welcoming place for animals and spirits. I have several “wild” areas for bugs and birds, and I like to leave out food offerings. I also regularly thank my local house spirits when I’m cleaning my house weekly, asking to make sure that I don’t disturb them with loud things like the vacuum cleaner and sprinkling cleansing herbs and essential oils in my vacuum bag to help keep the house nice-smelling and pleasant for them. (It helps keep it nice for us humans too!)

I have several animal “spirits” that I have an affinity with. I wouldn’t call them guides, so much as presences that I’ve noticed in my life. I turn to them for advice at times, or just see them frequently in my Mental Grove workings. In particular, I see Owl, Rabbit and Toad, and occasionally Stag. I have the closest relationship with Owl and Rabbit, whom I have spoken with and gotten wisdom from, but I hesitate to call them true “guides”, other than that they have acted as guides for me in trance meditations when I am out exploring the worlds around my Mental Grove.

One ritual I do consistently is a note of respect to the dead that I find. This usually means I’m doing the ritual in my car, so it has to be a quick ritual, but I find that I get a feeling of comfort from it. When I see an animal that has been killed on the road (or other places, but most often it’s on the road), I kiss my hand and say a prayer of comfort and release for that animal, willing it to be at peace and to travel onward toward its next life.  I should actually write up a prayer to say for this, in light of yesterdays post about writing more prayers.

I have a strong working relationship with Nature herself, as a gardener and as someone generally concerned with the well-being of both the planet and of my little patch of earth, but working with the particular personal spirits that make up this Kindred is something I don’t have a lot of experience with yet, and it’s something I hope to grow and encourage as my practice deepens. I would especially like to create relationships with particular plants and trees around my home. Perhaps it’s time to start making more offerings, hugging more trees, and lighting more candles!

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