Walking the Labyrinth on Lughnasadh: Ecological Individuation and Sacred Land Art


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LabyrinthMinatoaurLughnasadh has aspects of the death-rebirth process. The fertility of spring is coming to full realization with the beginning harvest. The light half of the year is moving toward darkness but we know that life will be reborn again; this is a time for celebration and gratitude…

As a contemplative practice, the construction of land art is an embodiment of sacred space. It is a physical manifestation and acknowledgement of the awareness of the reciprocal relationship between the human soul, place, earth, and the universe… Continue reading

The Body-Mind and the Hero: The Integrative Mythdream


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The integrative mythdream is an archetypal meditation that has grown out of my depth psychology studies and my personal contemplative practice. It allows us to encounter the archetypes through their personification in mythology. It involves the experiencing of a mythic story through active imagination, and engaging the bodily felt-senses associated with the places and characters of the myth.


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Drawing and Charging the Labyrinth / My Immovable Center


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Labyrinth Mandala July 2014


Last night I had the privilege of attending a workshop by Maureen Wolverton at The Coptic Center about Finding the Center: The Search for the Archetypal Self.  The main focus of the workshop was to draw a labyrinth, seek out this labyrinth in meditation, and charge this internal labyrinth with your personal energy to reach your ‘immovable center’.  This center refers to Jung’s concept of the archetype of Self, the archetype of wholeness.  Afterwards we painted within the circle of a mandala to express aspects of our meditation experience from this idea of wholeness, with the circle serving as the infinite yet whole container for these experiences.

My Simple Labyrinth DesignI chose a simple labyrinth design so I could easily trace the path with my mind’s eye.  Besides activating this labyrinth with my energy, my individual intent for this meditation was to find ‘my’ symbol.  As seen in the center of the colorful mandala up above, it was given to me.  Though a very simple symbol, it demonstrates much about how I operate and the role I feel I am here to serve in for this lifetime.  In its reflective shape I see represented a name given to me in a Sacred Grove meditation, scáthán (said ‘s-Cah-han’), meaning ‘mirror’ in Irish.  I also see ‘as above, so below’ figuring in the symbol.  Being rather empathic, I tend to reflect the emotions around me without even realizing it sometimes.

In addition to the symbol itself, I was given the distinct impression of scenting cinnamon in the air during the meditation.  This seemed really random at first, but after doing a cursory search on the history of cinnamon I found that cinnamon has been incorporated into very valuable, probably sacred mixtures such as for anointing important individuals both living and dead.  Even the shape of cinnamon sticks shows similar curls to the ones in the symbol.

It will be interesting to continue exploring the significance of this symbol and all the other things I gained from this wonderful workshop.


Singing with the Stones and the Trees


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Sun Over Deer Bone Gate


As Lughnasadh draws closer, we have been spending more time with the southwestern nemeton of Visionsong.  Something that always fills me with a sense of wonder is the shift in the energies of each nemeton of Dreamvine Circle as the Wheel of the Year progresses.  The visit we made today was particularly powerful for me for a few reasons, but the main reason was the way this nemeton’s energy has to me seemed to coalesce into a powerful and communicative consciousness in accordance with this time of the year.

Restacking of Visionsong StonesI sense this building consciousness primarily as a chorus of ‘voices’, voices mainly consisting of the surrounding trees and stones.  While most of the time the chorus is more of a subtle, blended hum of ‘sound’, today it was more like distinct voices speaking ‘languages’ I could not understand with the logical part of my mind.  As I stood ‘listening’ today in the center of the nemeton, I felt an insistent surge of.. I hardly know what to call it.  Feeling?  Inspiration?  I wanted to intone the Awen as a response to this surge of energy, but I am still rather self-conscious about using my voice as a mode of sacred expression.  Settling for using my mind’s voice, I ‘intoned’ cascading Awens, lending my ‘voice’ to the voices of the nemeton.  By the third Awen, it seemed like all the other voices had joined mine such that a chorus of Awens resounded through the woods and fields all around.  It briefly took my breath away.

I read a quote from Carolyn Myss recently that struck me in much the same way: All life breathes together.  It is times like those that I experience that reality firsthand, and I might never have come to these kinds of experiences without having come to a conscious practice of modern druidry.  As I am sure many have said before me, druidry has ‘always been’ my spiritual practice, I just did not know it by that name until recently. Very much looking forward to celebrating the beginning of the harvest season on Lughnasadh once again!

Stray Wheat in a Resown Field

The Wood Between the Worlds


A beautiful Otherworld poem

Originally posted on Treasure in Barren Places:

wood between worlds victoria thorndale

‘Wood Between the Worlds’ by Victoria Thorndale – http://bit.ly/1sSP5Fp

This is the space between Worlds.
The light is ageless and strange.
Dark pools the portals, those many Connla’s Wells,
doorways to Other places.

Here no river of fate can flow.
A hundred World Trees whisper to each other.
Yggdrassil’s branches touch those of a brother Tree
and somewhere on an alien landscape, a strange man looks up and shivers.

Slowly, the drip-drip-drip plays out a timeless, tuneless lullaby.
You drift…
deeper into this place where Nothing happens.
The ground is so soft, so silent.
Just a few minutes more.
Forget who you are.

You can walk with the Great Ones here,
the stilled Forces behind time and tide —
But you might rather not.
They pass the pools and stare into them.
Sometimes they reach in and stir the waters,
and smile.

From here you can look down and watch

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic


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What is a relic? It seems some things are treated as relics when they should not be – community, the arts and humanities, education – and others should be relics but are tolerated and even clung to – race and gender alienation, homelessness, gun violence, rampant mass consumerism…

Considering the photo challenge of ‘relic’ gave me pause to think. Adopting a broad sense of the term relic, what kind of relics are we creating and leaving behind? environmental relics, social relics, religious relics, consumer relics, urban and suburban relics…

Are we really satisfied?

Ornately in Wood – Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic


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Ornate Relic of WoodElegance, detail, and genuine ornateness of design for furniture had greatly declined in favor of sharper, more geometric modern styles.  In my personal opinion, this is a loss of artistry.  While I can appreciate the colors and clean lines of more modern furniture designs, the pieces that catch my eye are the kind that have graceful curves and delicate flourishes, the kind you typically find in antique shops more often than not.

This photo, though, was taken in the overgrown lot south of my parent’s house.  When I was young, some elderly neighbors lived in a house of the same color as the garage in the left portion of the photo.  For whatever reason after the elderly couple left, the house was taken down but the garage was left standing.  I believe the property is now owned by the church across the large parking lot from the property, but it is mainly used as a dumping ground for fallen leaves and sticks now.  Wandering through the yard taking pictures with the new Pentax K-30 with 18-55mm kit lens birthday gift, I spotted the damaged and lonely chair in the grass where the house previously stood.

I moved as close as I could without what I could discern as trespassing and pushed the limited zoom on the lens as far as I could to capture this image.  Would have perhaps preferred a closer view of the chair’s details, but I didn’t quite possess the gumption to attain it.

Not only is this battered old chair a relic of the former inhabitants and the former house but also former ways of life.  That’s why I chose this photo for this Weekly Photo Challenge from The Daily Post.

The Mantra of Fionn


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At times the singing voice of Mananaan Mac Lir rises above the din of the sea to reach my ears in a symphony of longing and serenity.

At other times, the din of silence drowns his voice out. Sometimes, the noise of my thoughts chasing and bleeding into one another destroy all sounds, and strain as I might, I cannot hear the singing.

It was a lesson that was hard to learn, and not one that was finished in one sitting. No, this lesson repeated itself time and time again. I think for the first million times I didn’t even bother to pay any attention, and even after I did, it repeated itself time and time again. I still forget and it still repeats itself. I have given up all dreams of diplomas for this lesson. It is an ongoing lesson that I will always get new opportunities to practice. I always have to start where I am. We all have to start where we are.

It was a shocking thing to be sitting there on the hill with Fionn. It wasn’t shocking to be sitting with the great hero on the hill, still breathless from the hunt, but shocking to experience the discomfort at the revelation in the answer he gave to the question – the answer I had heard a million times, and in that answer was all I ever needed to know about this lesson. It isn’t shocking to be, as some have told, a druid questioning Fionn. It is shocking to feel the amazement of being a druid questioning Fionn and receiving the answer.

His answer is even more shocking for me as a mere mortal, shocking in my humanness to be sitting here in the warmth of the hearth in a comfortable living room, far away from the hill after the chase, far away from being a druid. It is a shocking thing to consider the answer, as simple as it is. In its simplicity are the universes, inner, outer, and other.

Whether asked by a druid or by Fionn himself of his men, the question was:

what is the sweetest music of the world?

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A Simple Correction


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Through the course of engaging in a short, straightforward meditation, I had a thought that was something along the lines of “The sensation is almost like I’m tapping into some kind of power..”

To my immense surprise, I seemed to receive a corrective response Continue reading

Star Map for the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids


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For those interested in Druidry as well as astrology, this rendering of a natal and 50th chart by Sarah Fuhro is wonderfully elaborated. A happy 50th year to the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids!

Originally posted on Philip Carr-Gomm's Weblog:

OBOD member and talented astrologer Sarah Fuhro has very kindly drawn up a Star Map for our 50th Anniversary, analysing the relationship between it and the charts of OBOD’s  early beginnings and later resurgence. Sarah writes a wonderful Blog – ‘Sarah Fuhro’s Star-Flower Alchemy’ – which is well worth visiting and can be found hereWhat follows is Sarah’s insightful interpretation along with the charts themselves:

With the inspiration of Imbolc, I begin this description of the birth chart of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids. There were two moments of inception.  Nuinn and friends gathered for an evening of poetry on 23 September, 1964, at 7:30 pm, and on 25 September held a public ritual on Parliament Hill, at 1:00 pm. With these two assemblies in honour of the Autumn Equinox, we can already see the themes of poetry and public celebration of the earth, which have drawn so many of us to this…

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