Salve Regina

I meant to write a couple days ago. However, things were busy with my family so I had to postpone this until now.

I forgot to mention in my post here about how in my reading from John, a card indicated looking back on my childhood spirituality and bringing something forward into my current spirituality. Immediately, as he started saying that, I thought about the rosary. I didn’t often say the rosary, but it has always been one of my favorite aspects of my Catholic upbringing.

When I was confirmed my Sophomore or Junior year of college, my aunt (who sponsored me), gave me a gift. She said she knew it wasn’t the prettiest rosary, but it was her mother’s (my maternal grandmother’s). I thought it was gorgeous. It is probably the one rosary I pull out on a consistent basis to look at or old. For one, it was my grandmother’s and it serves as a connection to her. The other reason is that I actually keep it where I can access it fairly quickly.

My grandmother’s rosary.

Anyway, I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start saying the rosary again as a regular part of my practice. Especially with Lent rolling around Wednesday I can take up the practice for the time period and see how that helps progress my spiritual path.

I am by no means throwing out other aspects of my pagan path. I have always had a great deal of love for my Catholic roots and I just didn’t, for the longest time, really incorporate it into my practice as I have always aimed to. Praying the rosary is very centering and very meditative. It is a way for my to connect with my Catholic ancestors and the tradition of it has always made me feel something. And that is something that I think is important for me right now.

I am actually looking forward to spending some time with the rosary now.

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My Anniversary with My Phantom Queen

The other night I realized that the anniversary of my devotion to the Morrígan was coming up quicker than I realized. It was yesterday actually. I meant to do something last night, but that never really happened. But despite that and how busy things have been on multiple fronts, I know I needed to say something here.

Overall, I feel there has been an improvement in my life and in my path since I devoted myself to the Morrígan. I have had quite a few periods of the past year where there were major lulls in my personal practice. The wide gaps in some of my blog posting here can attest to that. But I don’t consider those times to be what some would call fallow times, because, in all honesty, it was my own fault in purposefully ignoring different things and focusing elsewhere. My mundane life had been quite busy this past year as well, making it more difficult to focus on the spiritual and metaphysical sides of things.

However, despite that, I still feel there has been a shift in things for myself. While I still feel like I am wondering around in circles at times on this path, I know I am not alone. She is there beside me trying to guide me to where I need to be. I say try because I am stubborn and will willfully ignore Her despite the constant shouts of “Listen!” She is very much like a deity form of Navi in my life right now, and I think even she is amused by our mutual stubbornness with each other and the comparison to a video game fairy. But she is always there when I call to her. Sometimes, well often, scolding me to get back on track with what she asked of me the last time I talked to her. And I’ll roll my eyes and say okay, but not do it.

She has gotten to work with Lugh again. He is much more subtle in the background of what I do compared to the Morrígan, but he is there as well. She has had me do work with Manannán mac Lir as well. She is having me learn more about astral things and the Celtic Otherworlds (and other ones too mind you) with Him. And while I question the necessity of it, She reminds me that if I do the work, I will figure it out eventually.

So yeah. Overall, this past year seems to feel more like I am heading in the right direction. I have picked up studying more about Gaelic Polytheism to understand more about that aspect of things. I have been working well sometimes working on my shadow work that I need to do most of all. And yeah.

While I didn’t do much yesterday to commemorate the anniversary though, I did make sure to reach out and talk to her as I dozed for a bit during a nap. She mostly reiterated to me about the fact that I need to do my shadow work. I have been putting it off for a few years now and have yet to finish well not really finish as it is really an ongoing process it all. Recently I had been doing more work with it, but the Morrígan made it clear that I need to get through some of this stuff before I can move forward in my path – before She will let me know what is next.

Alright Morrígan, I will listen this time, hopefully. So here’s to another year ahead.

Cailleach and Winter

Had our first real snow today where we live. It has been fairly warm so far this winter so temps finally dropped enough to give us snow instead of rain. We had a small flurry back in November or December but it didn’t last long.

I mention the weather only because I have been trying to do more shadow work lately and one of the tasks from the book* I am using as a guide discusses meeting the spirits of the seasons at certain points. And being as it is winter, I did the journey to meet a spirit related to winter. Seeing as I have been working primarily in a Gaelic polytheistic arena for my path lately, I met the Gaelic goddess associated with winter, Cailleach.

I won’t go into too much detail about who Cailleach is as I don’t think I’ll do much actual work with her. She is a crone/hag goddess who is said to rule the land during winter before either transforming into Brigit or turning to stone for Brigit to take over for the summer half of the year. She is often seen as a creator and ancestral goddess. I found it interesting that her name either means “old woman” or “veiled one.” I have had a past life with a name that had similar meaning to veiled one, but I digress there.

I have never had an issue with the winter season, but I know quite a few do. It is honestly one of my favorites. My current life has quite a few pleasant childhood memories of winter. My birthday is this month too, so I often had snow on my birthday in the past. While I don’t often pay attention to the seasons when I get past life memories, I don’t have any negative memories of the winter. The only thing I don’t like about it now is when I have to drive in bad winter weather and worry about whether my car will make it or if another car is going to slip and run into me (new car this winter so I shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not my car will start from being too cold).

I enjoy the stillness of winter. Things slow down during this time, but there is still activity. The whiteness of the snow that can be blinding and bright even during the time of the year where it tends to be the darkest. There is a lot of harshness to the season but there is also gentleness in the light falls of snowflakes that are each so beautifully unique. There is something magical in a frozen landscape to me.

With sitting with Cailleach the other day, we mentioned this. Part of the idea behind the exercise in the book is to reconcile what issues you may have with a particular season. The other part is to deepen ones connection to the cycles of the seasons in general and what they often represent. But as I don’t particularly have a need to reconcile any dread for the season of winter, it was more decided that I do something to simply deepen my connection.

While I enjoy winter, I try to stay indoors quite often. Now and then I’ll contemplate putting on my boots and talking a walk outside in the snow (if there is any) or even when there isn’t, I will default to sitting around in the warm house snuggled in a blanket and a warm cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. Cailleach has asked me to actually take the time to go outside a little more this winter whether that is just to stand out back as it snows or to go for an actually walk. Which I honestly think I would enjoy a lot, especially to come back to a warm house and warm tea.

Although, I may have to hold off on that until tomorrow as I have to finish getting my classes set up for this week. I have not been getting that done ahead of time like I should have been. But if I have time later today I will try. 😛

(*The book I am using is Penczak’s The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft.)

The Enigma of My Existence

On and off for a while now, I had started contemplating and wondering more about what my path really is meant for. My roommate and I talk about various things all the time and one discussion that mentioned purpose triggered me to think about what my purpose was more. And I just can’t really figure it out for myself or put any words to it. There is a part I understand all too well, but another part that is still lost to me. And that whole thing created some personal confusion and lead to other thoughts and I felt like sharing. Continue reading

Cookies and Apples

That just seems like a fun, innocuous little title.

So I did get some more confirmation on the deity that the Morrighan seems to want me to work with. I like giving her the task of sending me specific signs so I know for sure, so I picked “cookies,” hence the title. So I may continue to associate this deity with cookies. Kind of like how I associate Loki with cheese and ladybugs. 😛

Anyway, I am still learning a bit about who this deity is and what the Morrighan would like me to work with him on, but I figured I go ahead and share.

I have been wondering for awhile when and who I would meet next on my path. It had been a bit quiet on my personal path since I was busy with teaching. Since I seem to be mostly in the Celtic pantheons lately anyway (mostly Irish), it seems like the next deity would be within the Gaelic pantheon. I hadn’t been consciously looking to meet another, but I was speculating to myself who the Morrighan would decide I should meet and work with. So I started to see more and more on my dash related to the sea and water and, more specifically, the god Manannán mac Lir.

From my quick perusals of lore I read before, Manannán seemed like and interesting deity. He isn’t one of the Tuatha dé Danann but was affiliated with them. He is the one most commonly sited as having fostered Lugh to adulthood. But the biggest thing about him is that he is seen as a god of the sea and the Otherworlds as a guardian and one who ferries the souls of the dead to the Otherworlds and he resides at Emhain Abhlach (isle of apple trees).

I won’t get into too much more about who he is and the lore associated with him. I mostly wanted to cover the basics of that. From sitting with him a couple times, he seems very gregarious and will be easy to work with. I am not 100% sure for what reasons I will be working with him, but some of it relates to whatever the Morrighan is wanting me to do for her more. I don’t know if that means anything related to actually working with the Dead not something that is really my area and I am less inclined to believe it actually deals with that aspect of the Otherworlds or if it relates more to Otherworld travel.

Before I got super busy with the semester teaching, I had also started looking into aspects of Irish polytheism and how the belief system was set up. Their concept of cosmology is related to three realms of Land, Sea, and Sky (incidentally have read certain areas in the Celtic Otherworlds relates to these areas as well) with the Land being more this physical realm, the Sea being being the Otherworld of the afterlife, and the Sky being weather related. I am oversimplifying and butchering the concepts here but when I was looking up these things the aspect of immramma and echtrai came up which are voyages to the Otherworlds. The Morrighan indicated this was something she wanted me to do.

So, I think the work the Morrighan wants me to do with Manannán relates to doing astral work in some capacity. I am not sure what the long term or end goal is yet. Most of the time I don’t think to ask or expect to get a straight answer anyway. But it is something to explore. And again, Manannán seems like a pretty cool deity to work with from my couple of sit downs with him this past week. So this’ll be fun. 😛

Month of Written Devotion: Day Eight

Day 8 – Hope

“We stand upon a precipice of change. The world fears the inevitable plummet into the abyss. Watch for the moment… and when it comes, do not hesitate to leap. It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly.” Flemeth, Dragon Age 2

The place I went to so often during meditations had changed. Once it was a wide open field of flowers, little creeks, and my tree. Forests and mountains were far off into the distance in every direction. The landscape had its hills but it was an expansive plain. My sacred space, my bliss area.

The sky and weather often reflected my own mood or whatever would comfort me best on that given meditation. Often that consisted of a brewing storm in the distance and sunny where I was. Other times the whole place was stormy. In winter, it would snow, but the flowers would still bloom.

But it had changed. My tree shifted to a new area across the field. Now it stood a short distance from a cliff’s edge that overlooked an expansive sea. A storm brewing over that ocean at one end and dawn or sunset at the other end.

It stayed that way for some time. Meeting with the Morrighan or whoever during meditation didn’t change where my tree had moved. No one really said anything about it either. It was just there. Now and then we’d sit at the edge or overlook the scenery, but nothing more was discussed.

Then things happened, and one of the darkest moments on my more recent path happened. I was afraid and angry about so many things happening that shouldn’t have been happening. Things I didn’t think I could change. But the Morrighan was there and while she listened to me rant and break down, her calm demeanor reminded me who she was. She was a goddess of fate. She reminded me that if I wanted to change what was happening, the fate of the situation, I could do it.

She directed me to go to the cliffs edge in my bliss area. It was stormy that time, not as a simple comfort, but as a reflection of my stormy mood. She told me to jump. I refused at first, but she insisted if I wanted to make that change I needed to this. To take the deep plunge. And I did.

I jumped and I feel. The fall seemed nearly endless through the sky down to the ocean’s surface below me. I screamed, my lungs exploding, but not with fear so much as it was releasing my frustrations. And then I hit the water and dove. Further and further down into the dark depths. The storm raging above, lightning flashing.

And as I continued to dive deeper into the abyss of that ocean, my worries and fears, my frustrations and anger sloughed away. I cried more than I had in awhile as well, but as I went deeper into those dark depths I felt more hope than I had in a while. There was a chance and there was hope around the corner and things could be changed. Nothing was set in stone.

Meditations and Past Lives with the Morrigan

The Morrigan, while showing me that part of this journey is about the wandering, she (and I) want to make sure I start doing things regularly. This includes meditating more. So far I have been more consistent about it. Sometimes I don’t sit long at my altar and I can’t focus much, but it is taking the time to do so that has been helping.

Sometimes, I also just try talking to her while I am driving to or from work. I often let my thoughts wander to the song playing or have to focus my attention on the traffic, but other times I can actually hold a decent conversation with the Morrigan or whoever. And today Lugh popped in on my way to work.

Nothing was particularly discussed about my path or anything, but he asked, or I offered, that I need to exercise more and that can be part of my work with him. He isn’t as exercise oriented as other deities may be, but he is athletic and as a jack-of-all-trades he is well-rounded in all areas, so why not. The Morrigan has indicated it is not something she is as interested in me doing for her, but it is perfectly okay to do for him. So I sort of made the promise to do workouts more and dedicate that time and energy to him.

However, that really isn’t what I wanted to talk about here. This evening, when I settled in to meditate before bed I should just be sleeping now but I decided to do some work on a potential side-blog and then write this for this blog, the Morrigan indicated she wanted me to go someplace with her.

Continue reading