The Morning Omens – 2/9/17

Bright and early I rose this morning. It was the dawn of a day with a lot of emotion tied into it.  Dear friends we’re going through fear and pain and excitement and healing, I found myself lost in a sea of worry around my Dedicant study with a map-in-bottle bobbing toward me, and I arose with contemplation over dreams, earlier omens, and my relationships with the Gods over the past year. 

The card drawn this morning was the Water Dragon.

Such a feeling washes (hah) over me with this card. The serpent looks suspicious, sad. It emerges from the sea foam, still dripping. It looks to me as if it knows their time is ending. The waters are gray. The sky is gray. All is silver and morose. 

When I first started exploring a relationship with the gods my mentor led me to Artio. I was immediately struck by her majesty. I love bears and their image is strong in my heart. I was visited by a bear in a vision many years ago, a vision that led me to seek a faith practice once more. My love for Artio still feels as strong as ever. Visions of Raven and a whole lot of bird houses led me to discover Nantosuelta later on, which in turn led me to discovering my Grove of Raven’s Cry.

Then came emotions over a loss of nature. They’d always been inside me, waxing and waning, but my stronger connection to more Druid friends (particularly back east) made me long deeply for the brooks and forests of my youth. I whined and envied all the while having spent a decade of my life with the sunny shores of Southern California literally a walk down the street. So I made a real effort, a strong pledge to seek out a Goddess of the sea who struck my eye. I sought out Nehalennia and opened my heart to her. I recieved a stone and I devoted a lantern to her, the lantern taking the role of my hearth fire at the altar, out of necessity. 

My mentor cautioned me, in one of many emotional tangles, that relationships with the Gods are fluid. They are just like mortal relationships. They may come and bond with you for life, they may arrive to teach a lesson or pass a warning and that’s it. To be honest, the idea of saying goodbye to any of the Goddesses I have spoken to and made offering to is heartbreaking. It saddens me. 

Very recently I was called to act in the role of my Grove’s membership to give offering to the Shining Ones during Imbolc. As it was to be my first performance at a public ritual I made a strong effort to meet with Brighid, as we would be working with Her primarily during the rite. What resulted was an intense and vivid meditation, an omen guided by Her, and an unforgettable Imbolc followed shortly by great blessings flowing from Her grace. I was stunned. I didn’t know what I could possibly do to thank Her. I made a huge offering during a long personal ritual at home and have been thinking on Her since, the change She has brought to our family so powerful that it stands as a trinket itself to remind me of the promise I made.

While I know there is not a rule pertaining to the number of Gods one can worship upon ones altar, I am left this morning feeling that Nehalennia has left me a stepping stone and is a guiding hand forward. My outpouring of love for Her did not go unnoticed but She shows no sign of wishing to wed. I am a little saddened, but I also fully understand. And as I type this out I feel that I truly mean that. I’m not just “saying that” because it’s right to do so. 

But the sadness still lingers and it makes me think about the potential for more separation. I have all these icons on my altar for Artio and Nantosuelta. I have the lovely lantern at the center of my altar, an icon for a Goddess who is no less important than any other but does not share the bond I share with others. The thought of having these physical reminders, honestly, makes me sad. If Artio took Her leave what would I do with the little ironwood bear carving? Would I put it away? Would I get rid of it somewhere? Would I just leave it there? These are questions I can’t honestly answer right now.

But as I see that serpent, sad and gray amongst a turbulent and muted sea, I realize that sorrow and sadness is a reality. It’s inevitable. The Water Dragon reminds us that we must embrace the sorrow as it comes, but know it. Be patient as one can and let the sorrow emerge slowly and carefully. Do now rip the arrowhead from your skin but push it slowly through. Feel the pain and know where it comes from, know what it means, and when the sorrow emerges fully and when it is slain watch where it’s bones fall. Seek out the broken remains of that sadness and see what fruit they bear. Sorrow is not merely a poor beast meant to be feared, it is a journey with potential for great reward should you see all of it’s gray scales and it’s haunting stare and understand.

Now I face an emotion I’ve not felt since meeting Artio… Perhaps moreso. Brigantia. Bright Brighid of the forge. She has come into my life with such fire. I feel such a warm sensation whenever I look on an image of Her. It’s easy for me to say “Yeah! Brigantia! Take me under your wing! Let us forge an eternal bond!” but that is my beastly heart rushing on.

Still though I cannot help but think of Her constantly. Perhaps the stone from Nehalennia was indeed a pathway to Brigantia. Perhaps it is a foundation meant to support an anvil with a heart of flame. 


Meeting Brighid & Morning Omens – 1/30/17

The last ten hours or so have been full of intense, intimate magic. While I did not dream (at least not that I can recall) I did have a surprisingly long and powerful home ritual last night before I went to bed. I think I will take the time to detail the vision in another post but, in short, I met Brighid. I was in my mental grove, the woods by the creek, and when She arrived She was forging an ever shifting tool on Her anvil. She sang a poem as she did so and as I tried to discern the words I felt myself drawn deeper and deeper away from my anchor. It was as if I was a fish chasing a lure, blind to how far I was swimming. I was just… Falling. I was simply entranced.

When I found my feet again, as it were, we were together and alone on top of a great tower or platform high amongst the mountaintops. It was there I asked for her to grant me sight through the runes. She struck her hammer three times and with each ringing of the anvil I drew a rune.

Gebo. Fehu. Mannaz. Prepare to recieve blessings and share them with those around you.

So yeah. That happened. It was beautiful and I will surely never forget it. That gorgeous encounter with Her goes ever on to the mantle of my heart. Also Her poem at the anvil ended up swallowing about an hour of my evening. I of course bear no I’ll feelings at all towards this. If anything I am extremely honored that She would offer me Her presence for so long.

So this morning’s Animal Oracle draw presented me with Hind, strolling through the forest, bright and ephemeral. Her reversed position suggests that I be wary of being too withdrawn, that I should seek opportunity to stand up and be in front.
Well we both know what I’m doing this weekend. Maybe this week is greasing the wheels.

Foxes In The Snow – A Vision At The Altar

In my mental grove, listening to the creek. I found myself drawn along the stream, moving quickly beside it, leaping to the other side and continuing forward into a bright, snowy field. Large hills of glittering snow surround me, that creek still trickling along in the distance. The image of a red fox’s face fills my vision and then I see it, running swiftly through the snow. A raven cries overhead and follows it from the air, and I follow too, moving as fast as I can. I hurry down a hill, seeing the creature getting further away, following it’s tiny prints in the deep snow. Then another joins the chase, a female, who quickly matches pace with the other.

As I push harder to close the distance I find myself changing. I am heavier, with bear paws and thick fur to shield from the cold. The day becomes night and I am lurching through deeper and deeper snow towards the foxes that I can no longer see. I am drowning in the mounds of snow, flailing and moving slower and slower until I know I have lost them. Then I am at a tree beside that creek. It is a precarious spot to rest, the base of the tree solid but slippery. I feel as if I must maintain a footing to avoid falling into the icy water. I called out to Belenus to raise the sun swiftly, settled into the silence of the winter night, and curled up.

The scent of burning wood filled my nose, made my eyes itch, and it stirred me to wake.

I am freshly stirred from this vision and wanted to record it immediately.

Reflecting on the Omens – 10/17 & 10/19/16

As I write this I am sitting at a hotel in San Diego with my husband. In the room next to us is his parents. We just concluded a fun yet exhausting day at the San Diego Zoo and yesterday was a fun yet exhausting day at Cabrillo Beach back home. I have been ruminating on two omen drawings and a curious meditation walk.

So on Monday I called upon Artio to offer inspiration following my peculiar meditation journey up the tree-lined slope that rose up out of my mental grove. I could not get over the other side of that slope because I felt too small and I could not reach over the top. When I asked Artio if I was supposed to see the other side she told me that I was uncertain so I should go spend some energy and have a good time at the beach on Tuesday.

So the next day we got up and went out to Cabrillo. I wanted to make a strong effort to be comfortable on the beach, to be welcoming to the ocean and truly reach out to Nehalennia and ask for her to join me. I found a place of beautiful quiet as my family meandered here and there. I took my shoes off and… Just bliss. Feeling the sand rising between my toes, surrounding my bare feet… The cold ocean waters rising to meet me, the foam kissing them before pulling away. It all suddenly felt right. I spoke to the horizon, spoke from the heart about my longing for the woods (pining for the pines if you will) and how I’ve had a home within walking distance of the ocean for a decade and never really made an effort to make the ocean a home as well. I opened my heart to the ocean, to the guardian of the fleet, the keeper of the hound.

I felt comfortable on the shore for the first time. I craved the waters to surround me more and more. The tide came up higher around my ankles as I walked the sand. It was so cold. It just felt wonderful. The cold became a bit too intense the longer they were submerged but then the waters would recede and the warmth would return. I enjoyed this cycle for some time and eventually noticed a peculiar stone embedded in the damp sand. It was almost perfectly square, very flat, with a series of clam bored holes along one side. From one corner to another was a set of three pits, then a single pit, then a barely started pit. It was a peculiar shape with a peculiar sequence of natural markings. It was a warm and wonderful gift and it filled my heart with warmth.

This morning before we left on our journey I called to Nehalennia for the first time at my altar. I called out to her, welcomed her to join our home, and asked for her to guide and protect us on our journey south. When it came time for omens I, again, called to her. The runes sloshed, undulated (not unlike water!) between my fingers and then two rose up:

Sowilo – The Sun
Eihwaz – The Yew

With the sureness of the sun and the defense of the yew I heard Nehalennia reassure me: “Have faith in my protection.” and so I kept her cool waves flowing in my heart all day.

It feels wonderful and ‘right’ to speak with Nehalennia now. I’m not sure if this means a third Goddess will take a place on my altar but, for now, I welcome Her presence and have a great deal of love for Her.

At any rate our journey was pleasant and safe and the stone sitting on my altar at home is so beautiful. I hope to have her guide us home tomorrow afternoon and… We’ll see where this relationship goes, I suppose.

10/17/16 – The Oath and The Ledge

Today I renewed my Dedicant’s Oath before The Kindreds using my personalized Oath. It was a quiet, intimate morning ritual kept to simple offerings of love and a tiny LED flame as my giant cat decided he wanted to take part as well and I couldn’t well reach most of my altar with him on my lap. Still though, despite it being a little weird, it was a nice ritual. It felt good to do the Oath again, now in a more comfortable mood than I had been in months prior.

When I moved into meditation I called on Artio, who had previously indicated to me through the runes that she wished me to meditate, and asked her to join me in my mental grove to pass along whatever she had wanted to tell. The grove was unstable when I arrived. I knew I was having a hard time ‘tuning it in’. The creek was undulating up and down like a ribbon and I focused to ‘flatten it out’. In time the tumult settled and I sat, listening to the kayaderosseras trickle past me, feeling the grass around me. I felt very small in this moment, the grass taller around me than before.

Eventually I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. A tree had sprung up in the distance to my right. Another tree followed, followed by another. As the trees appeared so too did the earth below them pull up into a slope. There was suddenly an inclined path up off into the distance lined with tall, shady trees. I looked toward the grove as I knew it and then looked up at this new formation and willed myself to ascend the slope. I quickly reached a sharp wall of dirt that was too tall for me to mantle. I tried to get my paws up on it and could not. Perhaps I was too small at this time to climb it. I looked back down and the path back to the grove seemed darker, as night had begin to set in. I tried again to climb the ledge but I could not. Moments before I rose from the visions I saw some sort of thick, floating stone disc near me. I knew that a book was hidden inside it though I could not see it.

So as the tingles left me and I turned my eyes to the little battery-powered flame on my altar I called on Artio again, lifting my rune pouch. For my Monday omens I asked if that ledge was for me to climb or if I should remain down in the grove when next I visit that place. These runes called out:

Perpo – The Dice Cup

Fehu – Cattle

Ingwaz – Ing

As the runes were cast, Fehu was leaning atop Ingwaz.

I see this answer as “You are uncertain right now. Go and spend some of that pent up energy with others.”

Indeed I am perhaps slightly overtaxed with thoughts and concerns right now. I am on my autumn vacation and I’ve been making great effort to make it a low impact relaxing type of vacation but my sleep last night was riddled with static in my mind and my meditation today was equally rough. Bear-Mother asks me to go work out the fuzz, shake off the itchy, shedding fur and have a nice time.

We’ll talk again next time.


Meditation At The Altar – 9/19/16

Another late night at the altar. Another late night meditation with the Goddesses.

I held the ironwood bear in my hands, threading my thumbs between it’s paws. I could feel my heartbeat throbbing into her. I entered my mental grove, that leg of the Kayaderosseras behind my childhood home. I approached the creek through the darkness. Artio appeared, sitting in the water with Her bear children. They all sat too, being stroked by Her, watching me slowly approach.

Then a burst of tall grass and I looked right to be rushed by another young cub. They stampeded past me and pushed me forward, away from Artio, to the right, towards darker, thicker trees. I found myself at a little stone pedestal on which sat Nantosuelta. She kneeled briefly to lay down a small stone bowl full of sweet fluid which I lowered my head and I drank from. She placed another down but this time, as I drank, I was a bear. She placed a third, which was quite large, and I drank with a little more effort this time. I felt sated and tired and so I let my head rest in the empty bowl. Nantosuelta stroked my head. I turned and rested my head upon her lap, looking up at the sky as it turned darker and then grey. It turned to a snowy, thick grey and it became colder but not intensely so. I sensed Grandmother’s eye coming upon me. That storm of memory, in the blizzard and the grey ursine silhouette.

I felt the heartbeat returning in my thumbs, the ironwood bear became solid in my hands again and I awoke.

Tonight I gave offerings of water to drink and asked the Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Shining Ones all to sit with me tonight and just… Be with me. In the grove within they surely did. Instead of Artio granting me her touch tonight, though, I had the pleasure of laying with Nantosuelta and her cool, healing touch. I even caught a glimpse of Grandmother’s storm. Let this mean the end of this wretched illness. I’ve coughed and sniffled enough this past week to last me the rest of the year, thank you very much.

Now it is 2:30 am and I really, really need to lay down my head.

Rune Divination Journal – 5/30/16

My rune reading tonight continued my saga of being warned about loss of the path. The runes fell in the pattern of an inverse Tiwaz, warning me of a loss of guidance. This path contains great amounts of old wisdom (of course) as well as strength, kinship, learning, and adaptability. Losing the way lies between a guttering flame and a joy smothered in chaos.

I came away from this reading with wisdom from my Patroness Nantosuelta. That she wishes to reinforce my bravery moving forward and not let myself wane in piety or joy, lest I lose my footing.

Which, of course, means introducing myself to Belenus very soon, cold feet be damned.

Waiting to meet the runes.

My first set of runes arrived in the mail today. Carved and blessed by The Magical Druid in Ohio, they’re a very lovely little wooden set. They smell just lovely and while I’ve yet to spend any amount of time feeling them in my hand they look nicely carved. I’m waiting to get too deep into them until I set aside time to properly welcome them to my home and stain them appropriately. I look forward to learning more about them and, of course, expanding the vocabulary in which I can communicate with the Gods.

I was thinking about the face that came down from the sun and I’m starting to suspect it might have been Belenus. I’ve been thinking about the upcoming Summer Solstice rites a bit and it could be that He wanted to swing by and give me a little pat on the back… Or a little kindling to my flame.

I’ve also been thinking about the falling sticks to which I derived my internet handle here. I’ve been asking occasionally to return to that dream thicket where I witnessed the fallings sticks of true names. I have yet to return. With my recent exploration into shamanic-style journeying I’m wondering if perhaps I’m to find my way there again as I grow in my spiritual power?

Either that or my true name really is just Falling Sticks.

A Brief Walk In Bear

I got a little support and guidance from the ADF ‘Ecstatic Trance’ mailing list regarding my transformative trance experiences and received a bit of guidance to further explore what I was feeling in a more controlled and aware (therefore safer) manner. What follows is an elaboration on the hastily recorded notes following the event.

As suggested I did my meditation naked. I turned out the lights and set myself down on my bed, arms at my sides. I closed my eyes and began steady, rhythmic breathing until I could keep the rhythm and just focus on sensing what was around me. Usually I find the hum and gust of our AC a distraction during my meditation but tonight I was able to, for lack of a better term, integrate it into the experience. I could feel the air pouring down around me and the bed pushing up in response. Soon I noticed my breathing taking a deeper, heavier pace. I felt a rush of blood through me twice and then I felt myself kind of melting.
It eventually felt like I had stopped breathing altogether and I found myself looking through unfamiliar eyes. My fur looked brown or gold. There was very bright sunlight. I was male. I knew this for certain. The place I was in was some sort of overgrown ruin. Light yellow stonework was underfoot and to my left. Trees stretched above, shading some of the sun. The stonework also rose above me, to my left, forming a curved wall. It was a sort of turret with stairs following around it, upwards. There were also wider stairs further left that were almost completely shaded by a tall wall with an archway. The stairs led down to this arch and beyond the arch was a vast, sunlit field.
The of this ruin or whatever it was had long vines growing on them with black or dark red berries. I also smelled olives very strongly. Like olive wood.
I considered ascending the spiral tower steps but got a strong sensation of violence. I could actually taste blood. The danger was like metal in my nostrils. Would there be a kill there? I did not want to fight at that moment.
I finally got my legs moving. It felt as if I had spent the entire morning ‘warming them up’ to only start moving now. I started moving down the stairs instead, towards the archway.
I then snapped out of the meditation, gasping sharply for air.
I submitted this to the group and am curious about feedback. As to what I think about it? I think it was interesting and vivid but have yet to really ponder it for any meaning.

A Face Came Down From The Sky

Tonight I was preparing to settle in for the evening. I sat myself before the altar and focused on centering myself. I did my breathing and then moved into the Two Powers meditation. I set my roots, drank from the underworld, and filled my belly. I looked up to the sky, the light between, and called down the fire to fill me…

And as I did a face briefly shone before me. It was a man with a broad, long nose and a moustache. He said nothing and had a neutral expression, and then he was gone.

His visage completely fled my memory as I finished my evening devotional, as I did not even think to inquire about the man’s image in my prayers… But after I had called the flame back to candle to smoke I remembered… And came here to journal the experience.

I started a conversation with the ‘Ecstatic Trance” group on the ADF message service regarding my transformation experiences. I have received some sensory exercises to try so when I have several moments alone to truly focus on it, I will attempt to learn more.

I am also now waiting on the arrival of my first set of runes, carved by The Magical Druid. On recommendation from my mentor I am to receive and hallow these runes and explore their use going forward in my Dedicant work, to see if they are a fit for my practice.

It’s become another late night completely by accident so I will finally, finally lay myself to sleep.

Mothers, please keep this home safe and sacred. Wrap me in your loving arms while I slumber and guide me safely to enlightening dreams til the sun returns to me.