The ancient Druids were said to use sensory deprivation as a means of entering an altered states of consciousness and accessing Awen (inspiration). They entered a dark room and placed a stone on their chest to keep their mind from wandering. Eventually they would enter altered state seeking their vision or inspiration. Continue reading
I have been studying Celtic Shamanism for quite a while and am about half way through my Bardic training. Eventually I will complete the Druidry course, but it is a ways out.
Bards are storytellers, poets and musicians. Since Celtic society was an oral tradition, they were also the keepers of tradition, of the memory of the tribe.
One of the areas I struggle with is poetry. It has become a standing joke within my circle that when we come to poetry, I go blank. So, maybe I’m beginning to “get it” because as I was going to sleep last night, I was creating a Samhain poem. Continue reading
Samhain (sah-win or sow-een) is the fourth and final fire festival (or cross-quarter holiday) in the Celtic Wheel of the Year. The veil between the worlds grows thin, as the portal opens into the Celtic New Year, and we begin our decent into the dreamtime. It is a time of releasing the old, planting seeds for the coming year, deep visioning, receiving transmissions of wisdom, and communing with ancestors, faeries, and the spirit world. We are reminded of the importance of the season of bone that follows the harvest and precludes the spring – a time of silence, of resting, of the death of all that is completed, and the incubation of that which is to come.
This is also a time for remembering all our ancestors and loved ones who have passed into the world beyond. Many traditions honor their ancestors at this time. For the Celts, the celebration is Samhian, in the Hispanic traditions it is known as Dia de los Muertos or “Day of the Dead”. The Christian Church incorporated these festivals into a festival known as “All Souls Day”. Continue reading
August first is the beginning of Lughnasadh (or Lammas). This is the celebration of the first harvest. Depending on your traditions, Lughnasadh is celebrated from August 1 – August 15.
The name of this festival is Irish Gaelic for “Commemoration of Lugh”. Lugh is associated with the power of sun and light, and so fires were burned in honor of him on this day. In addition to his associations with light, Lugh is a God of Skill and Craft, a master of all human skills.
Imagine stepping back into the rhythm of the past… into the days of vast forests, sacred groves and fires at twilight… of circles of three… women, priestesses, druids, healers… drumming and drawing stories of wisdom from the Otherworld to bless and heal the community. See yourself gathered around the sacred flame, see the faces of Maiden, Mother and Crone, and hearing their stories of wisdom and healing for the earth, the community and you…
As some of you know, my explorations of shamanism have brought me to a deep connection with Celtic shamanism, which is my heritage and spiritual connection through many, many lifetimes. It is through this connection that I have had the honor and opportunity to be a part of this circle of healing this past year. It has been a phenomenal healing and growth experience. Continue reading
Well, we are a week into the spring and here in Arizona the temps are beginning to rise and the world (and allergies) is in full bloom. For many of you in the colder climes, the snow is beginning to melt and the earth is starting to warm up and even begins to show the beauty that has been hidden all winter. It is a time of excitement and anticipation as the days grow longer and we welcome the return to all the activities we enjoy in the warmer days. I am keenly aware of coming out of hibernation. It feels good to feel the spring sun on my body as I work in my sacred gardens in my back yard as well as my spiritual Sacred Garden.
In the Celtic traditions, your Sacred Garden is a place in the spirit realm that “belongs” to you. It is a place to rest, recharge, store shamanic gifts, meet with Spiritual Guides and Teachers, etc. Only those who you invite can enter your Sacred Garden. Your Sacred Garden is an inner representation of what you choose to create in your outer reality. Continue reading