Friday, May 29, 2015

Wellspring 2015

Well this is going up a few days later than I planned, do to being tired, then burning myself. I wanted write something up on Wellspring 2015 as this was my first Major Druid event. All in all the weekend was amazing; the weather aside from Friday night was wonderful camping weather. Friday night it was bitter cold, but we did have enough equipment to keep up warm. Something I learned though is if it is too cold my breath will condense before leaving my CPAP mask which is no fun. The remaining nights were not bad (Saturday) and perfect (Sunday.) The daytime weather was also great, even warm enough that I would have used the pool if it was open.

There were two things from the weekend that really made it stand out. One was the warrior games, and the people of the warrior’s guild. The second was the main ritual. Each of these events spoke to me in very profound ways, and in very different ways. I will address each of them, and the only fair way is to do so in the order I attended them. I am not sure if I could say which my favorite was, so doing them in order is the way to go.

The warrior games: Saturday morning…
The games took place Saturday morning, and I really wish I had decided to play in them before that morning. This would have allowed me more than a few moments between matches to work on my bardic piece. It would have allowed me to practice on Friday, and I would have met some of the guild a night earlier. This was a truly amazing group of people. This event was a real home coming.  By the end of the event I knew I would be bringing these games home with me, and coming up with a way to do them with my grove. I have already bought rock for the stone throw and stone and peg. I am planning out purchases, and also am redesigning my new workout schedule to include games as part of the work outs. I will soon be joining the guild, and look forward to seeing where this is going. I have heard it said that no one is born a warrior, but I am not so sure. I knew I was one from a young age, and with lead to me joining the Army as soon as I was allowed. Once I left the Army, I thought I had left that part of my life behind, yet now I am not sure, I believe I have a place within the guild of Warriors in ADF.

My awards from the Warrior games:

My purchase of stones to train with:

64 pounds of Rocks, I now need to figure out what each ome weighs.

The main ritual: Sunday night...
Saturday night around dinner time I developed a horrible headache, and headed for bed very early. I drugged myself pretty well, to deal with both headache and my allergies, and took a nap, or so I though. I slept all night and I slept hard. When I woke on Sunday, I was still pretty out of it, and stayed that way most of the day. Amy and I went out for food, off site for dinner, and I had hoped that it would help and it did not. I was thinking of skipping the ritual, but with Amy having a part, and with her talking about how amazing they are, I decided to attend. Jen was a saint and gave me a couple peppermints that helped soothe my stomach. So going into the ritual I felt like someone had run me over. By the end, I was in amazing shape. I may write up the ritual, as a latter post but honestly I was so invested in experiencing it that I am not sure just how much I remember. I do know that when we invited all of the shining ones whom we have worked with into the circle, that Sigyn was there, and that she gave me more energy. And or reduced my fatigue. I remember the point at which I felt her hand on my brow, and the starting to feel better right after, and continuing to feel better as the night went on. Watching the clergy work was something to behold. When I was a child, well late teen, I thought about going into the Christian clergy. Obviously that did not happen. However, I have been giving thoughts to what I will do once I finish my dedicant path, and the clergy may be something I pursue.  

I also need to mention the Artisan guild contest. I had entered 3 Items, and though I did not win, it was great fun entering. The people I lost to I am more than will to admit were better than me. ADF has some truly amazing artists.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A bag for my Runes

Thank you Amy!

Well as I had mentioned before I have finished my set of handmade runes. I was goig to look around online for a nice sack to keep them in, but Amy was having none of that. She told me that she would make a bag for me or help me make a bag. We pulled out the tub of fabric she has, and she allowed me to choose whatever I wanted. I looked at almost everything she had, and kept being drawn to a beautiful hand dyed fabric. We pulled it out and Amy asked what size bad I wanted. I showed her the approximate size I wanted it, and then things were put on hold for a bit. Well Tuesday, while I was working on a cake for a grove mates birthday, Amy was nice enough to make the bag for me. She did an amazing job, used French seams an all. Here is a photo of the sack, I don’t think I could have bought a better bag for my runes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My 1st Tattoo

It has taken me years but I have finally gotten my 1st tattoo. This may not seem like a major accomplishment, but for years I had resigned myself to never having one. Over the years I have attempted other tattoos, but major issues kept coming up. My 1st attempt happened when I was in the Service, and a friend and I were going to drive to Pittsburgh, to a famous artist to be tattooed,(I don’t remember what I was planning.) When we pulled out of his driveway he rear ended another car, and though we were not going fast, the accident sheared off him engine mounts and pretty much totaled his car. The second tattoo, I had another appointment, I had chosen the tattoo, and all was set, and then my marriage fell apart. My ex-wife and I had made our appointments the same day, and though she was able to make it to her appointment, I was reeling from the divorce and did not make it. The Third attempt was also thwarted by a car accident, I had found a place here in Lansing, and the day of my appointment my mother was in a car accident and totaled my parent’s car, and broke her arm. Needless to say I was at the hospital instead of getting tattooed that night. I took this as a sign that I was not to get tattoos.

That feeling lasted until a few years ago. When I felt pilled to get a tattoo, I began looking and for a while I thought I wanted a greenman tattoo, but that did not feel right. As time went on I was leaning more and more towards a tree, the tree. I wanted the worldtree represented and I started looking at various images. It was not until I was in a tattoo studio looking around on the internet while my friend was tattooed that I found something close.  I showed the photo to the tattoo artist, said I want something like this, with x changes, and in grey-scale, and he said sure. The tattoo was actually just drawn on in red sharpie, then free hand tattooed, and he could not have done a better job.

So here is the tattoo……

Friday, May 8, 2015

My Grove necklace is done

Below is a photo on the necklace I have made to hold my grove pendant. if you are interested in the meaning of the various components you can click here.

The new necklace is a serious upgrade from my previous necklace, that was made as a place holder for the new one.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Runes are done!

After a bit of hard work, though not as much as it could have been, my handmade set of Elder Futhark runes are done. I currently have 2 sets that I have bought, a gemstone set that I associate with the Shining Ones, a set made of Buffalo bone that I use for work with the ancestors. I decided to make a set that I would associate with the nature spirits, and in this I think I may have failed. (More on that later*.)

These runes are mostly hand made by me, the only place I had machine assistance with in the cutting of the wooden disks from the chosen branch.  The branch that was chosen was a dried limb from a fallen cedar tree. that fell in a thunderstorm. The cedar was chosen as the grove I belong to is Cedarsong, the fact that it fell during a storm, ties it in closely to Perkūnas one of the Baltic gods of the grove.  The disks were cut from the same branch that I use to represent the Tree on my alter. Once the disks were cut, I took them to the Beltane 2015 fire watch, and sanded them throughout the night, doing my best to invest as much positive energy into the wood as I could. I then burned the runes into the disks, and polished them with a mixture of oils and beeswax imbued with cedar wood essential oil.  I am very pleased with the final product. I have enough blanks to make 2 more sets of rune stones from this branch, and I do plan to make them. I just need to determine what the will be used for. Most likely as gifts of auction items.

I will begin to use these runes for my daily rune drawing.

* Here is the more on that latter, though I was planning on this being my nature spirit set of runes, I do not think that this is the case. (I will look for a set to use with the nature spirits.) With the work that went into this set, the bulk of this work being done during a fire watch, the energy I poured into them, and the strong tie the have to Perkūnas, I think this set is going to me my general use set, and the set that get used most often. I will get a nature set, and that one and the other2 will be used when I really need to focus on one set of the kindred. 

The fire that was lit for the Beltane ritual, (and that I helped watch all Saturday Night) this is right at dusk, just after my senior druid lit the fire and blessed the fire. For a good portion of the night I sat here and chatted with friends old and new, and sanded the disks for the runes. The energy around the fire was perfect for crafting, and I believe the work that went into the runes that night helped imbue them with clean positive energy.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Altar is ready.

I have for a while been gathering item to create an altar in my bedroom. I do plan on making an outside alter at some point also, but this was really the first step. I have a few more Items I am working on, something I want to change, but the altar is now in a usable state.  As I have recently become a member of the ADF, this is the altar I will use for anything ADF relater I will do at home. The items I have located and their importance are as follows:

The Drum (that hangs above) is my drum; I sometimes use for Journey work, and drum circles I go to. It is decorated using Zentangle, and it means a lot to me as a doorway to the other side, and a doorway between my spiritual side and my artistic side.
The branch, (Left rear)Represents the Tree, this branch is from a cedar tree from our yard that was blown over in a storm. This branch has many meanings:  It is from a cedar tree, and I belong to the Cedarsong ADF grove. It was from a storm damaged tree, the grove is strongly associated with Perkūnas the Baltic god of the storms. The tree that fell, is one that I loved sense my friends moved into this house, and I was saddened when it fell. This is also the end of the branch, that I will be using to make a wood burned set of runes.
The Bowl, (Left Front) This is a bowl I found secondhand that called to me. It represents the bowl Sigyn uses to catch the poison set to drip on Loki. I also use it to hold my set of Amethyst runes, the stones I will use when seeking advice from the shining ones.
The Basket (Next to the tree), this basket (I am looking for a better container), holds a variety of stones, ones I collect from important places, and some I have received from my brother after his death and from my ex-wife, there is also a sharks tooth given my by the boy child I live with. Each stone here is either tied to a place or person that is important to me.
The Lizard, (right foreground), I have always had a strong tie to the lizard, and it was one of my first spirit guides. This is a stuffed lizard that looks quite a bit like Vincent my lizard spirit guide.
The Fire, (Center), this is the representative of the fire in ADF, it is a red broken glass candle-holder, and another secondhand find.
The Leaf (next to the fire), this is a leaf my ex-wife used to own, and left here in Lansing, when she moved following her love of the land. It is a stick incense holder, and I will use it when I burn any incense as Martha is partially responsible for me really starting to work out my spiritual path.
The Well (Right Rear), this is yet another second hand finds, I was looking for something to represent the well, and this romanesque pot work perfectly.
The Necklace (In front of the leaf), this is my basic Cedarsong Grove necklace. I am making one that is more representative of the grove and my beliefs, but I am still waiting on supplies.
The Elephant & the Mug, (Right Front), these represent recently passed ancestors (well really all my ancestors), the elephant is a paperweight I bought my mother from a garage-sale when I was five years old, that started her amazing elephant collection. The coffee mug belonged to my brother Mike, and I received it when he passed. I use the Mug to hold my runes made of buffalo bone, that are used when seeking advice from the ancestors.
The Alter cloth, This cloth was chosen to represent Enki, the god who would not leave me alone, and began my path from an Animist to a follower of a small number of gods, it is the foundation of the alter as he is the water below, and one of the reasons I ended up in the ADF (even if he is from a non-ADF culture)

What is to come: as add the remaining items to my altar, I will post about each item on its own.

Journey work seeking advice…

Wednesday April 29th:
Journey Work: Trying to decide how much of my spiritual work I should share online…

Background: When it comes to my spiritual work, and beliefs I tend to play my cards close to my chest, or else I used to. I have posted a little bit about it here, and I had a feeling that I should make this a regular thing.

I undertook this journey looking for advice in regards to sharing, more about my spiritual side, and I found it in an interesting way. I see a strong tie in with my creativity and art with my spiritual side, so the being I spoke with is logical, thought it was not someone I ever expected. I started out with plans to go to the upper world; this is where I tend to go for spiritual/creative advice. The journey there was uneventful, and I began to wander around. The intention of this journey was very vague, and I was not sure what I was looking for, but soon found my answer.

As I wandered, I came across a stream that was filled with vibrant colors, so I decided follow it up stream. After a short trip, I found an older man pouring various cans of dye into the stream. I stood there looking at him for a bit before I recognized him; the man in the stream was Andy Warhol. About the time I recognized him, as acknowledged me, and nodded his head toward a large rock.  We headed over there and sat and chatted for a while. I remember asking him about being in the upper world (normally I encounter spirits in the underworld,) and he responded yeah, I was there for a while, but it is so much more colorful here. I joked that was only because he was pouring colors into the water.

I chatted with him about art, and spirituality, looking for a bit of advice on how much I should share.  He mentioned that he wished he had been more open about his beliefs, and that he wished he had not been afraid of being recognized in church, but that was in the past. His advice was each person is ultimately responsible for their own decisions, and he would not tell me what to do, but left me with the feeling that sharing my beliefs and thoughts was the correct path, so expect more journey logs here in the future…