What can Druidry offer in dark times?

This is a fascinating, informational post about druidry that is hopeful and practical. I am excited to know that forestry in my state is healing. I love the idea of focusing on the healed  in the midst of the healing process. This is essential now more than ever.

blessings, litebeing

The Druid's Garden

Things seem broken right now. These last two weeks have been a very hard week for many people. The national conversation here in the USA grows more difficult by the day, and it seems nearly every nation is facing many kinds of serious issues. These challenges are happening concurrently at many levels—internationally, but also in communities we care about, in our families, in our homes. Things are tough. They seem tougher for many of us today than they were yesterday. Many of us fear that they will likely be even tougher tomorrow. This is the reality of industrial decline, the reality of the climate crisis before us.

The questions that I’ve had for myself, and my fellow druids is a simple one: what can druidry offer us in these dark times?

I’ve been thinking about the role of druidry in all of this, this question a lot, not only over…

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Uranus Retrograde ~ Be Here Now

I am echoing the sentiments of the iconic Ram Dass , suggesting we all do our best to chill and refrain from engaging in major activities in the environment.  This essay directs us to do the opposite of what I advised back in January when all planets were moving in direct motion. This is because tomorrow Uranus goes retrograde, joining Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto. Venus ( soon to join the party on October 5th) and Jupiter are the only planets moving forward at this time. Look to where 2 degrees Taurus lands in your natal chart to see where the Great Awakener rocks your world. Stationing points can be quite powerful depending on how they impact you personally in terms of sign, house position, and relationships with where the planets were positioned at the time of  birth.

Honestly, with all the various energies emerging at us all at once, it is difficult to be able to distinguish why we are experiencing what we are experiencing. This is why continuous self-care is so important. But you already knew that didn’t you? My self- care regime varies, but my current practice consists of daily meditation, mindfulness, clearing away clutter, gratitude, and aromatherapy. All of these strategies contribute to more clarity and openness.

wikipedia.org pub domain

When there are too many activities or conflicting ideas to juggle, it is natural to succumb to feelings of overwhelm and confusion. When I reflect back on early 2018, I wish I could have been bolder and capitalized on more new ventures. But my plate was full with all the curve balls thrown my way. I truly believe that we always do the best we can, even when we resort to self-judgement. For example, just a few hours ago, I did not have the energy or drive to complete this post. But after meditation, the impulse to continue writing brought me back here to the draft folder and voila, a blog is born.

While I find it challenging to be able to tease out which particular energy is operating with the most fervor, spending more time within certainly makes this task more manageable. For instance, transiting Jupiter made its second hit to my sun late yesterday and I was hoping for an explosion of joy. That did not happen, but it is likely that this positive influence has tempered some of the more noxious energies currently at play. With multiple eclipses, an unusually strong retro pattern, along with solar flares and God knows what else, ( humidity?), life here on Gaia has become increasingly more complicated. Astrology is magical and my lifelong passion, but it is not a panacea. We live in a time where more is being asked of us and reality is more fragile than ever. So what is the solution? I don’t have an easy answer, but I know that listening to one’s guidance is crucial. Twice this week I have been faced with situations that were very unsettling. Many times in the past I would rationalize them away, or make the “easier” choice and then worry excessively about it afterwards. But not this time. I took a breath, listened more intently, and made the more nuanced, complicated choices. This way I will have less worry and probably no regret. This is my version of living authentically. My intuition was imploring me to undo decisions that may have been harmful. I took the road less traveled. Now I ‘ll wait and see what happens.

What can one expect with Uranus retracing his steps? It will be different for everyone, but surprises and unusual energetic movement is likely. With Mars moving back into Capricorn, some of the wild currents may dissipate, but you never know. Some possible manifestations are circulatory problems, new and exciting encounters, sudden insights, technological irregularities ( especially while Mercury is still retro), and weather anomalies. Like I stated earlier, the location of transiting Uranus in your natal chart makes all the difference. Those who have planets in late Aries or early Taurus may feel this transit more intensely. With Uranus, you really never know.

Let me finish with a few birthday wishes for some of my blogettes: Cheers to Ka, Debra, Dayna, Renate, and Julianne. As the sun travels to my descendant ( 7th house of other),  it is wonderful to have so much awesome company who were born at this time.

header image by © litebeing chronicles, non-header images courtesy of wikipedia.org, public domain

Joygasm

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Here is a wonderfully unique meditation experience I had the day of the Leo Full Moon. It was a vivid bright day, all aglow with Jupiter in Leo sunshine. I closed my eyes and immediately saw bright red light. Gradually the colors began to evolve.  The image above is very close to a warm orangey yellow vision that was very potent with possibilities.

I felt inspired to recreate this vision in a drawing. This is partially because I could not find anything online that came close to what I saw with my third eye. Then yesterday while over at Soul Fields I saw my image. Imagine that, just when I had stopped looking! Thank you Deelia for facilitating yet another synchronicity. Since I had already started my piece, I decided to complete it. In characteristic Mercury retrograde style, I restarted the project and find this new version to be closer to my intention:

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my version of the innervision

 I  remember asking for love for to reach all my friends and family. This intention expanded to include everyone and everything  I breathed in love, visualizing elves entering my being.  I began to laugh so joyfully. It was so unexpected and amazing. Never have I  felt that intense joy before in meditation. I sustained it for what appeared to be a couple of minutes. The inner-scape was a lovely shade of red.

Throughout the process I saw most of the color spectrum. Waves of color starting with bright red, orange, blue, green, purple emerged before me. It was very beautiful and natural. I was amazed by the whimsy of the elves and realized I have used them in healing many years ago with the help of a friend. She took me through a series of guided imagery exercises where elves would heal my earache. Why we chose elves , I have no recollection, but I find it all very fascinating.

Medicine Bowl

Later that day I drew a card for the full moon. Apparently I have more healing to do for myself and others. This card is one I have pulled many times for myself. I see it as important now as the full moon highlights my 1st and 7th house axis. I do have some 7th house projects in progress and they do involve healing.

As I blogged recently, my emotional life has been activated. It was such a nice surprise to be in such bliss during this meditation. Typically I feel very little emotion when I sit and go within, with the exception of some worry over “doing it correctly”. I am humbled by the possibilities that await me. 

image credits: header and first image wallspaperwide.com

Labyrinth – Shining Star

We keep losing them. I had reblogged this post in honor of Maurice White, founder of Earth, Wind, and Fire. The reblog got funky so I pasted the original here so folks can find it. I recently learned that the band got its name based on Maurice’s natal chart. There must be a super celestial group forming in the Afterlife….

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While this litebeing fancies herself to be a ” big picture, forget the details, philosophical ponderer”, the INFJ side to my personality loves checklists. I really enjoy creating To-do lists and become absolutely giddy when I am able to check something off the list! Walking a labyrinth has been waiting patiently on that list for some time now. We are talking outside labyrinth walking, not the indoor stuff. Been there, done that. My inner princess has been yearning to recreate a time of yore, walking a medieval labyrinth in Europe by the castle gardens. I am wearing a long white dress , my long golden curls cascading down to the ground as I take on this sacred spiritual practice….

Now back to earth: I guess Philadelphia circa 2013 will have to do, minus the golden curls and white dress! I discovered an outdoor labyrinth built in 1999 not far from my home. It was designed in anticipation of the new Millenium. I decided today would be the day I make my pilgrimage ( by car) to Chestnut Hill College.

First, here’s some background on labyrinths.  According to Wikipedia:

 Medieval labyrinths and turf mazes –

When the early humanist Benzo d’Alessandria visited Verona before 1310, he noted the “Laberinthum which is now called the Arena“;[28] perhaps he was seeing the cubiculi beneath the arena’s missing floor. The full flowering of the medieval labyrinth came about from the twelfth through fourteenth centuries with the grand pavement labyrinths of the gothic cathedrals, notablyChartresReims and Amiens in northern France. These labyrinths may have originated as symbolic allusion to the Holy City; and some modern thinkers have theorized that prayers and devotions may have accompanied the perambulation of their intricate paths.[29] Although some books (in particular guidebooks) suggest that the mazes on cathedral floors served as substitutes for pilgrimage paths, the earliest attested use of the phrase “chemin de Jerusalem” (path to Jerusalem) dates to the late 18th century when it was used to describe mazes at Reims and Saint-Omer.[30] The accompanying ritual, supposedly involving pilgrims following the maze on their knees while praying, may have been practiced at Chartres during the 17th century.[30] However, no contemporary evidence supports the idea that labyrinths had such a purpose for early Christians.[31] The cathedral labyrinths are thought to be the inspiration for the many turf mazes in the UK, such as survive at WingHiltonAlkborough, and Saffron Walden.

Over the same general period, some 500 or more non-ecclesiastical labyrinths were constructed inScandinavia. These labyrinths, generally in coastal areas, are marked out with stones, most often in the simple 7- or 11-course classical forms. They often have names which translate as “Troy Town“. They are thought to have been constructed by fishing communities: trapping malevolent trolls or winds in the labyrinth’s coils might ensure a safe fishing expedition. There are also stone labyrinths on the Isles of Scilly, although none is known to date from before the nineteenth century.

There are examples of labyrinths in many disparate cultures. The symbol has appeared in various forms and media (petroglyphs, classic-form, medieval-form, pavement, turf, and basketry) at some time throughout most parts of the world, from Native North and South America to Australia,JavaIndia, and Nepal.

Cultural Meanings –

Prehistoric labyrinths are believed to have served as traps for malevolent spirits or as defined paths for ritual dances. In medieval times, the labyrinth symbolized a hard path to God with a clearly defined center (God) and one entrance (birth). In their cross-cultural study of signs and symbols, Patterns that Connect,Carl Schuster and Edmund Carpenter present various forms of the labyrinth and suggest various possible meanings, including not only a sacred path to the home of a sacred ancestor, but also, perhaps, a representation of the ancestor him/herself: “…many [New World] Indians who make the labyrinth regard it as a sacred symbol, a beneficial ancestor, a deity. In this they may be preserving its original meaning: the ultimate ancestor, here evoked by two continuous lines joining its twelve primary joints.” .[34]

Labyrinths can be thought of as symbolic forms of pilgrimage; people can walk the path, ascending toward salvation or enlightenment. Many people could not afford to travel to holy sites and lands, so labyrinths and prayer substituted for such travel. Later, the religious significance of labyrinths faded, and they served primarily for entertainment, though recently their spiritual aspect has seen a resurgence.

Many newly made labyrinths exist today, in churches and parks. Labyrinths are used by modern mystics to help achieve a contemplative state. Walking among the turnings, one loses track of direction and of the outside world, and thus quiets the mind. The Labyrinth Society[35] provides a locator for modern labyrinths all over the world.

In addition, the labyrinth can serve as a metaphor for situations that are difficult to be extricated from, as an image that suggests getting lost in a subterranean dungeon-like world. Octavio Paz titled his book on MexicanidentityThe Labyrinth of Solitude, describing the Mexican condition as orphaned and lost.

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It was a sunny Sunday afternoon with low humidity and a whisper of Autumn crispness in the air. Once I walk through half the campus, I find the labyrinth hidden between the chapel and some bushes. I take off my wristwatch and get centered. I silently pray for peace upon entering and ask for assistance from my guides. I lightly make my way along the winding path, noticing the patterns of lightness and shade. I begin to contemplate times of enlightenment and darkness throughout my life. The idea of labyrinth as metaphor comes alive for me throughout this process. Once I enter the center, I stand tall and lift my arms up towards the sky. I feel safe and warm and loved. I then close my eyes and wait for any thoughts or images to emerge. I see a round dark red circle in my mind’s eye. I begin to think about both the planet Mars and the Sun. As I  finally arrive  towards the end, I notice a man and his son approaching the area. The man was wearing a bright red t-shirt. Once I leave the labyrinth, he says hello and we speak briefly. Then I go back to my car.  I could not help but notice that the man’s shirt was the same shade of red as my image! Coincidence? I do not think so.

I thought about the power of red and fire on the ride home. As I travel towards the parking area, the song ” Shining Star” comes on the radio. Oh how I loved Earth Wind and Fire back in high school. Shining Star was one of my friend’s favorite songs. She has the moon in Leo, so it does make sense! After all, the sun is a shining star and we are all infused with its radiant light!

I realize that it takes more than a few hours to integrate this holy experience, so more insights may develop over time. However, I felt strong and luminous and peaceful. I truly enjoyed my time there and am always seeking ways to embrace the modern mystic within me.  I plan to go back  and visit Chestnut Hill College again, and also explore some other outdoor labyrinths in the immediate area. If you enjoy walking meditation, get excited by circles, and want to feed your inner prince or princess, this could be worth checking out.

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So for all you shining stars out in the blogosphere, this is for you!

 

references:

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labyrinth#Medieval_labyrinths_and_turf_mazes

http://chestnuthilllocal.com/blog/2011/05/13/local-labyrinths-creating-%E2%80%98wave-of-peaceful-energy%E2%80%99/

image credits ~ wikipedia.org, public domain