May you all have a blessed New Year! Blessings of health, prosperity, wisdom, and magic upon you!
Sometimes it’s nice to be solitary. The lack of other people in your practice means that you can practice however you want, whenever you want. You can be as eclectic and ecstatic as you like; you can honor the beings you wish. However, solitary Druidry is lonely. There is no one to share rites, joys, and sorrows with. There is no one to talk to about the vision or flash of insight you had one night.
Though I am a member of Ar nDraoicht Fein, I choose to practice as a solitary. This is for various personal reasons. Being a solitary member of a Druidic organization does have its perks. There are other people to chat with and ask questions of. There are clergy who can support you in tough times. There is one major disadvantage: the cliquish nature of groves (local congregations).
Groves are where all the action happens. They host rituals at festivals, workshops, study groups, and more. The people in a grove are usually kind to us solitaries, as they understand some of us just prefer to work alone. I call them cliquish because I was recently in an organization-wide chat where many of the participants were in the same grove. They chatted amongst themselves without bothering to try to talk to the other people there. Since the majority of ADF’s members are in groves (or protogroves, basically a small congregation just forming), solitaries tend to get forgotten a lot. The Solitary Druid Fellowship was one attempt to remedy this situation, but, as far as I can tell, has made little difference.
It is difficult to be a solitary Druid. I hope that perhaps I can make a difference for fellow solitaries. One idea I have is to offer virtual study sessions (something some of the larger groves offer in person), either through text or video chat.
Thanks for reading my ramblings!
Happy March! Hopefully Spring is on it’s way soon here in the Midwestern US. I said my prayer and drew three runes as an omen for the week, as is my usual practice. Here are the runes I drew:
The first rune I drew was Jera, year. This rune usually means harvest or cycle, or it can literally mean “a year.” I find it appears at the end of a cycle, so perhaps one phase of my life is coming to a close. I drew this rune last week, as well. The second rune is Kenaz, torch. Kenaz signifies the fire of transformation and passion. So, a cycle is coming to an end which leads to a transformation. The last rune is Isa, ice. This could be literal, referring to the ice and snow outside and to be careful to not fall, or Isa could be telling me to be cautious in some other aspect of life. Something may look beautiful on the outside, but it is dangerous. This probably has a lot to do with an organization I am thinking about rejoining. This rune needs more clarification, which I will do privately.
March blessings! Rosemary
I have a Sun Goddess circlet that I put on just before I say my prayer. Today when I put it on, I noticed that I felt a little bit of an altered state. It is hard to describe, but I felt a bit like I was more connected to the Divine. This is probably due to the reinforcement of the circlet with the devotional, as I wear it no other time. Here are the runes I drew today:
The first rune I drew (on the left) is Thurisaz. Thurisaz is a rune of offensive protection and Thor. Thor will be with me again this week. The rune in the middle is Laguz, water. Because of previous experience, I tend to interpret this rune literally as water. It may rain this week, or the snow may melt, or something else to do with liquid may happen this week. Hopefully our pipes won’t burst! The last rune is Jera, year. This is a rune of harvest, so drawing it just before spring is a bit unusual. I’m honestly not sure what this rune is referring to; perhaps that will become clearer as the week goes on.
Blessings to you all, Rosemary
Today I did my devotional a little later in the day than usual; this was because my husband and I spent Valentine’s weekend in a hotel. However once I had gotten home and had some lunch, I still said my prayer and pulled three runes. I didn’t speak my question of “What blessings are offered to me this week?” aloud, but said it in my head instead as I stirred the runes in my bag.
The runes I drew in order from left to right. First I drew Raidho, journey. This week I’ll be working on a journey of some kind. This may allude to my recent decision to begin studying Druidry again. The second rune was Kenaz, torch. My journey will involve the fire of transformation that is Kenaz. Lastly I drew Sowilo, Sunna’s rune. She will be involved in my life in some way this week. Sowilo may also be a simple weather prediction–lots of sun in the sky for the week.
Many blessings, Rosemary
Today I was out of matches so my husband lit the incense for me before I said my prayer. I was a bit thrown off not lighting the incense myself after the prayer, as I usually do. My omen today was an interesting one. First I drew Perthro, meaning that there will be Fate at work this week. Perhaps I’ll take a chance and buy a Powerball ticket, since the jackpot is really high. 🙂 The second rune I drew was Sowilo, the Sun rune. This is Lady Sunna’s rune, so she will be present in my life this week, more so than usual. Last is Algiz, the elk rune. I will be blessed with protection. I also see this rune as associated with Thor, so He will be present in my life this week. I have been drawing a lot of runes associated with Thor lately, so perhaps I should honor him with beer or some other offering.
My memories are like marshmallows
In a cup of lovingly made hot chocolate.
Floating in a sea of delight
Are thoughts of laughter shared,
smiles made, and love given.
We used to dance
To whatever came on
In joy and revelry.
Sometimes I would ask you
To play the organ
And you happily obliged.
Now that you’re gone
I’ll treasure each marshmallow
In my saddened heart.
This poem is in honor of my grandmother who passed away Sunday night in hospice. May she be welcomed warmly into the Underworld by her Ancestors.
Yesterday, I performed a simple Imbolc ritual. (Imbolc is Feb. 1 or 2, depending on who you ask). There were three of us in attendance–my husband, the leader from the Unitarian Universalist church I attend, and myself.
Here is a picture of the altar:
The candles in the bowl have special significance. On four of them are written the name of a Hearth Goddess: Brighid, Vesta, Hestia, and Frigga. The other four are blank to represent the myriad Deities of Winter. On the left side are offerings–milk for the Winter Lords and Ladies and cinnamon for the Ladies of the Hearth. The black bowl was where the offerings went during the ritual (then they went outside after the ritual). A Brighid’s cross made out of paper is in the center front. On the right hand side are my bag of runes to take an Omen about the ritual’s effects, a cone of Air incense in an incense holder to represent the coming Spring, and a box of matches. The small bag on the left towards the back contains a Moon circlet that I wore during the ritual.
I began the ritual with words that emphasized the Earth Mother’s death. I acknowledged the Ladies of the Hearth who keep us alive and the Deities of Winter who renew Earth Mother and allow us time in solitude. I then created sacred space with these words:
Weavers of Time, Keepers of Fate, we ask you to make this time in this place sacred! Allow our rite to be performed in a time outside of time, in a place outside of place.
The incense was lit to help create sacred space. Then I called the Ladies of the Hearth and lit the four Hearth Goddess candles. Next we called the Deities of Winter and lit their candles.
For the offerings, I caught a stick of cinnamon in the flame of a Hearth Goddess candle then put it in the offering bowl with words of thanks. I poured the milk into the offering bowl with words of thanks to the Deities of Winter.
The next step was the Omen, where I asked what blessings the Gods had to offer us. I drew Thurisaz, Thor’s rune, a rune of strength and offensive protection, Dagaz, a rune of the new day and hope, and Mannaz, a rune of the self or humanity. I feel that Thurisaz tells us to be strong to face the rest of winter until the hope of Dagaz and Spring arrives. Mannaz perhaps is a reminder to be kind to our fellow humans and to remember that we are not invincible.
We said goodbye to all the Deities, returned to ordinary time, and wrapped up the ritual with these words:
On this day, when Spring is near and the Earth Mother is dead, we have honored those who ensure life and reflection in solitude. We pledge to always remember to reflect on our lives to prepare for Spring. Blessed be.
Notice there are no quarter or elemental calls. This is a generic Pagan ritual meant to be meaningful to everyone regardless of tradition or beliefs. I personally felt that the rite was beautiful in its simplicity and accomplished what it set out to do.
Imbolc blessings, Rosemary
First of all, blessed Imbolc! My plans are hosting a small ritual later in the evening that honors Ladies of Hearth & Home and Deities of Winter. Spring is on its way!
Today I said my usual devotional prayer, and asked, “What blessings will I receive this week?” I drew three runes in response. The first rune was Ehwaz, the horse rune. This indicates some sort of new partnership, whether between me and another person or a divine partnership. It could also indicate Freyr’s presence in my life, since horses are sacred to him. The second rune I drew was Thurisaz, the thorn rune. Thurisaz is a protective rune, so perhaps I am under divine protection. This is specifically a rune of Thor, so he will be present in my life this week to provide strength. The last rune I drew was Uruz, a rune of manifestation. I feel that maybe the work I am doing to enhance my value as an employee will have some sort of concrete result, which might be a raise (I can’t really get promoted to a position since there’s no position to be promoted to!). However, this manifestation may not be job related. Perhaps some other idea of mine will see the light of day.
I haven’t been writing much here lately. My grandmother is dying, so life has been focused around that for the past several weeks. My thoughts on death in a Pagan context will appear in a post in the near future.
I have been doing weekly devotionals over the past few weeks that honor my Ladies, Freyja and Sunna. Freyja is a Norse Goddess of fertility, sex, love, magic, and death (though I focus on her fertility and love aspects). Sunna is the Norse Goddess of the Sun. This week I added to my devotional an omen with runes.
After I said this prayer and lit a stick of incense as an offering, I asked the question, “What does the week have in store for me?” I drew three runes as my answer. First was Kenaz, torch. Kenaz is a beacon of hope and warmth. I also see it as a rune of Frigga, the Norse Lady of Hearth & Home. Kenaz tells me to focus on the home and just to stay warm in the cold weather. The second rune I drew was Fehu, fertility. I saw it as growth when I pulled it, though it is also a rune of wealth. Perhaps this week I will get a raise at work, or some other financial success will happen. Last I pulled Raidho, journey. I think this rune is reflective of where I am at in life. When a loved one begins the journey of death, a journey begins for the rest of the family as well–spiritual, emotional, and perhaps physical. I am sorting out my feelings on death spiritually, which contributes to my growth (which ties back into Fehu, though that tends to be a rune of physical wealth).
I hope my rune interpretations help you in some way on your own journey.