Thursday, July 31, 2008

Swimmingly. (Spirits of Place Rite)

Yup, that's how things are going in my spiritual life. Swimmingly.

I recently took up Runes (again), and it is going much better than I had ever hoped. I have been keeping a "rune diary" to track my progress, look for trends, evaluate my progress, etc. I have noticed several runes showing up for me everyday for a while, and then being replaced by another rune that will appear habitually for a while. Sometimes, a rune will appear several days in a row, but change positions in my spread, which I have noted indicates progress in that area.

Today, I finally did a rite specifically to honor the "spirits of place" in my home. I purchased my home in January of 2002, and it has never occured to me that spirits in my home might be interested in a *ghosti relationship with me. I offered them crackers with honey and said some lovely words about the peace and prosperity that has been in my home since we moved here. I was gracious and open with my thanks and specific with the details for what I was thanking them. I also explained to them that I included them in my heart when I give thanks and offerings to the Nature Spirits, for that is what they are to me.

My omens were very positive: Laguz, Fehu and Perthro.

I feel great after having done this, and I look forward to developing this relationship in the future.

Oh, and puppy is awesome!

All is well at La Casa de Burchfield...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A New Addition!

I am pleased to announce that my family and I got a new puppy this morning! He is a full-bred Golden Retriever. The kids have christened him "Buddy." He is absolutely adorable!

I have never considered myself a dog person. I like dogs, but I have never been prone to be affectionate with dogs that I don't know. I have a dog. She has been mine since she was weened from her mom. Actually, runt that she was, she was pushed out by her siblings when she was 4 weeks old. We took our larthargic little puppy home, and I fed her dog food soaked in milk from a spoon for weeks! She has been my dog for almost 13 years, and I love her.My husband has decided that we should get another dog before Roxy gets too much older (or dies, heavens forbid!) so the puppy will have a role model and Roxy can have a "youthful inspiration" around her. Really, I think he just wanted a puppy, but he didn't have to tell me twice!

So, we toted the kids down to the animal shelter and didn't find any dogs of a fitting disposition. We ended up at (gasp!) a pet store near my house where we get all our supplies for our existing animals (Roxy, parrot, fish). We were originally looking for a Labrador, but settled on possibly a German Shepard until we saw our little fur baby. He was sleeping in his cage, all curled up in a ball in the corner. I knew he was mine when I saw him.

He has been gentle and fun and happy all day so far. He likes his crate, as they said he would, so we don't have to worry about him getting into trouble at night or if we have to (rarely) leave him alone. Interestingly, I would like to add what I have learned about Godlen Retrievers. They are loyal and gentle-spirited dogs. They are often companions for disabled or mentally insufficient individuals. Having an Autistic child, I could not be more happy with our choice of pet. Timmy has been giving him a wide berth so far, and he won't stay out of the cage (I know, right?), but other than that, I hope they can learn to play together. It will be excellent interaction therapy for my little boy.Thank the gods for the companionship of animals. They really do make life on this plain richer, fuller and more rewarding.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Success again!

I did another full ritual today, and it went just as well as the first. My new meditation is doing wonders for centering and entering into the proper mind frame before I begin.

Omens for today were just as good. Offerings accepted? I drew Ingwaz. Yes!
Gifts in return? Gebo--gifts, sacrifice.
Further needs the gods have of me? Raidho--journey.

I am not exactly sure what they are requiring of me, but I do know that they are there and taking part in my spiritual journey. It seems they are going to meet me where I am and help me move ahead from there. I guess they were just waiting for me to prove to them--and to myself--that I am serious about this...

Here's to an even brighter tomorrow!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Team Estrogen Gig

I played my first gig with Team Estrogen in eight months over the weekend, and it went very well! We played at a private nursery/art show at the Scioto Gardens in Dublin. I forgot how much fun it is to play live. We did an entire two-hour set (no set break), and we were very tired by the end. But it was well worth it! The music tent was located in between the Natural Beeswax candles and the food tent. It smelled really good in there! The tables were set up in front of our tent, so the lunchers had a nice view of our show. Plus, it was high traffic, so our audience was never empty. It was exhilarating to see smiling faces every time I looked out into the audience.

I got some very good compliments, as well. Many people walking by thanked us in between songs for "the nice addition to an already great atmosphere." I heard one woman tell my counterpart, "I've never heard anyone cover the Indigo Girls as well as you two." And a woman stopped me later and told me how impressed she was with a cover I did of an Evanescence song: "I can't believe you covered 'My Immortal!' I heard those first couple of chords and realized what you were playing and thought, Good luck! But you nailed it!" feels good to have your ego boosted!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Ritual Success!

Today was a good day...

I have decided to do my devotionals every other day and begin doing Rune meditations on the off days. Yesterday was my first Rune meditation. I drew Tyr. I read through the lines in the Rune poem and then read the interpretation of Tyr in the book that came with the Runes. Then, I just pondered. I also started a separate meditation journal for my Rune meds.

Today, I did a full ritual without my cheat sheet. It went superbly! I remembered all the parts. I started with the Earth Mother. I gave her an offering today. I then performed an improvised two powers. I have modified the wording to my own design, but it is the same basic imagery. I start with the Earth Mother and draw from her, and then reach toward the Sky Father, allowing the energies to mix within my core. I had to find a way to stop saying loin (heehee--see what I mean).

From there, I offered to Garanus (I know, I am such a Crane!) and asked him to assist me in opening the gates. At this time, I also acknowledged the unknown Goddess who has shown herself to me in the mists. She has appeared to me several times, and I am unsure who she is, but I am beginning my search much the same way I did with Persephone.After the gates were opened, I lit my candles for the Kindred one at a time, and made their offerings as I lit the respective candles. I them offered to each of my patrons in turn. I spoke my prayers of thanks and whatever else was in my heart. I made my final offering.I took omens using the Runes. It was very positive. My first rune was Raidho--journey. Definite yes on the offerings! I then pulled Algiz and Eihwaz, protection and strength. I feel loved today. :)

I thanked everyone in turn. I closed the gates and ended the rite. I then tossed my offering out the window (steel cut oats into my backyard).It felt good to have such a positive experience today. I know the gods have been pushing me a little hard, and now that I have stopped pushing back, I am hoping to finally make some progress. Now, if I can just finish A History of pagan Europe...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bad Writing.

I am currently drudging through A History of Pagan Europe by Pennick and Jones. The information is invaluable, but the further I read, the more irritated I am becoming over the lack of structure and organization in this book.

I am currently reading the chapter on the Germanic peoples. While reading a passage entitled "Early Germanic Religion," I had to take a break. I got to the line on pg 116 that said, "These were the western Germans" and I was through! It then begins to discuss the eatern Germans, but not about the same items described for the Western tribes. I am assuming that the line stated above means that all the paragraphs back to the last subheading are referring to the Westerners, but it never says when the western-specific discussion begins. Plus, every once in a while, they had another fact about the Celtic peoples in that was never discussed in the chapters to thier effect.

This book has a lot of very good information. The discussions of Hellenic and Roman practices are seemingly well done (judging from the basic information I had prior to reading this book), but beginning with the sections on the Celts and getting worse with the Germans, it is an organizational nightmare! It jumps around in time and in locality, and the subheadings are not indicative of what the following paragraphs are going to be about. Also, there are no maps of any areas outside the one that shows the maximun expanse of the Roman empire found at the beginning of the book. I am finding myself supplementing more and more of this book with additional materials just to make it make sense...and I haven't even begun to read about the slavic or vedic religions!

I typically do not have any difficulty understanding and learning from the books that I read, but I am going to have to read a few celtic/germanic specific titles after I finish this book (and probably slavic, and vedic, and roman, haha). I am getting a general overview of ancient times, but the details are very scattered and difficult to retain in thier present state.