So many things to think about recently I hardly know where to start. Perhaps with decisions I have made so far? These basically fall into three headings: Mind, Body and Spirit 🙂
I have decided to continue to work at learning Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig). I am very much a beginner still in this area but the University I work in now offers free lessons to staff and students. Learning another language is not something that comes easily to me but I think it will be worth it. The lessons I attend are on Monday lunchtimes.
Those who have met me will know that I am rather too short for my weight. As I can’t seem to grow up no matter how hard I try 😉 I am working on loosing weight. This is something that started a few months ago now and so far I’m progressing reasonably well. In addition to trying to change my eating habits I decided in the new year to start some fitness classes. Again this is something I am doing through work in my lunch breaks. I’ve started attending classes on Tuesdays and Fridays. Tuesday is Belly Dancing day and Friday is something called Body Balance. I’ve been going for two weeks now and I can already feel the difference. Belly Dancing is great fun to do but I have to admit that my first class of Body Balance left me feeling that I’d made the wrong choice. I gave it a second chance though and the second class was not so bad. I am going to keep going with it.
So onward to a fitter and healthier body.
I’ve been reading Harner’s “The Way of the Shaman” and before that read Jenny Blain’s “Nine Worlds of Seid-Magic“. These books have led me to think about a range of past experiences, including past meditative journeys and ritual experiences. I haven’t really come to any firm conclusions on that front as yet though.
I’ve also been reading and thinking about lunar rites. I have come to a couple of decisions on that front which I will detail below.
Lunar cycle observations
As readers here will know several months ago I started a simple ritual at the full moon for honouring my ancestors. I had no real reason for using the full moon for this, it was simply a convenient marker. After reading posts on Deiniol’s blog and Lee’s blog I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the timing of this observance. I have recently decided to shift the timing of my ancestral observance to the dark moon. There is something rather wonderful about knowing that others in different parts of the country are doing very similar things to you at the same time 🙂
The full moon will now be devoted to honouring deities. At present my thoughts are that there will be three offerings made, one each evening of the period of the full moon. The evening of the day before the moon reaches it’s fullest will be devoted to Brigantia with an offering of warm and honeyed milk.
The night of the full moon will be devoted to Rigantona with an offering of sweet wine of some sort. My initial thoughts on this were warmed honeyed red wine but now I’m not so sure. I may use mead or a strawberry wine. I feel that the sweetness is important.
The third and final night as the moon moves into it’s waning phase will be devoted to the being I know as the Cailleach, or the First Mother. The offering in this case may well be whisky but I’m not positive.
At the present time I don’t know how, when or even if, I will fit in offerings to male deities.
For my ancestral observances I use a particular china cup and saucer for the ancestors and use another china cup and saucer for myself. The ancestor’s cup is a distinctive one and set aside now for that use alone.
At Eponalia I used my art pewter quaich to make an offering of mulled wine. I left the wine in there overnight and it went pale green. At that stage I couldn’t see any damage to the quaich so being intensely curious about what had occurred I repeated this offering at the next full moon. Again the wine went green but this time the quaich showed a little damage too. I’m not positive if it was the wine itself reacting with the metal or perhaps the acid from the citrus fruits that will have been added during the mulling process (probably the citric acid) but either way the message was clear. This was not the right vessel to use.
So I got in touch with the wonderful Darren at Morgan’s Wood and asked him if he could make me a wooden quaich. He did and it’s lovely! It is this that I have started to use for offerings to deities. This wonderful vessel will only be used in future for ritual purposes.
If you are thinking about getting any kind of wooden vessel for ritual use by the way I strongly recommend Darren’s work unless you can make it yourself that is 🙂