Archive for December 2022

Resistance and Flow

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A curious dampening has beset me since I began this series. I find writing useful for so many reasons, and as a spiritual barometer it’s priceless. Things I didn’t realize were rumbling beneath the surface come into awareness when I write. Rather than always worrying at (or about) a topic, I start talking, and momentum almost always delivers something to say. You’d think that armed with that experience I’d easily complete a series like this, or a minimum number of words a day.

And I can and have. What’s so curious about this unproductivity is how casual it seems. The commitment to write doesn’t even occur to me, and then I realize a day or several have passed. While I’ve used to-do lists to my advantage, one of the perks of semi-retirement is ignoring a list if I chose — even better, not making one at all. And so I successfully manifest my inner sloth or slug.

I’ve also learned to celebrate what I get done, rather than punish myself for what I fail to do. This third entry in the series is three entries I didn’t have beforehand. And flow begets flow.

Part of my spiritual path involves always having a focus point for contemplation. Often it’s a word that’s become a love-portal, a way to open myself to good things, while letting the less-than-desirable ones flow away from me, water down a hill. Sometimes, as in my current run or spell (the magical associations are fitting; spell originally meant ‘story’, and any magic is part of a story we tell ourselves, if we don’t like the current narrative and can imagine an alternative), the focus is an object rather than a word. A visual, one with useful associations that make up my practice, as well as themes for why this particular focus has arrived for me now, and what that portends. Like my friend’s sauna above, it’s both a symbol and a usable thing in living a life on earth.

Where and how to find such focus points? Asking is one good way. Saying that, getting it down in writing, I realize both how ordinary and strange that can sound. Asking who? you might wonder. And that’s a very good question, a good ask, all by itself. Chant the word who for long enough, and you’ll be answered.

The act of asking sets up a movement or motion, or you could term it an opening or setting, that delivers me to insight, and to a new focus point. Other times the focus point simply arrives. I’m caught up in an object or word, something I’m reading, or something from a recent contemplation, and the new point slips into awareness. I found the most recent one on a walk, an object, rather than a word, though the object has a name. Name and thing, two faces to use in my practice, and to explore — part of the focus.

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Flowing With, Not Through

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It’s a good measure of the gap between intention and manifestation to blog. I committed two days ago to post daily, and already I’ve missed a day. Except the day didn’t notice, but went about its business unconcerned. It’s the kind of experience that can be disheartening, if ego drives the show. Fortunately, moon has no ego, nor does winter, nor do a Thursday or Friday. Look at them more than at yourself, and just keep moving, whispers my guide.

One must have a mind of winter, says W C Williams in his poem “The Snow Man”. Does that mean to freeze up? Not exactly.

Williams goes on:

One must have a mind of winter/To regard the frost and the boughs/Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;/And have been cold a long time/To behold the junipers shagged with ice,/The spruces rough in the distant glitter/Of the January sun; and not to think/Of any misery in the sound of the wind.

I can identify with an experience — call it “mine” — and that immerses me more fully in it. Fine if it’s pleasurable, painful if it isn’t. If I’m truly cold, isn’t that a misery? But beyond immersion is perspective, and unlike experience, that’s up to me. What am I, if not my attention and intention? I can use the cold (or any human experience) to perceive in two different ways, as another William (and potential Druid), William Blake, rhymes:

“This life’s dim windows of the soul/Distorts the heaven from pole to pole/And leads you to believe a lie/When you see with, not through, the eye”.

When I flow with something else, I’m following its path, rather than my own. My course runs along channels that may be alien to me, constraining, counter to my nature. But flow through, and nothing slows down the manifestation. In fact, nothing measures or moderates its speed or slowness at all. All the joy is in the flow itself, at a pace that’s right for that manifestation. It’s the pace of the concert version of the song, unrepeatable, because it’s individual, one-time-only, meant for that audience, that time and place.

And to keep with the Law of Threes, here’s Rilke for our third bard:

We are not permitted to linger, even with what is most
intimate. From images that are full, the spirit
plunges on to others that suddenly must be filled;
there are no lakes till eternity.

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Days of Solstice

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And a full moon tonight to launch them! What better form to hold in attention for anyone working with manifestation! And aren’t we all doing just that?

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Of course there are many other and potentially better forms I could choose, and so can you. A choice needn’t be what’s currently fashionable or widely accepted, but what actually works. Unless your practice is itself a pose, which is its own grand art. Coffee-table magic, glossy and expensive and meant for show. Illusion is the supreme fiction, which after all is another kind of making — fiction and fact being both closer kin and bitterer enemies than we suspect.

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Every month the posts here detailing full moon ritual receive a surge in views, and this month’s no different. But also completely new. Never before has there been a Cold Moon in 2022, and never again will it rise late in the sky (at least for the east coast U.S.) on this night. I interrogate the moon, just as it questions me most every night, full or new, waxing or waning. The best answers come from what I do all month long, not just on a single night.

A thousand years ago and more, the unknown scribe who set down the details of the lunar month in the Leechdoms got it right: On ðám mónðe synd getealde nigon and twéntig daga and twelf tída: þis is se mónelica mónað. ‘In the month are told nine and twenty of days and twelve hours: this is the lunar (‘moon-ly’) month.’ That is, the 29.5 day period is from a lunar phase to the return of that same phase. Leechdoms, Starcraft, and Wortcunning of Early England, goes the title, if you click the link.

Oh, for a moonly month. Some of the best divination is daydream, when I forget myself and walk with my guide and return re-amazed at being here at all.

May your moon bless you as you bless it. May your light be the moon’s, illumination that peers in through any window you leave open, uncurtained, not concerned with what you’re doing, only with your openness to its light.

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Posted 7 December 2022 by adruidway in Druidry, full moon, Leechdoms

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