After the … mixed … experience of my solstice rite, I determined to develop a method of coming into contact with the gods – any gods! In communicating with my mentor just afterward, it was immediately apparent that I had the ‘whole thing’ backwards. I was trying to use the ADF COoR to contact the gods, when I ought to have been using it more as a place of fellowship and constructive interaction. The way I was approaching it, I was almost trying to use a family dinner and get-together as if it were a romantic date or meet-and-greet. It was very clear that I needed to develop a disciplined approach to meeting and cultivating a relationship with the gods.
The question of course was how this could be done when I had done nothing of the kind before. The last few weeks have taught me that subscribing to a religion that maintains faith in revealed truth atrophies that part of our faculties that can perceive and interact with the numinous in a real and concrete way. I still have yet to develop a strong routine of personal ritual or to contact any divinity in any overt fashion. If nothing else, I feel more than ever as if I have been bound up inside my own mind about all this for who knows how long. After several pathetic attempts at contacting the divine, I finally settled down and tried to simply look for the divine in what was around me.
I was not disappointed. My family owns a partial interest in a house down on the beach, and my parents invited my and my brother’s families down to celebrate (Roman) New Year’s with them. Now, this holiday has greatly faded in my mind since I have started putting more emphasis on Samhain as New Year, but there was certainly something in the works. I have never seen a more beautiful sun-rise as that of New Year’s morning. The sun as it lifted into the immense bank of storm clouds that were moving off to the North turned the ocean to liquid silver, and the horizon was lost in a hazy brilliance that literally left me staring and speechless. Standing on the bank of rocks that formed a groin for the beach at the very edge of the water and gazing out, there was no doubt in me that I was in the presence of divinity.
Likewise, last night with a myriad array of frustrations coming together into a feeling that I was somehow sleepwalking, I suddenly felt the shift in the new moon. It was like someone had walked into the house and breathed through me, the divine spirit pulling away all the crusty, cob-webby rot that had accumulated and leaving only a sense of excited desire for productive activity. I immediately grabbed the frankincense that I had run across by chance that same day and, lighting it up with a devotional invocation to whoever had entered the house, I sat down to meditate (a considerably easier task at midnight than during the day with small children careering around the house). At the prompting of Kevan Manwaring’s blog as cited on one the ADF lists, I used his Awen chant as a kind of medium for the meditation. Usually I am fairly skeptical of such techniques, but again I was not disappointed.
I should remark that it is not like I have seen gods, but I have noticed that since the solstice I have been catching fleeting movement around corners and doors where there ought not to be. This I take as a good sign similar to instances where I dream of small events before they happen. (I never seem to dream about ‘big’ things.) It is not like the meditation increased these sightings or made them clearer, but suddenly I felt all pressure fall away and everything else seemed so much more posible. I’ve often felt the pressure of all other’s perceptions, even to the point that I have always enjoyed being on my own as it resulted in a freedom from the pressure of other people’s awarenesses. Meditating last night, I crossed a threshold and felt that pressure dissolve.
This morning I awoke and threw myself into a drawing of the horned serpent associated with Cernunnos. I had begun at the beach as a fun little project to get me back into cultivating a more Celtic aesthetic in my drawing, but now it has taken on a wholly different significance. The Worm’s association with wealth, hidden and to some degree taboo, has begun to make me feel like I am designing more some kind of focal point, like on completion it will have much more significance than just a pretty drawing. I will certainly place it on my newly formed DeviantArt account (Garbhchu in case you were wondering, though I am still figuring the system out) when finished and comment on it here.
Ultimately, I am left realizing why Perseverance is listed as a virtue of the nine in ár nDraíocht Féin.