Morning, Fire Friend Moon, Day 8

Bright and icy!  Frost Spirit has visited- the Cailleach is banging her magic hammer of winter, but standing under the heat of Sun Spirit feels like being beneath a great furnace.  As I take in lungfuls of sharp cold air, I also breathe in shining warmth, all the way into my bones.  I breathe out gratitude, and smile into the light.

” ‘A\ilte ort fhein, a ghrian nan tra\th…,” I chant to the Sun Spirit.

” ‘A\ilte ort fhein, Spirits of Day, Mother of Light!  Farewell Spirits of Night, Mother of Darkness!  Thank you for your gifts of dreams and rest.  Spirits of Day, may you smile upon us this day, and teach us how to make peace together while you shine, that we may build it here on earth.  Welcome too, Frost Spirit.  Thank you for reminding us to hold still, and tend to the dreams of seeds sleeping down deep.  Thank you for holding space and time for their dreaming.  Moran taing, agus sla\inte mhath.”

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Midnight, Fire Friend Moon, Day 7

After a bright morning, a cloudy afternoon, and a crisp evening, the night has settled clear and cold, studded with Star Spirits, and welcoming Frost Spirit.

” ‘Ailte ort fhein, Spirits of Night, Mother of Darkness.  Thank you for your many gifts.  May we fall peacefully into our dreams in your starry embrace, and may they bring us regeneration and healing, that we may regenerate and heal life on earth.  I pray that we might be open to your guidance in our dark rest, and that you might deliver us gently, as we awaken, into the waiting Light.  Slainte mhath.”

Morning, Fire Friend Moon, Day 7

After the clouds and heavy rain of yesterday, last night, and even before sunrise this morning, the day is dawning bright and clear, with just a few white clouds remaining for decoration.  Wind Spirit has moved on as well.  The rain clouds just quietly melted away in the predawn darkness.

” ‘Ailte ort fhein, a ghrian nan tráth…”  I sing to the sun. And then,

” ‘Ailte ort fhein, Spirits of Day, Mother of Light.  Farewell, Spirits of Night, Mother of Darkness, with thanks for your gifts.  Spirits, may you smile upon us this day, and teach us how to make peace while you shine, that we may build in together on earth.  Moran taing, agus slainte mhath.”

Midnight, Fire Friend Moon, Day 6

The cold is creeping back in after a string of unseasonably balmy days and nights, reminding us that we are still traveling towards the heart of winter.  The land lies still beneath clouds, and the spicy scent of decaying leaves hangs in the damp, chill air.

” ‘Ailte ort fhein, Spirits of Night, Mother of Darkness.  May you hold us close in your embrace, and take us back to the Source where we may find healing through our dreams.  Thank you for your gifts of rest and regeneration.  Slàinte mhath.”

Midday, and musings on the three realms, Fire Friend Moon, Day 6

I began my Celtic Mandala prayer prior to my walk today with a meditation on the three realms of land, sea, and sky, as a way of focusing in on the center of the mandala.  I am beginning with the center now rather than ending with it, as I had previously done.

In Celtic Reconstructionism, the three realms are often invoked as the three elements of land as earth, sea as water, and sky as air as a substitute for the more popular four classical elements of earth, air, fire, and water.  Conversely, the three realms are also corresponded with what some in reconstructionist druidry call the Three Kindreds, of ancestors/sea, land spirits/land, and the gods/air, which also correlate with the idea of the three worlds presented by the world tree motif, the underworld/sea, this world/land, and upper world/sky.  I have been accustomed to this view of the three realms for some time now.

In contrast, I am reading in Emma Restall Orr’s writing that she relates with the three realms through revivalist druidry as three living realms which are inhabited by myriad living beings, like three habitats or ecosystems.  Each is its own entity as well, the earth mother, the power of the great sea, and the heavens above.  I envision them all as great mothers- the sea as the mother of all life, and supporter of life through the water cycle; great primal creatrix; the land as the great sustaining mother, sustaining life through its myriad systems and fecundity and food webs and cycles of regeneration; and the heavens as mother of darkness, the great cauldron of sky and space, in which whole worlds and bright stars are born, live, die, and are reformed again, in never-ending grand cycles.  Within these realms of great mothers, worlds of creatures reside within them, living and dying and interacting and forming life-enhancing relationships of balance and power.  Such relationships teach us much about how life supports itself, and how we might find our place and do the same.  Flowing ceaselessly within all these beings, the great mothers and their creatures, is the fire of vitality, inspiration, and indwelling spirit, uniting and blessing us all.  This is the Oran Mór, the great song of the universe.  This fire is also the power of Imbas, the fire in the head which inspires, ultimately to inspire within us the means and wisdom to live a fully integrated life, a life of honor which is sustainable and resilient, and which respects all life.  Divine inspiration for divine living!

I am finding that engaging with the three realms in the latter format is much more spiritually nourishing for me.  It renders the former type of engagement more clinical, technical, cerebral, which I find, in comparison, does not feed my soul.  I am thankful to the tradition and teachers of Revivalist Druidry for sharing their teachings with the world, for the deep nourishment to be found therein.  I am thankful too for my many years in Celtic Reconstructionism for the academic grounding it gave me, to help me understand and learn historical tradition and extant ancestral folk tradition.  It was truly what I needed at the time I found it.  However, it has left my spirit parched.  But, the drought lead me to searching, and through my yearning, I have found the Well of Inspiration, source of deep spiritual nourishment.  And happily, elements like heritage tradition, the ancestors, and honor are found here too, along with a deeper and broader sense of the gods with which to engage, one that embraces more animism and less anthropocentrism.  More nourishing relationships can be forged through this lens, as can a fuller engagement with the land in which one dwells.  This makes my soul sing, and for this, I am deeply thankful over this Thanksgiving weekend.

“Hail, Spirits of the Land, powers of nourishment and sustenance for both body and spirit.  May we strive to always be open to your sustenance, and ever-thankful.  I pray that you teach us how to sustain and nourish life, that we might build sustaining and nourishing social systems together here which create peace among all beings.  Moran taing, agus slàinte mhath.”

Nearly Midnight, Fire friend Moon, Day 4

The balmy day has stretched into a balmy night.  White clouds sit serenely in the sky, silently watching over statuesque trees.  The land seems to sigh under the air’s warm touch.

“Hail, Spirits of the Night, Mother of Darkness. Thank you for your season of rest.  May you smile upon us this night.  I pray that you bless us with dreams teaching us how to be at peace with ourselves, that we might build peace in our waking life together.  May we find healing and regeneration as we lie in your arms, and be guided by the stars in your embrace.  Slàinte mhath.”

Sunset, Fire Friend Moon, Day 4

I spent the last sunset-to-sunset cycle in my flametending devotions to Brìde, so left off my daily office prayers for that period.

A balmy day draws to a close.  I spent time at a riverbank communing with the spirits of river, trees, wind, and sun, in addition to Brìde.  Twilight’s stillness is present now, and I wonder how many people in rush hour are feeling it.

“Hail, Spirit of Twilight.  Thank you for the blessings of the day.  May your deep peace touch our souls, and deliver them gently into the night.  May we stand mindfully at your threshold and welcome the darkness with gladness for the time it gives for rest and renewal.  Slàinte mhath.”