This is the current moon cycle presently winding down in The Druid Network’s Perennial Course in Druidry. Over the past few weeks, this is the lesson of this cycle with which I have most resonated:
Although some speak of their fear of death, for many it is the process of dying that is harder. Caring for someone who is dying, watching strength and energy slip away, can be devastating. Yet it is not just the death of another person that is hard to bear; as a culture, we are not fluent with the emotions of any process of release. Relationships die, love affairs wear out, creative projects come to an end. Our offspring leave home, their childhoods ending. We cling on. Grief is about holding on to something that we must release; when we do let go, that grief is able to transform into relief. We may journey through numbness, through rage and resentment, but in tenderness we may also find the freedom beyond.
Through this moon, consider what it is that you are clinging on to. What can you release? What, if you were to let go, would allow you the freedom to live more fully? Now is a good time.”
For the last several months I had been clinging to reconstructionist forms of Celtic spirituality, and their associated communities, even though I was feeling their constraints chaffing me and their orientations irritating me. I have been conditioned over the years of such exposure to view other expressions of Celtic spirituality as suspect, inaccurate, unrealistic, and inappropriate. Yet, my actual experiences in these communities have been galling in many ways, from how leaders treat others, to how other related practices are routinely discounted. I have learned a lot of ancestral history, folklore, and mythology, which was what I needed out of the experience. My time in these environments has shown me how to debate effectively, but not how to communicate honorably. It has shown me how to discern the letter of the law, but not how to embrace the spirit of the law. It has shown me what is known of ancestral traditions, but not how to connect soulfully with them. I have successfully identified what is missing, and how to begin rectifying what is ailing, for myself, but to continue this healing, I must walk the road that is taking me away from where I have been for nearly the last decade, which is asking me to release it. In these past few weeks, I have been able to make peace with this portion of my spiritual journey, to thank it for its gifts in how it met my needs in its time, and am now fully releasing it, with gratitude, appreciation, and relief, into the earth, amongst the leaf litter which the trees have released, to nourish new life in the coming new cycle. Yes, this is a very good time for such release.
I am already feeling I am living more fully, by embracing deep spirituality with freedom, exploring ancestral wisdom from a new vista, and communing more vibrantly with the land, and with the goddess to whom I am devoted. I feel as light as a twirling leaf in the wind, spiraling down from a high branch. The release is sweet, with not a hint of bitterness. I know my goddess guides me, as she ever does, and I am ready to follow her, with trust and gratitude, around the next bend of this river that is my spiritual journey.