I wrote about dealing with loss in August last year but loss has been uppermost in my mind for several months now as people I know have passed over. Losing someone close to you is hard to deal with and I feel that we don’t talk enough as a nation about death and how it affects us all.
Death is something that happens to us all. After all, we are born, grow up if we are lucky and then die. The natural world around us shows us death on a regular basis as plants grow and bloom and then die. Birds and other small animals are often killed on the road or as prey so death is part of our natural way of living.
I am not afraid of dying although I am not ready to go yet. As a druid I know that there is life after death but somewhere else and on a different level. So my approach will be different from that of many others. I also have that feeling of when it is time to go I won’t have any other option. I remember my mother saying during the war, that if the bomb had her name on it then there was nothing she could do about it.
But how do we deal with it? Grief has many forms and my feelings are that we never get over a death of someone close but that we learn to manage it whatever we believe. I know from experience that each time someone I know dies, then the feelings of grief also bring back the feelings from my first experience of death. When my father died suddenly I had to deal with everything as my mother was unable to cope and this did not give me time to grieve. Time to grieve is important but you know that the spirit of the one who died will always be with you. The time between the bad days and the good days get longer as you learn to live with the loss and eventually you look back on the good memories that you have not the bad ones.
The words of Kahlil Gibran always come to mind when death appears and I will finish this blog with those words: ( you can replace the word ‘God’ with whatever word you wish such as ‘Spirit’)
‘For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.’
It has been quite a sad and emotional week. Here in the UK we have been remembering all those who died in the First World War as today is 100 years since the Armistice was signed. It was meant to be the war that ended all wars but it was not long before another world war started. Since the end of that one there have been many other wars and conflicts and some are still ongoing. I sometimes wonder if we are ever going to learn that war means death for many and strong emotions for those left behind.
I wonder how much is remembered by our bodies about war. I was born during the Second World War . For many years I said that I remembered the bomb dropping on the houses not so far away but when I researched it I found that the bomb had dropped exactly one week before I was born. How could I remember it? I also do not like enclosed spaces. I suspect this is because my mother always hid under the stairs during bombing raids and I was with her in a small enclosed dark space.
So if I remember these things and know how it has affected me, how do others cope with what they have seen and experienced during a conflict. There were many atrocities which seem beyond the understanding of human beings but they still continue. Man’s inhumanity to man continues every day somewhere in the world. When will we understand that we are all equal whatever colour, race or creed and we all need to respect that and work together. If we can’t do this then there will never be a world wide peace.
So today as during the week, I am remembering all those affected by wars and conflicts as well as those affected by large natural disasters and any form of terrorism or shooting events. The trauma left behind is not easily dealt with and can linger for ever.
Here is the Druid prayer for peace. I welcome you to use it whatever creed you have.
Deep within the still centre of my being
May I find peace.
Silently within the quiet of the Grove
May I share peace.
Gently (or powerfully) within the greater circle of humankind
May I radiate peace.
May we remember all those who died and the reason why.
We had the first snow of the coming winter the other day. I woke up to a covering of white but it soon disappeared although there were flurries of snow during the day. There has been a lot of rain too and everywhere is wet underfoot which makes walking difficult for me where there are lots of wet leaves. Today I walked with a friend to Ford Green Hall a beautiful old mansion. There was a Christmas Craft Fair there today and it was very busy. We walked both ways and enjoyed the damp trees and misty landscape.
Outside my window the trees are almost bare of leaves and I can now see the many different birds sitting on the branches before using the bird feeder. This is giving me an opportunity to take photos of the birds again as I could not see them before because of the leaves. I love to see the trees now when you see their shape better and the way the branches grow out from the trunk. There is something special about them now and when the frosty days and nights are here too. On the nature reserve there are many different birds now as well as those that have been hidden amongst the leaves. There is always something to see and notice when you take a walk however short the walk. I walked back from the hospital the other day and the sky was clear. It is downhill most of the way but quite steep in places but is less than a mile to walk. I stopped and admired the view over lots of houses where there used to be fields but in the distance the moorland beckoned.
The approach to Christmas seems to start earlier every year. As a druid I should not really celebrate this festival but celebrate the Winter Solstice and Yule instead. However I like to celebrate them all but more of that to come in a blog next month. The photo is of Ford Green Hall taken in the rain this morning. I could not avoid the tree as the grass was too wet to walk on.
The weather this week has been stormy. Dark clouds rushing along in the sky and heavy rain showers. The leaves are being blown off the trees like magic carpets rushing along. But there are still many beautiful coloured leaves around and of course the weather is making the fungi grow.
But like the storm moving onwards, my thoughts have been doing just the same. I have been going deeper in Reiki seeing it more as a spiritual path than as a system of healing. I find myself drawn to the Buddhist aspect of this but know that Buddhism is not for me. I know others who manage to meld together various different spiritual paths and make it one of their own. In some ways I have done this, taking a lot of knowledge from the Native American paths and mixing it with druidry. Now I am adding the spiritual aspect of Reiki to the mix.
If you ask 100 druids what druidry is you will get 100 different answers and I feel this is the same with Reiki and other paths. We are all individual and we are all unique and therefore our spiritual paths are unique to us too. I find that I take from each path what I feel is right for me and then I have this mix of different beliefs and paths. Is this something that you do as well or do you follow a specific path?
I am also moving on into the darker months of the year as many of us are, when I feel I want to create more, to journal more and to be restful. Somewhere deep inside me, is the germ of another book but it has yet to grow big enough to do something about it. Maybe the darker nights will encourage it to grow. But life is a journey and it goes on every day bringing more experiences, more joy and often more sadness as you get older. I have reached an age where many of my friends have passed on. I have to dig deep and continue to do what I need to do and also what I want to do and progress even more on my path. Moving on is a continuous process. How do you feel about this process?
This week has been a week of deep thought and a week of asking questions. Thank you to all those who responded. My first question was what do you think healing for the highest good actually means. Aristotle stated this ‘Men generally agree that the highest good attainable by action is happiness,’.. Your responses were different from this because healing was part of what I asked. I don’t like to use the word ‘healer’ because if I am ‘giving’ Reiki healing energy to someone I am only the channel for the energy which does the healing together with the person receiving it. I don’t necessarily ‘send’ the energy either. I ask that it be sent to the person who has requested it for their highest good. Only they and their Higher Self know what that is and we have to trust that the healing energy goes where it is really needed.
This brings me to other thoughts. How is healing different from curing? One definition I found was this one ‘Curing means “eliminating all evidence of disease,” while healing means “becoming whole’. I like this quote because it helps me to explain to others why I still have my various diseases but I feel I am healed.
Another thought was about the belief that disease starts in our auric bodies before it manifests in the physical body, therefore healing energy may go to these auric bodies not the physical body first. So someone receiving healing energy for a physical complaint may not feel any better and if they don’t have the right understanding they may feel disappointed.
My last thought was about healing lists of which I am a member. We often ask for healing for a specific thing such as depression, anxiety, fractures, and other physical ailments.I am guilty of this yet I know that the healing energy will go where it is needed most and not necessarily where we expect it to go.
So there has been a lot of deep thinking and I hope this blog is not too complicated to read. I would love to read your comments on all of this. Many druids become interested and work with healing energies during their Ovate studies and there are many different ways of using healing energy for yourself and others. This blog is a brief summary of my own thoughts on this and I know I have missed a lot of my thoughts out as I didn’t want the blog to be too long.
Last week I visited a friend staying for a few days. It was a busy but wonderful time. Other friends came to visit and we caught up with each others news as well as having deep discussions about everything spiritual and otherwise. London Midland rail staff were very helpful and I really appreciated this and told them so. The less said about East Midlands trains the better. I enjoyed visits to the local park where I was able to take some good photos, eat good meals and snacks in good cafes and the purchase of a lonely teddy bear in the charity shop who is now used for Reiki sessions.
I was rather tired when I returned home but happy and excited about plans I had made while away. My dark cold flat soon took the edge off the happiness and I found that the following day I was ill with vertigo. This often happens when I do too much. I keep going until my body makes sure I have to stop so stop I did. I am now recovering but not yet 100% but then again it is hard for me to ever be 100%. I do try to listen to my body and try to slow down when I feel the need to do so but sometimes it is much easier to keep going until I do have to stop. The excitement of writing new books for example keeps me going at a rapid rate until forced to stop. Looking back over the last three months I can see that the move to this flat was stressful, then the bathroom work was also stressful and travelling is stressful for me as well.
Maybe in the future I should learn to slow down a bit but I feel I still have so much to do, new books to write and Reiki to teach as well as other ongoing projects. Pacing myself should be easy enough but I do tend to go with the flow especially where words are concerned and writing. Do these kind of things happen to you? Does your body let you know when it is time to rest or take a break? Or is it just me?
A different heron photo from a different park taken while I was away. He was extremely well camouflaged in the willow tree but I waited patiently and did catch him when he put his head out!
There seems to be a lot of ups and downs in my world at the moment. Some say that this is the energy from the recent eclipses affecting my life and causing lots of chaos and rethinking of things. Whatever, it has definitely been one of those weeks. Even though I had good photo shots when out, the euphoria from those did not seem to last long and I was often plunged down into the depths of depression within hours and then suddenly, I felt OK again.
It is said that eclipses stir up things and that those of us who are on a spiritual path feel this kind of energy more strongly and deeply. I know that my dreams have been quite vivid and only fragments remained in the morning. Last night I dreamed I was somewhere in France for example but there were buses and lots of people and a lovely town. I was also speaking in French too, and french is a language I do speak so nothing strange in that. Another dream involved a friend who died a few years ago.
Years ago I used to keep a dream diary so I could look back and try to interpret them. Maybe it is time to do this again. Keeping a notepad by the bed is good and a pen of course. I was told also not to move when you waken from a dream but to lie still and go over the dream until it was clear in your head, then you could move and write it down. I am a believer in dreams giving you messages and often foretelling future events and I have had one or two of those.
Another up is the publishing of my new book ‘ Me, myself and I – a spiritual journey’ and I hope it will be available soon on lulu, amazon and other sites. It is a very personal book so if you get round to buying it I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Now I am looking for other projects and I do have two books half written from several years ago so maybe these will be my next projects. So the ups and downs continue and as usual I will just go with the flow!
Do you have ups and downs like mine and if so how do you deal with them?
There are a lot of nasty clouds around at the moment some of them quite thundery so I hope they stay away while I write this blog post. For the first time for many years I went to a druid ceremony this afternoon. Those who know me well know that this time of the year can bring back lots of traumatic memories so I thought that going to a new grove would be good. I enjoyed the ceremony and also meeting new people who I am sure will become good friends. I hope to go to more of these ceremonies.
It has been a week of reflection also. It was suggested by some of my friends that I should write a book about my experiences of a spiritual nature. I thought about this for some time and after searching out old diaries and journals as well as photos and other writings I started on this. What memories are coming back. So much has happened over the last twenty years that I am sure a lot of it has been forgotten but it only needs one photo or diary entry for the memories to come flooding back. I have also asked others who have known me for some time or worked with me to see what they remember so they can jog my memory too. This brings me to the reflections. I find I am looking at some events in a totally different way now than I did many years ago. This also includes my reading material. Books I had long forgotten have resurfaced and are being read avidly again but with a much deeper perspective on what they contain.
I know I am the perpetual student forever wanting to learn more about things of an esoteric nature but I believe that you learn something new every day. That also applies to what I see out there on my walks and record on my camera. My black dog has gone for the moment and I am looking forward to the future. Thank you all for your wonderful comments and support. I think a photo of a butterfly is appropriate this week.
Over the last few years ethnicity seems to have become far too important in our lives. I keep hearing about immigrants from Europe and immigrants from other countries but we all have some genes in common even if only in trace parts. (I am writing about Europe here) Some time ago, several years in fact, I took a DNA test to find out which daughter of Eve I belonged to. This came about because of research by Bryan Sykes on the theory of human mitrochondrial genetics. He classified modern Europeans into seven genetic groups, haplo groups. Each of these groups shared an ancestor, the original Eve. It is much more complicated than this but I hope I have given you some idea of what I am getting at. From this I gained the knowledge that my group was Katrine and she lived around 15000 years ago.
So what is this to do with druidry? I believe that we are all connected in spirit at least but many of us are also connected genetically although we may not know it. I recently took another DNA test specifically for the purpose of tracing close relatives or distant cousins. This test reveals your ethnicity and many people have been surprised by what they found. So what about my ethnic origins? Briefly I am 82% British, 7% West European, 6% Scandinavian and the rest are traces of the Iberian Peninsular, Eastern Europe, Ireland, Italy and Greece. There will be many others with similar DNA living and working in the UK but who are classed as immigrants because they were not born here. We are all immigrants if you think about it. The British Empire and much of Europe, invaded other countries and pushed out the natives. Americans most of all must know how much of other nations is in their genes.
My ancient origins are Siberia, Sweden, Spain, Hungary and Russia! Now there is something to think about. How do we decide who is an immigrant and how are they different from us? Think of the Vikings and the Normans who invaded Britain and how much of their genetic heritage is in our own genes. Will the advent of all this DNA research help us to be more tolerant of those we feel are not like us? If we all descend from the ‘Eve’ of Bryan Sykes (not the biblical Eve) then we are all connected.
I hope you have managed to sift through my words and understand what I am getting at.
I have spent some time this week thinking about the words of the Druid Prayer. Some words stand out clearly, knowledge, justice, truth, love. There are many versions of this prayer but they all have the same intent within them.
At this time in our lives and in our chaotic world, then these words are ones we need to hang on to. I am not sure what order I should put them in as for me they all have equal impact. However, truth and justice are extremely important at the moment. How do we know what the truth about a situation really is? This is where knowledge comes in of course. But don’t take everything you read as being true. So many lies are told nowadays and so many truths altered to make people think differently. Brainwashing was a term used many years ago but it is inherent today. You have only got to look at adverts on the TV.
If we are really spiritually aware and awake then we will have that inner knowing of what is truth and what is a lie. Work on this so you get better at it! So what about justice? There is not much of that about at the moment so we need to make sure it happens in whatever way is right for you. Last week I wrote about protests and the word protect came up as an alternative word. I think this word ‘protect’ fits in here. We need to protect our justice system and make sure it is not contaminated by wrong thought.
Knowledge is something we gain over the years although many of us who go deep inside know that we all have an inner knowledge that can serve us well. Dig deep into your inner self and find that knowledge. You are going to need it.
Love of course is a word often used and misused too. Unconditional love is so important and we need to work at this more. Putting all four words together can make a powerful statement whatever order they are. Let’s concentrate on these words today and all days until the world changes for the better. One word I missed out is understanding but for me they all come together in understanding, and for me understanding is also part of knowledge, truth and justice.