Today’s post is about connecting to what ADF calls the Three Kindreds: Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Deities. Special thanks goes to Rev. Ayliah “Amber” Cannon of ADF for providing these suggestions.
The Nature Spirits are perhaps the easiest to feel, in a tactile way. Feathers, fur, bone, and other physical attributes of animals can be touched and contemplated. I have a cat, a sort of resident Nature Spirit in the home, so I will try this next time she is wanting attention. 🙂 For non-animal Nature Spirits, I can touch the bark, branches, or leaves of a tree. I can run my hands through the blades of grass in the backyard (before it gets mowed and when it’s warmer). I could also smell flowers and herbs (I have a strong sense of smell as well), in addition to touching those to feel the silkiness of petals or the needle-like leaves of rosemary.
The Ancestors are also fairly easy to feel. I know where my paternal grandfather is buried (he died a few years ago), and it’s not too far away. I can visit his grave and trace the letters of his name with my finger. I could also take some paper and a crayon along to make a rubbing of his stone. (For more information, eHow has an article on how to make a gravestone rubbing.) Another possible way of connecting with Ancestors is to hold the container of their ashes, if you have a relative that has been cremated.
Deities can be physically experienced as well. To feel Thor, God of Storms, I might go outside in a thunderstorm and feel the drops of rain on my skin. (If you do this, wait until the lightning has passed!) For Njord, the Norse God of the Sea, Wind, and Fire, I could hold my hands over a flame or pay attention to a gust as it blows by.
Other Deities might be more difficult to experience in a concrete way. Examples would be Odin, Heimdall, and Baldr. If I find ways to experience these Deities, I will write a new post.