Daily Devotional, 5/11/18

I smiled when I sat down to do devotional today.  I guess because I was happy to be honoring the Kindreds.  I got the candles lit and made my offerings.  I tried hard to let the offerings scents fill me.  I named my Ancestors, various categories of the Nature Spirits, and the Vanir.  My recitation of Freyja’s prayer was strong and full of devotion.

I drew the Lady today:

XXVII – The Lady, upright, from the Wychwood Oracle.  Photo by Victoria Laughlin-Casares, 2018.

The Lady is a sign of strength, dignity, and patience.  I will be patient and dignified in the CUUPS chapter meeting tonight, I guess.  I will conduct myself as “a lady.”  I’m not really sure how else this card may manifest itself today.

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Daily Devotional, 5/10/18

Today’s devotional went well.  I honored each Kindred with joy in my heart and smelled the scent of each offering to more fully suffuse myself with them.  I started out a bit weak and hesitant when reciting Freyja’s prayer, but my voice grew stronger and I felt more joy as I continued.

I drew the Black Cat, so I drew another card as a clarifier.  That turned out to be the Lord in the reversed position:

XIII – The Black Cat, upright, and XXVIII – The Lord, reversed, from the Wychwood Oracle.  Photo by Victoria Laughlin-Casares, 2018.

The Black Cat, which I’ve been drawing a lot, means that my luck will change.  The Lord reversed is the card I drew to clarify the Black Cat.  Reversed, the Lord signifies lack of discipline, dominating, independence.  I am trying to show my family that I can be independent, so that’s a possible meaning here.  It could also mean that perhaps I’m trying to become more disciplined, especially with devotionals.

Daily Devotional, 5/9/18

Devotional was late again today.  I did another transcript for the Druids in Cars, Going to Festivals podcast and then I didn’t feel good for a good while after that.  I finally felt good enough to do devotional, so I cleaned out my incense burner, lit some charcoal, lit my candles, and sat down.

I tried to let the scent of each offering fill me after I placed it on the charcoal to create a deeper link to each Kindred and Freyja.  I named the Kindreds as usual, though I omitted some Ancestors due to my anxiety when my husband is in the room.  My prayer to Freyja was filled with as much joy as I could muster, though I still wasn’t feeling that great (a holdover from earlier).

After I shuffled my Wychwood Oracle deck for the third time, a couple cards fell face down onto the floor.  I picked them up without revealing them and placed them on top of my deck.  The top card ended up being the Moon, reversed:

VIII – The Moon, reversed, from the Wychwood Oracle.  Photo by Victoria Laughlin-Casares, 2018.

In the reversed position, the Moon says that you are trapped in a cycle, unfulfilled, and/or influenced by others.  This is exactly how I was feeling after I finished the transcript.  I was feeling unfulfilled and letting others’ spiritual practices influence how mine should look.  I often get trapped in this cycle of feeling connected spiritually for a while, then I get upset and no longer feel connected to anything.  So, it seems like the Moon is a reflection of this period of time.  It could also be telling me that I need to somehow get out of this cycle and worry about my own spiritual practice instead of those of others, which is something I have struggled with for a long time.

Daily Devotional, 5/8/18

Today’s devotional went really well.  I got all my candles lit, then began to make my offerings onto charcoal.  I took a deep breath after each offering to let each offering’s scent fill me.  I named each of the Kindreds, as usual.  When reciting Freyja’s prayer, I started out a bit hesitant, but rectified this and grew stronger towards the end.  I’m not sure why I was hesitant in the first place.  Perhaps my subconscious was occupied elsewhere.

I drew the Coins upright today:

XXII – The Coins, upright, from the Wychwood Oracle.  Photo by Victoria Laughlin-Casares, 2018.

The Coins card is a sign of good fortune, fiscal gain, and security.  A very good card to draw today!  My husband has to work his part-time job tonight, so perhaps we will end up with some more money than usual from that.  Also I think the Coins refers to general good fortune for the day.  I am looking forward to the rest of the day!

Daily Devotional, 5/7/18

I am late with today’s devotional because I was transcribing the Druids in Cars, Going to Festivals podcast that is put out by Rev. Michael Dangler and Rev. Jan Avende of Three Cranes Grove, ADF.   Click here to listen.

My devotional went pretty well today.  I took a moment to smell each offering I placed on the hot charcoal after I named each Kindred.  I tried to allow the scents to permeate my being so that I would be suffused with the Kindreds.  I didn’t recite Freyja’s prayer as enthusiastically as usual.  I’m not sure if I was distracted or just “not feeling it” today.  I tried to be more enthusiastic toward the end of the prayer.  I’m not really sure how it was received since I am a bit puzzled by the Omen.

I drew the Black Cat reversed today, so I drew another card with it, which was the Compass reversed:

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XIII – The Black Cat, reversed, and XVII – The Compass, reversed, from the Wychwood Oracle. Photo by Victoria Laughlin-Casares, 2018.

The Black Cat, whether reversed or upright, simply means “your luck will change.”  The Compass, in the reversed position, signifies lost ways, uncertainty, and risks.  Now, putting those together, I get “your luck will change in terms of lost ways, uncertainty, and risks.”  I’m honestly not sure what this means.  Will I become certain of everything headed my way?  Will taking risks no longer work out in my favor?  Will I suddenly find my way?  If anyone has any suggestions, please leave them in the comments.

 

Daily Devotional, 5/5/18

You may have noticed I didn’t do devotional yesterday.  I actually started to.  I had the charcoal lit for offerings and I was lighting candles when I saw my friend pull up in the driveway.  We had planned to hang out, but he was a little early.  I didn’t want to make him wait so I just blew out the candle I lit and let the charcoal burn out on its own.  I feel a little bad for wasting a charcoal tablet.

Today’s devotional went pretty well.  I patiently got the Three Kindred candles lit.  The Shining Ones/Vanir candle had a pretty short wick so it was hard to light.  I took a deep breath and started.  I named my Ancestors, various categories of Nature Spirits, and the Vanir.  I took a moment to smell each offering on the charcoal before moving on.  I really enunciated Freyja’s prayer this time, which helped me put passion into it.  I felt I did a good job with it.

I ended up drawing two cards today.  I took a deep breath and focused on the question, “What do I need to know today?” as I shuffled the Wychwood Oracle deck three times.  I drew the Black Cat:

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XIII – The Black Cat, upright, from the Wychwood Oracle.  Photo by Victoria Laughlin-Casares, 2018.

The Black Cat, whether reversed or upright, simply means “your luck will change.”  That didn’t give me a whole lot of information.  I decided to put the Black Cat back in the deck and shuffle another three times while asking, “My luck will change in terms of what?”

This time, I drew the Key reversed:

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XIX – The Key, reversed, from the Wychwood Oracle.  Photo by Victoria Laughlin-Casares, 2018.

The Key in the reversed position signifies openness, honesty, and revelations.  Putting this together with the question means that my luck will change in terms of openness, honesty, and revelations.  People seem to be open and honest with me, so perhaps someone will hide something from me today.  Or maybe people are actually lying to me most of the time, so my luck will change and people will become open and honest.  This is a hard combination to figure out.  Maybe revelations will no longer work out in my favor as they have been.  That’s also a possibility.  If you have any insight, please share in the comments section!

Beltane Ritual Reflections

I performed my Beltane rite on the day itself, May 1, with my husband.  He recited various parts, like the Two Powers attunement, honoring the Earth Mother, and honoring the Ancestors.  The Nature Spirits were the Beings of the Occasion for this ritual, which was done using ADF’s Core Order of Ritual using my Vanic outline.

The Outdwellers received an offering of plain black tea, Nerthus (our Earth Mother) received flour, Kvasir received plain filtered water (for Inspiration), Freyja (our Gatekeeper) received honey, the Ancestors received rosemary, the Vanir received oats, and the Nature Spirits received a Love Spell tea blend (with black tea, peach pieces, peach flavor, and calendula petals) in addition to lavender.  The reason the Nature Spirits received two offerings will be explained in more detail later.

The ritual started out well.  As my husband read the lines for the Two Powers attunement, I felt the Two Powers flowing into me.  We lit each of the Three Kindred candles as we honored them.  We didn’t use Freyja’s candle for this ritual since she wasn’t the main being honored.  Since the Nature Spirits were the Beings of the Occasion, we honored the Ancestors, then the Vanir, then the Nature Spirits.  We didn’t use a set prayer to honor them.  I spoke from the heart words that seemed to be appropriate to connect them with the Beltane season.

My reasoning for honoring the Nature Spirits for Beltane is simple.  We can see and feel them waking up all around us at this time of year in this area (Indiana).  Birds are chirping, blooming flowers fill stores, and lots of wildlife abounds.  I wanted to honor their awakening and abundance.

The first offering we made to the Nature Spirits was the Love Spell tea blend. Unfortunately we had forgotten to bring it into the room before the ritual so my husband ran to the kitchen to grab it. We also used this blend for the Prayer of Sacrifice.  The first card we drew for the Omen question, “Are the offerings accepted?” was the Door reversed, which means closed doors, endings, inaction.  I took that as a no.  My husband suggested they might like something different, so we offered a large quantity of lavender buds.  I reshuffled the Wychwood Oracle deck and drew the Omen below.

XX – The Dagger, XXVII – The Lady, and XXIV – The Wand, all upright, from the Wychwood Oracle.  Photo by Victoria Laughlin-Casares, 2018.

This time, the Dagger (upright) was drawn when we asked if the offerings were accepted.  The Dagger is a sign of protection, justice, and assertion, so I interpreted this card as a yes.  The Lady answers the next question, “What blessings are offered?”  The Lady represents strength, dignity, and patience.  Finally, we asked, “What further guidance do the Kindreds offer?”  Our answer was the Wand, which means focus, intention, and spirituality.  All in all a very good omen!

For the Waters of Life, we both just had filtered water since we didn’t have any alcohol on hand.  This is the same reason Kvasir got water as well instead of beer.

This was a very good ritual!  I am pleased with the Omen and how it went, despite forgetting the Love Spell tea blend before the ritual started and having to go get it in the middle of ritual (and having to make a different offering).  I don’t recall if I felt much of anything besides the Two Powers during the ritual other than just a feeling of peace and joy.

Blessed Beltane!  May we revel in the fertility of the Earth Mother and the abundance of the Nature Spirits!

 

Daily Devotional, 5/3/18

I had a bit of trouble getting the Ancestor candle lit for devotional.  The wick was folded over, but I did manage to get it lit.  I named all the Kindreds as usual, and I recited Freyja’s prayer with love and devotion.  I took the time to smell the scent of each offering on the charcoal before I moved on.

I stopped and took a breath to focus before I drew this card:

XIV – The Snake, reversed, from the Wychwood Oracle.  Photo by Victoria Laughlin-Casares, 2018.

The Snake in the reversed position is a card of rebirth, confidence, and upheaval.  I think upheaval might be appropriate for today since I am going to early vote in my state’s primary today.  Voting can definitely result in upheaval of the status quo.  The Snake reversed also shows that I am confident and in a period of rebirth.

Daily Devotional, 5/2/18

Today’s devotional went well.  I was able to focus (except for a bit of an itchy foot).  I named the Kindreds as usual.  Freyja’s prayer was full of love and joy as I recited it.

I drew the Eye in the upright position today:

I – The Eye, upright, from the Wychwood Oracle.  Photo by Victoria Laughlin-Casares, 2018.

The Eye, upright, is a sign of clarity of vision, intuition, and focus.  This means that I need to pay attention to my intuition today.  I will also have good focus and my vision will be crystal clear.  I have a couple appointments today, but I’m not sure how this card ties in to those.  I just know that if I have an idea, it will come through clearly.

Daily Devotional, 5/1/18

First off, happy Beltane!  Today is the day when the ancient Celts did ritual to purify and protect livestock and bless the fields.  It was also traditionally the first day of summer, where Imbolc was the first day of spring and the Spring Equinox the midpoint.

My devotional went very well today.  I remembered to light the candles before I did anything else.  I named my Ancestors, the Nature Spirits, and the Vanir.  I honored Freyja with joy in my heart and devotion on my tongue.

I drew the Moon upright today, a good card for Beltane:

VIII – The Moon, upright, from the Wychwood Oracle.  Photo by Victoria Laughlin-Casares, 2018.

The Moon is a card of progress, personal growth, and solitude.  I am taking this to mean that my Beltane rite later today with my husband will go well and result in personal growth.  Today is also a day for solitude, to just enjoy spending time with myself (perhaps outside as it is very nice today).  I’ll knit, read, and do other things that invite solitude.

Blessed Beltane!  Blessed Samhain if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere!