Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Imbolc, Prognostications and Prayers

Imbloc is an ancient festival or holiday. The Celts loved to divide things so they took the four quarters of the year that represent the seasons, critical to those who lived by agriculture and still some hunting and gathering and marked the halfway point between those stations of Father Sun at the solstices and equinoxes. Imbolc is one of those, halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

Over time Imbolc came to mark the beginning of preparations for spring--tilling, planting, births for livestock, new growth beginning to emerge and so on. An old Celtic tale about the snake emerging from beneath the snow may be the start of what we now know as Ground Hog Day. Imbolc is also a day to commemorate the Goddess/Saint Brigid or Brighid, often called Bride (pronounced Bree or Breed in Gaelic tongues). She was variously the deity presiding over the hearth and home, health and healing, the forge and creative endeavor. Although St Brigid's Day under the Catholic calendar is May 1, most pagans celebrate the night of Feb 1-2 as Her day.

It is celebrated by lighting candles, some spring cleaning, making Brighid's crosses, getting out seeds to plant or starting to break ground for a garden and leaving a piece of fabric out overnight spread on a bush to represent Brighid's Mantle which she blesses in passing. The fabric can then be torn or cut into small squares to carry for protection. This picture is a Brigid's Cross, often made from straw or reeds but I will be attempting one of copper wire since copper can represent fire and was teh main metal of ancient smiths since it melted and worked more easily than many metals and combined with tin etc. for bronze and brass.

There are many other customs as well but those are some main ones. It's a bit of an analog to New Years with an "out with the old and in with the new" mindset.That kind of goes along with my sense of some change coming into my life in the fairly near future. I downloaded a bit of an astrological look ahead for my year in 2013 which read as follows:

2013: Taurus Overview

2013 brings the kind of emotional stability and depth you've been craving for years. Now that Saturn has finally moved out of your work and health sector for good, you will feel a great weight lift off your shoulders with the burden of daily demands and never-ending deadlines. Now you can rightly direct your attention to the realm of relationships. Saturn has moved into your opposite constellation (Scorpio) until 2015 and promises to reveal your missing other half both within and without. Your commitments to others will deepen and you will come to realize how much you truly value your loved ones. Never again will you take any of your significant others for granted. Relationships are your end-all-be-all in 2013. Saturn will show you which ones are worth hanging onto and which ones you have outgrown. No longer will you tolerate relationships that only prove to be a dead-end.

The South Node of the Moon brings a series of eclipses in your sign this year, Taurus. That spells great change and letting go of any outworn attachments and stagnation across the board. Change comes hard if ever in the life of a steadfast and loyal bull, but alas this is your year to let go, let go, let go. Your life and your relationships in particular will undergo great transformation from the ground level, up. Be prepared to tear it all down and start from ash. You are about to learn powerful lessons in how resourceful and resilient you can be when you finally relinquish your need to possess and control.

Money is always essential in the life of security-loving Taurus, but in 2013 it will take on even greater significance. You are learning how important it is to cultivate resourcefulness rather than just working yourself to the bone. Trading dollars for hours is no longer a viable working formula for you. You've got to start tapping into your business brain so that your money makes money for you, and you can spend more time doing what you do best: creating beauty for yourself and others. You've more than paid your dues over the past few years, and you're more than ready to free up your time. You've come to learn the hard way that this is in fact your most valuable resource. You can recover most things, but time that is lost is lost forever.

That made me say hmmm along with the number omens and such. So far it is not appearing but something tells me it will. I'm trying to get and be ready! I'm starting to suspect it may be more of an internal change of attitude and spiritual matters than a physical one like a move, a new major project or a new relationship but I am not ruling that out, either. Time no doubt will tell!

And hearkening back to Imbolc, some special prayers may be in order--for guidance into the next phase, thankfulness for blessings received and coming, and a 'good will toward all' outreach and search for peace and safety. I found three versions of an ancient druid prayer that spoke to me. They are subtly different but all similar.  The word gwynvyd translates as 'heaven' but I think of it more in the sense of the Celtic Tir-nan-Og
or the Fiddler's Green of the soldier, the Rainbow Bridge where our furred friends await us etc.
God (or Godde) impart Thy strength
and in strength the power to suffer;
and to suffer for the truth;
and in the truth, all light;
and in light, gwynvyd*
and in gwynvyd, love;
and in love, Godde;
and in Godde, all greatness.

Grant, Godde, Thy protection;                                                                
and in protection, reason;                                                        
and in reason, light;                                                                  
and in light, truth;                                                                      
and in truth, justice;
and in justice, love
and in love, the love of Godde;
and in the love of Godde, gwynvyd.

Grant, O Godde, thy protection;
and in protection, strength;
and in strength, understanding;
and in understanding, knowledge;
and in knowledge the knowledge of justice;
and in the knowledge of justice, the love of it;
and in that love, the love of all existences;
and in the love of all existences, the love of Godde.

I believe the third version speaks the most to me and I will probably use it in any Imbolc rite I may perform next Saturday evening. Each twenty days, I do two twenty four hour shifts as a flame keeper for Brighid and will end one at 6:00 pm on February 1, just in time to continue into an Imbolc commemorations. In that last prayer I find echoes of the Truth, Art and Kinship trinity that centers my particular brand of Druidism. They all reflect the  very Celtic flow of images into one another that makes a prayer or chant move and live.I may feel a verse starting to build here. Maybe next time....

BTW my friend Joe is still hospitalized and now fighting some heart and kidney issues probably triggered by the infection which is better but not cured yet. I continue to pray for his recovery and try to send a short cheery note each day as there is little more I can do for now. Life is a precious but precarious and ephemeral gift! We only 'borrow' it for a time before going back to the spirit realm to perhaps recycle again in a new form. Still Love is forever and always and eternal and I think the very core nature/energy of all things!

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