Saturday, December 26, 2009

Magical Training Of Druids

Magical Training Of Druids Image
Modern Pagan writing is full of simple-to-complex instructions on all of those skills. Most of the ideas therein derive from western ceremonial magic, or from scraps of folklore. They often depend on mystical ideas based on Hermetic Qabalah (the G:. D:. sort, not the Jewish sort) or loosely lifted from Buddhism or Hinduism. So, one can learn a great deal about Tarot, or Runes, or herbal magick, poppet spells or shamanic vision. One can read methods of contacting the Holy Guardian Angel, of meeting a Power Animal, of entering trance through music or rhythm or sexual practice. Each and all of these could have some context in a Druidic occultism, but none of it is really constructed inside a Northern, much less a Celtic, world view.

In some ways it's the Celtic perspective that has had the least attention. If one works a Hellenic system one can approach most of these skills through Graeco-Egyptian magic and the fairly well-documented remnants of Hellenic religion. Asatruar have several modern resources that merge classical magical goals with Norse myth and symbol. Of course eastern, post-Vedic systems have never completely lost their own intrinsic occultism, though those have often drifted fairly far from the kind of archaic models I'm considering.

In the last couple of years there has been a new round of publishing on the topic of Celtic Paganism. Books such as Aed Rua's "Celtic Flame", Robin Artisson's "The Flaming Circle", Erynn Laurie's "Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom" (reviews forthcoming) and my own thing all seem to be nearing a rough consensus on some symbols and cosmology of a Celtic Pagan worldview. However I think that I'm still a bit ahead of the pack in turning these ideas to the uses of actual occultism and magic.

So the second model for the Next Project will be to create a system of occult training that is adequately Celtic, specifically Gaelic, in a modern context. There's little doubt that in some cases what I'll be doing is 'Celticising' some classical magical methods. In other cases I'll be drawing on Gaelic folklore for rather more unique models. I'll be drawing on a lot of the ideas and models from SFHW, but I'll also be writing a lot of new material.

My model for the practice is a nine month focused program of work. That work is organized in a weekly 'retreat day' on which the Druid will work morning, mealtime and evening exercises and rites. Back when I worked in the traditional Craft we expected those working toward initiation to spend at least two to three nights per month attending ritual and practice meetings. It seems to me that at least that level of regular work should be expected of anyone hoping to move from a preliminary commitment ('dedication' as we might say) to the skilled use of occult methods. The practice I'm devising is based on lunar cycles, with retreat days set on the First Waxing, the Sixth Night, the Full Moon and the Waning. At least three of these involve a full personal ritual in the evening. The goal is to meet all the requirements of the ADF Initiate's Program practicum in the nine month cycle. I worry a bit that this is too ambitious, but only a little - let those with less ambition use a different method.

So as time goes by I'll be reporting on my progress here, and publishing excerpts from the writing. I have finished a meditative ritual technique that brings together several core elements of the Celtic Pagan consensus with the intention of seeking the various 'mystical' states characteristic of occult spirituality. (My article on 'Druidic Mysticism' is done and submitted to ADF's magazine, Oak Leaves, incidentally. Maybe I'll post excerpts here...) I'm currently working on the skeleton of rites and practices for the 'retreat days'. I began intending to model the retreat work on the canonical hours (perhaps thinking of Kirk's future 'monastic' dealy) but there are rather a lot of those, and I want the program to be doable on a weekday even for working people, so that the student can choose not to devote one weekend day per week to it unless they want to. So in the end I only recommend a morning work, a mid-day activity (divination), and evening meal work and a full ritual at night. I guess my question to the reader is whether this much work can be done once per week by a student of middling diligence, or should the load per month be reduced. The Dark Moon week, especially, could be limited to simple meditation and, perhaps, catching up the journal. To get us started, here's the outline I'll be working to fill in initially, over the next weeks:



MORNING WORK - to be done before beginning the day's tasks. Rise, Bathe and go to the Shrine. Perform the Shrine Devotion, and the prescribed meditation.
AT MEALS - make the food offerings to the Ancestors and local Wights - development of relationship with the local beings.
THE ORACLE - At some time in the day a full reading is done with the preferred divination tool, and carefully recorded.
THE HEARTH RITE: a full solo liturgy that includes honoring the Gods and Spirits of the student, divining the nature of the Blessing and working a good Blessing in turn. The rite may include a formal trance working, full invocatory work, and/or practical magic. The closing of this rite ends the weekly retreat.

"The overall 9-month Work must accomplish:"

- Increasing facility with the Druidic symbols and ritual outlines
- Possible increasing familiarity with a Celtic language (if yr hmbl author can increase his own before publishing...)
- Development of personal 'hearth customs' and relationships with the spirits.
- Achieve basic skill as diviner/reader
- Work several successful operations of practical magic
- Gain skill at trance - the work will contain at least three kinds of trance style or method - Grounding & Centering, Open Meditation and vision-journeying.

"Specific magico-spiritual goals include:"

- Develop skill in mystical trance - unity with the land and the Two Powers, awareness of the God In the Self.
- Develop an Inner Grove - a base of operations for the Inner World
- Develop initial alliances with specific beings of the Kindreds.
- Use divination to develop understanding of one's path and goal.
- Develop invocation skills to work with the Deities.
- Use Hearth-customs and Welcomings to build power in the local land
- Use spellbinding to improve the conditions of common life

You also may enjoy this free books:

Anonymous - The Magical Library Of Harry Price
Bernard King - Meanings Of The Runes
James Eschelman - Invocation Of Horus

Keywords: names of celtic gods  paganism and wicca  magic rune  northern way  pagan god  great gods and goddesses  japan religion  sacred places  paganism religion  uk love spells  wicca witchcraft spells  pagan store  austin osman spare