Thursday, December 2, 2010

Druid's Discipline

Here's an abridgement of one of the final articles for the Nine Moons book. I'm within about 6,000 words of officially done! I'm working to have the whole thing done by the calends of January.
This article is aimed at students who have just completed the big 'Convocation Rite' at the end of month 8 and are starting on the final month, in which they begin to establish what their ongoing practice will look like.

Doing the Work – The Discipline of a Druid.
The culminating ritual of the Nine Moons system is a Convocation Rite in which the allies and skills that have been learned are brought together in one formal ritual. By the time the student has completed this work, if they have done this work diligently they will have experienced things outside of the experience of most mortals. They will have come a little closer to the world of spirits, learned a little more about inner power and opened the psyche to new insights. This remarkable journey is, of course, only the first chapter in a great spiritual adventure.

The Druid's Skill-set
This system is intended to provide a solid introductory foundation in magical and spiritual skills:
• Sacrifice and Ritual. The Druid is able to readily perform full rites of offering and blessing, both from scripts and ex tempore. The rites in the system have been solitary, and the next step is being able to perform magical sacrifices with and for small groups or clients.
• Divination and Seership. The Druid has a basic knowledge of a divinatory symbol-system and has practiced for herself and for others. Some work with scrying and the pendulum has at least been attempted.
• Vision & Spirit-Travel. The Druid has established a Threshold home environment, and has journeyed into mythic environments, and been in the presence of the spirits.
• Spellbinding. The Druid has performed successful acts of practical magic, and is prepared for further experiment.
• Alliance With the Spirits. The Druid has made clear and specific alliances with an Ancestral Teacher ad a Familiar among the Nobles, and has cultivated his relationship with the Gods.

The Path Ahead
These basic skills provide opportunity for further work and growth in several directions. With these skills in hand, custom suggests that you might choose to offer your services to the community. Divination , helping other Pagans manifest their goals in life through practical magic, house-blessings, uncrossings and Opening of Roads, rites to help the folk attune to their local Landspirits or their Ancestors, rites for healing, or prosperity, all are traditional community applications of magical skills.
There are paths of mysticism open to you as well. Your developing relationship with the Allies can bring new understandings of your own nature. Work with the Cosmos Meditation patterns can deepen your awareness of yourself, your place and work in the worlds and your connection with the divine. You can choose a path of meditation, theurgic ritual and vision that will bring high and deep spiritual experiences.
So do what spiritual work you find to do, even when 'life' gets in the way. One of the most reliable ways to maintain your practice is to take up a specific outline of practice – an Order of Discipline, if you like.

Doing the Work
• Keeping the High Days: Each High Day offers the chance to attune your spirit to a particular complex of Gods, spirits and stories. The skills of ritual and trance-vision are central to work of this sort.
• Daily Work: You should keep simple daily work as regularly as you are able. This should include 15 minutes of devotion, purification and meditation, and making simple offerings to the spirits.
• Retreat Days: Twice per month, if possible, you should keep a retreat day of the sort you've kept during this training. While three or four retreats is a fine, intense pace for a specific period, maintanance can be done on much less. The best choice is to work a retreat on each full moon, leaving the entire waxing phase for whatever additional work is desired. The outline of a retreat can continue as you have done:
• Morning Practice: a detailed contemplation meditation, such as the Nineteen Working.
• Non-Gods Cult Work: Formal offerings to the Dead and the Nobles, more detailed than the daily offerings.
• Divination: This should be a real 'reading' for oneself, not just a ritual omen.
• Evening Work: At least monthly some version of the Sorcerer's Sacrifice should be worked, renewing your relationship with your Allies, beneath the Da Fein. This rite will include a detailed divination.
A second retreat evening each month is advised. New Moon might be spent in trance, vision and journeying, working from the Inner Grove. Sixth nights provide opportunity for spellwork and practical sorcery. You have the opportunity to please yourself, pursuing those works that interest you.

A Personal Magic
While this training system has provided scripts, ritual outlines and key symbols, these can only be the beginning of the discovery of power. Every magician that really does the work develops a personal magic.
In a Neopagan system like Druidry we have full authority to create our own work, based on what we learn from teaching and tradition. We bring our core symbols, and our own connections to the spirits, and we study and learn and apply new ideas to established practices. New rites and practices, or evolutions from older ones, can come from the smallest such seeds.
The other vital source of new ideas and personal adjustments will come directly from the spirits. The spirits can be consulted to reveal memories of the Old Ways, which will come to you as vision or inspiration. From these you can build new ways, suited for modern work.

Your spiritual path is in your own hands. Your Nine Moons training has given you a firm
start with the basic skills of arcane spiritual arts. A lifetime of spiritual exploration

3 comments:

Gwynt-Siarad said...

Ian, This sounds like a fantastic system you have put together, and I am really looking forward to getting my hands on it. I am studying Draoicht and starting to put the baisic ritual to use. I have some questions, but not sure how best to communicate them with you. Oh I think you'll also be pleased to hear I joined ADF yesterday. ;-)

IanC said...

Feel free to write me at tredara@gmail.com with any questions, or just ask them here - they might lead to good blog posts : ).

Athena said...

Anxiously awaiting the completed work! Thank you for all the work you do for us, Ian!

M