Taking up the Path of the Bard III: Practice makes Perfect

The Druid's Garden

“You have so much talent” or “I’m talented enough” are powerful statements, statements I hear on a regular basis from those who long for a creative practice. The idea of talent can cause an incredible amount of inaction, of people not feeling they are “good enough” to even try.  I see this, in particular, with the visual arts. But the first time you put pen to paper, if you aren’t Picasso or Monet, you might as well forget about it. This larger cultural ideal, of course, seems at odds with the druid tradition where Eisteddfod and the channeling of Awen are central to our spiritual life. In the druid tradition, creativity isn’t about producing something of commercial value or high quality, its about the channeling of creativity for spiritual purposes. But for those coming out of mainstream Western culture with all of the cultural baggage, this can be difficult to…

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The Light Has A Distinct Feeling You Can Follow To Lead You Toward Joy

By Amy Brucker

I was standing at the crossroads of darkness and light.

One of my favorite clients, a woman I’d worked with for nearly two years, needed a different kind of support than I could give her. She was reluctant to end our sessions, but life was taking her in a different direction. It was time for her to move on.

Even though I’d reached the same conclusion, letting go was not easy. I wasn’t only saying good-bye to a client I loved, I was losing a significant portion of my income.

In that moment I had a choice.

I could succumb to sadness and fear at the loss of a client and income.

Or I could focus on the glimmer of light that was shining through the veil of my mood.

I latched on to the light and immediately began to feel something new emerge. I didn’t know how long it would take to come to fruition, or what would happen. But I let it guide me.

Imbolc and the Light of Hope

Imbolc (February 1) is a holiday my ancestors celebrated to acknowledge the return of Light as winter transitioned slowly into spring. This time of year is a good reminder that no matter how dark it gets, light always follows.

Sometimes when you come to a crossroads, though, there’s a path of darkness and a path of light. Although you get to choose which you follow, your choice colors your experience.

The path of darkness can be comforting. Sometimes it’s a warm cave we curl into while we regenerate after a long journey. Darkness offers shelter, provides protection, gives us the space we need to find our center again.

But it isn’t always necessary to go down the path of darkness. Sometimes that route leads to denial of new life that’s trying to emerge. Life that is ready to burst forth if we only let it in.

With my client gone, I knew I had a choice to follow the dark or the light, the sadness or the joy. I could feel the distinct energies running through me. I knew neither was right or wrong, but I also remembered the times in my life when I needlessly chose the sadness and succumbed to the suffering. I didn’t want to do that. I chose to feel the light. To revel in it. To trust the void and embrace the unknowing.

Turning to the lightness brought me to where I needed to be. The next day I signed on a new client whose needs are beautifully aligned with everything I want to be doing in my work.

The light pulled me through. I was safely on the other side.

Celebrating New Life

There is nothing wrong with the darkness. It carries the seeds of new life.

But you don’t always have to linger in the dark in order to process your pain before you can authentically move forward. You can simply acknowledge the pain, feel its existence, say hello with gratitude, let it go, and move on.

Where in your life is there a glimmer of hope shining through the darkness?

What might happen if you acknowledge the dark, but focus on the light and let everything else go?

Who might you be if you surrender to trust and have faith in Spirit, letting the light guide you toward new life?

That’s something worth contemplating.

Sweet dreams,

Amy

Victims of Circumstance

secretsoftheserpent

It is our limiting beliefs that hold us back. The beliefs we have been taught our whole lives. The beliefs we were born into. This whole world is a victim of circumstance. A victim of circumstance is said to be an individual that suffers from ill consequences that are out of their control. A person born into a bad situation. What is the circumstance that people have been born into? We have all been brought up in ignorance.

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The Best Time To Hear Your Intuition

By Amy Brucker

Winter is the perfect time of year to develop a deeper connection to your intuition. The darkness makes it easier to tune out external stimulus so you can go within and hear yourself as well as hear Spirit.

Winter, though, isn’t always about the cold, dark months of the year. It can also be the cooler, darker times of the day (late night and early morning), or the period in between life-cycles when you’ve completed one thing but haven’t yet started something new.

This still, quiet time is a gift many Westerners ignore. We tend to fill every bit of our lives with something do to. TV. Netflix. Parties. Busy-ness. They all have their place, but when they eat up every minute of our “down time” we miss a great opportunity for connecting to our Soul.

Tonight, once everyone has gone to bed, sit in the darkness of your home. Take five, ten, or twenty minutes to sit quietly and tune in to what you perceive.

Do you feel spirits around you?

Can you hear the voice of God/Goddess talking with you?

Is your inner voice easier to hear?

Just listen. Don’t try to do anything with it. Let the voices come naturally. Observe.

If you do this for awhile, you’ll eventually be able to sense the voice of Spirit more clearly.

How you sense the voice will be unique to you. It may sound like actual voices in your mind (or as though it’s coming from outside of you). You may get blips of images. You may feel sensations.

The darkness makes it easier to notice these things, which in turn makes it easier to practice developing your intuition.

When it’s light outside, you still have access to this type of guidance, but in the light you will be distracted by external stimulus and it makes the more subtle bits of information more difficult to notice.

Practice in the dark and soon you will be able to do it in the light, too.

And have fun! This is a skill worth developing.

Sweet dreams,
Amy

Call to Adventure

secretsoftheserpent

The Call to Adventure is what every story, movie and myth is all about. Whether someone was taught this outline or they do it naturally, this is the formula for success in books and movies. This formula is all over the myths, yet we don’t give the ancients any credit. Just like everything else about the ancients, it was stolen to make money. Joseph Campbell brought this to light, but it was made out to be more of just a coincidence. A lot of the great stories in this world were taken out of the ancient myths and so was the template to write them. All the myths of the world are stories of you. They are your Call to Adventure or what happens when you accept this Call to Adventure. The ancients imbedded symbolism, history, astrology, psychology and other truths into these stories. Once I show you this Call…

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Pyramids

secretsoftheserpent

Pyramids are all over the world. Why is the pyramid used instead of a different shape? What were the ancients trying to tell us? Most of todays buildings look like stylized pyramids. Ask any architect and they will tell you they just structurally make sense. The ancients didn’t just build pyramids just because the structurally made sense. They were leaving a message. A message that has stood the test of time and has been forgotten. Until now.

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Growth

Everything has cycles … Expansion – Contraction … Construction – Destruction. It is all part of daily life.

secretsoftheserpent

Growth is what we are here to do. Growth is creativity. It does not matter what you grow in, just as long as you grow. Growth is not possible without practice and training. All to often we think of victory as growth. Nature does not care about victory, she is only interested in growth. Growth is possible only to the one who is constantly expanding his or her abilities. When you think you have won, you stop growing. A team that is not challenged will not get better. If you are playing a video game and it is to easy, eventually you will get bored with it. I am not saying accept defeat. Defeat is a state of mind. The person who realizes all growth possibilities are with in themselves never accepts defeat.

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The Mind

secretsoftheserpent

When you look out into the night sky, the forest, city streets, across a lake or anywhere else, you are seeing your mind. The mind is not the brain. The brain is just the receiver. Because this receiver sees in poles or duality we see everything as something or nothing. We always see what is there, but never think about what is not there. How can you know what is there without the contrast of what is not there?

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The Dreamer’s Path, School of Nahualismo with Sergio Magaña Ocelocoyotl​ 

Here’s A SOULstice Ritual

By Amy Brucker

It’s going to be dark this week–new moon, solstice–so I created a SOULstice ritual to support your journey.

But first, a few thoughts about the darkness…

The Descent into Darkness

When all that’s familiar is stripped away, you’re left with darkness.

Some people tremble with fear when they encounter this place. Others revel in the mystery, using it as an opportunity to discover the depths of their being.

The choice is yours, but what you do here influences your entire life.

The ancient Greek myth about Persephone illustrates this struggle, but it also gives clues about the best way to move forward.

Persephone is innocence personified. One day she tends her garden, joyfully gathering posies, when out of nowhere, Hades comes to abduct her and pulls her into the underworld.

Persephone is separated from everything she knows and holds dear–the light, warmth, her mother. She slips into the darkness and loses herself. Devastated by her predicament, she goes into depression and denial.

Her life has been hijacked. It’s no longer her own. She will never be the person she was.

How many times have you been innocently enjoying your life when some drama or trauma abducted you from your blissful moment?

Bad news.

A break up.

A micro-managing boss.

This is Hades pulling you from your holy garden into the darkness, against your will, where you will be faced with the most important decision you can make.

Denial or Acceptance

Although Persephone’s Descent is an allegory that explains the transition from the warm, sunny days of summer to the bleak, dark days of winter, it’s a myth with another message.

This story is about choice.

Hades, god of the underworld, presents Persephone with a pomegranate, a deliciously ripe fruit. It’s a gesture of good will, but it also serves as food to nourish her.

Persephone looks at the fruit, but refuses to eat. Days go by, weeks. She grows weary and hungry, hoping her fast will miraculously return her to the garden of innocence.

Persephone wants to ignore her situation in hopes that it will go away. But that denial keeps her stuck in hell, where there is no life, only death.

Then one day, she cannot take the bleakness any longer. Persephone makes a decision and eats the fruit. Her bite is the acceptance of her fate. She decides to make peace with her situation. She eats the fruit, and with it, steps into her new life.

Because of her choice to nourish herself, Persephone begins to heal. Through healing, she becomes one with her Self.

It’s only through acceptance of her situation that she can move forward to create a healthy and new life.

She chooses life.

Where was your life hijacked?

At some point your life took an unexpected turn.

Maybe the evil queen ripped your heart out and locked it in a box; or your knight in shining armor ran off with another maiden; or your health was poisoned by a shiny red apple.

Perhaps this situation hijacked your life, linking your soul with suffering.

And maybe this situation has become the Story of Your Life, influencing your health and wellness, like Persephone’s abduction into the underworld influenced hers.

Expect it isn’t the whole story.

There’s a decision to be made.

How long are you going to stay in the darkness before you taste the sweet, delicious fruit that is yours for the taking?

When will you choose life?

Connecting with your Soul at Soul-stice

What is the BIG decision you need to make to return to wholeness?

Bits of you may have been quietly or abruptly pushed aside. Your spiritual gifts. Your purpose. Your peace of mind.

Something in you was abducted and only you have the power to call it back.

Is it time to make a choice? How much suffering will you endure before you feel ready?

SOULstice is the perfect time to go into the darkness–consciously–to explore what’s missing. Reflect on what you’ve lost so you can acknowledge your journey and make a choice to bring all of you back into the light.

Your SOULstice Ritual

I created this SOULstice ritual for you to help you call back the bits of your soul that are lost.

Supplies

One pomegranate (if you can’t find a pomegranate, an apple or any other fruit will do).
A candle.
Matches.

Ritual

Take a few moments to contemplate a situation in which you were abducted from your metaphoric holy garden.

What derailed you and became the Story of Your Life in a way that is not supporting you?

Imagine that part of you is in the underworld. This aspect of you holds part of your soul, and with it, part of your power.

It’s time to choose: will you let it linger in the underworld, or will you call it back?

If you’re ready to call it back, have the supplies on hand and imagine you are talking with a part of you that is in the underworld. Say this prayer out loud (or write your own). Feel free to change it so it resonates with you:

You are a part of me, but you were abducted into the darkness.
I know it was difficult to leave the life you cherished.
I know you felt ripped away from innocence.

Your journey was difficult and I honor it.
I acknowledge your pain.
I see your suffering.

Yet now it’s time to call you back into wholeness.

I call you back by eating this fruit, which carries the seeds of life to nourish me.
I eat the fruit and nourish myself.
I eat the fruit and make myself whole again.

May it be so.

Eat the pomegranate seeds.

Light the candle and say this:

As I light this candle, I call back all parts of me and honor the beauty of my soul.

Feel the parts of you returning and integrating into your being, and say,

May it be so.

When you’re ready, close the ritual by giving thanks and blowing out the candle.

Notice how you feel.

Happy Solstice and Hanukkah to those who celebrate.
Amy