Celtic Shamanism Course Weekend 3

 

merlintree

The weekend 17th and 18th May saw us running the third session in our 10 weekend Celtic Shamanism Course.

So far it has been really well received.

shaman11This, first course in a series of three, is all about reconnecting and recreating.

The third book in the Concrete Shaman Series (the course book created for theses sessions) notes:

We have suggested that the Cletic Shamanic tradition, such as it ever existed, could be seen as being part of what we call the Druidic Tradition. 

The key problem is that since the Druids kept no written records we can’t be sure of what their key practices actually were.

We have discovered that the following ideas seem to be part their general and local beliefs…

Humans were linked to and possibly evolved from the Gods.

Gods and Goddesses would and could interact with humans in ‘very human’ ways.

The Gods and the Goddesses had the same desires, lusts and drives as people.

There was a belief in the afterlife and that some souls may be ‘reincarnated’ or to return as other people.

Natural places – groves, streams, rivers, caves – had a spiritual significance and may lead to, link with other worlds.shaman8

Many of these natural places were associated with specific deities who were worshipped there.
There were two seasons – summer and winter, or the light half of the year and the dark half of the year

Three worlds…

The world of “Sea” or water was the underworld of the ancestors and the Sidhe or Fairies. This world was under the earth but could be accessed through water; hence offerings were dropped into water such as lakes, ponds, wells and streams, as gifts for the Fairy Realms and for the honored dead.

The world of “Land” was the sacred realm of plants, trees, animals, stones and humans. Some of the inhabitants of this world such as stones and trees were especially venerated because a stone could be half underground and half above ground and thus reside between two worlds, while a tree had its roots in the underworld of Water, its trunk in the realm of Land and branches that touched the Sky Realm.
Offerings were made to sacred trees and stones to honor their existence between the realms. Deeply rooted trees such as ashes and oaks and stones that projected from the earth were understood to be liminal objects of power that could help a person to travel between the worlds. Rituals were performed in the presence of such trees and stones for this reason.

shaman2The world of “Sky” was the domain of the Sky Gods and Goddesses, of Thunder Gods such as Taranis and of the winged raven and crow emissaries of the Triple Goddess of Battle, the Morrígan

It is in the spirit of rediscovery that this course has been created.

This weekend was all about personal connections to self and place.

As we told our students ..

“The series of books for the course are entitled The Concrete Shaman because we wanted to show that there is a real need for a personal, psychological and spiritual connection in this ‘modern’ 21st Century world.

It’s not about tuning our backs on science and technology and seeking to un-invent things, its about learning to manage the technology we have whilst celebrating the spaces that we have in order to make better choices for ourselves and the environment’

 

Reconnecting is all a part of the recreation of what could be considered as a Celtic Spiritual Tradition.

Emma, one of our lovely course members said on her Facebook page:-

Wonderful weekend of reconnection, meditation & reflection. Time spent with fantastic friends in the lovely sunshine. Time to myself being at one with nature & air but also time spent laughing, sharing & having fun with friends. I woke today feeling grounded, restored, connected, positive & loved!

Blessed be )O( ☆ ☆ xxx

And this really sums it all up – it is from such moments of stillness we gain clarity and in that clarity become more able to focus on Shaman1what we need to become empowered.

This weekend sees the start of our deeper considerations of the four treasures and four directions..

The four treasures the Sword of Nuada, the Cauldron of the Dagda, the Spear of Lugh and the Lia Fail or Stone of Destiny – which can be linked to the four directions. (East, West, South and North).

Our discussions really focus on the practical aspects of such considerations; the mystical connections we can make whilst understanding that such ‘generalisations’ are more likely to be the creations of later writers and not necessarily the practices of the Druids themselves.

People left the weekend refreshed and looking forward to the coming series of  weekends when we begin to explore the stories from the Mabinogion and the texts it is derived from.

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Alan and Sue

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