Note: In the Wheel of the Year text, week 4 is the First High Day Recap, but because my next High Day doesn’t occur until August 1, I am moving to the next lesson.
Completed the required reading of Our Own Druidry: Attunement to Nature & The Kindred. Also completed the following recommended readings Urban Druid by Mary Jones, Honoring the Environment Through Religion by Sylvan, Loving our Mother by Mary Price, and Learning from the Trees by Judith Anderson Morris.
I had recently listened to Kirk Thomas reading Learning from the Trees as part of the Part the Mists Podcast, in their “From the Archives” segment, so the reading was basically a refresher.
The Urban Druid article was one that I resonated with, because one of the things that I have had trouble dealing with since moving to Michigan is being able to connect with the land here. While I was living in an urban area before, Akron still had far more green space than what we have here in Detroit. I very much miss having quick and easy access to woods that I can be in. I used to be able to walk out my front door, walk 100 feet, and be entering a large park in a gorge filled with woods. I don’t have that here. What Detroit calls a park is generally a well-manicured lawn, some planted flower beds, and a few trees, surrounded by sidewalks and benches with a playground.
The Urban Druid article also brought up the difficulty I have with the DP requirement in that it is pretty vague and unclear. The lesson in the WotY book is also vague in terms of what it is that the preceptor is looking for. It is presented as some sort of land-spirit-attunement-meets-naturalist essay. This is another reason why I need try and find the evaluation rubric for the DP documentation. Hopefully that will give a clearer idea what they are looking for.
I have continued my daily 10-minute meditation, but I did miss two days of my entire Magical Morning. Sunday morning I was returning from my camping trip, and I started packing up camp early, without doing it. Then when I got home, I put it off again, and completely forgot until it was time for bed. Thursday was my day off from work, and partly because I did not spend the night at my own home, I ended up not doing my Magical Morning. But I did do my nature work on Thursday, so while I did not do the 10-minute Meditation, I did spend an hour in the woods, and part of that was meditating.
I also attended the 30-Minute silent meditation at the Boston Tea Room on Wednesday. I don’t remember very much about it, I didn’t really have any particularly interesting experiences, journey, or visions. It was just a basic 30-minute silent meditation.
My daily Lararium Rites have continued, with the exception of sunday and thursday, which I’ve already mentioned. We are in the second half of the month now, so there are no special days with extra offerings during the daily rite. I am now doing the entire rite almost completely from memory. I’ve done it entirely from memory at least once this week, and several days I only glanced down once or twice because I had lost the opening of my phrasing for parts.
This week the homework is the start of the Nature Awareness work, which going forward will get it’s own section, since I will be doing it on an ongoing basis like with the meditations, readings, and daily hearth rituals.
There are a couple of parks that are suitable for the type of work that I want to do, but neither can be reached on foot. Fortunately, both are pretty close drives from my gym, and I went to one of them on Thursday.
I began by making a prayer to the land and making an offering. My prayer was a bit of a fusion between Cato the Elder’s instructions on how to make an offering at a sacred grove on your property, and a few phrases taken from episodes of Star Trek Voyager in which Chakotay is praying to his spirits. On the one hand, it feels a bit silly to use a phrase from a Sci-Fi television show, but the phrasing of the two lines I used has resonated with me for a long time, and I’ve always wanted to incorporate them.
A child of the earth calls upon the spirit of this land.
Whether you be god or goddess to whom this land is dedicated,
it it is your right to receive due offering.
To this end, in pouring this offering to you
I pray to you good prayers and
I humbly beg that you will be benevolent toward me.
I am far from the bones of my ancestors,
Far from the lands that I have called home for so long,
From the lares with whom I have built a relationship of reciprocity.
But perhaps there is a spirit, a Lar, or an Indigimenta,
who would be willing to guide me in this place,
To welcome me as a humble guest,
And to build relationship with me.
If this be so, receive my offering and grant me your blessing.
After making my offering, I spent time wandering the place. Fairly shortly after I started, I came across a grocery bag, and I picked it up and started filling it with assorted trash that was on the ground in the area. I ended up filling two of these grocery bags in the time that I was there, which I brought home with me and put in the trash.
I wandered the trails for a bit, being open to what was around me. There were Maples and Oaks around, and lots of plants that I did not recognize. I did see what appeared to be a barberry randomly in the woods, and there was an area that was covered with an ivy that is used in landscaping. I suspect that these woods were once part of a neighborhood that had been torn down. I also recognized a few May Apples, which at this point in the year were dying down.
The only animals that I noted in the area were both black and grey squirrels, and the mosquitos which wouldn’t leave me alone in one particular area. I spent a little time off to the side of a more park-like area meditating, but didn’t make any connections with any particular spirits while I was there. But it was nice to just be in some proper woods again, however small the area was.