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Author Topic: Shift Experiences  (Read 39321 times)
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« Reply #90: February 14, 2010, 09:07:46 am »

I had thought that today I would do something creative in honor of Brigid, but it ended up being a day of tending my house, which I feel really positive about.
<nod> My shifts aren't always what I expect/plan, but they're always Brigidine.

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« Reply #91: February 20, 2010, 04:23:53 pm »


I wanted to stop by this thread and share a bit about my first shift experience this past Thursday, 18 Feb.. Though I guess technically it was my second, my very first one was a bit rushed and impromptu; this time I thought to look up when the sun was setting ahead of time, and had a few things prepared.

I wanted to begin and end my shift with a semi-formal ritual of lighting the flame (in this case, a red pillar candle placed on the offering dish I made for Brigid this past autumn) and then blessing the "sacred flame" pendant necklace that I would be wearing the following day while at work (and then "releasing" the necklace and extinguishing the flame the following evening to close the shift). I also was hoping that it'd be a way of quieting myself down and listening for any ideas or inspiration about what to focus on during the upcoming shift and also the next twenty days between this shift and the next.

The ritual itself went pretty smoothly, and I spent some time in meditation on themes of peace-making and justice, which is part of a book manuscript that I'm working on (and hoping maybe Brigid can give me some guidance). A while ago, when struggling to connect with Her aspect as goddess of smithcraft, I began to think about the symbolism of the sword as double-edged, and as a thing of beauty and poise as well as a weapon. So I've been working in meditation with images of the blade or sword (and incorporating my athame, which is the ritual tool associated with my Druidic grade in AODA) and the process of forging and shaping the raw materials of pain/suffering/rage/righteousness/revenge into tools useful for the creative activity of peace-making. The meditation went well, though it's still in development.

After the ritual, on a whim I decided to pull out one of my oracle decks and do a quick drawing (which I hardly ever do), asking the question, "What lessons can I learn during this current shift and the next twenty days?" I drew three cards, for Brigid's three aspects: poetry, healing and smithcraft. The cards I drew for poetry and smithcraft seemed relevant and optimistic about my writing projects at the moment. Interestingly, the card I drew for healing was one of brash, decisive action and also indicating a possible journey. I wasn't sure what this might mean, but the following morning I received a call from my parents that their dog had suffered a bad stroke and was possibly not going to make it; at which point I decided (without even remembering the oracle card until later) that I would find a way to get back to my hometown before the week is out, to make sure I was there for her during her final hours, and also for my parents who are grieving and struggling with the guilt of having to decide just how long to keep an ill, suffering animal alive on medications before making the decision to let her go. (The latest update is that the dog is doing all right, she's able to sit up and look around and my parents have brought her home to be comfortable, but it's uncertain if she'll improve anymore or how long she'll survive; any healing or prayers would be very welcome, for her and for my parents. I have plans to go back home tomorrow evening, barring any terrible weather.)

During my closing ritual, I poured some libations to Brigid, as well as to the spirits of the three realms as I usually do. I sat in contemplation with the oracle cards a bit longer, and began to think about the three aspects of poetry, healing and smthcraft... and how they could be seen to represent: inspiration (poetry), integration (healing), and transformation (smithcraft). These three things are not only separate processes, but can be seen as a single overarching process: you are in-spired, lit. "breathed into" by Spirit or the gods, and you receive or discover something new; then you must "heal" by integrating this new aspect, incorporating it in a way that is in balance and harmony with your life and the work you are called to do; hopefully, by integrating what Spirit has inspired, you are transformed into a new being, changed in some way even if only subtly, from who you were before. And, as my partner's daughter pointed out, you also take this inspiration, incorporate it and then create something, such as a work of art, so that you are transforming the world around you as well. A pretty neat idea... Smiley

So, all in all, I really enjoyed my shift and felt like I was able to approach it with a good frame of mind. For much of the time, I was able to leave the red candle burning wedged in the snow out on our front stoop (except while I slept and while I was at work) and being able to keep an actual flame helped to compliment wearing the pendant I had made. I'm looking forward to a day when my shift falls on a day off and I can keep a literal flame for a full twenty-four hours. Smiley

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« Reply #92: February 20, 2010, 07:57:44 pm »

I spent some time in meditation on themes of peace-making and justice, which is part of a book manuscript that I'm working on (and hoping maybe Brigid can give me some guidance). A while ago, when struggling to connect with Her aspect as goddess of smithcraft, I began to think about the symbolism of the sword as double-edged, and as a thing of beauty and poise as well as a weapon. So I've been working in meditation with images of the blade or sword (and incorporating my athame, which is the ritual tool associated with my Druidic grade in AODA) and the process of forging and shaping the raw materials of pain/suffering/rage/righteousness/revenge into tools useful for the creative activity of peace-making. The meditation went well, though it's still in development.

Thanks for sharing, Ali.

This piece (quoted above) is particularly interesting to me.  I've though a lot about the idea of justice -- particularly social justice -- as the melding of healing, poetry (which I've always interpreted as wisdom and the sharing of wisdom), and smithcraft (especially the idea of forging and creating).

To me, these processes do seem to be different aspects of one overall process, as you described.  I think one way of manifesting this is to use them to try to effect the world and make it a better place.  OTOH, my most recent epiphany is that it's also OK to use them to work on oneself. 

Apparently, that's what I need to be doing right now.  I've been feeling really stressed about having to leave my job (in social advocacy) and basically not do anything useful because of health issues.  But I'm coming to understand that what I have to do at this point is to focus on my own healing, learn from its lessons, and transform my life into something new to accomodate my current limitations and strengths.

It's a hard lesson.   Undecided
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« Reply #93: February 22, 2010, 07:29:52 pm »


Apparently, that's what I need to be doing right now.  I've been feeling really stressed about having to leave my job (in social advocacy) and basically not do anything useful because of health issues.  But I'm coming to understand that what I have to do at this point is to focus on my own healing, learn from its lessons, and transform my life into something new to accomodate my current limitations and strengths.

It's a hard lesson.   Undecided

just an aside here, keep in mind MI that so for many of those who need prayers/healing your time and efforts are tremendously useful and helpful to those in need.  Your sharing of knowledge has probably helped many like myself who are seeking their paths.  Just wanted to say thanks for that!

That holds true of all of you who post and share.  I know even if i may not agree with everything i read here, so many times i'm overwhelmed with emotion or have that "ah ha!" moment that leads me to a new idea to study.  I think I'd still be stumbling around if TC hadn't spurred and focused my search.

Shannon
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« Reply #94: February 22, 2010, 07:35:46 pm »

Just wanted to say thanks for that!

Thank you for saying that, Shannon.

I've been so frustrated, even in my spiritual work.  I received the new book about Brighid for Christmas, and I can't even seem to get through that!  My absolutely favorite subject.  Two years ago, I would have devoured it in one sitting.  Now, I'm struggling just to get to the halfway point and retain anything.   Sad

But it's really encouraging to know that I'm contributing here in some way, however small.  It gives me hope.

Anyway, thank you.

~MI
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« Reply #95: February 24, 2010, 02:05:08 pm »

But I'm coming to understand that what I have to do at this point is to focus on my own healing, learn from its lessons, and transform my life into something new to accomodate my current limitations and strengths.

I've experienced something similar, although much less severe, from another deity. Wepwawet thwapped me to do His work (and mine) of opening the way for others. For awhile, the focus was opening the way for myself. Very recently, I realized that the focus was shifting again and opening the way for others *as well as* myself would be good.

I find self-care and the work of making a life to be really important.
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« Reply #96: February 24, 2010, 03:51:03 pm »

I find self-care and the work of making a life to be really important.


Yes, and yet, for some reason, it's a difficult concept to implement.

I know it's true that "I can't take care of anyone else if I don't care of myself" and that I have to put on my own oxgen mask before I help the child traveling with me  Wink, but...self-care can feel so...I don't know...self-indulgent.

I think this might, at least partially, be an artifact of how and when I was raised.  As a child of the 60s, I grew up being told assertively by society that women can do anything and everything they want.  But as a child of parents who were children of the 30s and 40s I was raised with the not-so-subtle message (and three generations of examples) that the role of women -- especially mothers -- is to take care of others, even at their own expense.

So I guess I'm finding it hard to forgive myself for being human.  I was doing so well at fulfilling conflicting expectations: married young; raised two intelligent, caring, beautiful daughters who think for themselves; took care of my grandmother as she died from Alzheimers; earned a MA and a JD, both from excellent schools; passed the bar on the first try; job in child advocacy; Girl Scout leader, etc.  Your standard-issue "SuperMom".  And then I crashed into the wall of physicall illness.  And now I feel like I wasted all that time and money going to school and starting a career that is turning out to be utterly useless.

But, reading your post and thinking about healing and self-care and writing this response, I'm realizing once again that this is just a new way opening.

And that's OK.

Difficult and frustrating and scary.  But OK.

(So thanks for that reference to "opening the way".  I'm not really sure I understand what you meant, but I took something very positive from it.  Cheesy )
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« Reply #97: February 25, 2010, 04:20:28 pm »

(So thanks for that reference to "opening the way".  I'm not really sure I understand what you meant, but I took something very positive from it.  Cheesy )

Yay! Sounds like I did something right, then. Smiley

I think other people might have other definitions for way-opening, but for me it's making something possible or helping others see possibilities they might have missed. It's making a space for something to happen. I think of teaching and mentoring with this, too. I think the "lightbulb lobbing" that people talk about on here could also be considered way-opening. It's also not letting energy get bound up in me when it could be properly flowing and useful, and it's untangling those knots when it happens. Generally these are tangles related to specific issues - BDSM was one for me for a bit.

In Feri, there's the idea of the third road between seeming opposites and choices. I think Wepwawet as the god of not just the 3rd road, but the 4th and the 5th and the Nth. He opens not just the possibilities we see and desperately want, but even more all the possibilities we haven't even thought of.
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« Reply #98: February 25, 2010, 08:08:56 pm »

I also was hoping that it'd be a way of quieting myself down and listening for any ideas or inspiration about what to focus on during the upcoming shift and also the next twenty days between this shift and the next.

I like how you're considering the time in between shifts - I hadn't thought of that.

Quote
A while ago, when struggling to connect with Her aspect as goddess of smithcraft, I began to think about the symbolism of the sword as double-edged, and as a thing of beauty and poise as well as a weapon. So I've been working in meditation with images of the blade or sword (and incorporating my athame, which is the ritual tool associated with my Druidic grade in AODA) and the process of forging and shaping the raw materials of pain/suffering/rage/righteousness/revenge into tools useful for the creative activity of peace-making. The meditation went well, though it's still in development.

This is really, really excellent. It reminds me of Thorn Coyle's Pentacle of Autonomy or Warrior Pentacle - a way of embracing a warrior path as a way to be ethical. I've found that when I embrace and acknowledge the destructive/violent/angry parts of myself, I can control them and my temper has gotten much better. I hadn't associated this with Brighid - beautiful! I'm also seeing a bit of why my UPG that she and Scathach get along makes sense.

Quote
These three things are not only separate processes, but can be seen as a single overarching process: you are in-spired, lit. "breathed into" by Spirit or the gods, and you receive or discover something new; then you must "heal" by integrating this new aspect, incorporating it in a way that is in balance and harmony with your life and the work you are called to do; hopefully, by integrating what Spirit has inspired, you are transformed into a new being, changed in some way even if only subtly, from who you were before. And, as my partner's daughter pointed out, you also take this inspiration, incorporate it and then create something, such as a work of art, so that you are transforming the world around you as well. A pretty neat idea... Smiley

Again, this is lovely. Integration is a very important part of my path, and I liked how you made it part of a larger process here.
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« Reply #99: March 11, 2010, 12:32:29 am »


My first shift was like nothing else I've ever experienced. With all the spiritual wandering I've done, I've never felt as connected as I did during the past 24 hours--I could feel the energy so deeply that my fingers were buzzing. I got my living space completely organized, my laundry done, a story ready to submit, the basic design done of a ring I'm going to make once my silver clay comes in to wear for my Cill shifts, my tattoo drawn, AND a fairly rough but deeply heartfelt prayer/poem written.

I've never felt this touched by someone greater than myself. She was HERE in such a tangible way that if I were looking for proof, I've got it. It was amazing.
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« Reply #100: March 23, 2010, 09:56:53 pm »


I've finished my first shift, and I also joined the group keeping on friday. At the beginning of the shift, I lit my artificial candle and a real one, and I said a few prayers for Brighid. When doing that, I suddenly felt warm until I finished praying. After that I didn't really feel anything else, but I kept on thinking about Her for the rest of the shift, and when it finished, I again prayed to Brighid and felt warm (not as much as the first time, though).
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« Reply #101: April 05, 2010, 10:55:08 pm »

Apparently, that's what I need to be doing right now.  I've been feeling really stressed about having to leave my job (in social advocacy) and basically not do anything useful because of health issues.  But I'm coming to understand that what I have to do at this point is to focus on my own healing, learn from its lessons, and transform my life into something new to accomodate my current limitations and strengths.

It's a hard lesson.   Undecided

The "leaving and transformation" makes me think of an episode of the tv show Wonderfalls.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-I1fFWfw6xg&feature=related is the first part of the episode.  Attn: the Reservation Lawyer.

Relevant bits of the plot and spoiler in quote:


Quote
Uptight Native American lawyer is lawyering her reservation into the ground.  The Spiritual Leader has died, without leaving a successor.  Lawyer accidently gets stuck in a steam room, and has a vision of the late SL.  Transforms into the new SL.

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Conversly: Monotony is an experience.  Therefore, stagnation can be integral to fulfilling the purpose of Life.
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« Reply #102: June 29, 2010, 12:30:09 pm »


I had an interesting experience last night.

Was getting ready for bed and as usual my new kitten was ripping around the room, hunting things like my feet and the furniture, generally being a little hellraiser. I ignore her, because she'll be at it for a while yet, and crawl into bed and grab my carnelian stone and close my eyes, holding the stone in my hands and praying to Brighid. (This is my first real prayer in years.)

While I'm praying I sort of notice things have gotten really quiet in the room. When I finish praying and open my eyes, my cat is sitting there staring at me really intensely. I say "good night, kitty" and turn off the light. Within minutes she's curled up next to me, purring like a buzz saw, and sleeps peacefully next to me the whole night.

This morning of course she's back to being a little biting hellkitten. Cheesy
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« Reply #103: June 29, 2010, 07:46:12 pm »

I had an interesting experience last night.

Cool!

I've found that my cats seem to be very aware of things unseen.  They definitely know when something's there.  Maybe your kitten was responding to Brighid's presence, or to how your energy was different when you were praying.

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« Reply #104: July 10, 2010, 12:44:38 pm »

KellyAnn, who shares the 19th shift with Moon Ivy, isn't able to spend much time in the forums, but she made a blog post about how her service with the Cill is going, that people might be interested in reading.

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