Journeying to the Irish Otherworld...
“Meditation is cultivating the potential to transcend your limited self, limited beliefs and limited existence. It is stepping into the exciting territory of limitlessness.” ― Banani Ray
Do you meditate? I never did and thought for the longest time that it was complete nonsense. I tried to do it once in a while, but the instruction I had almost always started with “clear your head, get rid of all your thoughts…”
I could not wrap my brain around the concept of clearing my head. It just does not seem possible to me.
About a year and a half ago, after suffering my major anxiety and depression episodes, I decided to give meditation a try again. This time I took my therapist’s recommendation and tried the Calm app. Surprisingly, I was able to do it, and it did help me a bit with calming my mind.
The difference was that there was no instruction to “clear your mind…” The beginner classes were more like focusing on your breathing. If you get distracted, let whatever that distraction is float out of your mind like a balloon and gently transition back to focusing on your breathing. This made so much more sense to me!
I also like that Calm has meditations for all different topics. Besides the beginning classes, I like the mental health mediations (anxiety, depression, etc.) and the sleep meditations and stories.
Before I continue, this is not an advertisement for Calm. I am a happy paying subscriber and have absolutely no affiliation with Calm.
The one thing I have noticed about meditation is that it could take several months of regular practice to obtain the full benefits. Also, if I stop, I am starting from the beginning in building up that benefit.
That has been my problem lately, consistency. I intend to get back into the habit of meditating every day, possibly multiple times. I will need to do regular meditations starting next week anyway.
If you remember, from my past newsletter about Ogham, I mentioned that I was looking forward to taking a six-month intensive Ogham class. Well, that class starts next week!
Every Ogham fea (letter) gets an entire week of the curriculum devoted to it. There are also review weeks built into the program as well. As part of the intensive study of each fea, there will be a special meditation. These meditations are called “journeys.” They are supposed to transport you to the Irish otherworld. Please don’t quote me on this because I am not 100% sure, but the process seems to be to withdraw inside yourself and release your consciousness to go on the journey.
I am highly skeptical of the legitimacy of these journeys. How could I not be? However, people worldwide claim success with journeying and experiencing excellent results. Unless there is a worldwide delusion of the people going on journeys, I feel there must be some sort of real aspect or positive result. So I will try journeying with an open but skeptical mind.
Last Sunday, the instructor of my Ogham Journeys class, Lora O’Brien, gave a free live online class on Fionn’s Window.
I won’t pretend to explain Fionn’s Window. I am just learning about it myself. However, you can see the different feda on each concentric line.
During this class on Sunday, we did a guided meditation journey to a beach where Fionn’s Window was drawn in the sand. We were supposed to look in the center of the wheel on the sand, observe what Ogham fea we saw, and try to remember it. We tried to note what else we saw and felt along the way there and back.
So my first issue with the journey was that I was not relaxed and probably not as receptive as I would have liked for this experience.
My next issue was that I didn’t know how one could separate an authentic experience from their imagination. The guided part of the journey was descriptive enough that I could see imagination taking over.
I tried to “experience” the walk to the beach and back but struggled a bit and couldn’t say if what I saw was my imagination or the actual journey controlling what I was experiencing.
Once I reached the wheel in the sand, I definitely felt different. I had a warm but very heavy feeling. It was as if I had weights attached to my body. In the center of the circle, I saw nothing for a while but then saw what looked to be an ogham fea. I have no idea whether this was in any way real. It is certainly possible, if not likely, that it was my imagination. Maybe I felt warm because the heat kicked on in the house. Perhaps I felt the weight from sitting in my chair for a while and feeling sleepy.
After the journey was over, we were instructed to write down how we felt, what we saw, and other impressions, but most of all, what fea we saw in the center of the wheel. After going to look up the fea I saw, I determined that it was not an actual fea. It was definitely Ogham-like, but not an actual one.
Other people reported seeing a fea, multiple feada, or none at all.
I am curious about the multiple reports coming into the class chat of people experiencing different colors. Interestingly, some people had the same experience. Knowing about the color experience, I wonder if I will see colors on my next journey. I can’t imagine the power of suggestion not having some sort of influence.
Lora did make a point of the fact that these journeys are like building muscles. The more work you put in and the more repetitions you do, the more progress and success you will have with journeying to the Irish Otherworld.
I will see and report back. Stay tuned.
I am reading Philip Carr-Gomm’s book “The Druid Mysteries” and working through the OBOD Bardic course to prepare for my upcoming interview with Philip.
The book seems to be very “Drubie” accessible. Yes, I have created a new word to represent a druid newbie.
Video editing - I never realized how much goes into it. I am enjoying learning about it, and it will be a very useful skill. Unfortunately, it is holding me up with YouTube and Podcast content.
In the interest of providing my subscribers and supporters with the content they are most interested in, I present you with the following poll:
Don’t Forget About My Upcoming Interviews…
Philip Carr-Gomm - December 6th
Philip was the Chosen Chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD) for 30+ years. In addition to his work with OBOD, Philip is also a psychotherapist, author, and teacher, among other things.
Paraic Donoghue - December 19th/20th
Paraic is a native Irish language speaker. He was raised on the Connemara Gaeltacht in County Galway, Ireland. Paraic is committed to the preservation and growth of the Irish language, along with the culture that is inextricably linked to it. He currently provides private Irish language lessons to students all over the world.
We will be discussing what it was like growing up and living on the Gaeltacht, his views on the Irish language and its importance, and the customs and traditions of his Gaeltacht that may have derived from the time of the Celts or earlier.
Both will be published on my YouTube channel and Podcast approximately one-week post-interview.
I hope everybody who celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday had a great day!
Have a great weekend!
My name is Mike, and I am a skeptic and recovering accountant just starting to make my way through the world of the Druids, Celts, and Pagans.
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