Tools For Druid Comrades, Part I
It has been said by the Wise (or at least by press agents!) that everything important should be taught in the first lesson. It will take the student more than a little time to unpack, absorb and apply that first lesson, so additional materials need to be presented.
The Spirit Band
1. Take an afternoon or evening, preferably under a tree or amidst the living green earth, and describe on paper (or into a recorder, or whatever other means you find comfortable and suitable) how it was that you came to be present there, at that moment. And yes, I do mean that you start with the Big Bang (you can truncate the first 13.7 billion years into a few words if you wish), and then tell the story of how your parents or grandparents came to be married or meet. Have any of your relatives said "You look an awful lot like your aunt Germaine!" or something similar? That's good information to have. What were the early and possibly under-recognized influences that made you into the person that you are today, and how will you use those forces to shape yourself into the person you will work to become?
2. Acknowledging the ancestors isn's entirely some theoretical foray into fogginess-you are an incarnation of all of those folks who happened to be direct ancestors on your family tree. Your features, biochemistry and a host of other factors were subtly shaped over a very long period of time. Remember what it is to be a part of a community, one that includes the living and the deceased. Those who have passed over still speak to us, so long as memory is held within the world. It is almost certain that there were people who influenced you who have died. Remember the contributions they made to your life, and find words, dance or other methods to explicate this.
3. Find a way to honor nature wherever it is that you live. Donate a few hours to the parks commission, fund the planting of trees, donate money to an environmental cause, but do something in the here and now.
Attaining the Silence
1. The first step in the process is to find the small silent places within yourself. While some can find the Silence in a rave with flashing lights and sirens blaring, most of us need quieter settings to let go of the distractions that we encounter much of the time. It is something of a misstatement to suggest that the Silence can be hold continuously. My experience is that it is an intermittant state that we drift in and out of as our consciousness shifts towards--and away from this as a focus. Find a comfortable position in a safe place with suitable lighting. You don't need any specific seated, kneeling or standing pose. Choose something that is suitable and unique to this procedure.
Esoteric activities are generally divided into active and passive exercises. This is certainly one of the more powerful, if passive forms. A solar adoration is basically an opportunity to think like a plant in the eye of light, the sun. You'll need to determine the times for greatest intensity of light--generally 10 am to noon. Find a place where you can stand out in the sun, lifting your arms towards it, keeping your eyes partially closed. If possible, wear loose clothing. Feel the warmth of the light as it plays on your skin--but not for too long, as the strength of the sun is also its sword. Simply breathe, and feel the light fill you. Repeat as needed. Record your experiences in a journal, even if the entry is only a word or so in length.
Mauvine Synthesis Recipe
Note--(5/28)2007) The recipe given here initially turned out to be quite inaccurate after a considerably lengthy search for the synthesis recipe. Making even a small quantity requires the use of several solvents that are quite harsh and best NOT used by folks who don't have access to an organic chemist and a full industrial or University laboratory. I have therefore pulled it from this post.)
If you look at the range of bright synthetic dyes available at any good crafts or fabric store you should be able to find one color among the selection there that you find appealing. Alternatively, following the manufacturer's recommendations you could blend two or more colors to get a shade you like. For these purposes, something between blue, bright red and purple would be most suitable. It should be a dyestuff that can permanently dye silk.
Following the instructions on the dye bottle scrupulously, dye approximately two yards of raw silk with this dye, and pour the undiluted remainder into an amber bottle, label it and stopper it tightly. You will need this later for constructing an almost entirely authentic spirit mirror that was typical of the 19th century.