The Divine World
Foundations of Practice
These foundations will be the cornerstones of the work you do each month. As with any endeavor discipline, structure and practice will produce the greatest results. As the months progress, other foundational practices may be added to these. As you progress through the work, not only will you be able to be more inclusive in your approach to the work, but what started as the foundations of growth will evolve and change in accord with your newly developed skill set and level of understanding. Whenever something new is added it will be noted within the study for that month.
The initial foundational work includes:
* Breath Work
Using a single page each for the God and the Goddess; as you move through this month's lessons spend some time thinking about what these names (God - Goddess) mean to you. Spend a little time researching the energies of a specific God and/or Goddess. Write this information down and as you move through the month, continue to add to this information. Write any additional insight you may receive as you begin a meditative practice around the energy of the God or Goddess you have selected. At the month's end, look to see how much information you have accumulated and if you feel the desire to continue exploration of this specific deity or perhaps begin a new exploration of another.
Four-Fold Breath Technique
Continue the practice of the four-fold breath as we enhanced with the elements in Lesson Two; moving through each of the elements.
With intent and focus (FIRE)- breath (AIR) fills your lungs and body (EARTH) and your mind and heart (WATER) open to a higher awareness (SPIRIT)
Begin by sitting in a quiet, comfortable setting.
Focus your attention on the rhythm of your breath. As you begin to feel your body relax focus your attention more fully on your breathing.
Take a full deep breath- inhaling for a moderate count of 1-2-3-4
Hold this breath for a moderate count of 1-2-3-4
Exhale for a moderate count of 1-2-3-4
Hold at the completion of exhalation for 1-2-3-4
You may continue to breathe in this manner for several sets of the four. Eventually, your breath will establish its own rhythm and attention to counts will not be necessary.
Tips: Try to maintain an even steady rhythm of in-flow and out-flow. This allows greater ease of holding at the fullest point of expansion and holding again once the breath has been expelled.
If you have been practicing diligently, by now you should be able to comfortably hold at the peak and base of release and intake for the full 4 counts.
As you move into a steady rhythm, allow your thoughts to turn inward. Allow for space to have whatever wishes to present itself to you to move easily and gently through your field of awareness. As these thoughts begin to settle and slow, give intent to simply being present in the moment. To being open to whatever Deity may wish to come into your meditative experience. Hold the intent that the experience will be positive, insightful and provide for the beginnings of connection to the world of the Divine and those who inhabit it. Maintain this space of consciousness for as long as you wish and when you have received all that is needed at the time allow your focus to return to the steady breathing pattern established.
Observing The Divine at Work:
As you move through your day, make note of those experiences and moments of insight that are Divinely inspired. This could be something as complex as a piece of inspired writing or painting, or simply taking in the color and beauty of nature and the work of the earth Goddess.
Enjoy the warmth of the Sun on your face and give thanks to the light and heat the solar God has provided.
Look at and observe each human being you come in contact with and see the spark of the Divine within them. Look for the positive energies that they may exude and the the potential that is held within the very core of their being. Marvel at the connection you share with these others who are also children of the God and Goddess.
Bring into your space of the Divine the animals that share our world and possibly your home. They are in the care and keeping of the Goddess and the Horned God. Give thanks for their energy and life giving essence that fills these creatures who offer their unconditional love, as in the case of our animal companions and who offer their wild nature as continuum of the never ending cycles that fill all living things and show us our space of instinct and cunning.
Go outside on a moonlit night and drink in the beauty of the Goddess in her form of the Moon. This is the energy of the Divine Feminine that many have marveled at throughout ages and ages of time. This is the energy that pulls the tides and moves the waters within and without. During the course of the month, try to be aware of the moon's waxing (from New to Full) and waning (from Full to Dark/New Moon). Make note of the energetic changes you feel.
Observe it all while holding the thought of gratitude for the Divine World and Deity who share their abundance, knowledge and love. Be sure to record your experiences in your journal.