In my spiritual practice there are three groups, or kindreds, who are very important to me. These kindreds give me a structure to my life as I battle with my own failings and shadow side. They’re not always pleasant to deal with however, but they’re always constructive if I allow them to be. You see, the onus is on me to accept their help and guidance. This is something I am not always willing to do and when that happens things go awry and then I only have myself to blame.
Firstly, The Shining Ones – the deities that I revere. Mainly these are my patron deities of course; Brighid, Cerridwen, Modron and Cernunnos. However this group includes all gods and goddesses, not just from the Celtic pantheon but from every culture. The Shining Ones are within and around us but also transcend us. They guide us, teach us, protect and bless us. They can be harsh as well as benevolent depending on what we need to learn. However, with the harshness come blessings as long as we allow ourselves to be guided by them. The Shining Ones also provide a map for us within mythology and legend. So we can learn an awful lot from reading the stories of old handed down through the years. In my spiritual practice I ask for their aid, protection and blessings and in return honour them. This honouring takes the form of deep reverence and regular offerings. It’s a ghosti relationship, they provide what I need and I reciprocate. I guess some might call it a symbiotic relationship and in this way they are kept alive and active.
Secondly, The Spirits of Nature, or what I refer to as the Green Clan. Of course this includes plant and tree spirits, the Stone People (spirits of stones, rocks and minerals of all kinds) and nature, spirits of place but also animal spirits both domestic and wild. In addition I include Elemental Spirits and The Fae in this group also. All these are spirits with whom I have intimate contact, are my guides in this reality and in other realities also. They show me a mirror in which I see all my parts and they help me integrate them. This kindred, for me anyway, tend to be the healers. I think that Spirits will provide you with whatever you need to learn, so will manifest differently for each person. Oh yes, and they shape shift constantly. The Green Clan really keep me on my toes and alert me to my own complacency. They can be tricky so one has to tread carefully, and if you don’t appreciate them they’ll be gone in a flash. So how do I appreciate and honour them? Well it all depends on the particular spirit involved and I usually ask them in person while doing a shamanic journey. Their requirements can be quite weird I can tell you. One once asked for raw steak!
Last but not least, The Ancestors. This group not only includes my own blood relatives but every person who has gone before because to me we are all connected no matter whether we are blood related or not. After all we all share a common ancestor don’t we – the first humans. However, mainly I work with my own ancestors and paying off the karmic debt that has been accrued. You see a lot of my ancestors are in pain and through me things can be made right again. The Ancestors walk every step with me, feel everything I do. Through them I have come to be so I honour them for giving me life on this planet. Within them resides the wisdom of the ages and so they are a deep pool of knowledge and wisdom. I treat them with respect no matter what they did in this Earthly realm. It is possible to respect the person and not necessarily the deed. Humanity, I feel deep down, commands respect even though there are times when I despair of the mess mankind has gotten itself into and feel that the human species should just become extinct.
So, these are the Three Kindreds in my spiritual practice and although I’ve given them an order here, in fact the groups are no more or less important than each other. They have their different remits and operate differently in my life but they are equally as important. Acknowledging the Kindreds in my life has given me over time a great sense of belonging. There are times when I feel incredibly lonely but then I realise that I’m not ever alone, not ever, and it’s usually at times like these that I’ve been neglecting the Kindreds in some way and need to reflect on what I’m doing with my spiritual practise. But I’ve found that if I’m honest with them and turn my attention to them once more, their forgiveness is available because they don’t operate out of an ego position like humans do, although they are very aware of how we operate. And at times we truly do exasperate them!