The Three Grades of Druidry: 2. The Ovate
After requesting entry into the Ovate grade, and having fulfilled the conditions required for admittance, the aspirant is initiated into a deeper level of her being. She passes through a magical portal into the realms of the Ovate. If the Bardic Grade was one of opening up to ones lightness and creativity, the Ovate grade can be experienced as descending the dark steps into ones depths, exploring the shadows to find the treasures that lie hidden within.
The Ovate retreats into the deep forest of her soul and enters the Sacred Grove, the place where the great trees live and share their magical wisdom with humanity. This is the grade where students get their hands dirty! She works constantly and diligently to earn her freedom from the (internal) enemies that have ensnared her. She builds a new relationship with Death and learns, paradoxically, how to live.
This grade is all about becoming a determined and skillful hunter of energy. In this respect the Ovate makes a strategy for her life, to hunt and acquire the energy needed to transform herself into a Spiritual Warrior, and to stalk and eradicate those types of behavior that drain her of life force. Everything she sees and does becomes an exercise to increase her awareness of the Hunt, and to grow in personal power. Power accumulates in proportion to the amount we are able to let go of our egos and empty ourselves for Spirit to enter.
This grade can be a rude awakening, where our innocence and ignorance can no longer protect us from what is really going on in our lives. The Ovate learns that her experience of life is an accurate mirror of what is going on inside her. She starts to recognize the sticky web of deceit, slavery and indoctrination that restrict her soul’s expression and true freedom. She observes and understands the huge pressure exerted upon us all, from our earliest childhood onwards, to shut us down and keep us in ignorance and disempowerment.
This can be a shocking and depressing realization, yet at this pivotal point she is given a valid alternative to living a life of servitude. The spirit of Druidry offers her a challenge: do you have the courage and honesty to take responsibility for the state of your life, and do you have what it takes to fight for your freedom? For many reasons, most people do not accept the challenge, and choose to sink back into unconsciousness. However, a small percentage of people realize that this is the opportunity they have been waiting for, and activate their inner Spiritual Warrior. This is the essence of the Ovate grade, and the Druid Training in general.
The Spiritual Warrior is an archetype that lives within all of us, and it can be activated in order to help us find the clarity, and gather the necessary energy, to fight for our freedom. In fact, without the aid of the Spiritual Warrior, it is simply not possible to become free. Firstly, to receive its help, we must undertake certain actions to make it notice we even exist. The Spiritual Warrior is not impressed by unconscious behavior, sloppiness, laziness, disrespect or the frittering away of the precious life we have been gifted. When these energies are present in a person’s life, the Spiritual Warrior archetype is nowhere to be seen. It is untouched by pleading, prayer or persuasion.
The Ovate learns that the quality that most attracts the attention of the Spiritual Warrior is the presence of an energy Druids call impeccability. Impeccability does not mean perfection, but doing the very best you can with the resources you have at your disposal. Ovates explore this new quality and learn how to generate it. In this way they attract and activate healing and freedom in their lives.
The new Ovate is taught that the only direction to focus of her energy is on her Path with Heart. This is her true purpose in life, and she is instructed that, if there is a decision to be made, she should observe and explore the issue thoroughly. When she is clear about he options, she should then ask herself: “Has this option got heart? In this way, she makes her life decisions, and slowly her soul will heal and become whole once again.
In the Ovate grade students are introduced to the energetic and magical properties of trees. These huge elder brothers and sisters of ours hold immense wisdom and healing properties that are specifically relevant to the human race. During this second year, students will build relationship with the trees in new and exciting ways, journeying with them, and cultivating them as guides in their lives. They will make tree healing essences, work with trees for divinatory purposes, and learn the magical Ogham tree language.
Then, the Ovate student will learn how to use the magical tool known as a Wand. She will find and cut her own wand, decorate it, and learn how to direct her will through her body and out the tip of her wand to manifest her dreams.
Ovates practice and develop their skills of Journeying. There will be at least two journeys set every month, which will increase their inner wisdom. It is so important to gain skills and confidence with our intuition, which is our ally. and the organ that connects us with the Unknown, or Spirit.
The Ovate student undertakes the ‘little death’, an experience all students of the spirit must make on their journey towards freedom and empowerment. Half way through this second year, having spent a suitable time understanding the importance of Death in her life, the Ovate requests Death to touch her… and she dies. After burial, she is welcomed back into a new incarnation by her brother and sister Druids.
And then there is the energy-raising practice of facing our fears… and then doing it anyway! Having been reborn into a new, higher energy world, the Ovate does the impossible… and walks on Fire! This is an important stage in the Ovate journey, and if performed correctly, can generate a huge surge of energy in our lives that can be directed towards our transformation. How exciting! How empowering!
All the time the Ovate walks the body of her love, the Earth, learning to interact with Her in increasingly powerful and meaningful ways. She applies her knowledge with love, actively healing, enjoying and supporting Her Goddess on Her definitive journey of evolution around the Sun.
The Ovate Training includes:
- *Tree Essences
- *Purification and Sweatlodge
- *Magical Portals
- *Hunting Energy
- *Ogham and the magic of Trees
- *Ceremonial Energetics
- *The Shaman’s Death and Burial
- *The Way of the Spiritual Warrior
- *Shadow Work – Fear
- *Working with Wounds
- *Petty Tyrants
- *Gender Issues/Healing
- *Cutting Ties to the Past
- *Working with Elementals
- *Power Animals. Making costume
- *The Purpose of Life
- *Working with a Wand
- *Moon Magic
- *Manifesting our Path with Heart