Complete Meditation Guide!
What is Meditation?
  Webster defines meditation as “The act of meditating; closed or continued thought; the revolving of a subject in the mind” To meditate is to focus mentally on one thought, idea, or concept. It may also mean to ponder an idea in your mind so the way in which you think of that idea changes. Meditation is, therefore, a tool with which you may manipulate thought in an organized manner. Many people view meditation as a very difficult thing to learn. In reality though, we do it often without even knowing it. When you daydream or find your mind fixed on one thought that is a form of meditation. Have you ever watched a bird in flight, or stared up at the clouds in the sky, or, maybe even found yourself watching a stream of water flow by? If you have and the rest of the world around you faded for that moment, then you were in a state of meditation. The real key to this practice is to be able to exercise control (or discipline) over your thoughts and your awareness of the world around you.
  Many people meditate on a daily basis. Others use it as needed as a means of relaxation and “mental house cleaning”. Some use it in ritual or on Holy Days as a way of being closer to the Goddess and the Spiritual plane. It allows the individual the freedom to look inside oneself and learn who you are. It can be a doorway to the Truth inside yourself, a way of gaining wisdom. (Knowledge has always been fairly easy to come by. Wisdom on the other hand, is a bit harder to find). No matter how you wish to use it, you will find it a healthy and very rewarding experience. For me, meditation is a way of “grounding” myself, of reaching a place of peace and stability, where I can find how I fit into the universe.

  Most all religions practice meditation in one way or another. Eastern philosophies such as Yoga and Buddhism are not the only ones to view meditation as a way of looking for the Truth found in one’s own consciousness. Even in Christianity meditation finds a place of value. The Bible itself mentions the value of meditation. In writing to the Philippians the Apostle Paul tells them this: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Phil. 4.8) Druids often use it to achieve greater heights of focus and concentration, and to correct inner unbalances. It is a part of Druid lore that eventually, after long years of practice, the meditative state can be reached without effort. In “The Task” by William Cowper, the following line is found: “Knowledge dwells in heads replete with thoughts of other men: Wisdom, in minds attentive to their own.”
  In many philosophies, meditation is viewed as a necessary skill. All those who are students of these philosophies must learn the ways of meditation early in their training. Although the techniques may vary from one group to another, the most basic concepts remain the same. The ability to be able to focus on one thought and selectively block out all others is the foundation upon which many more advanced skills will be built. These skills may range from telepathy to the ability to move objects with only the mind. It is well known that Yogi adepts can lower their breathing and heart rates to near death levels. (This is something you should not try as it takes years of practice to learn and can be quite dangerous.) These yogis are proof of the type of power the mind can exercise over the body through meditation.

  In some cultures, the use of drugs to achieve a meditative state is encouraged. The American Indians for example, used drugs derived from various plants to put themselves into an altered state of consciousness. This was usually done as a religious practice and as an event marking the change from one state of life to another. A good example would be the ceremony marking the coming into manhood of a young boy. Today there are still many who advocate the use of drugs to achieve these altered states. It is my opinion that such measures are neither necessary nor healthy. You can reach an altered state of consciousness without the use of drug induced “highs”. It takes practice, but it can be done.
  In New Age philosophy, the art of meditation is highly valued. We also find another well-developed skill that is called “creative visualization”. This is the idea of visualizing what you want to the point of it becoming reality. A good example would be a salesman visualizing himself as successful and prosperous. The concept is simple, if you can visualize a personal reality; you can change or bring that reality into being. “Positive Thinking” is a very similar idea. The technique of creative visualization goes beyond positive thinking however. It deals with the premise that we all create our own reality and therefore have the power to change many aspects of that reality.

 Here, I have explained briefly at what meditation is and how it is used. By no means have I touched on all the aspects of this practice. There are many books on the subject that cover it in much more detail. My purpose is to give you an overview of the many facets of meditation in the hope that you will wish to learn more.

Meditation Techniques and Tools
Discussed here are various relaxation procedures and how they will aid you in entering a trance or meditative state. You will also find some ideas about types of music and other “tools” which can help you achieve these relaxed states of mind.
  First, let’s set the stage for our meditation practice. You should pick a place that is as private and safe as possible. An altered state of mind, as in meditation, lessens your awareness of the outside world. For this reason, it is not advisable to practice these techniques in a public place where there is a chance of being mugged, robbed, or molested. If you are at home, with other family members or friends present, ask that you not be disturbed and that all other noise in the house be kept to a minimum. When you have found a place suitable for meditation, you may begin.
  Meditative states alter the way your mind deals with the realities it accepts as normal. Things that are experienced in a meditative state are often not easily expressed in everyday language. You will, at some level, experience a heightened state of awareness. Colors, smells, and sounds may seem amplified from what they normally are. People who can achieve very deep states of trance often leave their bodies in astral projection, or have psychic experiences. I highly recommend, that if you wish to enter deep states of meditation, you do so under the guidance and teaching of someone who is well trained in the practice of such techniques. The key thing to remember is that it’s not what level your working on as much as what you are learning. There is a lot to be gained in wisdom and knowledge at all levels of meditation.
Here is a simple and useful relaxation technique and exercise:
  You want to be sure that the time you pick to practice your meditation is a time when you are least likely to be disturbed. You should not be overly tired or have just finished eating as both of those conditions may cause you to fall asleep. Even though you wish to achieve an altered state of consciousness, you do want to remain conscious to some degree. If you fall asleep when you are meditating, no harm is done and you will awaken quite refreshed and rested. Unfortunately though, you may not be able to recall all the things you experienced while meditating.

  If you are lying down, be sure your back and neck are properly supported so as not to fatigue the body. If you are sitting, be sure that both feet are flat on the floor and that you are sitting as erect as possible without being too stiff or strained. You should have your arms resting comfortably in your lap with palms up. In either case, it is important that your body not become strained or fatigued for at least thirty minutes. This is a good length of time to begin with, as it should put neither a physical or mental strain on your being.
  Next, visualize yourself in a cocoon of white light. You should surround yourself completely. See the light as bright and warm. You may play with this sphere of light making it bigger or smaller until it “feels” right for you. Say to yourself: “I am protected by the pure white light of all that is good and truthful. I am surrounded by the pure light which keeps out all unwanted and evil influences.” This is a good idea to do for several reasons. There are those, and I am one of them, who believe that each of us generates an aura that protects us from outside influences when we are in trance. Visualizing light growing brighter at our command may strengthen this aura. Even if you do not accept this idea, the practice will lend a feeling of safety and security to you. Nothing that is outside of you may enter or touch you without your permission.

  Learning to control and pay attention to your breathing is the next step. You should start by taking a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for the mental count of 4 and then let it all out slowly through your mouth. Repeat this until you begin to feel at rest and relaxed. Allow your breathing to settle into a steady, rhythmic rate. Just this simple technique can relax and refresh you at any time. When you are only doing the breathing exercise, it is not necessary to go through the white light sphere visualization. Some people use a muffled metronome or recording of some other rhythmic sound, such as ocean waves, to aid them in setting the pace of their breathing. A good source of recorded sounds which can help you in meditation is a series of records and tapes which have been produced under the title Environments.
  Now, as you are breathing, see yourself lying in the warm light of the sun. The light is warm and pleasant to be in. Starting with the tips of your toes, feel the light warming all of your body, slowly moving up into your legs, your trunk, and then into your arms and fingers. As you feel this warming become more and more relaxed, going deeper and deeper into a calm and quiet place. When you fell totally relaxed and at peace, bring a single thought into your mind. It should be of a pleasant experience or of an idea such as love, joy, peace, or compassion. Focus on this one thought and if some other thought should try to intrude, picture it as being written on a clear board between you and your focal thought. Then picture it being erased from that board as it might be from a piece of paper. Deal with any thought, other than your focal thought, quickly. Try to maintain concentration on your focal thought for at least five minutes. Picture it as being real and experience it as if it were. When you are able to do this and can exclude all other thoughts as they attempt to enter your mind, you will have learned the single most important technique of meditation.

How to reach the Goddess within us:
Assume your most comfortable position. Lying down is best.
Place your arm or a small weight over your eyes.
Remember the starless night sky, all the Black, nothing up there. This same Blackness exits within each of us. This Blackness is Her! Her womb which nurtures and contains All. The void that contains all possibility.
See yourself as the Blackness. Let all thoughts, feelings, and emotions pass by.
We let all thoughts go. We have thoughts, we are not them. We become a passive observer.
When you enter the Blackness there will come a moment when you will hear the Big Silence. Call out to The Lady: “Keeper of all truth take me home… fuse me in You… teach me and transform me.”
Enter into the Blackness. She will guide you and you will observe and do what She instructs you to do.
You will find the Holy of Isle Avalon.

Here are some helpful meditation tips:
  Try concentrating on the flame of a candle when focusing. You could also use a crystal ball. The later is rather expensive but small crystal window ornaments or pyramids also work well and cost much less.
  Music is also an aid to some. The music should be quiet and rhythmic. It should bring on feelings of peace and comfort. Such music may range from New Age recordings and Environmental to Celtic.
  Focus on a symbol that holds special meaning for you. It may be a well known symbol or one you design yourself. As long as it holds a special meaning or expresses a special concept, it is a useful focusing tool.

Doorway Work
“Doorway Work” is a technique used to access the information encoded in the symbols you receive. These can be anything, such as things you are drawn to, messages you receive from your subconscious during meditation, etc.
There are 2 types of symbols: there are Universal Symbols and Personal Symbols. Universal symbols will key into the same information for everyone. Personal symbols will key into information meant especially for you. Sometimes Universal symbols can also be Personal symbols so working with them can yield two different levels of information.
Do your clearing… whatever you do to settle down to work: breathing exercises, shower cleansing, smudges, etc. Do whatever it is which divides the mundane world from your inner sacred world.
Sit in your sacred space and go to that place of inner peace.
Next visualize a Door. Any type you would like. Sit with it, breathe it into existence, and imagine every detail on the Door until that Door is right there before you.
When it is as “there” as it’s going to be (the more you do this the more “there” it will be) put the symbol you want to work with on the Door. Lets say a blue monkey (my default symbol). Put it on the Door and make it BE there, as much as you can, in the exact manner in which you received it.

When it is “there” open the Door and step in. You can do this one of two ways: some women I know stand and create the door in front of them, life sized, and literally walk through the door. I, personally, just step through into that place of inner peace.
When you enter the door, which may take some practice (this is a tool well worth honing), more information will come to you. You may see scenes, hear voices, be met by someone, remember something, get another symbol… you name it! It will take you to the next level of your work with the symbol.
By the way, if you work with guides ask them to come to you before entering the Door. Often they can help if you are having difficulty. Sometimes, the more emotionally charged a symbol is the harder it is to get the Door open.
When you are done (and you can do a Doorway of a specific symbol hundreds of times before you are “done”!) be sure to close the Door behind you.
There are many uses for this technique. You can do signature doorways, doorway your name, a choice, an image that haunts you, a number, an herb, a Goddess symbol, something you receive in a dream or in scrying. The possibilities are endless!

Heartbeat Meditation
  This is a very simple meditation that can be a building block for many future meditations as well as magical workings. It is a useful tool for focus and concentration. To begin, find a place where you will be undisturbed. This should be a place that is peaceful to you. It can be either indoors or outdoors. It is preferable that you begin attempting this with as little noise and other distractions as possible. Get into a comfortable position, close your eyes if desired, and breathe deeply for a few moments. Clear your mind as much as possible and relax. Concentrate on feeling your heart beat. Feel it beat and pulse within your body. Concentrate until you can feel each distinctive beat. Once you succeed in this, try to feel your pulse in other areas of your body, such as your arms, legs, hand, feet, midsection, neck, or head. Ask yourself: How does the sensation of the pulse in these areas differ from the beat of your heart? How is it the same?
  If you are having difficulty feeling your heartbeat, stop, take a break, and come back to it later. It may take a few sessions of practice before you are able to feel it with certainty. Above all, don’t become frustrated, as this could block further attempts to feel the beat. Once you are able to feel your heartbeat, and the pulse in different areas of the body, you can move on to more difficult things, such as: Try decreasing the time it takes to feel the beat. Ideally, as soon as you think of it you should be able to feel the pulse wherever in your body you wish. Upon succeeding in this, try feeling your heartbeat in more difficult circumstances; while outside walking, while at work or in school, while talking to others. You should be able to reach the point where you can feel the beat as soon as you think to try in any situation without interrupting other activities. As stated, this exercise aids in focus and concentration, but it can also help you use your inner power more effectively, since the pulse of your heart is intimately tied to the flow of your life energy.

Elemental Meditation
  This meditation serves multiple purposes. It clears your mind so that you are better able to focus. It also gives you a more visceral understanding of the natures of each element. It can be a grounding tool to ground excess energy if done correctly. And finally, it is fun! This is a movement-based meditation, so it is best to find a place where you will not be disturbed, because if others are around you might experience self-consciousness or embarrassment, neither of which are helpful. This place should be quiet and free of outside distractions, and it should also allow for a relatively free range of movement.
  Sit on the floor in a comfortable position and spend a few moments feeling your heartbeat and clearing your mind. You can also choose to stand, but most people do not find this as comfortable. Then, begin to meditate upon the element Earth. Feel what it is like to be Earth, the sensations, the emotions, all that encompasses Earth. Allow the expression of these feelings to join your mind and body as one, so that all of you experiences these sensations. Most likely, during this part your body will remain still, embodying the patience that is Earth, but if the desire to move takes you, go ahead, since Earth can move, whether slowly (as in tectonic plate shifting) or quickly and violently (as in earthquakes).

  When the moment feels right, shift your consciousness from Earth into Water. Let this be a smooth transition, as this meditation should flow easily from one element to the next. Call up all the sensations, thoughts, emotions, and movement that is Water. Again let this awareness infuse your body and mind. At this point, it is likely that your body will begin to move, whether in small movements while you remain seated, or in larger movements that require you to stand. This should be near-instinctive; do not worry whether the movement is appropriate or “right”. “Go with the flow”, let your body move as it will to show its connection with the elements. Water movement will most likely be smooth, flowing, graceful movements that are full of emotion. Keep in mind however, that Water, like all the elements, has a wide range of movements, so something different than the “standards” that are listed here is not wrong.
  When appropriate, shift your awareness gradually from Water into Air. Let the concept of Air resonate throughout your mind and body. At this point, you will most likely begin to move more energetically and erratically about the space. You may try to express specific concepts through your movements. You are also encouraged to make this a vocal as well as a kinetic meditation if that feels right.

  Again when you are ready, shift once more from Air into Fire. At this point, as you resonate the concept of Fire, your movements will most likely be extremely energetic and random. You may find yourself bumping into walls or other objects. You might pause for a moment in an odd position, only to careen off again the next moment with the dancing energy that is Fire.
Depending on your purpose in this meditation, you can choose to end it one of two ways:
1. If your intent is to clear your mind and provide energy for focus, then when the moment is right, stop your emulation of Fire and return to a seated position, breathing deeply and fully aware of your body, mind, and the elements all around (and within) you.
2. If instead you are more concerned with understanding the elements or with using this meditation as a technique for grounding, then from Fire, reverse your movements, going back through Air and Water (spending as much time as needed on each) until you are back at Earth. End the meditation in a restful position, whether sitting or lying down, allowing your excess energy to flow smoothly into the Earth.
And remember- no matter which purpose you use this meditation for, it is supposed to be fun, so relax and enjoy yourself!

Meditation Ritual for Solitaires
Floating candle within a small cauldron filled with water
Using 3rd eye, cast a circle of stars around you, saying: “About me stands a circle of Stars. To my West lies Avalon, and Above me shines Caer Arianrhod.”
“I align myself with (Goddess of current cycle) and with Arianrhod, who IS the Cycle. (Light candle, with dramatic reverence). May they watch over me always as I return to Avalon.” Relax into meditation. Take as long as you wish for this meditation.
Thank the Goddesses for Their gifts.
Pull in circle and send into the earth.
Extinguish candle

 Solitary Dark Moon Ritual and Mirror Work
The Dark Moon is used for inner reflection. We go to our own sacred space and choose one of our shadows/negative traits to work on. We choose only one to work on at a time to ensure focus of energy. Then work on through to the Full Moon to bring it into Light/Completion. The ancient Avalonians went into seclusion at this time.
To know what you need to work on within yourself create a Personal Mirrors. Obtain a notebook, using 2 pieces of paper (1 in the front and 1 in the back of the notebook) put a Positive Sign on the top of one page and a Negative Sign on the top of the other.
On your Positive/Light page list your strengths, gifts, and positive aspects of Self. Remember to be generous to yourself as this is not an easy task for women to complete.

On your Negative/Dark page list your shortcomings, fears, doubts, wounds, etc. For both pages honesty is important. Keep in mind that we are dealing with objective terms – subjective terms like “good & bad” are not what these lists are about. We are seeking to remove excess baggage. Traits we are not proud of.
The next step then is to assign an element to these things. Then you will know your strengths and shortcomings and whether you need Earth, Air, Fire, or Water.
The idea of these lists is to change Negative energies into Positive energies. “Behind each fear is a potential unrealized.”
Your lists will change over time as things are added and subtracted. This work is much like “peeling an onion”. There are many layers to lift/remove.  Each new Cycle we work to lift another layer from that which keeps us from being “She Who Is” closer to the Goddess and our true Selves.
Then, when you begin to do your work for the Fire Holy Days (Samhain & Beltane) look and see how many of these negative traits are related, how many have the same root cause. Try to get as close to the root as possible. The further you look, the more you link together, the simpler the issues become. For example the negative traits can have all the same root cause: Lack of self-worth.

Dark Moon Ritual You will need a mirror to help focus. Ground and Center yourself. Using the above lists look at what is holding you back from the next level. Meditate on these things for a brief time.
Look into the Mirror and see You as You are, will be, and have been. See the face of the Goddess ask “What ails thee?” Hear what She tells you.
 Write down all the things that come to you as these are a part of the issues that hold you back.
Choose one of these issues to work on through to the Full-Moon. If is an issue that can not be easily resolved you can work on it through to Samhain or Beltane (which ever is closest in the current cycle.)

Once you have determined what issue you wish to address/cast away, create a project that represents it. These projects can be as simple or elaborate as you want. They can be drawn, sewn, painted, carved or simply words written on paper. It is helpful to look at your project from an elemental perspective in order to infuse it with “like” energies. This can be done through the use of stones, herbs, etc. Then work with the project daily and infuse it with your intention. The more energy you put into it the more effective it will be. Wrap your project in silk when not working with it to contain the energy.
Then on the Full-Moon, Samhain or Beltane place your project into the Sacred Fire. Once your project is placed into the Fire what was in the project will manifest on the Astral, sending a beacon to the Universe of the energies we wish to cast away/bring in. Either way the Universe will begin to send lessons and opportunities your way that will enable you to achieve your desires. You may find an immediate energy shift that night or in the coming days. Sometimes it will occur with more subtle changes.

Once you have determined what issue you wish to address/cast away, create a project that represents it. These projects can be as simple or elaborate as you want. They can be drawn, sewn, painted, carved or simply words written on paper. It is helpful to look at your project from an elemental perspective in order to infuse it with “like” energies. This can be done through the use of stones, herbs, etc. Then work with the project daily and infuse it with your intention. The more energy you put into it the more effective it will be. Wrap your project in silk when not working with it to contain the energy.
Then on the Full-Moon, Samhain or Beltane place your project into the Sacred Fire. Once your project is placed into the Fire what was in the project will manifest on the Astral, sending a beacon to the Universe of the energies we wish to cast away/bring in. Either way the Universe will begin to send lessons and opportunities your way that will enable you to achieve your desires. You may find an immediate energy shift that night or in the coming days. Sometimes it will occur with more subtle changes.

Love, Clarity, and Wisdom Meditation
  By making these meditations a part of your life, you will open more to love, clarity, and wisdom.
  White light is the finest manifestation perceivable by the human eye. When visualized, it imparts to the seer clarity, wisdom and enlightenment. Yellow also imparts these qualities, but with less impact as it is a denser vibration of light. Both have healing qualities, but, as white light is finer and purer, its effects will raise our vibrations more quickly and clearly. When visualizing white light, it is useful to allow the mantra “Light” to manifest as well. By combining the two, you strengthen your practice. Now, whenever you say, or think, the word “light”, you will also visualize it. Remember to tie your mantra in with your breathing.

  “Love” is also a useful mantra. Combine it with the color pink and imagine your heart chakra opening as with a pink rose, its petals unfurling to declare love to all and everything. Sometimes we need to find our own mantra that means “Love” to us. You will know what that mantra is. It will be found in your own heart.
Practicing these two meditations, while sitting *and* while going about your business throughout the day, will bring more harmony, more healing and more enlightenment into your life and the life of others. Practice it freely. And by all means, enjoy yourself.