~ Learning to Feel the Power Within ~
Before we can begin to harness the powers of the individual archetypes
which make up the totality of the divine worlds, we must first learn to feel that
power within ourselves. We must learn to recognize the essence of our shared
life force, and learn to connect it with out own sense of being. This is done
easily through basic meditation or altered state of consciousness.
In many ancient cultures it was prerequisite to prepare for rituals
involving the divine with purification baths and/or pre-ritual fasts. While
we have no hard evidence that the Celts regularly practiced either, we do have several
references from faery tales and nursery rhymes about purification baths being taken
on the Sabbats (the solar festivals) or the Esbats (full Moons). Hunger strikes,
as a means for achieving social justice, are recorded in the monastic writings of
the Celtic people, though there is no mention of them being used as a part of a
ritual preparation as was done with great efficacy in Native American cultures.
If you enjoy these preparatory rites and feel they enhance you efforts, the use
them anyway. Certainly they have a long history of Pagan use in other cultures,
and can help put you in a receptive frame of mind.