Y Awenechen

Learning and Teaching

The process of teaching is also a process of learning.Every experience gives us an opportunity to learn. The co-event of Teacher and Student, Master and Initiate, demonstrator and observer, speaker and hearer, and Wizard and Apprentice is a general "institution", or process, that has been with us from the Dawn of the first Thinking.

This co-event goes from the extremes of the trivial, to the sacred. We of Y Awenechen use it to convey the content of our religion and philosophy. Our wise Elders (Ysgawen), who have preceded us, made a great effort to make this process as practical and basic as possible. In order to apply this process, a fundamental understanding of the human mind had to be obtained. All minds are unique, but it has been found that since we have so many physical forms in common, that we also share certain basic mental processes. It is obvious then that a Teacher, before they may participate in this co-event, must understand something of the basic nature of that process.

A sister of the Order speaks of "...feeding someone's conditioning until they gag on it..." as one of the techniques that we use in teaching. It is a basic technique and can be applied in an endless variety of ways. But the use of this technique by a Gwyddon teacher is used with a student as a course of last resort - only when one is convinced that a student has quit making any effort to learn. No more effort is made to teach the quitter anything else about metaphysics. When this occurs, a student is so completely involved in ego-importance that they're not content unless their life is one big dilemma. At these times the teacher acts as a mirror - an echo or tape-loop that gives back an amplified version of one's continuous Being.

However, for the student that makes a real effort to learn and progress, they will find that the Teacher has a bottomless bag of tricks that will lead on a wonderful adventure of SELF discovery. An honest effort to learn will reap a most bountiful harvest of Wisdom and Love.

There are three degrees of the Craft, but four levels as given to us from of old.

0. The Seeker
1. Awenydd (Poet - Learns through shamanic and self-exploration the connection to the divine, the five vowels (practices) that underlie all magical practices and more)
2. Gwyddonydd (Scientist - Learns the basic techniques of the Derwydd, Gwyddonydd and Bardd)
3. Ysgawen (Elder - Has the right to enter any of the advanced schools, teach, start a new Grove)

THE SEEKER - 1st Level - 0 Degree


THE TWO KINDS OF MAGIC.

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A. WORSHIP MAGIC

Magic we perform together, and at the Great Days and Moons.
Worship - In the sense of friendship, rapport,love.
The Gods - Mortal beings who are in a merged state. We do not "worship" the Gods in the sense of "reverent love and allegiance accorded a deity, idol or sacred object". The Gods seek to be our honest friends and nothing more. Worship is the love and rapport we establish with our Gods.

1. PERSONAL RAPPORT

The friendship we establish with the Gods. The first task of the Seeker is to establish rapport with one of the Gods of the Clan. Friendships take time to build. This being the case, it is wise to be very personal in choosing of one God or Goddess first. After this commitment has been made, next you would begin the process of choosing a "Gwyddon or 'priest' name". Ultimately, our greatest personal growth will come from the sincerity of this relationship. Through our personal relationship with the divine, we develop a deeper relationship with our own divinity.

2. GROUP RAPPORT

The love and friendships we establish with our "Clan",or "Family". Our "clan" being our College family and the Family of Gods: The Awenechen. We take the Awenechen Oath before Initiation to show our true intent, and then we are asked to re-affirm it at Initiation. In the Oath we swear our Love, Loyalty and Friendship to our Clan - a clan of both Gods and Man. In this Oath we also reaffirm our relationship with the Divine. Why do we do this ? Worship = Rapport (love); Rapport = Power. The stronger the rapport of our "clan", the stronger the power we express in our group magic.

At the same time, our "group consciousness" or family bond is a collective of our uniqueness as well as our commonality. As the clan grows, so does the scope of our rapport. What seems outside the familial relationship by one perspective in the clan is very integral by their "cousins". Just as occurs in human biological relationships, your family may include persons that DO NOT LOOK LIKE YOU. That does not mean that they are not your family. Their inclusion does not weaken the clan, it rather enriches it.

On the other hand, the power-bond is based on love and commitment to the family. Out of a "fear of commitment", or some other such egocentric self-importance, Gwyddon teachers recognize that some seekers may try to resist taking the Oath, stating they are unwilling to give up some of their past concepts, or make real bonds with the Clan.. To be sure, for both the benefit of the Tuatha and the Seeker, that it isn't just a ploy to maintain a degree of control for the benefit of their ego self-importance, the teacher needs to carefully examine the relationship of the seeker to the stated fear or resistance - the "reason". A sincere seeker is encouraged to explore the path that brought them to the Gwyddoniad. In it will likely be found the connection that explains the apparent conflict. Conversely, if your teacher has a resistance, it may be from a desire to direct you away from indulging in an ego trap that the teacher is aware of, but has not occurred to you yet.

Wood Awen

To take the Awenechen Oath is a matter of great responsibility. In fact, one could say that it is one of the very first steps that the Seeker makes toward learning self-responsibility. Before you have taken the oath, you will be encouraged to examine a list called "introduction to the Ancestors". This list is not intended to be any kind of complete compendium of the Deities worshiped by the members of the Awenechen. Its purpose is to act as a broad subject sampler of some of our more "approachable" gods, in order to maximize the successful development of divine rapport for the inexperienced seeker. Their interests are so broadly placed across the human experience that the Seeker cannot help but find someone on the list that they can relate to and learn from. Think of it as a guide to the more gregarious and open relatives. It is also kept short enough to not create confusion in the student from "information overload". Then it is completely up to you to establish rapport with the Gods. If you need help or direction, however, just ask.

If a seeker makes no effort at all towards rapport then that's exactly what they'll receive; nothing. If they're loving and warm in their feelings toward the Gods then they'll receive love and warmth in return. You can't fool the Gods. You can't bribe them. If you burn a thousand candles to a god, and in your heart you're counting the cost, or there is an effort to influence them, then it is a waste of time and candles. They respond to worthwhile efforts of love, warmth and honesty.

Out of love, warmth and honesty can bloom a real friendship between a human and a god. If a god comes to love a human deeply, that love can last for many lifetimes of the human. A human may live a complete lifetime unaware that a god is watching over them because the god had loved them in a former lifetime. Or the god may reveal themselves to the human in lifetime after lifetime so that their love and friendship can continue. We are not alone in this supposition. The African Vodoun, for instance, report the same experience with the deity "impressing" the human almost from birth. The deity in this case is called the "Master of the Head".

Questions arise, however, in what the Clan's familial limits are. Certainly we worship more than the thirty-five in our Greater Book. An example of what isn't appropriate are those groups who mix D'Anu, Pan and Tetragramaton in one amalgam, with no real personal connection - just names. We are not eclectic, and instead we feel it important to recognize the real and vital tribal and clan connections that have existed through the centuries. Many of our deities are related also with other cultures in linguistic variations due to the process of human migration; these are also members of the Clan, though this may not be readily apparent. It is best to carefully consider a strong deity impression that is at first glance conflicting, to instead look more closely. Much can be learned of the dimensions of the Clan.

A Gwyddon Riddle :

How much is a diamond worth ?

Answer: You are a diamond made of light !


B. MIND MAGIC

1. THE CONCEPT OF ONENESS

"Everything is the One, and the One is All." This being so, it behooves us to measure all things, whether animate or inanimate, by the "yardstick of One", that no thing, and no one is more or less the One than anything or anyone else. It is wise then for us to love all life, to respect it. (More on Oneness to follow.)

A Gwyddon Saying

"Measure all things with the yardstick of Oneness."

What this saying means is that when one finds that they are having a self-struggle, or an attack of self-importance, or find themselves looking at life with connotations, that it is wise to turn ones mind to the contemplation of the laws and principles of the Concept of Oneness. This will help one to put all things into true perspective.


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Background copyright © 2002, Shamyn Whitehawk.