An Explanation of Channeling
aka: Awen o'Duwiau

(a-OH-en oh-dew-EE-eye)
'Poetic Inspiration of the Gods'
Bardd Dafydd, Senior Druid, Red Oak Grove

"among the Welsh there are certain individuals called Awenyddion who behave as if they are possessed... When you consult them about some problem, they immediately go into a trance and lose control of their senses... They do not answer the question put to them in a logical way. Words stream from their mouths, incoherently and apparently meaningless and lacking any sense at all, but all the same well expressed: and if you listen carefully to what they say you will receive the solution to your problem.

Giraldus Cambrensis Description of Wales
(trans. Lewis Thorpe, Penguin Books, 1978, p.246ff.),
written in the late 12th century.

Do you believe the following:

  • The Gods are real.
  • They care about us.
  • They want to communicate with us.
  • They are listening to us and want to speak to us.
  • They are all around us, and also within us.
  • We can speak to them through our thoughts, so naturally they can do the same.
  • They can easily put ideas and thoughts into our minds - anything from a vague image to a fully formed paragraph of information.

If you believe all of that, then you should see that channeling is the logical result.

Channeling is the practice of inviting a spiritual being to use your body and mind to communicate with an audience. (If there is no audience, you are praying.) Usually that communication is verbal, but it can also be handwritten, typed or transmitted in some other way.

Channeling is an ancient technique. Almost every religion was founded by someone who claimed that Spirits were speaking to him or her, or speaking through them. Almost every religious scripture claims to have been divinely authored. Either all those religions were founded on delusions or deceptions, or else Channeling is very real and fairly common. Since the Autumn of 1999 some of the members of Red Oak Grove have been experimenting with this fascinating practice and developing a set of processes and techniques to allow us to experience it fairly reliably. We obviously believe it to be real.

If you are open to this idea, want it to work, and are willing to let go of your personal control a little bit, the technique is not very difficult, at all. We find it helps if the Channeler is very familiar with the Deity to be Channeled. Or maybe that just makes the Channeler more confident. When the Channeler is ready, he or she just needs to be comfortable and relaxed, enter a light Trance, ask the Deity to come in, and be willing to step out of the way and let the Deity take over for a while. Sometimes the Deity comes through very faintly, and we get just a subtle impression of the sort of things the Deity might be trying to communicate. Other times, the Deity comes through much more clearly and it almost seems like we are sitting back and watching ourselves talk, with no deliberate effort. And we've had every shade of experience in between, too.

But in general, it seems the Gods are eager to communicate with us. Since Yule 1999 the members of Red Oak Grove channeled the Deities over 100 times. We trained about 20 people to do it, and it worked almost every time, to a greater or lessor extent. When the Deity did speak through the Channeler, the information was always positive, often thought-provoking and sometimes enlightening.

Although we know of very few Druid groups doing anything like this, we believe this process is very applicable to Neopaganism because it strengthens our relationship with the Deities, it builds community and group experience, and it is very spiritually fulfilling. We usually only practice this technique with Grove members.

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Further Reading:
Neale Donald Walsch Conversations with God, 1996, Putnum Books
Esther Hicks - Abraham URL: http://www.abraham-hicks.com