I don’t normally reblog, but this post from John Beckett of “Under the Ancient Oaks: Musings of a Pagan, Druid, and Unitarian Universalist,” was just too good. A friend and grovie sent it to me because she felt I am a Druid warrior. That really made my day. I’m definitely not a passive tree-hugger. I do what I can to protect my tribe and the Earth Mother.
Posts Tagged ‘blogs’
What a cute (and kid-friendly!) project! I can envision folks making a new ghost each Samhain to represent a loved one who has passed away. It could also be a wonderful way to decorate an ancestral altar in October and November.
Just a quick share today. I’m super busy with appointments and breastfeeding!
My friend RavynStar shared this link on her FB last night. I found myself nodding in agreement and feeling frustrated with the status quo. Who knows what religion, if any, my daughter will embrace, but it’s annoying to think that she may have to deal with the same issues that I do as an adult. I’m not keen on “bashing Christianity,” but there’s a difference between that and constructive criticism about the culture surrounding most forms of Christianity in America. People who practice this religion are privileged. Just raising the question of who is and isn’t privileged can be a huge provocation to some people, but I’ve always found it a fascinating, if complex and often dangerous, topic. To make any progress in this area, we of minority beliefs need to reflect on the ways we are not as privileged. I didn’t even think of some until reading the list!
First take a look:
Now, rather than sit around and complain about Christianity, how can we in the Pagan and/or Polytheistic communities react in a way that is productive and positive? How have other minority beliefs made strides in the right direction?
I was very touched by this post from the blog “A Forest Door.” There has been a lot of drama in the “Pagan” online community lately. Paganism vs. Polytheism. Secular Humanists Pagans/Atheist Pagans vs. theists. Vegetarian Pagans vs. Omnivorous Pagans. Pop culture icons as deities vs traditional Gods. The list goes on and on, and, honestly, the topics aren’t new. They come up every once and awhile. It’s no surprise – they’re actually quite interesting! Yet the drama and mental masturbation that result can be completely exhausting. I’ve largely avoided these topics because I just don’t have the mental energy to deal with them right now.
So why did the aforementioned blog post make an impression on me?
The author is showing self-integrity. There are plenty of people writing things that impact, or could impact, everyone in the Pagan community. Or rather, there are a lot of people trying to do that (it’s very hard to please everyone)! And that’s all well and good, but there are still plenty of us who want to focus on our own thing. We’re not blogging to argue or persuade necessarily – we just want to share our thoughts.
The internet is a wonderful tool in that I’ve been able to connect with a variety of Pagan/Polytheistic folk with a wide array of perspectives of deity, magic, liturgy, cultural influence, etc. A great many are fellow ADFers or people influenced by some degree of reconstructionism. Many others are very “eclectic” for lack of a better word. I get that and I respect it. It’s not for me, though. I always feel a bit awkward when getting to know a new eclectic Pagan (online or off). Some are new to the scene and don’t realize there’s more out there than what is essentially Wicca. Others have been eclectic for years and, in trying to be helpful, provide suggestions or interpretations to my experiences that are not of my own religious practice. I appreciate that and find it interesting, but it’s always really awkward explaining how some things just don’t mesh with what I’m experiencing or my hearth culture. And then there are folks who view deity differently and try to get into intense philosophical debates with me. I’ve never been really interested in that… I enjoy learning about different perspectives, but people who try to tell me how and what to believe are not individuals I enjoy spending time with. And trust me – I have a great many friends who view deity differently and we get along fine because we are accepting of one another.
What I’m trying to say is that all of us are called to practice in our own way (if we want to practice a spirituality/religion at all). It’s a beautiful thing! I celebrate diversity and love joining others of different paths for their rituals, but I don’t want folks to feel bad or discouraged when I don’t want to incorporate something from their tradition into my own practices. I also don’t want people to take terrible offense when I embrace history and place value on cultural authenticity rather than “whatever feels right.” I’m not perfect and don’t claim to practice a purely Celtic path, but I try the best I can, and my efforts to infuse my spirituality with authentic Celtic tradition give what I do great personal meaning. I also hope my own readers understand that what I write about is about my experiences in Druidism and Celtic-inspired spirituality. I don’t feel my way is the only way. I definitely don’t want people to look at this blog and think I’m the best representative for ADF or liberal Celtic Recons or Pagans or Polytheists, etc… I want people to look at my blog and see what I do. I keep this blog to record and share my experiences, inspiration, and things I’ve learned. Maybe some of it will be useful to you, but if not, that’s fine too! More than anything, I hope to inspire others seeking to live a Druidic life to do so in the best way for them! My approach is: “This is what I learned in my research, this is what I feel about it, this is how I applied it to my life, and here are my results. Now you try – if you want!”
Yesterday I joined my friend Miss Corinne to celebrate Arbor Day with her organization The Thousand Islands Land Trust. It was a really excellent event held at their Zenda Farm Preserve just outside of Clayton, NY. Admission was free and included information about planting and caring for trees, local wildlife, and local conservation efforts. Volunteers were able to help plant trees throughout the preserve. Children (and the young at heart) were able to see live animals from the local zoo and organic farm, participate in a community art project, and make seed bombs and peanut butter pinecone bird feeders! Those last activities were what I volunteered to help with! It was messy but a lot of fun. Not many people knew what seed bombs are (Miss Corinne shared some information about that on her blog if you don’t either) so it was really exciting to share that with adults while the little ones played with the clay. I think it’s a great activity to get children excited about gardening, and it can spiral up into a greater awareness of creating habitats for pollinators, urban renewal, and even permaculture! Several boy scouts in attendance made as many as they could! Kudos to Miss Corinne for putting together a great activity table!
If you live in the North Country, you should definitely bookmark The Thousand Islands Land Trust’s event calendar. There are hikes, kayak excursions, gardening, and wildlife viewing opportunities for young and old alike. They’re ways to connect to and even help with local conservation – something that I feel should be very important to Druids. Many are free to attend which is wonderful for people (like myself) who struggle with money over the summer but still want to have fun along the beautiful St. Lawrence River. I can’t wait to sign my little one up for some of their exciting kid treks!
While at the Arbor Day event, I saw many signs of spring. Nature called, as she frequently does to pregnant ladies, but the farm preserve’s toilet was out of order. I took a little hike into the forest to find a special tree, and along the way I noticed several trout lily leaves and even some trillium leaves! They’ll be blooming soon! Those are always a sure sign to me that winter is definitely over.
After returning home, I saw another sign of spring in the form of a stowaway. That’s right – I had a tick on me! I discovered it when I itched my expanding belly. The darn thing was hiding on the underside of my stomach where I can’t easily see! In all my years of running around forests, I’d never been bit by a tick before, and I naturally freaked out because I don’t want to get Lyme disease – especially while pregnant! Weretoad carefully removed it with tweezers but, because we were both new to this, he killed and removed it from the house. I guess it’s recommended you put it in a bag just in case you need to test or identify it. He thinks it was a dog tick rather than deer, and my father agrees based on the description. It was still flat, thus it hadn’t been on long enough to engorge itself – which, from what I read, is when you’re at risk of catching the disease. I hope and pray everything is ok! This pregnant lady doesn’t need that extra worry…
Yet there’s a sign of spring in Northern NY if there ever was one – the ticks are awake. Just a little reminder that, along with the beauty, there are those who we consider outsiders. They’re an essential part of creation but boy, they can be a pain!
Last year started what is clearly becoming a tradition for me. As March is Irish Heritage month, I take it as a time to reflect on and honor the sovereignty Goddess of Ireland – Ériu. Chelly has also been focusing on her and shares some wonderful musings in her latest post. I was inspired and reminded of my desire to spend some time meditating on Ériu, so I shuffled my pregnant behind to my altar for some quality time with the Triple Goddess of Ireland.
My novice studies of Irish lore lead me to agree with Chelly on the nature of Ériu. She is not to be underestimated as the Milesian Donn found out. Yet she is also welcoming to those who honor and respect her. I certainly felt a sense of homecoming when I made it to Ireland a couple years ago. I long to return but until I can, I must be content to connect with that bit of land at a distance. I decided that tonight would be a good night to meditate on her and give her some offerings.
Saying my words of praise, pouring offerings, and holding a memento from her land, I slipped into a very light trance. I envisioned myself surrounded by the mist created by the Two Powers of fire and water. I wouldn’t let myself go too deeply as I worry about the implications of doing so while pregnant and still a novice to that practice. My stretching belly kept me from separating too much from my body anyway. It is taut, and breathing deeply is less comfortable than normal. Yet I was able to visualize myself in Ireland once more. I saw myself at Tara, saw the rolling green hills around the mounds, and the clootie tree near the hedge.
I found myself staring at the Lia Fáil, and suddenly Ériu was there! I saw her as a beautiful woman with fair skin and long, wavy hair the color of sunlight on the River Boyne. Here eyes were as brown as the dirt and she wore a gown green like the rolling hills. She smiled at me and welcomed me back to her whenever I could come. As a Druid in America, I often fret about working with very local deities such as Ériu, but she reminded me not to lament over the distance and that she was always part of me. Images came to me of ancestors eating the crops from her soil, filling them with energy and life. Some of these ancestors came to America, bringing about my existence. They flow in my blood, blood energized in part by the land of Ireland. What’s more, she showed me my ancestor’s grave – the ancestor buried in Watertown, NY. The soil of Ériu became the flesh, blood, and bones of her people. Some of those people, like my ancestor, are now in the soil here, thus intermingling with the land here in America. “I am part of the whole world,” she seemed to say. An Earth Mother linked to all other Earth Mothers, rolling on the globe of our greater Earth Mother. I now imagine a circle of dancing women bringing life and change as they weave around a central bonfire, individual and yet connected always by the forces of this planet…
She faded out over the sea but left me feeling at peace and connected.
And now my baby is kicking and I think about all the ancestors, land spirits, and Earth Goddesses making up this new little one. Are any of us really new? Seems to me that we’re recycled. We are a continuation – it is the hope we have that springs anew each time.