Poetry Tuesday

A Charm of Skye

Anonymous 

(c2 century)  

The harp has three strings,

What a pleasant jewel it was.

A string of iron,

A string of bronze,

A string of pure silver.

The names of the strings were thus:

Suantorrgles; Geantorrgles the great;

Goitorrgles was the other string

Which could send all men a weeping.

If the pure Goitorrgles be played

For the hosts of the earth

They would all get laughter from it

From one day to the next.

If the free Suantorrgles were played

To the host of the wide universe-

Great the wonder-

All would fall asleep.

 

 

 

A disturbing trend….

I am supremely disturbed by a certain trend I am seeing in the pagan community. Naturalist pagans or Atheopagans are to my understanding a group of pagans that believe that the world is enough for them and that supernatural beings are not needed for them to create a personal practice that is both valid and satisfying. Theopagans are pagans that the world around them is part of a larger cosmos made up of things seen and unseen, and this interaction between is part of a personal practice that is also both valid and satisfying.

I have no issue with this, it’s their way to view the world and it may be different than mine but it is still valid.

What I do take issue with is when someone, anyone really of a different point of view comes and tries to say that either view is invalid at best and at worst they are delusional or stupid for believing as they do.

I have been recently in an argument with such a person and while I ended the discussion with wanting to agree to disagree I still think that there is an issue that needs to be addressed.

I give respect to all walks of life, whether I agree and understand them or not. I expect the same in return, that is the only way we as humans can safely coexist.

One argument brought up was that there is a dichotomy in some pagan circles, that while theists can express their views as fact, others like Atheopagans are not allowed to do the same even to the point of hostility.

This is a valid reason to be angry, if your point of view is dismissed out of hand because it is different there is a problem.

That double standard does exist and further divide our already chaotic community.I love that paganism allows for so many different paths to walk alongside one another, but when a particular group is not even allowed in the conversation there is something wrong to put it simply.

I don’t know what to call this kind of discrimination but it needs to stop, at both ends.

Not only do the Theists pagans need to stop criticising the Atheopagans for their lack of belief or imagination but the Atheopagans need to stop looking down on Theopagans for their lack of Logic or Understanding of how the world works.

None of us has the right to put someone down in order to bring ourselves higher.

We as a community need to build bridges and not walls. Especially considering the climate of the world today, we do not need another form of division or strife when there are so many already.

We need to bring everyone into the conversation, welcome everyone regardless of our beliefs to enjoy the hospitality at our fires.

Hospitality is a key trait in my path as an ADF Druid, one that I take very seriously. For someone not to be welcome at my fire, it takes more than a difference in beliefs. There is a point when someone will be disallowed from enjoying my company and friendship but that is not it.

As long as someone is willing to accept that while different my beliefs are valid I am willing to do the same.

Once you get into the name calling and tearing down that is where I draw my line.

MiniPodcast episode 1 script

When I first joined up with ADF 7 years ago, wow has it been that long, my first step on my personal journey was to start the dedicant path, I did a personal dedication rite and everything. I even had an otherworldly experience right off the bat that bolstered my confidence that this was indeed the correct way for me to continue.

I knew that reading and writing book reviews was going to be simple, I could do those and still can in my sleep, but the difficult part was going to be the meditation/devotional bit.

I was never one for routine, I had trouble learning to do anything on a regular basis so why would my spirituality be any different?

So, I went with what I knew and picked up a few books on the subject to get me started. I would do the exercises, but again I would stumble when trying to get into a regular practice.

I would sometimes fall asleep during meditation, no matter if I was sitting cross legged , in a chair or lying down on a couch or bed. My thoughts would run completely out of control and I would become frustrated to the point of it ruining the rest of my day and  really not being of any worth.

So, I got new books and tried again, with varying themes of the same result, and every time more frustrated than the last.

I got sick of hearing the anecdotes that everyone struggles and that is why it is a practice.

Meditation was supposed to be helpful, not this bitter poison it was turning into.

This feeling of frustration and anger, eventually turned inward, how could so many meditation “teachers and gurus’ be so wrong?

I began to think it was something wrong with me.

I continued in this self destructive vein for about 3 years before my life kind of blew up and crumbled around me.

I was under a lot of stress to put it mildly and felt abandoned by the rest of my family.

My father decided that my mother needed was a change of scenery, I don’t know how much was him just throwing his hands up in desperation but my childhood home was sold to a developer, and

I had to suddenly decide whether I should go with my parents to continue as I was or to pack up and leave home to live with my sister until I could live on my own.

I chose the later.

I didn’t really handle the move well and where meditation could have been a shelter or a solid rock to stand on it just became another frustration among a long growing list.

Over the next couple years, I had been a member of ADF for about 3 years at this point, I was not getting any better and I stagnated.

At this point my mother passed away suddenly. I was devastated and brought to a new low that lasted for another 2 years.

At this point, due to circumstances that we both had created, I was given an ultimatum by by sister. I would pay her back rent and then continue paying to live with her or I would pay that months and then leave.

I panicked at first but then decided it was in my best interest to leave, I had never gotten along with this sister and the environment was just getting more hostile by the day.

At this point Meditation wasn’t even on my radar, I had basically given up but moving kind of woke up this need in me to start again.

I also had the fortitude to entertain the thought that maybe it wasn’t me that was the problem. I tentatively looked to the adf membership handbook  and Michael Dangler’s Wheel of the Year that had been gathering dust and really looked at the meditation or training the mind requirements. I found something I had either missed or dismissed when I had first picked it up 5 years before.

Michael Dangler has you begin Mental Training/Meditation Practice around the fifth week and he mentions several practices that are not mentioned in the membership handbook. The one that drew my eye was Oracle meditation.

It is simply to draw your choice of divinatory tool daily and to use that to connect to the Kindreds and ‘quiet the mind’.

I use Tarot on a regular basis and I know it well but I was wanting to learn Ogham so I decided to try and do this as my practice.

It was like sitting down to have a drink with friends/ family that I haven’t spoke to in years. It was awkward at the beginning but one the conversation got going it felt right.

For the first time in a long while I knew I had found the right way in, sitting down in front of my altar and recording the reading for the day was not a trial like sitting and meditating had been for so long and the changes it brought to my practice and life were far reaching.

I was better connected to the kindreds, closer to them than I had been in decades. I could hear them for the first time in my daily life and I didn’t have to try so very hard to reach them during ritual. I also no longer got the disconnect headaches common for me after ritual was ended. My dreams got weirder and more vivid, still not consistent but you can’t have everything….:D

My personal life had also evolved and opened up, I was and am happier and less guilt ridden over choices and decisions I made in the past.

I also want to do it daily, really want to and if I miss a day I notice and go back the next readily without the frustration, guilt and anger I had before.

My practice continues to evolve on a daily basis, when I feel I need something else I add and configure until it feels right but I have not returned to the empty loneliness before I discovered this practice.

I now do a simple little ritual every morning I can manage:

 

Blow three times a ceramic Ocarina from my Grandmother

Light candle

Light incense from candle

Cense altar and set incense in holder

Pour water into my small well/drinking bowl

Offer 3 drops oil to kindreds(oil I had specially made for this purpose)

Breathing meditation(cross legged hands towards the earth 10 breathe grounding/ hands towards the sky 10 breath centering)

Ask “what gifts or wisdom do the kindred offer us today?”

Draw  and record Ogham

Thank kindred

Dring well/blessings(waters of life ish)also to save it from the cat.

Blow out candle

Put out incense

Blow Ocarina again(3xs) to end

 

It began with the ogam and evolved from there.

It still continues to evolve as I need it, I can even bring it back to the basics, ogam and breathing, when I can’t have all my tools when I am traveling.

I want to say I wanted to find this first and to not have gone through the intervening time of sick frustration and depression. I also want to say that I am glad I found it now and that hard time helped me to grow. I am of two minds about the journey but I can’t argue with the end result or the point where I am now.

I write this in hopes that I reach out across the ether to help someone else who is still going through the darkness and has yet to find their light. That anyone else is going through this alone and thinking that there is something wrong with them pains me deeply. I want to help and hope me speaking about my own trials and journey does.

 

.

 

I dance in the dark

“I dance in the dark
alone, afraid
The time has come
My partner?
My friend?
Where are you now?
‘stand still like ice
but be fierce like flame’
My brow
slick with fury
flowing deep
Unfettered I stand
Terrible and damnedOh daughter mine!
your hands, so cold!

Reaching
Grasping
Blackened
But beating
Slowly beating

Let us dance into the dark
together so terrible
but damned alone.”

Lauren Driver, February 23, 2013

 

What is Magic?

What is magic?
The feeling you get when on a roller-coaster and cant decide whether your flying or falling?
Seeing the light fade from their eyes for the last time
Burning the pieces of paper and feeling a weight lifted
A song that lifts your spirits and brings tears
A poem that touches you deep enough to leave a wound that bleeds
holding and being held when you both feel like falling
A deep belief that you can’t explain but know to be true
The light at the end of a long dark tunnel
The day after the dark night
Cool winter after a blistering summer
Soothing mint on dry blistered skin
A balm for a broken heart
Hope
Magic is words, actions deeds… anything that heals, teaches or changes.
Not to be too poetic though, its what we do that causes change and moves the wheel along. Words we say or things we do with intent to harm or to heal. Whether we know it or not, we all have that power its just our choice to acknowledge it or not.
Intent is truly meaningless in the long run, whether we mean to harm or heal , whatever choices we make, we know that they have consequences that we have to live with.
I don’t live by the rede or the rule of three. I live with consequences, you sow and you reap.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Even lore tells us that just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should.
Take care in all our actions magical and mundane, for all of them have consequences, good and bad no matter the intent or thought behind them.

Imbolc

For the ancient Celts celebrations for this holiday often involved bonfires, special foods, divination or watching for omens for the coming year. Fire and purification were an important part of the festival because it was a festival of both the hearth and the home. The lighting of candles and fires represented the return of warmth and the increasing power of the Sun over the coming months. A spring cleaning was also customary, removing the old years stagnancy and bringing in the new. Brigid’s crosses are commonly offered to the fire as offerings to the goddess Brigid and  in hope for her blessings during the new year.
This was a time to celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring, a time when the snow began to melt and the days became warmer. The exact day may have been moved around according to when the winter actually began to recede but during modern celebrations is commonly celebrated on the first of February around the same time as groundhog day.
Imbolc for me has always been associated with rebirth. My birthday falls into the same week and as a family we would celebrate and hope for good luck during the rest of the year. The warmth of having family around and celebrating the passing and beginning of another year was always the center point as well as eating together a special meal.