Reblog: The Coolest Kids on the Playground

This is a reblog of my post, The coolest kids on the playground, for my blog channel DruidHeart at Witches and Pagans.

There is a favourite saying of mine, “You do not have to blow out someone else’s candle for yours to burn more brightly”. Sadly, it seems that in our modern society, this is the way things “work”.
Watch a political debate. It’s just tossing around attempts to besmirch the other party, rather than actually getting things done. It’s infuriating. Sound bites on the news are all about how another party is crap, and theirs is better, without actually talking about the issue at hand.
See what happens on a school playground. Those who are different, who don’t fit in with the popular kids, are usually pushed around or gossiped/rumour mongered by those who are a part of the elite popular gang. I have no idea why it happens, but it happened over thirty years ago when I was in elementary and high school, it happens now and it will happen in the future, most likely. I don’t know if kids learn this from their parents, or television, or society – all I know is that kids can be cruel.
Even in Pagan circles, people put down or condemn others for various reasons: the “newbie”, the “fluffy bunny”, the rival coven, hearth or Order. All it comes down to, basically, is this playground mentality. Some people never got out of it. Even the most intelligent, articulate person can fall back into this frame of mind, to make themselves feel better.
This is not to say that we shouldn’t look critically at others’ behaviour, and especially our own. What I am trying to say is that we do not need to belittle anyone whose path may be different from our own.
I have known some popular Pagan leaders to put down other Pagans in front of their own group. This always leaves me with a bad feeling in my mouth – it is utterly distasteful. It does a disservice to everyone involved. Even the most militant, ethically-minded person I know has failed in this regard on at least one occasion, shuddering at the thought of once belonging to another group and verbally putting them down in front of a gathering of about a dozen individuals. This shocked me, but then I realised that we are all human, and we all have failings. We can all regress to the playground.

To read the full article, click HERE

Calling Oneself a Druid

A blog post about whether to call yourself “Druid” or not has been brewing in my mind for weeks – when do we think we can claim the title?

Simply because in the past one could not claim to be a Druid until after 19 years training (depending upon the source you use) doesn’t mean that we still have to follow that way of thinking today. The Celts did many things that we don’t or wouldn’t do today. For instance, the ancestors performed animal sacrifice – we don’t. We have to adapt to the modern day to be able to let our path expand and fulfill our needs of today.

To call oneself a Druid is to simplify our intention – how else would we go about it? To say “I am a follower on the path of Druidry” just doesn’t roll off the tongue in casual conversation. The term is there to clarify the path, not to claim grand titles. Christians don’t believe that they are Christ. Buddhists don’t claim to be The Buddha (they are all Buddhas). Therefore, those that follow the path of Druidry, in my view, can call themselves Druid – what are the alternatives? Druidists? Druidans? Druidarians?

Doesn’t quite work.

If we don’t adapt the Celtic worldview to ours, we are simply are creating or following dogma, which is an anathema to Druidry, in my view. We should learn all that we can from our Celtic ancestors, to inform our current worldview. The future is built brick by brick up on the past. The ancient Celtic worldview teaches us of a time in history, a specific point and that specific point only. What is no longer relevant to modern day society we need to address, and find new ways of making it work. We aren’t changing it into a completely new religion – it must adapt and flow like the awen itself.

Therefore, to me a beginner on the Druid path may call him or herself a Druid without fear. So can one who has followed the path for 7, 13, 25 years or more. What matters more than the amount of time you have spent on this path is what lies within your heart.

If you love and honour nature, if you seek to learn and inform your worldview from it and feel called to the path of Druidry, then you are a Druid. Walk your talk, live in balance and harmony, and inform yourself – become a student of life. Learn history, language, biology, ecology and astronomy. Gain the intelligence and use it – experience it. That is the path to wisdom. Above all, honour your own nature as well – for in seeing the divinity within nature, we see the nature of the divine.

Review: Journey to the Dark Goddess

journeyThis great, thought-provoking book takes the reader down, using the myths of Innana, Persephone and Psyche as guides into the realms of unknowing.  Whether you have come out the other side of grief, trauma or simply what life throws at you, or whether you are currently in the throes of a dark night of the soul, heck, even if you haven’t even come close to that, this is a rich text about delving into the dark aspects of your soul, and of nature, to understand being in every sense of the word.

Thank you!

I just wanted to say a big thank you to all who have taken the time to read this blog, and all the lovely comments, emails and messages that I have received. And a big hello to all the new followers that have come on board over these last two weeks – wow!  This is what it’s all about – sharing ideas, being open and simply travelling together on this journey called life.

As I walked through the woods today of my childhood home, I noticed that all the paths that I had made, and that others had made when I was younger, were for the most part no longer there. However, new paths had emerged, with a different focus on another part of the landscape that is equally beautiful.  The stream where I used to sit was a wide open space, with the ancient pine tree guardians waiting for me each time, whispering their secrets and allowing me entrance to The Hill when I asked for their permission.  Now that stream is fully overgrown with deciduous trees in the summer, and it has become an enclosed space, a beautiful little faery nook where the bridge is much better tended across the stream, and where I can sit and watch the dragonflies and the fish, the light dappling the leaves of the birch trees, those ancient pines still whispering behind all the new foliage.

Where I used to stand and watch the sunset over the valley was just a tiny little space off the path. Now, that space has been slightly enlarged, and reinforced against erosion (we have very sandy soil on the plateau). A single bench has just been put in this week. Now the space that I enjoyed for so many years is accessible to all who pass by, to take the time to sit and look out over the beauty that I call home.  A part of me is sad that my little spot is now public, another part glad that it can inspire so many more people who otherwise would not have seen it.  The beauty that is life is not just for me, I remind myself with a wry grin.

Things never stay the same.  And yet, some things are constant.  Like that view.

The forest and The Hill, the valley and the river are all the same, and yet they have changed, new things growing, trees where once daisies grew, new streams finding their way through to the bigger waters.  It is like that with us humans too – we have an essential self, even though we are constantly growing, changing.  That essential self can shine through if we let it – no matter how far we may have strayed, no matter how outwardly changed we may appear, no matter what people say, we are still that same self, or at the very least contain large aspects of that self.  That self is not alone, yet it is an individual.  It is a thread in the tapestry of life, a beautiful thread that crosses the warp and weft of experience. We may sometimes drop that thread, but it is up to us to pick it up and reweave it back in a harmonious pattern with the rest of the tapestry.  Together, we create something truly remarkable, yet we are all just a coming together of single threads. The tapestry is eternal, and yet always changing, new patterns forming, new images and ideas spreading.

Like the forest stream where I can retreat to, it changes and yet remains the same.

Like the view of the valley, it changes, and yet remains the same.

Like the coming together of souls, they change and yet remain the same.

A friend once said “The first prayer one should learn is Thank You”.  And so, thank you, to the awen, that inspiration, those trees and hills of home, and to all of you out there. x


P.S. In the last year, I have over 15,000 views on my blog, and have had people from 84 countries read my blog, from places such as Mongolia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Belarus, Slovakia, Bangladesh, Thailand, Canada, Republic of Korea, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, United Kingdom, Lithuania, Bahrain, USA, United Arab Emirates and so many more – thank you everyone! This is truly incredible… I am truly honoured.