Peace, War and My Druidry

I’m currently having a hiatus from Facebook and other social media (though this post will no doubt automatically end up posted in some of those places), as a result of debates – if you can call them that – on Palestine and Israel.

At the same time, Cadno of the Druid Network has got me thinking about honourable debate. I do not think that honourable debate is actually happening on social media in response to this particular topic, at the moment. Nor do I think it’s happening much in person, although it may be slightly better face-to-face. But just barely. Continue reading

A Brighid Devotional

The Brighidine flamekeepers of the Cauldron Cill have published a new anthology of devotional writing for Brighid. I have a contribution in there (although I’m not part of the Cill). Check out the links below – the devotional is available free in PDF form, or can be bought as a physical book. It looks absolutely gorgeous, and I’ll be buying a copy.

Now available from the Brigidine flamekeepers of the Cauldron Cill on ecauldron.com:

The Cauldron Cill Brighid Devotional

A collection of essays, poetry, art, meditations and photography in honor of the Celtic goddess Brighid.

Hardcover Version – with beautiful full-color images: $29.53
Paperback Version – in black and white: $3.79
PDF E-Book – FREE

Brigid of the Fire

PBP2014c

We’re living in a slightly problematic flat at the moment. (Fortunately we’re also moving soon.) The light in the hallway blew a couple of weeks ago, for about the fourth time since we moved in – we’ve given up replacing the bulb now. Meanwhile, the kitchen currently appears to be haunted, with the fluorescent light in there doing a good impression of a badly-wired disco. And then there’s the damp. It’s really, really damp. Continue reading

Y is for… Yarmulkes Lining Boxes (or: Ritual Clothing)

“Use those to pad out the boxes,” SJ said to me. We were packing to move from Nottingham to London, and SJ was pointing at my ritual cloak and shawl.

We proceded to have an argument about using ritual clothing to line packing boxes, in which I said (yelled, probably), “Would you line boxes with yarmulkes?!” Continue reading

Whose work?

I have a compulsion to seek justice and equality.

It’s not as noble as it sounds, believe me. I hate doing it. I’m about as lazy as a cat in the sunshine on a summer afternoon. I’m a complete coward – I avoid conflict as much as I can. I’d rather not have the discussions that I have to have, to try and persuade people what equality means and why it’s important. Mostly, I’d rather pull the bedcovers over my head and ignore the world. But still, I fight. Continue reading

30 Days of Paganism, 3 – Beliefs: Deities

Ah, a nice non-controversial one!

I’ve talked about deities before, in many places on my blog. I’ve talked about my view of the gods as literal spirits whom I believe were worshiped by my ancestors. There’s no real need for me to outline my beliefs on this in detail again. But I wanted to reflect a bit more on what this means for me on a practical level – and what it doesn’t mean. Continue reading

Piety

Well, this seems as good a time as any to start gathering my thoughts on Piety. It’s another of those ADF virtues that we’re asked to consider during the Dedicant Path year. It’s also something that there’s been a lot of talk about on the internet recently, at least in Pagan and polytheist circles. To a very tedious degree. If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that – however you want to worship the gods (or honour the earth or pursue spirituality) – we are currently boring the pants off the deities. I can just see the great Powers That Be now, sitting on Mount Olympus/in Asgard/under the Irish sidhe mounds/in the heavens, rolling their eyes at their devotees who are going ON AND ON about what Piety is or is not. And maybe the pantheons are having an argument about whose worshippers are the most boring. Or telling jokes to lighten the mood. Lugh, Thor and Athena walk into a bar…

So now that I’ve got that out of my system, I’m going to talk about Piety. Continue reading

H is for… Healing (Etiquette)

I study healing and disability for a living (actually, mostly for student debt, but you know what I mean). If I ever finish my PhD, it will be about ideologies of disability, and normalcy, and about how Christianity has treated those who are different (physically and mentally) through the ages.

And modern Paganism has absorbed a lot of this ideology, without realising that it’s rooted in Christianity. I’ve experienced this imposition of normalcy from society, including from the Pagan community. I’ve lost count of the number of people who were praying for me to be “healed”, and of those who were “doing healing” on me – often without my permission. Why does this matter? For a couple of reasons. Continue reading