I am not a reconstructionist.
There. I said it. I feel better now, I think.
I was strongly drawn to reconstructionism in the beginning. It seems so academic. (The fact that most academics would find what reconstructionists do rather… inaccurate and confusing, is an entirely different issue.) It seems so clear. Got questions about a deity? The answers are out there, waiting to be uncovered by (usually amateur) archeologists/linguists/folklorists/mythicists.
Except they aren’t. And I feel, increasingly, that this is not a way to do religion or spirituality.
I love looking for clues in the stories of the land. My deities can all be spotted there, or at least, shadows of them – including Baoi (Beara), Dovinia/Duibhne (of the Corca Dhuibhne people), and the Three Sisters (Lasair, Latiaran and Gobnait-who-is-sometimes-Inghean Buidhe-or-sometimes she’s-one-of-the-others-and-sometimes-she’s-Crobh-Derg). But they are, as you can see even when I just try to say their names, not all that easy to pin down. The Three Sisters are deeply rooted in the land around Cork and Kerry, and if you ask the locals about St Latiaran, they will know who you mean, and they will tell you stories about her that you’ve never heard before. But these deities also have precedents across the water and across Ireland. Does that make them any less local? No. It makes them a far bigger mystery than they first seem. The clues are there, but they will slip out of your hands when you try to grasp them. Continue reading
It’s easy to follow the wave of emotion in a crowd. When I’m on a protest march, with the energy all stirred up by the hundreds or thousands of people speaking in one voice with me, then it’s easy to take a stand. No one’s going to push through the crowd to tell me that I’m wrong. I’m safe among allies.
But after the stirring demonstration, after I go home, when I’m all alone and faced with decisions… What do I do then?
What does it mean to change your life in response to the call of a deity? What does it mean to answer a call to change the world for her? Continue reading
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
*’The Way of Truth’.
“What’s UPG?” asked my friend, after a grove ritual a few weeks ago.
I’d been basking in the midsummer sun, dancing with the fae, honouring Aine of the Summer Sun in all her glory. The imbas was flowing.
“What’s UPG?” My answer was halting and not accurate. All at once I realised: I don’t really know, and I don’t really care. Continue reading
“If you were to find a book containing your Druidry – what would it say?”
– question asked by Cat Treadwell
Me: I have to write a post on Druidry.
SJ: And this is different from the rest of your writing how?
– Conversation between me and The Spouse this morning
In a garden at the centre of the world, we were becoming something. It was something we already were, maybe something we had been all along – but still, we became. Some of us had called ourselves by the name already. Some of us, feeling and fearing the heavy burden of the word, chose to shy away from it. Perhaps we felt inadequate when measured against a term with such history and baggage and gravitas behind it. It is a path I have been following for three years, but I didn’t want to use the name. I was afraid of it. I didn’t realise how much I already live that name. Continue reading
Look down. Beneath the rumble of traffic, below the overgrown bridge, in the hidden underside, there is life.
Look deeper. Between the cracked paving stones and the boarded-up houses and the piled-up bins and the feet of the unforgiving crowd, there is life.
Look up. Raise your eyes from asphalt and straight white lines. Let them meet the spirit of another. There is life.
Scenes from some of my recent ‘walks’ in London. Continue reading
The chill left the still air.
The land was caught between breaths.
Unseen, laughing hands took mine
and led me down,
down through lonely alleyways,
past the graveyard overgrown with hawthorn and forget-me-nots,
between the narrow, tumbledown gate-posts,
and out into a sudden shock of green,
where a yellow carpet fell among the young oaks
and butterflies and dragonflies remembered distant sunny afternoons.
From the top of the world I stood above the sparkling city
while it whispered to me old, old secrets.
But I know there are no green places left in London,
no meadows not lost to departed faery feet.
So it must have been an Otherworldly hill they took me to,
another city, just out of mundane sight
that I looked down upon. Continue reading