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It’s not often that I get into conversations about my spirituality.  However, when I do, one topic often comes up in conversation.  That topic is magic.  Typically my conversations are with those not of the pagan ways.  I often find myself answering questions about delusional ideas of magic.  The idea that I must attempt the magic of which is seen in Harry Potter movies or The Craft.  If those ideas of magic actually worked, I think everyone would attempt to practice the magical arts.  Then I wouldn’t have to answer so many questions about the reality of magic.  I explain what practicing magic means to me when I enter into these conversations.  The following is my view of what it means to practice the magical arts.

Magic is not a glamorous supernatural power apart from life.  It is the energies and processes of life itself.  Magic is rooted in our connectedness with the life of the world around us.  Magic’s greatest effect is to root us and connect us even more fully.  Magic is the expression of our connectedness.

Magic is being immersed in the world, a participant, part of the life of Nature.  To perform magic is to serve life.  Magic enhances the capacity of life in whatever form to be fully what it is and to become, perhaps, more than we might expect.

A mage understands the honor, joy, and responsibility of being part of a larger wholeness of life.  A mage serves the energies (nwyfre) that flow through that wholeness.

Magic is the ability to see the energy of Nature; and using that energy to help in life.  For example, knowing the effects of the moon’s energy and being able to use that energy to enhance your life.  Understanding and using different moon energies while its waxing, waning, full, or new.

Performing spells and rituals allow us to concentrate our energy into the ritual so that we may send it on the waves of nwyfre to manifest.  Rituals and spells allow for something tangible so that it may aid in keeping our focus of intentionality.  The proper intention is the key to successful magic.

Magic is not something made from a fake imagination.  In fact, imagination is a potent reality.  A reality that most adults allow to slip away, never to be found again.  Imagination is our minds’ way of experiencing patterns in nwyfre.  When we imagine something, that image takes shape in the nwyfre around us.

People have become disengaged from the Natural world.  Thus, the world has become disenchanted.  From our early school days, our minds have been shaped to become very linear thinking individuals.  It takes practice and committment to become holistic thinkers; thus beginning the process of re-enchantment.

Remember when you had an “imaginary” friend?   You could tell someone the exact details about the name, appearance, and personality of this being.   How real was this friend to you?  I’m sure as real as any other friend or family member you had at that time in your life.  I am here to tell you that the imagination is a reality on a different plane or realm.

I am one of the believers in magic.  I have a lot of synchronicity in my life.  It took me quite a while to truly understand that my connectedness and re-enchanment brought in tremendous amounts of synchronicity.  What some would call coincidence I call magic.

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Elements

In Druidry the four elements are sacred.  Druids work with the elements each and every day.  In each one of us possesses traits of each element; some more dominant than others.  As for myself Fire, Air, and Water are equally noticeable.  Earth is the element that I need to incorporate more into my life.  For me it’s just a bit difficult to connect to this element.  Every day I work hard to bring Earth into my being.  I am starting to do more crystal work to connect with the powers of Earth.  I am also starting to walk barefoot amongst my yard to feel the Earth’s energy.  I am trying to allow Earth to ground me and to absorb any negative energy I may have on any given day.  I am sure eventually that I will connect deeper with this element to enrich my life even more.

I wrote a simple poem this morning about the elements.  I wanted to give one insight into what each element can do for us on a daily basis.  Again, this is just one aspect of what each element can bring.

Elemental Bliss

I am the wind

That liberates

I am the water

That heals

I am the land

That nurtures

I am the flame

That inspires

In my Druid spirituality I have learned, as well as most Druids (they would tell you), that we do not take ourselves too seriously.  You have to be able to laugh at yourself every now and then.  When you take yourself too seriously you miss out on living a fulfilled life.  I actually had to give this piece of advice to my fiance yesterday; my fiance is a Green Witch.

We took a trip to Salem, MA yesterday to visit some of the pagan stores to replenish some supplies.  We also love Salem because it is right on the ocean and has some great places to eat; as well as a thriving pagan community.

As most of you know, Salem was the sight of the famous witch trials of the late 1600s.  This was a very bleak time in Massachusetts history.  Today, Salem makes a lot of money off tourists visiting the historic sites.  Salem is aptly named “Witch City”.  There is a large pagan population in Salem.  In fact, pagans can express themselves freely without weird looks; it’s expected in this town.  It actually adds to the charm for tourists.  A tourist seeing a “real” witch or pagan is fascinating to them.  You will find solicitors trying to get you to go on ghost tours around the city.  You will find random wooden witch cut-outs so you can take a picture.  You know the ones where the face is cut-out so you can put yours in and snap a picture?  The picture I am trying to paint here is that of a town that capitalizes on its witch history and the active pagan community.

My fiance was getting very irritated yesterday with how commercialized Salem has made our religion.  She was upset with tourists walking around with those pointed witch hats, tourists taking pictures in those wooden witch cut-outs, tourists buying pagan supplies as souvenirs not knowing what they actually are used for, etc…

I told her it’s ok and not to worry. ‘Don’t take yourself so seriously.  It’s ok to smile when you see tourists soaking in the experience; they don’t know any better.  Let the tourists have fun.  You and I both know our ways and that should be good enough.  If you can’t laugh at yourself every now and again, who can you laugh at?’

The point I was trying to make was that we don’t have to be so rigid when it comes to our pagan spiritualities.  Live life and laugh; if you don’t you may end up miserable!  There is a time and place to be serious, and there is a time and place to let loose a bit.

I enjoyed seeing the tourists have fun.  Perhaps at the end of the day they learned a little about the pagan community.  Perhaps some of their ignorance was washed away.  But if all that came from these tourists was a day of fun for them then so be it.  I am not going to take issue with that.  I have other things to worry about.

 

I had a very stressful day at work yesterday.  You know, the kind of day where people should be understanding of uncontrollable circumstances, but because it effects them, rationality is thrown out the window.  Due to such circumstances,  a day where I do everything in my power to support those individuals, but in the end I just can’t make it happen.  Due to such circumstances, a day where the affected individuals choose to take a jab at me via email to my boss while CCing me on that email; rather unfairly.  For the record, my boss was completely understanding because he was firmly ungulfed in the situation from the start.  I am not going to get into any details, but it did get me thinking of my Druid spirituality.  I would take this as the positive of what proved otherwise to be a bad day.

I got to thinking how us Druids don’t see the world through binary glasses.  There is always that third factor; the ternary.  When you take a look at the third factor the answer may lie.  It’s that balance that allows for freedom and flexibility.  Yesterday was a day in which I found it hard to recognize any tertiary factor to help resolve the situation.  Perhaps, there was not a ternary factor hidden from plain view, or perhaps there was and I failed to see it.

The point being is that I tried to look for a third factor.  I know for certain that if I were not a practicing Druid this thought process would never have entered my mind.  Sometimes that third factor isn’t obvious, sometimes it’s as plain as day.  The important lesson I learned from yesterday is to always look for the ternary and not settle on the binary.  If I can’t reveal the ternary factor then so be it; at least I tried to view the situation in this light.  At the very least, I can rest peacefully knowing that I tried everything, but sometimes in the end things don’t work out perfectly.  Or did it because I learned a valuable lesson??  See….

Gaelic Bardic Poetry

Ok, so I decided to do some research on Gaelic Bardic poetry and the guidelines to write such poetry.  I found one form of this Bardic poetry, that on the surface seemed easy enough.  However, upon trying to compose this poem, proved much more difficult than I thought it would be.

As most of you know, the Druids passed on knowledge through their poetry.  This was passed down orally.  I can see the reasoning behind these patterns.  Once someone mastered the patterns it would allow you to memorize more easily.  This left me thinking that I am sure the Druids did not title their poems.  Rather they memorized the poems and searched for the magic and knowledge hidden in the poetry.  Naming a poem to me would have been to reveal the secrets they shared.  Obviously, I have not done research on this at all, but it’s a thought that entered my mind.

The particular style of Gaelic Bardic poetry I researched had the following guidelines:

1. Four line stanzas of two couplets each

2. Each line seven syllables

3. Last syllable of first line rhymes with third syllable of second line

4. Last syllable of third line rhymes with third syllable of fourth line

5. Last syllable of fourth line rhymes with last syllable of second line

I thought, easy enough pattern to follow.  The difficult part is composing poetry using these guidelines and sticking to one subject and having it make any sense whatsoever.  You have to choose words wisely, but still maintain the meaning behind the poem.  All of a sudden you become very restricted.

The poem I composed is only four stanzas.  I started to write about the power of the element of Fire, but quickly turned into a poem about the Goddess Brigid.  I don’t know how this happened, it just did.  I think Brigid was watching, and since she is the keeper of the flame, decided that she wanted this poem penned about her.

Below is my first attempt.

Brigid

I am the flame bright and true

Burn for you will I always

Well of wisdom and healing

Revealing to those of our ways

Poetry?

I am trying my hand at this poetry thing.  I know poetry can be both magical and insightful to those who unlock its secrets.  The Bards were well-versed in poetry and those who listened were filled with inspiration.  I believe poetry was and is a very magical tool. All my poetry is Druid influenced.   I am extremely critical of my work.  I think once I let go of my self-criticism I will then unlock the true potential of poetry’s magic.  Who knows, maybe I will contact a publisher.  It’s worth an effort at least.  Here is my latest short poem:

Spring Morning

Mist blankets the field

Like a mother swaddles child

Robin sings her morning song

Calling forth the Sun

Orange glow illuminating

Moon begins her rest

Gentle breeze carries sweetness

Of spring waking the spirit

The Maples dance

A scene of serenity

Only Gods can paint

Bardic Review

I have finally finished my Bardic review and I have sent it off to my tutor.  The Ovate grade hopefully awaits me at the other end.  The air is still today, but hopefully the winds of change will arrive soon, to signify the beginning of a new chapter of my Druid study.

I decided in the spirit of the Bard to author a poem that speaks to my journey to this point.  Here it is:

Cauldron Born

From the cauldron I drink

Journeying to the womb of the Earth

Darkness surrounds me

In darkness I discover truth

Light emerges to show the way

I come out from the deep

Calm moonlit pond awaits me

Gazing into the depths of the waters

Cupped hands I sip the water

Feeling life born again

The Goddess flows through my body

Like a waterfall feeds the river

Currents of life flow through me

Gentle cool winds rustle the Oaks

The winds of change I sense

I breathe in deeply feeling free

Worries carried away by the winds

The fire is lit flames true and bright

The fire inside burns

I am inspired by its words of passion

I realize where I have been brought

Sacred Grove of Dynnu

Where the Gods and Goddesses dwell

Where the Elements feed my spirit

Where the ancient Druids teach their ways

In song and prose

Born again into a new old world

Am I

 

 

 

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