Posts Tagged ‘pagan’

I always go through these lulls in blogging and in my spiritual path.  I am sure I am not alone in this.  Some call it “phases”.  I am a believer that everything has its place and reason.  I may have been too engrossed in everything that subconsciously, someone or something, was telling me to slow down.  During my last blog post a lot was going on.  I was planning a wedding, got a promotion at work, going on a honeymoon, and working incredible hours.  All of this took my time and attention away from my spiritual studies.  A common problem among many I am sure.

I find myself very much part of a bigger circle that I revolve around.  Now that Spring is here, everything is starting to breathe life again.  We are all reborn; trees, animals, people, etc.  I feel rebirth all around me.  I got that “itch” again to step back into my Druid studies.  It makes perfect sense to me considering the season.  It made me chuckle a bit.  To know that my body is attuned to the Natural cycle even when I am not giving it much attention.  The fact that I recognized it this time spoke to my advancement in my path.  Last year I probably would have been oblivious to such a rebirth.

Another idea has now sprung to mind.  Do I have enough credibility to write a book on dragons and practical work with dragons?  There are not many books out there on the subject.  However, who am I?  No one really, but who were these authors before their first book was published?  The Pagan community tends to have an open mind; so why not try to write a book??



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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….

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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.


I am the flame bright and true

Burn for you will I always

Well of wisdom and healing

Revealing to those of our ways

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There are some beginners in the magical arts that think practicing magic will bring them all of their desires at their will. If they do spells for money, love, careers, etc…they will be blessed with all of these gifts. When these things don’t come to the new spell-caster they begin to feel discouraged. It’s usually at this moment in time where beginners lose interest. I will admit when I began dabbling in Wicca some years ago I thought this was true as well. I just needed to train my mind and expose my will to get all that I wanted. It took some teaching to learn that magic just doesn’t work in this manner. Magic works with nature not against nature; and follows the laws of attraction. For example, if you want prosperity you have to think prosperous thoughts. In spell-casting if you simply state “I want to be prosperous” then you’ll get exactly what you asked for. You will always be wanting to be prosperous because this is what you just stated. Your intention has to be crystal-clear or magic can work against you without you perhaps realizing what has happened.

Nwyfre. In Druidry this is the life-force that surrounds, flows through, and penetrates all things and places. Being aware of nwyfre is essential to practicing the art of magic. If you have been practicing magic then you know that real magic is natural, not unnatural. Magic flows from your awareness of nwyfre and follows natural patterns. If you were brought up in Western society you were taught that magic didn’t exist and there was scientific reason surrounding everything. We are so ingrained with this that we become disenchanted and disconnected from nature. It’s tough at first to let go of this thought process, but when you do, you will notice you can pick up on nwyfre. I had one example of this happen to me a couple of days ago.

I was taking a shower getting ready for work; like I do every morning. In my showers I tend to think of what I need to do that day and map it out. For some reason a couple of days ago I had this feeling that their was a fire. The feeling of the fire was so intense that I thought it could be my home that was on fire. I immediately got out of the shower and looked around but no fire. I thought it was a bit strange, but I was thankful there wasn’t a fire. Later that day, on my way home from work I noticed a black smoke blanket the sky a few blocks from my house. At first, I thought it was storm clouds coming over head (that’s how dense the smoke was). I quickly realized that it wasn’t storm clouds but a thick smoke from something burning. It turned out that there was a huge brush fire that spotaneously erupted in a remote section my town due to the dry air. At that moment I thought “holy crap, I picked up on the flow of nwyfre earlier this morning!” I wanted to chalk it up to coincidence, but that was my Western trained mind to think logically about the events that had occured.

The point of all of this is that if we open up our minds and bodies to the flows of nature we will soon learn to communicate and work magically with nature. Either that or I just told a cool little story 🙂

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My Druid studies have taken me to this point; a circle. Looks simple enough, does it not? The one common thing most people will notice is that the circle is not linear. The circle is continuous and never-ending. See what I am getting at? No? Well, let me explain. Once you start looking at your life, nature, seasons, and days, you will soon come to realize that we are not so linear. There is no straight line from birth to death. Everything, and I mean everything, is cylical. Once you see how the circle works in the natural world and in your life you will start to understand that you are an equal part of the natural world; just the same as a squirrel or chipmunk. See, the circle packs quite a punch! When I first discovered this whole idea it really changed the way I looked at the entire natural world and the energies it has to offer. Now it’s time to explain how the circle works; then you will get a broader understanding at the power of the circle.

The Circle as Your Life:

Get a picture of a circle drawn in your mind or draw it on a piece of paper if you need to in order to visualize what I am speaking of. I will use cardinal directions to help explain. At the top (North) of the circle this represents Birth/Death/Re-birth. Now, move clockwise to East. This point in the circle represents Youth/Young Adulthood. Continue now to the South as this represents your Middle Age/Mature period in life. Then move West as this represents the Elder years of your life and preparing for death. Then you arrive back up to the top (North) of the circle where you are re-born again.

Next I’ll explain the fact that this ties directly in with the Seasons, the days, the Sun, and the Moon. See, we are not creatures intended to be disconnected from the Natural World and its energies. Bear with me.

The Seasons:

We place this at the top (North) of the circle. Why? Because after the Winter Solstice, which marks the longest night of the year, the new year is being born/re-born. The days are growing with light, the Sun is getting stronger. Druids, in ritual, light a single candle to signify the birth of a year. This also explains why in the 4th century that Christians marked this time as the birth of Jesus; since there was no historical evidence to make such a claim, it makes sense to place his birth at this time.

We set this at the East of the circle. The year is starting to bloom and grow. Just as in our life we are blooming and growing during our youth.

We set this at the South of the circle. This is when the year is mature and strong. Temperatures are hottest. All blooming and maturation of creatures are complete.

We set this at the West of the circle. We are now reaping the harvest of the year as the natural world is beginning to weaken and prepare for death until the new year is reborn.

We complete this seasonal circle back to the Winter Solstice. See, I don’t see the winter months as cold, dark, and dreary; although perfectly acceptable if you do. I see the winter months as a time for reflection and meditation as energy and light are slowly gaining momentum.

Sun and Days:

Midnight:If the Sun rises in the East and Sets in the West, then we place midnight at the North point of the circle. This is when the Sun has died for the day and is preparing for re-birth.

Dawn: Placed at the East of the circle, as mentioned above, the Sun rises in the East. This is when the day is growing and becoming mature.

Noon-to-Mid Afternoon: Placed at the South of the circle. This is when the day reaches the height of its maturity. The point of the day when the Sun is the strongest.

Dusk: Placed at the West of the circle. The Sun sets in the West. This is the point in the day when its preparing for death (mid-night). The day is old. We prepare for sleep until the birth of a new day.

Up next is the Moon. Many people in the Wiccan and Druid paths use the Moon for its potent energies for use in their magical spells and rituals. Let’s face it; the moon’s energies affects our moods, the tides of our waters, and those of the living World. The Moon is very powerful. Many spells and rituals are created around the phases of the moon. Once you understand the moon’s energies you can then create your own spells and rituals. This is much more powerful than reading spells from a book that may or may not really get to the heart of what you want in your particular spell. When you think of the moon’s phases in terms of a circle, then you can truly understand and harness its energies.

Moon Phases:

New/Dark Moon: Place the New/Dark Moon at the North point of the circle. This is when the moon’s energies die and are being re-born. A lot of people like to use this time to recharge, recoup, or relax. I personally use this time to meditate or take to magical studies in preparation for the next Moon’s energy.

Waxing Moon: Place the Waxing Moon at the East point of the circle. Think of this phase in the same way you think of youth, dawn, and spring. The Moon’s energy is growing and gaining strength by the day. This would be a great time to write or perform spells to bring gains into your life.

Full Moon: Place the Full Moon at the South point of the circle. This phase is just like middle-age, summer, and noon. This is when the Moon’s energy is the strongest. All spells during this phase are in play. Remember, the energy is the strongest, so make sure you choose your spells wisely; they are going to be very potent during this phase.

Waning Moon: Place the Waning Moon at the West point of the circle. This phase is just like elder years, autumn, and dusk. The Moon’s energy is slowly dying. This is a great time for spells that are meant for banishing. However, if you really do need a gain in your life during this phase, just create a spell for its opposite. For example, if you need money and it can’t wait until the Waxing Moon, just create a spell to banish the financial problem you are currently going through. Get it? Good!

We complete the Moon circle back to the Dark/New Moon. Now, when you step outside and look up at the moon you will be able to tell what phase the Moon is in just by looking at it.

Yes, I realize this is a lenghty blog post, but its an important one. I will admit, I used to be one of those people who thought very linearly. But when I decided to look at the World and my life in terms of a circle suddenly this basic shape took on a very powerful meaning. Everything is born, then dies, and is reborn; you become a much more powerful and enlightened person when you realize this. Now you can see why Wiccans and Druids perform rituals in a circle. The circle is constantly flowing with energy. In solitary rituals you stand at the center of your circle, not only for protection, but to represent the Spirit or the Sun (as the Earth revolves around the Sun). A circle can be as big or small as you want. When you are in a group ritual and you open the circle to create a crescent moon shape you are just making the circle bigger to include whatever you may be facing into the circle.

Remember, the circle is powerful. As you begin to harness energies of the Natural World think in terms of a circle to be your guide. Once you realize this you begin to see that you become a very powerful, magical, and wise person. When you step outside your door you realize your toolkit is vast and immense. There is so much at your disposal and suddenly your eyes open to the amazement of what you have to work with to bring betterment to yourself and your community.

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The Awen I sing,
From the deep I bring it,
A river while it flows,
I know its extent;
I know when it disappears;
I know when it fills;
I know when it overflows;
I know when it shrinks;
I know what base
There is beneath the sea.

From a medieval Welsh Poem by Taliesin

There are some people who ask me about the meaning of Awen. They tell me it sounds an awful lot like Amen to them. Granted, I think these two words are closely linked etiologically, but nonetheless different.
Much of what I know about Awen comes from my studies with OBOD (see link on right-hand side). I have yet to experience true Awen. Awen is the goal of the Druid. In most Druid circles Awen means “Blessing of the Gods” or “Gift of the Goddess”.
Awen is the elixir of inspiration that brings illumination, clarity, and wisdom to any who experience it.
As Druids we are healers, diviners, shamans, wisdom-keepers, etc…so naturally a Druid’s goal is to taste Awen.
Awen will pass you by if you don’t slow life down and really open your eyes and heart and listen to what the natural world and Gods are saying to you.
Like I stated previously, I have yet to experience Awen, but it is my goal. What I have learned to do in my Druid studies is start to slow life down and really open my eyes and ears to a whole new existence. Once I master this then I can move on to another phase of my training.
To have a better understanding of Awen I suggest reading the Celtic myth of Ceridwen and her search for Awen.

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It’s not often that an artist produces music that can alter your mood or put you in an imaginative frame of mind.  Yet Michael Cretu, who is the mastermind behind Enigma, does this time and time again.  I’m going to be very absolute in the next statement but it’s true (for me).  Every single one of Enigma’s songs has the potential to take you to a different realm (others like to call it astral planes or otherworlds).

Some of his work touches on Christian themes others touch on pagan themes.  Some of his work blends the two seemlessly (great for those Christo-pagans).

In my Druid path there is one song that is short in length but packs a big punch lyrically.  The very essence of who I am as a Druid, or rather, who I strive to be as a Druid is captured in “The Cross of Changes”.  Read these lyrics and it will provide you with a small look into the world of a Druid.

Lyrics and video:

If you understand or if you don’t

If you believe or if you doubt

There’s a universal justice

And the eyes of truth

Are always watching you

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