Archive for June, 2008
I was perusing the the links on my blogroll today, and realized I need to update it. Tir na Ouray hasn’t been updated in a year (maybe hypocritical of me since P & P used to be that way but…) And Pagan Sojourn has become a private blog. That is too bad, since from reading it, I found out the the writer attends a local UU church- and I wanted to see if it’s the same one I’ve been attending! Well, maybe I’ll find out another time. There are only so many UU Pagans around here after all. Jehovah’s Fitness I really enjoyed while it lasted but it looks like it has fizzled out. The blogger is a college student, and I suspect he may have gotten too busy with schoolwork. Still, I will keep bookmarks to them on my del.icio.us to have access to the posts, and in case they do update. There are a few others which haven’t been updated in a few months but I’ll wait and see.
There are other blogs I’ve come across that I think I will add, including some of the ones from the Druid Blogosphere post. I think I’ll add some Hellenic and UU blogs as well.
About a month or so ago Pentecost was coming up and I asked my fiance to explain the history behind it. He explained that in the Book of Acts, the Apostles got together to celebrate the then Jewish holiday of Pentecost. They were feeling discouraged and didn’t know what to do next in since the ascension of Jesus. A wind came into the room, and flames appeared above their heads. They began speaking in different languages- ones that they couldn’t speak normally. Since people from all around the Jewish Diaspora of the time were there, various individuals understood Greek, Aramaic, Turkish and other tongues they were speaking. “How could this be happening?” They wondered. These were signs of God’s presence. God was trying to tell them not to give up- that He/She is always with them, and to continue with Christ’s mission.
Perhaps it is precisely because of the subtle and internal nature of the Holy Spirit it celebrates, Pentecost of all major Christian holidays has not been secularized. In the Trinitarian concept of the Christian God, the Person of the Holy Spirit is the most immanent- or present in this world. I realized that the concept of the Holy Spirit is closest to the way Pagans often view the Divine- especially the Goddess. In Gnostic thought, the Holy Spirit was also seen as feminine- as Sophia, the personification of Wisdom. This also reminds me of the Shekhinah, the feminine aspect of the Jewish view of God- who is also quite immanent- God was said to have sent the Shekhinah to “dwell among” the people of Israel.
Pagans tend to emphasize divine immanence while Christians tend in general to view God more transcendently. However this is not always the case. Christian mystics, sects such as Quakers (not all of whom see themselves as Christian) and others see God more as immanent. Pentecostals out of all Christians emphasize the Holy Spirit the most, and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit like speaking in tongues, healing etc. Strangely, despite their usually conservative theology, it is the Pentecostals in practice who are the most spiritually ecstatic. (Likewise with the Jewish sect of Hasidism).
*These ideas have been percolating in my mind for a while and I wondered if it was too late for a Pentecost-themed post but then on glancing at the Religion Calendar in the newspaper I realized that it was Eastern Orthodox Pentecost next Sunday. So I guess you could say this post is on Orthodox Standard Time!
I stand at the crossroads- a magical place, between the mists. I stand at a fork in the road, not knowing what path to take. I know what I must do, yet I am paralyzed with fear.
Every few years I go through a period of great change. Usually this involves a lot of maturing on my part both internally and in reaction to changes that are going on in my life. The years from 2007 to 2009 are one of those times, and this one is especially big. I am engaged to be married, rather cluelessly trying to find a job, and my immediate family is in the process of moving across the country. They will keep the house to rent out to my fiance and I. It’s just too much!
I recently read a book about the psychological costs of too many choices, called the Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz. One of the things the author warned about was of making social comparisons, something I am all too guilty of. I have stressed out and become depressed a lot during and since college over being good enough or as good as others around me- though really it’s more how I perceive them then they really are. The quality of my papers and grades just didn’t equal the level intelligence others told me I have- a frustration commonly faced by people whose minds are wired differently than the expected norm- or “learning disabled” as society labels us.
A few weeks ago there was kind of a straw that broke the camel’s back- the pastor at my partner’s church was leaving for a call to another congregation. This may sound weird but like my partner, I was quite close to him. I didn’t really have any clergyperson of my own faith, but he more than sufficed- both in that role and as a friend and mentor. My fiance sat down and prayed with me to his God to help us with the changes we’re facing.
So, here’s a prayer to one of mine:
Hekate Trivia- Lady of the Crossroads
You who initiate us, and transform us from one state to another
May you guide me with your torched lifted high
The path before me may be dark and unseen, but let me be free of fear
Let this transformation make me stronger- for myself, for my family, for You.
Yvonne over on MetaPagan is trying to get collections of blogs on various traditions, countries etc. So I thought I would contribute to this effort with a post on Druid and Celtic Pagan blogs. Now the Druid community is quite diverse, even spanning outside the Pagan community- as some forms of Druidry see it as a philosophy that includes different religions. Others see it as specifically Pagan/polytheistic or culturally Celtic. I’m also throwing in some Celtic polytheists who might not call themselves Druids per se.
Revival Druids (listing them first since, after all they did come first!)
Philip Carr-Gomm’s Weblog Phil is the leader of the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids, (OBOD) the largest Druid group in the world. He writes about a variety of topics, including ecology, nudism/naturism and Transcendentalism.
The Weekly Owl Alferian MacLir, is the Chief Druid of the local OBOD grove, and a friend/acquaintance of mine. He’s quite interested in the development of Druid education, philosophy and the intersection of Druidry with Freemasonry/Western Hermetic tradition.
Meadowsweet & Myrrh I really have been enjoying the writings of Ali, a young poet who walks the vibrant and often challenging path of a Christian Druid. I urge you to take a look at and consider her responses to the assumptions many Pagans have about her faith.
The ArchDruid Report John Michael Greer is the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA) author of many books, including the Druid Handbook and A World Full of Gods. His blog is very focussed on ecological issues.
NeoPagan Druids and Celtic Reconstructionists
Searching for Imbas– Erynn Rowan Laurie, Celtic Reconstructionist author of Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom, discusses various aspects of her practice of filidecht, the mystical poetic tradition of Scotland & Ireland.
Living the Path of Mist– Juni’s thoughts as she creates a spirituality she calls “Conair an Cheo” the Path of Mist (which is heavily influenced by CR)
Seanchas Fior– Finn is also working on a personal path of the same name as the blog, this one focussed on the power of story and poetry, much like filidecht.
Many individuals document spiritual training programs that they are going through on their blogs. In particular I have found many working on ADF’s Dedicant Path and AODA’s Apprentice Degree. OBOD’s training material is secret, so it’s doubtful that there’s any journals focussed on it, but possible I suppose. I’m friends with so many other Dedicants on Livejournal that it’s hard to choose but I will post a few.
Druid’s Apprentice Nettle writes a lot about nature, fairies, cooking and other down-to-earth matters.
Dedicant Ivy Ivy’s path draws on Norse traditions as well as Ceremonial magick.
Earth-shaker ADF This one hasn’t been updated in a year, but there are some interesting ideas and takes on Druidry here.
Confessions of an Urban Druid Mam Adar has finished her AODA 1st Degree and is beginning on her 2nd. She has also become a student of Buddhism.
The Path Unwinding And of course, here’s my Dedicant/spiritual practice journal.
Please comment if you have any others to add. My criteria are that the blog is active and writes fairly frequently about Druidism and/or Celtic spirituality, in an intelligent and interesting way. (I think I spent about an hour putting this post together, LOL!)