‘Hear Me Roar’

I have recently come across a break down of ancient Irish law (Brehon) which shows nine ‘virtues’:

*Honour
*Justice
*Loyalty
*Courage
*Community
*Hospitality
*Gentleness
*Wisdom
*Eloquence

I could do a whole post on them, breaking them down further and explore their meanings and definitions, but I’ll do that another time.

Right now, I want to focus on just one of those virtues… Courage.

Have you ever been inspired by a sentance or a phrase? Maybe even just two or three words that seem to shout out to you and give you the kick up the ass needed?

Mine came from a tattoo.

More accurately, it’s a quote from a movie that I read on someone’s arm.

Artemis had a friend round, Sandy, who stayed with us for a couple of days.  We were chatting and seeing the tattoos on her arms, I asked if I could read the words on one of them.  And when I did, it was exactly what I needed to hear…. If reading can be classed as listening.  And here it is:

Picture of Sandy and her tattoo, used with kind permission of Sandy... I owe her pizza for this!
Picture of Sandy and her tattoo, used with kind permission of Sandy… I owe her pizza for this!

Full Quote: “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it. “
Benjamin Mee, ‘We Bought A Zoo’.

Or as Sandy put it: “… to stop being a pussy…

I have never seen the movie, as someone who worries a lot (especially about things that haven’t even happened!), this has stuck with me.  It has become my mantra for 2015.  And it is sooooo true!

We live in an age of fear.  Fear of not being accepted, fear of offending someone, fear of the future, fear of being hurt.  Fear of war, fear of being sued, fear of doing the right thing (because we end up being accused if we do… If you believe what the Newspapers say, anyway).

Courage is something that is seriously lacking in our world, boy do we need it!

One of the reasons I look to the past is that there are tales of Courage and heroism, and not all of them are centred around men and the ideology of the Male Principle.  To turn around and do what is right, to do the thing no one else can or will, to make a stand.  That takes courage.

I’m not saying we need to start running around being reckless or stupid, but what would happen if we all started acting bravely? What if we dared, on a day by day basis, to have ourselves of 20 seconds of courage?

You know the ones, right? It’s that feeling in the back of your head and in your gut.  Something happens and for a moment the world stops.  You know you need to act… Do you?

There are a number of occasions that I remember where I should have acted, but didn’t.  I believe that courage can be built up, if we have the will to do something… DO IT! 20 seconds.  That’s a lifetime in a split moment.  Don’t waste it.

Tell someone ‘No’, say ‘Yes’ to something that you’d normally be scared of.  Dare to step in when your friends argue, tell that girl you have a crush on that she’s beautiful, go and do that thing you’ve always been wanting to do but never have done (if not now, then when?).

I’m done with being unsure, like the Lion from The Wizard of Oz once he realised he had his courage already within, it is time to ROAR! *  It’s time to stop reacting and start acting.  20 seconds…. That’s all it takes.

Photo by Christian Dubstep
Photo by Christian Dubstep

*Yeah, I took the title from the Lannister family motto from Game of Thrones… Wat’cha gonna do!?

Fidelity To Your Deity?

Merry Imbolc, folks!

I found it curious that in modern Druidry, Imbolc has been declared as the first celebration of Spring.

Seriously?

I mean, this is when Winter bites the hardest, right? The nights are gradually getting shorter, but they aren’t getting warmer just yet.  When the air is milder and the birds return and that smell of plant life is here THEN come back and tell me we can start celebrating Spring!

Be that as it may, I brought in Imbolc at home on Sunday 1st Feb (I know… Going with the modern calendar instead of the New Moon in February -18th for Astronomers and 21st for the religious- what WAS I thinking!?) by taking down the Yule decorations and keeping my Tree Lights up on my wall.  I also put my lava lamp in a more prime place… Bringing in the light indeed!

I also did a very short and private honouring ceremony, I was meant to be joining my friends for a night of Geeky pleasures, but wanted to give offerings to the Divine.

I lit my candle and offered the Gift of Air: Patchouli incense for honouring the Gods.  The Gift of Liquid: Seeming it was Imbolc or “Lactation” I thought Goats Milk was appropriate.  For the Gift of Earth I offered a bowl of cooked pork mince (homemade Bolognese sauce- from scratch muddafukka!) As Pork is food of the Gods, after all.  This is a version of the Land, Sky, Sea mind set which I developed on. 

I dedicated these to the Cailleach (Grandmother), The Morrigan (Queen) and to Brighid (Lady).  The bracketed titles are just what I feel drawn to when those Goddesses come to mind.  I just don’t see them as the Maid, Mother, Crone that modern Paganism is so keen to pigeonhole.  Afterwards, I sat in silence for a few moments and was urged to use the DAO. 

image
Bringing in the light... Unconvetionally!

I pulled out the card, Corr, the Crane, upright.  The card of patience, transition and hidden knowledge.  I’d read somewhere that it was one of the Birds of the River Goddesses, so I took it to mean that the Goddesses I called to were pleased with my offerings.  Just as well, because I encountered something I didn’t expect: a question of loyalty.

For all those who normally follow my blog, then you’ll already know I work with and revere the Morrigan.  And in a way, dedicating this seasonal celebration to her and two others, seemed (at least in my mind) like I was cheating on Her.  The card helped alleviate this, but there was still that niggling feeling of ‘Aawww! You’ve included other Goddesses… Just you wait until she finds out!’ In the back of my mind.  Which is ridiculous.  Both Morrigan and Brighid come from the Tuatha De Danaan and I have sworn no fealty to only one.  By rights, I have paid my respects with Danu, Brighid, Lugh, The Dagda and the Cailleach and even Dian Cecht before the Morrigan came into my life.  I certainly didn’t replace her with either of the two deities, I gave respect according to their seasons: End of Autumn for the Cailleach and the ending of Winter for Brighid.

The way I see it, The Morrigan is my prime Goddess.  She is my teacher and guide to my ‘warrior’ self.  The part of me that requires action.  Brighid is a Goddess of Bards (amongst others) and is a bringer of the flames of inspiration which can only be made physical by action.  The Cailleach, in whichever version I am talking to…. Being in the East Midlands, I am going to guess Black Annis is the Cailleach of these lands… a future blog there, methinks! She is the primal Goddess of Time and its cycles, the mysteries she knows of are more ancient and deeper than any.  And because I accept there are more than one deities in the universe, I was quite pleased when the Crane card came up.  If it does indeed symbolise the water goddesses, then that means no harm done and respect was rightly given for all three.