Category Archives: Musings/Thoughts

A Cardinal Point

It’s been a week since ‘The Beast From the East’ hit Great Britain and Ireland. When I was originally typing this on Tuesday there wasn’t much evidence of the snow as it had either melted or had been washed away by the rain. Only sludge remained. Now, it’s completely gone.

Now, it’s not often we get snow in our country anymore. At least, nothing thick or what you would call ‘Proper Snow’. I remember as a kid back in the 1980’s of trying to build an igloo with my cousins, or even school being cancelled because the teachers couldn’t get there….. last week’s snow was a rarity.

In both Modern Druidry and the Western Magical Tradition the Cardinal Directions of the ceremonial circle are often associated with the following Alchemical Elements and a season:

East: Air (Spring)

South: Fire (Summer)

West: Water (Autumn)

North: Earth (Winter).

For those already familiar with this, so far so ordinary, right? Let me offer an alternative angle…..

Surely it makes more sense to have the element of water to go with Winter and for the element of earth to go with Autumn? At Autumn, that’s when it’s all about harvesting fruit and vegetables from the plants and the ground, right? Then there’s the leaves falling to the earth, that will then become mulch. You can even smell the decomposition.

At Winter, there is rain, fog, frost, snow and ice. There was even icicles last week, I haven’t seen icicles in decades! Also, for the Celts, water and fog were seen as portals to the Otherworld. As well as being a time of hardship and difficulty, Winter would have been a season when not everyone would have survived until snowmelt. Supposedly, the Gallic name for February translated as “The Month when no one travels.” ….. because the snow would have made it hazardous to trade. And if you were caught out in a blizzard and couldn’t find your way……

Ah, but Locksley, what are you saying? Have you not considered the geographical settings: the warm winds of the East, the warmer it gets the farther South you go, the Atlantic ocean to the west and the highlands of Scotland to the North?

Yes, yes of course I have, but let’s not forget that the Cardinal Points in this respect are flexible to the physical geography around them, too. Posing a question about this to my Grove-mates, Strider revealed he had attended a ceremony where the traditional elements of East and West were swapped around. Going one further, he suggested the directions of the Lincolnshire coast could go something like this: West as Earth (The Wolds, North as air (sky in this case) and East as water (the sea).

Either way, this all goes to show if a ritualistic act is going to be nature based, then it should be organically changed to suit the local environment.


Viking Mentality

During my day job’s busiest season, every store in the area was encouraged to take up what was called a ‘Viking Mentality’. This was partly for fun and gave us a theme to play with as we worked the season. Every store in the area took photos of staff in costume for our yearly charity calendar. Despite the fun aspect, it was mainly employed to inspire us to tap into our selling ‘Killer Instinct’ to make every sale count.

This was all started by someone reading a blog post by Bjørn Andreas Bull-Hansen. Upon reading a printed version of this blog post, I was indeed inspired! Not just in making every sale count; but more importantly, I found this applies to life in general.

Bull-Hansen does write that this way of thinking won’t be for everyone, but it resonated with me and I took it to heart. I have reworked some of the tenets as I didn’t want my interpretations to copy his…. that and these are what I understood them to say. I already do some of these and I’m working on others:

Be Courageous – Nothing is accomplished without action. Believe in yourself.

Never Give Up – If you want something enough, what are you going to do to get it?

Seek Wisdom – learn from your mistakes as well as the knowledge of others.

Seek Challenges – If we do not push ourselves, then how do we achieve?

Respect Others and Yourself – Offer respect to all and make yourself respectable. (Aka- Don’t be a dick!)

Take Opportunities – If an opportunity presents itself, seize it! You’ll only have yourself to blame.

Value Loyalty – If you don’t have loyalty in those close to you or even to yourself, what do you have?

Let Your Actions Speak For You – It’s all very well saying what you’re going to do, but what did you actually do?

Live the Life You Want -What’s it going to be?

Turn Disadvantages into Advantages – Turn your situation around, whatever the difficulty. Aka “Quit yer bitchin’ sort yourself out and make some good.

In Bull-Hansen’s original post there are only seven tenets, but he has written a whole series on this subject. Could these apply to you? Do you think you could/should adopt a ‘Viking Mentality’?