The Morrigan?

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I’m supposed to be asleep and yet I feel charged to write this blog…right now (“Do it! Do it now! NOW!!!” Whispers the Voice- HER voice).

Not even performing the Light Body Exercise helped calm my mind, sooth my soul or quieten my spirit.  All I can think of is today’s sign (as I wish to call it that).

I was just about to pour my beaten eggs into the frying pan, this lunch time, when there was a great cawing outside.  Me and Artemis (my housemate, not the Goddess… although…) made a joke about my cat having pissed the crows off.  I went outside to see what the commotion was and looked up at the house behind us…. perched upon the rooftop were three crows all yelling their heads off.  I said one word in acknowledgement, a name: ‘Morrigan’.  I said it quite flippantly.  Immediately the cawing stopped and two crows flew off, from where I was standing, one East, the other West.  One remained in the North.  As soon as Artemis commented in amazement that they stopped once I said the name of a Goddess, I knew it had to be a sign, or a message.  Didn’t get time to ponder as my food was frying!

By the time I came back out the third crow had gone… was I too late?

I’ve been pondering what this could mean… if anything at all.  To me this is a harbinger of some kind, of what I don’t yet know.

The first time I was aware of Raven as a harbinger was back in 1999 when I discovered I had absent mindedly doodled a raven whilst talking to a friend on the phone.  That was a BIG year for me: I had my sexual awakening and began University.

The second time was the card I drew on the first day of this year signifying destruction and initiation must take place before rebuilding can begin… that’ll be me and Pipes separating and both of us no longer living in our home of almost seven years.  Oh yeah! I’ve moved house by the way!

So, to hear three very loud crows and see two fly off (one to the direction of the intellect and new ideas, the other to the direction of the emotions and the subconscious; and the last remaining in the direction of matter, the senses and physicality means something else is coming.  What, I’m not sure.  But this time, I intend to be ready.

Looks like I’d better start asking the Morrigan, see what she’s trying to say.

Oh Lady Morrigan,
Lady of the swift sword of battle,
Lady of the burning heart of lust and desire,
Lady of the hidden secrets of magic.

Let me hear you, let me see you, let me kiss you.”

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Goddess of Another Land…

Wow! Really!? My last blog was back in April!?…..

Well that’s screwed up my attempt at making this blog fortnightly (why do people call this “biweekly” nowadays? Do folks just turn bisexual every two weeks or something?).  Oh well, I’d best get on with it.

Basically, this year a LOT has happened.  Remember my card reading for this year? See here.
Well it looks like the catalyst for my life giving way to destruction in order to build something new has happened:

Me and Pipes parted ways back in the first week of March.  Yep, our marriage has been called to an end.  We are separated but still friends, which is important.  I will not deny Pipes has been a very big influence in my life and she still means much to me.  To some of you, this will be no news whatsoever.  To others, this will be big news indeed, I’m sorry, I haven’t had the chance to tell everyone yet and I sure as hell wasn’t going to do it as a Facebook status.

What has this got to do with the title?

Well, in mid May, I had the fortune of going to Cyprus to celebrate my Dad’s 60th birthday and my parent’s 35th wedding anniversary (2014 would have been mine and Pipe’s 6th) for an entire week.

The sun was hot, the skies blue and the sea aquamarine and refreshing.  The food was gorgeous, especially if you go for a meze where you get dishes and dishes and dishes of different food in many courses.

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A Briton in a Greek land (I know Cypriot is its own culture and language, just bear with me, OK?) What was a follower of the gods of the Isle of Destiny and the Isle of the Mighty to do?

Pay homage of course!

The first night we were there, we saw the gorgeous full moon and all the stars surrounding her.  From the villa, we could see the sea to the south, the mountains to the north, and the air had a welcome coolness.  I saluted Luna on her beauty and asked for the blessings of Earth, Sky and Sea as well as those of Aphrodite herself.  This was her Island and I wanted to pay tribute… all with a cool can of KEO beer!

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Aphrodite’s Bath.  Photo by Locksley2010.

On the Sunday we went to visit the Baths of Aphrodite, where she walked from the mountains to bathe in the rock pool.  It was a lot smaller than I imagined, but it was still beautiful.  There was even a sign to warn you against dipping your feet in it.  Quite right too.
I didn’t know how to approach, so I waited until it was quiet and I removed my hat and sunglasses then knelt on the slabs before the pool.  I called upon Aphrodite; allowing me to come to this wonderful place and to give thanks on any blessings she gave while I was in her land.  I’m not familiar with how Aphrodite should have been honoured, so I did it like I would to the goddesses of home… I spoke to the water.  I then felt compelled to put a hand into the cool water and wipe it all across my face.  So I did.  I got up and gave a bow to the pool only to turn around to a young couple looking at me in total disgust.  I flashed them my “Yeah, I spoke to the water, go fuck yourself” smile and carried on my way.

It was whilst we walked down the mountains on a hike that my Aunt pointed out that Aphrodite must have been one hell of a strong woman to have done the walk every day… she’s a goddess, she probably shape-shifted into a bird perhaps or one of the goats that were stampeding down the path…

On the last few hours of being in that beautiful country, we came upon Aphrodite’s rock. 

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Aphrodite’s Rock, photo by Locksley2010… still think it looks phallic…

This was where she was born, allegedly.  The rock itself is the smallest of three lone standing natural pillars.  I think it looks like the tip of a glans.

I wanted to pay my last respects before saying good bye to the land and its goddess, so I squatted in the surf, letting the sea drift over my boots.  Placing my hands into the flowing sea, I called upon Aphrodite once more, thanking her for the experiences shared and lessons learned.  I then found myself chatting with her.  Telling of my heartbreak and of how I faced it.  I couldn’t help it, it just seemed natural to talk to the goddess of love about what I endured.  I even asked her something personal, for advice, blessings and inspirations… I certainly didn’t expect a response! A voice! A voice in my head and my heart.  It wasn’t my voice, it wasn’t a woman’s voice… it was just there.  What it said took me by surprise and made my joyful and sad all at the same time.
I then gave thanks and took my leave, running the seawater all over my arms.  I took a tissue from my pocket (yes, it was clean and unused!) and tied it to the tree that so many others had done, all asking for Aphrodite to help in some way.  I only asked that I make the right choice.  There were hundreds of clooties, some of tissue paper, some of plastic carriers, some of shirts.

So, what did Aphrodite say? What took me by surprise? That, dear reader is between me and the Goddess of another Land.

Deep Questions pt.1 – ‘Why Druidry?’

It has been three weeks since the Centre For Pagan Studies conference ‘A Day For Patricia Crowther’.  I had been asked to co-host and spent the day pretty much being a nervous wreck (I think I covered it up OK).  I’m not used to performing as myself, I’m more of a costume and character kind of guy.

So I took my first beer of the day, at the end of the event, with the utmost glee.
Afterwards, we went to the ‘Gooseberry Bush’ for drinks and I managed to catch up with some friends of mine I hadn’t seen for a long while.  I was chatting with my friend Daniel and from the Newark Home & Hearth Pagan Group: The Nathans, Heidi and Helen.

I love debate, especially when questions are brought up that allow me to really think about what and why I do the things I do:

‘So, why Druidry?’
Why indeed.  Why would I follow a philosophy/ spirituality that conjures up images of long haired bearded men cutting off mistletoe at the Winter Solstice with a golden sickle (Thanks Pliny, thanks a lot!).
Why would I use a system that can claim only to be at least 3-400 years old in maturation?

The quick answer: Because it feels right.

There you go, that’s it.  What’s that? You want more? But that’s the basis of it all, that’s the Truth (and classical Druidry was all about Truth).  It is the flavour of spirituality and Paganism that resonates the most with me.

OK, here is how:

Since my childhood, I was always interested in the paranormal, ghosts, mysteries of the unexplained and UFO’s the lot (and scared of them too).  There were two books that were a main influence: ‘Folk Tales and Superstitions‘ by S.O. Addy, my first ever glimpse into Antiquarianism and folk lore of local areas.  The other was ‘Strange South Yorkshire: Myths and Magic in the Valley of the Don’. By David Clarke
(influenced, in turn, by the former).
In that book, I first encountered a brief description of the Celtic tribe known as the Brigantes, whom had dominated what was to become part of the North of England (The Brigantes dominated what is now Northumberland to South Yorkshire, approximately).
  Since then, my interest in Paganism had always been attracted to the Celtic flavour rather than say, Anglo-Saxon, Norse or Traditional British Witchcraft.
  It is the pull of the gods in the hills and trees as well as the goddesses of the waters I feel drawn to as well as the glory of our Sun and the beauty of our Moon.

I would never go so far as to say I am a follower of the ‘Old Celtic Ways’ neither am I a Celtic revivalist.  But the gods that speak to me, the ones that inspire me and guide me do belong to those people who are nowadays known as ‘Celts’.  And the Celts had Druids.  It is debatable as to what they really were, Priests? Surgeons? Poets? The intelligentsia of their people, a combination of all of these?
The one thing I really like about Modern Druidry, especially in OBOD, is that it doesn’t pretend to be a direct descendent of classical Druidry, although some can claim to trace a vague lineage at best.  A Druid nowadays would be vastly different from a Druid from 2500 years ago.

Ergo, in my belief in that I connect with the Old Gods of Britain herself, yes I use the Irish names for them individually, but the similarities between the gods of the ‘Isle of the Mighty’ and the ‘Isle of Destiny’ are there, linguistically and in character.  Danu, for instance is ‘Don’ in Britain, the Mother Goddess herself.  I write about this in the A Message‘ post.

So when I learned there were modern Druids, I originally scoffed at the idea, how can that be when they are dead?

It wasn’t until I came across the book ‘The Druid Renaissance‘ and was brought to tears with a chapter about connecting with the Land that I thought, maybe this modern Druid stuff is more than just a ‘Druid flavoured witchcraft thing’.  And yes.  Yes it is.
Since studying and practicing Druidry I have faced parts of myself I am not proud of, I have admitted to myself where I am wrong and have done wrong.  Through connecting with my Bardic Self, I have reconnected with the flame of creativity within.  I have begun to reconnect with the actor/storyteller I have denied myself for these past seven years… and connecting with them yet again feels right.

The aim of Druidry in both the classical and modern sense is the encouraging of Awen or Imbas, the divine spark of inspiration.  If this comes with my performing self, then that is my path.
And if Druidry is the seeking of Awen, then that is why it it feels right for me.

I did also discuss about looking to Druidry to help me connect with the spiritual source of these lands.  I’ll go more into detail about that in part 3.

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Awen photo supplied by Martin Eddy… 2mins ago!

Waters of the World Ritual- March 2014

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Pre-Full Moon. By locksley2010.

I write this after just stuffing myself with Chinese food and orange juice, waiting to digest, I thought I’d drop in and recount today’s ceremony.

Today was the Warriors Call ritual of ‘Waters if the World’.  Where Pagans are encouraged to gather and perform a ceremony that MUST at some point have a sacred plant placed into a river or the sea.  The idea being that this plant becomes a vessel for healing energy that then flows from where ever and eventually leads to the sea.  On its course the plant carries its healing and protective energy to help keep our water and air safe from the poisons of Fracking.

I led the SpellCrafters Moot ceremony by the Nottingham Canal.  After the six of us had met, we went down the canal side and didn’t have to walk far to find a nice secluded area.  There was even a gorgeous gibbous moon lighting the way.

We made a circle of ourselves and one lady said she didn’t like having her back to the water, so I took her place.  Strangely enough, I knew what she meant.  There was indeed a pull from the canal, as though it wanted me to step back and fall in…

I had brought a nice young healthy Aloe Vera plant to act as our sacrificial vessel.  It was the offspring of its parent that I was given last year, so I thought it appropriate.  I gave the plant some of my healing energy and thoughts, passed it to the next person on my left and so on and so on until it came back to me.  I purposefully didn’t want us to call on the quarters because I wanted us to imbue the plant with blessings from the elements.  We were just about to bless it when we heard voices and a small group of hooded men walked our way.  Their voices carried until they walked around us in stoned silence (they reeked of skunk-grass-marijuana-whatever they call it nowadays) and carried on their way, looking back at whatever we were doing.  Back to the blessing we chanted for all four (spirit already flows through, plus its spirit we used to give the protective and healing energies back to the water in the first place):

Air: From the gentle breeze around us.To inspire those who are opposed to Fracking and to find ways of fighting it.
Blow, blow, blow, blow…

Fire: From the reflected light of the Sun on our Moon.
To keep the inner fire of keeping up the fight in the land as well as the anti-fracking campaigners.
Glow, glow, glow, glow…”

Water: The canal, which flows from and back to the River Trent.
To accept our sacred plant and carry the energy given to where it is needed and to the sea to protect our waters and heal them too.
Flow, flow, flow, flow…

Earth: The ground beneath our feet
To give the campaigners the fortitude, strength and endurance they need to keep fighting the evil of Fracking.
Grow, grow, grow, grow…

Afterwards we ceremonially dropped the plant into the canal, the moonlight causing every ring of the splash to be seen.  That’s when the ducks came to see if we had just given them food… sorry guys, not this time!

Once we powered down our circle, bells rang in the distance, a sign of success?

Will it all work? Time will tell.  I really, seriously think Fracking is a threat to our ecology, our water and our land. Its a fucked up idea that must be opposed in any way we can.  Whether its armchair activism and signing petitions (that’s me), physically getting down to a Fracking site and protesting (not yet) or ceremonially and magically resisting (just ticked the box on that one), we must fight!

Whilst eating, I have begun watching John Boorman’s ‘Excalibur’ from 1981.

I have just paused it to digest and write this blog.  In the last ‘chapter’ Merlin had walked away with the baby Arthur.  Uther in pursuit has just been killed but not before thrusting Excalibur into the stone, sealing the fate of the land with his son… Perhaps, the land itself does need for us to ‘retrieve’ the ‘sword of power’ in order to heal the land and expel tyranny.

‘Horns of Power’

OK, this post is going to sound nuts. You know when you see patterns of things that are hard to ignore? Like things happening in three’s or you find yourself thinking about something and it actually becomes real… like the next week or month? or why is it nearly every Dave I’ve met is bald and nearly every David I’ve encountered has a full head of hair?

That’s what we put down to ‘synchronicity’.  Seeing meanings in random occurrences, right?  But what if you see a pattern that is a little hard to simply pass off as a collection of coincidental events? What if there is something trying to contact you or show you a message?

For example, I’m being chased around (Hunted? Haunted?) by the image of an animal: the Stag.

This has been happening for nearly four years now.  I remember it beginning after I attended my very first Samhain ceremony with the OBOD Druid group, the Grove of the Corieltauvi, back in 2010.  The then Herald (main contactee, treasurer, secretary and organiser) had stepped down, allowing the present Herald to facilitate.  He also offered up the position of south and calling on the element of fire (represented in the Druid Tradition, at least in OBOD, by the Stag) after being stuck there for a number of years.  Eager bunny that I am, I volunteered to call it in future.  Little did I know that this wasn’t a static position and I ended up hogging it for three years… but I liiiiike iiiiiit….
Anyway, after that is when I began to notice the pattern of the Horned One in my life:

November 2010– Received a package and new exactly what was in it before I opened it: Stag antlers sent by Cthulhudruid as I requested them for a project that never came to pass.
December 2010– Was randomly given an early Yuletide gift of a slice of wood with a stag head image.

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January 2011– Lady Morgana gave me her second Druid Animal Oracle after accidentally ordering two from the internet.  One of the animals depicted is the Stag… behind it are two birch trees, very much like the birch ‘twins’ to the south of my own personal Sacred Grove.
March 2011– Going into a cafe with Pipes and seeing the wall painted with different types of cervidae (official name for all types of deer, elks and includes antelopes).  Pipes had been given an award for being a ‘Woman of Substance’ of Nottingham.
April- August 2011– accepting my redundancy in March, I spent the rest of this time job-hunting until I successfully gained my present job.  Lots of Stag images all around in the form of flags, fliers, badges (given one by Lady Morgana), posters, pub signs… rather like the ‘Bad Wolf’ motif from Doctor Who.

2012 didn’t really have much activity until December that year, I was given one of those ‘Christmas Jumpers’ that were fashionable, mine has a Reindeer on it! When Morris dancing on Boxing Day, we performed at The Stag Inn.

February 2013– After giving a talk to the Newark Hearth & Home group, I was told I have antlers in my aura when I’m speaking.
June 2013– On the day of finding a random playing card (Ace of Clubs) I go to the Grove BBQ and fellow member Cymro ap Arthan presents me with a wand of Yew.  It was inspired by me calling upon the Stag of the South…

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December 2013– Met a friend of mine in a pub that was filled with Stag imagery… it was the ‘Roebuck’.
En Route to our Alban Arthan ceremony, me and fellow Grove member, Briseilid pass a Warning: Deer sign (Represented by a Stag), then we pass The Stag Inn and joke about “Third time’s a charm”.  When we arrive at Strider’s house, Luch Dorca presented me with a bottle of Glenfiddich whisky as a ‘Thank You’ for doing some voice recording for him: check this link out for me reading his ‘Poison Pen’ story under his pen name of Simon H. Farmsworth and me under my Stage name of Dylan Knight :

2014:
At the Grove’s January planning meeting, Tatterhood gave me this New Year’s gift:

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In January, I went to go and see Skindred with my brothers (one’s related, the other is a hostage), Pipes and some new friends.  The bar we met had antlers on the walls and antler chandeliers.

I have recently joined an amateur dramatics group in an effort to reconnect with my acting.  During rehearsal we used this bottle:

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Last Tuesday’s ramblings through Sherwood Forest presented this piece:

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So, what does it all mean? What is the Stag’s significance? In the Druid Tradition, the Stag represents independence, pride in one’s self as well as faith in one’s own abilities. It is about calling upon one’s own inner strength.  If this is true then this interpretation is apt as it seems to be manifesting when I begin new projects, especially those that mean I am reconnecting with the performing part of my life or doing something in life I actually want to DO.

Classically, the Stag is one of the symbols of sovereignty and fertility.  Great Britain had, at one time, a cult of the Stag, although this doesn’t automatically mean this was a cult of the horned deity Ernunno (Cernnunos).

I have come up with the following conclusions:
A: I’m completely mad and am just finding meaning in quite a common image, or at least one I have started taking notice of.
B:  I am being reassured by the Spirit of Stag that I am pursuing the right path in life.
C: I am being contacted by Nottingham’s own Sigil of a Stag for some reason, perhaps the same as B.
D: I projected my own intention into a symbol of my own inner fire and power.

If I had to choose, I’d say B and D.

Would just like to say I’m not using the title to say I have sovereign rights or that I am an emissary of the Stag, I took it from the movie ‘The Thirteenth Warrior’ and just thought it sounded cool. \m/

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All photographs by Locksley 2010.

A Walk in Sherwood Forest

We’d arrived in the morning, it was grey and a little misty and autumn had claimed most of the leaves on the floor.
Me and my brother changed our trainers for brown leather hiking boots which meant wearing thick woolen socks to make sure we didn’t get blisters (didn’t always work).
Mum opened the lunch box and gave me and my brother a ham sandwich each.  Dad cracked open the brown thermos and poured us a cup of vegetable soup.  Once ready, we got our bikes unloaded and me and my brother tore off, mud flying by the sides of us, the winter breeze hitting us in the face and the smell of mulch in the air…

Is one of my coherent memories from my childhood of going to Sherwood Forest.  I hadn’t been for decades and in all the six years of living in Nottingham, I haven’t been there once.  Until today.

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Photo by locksley2010
Me, Mum and Dad went there for a walk, because that’s what we used to do.  And we like going for walks in the country or any woodland to be fair.
This time around, it was the end of winter and we had no soup, sandwiches or bmx’s.  There were blue skies, sunshine and lots of birds.
There’s a lot of birds, well it is ‘t’woods in’t it?” Said Dad in his Yorkshire accent which, I’m afraid to say I’ve lost touch with and had to get both parents to repeat what they had said numerous times.  Been away from Sheffield too long, I have.  Dad was right though, there were a lot out on the bird tables now in place: Coalmine tits, Great tits, Blue tits (Meantam Gorm in Cymraeg), Robins, and some speckled species I’m not familiar with.  Even the pigeons looked… well, healthy.  “What’s tha’ there, a pigeon?”
“Yes, Dad. A clean one.”

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Photo of sculptured wood by locksley2010.
The bird tables were made from the wood of the forest, in fact it looked like Sherwood Forest had gone eco: flattened paths, grazing areas, natural habitats, dead trees left bare because they support life systems of their own (insect nests, animals, bacteria, that kind of thing).  Many of the smaller tree stumps were carved into all kinds of shapes and designs.  Many dormant trees showed their wonky beautiful shapes:

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Wonky Trees by locksley2010

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Herne’s Head by locksley2010

In fact, where the Herne’s Head Tree was, I remember a huge fallen tree showing all of its roots being around there, me and my brother used to have to get off our bikes to go around it.

We didn’t go to the Major Oak, personally I think it should be left to fall and die like it wants to instead of being kept up just for tourists.

Sherwood Forest was very different from the 20+ years ago since I last went, but I am glad it is being looked after and that it encourages eco living and working with your environment. There are even notice boards educating about local wildlife and plants, apparently Sherwood Forest is even home to a spider that has only its Latin name. Me and Mum thought it should be called the ‘Fly Agaric Spider’ due to its abdomen… and a play on words.

And I didn’t mention Robin Hood once… bollocks!

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Photo by locksley2010

Imbolc lessons…

I write this now after coming in from the cold and the wind.  I’ve just eaten yesterday’s leftovers of my homemade carbonara and a fresh mug if tea at the ready.

Its been a trying day today.

Today is Imbolc, from the old Irish for ‘parturition’ (birthing), it is the feast day of Brighid and the beginning of the end of winter as well as the start of lambing season.

Brighid is the goddess of poetry, smithing, healing, midwifery, magic and divination.  There is a well named in the honour of St. Brigid which echoes back to the old Celtic way of naming rivers and lakes after a deity.

I booked the day off especially so I could create a ceremony for my allotment group, here in Nottingham.
Only three of us could make it, which didn’t cause a problem.  When calling quarters, we could call upon land, rain and sky instead of the usual four.

I had it all planned out:
1: Build a fire
2: Call for blessings from the three realms.
3: Give offerings to the allotment with what we wanted to contribute.
4:  Make the ceremony about connecting with our inner flame and waters of life.
5: Celebrate with tinfoil wrapped spuds warmed in the fire that we could enjoy with butter and homemade tuna mayonnaise and a flask of hot tea.

However, it appeared Brighid had plans of her own…

Our third member text me saying he had a stomach upset and thought being at our allotment was probably not the best place to be.

I text Pindsvin (Swedish for ‘hedgehog) the news and prepared my OBOD Elemental Weaving Ritual as a back up to do in case I was going to be the only one turn up.  My rucksack ready to burst, I was ready to go! Until the zip broke on my green fleece jacket.  So I threw it off, got my blue one (which is ready for washing), put my waterproof jacket over that, boots and bag on and my hat. Now I was ready to go!

I’d just left the house (an hour later than I would have liked) when I received Pindsvin’s text saying she’d be going, just a little later than planned.  No worries! It’ll just be us then.

On the way there I contemplated the Druid Plant Oracle card ‘The Banes’ when I asked that deck if performing the weaving ritual would be a good idea.  It is a card about taking control in a positive way and about receiving unexpected help or aid.  It appeared that with Pindsvin joining me she would be crucial to the original Imbolc ritual I had planned; I had no idea the card would be so prophetic.

Our allotment is huge.  The two newer parts to it are around the same size (approximately 70-80 square feet, each!).  The original part is for growing stuff, the second part is ritual area and the top part is, at the moment, cultivation zone.  We began with grabbing kindling in the form of birch twigs that had blown off and scattered.  We got some wood from the cultivation zone and snapped it to fit into the fire pit.  Today has been glorious with sunshine and lots of wind, so much wind that my hat kept blowing off and putting out our matches!  We spent at least an hour trying to light the fire.  I was getting annoyed, I’m normally good at this.  The wood was in the right place, as was the kindling including the cardboard I brought, but the wind kept blowing out the flame.  Pindsvin had the insight to start gathering dead dried leaves and stuffing it into the pile… the cardboard caught, the leaves caught… but the wind just kept blowing it out just before it was intense enough to light the birch twigs.  On and on this repeated, until the matches were all gone… it was a fresh new box!  I was very annoyed at this and even threw my lighter at the grass in a total paddy, snarling at the sky “D’you want a fucking ritual!?”
Pindsvin reassured me in saying that what if it just wasn’t a day for a fire? She was even all for leaving me alone to do my OBOD ritual if that’s what I wanted to do.  I told her I was disappointed and that I wanted this to be better (I was being a mardy arse at this point).  Then she said something.  Something that made me stop being a big baby: “Well, if you still want to do an Imbolc ritual, why don’t you do it in the Sunlight? The Sun is more powerful than a fire.” Genius!

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Pindsvin looking ahead,
Picture by Locksley2010. 1/2/2014.

I looked to the growing ground and saw the clouds being pushed away by the wind to reveal gorgeous, golden sunlight.  The photo doesn’t do it justice.  My spirits were instantly lifted and I had a new energy as the ceremony would carry on, just without jacket potatoes warmed in a fire.  We got our things and went down to the seating area (where we used to do the ritual stuff before we had the official ritual area) and I improvised an offering bowl from the remains of an old mug that had come up from the topsoil movement.  We had an Imbolc ceremony and it went as thus:
1: We asked for the blessings of land, sky and rain and greeted them.
2: I said my Brighid’s prayer, asking for her blessings and inspirations.
3: We drank water from a flask, saluted Brighid, then I called this the ‘blessing of water’ ah, Brighid was giving inspiration!
4: We turned to the Sun and meditated on its light and warmth connecting with our inner fire. “Blessing of the Sky”.
5: For the “Blessing of the Land” we gave offerings. To the Guardian of the place, the Silver Birch, I gave honey and milk (supposedly traditional Druidic offerings), Pindsvin threw seeds for the birds to eat.
6: Any more to say: Pindsvin said she wanted to connect with the Smith aspect of Brighid, to go ahead and do stuff.
7: We said thank you to Brighid and the three realms.

And boy, did that feel good! Yes, similar principle to the original, but we totally winged it.  I never intended to work with the realms of sky, land and rain (normally sea, but we live in the mainland) as the actual structure of the ceremony, I’d like to think that was Brighid’s inspiration.

Pindsvin was indeed the unexpected aid and relief I needed today.  She performed her role admirably and had another revelation for me.  Her version of Brighid being a ‘Triple Goddess’ goes: Poet, Smith, Healer.  After the ceremony, she asked which of Brighid’s aspects did I want to work with this year.  I originally said Poet, as in the focus on my acting this year.  Pindsvin told me that I already have the inspiration for that, surely it was the doing it I needed. Agreed, I settled on Smith.

So there we are, a day that originally would have left me sulking at home instead of inspired (Awen/Imbas) and rejuvenated. 

As it was, I learned lessons today:

Things won’t go as planned.

Build a fire in a sheltered space and don’t burn all your matches.

When things piss you off, what are the gods trying to show you?

Help comes from the most unexpected of places, a friend, your environment, old pottery.

Get over yourself and go with the flow.

Brighid has three aspects: Poet, Smith and Healer… which one will you work with?

A blog about Druidry and Weirdry