What makes a ‘Man’?

Today’s blog was actually inspired by a dream from last night:

I’m in a two-storey cafe, sitting at the head of a table, Pipes is sitting next to me.  The room is full of actors as we’re filming something in the area and we have all invaded this cafe run by my In laws.
  Sitting at the table beyond ours is a man, he is short and stocky, in his late 40s and has short black hair that is going white at the roots.  He is wearing a white sports top and blue shorts.  He looks a little like Mr Toad.
  In between actors walking between our tables, Pipes is trying to explain to this man why it is wrong for him to have loaned some tables to my In Laws and demanding them back despite the fact her Mum and Dad bought them off him.  In short, he wanted both the money and the tables.  Looking into his newspaper, he states out aloud: “I don’t understand this, why isn’t he arguing for you? He is less a man than he is a warrior!”
  Everyone stops and gasps… he was talking about me! Gob smacked, I just sit there in silence as the man gets up, looks at me then leaves…

I’d quite forgotten all about it until I followed a memory trail that revealed the dream I had.

I told Pipes as I remembered it and she asked if I knew why I dreamt of that.

Thinking on this has revealed something that I actually keep secret, even from myself…

I feel I have failed.

The man in the dream was obviously my Shadow (for those unfamiliar with Jungian archetypes, a subconscious manifestation of the bits of our identity we don’t want to acknowledge, often parts of ourselves we’re afraid of).    This time, the Shadow has personified itself in the things negative about Men in general: he was arrogant, sexist, greedy, selfish, single-minded and uncompromising.  In the dream I also got a sense of what he was like in his life: wealthy, the top of his game, runs his own company, a success, whence the arrogance… all the things I’m not.  Besides our sex and gender we had one thing in common: honesty. In the dream I didn’t defend my Wife, she, as my feminine side was speaking for me, this was a masculine Shadow directly challenging my own masculine self.  In the dream I simply let him walk away because I couldn’t argue back.  In my dreaming mind he was right.

This for me, presented a mind-fuck.

This morning I flipped between sadness, anger and then conviction.

I present a friendly, witty and laid back demeanor, yet underneath hide my own issues which is to do with the fact I feel I have failed.  How so? Let’s look at the stereotypical image of what we in the early 21st Century take a ‘Man’ to be:
Muscular, strong, stoic, rich, handsome, successful, determined, authoritive.

Once ‘Man’ and ‘male’ were synonymously linked.  Nowadays its a concept when you consider transgender or transsexual people.

Looking at the above list: I’m no pussy, but I’m no beefcake either.  I have strength in my beliefs, but not always in myself.  Stoic? No. I’m definitely not rich, both me and Pipes live on my wage in a job I am, at the minute undergoing confidence issues with (I kept fucking things up in September and now doubt myself there).  However, I have a wealth of Celtic History and the old tales.  I have Pipes, my cat and our rented home.  Handsome? I don’t like to brag. ;D determined? Not as much as I’d like.  I’ve been happy to follow and let others take charge, especially where I’m not an expert.  Authoritive? Sometimes, I know I can be in certain situations, but not all of them (work for example, I’m not an industrial person, I just pretend to be).

So, on to the biggie: Successful.  Here’s the crux.  We assume that to be successful we must be rich and have plenty of money to be happy.  That’s not really my problem, I know a couple who have the money, two cars a house and its driving them insane.  So I know and understand that money isn’t everything.  So why do I feel I have failed?  Because, in my mind, a Man has focus in his life be it his trade, his calling, his beliefs.  I feel I have failed because I have not attained “success”.  By that, I mean a contribution to Humanity.  To be able to turn around and say “Yeah, I did good there, I’m proud of that.”  I feel that in sacrificing my acting career (before it really begun) I squandered the ‘gift’ I was given, therefore creating a hole within myself of confusion and fear. 
  On the other hand, If it wasn’t for my sacrifice, my Wife would never have been able to get Pagan Pride up and running or begin her music career.

  This writing has been very cathartic for me and if you’ve read it this far, thank you.  I’ve even answered my own question “How do I be a man?”

Y’see, Druidic tradition teaches us the Shadow is represented by the wolf in the Druid Animal Oracle.  Wolf teaches that the Shadow is not to be feared or attacked, it is to be learned from.  Once that is done we can work on ourselves and transcend the barriers we place on ourselves.  The modern ‘Man’ is material in his ‘wealth’ and distractions, however he has no honour and no courage.

The answer to my question is: I can be a ‘Man’ by having the courage to do that what I am afraid of and stop whining about feeling lost and confused… especially when I actually know what must be done.  There are too many people who think they aren’t worth it in this world… I’m one of them and I don’t want to be anymore.
As Dian Cecht told me: “Love Yourself” and I’ll only start doing that by doing what really makes a man: Bravery.

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Photo by locksley2010

Here’s me, a man with long hair enjoying a glass of wine, cheers!

Full Moon Shenanigans

 

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Image by locksley2010, Midwinter Solstice 2012

Ah yes, the beauty of the full moon.  That silver beauty in the sky inspiring many and getting all the moths (bat-bait) into a tiz.

  This Saturday just gone (19th Oct) was the night I got together with my witchy friend, Lumi to pay respects to the moon spirit and make wishes.

  Technically speaking the moon was full on Friday night, so Saturday was really the first waning gibbous phase.  However, once the rain clouds had moved (rendering the public meeting cancelled) to reveal a starlit sky and a gorgeous moon (we’re talking degrees here, and unless you had a telescope to prove it wasn’t 100% full, then for all intents and purposes, Saturday’s moon was considered full), so me and Lumi decided to carry on the ritual at her place… it was actually on the way there the rain stopped and the sky revealed itself.

  The full moon is considered, in the Western Magical Tradition, to be linked with female energy as it rules earth’s tidal flow and the Human menstrual cycle.  It is also considered to be a magnifier of magic, psychic ability and a time of divination and reflection.  The Moon reflects the light of the Sun, after all, so I think a time of reflection is very apt.  In the OBOD Druid tradition, this reflective aspect is put to use.  In the Order, members are encouraged to focus on a meditation for peace in the world on the night of the full moon.  It seems this either only helps to encourage small acts of good and kindness or maybe there aren’t enough Druids doing this, I mean, take a look around, things are NOT peaceful! Any way, I digress.

  One of the really weird things that was happening during the rite was on the Telly in the background.  As Lumi was calling upon the spirit of the Moon, there was a rite of Artemis being played on an episode of the Beeb’s new fantasy series: ‘Atlantis’.  Very appropriate, indeed as Artemis is one of the goddesses of the moon.

  What I didn’t expect was while Lumi called upon Morgana (as in Morgana Le Fay), in my mind’s eye, I “saw” a lady in a white dress.  Her hair was long and dark (almost a chestnut brown), her aquiline eyes were also dark, her pointed chin at the base of her heart-shaped face.  She was very thin, frail you could say. In certain angles her face could be considered skeletal, but even that was because of her handsome and sharp features.  In this waking vision, she stood behind me and very gently put her hands on my shoulders and said “This one knows me.” She vanished after we asked for her blessing.

  Do I know Morgana Le Fay? Not quite.  I certainly have never called on her before, but I do consider the Lady of the Lake one of my goddesses.  I do know her from the Arthurian stories of course, depending on which one you come across, she is either a sister, nemesis or healer to Arthur himself.
  I also know her as a figure based upon Modron, mother of Mabon ap Modron, and daughter to Afallach, one of the chiefs of Annwn, the Cymraeg name to the Otherworld.  She is also based on Arthur’s sister, Anna*.
  So, do I make a habit of conjuring up the spirit of Morgana and have regular chats with her? Not at all.  As a mother, a lady of the lake, a sister, a supernatural being, that is how I know her.  Will she appear again? Will I get to work with her in the future, that I don’t know…

*The figure and character of ‘Morgan Le Fay’ in terms of her origins and role is explored in the book ‘The Keys to Avalon: The true location of Arthur’s kingdom revealed’ by Steve Blake and Scott Lloyd, Element Books Ltd, Dorset, 2000, ISBN 1-86204-735-9.

Enter the Dragon

Normally I’d post this in the ‘Synchronicity’ category, but because something happened this morning, its going straight into ‘Weirdry’.

Where to start? At the beginning….

It was the last week of August this year, on the Monday, in fact when I settled on the idea of performing the Bardic ‘Fire Weaving Ritual’ on the last day of August, Saturday the 31st.  So I asked the Druid Plant Oracle if this would be an auspicious time to do so.  In short,  the reply was in the ‘yes’ category.  I try not to use yes and no questions with any oracle as the answer can be vague at best, or raising more questions at worst.
  The next day, Tuesday, was Léithin Cluan ‘s leaving party.  Because its unlikely she’ll be joining us at Yule, she gave some of us our Yuletide gifts in advance (not everyone as she was collecting them throughout the year).  Mine was a small dragon statuette .  She’d named it ‘Alfred the Great’, I called him (of course it was a him) Bubba.  Bubba sits proudly in the fire section of my Altar at home:

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Bubba the symbol of the Dragon Spirit.

So not only a gift from my friend, but a sign of the gods, a dragon symbol to say “Yes, perform the ritual”.

On the Saturday, on my way to the St. Anne’s allotments to perform the ritual, I went through the Arboretum and found this image:

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Two more dragon’s, technically they are fire-breathing wyverns (Wyverns are two-legged, dragons are four).  Another sign.  The ritual went fine and dandy, I just found it strange the spirit of the Dragon made itself known.  I’ve never worked with it before or called upon in, but somehow the Bardic fire course has opened up that communication… something I had to use this morning.

  My wife, who shall now be known as Pipes on this blog (as in nice set of… she’s a singer y’see.) Went out last night for an open mic acoustic night.  Around midnight she called to say she was going jamming and let me know when she’s on her way home.  Fair enough, and I go to sleep.
I then wake up at 4am and there’s no sign of her there.  I look down stairs, no one around… so my mind starts playing tricks.  I get my phone, no sign, so I call and leave a message of the “Where the fuck are you?” Kind.  I leave a text, give it a few mins (OK, 30 seconds) and call ten more times.  No answer.  I start thinking the worst… getting a grip I get my oracle and ask where my wife is.  Not expecting an exact answer, just a clue.  I didn’t understand it (at that time in a morning, who would?) So I break my rule and ask a yes or no question: Is she safe? Two cards pop out, both talking about creative endeavours and pursuing her calling. 
  Aha! So she’s OK and still making music? I feel a bit better but I still need to know.  So I called on the dragon.
  I lit my Altar candle and breathed in and out deeply three times and invoked the fire as I often do, then stared directly into the flame and said:

Oh Spirit of the Dragon, I ask you to please find my wife and get her to call me.  If she is safe and asleep at a friends place, awaken her.  If she is in danger, give her the strength to get away and call me.  Where ever she is get her to call me.  This I ask of you.”

I let my nervous energy be the fuel for the connection with the spirit.  I paid in advance with an offering of tobacco and blew out the candle flame.  Looking at the time it was 04:30.  I get a text message from Pipes at 04:43. It worked! OK, it was a text, not a call but it was still contact.  Pipes was fine (drunk and stoned) and still jamming.  Apologising for worrying me, she was now getting a taxi.  She did get home and she was alright (a little drunk and high).  Thank fuck!

I get the idea it worked because my instinct of protection was what linked me and the dragon together.  That and Pipes works with the dragon anyway, which was why I called it.

I won’t use the dragon every time because I don’t think it will warrant it.  But the need and cause must be great to get its attention… at least that’s what I think right now.

All together now:  “Anaal Nathrack…”

Introduction

Greetings and Hello!  Welcome to my very own blog!  My Wife, prompted me by saying “You should write your own blog.”  So…. Here it is.

Let’s begin with a couple of questions:

* Why a ‘Wise Fool’?  Well, Like everyone else, I’m only Human and make mistakes… though I seem to do it quite A LOT.  I’m often considered wise by one of the Pagan groups I’m with.  I’d say I’m knowledgeable, but wise? Naaah! I tend to say what I think and suffer the consequences later… for better or worse.  That and when a friend of mine (Briseilid from the Grove of the Corieltauvi) lent me her Arthurian Tarot deck, one of the cards identified with was The Fool, or Percival beginning his quest and that foolish action can lead to wisdom.

*What do you mean Druidry and Weirdry?  My spiritual path is Pagan and the particular flavour of my Paganism is Druidry.  This will be a blog about things that I want to share of that path and some of it will be lessons I’ve learned, epiphanies realised, dreams that I’ve had and just plain weird things I want to document, like synchronicity, encounters with the unknown etc. This is what I call “Weirdry”.
In fact, think of this blog more as a diary of one who is exploring the mysteries of life, the universe and everything.

If anyone has a problem with my spiritual and religious-themed ramblings, its probably best that you go elsewhere.

Peace! /|\

Locksley 😉

 

A blog about Druidry and Weirdry