You can look back on your life at all the things that went wrong. Think of all the shoulda, woulda, coulda’s. Fact is that choices were made and what was done is done.
Whatever our choices were, they have led us to now and who we are presently.
When dealing with the past, it is healthy to learn from our mistakes and make changes for the better in ourselves or our environment- wherever and whatever that may be.
Nostalgia is great for taking a trip down Memory Lane, however we must remember not to stay there and become trapped by what was, whether good or bad.
We are the product of our own experiences, not just in life, we also learn from the characters we read in books or see in movies or television. Even a song lyric can touch us and inspire our take on the world.
When dealing with events from the past, it is important for us to go forward and learn from our mistakes, lest we wallow in dispair and do nothing, or worse: deny everything and blame everyone else.
Our choices make us who we are, but it is our actions that define us.
June. That was the last month I wrote something in depth. I have managed to write something every month or so, albeit in the form of a poem, a saying, or even a prayer.
Actually, I don’t feel the need to write anything in depth. No examinations of what those legends may actually mean, no breaking down of Pagan concepts (Classical or Modern), no questioning of the values or ethics around us. In fact there are so many people reeling from the political victory of Brexit and Donald Trump, there are plenty already questioning the world around them….
Whereas my investigative flair has faded to nothing. Nada. Zip. Diddley-Squat.
During August, I feared I might have severed the link between myself and my spirituality. Since the end of June, I dedicated myself to learning my lines for a theatrical performance. In August, I did the same with another, both of them are now finished and performed. Having embraced my acting self as my Bardic self, I have sought to regain and discover new skills for being the actor I want to be. As well as discovering the actor I am turning into.
It would be wrong of me to say I ‘put my life on hold’ because of the two plays. Sure, I became less socially active and my days off were dedicated to line learning as were my evenings after work and then there were rehearsals.
Performance is a discipline. It is hours of line learning, practicing the mannerisms of another person, working with the energy levels of your colleagues so the show does not lag. Remembering where to be in the right place at the right time, thinking within a split second of a replacement word if you end up forgetting the correct one and doing all of this with a huge adrenaline rush once you are doing it. To do that and more requires focus and discipline in yourself.
And so, I threw myself into this creative path. To me, it feels so right to do so. It has stoked my inner fires and is my main focus. Where I may not be performing my Bardic Rituals everyday (the last was before I moved house in June) I have come to understand this, at the moment, is not what I need in my life right now.
I still light my candles to my deities, ancestors and the spirits around me. I still honour the seasons that pass and celebrate them; I still give offerings and have even done a little research into Japanese Fox spirits. I have discovered my spirituality is in who I am, not just what I do. This has also allowed me to view my spirituality, my beliefs and my self objectively. And in this I have learned much, including belief in myself.
But for the time being, I will post when I can with what I can give.
After all, if one’s spirituality is only defined by one’s work with ritual, then what is ritual if not a performance?
I’m an impatient being. Always have been and always will be. I was even born a month premature, yet I survived, when time was that I wouldn’t have.
I have always been close to my emotions, especially the fire inside.
That’s not to say I’m a violent or an angry person, I am the most laid back and chilled out guy you can ever hope to meet. Unless you are technology, then the spark within becomes a full blown meltdown where my blood boils and I might as well grow claws and shred every piece of wiring and circuitry apart. Many is the time I wanted to smash my mobile phone against the nearest wall and destroy this tool for not being quick enough, or autocorrecting the wrong words. If I could just give in to my beast, it would be sooooooo easy.
Of course, the fault is actually mine. Just because my aptitude for any device isn’t the sharpest, it isn’t the machine I’m angry with. I’m projecting the anger with myself onto whatever I’m using when I should know better. But when I press something and all I get is the Whirlygig of Doom, out comes my battle-cry: “Oh, Come ON!!!”
On those days where the computers at work, my mobile phone on the bus ride home and my home PC are being slow and I see more than my fair share of the Whirlygig of Doom all on the same day, I stop. Turn everything off and leave them well alone.
When I was younger, this anger was taken out with my fists hitting the kitchen sides or the nearest wall.
For a time, I doused the flames. I simply walked through life, nothing much phased me and even those times of intense emotion were so…… Wet. I look back at the very first blog I wrote and read it with disdain. What a fucking pussy I was back then! My inner fire, for several years was merely a glowing ember almost reduced to blackened ash. Yet we must know the dark before we can know the light. And when I wrote that first blog post, I was lost and confused. And I got over it. See? It was there! Right then. I looked back at my past self and rebuked him, I can’t deny the person I was as that was a part of me. And still is. The past can show us who we don’t want to be.
Of all the things in the world to breathe air into that dying ember, it was Druidry that blew into that spark, only for it to catch on and to flare up, and ignite once again. Let me make it clear that I am in no way saying that Druidry “Saved me”. When I began this blog back in 2012, I was already studying and learning Druidry. I had hit a low point was all and it wasn’t until I was working with the element of fire things in motion began to change things.
I began my Bardic course with having to use a candle instead of a “Piss poor fire”. It was working with the element of fire in my Fire-Weaving ritual that gave me signs of dragons and unexpectedly changed something within me (that’s when the ember was blown on and then caught fire once more….), the end of my Bardic course saw me burn my thumb on a flame and as I sucked it, the metaphor of wisdom was not lost on me. Reconnecting with my inner fire brought back my passion (acting) and returned my enthusiasm. It is a fire with caution, as it also brought back my impatience and spiky nature. This has cost me my resolve at work as I have damaged property more than once in the past few weeks!
At my day job, Del-boy, the Asst. Manager has warned me I need to calm down and not get so wound up. And he’s right, I’m better than this.
Used correctly, I can create new material under pressure, make decisions to ‘get it done’ or even clean shit up. That’s the thing with anger, for the most part, in our society it is destructive. But it can keep you going.
The inner fire isn’t always a bad thing, it’s what keeps me creative, whether with my acting or playing with character nuances during line-learning, devising a talk (or an all-consuming blog post I just have to share with the world) or even plotting the next chapter to inflict upon my players in my Vampire: The Masquerade RPG Chronicle. Once inspired by something, the spark of Awen will catch my flame and then I have to act on it, be it research of a deity or an old story or look into the facts of something people take for granted as true just because we thought it was (The Oak King, Holly King model was made up by Robert Graves, but people take it as gospel- Discuss). It also gives me that urge to question everything.
When there’s passion, energy and conviction, the flames are burning brightly indeed.
Romantically speaking, I can be warm, comforting and entirely devoted. Presently, my fires of the heart are whimsical. I seem to develop crushes on women, but then these flames of fancy fade out. I may love my friends, but I am not in love with anyone. For now, in my life, that’s ok.
Once upon a time, I called myself the ‘Impulsive Flame’ I am not being egotistical when I say I radiate a warmness, because I do. And people are attracted to the light and warmth, but getting too close can result in burning. I can be prickly with even those I allow to come close, I endeavour to control my fire, but like the actual alchemical element itelf, sometimes it simply ignites. And fire can also be cleansing, sometimes you just need to let things out, I just don’t ever want to take it out on anyone.
Its not that I don’t need to learn to control it, I already know how. I just need to master when to reign the flames in and know when to let them flare up. But I can never quench them again, to do so is to deny myself when fire is a great teacher in responsibility and will.