Tag Archives: nature

Of Awen, Dandelion and a Blackbird called Plucky

Thursday 23/4/2020 New Moon

I am very fortunate during Lockdown to be able to pursue my interests as well as keep myself busy.

The trick is to not get yourself overwhelmed.

Between a current project and my acting classes (online), I have been learning how use my smartphone as not only a film camera, but an editing studio too.

I’m a great believer in Druidry not only respecting the past, but being in the here and now. As I’m discovering: my performing and technical learning are complementing my Druidry, the reverse is true also.

Awen: As well as my creative juices now flowing again (I’ve had a bit of a dry patch for well over a year), Awen hit me in the most unexpected ways.

I was in my study doing some basic physical exercises (week 12 of recovery and seem to be doing well so far!) last Thursday and then the Awen flowed, it hit me: Make a storytelling slot on Facebook every Sunday during lockdown!

The Awen struck my mind with that thought and then it snowballed into an idea: I can record stories of myth, legend and folklore and even make this into a YouTube Channel!

Getting in contact with my friend Dee, who was interested in my idea for such an idea, she agreed to edit my footage and make it look good.

And so, Story Sunday was born and I put the first story out on both social media platforms, on YouTube it’s under my channel: Knight’s Tales, but the Story Sunday has it’s own playlist and category. The idea being that I’ll be able to add other storytelling performances (hopefully) under one heading.

For anyone curious, here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-0e_Pgz6JJOXaILpNfCdTw

It’s basic right now, but hey, it’s a start. And with the blatant advertising out of the way…..

I wrote the above with no smugness, I wrote it hoping to be inspirational: if a technophobic mug like me can learn how to do all that, so can you.

You see, the Awen doesn’t just mean “Inspiration”. It also means “Spirit” and shares the same root word in Welsh as awel or “breeze”.

And as I’ve been weeding (Devi calls weeding and planting “proper Paganism”…. I don’t think she’s wrong) a lot in the gardens too, I felt inspired to compare Awen to the humble Dandelion:

Dandelion: Dandelions are brilliant, they’ll grow anywhere, usually between other plants- so watch out for what you’re digging up! But bees love them so I left the ones with bees alone.

Awen is like the Dandelion: it grows, it flowers, then it changes all of a sudden into many different ideas to take seed and then it’s gone!

Blackbird: Most likely because I have been weeding, there has been the same Blackbird coming to the house everyday. Looking for food and nesting materials, he’s been really close to the house. I was removing several invading dandelions (For ideas can be unwelcoming too) from the potato patch and the Blackbird was there, at least 2 meters from me, just watching. It appears he was as curious of me as I was of he, we pretty much circled each other. He even made himself known when I was weeding the cherry tree today (he was close, by at least 4 feet!) he wouldn’t stay still for my camera though.

Because he comes so close and he doesn’t seem to care about the “Apex Predators” of the house, I decided to call him Plucky.

So, be like Plucky, dare to explore new ideas and methods, let inspiration take you and see what ground the Awen takes seed.

Next New Moon: Fri 22/5/2020

Of Faith, Kindness and Beauty

Sunday 23/2/2020, New Moon

Another one inspired by being out doors! Seriously, being out in the world is the best way to connect with it and give you something to write about. When you’re someone whose as much as a book-thinker and over-thinker as I am, I’m now all for accepting the experience of things….. I believe that’s what’s called…. adventure! This originally took place on Tuesday 18th February 2020.

Inspired by this morning’s conversation with Devi about getting out of the house, I decided to go for a walk about town and the Arboretum.  Well, as far as I can physically go, I did take regular breaks as I’m still recovering from my hernia operation.


As soon as I got off the bus, I was approached by two Christians from the church up the road. Two friendly lads called George and Miles. They asked if I had anything they could pray for.  My response: “There’s nothing to pray for directly for me, but if you could pray for people to think rightly about climate change, that would be awesome“.  They seemed very pleased with that and invited me for tea at the church whenever I liked. I didn’t see the point in telling them I wasn’t Christian, I figured that if prayer could help inspire people in doing what they could with the crisis, then I might as well steer the Church-goers in that direction.

After a nice sojourn around the Arboretum, I found beauty in the young birch, and was impressed it was still standing after the storms, an older tree wasn’t so lucky and another young tree is now growing diagonally, almost horizontally. Young birch was very pleased for company and its spirit told me of the winds.

Young Birch speaking of the wind and the full moon.

The sign regarding kindness is from the cafe Fox Talbot’s, here in Nottingham. The cafe is a place that is both welcoming and has a relaxed and kind atmosphere, especially when I went to close the door (twice) and ended up opening it for two older ladies as they came in.  The timing was impeccable.

On the exterior of Fox Talbot’s

Sometimes, all you need is fresh air, beauty in the world and spreading kindness.

I’ll be aiming to publish my blogs on the New Moon now, as it feels right to do so.

Next New Moon: Tues 24th March.

Of Lights and Shadows….

Photo from Nohat.cc
Photo from Nohat.cc

As Winter becomes stronger, as the air becomes cooler and the leaves of the leaves have left their branches empty and skeletal. I find my thoughts reflecting on the season.

On the themes of light and dark, naturally.

I actually find it interesting that our first assumptions upon both “light” and “Dark” in the modern Western world fall into “Good” and “Evil”. This is most likely an influence from Christianity, although there are parallels with Gallic Mat and Anm meaning “Good” and not good and were both used to describe the 62 months from the Calendar of Coligny (The only reliable record on how the Celts measured time we have) into which were good or not. If I understand correctly, each month consisted of 29/30 nights and was divided into a ‘bright’ half and a ‘dark half’. Nothing sinister, mind you, this was based on the halves of the moon. But I digress, and will update this post when my understanding of the Calendar of Coligny increases.

The practical versions of this point of view are obvious: The light half of the year is the warmer months, where more produce can grow, the animals follow their mating cycles (providing numbers for meat, tallow and leather) and the longer days allow for longer working hours…. although I can imagine that was met with mixed reactions. And the darker half allowed for harvesting, slaughter for Winter provisions and shorter working days, again met with mixed reactions. Either way, both extreme versions could prove disastrous: The Sun could bring drought, forest fires, famine. The freezing temperatures could bring hypothermia, diseases, death for those without stores for Winter as well as hardship.

Like nature, magic (are they not the same thing?) is neither good nor evil. Both can be beneficial and both can be destructive.

Both light and dark certainly have their benefits and drawbacks:

Light can reveal what was unseen or hidden. It can provide security and warmth. It can also provide good humour and positivity. But too much light can leave one feeling exposed, keep us awake when we should sleep. We can be blinded and even a refusal to accept harsh truths that must be met.

Likewise, the dark can provide cover for unseen deeds, it can provoke the “fight or flight” responses. It can be depressing to awaken to, go to work and come home in. It can feed our fears and open us up to despair. But it can also bring rest, comfort, coolness and stillness. It can provide cover for us when we feel vulnerable or wanting to retreat. And once you get past all the pre-made associations about the dark, it really isn’t that scary. There are animals, insects, birds and fish that live in it quite well.

I, myself prefer the times of dawn and dusk. Especially in the evening twilight when the sun has just gone down and the sky is a mixture of gold, bronze, baby blue fading into teal, indigo then black. When there is enough dark to see the first stars and enough light to give that excitement when I can feel magic in the air.

Light and dark are a cycle of continuity, how do you work with them? Do they affect you in different ways? Do you agree with the Modern Pagan view of Summer being a time of life and Winter a time of rest? Or do both seasons simply mean you crack on working regardless? The only difference being temperature, light and whether you’ll be dry or wet?

Fighting For Our World

The three tasks of a Druid:

To live fully in the present; to honour tradition and the ancestors; to hear the voice of tomorrow.

-Modern Druid Triad.

This post comes a little earlier than my new target of the 19th of the month. Mainly because the subject is important and because there is a national event happening on Friday 20th September.

I originally started typing this at the end of August, when the heat was still with us, the green was thick and glossy and the shadows were beginning to grow longer. Now, it is September, both dawn and dusk show a myriad of pink, peach, gold and baby blue. The trees are beginning to turn gold and there is a chill in the air.

We had another year where we saw and felt the world burn. Climate change is mainstream news, it’s a serious matter that concerns us all.

For Nature-Centric Pagans (For there are paths of Paganism that aren’t nature themed), I think it’s important to do what we can to protect our world.

This year, we have seen the Arctic and the Amazon rainforest burn. Apparently, Arctic burning happens every year, it’s a natural thing. But not on the scale as reported and now we are seeing the Perma-Frost melt.

The Amazon, as far as I am aware is still burning, but it’s not too late to help.

Not all of us can just leave our jobs or families behind so we can go to the front line of these events. I admire and respect those who can and do. Whether it’s actively going to a site of a disaster and physically helping out, or it’s protesting at a space targeted by Fracking companies, or more.

I help in my own way. I try to avoid foods and products with palm oil. I often spread the word of campaigns and events online (I believe this is what is referred to as “Clicktivism”). I even boycott certain brands and products.

I am glad that the fight for the future of our world is being carried on by the youth of today. In a conversation with my dear friend, Lumi, she feels that perhaps it was these youngster who will usher in the new age supposedly foretold by the Mayan Calendar that ended in 2012. Even if not, I find it hopeful that they are protesting and making politicians listen.

Getting Involved

There is a national Climate Strike happening on Friday 20th September. For further details on how to get involved or find an event near you, this link:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/event/global_climate_strike/

If you can’t make it then you can perhaps help by clicking on the following links:

Save the Amazon – Greenpeace International

Save the Amazon

The Warrior’s Call – Pagans United Against Fracking
http://www.warriorscall.org/

If the links don’t work, please copy and paste into your browser.

There are other organisations: Friends of the Earth and even Extinction Rebellion all doing their bit too.

I live fully in the present and help where I can, even using technology to spread the word.

I honour the tradition of being concerned about natural philosophy and the ancestors who respected the Land.

I hear the voice of tomorrow and it wants to take action before it’s too late.