On Being a Minority Religion and Paths to Building Respect

The Druid's Garden

“I’m sorry, I’m unavailable to meet on that day.”

A pause, “well, why is that? This is an important meeting.”

“Because it is a major holiday for me, and I am taking a personal day to celebrate it.”

Another, longer pause.  “Wait, your holiday is Halloween? That’s not a religious holiday.”

“No, my holiday is Samhain, which is a holiday dedicated to my ancestors. Modern Halloween traditions actually derived from this much older holiday.”

Another pause. “Can’t you celebrate it on another day?”

“No.  The timing is critical to the celebration. Would I ask you to meet on Christmas or Easter?”

Another pause. “That’s not the same thing.”

The above interchange is a fairly common interaction fairly typical of my workplace experiences in being a minority religion, a druid, here in the USA. In fact, I had this exchange with someone just last week. Since this kind of thing seems…

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Awen, Bardic Arts, and the Ancestors

The Druid's Garden

The time between Samhain and Yule is always a time of deep reflection for me.  As a homesteader, this represents the end of the season– the first frost happened in the week I was drafting this post, making everything curl up and die. By the time late November comes around, any major outdoor projects are complete for the year. We anticipate, even embrace, the winter months when snow carpets the ground and all is frozen and still.  While in the light half of the year, I spend most of my spare time gardening, doing various permaculture projects, or just being outside in the summer. In the dark half of the year, this is when I turn to more inward-focused bardic arts, more intense practice of my magic and journeying,  and learning from books of all kinds.  So as we move into the dark half of the year, I’ll be spending…

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Working with and Honoring the Sun at the Solstice

The Druid's Garden

Sacred rays of the sun Sacred rays of the sun

The sun’s rays come over the horizon, on the solstice, the most sacred of days. The solstice goes my many names, the day of high light, midsummer, Alban Hefin. Across the globe and through time, it has been celebrated since before recorded history. In the light of the sun, we have strength, warmth, growth, energy, abundance, healing, and wisdom. The sun has been shining down upon our beautiful planet has been shining for at least four billion years and we can expect it to remain unchanged for another five billion years. The sun is also enormous–it accounts for 99.86% of the mass of our solar system.  It is such an incredible thing that it’s hard to image in the scope of the sun as it compares to of human lives or human history.  You might say that the sun is one of the most…

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Crabapple & Rosemary Hand Pies: Ancestral Offerings for Mabon — Gather Victoria

A couple of years ago, completely hidden in dark thicket of trees, I discovered a beautiful gnarled Crabapple – gleaming with clusters of hundreds & hundreds of rosy, autumn fruits. I was thrilled! I love crisp truly tart apples (which are getting harder to find) so the Crabapple fits the bill perfectly. Crabapples are the…

via Crabapple & Rosemary Hand Pies: Ancestral Offerings for Mabon — Gather Victoria

A Druid’s Guide to Connecting with Nature, Part IV: Nature Reciprocity

The Druid's Garden

The principle of “seven generations” comes to us from the Iroquois nation, where is considered to be the “Great Law of the Iroquois.”  This principle said that each decision that was made needed to consider not just the immediate future but the 7th generation, those yet unborn. This principle has become closely tied with modern sustainability movements, where there is a growing understanding that for any society and ecosystem to endure, they must be treated in a way that nurtures and sustains, rather than pillages and depletes. This is a fairly radical idea to a Western culture, where concepts like manifest destiny and the relentless pursuit of growth that have driven westerners literally spent centuries pillaging the land, colonizing new places, driving out native peoples, stripping forests bare, and so forth. This idea of recirpocation is essentially foreign to most growing up in the shadows of that exploitative past.

Land and ocean worth protecting! Land…

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Building Deep Plant Relationships at Lughnassadh

The Druid's Garden

Nicotiana Rustica Botanical Drawing Nicotiana Rustica Botanical Drawing

Last weekend, some druid friends came over for a retreat with a focus on land healing. As part of the ritual we collaboratively developed, we wanted to make an offering to the spirits of the land. I went to my sacred tobacco patch and carefully gathered leaves drying at the bottoms of the plant and flowers for use in this offering, humming a song that the tobacco had taught me and making sure that none of the leaves hit the ground in the process. The ritual went beautifully well and the offering was well received by the spirits.  After the weekend, it struck me how long my relationship with these particular tobacco plants was–more than a decade at this point from seed to leaf to flower to seed.  And how I had something to share about cultivating this relationship over time.

So I thought I’d take…

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Astrorisa Moon Talk / H2O Network:Radio Show

Hello Moon Followers and Subscribers!
AstrorisaMoon Talk Radio & The H2O Network
 
The two Water Sistas are in The Loft, talking about these cosmic energies, looking back, looking forward, and more.
Lunar Eclipse_Blood Moon_ Aquarius Full Moon

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Astrorisa Moon Forecaster: Capricorn Full Moon ~ June 28, 2018

By AstrorisaMoon Forecaster
 
It’s Capricorn Full Moon Time 
Thursday, June 28 2018, 12:53 AM
Moon 6° Capricorn, in House 10
Sun 6° Cancer, in House 4
This full moon opens in the sign of Capricorn, the archetype of Obaluaiye and it comes with a strong Jupterian~Obatala energy field. Look to see where Jupiter and Capricorn are in your birth chart to get a sound idea of what this full moon’s base energies are in relation to your natal houses. This information can help you to understand your current emotional state during this full moon forecast’s time which ranges from June 28 – July 26, 2018.
This moon time will require us to have a stable mind, yet it will challenge our intellect, and our ability to be sane in thought and reason.
During this time, our collective consciousness will be required to juggle and balance many issues, and concerns. We can find ourselves asking the questions “how can I get such and such done?” “Where is the time to do this and that?” Some people will be wondering how they can handle monetary changes, or where did this financial flip-flop come from? The unexpected monetary changes are related to the aspect of Uranus 1°
Taurus, in House 1, and these planetary energies of sun, moon, Uranus and others began to build momentum 8-10 days prior to the June 28th moon time. Uranus, is Sango’s planet and is in Taurus, the archetype of Oshun will affect us in a very personal way, because it’s in House 1.
The earth signs of Taurus and Capricorn are important now due to Saturn in Capricorn trining Uranus in Taurus. This means it is up to us to make things happen, and the way is open to get something done regardless of the unexpected occurrences.
The earth signs of Taurus and Capricorn have 3 malefic planets residing in them both Uranus Pluto, and Saturn, during this moon time. This indicates we will have to try hard to balance some aspect of our lives while simultaneously trying to create something important.

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The complete forecast includes
1. The entire full moon forecast
2. Moon Time Pointers
3. Important Dates: which are destiny changer dates
4. The Capricorn Full moon ritual for prosperity and stability

www.astrorisa.com

Legend of the Miskhorskaya Mermaid

By Elder Mountain Dreaming

Elder Mountain Dreaming

In the Crimea there is a legend about this mermaid, in the vicinity of the Village of Miskhor. In one of the small houses there lived a young maiden of Arz. For many years she was in love with the shepherd Abiy-aka, who was also in love with her. Sometimes they met at the spring, while a jug of water was being collected. And in one of these meetings Abi-aka, he said that in the evening he and his parents would come to an agreement about a wedding at her house.

She was very happy to see Arzha, she could not sit still in the same place all evening, everything was bustling, everything was falling from her hands, but she was already dreaming of loving him and raising children with her beloved, setting up a home, thinking of whom to call for, dreaming of how to tell her friends.

And…

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2018 Mount Haemus Award Article – Channeling the Awen Within: An Exploration of Learning the Bardic Arts in the Modern Druid Tradition

By The Druid’s Garden

The Druid's Garden

I am excited to annouce that my 2018 Mount Haemus Award article, titled “Channeling the Awen Within: An Exploration of Learning the Bardic Arts in the Druid Tradition” has been released on OBOD’s website (a better formatted PDF is at the bottom of the page; I suggest downloading and reading that). In 2020, I will travel to the UK to deliver a talk tied to the paper itself, as every four years, OBOD offers a Mount Haemus lecture for the four most recent scholars. Every eight years, OBOD publishes a volume, and the next volume will also include this paper. Given this incredible honor–and the fact that the project is now finally finished (whew!)–I wanted to take a bit of time today to talk about the project, what I learned, and how I hope it can help others.

What I Learned

Regeneration, card 79 from the 3rd edition of the Tarot of Trees Regeneration, card 79 from the 3rd edition of…

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