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It’s beginning to look a lot like…

…that time of the year with so many festivities. There’s Christmas, Yule, Alban Arthan, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Pancha Ganapati, Koliada, Yalda, and so many others.

I am a Druid, so I celebrate Alban Arthan. But my family is Christian, so I celebrate Christmas with them. How come? Christmas, to me, is about family, is about of those I am from. My siblings and siblings-in-law, my parents, my aunts and uncles, my fiancée and my in-laws and, of course, my ancestors. So I celebrate my family and friends, I celebrate our tiny community, I celebrate that I have a family and I am not alone.

Although I am a Pagan, I will always continue my family’s tradition, and any other tradition we might create. My family accepts me for who I am, and I accept them as they are.

To me it’s beginning to look even more like family, love and acceptance, comfort and warmth.

Our Christmas/Yule/Family tree
Our Family (Christmas/Yule) tree
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Beltane

The wheel has turned and Spring has come
Joy hovers in the air.
There’s life! There’s party!
Cheers to revelry!
Lets celebrate as a community!

Spring is here,
Now the days are growing bigger.
The Sun, Star King, is warming up.
At night there’s bonfires,
Tables filled with food,
It’s time to eat, drink and feast.

The Bard blesses us with poetry
And enchanting timeless songs.
Around the bonfire we dance,
Together, with drinks, we toast
To celebrate Beltane.

While the Bard plays their songs,
My soul dances to the sound of their enchantment,
My feet move to the sound of their harp,
That is when  rediscover myself:
I am the Bard, I am poetry
I am Awen, perfect melody
I am the source, transformation and rebirth.

 

Beltane
Beltane. Image Source
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Mother Earth Day

Vale de Moreiro, Góis. Taken by yours truly
Vale de Moreiro, Góis (Portugal). Taken by yours truly

Mother Earth Day

A walk through the forest

Or a stroll by the sea,

Small things that can do wonders

For both you and me.

It’s not just the exercise, you see?

And it’s not just the sun, or just the fresh air.

It is all of that, and it is so much more.

It’s us, and the sun, and it’s nature everywhere.

Because with the fast paced lives we’ve been leading,

Along with the “ruler of the world” mindset,

We forgot that we’re also a part of nature.

We’re destroying our Mother – the Earth,

Destroying our Brothers – the Animals,

Destroying our Sisters – the Plants and the Trees.

We forgot what it feels like to be one with the Earth,

We forgot what it’s like to walk in nature

Without killing an animal, without littering the world.

While power and money blind us, and rule us and corrupt us,

We poison our waters, we’re killing us all.

On this Mother Earth Day

Go back to what we always were.

Take a walk through the forest

Or a stroll by the sea.

Sit down, take a deep breath,

Really feel the world around you.

And always, always remember:

Mother Earth is filled with life and magic,

Just like you and me.

São Pedro beach, Portugal. Taken by yours truly
São Pedro beach, Portugal. Taken by yours truly
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Carrying the Forest within

I am an animist, polytheist pagan on the Druidry path.

I need to be surrounded by trees to feel alive and energised.

Too bad I live in the outskirts of Lisbon and work in Lisbon city itself. It drains me out and sometimes it is very hard for me to have any energy at all.

The concrete and cement, all the buildings and cars and pollution, and even the huge amount of people around drain me so very much, unlike what happens in rural spaces.

Perhaps this is due to my need of closeness with Nature, or my need for personal space (please don’t get me started on public transportation during rush hour).

However, today something was different. I am still living in the outskirts of Lisbon, in a very urban area. But, today, I somehow felt the connection to the land and its spirits, I felt the connection to the few trees in the sidewalk. I felt like they were saying “I know how you feel”.

About a week after my experience with Danu, I started praying daily (usually twice a day) to my Ancestors (of blood and of spirit), to the Spirits of the Land, to the Deities I follow (Cernunnos, Danu and The Morrígan).

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This connection might be due to my recent daily practice. If it is, I hope it continues.

But what I am taking from all this?

I am learning to be mindful of the Land Spirits around, even in urban grounds. I am starting to feel the Spirits of the Land in a place I never had before (cities).

My spiritual practice is gaining a greater importance in my life and I am enjoying it very much. I am learning and improving through baby steps and I am ok with this. Good things take time and require resilience, practice and time.

OBOD has this wonderful exercise where you visualise yourself in a grove. Mine is always deep within a forest. It seems I am finally learning to carry the forest within me.

img 20180310 1814341659503591 - Carrying the Forest within

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My Song

Remember I told you, on my Inner Divinity post, that I was going to work on a poem similar to the Song of Amergin?

Well, I finished it today, and I wanted to share my first work as a Bard (I am already doing the OBOD Bardic course) with you.

Here goes nothing…

 

My Song

I am a daughter of the Forest.
I am a child of the Sea.
I am playful caress of the Wind.
I am an Oak of a thousand years.
I am warmth of the Sun.
I am one of Moon’s mysteries.
I am prophetic Owl in the night.
I am fierce Raven’s cunning insight.
I am weaving Spider.
I am wise Stag.
I am protective wild Boar.
I am Wolf for clan.
I am River running free.
I am Music and Poetry.
Who knows the secrets of the human soul?
Who reads the truth in cards and people?
Who protects worthy causes?
Who befriends animals and plants?
Who endeavours to bring enlightenment to others?
Who is a wave in the Sea?
I am, in the Forest, a tree.

 

Illustration from The Dream of Aengus, by Ted Nasmith
Illustration from The Dream of Aengus, by Ted Nasmith. Image taken from here.
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Finally!!!

And I feel like a kid on Christmas morning.

Yule arrived a little earlier this year. Yesterday, to be exact.

I decided to go ahead with the OBOD Bardic course, and my packages arrived yesterday.

As you can imagine, I already started studying the materials.

I am so very happy, right now! ^_^

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My OBOD packages.
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Being crafty

So, I have been creative, lately.

I needed a supply box (I need more than one, actually), and, last night, I got myself one, and decided to be creative with the box.

It’s not perfect, as it was a second attempt at pyrography, but I loved the results.

For those of you that are not familiar with the symbol, it is an Awen, a Druidic symbol, and you can read further about it here and here.

Damh the Bard – Song of Awen

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Box with pyro-engraved Awen, by yours truly.
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Inner Divinity

A Pagan/Druid friend of mine recently introduced me to the entry of a new blog by Rev. Davin Mac Lugh (an Ordained Druid Priest with An Draiocht Fein (ADF) that spoke of our inner divinity and how to evoke it.

In Rev. Davin Mac Lugh’s blog entry (that you can read in full here), he made reference to a poem, the Song of Amergin, that I’m transcribing below, and teaches us how to write one by ourselves.

I am Wind on Sea,

I am Ocean-wave,

I am Roar of Sea,

I am Stag of Seven Tines,

I am a Hawk on a Cliff,

I am shining tear of the Sun,

I am Fairest among Herbs,

I am Boar for Boldness,

I am Salmon in Pool,

I am a Lake on a Plain,

I am a Hill of Poetry,

I am a Word of Skill,

I am the Point of a Weapon (that pours forth combat),

I am God who fashions Fire for a Head.

Who knows the secrets of the Unhewn Dolmen?

Who (but I) announces the Ages of the Moon?

Who (but I) know the place where falleth the Sunset?

Who calls the Cattle from the House of Tethra?

On whom do the cattle of Tethra smile?

Who is the troop, the god who fashions edges in a fortress of gangrene?

(I am) a Song on a Spear, an Enchantments of Wind.

I am still revolving around mine, and putting much thought into what I wish to add there. But soon I will be posting mine for you to read. 😉

Here’s the Gaelic version (taken from here), that happens to be performed by Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance:

Am gaeth i m-muir,

Am tond trethan,

Am fuaim mara,

Am dam secht ndirend,

Am séig i n-aill,

Am dér gréne,

Am cain lubai,

Am torc ar gail,

Am he i l-lind,

Am loch i m-maig,

Am brí a ndai,

Am bri danae,

Am bri i fodb fras feochtu, Am dé delbas do chind codnu,

Coiche nod gleith clochur slébe? Cia on co tagair aesa éscai?

Cia du i l-laig fuiniud gréne?

Cia beir buar o thig tethrach?

Cia buar tethrach tibi?

Cia dám, cia dé delbas faebru a ndind ailsiu?

Cáinte im gai, cainte gaithe.

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Wind and Sea wave
Blog

Portable Altar

So… If you read my previous blog entry, you probably remember the fact that I’ve been working on a portable altar.

By now, I have most of what I am taking with me. The rest I will retrieve from Nature once I reach my weekend destiny.

I did not find the incense I wanted (sandal in cone version), but I found a spray that I am giving a try.

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My portable Altar (first version)

My tarot deck doesn’t fit in the box, but I am still taking it with me. 😉

Keep in mind this is the first version of my portable altar. It will certainly change over time, which means more pics to come. 😉

I am pretty sure I will have to acquire a new (bigger) box at some point (or end up making one myself) in order for it to contain my books of shadows, as well as my druid book.

I will make sure to keep you in the loop.

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Let me tell you what is new on my little corner of the world wide web and on my path…

So, work as been getting in the way of sharing my path with you.
Sometimes I drop work and feel so tired that I just want to go to bed and forget about the world.

Yesterday, I read a post by John Beckett, on Patheos that was both inspiring and a wake up call. It contained a message about something I have been chewing on for a while, and working internally, and it made so much sense to me!

John Beckett’s blog entry, 6 Benefits of Perseverance, addressed this issue in a crystal clear manner.
And he is completely right: If we give up on what we want before getting there, we will never get where we want to be.

I do my best to, at least, meditate on a daily basis. But I do need to better organise myself and how I spend my off-work time.

I do want to keep going through my path, I want to develop further my abilities, develop a deeper contact with the Gods and Goddesses (for which I need to learn further about).

I want to be more involved in the Pagan community, even if it only by sharing my thoughts with you for the time being.

I want to be more involved in protecting the Earth. The good part is that I am handling the Social and Environmental Responsability area of the company I work for, so I am trying to create a environmental conscience there. 😉

So I will do my best to post a new entry at least 1 to 2 times a week, even if only to say “Hello my friends! I am still here, thinking about you!”

I do want to share a few news with you.
In Portugal, it is now Autumn, and from now until February 2016, will be the best time to plant trees. Thus, I decided to give it a try, and try to develop my green thumb (which I wish to improve), and I am now trying to grow a pear tree and an apple tree. ^_^

I will see about changing them to someplace else once they grow. Perhaps, I will contact OBOD so as to start a new sacred grove, once the time comes.

Pear tree to be
Pear tree to be
Apple tree to be
Apple tree to be
My current Altar
My current Altar

I also changed my Altar.
The previous one (from Samhuinn) had an apple on the back. As I used the apple for my apple tree to be, I added chestnuts to my Altar.

I still feel that something is missing, that it’s lacking something. Black feathers keep showing up on my mind’s eye. But Ravens and The Morrígan have been on my mind quite often for over a month, now.

This also makes me feel that I must learn further in regards to The Morrígan, to understand this closeness I feel.

Though I have been a Pagan for so long, I still feel like a rookie about this. It is the first time I feel drawn to the Gods/Goddesses, so this is a brand new territory for me.

Before, I worshiped Nature in general, the Moon and the Sun, the Earth, trees, shrubs and flowers, animals, rivers and the sea… You name it.

But I will keep you posted – I will let you know how it goes. 😉

In the peace of the woods.