Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Litha Seed thought - Magical transformation

It was a day spent painting the fence, I started the day feeling like a bad pagan for not being up to welcome the Midsummer dawn. However, it was a rainy midsummer with the sun invisible behind a grey curtain. I slept through rather than having the exhaustion of an early, for me, start. I had jobs to do, particularly painting the new fence boundary to the house.
During the repetetive effort of painting the fence I realised I had to stop railing against what I thought I should be doing (i.e. get up to see a rainy sunrise) but doing what you actually should be doing. Honouring the Ylfe of this land by painting the fence and working with them to create beauty.
My negativity of mind was reset, by the end of Litha the fence was painted and the satisfaction of completing the job was well earnt. The fence was part of an ongoing and surprising process.

I thought at first I wanted to create a garden for my wife and I to enjoy. Our front garden is on a public path in a lane that provides entry to the park and a tree lined walk to the shops. I saw a quote from an Architect on-line (that I didn't save) which said "Your front garden is your gift to the outside world". Our house renovations, efforts in the garden and the newly painted fence have brought interest and joy to many of the passers by. During this time of lockdown bringing joy to people is a happy lesson. I'm still surprised by people congratulating us on the work that we've done. The exterior of the house and the garden have been neglected, we've learnt, for at least 40 years. I hope the Ylfe of this land are honoured by this work. Within my Gewessi gnosis applying real effort to bring positivity to the world feels better than a rote ritual for a rainy dawn.

Beltaine Seed Thought - the ritual of planting

Finally (in October) getting to write up my seed thoughts throughout the year. 2020 has been a sh-one-t year but the blessing we've had is a house to renovate and garden to create. The first job I could do was to create a vegetable patch from an overgrown corner in the north but facing east and receiving sunlight from the west between Eostre and Ghol Dheys.
At Eostre plant the following:

  1. Broccoli Purple Sprouting
  2. Beans in a green house
  3. Leeks in a green house
  4. Tomatoes in a green house or propagator
First new moon to full moon after Eostre (depending on local weather) plant
  1. Potatoes
  2. Chard and Spinach
  3. Climbing Beans outside, as long as the weather feels warm enough
  4. First Beetroot sowing
  5. Leeks outside
At Beltaine plant the following:
  1. Pumpkins
  2. Butternut squash
  3. Courgettes
  4. First lettuce sowing outside

Beltane blessings

May the Lady's touch again,
Rest upon the barren plain,
With the sunshine and the rain,
Let the sleeper awake!
Beltane magick here we sing,
Chant the rune and dance the ring,
Joy and blessing shall it bring,
Let the sleeper awake!
Doreen Valiente

My personal Druidry is about living Life As Ritual as William Morris said "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful" however I prefer to join it together in the useful function and the beautiful form. Ideally the object has both form and function. As can be seen from the photo' there's a way to go in beautifying the form.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Eostre Affirmation to the Gewessi Path

Bitter sweet

Cold wind , warm sun
Great ride, last ride.
These realities of my Eostre mountain bike pilgrimage to Wolstonbury Hill germinated my thoughts that brought forth the Imbolc Seed Thought post that had been lurking incomplete over the past 6 weeks. The imminent Covid-19 lockdown lay heavy on my mind, as I'm sure it has been with most people across the world, and the warm sun and cold wind mimicked the tensions in the world.
Up on Wolstonbury I looked to the East to where I have moved, the future

I looked to the West, where I used to live, the past
The thought came to me, "Go East old man" as a balance to the well known "Go West young man". I smiled, a wry internal grin at my place in the oder of things.

Wondering and Wandering as I returned from Wolstonbury I discovered a hitherto unnoticed Bridleway stone. Down a path I was seeking to visit, the old village of Clayton that I'd never been to. I live in the Parish now. A beautiful little Bridleway I'd never ridden, the thrill of the new excited me and I found, I think the spiritual heart of Adurni, the water goddess of the river Adur. The river that has dominated my life. My new village/small town is riddled with streams. Though I've known the place all my life I've never known the place until I moved here a few months ago as a Gewessi Druid. All of these streams come from springs on the South Downs and feed into the Adur. These springs aren't the home of the river goddess or spirit. My gnosis, from the river Ouse, is that the river spirit resides or begins in a special place either a beautiful spring, a lake or pond. I'd seen from the weather maps where the start of the Adur is, in or near Clayton.

Near the end of the Bridleway a beautiful pond appeared. I'd found the start, the heart of Adurni where she springs forth from the Earth.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Eostre seed thought - dance of life

With current events around Covid-19 I almost forgot this festival, even though I had booked the day off. Having moved house into a 'project to get it right and do a proper job', a witchy, snow white romantic house. There are a lot of jobs to do, projects within the project. The basement is one of those. I had dirty, dusty, wear a mask work to do so I brought music down and worked to the music. Dance music.
It was Eostre and my thoughts, amongst the drudgery, turned to it as a ritual space and then a favourite in the mix reverberated through the space. And I danced, at first hesitant remembering moves.
Hitting the beat, then after a couple of minutes the flow began.
The moves, throwing shapes.
The Techno-shaman in me, made it a sacred space.
I danced like no one watched me,
I didn't care, as the joy of dance flowed through the air waves.
The past of ecstatic nights when I was a mid-core raver.
Shamanic dance of healing hurts.
The dance took me, it revealed the Ingvi-Lord.

I was talking to a friend about music and dancing, she told how music brought out tears but that she felt the approbation of her peers. This meant she couldn't hear the music and dance because of the release of emotion. We discussed Techno-Shamanism about finding that safe, sacred space where you can be able to release that emotion in music and dance. How, for many too old (i.e. over 30) to find a dark and dirty night-club, a good old kitchen rave whilst cooking the dinner hits the spot where you can dance, cry, laugh and have joy without approbation.
Calming down from the ecstatic vision I returned to the scrubbing work.

Upon reflection about the experience it seemed about right, I have a horseshoe to rune-work with as a lucky totem, the horse is sacred to Ingvi-Freyr as told in the story of Coifi. I have a space above the stairs down to put it. The Awen feels good. This can be a sacred space.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Navajo Flatbread Recipe

Chef and baker Brandon Johnson has shared a flatbread recipe that looks super simple and easy to make.

Brandon, from South Dakota, posted the Navajo (Native American) flatbread recipe on Facebook...

Navajo Flatbread, for six:

2 cups flour

1 – 1 1/4cup of lukewarm water

1 table spoon baking powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1 table spoon oil/butter/shortening

Mix dry ingredients together and add most water, mix and add water until it has the consistency of tacky pizza dough

Knead for a few minutes

Let rest in greased bowl for 30- 60 minutes

Divide into 6 pieces and roll out on floured surface thin. (Tortilla thickness)

Heat pan to 180°C

Cook until golden brown spots and flip, cooking until done

They can be made ahead and kept under a flour towel or frozen for later use.

Monday, 23 March 2020

Imbolc seed thought: Balance of the middle way

A bit late as it took until me Eostre Affirmation ride for the seed thought to germinate in the solid grey days of rain

The balance days where the moon is setting/rising and the sun is rising/setting feels like a liminal time of balance between  opposing principles. These solar and lunar principles of energy and reflection, positive and negative feels very relevant in these modern times where fundamentalism and polarised views are on the rise, as an aspect of digital disruption where new technology such as social media disrupt or destroy the previously established norm.

It is tempting to view this in a polarised fashion and buy-in to the click-bait headline reporting, "social media is evil" or "why you need instagram/facebook etc.". The truth and the knowledge of the truth is that these are powerful tools capable of good and evil. Just as Brexiteers, Remainers, Trump voters aren't all bad but have allowed a single, simple narrative to over-focus them on a single principle. This also applies to a world view of Hope for the future or Despair at where we're going. They drive our behaviours and when we have single principle behaviours this leads to conflict between those for and against. The positive and negative views create friction and conflict just as positive and negative ions can cause an electric shock. Some would welcome the energy of a powerful shock but this is painful change. It is necessary to view both sides with a jaundiced eye, look at them from several angles and critically think of them from several viewpoints to understand what is really going on. This is the balance of the middle way.

I like the tension caused by the days where the sun is rising or setting just as the moon is setting or rising where I am caught between the two energies and can see the knife edge path of the middle way balancing between the two energies. Just as emotionally the bi-polar days of high optimism or the dark days in the depths of pessimism are hard, the best days are somewhere in between.

Neither Hope nor Despair is the way forward, critical thinking and balance is the middle path.

Friday, 20 December 2019

Frigga House blessing

After cleaning the house.  I  circled each room sunwise.  
Holding an incense stick and a quartz crystal I chanted this continuously 

Berkana Frigga Gebo
Bless this house
Bring happiness
Bring positivity
Bring  joy.
Berkana Frigga Wunjo
To this hearth
To this house
For this and all moments.
Berkana Frigga Gebo.

Dedicated to Frigga this day 20th Dec Yule 2019.  

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Wuldor's season

A hoar's skirts smother the Weald
Her beauty, merciless frost,
Wuldor rises, glory shines.
Lifts her frock, glowing beauty.
Their light shifts my aching soul.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Samhain Seed Thought - regeneration

It is easy to focus on the past, those who have passed before us and the darkness of the season. 
Druidry teaches of the celebrating the cycle of growth, order and decay.  Samhain is celebrating the seasonal decay.  In the garden the leaves are turning those glorious yellow, umber and red colours.  They then can be gathered and munched into leaf mould an essential compost for the garden.
So the seed thought is the growth that comes from decay.