Journeys: Thoughts from a Druid Path

Journeys through the world around us, from a Druidic perspective.

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The Loud Silence of the Wind

The ogham Eadha refers to the still, quiet voice of the wind through the trees. I have heard this voice all of my life, even before I had a name for this thing called "neo-paganism". It was a voice, yes; it was sound, yes, but it was something more than just sound, it was sound with context.

At times, the wind just evoked a feeling in me: melancholy, longing, perhaps thoughts of someplace far away. At other times, the wind seemed to herald news or some kind of information coming from another place. Yet still other times, and the wind seemed to blow right through me, leaving me clean, hollow, and empty. I guess it would be easy to say I love the wind.

I just returned from Eight Winds, an ADF festival that is held on the west coast of the US. This was my fourth try at attending and this time I made it. I had bought tickets all of the other times, but something always seemed to come up to keep me from attending. This year was the one that happened, and I am so glad it did.

The festival was held outside of Truckee, California in the Sierra Nevadas and the area was just beautiful. There was a lake nearby, the mountains were visible in the distance, and the sun was brilliant in the sky. The days were warm, in the 80s/30s Fahrenheit/Celsius and the nights were cool, around 37/3, crisp and star filled.

The one thing I noticed right away was the presence of the wind. It blew gently; it blew more forcefully; sometimes it blew with vigour; other times it did not blow at all. Looking back at it, I am not sure if it followed the conversations or the moods or directed them. Or maybe it was just the wind. In any event, it was a weekend of peace, fellowship, and understanding. There were no tense moments; there were no sudden crisis between people; there were no angry words; there was just peace. There was just peace and the blowing of the wind.

The conversation ranged far and wide: from the Gods, to the lack of water, to Humean thoughts, to the nature of the Gods, to the consolation of mathematics and belief, to prayers for a sick friend, to a discussion of Kant. It was the beauty of discourse without pretense, of words with the intent of sharing and no great claim or stake on ownership. There were no mirrors in the Sierra Nevadas that weekend. Even the quiet, peaceful face of the lake reflected more of the sky than it did of the faces that may have gazed into it. We were all people under the sky. The sun rose, the day awakened, we did the tasks that were ours to do, we shared the joy of time and location together, the day waned, the sun set, we talked and laughed and just existed around the fire, and the stars overtook the sky, claiming precedence over the ordered dance in the sky. What we saw in the glow of the fire was our own thoughts, each others faces, and a common purpose under that sky. There was just peace and the blowing of the wind.

Do we need a festival for such an encounter? Where we meet as friends in the joy of our company and the peace of our times together? Must we look to what draws us apart? Can we instead focus on what brings us together, keeps us together, and helps us grow as a group of individuals and as a community? The beauty of discourse and friendship is the yielding of willfulness and the desire for union and sharing that keeps us talking and sharing and relishing the joy of discovery of each other and ourselves. We had different beliefs and different experiences and different pagan paths, and yet we met here as one. There was just peace and the blowing of the wind.

I arose early that morning and the fire was just a few embers, glowing weak and red. I looked around for paper or kindling, but none was to be found. I folded up my ego, my desire, and the sense that I-must-be heard and rolled it loosely into a packet and added small pieces of wood. I placed it atop the embers and the wind, just awakened from a long summer night, blew gently across these items and the embers began to redden and flare. From the most bashful of embers, a flame was kindled, with these few things, a fire came to life, under the sky.

There was just peace and the blowing of the wind.


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I am a long-time pagan and charter member of ADF, Ar nDraoicht Fein, a Druid Fellowship. I am a Senior Priest in as well as the Arch Druid of ADF. I am a Druid of the Third Order, RDNA; Druid Grade, OBOD; and a Second Degree Druid Companion in AODA. I love Druidry!  


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