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Winter's Beauty - in the cold and wet...

Winter in Britain – it’s dark and it’s wet.  Not very cold, compared to what I grew up with in Canada, but the damp just seaps into your bones.  It’s a different kind of winter, one that I still sometimes have trouble getting to grips with.

The darkness is the first thing that my body has difficulty coping with.  If it’s dark outside, my body wants to sleep. I’m very much a daytime person.  Here in the UK, at a latitude of  52.0594° N (where I grew up it was 45.9500° N) it gets dark a lot earlier than what I’m used to, and it’s not light outside much before 8.30 or 9am in the darkest part of the year.  Hibernation mode kicks in.  I struggle to get out of bed even though I’ve had a great sleep if it’s still dim out. Come summer, and it’s light at 3.30am, I can get out and greet the sunrise no problem.

The darkness has a real thick, heavy quality to it sometimes, with overcast skies and damp air all around you, sounds hushed in the shadows.  Like a blanket, it can completely cover you and, if you like your head above the covers, can seem stifling.  I’ve had to learn to work with the darkness, to enjoy it, to see its beauty.

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 b2ap3_thumbnail_image_20141118-225341_1.jpgYou are invited to The 2014 Annual Hassle-Free Thanksgiving Event.

I started it in the early 80s. It’s no longer annual or face-to-face, but I do it as many years as I can, because it makes me happy. Hey, the silly title alone always lifts my spirit.

Please join in the event, online.  To start, let me explain the event by sharing a bit of its history. 
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Marylou Johnson
    Marylou Johnson says #
    I am grateful for friends who take the hassle out of Thanksgiving by inviting us over to their house each holiday. They are adop
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Marylou, thank you for sharing about the beautiful gifts in your life, that touches my heart.
  • Rommy Driks
    Rommy Driks says #
    I am grateful for frozen blueberries, my kids getting better at navigating the tasks involved in growing up, my husband and a week
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Rommy, I put frozen blueberries in the blender with a bit of water then pretended it was sorbet, just a few days ago! Yum! Did I t
  • MaryBeth Lewis
    MaryBeth Lewis says #
    Rommy aren't frozen blueberries wonderful!! Happy Thanksgiving.

discipline

ˈdɪsɪplɪn/

noun

noun: discipline

     1.     the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience.

    "a lack of proper parental and school discipline"

    2.     a branch of knowledge, typically one studied in higher education.

    "sociology is a fairly new discipline"   

 

Wow. No wonder people hate the word discipline.  It’s often equated with punishment, correcting a perceived disobedience.  We are free people, we should be able to do what we want, when we want, so long as it harms none. Life is for living, right?

Of course, I would agree with the above, that we are free, that life is for living. However, I’m also here to reclaim the word discipline into something that is positive.

We live in a world filled with instant gratification.  We have IPhones and tablets that can “connect” us with people anywhere, anytime, so that we never have to be alone (even in a crowd of people).  We have hundreds upon hundreds of television channels that tempt us into thinking that something better than the current moment we are living in is on the tube.  We have internet to answer all questions at the push of a button.  We have access to food 24/7 (most of us) – we’re usually never too far away from our larders or a shop.  We love to “treat” ourselves. Marketing has told us that “we’re worth it”, or making us feel that we’re not good enough, and with their product we will be.  Problems solved, instantly.

Now, this isn’t a blog post about self-denial, asceticism or anything similar.  It is about truly seeing and understanding our needs versus our desires. Our modern world has twisted our desires into needs, and it is up to us to rebalance, to rejig our way of thinking in order to live a life filled with more intention.

I work three jobs, alongside my work as a Druid priest.  Time can be in pretty hard demand sometimes, but planning makes it all work. It takes effort, but that is what discipline is: effort made in order to improve a situation, to live a life of intention, to learn more about integration and compassion.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Holiday Rhythms

I awoke this morning to the smell of crisp fall air coming in my window.  It rained a little last night and I can smell that, too.  Today we gather for the first of several Samhain rituals this year as my circle is spending this season visiting other communities to learn more about how others experience the holidays.  It feels a little early for Samhain, but honestly, this holiday always comes rushing forth.  I never feel quite prepared.  This is my favorite time of year and there are always more fun things I'd like to do before the year ends.

One of my favorite parts of being a pagan is the way our holidays provide rhythm and movement to my life.  No matter what I'm doing with my work or my relationships, those six weeks always pass by the same and suddenly, another holiday is upon us.  Despite more than two decades living like this, I have to admit that they sneak up on me more often than I'd like.  Even as I build my livelihood out of my spiritual life, it is still so easy to get caught up in the mundane things going on that I don't notice the signs of season's change all around me. 

...
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hmmm...For more than a decade I've lived my life around a different calendar. for me it's Samhain-tide or soon to be Lammas and I
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Yes indeed, it is such a lovely rhythm! So good to have you at our Samhain last night up in the North Bay!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_800px-Road-to-chester-swamp.png...After my post last week wherein I talked about my deep love of the Pacific Northwest and feeling like I've come home here and intending to spend the rest of my life here... life threw me a curveball.

For reasons I won't get into here, I am having to move back to New England, and am looking at doing so before the end of 2014 (not immediately, but in the not too distant future).  While this is not what I wanted, it also could be a lot worse, and I accept what is - there are also some serious pros to the situation, including being able to bring my cat with me, getting a chance to focus on my writing and art career, and I have a bigger support network on the east coast than I do out here.

...
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Nornoriel, Welcome soon to New England! This place is in your blood and in your soul, like many of us. May the Gods and spirits s
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    Hi Jamie! Thank you for the welcome as well as the blessing and well wishes, I appreciate it. I've missed New England a lot. In
b2ap3_thumbnail_SamhainMini.jpgFree event!
 
Fellow Star-dusted Traveler,
 
Let us be together in this sacred time.
 
Join me in a Faerie Samhain ritual, Tuesday Oct 28, 2014, from 3 to 4:00 PM EST.
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The Blessing of Samhain... If You Dare...

Here in the UK, the weather has turned and the colder air sweeps down from the North. Nights are longer, as the sun jumps along the horizon with each rising and setting, heading further and further towards the south.  Trees are changing colours, and plants are beginning to die back, the green fading into golden and tawny hues, foliage less dense and earth beginning to peek through the underbrush. 

The tide of Samhain has begun, when, after the autumn equinox we prepare for the darkness to come.  The balance has been tipped, and we have tipped with it, our internal clocks trying to adjust to new temperatures and light levels.  Often, we try to establish our centre, attempting to find some foothold or handhold in the coming darkness, our egos crying out the great rallying cry of “I AM!”  The darkness, however, knows the folly of this, and smiles as it creeps ever closer.

In the darkness there are no guidelines. There are no boundaries. There is no up or down, no left or right. There is only impenetrable night, a sweet release from the constraints of the known. 

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  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Witches rule the darkness.

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