Cascadia Druids: White Mountain Druid Sanctuary Blog

White Mountain Druid Sanctuary (WMDS) is a Druid inspired Pagan site in Trout Lake, Washington. This blog describes the planning and creation of the Stone Circle, Shrines and physical surroundings that are being built there.

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Encounters with the Kindred, Part 1

I’m going to take a break from the physical descriptions of structures at White Mountain Druid Sanctuary and talk some about possible personal experiences there.  Part of what is really exciting about modern paganism is that there is not usually much tradition or dogma about how one should believe.  In ADF, we focus on practice - do rituals whether public or solitary.  Bring the mind’s attention in line with the Kindreds.  We have a specific structure to our rituals with 18 core points to hit.  However, this is the limit of the structure.  In other words, what you experience in your own mind and heart is your business.


So as I walk the path towards the entrance of the Stone Circle at WMDS, I first encounter the Shrine to the Daghda.  I personally experience him first and foremost as the god of abundance and appetites (food, sex, good living, drink, etc).  He has a modest belly in the artwork which reminds me of how many of us look in our day and age.  Being someone with control issues, I tend to ask him for abundance of appetite in moderation.  I figure he has a good sense of humor and likes to laugh and hope that my seemingly contradictory request makes him smile.  


At this point I’m reminded of the disparity between the myths of battle, weapons and amazing acts of courage, and our present day and age.  Most of us are not warriors and our acts of courage are for ends that are more mundane but no less important to us.  For example, trauma seems like a rather common occurrence these days - most people have something that has happened in life that has made us wary and mistrustful of others.  The Daghda can be an example of someone who walked through many battles and still knew how to be present in the moment to every opportunity for pleasure.  In one story, he eats until he can hardly move, gets jumped on by a woman until he throws it all up and then he happily agrees to have sex with her.


Shrine to the Daghda with greenhouse and garden in background 


The next Shrine along the walk is to the Morrigan.  They are side by side for a reason.  The Morrigan is known to many people in many ways.  I am drawn to her because she is the patron of one of my best friends so I always thank her for taking care of him in the ways she sees fit.  She is known as the goddess who knew which warriors were going to die in battle.  This made her a being that was pleaded with to stay away.  Please Morrigan, do not take my loved one who is heading to the battlefield today.  But I am also reminded of her desire to have sex with the Daghda once per year - they had a standing date.  Even though it is her lot to see death, sorrow and rage at every turn, she allows the Daghda to give her pleasure once a year before going back to the deeply patient work of helping humans through grief and heartbreak.  


Daghda’s Shrine with images of the Morrigan and their encounter


Again, those are some of the ways I relate to her very much based on what I need in life.  Each person will have their own personal experiences and requests with each Kindred.  Sometimes my experiences with a deity have little resemblance to their stories.  The Morrigan is severe but comforting in my experience.  Other people find her terrifying.  Both experiences are valid and real.  The painting on the Daghda’s Shrine is Kirk’s experience of the Daghda and the Morrigan.  It is a true expression of his understanding of these two deities based on what we know of their stories and Kirk’s own unique point of view.


Part of the point here is that the Shrines at WMDS have been built for humans to have a place to encounter the Kindreds in each person’s own way.  They also give us access to these beings in ways that are not always available to us zooming through the business of daily life and sitting at home.  There is the journey to get there that helps prepare the mind and heart for whatever experience may happen.  It’s not a place where anything in particular should happen.  It’s a place where experiences could happen for each person according to the moment in time that they are living in.  It’s also a place where one can build and further a relationship with a Kindred.  There are Shrines to UK deities there, but many a time have Odin, Aphrodite and Silvanus appeared to people.  Many a time have people made offerings to the gods and goddesses of Egypt, Mesopotamia and the First American peoples as well as other places in the world.  


I personally have a gaggle of otters show up to every ritual and perch on various parts of my body including my head.  And if they don’t make me take myself less seriously, then the Nac Mac Feegle (a type of fairy folk from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld) show up under my bench carrying on in very loud whispers about ridiculous topics.  Are these just my imagination?  It doesn’t really matter - I choose to interact with them as very real influences in my life and I am thankful for them.  


As always, we appreciate your interest! If you feel so moved, you may contribute at or make a one time donation by emailing And please visit - we look forward to meeting you :)


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We are Cascadia Grove of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF). Our local Grove serves the Puget Sound area. We meet 8 times a year to celebrate the equinoxes, solstices and the cross quarter days (including Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain). We also support the planning and building of White Mountain Druid Sanctuary in Trout Lake WA.


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