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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Druidry

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I’ve not posted a blog for a while, as I’ve been on a deep retreat with the land, and finishing my latest book- more on that soon. But I wanted to share what I think is one of the most important things to connect with on the Celtic path at this time of the year- the plant Vervain, verbena officianalis.  Vervain is one of the few plants we know the ancient druids venerated, as the Roman writer Pliny recorded how in the height of summer, just before dawn, the druids gathered Vervain, as Sirius the dog star rose in the sky. Vervain was so sacred that they would give the earth an offering of honey for its loss, and would gather the herb with their left hand, after drawing a circle of iron around the plant to disconnect it from the land. When they had gathered it, they would hold it up to the star to be infused with its energy, without the direct light of the moon or sun touching it.

Vervain is an herbaceous perennial, that grows about 2-3 feet tall, with toothed, rough textured leaves, a woody stalk, and in the summer it has small, pale purplish flowers. It’s relatively easy to grow from seed, and is happy in most positions, so long as it doesn’t dry out completely. Vervain can be hard to find for some, but is easily bought on line and once you grow some it self-seeds easily.  Yet this simple, modest little plant is possibly the most magical and powerful ally in the witches garden.       

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What can we compare Modern Minoan Paganism to?

When people hear about Modern Minoan Paganism, they often ask, "Oh, is that like Wicca but with labryses and that snake goddess?" Um, no.

Granted, a lot of my early Minoan rituals were very Wiccan in flavor, because like many modern Pagans, Wicca is where I started out. So my first book about Minoan spirituality, Ariadne's Thread, has rituals that follow a roughly Wiccan outline. But once we started developing Modern Minoan Paganism as its own thing, we moved away from that framework and to something more in keeping with the way the ancient Minoans probably worshiped. So the rituals in Labrys and Horns are definitely not Wiccan in flavor. (You'll find a discussion of the differences between the two books here.)

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    So, the process is something like: 1. Start with what you know. 2. Garner what you can from scholarship. 3. Adapt scholarship for
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    Essentially, yes. Though in terms of personal gnosis, we do our best to rely only on widely shared gnosis rather than stand-alone

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

A time of magic and transformation, sacred to the goddess Brighid, is upon us at the eve of Imbolc,  Lá Fhéile Bríde  as it is known in Irish and Là Fhèill Brìghde as it is known in Scottish Gaelic. Brighid is one of our oldest and most revered of goddesses, Britain and Brittany are both named after Her, she is the sacred guardian of these countries. Her special festival, Imbolc, is one of the oldest Celtic festivals- one of the most famous sacred sites in Ireland, the mound of the hostages at Tara, built around 3350BC is astronomically aligned to the Imbolc sunrise, and there are several others, showing us that this time has been sacred for thousands of years. Thought to mean ‘in the belly’ Imbolc is a time when the ewes are pregnant and the new lambs are born, and when the year ahead is still pregnant with possibility.

There is something so special about this quiet, wintery time, when the first new shoots may be breaking through the soil but winter still continues fierce for a while yet. Today I woke at dawn to frosty world of white and silver, and I cleaned the hearth and kindled the fire in Brighid's name, adapting a traditional Celtic kindling prayer from the Outer-Hebrides.

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I sat with the Cailleach the other day, deep in the barrow mound, upon the hill, as the sun set on the shortest day. A raven spiralled over the white sky, and cut through the air with its cry…but its mournful sound seemed far off to me, sheltered in the shadows of the stones, and the black earth, the steady drip drip of water onto ancient sacred soil a drum rhythm, a rattle to the slow base of my heart beat in my ears, as I sank deeper and deeper still into the quiet.   

I held out my hands and felt her strong fingers, dry as winter twigs, gnarly knuckled and skin like paper-ash fine and fragile. She held my hands and with her the ancient ones, the sleeping ones stirring from the deep places dreaming, pulling me gently into layers below my awareness, calling me to slow down, and be enwrapped by them, to not rush today seeking magic when wisdom is here, in the quiet, in the dark. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

There's been a flare-up of transphobia lately in some Pagan circles, I want to affirm that my own hearth practice of Paganism/polytheism and that of my grove, Northern Roots Grove, is fully accepting of the range of human gender & sexual diversity. The roles people take on in our rituals are not gender specific unless a member wants a gender specific role, and creates a ritual with that in mind. In keeping with modern hospitality we are quite happy to call you by whatever name & pronouns that you introduce yourself with, or let us know if they change at some point. 

What body parts are under your robe, kilt, or earasaid  isn't any of our concern! We have thus far had a croning ritual for a cis woman member who wanted one, and plan on having another, but neither of these are based on when or whether the woman has reached a particular biological marker, such as menopause. It was just when they feel it is the right time for that ritual.  Life passage rites are created by or for the individual who wants them and so whether they are gender specific or related to physical or spiritual states of being is up to the person. We do not have any particular requirements for such rituals, we consider them successful if they help support the person and/or their loved ones in going through a life transition. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Encountering the Nature Spirits

One of the basic tenets of Druidry, and perhaps one of the ones that unites virtually all modern forms, is a reverence and respect for nature. This is reflected in the original meaning of the word ‘Druid’, which comes from the Gaelic drui, which has ties to the proto-Celtic word for Oak, dru. The Roman historian Pliny the Elder wrote in the First Century AD that the Gaulish druids worshipped and performed sacrifices outdoors in sacred places in nature, most notably in oak groves.

 While modern Druidic traditions cannot claim an unbroken lineage to these times, most if not all modern Druids would likely agree that honoring nature forms a central part of their beliefs and practices. In fact, the most common stereotype someone might have of a modern-day Druid would likely be that of a robe-clad tree-hugger. Robes aside, there may be a kernel of truth in this for many practicing Druids, who would largely agree that they do worship nature to at least some degree.

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