Tonight Three Cranes Grove celebrated Giamonios, the Gaulish end-of-winter moon. It was a small group of us, just four — we celebrated the Thargelia in honor of Artemis and Apollo as our public spring cross-quarter ritual just yesterday, so most people elected to stay home. But our intimate gathering provided a relaxed, informal resumption of our outdoor druid moons, where we cleaned out the firepit in our nemeton and rekindled our fires. At this moon we honor Belenos, god of the fiery sun, and honor the triple fire of sacrifice, inspiration, and fellowship. Our working in this small-group setting gave us the opportunity to speak from the heart: each person volunteered to speak on the fire in one of its three aspects, and I volunteered to tie them all together. So, with appreciative credit to Lisa Lea, Jan, and Thorne for their explications of the fires of sacrifice, inspiration, and fellowship, respectively — and with apologies for my rephrasing and reconfiguring of their words — some thoughts on the fire at the center of all.
More than anything else, my druidry is rooted in fire. Waters are important, plants and animals are important, but fire: fire is foundational, light and heat and fellowship and welcome and civilization all rolled together in a twisting, glowing spire of flame. It’s no accident that I worship Brigid, whose fire gives strength of healing and poetry and home. And yet I often see fire instrumentally: as a means of illumination (literal or metaphorical), as a gateway, as a sort of converyance of the gods.
Continue reading What we see in the fire
I’m not very good at meditating consistently. I’ve never managed to set (and stick to) a meditation schedule. I’m forever forgetting that I meant to meditate until it’s 10 past midnight, and I should have been in bed hours ago. Or I make grand plans to meditate in the morning when, if I’m really honest, my achievable goals are coffee and shower. And what’s more, I’m actually just bad at meditating. I’m hypersensitive to sounds around me, for one, so a passing car or a meowing cat pops me right out of my head. I have trouble finding a comfortable position that isn’t also a sleeping position. And my mind in general is not very interested in slowing down and staying focused. [I’m told that, like any other skill, much of this is a matter of not having enough practice, and I believe that. Doesn’t help much in the moment, though.]
And yet, there are occasions when everything clicks. When I’m able to feel that I’ve brought myself into a place of stillness, from which I can call out to the spirits of the earth, the sea, and the sky, to speak to the Gods and have the hope of response, to know better my place in the great interconnected web of being. Continue reading Great artists steal, meditation edition