Hard joy

I feel like the longer I practice druidry, the more I sit and talk with the gods and spirits, the more I have to sit with uncertainty and contradiction, the more I have to let go of my own knowing. Not that I don’t have my own will or direction — I do, and I don’t truck with spirits that would deny that — but rather I have to keep accepting that, smart as I may be, I often don’t know better. The spirits aren’t omniscient or infallible by any means, but they are very old. They’ve seen a lot, far more than I have or ever hope to.

But still, it’s hard to let go. At Three Cranes Grove’s most recent high day ritual, when we asked “what do the Kindreds ask of us,” we were told, fairly unambiguously, that they wanted… joy. Seriously? Continue reading “Hard joy”

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Social justice magic (maybe)

I don’t do magic, not as a general rule. I’m not even sure  I think it exists outside of an internal psychological reality, though a number of people I trust seem fairly sure of it. But recently I found a situation that really seemed to call for a response that was, well, magical. A few days ago, a colleague came into the office at work, waving a piece of paper angrily. It was a flyer she’d ripped down from a a bulletin board in our academic building: an image of a bust of a Caesar in white marble, its empty eyes staring out above the legend “Serve Your People / Identity Evropa.”

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What we see in the fire

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.
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On marriage, the state, and the limits of legitimacy

I got married last week. Well, sort of. Actually Jarod and I were married in July of 2011, in front of about 150 friends and relatives, with rings and nice outfits and a photographer and an officiant and a sound system and a catered reception and dancing. It was, for all intents and purposes, a wedding. (And a very pleasant one at that — I’m still pleased at the way we managed to thread the needle of tradition and make a ceremony that was, at once, recognizable to everyone and yet also not beholden to any particular tradition.) And yet, it also wasn’t a wedding: we signed no papers, had no license, weren’t legally married in any sense whatsoever, because at the time, July of 2011, the Ohio Constitution included §15.11, ‘Marriage Amendment’: “Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions. This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage.”
Continue reading “On marriage, the state, and the limits of legitimacy”