It’s been quiet around these parts for a good while, but it’s not for a lack of activity in my real life. Rather the opposite: I’ve been buried under a pile of responsibilities and activities both secular and religious, and writing that has no clear deadline or penalty (read: this blog) has gotten put to the wayside. Of course, there is in fact a penalty: I begin to feel like I have a well bottled up in me, and as if I’m betraying promises I made to the gods when I first started this site. And so, segue, I’m here to write about running ritual and the difficult but worthwhile responsibility it brings, centered around my first time running a ritual at this past Winter Solstice. Continue reading On ritual, responsibility, and consecration
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.”
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my own (in)experience as a druid. That is, to use the language of educational research, I have a very unbalanced set of competencies. On the one hand, I am relatively new to my path: I began officially-to-myself exploring a pagan spiritual practice in January of 2013, and would not have described myself firmly as a practicing druid until a bit more than a year ago. I have, one might well say and rightly, a lot to learn. And yet, simultaneously, I have a rather large amount of relevant background: I’ve studied comparative religions, with a special interest in neopagan paths, on a hobbyist level for nearly two decades. I’ve been developing my ‘bardic’ skills (as we’d call them) both as an amateur and through formal education for almost my entire life. And thanks to to graduate degrees in the humanities, followed by continual immersion in that same environment as university staff, my ability to absorb and critically engage with large amounts of complex information operates at a fairly high pitch. The gap between my spheres of experience is marked, and I struggle to integrate these mismatched skillsets.
Continue reading Balancing confidence against inexperience