Cleaning for Brigando

Last weekend, Three Cranes Grove celebrated our Anagantios druid moon, the Stay-at-Home Moon. For this moon, we do exactly that: instead of convening together for ritual, we each stay at our homes and the priests go on their peregrinations, bringing the fire of Brigando to bless each home. There are a number of rituals and customs that we have around the occasion. Shawneen keeps a Kildare flame at his home, and the priests carry its flame in a candle lantern lit afresh from that flame in the early morning. Shawn also each year selects a new batik cloth to lay out as a brat Brìghde on Imbolc Eve, and cuts it into strips that the priests deliver along with our own flame-lit chime candle, to bring the goddess into our home. As for we grove members? We clean.

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Balancing confidence against inexperience

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.
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Apologizing to Antonin Scalia

In case you somehow didn’t hear, Antonin Scalia died last Saturday. Scalia was a staunchly conservative Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, arguably the core of the conservative justices of the court. His death leaves a gaping vacuum on the bench, and it brings heightened political tensions to an election where, honestly, I wasn’t sure there was greater tension to be had. But I’m not here to write about Scalia, not directly anyway. Continue reading “Apologizing to Antonin Scalia”