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  • Posts

    • Earthdragon

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      Posted (edited)

      Seems OED has it as no.3 ?

      https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/athame as

      I've heard it said similarly perhaps with a bit less emphasis on the "ee"  at the end....



      Edited by Earthdragon
    • Veggie dancer

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      Ok I now NEED to pronounce athame.

      its for an audio book I'm narrating. 

      Summing up suggested pronunciations from this thread as I understand them we have (using capitals to show which syllable is stressed)

      1: a THAR may

      2: a tha MAY

      3: a THEY mee

      4: a THAR mee

      Can you let me how you have heard it said so I can work out what is most common? Does anyone know of a YouTube video or podcast or anything they can link me to so I can hear it?

      If the accent is the difference the character has a general south England accent.


    • UK Pagan

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      During the recent Dark Moon phase me and Cerri sat down for a Journey with the Dark Moon. It’s part of the work we are doing with our Druid Grove at the moment. We opened our inner Journey in our usual way and then went out, individually travelling through our inner landscape.

      Sometimes it can seem as if the Moon gets left behind in the modern Druid tradition. So much emphasis is placed on the Sun, of rituals ‘in the eye of the Sun’, of the Solstices, that people could be forgiven for thinking we don’t really work with our closest celestial neighbour, but that isn’t entirely true. Within the Druid Order I am a part of the realm of the Moon is associated with those mysterious beings, the Ovates. Ask anyone what a Bard is and most will have some idea. Ask them what a Druid is and again most would have an answer. Ask those same people what an Ovate is and the response is usually a blank expression. Tumbleweed. Even after all these years the work of the Ovate is Druidry’s little secret, but it is there, within the darkened Grove of Yews, that our eyes turn to the Mysteries of the Night and of the Moon.

      As people work through the three ‘schools’ of Druidry, Bard, Ovate and Druid, it is not a progression like that of, say, Wicca, where people travel through three ‘degrees’ of learning, leaving each one behind as they move on. An Ovate is still a Bard. The work of the Ovate builds upon the Journey of the Bard. A Druid is still a Bard and an Ovate, and encompasses all three in one. So when I work with the night and the Mysteries of the Moon it is the energy of the Ovate that provides the bridge of moonlight upon which to walk.

      So I walked.

      Out into that inner landscape that has been explored countless time over the years. A landscape I know very well, but there are often some unexpected surprises, and tonight held one of those. I found myself approaching a dark Sacred Grove. No Moon lit this place. I stepped within, and two torches came to life before me, one in each hand of a figure shrouded in black, the face veiled, hidden. I then noticed two lines of people, all robed, standing either side of the figure, and they all began to chant.

      “Hekate, Hekate, Hekate, Hekate.”

      hekate.jpg?resize=219%2C300&ssl=1I confess my academic knowledge of Hekate is minimal. Crossroads, magic, necromancy, all the dark Witchy stuff, but other than that, her story, her roots, I just hadn’t explored. I have plenty of relationships with Spirits, Heros and Deities from Britain to keep me very much occupied. Over the years only one other Goddess from a far-off land has ever communicated with me. That was back in 2006, Isis opened her wings and embraced me, and the song Isis Unveiled was the outward expression of that encounter. But here, within my Inner World, was another. I felt both awe and fear. She turned and led me along this corridor of chanting robed figures, lit only by her two torches.

      We did indeed stop upon a crossroads.

      It was about then that Oscar, who is often with us when we work magic, jumped down from the sofa, and literally tried to get on Cerri’s lap. I heard her tell him to get down, but other than that the Journey for me at least wasn’t disturbed. But Oscar simply doesn’t do that. Something must have disturbed him.

      “See my face veiled, as the Moon is veiled on this night. Renewal is yours, should you wish to take it,” she whispered.

      “My Lady, when can I see your face?” I asked.

      It was then as if two more shapes moved out from where her head was. Two more heads, three in all. The faces were all blurred, as if they had been filmed using a camera with a very slow shutter speed.

      “You will see my true face only once,” was the reply. But I knew that these other faces, blurred as they were, were also the phases and faces of the Moon. Tonight I spoke with the dark face, the shrouded face.

      I think I will keep the rest of our conversation private.

      It feels right to do so.

      Eventually it became time to return, so I stretched my fingers and toes, and opened my eyes, and Cerri did also.

      We spoke about what we had experienced. I told her of my visit from Hekate. Cerri had been communicating with a dog in her Journey when Oscar jumped down and tried to climb on her lap.

      It seems that Cerri may well have also been visited by Hekate, and it seems that Oscar may well have seen that dog, and decided to intervene.

      The dog is a sacred animal to Hekate.

      So I have since taken the opportunity to read up on her story, and she is so much more than I ever realised. Before we met her name brought images of those Darker Mysteries, but that is just one aspect of her, and I’m beginning to realise that it is our unnatural and rather distant relationship to death that gives this rather distorted image of her.

      So the Journey and relationship continues.

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    • UK Pagan

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      We often carry the thorns and barbs of the world with us, telling us that we're not enough—good enough, pretty enough, smart enough. But, what if we embrace the fact that we are indeed enough, and use the tarot to help us discover that fact? Melissa Cynova, author of Tarot Elements, discusses the five readings in the book that can help us reset our lives.

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    • UK Pagan

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      I love the TV program Endeavour.


      For those who have no idea what I’m talking about Endeavour is the prequel series for the popular TV show from the late 80s/Early 90s Inspector Morse. If you don’t know who Inspector Morse is, don’t worry, it’s not important to the main topic of this blog. The thing is that when Inspector Morse was on the TV I almost exclusively watched the fairly new and exciting Sky TV, so I missed the original series. My love of Endeavour has peaked my interest though, so about a week ago I checked out the price of the Morse series on iTunes. £20 for all 8 series. Sold. So me and Cerri have been making our way through them.

      The first thing I noticed is that they aren’t shot in wide-screen. At least the early ones are in the old screen format. It’s weird watching that square box. The picture quality is terrible too, only noticed after years of 1080pHD viewing. The other thing is how dated everything looks. It was set in 1987. To me 1987 doesn’t feel like that long ago, and I found myself saying something particularly daft to Cerri as we were watching. I said, “It felt so modern when we were in it!” There were people driving around in brand new Ford Sierras which, at the time, looked so cool, but now seeing them on Morse from the year 2019 look like terrible attempts at what we thought modern should look like. Other things? Smoke filled pubs and offices, no mobile phones, phone boxes, milk floats, Morse seeming to down at least three pints of ale then jump into his police car, the decoration in the houses was mostly grey and beige, people seemed to make their own sandwiches for work and take them to eat on a park bench, the police cars were old Rovers with two blue spinning lights stuck on a roof-rack, and their sirens went “nah-nah” with two tones. All things I remember well.

      Why am I saying all of this?

      musiccentre.jpg?resize=300%2C225&ssl=1Well, the thing that really took me back was when Morse took out an LP record and opened the lid of this rather large music centre, placing the disc gently on, and then dropping the needle, closing the lid, before the music played. I remember my Dad bringing one of those home. He was dead proud of it too. Two big speakers on the wall, LPs below in their designated place. My first proper music player was like that too and I loved it! I had the two speakers either side of my bed in my room so when the music played I was immersed in the sound. Particularly good for Pink Floyd and Yes albums!

      Later those big music centres were replaced with music towers. At the bottom was the twin cassette player/recorder, then there would be a tuner and amplifier, then on top would be the record player. My favoured brand as a young adult was Pioneer, and I saved up a lot of money to buy the best one I could afford. In the end I couldn’t get the money together so I bought it on the never-never through a Littlewoods catalogue. I think it cost about £400 back in maybe 1990. That was a LOT of money, and there were certainly cheaper alternatives, but music was really important to me, so I reached for the best I could afford. We had long conversations at work about the sound quality from Bang and Olufsen speakers, the clarity of classical music being played through this amplifier or that one, the best position to place the speakers for ultimate audio effect.

      It was a thing.

      Then came the CD. Smaller artwork but I was so pleased to get rid of the LP record. So many scratches on albums that had literally been handled like gold. Now, not only was the music clearer, but they were so much more durable. I loved the CD age. For a very long time cars still only had cassette players, so we recorded the CDs and played the cassettes in the car. We sacrificed quality for convenience. The first car CD players were dreadful, always jumping, so the cassette remained the mainstay of the vehicle for many years. I remember thinking back then that soon there would be a music format with no moving parts. We would literally go to the store and buy a stick that contained the full album, and we would put it the music player and press play.

      I wasn’t far wrong really. It’s just the internet wasn’t a thing back then, so the idea of downloads wasn’t on my radar.

      So why all this reminiscing?

      It struck me, as I was watching Morse how important music was back then. The pride people took with their music systems. I realised I don’t even have a CD player in the house anymore. I have my iPhone, Macs, and Apple Music subscription. The speakers we have are mono bluetooth speakers. A nice set in the kitchen, but nothing really in the lounge. Obviously where I’m sitting now is my recording studio/office so there is a good set of studio monitors to listen through, but there is no equivalent to that old music centre or Pioneer stack. It’s been such a gradual change that I can’t place a time when I let go of needing really good stereo sound, and opting instead for small bluetooth speakers. When I realised what had happened it pissed me off. I’d just seemingly been happily floating along with the current, lamely accepting the gradual reduction of audio quality as a kind of progress, when it’s anything but.

      So what to do?

      What is the modern equivalent of the old Pioneer music stack?

      Well our music consumption has changed. Streaming services are now the thing, or at least MP3s played from a computer or other device. My heart breaks a bit when I consider people listening to music through an Amazon Echo speaker. There is no way that small speaker can give any sonic clarity or give any insight into the hours and layers of recording, mixing and mastering the musician put into that recording. It comes out of a little mono speaker with no tone control or stereo affect. Heart. Broken. No, those are not the equivalent.

      So I guess we go to the Sonos speakers I’ve seen in our local store. Expensive. Really expensive. Or maybe Apple’s new HomePod? It’s not trying to compete with the cheaper smart speakers, it’s much more about the quality of the music. But it’s still mono, and although when you buy two they can interact with each other and become stereo, man, even one is a lot of money, plus it’s a MK1 Apple product, and I always try to avoid those. It feels like I’m the testing engineer, and MK2 versions are always much better, and sometimes a little cheaper. I guess back then I stretched myself to afford the best music centre I could, so maybe the Sonos or Apple HomePod really are our current best options for that quality of sound. I know people still moan about the quality of MP3s, but in truth I think they have got a lot better over the years. We once more ditched quality over convenience and now that is what new have. Again, I know about Apple Lossless and equivalent audio formats, but if your listening through a mono bluetooth speaker what really is the point?

      I want good quality music listening back in my life. I’m climbing out of this stream, and going hunting.

      How do you listen to music?

      Are there any good speakers you would recommend?

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    • UK Pagan

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      If you head to the far south west of the country you will eventually arrive in Cornwall. Travel further onwards and you will come to a left hand turning between Truro and Falmouth that leads to the small village of Devoran. Just opposite the school is a corner house. That was where my Dad and my Uncle used to run the village store.

      Across the road was the Post Office, and further along the road was the village pub. I think the school is still there, and the pub seems to be thriving as a gastropub, but the Post Office and the Village Store have gone.

      So let’s travel down to the pub now – no we aren’t going in…

      Across the way there is a narrow road that takes you down to what was a tramline. You are very close to the River Fal now. A wide stretch of tidal water this little village overlooks.

      What’s the point in all of this, you may rightly ask?

      Ok, not too far now.

      devoran.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1Don’t head down to the Old Quay – for now just walk a little way along the Tram Road. On the left you will still find C B Martyn Folage. ‘Old Man Martyn’ gave my Dad his first job when my family moved here from Carshalton. I was yet to be born, but this job helped my parents settle, and I’m sure helped me arrive in this world. As a way of honouring ‘Old Man Martyn’ I was named after him. My middle name, Martyn, has been something I’ve been proud of since I understood the meaning of that story.

      “What’s your middle name?” I’d be asked.

      “Martyn,” I’d reply, “with a Y”.

      It was a link to my beloved Cornwall that I carried with me when we all moved away when I was very young. About 25 years ago I went back to the Folage, met up with the descendants of ‘Old Man Martyn’ who still owned the company, and told them I was named after their Great Grandad. They were touched by the tale.

      Names have power.

      When I first joined the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids in 1994 I took my fresh pack of Gwersi to the bank of a pond on Ditchling Common and sat there in the sunshine. I opened the pack and one of the first things I was asked was to consider what the Druids and Druidry meant to me. That was 24 years ago and if asked the same question now, I think my mind would still go to those same images that floated around my head back then. Druid. Five letters can mean so much.

      Martyn was a great middle name. But David Smith? My parents told me that I was originally going to be named Philip Ian Smith, until they thought about me initialling cheques later in life and realised PIS wasn’t that great. So David Martyn Smith it was. I was ‘Smudger’ at school, or ‘Smiffy’, and I couldn’t help wonder why people added a syllable to a one syllable name? Dave was ok though. I’ve always been happy being David.

      As I became a teenager and got interested in magic I started thinking about a magical name, but nothing came to mind. My years within Ritual Magic moved into Paganism, and then to Druidry, and I once more began to be open to a Bardic name. Then on one visit to Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm’s Grove they showed us a new oracle deck they had been working on. It was the Druid Animal Oracle, a set of cards I still love to this day. Since the days of Richard Carpenter’s ‘Robin of Sherwood’ series I have always loved Herne, and the deer as an animal. Card after card I looked through, enjoying the artwork exquisitely painted by Will Worthington, when I came to a card that took my breath away. It was a Stag, bellowing the call of the Rut. Beneath the picture was one word, Damh. My given name was, Dave. The Gaelic name of the animal that had walked with me for years, Damh, pronounced ‘Darv’. The cards had given me my Bardic name, and it has stayed with me ever since. This was way before I began writing any Pagan songs. The name just travelled with me on to the stage.

      In many magical traditions it is said that the magician should keep their magical name secret. Shared only with those with whom they work their magic. Damh is my Bardic name, like Ross Nichols had Nuinn, a name he wore openly, so there is no secret about it. I do have a magical name and that is indeed only shared with those within my Druid Grove, and that name holds altogether different meanings and associations. But mostly, even in those more private magical moments, I still use Damh as my name. From the moment I first used it (it was on an internet email list called UKPML – UK Pagans Mailing List) it felt absolutely right. Those four letters summed up who I was. Of course the spelling was a little strange for people to understand, and I had no idea at the time that my music would be heard around the world, and that I’d bring that name with me wherever I travelled, with all of the different ways I’ve heard it pronounced over the years. But that’s what happens when you choose (or it chooses you) a Gaelic Bardic name.

      Of course, names can be seen as labels, and I know that there are many who wish to shed labels. I’m not one of those to be honest. I have no wish to shed the label of Druid. I am intensely connected and still very much in love with the Forest Path. I acknowledge that there has never been any unbroken spiritual lineage of teachings back to the Iron Age and before, and I’m absolutely fine with that. I’m not trying to be an Iron Age Druid. I don’t live in the Iron Age. What I, and most Druids I know do, is take inspiration from that distant past. Honour the points where Earth meets Sky, where Sky meets Sea, where Sea meets Sky, and where all three meet. I find comfort in the old stories, I see the Gods of those tales within the land, I hear their voices in the sound of the wind, the call of the gull, and the wave on the shore. None of this is trying to live in the past, it’s trying to understand living in the now, using spiritual methods and tools we are remembering. So I am more than happy to use the name Druid to describe who I am, what I do.

      Other labels? Father, husband, musician, entertainer, Bard, Pendragon, magician, friend, there are many. We all have varied roles to play in life, and these names can help identify where you are, and what you are doing. Like different hats you put one on, and take one off. With some, they are always on your head, no matter what, and others are worn with them.

      Do you have a magical name? How did you receive it? Do you find names restrictive, and do you wish to shed those labels?


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    • UK Pagan

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      Wicca and Witchcraft conjure up all sorts of different images in the minds of today's magickal community. There are many who think Wicca is a belief system full of rules and limitations, dictating the beliefs, deities, and magickal practices of its practitioners. However, today's Wicca is a vibrant tradition that can be celebrated in a variety of ways and practiced every day. Jason Mankey, author of Transformative Witchcraft, offers five easy ways we can connect with our spirituality and enhance our craft daily.

      View the full article

    • UK Pagan

      Report ·


      Wicca and Witchcraft conjure up all sorts of different images in the minds of today's magickal community. There are many who think Wicca is a belief system full of rules and limitations, dictating the beliefs, deities, and magickal practices of its practitioners. However, today's Wicca is a vibrant tradition that can be celebrated in a variety of ways and practiced every day. Jason Mankey, author of Transformative Witchcraft, offers five easy ways we can connect with our spirituality and enhance our craft daily.

      View the full article

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