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  1. Yesterday
  2. Ember Autumn Rose


    Hello and welcome!
  3. Last week
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  5. Earthdragon


    This was my late mentor's love too. A simple and most effective way to get people to stop , listen and open up to being in the present moment. Always remember the smiles that his tunes brought people's faces. Regarding your Mum's cautions, it is often role of the older generation to reign in extravagant tendencies lol. We have a saying -only use 30% of what you have at your disposal and don't draw attention to yourself.
  6. Ellinas


    Welcome. Not quite sure why you've put this in the marketplace. You might get more of a response if you re-post this in the New Members' Introductions board. That aside, jump in and take part if you can overcome your discomfort with the internet.
  7. SlipperyPagan


    Good day, everyone! I'm currently living in Cornwall and have been an active pagan since I was a child. I admit, I did choose for myself the path I'm on now. I'm a Celtic pagan. I believe in and respect all gods, across cultures, however there are only some that I worship. This is my first time ever on a forum site, so apologies in advance. I really tossed myself into Celtic paganism when I first heard the Call of the goddess Brighid. Funnily enough my mother heard the call of the Morrigan, fancy that. She's a major occultist and warns me before going into ancient places (Cairns, ruins, temples, etc...) to "protect myself" and "don't open yourself up" and also "don't be disruptive." I adore exploration and jump at any opportunity I get. My mother is a tad more prudent about where she puts herself. I love playing the tin whistle and it's become my favourite, most fulfilling way to worship. I have an unreasonable discomfort with the Internet and domesticated dogs. I'm re-learning Irish and its a pain. I do a lot of divining with ogham. 15+ years and I still get geeked out when something in the sticks plays out exactly/is extremely relevant. I'm out of the country at the mo', but can't wait to meet other pagans! Cheers!
  8. witchinthewood

    Witch in the Wood

    After spending many years making and selling pagan jewellery and accessories my partner and myself have decided to make it all official..... We make a range of items (slowly expanding) from jewellery to wands and athames etc We use a lot of natural foraged items such as bone, wood and antler alongside crystals, metals etc Currently our website is under construction, as is our etsy store but we do have a very active Instagram feed @thewitchinthewood It is our hope over the next year to start doing more events around the uk and use this as our main business model so any advice or feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  9. This summer has been a pain. Everything that could inconvenience us, did. Car break down? Check. Money issues? Yep. People problems? The whole bloody time. Miscommunications? Sigh. Lost objects? I'm still searching for half of them. Very, very, very annoying. As much as we plan and try to prevent these things, it's a fact of life that sometimes, Murphy's Law is king. All we can do is hold on, try to keep control and do it all with a little grace and humor. I've noticed that some of my family's best traits come out in times like these. We do laugh at ourselves, regularly. We form strange alliances amongst ourselves to take the pressure off whoever is getting beat the worst, and we adapt. Given the wild summer, it's probably not surprising that we're all a little relieved that school starts next week. The mundane rhythm of the school year seems almost relaxing. There is comfort in knowing that your day will be busy, but mostly only in the way you expect, right? View the full article
  10. Each and every single woman on this planet is a divine spark that has the power to light up the world, but this very fact can be very easy to forget, especially in our modern society. Rhoda Shapiro, author of Fierce Woman, provides 3 ways women can get started waking up their inner badass. View the full article
  11. Back at the Spring Equinox 2000 me and Cerri founded the Anderida Gorsedd. It was simply to be a group that took on the responsibility for holding regular open rituals on the flat hill below the Long Man of Wilmington. There had of course been open rituals before, but we wanted this to be a regular thing as service to the South East Pagan community. The Gorsedd has been back at the Long Man for every ritual since. Nearly 20 years of regular open rituals, rain, sleet, snow, ice, wind, storms, and sunshine. Very early on, maybe even just after the Beltane of 2000, I called The Giant’s Rest, the village pub down in Wilmington to see if they were open. The landlord picked up the phone and said they were closed, but how many of us were there? I said about 40. He said, come down and I’ll open for you. So we did, and while we were there we gave him the dates of our rituals and he said he would open the pub on those Sundays. It’s always good to support the local economy. The beer on sale at The Giants Rest was always Harveys, the local Lewes brewery, and a very good pint. But one Sunday, quite a few years back now and completely out of the blue, when we arrived after the ritual the Harveys had gone and had been replaced by beers from a new local brewery called The Long Man Brewery. They even had a picture of our lovely hill figure on the glasses. The beer was gorgeous and has been at the Giant’s Rest ever since. So why am I telling you this? Here’s why. Yesterday we held our 19th open Lughnasadh ritual, and as usual, the fields below the Long Man were full of golden barley, some of the other fields had already fallen to the harvester, so Lughnasadh was definitely underway. As we had done for 19 years we told the tale of John Barleycorn, who was then symbolically sacrificed to the scythe and transformed into bread and ale. We honoured and blessed the fields of barley below us, thanking the Spirit of the Fields for its sacrifice and gifts. I placed a small piece of bread at each quarter direction and asked that those within the circle may also be blessed. Then I opened a bottle of Long Man Ale. A couple of months ago I’d taken some friends to the brewery shop for a tasting session. While we were there and talking to the lady behind the counter we asked if there were brewery tours. She said yes, but they were closed at the moment as the brewery was on a working farm. She went on to say that all of the barley used in Long Man ales was harvested from local Sussex fields, and the water was taken from an aquifer beneath the chalk Downs. Any unused water was then recycled back to the aquifer. “In fact,” she said. “You know the two big fields beneath the Long Man? Well, most of the barley in our beer comes from those two fields.” I looked at the drink in my hands and thought back to all of the open rituals where we had honoured the Spirit of those fields. I told her about the rituals. She was delighted. Maybe another story to tell visitors to the shop. Either way, when I opened that bottle on the hill yesterday I told everyone present that story and they too were delighted. I poured the Ale on the land. From the Land to the Land, in honour of John Barleycorn and the Spirit of the Fields, my you be thanked and blessed. Lughnasadh Magic. I think we will do that every year now. View the full article
  12. Brigi

    What do you get from your paganism?

    Hey, I know it is an old topic, but one I would gladly read further, if we’d have more comments here. So I share what paganism gives me. I grew up very close to nature in a small town surrounded by hills and woods and we spent enormous amounts of time outdoors, in the summer we even cooked outside on open fire every single weekend. I also had a strange and strong emotional connection with ’magical stories’ and folklore as a child, which I couldn’t manage to grow out at all, but rather created a base to the way I see the world. People tend to grow up and leave their birth place, I moved to different big cities and big city life exhausts me big time both emotionally and physically. My paganism takes the weight of life off from my shoulder, cleanse me from the stress of the artificial and processed life the city can offer and provides a site to bond with my truest inner self while making a connection with nature - like a soul-to-soul with the spark of life within the earth. When I take care of my herbs or cooking for a feast or preparing for celebration it feels like pouring balm on my soul. I feel content, happy and excited. Paganism provides traditions, inheritable ones which I can share with my family and can celebrate together, strengthening our relationship and deepening our love for each other. Also gives some quiet meditation, opportunities to self-reflect, make peace with myself and achieve internal equilibrium, which I believe is incredibly important for safe magical practice. Paganism is not a kind of religion for me, I do not worship any deities. I tried many times many different gods but all rituals felt very empty and honestly, a bit like ’let’s play’. I am truly amazed by people can believe in a god, sometimes I could envy them for their love. For me, the fact that the soil with the help of the other elements and effects of celestial bodies and physical laws can and does produce life is the source of all magic. As a healthcare professional my approach is also very scientific, but the science behind it gives the ground to truly trust it. I learn to know it. And no one said paganism must be belief. It can be based on knowledge, see the term WISE-wo/man {and lots of sentiment}. I listen to my body and soul and I modify my rituals every time to accommodate to the urge and inspiration I feel while performing it. Therefore my paganism is the way of my life, not just ’on weekends’, but it is my very existence, intervening with all and every decisions I make from my carrier choice to what to eat or when to sleep. Paganism is freedom. Well, sort of. As my paganism deeply roots in the respect to all organics, and REAL nutrients are like number 1 priority for me when it comes to nourishing my family we have no microwave oven in the house haha.
  13. The Earth has its own unique frequency of energy vibration, which can have transformative effects on your life when you connect with it. And, some locations are far more powerful than others for working with this energy. Melissa Alvarez, author of Earth Frequency, provides four ways we can work with this powerful energy for better lives. View the full article
  14. Roseora

    Am I pagan?

    This pretty much sums it up, but I just wanted to answer your questions directly. What path you choose doesn’t matter, unless if matters to you. If you feel an affinity towards a certain path then that’s great, but me and probably a lot of others haven’t found yet, or don’t want, a specific label on our faith. It’s a very peronal thing; entirely up to you. First steps? None specifically, but I would highly reccomend reading up on some rituals and meditation that you might enjoy or find peace and comfort in, these are a huge part of many peoples practice. Find what works for you; you don’t have to have lots of candles and herbs and do magick, but you can if you want to, or you can just experiment with the practices of different paths until you figure out how you wnt to practice. Ideas; Find a nice notebook and make a ‘book of shadows’; note down your thoughts, experiences, any information you find important. Draw, scribble, press flowers, write spells, whatever. It’s your book. Find a cushion, get some incence or scented candle and try meditation. I find it most peaceful to do outside on a warm evening, looking at the moon. 🙂 Maybe you could meditate under your favourite trees? Take a drink, snack and get comfy, if you enjoy meditation you might be there a while. Read about the wiccan sabbats; they mark the seasons. Samhain, yule, ect. To a lot of people these are a way of acknowledging the seasons. If you live in a large city, it’s possible there’s a coven near you, if you want to. I personally haven’t had the best experiences with them being few and far between, and often having a very specific set of collective beliefs and not much leeway for disagreement, but some people find a great community and friends this way. No matter what steps you take, or if you choose to call yourself pagan, remember this; Only you can define who you are. Only you can decide what you believe. Only you can know if you are pagan or not, or what path to follow. The answer is in your heart and mind, but it can be hard to figure it out sometimes. Good luck, and have a nice night. 🙂
  15. DavidMcCann

    Am I pagan?

    The term pagan was originally Christian slang for anyone who wasn't a Christian, Jew, or atheist — that provides for a lot of beliefs! I'd say that anyone who believes that the world is meaningful and life in it is worth living is a pagan. You sound like a non-denominational druid, if you want to be specific and if that description makes any sense. What to do? Observe the lunations and the stations of the sun. Get out to wild places, keeping a lookout for omens and making offerings of food for wildlife. My practice is not so nature-based and I'm sure the resident druids here can give more advice.
  16. I started this little series of blog articles last year and I’ve just realised that I missed one… Here are the links to the first three: The Early Years The Early Years (but a bit later) Teenage Kicks I put a post out on my Facebook page and Twitter feed asking if there was anything people who read my blog would like me to write about. One of the questions asked was that I publish a ‘soundtrack of my life’ post. The suggestion was 16 songs, which I thought would be too many, but when you really sit down and try to think of those peak moments that are linked to one particular song it’s amazing how quickly those 16 places get filled up – particularly when you’re on the wrong side of 50 years old… Also, 16 in one post felt like it would be too many. So I decided to split it into three posts and see how that works out. Well, I posted three articles but only reached my late teens! Then life got in the way and I totally forgot to post the more recent influences and favourites. So my friends, here it is. Music is amazing magic. All of us know a song that, when it comes on the radio (showing my age there…) you’re pulled straight back to that moment in your life. Well, here are some of mine: I was on holiday with Cerri. We had left England and had travelled into Scotland to visit some of the Hebridean Islands. We had spent time on Mull, travelled over to Iona, over to Harris, then on to Lewis. Our travels then took us back to Skye and it was there I first heard the music of a man who would be a huge influence on my songwriting for years to come. We were in the B and B having breakfast when I heard this amazing song being played as background music. As I listened my heart opened and it felt like I was hearing a fellow traveller on the road I’d been walking since I first heard John Denver as a child. His voice was in exactly my register, and the melodies were emotional, clear, and it felt like I’d heard the song before. I caught the eye of the waitress and asked who it was singing and she told me it was a man called Dougie Maclean. So on our trip, I stopped off at a record store (again, showing my age…) and I found the album Roif, and I played it all through the rest of the trip in the car. In the end, I bought all of his albums, and have seen him live many times. A genius songwriter, and an amazing man. Caledonia – Dougie Maclean Another songwriter whose music has been of great influence to me has been Steve Knightley of the English folk band Show of Hands. In fact, it wasn’t only Dougie and Show of Hand’s music that influenced me. Neither Dougie, nor Show of Hands has ever signed record contracts. They formed their own labels, published their own songs, and both succeeded in earning a living from their music without the support of a label. By doing so they also retained all of the publishing and copyright of their songs. So when I started taking my music seriously and stepped out to make it my living, I took their model as my own. I promised myself I’d remain completely independent, that I would never sign my songs away, and that I would stay in control of my own musical direction and career. I started out on that path properly in 2006, and I’ve kept true to it so far. So thank you Dougie and Show of Hands for your inspiration, both on the instrument, and off. Country Life – Show of Hands Time to get heavy now… Me and my friends were on our way to the Hungry Years, a rock club on Brighton seafront. Neil was driving in his Triumph car (I remember every now and then it would stop, he’d have to park up, get out of the car, and bash something in the engine with an iron bar to get it going again) and on the way down he popped a cassette into the player saying he’d just discovered this new band called Metallica. They had just released their Ride the Lightning album. He pressed play. Now I’d heard heavy guitar before. I guess the heaviest before that moment was Motorhead, but nothing prepared me for the guitar and double-bass drum assault that filled my ears after, what has to be said, was a very chilled out intro. Admittedly, there are better Metallica songs, but this was the first I heard, and I’ve never forgotten that moment. Fight Fire with Fire – Metallica Ok, so now we are going to get into where my love of rock went. If you’ve been following this series you’ll know that I am split down the middle when it comes to my love of folk music, and rock music. From the Ramones to AC/DC, then into glam, and then thrash metal. I love it all. But I confess I had to force myself to love some of the rock of the 80s. It seemed to me that the keyboard was muscling in on the realm of the guitar and marshall stack. Rock music for a while, to me at least, sounded just like pop music, but with a distorted guitar. Take the guitar away and what you had left was a pop song, and I didn’t like many pop songs. I didn’t get it. So I turned away from rock for a while, to be honest. It felt like it had done its course, and had morphed into something very different. But then… I heard this… Smells like Teen Spirit – Nirvana Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and the like revealed a lyrical depth that had, to me, been missing from rock for some years. I loved Van Halen and their feel-good party songs. I loved Motley Crue, Guns n Roses, and a few other bands of the time, but then it seemed the record labels smelt a fast buck, and the market was swamped with quantity, rather than quality. When I heard the opening chords of Smells like Teen Spirit I knew something was about to change, and sure enough, very quickly, what was seen as heavy metal and ‘hair metal’ began to die away. In more recent years some of those bands, the really good ones, attained the accolade of becoming ‘classic rock’, and they found themselves once more back in favour, and headlining gigs and festivals again. A second wind for some really fabulous bands. Just one more to go. Since I rediscovered my love of rock music there have been lots of bands that have opened my eyes to different and exciting directions. Marilyn Manson with his Antichrist Superstar album, Nine Inch Nails with Endless Spiral, Rob Zombie with Hellbilly Deluxe, gradually they courted me back into the metal fold, and now I can’t bear to miss a Download Festival. So which song shall I end with? A songwriter that I love, yet isn’t in this list is the great Paul Simon. Without doubt, he penned some of the greatest songs of his generation but, for me, one song he wrote entered that limited list of songs that have been better when covered by other people. I’m thinking of Bob Dylan here with Hendrix’s All along the Watchtower, or The Byrds cover of Tambourine Man. I prefer them both to the original (not that the original is bad, just that the other versions captured something more in the song). The song of Paul Simon’s that joins those other great songs is Sound of Silence. When Simon and Garfunkel recorded it I heard a wonderful melody and incredible lyrics. I’ll be honest here, I think it’s one of the best songs ever written, but then a metal band called Disturbed covered it. I think they absolutely captured the real emotional message behind the song. There’s a great video for it on YouTube, but the copyright owners won’t let me embed it in this blog (it’s well worth watching), but I found this live performance of the song. Disturbed played it at Download the last time they were there. 80,000 metalheads stood, ironically, in silence. There wasn’t a dry eye in that field when they finished. The vocal is astounding. Sound of Silence – Disturbed So this song shows what can happen when rock and folk meet, and I think some of my songs live in that space too. I’m thinking Spirit of Albion, Sabbat, The Cauldron Born, there are others. All of them owe a lot to both folk and rock and long may that relationship thrive and continue. I hope you’ve enjoyed this walk down memory lane. What are the songs from recent years that have been peak moments for you? View the full article
  17. Ellinas

    Am I pagan?

    As the second druid bloke above pointed out, we're not all druids... Non druid here. Are we all pagans here? What is a pagan? For me, it's just a term of convenience - something that people who've never thought about what it means think they know what it means and assume enough to stop me having to make lengthy explanations, even though they have no idea what, if anything, it means it my case. Also, most people would just glaze over were I to tell them that I'm a non-reconstuctionist Hellene - itself a term I've made up for my own purposes. Are you a pagan? Depends. What does it mean to you? I'm pretty certain there is no comprehensive definition, so you are free to define yourself or not as you see fit. As to whether your beliefs are pagan - maybe, maybe not. What are they and do they accord with your understanding of the term "pagan". Doesn't matter either way, though. More important that you believe what you believe than what label is put on it.
  18. Spiritual regression is a great way to resolve inner conflict through deeper self-awareness to begin moving forward in your life rather than staying stuck and not knowing why. Here, The Limitless Soul author Bryn Blankinship explains why using spiritual regression to assess our current life is so powerful, and offers a journaling exercise to help us start the process. View the full article
  19. Moonsmith

    Am I pagan?

    Whatever else you do please do not try to select a specific path at this stage. Just be yourself - that is Pagan enough and for many people that is enough for their whole lives. They are happy with their own thinking. Are you a Pagan? Well I have come to the conclusion that: - No two people believe exactly the same thing even if they share a group or path. May I recommend this book. - The only thing that Pagans really have in common is a desire to take responsibility for their own spirituality [no priests, gurus or saviours] and they choose to identify as Pagan. If after a while you find that your own thinking is sufficiently like one of the groups with a name then you might think of being one of those but even then you do not have to "join" anything. I am a Druid but I am the founder and sole member of my "order." I was just a Pagan for thirty years before I somewhat reluctantly called myself a Druid. I spent six years with a Druidic tribe before admitting that I thought sufficiently like them to adopt the name. Please just be yourself. It is hard to accept but your beliefs are just as valid as a Pope, a Mullah, A Rabbi or an Archbishop. That can be hard to accept but no one knows an absolute truth, there isn't one 🙂 . Have confidence in your own thinking. I would say "welcome to Paganism" but I also think you've been Pagan all your life. Come on in. [We aren't all Druids!!!!!!]
  20. Earthdragon

    Am I pagan?

    Hello 😁 You are in an interesting position. Perhaps you could ask what your affinities mean to you and try to express them before you look more deeply into particular paths which you may or may not choose to follow in the future. I'd say you began a long time ago given what you've already expressed on here 😃 As I mentioned above I would reflect on your feelings, the trees, the seasons. Try to formulate some expression of what you are seeking, how you intend to expand yourself, what you intend to connect with, what is important for you. Local pagan groups should there some and books are next potential steps. Paganism can be about belief or about a way of living, usually a combination. What are your beliefs? As for myself. I don't often refer to myself as pagan. I am a person who practises Druidism. Beliefs are fluid as their interpretation. Best of luck in your journey. Stick around and let us know how things go! ED
  21. Scrabble

    Am I pagan?

    It is such a wide ranging term, pagan, I have an affinity to nature and feel happiest amongst the trees. I am very aware of the changing seasons and would like to mark these changes in a meaningful way. Should I follow a certain path or does this not matter? How do I begin? What are my first steps? Am I pagan in my beliefs?
  22. After taking a good long look at the why we follow this path, what we do to express our path, and the importance of the Mystic and the Magician, maybe it’s a good time to think about authenticity and validity. There was a time not so long ago, certainly in the late 80s and early 90s, when the story told by Margaret Murray in her book The Witch-Cult in Western Europe was almost desperately held on to. That the practices of modern Witchcraft were the end of an unbroken lineage of Witches that had survived since far-off ancient times. Even as a newcomer I could see that this couldn’t be true – our magic was created from folklore, mythology, ceremonial magic, herblore, astrology, the Kaballah, old Medieval Grimoires, and more recent New Age thinking. It seemed that people were clawing for authenticity by dreaming up great grandmothers who were Witches, but who might have only dabbled in reading tea leaves every now and then (my Nan did that, but she was certainly no Witch). I totally understand the romance of it all. Druid Orders weren’t exempt from these fancies either, but I guess none that I came across tried to say their Druidry could be traced back to the time of the ancient Druids. Most were quite happy going back to 1717 with William Stukeley and John Toland, but even those lineages included people like William Blake as Chosen Chief. The date of 1792 is probably the date for the rebirth of the Druid tradition. When Iolo Morganwg held the first Gorsedd, placing his nine stones atop Primrose Hill in London, and declaring the Gorsedd of Bards of the Island of Britain. I regularly heard arguements about lineage and authenticity, with this being expressed in ‘Celtic Reconstructionism’ – a valiant attempt to re-create Druidry purely from ancient sources, and disregarding all of the writings of Iolo and his consorts, but that path was never for me. Then something happened. A book was released by Professor Ronald Hutton called Triumph of the Moon, and it kind of changed everything. I remember getting it on the day of release and avidly consuming the words held therein. It looked at the development of Wicca through the lense of verifiable history. To say the reception of the book was varied is putting it mildly. There were those who loved it, and there were those who despised it. Long-held onto sacred views were definitely challenged, and for some that was too much. I was in the loved it camp. As I read the book it felt like years of baggage was falling from my shoulders. Although this book was primarily about Wicca, Wicca was the dominant Pagan path at the time, and it very much influenced the rest of mainstream Paganism. The Wheel of the Year, that dance and Journey of the Grain God, and the Earth Goddess spoke of in Frazer’s The Golden Bough, had been taken to the heart of Wicca and had then influenced the wider Pagan Way, and I had experienced it as a modern Druid through the close links between Gerald Gardner and the founder of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids, Ross Nichols. I felt a wave of acceptance and calm that what I had been living was, in fact, something very modern – something created, it seemed, very much from the minds of those two individuals. Now I’m not saying that everything we do as modern Pagans is new. Far from it. But the Way all of it is expressed together, that is new. Well, when I say new it sprang into life in the 1950s. I want to tell you, this is a Good Thing. Before Gardner and Nichols there was, of course, the Golden Dawn and the Theosophical Society. Modern Paganism didn’t grow from a vacuum. It grew because that seed had been planted, had been watered and cared for, and it then began to grow. It grew from the Victorian love of the Occult, Spiritualism and Magic, the 60s Hippy movement and the Civil Rights movement in the USA, CND, Greenham Common, the road protests of the 90s, the New Age and New Age Travellers, and now the Environmental Crisis we find ourselves in is encouraging more people to explore ways to have a closer spiritual relationship with Nature. What was held onto as ancient authenticity has been replaced with modern validity? Things don’t have to be ancient to be of value and work. At some point, all religions were new and freshly born. To me it’s an incredible privilege to be here, right at the very beginning of something beautiful. I’m more than happy to own that, and join hands with my fellow Pagans of all paths and walk forward together to see where it all goes, and gently guide it as much as we can. How exciting is that?! And here’s a thing. That tiny seed is still a very delicate seedling. It hasn’t yet grown into its full potential. It’s still small, and that delicate living thing is held in the palm of all of our hands. I see that some want it to grow faster. They want worldwide recognition of Paganism as a Religious Path – now. Some want us to be perfect in all of our environmental choices – now. Gardeners use fertilizer to help their plants grow, and some of these wishes are indeed fertilizing the soil for growth, but this seedling will not be a fully grown tree in my lifetime. It’ll be something I nurture and love my whole life, but I will, in the end, pass it on to others, who will take over its care. Who knows when it will grow to fruition? If there are indeed another 3000 years, one thing is for sure – one day we will be the Ancient Pagans. One day we will be the Ancestors. Those hereditary Pagans so many wished existed in the 80s and 90s actually exist right now as some of our children, who have been raised at Pagan camps and conferences, and with Pagan parents, choose to walk in our footsteps, and take that seedling to their hearts. It’s a beautiful thing. A valid, empowering, modern, Pagan Path. Needed right now more than ever before. So how do we nurture it, and encourage its growth? That’ll be for next time. So mote it be. View the full article
  23. There are many benefits if you keep on practicing meditation. The benefits of meditation are numerous and there are more being discovered every day. Science has shown that meditation helps to reverse aging, decrease stress hormones, lower depression, improve memory and strengthen the immune system. One of the best meditation app which I have experienced using is the SOS Method app(https://sosmethod.co/). It's unique in that it doesn't require you to quiet your mind, it only takes minutes, and it's been endorsed by doctors, scientists, and regular people all over the world. It's a special formula that fuses music, tones, words and white space, and there are programs for all kinds of needs/issues/goals.
  24. A word that frequents occult, historical, and scholarly texts of all varieties is "Hermeticism." What exactly is Hermeticism, and how can we apply its practices to our daily lives? In this excerpt from Llewellyn's 2020 Magical Almanac, Raven Digitalis explores the history and principles of Hermeticism. View the full article
  25. What do you think of when you hear the words, "Hedge Druid?" Someone who works with the green and growing things, of working with nature, with the seasons and the tides? Yes, Hedge Druidry is that—but it is also so much more. Here, Book of Hedge Druidry author Joanna van der Hoeven discusses the power of the liminal and putting the "Hedge" back in Hedge Druidry. View the full article
  26. The term myth can sometimes be seen as a derogatory word. If something is labelled a ‘myth’, in this broken, reductionist world we find ourselves, it is seen as untrue, maybe as a quaint story, sometimes as a way of taking the power away from beliefs that someone holds dear. “Oh, that’s only a myth.” “You don’t believe any of that was true do you?” Etc…etc… Only a myth. Indigenous peoples all over the world have looked at the natural world and seen within it stories of energies, Gods, powers that are so much more powerful than us little apelike creatures that walk on the back of such an incredibly diverse and living being. How did that mountain come into being? What of the great lake that gives us clear water to drink? Or the animal that howls at the moon and to whom we should show respect and avoid? What great power moves the tides? Where did our people come from, and who gave us fire? Can we sing the songs of the hills and valleys? Can we sing the songs of the eagle, the dove, the fox and the bear? When we breathe out our last breath, where does it go? Where do we go? Why do other birds despise the owl? What mysteries lay beneath the surface of that dark lake in the mountains? I could go on. It seems that progress has tried to show us that we don’t need these stories. That a reductionist world is the only true way forward. Maybe that is right for some people, but it’s never been right for me. These old tales bridge a gap between logical understanding of how things work, and a poetic and beautiful way to develop relationship. Progress has done wonders, don’t get me wrong – as I look back I would far rather be alive now than at any other time in history – but it is obvious that there is also a vast separation between people and the land. That separation is causing our own modern Wasteland. But I am getting ahead of myself… Myth is said to be the second level of story. The events within the myth may have been inspired by actual historical events, but often that is not the reason for the existence of the tale. Or at least the tale contains so much more than simply a way to remember history. I love the books by Stephen King. I’m a great fan of Lee Child and his Jack Reacher novels. They’re great entertainment, and entertainment is important, but they aren’t myths. They are stories. Now of course myths are stories and they can indeed be approached as nothing more than entertainment, but that is the first level of story. Look a little deeper and the occult mysteries held within the mists of the story begin to reveal themselves. Let me give you an example. In the Second Branch of Y Mabinogi, Bran, the High King, gives a magical cauldron as an honour price for an insult given by his half-brother to Matholwch, the King of Ireland. The property of which is that if a slain warrior is placed inside, they will be reborn the next day, fully armed for battle, yet without the gift of speech. Without the gift of speech. When my second son was born it was an arranged caesarian. The doctor made the incision behind the green screen and literally pulled his head back and said, “Oh! Hello!” My son was there, open-eyed and ready, looking out at him. The midwife took him away to be weighed and then brought him back. Smiling, she said, “He’s an old soul.” And as he looked at me and his mother he began to cry, as babies do. He’s an old soul. Reborn without the gift of speech. As he lay there crying, what if he was desperately trying to say, “Mum! Dad! You won’t believe where I’ve just been!!! It was amazing! High mountains with waterfalls, great lake valleys, a warm Summerland of bliss!! And Dad! The mmmmmeeeeeaaaadddd! The Mead was incredible!!” But what could he say? “WWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! WWWWWWWAAAAAHHHHHH!” Without the gift of speech. And as we age, so maybe our memories of that place between fades, until we are left once again wondering what lay beyond the veil. So the reborn warriors of Matholwch stood, ready for battle, fearless, for they had just seen the Otherworld, and knew what lay beyond death. But could they tell of where they had been? No. They made just inordible sounds or stood in silence. The second level of story. Are we so full of superiority that we can discard our own myths and folklore? I don’t think that’s wise. Time and again I see a longing in peoples’ eyes for a more magical and mythical relationship with the world. On the TV we hear Aboriginal peoples telling their story of the Rainbow Serpent and The Dreaming, we hear the Native American tales of Coyote, or the Maori prose tales of creation, and many of us yearn for our own stories, yet we have them. For instance, all across this little island there are myths of lakes, mountains, rivers and seashore, but many people would never know. For instance, it astounds me every time I visit Bala in North Wales, the site of Llyn Tegid, the origin of one of the most influential myths told on the island – the home of Ceridwen and the creation of Taliesin. I have not seen one sign, not one tiny little sign that lets visitors know. I know that many Pagans make pilgrimage to the lake, and we know of that connection, but so many do not. Tell a visitor the story when they visit that lake and see their eyes change. Suddenly it is more than a big body of water. It has myth attached to it, and for some that changes the relationship to the lake. Here is another example of the power of myth. The town of Worthing has a rather remarkable tree. It’s called the Midsummer Tree and is said that skeletons rise and dance around it on Midsummer Eve. In 2006 it was scheduled to be cut down and removed, but so strong was the story among local people that it was saved. It was cut back but stands to this day. The Midsummer Tree, an oak, stands near Broadwater Green and is said to be around 300 years old. Until the 19th century, it was believed that on Midsummer’s Eve skeletons would rise from the tree and dance around it until dawn, when they would sink back into the ground.[177] The legend was first recorded by folklorist Charlotte Latham in 1868.[178] Since 2006, when the oak was saved from development, meetings have been held on Midsummers Eve there.[179] It is said that gateways to the Otherworld can be found between two trees, or two standing stones, under that blackthorn tree in the woods, but it is also said that the gateway is open to poets. To help heal this modern Wasteland we could do worse than stepping out on our own mythic Grail Quest. The Knights of myth travelled the land in search of the Grail to help heal the land. There is no doubt that if we in the west had a mythic relationship with our own landscapes then we would not be so quick to further its destruction with quarrying, building, fracking. If that valley held stories that had been passed down to great grandparents, to grandparents, to parents, to children, and we held those stories close to our hearts, we would not so readily fill it with so-called ‘affordable’ new homes. Myths and folklore tales help heal that Wasteland. So if you are on this Grail Quest with me, explore the tales of your local area, find the stories behind the landscape, and begin to heal the Wasteland through a re-enchantment of the land. How do you relate to myth, to local folklore? View the full article
  27. There is an ebb and flow to our lives; the sun rises, the sun sets; tides rise and fall; the moon waxes and wanes. We can find balance in our yoga practice and in our life by connecting with nature and the cycle of the seasons. Here, Yoga Through the Year author Jilly Shipway illustrates 7 ways we can integrate our yoga practice with the seasons for a better life. View the full article
  28. "Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back." -Proverb "HUMAN BEINGS MAKE LIFE SO INTERESTING? DO YOU KNOW, THAT IN A UNIVERSE FULL OF WONDERS, THEY HAVE MANAGED TO INVENT BOREDOM." -Terry Pratchett "Hogfather" My curiosity takes me on the wildest tangents. A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through a science abstract site reading through the science news as it was, and I got interested in an article about birds. My reading made me remember there was a bird I wanted to look up, which reminded me of the work of one of my mentors in archaeology who studied the Bay Area's Native American rock art and determined that they cataloged many, many bird species. This got me thinking about sacred spaces, which is where he had done this work. Then I wondered about maps of sacred spaces. Google can take me on some interesting journeys. I stumbled across an article about the biodiversity of sacred sites. Someone had figured out that sacred places, like old churchyards, have a slightly higher biodiversity score than other areas around them. I wonder if this would hold true throughout human history, and I'm fascinated by the idea. Another tangent has led me to the conclusion that the world's sacred places, both past, and future, need a map. Maybe, if we could connect the plentitude of sacred places with landscapes around us, maybe we could connect more easily with the land, with our neighbors, with our inner landscapes, and with our ancestors. I haven't the faintest idea about how to go about this, but I'm certain the map generated would show us something about us, as humans, that we hadn't known before. The universe is a neverending source of interesting wonders to ponder, and the Earth, as a part of it, is no exception. I come across so many fascinating things each day that I can't possibly pursue them all. I bless you today with a drop of curiosity. May you find yourself enraptured by the thirst of knowledge, if only for a moment, and may it bring you a sense of awe at the universe around you. View the full article
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