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UK Pagan

[A Cauldron Full of Stars] Blessing the spring

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UK Pagan
Spring is not a time of rest.  It may be beautiful and refreshing at times, but it requires huge amounts of energy.  Those things that don't get enough energy during this season often struggle to get a foothold, and I am, this year, so very sympathetic to them.

This year has been chaotic, demanding, and frustrating.  Every bit of progress, whether it's big and important or small and petty, seems to take so much energy and time and struggle.  I often see myself as fighting my way out of an egg or trying to push roots and limbs free of seedcoat and soil to stretch down tot he water and up to the sun.

On this Spring Equinox, I bless us all with that little bit of energy that keeps us fighting.  I bless us with determination, and I bless us with the wisdom to value out growing pains.  May we all find that the struggle brings us a bountiful harvest in time.

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Earthdragon
On 3/20/2019 at 7:27 PM, UK Pagan said:

On this Spring Equinox, I bless us all with that little bit of energy that keeps us fighting.

Who else here doesn't identify with "fighting" or is it just me? 

I'm on the Druid path and was told a while back that Druids don't fight. 

But then there are plenty of old stories of Druids who did fight , Fintan et. al.

 

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Stonehugger
On 3/20/2019 at 7:27 PM, UK Pagan said:

I often see myself as fighting my way out of an egg

 

24 minutes ago, Earthdragon said:
On 3/20/2019 at 7:27 PM, UK Pagan said:

On this Spring Equinox, I bless us all with that little bit of energy that keeps us fighting.

Who else here doesn't identify with "fighting" or is it just me? 

I sometimes have mental models of how I do, or think about, things. Others may or may not identify with them but it's not a problem if they don't. I don't personally think of myself as fighting. Possibly wading through something. Possibly standing firm against something. Even the old "screaming in a cave" was useful for a while!! Maybe I do fight with aspects of my thinking that I don't like though.

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Moonsmith
4 hours ago, Earthdragon said:

I'm on the Druid path and was told a while back that Druids don't fight. 

But then there are plenty of old stories of Druids who did fight , Fintan et. al.

My path too is Druidic.

Caesar [among others] tells us that "the Druids usually hold aloof from war and do not pay war taxes....."   but he later in the same passage describes how Druids were fearless in battle because their belief in a form of reincarnation removed the fear of death.  [De Bello Galica, VI, 14.]

He also  reports that they did some very nasty things to criminals and captives.  This presumably involved a fight.  It is said that they enjoyed wickerwork 🙂   [De Belo Galica VI, 16.]

On the other hand Diodorus describes how Druids might walk between two armies drawn up for battle and stop the fight!  [Histories, V,31, 2-5]

For myself, - I hate guns, swords and weapons in general with a passion.  On the other hand I have a filthy temper but that is usually directed at myself.

No, I do not fight my way out of [or through]  problems or situations.  I once got into a pub brawl and accidentally won [if such a thing is possible] I found it addictive and that scared me.  I had good friends who ensured that it never happened again.

I now try to think my way out or utterly retreat and do things another way.

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Stonehugger

Is it too simplistic to assume the Romans used what we'd now call fake news to justify their extermination of the druids?

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Ellinas
3 hours ago, Stonehugger said:

Is it too simplistic to assume the Romans used what we'd now call fake news to justify their extermination of the druids?

No.  They understood propaganda, and, as the victors, wrote the history books.  The problem is finding evidence to contradict them.  So, rather than simplistic, it is problematic and a touch complicated.

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Moonsmith
5 hours ago, Stonehugger said:

Is it too simplistic to assume the Romans used what we'd now call fake news to justify their extermination of the druids?

Who makes these assumptions?

While the victors did indeed write the history of Druids they were by no means totally condemnatory.  As Ellinas suggests it is very complicated and you have to attempt to guess the motives of each writer in order to get a context - Soldier, poet, orator and occasionally you find a[n] historian.  Once you start trying to second guess an author from 2000 years ago, history itself is lost.

What is odd to me is that while the Druids didn't write down their lore, according to Caesar, they could write using Greek letters.  Despite this we have no Druid domestic note, no Druid petition/adjudication and no Druid correspondence.  Furthermore we have no other contemporary Gallic or Germanic reference to them only the Greek/Roman.  Even those Roman documents contain little more than asides in documents, the bulk of which do not refer to Druids or their doings.   It is very frustrating.  We are left with so much surmise and interpretation.  Those of us who are trying to study Druidic history are really finding it difficult.

Edited by Moonsmith
to un-nest my bracketed statements.

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Badger Bob

Druids fight pretty much all of the time in the medieval stories, they fight with their tongues and their will but rarely with their hands. I very much identify my Druidry with fighting environmental damage, cruelty, injustice and complacency at the state of our tribe. Everyone fights something, even if it is only the urge to punch the next person who won't shut up about "that b***** thing".

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Earthdragon
On 4/1/2019 at 11:39 PM, Badger Bob said:

Druids fight pretty much all of the time in the medieval stories, they fight with their tongues and their will but rarely with their hands...

...Everyone fights something, even if it is only the urge to punch the next person who won't shut up about "that b***** thing".

Hi BB, 

Are you including the Irish tales in your observation? 

Also the interpretation of all people being in a fight of some sort is subjective do you think? 

To feel pressured by something (internal or external) and yet find a course that doesn't succumb to that could well be felt to be empowered choice rather than fighting against said pressure don't you think?

I know you've done alot of karate. I've just restarted my martial arts training after many years away from it. That the training is separate and different to fighting is clearly in focus for me.

ED

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Earthdragon
On 4/1/2019 at 11:32 PM, Moonsmith said:

What is odd to me is that while the Druids didn't write down their lore, according to Caesar, they could write using Greek letters Despite this we have no Druid domestic note, no Druid petition/adjudication and no Druid correspondence. 

Why would that be odd for an oral tradition? The ethos of memorized lore and oral transmission would commence from the get go. It's therefore most unlikely that after decades of tuition and practice that Druids would start writing notes and letters to each other don't you think?

There has been a continuation of such Bardic transmission until very recently in the Hebrides. It was only 60 years ago that a version of the Tain learned through oral tradition was recited by heart by a crofter/bard in the Uists. It was recorded by academics from Edinburgh University. Such traditions certainly were maintained in Ireland too.

On 4/1/2019 at 11:32 PM, Moonsmith said:

Furthermore we have no other contemporary Gallic or Germanic reference to them only the Greek/Roman.

The oldest of the Irish texts are clearly based on oral transmission and contain contemporary material. Eg. The book of Leinster

http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/celtic/ctexts/colloquy.html

ED

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Moonsmith

I well understand your stance on this ED and I shall not contradict you in what I see as an article of faith.

What follows is my understanding.

For the purposes of debate I can see reason in your comments about lore.  This was not my contention.

According to Caesar, Druids could write using Greek letters.  Whatever they may have written in those Greek letters, nothing has come to us.  Neither do we have any other writing about them by their neighbours or adversaries other than the odd aside by a Greek or a Roman. (Every word of which I have read many times)  I am frustrated by this lack of material.  I am dependent upon interpretation if I wish to go beyond a dozen pages of script.

Just a few weeks ago I was at a talk by Professor Hutton.  (The OBOD White Horse Druid Camp). He suggested that the Irish account was written down 150 years after the event and might have been composed at that time rather than recorded.  The pros and cons of oral tradition have been laid out here too often to repeat.  We each have a view.

ED I am a Druid but I require that my belief be based on an account that is feasible to me.  Where my beliefs are constructed I require to know on what foundation that construction stands and of what material it consists.  I have left behind a global religion (Christianity) with its vast library of recorded and composed material because such a foundation will not support my belief.

Like you I am a non-combatant Druid. I have a hazel staff not a sword.

That the Druidic record may be different in your understanding neither diminishes nor exalts either  of us.  We each know what we know and find support in what we know.

Go well,

Pat.

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Badger Bob
1 hour ago, Earthdragon said:

Hi BB, 

Are you including the Irish tales in your observation? 

<snip>

ED

Cathbhadh was a leader of fianna in Conchobors story off the top of my head. I practice more in the Welsh tradition so I don't have any more examples without doing some reading.

Empowered choice, fight, struggle, conflict, it's all semantics. The effect on the psyche is the same.

As for martial arts, while there are training benefits to exploring the spiritual side, if you are not training to beat the living tar out of someone then you are just doing a funny dance. I spent some time with my Iaido sensei recently who also happens to be a Soto Zen monk. He berated me for treating Iai as a fossil, something to be removed from its context and put in a glass case to be observed but not lived. He told me to train for the kill or train for death anything else was not Iai.

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Earthdragon
11 hours ago, Badger Bob said:

Empowered choice, fight, struggle, conflict, it's all semantics. The effect on the psyche is the same.

Our views definitely diverge there as I see the different descriptions as potentially representing different flavours of experience. I see empowered choice as having more possibilities psychologically than identifying with "fight it"...

11 hours ago, Badger Bob said:

if you are not training to beat the living tar out of someone then you are just doing a funny dance

Well it's either martial or it's not so I agree with you there. The art I practise incorporates softer more meditative health aspects to balance the training out. The all or nothing "train to kill or train for death" doesn't appeal to me though I respect that approach.

"Fighting" I translate in my way as breaking the intent of the attacker .

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Earthdragon
On 4/1/2019 at 2:46 AM, Moonsmith said:

He also  reports that they did some very nasty things to criminals and captives.

Which could well (given this type of source) be a reflection of Roman propaganda or be a valid description of certain happenings which themselves do not reflect the behaviour of the Druids on any large scale. For a topical comparison one would not conclude that the whole British army uses politician's portraits for target practise based on the headlines yesterday. Or equivalent also might be to say the Churches in America all condone the death penalty because priests attend executions to give last rights...

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Earthdragon
15 hours ago, Moonsmith said:

and I shall not contradict you in what I see as an article of faith

If there is verifiable evidence to the contrary I would be more than happy to adjust my views 🙂

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Moonsmith
13 hours ago, Earthdragon said:

Which could well (given this type of source) be a reflection of Roman propaganda or be a valid description of certain happenings which themselves do not reflect the behaviour of the Druids on any large scale

          \I/         \I/      \I/

On 4/3/2019 at 10:39 PM, Moonsmith said:

 I am frustrated by this lack of material.  I am dependent upon interpretation if I wish to go beyond a dozen pages of script.

 

10 hours ago, Earthdragon said:

If there is verifiable evidence to the contrary I would be more than happy to adjust my views 🙂

.......touche 🙂

Of course we can both remain in our comfort zones for now as neither of us anticipates the discovery of any such evidence.

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