Cycles Ending, Cycles Beginning

Here at year’s end, I’m finally getting around to reading the next-to-most-recent Mt. Haemus paper, RoMa Johnson’s “The Well and the Chapel: Confluence”. This ongoing series, sponsored by OBOD, has produced substantial papers on a range of topics since 2000, and last year’s 21st paper is of particular interest to me. Readers here know of my investigation of some of the intersections of Druidry and Christianity. In her paper, Johnson looks at five specific aspects of her topic: “Worldviews—Immanence and Imminence; Justice—Sin, Responsibility and Restoration; The Three—The Sacred Feminine and the Trinity; Immrama—The Soul’s Journey and Inspiration; and Confluence”.

Johnson also quotes Trappist monk and author Thomas Merton: “If I were more fully attentive to the word of God I would be much less troubled and disturbed by events of our time: not that I would be indifferent or passive, but I could gain strength of union with the deepest currents of history, the sacred currents, which run opposite to those on the surface a great deal of the time!”

Let me do a Druid transform of this with a few but significant tweaks, and make for myself a spiritual affirmation and guide: “When I am fully attentive to Spirit stirring throughout the worlds, I am less troubled and disturbed by events of our time: not that I am indifferent or passive, but I gain strength of union with the deepest currents of history, the sacred currents, which run opposite to those on the surface a great deal of the time”.

Often you can find this kind of spiritual wealth hidden just below the surface, as Merton’s words suggest, with a little meditation and creativity. At least, that’s one of my practices.

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wood-snow, snow-wood …

A listing of the titles with links to transcripts of each lecture in the Mt. Haemus series provides a rich and broad source of contemplation and meditation seeds, as well as directions for study and practice. You can preview each paper, read it online, or download it for free from the OBOD site at the link above at the start of the paragraph.

More ambitious, and looking for study material for 2021? Or not a member of any Order, but looking for substance, as opposed to the ubiquitous fluff all over the Web? These 22 papers will give you a full year’s curriculum and then some, if you give yourself time to absorb them, follow up on bibliographical links, and explore their significance and implications in your own life and circumstances. The bios of the varied authors are also fascinating by themselves!

1: The Origins of Modern Druidry — Ronald Hutton
2: Druidry – Exported Possibilities and Manifestations — Gordon Cooper
3: Phallic Religion in the Druid Revival — J M Greer
4: Question, Answer and the Transmission of Wisdom in Celtic and Druidic Tradition — John and Caitlin Matthews
5: Universal Majesty, Verity and Love Infinite – A Life of George Watson Macgregor Reid — Dr. Adam Stout
6: Working with Animals — Prof Roland Rotheram
7: ‘I Would Know My Shadow and My Light’ – An exploration of Michael Tippett’s ‘The Midsummer Marriage’ and its relevance to a study of Druidism — Philip Carr-Gomm
8: Entering Faerie – Elves, Ancestors & Imagination — Dr. James Maertens
9: How Beautiful Are They – Some thoughts on Ethics in Celtic and European Mythology — Dr. Brendan Myers
10: What is a Bard? — Dr. Andy Letcher
11: Druidry & Transpersonal History — Dr. Thomas C Daffern
12: From solstice to equinox and back again – The influence of the midpoint on human health and the use of plants to modify such effects — Julian Barker
13: Magical Transformation in the Book of Taliesin and the Spoils of Annwn — Kristoffer Hughes
14: Music and the Celtic Otherworld — Dr. Karen Ralls
15: ‘Almost unmentionable in polite society’? Druidry and Archaeologists in the Later Twentieth Century — Dr. Julia Farley
16: Gathering Mistletoe – an approach to the Work of E. Graham Howe — Ian Rees
17: Tree Lore is Wisdom — Mike Darton
18: Lecture The Elementary Forms of Druidic Life – Towards a Moral Ecology of Land, Sea, and Sky — Jonathan Woolley
19: Channeling the Awen Within: An Exploratory Study of the Bardic Arts in the Modern Druid Tradition — Dr. Dana Driscoll
20: What Druidry does – a perspective on the spiritual dynamics of the OBOD course — Dr. Susan Jones
21: The Well and the Chapel: Confluence — RoMa Johnson, MDiv.
22: The Feminist Druid: Making Way for New Stories/New Work — Dr. Michelle LaFrance

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