Archive for 8 September 2021

Pieces of Eight!

Here are “eight things on the eighth” in my attention. Is one or more of them as valuable as the historic piece of eight? “You be the judge!”

The FIRST is the celebration of a New England Druid gathering called BAM, happening this weekend. Many of my favorite people will be there. It’s been kept intentionally small as a balanced response to Covid, and the autumn season here in the northern hemisphere means most of it can take place outdoors. (I won’t be attending, unfortunately. It’s a choice; both my wife and I have pre-existing conditions, and we’re trying to stay healthy for each other, and “minimize the avoidables”. We’re aware not everyone has that luxury, and everyone adapts to these global circumstances in their own ways.)

Previous BAM, photo courtesy Cat McDonald

The other SEVEN are from a previous post that served as notes for this post. Often I write that way, talking about something in my attention, but needing a second run at it to firm it up and make it accessible and possibly useful for my readers.

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ONE — As with so much ritual, Pagan or otherwise, it’s useful to reflect from time to time on what still carries meaning, and what we may have retained simply “because it’s always been done this way”.

What’s one thing “I’ve always done this way” that I could do differently, in order to try out a consciously-chosen change that might be advantageous?

TWO — The potency that ritual often celebrates may merge with elements of the ritual itself, and we can end up revering the elements over the original potency, with or without good cause.

Where have I spent energy in transference that I could reclaim or redirect for the benefit of the whole?

THREE — At times we may find ourselves noticing that the ritual begins to feel flat, dim, empty. (It’s the same principle that underlies sympathetic magic, which we’re witnessing in weakened forms in vast swathes of current events, as influences bleed almost uncontrollably from one person and thing to another and another, like a pandemic or flash flood or wild fire. These are both metaphors and realities that have much to teach, if we could begin to listen.)

What (else) are the metaphor and reality trying to teach?

FOUR — Regeneration so often occurs from the roots, so it’s good to examine what these are, and whether we’re caretaking the dead leaves of one season, or nourishing a vital root-stock that sends out green shoots and runners each spring.

What are the roots in my life? Do I know? Can I name them and make them a more conscious part of each day and its tasks and joys?

FIVE — For care-taking is a large part of what we’re called to do, less in the way the word gets used today, where we’re “merely” standing in for the “real owners”, and more in the literal sense: a taking-care, a cherishing and nurturing.

What needs cherishing and nurturing? How am I particularly situated to tend to the cherishing I can do?

SIX — Give the fear and stress and suffering of much of the planet, we might begin with taking care of ourselves, and as it grows, let that care flow outward. Like any valid spiritual practice, Druidry offers tools to do just that.

What tools have I found effective? What other tools could I explore, or am being led to explore?

SEVEN — The commitment of the two people hand-fasting in the presence of the community assembled as witnesses, and with their love and support for the commitment the couple undertakes, and the acknowledgement of the mirth and reverence, the beauty and mystery that characterize the event, offer useful models for action. Which of those elements can I practice today in my life?

Where and how do I (already) support others’ commitments? Where can I further acknowledge mirth and reverence?

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