I think this month is called ‘March’ because that is all we can do, especially if we are a band or a group or an army trying to get through the circle of the year. Supplies put by in the autumn are running low. Sure, the flocks have had babies and are growing on mothers milk, but what about those mothers? Certainly the days are longer, drawing equal again to the darkness. but when a belly’s empty and the shit of winter is peeking out from the muddy snowbanks, it’s hard to care.
No food, no shelter, possibly with the wrong clothing, the troops have no recourse but to march. We follow the bird of omen toward where we hope against hope that the springtime, the first tender sprouts, have already come forth.
A trout may have been frozen in place all the icy winter, but at the first trickle of current past its gills, awareness returns. Trout face the current, minimizing energy expenditure, letting food morsels wash toward them. At a suspicion of danger they dart in an explosive burst into cover of banks or branches. They ‘spring’ fastest against the current! they do not drift in it overwhelmed, like dead things do. The current detected assures them that they are alive.
It’s life or death time. The Trail of Tears began in spring, a survival march in the face of oppression. It seems as if absolutely everything that can go wrong at the Ides of March will do it. Your toilet will clog. The frameworks will rust though on your long-held plans. You are free, all right, free to scavenge, free to march. Sort through your life, so very alive and getting greener. Pack up the best and travel on faith, because it will have to do.
Like the trout, just keep swimming.
Now that my nation has gone overtly fascist, some of my online Druid friends are wishing to hear less about the political chaos this has caused. They wish to escape into contemplation as a respite and think our online forums ought to be included in that ‘sanctuary’. Sorry, it’s not going to happen.
This is the Lunar New Year. It is the time of new births in the flocks of pastoralists, and the lighting of candles to encourage the retreat of the darkness. We don’t just eat dairy products and drink beer and stay safe in our cabins though. New worlds and ideas are also coming into being, to show us the way forward. And if there is change to be effected, it begins in the ordering of our thoughts and dreams. But eventually we must spring into action. the new babies, whether of our households or of our communities or of our future, call us out into the rain and snow to give them a chance of survival.
It is time not only to refresh our bellies and our minds but to declare our allegiance to what is right, our TRUTH. We can then birth it into our world.
And that means we cannot forget how our Mother is doing; we cannot keep our eyes upon our navels. And that calls for policy. Which is politics.
Druidry & Politics by Philip Carr-Gomm
ArchDruid of OBOD
‘On radical Druidry: Stukeley was (at first) a pagan Neoplatonist who disapproved of the intolerance of Christianity; Iolo a pacificist and republican, who was regarded as dangerous by the government and held a Gorsedd of Bards that was broken up by mounted militiamen; William Price a revolutionary who plotted to overthrow the state by an armed uprising, did not believe in marriage or Christianity, and won a law case that made cremation possible in the UK; George Watson (Macgregor) Reid a radical socialist who incited workers to strike and native peoples in North Africa to resist Western imperialism. The claimed list of Chosen Chiefs is a roll-call of radicals and freethinkers.’
Ronald Hutton, Professor of History, Bristol University
“…I know the most about my predecessor, Ross Nichols, who continued this tradition by championing monetary reform, pacifism and socialism. Ross was a man of ideals – which he not only articulated but which he practiced throughout his life: he believed passionately in the need for us to return to a closer relationship with Nature, and for the need for us to retreat often to the countryside, to living on the land in as simple a way as possible. And he did this by embracing the philosophy of Naturism and by creating his own woodland sanctuary of utter simplicity. He also devoted the latter years of his life to articulating and practising Druidry – a spirituality which has as its aim this return to a communion with the natural world…
Those same ideals are alive today: the ‘back to nature’ philosophy has taken on an urgency uncontemplated in Ross’ time, when the extent of environmental degradation was not yet fully appreciated; the ideas of fairer wealth distribution behind the Social Credit movement drive the anti-capitalist and anti-globalisation movements of today; and the reverence for life that Ross showed in his vegetarianism and pacifism, continue to inspire people around the world and have broadened to include the advocacy of organic (and compassionate) farming, and such related movements as that of Permaculture and of resistance to genetic modification.
Until recently, those of us in the Druid community have concentrated on building a sense of community, creating structures and ways of teaching that focus primarily on our own spiritual and personal development – helping ourselves take charge of our reality and develop it in positive creative ways. Now, I believe it is time to expand our focus to include more than just ourselves. This means accepting that we have an influence in the world, that we can change things for the better, that we don’t have to be passive consumers, and that being a spiritual being on earth doesn’t involve simply working on our own spiritual development. In short it means dipping our toes into the wider sea, and engaging those two contentious areas of politics and beliefs…
Of course when we’re faced with tragic and sad news from so many corners of the globe where war, suffering, poverty and famine exist, it seems too big a task to even begin. But we must begin – in however small a way. Remember: ‘No snowflake ever feels it started the avalanche’…
But if you believe in the magical concept that ideas are causal to physical manifestation – then getting our ideas right is the vital first step. As we see so tragically now, certain ideas are causing great suffering and distress around the world. But since as human beings we can’t stop ourselves having ideas and ideals, the very least we can do is try to have good ones – ones which result in the creation of a better world.
The challenge for us as Druids is to come out of the closet, and to start envisioning the future we want with clarity. That is, after all, one of the purposes of magic. I believe it will be a sign of the maturing of our movement if we start to do this – if we start to engage the wider ocean that we find ourselves in.”
The crane is a symbol of wisdom and like all water-birds, unites the realms of water and earth and air. I am proud that ecological organizations use this creature because it is a reflection also of Druid ancient practices; research the ‘crane-bag’.
Peace, Peace, Peace.
The New Moon occurs at 17:28 (UT) on the 30th October 2016 at 07°Sc43′
After all the noise of the last Aries Full Moon, this lunation feels intensely quiet. The Moon and Sun conjoined in Scorpio brings conscious and unconscious together and in this moment of inner alignment, we’re plunged into the darkest reaches of the self. In these shadowy places are our greatest fears and passions. It’s the terror of death and sometimes the terror to really LIVE. Scorpio rules those kinds of endings that are absolutely final, the loss that we must grief for and accept. It rules that heady moment when there is only skin against skin and nothing in between you and your lover. There’s nothing insipid about Scorpio, what it feels, it feels down to the bone. It’s raw and unbridled and has a curious magnetic compulsion that draws us deeper…
This New Moon falls just before Samhain/Hallowe’en as well as All Souls and All Saint’s and the Mexican Day of the Dead. At this time of year, as the nights begin to draw in and the foliage withers and dies, Death comes knocking in the form of little kids dressed up in scary costumes and we carve pumpkins to shoo off ‘The Devil’. Horror films play on a loop and Mars square to Uranus in this chart is like the electric shock of surprise as the big bad leaps into view and you fall giggling in a heap, hair still standing on end. Death and fear are uniquely bound. It’s fear of the unknown that gets us but Scorpio knows that the path of the unknown is the one to take, especially as the Moon and Sun are sextile the North Node, pointing the way towards evolution.
Those of us who practice a spiritual tradition may visit the grave of loved ones or create ancestor altars to honour those who have passed. Asteroids Memoria and Photographica oppose this New Moon so going through old photographs and stirring memories may feel challenging but also offers great healing during this time.
This lunation is conjunct Mercury who in Roman mythology was a psychopomp, escorting the souls of the dead to the heavens. Mercury’s close proximity to this Moon means that maybe we’re talking or thinking about those who have passed – or talking with them. The Moon and Mercury are both trine to Neptune so this Moon is a spiritual communion between ourselves and the other worlds beyond. Whether the connection is to the deceased or to deities, angels or guides, the veil between the worlds is even thinner than normal at this time of year. Dreams now may be especially vivid and spirit contact too may come through the dream state. During this lunation, we’re called to listen to the space between the sounds, the whispers of the soul. Communication of all kinds lingers in the ether and if we are receptive, there’s much we can learn. Listen to your intuition.
The Moon is on the Sabian symbol :-
A Calm Lake Bathed In Moonlight
Make time for reflection. Not only is there the opportunity to connect with souls who once trod the Earth but other old ghosts may come calling from deep within the psyche. Don’t be afraid. These spectres of the past are part of your history. Send back healing to bygone years if necessary. There is nothing to control, nothing to fear. In life and death, all is well. Make peace with your ghosts.
‘For a semi-regular zine of activist reflections and actions.
‘This is an invitation for articles offering a critical analysis and reflections on Earth First! and related environmental and social justice direct action movements, how we organise and the actions we take. Contributions can be about actions in the UK or international. We also welcome book reviews, activist resources, short rants, illustrations, cartoons, poems and photographs. We suggest 500 – 2000 words for articles…’
If you feel a calling to share your stories of earthly interactions, go to the link above to read more.
This is the point in the year where day and night are equal in length; the nights will grow ever longer until midwinter here in the northern hemisphere. The United States will get out to vote their hopes (and fears) after a final harried month of advertising, wrapped up by the final harvest festival, Samhain.
Those of us who honour the lunar calendar have already celebrated a week ago at the Harvest Moon. Animals were blessed, bounty was gathered to feast, pilgrimages made to sacred waters.
Cast your vote for living or dying now.
Nimue is feeling the upwelling of separative energy of this solstice directly in her home. Others feel it in the Brexit, the elections, the refugee crises. It is a momentous turning point this year.
I will admit to not seeing in the dawn. I woke at seven with the alarm clock, with a body that hurts and no energy at all. This did not come as a great surprise to me, such that I had not made any solstice arrangements. This used to be one of the festivals I went to considerable effort to celebrate, with trips to Stonehenge, overnight vigils, dawn celebrations and so forth.
I can’t do it this year. My body simply isn’t going to take more abuse and I can feel the creeping warning signs of depression and exhaustion. Other people have greeted the sun today, I am not needed, I feel, and Druidry is not about martyrdom.
I’ve got a hard fight on my hands right now, one that I’ve been caught up in for years, but have finally got some movement on. You may have seen yesterday’s post…
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A rare combination of events is on its way in late June, as the Full Moon appears on the same night as the June Solstice. A Full Moon hasn’t occurred on the same day as the Solstice since 1948, and this time, Slooh is here to broadcast it live.
During the show, Slooh Astronomers, Paul Cox and Bob Berman, will be on hand to discuss the rarity of such an event, and what exactly it means when they both occur at once. We will also be joined by our friends at The Old Farmer’s Almanac who will present the fascinating folklore surrounding the June Full Moon and the Solstice.
Source: The Exodus
White Rabbit Grove routinely marks the full and new moon cycles. This one feels a bit more momentous. It is also Earth Day, Marconi Day, and the eve of St George’s Day.
There was a ceremony at the Grove, including cleansing of ritual utensils, procession, prayer, circumambulation, offerings, song, banishing, closure, recession, and ablution. Materials used included two staffs, six fresh flowers, and two pieces of last year’s wasp nest.
This is the perfect time to get rid of what no longer serves and set course for the desired future. As for obstacles, as a ruthless man once said, ‘keelhaul ’em all and let God sort ’em out.’
It will soon be Beltane.