Strange bedfellows for Druids: guest re-post

July 15, 2022

‘People’s right to exist is not something that we should consider open to debate. These are not opinions we can agree to differ over. Anyone whose policies are murderous or ecocidal is not a good ally even if their short term aims seem to align with ours in some way.’

Druid Life

Sometimes, to get things done you have to work with people who are not perhaps your natural allies. My go-to example of this is that it was otter hunters who first raised the alarm over falling otter numbers in the UK in the 20th century. Hunters and nature lovers worked together to try and get things changed for the benefit of otters, and otters have made a superb comeback.

If we wait for the perfect allies, we might never get things done. However, if we team up with people that also has implications. Who and what are we supporting and validating? Is that a good risk? I feel strongly that as Druids we have a responsibility to consider who we empower and where that might lead, no matter how urgent the cause. People with terrible motives will show up for causes they think will win them support and make them…

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Druid author non-fiction, fresh published

July 15, 2022

guest re-post: Elen Sentier’s Equinox

March 20, 2022


Goddess of Growing Things … I am so, so glad to see you again.
We’ve had a terrible time here in the UK since early January. Tremendous winds, over 100mph in places, real habitat-wrecking winds that tear up trees by the roots even as well as snapping the huge stems of hundred-year-old beech trees. In small does the wind can be very invigorating but day after day, night after night, it really wears me down. We lost our electricity several times, and the countryside around was both awash and impossible to get through in many places for trees that had come down.
I have thick holly hedges around me here, like a meter thick, so our birds had somewhere safe to hide in the worst of it and I kept the bird-feeders topped up so they didn’t have to go far to forage. The little songbirds suffer greatly from the wind, they’re so tiny they just get blown miles, literally, and may well be smashed into things. Add in that in those sorts of winds the plants don’t try to grow but hunker down to wait for when things get better. And it’s the end of winter so there’s little left in the way of berries, and fruits, and the insects have far more sense than to come out in that weather. So, all round, there’s nothing for the birds unless we humans give it to them. As the winds are all part of the climate change we inaugurated with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution I feel it’s my duty to make up to the wildlife for we’ve done, so the bird feeders are well supplied…

Garden Spring Clean. Once you’ve seen 3 bees out together, or maybe spiders running around in the grass or by the path, you’ll know it’s safe to cut back all the dead stems and grass in the garden. Until the bees and spiders announce it’s now warm and safe enough to come out of hiding it’s not good to cut down their overwintering places.
This happened for me this year on 17th March, just before equinox. I went out to plant the first lettuce seedlings and I got Buzzed! There’s calendula and borage as well as the first dandelions flowering in the veg garden, around where I’ve put the seedlings, and I got buzzed, it was delightful. That first sound, first buzzing as you hear queen bumblebees come out to search for nesting places is just so uplifting, it really makes my heart sing.

Balance …
This drawing – yes, it’s just one drawing – is from a brooch of the La tene culture. If you hold it one way up you have the picture of a young woman, to me she’s the Lady, the goddess.
Turn her the other way up and you have the picture of an old man, for me he’s the Lord, the god, the Guardian of the Lady.
And they are balance. –Elen

Who is Elen?

“I was born on Dartmoor and grew up on Exmoor, in a family that has followed the old ways of Britain for centuries. I now live with my cat – Kellan, husband – Paul, and a host of wildlife in the Welsh Marches of Britain.”

When it comes to interacting with fellow humans, she is much less bashful than me, Helgaleena of White Rabbit Grove. Please enjoy her ways.

Ritual for Peace in Ukraine and the World: guest post

March 4, 2022

Garlic Soup -For Colds & Flu

February 7, 2022

JUST IN TIME for the dairy season of Imbolc.

Simply Splendid Food

Garlic or Allium sativum, is part of the Alium family. Other family members are onions, leeks, shallots and chives. The sharpness of raw garlic, the savoriness of roasted garlic packs a major punch of flavor.

published by Lee Holmes, Heal Your Gut

Garlic has great flavour and health benefits. Garlic is used for building the , fighting colds and flu! The famous Louis Pasteur first discovered that garlic kills bacteria. As a topical, garlic mixed with jojoba oil (or mineral oil) is used as an ointment for itchy, dry skin.

Ask The Expert

Garlic should be peeled and minced gently. Allow 5-10 minutes for the sulphur compounds to oxidize, this is when Allicin is formed. Allicin contains all the therapeutic and health benefits of fresh garlic. Avoid putting garlic directly in hot oil, this will destroy the Allicin. Instead add the garlic later in the cooking…

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Poverty is not sustainable: guest re-post

December 6, 2021

Being poor is hard work. It doesn’t reliably leave you with the mental, emotional or time resources to lovingly repair things, cook nutritious meals from scratch or tend to a veg garden. Sustainable living must not simply be a hobby for those who can afford nice things, and that can’t happen without some radical social changes.

Druid Life

Living lightly, cheaply, sustainably and comfortably is easier to achieve in the UK if you aren’t poor. When you don’t have much money, there are a great many things you won’t do because they cost too much – which can reduce your carbon footprint compared to other people’s. But there are also a lot of things you can’t do to be more sustainable.

If you rent, you can’t insulate your home, or get solar panels. You can’t upgrade the windows to be more energy efficient, you may be stuck with inefficient heating systems and white goods with poor energy ratings. Making your home more efficient is not only a way to be more sustainable, it can save you money. A well insulated home doesn’t cost as much to heat.

Clothes made from natural fibers are usually better quality and longer lasting than synthetics. However, your budget might not stretch to…

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Long live the revolution– guest re-post

November 4, 2021

Scorpio new moon signals a new era of how we exist here. Fellow Druid Nimue Brown feels it too. Happy post-Samhain regroup to all, quietly…

This is the ancient New Year, just as the veil between us and the ancestors is thinnest. Foremost is the need to keep our heads where they belong. Doing and planning comes after, imbued with the insights of this moment in the cycles.

Druid Life

This week, Pagan Dawn magazine came out and in it was my final Quiet Revolution column. I’d written it every quarter for years. When I started, it made sense to be talking about lifestyle changes like not picking up single use plastic carrier bags. We’ve all come a long way since then. Over the years, I’ve talked about the need for radical changes to our lifestyles, culture, ways of working. Sometimes I’ve put this in a context of spells, prayers and acts of religious devotion.

This summer I made the decision to let the column go. Partly this came from feeling that I would not have the time moving forward. I’ve spent this year reducing the number of things I do. I need a gentler, slower paced life, and I need to focus on the projects that are working for me and where I think I can do my best…

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Guest re-post: Foraging diaries by Kaare Melby with the Finland Food Chain

October 10, 2021
Chaga tea

I grew up in this part of the world and my parents did too, so it’s a joy to revisit the edible landscape of a typical year with the Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability during this final portion of harvest season there.

Foraging diaries by Kaare Melby with the Finland Food Chain

My Grove is a climate zone farther south, but many of the items listed can also be found nearby it. Of course the New Zealand and South Australia locations are instead having a springtime. I have to admit that I know less about the seasonal edibles there and stick to the gardened items.

Nature, culture and healing– guest re-post

September 18, 2021

Running off into the wilderness can be a tempting antidote to this. But, humans put a lot of pressure on what wild nature remains. It might be more productive to stop looking to nature to heal us and start looking to human culture not to ravage us in the first place.

Druid Life

What makes you feel like yourself? What do you do that gives you a sense of being fully present, alive and acting from a place of authenticity? Conversely, how much time do you spend in spaces where you have to pretend to be other than you are? What do you do that robs you of identity and leaves you numb, disengaged and dysfunctional?

One of the truly great things about being outside and alone is that you don’t have to perform. The elements do not require you to be other than you are. If your sense of self has been crushed by pressures and expectations, this time alone might be your best hope of healing and finding yourself. We don’t lose ourselves anything like as much as we have our identities taken from us.

We can end up feeling that we are the roles we are obliged to perform. If…

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Rainbow diplomacy

September 2, 2021

I am naming my nine-color grid works the Sudoku accords, or simply the Accords. In order to manifest rainbows in this material plane, there must be a momentary equilibrium between water or crystal and light. An accord is basically an equilibrium between different parties. When two rainbows collaborate in the grid it looks like this to me.

I begin from the assumption that each of us incarnated beings contains a full spectrum of the frequencies needed for living here. We don’t generally balance them optimally within ourselves but they must all be there, for in the absence of one, everything else would cease to function. We also interact with other in our existence all the time, which will ideally lead to accords, mutual aid, loving unions, cooperation and all communal good. These sudoku-balanced pieces are encouragements to remind us of how things could develop. One full Earthly spectrum salutes another.

A completed sudoku grid is a balance of nine. A chessboard grid is a conflict of eights. The 64 hexagrams of the I Ching manifest sixness, pairings of two trigrams for the purpose of insight into correct living.

The traditional ‘color wheel’ VBGYOR makes a ring of our visible spectrum, plus the dipole abstractions of Black and White for varying intensity. The middle where they all meet is brown, our material fecund living in all its inclusiveness. This is very handy for artists making things with actual substance, like artifacts and crafts and recipes and canvases. The trouble with the eightfold way as an ideal, however, is that eightness leads us back to the polarized adversarial grid of the game board. And while brown has its uses, when it comes to making rainbows we need to get away from the nuances of blending all that brown gravy and keep the colors clear.

Rainbow needs to be based more in the realm of physics of light. We are dealing here with the celestial phenomenon which is part of a continuum of visible vibration, from infrared to ultraviolet. It is not a sphere; its ends are beyond the understanding of our senses. We might still get notice of them in other ways, as heat, as sound, as tremors, as particulates! Out past our mundane spectrum, light is free to travel whole other dimensions of existence. Freed of the ‘wheel’, the rainbow can become an open door to other states.

Tibetans and other traditional societies such as the Native Americans speak of the ‘five colors’, a system more harmonious with the past. Fiveness resonates with pentagrams, Pythagorean golden mean, and Venus the ‘morning star’ (Inana, Qetzalcoatl). Many more ancient languages don’t have as many names for colors as we do nowadays. Yet they all recognize the rainbow; they just perceive the boundaries between hues differently.

When it comes to mapping, four colors are sufficient to differentiate all territories, according to mathematics.

the rainbow is foreshadowed, but not satisfactorily. Foursquare construction in two dimensions is a thing in Vedic architecture. All floor plans can be optimized with the help of the ‘vastu person’ reference.

You will notice that a nine by nine grid is most often used, convenient for our use of base ten counting. That is where my tie-in to sudoku grid comes in handy.

When each of the nine squares, nine rows, and nine columns contains one of every number, there is bliss. Yet the solution is not just one way; there are huge numbers of correct, bliss making solutions. As long as internal balance is kept, the corners can be any one of the nine. Blissful grids are legion, and when they meet, hopefully they can find ways to coexist and maintain that bliss. Neither party needs to resort to brown gravy; both can reach detente square by square.

The old ways, before the modern understanding of the physics of light, cannot serve the rainbow the way that ninefold does. Fourfold, fivefold and eightfold must make way. Ninefold grid acknowledges all the states beyond the material plane, where I cannot see.

A completed sudoku grid can of course harmonize with itself, for a kaleidoscopic symmetry. I did quite a few of those too, and have named these experiments in self-reflection ‘mirrors’. A person in balance magnifies that balance by reflecting upon it, which is a pleasing quantum experience. So my two types of grid are either ‘mirror’ or ‘accord’ depending on how many different grids are involved.

A mirror is limited in its utility, for beings must deal with other, equally worthy incarnated beings daily. In the Accords, two different solved grids are superimposed and come to terms with one another. When the same colors meet as blocks, tangents, or patterns, they do not need to blend into mud in order to harmonize. Both grid perspectives are equally valid in that moment. It may last only a moment. That is why the date of creation is an important part of the title. That is the nature of accord.

Another truth is that my way of assigning colors to numbers is arbitrary. I skewed my nine colors in a way that is convenient for the inexpensive pencil sets I have been using. To be absolutely fair to the traditional color wheel there should be two more oranges and one more purple, which would mean base twelve sudoku and my brain just won’t stretch that far. If your pencil set differs, choose your own favorite nine hues.

Some of us aspire to be Warriors of the Rainbow, rising from undifferentiated murk into spirals of motion. Crystalized completion of the metamorphosis becomes to future seed.