Archive for the ‘words’ Category

imbolc blessing from @ADFDruidry

February 5, 2019

Earth Mother,

Spirits of Inspiration,

Ancestors,

Nature Spirits,

Shining Ones,

Let me be creative;

Let fertility of mind, Body, And spirit

Be like a cornucopia

Where all good things come

From me And to me.

Let fertility nourish my Way.

And let bounty be my gift.

So Be It.

flame

dypodkdx0ail66y

 

https://twitter.com/adfdruidry/status/1092800264799703042/photo/1

 

(also happy Lunar New Year of the Pig)

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guest re-post: Herman Hesse on trees

February 3, 2019

Herman Hesse on trees  

When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.

~ Hermann Hesse

via Philip Carr-Gomm

the-wind-garden-hero

Be more than a visitor: Philip Carr-Gomm guest post

January 23, 2019

I was saddened to hear about the death of the poet Mary Oliver this week. Her poetry so beautifully explores the connection between the human and natural world, reminding us that there is no separation, that nature is our home in the deepest, most spiritual sense. I read a wonderful quote in the Independent that comes from her book of essays, Long Life. In it, she says of herself,

In my outward appearance and life habits I hardly change — there’s never been a day that my friends haven’t been able to say, and at a distance, ‘There’s Oliver, still standing around in the weeds. There she is, still scribbling in her notebook’.
But, at the center: I am shaking; I am flashing like tinsel.

This speaks so brilliantly of her skill to help us glimpse the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary, both within us and around us; to crack open our dull vision and shine a light upon the magic of this world, enabling us to feel more intimately and powerfully a part of life. The body of work she has left us, is a true gift.

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

~ Mary Oliver

mary-oliver-c-mariana-cook-2012-1-

https://www.philipcarr-gomm.com/be-more-than-a-visitor/

 

 

reclaimthelaw : The Duty of Care– guest post

December 12, 2018

via reclaimthelaw

excerpts —

…The British Government is voted in, and paid, by the British People to serve the best interests of the British People. To this end therefore the Government is the servant of the British People, and the People are the Masters of the Government.

It is UNLAWFUL for a master to employ a servant to commit a reckless act (the vicarious responsibility of a master for the act of a servant); so if the British Government is reckless in it’s duty of care for the environment, then it is unlawful for the British People to employ -i.e. pay tax to- the Government as long as the Government continues to be reckless.

Our intention is not to persuade people to withhold their taxes (desirable as that may be to a great many of us); to do so would hardly be seen as reasonable, prudent and well intentioned.

It is our intention to inform the people of this country of the facts and thereby to exert as much political pressure as we may upon the Government to cease their apparent recklessness…

…There is a Universal Law of social behaviour which always applies, to any group of creatures, at any time; in the past, and in the present, and in the future; in any place, in any possible universe.

The Universal Law is quite simply that any creatures living in a group do not, as a general rule, injure each other.

If the members of a group injure each other, then that group will get smaller and smaller, until, at the end, if the members continue to injure eachother, there is only one creature left, which is not a group . . .

…In British Law today there is a “Duty of Care” which states that:

“YOU MUST TAKE REASONABLE CARE

TO AVOID ACTS OR OMISSIONS,

WHICH YOU CAN REASONABLY FORESEE,

WOULD BE LIKELY TO INJURE YOUR NEIGHBOUR “

This reasonable standard of care,

as outlined in the “Duty of Care” above,

is applied to all persons in the UK

including the Government, the Bankers,

and the Legal System itself…

THE DUTY OF CARE APPLIED TO Unnecessary Unreasonable Environmental Damage & Destruction

Bearing in mind the huge increase in public awareness of UUEDD over the last five or ten years, it is no longer possible for anyone in a position of responsibility to claim that they are unaware of the threat of UUEDD to the nation’s (not to mention the planet’s) well-being and security.

Therefore, any acts or omissions leading to further UUEDD, committed by person(s) in positions of responsibility are done in the full knowledge that such acts and omissions are already injuring all of us, on a massive scale, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

THEREFORE ANY ACTS OR OMISSIONS LEADING TO FURTHER UUEDD

COMMITTED BY PERSONS IN POSITIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY

ARE RECKLESS AND

CRIMINAL.

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When you can choose to disbelieve By Nimue Brown –guest post

December 30, 2017

Most times when I re-post my fellow Druid author’s blogging, I give you only a taste of the whole here.  This time it’s the entire thing. She’s put it very succinctly and thoroughly.  The medicine for disbelief is TRUTH (awen).  The cure is to combine truth with BELIEF.  

BELIEVE  in the experiences of others.  Believe in your own true experience.  Believe in the future as it comes.  The future is woven not from disbelief but from belief.  Disbelief is a way of not facing what unfolds, and also disables our ability to deal with things.

When you can choose to disbelieve By Nimue Brown

There are a great many things that are subject to disbelief. Racial hatred, abuse and harassment, sexual hatred abuse and harassment, the practical and social difficulties grinding down the disabled, and the relentless misery of being poor. If I’m online any day, the odds are I’ll see someone questioning that these things happen, disbelieving victims and sufferers and offering alternative explanations.

The option to disbelieve comes from not being affected personally. So many people are so easily persuaded that if they haven’t seen it, it doesn’t happen. This means that when others try and tell them what happens, they ignore the evidence in favour of their belief, and so they still don’t see it happening.

Disbelief is most often followed by shaming and blaming. The feckless poor with their cigarettes and alcohol. The women who bring it upon themselves by having bodies and clothes and going outside. The disabled people who aren’t trying hard enough to magic themselves well. I think the worst of this is what comes up over race to try and explain away brutality, oppression and a rigged game designed to be unwinnable if you’re from the ‘wrong’ group. Often this is the worst of it because poverty is usually in there too, and the other things on the list can and do feature.

Disbelief means taking no responsibility. It means there’s no pressure to look either at your own behaviour or about the way you participate in a culture that allows this. Disbelief affirms the feeling that all your good things come from your hard work and virtue. You’re too clever to be raped, to get sick, to become poor. The illusion of safety and of being in control are comforting things.

Disbelief is also another form of misery to heap onto those already in trouble. Not only are you dealing with some vile thing, but you’re doing it surrounded by people who tell you it does not exist, is not happening, does not happen. You’ve made it up to get attention (because there’s so much glory, wealth and power to be obtained by admitting you were abused, right?). You’re lying. You’re trying to get out of something or get something for nothing or get special treatment. You’re a snowflake. You’re to blame. And when you’ve already been knocked down by something, dealing with people who refuse to believe it even exists is ghastly.

If people around you deny your reality, say your experience doesn’t exist or is your fault, that way lies madness. Being told you are the cause of the abuse you have suffered crushes your sense of self, takes away your self esteem, may make you question your own experience and your right to feel about it as you do. And of course if all you ever see is people denying that your problem is a real problem, you’ll be less likely to call it out in the first place.

If you’ve been there, it isn’t a belief issue. If you’ve seen it, you know it happens. You don’t have to question why someone would say something like that. You don’t try to figure out how it was their fault, because you know what happens. Disbelief is a luxury available only to those who do not know.

Russell Brand guest post

November 29, 2017

This comedian–essayist is like Marmite. You either love him or hate him.   But when I actually read his words, (which is my preferred method of absorbing knowledge),  I find myself in quite a bit of alignment with his perspective. This is despite my never being a celebrity, a Londoner, a drug addict, a non-voter, or over six foot tall.

‘No, Brand has long since transcended mere comedy. As we noted on June 8, 2015, he’s been more comfortable the last few years “posturing as a crusading champion of the downtrodden and a heroic enemy of The System.” His 2014 stand-up show was entitled Messiah Complex, for which this world-class egomaniac should at least get credit for truth in advertising.’

The following are excerpts from an article in the New Statesman from 2013,  plus  bits from his most recent podcasts;

http://www.radiox.co.uk/radio/podcasts/russell-brand/watch-russell-brand-team-energy-magic-from-druid/

I tried also to link to some interviews from 2017.   He’s also got a Youtube channel naturally.   The Trews, it’s called .    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5BY9veyhGt46KMmgAJYi1LF0EUkpqcrX

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For me the solution has to be primarily spiritual and secondarily political. This, too, is difficult terrain when the natural tribal leaders of the left are atheists, when Marxism is inveterately Godless. When the lumbering monotheistic faiths have given us millennia of grief for a handful of prayers and some sparkly rituals.

By spiritual I mean the acknowledgement that our connection to one another and the planet must be prioritised. Buckminster Fuller outlines what ought be our collective objectives succinctly: “to make the world work for 100 per cent of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous co-operation without ecological offence or the disadvantage of anyone”. This maxim is the very essence of “easier said than done” as it implies the dismantling of our entire socio-economic machinery. By teatime.

“Throughout paganism one finds stories that integrate our species with our environment to the benefit of both. The function and benefits of these belief matrixes have been lost, with good reason. They were socialist, egalitarian and integrated. If like the Celtic people we revered the rivers we would prioritise this sacred knowledge and curtail the attempts of any that sought to pollute the rivers. If like the Nordic people we believed the souls of our ancestors lived in the trees, this connection would make mass deforestation anathema. If like the native people of America we believed God was in the soil what would our intuitive response be to the implementation of fracking?” Russell Brand

OBOD’s ArchDruid, Philip Carr-Gomm, spoke for one of Russell’s podcasts recently.

http://www.radiox.co.uk/radio/podcasts/russell-brand/watch-russell-brand-team-energy-magic-from-druid/

http://www.philipcarr-gomm.com/a-conversation-with-russell-brand/

The fellow is articulate and manic.

When people talk about politics within the existing Westminster framework I feel a dull thud in my stomach and my eyes involuntarily glaze. Like when I’m conversing and the subject changes from me and moves on to another topic. I try to remain engaged but behind my eyes I am adrift in immediate nostalgia; “How happy I was earlier in this chat,” I instantly think. …

The system is adept at turning our aggression on to one another. We condemn the rioters. The EDL condemns immigrants. My new rule for when I fancy doing a bit of the ol’ condemnation is: “Do the people I’m condemning have any actual power?”

We British seem to be a bit embarrassed about revolution, like the passion is uncouth or that some tea might get spilled on our cuffs in the uprising. That revolution is a bit French or worse still American. Well, the alternative is extinction so now might be a good time to re-evaluate. The apathy is in fact a transmission problem, when we are given the correct information in an engaging fashion, we will stir. …

Capitalism is not real; it is an idea. America is not real; it is an idea that someone had ages ago. Britain, Christianity, Islam, karate, Wednesdays are all just ideas that we choose to believe in and very nice ideas they are, too, when they serve a purpose. These concepts, though, cannot be served to the detriment of actual reality.

The reality is we have a spherical ecosystem, suspended in, as far as we know, infinite space upon which there are billions of carbon-based life forms, of which we presume ourselves to be the most important, and a limited amount of resources.

The only systems we can afford to employ are those that rationally serve the planet first, then all humanity. Not out of some woolly, bullshit tree-hugging piffle but because we live on it, currently without alternatives. This is why I believe we need a unifying and in clusive spiritual ideology: atheism and materialism atomise us and anchor us to one frequency of consciousness and inhibit necessary co-operation.”

“Eventually when thinking abates, I recognise that there is more to me than my thoughts. Stripped of biographical data there’s a form of consciousness that’s quite beautiful and serene and anybody can have access to it. I think that’s the point of a lot of religion, to get you to that place. And to create moral and ethical conditions where it’s likely that more people live like that. To not live according to biochemical drives and the social systems derived from those drives – greed-based, desire-based, fear-based systems.
“The point of recovery is to get back on the intended journey. What would you have been without the wound? Who were you before the trauma, without the shame, without the drugs or the bad relationships or the stupid, dumb belief systems that have been downloaded into your ‘ead?’
Read more at: https://www.scotsman.com/news/interview-russell-brand-1-4621833
small_epic-win-photos-hacked-irl-i-love-revolutions.jpg

 

 

 

MARCH! vernal equinox 2017

March 13, 2017

Sending_Love_And_Joy_Your_Way

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.

 

face-of-a-rainbow-rainbow-trout-portrait-mike-savlen

face of rainbow trout by Mike Savlen

 

 

Solstice story by moi– #freeread Happy holiday!

December 21, 2016

Solstice of the Whirled

by Helgaleena
originally published in
A Dark Roasted Christmas Volume 2
(out of print) http://www.123rf.com/photo_15076466_infinity-spiral-from-autumn-photos-travel-and-seasons-concept.html
As it is midsummer at one end of the vajra and the longest night at the other end, I dreamed that they were in love.

Earth First! UK Zine Wants Your Writing!

October 3, 2016

http://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire/2016/10/03/earth-first-uk-zine-wants-your-writing/

earth-first-vol-1

‘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.

Bards of the Pacific: the Legacy of Katharine Luomala

October 23, 2014

katharine-luomala-1955-1959_250x250 (image from Guggenheim collection)

Bards of the Pacific — the Legacy of Katharine Luomala

As the autumn season continues to wind down toward Samhain, it is a time to celebrate the legacy of the honored dead. This multi-part article is going to focus on the life’s work of my great aunt Katharine Luomala Phd, Polynesian folklorist.

As you hopefully know already, bards and oral instruction are a crucial part of the Druid path among humans, however it is now structured. So also was it throughout Polynesia. The peoples of these far-flung island nations are remarkably similar both genetically and culturally, part of a prehistoric diaspora from Southeast Asia that some argue stretched as far east as the Americas. Marked similarities in their cultural practices, traditions, and mythologies fascinate folklorists, who rushed to record what remained of the oral traditions after missionary and colonial contact in the early 20th century.

Much like the Neo-Pagan movement, modern Polynesians are rediscovering their cultural roots, and in the process rediscovering the preservation of their ancestral stories by dedicated academics like my ancestor, Dr. Luomala. Traditional practices are enriched, and new ones formed, with the help of such studies. And unlike many scholarly works, her writing is seldom dry and inaccessible. Her popular and synthesizing style earned her the 1984 Hawaii Award for Literature shortly before her death.

So how did a Finnish-American farm girl from northern Minnesota end up dedicating her life to collecting local myths at the University of Hawaii? For dedicated is the correct description. She never married; she traveled the world upon the conference circuit sharing with her peers, and was known as extraordinarily helpful to her grateful students. Her collected writings number in the hundreds. The University of California-Berkeley houses her collected papers and memorabilia.

http://dpg.lib.berkeley.edu/webdb/anthpubs/search?all=&subjtext=University+of+California%2C+Berkeley.+–+Dept.+of+Anthropology&subjectid=4015&item=3

Katharine, or as the family knew her, ‘Aunt Kai’, was a seldom seen legend to us kids back in the north woods. Born before World War I, she grew up tri-lingual in Finnish, Swedish and English on the Luomala dairying homestead in St Louis County near Duluth, Minnesota. Her childhood recollections of surviving the Great Cloquet Forest Fire she has shared with the Minnesota Historical Society.

http://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/record.php?id=122476238

The fire spared the homestead, which the family will eventually give to the local Historical Society as well, as a rare surviving example of 19th c. Finnish log construction; but for now it is still in use by Luomala descendants. I too grew up there, in a no-nonsense farming family that encouraged scholarship with a glass cabinet-filled library of 19th and early 20th century books against its plastered plank walls, including first editions of Rackham’s fairy tales, science texts, and the Kalevala.

From here young Katharine progressed in her academics as far as the distant paradise of California, attending the University of California-Berkeley, known for its strong contributions to anthropology, ethnology, and folklore.A stint of research in Navajo country interviewing elders introduced her to folklore as a discipline, so she threw herself into academia, getting her doctorate and relocating to the growing new University of Hawaii. Phd level was achieved in 1936.

She also served the US government during World War II, recommending largely ignored re-socialization measures for the Japanese citizens in internment camps. This was when she met the love of her life, a US Navy officer who was killed in action before he could divorce his first wife to be with her. They spent happy times together, I am sure, both in California and in Hawaii— but this, while serving as fodder for future romance novels by yours truly, is not how Katharine wished to be remembered. She poured out all that loving energy into her life’s work instead— capturing what she poetically described as the ‘voices on the wind’ in Polynesia.

Honolulu was to be her home for the rest of her long life. People hearing her surname would sometimes be surprised to see a leggy golden blond with a square jaw instead of a native Hawaiian. Finnish and Hawaiian do have some superficial similarities! But Dr. Luomala demonstrated admirable love and respect for her chosen culture. She dressed informally in the muumuu, even sending them to us little grand-nieces as presents, and wore fresh leis at least once a week. She never neglected present day traditions in her studies, as titles like Hula’ Ki’i: Hawaiian Puppetry demonstrate.

But her most famous works were about the great mythic figures of island legend, such as Maui of a Thousand Tricks, or the syncretic work I am going to discuss in later articles, Voices on the Wind.

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/1496917?uid=3739256&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21105010196043

Teaching came naturally to her. Online I was able to find this paean to her from one of the myriads of anthropology students she served to inspire.

http://www.johncharlot.me/Hawaiian-Polynesian-NativeAmerican/Luomala00%20copy.pdf

There is also a commemorative volume in her honor, full of the work of those she influenced, and influenced her in return, in the field of Polynesian studies.

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/20705399?uid=3739256&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21105010196043

Here is a link to her Huge List of Publications

http://socialarchive.iath.virginia.edu/ark:/99166/w6b58mc2  

I was surprised to find no good photo of Dr. Katharine Luomala online, so here is a remedy to that, scanned from a book jacket.

kaibio

I leave to you the decision about whether she qualifies as a Bard herself, or is merely a celebrator of Bards. Next article will deal in more depth with the content of the message, the ancestral voices she preserved, much as Elias Lonnrot did for the Finnish national epic.  He interviewed the singers of Kalevala and compiled their songs into one huge cycle. I suspect this is the true inspiration for my ancestor Dr. Luomala’s work in Polynesia.

voicesonwindcover