That’s Me

The past two days, I have been talking about the “abridgment of Ann Coulter’s free speech rights” by the University of California at Berkeley. Or at least, that’s the way that Coulter has been spinning the narrative. The reality has been that UCB was trying to keep their campus in a state of a “safe environment” for their student populace – a number one priority for any University or College. What has started to come out of all of this conversation – both in face-to-face discussions and online – has seemingly come down to a labeling of me by quite a few.

So let’s get a few things out in the open.  I’ve talked about labels and my dislike for them before. I even wrote a poem about it. Yes, I know the world works via labeling. Its convenient to pile a lot of these similar things over here. And some of those things that are similar to one another, but not the first group in another pile over here – and so on. It makes it easy to understand what we believe is the basic nature of this, that, and those others. Except it doesn’t.

I have been labeled a lot of things. Crazy. Odd. Hippy. Old. Out of touch. Headbanger. Punk. And so on. The reality is that I ascribe to three labels. Pagan. Priest. Druid. For me, these three labels are who I am. These three labels are what I am. What I say, what I do, the way I do it – all reflects, in my opinion, on who I am as a Pagan, a Priest, and a Druid. As I told Scott (I’m sorry to throw this into the post, Scott – its not a reflection on you, but on what I am saying) earlier today on Facebook:

I don’t identify myself as much. I’m a Pagan, I’m a Druid, and I’m a Priest. My personal perspective of politics tends to lean towards the assignment of being a liberal, but liberal doesn’t define me. Its an ideology that I utilize from time to time. That doesn’t make me a liberal, it makes me….well…”me”. My actions, words, and personal worldview aren’t defined by politics. Its framed by my beliefs, by the way I serve my Gods, and the by the manner in which I find my connections in the world around me. My political striping is merely a singular – and honestly, rather minor – connective string in all of that.

I’ve mentioned before my aversion to the label of “Priest” – and then came back to revisit the concept a second time. So, in a way, this concept of defining labels is something I have talked about quite a bit. But there’s a reason for that. I don’t believe a word, which has a meaning ascribed to it by our wide-ranging concept of “society”, can truly be a complete descriptive of a single person. I’m a Druid – an Ovate grade student in OBOD. Cat Treadwell is also a Druid. So is John Beckett. So is Damh the Bard, Philip Carr-Gomm, Kristoffer Hughes, and so many other people I know. Not one of us is the same Druid. We all bring our own individual persons into what we are. To utilize a single descriptive of “Druid” and apply a wide-ranging, generic descriptive to all of us captures *some* of who we are, but it by no means is a complete descriptive of who we are. We are all individual human beings who approach our beliefs, approach our understanding of the Gods, and our perception of connectivity differently. And this unique approaches are what makes us the people we are. Not some singular, generic descriptive of a singular aspect of who we are.

Most interesting in all of this, it seems that politics – particularly American politics for me, are what showcase the nonsensical concept of singular word descriptives of people. Its almost as if politics takes the labeling concept and wraps it in the dull, glowing light of flash-fired neon lights down the Vegas Strip. Are you a conservative? Are you a liberal? Well, honestly I have liberal leanings, as well as some libertarian theories, and some aspects of classic conservatism wrapped up in my politics. So what does that make me?

Well, damnit, it makes me who I am. A Pagan. A Priest. A Druid. That’s me.

Fearing the Nightmare Scenario of My Youth

I try my best not to speak about politics. The tendency is for people to either agree with what I have said, or to try and start a debate or argument. None of that is what I am trying to accomplish. I’m not looking for validation of what I think, nor am I looking to play a war of words with someone. However, I do have to speak a bit about something that has taken place over the last few weeks that has brought the world closer to a nightmare that my generation was completely obsessed with – nuclear weapons exchange.

Growing up, nuclear war – well let’s call it nuclear holocaust (a term that was bandied about an awful lot back in the 1980s, but one I don’t particularly care for because of the implications that get tagged on with the word “holocaust”). Or, if you prefer an even more charged term, nuclear genocide. Whatever terminology you want to use, the exchange of nuclear weapons on the battlefield, even with smaller “tactical” nukes, was a much discussed and feared scenario. Just a few decades before I made it to my high school years, school children practiced the “stop, drop, and cover” exercise, in the hopes of protecting themselves from what would be a terrible moment. When I was in high school, the exercise had been given up, simply because it was a useless one. As the world became much more knowledgeable about the terrible nature of these weapons, the realization that there was very little that could be done for protection (aside from getting indoors and sealing your home as much as possible) quickly brought this stuff to an end.

The fear of nuclear weapons was rampant in the 1950s and 1960s, where families built bomb shelters in their backyards as a means of protection. By the time the 1980s rolled around, many folks were in a position of essentially saying “fuck it” and moving on with their lives with the knowledge that “something” could happen. And eventually the fear of nuclear weapons began to dissipate to a degree.

Until now. In North Korea, we have an unpredictable leadership that is capable of utilizing a weapon that could bring untold devastation to certain parts of the region, as well as a desire to develop a delivery system that could reach the western edges of the continental United States. Here in the United States, we have an equally unstable and unreliable leadership that would see such an attack as a reason to loose untold devastation on North Korea and the immediate region, which would include allies such as South Korea and Japan. A nuclear explosion does more than just destruction to an immediate area – there’s a radius of fallout that doesn’t discriminate between your intended foes and the people you claim to protect. Its an indiscriminate weapon that wreaks destruction in a wide swath that goes beyond a local region. The devastating effects will be felt world-wide. And a nuclear exchange between just two countries has the potential to change the entire world that we inhabit. With that untold power, we have two national leadership groups that are just aching to show how big and powerful they are to one another, and either would unleash literally Hell-on-Earth in retaliation to other, with little care for how their exchange would effect other countries and populaces. All to assuage the egos of two extremely petty individuals.

Agree with me or not about the personalities of these two; there is no denying the destructive capabilities of these weapons. Even utilized in “tactical” capacities, where the yield is much smaller, and thus the devastation would be far less – the damage would still be felt world-wide. Like it nor not, we work in a world-wide economy. Any issues that would effect the economic capacity of a single country will have a ripple effect for all other countries. That’s the nature of rampant capitalism. Once everything is connected in a global economy, things that effect the economic capacity of one country will have effects on all others. And none of this even brings into account the effect that radioactive fallout will have on areas in the fallout zones – including the oceans, and farming fields, which would make the precarious balance of food even more contentious throughout the world.

There is no doubt that this “game” of whose nuclear penis is larger could quickly spiral out of control, and the nightmare scenarios that played out in movies and TV shows back in the 1980s could come to fruition. This, folks, is the reason that picking leadership for a country is important, and should never be made on the basis of not wanting “her” to be President because she’s a “Democrat”. Or voting for “him” because he “tells it like it is” without varnish or polish. Because what you wind up with is an individual that gives discretion to military leaders to determine responses to actions taken by other countries. There’s a reason that a civilian is placed in full charge of the United States military. Its meant as a check-and-balance against the single-minded nature of the military. And that’s not a slap-in-the-face to the military. The military is very efficient at what it needs to do. But choosing the response options cannot, and should not be left to military commanders to determine. Short-term options fall to a civilian, the President of the United States. Long-term options fall to a civilian body, the Congress of the United States.

Am I fearful of the nightmare scenarios of nuclear exchange happening between the United States and North Korea coming true? Certainly. I only wish that this country had elected an individual with a little thicker skin.

#TwoPence

 

Time to Stop Running

Is hard work something we all seem to be allergic to? It certainly seems to be that way. There’s always the hunt for the “easy way” through an issue. Or looking for the “shortcut” to get from Point A to Point D without touching base at Points B or C. And to be completely upfront, this seems to be a product of the hectic hustle and bustle of modern western society. We always seem to be in a hurry to get things done. We’re in a rush to get from place to place. And for what? So we can feel that we accomplished something at the end of the day, as we pull on our pajamas and our slippers? And in order to compress more stuff into our day, we seek shortcuts in getting things done, all in the name of “saving time.”

Here’s a confession: I am just as guilty of this as anyone else. In fact, I’ll drop an even bigger confession: during my first five years working my way through the Bardic grade – I was constantly seeking shortcuts. In the end, I stopped, took stock of what I was trying to do, and the manner in which I was trying to accomplish it. And it was fairly easy to see that in trying to round out the corners, and find faster ways to get from Point A to Point D – the only thing I was cutting short was myself. Once I started taking my time with the lessons, and started doing what was being asked of me instead of looking for shortcuts, everything started to fall into place for me to understand. Rather than trying to “rush” through everything, it was more of a time-saver for me to complete each lesson completely rather than looking for time-saving changes to things.

Let me put it another way. If you were to build a house, you would want every aspect of it to be built correctly, right? You would want the company doing the actual construction to do things right, and not cut any corners on your home. After all, you want the house to stand for decades as you live in it. You don’t want the eastern wall to fall over in three years, simply because the construction company cut corners by not extending the foundation in that part of the home. Right?

So why do we seem to do the same thing where construction of rituals or spell work is concerned? We want to skip over some steps because we want to get to the end result as fast as possible. And when those skipped steps can be costly in terms of the effectiveness of your ritual or spell, would you not want to go back and do it the right way? If it takes three days to work out the construction aspects of your ritual, wouldn’t you want to start doing that four or even five days ahead of time, so that its ready when you need it?? Or would you like to fit three days of work into less then five hours?? And in terms of ritual, who are you shorting on that? Yourself? The people who attend your ritual? Your Gods? All of the aforementioned??

Being prepared is one thing. Understanding the need to follow directions and get the timing right is another, though related, concept. But why are we hustling through these things? Especially when it comes to something like acquiring knowledge. Everyone learns at a different pace or a different methodology. And, by the way, learning things and expanding your knowledge and understanding is not a fecking race. So why are we constantly setting ourselves into positions where it seems to be just that??

In my case, its something I have been coming to grips with lately. I have a tendency to over-schedule myself. I want to do this or that, but I just don’t have the time to handle such things. I have a hard time saying “no” to people. And to be honest, I don’t like to disappoint anyone. And what happens is that I disappoint everyone else, and I disappoint myself when “I can’t do this because of that.”

Life is not a race. Expanding your knowledge and training within your own Tradition is not a race. Proper preparation, proper concentration, proper attention shows respect for what you are trying to do – whether that be ritual, spell work, grocery shopping, your job, or listening to your significant other or kids. We don’t need to rush from spot to spot in our lives. We wind up missing out on the details, we wind up trying to find shortcuts. And in the end, we wind up coming up short on things that really do matter.  #TwoPence

 

College Education Did Not Make Me Who I Am

A college education is designed to provide you with a specific knowledge-set so that you may enter a specified field of employment. The classes that are added on — the Humanities, the English, the Math, the Sciences — are not placed there to up your tuition costs (though it may seem like that from time to time). Those are there to round out your education with knowledge in fields outside your area. In that manner, you become a more educated individual with a specialized knowledge-set (your major and minor if you have one). The idea is that college gives you a better understanding of the things around you. What it doesn’t do is make you smarter than everyone else. Nor does it indoctrinate you to become a political leftist. But it might get you to be a touch more compassionate to your fellow human beings.

See, I work at a two-year college. I hold three degrees. A Bachelor’s of Computer Sciences with a specialization in Database Management (BCS). I hold two Master’s degrees. My first degree was a Master’s in Management of Information Systems with a specialization in Information Security (MMIS). My second is a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA). Through the knowledge I gained from these degrees, I work with Database Systems to retrieve information for others at the college. My MBA provides me with information to understand work processes that I need to navigate to gather information. I have over thirty years working in some capacity in Information Technology. I have worked nearly every single job that one can think of related to computers from Help Desk to Server Administration to Vice President of Technology. Sounds impressive, eh? Well, it is not.

See, my degrees opened doors in my field that would otherwise have been closed to me. I managed to climb the corporate ladder through a series of promotions and moving from job to job. One thing was for sure, I am not upper management. I like doing the work myself. But that is getting off the point. #IRideTangentsTheSameWayIDriveMyTruck

What my degrees did not give me was an understanding of the world around me. My Druidry studies through OBOD have helped me see connectivity better. Books from authors like Joanna van der Hoeven, Cat Treadwell, Nimue Brown, Shauna Aura Knight, and a host of others have helped me to understand that connectivity. I read. I watch documentaries. I parse the information on my own, and find my own understanding of the material. Yes, this means that I read the opposite side of an issue, so that I may understand that point of view as well. That’s not indoctrination, that’s how one learns. That’s how one understands or I should say, how I learn and understand.

My education – from college, from my Druidry studies, from reading the viewpoints of others – makes me no better than anyone else. Every human being has worth within our society. Even those who denigrate another for simply educating themselves in a manner that the denigration chooses to mock. A recent meme on Facebook asked the following question:

If Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Paul Ryan were all drowning, and you only had time to save one of them: what type of sandwich would you make?

I have seen this same meme with Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Nancy Pelosi fit into the scenario instead. My education – through college, Druidry, and reading – has helped to shore up a single moral value that I have: be compassionate to others. That includes people I disagree with. In the scenario, I would try my best to save all three. Because I believe that is the correct and moral thing to do.

I am not above these people. They are people, just like I am. It matters not what their education level is. It matters not what part of the political spectrum that they belong to. It matters that I am there and can provide assistance that may save their lives. And to further move that in the area of connectivity, I would do the same to try and save a drowning animal as well. My moral compass extends there as well.

Yesterday, I quietly watched as reports came in from city after city where women were marching in protest against Donnie (#NotMyPresident). Women with their spouses and significant others. With their children. With their friends. With complete strangers. They all came out and voiced their discontent with Donnie and his stated policies from the campaign trail. Added to that was the manner in which he described women as nothing more than blow-up sex toys that were there for his self gratification. As well as cuts to health issues that women have fought so long to get. I proudly watched as FB friends and my fellow co-workers made their way to those marches and added their voices to the crowds.

I also watched as people who voted for Donnie stated inaccurate, and spiteful statements concerning those that marched. People who profess to the world through their Facebook profiles and memes that they are devout Christians. Followers of Jesus ben Joseph. Supposedly adherents to the teachings of the Christ. Jesus ben Joseph would never have made commentary on the employment status of the individuals in the march. If the teachings of the Christ are to be believed as being historically accurate, He would have been standing within the nearest march to Him, decrying the loss of humanity by an uppr 1% of the economic base of this country. He would be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with those at Standing Rock, fighting to preserve lands from the corporate greed. He would also have been there, standing in front of the businesses that had windows smashed in by angry protesters, reminding those that did the damages that such actions prove nothing to the world about their cause. Except to turn those on the fence away from their cause. He certainly would be (and should be) ashamed of the hateful commentary left by those who profess to be striving to be more Christ-like.

However, if I have to point out – I am just as human as anyone else. I have made similar comments in the past about people that I cannot find enough connection to be compassionate towards. But I try. And my collegiate education did not get me to this point in my understanding of the world me. Nor did my Druidry studies. Nor did all my experience in the work force. Nor did all the authors that I read, and the topics that I tackle in my daily reading. All of that had a hand to getting me to understanding my connectivity to the world around me. But it was me who came to that conclusion. On my own. With my own thoughts. Through my own desire to be helpful and compassionate to others where I can. Extremely introverted, overly studious me. Education didn’t indoctrinate me towards this position. Druidry did not brainwash me to be the person that I am. Being extremely poor in my late twenties and early thirties didn’t get me to champion the underdogs of the world. No, all of that is me, and me alone. I came to those conclusions on my own.

And through all of that, I remember one other thing. No matter what anyone says about me, no matter how much I am denigrated and ridiculed for what I believe – even by my own DNA relations – how I approach my relationship with the rest of the world matters most to me. Family has a different meaning to me. Genetic code merely means we are related. True family does not necessarily make you related to me. True family runs far deeper than that.

I can only humbly hope that all of this makes sense to you, the reader of this blog post. But if it doesn’t, and you still believe me to be indoctrinated by education, and that I hate you and your way of life because you have it better than me – or that I am un-American for refusing to add the title of “President” to Donnie’s name — that’s ok. If I happen upon you and your car stuck in a snow-filled ditch, even if I am late to work, I’ll stop and offer to pull you back out. Because that’s how human beings should react to one another – with compassion for those who have need.

*photo by John Beckett

Planting Flowers

Well hello from Northern Ireland – Belfast to be exact. This trip to the northern section of Ireland has been quite interesting. Our trip into the divided sector of Belfast was designed to show us – a group of American tourists – a currently dormant struggle that is embroiled and entwined across political, religious, and class borders. Our guide, self-acknowledged to be biased to a greater degree to the Republican sphere of influence here, did a wonderful job of showcasing both aspects of the struggle or rebellion (depending on your perspective). Shortly before lunch, during on of his longer monologues, I began to look beyond the down-trodden, urban jungle that lay before me. I reached out for Spirits of Place, and found very, very few. I reached out for Spirits of Ancestor, which were more difficult fo me – an American of Germanic heritage – to locate. I reached out for the Gods and Goddesses. What I found was similar to a cold, barren wasteland.

For me, I found so few of the traces of the old Gods. The feeling was of something balanced on the edge of a knife. All that was needed was a slight push to one side or another, and rage would re-bubble to the surface. The wounds so recently closed and sutured would eagerly split and chaos would easily resume with a new vigor, fueled by young souls thirsty for the combat that they idolized of their elders. This isn’t the desire to serve the old Gods or the newer Christian Trinity. Rather, it is a desire for might through violent power. The rule of the Strong over the Weak.

img_0236All of that is easily seen in the “Peace Wall” a barrier that physically separates those advocating for British rule on one side, and those advocating for revolt against the Crown on the other. And even more emblematic than that is a set of gates which close at 6pm automatically – keeping cars and foot-traffic from crossing into one sector or the other. Separating two warring factions from one another during the night. It was while viewing this gate – as my tour bus passed through this demarcation point, I felt that hand on my shoulder, and felt soft lips lightly caress my ear with a faint whisper.

This is a very possible future. Heed it. Study it. Understand it. Be there to help stop it.

It took a short lunch nearby, for me to figure it all out. The whisper is all too familiar to me these days. Fliodhas. She has been whispering to me constantly throughout Ireland. This is Her land. Her forests. The animals are Hers. She has been a constant part of my life these days. Soft whispers about this or that. Some of it, I have understood. Some of it I haven’t. Not until recently. With a backdrop of Ireland, a lot of it has started to make sense. Like this…Fliodhas’ message isn’t about me trying to change the tide here or even about me joining the struggle here. Her words are whispers of watching for what happens at home.

img_0238Unless you have not been paying attention, the United States is going through its own division. Its a deep, scarred division over individual rights, expressed in the form of gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, racial, class, and a lot of other aspects rolled into the guise of political subterfuge. Just as the fight for rights and freedom have manifested themselves here in Belfast, Ireland in the form of the so-called “Peace Wall” – the same could happen just as easily within the United States. The culmination of which could devolve into the back and forth bombings that occured between the Irish Republican Army and the Ulster  Defense Association from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s. And the true loser in all of that will be the rich Spiritual Lives we all lead in the United States. For instead of focusing on our Spiritual Lives, many would focus on how to retaliate to last weekend’s bombing of a grocery store or a Spiritual gathering.

The election of Donald Trump has certainly given rise to many people who have hidden in the deep, dark underbelly of the United States (as well as elsewhere). Those who teach of exclusion based on gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, skin pigemtnation and many other aspects of everyday life…feel that they have been given a mandate to separate all of us from another. They feel they have been given a mandate to build walls….Peace Walls….between us all. All because an individual who barely comprehends what freedom is beyond the spending limits of his credit cards, has been elected as President of this country.

I am a Pagan. I will not be pushed into a place to live because it is a “Pagan” zone and over there is a “Christian” zone. My neighbors are Christians of one sort or another. And they are fine people. I know several people in the Pagan community. And they are just as fine a set of people as the Christians. Their skin pigmentation….their sexual orientation…who they are fucking or how many at a time…none of that matters. They act ethically towards one another. In other words, they treat one another the same – as human beings. They do not need exclusion zones to separate them from one another. And honestly, neither do the folks here in Belfast. And in all cases, this is possible when we stop letting politicians, clergy, or anyone else dictate who we should treat other people based on some idiotic descriptor that was decided by some narrow-minded fool.

No matter what Donnie does as President, it is not going to change how I approach this new calendar year. I read a cartoon on Facebook that had two individuals taking about 2017. The first asks the other why 2017 is going to be great. “Because there will be flowers,” he replies. “How do you know there will be flowers?” the first asks. “Because I am planting them,” said the second with a smile.

2017 can be a really shitty year for you. If you let it. 2017 can be a really great year for you as well. I already have my goals strapped into the year. I have gatherings that I have planned for throughout the year. I plan on talking with people at these gatherings about how their years is going. About how we can band together, despite the distances we have. Finding ways to make our community webbing stronger. Even if that webbing is only strengthened by one person here and one person there. In short, I am working towards planting flowers….

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Going Deep or Swimming Shallow?

A few comments here and there have gotten me into the current train of thought that I have. There are so many different ways to approach one’s own spirituality. Depending on the individual, their purpose, and their individual need – one can dive deeply into their beliefs and daily practice. or one can skim from the surface of the water, sampling from various areas of the body of water, collecting all the samples together to make a mosaic of belief. or one can choose some completely different method of partaking in belief that I have not thought of in this extremely small sample-sized paragraph. The point is that we all approach belief differently.

For the longest time, I utilized the skimming the surface concept. I sampled here and there – tossing what didn’t work; keeping what did. That worked for a while, until I sampled a bit deeper and encountered Coyote and Crow face-to-face. Now I dig deeper. My rituals have a different feel to me. My daily rituals remain simple, but bigger ritual aspects have become a little more complex. I research more. I am digging through my ancestry to find what I believe may be “missing” pieces. I am deliberately encountering more Spirits of Place. I am deliberately coming face-to-face with the concept of Spirits of Ancestor. Even my desire for conversation is taking on a need for deeper, more in-depth topics.

And then I look outwards, and I see so much less in Spirituality. And not just from the Pagan community. I see how shallow Religious-osity (I know its not a word, I made it up) is in the world around me. As times seem to get more desperate, more tenuous, more unpredictable – I see more people clinging onto the Lifeboat of Religion. And so few of these folks are Pagans. So many more are grasping on to Christianity in its various forms.

I sometimes wonder if that has to do with the ease of which people can grasp the concepts of Christianity? After all, its a belief system that nearly all of us have had shoved down our throats from mainstream and pop cultures. Paganism, with its implied need for inner work (and there’s plenty of that), and seemingly complex ritual (its more foreign than complex to the over-saturated pop-culture mind) is not a ready-made belief system. The handholds may be more difficult to comprehend than the ready-made Lifeboat of Christianity.

Perhaps the handholds on the Lifeboat of Christianity are easier to comprehend because the bar for acceptance is a bit lower? Or is it because today’s pop culture has such a shallow aspect to it, that a belief system with deep meaning would be difficult? But that’s not really a fair statement. I have met many Christians that have a deep, extremely powerful and meaningful Belief system. I have also encountered folks within the Pagan belief systems that are seemingly shallow with their own beliefs. Its also not fair of me to claim someone else’s belief to be shallow or deep; particularly when I am comparing their belief to my own – utilizing my own personal standards of what is shallow and deep.

I also have to realize, I came from the same position that many of these folks – both Christian and Pagan are at. To sit and judge their perspective as being shallow or not nearly as deep as what I perceive my own to be – that’s definite a narcissistic perspective coming from me. As if my own beliefs are better or deeper than others. My perspective is where I am, and my only standard of measure should be where I was previous to where I am now, and where it is that I am striving towards with my own beliefs.

But I do wonder sometimes….is a shallow pop culture a symptom of how the average person perceives their own Spirituality or is it a cause of an approach to Spirituality that has seemingly been more shallow as the time moves forward? And that’s really an answer I do not know how to approach. But its still there, in the back of my mind. Perpetually unanswered, except where my own personal perspective is concerned.

Yeah, I’m just a blast at parties.  (/snark)

Following My Own Advice, For Once

Its nearly the end of my vacation time. I am back from being in the mountains north of Salt Lake City, and am now working towards just spending some time in my own headspace. Monday, I will be back at work – knowing that there will be some “unfathomable” disaster waiting. And knowing that the disaster is only a disaster because I wasn’t there to keep things in check. That’s an area of balance I will need to recreate for myself. In the meantime, I spend some time thinking about how nice it was to get back into the mountains.

Over the last eight months, I now realize that I have done a poor job of trying to find my balance. My job is not intolerable. My two bosses can sometimes be overly demanding and not too clear on comprehension skills, but there are far worse places to work. When I leave work and trek the eleven miles home, I carry too much of work home with me. I wind up spending much of my day trying to work out solutions for the tasks that I still have before me, rather then spending my time doing tasks, and magickal workings that are far more important to me. Much like a nice engine that has been run too long, and too hard, I need to spend some time fine-tuning how I approach my daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. Yes, goals. And workings. I need to fine-tune my life to be a better Druid, be a better person, be a better me.

Part of what I have not followed through completely on, is being the Druid I should be. I should be exploring new connections to the world around me, while strengthening the connections I already have. I have fallen out of my morning/evening rituals with the cycle of the Sun. Its long past time for me to renew that aspect of me. I have spent far too much time trying to follow through on work-related issues that mean nothing to the people I am doing these for – and not enough time following through on what Fliodhas, Crow, and Coyote ask of me. My relationships with these Gods and this Goddess are not those of requirement, but more along the lines of request My dedication needs to be far better than it has been.

I also need to step back into taking far better care of myself. How can I handle the things that are asked of me, when I cannot handle the things that are necessary for me to function? And instead of falling back to my old standard of making lists, and trying to schedule time – perhaps its time to fine-tune that process as well. Perhaps, fine-tune may be the wrong term – more like completely over-haul. No more schedules. No more lists. Just doing. And completing. And moving to the next things that shows. Lists and schedules can be laid at the feet of something more mundane, like work. Doing what is needed right now….this is where being a Druid should be, for me.

I have said it to so many people:

Work is something you do to pay the bills. Doing what you were meant to do is what the Gods set before you.

img_0112It sure would be appropriate for me to follow my own advice, wouldn’t it? Ravens have been a huge part of my dreams, and even my waking time these days. I have no idea why…except that one of them was looking underneath my rental car. Perhaps, these Ravens are here to look underneath me..