Tag Archives: podcast

Top 50 – How an Introverted Druid (Me) Deals With the Idea of Being Top Anything (And a Few More Thoughts)

Earlier this week, I got a surprise Email, stating that this blog made the “Best Pagan Blogs on the Planet”. Knowing the traffic of this blog, which on its best days would be considered as “light” against many, many others, I was a touch skeptical at what I was reading. So I clicked the link and had a look. I was 26th out of the 50. There were many other blogs, which I am flattered to be included among – but some of the bigger traffic blogs were not listed at all. Not sure why. Not even sure how I managed to get into a Top-50 anything…so it was also a touch confusing.

To be fair, I am not discounting my blog’s reach or the people who read it. Nor am I trying to downplay something nice about my efforts. However, I am also a realist. It would take six or seven times the traffic that I currently get to reach the plateau that other blogs have. Most of those blogs have a platform that helps advertise and place these writer’s blogs in front of many more people. Most of these blog writer’s also have books, have been around a lot longer than I am, publish at a greater frequency, etc etc. But regardless of all of that, I am extremely grateful that some folks find my writing inspirational for their own spiritual practices. And in the end, that is what matters most to me. Traffic stats, advertising, trying to drive readership way up into the stratosphere…all of that would be nice, but it is not my primary goal.

There are a few folks that get frustrated with me over my lack of desire to promote the blog, as well as the podcast. But honestly, I have never been good at shouting my own name from the rooftops. However, I love promoting what my friends do. When I promote them, I always feel like I am pushing forward good karma for them. When I promote myself, I feel like a Vaudeville shuck-and-jive con-man. And I have never been able to completely explain why I get that unctuous feeling.

Here on the blog, I write my own feelings. I am provided a degree of anonymity through the written word. That allows me to be a bit more open with what I feel, in contrast to how I would in a face-to-face environment. Yes, I am an introvert. An introvert that is constantly shoved out of the shadows and into the light by both Coyote and Crow. And that becomes difficult to deal with from time to time, as well.

Being thrust into the spotlight is truly an uncomfortable spot for me. I do have opinions. I do have perspectives on things that happen. I do have experiences that I can relate to others on how I have walked this Path since late 1986. But I have always wondered if what I have to say, what I have to relate really matters. Thankfully, I have had a few folks remind me of just that via comments here on the blog, comments in face-to-face environments, and via Email. So, while I have that fear of saying nothing of value, quite a few others have noted otherwise. And that is what continues to have me blogging.

And then, there’s the podcast. Ever wanted to be really uncomfortable as an introvert? Try doing a podcast. Try doing a podcast where you have the chance to interview people. Where you interview people that you admire. Yeah. Thanks for that situation, Crow – my fine-feathered friend. Currently, the podcast has not put out an episode since March. Partly because of time constraints (especially the last two months with my paying job going through a huge transition – and my actual job duties changing radically with that), and partly because I keep thinking about making changes. Except, that the podcast does not need changes. It needs content. And it needs me to get to getting said content. This is another instance where I will need to concentrate on getting out of my shell. Because, honestly, I cannot continue to live in such cramped quarters.

Lastly, I will be starting another blog.  Yes, another one. I will be writing for Moon Books’ coming blog platform – as one of many bloggers. I am both thrilled and frightened at this prospect. Blogging for a platform of bloggers, with advertising behind it means a brighter light will get shone upon me. I hope I am worthy of this and that I can exceed the expectations of Moon Books. As a publisher, I have a great deal of respect for these people, as well as the writers that they bring forward through the books published there. Nervous is probably the best word to describe how I feel. I already have a pile of potential topics to write about, and will be including some aspects of research with my writing. Yeah. Nervous.

With the inclusion of writing for a blog on the Moon Books platform, this blog will continue in the format I have used it for – personal intonations on topics that catch my eye or pull at my heart. I am not sure if I have a book within me, but this year’s National Novel Writing Month will determine that to some degree. I have three ideas for what to write…two non-fiction perspectives and one fiction. I have a few more days to figure out just what I am planning on doing.

So, I made a top-50 list. How I got on the list or even into being considered for it? I honestly have no idea. According to some of the material I have found concerning the list, you had to submit your blog to be considered. I never did such a thing, which means someone out there thought enough of my blog to submit it themselves. And for that; whoever you are, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Perhaps my efforts to write better blog posts helped you to think of me. Perhaps, the topics I have been bringing compelled you to do so. Whatever the reasoning, I thank you.

 

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Episode 018 – Podcasting is Hard!

Back from a short hiatus, which had me tweaking the podcast format a bit. No interview in this particular episode, but I do a bit of a talk on how my life is being aimed towards the direction of being a storyteller. Plus, I make an attempt to recreate the story of “The Screen Door Boar and the Bardic Initiates” that I told around the fire at this year’s OBOD Gulf Coast Gathering a short while back. Personally, I’m not happy with this version of the re-telling, and will work towards a new recording of the tale, which I will put up at a soon-to-be-created Soundcloud page in the near future. But in the meantime, enjoy this version (I hope!). I also have two songs from Bran Cerddorion‘s upcoming new album “The King of Dreams” for everyone to hear. This stuff is super awesome, and already in my own personal music rotation on my iPhone. I will also be at CalderaFest later this year, where I do believe Bran will be performing…hope to see all of you there as well!!

As always, if you hear music on any of the podcast episodes that you like – please take the time to buy from the artist. Please help support your independent Pagan artist! We want more music from these awesome people….

Email:  elfster@gmail.com

Twitter: @t_elfster

WordPress:  https://tommyelf22.wordpress.com  “Life With Trickster Gods”

Direct Download: http://traffic.libsyn.com/paganpath/PaganPath018.mp3

 

Episode 017 – Exploring Pagan Ministry by Cat Treadwell

This episode, with huge thanks to one of the most awesome Druids I am happy to know, is a talk by Cat Treadwell entitled “Exploring Pagan Ministry”. I found the talk quite fascinating, and quite honestly it has helped change some of my mindset towards the concept of “Priest” within the bounds of Paganism. The volume was a bit light on the original file, so I tried to boost the volume a little bit. Hopefully, that worked well enough.

Congrats to the three winners of Shauna Aura Knight‘s books that were given away on the last episode. This episode, I am giving away two albums from Bran Cerddorion, “The Hour Before Dawn” and “Four Branches: Tales of the Mabinogi in Song”. To be the winner of the two albums, just send me an email to elfster@gmail.com (please include an address that I can ship these to you) before midnight (Central Standard Time, United States) on October 31st. That’s it. You win, you get the albums. Simple as that.

Closing out the show….I decided to dish out one of my favorite S.J. Tucker songs “Sultry Summer Night” from her “Stolen Season” album. One day, I’ll get the chance to catch this lovely lass live.

As always, if you hear music on any of the podcast episodes that you like – please take the time to buy from the artist. Please help support your independent Pagan artist! We want more music from this awesome people….

Email:  elfster@gmail.com
Twitter: @t_elfster
WordPress:  https://tommyelf22.wordpress.com  “Life With Trickster Gods”
Direct Download: http://traffic.libsyn.com/paganpath/PaganPath017.mp3

 

Episode 016 – Alf Herigstad

After a lengthy hiatus, the podcast is back.  And we start off with a discussion I had with Alf Herigstad at this year’s Pantheacon.  Alf is the voice behind the podcast “Being a Better Man” as well as the head gothi of Hawk’s Hearth Kindred. Being a bit ignorant of Asatru, I utilized part of the discussion to better understand some of its aspects with Alf, with I very much appreciate. We also discussed aspects of his daily practice up in the Washington state area, which I admit was quite fascinating. For those who may be attending Many Gods West this year, he will be presenting “A Heathen Perspective of Ritual Slaughter” there. The link for Many Gods West is located here. The link to Alf’s extremely interesting podcast is located here. Check out both of these links, very interesting stuff. I am making plans to attend Many Gods West next year, if it is held then.

The return of the podcast is also going to bring about something new….giveaways. When I was at Pantheacon, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Shauna Aura Knight, and purchasing three of her books, which she has signed. I will be giving each of these books away to three listeners, who respond via Email. Yes, there will be three winners….one for each book. If you wish to be entered into the drawing for a specific book or books, please let me know via your Email.  The book titles are as follows:

  • Ritual Facilitation: Collected Articles on the Art of Leading Rituals
  • Pagan Leadership Anthology: An Exploration of Leadership and Community in Paganism and Polytheism (edited by Shauna Aura Knight and Taylor Ellwood)
  • The Leader Within: Articles on Community Building, Leadership, & Personal Growth

You have until July 30th to submit your entry (its just an Email) to elfster@gmail.com. I will announce the winners on the next podcast, which will be out the first weekend in August.

Finally, in the middle of July, I will be adding something new. I will be doing a short video, which will be available through the podcast link, taking you around my local (somewhat) area. I will start with my stone circle in the backyard, where I spend many mornings and evenings in meditation, and ritual. I will be doing this via the Periscope App, which I have been experimenting with over the last few months. I will also be doing short videos when I take trips to various places as well….you won’t be seeing my ugly mug, well…not that much. But I thought this would be an interesting addition for the podcast. Let me know what you think, if you would like.


Links

Being a Better Man Podcast:  http://beingabettermanpodcast.com

Shauna Aura Knight website: http://www.shaunaauraknight.com/

Many Gods West: http://www.manygodswest.com/

Pantheacon: http://pantheacon.com/wordpress/


My Email:  elfster@gmail.com

Life With Trickster Gods (my blog): http://tommyelf22.wordspress.com

Direct Download Link for this episode: http://traffic.libsyn.com/paganpath/Episode_016_-_Alf_Herigstad.mp3


This podcast was created using the following:

  • Garageband v10.1.2
  • The Levelator v2.1.2 (revision 4261)
  • Zoom H5 Four-Track Portable Recorder
  • Apple Mac Pro (Late 2013) using OS X El Capitan (v10.11.5)

 

Scheduling Myself for PantheaCon 2016

So late last year, I made the decision that I was going to attend the 2016 Pantheacon. I have heard a lot about this particular gathering of Pagan folk – how it can be controversial, how it can spur some aspects of in-fighting and differences, how it can also bring people together to spur positive and affirming action. Nothing, however, prepared me for the crisis that hit me yesterday:  which panels will I be able to attend?

The sheer number of panels that are available is absolutely stunning. And while the folks at Pantheacon do a great job of labeling various tracks — its still a chore to make choices. And then there’s the concept of free-time, when are you going to eat, when are you going to sleep, and that doesn’t even begin the point of visiting the various suites that will be open.

So, last night, I decided to sit down and figure out some kind of a schedule. I decided to start with the basics, which panels I wanted to attend. With no regard to when my arrival flight would land, when my departing flight would take off, or how far away my hotel was going to be…I came up with my “schedule”.

Right off the bat, I am hit with a decision – the opening ritual. Apparently, there is a limited amount of room for the ritual, so the spots are listed on a first-come, first-in solution. Since I am a first-time attendee, I figured it would be better if I hugged the sidelines for this one, and left it out of my schedule.

Friday

  • 1330 – The Many Faces of the Celts
  • 1530 – The Changing Earth
  • (lunch/dinner – who knows where that will take place?)
  • 1900 – Finding Your Personal Magic
  • 2100 – Pagan Pastoral Care Issues
  • (off to find my bed)

Saturday

  • 0900 – The Dark Side of Druidry
  • 1100 – On Dragon’s Wings
  • 1330 – A Practical Guide to Irish Spirituality
  • 1530 – Chanting, Trancing and Story
  • (lunch/dinner)
  • 1900 – Anansi’s Tales & Wisdom Time
  • 2100 – The Horned God in the British Isles
  • (off to find my bed)

Sunday

  • 0900 – Morphing the Myth
  • 1100 – Native/Pagan Community Dialogue
  • (lunch)
  • 1530 – The Four Faces of the Horned God
  • (dinner)
  • 1900 – Journey to the Hearts – Welsh Goddesses
  • (free-time)
  • (off to find my bed)

Monday

  • (free-time)
  • 1100 – Sacred Fire
  • (go home)

So, with this hopeful schedule in hand, I checked my previously booked flight times to mesh with this.

My arrival flight comes in at 1240. So, it looks like the first panel may be a no-go.  I’ll set that in as a “potential” instead. My departure flight is Monday at 1725…which means that everything there is a sure-fire thing.  In fact, I’ll add the closing ritual into everything as well. So, my schedule looks to be set for Pantheacon. There seems to be plenty of chances to allow for some interviews with folks that may want to be on the podcast. And plenty of other chances to get to know other people as well.

Yeah.  Stepping out of the shadows… naked and all that…  ::sigh:: But I’ve been told I am going to have to just “suck it up buttercup.” Its a part of who I am that I am going to have to embrace now. Being out in the open. So, I’m going to start my death-grip now.  🙂

Podcaster

 

Episode 015 – Modern Druidry

This month’s podcast is a talk by Joanna van der Hoeven on “Modern Druidry” that she graciously recorded and allowed me to bring to you on the podcast. Her talk is bracketed by two great songs, the first by SJ Tucker – “In the Name of the Dance” from her “Blessings” album. The second is from Damh the Bard and is my favorite song of his, “Green and Grey” from his album “The Cauldron Born“. This is the last podcast for the year – and I appreciate you downloading and listening to the show.  Looking forward to bringing you more in 2016!

Joanna van der Hoeven’s web site is located at http://www.joannavanderhoeven.com and her personal blog is located at http://downtheforestpath.com. Please take the time to check those sites out – and don’t forget her marvelous books which can be found at http://www.moon-books.net/authors/joanna-van-der-hoeven.

SJ Tucker’s web site is located at http://sjtucker.com/ . Her music can be found on her site as well.  Please remember to purchase the music you love to hear, so these wonderful artists can continue to create more.

Damh the Bard’s website can be found at http://www.paganmusic.co.uk/ which also contains links to purchase his music, as well as his extremely informative and entertaining blog.  Purchase the music you love, so these wonderful independent musicians can continue to create the music we all love to hear!

As always, you can reach me via Email:  elfster@gmail.com  Thanks for downloading the show!

Direct Download link:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/paganpath/UponaPaganPath015.mp3

 

Here Comes Sunshine

Line up a long shot maybe try it two times, maybe more
Good to know you got shoes to wear, when you find the floor
Why hold out for more

Yeah….more music related stuff.  Sort of. The song, for those who don’t know it, is “Here Comes Sunshine” by the Grateful Dead from their 1973 album “Wake of the Flood“. For me, the song is the a great song to listen to as the sun is rising, but far from the perfect one. For me, that song is “Island of Life” by Kitaro (with Jon Anderson) from his 1992 album “Dream“.

Yes, music is a huge part of my life. Its the background of everything that goes on with me. When I am working, I have my iPhone playing songs I downloaded specifically for that week. When I am home, I typically have something playing in the background. Sometimes louder, sometimes softer – just depending on what purpose it serves for my activities at the time.

As a podcaster, quite a few of the Pagan musicians have gifted me with their music. Usually, they send it to me via mp3 in Email. Sometimes, I get the CD. Regardless of how I get it, I always turn around and pay for a copy. That’s right, even when the musician gifts me with their music, I turn around and purchase their music. Why? Because I know they need the money to survive, and in turn, they will return that favor by making more music, or eventually coming to a place near me for a concert – where I am more than happy to purchase a ticket to their show. Its a circle of reciprocation. And it works quite well.

A little over two years ago, my friend John Beckett gifted me with two CDs that he had gotten from a pair of musicians –  Sharon Knight and Winter. While I did appreciate the gifting from John, I went out and purchased the same two albums. Because, in my mind, it was the correct thing to do. No one twisted my arm. No one coerced me into doing it. I did it because I believe that supporting independent musicians is important. Particularly in this cut-throat day and age in the modern music industry. I personally could give two shits about any of these musicians making any “top-something chart”. I enjoy their music, and the handful of them that I have met – I thoroughly have enjoyed talking with them. The same holds true for Pagan authors. Even when gifted with a pdf review copy, I turn right around and purchase my own copy of their books. And the authors I have had the time to talk with – I have had some of the most incredible discussions with. In that regard, I count myself as being granted a handful of blessings from the Gods and Goddesses.

…and now I get to brand myself as a hypocrite, of sorts. I run a podcast. Upon a Pagan Path is a manner to bring interviews, lectures, and discussions from other Pagans to the forefront. I have had some incredible guests on, and have been proud to play the music of musicians I adore (Wendy Rule, who was the first musician to graciously assent my request to play her music on my podcast). The end of the calendar year 2015 marks the finish of my tenth year of podcasting. In all that time, I have carried the cost of keeping the podcast up and available for download. Only when I was unemployed for two years, did I ask for monetary assistance, and was given that help several times over by listeners.

I don’t ask for monies, nor do I seek advertising for the show. Until this recent Wild Hunt Fall fundraiser. The new year will bring the podcast’s presence as one of the Fall donators. The Wild Hunt needed money to run, I get advertising that may help bring listeners to the show. The more important part of that is me giving money to the Wild Hunt. I’m not worried about how many people come and download the show. That’s not what I do the podcast for. I’m on the podwaves to showcase how other people believe, how they practice their Pagan paths, how we are all no different than anyone else. We live our lives, just as anyone else does. We work jobs. We have families and friends that we hold dear.

So, yes, I am a bit of a hypocrite, in that I do not ask for help for what I provide to the community. But…I do get something back. if even one Pagan gets comfort in knowing that they are not along – then I have reached what was necessary and needed at that time. And, that is enough for me.

IMG_0507This morning, I woke to see this sunrise. My bedroom window is just to your left in this picture. I had stepped outside to the west end of my backyard pool to take this. As I stood there, marveling in the momentary beauty of this morning, I know that these last ten years of podcasting have been a complete joy. I have enjoyed bringing the podcast episodes to you, and will continue to do so. After all, in the words of the Grateful Dead:  “…its the same story the Crow told me…” — and I have truly been told. Thanks for reading, and hopefully listening to. Here’s to another ten years….