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WRONG!

Just saw the world’s dumbest meme picture which I am not going to share from some well intentioned but scientifically illterate person on FB. “A flower is a prayer”. People, a flower is not a prayer. It’s advertising for sex, period. Flowers are nature’s whores. Some are expensive call girls but they are still blatant floozies putting themselves out there for some creature be it, bees, butterflies, birds, flies, moths or any other animal that comes along to please, please, please pollinate me. Sometimes they even pay for the sex in honey or nectar. And then when they get pollinated they find all kinds of ways to spread themselves out all over to do it again. The hitchhike in socks, they fling themselves across long distances. They travel in birds and animals alimentary canals to be self fertilized, They float on water, they stick in fur. Some times they travel on the wind.

A Flower is a prayer, my aunt Fanny!

Day 17 Inspirations – Prayer and Meditation – 30 Days of Druidry

Meditation:

I don’t agree with the Eastern variety meditation. I don’t think you need stillness to reach a meditative state. I think we have forgotten how our ancestors would have reached that state and it wasn’t by sitting still in one place, there would have been too much work that needed doing. Most people in a farming/herding culture such as existed in the British Isles or on the continent would have thought modern meditation pretty stupid. They would have known there are other ways to reach a relaxed and clear mind and it’s very simple. It’s just that most of us can’t or won’t learn to do the things that can get there.

You want to learn to meditate as our ancestors did? Learn to knit, weave, embroider, card wool or spin, weed a garden, hoe a plot of land, plane or sand wood, string beads in patterns, in short, do something that takes your mind off you. Meditation in the Eastern model is too self-centered and quite selfish in a way. It’s all about you. Do something that’s repetitive and not about you. Create something for a friend or someone in need that takes a focus off you. Grind herbs for a tea or a poultice, make a healing salve, doing something that gets the focus off you, you, you. That doesn’t do you or anyone else any good. Make bread or something that has to beaten or worked into submission. Think about the good people will get from eating your food. Volunteer to stuff envelopes for a cause you believe in.

I think any of those things will easily put you into a relaxed state of mind and do more than sitting in stillness waiting for the bluebird of happiness to take a crap on your head.

Prayer:

Yes, I believe on prayer but not the ways of prayer I learned in Sunday School. I tend to follow the Celtic practice of threes and nines and asking what I need to do of nature. I ask it of the things around me not some god on a cloud far away. I ask it of the liminal places and times. When I pray to deity I pray to ones I know well and have a relationship with like Brighid or the Green Man and even then it’s usually for healing for someone else or protection for someone I love.

I also do spells since I firmly believe spells are just one form of prayer. Ask any Catholic what they are doing when they light a novena candle. They will tell you they are praying, any pagan will say when they light that candle they are doing a spell. Spells are just a form of prayer with a physical focus like a candle or a sachet or mojo bag. Intent -> will -> object of focus or intent = prayer for something you want to happen. I laugh when pagans tell me they don’t pray and I ask them if they practice spells or candle magic. Nooooo, they aren’t praying – pull the other one.

So yes, Druids pray and do meditation but most of the ones I know are pretty common sense and grounded about it, We are people of the Earth for the most part after all.

Day 16 Inspirations: Awen and Creativity

In the Welsh tradition, awen is the inspiration of the poet bards; or, in its personification, Awen is the inspirational muse of creative artists in general: the inspired individual (often, but not limited to being, a poet or a soothsayer) is described as an awenydd.

Awen – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I’m not sure why whoever made the meme said “and” when discussing the topic since awen would seem to be the essence of creativity especially since being creative is inextricably linked to inspiration. No inspiration and whatever you are doing sinks like a hot rock.

Creativity can be a rare and elusive beastie and sometimes just out of the corner of your eye or just out of reach and other times it possesses you to the point you can’t think of doing anything else. I find if I don’t act on an idea immediately it will disappear like a wraith that had never been.

My most creative time of day is right after I wake up because I have often dreamed an idea for a story or a piece of art or jewelry or even a song. I’m someone who likes to create with no one around so writing was a lot easier when I was off work. Now I have to try to focus and do it anyway but that doesn’t always work.

Patricia McKillip has said on her blog that she feels like her characters biographer and I know it’s that way for me. I tell what my characters want to say not the other way around. If I don’t they tend to shut up.

I’m at my most creative when I’m surrounded by nature. When I can hear birds singing and see trees and animals. It’s one of things I’ve loved about visiting my friends in Oregon. Their beautiful house is situated in a forest far from a town and deer come to visit morning and evening. They have birds visiting the feeders and owls in the woods. I have yet to figure out who it is, I know it’s not a Great Horned like I’m used to in the California mountains because the hoot is different from the Great Horned. Not nearly as deep or haunting on the night air.

I guess I’m not far off the ancient Druids who wrapped themselves in skins in caves to compose. I think they were doing the same thing I do, dreaming their composition. It’s when the brain is busy doing something else the creative part sometimes comes out to play. Doing menial tasks like housework or busy monotonous work can free the muse to roam around and bring a new thought.

Creativity can come at the sight of butterfly or at the sight of light coming through a leaf like green stained glass. It can come in the looping flight of a goldfinch or in what a silly mocking bird is mocking. It can come from looking at clouds stream like mare’s tails or in the smell of rain on a hot summer afternoon. It can come from a phrase of music or a line of poetry or story. It can come from trauma, a friend’s illness or a pet’s death. The key is to be open to the will of the wisp. I know I can’t command it to come. It just comes and sits lightly on my shoulder and I am in awe when it does. My heart and hands know what to do when she comes and I let them do their thing.

But most of all I think my creativity is created by love, things or people I love make me creative.

Because it’s already that kind of day

“Ladies First” by Shel Silverstein

Pamela Purse yelled, “Ladies first,”

Pushing in front of the ice cream line.

Pamela Purse yelled, “Ladies first,”

Grabbing the ketchup at dinnertime.

Climbing on the morning bus

She’d shove right by all of us

And there’d be a tiff or a fight or a fuss

When Pamela Purse yelled, “Ladies first.”

Pamela Purse screamed, “Ladies first,”

When we went off on our jungle trip.

Pamela Purse said her thirst was worse

And guzzled our water, every sip.

And when we got grabbed by that wild savage band,

Who tied us together and made us all stand

In a long line in front of the King of the land-

A cannibal known as Fry-’Em-Up Dan,

Who sat on his throne in a bib so grand

With a lick of his lips and a fork in his hand,

As he tried to decide who’d be first in the pan-

From back of the line, in that shrill voice of hers,

Pamela Purse yelled, “Ladies first.”

Day 15 Rites of Passage – 30 days of Druidry

There are really two kinds of Rites of Passage. One is the initiation cycle that for our DCD grove is Companion, Bard, Druid, Arch Druidess. You can choose how far you want to go. It’s up to the person.

The other set of Rites of Passage are the life passages: birth, dedication, first blood, motherhood, croning, and death. We don’t all have all of them in our lives except birth and death. The Grove is too new to have done any of these other than to be part of Laura’s memorial. We never did one with just us but now that it’s been a year maybe we should do one. We need to either write one for general purposes for ourselves or use the official one from DCD/FOI http://www.fellowshipofisis.com/liturgy/panthea4.html. It’s based on the Book of Coming Forth, AKA the Book of the Dead.

In TOILA we have the Say my name ritual but there isn’t much to it. We could have everyone leave instructions for what they want but that may not always be possible for a lot of reasons. The person may not want to or the death may be unexpected. Maybe we should do it like leaving a will, who knows? None of the current members is capable anymore of becoming a new mom. More like grandmothers and beloved aunties maybe we should honour stepping into that role.

I know the one time I was made a Goddess parent the father changed his mind because he didn’t want a lesbian influencing his daughter which was cute because his wife had been with women before him and I’m the alleged bad influence on a pagan child? Yeah, right.

For future reference I want the Brighid candle ritual at mine and for people to sing my favourite camp songs and take my ashes to Singing Pines and let them go into the wind near my Arts and Crafts building.

Song for Judith aka Open the Door

Follow Me

Annie’s Song

Song of the Soul

Lulla Lullabye round

All Through The Night

Be Thou My Vision, paganized

My Rhinocerous

Rose, Ah Poor Bird, Hey Ho, and any of the other rounds we used to sing together

Epona’s Creed

Knot of Isis.

Do you know how you want to be remembered? Something to think about especially if you’re pagan and don’t want to end up with a Christian burial service. I will personally haunt anyone who does that to me, and trust me you do not want that if I’m mad about it. If the rest of my family can go visiting after they’re dead I see no reason why I can’t do it too. In fact, I plan on checking in on people as long as I’m not busy doing something else.

Deep peace I breathe into you,

O weariness, here: O ache, here!

Deep peace, a soft white dove to You;

Deep peace, a quiet rain to you;

Deep peace, an ebbing wave to you!

Deep peace, red wind of the east from you;

Deep peace, grey wind of the west to You;

Deep peace, dark wind of the north from you;

Deep peace, blue wind of the south to you!

Deep peace, pure red of the flame to you;

Deep peace, pure white of the moon to you;

Deep peace, pure green of the grass to you;

Deep peace, pure brown of the earth to you;

Deep peace, pure grey of the dew to you,

Deep peace, pure blue of the sky to you!

Deep peace of the running wave to you,

Deep peace of the flowing air to you,

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,

Deep peace of the sleeping stones to you!

Deep peace of the Yellow Shepherd to you,

Deep peace of the Wandering Shepherdess to you,

Deep peace of the Flock of Stars to you,

Deep peace from the Son/Daughter of Peace to you,

Deep peace from the heart of Mary to you,

And from Bridget of the Mantle

Deep peace, deep peace!

And with the kindness too of the Haughty Father Peace!

In the name of the Three who are One, Peace!

And by the will of the King/Queen of the Elements,

Peace! Peace!

From "the Dominion of Dreams under a Dark Star by Fiona Macleod (1895)