Archive | August 1, 2014

Frustrated about the Pagan Studies Conference topic I want to do

I’m thinking of doing my Pagan Studies paper on the how the concept of Light and Dark as a metaphysical construct is or is not useful if you are a Pagan who was born blind whether or not you have gained your sight back or not.

I’m thinking the population of blind pagans or at least ones who were born blind is pretty small so I don’t know if it’s a measurable thing or if it even matters. I know I don’t judge the world by dark or light. I judge the world by how it sounds and feels. Even though I’m sighted now granted I wear coke bottles to do it but I wasn’t sighted until I was 7 and your mental landscape is formed by the age of 5 pretty much. Anyway, I’m trying to figure out if it’s even doable and how to go about it.

Day 20? Inspirations: Music, Poetry and Aesthetic – 30 days of Druidry

aes·thet·ics

esˈTHetiks/Submit

noun

a set of principles concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty, especially in art.

the branch of philosophy that deals with the principles of beauty and artistic taste.

I find it interesting that whoever put this list together listed two primarily aural arts with a visual quality. For the most part non-vision impaired humans view aesthetics or beauty by what they see not necessarily what they hear unless they are musicians.

Druids allegedly spent years learning a required set of songs, poems and history/genealogy before they moved to the next step and it was supposed to be difficult but I can tell you as someone who was raised in choirs from a very young age knowing hundreds of songs and poems it is not that difficult. We learned at least 4 or 5 every week. I learned many more than that when I was learning to play the guitar at the height of the folk music era in the 60’s and 70’s. I know thousands of songs. I have the songbooks to prove it. I can still sing you a camp song or folk song on virtually any subject, it’s more difficult not to do it. Your friends get annoyed. I know a great many of the begats of my family. Should I ever get famous enough to be on the show “Who do you think you are” it would be a hard task to find new things. I would like to know more about the Swedes immigration and why they left Sweden in the 1800’s. It’s difficult to trace because the customs agents put their name down as their former address and sjoberg means mountain by the sea and Grandpa told me they came from an island not exactly helpful when Stockholm is called the Venice of the north. I did find out where Halda/Hilda came from but not where Isaac came from. The family name should have been Isaacson not Sjoberg and Mom should have been a Carlsdottir if they had followed tradition.

I know where the Scots on both sides were from and that some on Dad’s side came because they were part of the household of an illegitimate daughter of a royal person who married without permission according to Dad. I know that some of them like many Scots had to flee to France from time to time and brought back brides. According to my dad, his grandfather was Native American but in doing the research I can’t find anything that says he was except that in a couple of censuses he’s Tomas and not Thomas. I did find his medical degree from the medical school at the University of Iowa but nothing else and Dad always said he refused to talk about it. Dad looked like a wooden cigar store Indian in profile but who knows. I know that that part of the family were strong Abolitionists and that they had had to move from both Kentucky and Pennsylvania because both states had slaves and to be an Abolitionist wasn’t a popular view point at the time so they moved to Illinois and could have violent repercussions. How my dad’s sister ended up such a bigot with that family history I do not know and I’d love to know why we have a tintype of Sojourner Truth in the family photo album. She has to have been important to them for them to do that. So knowing genealogy is not the problem.

Memorizing poems is, I can’t memorize unless it’s a song or has some sort of rhythm. That used to cause me all kinds of problems back in Sunday School. I hated going in on Sunday mornings to have to say Bible verses because if I had to wait they would evaporate from my brain. I found out if I read it right before I went to sleep and read it again the minute I woke up I could retain it until I got to church but if I had to wait forget it. It was gone. At least the Psalms and things like the Books of the Bible had some sort of rhythm but learning things like the prose of Luke’s version of the Christmas story was murder. Thank heavens, I could go in and sing the Doxology or the Apostle’s Creed, the Beatitudes, or the Lord’s Prayer because they had all been set to music as well as a lot of the Psalms and parts of Isaiah or I would never have earned my Bible or passed muster for the things that I had to learn for my shield. Parental and peer pressure were enormous about that. So free form verse sucks.

But yes, music and poetry compose the soul of Druidry in many ways. Bards have to tell stories. They have to communicate. They have to relay history to ensure it isn’t repeated out of stupidity. Druidry is the communication that there is beauty in the world and we have to use all our senses to fully comprehend the world we are all a part of and that includes the pursuit of scientific endeavours and communicating results and finding the best way to do it. Even if it means you have to sing Tom Leher’s Periodic Table. We Sing. We Tell. We Interpret. We Communicate.

Today’s reading

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Skill
Eight of Stones

The ability to utilize natural ability for the completion of labours of love.

Sometimes intense concentration and dedication are required.

This card represents someone who is able to work alone, in deep concentration, skilled and mature, in tune with something greater than themselves.