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Posts Tagged ‘pagan’

So I’m an in-the-broom-closet pagan, and I don’t think that’s going to change. My family is loving and kind, but extremely Christian, I don’t want to end up as an abassador for neo-pagandom, and I don’t feel like discussing my religion at work.

However, if I’m going to be a Druid, I wouldn’t really be in the broom closet.

Instead, I shall be a Secret Agent Druid.

I shall practice rogue acts of secretive and subversive Druidry.

Like leaving offerings in a local park, or meditating next to the bayou (and hoping I don’t find an alligator). Or picking up some trash. Or doing the Two Powers meditation when I’m feeling low on energy at work. My work also has a “Green Team”, which I will join as soon as I figure out how. Secret Agent Druid in the Office!

I’ve already stepped up my offerings to the land spirits in my yard – they got some of the homemade venison chili I made last night. I don’t know if land spirits like chili, but it was gone this morning, so I figure they didn’t reject it! I also have an altar in my house, but it looks like a collection of pretty candles and bowls, with an incense burner, so it’s not really that suspicious unless you know what you’re looking for.

I suppose I could call it “Random Acts of Druidry”, but Secret Agent Druid sounds cooler, so I’m going to stick with that.

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ADF follows the standard Neo-Pagan wheel of the year – 8 festivals tied to the solstices, equinoxes, and cross-quarter days that are seen throughout most of the Neo-Pagan religious groups. These are ostensibly based on the agricultural cycle and are a combination of (mostly) Celtic and Norse traditional celebrations.

I love the wheel of the year. It flows, and it’s a holiday every 6 weeks (more or less), and there’s a lot of beauty in it.

Unfortunately I’m also a gardener in southeast Texas.

The agricultural cycle here is not even remotely like that of the Norse and Celts who (presumably) originated these festivals, or even much like those of the Brits and Northern Americans who first celebrated their Neo-Pagan counterparts.

I grow things pretty much year round here, with a few exceptions. In general, the months of June, July, and August are a time of “wait and see”. Which is to say “Wait and see what’s going to shrivel up and die from the sheer heat and lack of rain.” Okra does pretty well if it’s well established (but it too will shrivel up and die if you plant it too late), and hot peppers do pretty well too, but again with the “well established” clause. Tomatoes quit producing fruit by June because it’s just so damn hot – our lows are usually around 80-84 degrees by then – and the plants just throw in the towel by the beginning of July unless you can get them some shade.

Then in late August and September, you plant the garden again (usually with things that fruit relatively quickly) and whabam, you’re harvesting cucumbers, corn, and tomatoes in November.

After Samhain.

When the wheel turns to the “dark” half of the year and everything is dead, awaiting the rebirth of the sun.

In October, you plant broccoli and cauliflower and onions and leeks and root veggies, and those are harvested mostly through the winter until you plant your spring garden the first weekend in March. Then come the first of May, you’re getting your first taste of vine ripened tomatoes… just as we’re celebrating the festival of “thank the Gods it’s not cold anymore, let’s have sex.”

In short? It just doesn’t line up. I’m harvesting for the fertility festivals and planting for the harvest festivals and… it’s just a mess!

This makes for some interesting mental gymnastics, and puts the impetus of the wheel on things OTHER than the actual cycle of agriculture in my backyard. I can certainly celebrate the fertility of mind and creativity and ideas, but it’s hard to distance that from what I know is really going on in this little piece of swamp I live on.

I don’t have an answer for fixing it though. I love turning the wheel. And I’m generally drawn to the Celtic hearth culture, way more than I am the Greeks or Romans. Maybe I ought to look into the Vedic cultures, if I want my celebrations to line up with my garden outside.

Either that, or I just have a party more often than every 6 weeks.

The Feast of the First Tomato Salad is worth celebrating, even if it’s not an official holiday.

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Welcome to the Swamp!

I’m a freshly minted Druid working slowly on the Dedicant Path (hereafter the DP) as my first steps and my “guide” to ADF style Druidry. I’ve been involved in various Neo-Pagan and traditional Wicca groups (though not initiated) for the last ten years, but as things didn’t work out there, I found myself going to the ADF Website again and again. A few weeks ago, after lurking for six months, I figured it was time to just jump in and see where it got me. While I’m much more comfortable with myself as a Pagan or a Witch, I’m curiously exploring this Druid label as a new path going forward.

I’ve done a few basic rituals – the Dedicant Manual has several “first step” rituals that I’ve done, including the first full blessing rite, and then did a full Core Order of Ritual (hereafter COoR) ritual for Samhain to kick off my Dedicant’s Year. I’m currently working in the Celtic hearth culture, just since that’s where I’ve worked previously, but I’m open to change there as I encounter the various Gods of the Indo-European cultures. Samhain provided the opportunity to start off my Dedicant year of Druidry in what I hope will be an auspicious time, being that it’s the new year.

I also set up a ADF-ritual-capable home shrine, but that’s the subject of another post!

I think I’ll end up liking the COoR once I get used to it. I certainly like reading the rituals, and I memorize things pretty quickly, so hopefully I’ll be able to get things to flow a little better than they did on my first go around. Doing a Samhain ritual so spur of the moment meant I had to improvise a bit with offerings, which I hope won’t happen at Yule.

I’ve been taking my offering bowl outside to pour it into one of my gardens after ritual, and each time I’ve seen something that’s made me think I am doing the right thing. The first blessing ritual I did had an enormous monarch butterfly out in the butterfly bushes (I have a bee and butterfly garden), and after my Samhain ritual I found a toad! Granted that’s only twice, but it’s nice to see the land spirits giving me a little bit of feedback. I’m pretty plugged in to my “bit of earth” here, since I garden and leave offerings outside often.

I’m a relatively proficient Tarot reader, and I’m attempting to learn the Ogham (using a number of resources). I’ve not seen a lot of references to Tarot with the ADF website, but a lot of people seem to be keen on the Runes and Ogham, so I figure it’s worth a shot. I’m generally up for learning in general, and having two divination methods in my bag of tricks seems like it’ll be useful regardless.

As for what to expect here? I’ll probably post some of my Dedicant Path essays, plus whatever happens to pop into my head that relates to living as a modern Neo-Pagan (Druid).

I hope you like what you see, and that you will come and sit a spell, have a root beer, and generally talk shop, as we attempt to forge whatever paths we’re all on in the world.

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