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Posts Tagged ‘solitary’

This week Yngvi and I finally got to meet up with three members of the local protogrove. They were all very friendly, and I think we’ll get on just fine. They are okay with us continuing our study group as is, and at least one of them would like to join up with us, since she wants to work on her DP.

Also the local Grove Organizer and I have the same birthday (March 2) and two other people (Yngvi and another lady) also have March birthdays, so we’re thinking of doing a Druid Birthday Bash of some sort, to celebrate.

My “radar” is still in good working order – I walked into the coffee shop and immediately picked out the people I was going to be chatting with (as did Yngvi, who I made do the first introductions, because I am kinda shy). Dunno what led me to go “those ladies. Those are the ladies from the PG”, but I did – and apparently they picked me out as soon as I walked in as well. Hooray for good intuition and “radar”.

I don’t know yet if we’ll be joining them for rituals regularly or not. They do rituals on the official “day” of the high day (so Beltane is always on May 1), which means weeknight rituals, and that’s tough for me. They aren’t far away, so it may work, but I’ll have to rearrange my whole weekly schedule to make it fit, and depending on the week, it may just not be possible. Plus, the study group will still be having high day rituals as we work our way through the different hearth cultures, and that may conflict with the PG rituals. My primary loyalty right now is to the study group, and since I’m leading that, I can have the rituals at our regular meeting time, so the high day is on the closest Friday to the actual official “day”. (We did Imbolc on Jan 31, for example.)

The PG is primarily Irish Celtic (they call themselves the Houston Celtic Druids in some online forums), but they weren’t phased by Yngvi and my Germanic/Scandinavian/Anglo-Saxon hearths. In fact, they seemed interested and curious, which I took to be a good sign. As well, my dreams about herons and cranes have continued – and I found out yesterday that one of the locals is a member of the Order of the Crane in ADF. I am not sure I’ll bring it up with her until I know her a little bit better, but it was interesting to hear that she’s involved there.

All in all it was a good first meeting. Yngvi and I will continue to lead the study group, now possibly with some new members from the PG, and we’ll see where things go as that progresses. Now that I have some faces and personalities to put with names, I’m more comfortable going to a ritual at someone’s private home, so that hurdle is out of the way as well.

ADF serves both communities and solitary pagans. I’ve spent most of my ADF time as a solitary, but that seems to be rapidly changing. It brings up a lot of my fears about being “out” as a pagan (I really don’t want a potential employer to be able to google me and find out my religion, among other things), but for now I can still fly under the radar, since leading a study group doesn’t require my name to be on any of the websites anywhere. I know I am somewhat gun-shy of joining up with a new pagan group, especially with how quickly my involvement in previous groups ended, but hopefully this will be good for me and my spiritual development.

I’m also taking suggestions for a name for our study group. Right now we’re calling ourselves the “Clear Lake Druidic Study Group”, which works, but isn’t very creative. There are four of us so far, but we may be growing. We’re primarily split between the Norse/AS and the Hellenic hearth cultures so far, but that may change as the newer folks start doing their own rituals at home and creating a devotional practice. Any suggestions are welcome!

 

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There’s been a lot of talk this week about Teo Bishop’s new project, the Solitary Druid Fellowship. It’s designed not to be an online community, but more of a spiritual resource for solitary Druids. There will be posted liturgies to use for each of the High Days, as well as blog posts – but no comments except on certain occasions (namely High Days).

I’m not sure what I think about their reluctance to become an online community. I understand that a threaded forum or email list isn’t everyone’s idea of a way to stay connected, but I’m also not sure there will feel like much of a connection simply through using a pre-created liturgy, especially since the liturgies will need to be customized to an individual’s hearth culture. (I also understand that the desire to avoid a community avoids the need for staff to moderate threads and forums and comments, which is a very real thing and isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.)

On the other hand, having resources for working as a solitary is a good thing. I struggle with working in a vacuum, and it’s been the connection to other Druids, through the DP and the Discuss and Dedicants lists, as well as email, that have kept me thinking about my own Druidry past the initial period of interest.

Having a shared liturgy, one that uses the CooR, is an interesting idea as well. It brings to mind that idea of the Sacred Center, and of being in a shared “sacred space” when we’re all participating in ritual at a Hallows. I definitely like the idea of a shared practice, but then I haven’t seen the liturgy yet either.

I guess the part that makes me wonder how this will work as a shared path is that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of opportunity for actual sharing. Yes we would all be doing the same liturgy (or variations on a theme, as it were), but without the chance to talk about it, unless they’re expecting us all to become bloggers, I don’t know that it will feel much like a community.

I definitely think it will be a good resource, and I’m looking forward to the various blog posts. I especially liked the recent post about how a community fire is fed by individual fires, and the importance of a solitary practice even for Druids who have access to a Grove. Cultivating a strong individual practice is something that’s important to me, and has been for several years.

Grove work is an odd subject for me at the moment. I’ve had trouble getting responses from my local Grove about much of anything, and I’d rather not have my first meeting with them at someone’s house (for safety and comfort reasons, call me paranoid). So while I have the ability to access a Grove, for now I’m essentially solitary. And I’m OK with that, though I do think having a community is important as well. I think best in conversation, and it’s important to me to have people to discuss my ideas with. (This is part of why I blog as well.)  I’m also paranoid, extremely uneasy in groups of people I don’t know, and reluctant to really settle into a group, for fear that it will not work out again. So I go back and forth about the Grove thing. Fortunately there’s no requirement to join one, even if there is one nearby.

Hopefully the SDF will become another resource to me as a solitary and will inform and guide my practice in a meaningful way. I have my doubts about it’s ability to feel like a fellowship, but I can see how it could become a very useful place and starting point for solitaries.

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