Connecting – pagans, nature and technology

Technology has played a big part, in recent years, in connecting people who otherwise would not have met, and helping them to find people who share similar interests. This is especially true in the pagan community.

Many years ago when I first started seriously looking in to paganism and witchcraft, my only source of information was the library. It was about 1990 when I went along to our very small local library and borrowed the only 2 books that they had on witchcraft and devoured all the information they contained. After that though, I really didn’t know where else to go for information. I didn’t know anyone else who was pagan, and back then no one would have talked about it much in the backwaters of Lincolnshire (or Humberside as it was then) so it was very difficult to move forward. I just practiced quietly, and alone, from what I had read in those two precious books, and borrowed them several times more to check things. I had to do so in secret though, as my husband at the time was very freaked out by it all and told me never to have books like that in the house again!

He left in 1994 and so I was then free to be more open, but it was still no easier to find information, until in 1997, remarried to a wonderful man who shared my views, we bought a computer. A whole new world was opened up to me via the internet and I used it to find lots more information, and more importantly, to connect to other pagans. Initially this was through Yahoo 360, then Facebook, and I found that I was not alone in my beliefs.

Since then things have changed enormously. There are large online groups aimed at pagans, and several of these, including mine, also meet in the real world and hold events, moots, rituals and workshops. The number of people openly identifying as pagans has spiraled and it is now much easier to find people to connect with, which is wonderful, but how has it impacted on our connection to nature.

I was walking in the woods this morning and had my camera and mobile phone with me. I love to take pictures, as an art form but also as a method of journaling my experiences, but as I was wandering through the trees, snapping interesting and beautiful sights, I had to stop and remind myself to actually experience that beauty as well as capture it with the camera.

Are we in danger of making connections to each other via electronic media, but losing our face to face relationships with each other? Or of capturing every interesting thing we see, but never feeling its energy and talking to the spirit of the trees, the animal and birds, the flowing water.

I feel we owe it to ourselves to use the technology available to allow us to be less isolated in our beliefs and in our practices, but we also owe it to ourselves to make sure we do not replace real relationships and experiences withe digital and electronic ones.

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Druidry and Deep Time

Druid Life

9781907359590-Perfect.inddBy Anthony Nanson

When Nimue invited me to guest-blog on Druid Life about my novel Deep Time, I got cogitating about the points of connection between Druidry and this work of prehistoric fantasy – and also about the influence of my encounters with Druidry upon my values and imagination. The first point of connection that comes to mind is the core theme in Deep Time of the quest for connectedness between human beings and the rest of nature. This is the journey of transformation that my protagonist has to undergo.

The modern Druidic movement in Britain has taken inspiration from traditional cultures in other parts of the world which intimately engage with the life of plants and animals and the framework of seasons and natural elements. A complementary source of inspiration comes from trying to imagine the kind of life experienced in the British Isles in the days when…

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Magical knitting

  

Part of the path of Druidry is concerned with finding and connecting with Awen, otherwise known as ‘flowing spirit’ or divine inspiration. This is often most evident during our creative endeavours. Whether this be poetry, story or song writing or indeed creating works of art or crafting items in wood, wool or any other material. So for me, knitting can be a magical act.

I say can be, as like all magic, there has to be intention for it to be so. Knitting is a very meditative pursuit as experienced knitters don’t really need to focus entirely on the work itself, so the mind is free to contemplate the deeper aspects. Hands, needles and yarn working together to create something beautiful, something filled with the creators intent and something functional too.

I have recently been knitting prayer shawls and making flowers to decorate them too. They will have love, healing, peace and protection stitched into their very fabric and hopefully will help the wearer to access these very things through their wearing in meditation, prayer and ritual.

Creativity is not just about churning out items, it is about putting a little of yourself out into the world!

  

Changing perspective

  

Isn’t it odd how a change in perspective can make things appear so differently? 

This morning we moved our living room around, putting the sofas in a different place and adding a chair, and that simple act has resulted in us looking at everything from a slightly different angle. The differences are subtle, but its little things like where the light from the window falls. Sitting on one of the sofas now means we are bathed in light, whereas before, we were seated in a duller place.

Of course, other things are less pleasant, I have had to get the duster out again, as little nooks and crannies that were not noticable before are now thrown in focus!

It just fot me thinking though, how things change if viewed from a different angle. This does not just go for physical spaces though, it can also apply to situations. We may have difficulty seeing someone’s motives for behaving in a certain way, but of course we are seeing it from our experiences and our backgrounds. If we try to imagine what the view must look like from their viewpoint, while we may still not agree with their actions, it is maybe a little easier to understand them … Sometimes. But sometimes, someone’s experience may be so far away from our own that it is difficult to put ourselves in that position, and these are the situations that are most difficult to deal with. At such times, the only thing we can do is be mindful of how we react, as that is something we ARE in control of. That is often easier said than done, but the peace of mind it can offer means it is always work perservering with.

Change your view, change your life!

A restful day

I am beginning to realise that my Meniere’s symptoms, dizziness, nausea etc, are worse when I am tired. I had a very late night last night, and while this was ok in my 20s and 30s, it seems in my 50s I am somewhat past it! Therefore, other than a little early morning shopping, today has mostly been spent knitting, playing with cats and reading my new book.

The book is by Caroline Wise and it is one I have been eagerly anticipating. It is about Elen of the Ways and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about this elusive goddess.

I have been following Elen’s tracks for many years, but there is always more to glimpse and I am looking forward to learning more as I work through this wonderful book!

Happy long weekend /|\

UK days out with myths and legends

Elen Sentier

Good article from The Guardian. We need to bring ourselves back to our old stories and connect them with our land …

Magic mountain – Cadair Idris, Snowdonia, Gwynedd (OS Explorer OL23)

View of Cader Idris, North Wales, 1878, by Sidney Richard Percy View of Cader Idris, North Wales, 1878, by Sidney Richard Percy

The joy of the 893-metre Cadair Idris is that it looks like a proper mountain but is actually a fairly easy walk, guaranteed to make everyone feel tough and strong without too much effort. That’s if you do the Pony Path, at least, which begins at the Ty-Nant car park on the north side of the mountain. The Minffordd and Fox’s paths are a little more demanding, especially the latter.

Legend associates the peak with Arthur, although it could also be a Welsh prince by that name who fought an Irish army here in the seventh century. Either way it is a place of deep magic, prone…

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