I’ve always been a Pagan. The world is alive, in every detail, and there is magic all around me. I love this awareness and have found that the rituals and much of the philosophy of Paganism speaks to and enhances that awareness. The practices keep me on my toes and keep me paying attention. The connection to the gods is the most important relationship in my life. Yet, there was no particular path that felt right.
Wicca has become too vague and watered down in the past decade or so, and it doesn’t provide all that I’m looking for. I love the ritual style, the poetry, and the magic of it, but it seems to have come ungrounded, if it ever was grounded. I can’t find a center to it, and people who call themselves Wiccans can have widely diverging concepts about what their religion is about. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it’s not meant as a bash at Wicca, but as a path for me it’s not satisfying. I’m sure there are niches within Wicca that would fit me well, but I don’t know what they are or how to find them, because the term is so vague. The Wiccans I have met have been, for the most part, wonderful people, but even they seemed really uncertain as to what they were doing and why they were doing it.
I found, and rejected, the Druid path years ago. In theory, it seemed ideal for me – more strongly and explicitly nature-based than Wicca, rooted in a tradition of scholarship, with a background of Celtic mythology and that dreamy, misty Celtic way of thinking. I went to a few Druid rituals, all put on by ADF groups, and found them to be the most ponderous, deadly dull rituals I had ever attended. If it’s all about standing around listening to Mr./Ms. High Mucky-Muck talk, then it ain’t ritual, no matter how many people are wearing robes or how nice the altar looks, and that’s all this was. The Druids I met were mostly porky bearded guys who tried to impress me with their (bad) scholarship [Note – upon rereading this months later, I realize thatone of my most significant teachers, as well as some of my best friends, qualify as “porky bearded guys,” and I mean no disrespect to those among you who are both hefty and hirsute] There seemed to be no connection with the Divine, just a bunch of people in robes standing around repeating things that they’d read in books. It was like the SCA with all the fun parts sucked out. So I said “meh” to Druidism and moved on.
I’ve focused on the Greek pantheon over the years because they are part of a culture that is at the root of our civilization. Neo-Platonic thoughts informs so much of modern Pagan practice that it seemed important to me, and still does, to learn about that tradition. There’s still more to learn – one does not “finish” Neo-Platonism – but all that Hermetic stuff seemed so disconnected from the Earth, what drew me to Paganism in the first place. When I think of the Gods, I think of the smell of moss and damp earth and leaves on the forest floor. I want my religious philosophy to reflect that.
A few months ago, the Celtic deities showed up in my life with a thundering force I don’t quite understand. After years of paying no attention to them and having very little interest in them, suddenly I can’t get enough of Celtic stories and writing. The Celtic gods, particularly Lugh, are suddenly present for me in a way I don’t understand but can’t ignore. My way of dealing with this sort of thing is by reading everything I can about it, so all of my reading lately (with the exception of the occasional Terry Pratchett novel) has been about the old Celtic stories. I also started looking into Druidry again, and finding that things have grown since the last time I checked it out. One of the books I read recently was this one, and I was delighted to find a philosophy of religion similar enough to mine that I decided to, finally, after all these years, join an organization and give my path work a name. So, I’m a student of Druidry now. Imagine that.
I started this blog to give myself a place to write about my AODA work that could be shared. Much of the work I’ll be doing is private and won’t be shared, but I want one place that I can send people to and say “Here. Read this, this is what I’ve been up to.”
So, hi, welcome, and all that.