Tag Archives: Paganism

The Modern Distraction

18 Jun

I haven’t posted anything here in quite some time. The reason for this has quite simply been I have been ridiculously busy organising my wedding, which is very soon. It has been a lot of work: physically when going to various venues, services etc, making the invitations, mentally: looking for readings, sorting the seating plan etc, and emotionally: FAMILY! Therefore I made the conscious decision to not try and think of anything to blog about as I was conserving my energy and also because I do not blog unless I feel I have something to say.

At this stage everything is more or less done and we just need to wait for the day itself, which I’m really excited about and never stopped being excited about even at my most stressed, depressed, exhausted (pick an appropriate adjective). So at this stage of trying to blog what do I have to think about. Well all I can think of is how distracting our modern lives often are. Planning the “Happiest Day of your Life” is not easy even with the most supportive of friends and family. There is so much to do no matter how small and simple you want to make it (big family, therefore big wedding). But there will always be some big event to plan, project to complete or goal to reach in our lives.

I am very proud and happy to say that when things were getting really difficult I did manage to make it a little easier by lighting some incense and just sitting in the moment. I am sad to say though that when things were at their most difficult I did not have the energy or will to even try to do this.

But after going through the whole ordeal/joy of the experience I can honestly say I believe that the next big obstacle will be that bit easier as I look back on the hard times I had and how I managed to pull through. But also the times I was not coping so well and how it still got better. Hindsight is 20/20 but what is the point unless you bring your past experiences with you. Just as I will play back tournament fights and sparring in my HEMA club in my head, trying to improve as a fighter I will play back those moments in the future when things get difficult and remember how I still succeeded. The Warrior grows stronger through her previous battles and when we get through a Modern Distraction and come out the other side we need to remember it in all is good and bad so it makes us stronger the next time.

Keeping the energy

14 Apr

A couple weeks ago I was on holidays in London for a few days visiting relatives as well as attending a trainers certification workshop for HEMA. Had a really lovely time catching up with my relatives as well as getting to visit some of the great museums of London. While I was there though I did notice some interesting things in the feel of the air around me. My home city is very old and parts of it still have that feel. For people who are sensitive to it the energies of the land can be quite obviously felt when walking around. Further in our public parks there is a feel of “residents” be that the energy of trees, the land or other Folk that might be there. Not all the parks, but the oldest ones do definitely have an awareness to the energy in them, this I’m sure is partially due to the semi-wild state of these parks. While they have lovely manicured lawns and nicely laid out flower beds there are also areas of hedging and trees where lots of fauna live. Depending on where in my city you are and the time of day you might easily see foxes, squirrels, badges (late at night) or even raptors such as sparrowhawks. I have even seen buzzards while in some of the suburbs and near the rivers and canals in my city I have lost count of the number of times I have seen herons on top of the usual ducks and swans. So I’m sure this abundant wild life in my city is a definite factor in the energetic feel of it but the age of the sites I’m referring to is also a factor.

While I was in England I was curious how/if I would sense similar energies as London is such an ancient city. On the Thursday that I landed I spent some time walking around Hyde Park. A lovely space in the heart of London but energetically it felt like walking in a giant garden and that does appear to be all it is. There is some wildlife in the park but it definitely did not have any sense of “awake energies”. On my last day there however I went for a walk around Hampton Court Palace with my relatives. For those of you not familiar stealing straight from the wiki entry 

Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon ThamesGreater London, and the historic county of Middlesex; . . . .  It was originally built for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, a favourite of King Henry VIII, circa 1514; in 1529, as Wolsey fell from favour, the palace was passed to the King, who enlarged it. 

We didn’t enter the palace but rather walked around the grounds that were free to the public as well as the canal beside it and Bushy Park across the road. While walking around this area I felt an energy that was definitely not present in Hyde Park. It was not strong, more like someone half-asleep. But there was a definite presence of the land being somewhat awake. Considering the similarities between the two areas, particularly the two Parks it did have me wondering. 

Hampton Court was a royal residence till 18th Century but is still associated with the British Royal family somewhat (at least in the minds of the visitors) and this had me thinking. Hyde Park was largely swallowed up by London and while it has always been a favorite of Londoners it does still feel like a big garden. But what about a Royal association? Throughout European History there was a belief in the divine right to rule and in pre-christian times certain European Cultures especially the Celtic ones believed that the King was married to the land to gain his sovereignty. Perhaps this would explain somewhat the differences in energies. Regardless of the current religious beliefs of the inhabitants of the country there is still often an association between Royalty and the country they are sovereigns of. 

I think that is could explain the different energies in different parts of area. While one is more of a suburb than the other both sites had a similar history but with slightly different associations (Hyde Park was opened to the public in the 17th century) and as such I think it should be expected that the energy of the land would react differently in each place. I don’t think it’s a simple case of energy changing because of use but rather the land going asleep because of a disconnect.

Within Pagan circles the disconnect of modern peoples is often referred to but I think even for those who practice there can be a missing out on the deeper connections which can be made. With practice one can get a sense of the spirits of the trees and spaces around us but what about a sense of the land sensing you?? This is something I have experienced many times in my native country during various ritual practices but also in everyday life. However in order to maintain this relationship I think it important to “use” the land in the appropriate fashion.

Leaving offerings for the spirits of sites is something I would do when appropriate and is not exclusive to when I am out visiting a neolithic monument (in fact I never do that out of respect for the archaeology). Rather I’m referring to the bowl of milk and honey left outside the courtyard of my apartment building  or the glass of whiskey poured into the garden. In these instances I am changing my relationship with the land around me. Instead of treating it as the place I live or work around it becomes a shared space between me and the energies of the space itself. Maybe if similar changes in the “use” of the land were made by more of us we would all feel a re-connection being made?

Finding Connections

26 Feb

I’ve been practising some form of Paganism or other for over 10 years now (Man I’m getting old!) and over the years I’ve spent a lot of time just trying to figure out what exactly Paganism is to me. Well for those expecting a beautifully written explanation sorry to disappoint cause I guess I’m always gonna be figuring it out. But then that’s the whole point really. I do think for me a lot of it is about trying to find a connection with nature and the energies around me and developing that connection in a deeper way.

But one thing which I’ve struggled with a lot is trying to get a good connection with the male side of Divinity in a Pagan context. To non-Pagans this may seem a bit odd but I found (and has been agreed with by many Pagans I’ve talked to) very difficult, extremely at the start to get any information on developing connections with Male Godheads. But in the past two years I have been doing a lot of work using Shamanic techniques and I have found it a lot easier to work on male aspects of Divinity and Spirituality. From my own perspective Shamanism involves a lot more guided journeying and development of journeying meditation. I feel that compared to the ritual work I personally practiced on my own or with one or two friends in college as a fledgling “Wiccan” is much better suited when looking for something.

Over the last while I have found it much easier to developing these connections. Starting with a clear intent and then doing some drumming myself or listening to a drumming CD it would seems I can let my mind and spirit wander off and end up where it needs to be to do the healing work I need to do.

It’s not the same as the directed intent of Ritual Magick but more of an Astral Freewheeling where you seem to end up where you need to be by the end. Also I have personally found the more I do it the more my general awareness of energy and spirits around has heightened.

The only trick seems to be ensuring that you get back after you go for a trip! Though if that is a regular problem a bit of chocolate once it’s done always seems to help!