Friday, 19 March 2010

Alban Eilir/Ostara

Here we go again... another ramble from the 'Island-man'... and on this occasion thoughts turn to Spring.

In circumnavigating the Pagan wheel of the year we are soon to celebrate one of the four solar festivals, namely that of the Spring (Vernal) Equinox (equal night). It marks a period of equilibrium, for now the duration of night and day are in perfect balance. It is at the hub of the threefold dedications to Spring, as it succeeds the first stirrings of rebirth and regeneration identifiable with Imbolc, whereupon the Goddess begins to rouse from the darkness of Winter, whilst preceding the fulfillment and blossoming of the season as celebrated with Beltane. Perhaps as a moment of balance between Imbolc and Beltane it may prove timely for us to reflect on the fundamentals of balance with regard to our own lives, the symmetry of inner and outer self, or the proportions of spirituality and materialism, or the provision that Mother Earth makes for us and how we reciprocate Her gifts...for example.

To the contemporary Druid, this period is manifest as Alban Eilir (or Eiler), "Light of the Earth",
and though evidence of ancient Celtic celebration for this festival is sparse, as it is reasonable to assume that much of the symbolism of Pagan tradition was integrated into the Christian 'Easter'. However then as it is now, Mother Earth would have reached a stage of renewal, Her term of dormancy ended, the soil moist and abundant with nourishment, a gift to the seed, the bulb, the root, thus an appropriate time to sow for the years crops and give reverence.

Wiccan tradition acknowledges the Spring Equinox festival as 'Ostara' and as is the vein of Druidry, the term is difficult to corroborate, for both (I am sure..?) had oral foundations. The 7th/8th century historian Bede cites early reference with the Anglo Saxon month of 'Esturmonath' (the forth of their calender), after the Teutonic fertility goddess 'Eostre', though others suggest that she and her symbolic links to hares, eggs and rebirth are Roman-Pagan in origin.

There we go...

A Blessing on you, one and all.
May each ritual and celebration of your individual tradition be steeped with balance and life energy renewed.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

I'd Like To Thank My Agent...

I am seriously 'chuffed'...!

I've received an award out of the blue. Well not quite. It was bestowed on me by Jen at Ramblings of a Newbie Pagan, thank you so much, I often wonder whether anybody in cyberspace actually reads my 'babbles' but now I know better, (forgive me for any mistakes in spelling or grammar but my eyes are watering, making it difficult to see the keyboard). I am genuinely overwhelmed, this is so...

To continue, there are however a few rules attached to accepting said award:

1. Say a huge heartfelt thank you to the person who gave you this award. Thank you again Jen, (at Ramblings of a Newbie Pagan. Go, have yourself a peek at this site...) cheque's in the post...!
2. Pick seven things about yourself to share with everyone
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic!
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

Okey dokey...

Seven (random) things about myself:

1. I am a trained opera singer....maestro, if you please...

Tutto è tranquillo e placido;
entrò la bella Venere;
col vago Marte a prendere
nuovo Vulcan del secolo
in rete la potrò.

How's that...?

2. I have completed two marathons, both in Edinburgh, Scotland.

3. I have a couple of tattoos. Some Koi Carp and a Dragon with Celtic knot-work.

4. I have played in several unsigned bands including 'The Wild Women of Wongo', 'Fisherking' and 'The Freudian Slippers'.

5. I would love to live in Canada.

6. I am currently reading five books at the same time. I alternate between them dependent on my mood. There are three biographies and two books on shamanism.

7. I long to grow my own vegetables again but the climate up here is so unpredictable.

Right, that's got that out of the way, so now I would like to present my awards:

1. The Stag Warrior Speaks.
2. Avalon Revisited.
3. Soul Shamans.
4. The Spiritual Journey of a Somerset Pagan.
5. The Wandering Hearth.
6. Notes from The Rookery.
8. moonroot.
9. Hexenhasel.
10. Runa Vitki

Well, there's ten for now but I'm sure I'll find five more soon who don't already have an award... you all deserve recognition for sharing a little piece of your inner selves. Thank you...


Thursday, 11 March 2010

Spring springs 4th...

Winter's icy fingers reluctantly release their grip on Gaia's realms.

'Le Soliel', huge gaseous ball of light and life dissolving blankets from our beds.
Rebirth and renewal.
Tentative, the
season's vital signs are now revealed.
White to green to snow drop, white.

Trickles become tributaries, become singing streams.
Imagined, lazy swimming, cool clear lake water.
Dreaming barefoot, on a dew kissed sunflower Sunday.
Let an avian chorus herald the coming of Spring.

Blessed Be

Monday, 8 March 2010

Mind over Matter

Manic Depression is perplexing.

Winston Churchill called it his 'Black Dog', a metaphor suggestive of 'Man's (or Woman's) best friend', a playful, loving companion, but with a propensity to plunge in it's teeth when least expected. That may be a little over-exaggerated but hopefully serves as a lucid description of what I myself have suffered for over twenty years, (much of the time without accurate diagnoses). Moods are erratic, often in rapid cycles which fluctuate between feelings verging on euphoric at one end of the spectrum and a paralysis of despair at the other. So what is the hope of maintaining a spiritual continuum within such unpredictable boundaries?

When my moods are high my whole being is in overdrive...mind racing, thoughts tripping one over another and words spilling from my mouth in an endless drawl. It inevitably becomes wearing very quickly and all though you would imagine surges in spiritual awareness and creative activity they tend to be fruitless.

When my mood slips into the hopelessness realm then I wallow in self hate, self absorption, inactivity. I stare at my simple alter unable to even bring myself to light a candle and if I do, my ritual seems empty, my thoughts and words appear automatic and lacking commitment. I live in a beautiful place both immediate and overall, yet during these times I enter into periods of reclusion, my cats lack the usual pampering, the hens appear merely as greedy scavengers, I hate the weather when I should rejoice in it's diversity. Furthermore I live at the very edge of a 'voe' (inlet of the sea) and often watch otters, Canada geese, heron, wading birds and seals which lie for hours on a pier at the end of my garden. Surely Spirit has blessed me. However when the 'black dog' pervades the abundance of animal, plant and minerals, water and air and the subtle changes in light count for little, and this saddens me knowing that I can so easily become numb to the richness that Mother Earth has placed within my sight.

And yet I persevere, longing for days where my mood allows glimpses into oneness with Gaia,...

"And in the love of all Existences, the love of Spirit and all Creation"

Over the past few years things have improved but still have elements of unpredictability. I don't take my Earth centred spirituality for granted, I work with it when I can in the hope of understanding. Believe me I don't merely dip in and out when my mood takes me, endeavoring to keep a consistent approach to Honouring, Celebration, Ritual and Earthly Respect. I involve myself in ecological and environmental issues, whether supporting international causes in the most effective way I can, or heading out with a bag to gather litter from my locality. And this is not done to gain brownie points to appease the Lord and Lady but to constantly re-affirm my commitment to my Spiritual beliefs despite the 'sticks' that my mind put into the spokes...!!