Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blessed Lammas

A very blessed Lammas. Time to pause, take time out for oneself, time to give thanks for the first fruits of the earth. The beginning of a month of warm days and summer vacations. Time too for the Glastonbury Goddess Conference. I just thought I would take time out to post photos. And a blessed Imbolc to all friends in the southern world.

Lammas Goddess

Priestesses on the Temple steps

Conference Welcome Circle

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A walk in ancient woodland

It is good to take a walk in ancient woodland, a place where light and vision are filtered by the presence of trees. Here is beauty aplenty. Here is the surge of life nurtured by the very Earth Herself. Here is a deep ancient presence. For all the beauty ancient woodland remains a wild place. The bears, wolves and boar may be long gone but wild energy remains as strong as ever.

Trees have a very special presence which is immediately apparent as you walk beneath their overarching branches. To pass under the shade of some trees is to find a place out of time where all seems different. It is as if the whole of reality is here mediated by the tree.

I love this picture I took recently of fallen trees like guardian spirits. The wild garlic turning their leaves in adoration and filling the air with the fragrance of their incense. Such scenes are an important reminder that there is much that we cannot and should not control. A reminder to ask permission to step into the presence of such ancient energy. A reminder to honour the spirits with prayer and offering.

Truth is we need to honour boundaries and accept that we are totally dependent upon the fecund power of our Earth. Our lives are bounded by womb and tomb imaged in our own homes by threshold and hearth. Humanity has overstepped so many boundaries, destroyed so much woodland from the cedar forests of Lebanon to the rain forests of South East Asia. We have become so addicted and dependent on the oil left by the forests of deep deep history that we would kill our grandmothers and deny our grandchildren life in order to obtain our next fix. But the ancient woodland has the power to bring us back to reality if only we look, listen, feel, face our fears and let the guardian spirits touch our imagination.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

What defines us?

The comments posted on blogs are often very revealing. I hope Athana doesn't mind me quoting from an anonymous comment on her Radical Goddess Thealogy blog. Anonymous writes, "Do you have a regular job? If not, when is the last time you actually worked full time to make a living? Are you really a hippie?"

It is disturbing that today we often define people by their job, their spending power and their postcode. As if any of these things come close to defining who a person really is. The idea of working long regular hours away from home using artificial light to work in the dark of winter and oil to commute many miles each day is really quite novel. Most human societies have worked close to home according to the flow of the seasons and the lengthening and shortening days. Indeed, they have also given a lot of time to dance, music, play, storytelling and honouring the invisible world.

Life is such a precious thing and the elderly remind us how short it is. If we have not found more to life than work, retail therapy and a mini-mansion at a fashionable address then we have truly failed to live.

I have a great respect for good teachers, who despite all the restrictions placed upon them by government, still manage to open young minds and hearts to the beauty, mystery and magic that is all around. For it is such things that truly define a person.

Do you wake up on a morning and stand in awe and amazement at the sheer beauty, diversity and fecundity of the world? Have you learnt to truly love and delight in your own beautiful body? Have you learnt to truly love your partner? Are you passionate in your work for justice and peace? Is there a lightness in your step, do you dance and sing, do you delight in story and myth? Do you sense the magic in all things? Do you give freely of your time and talents to make the world a better place? Do you find time for play, for silence?

These, and many more like them are the things that truly define a person. Beside these, issues such as our job, bank balance and address pale into insignificance. Answer yes to some of the above and your are walking in the footsteps of the Goddess.

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