Saturday, August 20, 2011

August Reflections

In my last post, I said my intention was to investigate the "Druids performing human sacrifice" question I received after I read my credo statement to our Unitarian Universalist congregation in July. After thinking  about it and even writing some, I decided it was simply not worth giving any more energy to, so I'm not going to expound about it after all. Even if Druids did perform human sacrifice as their culture and way of life was being systematically wiped out by the Romans, they certainly don't do it any more. And it has never, in my wildest dreams, been my intention to follow a reconstructionist form of Druidry that simply imitates the religion of an ancient past. Enough said. It's time to move on. And move on, I have.

This summer, I enrolled in the training course for the Bardic Grade of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. Since mid-June, I have completed ten Gwersi, or lessons, and have found them to be informative, inspiring and enlightening. Suggestions for meditation, creating sacred space, and lessons on Celtic history and mythology have helped create a framework around which I can focus on a spiritual practice that is alive and very connected to the Earth and the web of all life.

This month I also had the opportunity to put my solo canoe on my car and head to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to do some paddling in preparation for a group trip I am leading at the end of September. The weather was fabulous and I was very much alone on wide open lakes and a meandering river, deep in the forest near Whitefish Point. I watched as two ospreys fished in the lake, splashing down with  tremendous splashes of water. As I was annoyed by flies at one point on the trip, I sang a little dragonfly song and (coincidence or not) had this large, amazing dragonfly hover right next to me, then alight on the front of my canoe, where some pesky flies had been hanging out!

I was able to study and meditate in my tent as ferocious thunderstorms raged outside, bringing the power of Nature very up-close and personal in a way many people miss out on while they are shut up in their houses, office buildings and automobiles.

Such days away are nothing less than a spiritual retreat for me, when I can recharge my batteries, connect in deep ways to the mysteries of all life, and let my flow and pace match the rhythms of nature. When I enter back into my busy schedule of "normal life", I keep these feelings and memories alive in my heart and draw upon their strength and energies for months to come.

May you, dear reader, also find such peace and connection in your life, whether it's in the backyard garden, under a sacred oak, or deep in a forest far from home.

Yours under the Sacred Oaks,