Sunday, November 27, 2016
11/29 ~ Venus (love, finances & relationships) ~square~ Uranus (sudden change):
This is a test to grow that you cannot plan for. Venus rules your values & priorities and an activation with Uranus signifies something sudden and seemingly out-of-the-blue. Of course, this isn’t true, but it can feel that way. The truth is, it is time to do something “different” where your love, finances or relationships are concerned. Making a conscious effort to do things in a completely new way will be rewarded with a lesson and a blessing you would’ve never considered. Due to new revelations happening within you, the immediate response will come from those closest to you. If you’re in relationships (personal or professional) that have reached a point where they have to change or end, this is a good time to try to discuss it openly and with as much detachment & objectivity as possible.
*Uranus is in Aries right now so self-preservation is high on the list these days and we are all finding radically new ways to maintain our independence as well as our connection to the whole. Flexibility of mind, body & spirit will help soothe any harshness associated with this combo.
11/30 ~ Sun (core essential Self) ~square~ Neptune (illusions & delusions):
This activation can cause self-doubt, self-delusion and an overall confusion that seems to be sourced within or self-directed. It’s only temporary, this is just the Universe’s way of slowing you down so you can see where your goals may have been unrealistic or based on flights of fancy. If your energy is low and you’re feeling challenged to see the bright side of things, it is better to just time-out, rest & replenish (if possible) and most of all, do not initiate any grand plans as you are not really seeing things as they truly are at this time. Luckily, this is a pretty short-lived activation.
12/1 ~ Mars (energy) ~trine~ Jupiter (enthusiasm):
This energy is generally positive as you are combining your energy & desires with an expansion of consciousness. It’s especially good for anything physical and bodes well for outcomes to any competition. You will be channeling more energy than usual so be sure to check in with your body and stay grounded. Jupiter often brings blessings that others may perceive as ‘luck’ but it is more of an alignment between inner & outer. Even if things are hazy or crazy, do your best to visualize success and put your Self in the picture ; -) You will have a great overall perspective of the “big picture” and can plan accordingly. The only caveat with this energy is to avoid being OVERLY confident where you feel invincible. Be confident, not cocky. This energy is very good for knowing what you need and being capable of making succinct decisions about the course which will get you there. Calculated risks are the name of the game!
12/3 ~ Mars (action) ~sextile~ Saturn (endurance):
This energy gives you a tremendous power booster to your drive to create stability, as you define it. You will be more willing to do the work, starting with a plan that is carefully thought out and then methodically carried out. Plan and Do! Not just one or the other, but both, which can eventually produce solid results. The rewards for your hard work or the return on your investment will reflect what energy you have put in to stabilizing your life. This energy should not be restrained but consciously directed. Excessive restriction (Saturn) may cause an explosion (Mars) down the line, whereas a solid base (Saturn) contains the fire (Mars) so it becomes useful, productive, and often, beautiful as well.
The Karmic Tools Weekly Forecast covers the current planetary transits which affect people in different ways and to various degrees of intensity. Take notice when it is a Personal planet (Sun / Moon / Mercury / Venus / Mars) interacting with a Social (Jupiter/Saturn) or Collective planet (Uranus / Neptune/Pluto). And pay extremely close attention when it is a Social planet interacting with a Collective planet because that means something *big* is brewing that will move large groups of people along their evolutionary paths. Tuning in to the energy and rhythm of the planets can serve as a useful *guide* as you move along your Individual Path. It also helps to understand your place within the context of the larger Social & Collective Story. Below, you will find out how these energies tend to manifest, as well as guidance and direction.
*NOTE* There are some days when there are NO CONTACTS (besides the Moon), please note that there are no missing entries, we just list the actual Activations of each week + the day they happen.
Copyright © 2000-2016 * Kelly M Beard * http://karmictools.wordpress.com * All Rights Reserved * Permission granted to copy & redistribute Kelly’s Forecasts & Updates on the condition that it’s distributed freely, content remains intact & includes contact/link back to post.
Weekly Forecast for November 28-December 4, 2016
~ contributed by Hillory Skott
We have a new Moon in Honest Sagittarius, no choice but to
take the blinders off. New moons are a reset. Time to clarify
intention and direction. A stable foundation is built on truth,
love and balance. Portals to your next adventure are swinging
open. New frontiers are calling. We are here for the growing,
for the experience. We are here to choose. So be lofty. Be Noble.
Your world is morphing at an accelerated pace now.
The New moon on Tuesday is exact at 4:18 pm PST. A fiery active
energy is fueling your forward movement now. The Moon, The Sun,
Saturn and Mercury are all in Sagittarius. Sagittarius gets flashes of
knowing that cannot be denied and are often correct. It’s the reason
they can come across as self-righteous. They usually are right. They
tell it how they see it. So you don’t have to wonder where you stand.
In fact, they leave nothing left to wonder about in their perpetual search
for truth and freedom.
This New moon energy is empowering. It Squares the North Node
highlighting our need to make moves and get ourselves going in new
directions. And our South Node showing us how the past has shaped
the now. Staying in the past always leads to a drain in your life force
energy. You need all the life force you can get to move in new directions.
Formulate a plan this new moon. Do it up right. Make it big. Get a big
piece of paper and map out your plan. Draw yourself a treasure map.
Mind map all the possibilities inherent in your new plan. You have a
knack for seeing the big picture- you see far and wide now.
The future makes sense- plan how you will get there. Then,
throw caution to the wind and get the show on the road.
I love that saying.
With the square energy impulsing this new moon its’ impossible
not see what you need to know. Look for the truth and you will find it.
In the age of the internet hiding is impossible. Our illusions are
necessary sometimes but now is not the time. Jump and the net
will appear- if it doesn’t you’ll learn stuff you needed to know anyway
so its worth the risk. We have a good 48 hours from the new moon
to draw up our plans. Perhaps the most important thing we must
discover for our very precious selves is how to be free. If we can
achieve that, most anything is possible. What do you need to be
free from? What do you need to be free? May the truth be with you!
~ contributed by Hillory Skott
Enjoy a wonderful week and create amazement!
Karen & Salma
Unbounded Potential Empowerment Group Inc. | 49 Canyon Blvd West | Lethbridge, AB, CA | T1K 6X6
TUESDAY’S NEW MOON is the first notable planetary event for our new week. It occurs at 4:18am PST (12:18pm GMT) in the eighth degree of Sagittarius. The Sabian symbol for that degree provides important guidance for us to consider as we begin the new lunar cycle:
Silents are empowered as Cosmics arise.
Florentines deliver the message to the Higher Ones.
Ecstatic communications are tempered with Joy.
Flowers are observed in Gehenna.
Published on Nov 26, 2016
It’s a week to let go of worries, and instead focus upon your spiritual power including the healing energy of prayers. This week’s video includes meditations and prayers to help you to transform worries into empowerment.
From the Archangel Michael Oracle Card deck at: http://bit.ly/MichaelCards
The “Healing With the Angels” relaxing meditation is on sale for $2.22 at http://www.earthangel.com/
All of Doreen’s cards, books, and 2017 calendars are on sale for 50% discount through November 28 at: shop.angeltherapy.com
Mon/Tues: Prayer Will Help This Situation
Wed/Thurs: Believe and Trust
Fri/Sat/Sun: Spend More Time Outdoors
In last week’s post, I explored the importance of finding ways of living and being your authentic self. I suggested that there were at least three pathways to doing this work: the Path of the Moon, which is the quiet path of living one’s principles and showing the what while not necessarily discussing the spiritual path or why. This is a good path for those who feel restricted in sharing their spiritual path fully in various contexts of their lives; there are ways of still living one’s path while being very implicit about your inner spiritual life.
Today, I’ll explore the second path, shining path of the sun. The sun path refers to us being more being more out and open, more explicit, about the fact that you are a druid—radiating this truth in the world like the sun on a warm summer day. As I mentioned last week, both paths are useful to understand to do the work of integrating our outer life with our inner spiritual paths, but both are inherently different kinds of work. Today, we stand in the summer sun!
Path of the Sun: Coming Out and Radiating Brightly
I think there is this idea that certain people are out, radiantly and brilliantly so, all the time and in every way. And while it is true that some folks manage this, the degree to which druids are “out” and open about who they are seems to fall along a wide spectrum. Few of us are blessed with having life circumstances that allow us to be out fully and unabashedly, at least here in the USA. Truthfully, I know of very few druids or who are out and free in every aspect of their lives. Rather, I have found that being out is a matter of degrees. Maybe you are out to a select group of friends, or your family, but still “in” at your workplace. Or maybe you are out and publicly known in the broader druid community, but life in a conservative community means you keep your beliefs quiet around town. Or maybe you feel you cannot be out at all, you are new to the path or exploring on your own and aren’t ready to defend practices you are still beginning to understanding (if so, my post last week will be relevant to your position). In acknowledging this spectrum, I acknowledge that each of us must find our own place along these paths.
I think that it is, however, important that at least some of us take up the “path of the sun” work. Given that, I’m now going describe two reasons for doing so.
The Path of the Sun for the sake of the land. At many points of human history, spiritual considerations of the land and its sacredness were are the forefront of public discussions. Here in the USA today, and in many other parts of the world, this is no longer the case. And I think that being more open, and public, about the sacredness of the land can help us, on a larger scale, shift things. I spoke about this extensively in my “earth ambassadors” post from last year: how the land needs ambassadors, full of knowledge and rooted in a sacred relationship, to speak.
Being hidden about our spiritual practices means we are not able to engage in dialogue, discussion, and action on issues of the land from a directly sacred and spiritual perspective. I believe that druids and other earth-centered folks are in a good position to do this work and to support others who are already doing this work, but only if we are confident and able to find our voices, as humans and as druids. This directly leads me to my next point.
The Path of the Sun for the sake of our traditions. I remember being present for the dialogue between Philip Carr-Gom (Chosen Chief of OBOD) and John Michael Greer (then Grand Archdruid of AODA) on the differences between druidry in the USA and druidry in the UK (you can listen to this discussion on Druidcast (Episodes 68 and 69)). Philip shared stories of how UK druids are now consulted to bless forests and parks and to be a source of spiritual guidance when it came to human-land interactions. Meanwhile, in the USA, we have far, far to go. I think so many folks stay quiet about druidry here, at least, for fear of rejection, intolerance, or misunderstanding on the part of others. And this is a serious, real fear. I recently spoke to several women at a Samhain celebration here and town who shared stories of how a small magical shop had bricks thrown through the windows and quiet threats–it forced the shopkeepers to close. Certainly, being out and open as I now am, I do wonder and worry about these challenges myself.
However, for those who are seriously considering how far down the Path of the Sun they want to travel , I want to point to the many social justice movements of the 20th and 21st century for perspective. It was only through being willing to be “out” and fight for equality that we finally saw tremendous social progress on a number of issues (racism, gay rights, Native American rights, and so on). Now, I’m not saying that any of these issues are “solved” but we have certainly seen major social movement over a period of time because of the willingness of people who belong to these groups, and their allies, to stand and be seen and heard. I believe education and advocacy on the part of druids and other earth-based spiritual paths, like other social movements, is a necessary part of the work we need to do in the world. I believe that if at least some of us are not willing to be out, we face a longer, harder road towards social acceptance, which harms us all. Cultivating broader public understanding is a really critical issue on a number of levels; and the lack of understanding affects all of us in different ways. I’ve spoken to many folks who have difficulty getting their holidays off (with employers seeing them as not legitimate), to folks not able to wear symbols of their faith while other religious groups can, to issues of child custody in court cases based on religion.
One key issue, in my mind, in addition to those I listed above has to do with the core spiritual practices and experiences that we have as druids. Many of the spiritual experiences that are validated, acceptable, and important in our druid community are considered to be mental health issues by the broader establishment. And yet, many spiritual traditions all over the world see and hear spirit communication; its just the present one I happen to live in that utterly rejects this and instead sees it as pathology or worse. Some good writing on this topic has come out recently from the shamanic community, but it is very far from the mainstream. There’s a reason I don’t talk about my work with plant spirits to most people (although people certainly know I’m a druid, but they don’t know the details about what I do).
The Path of the Sun for the sake of ourselves. Beyond the reasons that we might engage in the Path of the SUn for the sake of the land and our traditions, there’s also the inner reason: living an authentic life. Its important for many of us to feel like we can be open and accepted for who we are, that we can be free to express our spiritual paths and not stay hidden. When I think about this issue, I’m reminded of the line from the Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby song, where Eleanor Rigby “Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door, Who is it for?” Many of us don’t want to have a face that we wear that we keep in the jar by the door (or at the edge of our grove, the edge of the spiritual gathering, wherever that edge is). I think this is particularly important to those of us in certain Western cultures where the current of individualism runs strong. For certain people, being anything less than exactly who we are, title and all, resonates with an inauthenticity that we cannot abide. For these kinds of people, the Path of the Sun represents the only possible path towards wholeness of body, mind, heart, and soul.
Walking the Path of the Sun
Now that we’ve established some reasons we might want to walk the Path of the Sun, how can we do so? This next section offers some suggestions for the process of coming into the sun. I’m drawing a lot from my own experience here, and the slow movement I had from being completely quiet, to moving into the Path of the Moon, and later, into the Sun in many aspects of my life.
Coming out is a process. Coming out is not a single process that you do one time and then is resolved; rather, it is a continual process that we are always cultivating. Timing is so critical with this coming out process; once conception of time in ancient Rome was “kairos” which loosely translates as the ‘right time and right place’ for a particular thing to occur. And so, as we think about coming out more fully into the sun, we need to attend to the process and timing of doing so.
I’ll also add that a lot of the process of coming out as a druid comes down to issues of our own identity: who we are, who we want to be, and who we socially construct with others (the face in the jar by the door). This has a lot to do with how comfortable we sit in our skin, and how that comfort changes based on the contexts in which we find ourselves. Each moment, we make decisions about who we are going to be, how we share our path with others, to come into the sunlight and shine. Each time we have an opportunity, we choose to act upon it or not to act upon it.
Having Key Conversations. One of the ways I believe that the sun path is most effective is in key conversations with individuals who are open to such conversation. I like to show people that I’m not some [enter your stereotype here] fringe lunatic with a crazy spiritual path, but rather a typical person with a job, a home, and the same hopes and dreams and fears as everyone else. This is why timing is so important; I rarely come out and say “I’m a druid” in big bold statements when I first meet people, but I also don’t keep it a secret. I find that its easier to have conversations with people after they get to know you just as a person, rather than someone who has a weird spiritual path (which may color their whole perception of you).
Once those conversations are ready to take place, framing and definitions are critical. Most people completely and totally lack a frame of reference of who we are and what we do. If I tell people “druid” they think I might be a World of Warcraft character. The questions immediately begin, “Is that like a witch or something?” “Is that some kind of video game thing?” or “Are you a pagan?” The person asking the questions is trying to fitting new experiences and concepts into their previous sets of knowledge and experience bases (it is how we learn as humans). This means that, if you come out or someone finds out you are a druid, the very first thing they try to do is to fit who you are and your path into their existing knowledge base. However: it is extremely likely that they don’t have an existing knowledge base that is an accurate representation. Simply allowing them to fit what they understand of my path into their own knowledge base encourages and perpetuates ignorance.This is because we don’t have spiritual paths or practices that are well understood; recognizing that people’s existing knowledge base either is absent, or it is present but insufficient, is an important part of moving beyond stereotypical or absent knowledge bases.
And here’s the thing: if you don’t fill this void, then imagination, representations on television, or their own limited experiences are likely to do so. So, if you see this happening, you can say, “hey, I know you are trying to fit this within your knowledge base, but the truth is most people don’t have any idea of what I do. But if you are interested, I’m happy to sit down with you over a cup of tea and talk to you about it so that you do understand it more. And I’m delighted to hear more about your path and what you do.” This kind of strategy can lead to productive conversations and mutual understanding.
Of course, key conversations often begin with those closest to us. I remember the difficulty of the first key conversations I had with my own mother, whom I am very close to. They occurred just after I felt empowered by placing the Awen stone in my office as my first act of “coming out” (see last week’s post). I sat her down deep in the woods and spoke to her about my spiritual path; I showed the parallels between her own Christian path (which involves praying in the woods each day and seeing signs from God in nature) and my own path (which involves meditating in the woods each day and seeing signs from the spirits in nature). She was very quiet, and afterwards, did not say anything for a long time. I didn’t push it, and finally, nearly two years later, I asked her if she had anything to say. She looked at me and said, “I didn’t say anything because I didn’t know what to say.” After that, the ice was broke and I was able to occasionally share things with her that had seemed impossible before. Still, even into my second decade as a druid, the conversations with my family are still challenging, and the process of coming out to my family, still presents a lot of difficulty because of the issues I raise above–people think they know all there is to know about me, without ever having a single conversation about me, and it is difficult to find how to fill that gap.
The Quick Statement. A second part of the key conversations, I believe, is what I will call the “30 second elevator pitch.” Imagine yourself in an elevator, and someone comes up to you and says, “Hey, I heard that you are a druid. What exactly does that mean?” I have found it helpful to prepare–and practice–a 30 second or less response to this question. This will require massive oversimplification. But a simple, yet accurate description is better than a winding and complex description that is hard for someone to wrap their heads around. Mine goes something like this:
“Druidry is a path of nature-based spirituality that honors the seasons, works with the cycles of nature, and finds spiritual guidance rooted in the living earth. Modern druidry is inspired by the Ancient Druids who were astronomers, philosophers, teachers, and diviners. The modern druid movement is about four centuries old and includes practitioners from all over the world, including many here in the US.”
Feel free to use this statement or adapt it for your own purposes. As someone who is fairly in the path of the sun at this point, I find myself using something like this more often than you might think!
Community Work. IF you have a group of people (grove, study group, seed group, etc), it is often helpful to do the Path of the Sun work together. One of the things a group of us did while I was still living in Michigan was to pair up with the only other non-Christian group in the area (a Buddhist group) and do some joint community service work. We let ourselves be known and open, and showed those in the community that we were part of it, there to do good work for the benefit of all. That worked really well, and I’d encourage it for others!
Other ways to shine. The Path of the Sun is often one of seeing opportunities and choosing to take them on, rather than deciding to retreat. For example, some NPR folks found my blog post on Hemlock a few years ago and asked me to talk about the Hemlock tree mythology. I was terrified of this and thought, “Oh no! People will know I’m a druid! Nobody actually reads the stuff I write on this blog!” After some meditation and reflection, decided to go ahead and do it. It ended up being a great deal of fun and I think I was able to share my knowledge of the trees with a much wider audience. This is all to say that each of us can find our own opportunities to shine and do our own Path of the Sun work in the world.
Closing Thoughts. Whether you take the path of the moon or the path of the sun, or perhaps walk the dawn or dusk that sits between them, the ultimate goal of this two-part series is to explore how we can be more authentic and comfortable in our own skins. Because that’s part of what a spiritual path is meant to do–to illuminate the path before us, to show us the ways to go and the ways not to go, and to help us feel like more fully actualized, vibrant people. May you walk your path, sun, moon, dawn, dusk, or otherwise, in peace and fulfillment.
Tags: authentic, authentic self, authenticity, being honest, being open, coming out, coming out of the closet, culitvating love, druid coming out, hemlock, honesty, living your truth, pagan coming out, path of the sun, peace, speaking out, speaking your truth, sun path, truth
One of the struggles that has marked my own path of druidry, and the path of many others that I know, is the challenge of being and living our authentic selves. For me, this is the act of somehow balancing a spiritual path that is largely not accepted or outwardly disdained by broader society (including many of my own loved ones) with the need to be true to my own heart and soul and walk my path openly. There is a lot of fear in the druid community, and certainly in the broader earth-based spiritual communities, about being one’s authentic self, or being “out” of the broom closet, as some may frame it. I don’t think this fear has lessened of late, but rather, perhaps increased due to a toxic political climate, where intolerance and bigotry seem to be culturally more acceptable than in the previous decade. The effects of this are that many of us feel crushed and unable to really be open about who we are. Going to any spiritual gathering, you can see this clearly: many people are just breathing a sigh of relief that they don’t have to hide who they are, what they believe, from a difficult outside world. So the question I explore today is this: How do we live our authentic selves in a world that largely doesn’t accept our paths?
Why does living as our authentic selves matter?
I think that its critical that we find some way of balancing, expressing, and cultivating our inner spiritual paths in our outer realities of life. I’m sure many of my readers have felt the tension that you feel when you are, literally, feeling like two people living two separate lives in a single body. It makes you feel small and, perhaps, inauthentic. For example, some time ago, I briefly dated someone who wasn’t on my spiritual path, but who I otherwise liked a good deal. As I tried to share pieces of my spiritual path, I found him to be a brick wall on the subject, unwilling to engage with me at all, and unwilling to really even hear what I was saying. As our short relationship progressed, the longer I felt unable to share and unable to be supported by this person, I felt myself getting smaller and smaller, shriveling up like a raisin. You can imagine how this relationship worked out! In a second example, I’ve found this same experience reflected in my relationship with my immediate family at points—how inauthentic I have felt when I’m not living my true self, when I have passively bowed my head at the meal rather than risk a confrontation with my father about my path. I don’t do this any longer, but for many years as a druid I did because I felt it would have been too hard to change the situation without conflict. In my case, not able to be authentic self in intimate relationships took a serious toll on me.
Beyond our immediate relationships, it can be very hard to inhabit and see the world differently on an everyday basis. Core values of my culture (exploitation of earth’s resources) are at direct odds with my own values (nurturing the earth and helping her heal). Further, I have found it challenging to live in a culture that views my spiritual paths and practices as “crazy” or “nonsense” (a topic that I’ll discuss in much greater detail in next week’s post). On my way to work, I might commune with a tree spirit, honor the rising sun, or look for signs in the birds flying overhead. And then walk into my office and start my work—pretending these experiences and things are not part of my life. Given this, maintaining that balance and feeling authentic is difficult.
One source of the difficulty is that this path helps us to shine so well. When we spend time in nature, she heals us, wipes off the grime from us, and really helps us to feel more whole and complete. The beauty of who we are, the inner gifts that we have (that in other cultures would make us seers, shamans, leaders, healers), need to be expressed in some way that we feel matters. Failure to find ways of channeling those gifts, those passions, and that bright light that our spiritual path does leave us feeling more like the raisin than the lush juicy grape shining there in the sun.
Given all of this, I see essentially three paths forward to help cultivate more authentic selves: one of this is a “quiet” path of authentic living or what I’ll call the “Path of the Moon” and the second is a more “loud” path of being fully out about one’s tradition, or what I’ll call the “Path of the Sun.” And of course, there is the Path of the Dawn, that straddles the two I’ll present. I’ll explore the Path of the Moon in this post, and next week, I’ll explore the Path of the Sun. Both deserve treatment on this topic, but both are inherently different work.
The Path of the Moon: Cultivating Authentic Living
One way to cultivate our authentic selves has to do with cultivating actions in the outer world in a gentle yet powerful way. Those that are familiar with the Druid’s Prayer for Peace (which has a few derivations) might recognize those words in the peace prayer: “Gently and powerfully, within the circle of all life, may I radiate peace.” We can gently, yet powerfully, radiate the expression of our spiritual path without necessarily being uncomfortable with being “loud” about our paths or blazing like the sun.
You might think about this work like the quiet light of the moon—the moon reflects the sun (our true selves) but does so in a way that is subtle and intuitive. This path allows us to be non-confrontational, not to take up the path of the sun because we are either uncomfortable with the role, are private about our paths, or don’t feel that we are in circumstances which allow us to do so. Whatever the reason, the path of the moon is a quiet path of living authentically in the world yet still allows us to live our true paths.
Why the Path of the Moon?
When I think about my own trajectory of being a druid, of living my own path and finding my way deeper and deeper into the forest, a lot of it had to do with my own comfort and growing experience. When I came to Druidry, I was coming out of years of growing up fundamentalist Christian, and then several years of being a secular humanist and agnostic. I had a long road to walk, within my own heart and mind, to even take on the word “druid” in any public setting. I wasn’t ready; I didn’t really even know what I meant by druidry, so how could I explain it to anyone else? How could I defend it, if I was called to do so? This, then, is obviously one reason that you might take up the path of the moon.
A second reason has to do with life circumstances–so many of us are in places where it is detrimental, personally or professionally, to be “out” about our paths. Maybe your professional life is one that it would be severely detrimental for you to be out and openly a druid; maybe you have a very conservative family and you are worried that they won’t leave you alone if they found out; etc. The point is, at least here in much of the US, we do not live in a world that is kind to those of our path. There is good reason for taking up the quiet path of the moon, as many of us choose to do in our personal, civic, and professional lives. This is not something to be ashamed of, but rather, it is often the work of self-preservation.
But it is precisely this tension that can cause us to feel like we are living two lives–the inner life of druidry or our other spiritual practices and the outer life of your “average” person. And so, we need to find a way to balance those scales, to help us feel more authentic while still hiding away a large part of who we are. So now, let’s look at some of the work of the Path of the Moon to see how we might live quietly, yet powerfully, and express our path:
1: Quiet yet Powerful Actions: Or, Beliefs Manifest as Actions.
One of the ways that I’ve cultivated being my authentic self more quietly yet powerfully is by engaging in external expressions of druidry that are not clearly or inherently “spiritual” to the casual observer. In other words, while these activities are clearly expressions of my druid path in my mind, they are not immediately linked with such to others, and may be simply seen as “hobbies” or “interests” or “causes.” In this case, the actions are the outer manifestation of my inner beliefs; and people don’t need to now the why of what I am attempting to do, just the what of actually doing it.
For example, I can teach wild food foraging and herbalism classes through a lens of reverence and respect for the living earth. This doesn’t scream to people, “look at this druid doing this stuff” but it is fully in line with my druid path and I consider it some of my spiritual work in the world. Teaching people about how to carefully and joyfully interact in the ecosystem and teaching them about nature is a key focus in my own personal druid path.
Or for another example, in the last month or so, I have been asked to come and speak on behalf of ordinances for chickens and beekeeping in my small town; I ended up sitting across from a factory farmer who was opposed to both and had to defend small-scale urban beekeeping and chicken keeping. I did so because, for me, chicken and bee ordinances mean that more people can live more sustainably, and intuitively, these kinds of practices can raises awareness and connection with the living earth.
2: Small Signs of Your Path
I remember the time I first came out as a druid in a quiet yet public way. After a powerful ceremony with fellow druids at a gathering, where I had been led by the spirits to start attending to being less “closed”, I had returned home with a beautiful flat stone. I painted an Awen on the stone, and I decided to put it in my office at work. I didn’t say anything about it to anyone, but placed it there with a simple prayer. There it stood, as a symbol of my faith, in a very public setting. And when I eventually moved universities, the stone came with me, and it sits now in my new office, quietly radiating the light of my path. That was my very first step, that was my first step to being more public and out there about who I was. Every day, I would walk in my office and just say, “wow”, there I am with the symbol of my faith there on my shelf. Of course, most people don’t know what an Awen is, but that didn’t matter, because it mattered to me. Even a small act, like this one, can help us feel like we are bridging the inner spiritual realms with our outer spiritual living.
I think there are lots of subtle things you can do that are outer, yet quiet, reflections of your path. Maybe its the carefully cultivated shrine in your back yard, the symbol you wear around your neck, the quiet prayers you say before each meal in the company of others. Whatever it is, doing even these small actions can tremendously help you feel like you are living a more authentic life.
3: Shifting Daily Living Practices
The third thing that can help us live more quiet and authentic lives has to do with shifting our daily living practices towards honoring the living earth and treading gently. I’ve written a lot on this topic on the blog, from seed saving to recycling and reducing waste, to vermicompost and natural building, to reconsidering gift giving. Each small shift brings our own outer living in line with our inner spiritual practices. These kinds of shifts can make us feel much more alive and attuned with our own spiritual beliefs.
4: Cultivating Peace and Other Core Values
Even if we don’t feel we can fully be “out” about druidry while walking the Path of the Moon, we can certainly work to cultivate core values of our tradition.
For example, in druidry, one of the central values is peace. We declare peace at the start of our ceremonies and we have prayers, like the druid’s prayer for peace, that offer us as mantras for living. I have spent a tremendous amount of time meditating on this particular prayer (along with the druid’s prayer), and thinking about how I can cultivate peace each day in my own dealings with others. As a reminder, I have the painting of the Druid’s Prayer for Peace hanging in my office at work, a quiet reminder to me to always work to cultivate peace even in what can often be some contentious politics in academia. But I also work to cultivate peace with each of my relationships, and with my relationship with the living world (not killing bugs, for example).
5: The Hermitage of the Heart
In the Gnostic Celtic Church, which functions as the arm of the Ancient Order of Druids in America that focuses on clergy preparation and ordination, we have a concept called “the hermitage of the heart.” Its a simple, yet profound, concept that essentially says that we can maintain the inner joy, clarity, and peace our paths provide in a way that offers us some quiet distance from the typical everyday materialist life. In other words, it encourages us to see that distance between our culture and ourselves not as detrimental but as necessary for the preservation of a rich spiritual life. This philosophy can be useful when it seems the chasm is wide indeed, and can help us realize that authenticity comes not always from outer actions, but from deep within and how we frame the interplay between the inner and outer. I find this principle is useful to use for regular meditation and reflection.
I believe there is a lot that we can do in the world that helps us live more authentically even when we don’t feel we can be fully open with who we are and what we believe. It is the quiet path of the moon that gives us some way of balancing our inner beliefs with our outer living in ways that we feel good about ourselves and our paths. I also want to stress that, ultimately, how we navigate this issue of living as our authentic selves is very personal choice–each of us must figure out how to navigate these dark waters and find our own inner peace on the issue. Its not appropriate to judge others for the work they appear to be doing (or not doing) with regards to their own paths. I know that each of us struggle with this in our own way, and each of us are in different circumstances that may or may not allow for certain visible actions. Just because a person is walking quietly by moonlight on the path of the forest doesn’t mean he or she is not walking there–so be kind to your fellow forest path walkers. Next week, I’ll look at the Path of the Sun, or being much more open as a way of cultivating an authentic self. Blessings!
Filed under: Definitions,Druid,Growth,Knowledge,Nature Philosophy,Primer on Druidry — Dana @ 8:27 am
Tags: actions, authenticity, beliefs, coming out of the closet, cultivating peace, druid, druid philosophy, druid primer, Druidry, druids prayer, hermitage of the heart, inner and outer, introductory concepts, living true, living your path, living your truth, path of the moon, peace, soul