Ah, here we are, another Autumn, another invasion of the GHWI. We had the Round Table all to ourselves on Tuesday. Seeming Leithin Cluan had arrived in nodnoL (yep, that was on purpose) and reported one of her cats claiming multiple territories, we had three new members to the Grove come and fill her place: Thorsson, Professor X and Strider.
We met Thorsson at Leithin Cluan’s leaving do and he just seemed to fit in straight away and, before he knew it, was press ganged into joining us. He is relatively new to Paganism but is by no means a wide-eyed newbie. Professor X, me and Tatterhood and Briseilid met at this year’s Pagan Pride in Nottingham. He has a vast amount of experience in many magical traditions and confesses to being somewhat of an Anarchist, black hat, cloak and fuse-bomb and all… Strider, myeslf and Tatterhood met at this year’s Lin Dhu camp as he was one of the traders there and is nearing the completion of his Bardic course…
Will these brave men stay with us? have we disturbed their minds? who knows? stay tuned and find out!
The GHWI does exceedingly good pies, I was all in the mood for one and they didn’t have them until Wednesday! Because they cook them fresh, I was disappointed, but we’ll be back oh yes. They do however serve chips in spiral cones:
as Thorsson discovered to his delight.
That evening’s discussions kicked off with Professor X’s question of “What do you mean the Grove aren’t Happy Clappy Druids?” as it says on our website: http://www.groveofthecorieltauvi.org/
By that we mean that we don’t practice any ‘fluffy’ “all love is the word, all you need is love, let love flow through your chakras, your spirit and your nipples” BS. As Druids, we accept that Mother Nature has her beautiful and terrible sides. Yes there is beauty in a sunset or tranquility on a sea breeze, but we also recognise a Lioness will run down and tear a zebra to shreds for food, as well as the cyclone that rips through the land wreaking havoc on homes because we built them there in the first place. Nature is the spring dawning as well as the thunderstorm at sea. This doesn’t mean we are nice one minute and cruel the next, more that we accept that there are both good and bad days. Shit happens and Life is definitely not all “Love and Light”.
Danceswithweasels told us she has applied for a beer brewing course, of which I would love to be a guinea pig, good luck and tell us how you get on
Strider posed the question of “How did you all get into Druidry” to which there were many answers ranging from ‘It found me’, ‘I started off Christian’, to ‘It made more sense than another path’ and ‘It was either Druidry or Wicca’. Each of us had our own approach and yet we all recognised that yes, we could explore this path alone, but its a lot more fun to have others to explore it with.
Whilst Professor X was telling us about someone he knew who called upon the archetype of Star Trek’s Mr Spock (often confused with Dr. Spock a real life child psychologist by non-fans) when wanting to pass a physics exam, we discussed Chaos Magic. Which I think is a great way of breaking magic down to its truest form: Thought and control over matter. It seems there are two types of Chaos Magic, though I will be more than happy to admit I may be mistaken should any reader wish to enlighten us: Raw- drawing magic from any source and creating spirit based interfaces (archetypes) on anyone or thing (Star Trek characters, The Marx Brothers, Cthulhu, etc) as long as you focus your will and essence into it. A great sense of play is often essential to achieve Gnosis (state of altered consciousness once achieved then magical work can begin). Dramatic- Similar to Raw, only the focus is a lot more serious and can go into a “us vs. them” attitude in its angrier aspect. Dramatic is concerned with building up a whole arsenal of psychic self defence and weaponry (some spells are even designed for taking down other people’s defences and psychically draining the target, though this is more for attacking those who would definitely attack the caster, a “throw the first punch” if you will). There is no “good” and “evil” just intent, whether benign or malign.
Either method however still seems to conform to following the pattern of Western Magical Tradition: a circle is cast, spirits are invoked and a ritual aim is accomplished.
Again, I could be wrong, I myself have only read two books on the subject and am not trying to define what Chaos Magic is, rather give a glimpse into its world… The one thing I find especially fascinating with it is if the magician doesn’t really so much as talk to deities as create an interface with the cosmos for themselves, then this points to the possibility that we are in fact the creators of the outcomes we desire, we are ‘the gods’…
In matters less deep, Professor X was telling us about someone he knew who was writing their Book of Shadows in Lord Of The Rings Elvish- which Tatterhood misheard as ‘Elvis’ and opened up a barrel of laughs of its own: ‘Aw Yeah, Tha’s right boy, I’m Elrond, Hawhawyeeeaah, God bless you li’l ring-bearer!’
We even discussed the Druids Prayer, some of us use it, some of us don’t its purely a matter of preference, it doesn’t HAVE to be used. We also talked about is there such thing as a typical OBOD Grove? Are there any Groves out there who follow the rituals word for word, page for page, action for action? There probably are, and there are probably not, every one will have their own way of doing things. We for example tend to go by the book for the opening, calling peace, drawing and blessing the circle, chanting Awens, closing prayer (when we remember), but do this unscripted. This is because we feel everyone who wants to call a quarter or a blessing from a deity can do so from the heart and not worry about the next line on a page when its too dark… though even doing this ad lib can have its own problems: forgetting which direction we’re calling, the wrong ritual sequence, the wrong element invoked, etc.
Question is, will the three men return and join us for the “Autumn Mabonox?” -as Strider called it.