‘I have several lovely Tits…’ Glamorgan telling us about her feathered friends visiting her garden.
Are you ready? This is going to be a long one!
Last night’s meeting took place in Glamorgan’s beautiful and roomy house. She was a very gracious hostess and besides tea and coffee, provided us with red wine (I didn’t get drunk, I was well behaved), soup and Glamorgan sausages; the last two were home-made and very delicious they were too!
Once all assembled, we got chatting and discussed equinox and solstice rituals, even the subject of That picture which has caused much upset and controversy on the OBOD Facebook page. On the subject, the members of the Grove of the Corieltauvi present at the meeting all agreed it was a lot a fuss over nothing. We got the joke and it reminded us of Racquele Welch in the original 10,000 BC Movie. Luch Dorcha even asked “And what’s wrong with crusty old men with beards?”.
After we opened with blessings and Awens, Glamorgan quite rightly asked “Right, what are we doing then?” at which point I realised all eyes were on me… Shit. It was my own fault after all, I did respond to her email question of what was the theme for the meeting (Air), therefore I was responsible for chairing the meeting content. I hadn’t got a clue, I was happy with us all just sitting around and chatting as we hadn’t seen each other since the last meeting, and hadn’t seen Luch Dorcha and Glamorgan for months.
Not one to back down from a challenge, I skirted the issue and we all got chatting anyway as Glamorgan supplied us with pens and paper, until I could think of coming up with something ‘airy’ to talk about… cunning plan that.
Like the ending of ‘The Italian Job’, I declared ‘… I’ve an idea!’ It hit me as I was joking about us writing poetry (Luch Dorcha looked at me with growing panic and I confessed I can’t read people’s poetry anyway, I have to listen to it. I’m selfish that way), how about we all write down a question we would really like the answer to? And we can discuss that? Turns out that idea was a winner, it was a little bit like having the question cards, but these were questions we personally wanted to share.
Briseilid was the first after I kicked the ball back into her court, she asked if I was going to start, and in true G.O.C style of if you suggest it you do it, I felt obliged to respond with “No, YOU are.” Best thing was Glamorgan started bringing in the dinner she had prepared for us, so we all went around the dinner table and discussed the questions in a proper intellectual dinner fashion. Truth be told, we discussed Briseilid’s question before dinner, but I’m going to share with you, dear reader, what those questions are. Any answers I provide will be what I remember, if any of the members present of the meeting want to comment their own unique perspective (possibly remembering their own answers or even something I have forgotten) then please go ahead. Of course, YOU are also welcome to share your thoughts if anything we have said has stirred a response, just remember this isn’t Facebook and no arguing for the sake of it.
‘In ritual, what is the correct way of dismissing the quarters?’– Briseilid.
Briseilid apologised if this was a stupid question (no such thing, well, there is but this wasn’t one of them), but the reason she asked was because in some rituals we dismiss from the North first, or from the West.
Turns out its all up to the MC, a lot of people start dismissing from the North then work counter-clockwise. Although there are some in Druidry who believe that because we begin by greeting the East of the dawning sun, we should start the dismissal from the West of the setting sun. Both methods are right because it’s a way that allows our minds to affirm, in ritual, what part of the process in now complete.
‘What makes a place sacred?’ – Luch Dorcha
This throws out more questions in itself, are places already sacred? Or do we make them so? We discussed this for a long time, but we more or less agreed that it’s a little of both: There are places that call to us, it could be a patch of grass, a woodland or even a building of some kind (Glamorgan’s house for example was inhabited by her Grandparents when she was a young girl, as soon as it became available, it called to her) that for some unknown reason give us a compulsion to treat it as sacred. On the flip side of the coin there are places that become sacred, a church or a site of pilgrimage because ‘Our Blessed Mary stood here last Tuesday’ are normal places that become imbued with the belief of the people who go there, so it becomes sacred. As Briseilid pointed out: The Grove is another example, its on rented farm land but its sacred to us, would anyone who’s walking through it who doesn’t know there are Druids who meet there to perform there ceremonies treat it as sacred or feel the energy we put into the place? Stonehenge is another. It is sacred now, here in the present to Pagans and other spiritual types, to the public its just a bunch of stones at worst and a monument to our Neolithic ancestors at best. If anything the great stone circle was largely ignored and treated as a curiosity by the Middle ages, it didn’t become ‘sacred’ until William Stukeley in the 1700s extended upon John Aubrey’s idea that it could have been built by Druids. Of course now it’s a Mecca for the Modern Pagan movements every Midsummer (even if the Heel Stone greets the winter solstice in our present time).
One thing we all seemed to agree was just because a place is built to be sacred, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is. There are some churches in the world that don’t have one iota of ‘holiness’ or sacredness about them; and there are others where you can feel the love of the people who believe and feel what makes a sacred place for them.
‘Do the Gods exist?’ – Me.
Actually, this became more of a ‘what are they’ question. Since childhood, I have always been interested in ghosts and from the age of 9 until 19, I fully believed in one God, so I’ve always believed in something. Exploring Paganism, I discovered many more Gods and rejected the Christian concept of only one “True God”, save that for another blog. I went from believing in many Gods into believing there were no gods at all and we just made them up from our ancestors. However, since I started on the path of Druidry, I have come to accept there are in fact Gods. Of course what do I mean by a god? I DON’T mean a patriarchal figure who creates us for serving his own ego, neither do I mean there are bearded men and robed women in the sky treating us like game pieces (or should that be: like a World of Warcraft character?). What I mean by a god (I’m using this as a plural for a species, so if you’re upset I haven’t put ‘Goddess’, get over it.) is an intelligence that is beyond the physical and yet has an effect in our lives.
As we were talking about our experiences with the Gods, I suddenly thought: they are non-corporeal entities, the original conscious ‘children’ of the Earth; we are the physical version of that consciousness… Not quite sure where that came from, but that’s what actually makes sense to me.
I actually believe in the Gods, I believe they are beings beyond matter, time and space and we can only conceive of them as appearing human or animalistic because it’s the only way we can visualise them. They are there and sometimes want to communicate to us, even if we don’t recognise them or understand them. At other times they seem like we are background noise and carry on doing whatever they do when Humans aren’t bothering them.
I’m not going to write about this anymore as there is a LOT I want to write about them, so I’ll save it for another blog all by itself (soon!).
‘Can crystals heal people?’ – Cymro ap Arthan.
Cymro posed this question with a smooth and bumpy, pebble-shaped brown rock that he passed around the group, he was curious to see if we read anything from it, if at all. There were some of us who admitted to not working with crystals (I’m one of them, although I do have a few). Similar to the last meeting where we explored psychometry, we attempted to use our senses in order to draw information about the rock. I heard a ringing, rather like a singing bowl and the word ‘love’. LadyMorgana felt it was very powerful and asked if it came from the sea (yes it did), I don’t remember Glamorgan’s reaction, I think she just passed it on. Luch Dorcha admitted he never gets anything from rocks, trees are more effective for him. Briseilid broke it in two!
Only kidding! It actually comes apart to reveal beautiful white shiny crystals inside. Though it did mean the method that Cymro ap Arthan passed it onto me and me to LadyMorgana and so on, was deliberate so we wouldn’t find this out. Clever chap.
He went on to explain the stone actually saved someone’s life. I could go into detail, but it was a personal story he shared with us, so if he ever reads this and wants to write about it, he can.
In answer to his question, yes. It appears crystals can heal people, whether this is a power they have, or if it’s a placebo effect, either way an effect can be seen.
After that we got excited with Glamorgan’s grinding stone and flint spear-head and determining what we could receive from them.
I felt it was a very good meeting as everyone was involved. Great debate was had and many thoughts were shared. I’m only sorry we ran out of time before LadyMorgana and Glamorgan could ask their questions. Maybe next time.