Sunday, October 4, 2015

Wheel of Wonder October 4, 2015

The Wheel in which I find the most Wonder is the Celtic Wheel of the Year.  Staying in tune with the cycles of the seasons and all their different energies helps many people, myself included find a sense of meaning and movement in their lives.  Thinking about the way we feel as so many people sharing this yearly dance around the sun, how does our energy feel at different times of the year?  Do we love bicycling on a brisk spring day?  Do we feel that we are more in tune with a sacred, life-giving Earth as we plant our flowers and tend our gardens, helping in the hand of creation as we watch food and flowers grow?  During the bright Summer days do we feel more awake and active, enjoying the outdoors and all the activities we can pursue outside, or do we prefer those cozy nights by the fireplace or in our warm and welcoming homes while our friends and family come to visit?  Perhaps you have a preference for skiing through the silent snow, or the crunch of colorful leaves under your feet and the invigorating chill of an autumn hike?  Perhaps you like all of these!  All these experiences lead us ultimately to CONNECTION, either with the earth or other people.  With an open awareness of the realms of spirit and mind it seems like one can feel their inherent life energy moving from the outgoing to the inward turning as they fully experience their life in the changing of the seasons.  To me, all of these moments we engage in our lives are contained within the change of energy and the change of  seasons represented by the Wheel of the Year, especially when I complete the equation with the many holidays of the neo-pagan calendar designed to celebrate solstices, equinoxes, and  those cross quarter days between the change of seasons.
Wheel of Wonder is broadcast across the airwaves from a 4 year university, or state college here in the northwest corner of North America. Every complete sun cycle, or about the start of the new academic year here, I run Wheel of Wonder's foundational episode "the Celtic Wheel of the Year."  This was my weekend to bring these ideas forward to the listeners choosing to live their lives in this way, and to new listeners interested in hearing how other people can think about the cycles of the year in this way.  This weekend was also for those seekers and scholars who might be  interested in understanding the truth behind the pagan point of view. The change of seasons affects all of us where we live.  Some may dread the coming of winter with its ice and snow, some may dread the heat and drought of summer sunshine.  Being deeply in tune, mentally and spiritually, with the change of the seasons, not separate from them, can make these transitions easier. Many people could benefit from understanding how modern earth spiritualists and indigenous faiths have understood these changes we humans have experienced from time immemorial.  Ultimately, we are all, every one of us, people of this earth, living together in this amazing dance around our sun!

I also wish to offer a HUGE thank-you to all those who started or renewed their memberships with KAOS during last week's pledge drive!  Its only through that support that KAOS can justify continuing to offer the sort of free-form, non-commercial radio that allows shows like Wheel of Wonder to stay on the air.  Thanks again!
------Radio Ray

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Wheel of Wonder September 20, 2015

Today we celebrated the coming of the autumnal equinox on Wheel of Wonder!  Mabon, Alban Elfed, Mea'n Fo'mhair, Autumn Equinox, depending on your beliefs and traditions is the time of the second harvest, and the celebration of the physical "food" harvest as well the harvest ing time for what you've learned , and how to use it.  The Autumn mist seems to lend itself easily to bringing one into that reflective, inward space, where we think about what we've experienced in the course of this year.  Of course the Autumn vistas painted upon our eyes by the deciduous trees and their brilliant leaves also play their part in coloring the world , so at least we can have a moment to take in the beauty of this earth, that too is a harvest in and of itself.  Mabon is the name of the lost child of the old goddess Modron, recovered from the underworld by King Arthur and his men in the mythic Welsh poem Preiddeu Annwn, a story of a shamanic journey, often attached to the story the  Culhwch and Olwen.  MAbon represents the return from the inner space of the soul or shamanic journey with wisdom and grace to become a better person in the world.  It is in that pursuit of wisdom that we see "Seven and Arthur " return from the underworld with.  A harvest of Wisdom.  Today we also had a guest on Wheel of Wonder;  Stefanie, a practicing Druid from the OBOD group of Seattle, WA. and she would be someone I've met in the course of the past year, a woman of wisdom, I was glad to have on the show at this time of harvest.  Moving along the course of the Wheel of the Year, brings us to a place of slowing down, and thinking, after we consider what wisdom we've harvested over the past year, and what "seeds we've planted"  in the lives of ourselves and others that did not come to fruition, as well as those that have...we truly reap what we sow in this life.  Shall we approach things differently in the coming year?  During this time of moving our lives indoors when necessary, and celebrating the holidays with friends and family, we have plenty of time to think about what we can do and what we have done with this brief part of our incarnation in this world.......HAPPY HARVEST!  Enjoy the journey

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Wheel of Wonder September 13, 2015

As the Summer begins its annual spin into the beauty of Autumn, I find myself back in the familiar fields, hills and forests of home, excited for another turn around the sun on Wheel of Wonder. Autumn is finally beginning to roll in to the Northwest, the leaves are changing into their colorful autumn gowns ready to dance 'til they fall down as we celebrate the bounty of the season.
The vine maple already carry the festive blush of fall and the nights are cooler and longer.
I face the coming darkness as a crucible of change, not as a shroud of cold and shadow, but as a place to slow down, reflect upon the knowledge reaped in the courses of the passing year so I can proceed to build anew.
At the completion of our sharing information about climate change, I began to share the inward journey, so much a part of the darker half of the year exploring Celtic Shamanism.  John Matthews' book "Taliesin: The Last Celtic Shaman" (1991 aquarian press) and Robert Moss' book "Active Dreaming" are good reads to help understand these ideas.  I hope you caught some of them on Wheel of Wonder.
As we go forward into the coming year, I hope to bring you the perspectives of modern, practicing pagans covering everything from earth spirituality and its place in this world, to native american belief systems, and even pagan prison based ministry through up and coming guests on Wheel of Wonder.  I also have 2-3 more musicians/groups ready to join us on the show to share their music and viewpoints and all because of people starting and renewing memberships with this not for profit radio station that let's me bring them to you:
Wheel of Wonder is intended to be place to share unique music and ideas, so I hope you catch it at, on "Radio Free America", or on your smart phone at "Sound Tap" or "Tune In" I love having access to the Internet and independent media.  I hope you do too, and will support its continuing to be available to seekers everywhere.
--Radio Ray

The images above are a picture of Cascade Pass by Ed Farell and an Illustration of/inspired by musician Autumn Rayne by Derek Emmons

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Wheel of Wonder August 19, 2015

Having returned from a wonderful bit of traveling , off to the barrier islands of the Carolinas, to visit Sea Turtle and Shorebird Sanctuaries, I couldn't help but consider Human impacts on the Earth's Natural Systems.  We Humans with our Post-Industrial hubris are just beginning to understand the negative impacts our actions, our consumerism, and our arrogance are having on Mother Earth.  Some have already learned these lessons and try desperately to share their knowledge with others, but have to shout out so loudly to be heard over the clamor of greed, acquisitiveness, and the grinding gears of the miltary-industrial machine that their voices are carried away from the ears of those who need to hear them.
Pleasantly, Humans are an adaptive species and some good has come from those who listen to their conscience, and even the reputed consciousness of the land, more of a reality for some than for others.  These latter folks can and will take action in this world to help nature adapt, at the same time as they themselves do, to keep the precious natural life cycles of the Earth continuing in perpetuity, for they know if the Earth's Natural Systems suffer so do the animals, plants and Humans.
Among the Atlantic coast of North America's barrier islands are turtle and shorebird sanctuaries, salt marshes, and beach dunes.  At the same time that these ecosystems mitigate flooding and damage from the onslaught of hurricane force winds and rain they also offer habitat and breeding grounds for so much wildlife.  Greedy, acquisitive people will want to build their fancy beach houses (beach MANSIONS really) on stilts within the dunes, and sometimes they will be disciplined for their arrogance by Mother Nature, as she tears down their strong, colossal houses, which are less than twigs to her, then often they will build them again.  But within those barrier islands there are areas were building is not allowed, and the normal, natural systems take place smoothly, year after year.  Some bird sanctuaries thrive in these locations, and as a low impact visitor, we Humans can not only enjoy a beautiful beach, but the beauty of the flying ones as well.  Do you hear the language of birds?  Its carried on the wind....

 Sea Turtles first great challenge is to dig their way out from under the beach sand after they have hatched, and then race for the sea, guided by the moon.  Many things want to eat them on the way to their new home in the deep and blue, only one in 10,000 actually make it.  This year on the full moon of Lughnasadh I was at a turtle sanctuary were 108 of them hatched and dug their way to the surface, trying to follow the song of the sea to their new home.  All the people in their massive houses did agree to turn off their porch lights so the turtles could follow the moon to the sea and not the flood light into the dunes where ghost crabs would eat them. A veritable wall of people surrounded that nest and did all they could, in the moonlight to keep the turtles from straying off course, so they could make it to the sea.  All turtles survived and swam out to where their adventure begins.  We as Humans can also be good stewards of the plants, animals and environment. and we can protect the earth for the future as well!  We must take action, and try very hard to hear the song of nature still singing within the trees, the breeze, the ground and the air and use our knowledge to improve the future of this planet, and leave an equally beautiful place for our children, grandchildren, and the children of our friends living on the land, in the sky, and under the sea.

This week on Wheel of wonder I'll begin a series of shows focused on Climate Change, due to Human pollution and ignorance and strategies and actions that can be taken, and are even now being taken to protect the Earth and all the natural systems she is the architect of, that support and feed us so we can continue to live on this wonderful planet surrounded by awe-inspiring beauty and the hope that life continues.  Blessed Be

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Wheel of Wonder July 12, 2015----Just before I hit the road for a spell

Summer can get busy, and this summer has offered me many a crossroad to follow, choices are amazing, but have kept me from the blog.
These days among earth spiritualists we have Neo-Pagan, Neo-Shamanic, and even Neo-Druidic pathways.  These living traditions are, in their own way re-defining the way they express the roots of their faith.  There is some looking through the mists into the distant past involved in these neo-creations (or, re-creations)but rather than a wistful gazing into history, or a better time, they are focused instead on becoming living, breathing, and pertinent spiritual paths for the 21st century.
Today on Wheel of Wonder the focus is on Neo-Druidism, often referred to as simply "Druidry"
One of the common origins for most modern Druidry, is the romanticist era of culture and arts (circa 1800 to about 1850).  As Wikipedia puts it:
"Defining the nature of Romanticism may be approached from the starting point of the primary importance of the free expression of the feelings of the artist. The importance the Romantics placed on emotion is summed up in the remark of the German painter Caspar David Friedrich that "the artist's feeling is his law".[9] To William Wordsworth, poetry should begin as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings," which the poet then "recollect[s] in tranquility," evoking a new but corresponding emotion the poet can then mould into art.[10] In order to express these feelings, it was considered that the content of the art needed to come from the imagination of the artist, with as little interference as possible from "artificial" rules dictating what a work should consist of. Samuel Taylor Coleridge and others believed there were natural laws which the imagination, at least of a good creative artist, would unconsciously follow through artistic inspiration if left alone to do so.[11] As well as rules, the influence of models from other works was considered to impede the creator's own imagination, so that originality was essential. The concept of the genius, or artist who was able to produce his own original work through this process of "creation from nothingness", is key to Romanticism."
For some of the people of Britain, this included returning to the inspiration of the Bards of Antiquity , and the Druids that held positions of importance in the Iron Age.  The word "Bard" itself is said to have hailed from Gaul in the Iron Age. The BDO, ADF, and even the OBOD are good examples of organizations that support and define what modern Druidry is.
Finding out about these Romanticist origins that make up part of the modern movement is very interesting.  In the later 20th century however, this movement began placing a much greater focus on Celt Pagan belief systems, animism and what historical accuracy can be gleaned from the work of modern day archaeologists it has been a very interesting journey I invite you to investigate yourself.  I covered some of this on Wheel of Wonder today.
Next week I'll be on the road though, so I've suggested to Miss Melissa (host of Cottleston Pie on KAOS) that she may want to look at the romantic movement of the early 19th century and explore the origins of its art and poetry and the impact these have had on our modern culture.  Other voices and ideas will follow her for the next few weeks.  I expect to be back on Wheel of Wonder near Lughnasadh.  Summer blessings to you all!

For the images above, I photographed the mask in the garden, The Bards of Caer Pugetia logo belongs to a Seattle, WA. based group of Bards, and the "Ancient Druid" was designed by S.R. Meyrick and C.H. Smith in 1815.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Wheel of Wonder May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!  Mother's Day was originally started after the Civil War, as a protest to the carnage of that war, by women who had lost their
sons. Here is the original Mother's Day Proclamation from 1870


Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!

Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by
irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking
with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be
taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach
them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another
country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From
the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says "Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance
of justice."

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons
of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a
great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women,
to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the
means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each
bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a
general congress of women without limit of nationality may be
appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at
the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the
alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement
of international questions, the great and general interests of

Julia Ward Howe

Let's get back to what Mother's day was meant for in the first place!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Wheel of Wonder May 3, 2015

Happy Beltane!  Beltane is usually recognized as falling on May 1st, just as MayDay.
May Day is the workers holiday to commemorate how far  Labor unions and Organized workers have brought us, away from the inhumane treatment they received from wealthy business (Factory and Mine) owners in the past.  Unfortunately not every group of workers can Unionize, so some are still mistreated, even in the USA in its "Right to Work" states.  "Right to Work" status is just political talk for "We make it harder for you to unionize, so we can underpay you and give you no benefits or retirement!" Strange thing about economies the only real product economies have are that which is physical, which can be held, and the pool of laborers that have created through their efforts.  "Currency" is at its core, just a symbol of wealth, backed by governments accepting it as such.  Capitalism  of course, will often have a tendency to prioritize these data records, and colorful papers called currency over actual Human rights!  Hooray for May Day, to keep this fresh in our minds!
Beltane however, is a celebration of the return of sunshine and springtime, and the birth of flowers, the budding trees, and the singing birds that remind us what it is to be truly alive.  The very land itself shares with us a symphony of fresh scents and birdsong to enjoy in our dance of life.  Mythically speaking Beltane is also the time when the May Queen returns and engages the Forest King in the Great Rite (SEX people, love-making) to ensure the health of the land , and to reinforce, through the May Queens and Forest Kings inside us, why life is so enjoyable! IT is also a good time for divination, they say the spirit world is closer at hand, and for finding the Feminine and Masculine aspects in all of us, these principles of Intuition and Action and bring them into closer union in order to complete our great work on this world.  Again, Happy Beltane!
Sadly, we couldn't hook up with Malachi, our scheduled guest, today, but hopefully he will join us with his poetic work in the near future.