Through my weekly radio show, I strive to create a medium for pagan, and spiritually progressive voices. Mainstream media has neglected these bards, great thinkers, and earth spiritualists. Yet their ideas, stories and songs can help us better understand the connections between earth as sacred entity and living sustainably amongst ourselves and our environment. I hope you enjoy listening to these ideas, philosophies, songs and stories as much as I enjoy sharing them with you.
Everyone has a place they call home, and even as they travel many can feel it calling them back again. Some will change their place of living, or seek out their ancestral lands, move there. Most will still feel the call of the place where they defined themselves as people, its part of their identity. I think all places have a unique energy , a unique sort of song, that I think, is the voice of the Spirit of place. Perhaps that is what, in part inspires poetry and song. Yet there is still another level to the experience when we feel connected to that special place, because it is beautiful, because it is part of our life, it occurs when we step into stewardship, the honoring of that special place. Then we are required to be brave and all of our actions should be considered in terms of the impact we have on that place, and how other people feel about that place, how they are inspired to protect it. I think this is another step towards the deep Magick of being in relationship with spirits of place. That loving, yet incessant calling that brings us back home into a good relationship with nature, and through that compassion, helps our spirits to evolve and grow. Conscious evolution is one of the greatest benefits of living on this earth. Enjoy the forests, rivers, trees, sunrises and sunsets of the place you call home. Walk in beauty, live in joy, listen for the song of the spirits.
Earth my Body
Water my Blood
Air my Breath and
Fire my Spirit
Ah yess.....hello again friends! My naturalist work, as you'll see listed in my profile, has kept me out and about, often in the wilderness, and away from the computer for any reason besides interpretive research and development. Now as we head into the dark time of the year, I look forward to adding to and updating this venue as the wheel of the seasons turns. Most people understand Samhain is the name of the original Celtic holiday modern Halloween is descended from. The costumes are similar to the mumming and guising traditions of people dressing as the sidhe, the spirits of the dead and often other faerie folks both seelie and unseelie (nice and not nice) in order to collect tributes and offerings in order to receive blessings or protections from the spirits of the fay. Further, food was often collected so you could invite the spirits of your ancestors to a Samhain feast if they were lost or suffering and to pay tribute to them for all the good things they brought to your family during their years of living.
Mummers would sing songs, tell stories. show parlor tricks, or share prose as they traveled door to door to collect the tributes. Wouldn't it be nice to have "Trick or Treaters" come to your door on Halloween night and share something with you besides a "Trick or Treat?" I certainly don't feel deeply moved to give offerings for my protection or to honor fictitious superheroes or disney characters! Chances are if you have kids familiar with consumer culture you've already made offerings of money to the creators of these fictions.
Samhain is believed to be one of those times of the year when the veil, the separation between this world and the world of the spirits is thinner than is normal and a fine night for divining the future and connecting with the spirits of one's ancestry and of the past. This Samhain it is a night of the new moon, if one does new moon rituals, it may be easier to ask for help in achieving something through ceremony and magic! But don't get lost in the underworld or faerieland. Shamans and Druids may see Samhain as a night were it is easy to travel between this world and the otherworld, all or at least most should be sure to ground and center before attempting contact with the spirit world. It is a thrilling night for people who hold these belief systems close to their heart and spirit. Some will say it is the best night to confront your shadowself , hear its beliefs and understand it and how it can help you through your challenges in life, leaving you free through the coming new year to benefit from the wisdom of darkness, without allowing your darker side to overtake or overrule your better nature.
May your beliefs lead you to wisdom and may your truth burn its way through the fog of confusion, continuing to light the along your journey. Blessed be.
First picture from elfwood. Second picture Samhain by midnightstouch both from DeviantArt
Those who are three generations removed from their Irish or Scottish Roots and are living in another country are among the Diaspora. Diaspora are people who have been, or are fairly closely related to those that have been displaced from the Mother Country of their ancestors, and are living in other parts of the world. This usually comes from the ravages of War, a bad economy, or these days maybe a changing climate. They or their Grandparents had to leave the Mother Country or die.
The Jacobite revolution played a very key role in the Irish/Scottish Diaspora experience. Unsurprisingly, so did Capitalism.
The Jacobites and their Anglo-Saxon allies who wished to own other people's property declared it illegal for any non-Protestant to own property or hold Political office, and with the help of the Frenchman, William of Orange and his Army, successfully put down a rebellion against this law, and forcibly took the traditional property of the Catholic Celts and effectively destroyed the Clan and Tribe system of Scotland. The Highland Clearances in Scotland came out of these policies. Celts were considered a lesser race by the arrogant Anglo-Saxons, and generations of suffering have come out of this displacement.
Those of us now in America, cast adrift from our ancestral, traditional and sacred lands, feel this most keenly. Many of us are spiritually drifting or lost as a result of it. We do not need these lands returned, we're Americans now with our own property, some of the time. The point of this observation is that Government sanctioned Genocide and property theft is not something that is done by whites to folks that aren't white, this is a recurring pattern across ethnicity, and across the whole of the Human Race. We as a Human race should stand together in spirit and action and say "No more of this!" Its been happening for many hundreds of years and its time we matured beyond it as we enter the Aquarian Age.
The picture above is a picture of the Famine memorial in Dublin, Ireland.
The Interview with Ginger Doss went well, She is an outspoken, strong, and deeply spiritual person. As of this writing you can still here Wheel of Wonder, and the Interview, on Radio Free America. check out her site and Music here.
With Lughnasadh/Lammas behind us, until it returns again, the Wheel of the Year turns steadily along. How do we experience the first harvest of summer if we are not living the agrarian lifestyle? Perhaps it is in the changes that have occurred in our lives over the past and passing year? John Barleycorn is transformed into Bread, Mead and Ale through fire and pain, dissolution and transformation. That is the alchemy of the season. Perhaps the sacred fire of the burning wicker man, is also the fire of transformation, if we carry that idea, that energy within us, take it home from the ritual, if we attended one, it can inform our decisions for the up and coming year. I sacrificed to the wicker man. I sacrificed fear and aversion to change, I hope the sacred fire that I feel burn within me leads down the path of change. Not to end Wheel of Wonder and the Wheel of Wonder blog, but perhaps to deepen our mutual experience of it. Its a matter of facing changes in our lives with hope, or with fear, as we have free will the choice is always ours. That is the first harvest I've been feeling the presence of as this year draws to a close. I hope everyones life will see some improvements as we look forward to our further harvests and Samhain, followed by the darker half of the new year. I've heard the ancient Celts had always said the new day begins at the setting of the sun. We stumble through the darkness a spell, until the new light of a new day clarifies the experience that day has to offer!
Next week on Wheel of Wonder I look forward to interviewing Ginger Doss, Pagan Musician and Music Director for the Church of the Mind in Fayetteville. Check out This Video on YouTube if you'd like! Or visit her website via the sidebar.
Happy Lughnasadh. It is the time of the first harvest of summer and the sacrifice of the god of the grain, the oak king. What wisdom do you feel you can harvest from your experiences this year? Have you felt the need to sacrifice anything for the greater good of yourself or your community? Or
do you just love running around in the sun and eating wild berries? Many people experience this time of Lammas differently. In a way perhaps its all a first harvest, a harvest of experiences and memories. What are people but their memories within their physical bodies anyway?
Lughnasadh is also a celebration of the bread and the death of John Barleycorn symbolized in the scything or harvesting of the grain. "John Barleycorn must die!" is so true if we are to see him as an embodiment of all the edible plants we need to harvest or transform into food so we can live. That's what John Barleycorn (An aspect of the god figure, the Green Man) sacrifices himself for, the continuance of Human life.
After he dies he heads to the dark underworld, to face his challenges, his kingdom, or pact, he made with the goddess before he can be born again. The underworld has oft been described in tales as the prison for the dead. Today on the Lughnasadh show of Wheel of Wonder we talk with a Druid by name of Moss, who works in prison Ministry. A clear and present darkness, or some may say "self-induced lease to the underworld," prison, where people must meet and defeat their personal demons to learn and rehabilitate before being born again. It seems an appropriate situation from which to see and learn the meaning of the Lughnasadh season. I am thankful to Moss who chose to sit and talk with me about his efforts, insights and victories as a person in Pagan Prison Ministry. Happy Lughnasadh!
Although the Wheel of Wonder blog remained quiet for June and most of May, Wheel of Wonder is still broadcasting weekly on KAOS 89.3fm in Cascadia. Summers can get busy. I hope you enjoyed many episodes. I'm just back from the road, staying at another Sea Turtle Sanctuary, as I often do in the Summer. Not much to report back about the hatching of baby turtles, unlike last year when 110 of the creatures crawled out of the sand beneath the light of their first full moon. As a Naturalist, I've been enjoying learning and sharing information about the beaches of the wild Pacific Northwest Coastline, most especially in the area of the Salish Sea.
The beaches of
the Salish Sea
appear very rocky, barnacle
ridden and desolate. But they are an incredible cauldron of cold tides and
abundant, resilient life.
One can spend many hours exploring them. For an Earth Spiritualist, Ecologist, Biologist, or Bard, they offer many opportunities for stewardship and stories.
As the Wheel turns, we've passed the Summer Solstice, at which time I had the wonderful opportunity to join the local Sacred Fire Community for ritual. The theme of the evening was sacrifice. Sacrifice of bad habits and things that restrain you from becoming your best self and an asset to your community. As we move forward to Lughnasadh, this idea of sacrifice stays with me, through the dramatic reenactment of the death of the corn king, manifested in the harvesting of wheat and the baking of the bread and brewing of the mead. It also stands with me in the burning of the Wicker Man, the effigy that holds all the unwanted thoughts, going up in smoke. It will also drift through my consciousness in the falling of the Oak leaves to nourish the ground, though I realize I wont see the poetry of that dance until we are closer to Autumn. I hope your summer has been adventurous and educational as well, and may you find a fitting sacrifice of an old, bad habit to improve your life in the coming year!