As I write this, it is early Sunday evening, and the setting sun is casting shadows through the trees onto the snow-covered lawn behind our home. I can appreciate the quiet, serene beauty of this scene, but at the same time I know it is several inches deep due to the recent snowstorms we’ve had, and I have no desire to go trudging out in it. It is warmer than usual today, and thankfully much of the snow is starting to melt…for now. Winter has not yet passed. We’ve had an unusual amount of snow this year, it was literally up to our knees. I am looking forward to the Spring Equinox.
A couple of weeks ago we escaped the winter weather and returned to Universal Orlando with two of our friends. This was our 6th or 7th visit there-I have truly lost count by now. We had a wonderful time, despite the fact that it rained much of the time we were there. I wished I had brought my Gryffindor robe along on this trip, because it was actually cool enough to wear it and be completely comfortable. Temperatures stayed in the 50’s and 60’s due to the cold weather front that extended down even into Florida. I don’t mind rain, especially in Hogsmeade, because it keeps the crowds away and adds a mystical atmosphere to the already magickal surroundings. I bought some new gloves to match the jacket and hat I bought there previously, and I also picked up that awesome Wizarding World track jacket.
Also while we were there, this happened…
As we were standing near Hagrid’s hut, my partner Matthew proposed to me, and gave me a beautiful pentacle engagement ring. I was surprised and of course, I said “Yes”. We’ve been together for 12 years and have always wanted to get married, but gay marriage isn’t legal yet here in Pennsylvania. We have considered going elsewhere to get married, but we aren’t sure if it would be recognized here in PA. Regardless, sooner or later, we will be married…somewhere. Here is the ring…
I am still studying Kristoffer Hughes’ book, From the Cauldron Born. I truly love this book, which is a lesson on how to apply the magickal aspects of Cerridwen’s cauldron and her sacred brew into one’s life. The Welsh legend of Cerridwen and Taliesin has had a powerful influence in my life for several years, and it is a story that I connect deeply with on many levels. While my personal path contains elements of both Modern and Old World Witchcraft, Spiritual Alchemy and the balance of Light/Dark, it is heavily Celtic-influenced. Much of my studies come from sources pertaining to Celtic wisdom and mystical lore. I wondered for awhile if I was really a “Druid-in-training”, because my beliefs seem to fit Druidry to the letter, but my practices are more in line with Witchcraft. Is there such a thing as a “Druid Witch” ? I don’t know. Philip Carr-Gorman has written a book, DruidCraft, which apparently explains the blend of Druidry and Witchcraft (two separate paths that some folks combine into one). I will be reading this one soon. I don’t really consider myself a druid. I’m just a Witch who draws primarily from Celtic sources, some of which happen to be druidic. Druidry is described as:
“a spiritual way and practice that speaks to three of our greatest yearnings: to be fully creative in our lives, to commune deeply with the world of Nature, and to gain access to a source of profound wisdom. Each of these yearnings comes from a different aspect of ourselves that we can personify as the Singer, the Shaman and the Sage. In Druidry, Bardic teachings help to nurture the singer, the artist or storyteller within us: the creative self; Ovate teachings help to foster the shaman, the lover of Nature, the healer within us; while the Druid teachings help to develop our inner wisdom: the sage who dwells within each of us” (from druidry.org, the official website for The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids).
Part of the Druid path is about preserving the ancient tales of Celtic myth and legend, not only learning them but internalizing them and applying their lessons to your life. This is something I have tried to do for many years. There seem to be many similarities between Druidry and Witchcraft: reverence for the Earth, the use of herbs, crystals and divinatory tools, ancestral wisdom, animal lore, etc, but there are differences as well. Many druids do not cast a circle or use the same tools that witches use. There are differing views regarding deity and divinity. In retrospect, I don’t think I could call myself a druid. I am fond of Druidry and I highly admire and respect those who follow the Druid path, as I share many of their beliefs, but in my heart, I am a Witch.
My Witchcraft practice just happens to contain several druidic elements, drawing much inspiration from Celtic lore and mysticism. One of the beautiful things about Witchcraft is that it is a living tradition. It is alive. (I’m sure the same could be said of Druidry). As Witches, we are free to bring our own uniqueness to our path, in a way that works best for each of us. Not in some willy-nilly ‘whatever’ eclectic sort of way, but in a way that encourages spiritual maturity, growth and magickal transformation.
For more information about Celtic wisdom and the Druid path, I recommend:
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Celtic Wisdom, by Carl McColman
Druid Magic, by Maya Magee Sutton and Nicholas R. Mann
Magic of the Celtic Otherworld, by Steve Blamires
Essential Guide to Druidism, by Isaac Bonewits & Philip Carr-Gorman