Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pagan and Christian Theology In Dialogue

Answering Eric...

On Facebook I've been discussing the question of whether Christ's resurrection proves his theological ideas. That is, if we can assume that the Gospel accounts are true in the facts of the events – that Jesus was killed on the cross and rose again from death – does that amount to evidence that the theological opinions of Christianity are true? I take the basic position that it does not. Magical power (which is what would allow a spiritual practitioner to rise from the dead) arises in any and every religion. It does not depend on having a correct doctrine and is not evidence of doctrinal accuracy. The conversation has been ongoing, and the OP recently posted a long answer to my objections. Rather than type in FB's annoying boxes I'm doing this here, and linking to it. OP in italic, which begins by quoting a previous post of mine:

You said, "I reject the basics of the claims of Christ - One God, accountability to a creator, inherent unworthiness, the need for a savior etc.
The Bible is plainly inadequate as a source of religious philosophy for me, since I reject its basic premises.
Whether or not some guy whose stories got into the bible really lived or rose from the dead isn't very important compared to the plain falseness of the basic premises.
It's not possible to reason one's way to Christ, and I have no faith in him."

The entirety of Christianity is based on that single event of the Resurrection. Either it happened or it didn't. In finding the historicity of it, the after theological effects have to be taken out firsthand, to weigh "Didithappenornot." Then, if the guy did claim to be God, and did live to tell the tale of His death, then that would mean a whole lot.

Fist, I would say that it is entirely impossible to know with certainty, through scholarship, whether the Gospel accounts are literally true. No scholar is capable of providing that proof – it simply does not exist. There is a total lack of corroboration for the gospel accounts outside of the gospels. As we have said before, there is an element of coincidence in all of this. The writers of the gospels didn't intend for their work to become part of some single corpus called “the bible”. If any other ancient figure had as many 'books' (i.e. accounts) written about them historians would have no trouble assuming that that figure was historically present. That's why I reject the atheist folklore about Jesus being entirely a literary construction. It is plain that there was a historical guy on whose life and work the gospel stories are in some way based.

However the details of historical accounts from 2,000 years ago are in every case foggy. Did Caesar's assassination happen as described? Historians might say 'probably', but they don't have the basis to say 'yes it happened' with certainty. Political motivations, bad memory, transcription errors – all these apply to Roman history as surely as to scripture. As we have also said, the difference is that nobody's salvation depends on the work of historians. “Close enough for speculation” is close enough for real scholarship, because that's all that can be had. As you have said, it is not good enough for Christian doctrine.

So, it is simply impossible to be certain that the resurrection happened by examining the historical documents. The tales in those documents were denied from the outset by local observers, including the Judean authorities. There is no independent corroboration. Since scholarship will simply never (barring some remarkable new data) be able to prove or disprove the events it then becomes a matter of faith, not of reason or of history, whether one believes that Jesus rose from the Dead.

The resurrection cannot be proven to have happened. Neither can Caesar's assassination, the existence of Socrates or of Gautama Buddha. So, we shall set that aside, and return to theology, where the discussion really lies?

I strongly ask you not to appeal to consequences of belief. Believing in the Holocaust would mean that there have been, and may still be, evil people in the world, and I would rather not believe that. That does not detract from the historicity of what happened. Turns out, it did, so my "philosophy" has to follow like suit [after weighing all else of what I know as truth].

I'm not interested in the consequences of believing in indistinct historic events. It makes no difference to the world whether or not some wonder-worker in Palestine (or India, or Greece) beat death. I am concerned about the consequences of adopting specific doctrinal positions. Doctrinal positions are opinions, and opinions influence both the internal life of the believer and the believer's behavior in the world. Thus I find the doctrine of the reprobate nature of humankind to lead only to ill, and to be unworthy of adoption. Without reprobation there is little need for vicarious atonement, and thus little relevance to whether or not Jesus rose from the dead.

1) You tell me that the basic premises are plainly false. One God, accountability to a Creator, inherent unworthiness, the need for a Savior, etc. --How do you know that these premises are just plain false? What would lead you to know otherwise?

My examination of the world as it is tells me that there is no One God. When one examines the natural occurance of the divine inside human culture one plainly sees a multitude of beings who receive worship and give good blessings in turn. Jesus is no more likely to heal the body or the heart than are the gods of Hinduism or of Voodoo. Nothing in the history or ideas of Christianty sets it apart as superior to other religions of humanity, or as more likely to be true. Thus the One God doctrine falls by simple obervation of reality.

As to a 'creator', science sees no need for one, and most world religions do not tell of any single being whose will and work made the cosmos. In most mythic descriptions of the origins of cosmos we see groups of beings working together to make the world. Simply put, I see no need or reason for a single creator to exist, and no evidence for such a thing.

Inherent unworthiness is more complicated. Obviously humans are capable of good deeds and ill deeds. The measure of those deeds vary from culture to culture – there is no such thing as a universal or natural morality, rather all moral systems are products of human culture, plainly shaped by specific historical epochs. Thus I doubt that any omnipotent being created any of them.

Inherent unworthiness rests on the notion of the absolute moral purity and perfection of the 'God' of the system. If salvation depends on reconciliation with the creator, and the creator will not abide any impurity or imperfection, then no human can be naturally good enough to come into the realm of the creator. However the creator is also all-loving, and desires that all humans be saved if possible. This is just one of the many irrationalities and contradictions imposed by the demand for monotheism. Must I recite the common-sense refutation? “God made humans, but allowed them to be seduced to fall, giving them no inherent sense of right and wrong. He then cursed them and their world after they fell at the hands of his angel. He then arranged to be born among them and sacrificed, so that he wouldn't have to destroy them all for the error that he allowed (or caused) to happen.” Just too silly to be taken seriously, imo. Yes, I understand the various arguments about free will that are brought to mitigate the foolishness – they are inconvincing.

Here again observation of reality shows that moral purity is not required for experience of the divine. Spiritual experience comes to every kind of person, whether through the effort of practice or randomly by fate. Thieves, whore-chasers, drunkards, murderers have all reported the experience of the divine. This leads me to believe that one's moral condition is only vaguely related to spirituality.

You may have noticed that much of my reasoning is based on the notion that nature is a more reliable depiction of the divine than is special revelation. Since I don't believe that the world is fallen I think that it is right and true as we find it, and we can best know the divine by observing nature, both extra-human and human.

The need for a savior arose out of Hellenic eschatology. In Hellenic Paganism the common dead became empty shades, wandering the world hoping for a taste of the sacrifices. In order to have a more pleasant afterlife in the Elysian Fields one had to be admitted by a deity. Persephone and Dionysos were those most commonly called 'soter' (savior). A very few truly nasty offenders (mostly offenders against the dignity of a god) might be sent to 'Tartarus' and there be creatively and poetically punished. Christian eschatology combined this model with a more dire punishment for those who failed to gain salvation. In a model where the choice was complete salvation or total condemnation every non-Christian or failed Christian was thought to be exiled from Gods presence into what Jesus described as the 'outer darkness' where there would be 'weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth'.

I find all of this so unlikely as to be false. (Incidentally,so did early Christians, who invented 'purgatory' for those who had some misdeeds but still rated eventual salvation.) The gods are not, themselves, morally perfect and do not require moral perfection for successful communion. Obviously the Old Testament God is not morally perfect – he mandates slaughter and rapine, sets brother against brother and generally acts as if he's above his own law (the issue of whether God is constrained by his own laws is another deep irrationality in monotheism.)

2) If Jesus really did rise from the dead, would that affect the truth of these premises?

I'd say not much. If I were alive when such a thing happened it would certainly pique my curiosity. Being a seeker of spiritual wisdom and power I would almost certainly have sought out Christians to find out what was up with this sect of wonderworkers. However I'm also fairly sure that I would have found the claims as irrational and unlikely then as I do now (as did most people in those days).

I have been a seeker of spiritual things throughout my life. I have known the gods and spirits in vision, been escorted through their realms and helped to bring their might into the world. Theologically I consider the divine to be inherent in my personal spirit – an intrinsic divine spark that grants me spiritual freedom as well as the potential for greater development. Thus I consider myself as fit to judge the claims of Jesus as anyone else, and I find them wanting, whether or not he had developed a pile of spiritual power of his own.

Incidentally, for my favorite model of who the historical Jesus might have been I recommend Morton Smith's “Jesus the Magician”. It sets Jesus' life and work firmly in the context of the spiritual practices of his day. As context, Smith was a member of the Jesus Seminar.

3) What are you basing as reliable truth for your counters to these claims (i.e. no gods or multiple gods, no accountability, no need for salvation...)

As stated, the observation of nature, which I consider more reliable than special revelation.We could throw in the general philosophy of pre-Christian and non-Christian spiritual practitioners, such as Iamblichus, Hindu Tantrics and traditional Chinese Paganisms.

4) ... Inherent unworthiness: if God truly exists and made mankind (let alone, in His image), then it was worth it to God to make us. The cost/benefit of making mankind must have been more favorable to God than to not make mankind. Further, to send His Son to be that propitiation--"you have been bought with a price"--, then God places INCREDIBLE worth on His children.

You make a pretty good case based on the words of scripture. However isn't all that based on God's love for mortals, not on our inherent worthiness of his love? Doesn't it all come down to grace? To me, grace is in every way inferior to will.

... ... I would ask you to replace your concept of inherent unworthiness with "Total Inability." Our self-caused rebellion/pride/sin/transgression distances us spiritually from God. This pride, this sin, tears us away from seeing Him, enjoying Him, and walking with Him as we were designed. We have incredible worth, but we are to blame for tainting that worth. Christ the LORD Himself rectified this. Whether He rose or didn't rise is crux to our relationship with this supposed God. The need for a Savior is not to suddenly make us have a different design or Creator, but to restore that very worth that we were purposed for.

This is based on the mythic premises of scripture, which I reject. We might make a case for the historicity of Jesus, maybe even for the apparent resurrection. Surely you don't intend to make a case for the historicity of the Eden account?! As I said above, the premises of the Eden tale are just too silly to even consider. I simply don't believe in a fallen nature, either human or in the rest of the material world. The world is whole and holy as it is, and this is what we must live in and deal with. There is no escape, and nowhere to escape to.

I believe that the result of living well as a human is wisdom, love and power. We don't need to have these 'granted' to us by a deity. We are inherently capable of knowing the divine, inherently capable of growing in understanding and compassion, inherently part of the holy Order of the Worlds. Any belief system that attempts to separate us from the world can only separate us from truth, and from our better nature.

Monday, June 18, 2012

New Temples for Old Gods

This is the old configuration of the Nemeton, with simple Fire,
Well & Tree. By the end of last year the offering shaft was so
full that we had to start by digging it our again. The soil and
depositions from the shaft went to build up the central mound.
It's a busy season for Nemeton building. We just finished a round of improvements in the Brushwood nemeton, and are preparing to take a set of Earth Mother and Gatekeeper idols to Wisteria to begin a new Nemeton there during Starwood. However I am totally pleased at the work that our Grove accomplished this weeked on the nemeton here at Tredara.

The Earth Mother image.
This was the original EM from
 the Brushwood Nemeton, made
by myself.

The Keeper of Gates. This method
of using tooling-copper to make
features for post-idols works
really well.

The nemeton is located in the back corner of our place, surrounded by woods, and it has developed a very nice vibe over the 15 years or so that we have worked blessing there. We have had plans for a couple of years, and this year we found ourselves with the Saturday before our Midsummer feast free, and a crew of people willing to work.

What have I learned from years of land-ownership? Reduce mowing hazards! The existing pattern of the Hallows created a variety of small unmowable spots, encouraging weeds and requiring hand-trimming. One of my goals was to put down some landscape fabric and a layer of pea-gravel. The final effect is a little stark at this moment, but the edges will green up, and I think we'll put some ground-cover on the central mound itself.

The final form of the rebuilt Nemeton
We first installed an idol of the Earth Mother on the mound at the B-wood Nemeton over a decade ago. I made the first one, and then other artisans have upgraded in waves, adding an eidolon for the Keeper of Gates. The original Earth Mother idol returned to us, and has been enshrined in the northern edge of our Nemeton. Really, she just never got the attention she deserved there. In a radical move we moved her from her place to enshrine her on the central mound of the new arrangement, matched by the Gatekeeper idol. We think both images will get much more attention there in the Sacred Center itself.

Klaus and Bonnie make the final sacrifice during our rainy,
underattended but warm-hearted and powerful
Midsummer rite.

I consider it a privilege to be involved in the creation of these new temples. Part of the task of returning real polytheistic worship to modern times is certainly the creation of real physical worship places, and seats for the Gods. Let the Fire be lit and the Water be poured, and let the blessing of the Gods flow from our new temple to all beings!

Entry to the path to the Shrine

Appendix: The Outdwellers...
OK, I was going to skip the very cool Outdwellers shrine stuff, because by including it I kind of must explain the Outdwellers to non-ADF readers. In our ritual order we make a preliminary offering to spirits conceived of as being outside the boundaries of our blessed garth. We don't speculate extensively on who those beings are, but they're considered related to various Titans, Fomorii and unseelie wights.

Approaching the Shrine.
Every Grove tends to deal with them differently. We commonly walk an offering out to the South, and in this Nemeton that spot has been marked with a simple shrine, originally just a few bricks and maybe an image. Last year people started decided to carry the offering out through the gate and around into the South. The South, you see, is the section that I left unmowed when we set the place up, and it serves as our 'devil's acre', left alone for the landwights.

The Outdweller's shrine

So we decided to make a few special offerings and make the path in by dropping some scrub cement pieces, thus avoiding mowing while making permanent stepping-spots. The folks had improved the actual shrine earlier in the year, though it's still quite, er... rustic.
So this really is a 'faerie path' if you like... a short road out of the safe light of the Sacred Fire into the uncut woods. Be sure your offerings are up-to-date...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

An Introduction to Magic

People come to Our Druidry from several directions. Lots come from some previous Pagan background, but many also come into ADF as their very first Pagan experience. They shop on the net, or in their town, and choose us. Exposure to Paganism, including our sort, includes exposure to ideas unusual to moderns - polytheism & animism, ritual worship (surprisingly alien to many Americans), and of course 'magic'.

ADF is preparing the latest edition of our Grove Organizer's Handbook. The editor says to me, sez she, "How would our organizers explain 'magic' in our work to a person either with no Pagan experience, or to a Pagan used to a cone-of-power spell-casting model?" This is the article I produced with some fun, bloggy hypertext.

Magic in the Grove – The Place of Magical Arts in ADF

The meaning and use of ‘magic’ (I will refrain from using the ‘k’ that some attach to the common spelling, since that has associations with specific schools of practice outside of our own) in our Druidic practice is an important issue. Throughout the Neopagan Movement the term magic is common, used with a variety of meanings. To some it refers to all the ‘occult’ methods involving spells, charms, spirits and divination. To some it refers to the intrinsic wonder and mystery of the cosmos, or to the ‘energy’ that underlies existence. Some say that magic is something you ‘are’, not something you do, while others that it is a skill as much as a talent. Some see magic and religion as nearly opposites; some see them as nearly identical. There is a simple reason why ‘magic’ has such a confusion of definitions – it has in fact no clear meaning in an Indo-European Pagan context.

In the process of building an ADF Grove you may find yourself dealing with issues surrounding ‘magic’. Your new members and guests from the broader Pagan community will bring their own assumptions and ideas, and you will need to have a Druidic answer or three ready. This article is meant both to introduce a few scholastic basics concerning magic in IE Paganism and some of the real uses of magical skills in a Druidic context.

Whence Magic?

The roots of the term ‘magic’ are in the culture of archaic Greece. The Greeks were cousins of the Persians, whose traditional Fire-priests may have been called Magi (sing. Magu). The term is nearly lost in Persian, but occurs in Greek beginning roughly in the 500s bce. Indo-Iranian priestcraft seems to have included the performance of rites meant to provide individual clients with practical goals such as fertility, wealth or the removal of ill-luck. Whether it was wandering members of that caste or merely imitators cashing in on their mystique, by 500bce there were people known in Greek as magoi, practicing mageia or magike. These figures traded in spells, blessings, dealings with spirits and the offer of spiritual experiences through secret initiations. This complex seems to have appeared foreign to the Greeks and they came to view much of it as impious and suspect. What began (and continued) as plainly sacred practice in one Indo-European culture became a complex of marginal and suspect practice in another.

If the Greeks were suspicious of the use of spiritual arts for personal goals – that is, of magic – the Romans were more so, and that suspicion passed to the Christian empire in turn. Our modern default ideas about what categorizes magic remain based on the notions of the late classical Greeks and Romans. However when we examine other IE systems we find very different attitudes.

The basic skills of what has been called magic are identical to those that are used in Pagan religious practice. Invocation of the divine, the use of herbs and stones, signs and symbols, the consecration of objects with spiritual power, the knowledge of times and seasons, all are part and parcel of traditional Pagan ritual. While all of these skills are used in the service of the Gods and the folk they can also be readily applied to the needs and will of the individual. It is the varying attitudes of IE cultures toward the private use of spiritual arts that determines their attitude toward what we call magic.

If I were to offer a definition of magic it might be: “Specialized spiritual skills employed for personally willed goals.” The core elements of Pagan religion are those employed by magicians and priests alike, and often for the same goals. Within this basic definition we can look at a couple of important basic distinctions.

Theurgy and Thaumaturgy

One basic set of categories divides specialized spiritual arts according to intention. Theurgy (Gr. ‘divine working’) is the use of spiritual skills to produce personal and group religious or spiritual experience at will. Thaumaturgy (Gr. ‘wonder working’) is the use of spiritual skills to create specific effects in the world. Wealth, health, love, and all the common goals of ‘spells’ might result either from theurgy or thaumaturgy. Thaumaturgy would seek them directly – theurgy would offer them as a side benefit of spiritual progress.

In the ancient world theurgy was part of the work of any skilled priest. Knowledge of the symbols and traditional invocations of the Gods, of the proper use of images and physical anchors for the spirits, of the uses of herbs and stones and the hidden powers of things, of oracles and seership were all integral with IE religion. In later classical times traditional religion was challenged by Christianity and other ‘mystery’ religions. In response the traditional skills were reformulated with a focus on solitary or small group ritual. Greek thinkers debated whether these practices belonged in the less-than-reputable category of magic. Christian authorities placed them firmly there, with the exception of those methods that were co-opted for Christian liturgy.

Thaumaturgy has always had a distinctly less savory reputation, but has always been studied and practiced. While there were many honest purveyors of spells and spiritual support, marketplace fortunetellers and sellers of charms were probably more common than wise men in towers. Some IE systems seem to have allowed the priesthood to work such arts for individuals, while others forbid it. Of course when the community required thaumaturgy, such as rainmaking or the cure of blight on the cattle, the priesthood’s thaumaturgical skills would be expected to be up to snuff.

Public and Private

Another important set of categories describing spiritual arts is the distinction between public and private rites. Pagan religion was decentralized, and personal and household religion was often handled by the household members. There was, however, a suspicion of rites done in secret. Among the Romans one simple distinction between an invocation and a ‘spell’ was that one was spoken plainly aloud while the other was whispered in secret.

In some IE societies the learning of these specialized spiritual skills seems to have been fairly tightly regulated by societal norms. The Celtic Druids and Vedic Brahmins seem to have had a firm apprenticeship system in which learning was limited to those who could find a teacher to accept them. However cultures with literate records of the arts would certainly have had a degree of ‘leakage’, perhaps producing self-proclaimed wonderworkers and gurus. The limitation of higher-order spiritual skills to a trained elite probably contributed to the mythic image of the ‘wizard’. The leakage of ‘secrets’ into less approved hands may have helped to produce the sense of ‘forbidden arts’ even before (or outside of) Christian dominance. Since these arts produce powerful effects they traveled widely in a way that tended to transcend caste, ethnicity and other proprieties, making them subject to the public disapproval of priests.

So we can say that in some sense magic is private spiritual practice outside the control of the social authorities. When these skills, often developed in private by priests, are brought into the public temple they are usually used quietly, while the folk sing the hymns and watch the offerings. However in our modern Pagan milieu it is much more common to involve even the casual congregation in the deeper spiritual work of the rites. Once again the distinction between magic and religions blurs almost to the vanishing point.

Magic in ADF

Most of the practice of magical arts in ADF is focused on the theurgic work of our Order of Ritual. The willed intention that we bring to our High Day rites is to create an environment where mortals and the Powers can see one another, and be seen, and we can gain the blessing of the Gods and spirits. We employ ritual, trance, symbolism and offerings – all the elements of theurgy – to draw the blessing of the spirits to our Fire.

Through this we mean to have an effect upon the participants. We bring the presence of the love and power and wisdom of the Gods closer to our mortal lives. We ask the Holy Ones to bless us with health, wealth and wisdom. Sometimes we choose to direct this blessing by our conscious will. Very often we simply rely on the proper turning of the Weave of Fate, with the power of the Gods and Spirits who wish us well, to bring us what we need. You won’t hear a lot of discussion in ADF about ‘trusting in the Gods’ but there is an element of that in our works of blessing.

So as you begin to develop your skills for ritual, remember that on one level your task is to help the folk make magic. Attend to your own practice of mental discipline, and to your own devotions to the Gods. When you approach a High Day rite, especially as one of the ritualists, consider doing preliminary offerings to the Gods at your Home Shrine. There are several instructions for the patterns of visualized Inner Work for our Order of Ritual. Practice those and make an effort to apply them when you celebrate public rites.

Thaumaturgy has gotten less attention than has theurgy in our sacrificial rites. The Order of Ritual has been variously adapted for spellbinding. One rite for group practical work uses the standard Neopagan method of ‘power raising’ combind with worship and blessing. After receiving the Blessing the members present the candle or token they wish to bless, speaking their intention aloud. Chanting and drumming are then used to alter awareness and focus intention to ‘charge’ the tokens. My own work in my book “Sacred Fire, Holy Well” offers a full system of Druidic ‘spellwork’ and other magical skills. In general most of the methods in common use in traditional later-period magic grow from practices common in Indo-European cultures. Images, talismans, spoken and sung charms, the ‘conjuration’ of spirits all seem to extend far beyond the late classical world into the past.

The practical application of spiritual arts as ‘spells’ or ‘magical works’ has had a very limited role in ADF overall to this time. While all the elements of such work are available in our context our focus on receiving all good things through the Blessings of our rites has made the need for tinkering with events through spells a tertiary matter. That said, we are working to build the presence of practical magic in our work. Our Clergy and Initiate’s program requires all students to try their hand at practical work, and no doubt some of us will find a knack for one or another skill. By whatever name we seek to train our Druids by giving them experience of invocation of the divine, of work with spirits, divination and spellcraft.


These skills of practical spiritual arts are inherent in ADF’s design and practice, but are just beginning to find expression. More generally, spiritual arts are applied in all well-worked rites. What western ‘occultism’ has sometimes referred to as ‘high magic’ is itself an inheritance from Pagan religion. Cleansing and purification, invocation, divination and consecration play a part in every Druidic rite of worship. These skills can also be applied in service to individual practical goals, but our work is more concerned with the Blessing of the Gods and Spirits, and the finding of harmony between the individual soul and the World Order. That is the heart of the magic of Our Druidry.

Friday, June 1, 2012

New Thrones for the Gods

Wellspring 2012

Photos by A.J. Gooch
 One of the highlights of my year is always our Wellspring Gathering. Organized by our ADF Grove it is the host of ADF’s annual meeting, national Warrior Guild Games, the Wellspring Bardic Chair, the Artisan’s Guild gallery and competition and lots and lots more. It is also one of my best annual chances to see friends and colleagues from across the continent. I’m especially pleased at the growth of ADF in Canada and across the pond .

A table full of offerings to the gods.
 This year was packed with activities. We began at full speed on Thursday evening, with the installation of new images of the Earth Mother and the Keeper of Gates. For non-Druids, our rites always begin and end with special offerings to the Land Mother, or Mother of All, or Earth Mother. At the climax of each of our opening rites we open a Gate between the worlds, and ask a deity associated with sacred rites and limnality to aid us and ward us. In the Nemeton at the Brushwood Folklore Center that has always been Manannan Mac Lir, and so our Gatekeeper (GK) idol has always been male, this one is emphatically so…

The mound of the Nemeton, with the Old images.
 The installation rite was a work of Theurgy involving seven offerings to each of the idols, poetic invocation and vision. Once a good omen was received we began the ‘audience’, in which we sang as the entire company came up onto the mound to approach the eidola and see and be seen by the gods. Very juicy, and I must give special thanks to the artisans of Grove of the Midnight Sun for creating these masterly thrones for the Gods.

The rest of the event is a blur of activity. Four years ago we founded the Wellspring Bardic Chair competition. This year I competed for the first time, and won. Please allow an old bard a moment of smugness…

On the other hand my tolerance for whiskey seems to be changing as I get ever older. Live and learn – what choice do we have. Well we could learn before living it, but…

All life-lessons aside, we had an excellent Saturday night of food and music, a remarkable ritual full of music and poetry from the Bardic Guild and a powerful ordination and elevation of priests on Sunday night. I’m heard to grumble occasionally about ‘bureaucratic ritual’ taking over, however these community rites help us build our group reality across distances.

My comrades in Stone Creed, and all our gathered folk of Our Druidry, make an impressive array when we stand together. May the Old Ways grow in wisdom by our work.