Bardic Initiation

S. lighting the way for the initiate. Used with permission.

Wednesday night a few of us Grovies gathered to initiate B. into the Bardic Grade, or more specifically to reignite his journey on the Druid path. The site which watched over us is one the Grove has been using for many years, and you can feel the openness of the place, and the welcoming breeze to our work. A beaver splashed noisily as we set up the circle, which entertained my son no end.

I love our Grove for so many reasons: the camaraderie, the pool of knowledge, the creative spirit…but most of all I love the humor and kindness that all of our Grovies possess. We can pull of sober when it’s required, but if someone flubs a line, it is always smoothed over with a smile and some fancy word-work.

This was my first time acting as Grove Mother, with my friend A. as Head Druid. Part of me feels like I should have been nervous, but most of me was just excited to give B. the best initiation experience that we could. I think we met that goal.

Each of the Grovies had a gift for B. once the ceremony was completed. Mine was a set of meditation beads set up around nines and threes. The center bead was a “thunder egg” aka geode, the large rounds were banded agates, the counter beads were petrified wood, the start/end bead was ceramic, and the three tail beads were red jasper. Our initiate was a Pisces, so I hope this brings some Fire and Earth to his studies.

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Geode, red jasper, banded agate, petrified wood, ceramic, glass, silk.

Afterwards, we did as all good Druids do: we hit the local pub for post-ritual noms. Grounding and centering never tasted so good! May B. complete his Bardic journey with the love of the gods, goddesses, and all goodness.

30 DoA #13: Cultural Issues

Wayland the Chick?

13. What modern cultural issues are closest to this deity’s heart? This strikes me as a rather odd prompt, but then again, I’m not usually one to project my ideals for social justice onto my spiritual practice. However, if there were anything Wayland would be concerned with in our present day American culture, it would be the desire for instant gratification. Perhaps this tendency could even be expanded to a general lack of foresight.

American think they know what they want, and they want it NOW. Sometimes with a “please,” more often with a foot stomp. The tantrums will only increase a resources inevitably become more scarce. Wayland is the embodiment of patience, and of attention to detail. Though I’ve never asked him, I’ve often wondered what he thinks of our “give it to me now” culture. This is a being who first waited for his wife to return, then waited again, biding his time to escape his captors and wreak his vengeance. He is focused, determined and not easily swayed in his path.

In more ways than one, Wayland’s behavior in the lore is anathema to our current modus operandi. If traffic isn’t going fast enough, we indulge in road rage. If we’re sad, we medicate ourselves with food, alcohol, and drugs. We act as if this age of abundance is never going to end, cracking open our Mother’s bones to suck the marrow in a frantic attempt to preserve an unsustainable status quo. We care little about the world we will leave for our children, or more importantly our children’s children’s children. Even Wayland, in his thirst for justice made provisions that his unborn child would not be harmed. That’s more than can be said for the rest of us, blind to the consequences of our momentary satisfaction.

If we are to survive, if any part of our great stores of information and knowledge (notice that I do not include wisdom here) is to be preserved, we must learn the lessons of patience and perseverance on an intimate, physical level. Hone your tools, learn a pre-industrial craft, put some of this amazing opportunity to good use. Practice patience as you persevere against these challenges, cultivate diligence alongside your cabbages.  The slow and steady may not be as glamorous in the short term, but those who heed the Smith’s tale, and others like it, will have a head start–maybe even enough to save a species, if not a world.