Home Sweet Home

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Yesterday afternoon, in the Hour of Saturn, the Day of Jupiter, with a waning Moon in Leo, I closed on the condo I’ve been trying to buy since August of this year.  The process has dredged up a lot of feelings, which I might get around to posting about one of these days, but for now, it’s good to know that by spring, gods willing, I’ll have not just a room of my own, but a whole apartment.

Many thanks to my neighbors, tribe, spirits and gods who got me through the process.  I love you all.

Back from Vacation, and…an Award!

After a truly wonderful, educational, and relaxing vacation, I return to my little corner of the blogosphere to discover the fabulous Nono nominated me for the Witchy Blog Award!  Thank you, Unca Nono, and now on to the rest of the award….

Seven Questions: (You may customize as long as they are still Wiccan and Pagan related)

  • How did you “discover” Wicca/witchcraft/Neo-Paganism? Interesting question. I guess you could say I discovered polytheism in 2nd grade when my godparents gave me their children’s well-loved copy of D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths.  Then I started building shrines to Zeus and Demeter in the backyard, and left offerings for the nymphs in the woods around the school grounds.  Then in high school, a friend lent me Scott Cunningham’s Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner. A lot of it resonated, some of it didn’t, but I kept what worked and continued to evolve my practice.
  • Do you grow herbs? Yes. And weeds. And vegetables. And trees. And chickens. I GROW ALL THE THINGS.
  • Are you “in the broom closet”? If not, share your coming out experience. Yes and no. My friends, family, and neighbors all know that I identify as a Druid. Personally I believe discussion of religion has no place at work, but I feel free to wear my gods’ symbols as I like. No one has ever commented and I never bring it up.
  • What tradition do you follow, if any? OBOD Druidry, Jason Miller’s Strategic Sorcery System, and my own spirit-taught wyrdness.
  • Do you consider yourself a witch, Wiccan or Pagan (or maybe something else?) A Druid and a squishy Polytheist.
  • How much of witchcraft/Wicca are you able to incorporate into your everyday life? Quite a bit. I do morning prayers/meditation, share a bit of drink with the Powers at breakfast and lunch, work on identifying new trees and plants when I walk around the neighborhood, and perform a final cleansing/thanksgiving in the evening. I also consider working in the garden and volunteering in my secular and Druid communities to be spiritually significant acts. And just taking the time to wonder at the beauty of this world–a simple thing, but one that often inspires the most witchy feelings of my practice.
  • Do you have a familiar? If you do, tell us how you meet him/her and how s/he takes part in your practice (if at all). Yep, that would be my rascal butch-dyke kitty, Jinx.  She doesn’t have all that much interest in ritual per se, but when I’m outside, she accompanies me everywhere–even when I hike a good half-mile into the conservation land. She’ll sit quietly until I finish meditating or whatever in my grove, then escort me back home. If you haven’t read her story, you can find it here.

 

The Rules:

Congruency

I’ve been thinking about congruency long and hard since John Beckett posted his article on becoming more integrated between his work and spiritual life. And I realized that many (though not all!) of the pagan authors whom I respect do, in fact, use their “real” names, or at least something approximating them.

I chose the name Alex Volundsdottir (or A.V.) when I was more heavily involved in Heathenry/Northern Tradition Paganism. Since then, I’ve settled comfortably into the Druid paradigm, which I had never really left although my gods and spirits took on a Germanic flavor for quite a while. But my worldview and ritual structure is Druidic, even as my perception of the Powers has become more in line with what Nicanthiel has set down for Waincraft.

For me, writing under my maiden name is the right choice. I understand that this is not the best idea for everyone, that there are risks associated with doing so. I do not judge those who continue to use pen names. But this is a needed change for me, and I feel more whole even as I write this.

Yours under the icy pines,

Catriona McDonald

Pagan Blog Project 2013

A number of friends participated in the Pagan Blog Project last year. I watched from the sidelines, admiring the tenacity of those few who made it all the way to the end of week 52. This year some more friends were going to take on the challenge, and one of them came up with the epically brilliant idea of planning out the 52 topics in advance. Suddenly the whole thing seemed do-able!

I toyed around with a couple of themes, but I kept coming back to what John Michael Greer said at last year’s East Coast Gathering, namely that he’d love to see druids of all varieties reclaiming the natural sciences. And I thought, hey, A is for apple, but it could also be for Agrimony or Artemesia, or…

So with a little bit of google-fu and the online Monrovia catalogue, I figured out a mix of common and scientific designations for a whole array of plants important to my practice. I especially wanted to focus this exercise on Druidry and my Ovate studies, so many of the plants and trees either appear in the Tree Ogham, or are significant to my own personal New England Ogham. Not all of these are native species, and some (like Zinfandel grape!) are admittedly a bit of a stretch, but hopefully this will be some nice fodder for both ecological and spiritual explorations.

A complete list of the plants I’ll be exploring can be found here. Good luck to all of the other participants!