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

Quick Update

I realize in the virtual world, failure to produce can be the kiss of death for a fledgling blog.


I hope this will be forgiven since I’ve been spending the last week or so learning how to become a mom.  That’s right, the little Tadpole has spawned and now it’s a race to feed the bottomless pit!

In any case, hopefully some sort of schedule will be resumed in the near future.  Until then, thank you for your patience and support.


Teetering on the Edge

Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me!
A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time.

—D.H. Lawrence

I’d love to go plunging off into the wide world of blogging with nary a backward glance.  However, something in the left side of my brain is demanding I at least make the attempt at an introduction.  For that is the “Proper Thing To Do,” after all.

With spring always comes a renewed surge of energy, of desire to reconnect after being trapped inside for a full New England winter.  Spring is the time of Air and all that this element encompasses: clarity, movement, intellect and communication.  In fact, if there could be an element associated with blogging, I’d bet it would be Air! (And as you will soon find out, if you don’t know me already, I’m more than a bit of an Air-head!)

I am on the brink of several things in my life—not the least of which is the impending birth of my first child.  Another is the completion of the Bardic Grade as set forth by the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids.  The course challenged me in numerous ways, not the least of which is taking my place in the wider community rather than indulging in my natural hermit-like tendencies.

This blog’s potential evolution remains something of a mystery.  A number of subjects deserve dabbling: poetry, dowsing, sacred sites, ethics, divination, permaculture….  Druidry displays a beautiful array of choices when it comes to exploring the world.  One of the hardest questions it poses, though, is “Where to start?”

And honestly, I have very little idea.  So, for the moment, I’ll simply go out in the back yard and listen for a while.  Nature is our greatest guide.  All we have to do is keep our egos out of the way long enough to learn from Her.