Gorsedd Afterglow

The Danu Portal, with gate, elemental altars, spiral labyrinth, and Brigid’s Cross. Some of the Grove Pavilion tents are in the background.

Last year I attended a Saturday workshop on meditation, led by a Buddhist monk. We practiced several different types of postures and meditations, all with an emphasis on mindfulness. It was helpful, but what I remember most of all was Br. ChiSing’s final recommendations: practice alone daily, practice with a group weekly, and attend a retreat or seminar quarterly.

Daily practice and weekly meetings have always been a part of my religious life. Or at least, it was what I knew I should do even if I didn’t always do it. But the idea of regular retreats and seminars was new to me. The Baptist church I grew up in would do revivals every year or two, but they were geared more toward scaring “sinners” into “getting saved” rather than actually reviving the congregation. All I knew was that I had to go to church every night for a week and miss all my favorite TV shows.

The Druid Gorsedd was a wonderful experience for all the reasons I’ve written about before. Three weeks later, though, I’m starting to see the long-term benefits. My nightly meditation and prayer has gotten deeper, and a bit longer. I’m back to working through one OBOD lesson every week – at this rate I’ll finish the Druid grade material before the end of the year

More importantly, for the first time in a long time (maybe ever) I feel like I’m not just “on the right path,” but I’m doing and learning what I need to do and learn and I’m progressing at the rate I’m supposed to progress.

Some of that comes from the workshops, rituals, and conversations. But I think most of it comes from a weekend of immersion in contemporary Druid culture and practice, and being with people who are doing what I want to do. I’ve seen what’s possible, and I see how I can have a place in it. I don’t need another degree and I don’t need a career change. I just need to keep practicing, keep learning, and say “yes” when the Goddess and God present me with opportunities.

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About John Beckett

I grew up in Tennessee with the woods right outside my back door. Wandering through them gave me a sense of connection to Nature and to a certain Forest God. I’m a Druid graduate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, the Coordinating Officer of the Denton Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans and a former Vice President of CUUPS Continental. I’ve been writing, speaking, teaching, and leading public rituals for the past eleven years. I live in the Dallas – Fort Worth area and I earn my keep as an engineer.


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