Lessons From a First Ritual

hand bell

Every so often I get an e-mail that says “I’ve been asked to lead the next ritual for my CUUPS group (or coven or grove or other group).  Where do I start???” I usually refer people to this post on A Pagan Ritual Outline and this post on Common Ritual Errors and How to Avoid Them.  But as I mentioned last week, I think it may be helpful to talk about what happened the first time I led a public ritual. After almost ten years of solitary practice, I went to my first Pagan circle at … [Read more...]

Priesthood – A Modern Pagan View

PPD 2013 24

I’m a Druid and a priest.  I’m ordained as a priest in the Universal Gnostic Fellowship, and I am sworn as a priest of Cernunnos and a priest of Danu – though not as a priest of Morrigan.  But for all my talk of priesthood, I’ve never precisely said what that means.  As part of my ordination studies, I wrote a 4200 word essay (as long as three typical blog posts) on what priesthood means to me.  That essay is not suitable for posting here (it’s too long and has too many references … [Read more...]


Cernunnos square

I was a devotee and a priest of Cernunnos long before I started this blog.  Over the years I’ve told parts of my story with Him (here, here, and here, for a good start), probably enough for a diligent reader to piece the whole thing together, if one was so inclined.  I’ve reviewed a very good book of devotions to Him written by others.  What I haven’t done is talk about who and what He is, as He’s presented himself to me. Let’s start with what we know about the history of … [Read more...]

Pan Druid Retreat

PDR 2014 02

As I went over my 2014 calendar back in December, I realized I would be traveling a lot in the first five months of this year.  I’ve been with my current employer for 17 years so I get more than the typical two weeks vacation, but I’ve already used up most of it, to say nothing of what I’ve done to my travel budget.  But when John and Elmdea Adams asked me to come to the Pan Druid Retreat and then asked me to be part of a panel discussion on ritual, I had to say yes. The theme was … [Read more...]

From the Cauldron Born

Cauldron Born

From the Cauldron Born: Exploring the Magic of Welsh Legend & Lore by Kristoffer Hughes published by Llewellyn, December 2012 312 pages paperback: $13.32, kindle: $9.99   Bardic magic is a powerful thing. We hear or read a story and we’re transported to a galaxy far far away – or to the wilds of Wales.  People, places and things come alive, animals talk and trees walk – and a boy becomes a hare, a salmon, a wren, and a grain of corn.  Great deeds are done, kings are … [Read more...]


Bryn Celli Ddu

From the beginning, this was supposed to be “the Ireland trip.”  Seven of our twelve days were spent there, and while there were a few things we wanted to see in England and Wales, we were there as much for logistical reasons as anything else – the only place in Britain or Ireland you can fly direct from DFW is London Heathrow.  Cynthia’s primary reason for routing us through Wales was to take the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin, although she knew that as a Druid I’d want to spend some … [Read more...]

A Journey To The Isles

the Cliffs of Mohor

As I mentioned in the posts I scheduled while I was gone, I spent 12 days on a combination vacation / pilgrimage to England, Wales and Ireland.  I really need another day to recover from the travel and catch up from being away from home for two weeks, but it’s time to get back into the regular flow of things. While this is a religious blog, and while I intend to write several posts related to the religious and spiritual aspects of this trip, I’m going to start with a description of the … [Read more...]

Top 11 Search Terms on Under the Ancient Oaks

06 04 Parthenon

I’m out of the country on a 12-day trip that’s part vacation and part pilgrimage.  Yes, you’ll hear all about it when I get back.  Until then, take a look at the top 11 keywords people use to find Under the Ancient Oaks on search engines.  The vast majority of you come to Under the Ancient Oaks in one of two ways.  Either you’ve got me bookmarked and you come here directly, or you come here from a link on Facebook. But some people find me through Google or Yahoo or one of the … [Read more...]