I used to be a real live Wiccan, but it just didn’t work for me. I knew I was a pagan, for sure and deep. I just didn’t feel it anymore. I was getting into some weird trancework shit. I had a number of very powerful visions with Coyote (with a capitol “C”) wherein I had what I now know is an initiatory experience. I didn’t have the background to recognize it at the time, all I knew is that my trancework was getting weird. This stuff was supposed to be all inside my head and I wasn’t sure what to do about it when Coyote demanded I give him stuff in the real world like tobacco and Doritos.
I was floundering with no one to teach me what I needed to know.
So I backed off, which in retrospect was good advice I gave myself. When you get in deep in spiritual stuff and it all starts to be overwhelming and scary and you don’t have anyone who knows enough to support that work, it’s totally what I would recommend now that I’m the one in the position of giving advice, almost a decade and a half later.
Not that many years later I gave birth to my first child, which changed my life in ways I could not have begun to imagine. It was a threshold over which I crossed. An initiation into adulthood in a way I’m not sure anyone is ever really ready for. My spirituality focused deeply on my personal transformation and my children for a few years there. I attempted to join a Wiccan coven as a way to recapture my spirituality, and the thing I learned there was that I didn’t have anything to learn there. I don’t say that to pick on Wicca, I think it’s a religion that has a lot to offer, even though it was a stepping stone for me.
I was seeking something more.
I was seeking knowledge, a depth of authenticity to my religion that I had not found before. I was seeking something beyond Wicca 201. I had studied organic horticulture in an attempt to become more versed in sustainability and how to take care of our Mother the Earth. I had studied herbalism in order to deepen my healing practice. I had read books on energywork and spellwork, and had sought knowledge of the gods and goddesses. I had become cynical. Books like D. J. Conway’s Celtic Magic and Norse Magic had convinced me that there was no good information out there on many of the gods.
Then a friend of mine handed me a zine looking booklet. The yellow cover had a low resolution image of a wreath with two sticks and the words ADF Dedicant Program written on it. That kinda grungy thing changed my life yet again.
I flipped through the pages and saw what I had been seeking! The methodology for giving offerings! It was exactly what that crazy varmint Coyote had been wanting all along!
I learned long ago to follow where the spirit lead.
So I became a druid and discovered so much more than just a system that understood spiritwork better than me. I found a book list that bit back! It was scholarly and incomprehensible at first. Slowly I began to understand the lexicon, learn the linguistic background necessary to parse what was being said. This was a place where I had things to learn, where knowledge was laid out like a feast ready for the taking.
I was hungry.
It took time and effort, and the effort transformed me. Even my spiritwork landscape and alignments changed (not DnD I’m still mostly neutral good.) Coyote who I had worked with for years handed me off to Bear as a spiritwork teacher. I had to wonder if it was because I found myself within a tradition that focused on European culture, or because my life was shifting in a direction of healing and increased leadership. I suppose I may never know.
And so many years later, here I am, blogging as a Druid Priest. I am dedicated to our congregational focus, welcoming structure, our emphasis on building relationship and reciprocity, and the work of developing theology and infrastructure so that we might be of use to the larger world. We are doing our small part to find solutions to the problems that present themselves to the Western world today. I am a Druid, and I am part of the remaking the world.
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