Hello. Well… it’s kind of… big… in here… join me in imagining an echo, maybe…
Let’s dim the houselights and get a fire lit.
Let it be a Fire of Welcome
Let it be a Fire of Offering
Let it be warmth and light to the whole world.
This is my first post here on the Patheos religion portal, and I’m very pleased to be here. My name is Ian Corrigan, and this blog has been cooking for some eight years on another platform. There will be a bit of a jar for me, as we move from that comfy burrow to new digs, and I hope many of my long-time readers will find this new setting pleasant. Please bear with me as I ken the new platform’s formatting, and learn to make pretty posts.
While the term elder may occasionally be thrown around weightlessly, I am within range of achieving the status of old-timer by any standard. I am a lifelong student of “the occult”, and self-identified as a would-be witch and worshipper of the Old Gods in my mid-teens. I found my first non-Initiatory working circle in 1977, and took initiation in a non-Gardnerian witchcraft tradition in 1981. That tradition guided me toward Gaelic Celtia, and I was involved in early discussions that generated the “Celtic Reconstructionist” movement in the late 80s. In the early 90s I formalized my affiliation with the Druidic organization Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF), working as a colleague of the late Isaac Bonewits. At this time I am a Senior Priest in ADF, and hold the honorary title of Archdruid Emeritus. ADF’s form of Neopagan Druidry, or Traditional Paganism, is my primary form of spiritual expression.
I am in general the product of the North American occult movements of the last forty years. I have been a part of the Pagan festival movement since 1980, helping to found and manage the Starwood Festival, now in its 35th year. As a teacher, musical performer and ritualist I have attended and presented at many regional and local festivals. The impact of those cross-traditional festival environments on the development of Paganism and magical arts in North America cannot be underestimated.
I am also a hobbyist of modern occultism and magical arts generally. I am self-educated in Western Tradition symbolism – Tarot, Hermetic Qabalah, etc, though I have left them behind as practices in favor of more Northern and specifically Celto-German material. I have read widely in African Traditional Religions, and drummed for a few not-so-traditional Dances, but I have no initiations in those systems. I still honor my one-time initiation in the Western Nath lineages, and maintain an interest in Tantric sorcery and other Indic magic. I have been fascinated with Euro-sorcerous spirit-art – i.e. the magic of the grimoires – since boyhood, and am fascinated with the new round of research linking those practices with late Pagan Europe.
Topics for this blog come out of that mix. I write a good bit on modern Neopagan and occult culture, self-definition, community and organizing. I enjoy theological reasoning and writing, and have made some attempts at defining and clarifying this or that idea. (For the early record I am a polytheist who is not dismissive of philosophical monism. I am not a ‘hard’ polytheist in any doctrinaire sense, but I do treat individual spirits as individual spirits, except when I don’t.) I am a fairly active experiential occultist and ritualist, and I often chronicle those experiments here. (I actually took up blogging inspired by the work of Jason Miller, Rufus Opus, etc. in publicly journaling real magical experiments.) I am building a working Pagan temple on the land, and have chronicled that work as well.
This is the time of year that I usually begin making excuses to my blog readers about my absence from the keyboard. Work on the Tredara Center will only accelerate over the next couple of years, and I can hear my robot mule calling to be fed and put to work. There’s important sacred gravel to spread, and the new book will proceed at a slower pace than it did in recent snowbound weeks. The good news is that I can harvest the top material from a previous eight years of blogging, and organize it nicely here for all you loyal and newer readers.
So allow me to begin with this short introductory post, and look forward to a quick stream of essays from the backlog, and an account of a local special Beltaine working. As always my goal will be to instruct, provoke thought, and inspire real spiritual work.