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Preferred Ethnic Focus Book Review [Apr. 2nd, 2006|07:12 pm]
At last here it is...

Preferred Ethnic Study Book ReviewCollapse )

Now, I just have to go back and polish the rest a little, and print.
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Finally, a book review [Mar. 22nd, 2006|01:04 pm]
Okay, finally, sat down and tried to do this. Funny how the book reviews are the biggest stumbling block for me. I think I just have a hard time finding the quiet space to do the reading, and then do the writing in a timely fashion so that I still remember what I read. One more book review to go, and a little tweaking of the rest. *whew*

Complete Idiot’s Guide to Paganism by Carl McColmanCollapse )
This book is sort of like shopping for new clothes. You’re out there, and you already know yourself fairly well, but you know your old look just doesn’t work for you anymore. This book gives you some new outfits and accessories to try on and take for a spin, knowing you can return them for store credit later if they really don’t work for you, or hang on to them if you think they might better work in another season of your life. Or maybe you get done with reading the book and decide that your old wardrobe really did fit you better after all.

Geez, I sure wish I would have just read this book FIRST before even starting the DP since it really covers the basics...
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Dedicant Oath Ritual [Dec. 28th, 2005|04:18 pm]
Introduction Summary:

I have been a member of ADF essentially since 1997, and participating on most of the discussion lists. I’ve practiced as a solitary druid for many years, and as a member of Rogue River Grove for the last four years. I’ve also participated in rituals with other groves when in their towns. I’ve done research into the Norse pantheon most extensively, as a great extent of my ancestry is Germanic, and found I feel most at home there. I’ve also explored some Native American myths and traditions, as well as some Celtic as they are also part of my heritage, and I find that to be close to my heart as well.

Over the course of my studies and research, divination and meditation, and just openly listening, I find I have been called by two Patrons at this time in my path, Frigga of the Norse Pantheon, as she represents my home and hearth, and my finding of great peace in making that the center of my spiritual and common life. I call on her for strength, peace of mind, and decisiveness. I feel her in the crafts I work with my hands and fiber, spinning. Brighid is also of my hearth, but she represents also my calling to the path of the midwife and healer, and my inner poet. The weaving of words. She stands at the gateways of transformation, a forge by living fire. Both represent a warrior side of me that is often neglected or feared, and my personal challenge of conflict avoidance, and finding courage to fight some battles worth fighting.

I decided to perform my Oath Rite October 16, 2005, at the beach, a sacred place for me. A place I’ve gone when facing big life decisions and crossroads. I decided to do this oath rite in solitude, as it felt intimately personal, between me and my gods.

Oath Rite Text/ScriptCollapse )


Okay, so I did it. The Dedicant Oath Rite. Yesterday, at the beach, on the jetty.

To really make the weekend, I spent a good bit of the time with my mom and my sister going to antique shops. Found a little table for my bathroom, and some candle holders. The rest of the time we spent drinking mead and working on genealogy stuff. Trying to decipher the old German script in the German Bible. Good times. By the time I got down to the beach to do my ritual, I was uber connected to the ancestors. I even had all their names.

So, I headed out there, found a nice little spot where I could see the water, far enough off the regular beach-beach so people wouldn't be likely to walk through the middle, and set myself up.

Since I don't get out much, I forget that candles don't burn well outside, particularly on the beach in the wind. And the drizzle. I had four candles, I managed to keep my New Orleans Go Away Evil candle lit for most of the time. And I used my beeswax candle to reach down into that jar to grab some flame to burn my sacrifices and offerings with. I also ran out of matches trying to keep candles lit. So, midway through I had to stop and go digging through my purse to try to find some more.

Then I get nearly to the end, and these two redneck fishermen guys come walking up. Fortunately, they were so obnoxious and loud I could hear them coming a mile away. So, I'm trying to look like I'm doing yoga or meditating or something, because even my Patrons know I'm not ready for *that* kind of conflict. So, I take a moment and meditate and wait and hope they'll go away. And even though the entire fucking jetty is completely deserted, they decide to set themselves down about 20 feet away from me and start fishing.

I was starting to feel really EXTRA PISSY about this. I was very obviously in a PERSONAL SPACE type moment sitting there. First I can't maintain the fire, and now ... WHY couldn't they move on down a bit? Choose another spot?

Then Patrick Claflin's face loomed before me (which is startling on the jetty) and reminded me that what happens in the circle, is what is supposed to happen, and it's usually best to just laugh your way through and get on with it and not let any mishaps fuck up the energy that's been built. So, I asked an extra blessing for them so they could catch some salmon. Finished the rest of my ritual muttering under my breath, and left a small piece of my handspun yarn tied to a piece of dune grass.

Thinking about it now, I realize I could have dug myself a nice windbreak hole for my candles, or even built a small fire. But I didn't intend to stay long after, so I didn't want to get a real fire going.

So, I had unexpected guests, my fire wouldn't stay lit, my waters of life had sand in them. But I made all of my offerings, managed to laugh it all off in the end and felt really good about it overall. It was going very well and smooth (aside from the fire bit) until the idiot brothers arrived on the scene, and once I brought myself back to center and moved on without them, it all came together.
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Rewrite of the book review for Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory [Oct. 6th, 2005|05:43 pm]
Indo-European Studies Book Review

The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won’t Give Women a Future. By Cynthia Eller

When I selected this book, I thought it was going to just cover all the evidence to debunk all the Matriarchal Prehistory “evidence.” It did do that, citing archeological evidence, that mainly just proves we don’t know much at all. But it went beyond that, to explore the real function of the myth itself, as an inspiration for strength that all women could draw on. She examines what it means in the context of modern feminist society, as a sort of archetypal feminine strength women could draw on to find value within themselves, and to use as a template to build on and recreate a more feminist modern society. Having a life of its own, the myth of prehistorical matriarchy gained power.

I had taken a few goddess culture and feminism classes in college myself. At the time, it seemed like a pretty good proposition. All the evidence presented seemed to support the idea. The author raises several points however, that I had not considered then. For instance, how the very act of defining femininity as good and positive, leads to ascribing negative and harmful attributes to the masculine nature: Defining the feminine by comparing it to its nemesis.

She also brings up the point of gender differences, and whether they are genetic or learned socially. If these qualities that are being ascribed to the feminine are merely learned through societal influence and the accepted gender roles we see all around us, it’s hard to believe it’s a hard wired thing. On top of that, the definitions of roles of gender in this myth are also very specific to particular cultures, and just don’t apply globally or universally.

What I find really fascinating, is how myth becomes accepted as history. Any evidence that comes up that supports the theory is glorified and amplified. Any evidence to the contrary is disputed, explained away as a fluke or a conspiracy, obviously tainted by the dominating patriarchal culture.

In the concluding chapter, Eller says “The most alluring feature of matriarchal myth is the precedent it offers.” Having the precedent seems to suggest that if we had it before, then we can have it again. But Eller goes on to suggest that we don’t really need the precedent in order to envision a better, more balanced world. That we can have what we envision, or work for it with every fiber of our being, without having ever had it before. In fact, having the precedent runs the danger that we’ll spend more time and energy trying to defend the theory that we once had it, than on making it a reality in our future.

Reading this book made me think about some other angles to this that I hadn’t considered before. I always enjoy seeing things from several sides. Her conclusions about not needing the prehistorical precedent of a matriarchal prehistory in order to have a better future, I find far more inspiring and hopeful, than the assumption that we do need it.

I did enjoy this book and would recommend it.
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Druid in the Ecosystem Essay Draft [Aug. 28th, 2005|11:27 am]
Here's the draft for this essay that I just slammed together this morning.

I'm still working on the other two book reviews, and the oath rite... but it may be a while before I have some quiet free time again so who knows...

Ecosystem EssayCollapse )
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meditation/mental discipline experience summary essay [Aug. 28th, 2005|12:21 am]
Here's what I have so far. I do plan to add more to this, and clean it up a bit. But this is the basics of what I've learned in my experience with meditation and mental discipline

meditation journal summaryCollapse )
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Hearth Culture bit [Aug. 27th, 2005|11:38 pm]
Here's the very rough draft of this bit... comments?

Hearth Culture MusingsCollapse )
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My initial blurb on the two powers [Aug. 27th, 2005|11:11 pm]
I'd welcome any probing questions on this, and the book review I just posted.. by brain seems to be stuck and needs some poking.

two powersCollapse )
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the first book review - brain purge [Aug. 27th, 2005|11:01 pm]
Here's the random musings of my brain that hopefully with take form as a book review when I'm feeling more coherent.

matriarchal myth reviewCollapse )
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More Thoughts - Thanks for the Feedback [Aug. 19th, 2005|06:58 am]
I am trying not to get frustrated and give up. I've been a member of ADF since 1997, and I've been "working" on the Dedicant Program for almost that long. Off and on. Fits and Starts..

Somewhere in 2003 or 2004 or so, I decided to just do it. Then about two or three months ago, I decided to REALLY do it. And in the last couple of weeks, I've put together some thoughts on about half of it. The longer it takes, the more I just want to get it DONE -- not in a form that can be published as a book, or be profoundly insightful or inspiring to others. I'm not even really striving for my own personal best in work here. Just done. I'm finding that "mental discipline" is less a skill of meditation, and more an ability to remain my flow of thought in the midst of a thousand interruptions by work, kids, husband, guy at the door looking for money for our schools, guy across the street with his stupid &%$ truck that takes a half hour noise to get started, then another half hour of running noisily and with extra stink before he just turns the @$%& thing off again and goes back into his drug dealer house... *wheeze* leaving my house full of toxic fumes if I don't manage to run all around and shut all the windows in time...

So, I'm trying, scratching and clawing at just getting it DONE, then I'll go back and make additions, revisions, whatnot, before I send it in.

My BIG dream is to start midwifery school. But there's the nagging in my head that says, "you'd never make it in midwifery school. Look at the DP! It's not so big, and you can't even finish THAT"

So, in spite of all my whining, I DO appreciate the feedback and suggestions, and I'll consider them more later.. I just feel like I need a rough draft of the whole thing first, so I have some thing to work with. A blob of druid stuff finally pulled out of my brain so I can see it and work with it.

Hmm. Maybe that blob of druid stuff in my head is what causes my migraines? I wonder if you can see it on an MRI....
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