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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Spring into Summer: Cycles and Seasons

   This Spring I agreed to stop working on my journal (One Man's Philosophies; A Druid's Journal) and begin getting another book going into the forefront of my works, 'A Pagan Clergy Handbook'. So I spent the better part of our slow arriving Spring reading and researching so that I could encompass as much as possible that we clergy face almost daily. Then, after so much reading (4 to 6 hours daily and 2 to 4 hours nightly) I began to gather essays, letters, and clips of emails and messages along with topics already addressed in our (Temple of the Stone) clergy handbook and Book of Order. That was the easy part.
      By late May, I began in earnest to write again, focusing on simple and complicated topics that I thought were the most important in "what clergy are, and what they do", and so began the headache of discovering my "going off on tangents and overstating the obvious". What came next was a laid back 'discussion' type writing style that allowed me to explain some things as if to someone who has never been involved in Pagan communities. Rereading that, I went out and discussed a few things, again, with Pagans and non-Pagans, clergy members of many faiths, and gathered their responses and questions. I found my 'crystal ball'!
   Re-write, re-write, re-write... that became my mantra for a week. I had discovered a few things about understood labels, common allowances in definition, and a much better understanding of how to take my years of study of the American Witchcraft Traditions, Wicca and Pagan / Neo-Pagans traditions and explain things from a more simple approach. True, not everyone will agree with some of my terminology, however, it is based on common acceptance of various things and varying traditions. I sent out a few emails to friends , mentors and peers for further discussions. I sat and began to write once more; adding into some, editing out some, and saving notes for other possible chapters as well as adding some overseen and forgotten subjects.
   Entrenched in my pondering, I became complacent with my current collection of 'background music' playing continuously from the laptop. I began to search often for more and new music. In doing this, I remembered a CD sent to us from a Pagan band in Boise Idaho (yeah, color me surprised as well). So I put it on, and actually sat for the next hour or so memorized by the songs and sounds of this wonderful group. It was nothing less than inspiring for me, and I began to write once again. The words flew, the culture of Pagans ( in general ) awakened in sentences of understood ethos, and it became more simple to explain.
   Being Pagan clergy in this modern world, with it's social political bias and religious intolerance is hard enough, but to write about it in positive affirmative ways was the challenge. I refused to get too into the debates of religious definition, legal requirements and equality. I simply see all paths of enlightenment as true religious experiences, even if and when I disagree with their methodology, mythology, or doctrines. I have always felt that true religion is between me and my God(s), and no one can take that kind of faith away. So I focus on not the Priesthood aspect ( those who create ceremony and dispense the sacraments) but on the Minister or Pastoral aspects of the clergy. That function of administering to the needs of the community in spirit and mental/emotional council. In my research, clergy of every faith follows almost the exact types and systems of council. And the community demands that as well.
  So, here it is, early June. I am only about half-way into the handbook, and yet the flow is beginning to ease into a slow ebb of distant tides. What once rushed to be written down, now flows more like dreamy clouds aloft in the sky, refusing to touch down. That too inspires me to re-read and meditate on the depths of certain subjects. I let common sense do a lot of talking, and i phrase metaphor more perceptibly.  I have nothing new to write, and I don't want to re-write or hack what has already been written by me or by others.
But too I am reminded of an old adage; "Never fear moving slowly, only fear standing sill." I know what I must do, yet not yet how I am going to do it. To finish this work before Summer ends is my goal, yet I have yet to find the path that leads me to it... Maybe it is because of the cycle of the seasons, and the change in pace.
   Each season has it's own pace, and it will affect those of us who live close in the cycles. It is because of our esoteric knowledge and the exoteric customs of our religion that we connect deeply with the seasons. (A point I teach upon in my lessons as well as in my journal.) I hope to get those lofty clouds to land softly soon, and regain my strength in writing that has been given renewed roots and such wondrous sprouts. It will soon be Summer and thus the height of growth. May we each find that in each other, and help nurture it along. 

   One last note
Here is some info about that wonderful band...
Check out Boise, Idaho's very own Pagan Band!

Though their foundations may be traditional, Beltane's sound is quite “modern”. One can hear the influence of everything from Celtic violin, to Middle Eastern rhythms, to Native American flutes, and classic American rock guitar.

Ultimately, Beltane’s sound is about the human voice, and its ability to create beauty, and to share messages, feelings and stories. The lush female harmonies, and the beauty and integrity of the lyrics are central to their sound.

Take a journey through the pagan goddess myths of the Celtic lands and beyond. Beautiful female voices backed up by world and rock instrumentation, create a unique and evocative listening experience. Enjoy their new, self-titled CD, “Beltane”.


You can purchase “Beltane” at:

The Record Exchange 1105 W. Idaho Boise, Idaho
83702 208-344-8010

Crone’s Cupboard 712 N. Orchard Boise, Idaho 208-333-0831

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/beltane
www.amazon.com
iTunes

Check out their official website at:
www.beltanesongs.com


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