"At the gates of the forest, the surprised man of the world is forced to leave his city estimates of great and small, wise and foolish. The knapsack of custom falls off his back with the first step he takes into these precincts. Here is sanctity which shames our religions, and reality which discredits our heroes. Here we find Nature to be the circumstance which dwarfs every other circumstance, and judges like a god all men who come to her."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, May 8, 2020


Beltane this year seemed to be a very enormous deal to me. I still do not quite know why, as this celebration of love and fertility is not especially relevant to me, at least in the physical sense. But still, instinct must be trusted at times so this year, since I could not gather with the local druidic community (around here, that is the ADF), my daughter and I had our own small celebration in a nearby woods and my son came along to help us, though he has declined participation in such things.

We videoed our little ritual and I very laboriously downloaded Windows Movie Maker Pro and attempted to learn how to use it (its easy but its not great quality. . .I need practice! And WMMP isn't the best software, apparently, to use for such things. . .and I need to film in landscape not portrait. . .and use a microphone. . .😂) You can see our video here, on Youtube:

It was a very special time for all of us, and we certainly will go back to celebrate other special days. Until we can meet with our community safely again, the company of the woods is a very lovely substitute.

I shared this photo to a Druid group I am part of and one of the members messaged me, saying
that 3 separate spiritual entities can be seen in this photo; and that they felt peaceful and protective of my
daughter. I do not have that gift of visualizing spirits but I was so grateful for the sharing of  that obervation.
In the week that has followed since Beltane I have thought very much about the implications of this ceremony. When I began to study Druidry (neo-Druidry! Since, of course, we will never be "real" Druids) I was very taken back by the idea of ritual. It seemed. . .too churchy? Not authentic? Too ceremonious. Anyone can say certain words or do certain things or light candles or wave their arms grandly. It doesn't mean anything. It is empty.

But doing this felt right to me, at this time. I think I have found that ritual isn't in and of itself an act of honor or reverence - it is merely an outward expression of inward intention. One doesn't need to do any of this to be sincere or more "into it" than anyone else. All of it (and this is far less than most) - the robes, the setting, the candles, the words - they are merely very optional tools.

Of course, I've read similar statements before earlier on in my journey but never really personally felt the truth of them til now. It is a beautiful thing to allow ones feelings expression instead of keeping them inwards. This expression can take many forms. This is merely one form. It is not better or worse than any other form and it is only what felt right to me, now, this Beltane, this corona-virus Beltane of 2020.

This has led to many ideas for future blog post topics as well as more videos. I have so very much to say yet need to still find words to say what I wish; and I need to reflect more and find out what I have to teach myself from my own past. There is much there if I will but look. There is still so much to learn and so much to be grateful for, as I look both forward and back from this point of existence.

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My Approach

This blog is written from the perspective of someone who was raised in a conservative Christian community and who was taught that the spiritual element of nature is a reflection of the glory of God. It wasn't until my mid to late 20's that I was brave enough to question what I had been taught and not until my 30's that I knew that nature based spiritual belief systems existed, though often under the umbrella term "pagan". I began to search my own instincts more thoroughly and this brought me back to the very beginning of my memory store, where I felt awe, joy and awareness in the presence of nature. Over the next years, my studying and discovery of different possible fits for my re-discovered and progressing beliefs brought me to the early 19th century Transcendental movement, Unitarian and Quaker churches and finally back to my first church, the church of Nature. While my Christian upbringing still influences my approach and I find much merit in the Bible, I no longer feel confined to narrow, specific and uncompromising views. When I discovered OBOD in 2018 I knew I had found a community of like minded people. While modern druidry is, at best, a very faint and uncertain reflection of the druids of old, engaging in earth-honoring practices makes me feel connected to the past, present and future in a way that feels natural and right. I am so happy to be on this druid path.