Sticking a label on it

For the last couple of years my path has gradually been changing. A lot of what I do in my personal practice is the same but there are newer elements. It all started when Loki came into my life. I now honour an increasing number of Heathen deities along with those from Celtic lands I have honoured for years.

Most Druids and Heathens honour ancestors and spirits of the land in some way. And in both communities if you ask a question you will get a multitude of answers – although Heathens will more often refer you to various written sources such as the Eddas and Sagas.

At the same time as these changes have been happening with my spiritual life I’ve also gradually become more confident about referring to myself as autistic in spite of being told that I didn’t fully meet “diagnostic criteria”. Yes, it still annoys me. Fortunately those that know me best, including my kids, as well as an assortment of adult autistic friends have recognised that I am autistic. I refer to it as being peer recognised.

I am still me. I am still Pauline, daughter of Siusaidh. I am also Potia Nighean a’Chailliche (the second part of that name I took in October 2019 as part of my promises to the Ancient One). I’m still a Hearth Druid and I’m proudly autistic. But now I’m adding a new label to my collection, I’ve fully accepted that I’m also Heathen.

Browns

Are they in the rich, fertile soil
Or the dry, dusty ground?

Do you see them in the deep gleam of her eyes
Or the subtle glow of his skin?

Are they rough like tree bark
Or smooth as chocolate?

Do they squelch like mud
Or whisper like grains of sand?

Are they soft as cats fur
Or hard as horses hooves?

Or perhaps they come with tentacles…

For Tom and Nimue.

Dreams that feel significant

I woke this morning from an unusual dream which feels significant. In this dream I was at some sort of gathering somewhere rural with nice front garden and driveway. It was at the end of this gathering and Neil and I were walking down the drive on the way out. Andy and Helen Guthrie drew level with us, we hadn’t known they were there. Andy have me a hug, as he usually would, then he looked at me and said: “The salmon aren’t spawning properly.” We said something like we hadn’t known that and Neil left to check on this. Andy went on to say there were 14 areas where the salmon weren’t spawning properly. Then I woke up. 

This felt like a significant dream. I’ve never dreamt of Andy before, or Helen come to that. And what he said initially was so clear. Does it mean there are serious problems with our rivers? Possibly, the gods know we put enough shite into the world to cause all sorts of problems. But I don’t think it’s that simple. Andy, as those who knew him will know, was a teller of Celtic stories and myths, he knew these myths in his blood and bones. To those who know Celtic symbols the Salmon is a symbol of wisdom and inspiration and there are a few tales of those who sought the Salmon of wisdom only for another to receive its gift. Could this dream have something to do with the sharing or seeking of knowledge, wisdom or inspiration?

What are you seeking? What are you sharing? Have you gradually drawn in as I have or have you been reaching out? What does it mean to you that the Salmon aren’t spawning properly? And what of the 14 areas Andy spoke of, what are they?

Sometimes dreams feel bigger than just for you. Sometimes you need to share them.

Imbolc Memories

Images of Imbolcs past flood my mind.

Woken early, a gift of chocolates.

A simple ceremony in a local park.

Guesting with a coven, the smell of my hair burning!

Chanting to honour Brigid

Our Lucy pours out the offering of milk

Flames of hope shared in the cold

Warm drinks after shared in the warmth.

Long conversations of the Brighids in the past.

Memories…

A Mantle of Love

I wrap a mantle of love around you
Love from friends
Love from family
Love from far and near.

I wrap a mantle of love around you
Love that protects
Love that nurtures
Most of all, love that supports.

I wrap a mantle of love around you
Love from hopes
Love from joys
Love through pain and sorrow.

I wrap a mantle of love around you
I leave it in your care.

For Nimue.

A Dreaming to share

I often wake more than once in a night. Sometime I wake, like last night, having had an unusual dream. Last night’s dream was vivid in imagery but not in colour. In terms of colours the whole thing was in different shades of grey.

I was led or brought to what seemed to be a life sized relief carving of a water fall with a cave. The one who led me there seemed male but it wasn’t clear if they were or not. Once we were at the place they seemed to step or fade back from view, still there but in the background.

A sound started. Drumming, deep and from a single drum then voices wordlessly chanting, female voices, a kind of otherworldly choir.

A single louder voice spoke out:

“Without air we cannot breathe.”

The drumming and chanting sounds continued. The relief of the waterfall began to slowly change as I watched. The cave deepened. The water began to very slowly flow into the cave, across the roof of the cave and down the back of it into the darkness. A pale drinking horn, a fairly small one, faded into view floating in the air just inside the mouth of the cave. Drops of water slowly fell into it.

I reached in and took the horn, it was full although I’d only seen a couple of drops of water fall into it. I drank. The water was cold and incredibly refreshing. I put the horn back to float in the air.

The same single voice as before spoke again:

“Without water there is no life.”

As I continued to watch roots began to grow on the floor of the cave, pale white threads weaving into a loose mat like mycelium.

Again the voice spoke out:

“Without roots we cannot grow”.

Then I woke up. The background drumming and chanting had continued throughout the dream.

Sometimes dreams are meant only for the one dreaming, this one I felt was to be shared. For me it feels like a healing dream.

Love

Love doesn’t have to be a close thing
Of bodies touching, writhing.

Love doesn’t have to be returned
To still be felt heart deep.

Love can reach across oceans,
Drift with winds over mountains
And into valleys.

Love has many tastes and yet none,
Many textures, sounds and colours
Yet is indescribable.

Love is simple and yet so very complex,
Strong yet so very fragile.

Love is in my mind and in my soul.
Love doesn’t have to be a close thing.

By Potia.

Sweet Darkness

Sweet Darkness will you hold me?
Let me rest in your embrace?
The day is harsh and painful
Please hide my tear streaked face.

Gentle Darkness will you hold me?
Let me feel your soothing touch?
My heart is sore, my head is full,
I need your peace so much.

I know that I can find you
When the moon has gone away.
In star lit skies I see you
Until the break of day.

Now dawn begins Her journey
She starts to paint the sky.
Sweet Darkness I must leave you
For in daylight you are shy.

And I must walk in sunlight
Beneath the painful glare,
Where other people judge me,
But some of them still care.

Gentle Darkness I will find you
When day retreats from night.
I’ll rest within your presence,
Find strength again to fight.

By Potia

I Prefer Individualism Over Gate Keeping

This, so much this!

Life With Trickster Gods

I am a Pagan. I am a Druid. I am a Polytheist. I believe the Gods are real. I believe They are all separate, unique entities that can be experienced in a variety of ways. I know there are other Pagans that believe similar to me. Just as I know there are other Pagans that do not believe as I do. There are those that find all of that discomforting. I don’t. I take great comfort in understanding that the Gods are experienced differently by everyone. Why would I take comfort in that thought? Because it means we are all individual, unique human beings. It means we have the Free Will to expand our understanding of Those Beyond our understanding in a manner that speaks to each of us. It means we are not cut from the same mold, that we are as unique as I believe that the Gods…

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