Marked by Gofannon

In late January I took part in an online conference about Brighid. I will write more about that another time but during one of sessions there was a meditation that led to Brighid at a forge deep in the land. My experience during that meditation was a little different. I met two smiths in that forge and one was Gofannon. He didn’t tell me his name but then neither of them spoke to me much. He held me steady while Brighid pulled from me what was needed to be reworked. He was working at one area of the forge and She was at another but it was clear that this was a shared space for them.

The material Brighid pulled from me was reworked and then placed back inside me in three parts. One band for each of three cauldrons within me. Gofannon again held me steady while Brighid placed these bands within me.

While this forging was taking place though Gofannon placed a band round my upper right arm. It was about an inch wide and copper. I knew it was fairly simple in design but couldn’t make it out clearly. I felt it though. I felt it so very clearly and in the days since that experience I have felt it again and again. So this week I decided to try and find a physical version of this arm band.

I looked in a few places online but couldn’t find anything at the right sort of size that looked even close. Upper arm bands in copper that I found were either simple very narrow bands or elegant twists and spirals, not at all what I was seeking. The closest items were wrist bands and I needed something larger. One of the crafts people I looked at was RuneCastCopper and I’d seen their work in one of the Asatru UK Facebook group that I am a member of so I contacted them. I wanted to get something made by a fellow polytheist if I could manage it. Fortunately they are happy to make a piece for me and today, a Thursday which is the day I devote to Gofannon, I made the payment for this commission.

What was placed round my arm by Gofannon is being given a physical manifestation. Soon I will have a devotional item of jewellery for Gofannon to wear on Thursdays just as on other days I have items of jewellery dedicated to other deites.

 

 

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Who is a poet? A Review of Gatherer of Souls by Lorna Smithers

Lorna is someone I’m fortunate to know so delighted to share this lovely review of her recent book.

British Druid Order Blog

Who is a poet? Not hard. A poet sees beneath the surface of things, and brings back the stories and songs of the world behind the world.

When I was given the opportunity to review Lorna Smithers’ Gatherer of Souls, I jumped at the chance. I was somewhat familiar with her work through blog posts and references here and there but, you know how it is, time and preoccupations constrain one’s attention in certain directions. So I had never actually read her books or poetry in the ‘sit down’, with the attention that a poet requires. So I was not prepared for just how extraordinary I would find this book.

I’ve read and told the tale of Culhwch and Olwen many times, yet never wept for Goleuddydd. And if that were all, it would be enough. But there was so much more.

This is a book that crystallises years of…

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Struggling on

Last August I set some intentions and a couple of months later I wrote a little about my progress in some general musings. I’m still struggling with one aspect of those intentions and that’s getting back to writing.

I finished knitting another shawl for the end of the old year, a nice snuggly one that I can wrap around me and the at the back. My first knitting project of the new year was a new hat with some very colourful yarn.

I’m now working on a pair of socks and I have a shawl to knit for a friend. I’m also planning a simple blanket to use the acrylic yarn I’ve inherited from my mum. So the knitting is progressing quite well.

I’ve found a community style choir to join that meets during a weekday afternoon. I started going to that at the end of October. It’s called Sing aLoud and I really enjoy it. I got my dad along to it as well as he enjoys singing although he’d never been in a choir before. 

I also had another tattoo done towards the end of October that links my singing to my devotions. I wanted a devotional tattoo of some kind but symbols become complicated and then I came up with this which links to all my gods.

I’ve done a few bits of writing but still not really got back into it. I’ve also been struggling a lot with low moods and tearful days during December, especially the so called holiday season. It’s now two weeks into the school term and I’m being to get back into routines which does help. I’ve now downloaded the WordPress app on my Kindle and I’m hoping that will encourage me to begin to write here more often. I’m hoping that if I get back into blogging more often I will then feel more able to return to writing the book I began at Samhain 2017. I keep thinking of ways to begin writing some of the chapters I still need to write but never actually sitting down with my laptop and starting to write.

I’ve put on some weight in the last couple of months. I comfort eat. I know I do this and why but stopping it is easier said than done especially when I’m struggling with my moods. So I’ve decided to try and do a bit more exercise in the hope that doing that will help me feel better and reduce the amount I turn to comfort eating. Hopefully the longer hours of daylight will also have a positive effect on me. I don’t get seasonal affective disorder as such but light levels may be a contributing factor. I’m aiming to start swimming again as I used to swim  regularly a few years ago and enjoyed it. I’m in the process of investigating local swimming pools to find one that’s both reasonably close and that I feel reasonably comfortable going to. Longer term I will then start watching what I eat more carefully again but I want to start exercising more and improving my overall mood first.
On the RDA front I continue to love my time there, so much so that I’ve signed up to start learning how to be a coach for the RDA. That means I’m continuing to learn new skills and gaining a real sense of achievement. Speaking of which I was stunned and delighted to be awarded the RDA Glasgow Group volunteer of the year award for 2018. I have a lovely big trophy to look after this year and a smaller one I get to keep.

Writing this has been good for me. I’ve been struggling with my moods so much recently but in writing about these things I can see there are several positive things happening too. Sometimes when we are struggling it’s really hard to remember the good things. 

My gods are calling…

First it was Epona nudging to write a blog post and I did. Since Then I’ve felt Her more strongly and been thinking about Her a lot as Eponalia (18 December) approaches.

Then it was the Divine Smith with a mention of Sucellus as a possible Smith for followed a few days later by a blog post on Sucellos that got me thinking and then this one on Sucellus and Smith gods which resonated strongly.

Around the same time there was a surge of activity online about Loki triggered by a Wild Hunt column (this one). There’s so many options I could link to for blog posts and articles that followed this original article but the Wild Hunt have published this one about the Lokean Community and this one so-called Loki and the Resistance.

I often see posts about Brigid because I’m in Facebook groups about Her and there’s not been any unusual activity there or elsewhere about Brigantia that I’ve seen but today an Cailleach made Her presence felt via an unexpected post about Her. Maponos has remained fairly quiet so far too.

It doesn’t surprise me that Loki should use technology to make His presence felt more strongly. That’s how He first pushed into my life. It doesn’t surprise me that Epona should provide judges through contacts with other people, She has always been subtle with me. The Divine Smith though, using both personal connections and technology, that did surprise me. I don’t do any form of smithcraft. My only attempt at regular craftwork is knitting. I’m not the fastest or best knitter by any means although I am confident enough to knit things for others. So I still find it a little surprising that Gofannon  has remained a presence in my life. Perhaps He wishes to remind me to keep persevering with various things in my life, perhaps He likes my respect for the craftspeople I know. g

Three of the gods I regularly make devotions to are making their presence felt more strongly. They are each calling to me, not with a specific message but to be more aware. They are challenging me to take up those tasks that I feel I struggle with and move onwards. And I believe they are each letting me know in their own ways that I am heard and that I am not alone.

The Two Chalices Ritual

A beautiful alternative to the usual Wiccan style blessing.

Dowsing for Divinity

One of the rituals of inclusive Wicca is the two chalices ritual. This has evolved over a couple of decades to become something more than I originally envisaged, as is often the way with traditions, which are evolving and fluid. It started life as a ritual for women-loving-women, and evolved into a ritual for everyone, but retaining its original symbolism.

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General musings

Last time I wrote about setting intentions and I’ve had some success with what I had hoped to achieve.

I am continuing to go to the RDA Glasgow group. I’ve had some challenges with both my emotional state and things like back pain and colds which have meant missing the odd day but on the whole I’m managing ok. And I still love being there so that helps.

I am now singing almost every day again. Not always a more formal practice, sometimes it’s just a couple of things but very few days go by now without song in them again.  This makes me feel good too. I sing for so many reasons. I sing for my gods, for comfort, for joy and for my ancestors.  Sometimes I sing things I learnt when I was at school, sometimes things I’ve crafted and sometimes I sing without words letting the notes flow where they will.

The writing though hasn’t come back.  I’m not even sure if I want it to. I have so many doubts about whether I really have anything to write that others will want to read. And yet there is so little out there written by polytheists.  There is more that there used to be but often focussed on one particular deity or a particular path.  I started my efforts to write a book last Samhain with the intent to write it bit at a time through the year.  We are once more nearing Samhain and I’ve not managed to write a word on it since my mum died. I no longer know if I could start it again without feeling tears in my eyes. And yet not going back to it makes me feel like I’ve failed somehow.

I’ve finished two shawls that I started before mum died and I’ve finally made a tea cosy.  I put off trying to knit one for a while as that was something mum had asked me to make her.  I had found yarn I thought she would like and a pattern but hadn’t begun before she died. Last week I tried making my first tea cosy with the yarn I had got for my mum but I realised it wasn’t going to work with that yarn so I used something else instead but I did it. Knitting wasn’t something I wrote about in my intentions but it is good to be completing projects and trying new things again.

Life continues…